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Attempt to acquire a finance company using Mahapola funds revealed

Apr 20 (ST) Financial misappropriation and irregularities allegedly committed in thesetting up of a private company called National Wealth Corporation Ltd in 2003 to manage the funds of Mahapola Scholarship Trust Fund came to light again following a new move of this company to a acquire a finance or leasing company adopting a similar tactic after almost 10 years. This move was not in accordance with the Central Bank’s more..

Should redistribution of incomes precede high growth policy?

Apr 20 (Island) In the immediate post-Independence era our political leaders gave priority for State  expenditure on social welfare such as free education, free health care and other such expenditure instead of growth producing investment in physical infrastructure and in increasing the productive capacity of the economy so that it could produce more goods and services. They gave subsidized rice (and even free rice at one point of time) to the people until world price of rice more..

Touchwood’s bogus address cons CSE, investors

Apr 20 (ST) The Touchwood company crisis has spread outside the shores of Sri Lanka with investors in Thailand suing the company there while in Colombo an attempt to deceive investors has been bared in a Business Times investigation. The ‘new’ address of the Touchwood Lanka office as intimated to the Colombo Stock Exchange on February 28 is a bogus one. The address given as No. 220, Nawala Road, Nawala belongs to the wife of Kapila Ariyananda who when contacted more..

Easter should reinvigorate us all

Apr 20 (Island) Once again Easter is here. Those who celebrate Easter with meaning are those who have with Christ and like Christ, in a consistent manner in their own lives, striven to overcome evil with good, unrighteousness with righteousness, injustice with justice, cruelty with kindness, hatred with love, lies with truth, sin with forgiveness  and have experienced the joy of victory over self and over evil. more..

Ministerial Macaws and Kitul tree answers

Apr 20 (SL) President Rajapaksa, as usual, spent his New Year holidays at the Carlton Residence in Tangalle with his family members. It is a known fact that the President is a strict follower of New Year rituals and this year too he engaged in New Year activities with great enthusiasm and excitement. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his wife Ayoma too visited the Carlton Residence in Tangalle on April 14 to take part in New Year celebrations with President and his family. more..

Jesus died for the sins of man and even in death he sought

Apr 20 (NS) Men, women and children had flocked to a hill in Galilee, where a man was teaching his disciples. He says to them, “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor, the kingdom of heaven belongs to them”. Some called him the Son of God, as he was born of a virgin. A man of many names, from his miraculous birth, up till his death on the cross he lived a remarkable life. He cured the sick, taught people about charity, love for one’s enemies, kindness, and most importantly more..

SLC tells cricketers: Sign the contract and earn US$ 500,000 a year

Apr 20 (ST) SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga says national cricketers who are in a standoff with the authorities will have to sign their annual central contracts on offered terms, even though they are on a high winning the T-20 World Cup. As the standoff between the players and the authorities continues into the third month with cricketers demanding a 12% share of the US$ 8.9 million ICC guarantee money more..

CMC’s 60 million-rupee vehicle deal in double trouble

Apr 20 (ST) Colombo Municipal Council’s General Council Meeting where a controversial vehicle deal worth over Rs. 60 million was to be passed for the second time was postponed this week due to the lack of quorum. Council Member Mahendra de Silva said a majority of the members who opposed the fresh bid to pass the deal avoided the meeting. The notice sent to the MMCs by the Municipal Secretary stated that the previous meeting was ‘deferred and unfinished’ due to not adopting more..

Govt. mulls setting up ‘Palms Village’ near Passekudah Bay

Apr 20 (Island) Govt is contemplating setting up a ‘Palms Village’ opposite the world- renowned Passekudah Bay in Batticaloa to provide a host of services to attract more domestic and foreign tourists who throng to enjoy the sea, surf and sun, Minister Jagath Pushpakumara said. "We will be tying up with the Economic Development Ministry to create this 236- acre coconut palm plantation", he said. "We have earmarked 26 acres as an exclusive enclave, where any domestic or foreign more..

Vasu wants BBS banned

Apr 20 (CT) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakara, is of the opinion that the BBS should be proscribed by law, as it is disrupting religious harmony in the country. He said there were several Buddhist as well as Islamic extremist religious groups, operating in the country, which should be banned. "The BBS is in no way an organization that can be called Buddhist. It consists of terrorists who are disguised as Buddhists. more..

