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Expat lunchbox: What to eat in Colombo

Dec 19 (WSJ) If you don’t have a doting parent, devoted spouse or a dutiful domestic at home, chances are you will spend most weekday afternoons in a bit of a bind. Often, the weather here is too sweltering to wander around the dispersed neighborhoods in search of affordable restaurants, and with 20% tax or more at most outlets, this quickly becomes a costly affair. So one winds up with fast-food take-away. more..

Rupee, interest rates to be capped till polls day

Dec 19 (CT) Central Bank rejection of more than half the bids received at Wednesday's weekly Treasury (T) Bill primary auction is a sign that rates are once more looking up. Though CBSL had up for reissue maturing T bills of Rs 12 billion, it accepted bids worth only Rs 5.5 billion, with the weighted average yield of the benchmark one year T bill increasing by one basis point (bp) to 5.99%, while that of the six months, which was the other tenure on offer, stagnating at 5.83%. more..

Opportunity for SL manufacturers to obtain free trade stalls in China

Dec 19 (Island) Sri Lanka and China Trade and Investment Promotion Chamber has received a minimum of 20 trade stalls for free in Chengdu, China, with other facilities such as operating bank accounts from there. Local manufacturers who would like to set up business in China are requested to apply to the Chamber to obtain these spaces. Information on free trade spaces can be obtained from Chamber President Nihal Aluvihare by contacting him at 0777 259 588. more..

Sri Lanka gets US$ 102M FDI for Colombo Port Project

Dec 19 (CT) Colombo Port City (CPC), within the first year of signing agreements with the country's investment promotion agency, has invested US$ 102 million as at end October this year out of its US$ 1,300 million commitment to Sri Lanka. The project was on track according to the Board of Investment (BOI), and land reclamation was taking place. BOI hopes that the project would help the country achieve more..

On Sri Lanka, Silva memories in front of ball of UNCA, run by Kohona's ex-landlord

Dec 19 (ICP) Earlier this week Inner City Press learned that the Sri Lankan military figure the govt sent to the UN, where he became one of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's and Herve Ladsous' senior advisers on peacekeeping, was now leaving New York. Seeking confirmation and comment, including from Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the UN Palitha Kohona, Inner City Press staked-out the $100 ball of the UN Correspondents Association, whose past and future president Giampaolo more..

President to open Madu road- Thiruketheeswaram railway line

Dec 19 (DN) The re-constructed Madhu road-Thiruketheeswaram railway line aimed at facilitating devotees travelling for the historic temple of Thiruketheeswaram, one of the holiest shrines in Sri Lanka, will be opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa shortly. A Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) spokesman said the reconstruction of the Madhu road- Thiruketheeswaram railway line project funded by the Indian government has been completed on schedule. more..

SriLankan Aviation College opens doors to future aviation professionals

Dec 19 (FT) SriLankan Airlines launched its newest aviation integrated training institution, SriLankan Aviation College last Friday, opening up a world of opportunities for the aspirant youth to take their first step towards an exciting career in aviation. With over three decades of experience in training aviation professionals to fulfil the Airline’s manpower needs, SriLankan Aviation College, brings together the airline’s more..

US$ 20 m saline production facility for Lanka

Dec 19 (DN) An investment of US$ 20 million is set to take forth towards a facility for the production of saline in Sri Lanka by mid 2015. This venture has been taken up by a Chinese investor who will be part of an entourage of 132 businessmen and six govt representatives from the Sichuan Province and will be visiting Sri Lanka for networking purposes. The saline production venture will help cover the cost of importing saline units to fulfil the country’s medical saline consumption. more..

New trade union coalition backs Sirisena

Dec 19 (Island) The Trade Union Coalition for a Just Society (TUCJS) said that its struggle was to help create a free society in which trade unions could protest without being intimidated and attacked by governments. Addressing the media at the Common Candidate’s office at Thimbirigasyaya, TUCJS Joint Convener, Saman Ratnapriya, said that the only way to do so would be to exercise one’s franchise "and vote for the Common Candidate" at the Presidential election next month. more..

In SL’s post-Tsunami rise, China is key

Dec 19 (WSJ) When the Indian Ocean tsunami pulverized much of this town 10 years ago, locals wondered if it would ever recover. A decade later, a $1 billion port is being built and a $209 million airport has opened, along with a convention center and a cricket stadium for 25,000. A 10-story hospital is under construction near signs warning of wild peacocks. Much of Sri Lanka’s resurgence since the tsunami that killed more..

