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Boston Lanka with Nayomi Munaweera

A bit of arm twisting by India may be good for Colombo

June 26 (CT) Two weeks back, during a Cabinet meeting, as some of his Cabinet Ministers exchanged verbal barbs over the proposed changes to the 13th Amendment, President Rajapaksa, who had been quietly listening to the heated exchange of words, broke the silence to remind them that he knows how to obtain the required two-thirds majority, in order to pass the proposed amendments, if he wishes to do so. He was not bragging and if recent history is any guide, he had been masterful more..

Why the northern province elections are different

June 26 (Island) As we have argued previously the Indo Lanka Accord is defunct due to the failure of India to fulfill any of the undertakings on her part as stated in the Accord. Thus there is no case for the 13th amendment or the provincial councils whether in the northern province or anywhere else in the country. Further the thirteenth amendment is not the law of the country as it was "passed" by the parliament going against the decision of the Supreme Court that wanted the President to more..

Australia must shed muddled stance on Tamil Tigers

June 26 (TA) Minister GL Peiris would be scratching his head this week after departing from Canberra, where he called on the Gillard govt to ban fronts of the terrorist LTTE from operating on Australian soil. The Australian stance on censuring the LTTE is, to say the least, contradictory. This became clear in 2009, when enraged LTTE supporters staged demonstrations all over the world in an attempt to dilute the hard-fought more..

Sri Lanka has highly-professional marketing approach: Abraham Koshy

June 26 (FT) A top marketing expert yesterday expressed that Sri Lanka has become more marketing oriented over the years and has become highly professional in terms of its approach. Visiting Indian Professor of Marketing Abraham Koshy said that the country has an increasing number of qualified people in the industry who understand the need of marketing to uplift the identity and value of their respected brands. Professor Koshy, who is on a two-day trip to Sri Lanka to address more..

Sri Lanka Telecom extends payment options with HDFC

June 26 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the pioneering integrated telecommunication service provider entered into an agreement with The Housing Development Finance Corporation Bank (HDFC), to facilitate bill payments at the customer’s own doorstep through mobile collection teams to increase convenience for customers. The agreement was signed by the two companies on Monday, 03rd June 2013 in the presence of Nimal Mamaduwa, CEO of HDFC Bank who signed on behalf of more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bright ideas

June 26 (Island) Mahinda Rajapaksa has had another bright idea. A few weeks ago, he got one of his hangers-on in the ‘public service’ to float a draft code of ethics for journalists, which he no doubt expected to prove useful in strengthening formal mechanisms of control of the Fourth Estate. Unfortunately for him, the document was so flawed that even his hangers-on in the media could find nothing positive to say about it. more..

Magnificently lost on a bike in Sri Lanka

June 26 (TM) This track definitely wasn’t on the map, and it certainly wasn’t on the Google earth print-out I was using to navigate. I was twenty miles north east of Unawatuna in the south of Sri Lanka and it was starting to look like I might be lost. One of the most enjoyable things about exploring Sri Lanka on a mountain bike is the fact that you can easily access the beautiful countryside and quiet backroads that criss-cross the island: simply head off into the countryside and five minutes after more..

Torture in Sri Lanka: ‘Many times I would lose consciousness’

June 26 (AI) Thevan (not his real name) has flashbacks of the impossible days he spent being tortured in a police cell in Colombo. These flashbacks force him to relive a story so harrowing that even he sometimes struggles to believe it happened to him. “I was blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back. Sometimes our heads were banged against the wall or we would be kicked on our chests. Many times I was half conscious or would lose consciousness. more..

Multiple events to highlight importance of cyber security

June 26 (FT) A first-of-its-kind three back-to-back events will be held today (25) to flag off the importance of cyber security at national, corporate and individual levels under a multi-stakeholder initiative spearheaded by the Daily FT. The flagship event will be the full day summit titled ‘EC-Council Cyber Security Summit’ from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo whilst prior to that a Leadership Forum involving more..