Electric bikes seen replacing bicycles

Apr 20 (ST) Electric bikes could replace bicycles, the popular mode of transport of the common man, with the entry of automotive companies committed for environmental conservation. E lanka Automotive Pvt Ltd has stepped in to sell a range of electric bikes as Sri Lanka’s future automobile sector is seen shifting towards a green-focused market. The company plans to import more electric bikes due to its increasing demand in urban and rural areas, a spokesman of the company said. more..

Mannar fishermen bury their catch as collection trucks observe New Year

Apr 20 (ST) Mannar Island overlooking the Gulf of Mannar is well known for its fishing industry and in addition to providing fresh fish to the market, it is a common sight to see dried fish being made on the beaches. These fishermen are not in possession of modern storage facilities in the form of ice rooms. Every morning they go fishing and return with their catch, which they hand over to the trucks that come from all around the island to collect their fish. They were never in need of cold storage or more..

President declares open Manmunai Bridge linking Batticaloa and Ampara Districts

Apr 20 (IL) President Rajapaksa declared open the newly constructed Manmunai Bridge in Batticaloa today (19) marking another milestone in the country’s development. It connects the Batticaloa and Ampara Districts. This new bridge across Batticaloa lagoon on Colombo-Batticaloa A4 road via Pothuvil has been constructed at a cost of 1,870 million rupees fulfilling a long felt need of the people in the EP. more..

'No change in number of elected MPs from Jaffna'

Apr 20 (NS) Refuting reports of reduction in Parliamentary representation in Jaffna, the Elections Department says that Jaffna representation was unchanged. Deputy Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said there was no truth in reports of reduction of MPs elected from Jaffna. “The number remains unchanged,” he said. Reports were published earlier stating that the number of MPs representing Jaffna would be reduced from nine to six. He further stated that more..

Postal officials help Customs to prevent smuggling contraband by post

Apr 20 (Island) The postal authorities are assisting Customs officials to take to task businessmen who misuse the parcel post facility to smuggle in contraband such as shoes, cigarettes, perfumes from some countries such as Dubai and South Korea. More information on this racket was not immediately available most officials are on leave for the New Year. Post Master General (PMG) Rohana Abeyaratne confirmed that some detections were made last week. more..

BBC journalist’s visa extended, not denied

Apr 20 (NS) External Affairs Ministry refuted reports that it had denied visa to BBC journalist Charles Haviland adding that his Visa was actually extended. Media reports yesterday stated that Haviland was denied visa extension by Sri Lankan authorities. A spokesperson said that Haviland’s visa was, in fact, extended by three months, contrary to reports. Official said that Haviland had completed five years in SL more..

Hero of ’96 expects another World Cup win

Apr 20 (NS) The hero of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup triumph Aravinda de Silva expects the present team to ride on their recent World T20 victory and go and win the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year. “The 2015 fifty-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is another great opportunity for our side to go and win considering the amount of confidence they have gained by winning the World T20,” said De Silva in an exclusive interview with The Nation. more..

UNP complains to IPU, UN on attack

Apr 20 (CG) UNP has lodged a complaint with the Inter-Parliament Union (IPU) in Geneva over the attack on a group of UNP MPs at Hambantota last week. Acting opposition leader John Amaratunge commenting on the attack said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe had raised the issue with the IPU and the UN. The complaints have been lodged for violating the parliamentary privileges of MP’s, Amaratunge said adding that on the 24th of this month the UNP plans to ask more..

SA mediation offers way out for govt

Apr 20 (ST) Whilst Sri Lankans were observing the National New Year last week, the Govt of South African President Jacob Zuma set in motion a broad initiative towards reconciliation in Sri Lanka. It came when Pretoria’s special envoy Cyril Ramaphosa, widely regarded as a future President, took the first step of holding talks with a delegation from the TNA. He will arrive in Sri Lanka to continue the dialogue with President Rajapaksa and more..

The return of Great Power conflicts

Apr 20 (Island) The Cold War ended rather abruptly and we thought we were in a one-superpower world led by America, but this was not quite true since the global hegemony of American capitalism sort of crashed in 2008. At the same time globalisation, global supply-chains, and new technologies made the earth pretty flat for everybody. So the jargon changed; the world was declared multipolar with no one in pole position. But China was rising to economic superpower numero uno; more..

