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MCNS website still dysfunctional

June 23 (DM) The Media Center for National Security (MCNS) website still remains inaccessible although it has been more than five months since it came under a cyber-attack. When about its restoration, MCNS Director Lakshman Hulugalle said that they would “start the uplink when they want it”. However, he refused to reveal any information behind the delay or as to when the site was scheduled to become operational again. “It is an administrative matter and more..

China to open doors to SL’s apparel sector

June 23 (ST) Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is to get a big boost as the world’s largest textile producer, China is exploring possibilities of opening its huge domestic market to the island’s garment exports, an industry heavyweight said. Secretary General of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Tuly Cooray said that their umbrella body is to enter into an agreement with the China National Garment Association to allow more..

DPF surprised by Tissa and Rajitha’s absence in PSC

June 23 (AD) The DPF today expressed surprise over the absence of Ministers Tissa Vitharana and Rajitha Senarathne in the list of govt members appointed to the Parliamentary Select Committee on constitutional changes. Deputy Leader of the DPF, Dr Nalliah Kumaraguruparan stated that his party has “strong reservations” about the PSC for political solution, however it is a surprise to him that Prof Tissa Vitharana and Dr Rajitha Senarathne were “remarkably missing” in the list of govt more..

'Lankan Navy snapped fishing nets of TN fishermen'

June 23 (OI) Sri Lankan Navy snapped fishing nets of Tamil Nadu fishermen in more than 20 boats when they were fishing near Katchatheevu today, official sources said. The Naval men, in three ships and two boats, had yesterday warned fishermen against fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet in the Palk straits and ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974 byway of a pact, forcing fishermen in more than 100 boats return without fishing, they said. Police said about 750 boats from this island and more..

Student death unveils high degree of stress

June 23 (ST) Police continue to investigate the death of 23 year-old Colombo Uni student Thilini, who was found fallen from the 5th floor of the Science Faculty building. Thilini Gunewardena from Lunugamwehera in the Hambantota district was a first year student at the Colombo University’s Science Faculty. On Tuesday (18), she was seen on the fifth floor, but later found unconscious on the ground. more..

17 cops transferred over assault

June 23 (CG) The police headquarters has ordered the transfer of 17 policemen over an assault on a group of people in the Dikwella area. A protest was staged in the Dikwella town this morning over the assault with area residents attempting to go towards the Dikwella police station. The situation was however brought under control with the protesters being assured that the OIC of the Dikwella police station and several other policemen were being transferred to Matara over the incident. more..

Foreign investors shifting to treasury bills in Sri Lanka

June 23 (Reuters) Foreign investors have been shifting to Sri Lanka’s treasury bills (T-bills) while selling longer tenure T-bonds, the latest central bank data showed, as a rise in US Treasury yields has prompted many offshore investors to rush to the exits. Foreign investors bought a net 6.67 billion rupees ($51.97 million) in T-bills in the three weeks ended on June 19, while they sold a net 5.66 billion rupees worth of T-bonds in the same period, the data showed. more..

Angelo Fernando

What will we do without the ‘retiring’ trio

June 24 (SL) It’s rather a paradox that, whilst the careers of Sri Lanka’s three senior-most cricketers draw to an end, their indispensability to the national team gets to be even more indisputable. There are credible reasons why the retirements of the illustrious trio cannot betoo far away. Mahela, Dilshan and Sangakkara are in their mid-30s, each has already captained the country and their international careers have spanned 16, 14 and 13 years respectively, more..

Thoughts on ascending hemlines

June 24 (SL) In a rare demonstration of unanimity the wrath of the Sri Lankan nation was brought to bear on the North Western Provincial Councillor Ananda Sarath Kumara who is alleged to have punished a teacher of his daughter by making her kneel before him in the presence of others. The reverence Sri Lankans have for teachers and their contempt for politicians were shown very well in this incident. Students, teacher trade unions and all sorts of people expressed their disgust and more..

Tamil aspirations differ from those of LTTE cohorts abroad

June 24 (SO) It is an open secret that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had been a puppet of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran when his terror outfit was at its peak, inflicting nothing but misery on over 20 millions Sri Lankans. It is an open secret that the TNA had been a puppet of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran when his terror outfit was at its peak, inflicting nothing but misery on over 20 millions Sri Lankans. more..

