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Del Monte to enter Sri Lanka

Sep 24 (BS) California-based food and beverages company Del Monte is evaluating options to enter Bangladesh and Sri Lanka markets through FieldFresh Foods, 50:50 joint venture between Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Enterprises and Del Monte Pacific. Besides India, the JV would sell Del Monte branded products in the entire SAARC region. At present, FieldFresh Foods sells Del Monte branded products in India and Nepal directly to consumers, and in eight markets across Asia Pacific through more..

NSB mortgaged to international commercial market –UNP

Sep 24 (Island) For the first time in the history of the National Savings Bank (NSB), it has been forced by the govt to take dollar loans from the international commercial market. Ravi Karunanayake MP, said that the NSB was an institution that never lent in dollars and was primarily a savings bank catering to the poorer segments of society including a large number of children and youth. With the other state financial institutions exceeding their dollar borrowing limits, the Rajapaksa regime had pressured more..

Video: Salley challenges President to debate with Ranil

Sep 24 (AD) Former Deputy Mayor of Colombo Azath Salley today claimed that the govt is afraid of the UNP leadership and challenged President Rajapaksa to debate with Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe. Salley, who contested for the Central Provincial Council and received the highest preference votes from the UNP in the Kandy District, charged that govt did not win the provincial councils in a free and fair election. more..

Seven nabbed with gold in stomach

Sep 24 (DM) Six Indians and one Sri Lankan who attempted to board a flight to Chennai after having swallowed gold bars had been arrested at the BIA by Customs Officials last night. The suspects were arrested over a tip-off that seven people had arrived at the BIA in a vehicle to flee heading Chennai. The X –Ray images later revealed that each had several bars of gold in their stomach and the medical report said about 13, 5, 1 and 6 pieces of gold had been swallowed by each individual. more..

'Socialism is the answer'

Sep 24 (LT) “Vietnam that was engaged in a 30 year war with the USA, the world power then, is gaining a speedy economic development. China is attempting to be the world’s economic power. The secret behind all these developments is Socialism. We endeavour to give this to the country,” says the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. This was stated by him speaking to the media regarding PC election results. “There is no difference in our stand whatever the results we have got. more..

Three Japanese Naval Ships arrive

Sep 24 (SLN) Three Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships, Kashima TV-3508, Shirayuki TV-3517 and Isoyuki DD-127, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today. The ships with Cadet School Graduates of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force are in Sri Lanka with the intention of promoting friendship between the two countries as part of their training cruise. They were welcomed by the SL Navy more..

UNP hails SAARC monitors’ proposals

Sep 24 (DM) The UNP today welcomed the suggestion made by the SAARC election monitors urging that the Elections Commissioner be vested with more powers to conduct elections in a free and fair manner. Newly elected CPC UNP candidates retired Judge P.B. Warawewa and former Colombo Deputy Mayor Asath Sally speaking on behalf of their party expressed these views at a media conference. Warawewa said the election was not free and fair because of the absence of more..

1 killed, 2 injured in mine explosion in Sri Lanka's north

Sep 24 (PTI) One person was missing and presumed dead while two more were injured today in an accidental landmine explosion in Sri Lanka's Jaffna area. The military said the victims had gone to the jungle to collect firewood in Muhamalai area when explosion occurred. The area is still under the landmine clearance of Halo Trust. The demining in Sri Lanka's former battle zones where a three-decades-old military conflict ended four years ago is still on going. more..

Ministerr G.L. Peiris meets counterparts from Australia and Indonesia

Sep 24 (GDI) At a meeting on Monday with Minister G.L. Peiris on the margins of the UN General Assembly session in New York, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop expressed her country’s “deep appreciation” for Sri Lanka’s excellent cooperation in preventing, detecting and intercepting human smuggling operations to Australia. Minister Peiris stated that there is increased naval surveillance to prevent more..

The cosmetics of love and wisdom

Sep 25 (NS) A random channel-switch on Saturday morning as I drove to work took me to a station running a documentary on Joe Abeywickrama, regarded as one of the greatest actors of his time if not the greatest.  It was Joe’s second death anniversary, I learned.  The narrative cut to old interviews with Joe as well as dialogues from the films he has acted in.  What remained with me was the first line I heard. Here’s a rough translation. ‘Actors are expected to be handsome, more..

