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Australia focused, Clarke remains hopeful

June 17 (CI) Michael Clarke has admitted the off-field drama surrounding the Australia team has affected preparation for his side's must-win group match against Sri Lanka, but said Australia remained focused on achieving their first win of the tournament, and progressing to the semi-finals. 

Australia must defeat Sri Lanka to earn a semi-finals place, and if England win their final group match against New Zealand, they must win well enough to outdo New Zealand's net run rate. more..

Sri Lanka is gaining popularity as a key tourist hotspot in the Korean market

June 17 (IL) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Korea in association with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau organized Sri Lanka’s pavilion at the 26th Korea World Travel Fair (KOTFA), the largest travel exposition held at the COEX Exhibition Center in Seoul, from 30 May, to 2 June. KOTFA attracts a multitude of international and national tourism organizations with the participation of more than 3,000 local and more..

Responding to changing situations essential for development - Wimal

June 17 (DN) The ability to adapt and respond to changing situations is essential for development, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. Participating as the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony of Construction Expo 2013, Sri Lanka’s premier construction machinery, technology supplies and service exhibition held at the BMICH from June 14 to 16 for the second consecutive year, he said: “Our history had provided us immense opportunities for the betterment of the country. more..

Ceylon Tea global marketing campaign set for October

June 17 (FT) Although the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) is yet to select a promotion partner, it revealed that the global campaign for Ceylon Tea will certainly kickoff by October this year. The global campaign for Ceylon Tea was to take off on 2012, but was delayed since SLTB was unable to select a suitable partner for the promotion. While expressions of interest were called in 2012 from reputed and experienced advertising agencies to implement the campaign with an estimated more..

Humiliated teacher wary of returning to school

June 17 (CT) The female teacher in charge of discipline at the Navagattegama Navodya Vidyalaya who has reportedly been humiliated by a UPFA Provincial Councillor before her students in the classroom, has expressed her reservations about going back to work without adequate security. Her husband said, his wife, as the teacher-in-charge of discipline, had been checking on the students on the day more..

Preview: SL v Aus, Champions Trophy

June 17 (CI) Amid the vexing appearances of rain in the last few days, three of the four teams will nervously wait for the result of the final Group B match. Sri Lanka, who more often than not make it to the knockouts in ICC tournaments, just need a win; Australia, who have looked a shadow of their former selves, need a win with a big margin and New Zealand, who looked good to make it to the next round till a day ago, need Australia to scrape to a win. Weather in London may interrupt more..

Schoolchildren in remote areas get bicycles

June 17 (DN) Over 750 new bicycles will be distributed among underprivileged schoolchildren selected from remote areas in the Matara district. Around 250 bicycles were distributed under the first stage of the programme, among schoolchildren at a ceremony held under the patronage of Minister Dullas Alahapperuma at the Matara Municipal Council. The 250 bicycles were distributed among students faced with transport difficulties when attending schools to encourage them to more..

Two PCs to be dissolved

June 17 (CT) Amidst the ongoing debate on the 13th Amendment, President Rajapaksa is to dissolve the Central and North Western Provincial Councils in the course of the week, govt sources said. Both Provincial Councils would be dissolved on the same day, most likely, 21 June. "We are thinking of two likely dates. One is 21 June and other could be 27 June. The final decision whether both Councils will be dissolved on the a same day or more..

Fish exporters lament govt inflexibility

June 17 (NS) Numerous bans imposed by the Government on fish exports, especially wild caught species (Live Tropical Fish), adversely affect product catalogs of local exporters thereby hindering the growth of the respective industry, Live Tropical Fish Exporters Association, Co-President, Rohan Fernando, highlighted last week. He said that the fish exporters have made several representations to the relevant authorities requesting for permission to breed wild caught fish species such as more..

Coastguard launches patrol to prevent fishermen

June 17 (PTI) In a bid to prevent fishermen from this region crossing the IMBL and entering Sri Lankan waters, Indian Coast Guard station here has intensified patrol besides launching awareness campaigns, an official said today. The coastguard station, with an operational area comprising the stretch between Kodiakarai in neighbouring Nagapattinam District and Kollidam, has stepped up vigil along the IMBL to prevent the fishermen from crossing the borders and face arrest by more..

