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TNA hopes election win will ensure more executive powers

June 5 (Hindu) The TNA would want the maximum amount of exercise of power, should it lead Northern Provincial Council (NPC) following the elections slated for September, its members said on Tuesday. Addressing the Foreign Correspondents’ Association, TNA leader R. Sampanthan said that in regard to the people of the north and east, affected by the war, the Alliance had endeavoured to avoid an attitude of more..

Kotelawala’s Colombo land seized on SC order

June 5 (Island) A special team tasked with tracking down property belonging to Golden Key Company (GKC) director Mrs S.P.C. Kotelawala has acquired a land valued at Rs. 500 mn, situated at Fonseka Road, Colombo 4. Acquiring of the land was carried out on a directive given by Supreme Court. Parallel to the revival of the management of the GKC, a separate operation had been launched to swiftly identify personal more..

Is there more to the crisis in the EPC?

June 5 (CT) The crisis brewing in the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) does not seem to be a good harbinger for the govt. A province that is being controlled by the government party, whose Chief Minister comes from the govt ranks and whose provincial ministers are all from parties that are constituent members of the govt, is embroiled in an inner party struggle, where the main target of attack is the Chief Minister. A walkout from the sessions of the Council, for whatever reason or issue, more..

What is the new Halal?

June 5 (CT) Remember halal? The mighty roar against halal sprang up, literally out of nowhere, and occupied the public square with lightening speed. For three months, the anti-Halal campaign raged, subsuming all other concerns and devastating everything in its path, including the decades-old amity between Buddhists and Muslims (without which the Eelam War could have taken a different trajectory). Then, as abruptly as it came into life, halal died. Today Halal lays forgotten, more..

New Zealand FM visits Sri Lanka ahead of Commonwealth summit

June 5 (Xinhua) Visiting New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had bilateral discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart on Wednesday, ahead of the Commonwealth summit. McCully and Minister G.L. Peiris discussed the arrangements being made by Sri Lanka to host the CHOGM in Colombo in November this year, and the preparations for the three accompanying events of the Business Forum, more..

JVP raises pertinent questions 'on mini gambling empire'

June 5 (Island) JVP demanded to know from the govt as to how and why gambling tycoon James Packer had been promised tax exemptions to set up a ‘mini-gambling empire’ in Sri Lanka. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, making a special statement in Parliament, said that a new company being set up, as a part of Crown Company of James Packer, had been given powers to operate with tax relief to launder black money and would become its own mini govt within the country. more..

Sri Lanka tourism destination marketing critical: leisure groups

June 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's transport infrastructure is being built but the country is badly in need of destination marketing, a top leisure groups have said as higher end hotel saw lower occupancy. In December 2012, occupancy at Sri Lanka's 5-star rated hotels dropped to 81.9% from 95.7% and at 4-star hotels from 96.7% to 79.9% official data showed. "Strategic destination marketing remains a critical and urgent need," Harry Jayewardene, chairman of Aitken Spence Hotels, which more..

'Crown Australia's Sri Lanka unit to target China and India'

June 5 (LBO) A luxury hotel with Australian casino magnate James Packer's Crown group targeting Indian and Chinese high rollers may involve up to 400 million US dollars, its Sri Lanka partner said. "We initially estimated this project to be about 350 million US dollars, but now we think it may cost up to 400 million US dollars," Ravi Wijeratne, head of Sri Lanka's Rank Holdings group said. "It will have 430 rooms and it will attract more..

Uva PC member assaults SLTB depot head

June 5 (Island) In the wake of Embilipitiya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman allegedly assaulting two police constables, a UPFA member of the Uva Provincial Council has now been accused of having assaulted the Keppetipola SLTB Depot Superintendent. General Secretary of JVP led All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union Sepala Liyanage alleged that UPFA Uva PC member S.H. Bandusena assaulted the Keppetipola DS two days ago as he refused to provide buses to transport people more..

Stocks close down 0.4%

June 5 (LBO) Stock closed down 0.42% retreating for a third consecutive day with losses in the index heavy diversified stocks. All Share Index closed 26.82 points lower at 6,422.84 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 10.59 points lower at 3,635.31 down 0.29%. Turnover was 818 million rupees down from one billion day earlier. Foreigners brought 432 million rupees worth shares while selling 118 million rupees of shares, in a day that 76 stocks advanced and 131 stocks declined. more..

