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Living with nature

Sep 2 (CT) From time immemorial man has lived close to nature, enjoying its bounty while crafting a simple life in harmony with the natural world. He tilled the soil and produced the food needed for his sustenance using organic manure that was available in plenty. This was his way of life till population explosion, technology and development took over, luring him away from his simple lifestyle to a more sophisticated way of life, which revolved round artificially created things. more..

China’s strategic presence in Sri Lanka

Sep 2 (CT) The growing presence of the Chinese in Sri Lanka, when India-Sri Lanka relations are under stress, has disturbing strategic connotations for national security. Chinese actions are closely related to the domestic and external policy dispensations of the new Chinese leadership under Xi Jingping as well as China’s desire to takeover South Asia’s under-exploited markets dominated by India so far. The 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress held in November 2012 had more..

Rotten deal!

Sep 2 (CT) The govt’s plans on boosting the sugar industry through a US$ 220 million investment to set up sugar refinery facilities within the Free Port area of Hambantota, have run into a series of problems with a team of sugar industry experts ruling out the project as having serious technical flaws and deeming it totally unfeasible. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, declared that Cabinet had approved five megabuck more..

'Intra-party violence due to PR system'

Sep 2 (Island) Jaffna District SLFP organizer and candidate at the forthcoming election Angajan Ramanathan said that all would know the truth after the court verdict on his father A. Ramanathan, who was remanded till September 12, over a shooting incident at Chavakachcheri on August 27. He said that any party was free to carry out their campaign in the peninsula, but it was impossible to prevent intra–party conflict due to the preferential voting system. Ramanathen said that since the victory of more..

Attempt to abduct Warawewe supporter?

Sep 2 (Island) Retired High Court Judge P. B. Warawewe, contesting the Central Provincial Council election on the UNP ticket, told the media yesterday that a group of about 20 persons had attempted to abduct one of his supporters at Nawalapitiya on Friday. A gang of about twenty surrounded his supporter, when he got off the car, driven by him (Warawewa), at Nawalapitiya and made an attempt to relieve the supporter of his mobile phone and take him into their custody. more..

Vaas’ written statement referred to AG

Sep 2 (DM) Former DIG Vaas Gunawardena’s written statement on the alleged extortion of Rs.3 million from ‘Singapore Sarath’, who is a state witness in the Hasitha Madawala murder case, was today referred to the Attorney General by Mahara Magistrate. In this case the former DIG is alleged to have extorted the money from Singapore Sarath who was a former secretary of Minister Mervyn Silva and arrested in more..

Sri Lanka private, state credit surge in July after reserve ratio cut

Sep 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's commercial bank credit to private borrowers hit a 10 months high in July after a reserve ratio cut, while credit to state and state enterprises also surged, official data shows. Credit to private borrowers rose 28.4 billion rupees to 2,461, the highest since October 2012. Rupee denominated credit from banks to the central government rose 60.1 billion rupees to 943.4 billion rupees with the cash released through a cut in the statutory reserve ratio cut. more..

Sri Lanka shares slip on selling in large caps, rupee worries

Sep 2 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks slipped on Monday, ending two straight sessions of gains, as investors sold shares of large caps like Nestle Lanka PLC and turnover slumped to near seven-week low as concerns about the rupee kept investors on the sidelines. The main share index ended down 0.88%, or 51.32 points, at 5,782.72. Nestle Lanka shares fell 6.21% to 2002.10 rupees, while those of Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC dropped 1.63% to close at 1,150.90 rupees. more..

Audio: JVP accuses the govt

Sep 2 (CG) The JVP today accused the govt of failing to safeguard the sovereignty of the country by supplying the information some countries need to interfere in Sri Lankan affairs. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the international community has been interfering in Sri Lankan affairs in the recent past and the visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to SL was part of that interference. more..

Advert restriction on Fonterra continued

Sep 2 (DM) The interim order preventing Fonterra from advertising that its products are 100% perfect has been extended until September 20 by the Court of Appeal today. The Bench comprising Justices S. Sriskandarajah (President) and Malinie Gunaratne fixed September 18 as the date to take up the writ petition stating that the milk power imported from New Zealand is contaminated with Dicyandiamide (DCD) which is harmful to human health. The petitioner K.S. Samarasinghe cited the CAA, more..

