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Decision on Indian PM Participation in CHOGM Likely on Nov 7

Nov 6 (OI) A decision on the participation of PM Manmohan Singh in the CHOGM Summit in Sri Lanka is likely to be taken tomorrow, highly placed sources said today. Political parties and various groups in Tamil Nadu are strongly opposed to India's participation in the summit and the Tamil Nadu Assembly recently adopted a resolution demanding a complete boycott of the event alleging that Sri Lanka has indulged in atrocities more..

Video: Insufficient stocks of crude oil at Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery

Nov 6 (DM) The Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery may have close down by November 10 because the current crude oil stocks would only last till then, employees said today. Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Jathika Sewaka Sangamaya Branch Secretary Ananda Palitha said the refinery would have to close down by November 10 because of a shortage of adequate stocks of crude oil. “There are no ships carrying stocks of crude oil on the way to Sri Lanka,” he said. more..

Sri Lanka coach race down to Atapattu and Mark Davis

Nov 6 (CI) Sri Lanka have narrowed down the choices for the successor to national coach Graham Ford to two - former captain Marvan Atapattu and Mark Davis, who is part of Sussex's coaching staff. An SLC release said that a panel appointed by the executive committee had interviewed four candidates - three Sri Lankans and one foreigner - before reducing the number of contenders to two. "Two candidates namely Marvan Atapattu and Mark Davis have been shortlisted more..

Sri Lanka welcomes scrapping of UK visa bond proposal

Nov 6 (DM) The govt said today that it welcomed the decision by the UK to ‘scrap the proposed introduction of a bond to visitors of six countries termed ‘high risk’ and said that it appreciated the removal of such proposed “discriminatory restrictions” for travel. Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunathilake Amunugama said that his Ministry had “extensive discussions with the High Commission of the UK over the issue”. more..

Public transport on a slippery slope

Nov 7 (NS) Recently in Sao Paulo, Brazil, demonstrators set buses on fire and injured police officer after protests against a bus fare hike. The general impression of the Brazilian public is that transportation is managed according to the whims and fancies of the businessmen and not the public who use it on a daily basis. The protests grew since June, when the cost of living reached an all time high during the Confederations Cup. Economists believed that the Confederations Cup more..

Why Singh may show up

Nov 7 (CT) As Colombo spruces up to welcome the Commonwealth Heads of State at the biggest summit the island would host after the 1976 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, there is media frenzy about colourful fans that do not turn (but are meant to decorate the city) and roads that are being hastily readied for the VIP convoys. While there is enough discussion and debate on the extensive preparations underway to receive guests and enough digs are being taken at the frantic city more..

Rare collection of old coins at Customs museum

Nov 7 (SO) The Sri Lanka Customs Department is making the final touches to its full-fledged museum to be opened soon at the new Customs Headquarters on Chalmer's Jetty will showcase its long standing history and unlawful items detected throughout history since the era of Parakramabahu the Great. Among a range of precious exhibits displayed here the collection of old coins takes a vital place. The officials in charge of these more..

Blot our ‘yakko’ politicos from CHOGM frame

Nov 7 (NS) Colombo, suburbia and our many historic townships are being all ‘tarted’ up for the much hyped CHOGM extravaganza. Certainly everybody appears happy with the development facelift the nation is getting. Look and wonder at the progress we are making if only to impress our colonial ‘compadres’. The authorities are taking advantage of the architectural splendor of the colonial buildings to add a touch of old world charm to the reconstruction. The massive development is combining more..

Will President Rajapaksa expand horizons for the Tamil people?

Nov 7 (CT) Prime Minister S.W.R.D .Bandaranaike (SWRD) expanded the horizons of the Sinhala people in 1956 but simultaneously drew in the horizons of the Tamils and diminished them as a people. For nearly 60 years thereafter, amidst bloodshed and tears, Sri Lanka has been trying to restore the balance but has not got it right yet. Apart from the tentative attempts of SWRD (BC Pact of 1958) of Dudley Senanayake (DC Agreement of 1965) JR’s Accord with India (13th more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka participates in the Itaewon Global Village Festival

Nov 7 (IL) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul successfully participated in the Global Village Festival recently. The Global Village Festival was first held in 2008 and has since been annually organized by the Itaewon District Office. The purpose of the festival is to showcase the rich multicultural diversity and the harmony that exists in the Republic of Korea. With participants from more than 30 countries, Korean and foreign companies more..