The family club concept of stemming alcoholism and drug addiction

Apr 20 (Island) "The Family Club approach is based on the General Theory of Systems, which contemplates that every individual behaviour depends not only on the internal stimuli, but especially on the quality of his/her communication and interaction with the community where every individual lives and works. The treatment is different from the classic psychotherapy, because it is not based on an artificial group of patients, but on a group of people that represents the society, more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 20 (ST) The Commonwealth Day was marked in London on March 11 during the diamond Jubilee year of Queen Elizabeth II. It began with a multi-faith observance at the Westminster Abbey and extended to other events. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth with a population of 2.1 billion citizens, was unable to attend. The move came amidst reports that Tamil diaspora groups were set to stage protests. more..

Casino laws coming again with word game

Apr 20 (ST) The Govt will make a second attempt to gain parliamentary approval to grant tax concessions to two major projects that have run into controversy over allegations that the move would lead to legalising of the casino business. The amended regulations in which the words “entertainment and gaming facilities” have been replaced with the words “associated facilities”, are to be presented under the Strategic more..

Foreign alarm grows at attacks on female tourists

Apr 20 (ST) Reports of sexual harassment of Western female tourists continue to haunt the country with the latest being reported last week from Matara. In Polhena, Matara, a 22-year-old Briton lodged a complaint with local police stating that the guide she had trusted to take her on a coral reef exploration had molested her by touching her inappropriately. This was a few weeks after the remanding of a former chairman of more..

GK to push ahead with cash repayment of one-third of depositors’ holdings

Apr 20 (Island) With a Rs. 3 billion capital infusion envisaged from the proposed disposal of the parcel of CIESOT shares, Golden Key (GK) has decided to go ahead with a cash repayment of one-third of the specified 38% holdings of all depositors. With the completion of the third phase of repayments, investors with deposits up to Rs. 3.8 million in this crisis-hit Ceylinco subsidiary have now received Rs. 100,000 each. more..

LTTE rump in Britain push for trade embargo against Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (Island) In their latest bid, pro-LTTE Tamil groups are preparing the ground work to urge Britain to halt trading with Sri Lanka with the objective of dealing an economic blow to the country. The Sunday Island reliably learns that these activists are planning to unleash a campaign called "Say No To Sri Lanka".  These groups are already in consultation with the top British politicians to stop buying any commodities from Sri Lanka more..

Hambantota fiasco Eraj Fernando silences UPFA bigwigs

Apr 20 (NS) The UPFA Govt appeared to have been embarrassed to silence yesterday by the actions of Hambantota Mayor Eraj Fernando and his supporters, who allegedly attacked a group of UNP MPs and media personnel in Hambantota on Thursday. The Nation made repeated attempts to contact UPFA heavyweights regarding the fiasco, caught on camera by media personnel, where UPFA local politician more..

Charges listed against KP amended

Apr 20 (CG) The charged under which an INTERPOL warrant was issued for the arrest of Kumaran Pathmanathan, better known as KP, have been amended. As of late last year the INTERPOL website said that KP was wanted by India over crimes, terrorism and the use of weapons and explosives. However most recently the charges listed have been amended and it now says he is wanted over criminal conspiracy, violation of the terrorist Act and more..

Govt. to limit foreign journalists’ stay here

Apr 20 (CT) The govt is considering placing a limit on the period a foreign journalist can stay in Sri Lanka, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said yesterday. "It would be unfair to permit any foreigner to live in the country for long periods, let alone journalists," he said. The minister was responding to speculation that the visa of BBC Correspondent, Charles Haviland, would not be extended. "He has stayed in the country for over five years, and more..

Video: Three more gazettes to build tax-free casinos - JVP

Apr 20 (AD) The JVP today accused the govt of attempting to legalise gambling in the country by once again tabling 3 gazettes in the Parliament related to the establishing of casinos and pushing for tax exemptions on them. The govt has decided to hold a debate and vote on the 3 gazette notification on April 24 and 25, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said. He alleged that casinos are businesses which promote prostitution, alcohol more..