Education to be sold in bulk – SB’s project

Sep 2 (LT) Free trade zones were established claiming foreign investors could be attracted to Sri Lanka, free nudist zones were proposed to get down tourists and now the Ministry of Higher Education has decided to establish free educational zones to attract foreign universities to this country say reports. It is reported that the Ministry of Higher Education is preparing to include this proposal to the 2014 budget and Gampaha, Puttalam, Killinochchi, Hambantota and Trincomalee have been more..

Softlogic gets Burgher King franchise

Sep 2 (N360) Sri Lanka based Softlogic Holdings has signed a deal with Singapore based BKAsiaPac Limited to develop, open and operate Burger King (BK) restaurants in the Island nation. A stock market disclosure by Softlogic says, its fully owned subsidiary, Softlogic Restaurants, which will be the master franchisee firm here in Sri Lanka for BK Restaurants, will develop, establish and operate direct owned more..

British High Commission issues video to female travellers on staying safe in Sri Lanka

Sep 2 (ST) The British High Commission in Colombo has produced a video to advising female travellers to Sri Lanka on their safety. The video is titled 'Have Fun and Stay Safe' is a message about the safety of the woman traveller visiting Sri Lanka and was posted on the official YouTube channel for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The video was produced as part of the FCO Consular Directorate's global awareness raising programme for the woman traveller. more..

Minister Keheliya exposes ongoing terrorist objectives

Sep 2 (GDI) Under the series of media seminars being held by the Department of Information on a district level, the Kandy District seminar was held Sunday at the Okre Hotel in Kandy. The main objective of the seminar was to enlighten the media personnel in the Kandy district about the projects being implemented and being planned to implement within the Kandy district, and thereby enable them to give publicity to these activities among the people of the Kandy district. more..

TNA candidates justify their demand for police powers

Sep 2 (Island) Candidates from the TNA and DUA, contesting the NPC election, from the Jaffna District, had justified their main demand for police powers to the provincial administration, as the police had failed to act on their complaints, they said. TNA candidate K. M. Thambirajah said that the father of a UPFA candidate had come with a gang, in several vehicles, with stickers displaying the photos and slogans of the candidate and more..

Govt. denies blocking public from meeting Pillay

Sep 2 (Island) The government yesterday denied that the police prevented the public from meeting visiting UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay during her visit to the North last week. Secretary to the Ministry of law and order, Major General (retd.) Nanda Mallawaarachchi, said that those allegations were heard only from Pillay, during the press conference on Saturday and not from the public. Jaffna DIG Indu Karunaratha also rejected the allegations. more..

Journalists meet with Human Rights Chief

Sep 2 (CT) Journalists in Sri Lanka, represented by a coalition of seven different organizations, met with the delegation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham ‘Navi’ Pillay, during her week-long visit to the country, last week. Pillay and her delegation are seeking a first-hand assessment of the climate for human rights and national reconciliation, well over four years since Sri Lanka’s quarter-century long civil war was declared as being over. more..

Sanga-SLC call it a draw

Sep 2 (DM) Kumar Sangakkara after a spat with a high ranking official of Sri Lanka Cricket said today that discussions with the SLC Executive Committee were fruitful and that SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa had taken the initiative to iron out issues that had surfaced recently Speaking to the media upon conclusion of the discussion at the SLC headquarters, Sangakkara said that everyone more..

Asian Rugby Sevens: Sri Lanka fall to South Korea

Sep 2 (UR7) Sri Lanka ended their Malaysia sevens tour on a high note as they finished fourth this evening (1) at the Asian Sevens Series held in Kuala Lumpur. The biggest disappointment for Sri Lanka this evening was that they were well within the distance of taking the third place of the tournament but let the victory slip through their tired fingers as South Korea scored the golden point in the extra-time to make the final score 15-10. Sri Lankans were visibly exhausted at the latter stages more..

National agency to coordinate Geospatial Information

Sep 2 (CT) The govt is taking measures to set up a national agency to coordinate geospatial data and information acquired by different agencies. Use of reliable geospatial information, which could exactly indicate the geographic location of a natural or constructed feature on earth such as a road, river, building, and allotment of land or a boundary of land, has become an integral part in socio-economic activities, disaster management, physical planning and in any type of development activities, more..