Eknaligoda’s wife surprised over claims

June 5 (CG) Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda was surprised over the claims made by Govt MP Arundika Fernando that her husband was safe and sound in France. Mrs. Eknaligoda said that if the claims are true then the govt should locate him and bring him back to Sri Lanka. “I am ready to help the govt in whichever way possible to bring him back if this story is true,” she said. more..

Afghan’s body washes ashore

June 5 (Island) The body of 31-year-old Afghan national, who went missing on Monday afternoon, while swimming in the sea, off Eththukala in Negombo, was found over 24 hours later. It had been washed ashore yesterday evening behind a tourist hotel, about 100 metres, from where he disappeared. The area is experiencing rough sea conditions. Life guards aided by the Eththukala Tourist Police conducted search operations following the Afghan’s disappearance. more..

Most food items sold in Jaffna outdated

June 5 (CT) Jaffna Municipal Council Commissioner, S. Pranavanathan, has expressed concern that most of the food items brought into the Jaffna Peninsula are outdated and the labels of many of the items do not mention vital details such as the date of manufacture and the date of expiry. Pranavanathan said in a statement the consumers in the North should be extremely cautious of the food items they purchase from various outlets in the Peninsula as the raids carried out by the Public Health more..

BJP-led delegation arrives in Sri Lanka

June 5 (hindu) A six member BJP-led delegation arrived in Colombo on Tuesday. The delegation was led by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. The five-day visit was organised by the New Delhi-based India Foundation and Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies in Colombo and the delegates will meet senior leaders in Sri Lanka across political parties. It is learnt that the members are more..

MRI to launch overweight and obesity study

June 5 (Island) In response to the growing number of people, in the country, being either overweight or obese, the Medical Research Institute (MRI) has planned to launch a weight reduction research, through 6,000 people countrywide, for the first time in its history, MRI Director Dr. Anil Samaranayake said. He said that MRI had planned to launch the weight reduction research in the 3rd week of this month, to assist and inspire Sri Lankans on their journey to a holistic and effective more..

Sri Lanka fails in nutritional health

June 5 (Island) Although Sri Lanka is placed in league with more developed countries, in some health factors, it is significantly low in nutritional health, Health Ministry statistics reveal. A ministry official said the country was in a good position in preventing malaria, leprosy, infant mortality, maternal mortality and in breastfeeding and immunization, but it had failed in tackling obesity, stunting, low birth weight, and anemia due to nutritional reasons. more..

Sri Lanka may amend provincial powers ahead of northern polls

June 5 (PTI) Notwithstanding the objections from India and Tamil minority parties, the Sri Lankan govt plans to go ahead with amending several powers of the provincial administrations, including the northern region. Accordingly, the police and land powers conferred on the provincial councils in the thirteenth amendment (13A) to the Sri Lankan Constitution on Indian instigation in 1987 are to be reviewed through a PSC process. more..

Mahinda comes up with ‘all party committee therapy’ again

June 5 (LT) The govt has decided to convene an all party committee consisting of all political parties that represent the Parliament to take a decision regarding land and police powers given for provincial councils under the 13th amendment. This decision has been taken at a meeting of party leaders of the UPFA held yesterday headed by President Rajapaksa. India has pressurized the govt not to amend powers for provincial councils while certain parties in the UPFA have more..

'A new value to the village through Gama Neguma & Divi Neguma'

June 5 (GDI) Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that a new value could be added to the lives of villages through Gama Negum and Divi Neguma programmes, therefore everyone should work together to achieve this goal. Minister made this statement at a ceremony held at the Kelimadala Vidyalaya, Padukka, to hand over land permits in the Padukka Divisional Secretary's division. He also said that these permits are legal documents and issuing of deeds will be done in the future. more..

HC reserves judgment on closure of High Commission in Sri Lanka

June 5 (Hindu) A Division Bench of the Madras High Court here has reserved its judgment on a petition seeking review of an earlier order rejecting a plea to close down the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka. The petitioner, the Madurai district president of the Hindu People Party, had originally filed the PIL alleging there was large-scale demolition of Hindu temples in Sri Lanka and there were human rights violations against more..