Sri Lanka calls for international action to stem glorification of terrorism

June 17 (IL) Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has asked that greater attention be paid in the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, to the role of terrorist support networks that take the form of front organizations, the challenge posed by the abuse of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and the propriety of the use or display of terrorist group emblems, insignia and symbols. He emphasized that more..

Temple robbery solved – Army

June 17 (SL) The army says a suspect had been arrested over the robbery at a Hindu Temple in Batticaloa recently. Subsequent to the robbery of the Coin Box at Pullayar Kovil in Velleweli, Batticaloa on 1st June by an unidentified group, a team of army personnel were deployed to commence investigations. During the investigations they were able to identify two of the suspects involved in the robbery. The two suspects were identified as Nadaraja Rajmohan and more..

Nearly 2,443 pharmacies not registered

June 17 (Island) Out of more than 6,000 drug stores in the country, around 2,433 private pharmacies have not been registered with the Health Ministry, according to the All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU). ACHSU General Secretary, Gamini Kumarasinghe said that most of the unregistered pharmacies sold substandard drugs. Some of them even sold prescription drugs over the counter in violation of the law, he added. Though the Cosmetic Devises and Drug Regulatory Authority more..

Unions demand action against NWPC member

June 17 (Island) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) has warned that it would launch trade union action if punitive action is not taken against UPFA Wayamba Provincial Council member Ananda Sarath Kumara for forcing a female teacher, at Navagaththegama Maha Vidyalaya to kneel down in her class for reprimanding his daughter. CTU Secretary Joseph Stalin alleged that the failure on the part of the SLFP-led ruling more..

Karu warns of ‘dreadful suppression’ due to Executive Presidency

June 17 (FT) The concentration of power in the hands of a single individual and a group of cronies is creating a climate of ‘dreadful suppression’ and resulting in Sri Lanka becoming a country that is ‘democratic’ in title only, senior UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said. He said that the fundamental reason for the decline of all levels of social and political life was the fact that all State institutions are being politicised due to the unlimited powers acquired through the 18th Amendment. more..

Proposed SEC laws to curb crooks to be finalised in July

June 17 (ST) Proposed new legislation that would ensure violators of stock market rules are slapped huge fines or ordered to return profits from ‘dirty’ deals is close to be finalised under amendments to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Act. SEC officials said the commission is awaiting one member’s comments to present it to the parliament. “We had hoped to finalize the Act at the last commission meeting on Tuesday and get ready to present it to the parliament, but more..

30 Lankans in global database of secret accounts in tax havens

June 17 (FT) Nearly 30 Sri Lankan individuals and two companies have been named in a first of its kind worldwide publication of those having secret accounts in offshore jurisdictions. The Lankan list is part of over 100,000 secret companies, trusts and funds created in 10 offshore locales such as British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands and Singapore. The global data base was compiled by the ICIJ. more..

The forthcoming anarchy diluting the 13th amendment

June 17 (DM) In 1987 India and Sri Lanka signed a treaty titled ‘Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement to Establish Peace and Normalcy in Sri Lanka.’ Popularly known as the Indo-Lanka Agreement or Peace Accord, it marked a very significant event in Sri Lanka’s relations with its immediate neighbour and the regional great power India. It seemed that, during the 1980s, J.R.Jayewardene’s Govt had failed to identify the significance of India as the most important regional power for Sri Lanka, more..

Editorial: The glitter is not in the gold

June 17 (DM) With moral values in Sri Lanka degenerating - and the divorce rate reported to be soaring at more than 60% despite the pontification and puritanical platitudes of politicians – we need to deeply reflect on turning around to a simple and humble lifestyle or Alpechchathavaya as we know it in Sanskrit. The focus of this turnaround in the aftermath of a tragedy that took place last week is on the morality of spending so much on dowries, gold jewellery, five-star wedding receptions more..

Sri Lankan awarded the highest award of Russia for foreign citizens

June 17 (GDI) Dr Saman Weerasinghe, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ‘Mos-Lanka Holdings’ Group of Companies and an Advisor to President Mahinda Rajapaksa was awarded the ‘Order of Honour of the Russian Federation’ on June 12, 2013 at a ceremony held in Colombo to mark the National Day of the Russian Federation. Russian Ambassador in Sri Lanka Alexander Karchava accompanied Dr and more..