Role-playing on the world stage

Nov 7 (CT) As Sri Lanka prepares to host the CHOGM, critics and supporters alike are questioning the role the small island nation can play on the world stage. As the govt prepares to assume the role of Chairperson-in-Office of the Commonwealth, preparations are underway all over the city to welcome the delegates. However, there has been no mention as to what direction Sri Lanka would take upon assuming this role. While prominent members of the govt portrayed more..

The new age of electronic captivity

Nov 7 (SL) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has beaten America’s spy agencies with a simple strategy: Being old fashioned. A recent editorial in The Hindu said that he does not face the perils of other heads of state round the globe such as Germany’s Angela Merkel and South American leaders who have found to their horror that their phones and E-mails have been tapped by American spy agencies. He does not have a cell phone or an E Mail address! more..

Boston Lanka: November 06, 2013

Preparing for elections

Nov 7 (CT) Just days after the gala-opening of the Katunayake-Colombo expressway, a bridge on the Colombo-Avissawella Low Level Road partially collapsed. Having announced its intention of surrounding the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, the BBS worthies had a change of heart and delivered a petition, walking decorously through the ring of riot-police protecting the military. The first set of incidents reveals the tottering reality behind Sri Lanka’s glitzy infrastructural development. more..

Is SL a military state that devours land?

Nov 7 (ST) This week, the country-wide acquiring of lands by the State in pursuit of its militarisation cum post-war tourism goals came starkly into focus when journalists trying to take photographs of civilian homes reportedly being demolished in Valikamam North were (allegedly) threatened. Amusingly, the Sri Lanka Army had insisted on using the example of lands acquired for the Southern Expressway as a fitting illustration to explain as to why they are acquiring land in the Northern Province more..

UNP: The war within a war

Nov 7 (FT) Standing at the podium of the Business Today Top 25 Awards to recognise the country’s top companies on Tuesday night, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe cut a confident, even charmingly self-deprecating, figure. None of these are adjectives that are often used to describe the new ‘National Leader’ of the UNP. In his post-2005 avatar, Wickremesinghe is rarely confident or confidence inspiring. more..

Editorial: Cars, cars, cars

Nov 7 (Island) An eye-catching picture we published yesterday of a fleet of sleek cars imported for next week’s CHOGM must have made the ruling party politicians who apparently have all the luck, grin smacking their lips while the taxpayers were grimacing and gnashing their teeth. The govt has sought to defend the purchase of so many luxury cars on the grounds that the heads of state attending the summit cannot travel in ordinary vehicles. It would have sounded more more..

Don’t parade our women at CHOGM

Nov 7 (Island) May the throbbing of our traditional drumming fill the air at every function of CHOGM. May our men do the honours, for Sri Lanka and carry our flag from now. May the Sri Lankan woman be dignified; let there be an end to beautifully done up women dancers at every single function in Sri Lanka. What an insult to all the women of Lanka. Nothing can be sold in this country without a woman parading about. No function is complete without these dancing girls. more..

The Empire breaks free

Nov 7 (ST) Rising high above the Colombo skyline are two buildings that define contemporary residential architecture within a city that is slowly changing its face. The two towers -one slightly shorter than the other- are the first in the city to wake up, as they gleam in the early morning sunlight, cloaked in ever-brightening hues of grey and blue. The Empire Residencies, located down Braybrooke Place, Colombo 2, on the site more..

Authorities should avoid overdevelopment

Nov 7 (Island) The govt in unequivocal terms announced that tourism is a vital component in the country’s economy at the end of the civil strife. Targets were set and the hotel owners as well as some overseas investors seized the opportunity after peace dawned on the country follwing a 30 year bloody war and started the construction of new hotels and refurbishing and upgrading the existing ones. President Rajapaksa who had his visions of a burgeoning tourism industry more..

'Sri Lanka wrongly identified as an agricultural country'

Nov 7 (ST) Sri Lanka continues to be wrongly identified as an agricultural country when there is ample historical evidence to show that the country was a popular trading and merchandise destination carrying out business along the ‘Silk Route’, a self-made successful entrepreneur said this week. Addressing members of the Sunday Times Business Club (STBT) at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, during a discussion on ‘Entrepreneurship and its development in Sri Lanka’, more..