Learned lessons after three decades and lost hope

June 24 (CT) The Civil War aggravated the nature of conflict on the island of Sri Lanka, first the incidents against Tamils in July 1983, and then on 23 July 1983 when the militant outfit LTTE launched a deadly ambush on a Sri Lanka Army check point, whereby killing an officer and 12 soldiers. This changing nature of the conflict transformed into an armed conflict between the state actor and the non-state rebellion movement, subsequently stretched its hands throughout the country within more..

Astrological innovation by schoolgirl

June 24 (NS) Rahu kaalaya is something anyone who is worried about the stars will be concerned. However, until now there was no way by which we could express it by a clock or a similar device. There was not even an attempt made to do so. However, recently, a small schoolgirl from Gonakumbura Maha Vidyalaya in Ratnapura has come up with a clock-like indicator for rahu kaalaya. Although Thushari Rajapaksa is still in Grade 8, she had already invented a toy boat and more..

Land grab in the Mavilaaru area

June 24 (CT) No one can belittle the contribution made by the people of the villages of Sooriyapura, Samagipura and Samanala Paalama, at the time the government forces fought against the LTTE on the issue of the sluice gate of Mavilaaru. Now, the residents who once stood by the country are facing another problem. The lands they have been occupying for the past three to four decades are being illegally sold to outsiders. more..

View from Ritigala

June 24 (NS) Minister Rajitha Senaratne still sees the dreams of 1987 when he was a vehement supporter of the formation of Provision Councils. Even after a series of massive political leapfrogs, his stance still remains the same on Provincial Councils. At the cabinet meeting last week, he locked horns with Minister Wimal Weerawansa over the proposed changes to the 13th amendment. After that, he openly challenged anyone to participate in an open debate over the matter. more..

Infatuation ends in tragedy

June 24 (SO) Long flowing tresses flowing below Ayodya's waist, slim figure, demure looks and olive tan complexion were what all the people in the village admired. She was young, vivacious and her skin had a rosy pink glow. She blushed whenever those around her paid her a compliment. Her mother protected her like a precious gem and did not allow her to associate with others fearing that she would be spoilt. She was a bright student in Grade 10 at St. Joseph's College, Grandpass. more..

TMVP front Dravida Senai suspected of burning Muslim establishment at Urukaamam

June 24 (DBS) A Muslim owned business establishment at Urukaamam in Batticaloa was subjected to an arson attack on Thursday June 20th 2013. A provision store cum eatery owned and run by Seeni Mouhammadu Fareed near the main street junction in Urukaamam was burnt down by an “unknown” gang at about 10.30 pm on Thursday. The small building was completely gutted with the more..

How did the Provincial Councils become White Elephants?

June 24 (CT) Mr. Lalith Weeratunge, the Secretary to the President has said on Twitter that the Provincial Councils system is a white elephant. Yes indeed for reasons that lie fairly and squarely at the door of the Central Government. President J.R. Jayawardene passed the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Councils Law. But these laws had to be given effect to by the subsequent President Premadasa, who had little understanding of the principles of Public Administration. more..

Shippers request for govt assistance

June 24 (NS) The govt has disregarded the requirements of the external sector, by not extending adequate assistance to the importers and exporters in Sri Lanka to do business with ease and efficiency, Chairman of Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council (SLSC), Dinesh de Silva, said last week. Addressing the 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council, de Silva said that given the country’s vision to emerge as a logistic hub in Asia by 2015, full automation of systems more..

India win Champions Trophy

June 24 (CI) Pinch yourself again and again. This match was completely out of the realms of reality. After the ICC - who hadn't considered it fit to have a reserve day for the final - added 75 minutes to the rainy day to accommodate 20 overs in the final, both sides panicked in the compressed environment; Ravi Bopara was the bowling demon for England; India defended 129 with slip, gully and silly point for spinners; more..

John Keells Land completes super structure of Rs. 6 billion prject

June 24 (Island) Top blue-chip John Keells Holdings PLC property arm John Keells Land announced the completion of the super structure of its Rs. 6 billion high-rise apartment complex, OnThree20, ahead of schedule. Located at Union Place, in the heart of Colombo’s bustling metropolis and business district, OnThree20 consists of three towers, each 37 storeys tall, with a total of 475 apartments and enjoys close proximity to hotels, supermarkets, department stores, schools, hospitals etc. more..