3 Lankan refugees remanded in custody

June 26 (Hindu) Three Sri Lankan refugees and a Nagapattinam-based fisherman, who made an attempt to illegally transport refugees to Australia last week, have been remanded in judicial custody. The three Sri Lankan refugees, who had acted as agents, were sent to Puzhal prison in Chennai, while the fisherman was remanded in a sub-jail here. Uma Ramanan alias Ramanan (40) of Tiruvavaduthur in Madurai, Babu (35) off Keezhpudupadhi in Villupuram and Daya (31) of Mettupatti more..

'Rajitha should resign'

June 26 (CT) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, should immediately tender his resignation for voting in favour of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, JHU Provincial Minister, Udaya Gammanpila, demanded recently. He said Minister Senaratne should resign as he betrayed the trust of the 97,000 people, who voted for him at the last Parliamentary election, by switching parties. Challenging Minister Senaratne to a debate, he alleged Minister was full of nothing but empty words, more..

Q1 port volumes down, fewer vessels call

June 26 (Island) Slower economic growth and a slump in trade saw port volumes fall during the first quarter of the year. Number of Cargo vessels calling on Sri Lanka fell 6.8% to 342 in March from 367 a year earlier. The number of vessels during the first quarter of this year was 971, down 7.3% from 1,047 a year ago. The number of containers handled during the first quarter pertaining to domestic trade (imports and exports) fell 9.6% more..

Pillaiyan joins pro-13A camp

June 26 (CT) Former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province S Chandrakanthan, alias Pillaiyan, said the 13th Amendment to the Constitution should not be allowed to be weakened by introducing changes to it. The former EPC Chief Minister was addressing a gathering at a cultural event in Koralaippattu in the Batticaloa District. "In the past few days the issue of the 13th Amendment has taken centre stage with several political parties expressing different views on the amendment. more..

Excess rainfall should bring power tariffs down: Sajith

June 26 (FT) Former UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa called on the Govt to reduce electricity tariffs that were increased by 60% last month since the CEB had generated well over its estimated number of giga watts due to the excessive rainfall over the past few months. Premadasa said that the CEB had estimated 951Gw could be generated through hydro power in the first five months of the year whereas the actual number due to the current weather conditions was almost double. more..

Internationally renowned journalist struggles to find work

June 26 (PP) Investigative journalist Frederica Jansz is a political refugee of Sri Lanka and has found herself in Puyallup, with no friends or family. Now, the hard part begins as she struggles to establish herself in a new place. In 25 years of investigative journalism in Sri Lanka, Frederica Jansz has seen it all, and was forced to leave it all behind. She has a price on her head and can never return to her native country, after more..

CA Sri Lanka exams go global

June 26 (FT) In yet another groundbreaking initiative, the Strategic Level Examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) will go global this week, turning a new chapter in the institute’s illustrious 53-year long history. Slated to be held in June and July respectively, the strategic level exams will be held in Qatar for the benefit of CA Sri Lanka students who are living and working there. The CA Sri Lanka overseas examinations will be conducted in more..

Govt. explains reason for delay

June 26 (CT) In the wake of renewed pressure being exerted on the Government of Sri Lanka by Britain, with regard to the delay in the trial of the perpetrators responsible for the killing of British National, Khuram Shaikh, in December 2011, Deputy Minister for External Affairs, Neomal Perera, said the reason for so much time being taken to proceed with legal action was due to needing to be obtained statements from a large number of witnesses, prior to moving forward. more..

Sri Lanka unlikely to get new US waiver for Iran crude

June 26 (Reuters) The US is unlikely to grant another waiver to Sri Lanka to allow it to import Iranian crude, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said on Monday. "They (U.S. officials) met me twice and told in plain language that we can't buy any Iranian oil, because our quota is over," Yapa said. Sri Lanka, which had been heavily dependent on Iran crude, was twice granted waivers since U.S. sanctions came into effect in early 2012. more..

Cairn considering next step in Sri Lanka oil exploration

June 26 (Island) Releasing its latest annual yesterday Cairn India said it was considering options to appraise, develop and monetize two successful hydrocarbon deposits on Sri Lanka’s side of the Mannar Basin. Cairn Lanka (Private) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of CIG Mauritius Private Limited under Cairn India, has played a leading role in establishing the hydrocarbon resources of Sri Lanka. Following the success of Phase-I exploration resulting in two gas discoveries more..