Mahesh ready to unleash the Qi Gong bug

Sep 25 (NS) Sri Lanka’s fitness fanatics are fast picking up the finer points of fitness training and healthy living styles. But the islanders seem to be a little naďve with regards to soft aesthetic exercise methods like Tai Chi and Qi Gong, which don’t exhaust your energy levels as would a workout in the gymnasium.  Qi Gong expert Mahesh Vitharana Pathirana wants Sri Lankans to experience the benefits of this ancient 4,000-year-old Chinese exercise form which ensures health benefits more..

Kolam dance, a genre of satirical comedy

Sep 25 (SO) Greek and Roman historical annals on literature reveal that comic and tragic satirical dramas and verse had been used since time immemorial in exposing the human vices, folly, abuses and other forms of social injustice. The Greek poet Aristophanes and Roman poets such as Horace and Juvenal had exploited this genre as comic satire and tragic satire. The Sinhala word Kolam is commonly used in the day-to-day more..

A tale of two Parties…

Sep 25 (CT) Chandrasiri is a retired electrician. He obtained employment with the advent of the J.R. Jayewardene Govt in 1977. Born and bred in an isolated village in the Maha Nuwara District, he was one of the first to receive a job-bank application and his life-long wish came true when he approached the President of the UNP branch in his village. The UNP branch President, having recognized Chandrasiri, who was in his mid-20s at the time, paid due consideration for the tireless work more..

The Politics of Paraya

Sep 25 (GV) We may applaud Mind Adventures’ Paraya for many things. We may celebrate it for its visual mastery, its bold dialogue and the intensity and physicality in the acting. We may perhaps hail the innovation in its mode of presentation as brilliant. We may even call the message it offers fearless; the ‘moral behind the story’ thought provoking and relevant to our times. Yet our appreciation—particularly of the message—is at risk of remaining in the safe quarters of more..

TNA struggling to finalise PC selections

Sep 25 (DBS) The TNA which swept the Northern provincial polls with a four-fifth majority is now struggling to cope with the task of determining who and who should be appointed provincial ministers and council chairman of the NPC. It is also undecided yet on allocating one bonus seat while the other will be given to the Muslim candidate who contested on the TNA ticket and lost in Mannar. All 28 elected provincial councillors met on more..

Now, democracy – But only for us!

Sep 25 (CT) By way of a preamble, currently the worst political epithet is “terrorist”, such that states and leaders who resort to terrorism also hurl this linguistic stone of abuse at those who oppose them. “Terrorist” is an over-used and under-examined term. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, while unleashing state terrorism on oppositional groups, brands them as terrorists. Callum Macrae, writing in the Guardian newspaper, about his film, ‘No-Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’, more..

The dialog of citizens for politicians who care

Sep 25 (CT) Dear Aravinthan Anna, Many thanks for your Skype call this morning. Thanks to live streaming of Sri Lankan TV channels, I could follow the election results and related commentaries from here as and when it happened. As you correctly said, people in the North have clearly expressed their will to have a representation that knows their aspirations, and that they don’t need just any model of development. The electoral outcome of Kaytes Island is a good example that more..

They will give ear with courage, compassion and commitment

Sep 25 (ST) At a time when SL’s suicide rate remains a concern, just handing someone that 1333 number could make a difference in a life lost or saved. ­­­ 1333, the CCC Foundation’s Hotline currently receives around 1200 calls every month. Waiting by the receiver is a team of volunteer counsellors. They speak Tamil, Sinhala and English and each have been trained to help someone who is considering taking their own life. more..

Ceylinco Life’s Upamalika is ‘Female ICT Leader of the Year’

Sep 25 (Island) Upamalika Ratnayake, Chief Information Officer and Senior Deputy General Manager ICT of Ceylinco Life has been honoured as Sri Lanka’s ‘Female ICT Leader of the Year’ by the South East Asia Regional Computer Confederation (SEARCC), a forum of national Information Technology professional societies in the Asia Pacific region. The prestigious award was presented at the 2013 SEARCC International Conference by Minister Champika Ranawaka. more..

Germany’s second largest bank closely studying Sri Lanka

Sep 25 (FT) Three German banks and four business chambers were among the top tier German businesses eagerly inquiring about opportunities in Sri Lanka. Commerzbank AG, the German bank of global reach, is currently exploring and studying Sri Lanka’s banking sector as well as the country’s development projects. “Commerzbank AG is Germany’s second largest bank and they have informed that they are conducting close studies of Sri Lanka’s banking sector as well as the more..