Jayalalithaa wants action on Sri Lanka

June 5 (CG) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa today urged the Indian govt to take steps to prevent, what she termed as unprovoked, murderous attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. She also called on the Indian govt to retrieve Kachatheevu – an Indian islet in Palk Strait transferred to Sri Lanka in 1974 – and its surrounding area as a permanent solution to this vexatious issue. Jayalalithaa also press for the redrawing of the International Boundary more..

Dengue kills Colombo uni student

June 5 (CG) A law faculty student of the Colombo university died this morning from dengue. The student was among those admitted to the Colombo national hospital yesterday. The female student was in a serious condition and she died this morning. It was reported yesterday that the Colombo Municipal Council had informed the Vice Chancellor of the Colombo university to temporarily close down the law faculty after discovering dengue larvae at the premises. more..

Private Bus passengers get ‘smart card’ upgrade

June 5 (DM) The country’s first pre-paid card system for private buses would be introduced from Thursday, the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association said today. The prepaid card system would begin as a pilot project for a month starting today in all Mattegoda and Maharagama buses plying from the High Level Road in Colombo. “The prepaid card could be purchased with a refundable deposit of Rs.200 to which any amount of more..

'Reservoirs full, govt. should reduce electricity price'

June 5 (Island) The govt should honor its pledge and reduce the price of electricity since the reservoirs were now full, UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe said yesterday. He told a news conference that the CEB had said that when the cost of producing electricity dropped, it would pass down the benefit to the masses. The reservoirs were brimming due toheavy rains that have been experienced in recent weeks, but there was no indication of any reduction in power prices, Rajapakshe noted. more..

24 TN fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka Navy

June 5 (PTI) 24 Indian fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan naval men when they were fishing near Katchateevu on Wednesday, officials said. The fishermen were arrested on the charge of intruding into Sri Lankan territory, fisheries department officials and Innocent Fishermen's Association Arulanandham said. As many as 785 fishing boats put out to sea, and of them, six boats had been detained and comandeered to Talaimannar Coast of Sri Lanka by the Lankan navalmen, more..

'Govt. not worried if TNA wins NPC elections'

June 5 (DM) If the Tamils in the North vote the TNA to victory in the scheduled September PC polls it would not be of much concern to the govt, as the got had decided to remove police and land powers from the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, NFF leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa said today. Minister commenting on the UPFA party leaders’ meeting on Tuesday night at Temple Trees said no one including the more..

Cherishing all living beings

June 6 (NS) ‘Metta’ or compassion is one of the four divine abodes (Sathara Brahma Viharana) recommended by the Buddha for the cultivation of harmony and meditative focus. It is also one of the ten perfections (Paramita) facilitating the attainment of enlightenment. The commentaries on the Sutta Nipata tell us that the Buddha expounded on this element (Metta) by way of a treatise (Karaniyametta Sutra). Each of the several stanzas make for reflection and I suppose contains more..

Lessons for MR from Mrs B

June 6 (CT) Last week President Rajapaksa paid an official visit to China. One of the crucial acts performed during this visit was the signing of several agreements with the Govt of China, causing concern in neighbouring India. According to Indian and international news reports, the agreements appear to have raised security concerns of India. In politics, Mahinda Rajapaksa represents the policies of the SLFP. Since the good old days when the Bandaranaikes reigned supreme in the SLFP, more..

Gurunagar flats for fisherfolk renovated at Rs. 64 m

June 6 (SO) The Gurunagar flats consisting of 160 units where a fisher community reside along Beach Road, Gurunagar by the coast, has received a facelift. Many of the facilities which were destroyed during the conflict have been restored and residents are breathing a sigh of relief. The life of people in the Northern peninsula has returned to normal after the restoration of peace in the country. The fisher community living in the Gurunagar more..

An urgent amendment spells recipe for disaster

June 6 (CT) In what can be considered the final nail on the only constitutional attempt made in post-independent Sri Lanka to devolve power, an urgent bill to Parliament on Thursday will seal the fate of the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution, with absolute finality. For all the liberal rhetoric and verbal commitments to pursue a genuine solution to the festering political question, the Sinhala majority had demonstrated strong reluctance to accept any power-sharing model, including the more..