Code of Ethics: A move yo make the sword mightier?

June 17 (SL) In journalism there is a popular quote which states that “the pen is mightier than the sword”. In other words it means that, as far as the media is concerned, journalists can make a change through what they write. However now there are fears the govt maybe attempting to stifle that freedom given to journalists, the freedom to express an opinion or reports the facts. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella announced recently that more..

Exchange relaxation to boost apartment sales

June 17 (DM) Leading property developers welcomed last week’s exchange controls relaxations by the Central Bank, which permitted the repatriation of capital and capital gains from the sale of residential properties by non- residents. “This is one of the issues which restricted foreigners buying Sri Lankan apartments. We have been asking to liberalize this area as we believed that investors should have the liberty more..

Casinos: Where wheels of fortune chip away at the gamblers

June 17 (ST) On a weeknight at an upmarket casino in Colombo, clouds of Asian gamblers pore intensely over gaming tables—blackjack, roulette and baccarat. The ceiling of the sprawling, illuminated hall is peppered with surveillance cameras. Men in black coats mingle unobtrusively with the crowds, keeping close watch. The croupiers, in their salmon pink shirts and bowties, are barred from speaking to customers and more..

Lack of funds halts heart surgery at Sri J’pura

June 17 (Island) Lack of funds has brought heart surgeries to a halt at the Sri Jayewardenepura hospital. This has been the case since April this year, according to hospital sources. The cardio thoracic unit of the hospital is said to have incurred a loss of Rs.100 million last year as the Health ministry provided only Rs. 500 million for the bypass operations performed there. The Ministry owed the hospital a further Rs. 500 million, more..

Krrish Transworks invests US$ 650 mn in Fort project

June 17 (DN) The Krrish Group would invest US$ 650 million to build three towers and redevelop the adjoining Transworks building in Fort. The construction would start in August and be completed in 30 months. R P Gupta said that they would also settle the balance payment due for the land by the end of July. “We have already paid Rs 41.1billion which is 85% of the total commitment. The balance Rs 800 million would be paid more..

'Sri Lanka growth to be on track'

June 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka is expecting 7.5% growth this year despite a slowdown in exports, and adverse weather hitting fisheries, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. Cabraal said gross domestic growth in the first quarter is expected to be close to 6%. "If we have that number our 7.5% number could be reached," Cabraal told foreign correspondents in Colombo. "That was the highest base (quarter) in the previous year. more..

Cricket Selection Committee flies away

June 17 (SM) Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee and UPFA MP Sanath Jayasuriya has become troublesome for the Cricket Executive Committee, learns ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’. Due to the situation a special executive committee meeting has been announced tomorrow. The situation has occurred as Sanath Jayasuriya who went to England to watch the first round matches of the Champions Trophy has more..

Vass allegedly extorted money from Mervyn Secretary-police

June 17 (DM) DIG Vass Gunawardena had allegedly extorted money from the coordinating secretary of Minister Mervyn Silva, investigations revealed. The DIG had allegedly taken money from the coordinating secretary “Singapore Sarath” to refrain from taking action against him for the possession of heroin and firearms. The DIG had also told Singapore Sarath that his name was on a list of drug traffickers who were to be killed. more..

Sinhalese getting India-funded houses, complain Tamil MPs

June 17 (ENS) Three Tamil MPs from Batticaloa have complained that attempts are being made to include in the India-financed housing project about 350 Sinhalese families who are not war-displaced families, ignoring the claims of Tamil families which were really displaced by the war. TNA MPs P Ariyanenthiran, C Yogeswaran and P Selvarasa told mediapersons in Batticaloa that houses under the Indian scheme more..

India and the 13th amendment

June 17 (CT) I am grateful for the request to write about India and the 13th Amendment because, while I have referred to the subject in different contexts, it would be useful to assess precisely what Indian priorities are, and how we should respond to these. In doing this, we should be clear about the principles involved – a) As Sri Lankans, our own national interest must come first. This includes both safeguarding the integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka and also ensuring that more..