Confrontation of two nationalisms: Another peace process may be needed

Sep 25 (Island) If political realism is any indication, Sri Lanka again is in trouble waters after the three PC elections and the polarization between the two nationalisms, Sinhala and Tamil, is higher than what it was before the commencement of the war. If the NPC election was held in 2009, soon after the end of the war, the situation could have been averted. It is not for convenience that the two other PC elections in the Central and more..

Dayasiri and Wigneswaran

Sep 25 (Island) Dayasiri Jayasekera and C.V. Wigneswaran are both lawyers and obtained the most number of preferential votes (Manape) among the Sinhalas and Tamils respectively, and the comparison ends there. Dayasiri was educated at Narammala Mayurapada Madhya Maha Vidyalaya, Mayurapada reminding the Sinhala people the Dambadeniya period and Sinhala kings and literary Bhikkus and lay people, and Wigneswaran was educated at Royal College, more..

Editorial: Politics as a family business

Sep 25 (Island) Some people seem to have all the luck. After all, this is Sri Lanka. Out of 23 family members and relatives of ruling party and Opposition politicians in the recent PC polls fray 19 have been returned. Thankfully, among the noticeable rejects is the nephew of an NWP UPFA provincial councillor who failed to secure nomination because he had forced a female teacher to kneel down in her school. Others who have got returned are not likely to remain in PCs for long. more..

Baffling Touchwood-Duminda nexus!

Sep 25 (FT) Touchwood Investments (TWOD) has appointed controversial MP Duminda Silva as a Non Executive Independent Director to its Board, sending shockwaves among good governance activists and analysts. Apart from Duminda, the appointment of Lanka Wijendra Kiwlegedara to the Board as an Executive Director was announced. In its filing to the CSE, Duminda has been described as a businessman, MP, Monitoring MP, more..

NDB US dollar debt issue rated ‘B+’

Sep 25 (Island) Fitch Ratings has assigned Sri Lanka-based National Development Bank PLC’s (NDB) proposed issue of USD-denominated notes an expected rating of ‘B+(EXP)’. "The final rating is contingent upon receipt of final documents conforming to information already received. The notes are rated at the same level as NDB’s Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘B+’ as they constitute unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of the issuer," more..

Dowry tradition prevails in Sri Lanka, preys on women

Sep 25 (WIP) Priyanka is a soft-spoken, gently rounded 46-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil woman with a friendly manner. She is training to be a church minister, but her life was not planned this way. In the 90s Priyanka was married and in love, until her husband ran off to Europe with her dowry of 500,000 Sri Lankan rupees (USD $3,800), a portion of her family's land and inherited jewellery. Priyanka’s eyes shine as she tells me, “We were married for just 15 days. It was wonderful.” more..

Dialog launches Sri Lanka’s first ever NFC enabled smart sticker

Sep 25 (Island) Dialog has launched Sri Lanka’s first NFC (Near Field Communication) technology enabled Smart Sticker, which would allow its users to make transactions, exchange digital content, and connect electronic devices with a simple touch. The NFC sticker is an evolvement of the present NFC technology card system is offering greater convenience and practicality to users of the new technology. more..

Baby killed, eight injured in expressway accident

Sep 25 (DM) A two-year-old baby died and eight others seriously injured when a van skidded and toppled at the 23.1 km mile post between Dodangoda and Gelanigama exits on the Southern Expressway today. The deceased was identified as Fathima Hamsa (2). The van had entered the Expressway at Pinnaduwa in Galle for a journey to Kurunegala through Colombo. Investigations revealed that the vehicle had gone out of control due to a tyre puncture of a front wheel, veered off more..

UNP WPC Councillors demand Ranil's resignation

Sep 25 (CT) The UNP Western Provincial Councillors adopted a strongly-worded resolution yesterday, calling for the immediate resignation of UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, in the aftermath of another serious electoral debacle. The resolution moved by WPC member, Srinath Perera, son of senior UNP legislator, Joseph Michael Perera, was unanimously adopted by the UNP Councillors. Several UNP Councillors have openly expressed their opposition to the conduct of more..

Douglas pledges support to TNA

Sep 25 (CT) Leader of the EPDP, Minister Douglas Devananda, welcoming the outcome of the NPC polls urged the TNA to respect the verdict of the Northerners and fulfil their expectations. The minister also said his Party would support whatever the actions taken by the new NPC administration to uplift the living standards of the people in the North. Minister made a statement soon after the declaration of the TNA's NPC victory more..