Long arm of the law falls short as thugs hold sway in Rajapaksa-land

Apr 20 (ST) Five MPs from the UNP left Colombo early Thursday on a fact-finding mission to the controversial Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) and the neighbouring Magampura Port. The UNP MPs, Ajith Perera, Eran Wickramaratne, R. Yogarajan, Ajith Mannamperuma and Nalin Bandara were accompanied by seven journalists from the national print media that included Shantha Ratnayake, a news more..

Emergence of Modi and Sri Lanka’s plight

Apr 20 (SL) Polling commenced last week in the world’s biggest democracy to choose 543 members to India’s Lok Sabha but even before polls commenced the consensus in the electorate appeared to be that the ruling Congress led coalition would suffer a severe defeat and that the alliance led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would triumph. The point of contention was whether the BJP led coalition could muster a clear majority in the 543 seat (Lok Sabha) lower house to form a govt. more..

Tea earns Rs. 30.3b in two months

Apr 20 (Island) Ceylon Tea Brokers in their latest tea market report indicated tea earnings for the first two months this year at Rs. 30.30 billion, up Rs.4.37 billion from the comparative period the previous year. Russia including CIS countries continued to support Ceylon tea. Price achievement was not inconsiderable indicating the ‘Ceylon Tea’ brand attracted end users who were quite willing to pay higher prices for a premium product. Colombo auction prices averaged around $ 4.50, more..

5550 farmer families in Mahaweli B and C Zones receive land deeds

Apr 20 (IL) 5550 farmer families in Mahaweli B and C Zones received ownership deeds today (19) at a ceremony held at Girandurukotte under the patronage of President Rajapaksa. President handed over the land deeds for the Mahaweli farmers under the 3rd stage of the National Programme of Presentation of Land Deeds. The programme is implemented according to a pledge given by the President in response to more..

Video: Largest stock of Walla-Patta seized by Customs

Apr 20 (DM) A Sri Lankan and two Indians possessing a stock of 48 kgs of "Walla-Patta" worth Rs. 38.4 million were arrested by Custom officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport this morning. Customs media spokesperson and legal Director Lesley Gamini said this was the largest "Walla-Patta" stock seized by the Customs so far. He said they were attempting to smuggle the stock to Chennai in India. The Bio Diversity Unit of the BIA is conducting further investigations. more..

Wanathamulla residents raise concerns

Apr 20 (SL) Residents of Wanathamulla and Bakery junction in Narahenpita claimed that they are being harassed by military personnel attached to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, threatening them with eviction in spite of a Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRCSL) ruling against the forced eviction of these people. The Wanathamulla protection group for land owners had lodged a complaint with the HRCSL regarding the harassment they face and more..

FCA says unaware of new visa policy

Apr 20 (CG) The Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) says it is unaware of any time limits on visas issued to foreign journalists posted to Sri Lanka. This comes after Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath had said that a five year police in in place for foreign journalists based in Colombo. Herath had made the comment on twitter when questioned over the Govt decision not to grant a one year visa extension to more..

A CEB smokescreen hiding unpalatable facts from consumers

Apr 20 (ST) Deputy General Manager (Business and Operational Strategy) and Media Spokesman of the CEB has responded to the Sunday Times front-page lead story of March 30. He says in a letter: ‘This article has been written on factually incorrect materials. The Ceylon Electricity Board has not prepared monthly accounts for January, February and March to find out whether there is actual loss or profit. CEB usually prepares annual accounts at the end of a financial year. more..

Devi Balika organizes International Photographic Competition

Apr 20 (Island) Roo Chaya, the 2nd International Photographic Competition, was organized by the Photographic Club of Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo, at the National Art Gallery in Colombo recently. There were 907 local and 426 foreign entries. This year, the organizers especially received 356 entries from the People’s Republic of China due to the untiring support extended by the Sri Lanka China Society. In this international competition, the first place (colour) was won by more..

Elections chief to operate from Badulla during forthcoming PC poll

Apr 20 (Island) Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya will be based at the Badulla District Secretariat during the conduct of the forthcoming polls to the Uva PC, said Deputy Commissioner of Elections, M.M. Mohammad. The province encompasses the Badulla and Moneragala districts. Asked about the certification of the latest electoral register for 2013 by the Elections Commissioner on March 10, 2014 by the more..