The import of Rolls Royce engines not transparent: UNP

June 26 (DM) The UNP charged that the contract to import 10 Rolls Royce Aircraft engines worth US dollars 800 million was not transparent. “The contract has not even been forwarded to the Cabinet. It came only as a note to Parliament. Another party that is hoping to make millions and a commission has played a major role in these contracts,” UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. Another contract which sought the permission to import US$2.5 billion more..

DIG further remanded; Wife also told to appear in courts

June 26 (Island) Former DIG Vass Gunawardena who was remanded for his alleged role in the abduction and killing of a wealthy businessman was further remanded till July 9 when he was produced yesterday before Additional Magistrate Colombo A.M.Sahabdeen. The wife of the former police officer was ordered to appear before court on July 9 following a request made by the CID to court to warn her against influencing witnesses. more..

FNF local rep allowed to leave country

June 26 (CT) Sagarika Delgoda, the Sri Lankan representative of the German funded NGO, Fredrick Neumann Foundation (FNF), which is alleged to have conspired to topple the Sri Lankan Govt, was allowed to leave the country under a bond of Rs 5 million, by the Colombo Magistrate's Court, yesterday. The order was issued after the CID made an appeal in this regard to Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya, when the case was taken up for hearing following a motion filed by Counsel more..

'Pullout of officers will not hit ties'

June 26 (Hindu) The withdrawal of two Sri Lankan officers from the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu does not, in any way, hamper the growing relationship and training partnership between the armed forces of India and Sri Lanka, military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said on Tuesday. Following objections against their stay at the DSSC, Wing Commander Bandara Disanayake and Major Harishchandra returned to SL more..

'Ranil harassed over book on Buddhism'

June 26 (DM) While condemning the probe by the CID on a book written by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe the UNP questioned as to whether the CID had no other important incidents to investigate. Mr. Wickremesinghe had written the book titled 'Deshapalanaya Saha Dharmaya’ in 2005 with funds received by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. “The book is only about Buddhism and the way its teachings more..

Sri Lanka cuts bank reserve ratio by 2%

June 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka has cut the deposits that commercial banks have to keep with the central bank by 200 basis points to 6% to boost lending cut intermediation costs, the central bank said. The full statement is reproduced below: Since December 2012, in response to the reasonably stable inflation prevailing in the country for a prolonged period of time, the Monetary Board has been gradually easing its monetary policy stance, with two reductions in the policy rates and the removal of more..

Cabraal urges banks to make cyber security number one priority

June 26 (FT) Making Sri Lanka’s banking industry rethink their strategies entirely, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal emphasised on the need for the financial sector to put cyber security ahead of convenience to customers. He made these remarks while addressing the EC-Council Cyber Security Summit held yesterday, organised jointly by the Daily FT and CICRA Consultancies under the aegis of the US-based EC-Council. As the head of the regulatory body of financial more..

Sabaragamuwa, Southern PCs back amending 13th Amendment

June 26 (Island) Amidst a simmering clash between UPFA partners over the fate of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the SLFP-led Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council yesterday threw its weight behind the move to introduce two far reaching changes. The Southern Provincial Council too, approved the government proposal to amend the 13th Amendment with the majority of one vote, more..

Editorial: Showers of blessings, but blackout for the people

June 26 (DM) In the afterglow of Poson—the day on which Arahat Mahinda brought the hallowed Dhamma of the Enlightened One to Sri Lanka and changed the history, civilisation and culture of this country—it is tragic or horrifying to see millions of people groping in the dark or being kept in the dark on the vital issue of electricity generation and why their monthly bills have gone up to shocking level. The root cause for this and other crises is the breakdown of democratic principles more..