Ravi's former Secretary withdraws surety bail

Sep 25 (CT) An individual who has been working for 13 years as the Coordinating Officer and politically supporting UNP MP, Ravi Karunanayake, informed Court that he no longer wished to appear as surety bailer for Karunanayake, in the case pertaining to fraud of foreign currency, as he has no faith in the latter anymore. Karunapala de Silva, who had also deposited Rs 100,000 cash bail for Karunanayake, informed the Colombo High Court that he needs to withdraw the bail as well. more..

STF constable shoots himself

Sep 25 (Island) A 23-year-old Special Task Force constable was found dead at the Central Fish Market Complex, Peliyagoda yesterday morning. He is suspected to have committed suicide by shooting himself. The constable had been alone on duty at the main gate, while another STF constable and two policemen were on guard duty in and around the fish market at the time of the tragedy. The reason for the incident which took place around 4.30 am had not been revealed yet. more..

Govt protection for Sirikotha

Sep 25 (CT) A group of UNP supporters from Hiriyala in Kurunegala, engaged in a protest opposite the UNP Headquarters, 'Sirikotha,' yesterday, urging the UNP Leader and the members of the Working Committee to resign from their posts immediately, in view of the 27th consecutive election the party had lost under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe. There was another protest outside the party's headquarters on Sunday, during more..

Court orders psychiatric check for Sakvithi

Sep 25 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Devika Tennekoon yesterday directed the Prison’s Commissioner to subject accused Sakwithi Ranasinghe to a psychiatric examination and submit the report to Court by Oct 31. Counsel for Sakwithi Ravindra Senarathne requested the Court to order a medical report, by a psychiatrist. Sakvithi has been charged with abducting and molesting an underage girl on March 30, 1998, at Horathota, Kaduwela. The girl was under 16 years of age then. more..

New ferry service from Jaffna to Nagadeepa

Sep 25 (DN) A new ferry service from Jaffna to Nagadeepa was launched for the convenience of thousands of pilgrims visiting Nagadeepa Vihara and the people living in the Nagadeepa island. Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said the new ferry service was launched following requests by the people travelling between Nagadeepa and Jaffna daily. "The new ferry service was commenced to provide a free transport service for the people belonging to all communities on the instructions of President more..

Khurshid lines up October trip to test Colombo waters

Sep 25 (TT) Foreign minister Salman Khurshid will travel to Colombo on October 7 offering the hope of a thaw in relations with Sri Lanka after sustained tension while holding out the veiled threat of a diplomatic snub if the island nation refuses to accept India’s requests. Khurshid’s journey across the Palk Straits is aimed at signaling quiet approval for the first ever Provincial elections in its Tamil-dominated north, more..

As Ban Ki-Moon meets President Rajapaksa, Shavendra Silva there, where's report?

Sep 25 (ICP) When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday at 6 pm, another Sri Lankan official came into the meeting room. It was Shavendra Silva, a military figure whose Army unit was depicted engaged in war crimes in the UN's own report on Sri Lanka. Ban previously accepted Silva on his Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations, telling Inner City Press it was a decision of member states. more..

Cops turn going abroad party into virtual final farewell

Sep 25 (Island) A man who was to leave the country for overseas’ employment the following day had been brutally attacked by a group of policemen, attached to the Padukka station, who visited the house at night, claimed the victim’s wife. She said her husband had given a party to his friends before leaving the country that night and a group of policemen who arrived at midnight, pulled her husband from their house and assaulted him mercilessly even though she pleaded more..

India welcomes Sri Lankan provincial councils polls

Sep 25 (PTI) Welcoming elections to three Sri Lankan provincial councils, including the Northern, India today said the govt there has honoured its commitment while asserting that it was looking forward to implementation of other important commitments such as 13th amendment of the Constitution. The Ministry of External Affairs said the high voter turnout and the enthusiastic participation of various political parties demonstrate more..

Sri Lanka must bridge trade gap to reap benefits - Chinese Ambassador

Sep 25 (DN) Sri Lanka should focus on high end manufacturing products to China to bridge the trade gap, which was currently, in favour of China, to take bilateral trade and investment between Sri Lanka and China into a strategic level, Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao said. "When the proposed FTA is in place there will be deep trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. Economic cooperation needs to adjust structurally to bridge the huge SL trade more..