Elders demand retrieval of Katchatheevu

Sep 2 (Hindu) Members from AIADMK, DMK, CPI and BJP on Monday created uproar in the Rajya Sabha over an affidavit filed by the Govt in the Supreme Court on Katchatheevu, a small island ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974, and demanded that it be retrieved. There was also a demand that the Govt should strictly enforce the fishermen treaty between two nations. V. Maitreyan (AIADMK) raised the issue of affidavit more..

Dayasiri promises Buddhist charter

Sep 2 (Island) Former UNP firebrand and now the UPFA candidate for the NWPC election Dayasiri Jayasekera has promised to bring about a Charter on Buddhist Affairs if elected. Jayasekera, speaking at the public meeting hall in Panduwasnuwara, where the Registrar monks of 36 Sasanarakshaka Bala Manadalas were present, said that the charter would be in line with the policies of the line ministry on Buddhist Affairs. He said that temples in the province were in a neglected situation more..

Report on Welikada prison riot further delayed

Sep 2 (SL) The report on the Welikada riot which was due out last week has been delayed further. Chandrasiri Gajadeera, the Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms said that all members of the committee who formulated the report need to be present to submit it. However he said most often one committee member is not available or is overseas and this has resulted in the final report being further delayed. Earlier last month the committee had given an assurance that the report will be more..

SLC explores possibilities of filling Zim series void

Sep 2 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has approached other cricket boards to look into the possibility of organising a tour to the country after receiving a request from Zimbabwe Cricket seeking postponement of their scheduled series. Sri Lanka are to play two Tests, three ODIs and two T20s in Zimbabwe between Oct 6 and Nov 4. According to SLC secretary, Nishanth Ranatunga, SLC has approached the West Indies Cricket Board, more..

Taking stock of Navi Pillai’s ‘Worst’

Sep 3 (NS) The lady came. She saw. She was honest enough to say that although this is her longest visit to any country as head of UNHRC, she didn’t see much. That’s her problem though and she can’t complain, having sat on an invite for more than two years. She came, she saw, and she released a statement. What has she said and what should one make of it? Well, it depends who is trying to make what of what she has said of course, but let’s take a stab at it anyway. more..

Meanwhile in a parallel universe ....

Sep 3 (NS) I came. I was warmly welcomed. I had no illusions about warm welcomes. There’s a thing called diplomatic protocol, after all. I lost my baggage, though. Or rather, I pretended that I had dropped it all somewhere a long time before I came to Sri Lanka. In other words, you could say I ‘losted’ my baggage, meaning that there was deliberation and consciousness in the act that resulted in the ‘loss’. One bag I thus ‘losted’ was my questionable sense of priorities. more..

Oluvil Port Development project to create 10,000 jobs by 2015

Sep 3 (SO) Constantinople is said to be the world’s first open market and today this area named as the Grand bazaar is the world’s largest closed market. It is said that it would take over a month for a person to visit each and every shop in the bazaar which has nearly 10 entrances. During a familiarisation tour organised by the Turkish airlines for the Sri Lankan media the tour guide told me that Constantinople was a focal point of the more..

Sri Lanka: Independent Sovereign Republic of Nuts

Sep 3 (SL) Lay off Pillay was apparently the message sent to all anti-Western, anti-UN, and anti-Pillay baiters in govt ranks before the dreaded arrival. The self-appointed foreign affairs specialist and Rottweiler of all Western affairs, Wimal Weerawansa kept silent. So was the lanky JHU baiter of the West, Champika Ranawaka, while his compadre Udaya Gammanpila confined himself to an innocuous psycho-analysis of Pillay. A non-specialist in the field, Kumara Welgama more..

The govt’s parading of new law is a mockery

Sep 3 (ST) It is undoubtedly a great irony that at the lowest point of the Sri Lankan Govt’s adherence to the Rule of Law, we hear its carefully choreographed announcement during the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, that enforced disappearances will be criminalised. Is there any value to be given to this announcement? Without the slightest hesitation, the answer to this question must be given resoundingly in the negative. This Govt has shown no regard for the law or for the courts. more..