Stifling right of expression

June 17 (CT) The move of the govt to introduce a new Code of Ethics for the media is not only seen as redundant, as there is already such a Code in existence, but significantly, does not look transparent at all. The drafting of such codes are expected to be an inclusive endeavour; however, in this instance, the draft has been circulated to a selected few, primarily the constituent parties of the govt who are no doubt in the same wavelength as the ruling party. more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 21% in May

June 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 21% to 70,026 in May 2013 from a year earlier, with a recovery in the Indian market and Western Europe growing strongly, official data shows. In the first five months of the year, visitors were up 13.2% to 438,653. Arrivals from Western Europe rose 28% to 19,966 with the biggest market UK up 27.5% to 6,299 and Germany up 45 percent to 4,263. France rose 8.2% to 3,490 and more..

BJP bats for Cauvery, Lankan Tamils

June 17 (DC) The state unit of the BJP has asked the Congress-led UPA govt at the Centre to ‘coerce’ Sri Lanka to politically empower the Sri Lankan Tamils so as to enable them live with dignity and respect. According to BJP sources, the Centre’s inaction is sending a wrong message across that India is not keen on protesting the Tamils in Lanka. “We want political empowerment for the Lankan Tamils as per the 13th Amendment and the Centre should strongly work towards this goal,” more..

Bandula blames pre–1994 education policies for youth unemployment

June 17 (Island) Today’s unemployment crisis was consequent to the ill-conceived educational policies in effect before 1994. About 80% of school leavers found it difficult to find employment as most of them could not even pass the GCE O/L till last year, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. He said that the GCE O/L success rate had been just 20 percent and tragically neither the govt nor the private sector were able to accommodate the 80% of students who had failed that exam. more..

Sri Lanka says Tamil Tiger fronts operate in Germany

June 17 (Xinhua) The Tamil Tiger rebel front organizations are still operating in Germany under the guise of community organizations, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said on Monday. Minister G.L. Peiris, during a discussion he had in Berlin with the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle, said that according to information available to Sri Lankan authorities, there are a substantial number of schools operating in more..

Sri Lanka stocks close flat

June 17 (LBO) Stocks closed flat Monday, due to index heavy stocks continuing to drop and profit taking by some investors. All Share Index closed 0.28 points lower at 6,219.11 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 7.56 points lower at 3,496.79 lower at 0.22%. Turnover was 310 million rupees down from 577 million on last week Friday. Foreigners brought 146 million rupees worth shares while selling 55 million rupees of shares, in a day that 77stocks advanced and 104 stocks declined. more..

Butcher in the soup over dud currency

June 17 (Island) The Terrorism Investigating Unit of Kandy police headquarters, on Saturday (15) arrested two men who had in their possession 266 forged one-thousand-rupee notes. The arrest was made during a raid at Kahalla in Katugastota. Investigations have revealed that the fake currency printing racket has been going on for some time in a house at Kahalla. Suspects are aged 26 and 27 years. One is a butcher and the other a sub-dealer in cellular phones. more..

Sri Lanka GDP grows 6% y/y in Q1, helped by State spending

June 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's first quarter economic growth beat market expectations, which economists attributed to high state investment in construction that compensated for sluggish private sector expansion at a time borrowing costs are high. The economy grew 6% in the first quarter from a year earlier. That was slower than the annual pace of 6.3% in the last quarter of 2012, but above a Reuters poll forecast for more..

Fishermen issue: Jayalalithaa accuses Centre

June 17 (PTI) TN Chief Minister Jayalalalithaa on Monday accused the Centre of not engaging the Sri Lankan govt in any dialogue to resolve the issue of attacks on fishermen from the state and maintaining a ‘stoic’ and ‘apathetic’ silence over it. “The External Affairs Ministry has continued to maintain a stoic and apathetic silence and there appears to be no effort to engage the Sri Lankan govt in any dialogue to resolve the issue,” she said in a letter to PM Manmohan Singh. more..

Allegations galore over allotment of line houses

June 17 (CT) The rebuilding of the 198 Railway Line houses at Dematagoda has come to a virtual standstill with the ridiculously low number of houses built in their place also being allocated amidst allegations, to undeserving parties. The Dematagoda Railway Line houses between Baseline Road and Maradana – Dematagoda Road were built in 1865 by the British Colonial Government to accommodate the Indian labour brought to the country to work in the Railway Department. more..