Business Today Top 25 recognises high performers of private sector

Nov 7 (FT) Four years have elapsed since the conclusion of the conflict and Sri Lanka is making steady progress with the private sector playing a crucial role in the economic growth of the country. The Business Today Top 25 on Tuesday recognised and commended the top corporate performers for the financial year 2012-2013, where differentiation and consolidation underlined the growth strategies of many companies. more..

Irrigation Minister poses pertinent questions to corporate leaders

Nov 7 (Island) Minister Tuesday while congratulating ‘Business Today’s’ Top 25 award winners asked them some pertinent questions about their Corporate Social Responsibility in order to prevent them from being alienated from society. Nimal Siripala de Silva said Corporate leaders often spoke about CSR responsibility, but he asked how sincerely they really paid attention to all those in their work force who had labored long hours to ensure that the companies got those awards. more..

Textured Jersey gets bullish; gears for well-knitted future

Nov 7 (FT) Reaffirming its bullishness on growth prospects and to make a stronger effort to reap the potential Textured Jersey Lanka PLC (TJL), yesterday announced several key initiatives involving nearly $ 10 million in investments. Styling itself as the premier knit fabric manufacturer in Sri Lanka, TJL said to sustain competitive advantage and maintain growth, a number of significant investments and initiatives to add capacity and modernise its plant, to substantially reduce energy costs, more..

SriLankan’s SimNet wins ICT Award

Nov 7 (Island) SriLankan Airlines’ Flight Simulator Centre received a Merit award at the Annual National Best Quality ICT Awards 2013 for its exclusively designed customer management portal (CRM)-SimNet. The awards ceremony, organized by the Chartered Institute for IT Sri Lanka (BCSSL) was held recently at The Kingsbury Hotel amidst a large gathering of IT professionals, stake holders, decision-makers and govt representatives. more..

SLINTEC and JKH announce joint research

Nov 7 (FT) The Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) and John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) signed a landmark agreement to conduct joint research to produce a novel range of nanocomposite material. SLINTEC and JKH will look into the development of nanocomposite material that has applications in fields of renewable energy, automotive and heat shields. In general, a composite is a bulk substance made up of two or more distinct, structurally complimentary substances. more..

1,100,000 trees to be planted under Deyata Sevana

Nov 7 (DN) The Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy seeks to fulfil its goal of 35% increase in the country's forest cover by 2020, and the Deyata Sevana – the national tree planting programme will initiate the planting of 1,100,000 trees on 15 Nov at various locations across the island, as part of that goal. The theme of the programme this year is, 'A fertile country will bring a prosperous future.' The ministry will be joined by officers of each District Secretariat, more..

President kicks off satellite-based distance learning network for schools

Nov 7 (FT) Nenasa TV took a bold new leap yesterday with the launch of two channels covering the national curricula of Grade 10 and Grade 11. The channels were launched in the presence of President Rajapaksa at the Tangalle Ruhunu Wijayaba School. Nenasa TV is the digital satellite television-based Distance Learning Network architected by the Ministry of Education, National Institute of Education and Dialog Axiata to more..

Sanctions hit Iranian transformers a headache for CEB

Nov 7 (Island) CEB is face with the dilemma of what to do with a large number of electrical appliances, costing billions of rupees, supplied by Iran, which have been found to be inferior. The CEB’s Central Stores in Kolonnawa has rejected 272 transformers, costing a total of nearly Rs. 21 million, received from Iran under the Rural Electrification Project, funded by that country. A senior official said that though they had managed to use 726 other transformers, supplied by Iran, they had been receiving more..

‘All inputs available for decision on PM visit’

Nov 7 (Hindu) The govt on Wednesday said the consultative process of deciding whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend the CHOGM in Colombo next week was at a “fairly advanced” stage. “All issues are now available for decision-making. We hope to have an early outcome,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told journalists here on Wednesday. In case the Prime Minister does travel to Colombo, he is expected to visit Jaffna also. more..