The asymmetric relationship of Buddhist-Muslim bond in Sri Lanka

June 6 (GV) The Buddhist –Muslim relationship in Sri Lanka is centuries old. It grew from the pre-Islamic Arab relationship with Sri Lanka and continued beyond the advent of Islam. Principally, the Arabs who built vibrant trade relation with Sri Lanka put their roots here and made Sri Lanka a second home. With the advent of Islam in the 7th Century, the Arabs became Muslims; hence the Arab-Muslim relationship with Sri Lanka became ever stronger and prominent with the more..

Maname in Retrospect: Homage to the Pioneers of 1956

June 6 (Island) "Maname is not only without question the finest thing I have seen on the Sinhalese stage", wrote Regi Siriwardena in his regular column on the arts to the Ceylon Daily News on Nov 6, 1956, and added further, " It is also one of the three or four most impressive dramatic performances in any language I have been privileged to attend." Such an adulatory statement from a critic who was widely considered the more..

Running with the Hare and hunting with the Hounds

June 6 (CT) Many ask me what I think of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy. My response has always been somewhat apologetic, as I’ve struggled to ascertain whether such a policy even exists. We are constantly forced to contend with Sri Lanka’s irresponsible international statements, riddled with contradictory positions and unsubstantiated facts. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha’s recent statement at the 23rd session of the UNHRC more..

How Leo Burnett solutions skinned a Lankan Lion to get a cannes Lion

June 6 (CT) It is my contention that a sizable proportion of the most creative writers (and artists of course) in the country are in the advertising industry. Makes sense. There’s more money in that business. This doesn’t mean however that writers in advertising have compromised their art. They do their own writing and the smarter ones squeeze their hearts into copy, getting past client servicing personnel and clients themselves. Their best work, however, tend to be discarded. more..

Aussies' decline leaves ICC Champions Trophy wide-open

June 6 (Independent) The seventh Champions Trophy has come up with a novel concept in global sporting competition. It has two groups of death. The top places in the world one-day rankings have changed hands so often recently and the lesser-rated teams are so spectacularly capable if the moon is in the right phase that anything could happen. It was quite a wizard idea of the ICC to stage a tournament in which the best 8 more..

Sri Lanka among top 10 countries in credit card fraud

June 6 (ST) Often the biggest problem in countries like Sri Lanka when determining the root vulnerability exploited by hackers is that the data stored in associated files is not properly recorded following an intrusion, according to cyber security specialist Sujit Cristy, a Director at Layers – 7 Seguro Consultoria, who has worked in Singapore, India and other markets in the Asian region. Elaborating, he also added that IT personnel, in an effort to recover from the more..

The Gaddafis and other thieves

June 6 (Island) Libyan transitional authority’s call for repatriating part of the slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s ill-gotten wealth has disturbed South Africa, where part of his assets worth one billion US dollars in cash, gold and diamonds is believed to have been deposited with four banks and security companies. The South African authorities have sought to downplay Libya’s claim for obvious reasons, but the Libyans insist that their information is accurate and the dead dictator’s wealth more..

Fleecing restaurants send diners reeling

June 6 (Island) Prices of food and drink serveed at some of the restaurants in and around Colombo have sent the diners reeling as they are as high as five star prices or close to them. A number of new restaurants have sprung up in the city, but in some of them the quality of what they serve the customers is much to be desired though the prices are sky high. It is only the affluent who could afford to patronise these restaurants since the more..

'CEB plant costs full of distortions'

June 6 (ST) The CEB power plant costs are full of distortions and this is a bitter indictment on the whole issue of electricity supply in Sri Lanka, according to Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, a top authority on the power and energy sector. He was making a presentation on ‘Electricity Industry, Costs and Prices’ at a workshop that discussed a professional approach to electricity costing and tariffs held in Colombo, organized by the Sri Lanka Energy Managers Association (SLEMA). more..

Cargills posts stable performance

June 6 (FT) Cargills has reported a stable performance for the year ended 31 March 2013, despite a substantially challenging market environment attributed to policy changes coupled with higher borrowing costs and a slower overall macro-economic growth. Group revenue recorded a growth of 14.8% in FY13 at Rs. 55.4 billion. Operating profit grew by 3.3% to reach Rs. 2.3 billion, despite the VAT impact and the soft alcohol and biscuits segments performing below more..