Garbage disposal to be taxed

Sep 3 (SL) While many countries have devised proper waste management methods for the disposal of garbage, consecutive govts in Sri Lanka have yet not come up with a proper waste disposal plan. Some countries have even found methods of utilizing this waste material to generate power. However it is unfortunate that Sri Lanka has yet not taken into consideration these methods. The primary focus of this country more..

The Sihalaramaya Syndrome

Sep 3 (DBS) The regime reverted to business-as-usual literally on the day Navi Pillay left Sri Lanka. The first salvo of lies against the UN High Commissioner Human Rights was fired, predictably, by the state-owned Sunday Observer: “UNHRC chief Navi Pillay’s request to pay a floral tribute during her recent visit to the North had been rejected by the govt. Informed sources said that Pillay had initially informed of her desire to offer a floral tribute to the late LTTE terrorist leader Prabhakaran more..

Policing Law and Order

Sep 3 (DBS) President Rajapaksa’s belated decision to create a Ministry for Internal Law & Order should be welcomed for more reasons than one. The appointment of a veteran top-soldier, former Army Chief of Staff, Maj-Gen Nanda Mallawaarachchi (retd), as the Secretary of the new Ministry, with the President holding the charge at the politico-administrative level, should help in the transition period, again for the same reasons. The Govt has attributed the new creation to the LLRC more..

Politicians will come and go but people’s hard life will continue

Sep 3 (ST) Ranjith Premasiri (39), a carpenter from the village of Hulogedera in the Nikaweratiya electorate is among the more than 1. 7 million voters in the North Western Province, eligible to vote at the upcoming poll to elect members to the Provincial Council. While candidates from all parties are leaving no stone unturned to attract voters, with high profile campaigns being carried out, for Premasiri and many others more..

Respond positively to issues raised during Ms. Pillay’s visit

Sep 3 (Island) The recently concluded visit to Sri Lanka of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay was in pursuance of two resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council in relation to serious human rights problems in the country. The visit enabled the Commissioner to see the country situation at first hand without having to rely on the interpretations of other interlocutors. She met with a wide range of stakeholders, including leaders of the govt, opposition, more..

Ominous black swan hits India: Is Sri Lanka spared?

Sep 3 (CT) The Lebanese-American finance philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb of Black Swan Theory fame has a wonderful observation on the experts working in governmental agencies. In his 2007 book ‘Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,’ he has referred to those experts working at Fannie Mae, Federal National Mortgage Association in USA that refinances the residential mortgage loans as people who sit on a barrel of dynamite vulnerable to the slightest hiccup. more..

Boston Lanka: Point - Blank

Women to the fore

Sep 3 (Island) In Jaffna, a women-only independent group is in the PC polls fray, as we reported yesterday. This is an interesting development in Sri Lanka’s male dominated politics. Leader of Independent Group 9, Thambipillai Udayarani has, explaining her outfit’s decision to field only female candidates including widows at the PC election, said that the mainstream political parties do not look after the interests of the war-affected women, especially widows and children. more..

China’s strategic presence in Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (CT) The growing presence of the Chinese in Sri Lanka, when India-Sri Lanka relations are under stress, has disturbing strategic connotations for national security. Chinese actions are closely related to the domestic and external policy dispensations of the new Chinese leadership under Xi Jingping as well as China’s desire to takeover South Asia’s under-exploited markets dominated by India so far. The 18th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress held in November 2012 had more..

39th National Sports Festival

Sep 3 (Island) A crowd pleasing performance from high jumper Manjula Kumara, a record-breaking feat from W.K.L.A Nimali and a gold medal victory at the age of 43 by Talavou Alilima lit up the second day of the Athletics Championship of the 39th National Sports Festival here at the Jayathilaka Stadium, Nawalapitiya yesterday. Sri Lanka high jump record holder Manjula Kumara has cleared better heights this year, but his 2.18 metres more..

Nano may lose its Sri Lankan market

Sep 3 (FT) The depreciation of the rupee against the dollar is having an unlikely fallout on Tata Motors. Faced with increased restriction on car imports in Sri Lanka, the company may have to phase out its ultra low cost car Nano from the country. Sri Lanka’s central bank last week made it mandatory for car importers to pay 100% margin to banks for LCs. The bank’s move is aimed at curbing imports from its trading partners, including India, who have witnessed a sharp currency depreciation more..