Increasing food production vital for food security

June 24 (ST) Last week’s column discussed the vulnerability of the country’s food security owing to weaknesses in macroeconomic fundamentals. Imbalances in trade and large fiscal deficits undermine food security, especially of low-income households. Strong economic fundamentals, effective safety nets and increased agricultural production are needed to improve the country’s food security. Increasing food production is important in this threefold strategy to enhance food more..

Aye, aye mate!

June 24 (ST) As two young female graduates break new ground at the SLPA Operational Division where till now women were restricted to office activities, Namini Wijedasa reports on the challenges faced by Lankan women in transport and logistics- traditionally male-dominated areas. The Operations Division of the Ports Authority—where the work doesn’t stop even for a moment—has traditionally been male territory. more..

NDBS tips stock market upturn to persist

June 24 (FT) NDB Stockbrokers is forecasting the upturn in the stock market to persist aided by lower interest rates and improved corporate earnings. “The ASPI has gained 28% since our review in May 2012. However, the rise in stock prices of 13% in 2013 (by end of May) is slightly ahead of our expectations. Accordingly we expect a lower rate of appreciation of stock prices in 2013H2 compared to 2013H1. We remain optimistic regarding the prospects in the equity market in 2014 on the premise more..

Hiruni and Lakshita create history with first-ever Cannes Lions Gold

June 24 (FT) Two young marketers, Lakshitha Wijesinghe and Hiruni Mendis of Etisalt Lanka, have created history by winning Sri Lanka’s first-ever Gold at the world famous Cannes Lions festival. The Sri Lankan duo clinched the Gold in the Young Lions Marketer Competition and it was the first time in the Cannes Lions history of 60 years that Sri Lanka figured on the grand stage to win the Gold. The rare achievement brought national pride to the Sri Lankan contingent at the International more..

‘Stop corruption and pay your taxes to build a better Sri Lanka’

June 24 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. PB Jayasundera called on the private sector to stop corruption and pay taxes and work harder in order to transform Sri Lanka into a more vibrant economy where all citizens benefited from development, as govt tax revenue continued to be on a declining trend despite efforts by the govt to reduce tax rates and simplify the system. Addressing a packed audience at the Colombo Hilton last Friday, more..

Eran questions credibility of CB report

June 24 (FT) The country’s economic performance and the state of public finances are not as glowing as the Govt attempts to portray with reputed economists and even the IMF contesting the data in the Central Bank report, UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne charged in Parliament. Amid protest by Deputy Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, the UNP MP said that the integrity of the data used in the report had been called into question, with the GDP number overstated and inflation more..

Timber Corporation incurs Rs 890 M loss

June 24 (CT) The loss incurred by the State Timber Corporation amounts to Rs 890 million, according to the statement in the 2012 Annual Report of the Ministry of Finance. The report states though the corporation had reflected a profit of Rs 828 million before tax, when the payment of Rs 200 million as interest is taken into consideration, its performance for the year shows a loss in income. Stating that the State Timber Corporation has been mandated to buying timber, cutting timber, removing, more..

President Rajapaksa set to tour Tanzania

June 24 (eTN) Looking at strengthening economic and travel partnerships with Tanzania, President Rajapaksa is set for a five-day official visit to Tanzania this week. President Rajapaksa will arrive in the Tanzanian capital city of Dar es Salaam mid-this week in his “Look Africa” policy which he had adopted when he became President in November 2005. No more details were available about the President’s visit to Tanzania, but more..

SriLankan Airlines opens Melbourne office

June 24 (GDI) Considering Australia’s major potential in the air travel business, Sri Lanka’s national carrier, SriLankan Airlines has made its initial in-road by opening its airline office in the heart of Melbourne on Friday. SriLankan is taking its first steps in advancing to realise a long standing need and ambition in the process of operating flights to Australia - the world’s largest island. The office was officially opened and graced by Minister G L Peiris and MP Namal Rajapaksa. more..