It takes all kinds to make a world

June 26 (DM) El Presidente has scored again. He has stepped in decisively to punish a rogue Provincial Council member who humiliated a schoolteacher by forcing her to kneel in school. The rogue politician in question was promptly arrested by the police, and resigned in disgrace. One hopes he’s qualified to do a white collar job, or he may be forced to spend the rest of his life as a security guard, with plenty of spare time to rue his misfortune, while we have yet another proof more..

Off shore leaks stir Hornet’s Nest

June 26 (SL) Revelations of full details of various ‘off shore’ companies held for the benefit of Sri Lankans and Sri Lankan companies has caused great consternation amongst sections of the business community whose involvement has been revealed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ released details of corporations held under ‘trust’ arrangements in a number of territories more..

Strong French connection in Krrish Square

June 26 (ST) The French connection in Sri Lanka’s urban landscape is getting stronger by the day with the entry of two top French experts into Colombo’s mega Krrish real estate development. While Renaud Dutreil, global investment consultant and a former Commerce Minister, and experienced architect Edouard Francois, were in Sri Lanka this week in connection with the project just across the road from the Colombo Hilton, more..

Can rural education balance our disjointed society?

June 26 (CT) School performance, particularly in rural schools in Sri Lanka, places too much emphasis on tests and examinations, less on the advanced inter personal skills and creativity so necessary for advancement in today's world. When judging how well rural education is serving pupils, we often connect education as serving the needs of bygone days, when Sri Lanka catered to small scale assembly line work, such as the garment more..

Non state universities will absorb those left out - SB

June 26 (DN) Non-state and foreign university participation in fulfilling the higher education needs of students who are unable to enter state universities should be highly appreciated”, said Minister S. B. Dissanayake. He was addressing the international partnership conference of University of Wolverhampton, held at the Cinnamon Grand yesterday. Commenting further, he stated “in Sri Lanka even though 125,000-130,000 more..

BBS urges govt. to stop unethical conversions

June 26 (CT) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) demanded that the govt appoints a person 'with a backbone' as the minister of Buddha Sasana, so as to safeguard Buddhism. BBS General Secretary, Ven. Galabodaththe Gnanasara Thera, addressing the media said, "The Ministry of Buddha Sasana has not taken necessary measures to safeguard Buddhism. As such, the Buddhists in the country are facing injustice." more..

Vaiko vows to continue stir against training for Sri Lankan officers

June 26 (Hindu) Political parties and Tamil outfits will stage protests if the Centre continues to impart training to officials of the Sri Lankan defence forces at Defence Services Staff College at Wellington in the Nilgiris, said Vaiko, general secretary of the MDMK on Tuesday. He was addressing a meeting by political parties and outfits to condemn the Union govt for accommodating two Sri Lankan military officers, more..

Thamilini set free from rehab

June 26 (CG) Former LTTE women’s wing political head, Thamilini, was freed today after completing rehabilitation, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier Dharshana Hettiarachi said. He said that her mother and her sister together with the sister’s children met Thamilini and took her home from the Vavuniya rehabilitation camp. “She was freed after she completed one year in rehabilitation,” Brigadier said. more..

'Substandard diesel supplier blacklisted'

June 26 (Island) Minister of Petroleum Industries Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that he had ordered the blacklisting of the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) over supplying 40,000 MT of substandard diesel to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. The shipment had reached the Colombo Port on Saturday and its samples tested at the CPC laboratories had proved that it was substandard. more..

Jayalalithaa's consistent pressure forced Sri Lanka to recall officers

June 26 (ENS) The Union govt would not have decided to move the two Sri Lankan defence officers, Wing Commander Bandara Dasanayke and Major Harishchandra, out of the defence training college at Wellington in the Nilgiris but for the firm and steadfast stand taken by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in tune with the aspirations of the Tamil Nadu people. It was her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on June 9, disapproving more..

Pakistani Army Chief to pay 3-day visit to Sri Lanka

June 26 (Xinhua) Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will pay a three-day visit to Sri Lanka starting from Thursday, said an official statement released on Wednesday. This will be his second visit as he previously visited Sri Lanka in January 2011, said the statement. According to the statement, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will meet the top military leadership of Sri Lanka during his visit to the country. more..