CHOGM 2013: Demos won’t be allowed

Nov 7 (Island) A senior govt official said that precautions would be taken to thwart possible protests against some of those delegations coming here for the CHOGM next week. Asked whether the police would be deployed to break up protests in Colombo or Jaffna, where British Premier David Cameron was scheduled to visit, accompanied by key members of his delegation, the official said that protesters wouldn’t be allowed to interfere more..

Rameswaram fisherman’s body recovered

Nov 7 (Hindu) The body of one of the two Rameswaram fishermen, who were feared drowned after their boat capsized on Monday night while fishing, was found floating on the high seas off Danushkodi and recovered on Wednesday. Local fishermen, who launched a search operation with the help of Navy, found the body floating near Aathuvai off Danushkodi, where the boat sunk on Monday night and recovered the same, sources in fisheries department here said. more..

Ranatunga appointed SLFP Organizer for Kelaniya

Nov 7 (CT) Chief Minister of the Western Province, Prasanna Ranatunga, has been appointed as the Organizer of the SLFP, for Kelaniya, temporarily. On being questioned in this regard, Ranatunga said the appointment was made by SLFP Leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, following the resignation of Minister Mervyn Silva from the post. He went on to say he will function as the Organizer for the Kelaniya electorate until such time a new Party Organizer is appointed. more..

Visit will give India more leverage over Sri Lanka: TNA

Nov 7 (Hindu) As Colombo is gearing up to host the CHOGM, moderate leaders of the TNA, which formed the NPC Govt recently, say they are not opposed to Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s visit to Sri Lanka, especially if it includes a trip to Jaffna. TNA leader R. Sampanthan urged New Delhi to consider TN’s opinion, while MP M.A. Sumanthiran earlier defended Canada’s decision to boycott the summit. TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran more..

Jaffna cushion for Manmohan Singh's Sri Lanka trip?

Nov 7 (TOI) The ministry of external affairs on Wednesday said the decision-making process on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Colombo for a Commonwealth summit was in "advanced stage" with indications of Jaffna being a major destination. Sources said if the PM's visit is announced, Singh's itinerary will include a significant Jaffna component in a bid to signal India's strong commitment to the rehabilitation and safety of Tamils in northern Sri Lanka. more..

Students from low-income families to receive free education

Nov 7 (CT) Higher Education Minister S.B Dissanayake has said that students of lower income families will receive free education from private universities. Minister claimed that the Higher Education Ministry will be awarding scholarships to 5%-20% of the undergraduate-level students. He also stated that the ministry will provide support towards the establishment of non-state universities in an attempt to prevent students from going overseas for higher education. more..

'A boycott of Sri Lanka would be wrong'

Nov 7 (Telegraph) Next week, the Prime Minister and I will travel to Sri Lanka for the latest CHOGM. The 53 Commonwealth countries together represent two billion people – nearly a third of our world’s population – and some of its fastest-growing economies. Despite its significance, most discussion of the summit has centred on its location. In particular, because of Sri Lanka’s poor record on human rights, more..

'Full Colombo facelift before CHOGM'

Nov 7 (DN) "Our target is to complete the construction of the road system and pavements in Colombo before the commencement of the CHOGM. 70% of the work is now complete," said Project Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena. Asked if his crews could complete the work on the rest of the roads i.e: the available 30% of road infrastructure needing pavements, signal lights, lamp posts and drainage on time as targeted by them before the commencement of the CHOGM, more..

TN fishermen go on indefinite strike

Nov 7 (TOI) Demanding the release of their counterparts and boats by Sri Lanka, fishermen from Rameswaram announced an indefinite strike from Wednesday. After 30 Pudukkottai and Rameswaram fishermen were detained by the Sri Lankan navy on Monday, the fishermen associations convened a meeting on Tuesday night where it was decided that they will go on an indefinite strike. They demanded the release of their counterparts from Lankan prisons as well as their boats. more..

All set for CHOGM but will PM attend it?

Nov 7 (Hindu) Less than a fortnight ahead of the CHOGM, PM Manmohan Singh’s plans to attend the high-profile conclave remain uncertain amid signs of pressure mounting from a section of the Congress. Though hotel rooms have been booked and contingency arrangements are in place for Dr. Singh, diplomatic sources said that a decision had not yet been made. Minister Jayanthi Natarajan has become the latest Congress more..