Prisons high ups protest against move to get Wele Suda’s wife transferred

June 24 (Island) High ranking prisons officers have written to the Attorney General protesting against a move by a powerful group lawyers, to have the wife of notorious drug dealer ‘Wele Suda’ now imprisoned at the Anuradhapura prison, transferred to the Welikade prison. She was earlier imprisoned at the Negombo prison. The woman was transferred to Anuradhapura following information that she was engaged in drug peddling inside the Negombo prison, sources said adding more..

President places blessed treasure at Sandahiru Seya

June 24 (MoD) President Rajapaksa placed the blessed treasure within the Basal Rings of the 'Sandahiru Seya' (Victory Stupa) in the presence of Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Anuradhapura this morning (23). The occasion was held to coincide with the sacred Poson Poya full moon day. Buddhist devotees from all parts of the Island converge in the holy city of Anuradhapura to celebrate the more..

New laws to deal with rogues in robes

June 24 (Island) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said that laws would be framed to take disciplinary actions against Bhikkhus and ensure their conduct was in line with the Vinaya rules outlined in the Buddha Sasana. Addressing a ceremony to mark the commencing of conservation of an ancient stupa in Anuradhapura, the Premier said that the govt had been constrained to take stern measures to keep the rogue elements among the Buddhist monks in the interest of the Sasana. more..

Pvt. bus kills two children, injures mother

June 24 (CT) Two children have died due to a motor accident in the Daluggala Junction along the Kegalle- Rambukkana road, the Police Media Unit said. The accident had occurred when a private bus travelling from Kegalle to Rambukkana had veered off the road and knocked on to a woman and two children who were walking along the road. The deceased children have been identified as a 3 year old girl and a 10 year old boy, while the injured woman has been admitted to the hospital. more..

Indian fishermen alarmed by Chinese vessels under Lankan flag

June 24 (Hindu) Fishermen’s organisations and boat owners in Kerala are wringing their hands over Sri Lankan govt’s recent decision to let more than a dozen Chinese fishing vessels to operate under the island country’s flag under an arrangement called ‘distant water fishing’. The arrangement lets a country’s fishing fleet to scoop up marine wealth from another country’s exclusive economic zone for money. more..

Minister blames pharmaceutical companies for drug shortages

June 24 (DN) Drug companies and suppliers should be held responsible for the recurrent drug shortages at government hospitals in Sri Lanka, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. Addressing the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) Annual Suppliers Convention at the Cinnamon Bay Hotel, Beruwela, the minister said all govt hospitals are affected by drug shortages from time to time due to three reasons. “They are the companies and suppliers who receive the tender for more..

India does not want Lanka to become 'another Pakistan'

June 24 (Hindu) Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Sudarsana Natchiappan on Sunday said any decision against Sri Lanka should be made after considering the far-reaching consequences on the strategic relationship between the two countries and the interests of the Sri Lankan Tamils. “I appreciate the feelings of those who have organised demonstrations against providing training to Sri Lankan Army officials [in Indian military facilities]. But you should not forget that more..

Shiyam killing: CID recovers victim’s phone from canal

June 24 (Island) The CID yesterday recovered, from the St. Sebastian Canal near Khettarama, the mobile phone of millionaire businessman of Bambalapitiya Mohomed Shiyam abducted and killed allegedly by a group of policemen led by DIG Vass Gunawardena. It had been broken into three parts and thrown into the waterway. CID enlisted the help of Navy divers to make the recovery which, the police believe, will help more..

Sabaragamuwa Uni ignores Court ruling

June 24 (CT) Despite a Court decision to allow all the students under suspension to sit their exams, the Sabaragamuwa University had not allowed one student under suspension to sit his exam, student activists alleged. All faculty students' associations accused the university authorities of preventing one student from sitting for 'Environmental Management' and the 'Auditing' paper which was scheduled for 18 May, after a restraining order was imposed on the University authorities by the Court more..

Decision on bus fare hike today

June 24 (CT) Ministry of Private Transport Services will hold discussions with private bus owners regarding the annual revision of bus fares at the National Transport Commission (NTC) today. The discussion will be held with the participation of the Minister C.B. Ratnayake, NTC officials, bus owners' associations and officials from the Provincial Transport authorities. A final decision on the revision is expected to be taken, consequent upon the discussions. more..