SriLankan Airlines' second A330-300 arrives

Dec 19 (DN) SriLankan Airlines, will take delivery of its second brand new A330-300 arriving at the Colombo International Airport today, flying from Toulouse, France. It joins the airlines' existing fleet of A320, A321, A330-200 and A340-300 aircraft. SriLankan will take delivery of a further five A330-300s. "We have a reputation as a global leader in service, comfort, safety, reliability and punctuality; all of which are qualities reflected in selecting the A330," said Kapila Chandrasena, CEO of more..

More than 11,500 soldiers killed during CBK’s tenure – Prelate

Dec 19 (Island) More than 23,000 soldiers had perished in war and more than half of them had been killed during President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s tenure, besides attacks on key economic targets, including the Central Bank, Kolonnawa oil installation and the Katunayake International Airport, said Chief Incumbent of the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihara Ven. Prof. Iththademaliye Indrasara Thera yesterday. The former Vice Chancellor of Buddhist and Pali University more..

Muthuhettigama asks Rajitha to show the video

Dec 19 (DM) Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama denied allegations that he was behind attack on the stage set up for common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s rally at Wanduramba, Galle and challenged Dr. Rajitha Senaratne to show the video of the attack if he had one. “I had nothing to do with the incident and I was in Colombo when it happened. Attack had been carried out by several UNP members more..

SLMC won't talk to BBS

Dec 19 (CT) The SLMC will not hold talks with the BBS as they do not consider the BBS as a political party, besides, the challenges posed by the BBS being trivial National Organizer to the SLMC Shafik Rajabdeen said. BBS said Tuesday they will take legal action against SLMC if their Deputy General Secretary, Nizam Kariapper does not withdraw his statement that there will be a repetition of Buddhist-Muslim riots, if the common candidate wins the election. more..

Business in this country is corruptible: Poll

Dec 19 (FT) A recent opinion poll reveals the citizenry has both bouquets and brickbats for corporate houses in this country. Over two-thirds of the people believe that businesspeople in our island are ‘high achievers’. “They are deemed so mainly due to their clever conduct of business and successful profit making,” says LMD, adding that “at the same time, a majority of respondents (60%) agree that corporates are now benefitting from a peaceful country situation.” more..

Tissa: Sirisena an actor directed by CBK

Dec 19 (Island) Minister Tissa Attanayaka said the opposition had entered into a secret agreement with the TNA. He on many occasions had asked the UNP leadership to reveal the contents of the agreement and warned that he would be compelled to leave the party unless the contents of the pact were revealed. Unfortunately, now there was no way the UNP could form a govt; the New Democratic Front (NDF) is struggling to more..

Airport Chief assures no closure

Dec 19 (FT) Airport and Aviation Services Chairman Col. Prasanna J. Wickramasuriya yesterday assured that he would allow no room whatsoever to stop operations of the BIA or MRIA, which are the gateways for tourists and investors to Sri Lanka. He was commenting on the recent statement by common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena alleging that only those having his permission could use the airport to leave the country from 8 January midnight onwards. more..

'Let N&E Tamils decide for themselves'

Dec 19 (CT) TULF Secretary General V. Anandasangaree has made an appeal to the TNA to allow the Tamil people in the North and East to decide on their own, as to whom they should vote for at the January presidential polls. The TULF Secretary General, in a statement, on the forthcoming polls, has also emphasized that the Tamils in the North and East should vote in the presidential election and he mentioned that boycotting the polls is foolish and the claim more..

Wiggy 'n' Dougie in verbal sparring bout!

Dec 19 (CT) Northern Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran and Minister Douglas Devananda accused each other of being responsible for Tuesday's clash between the TNA and the EPDP at the District Development Committee meeting. Wigneswaran, who co-chaired the DDC meeting together with Devananda said, the latter should take the responsibility for the clash. Wigneswaran said Devananda and more..

Archaeologists excavating historical temple in Wellassa unearth 160 old Dutch coins

Dec 19 (Island) Archaeologists excavating the ancient Thimbiriya Raja Maha Vihara at Medagama in Uva Wellassa have discovered 160 old Dutch coins, rings made of copper, glass beads and some clay urns, according to Director General Archaeology Dr. Senarath Dissanayake. The finds belonging to different periods of the country’s past indicated that the temple in the remote Wellassa area had links with maritime and other provinces of the country in ancient times, he said. more..

Shooting voting candidates: EC relaxes camera rule

Dec 19 (CT) Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya has decided to do away with the restriction on taking photographs and videos of candidates when they are casting their vote. The guidelines issued by the Elections Commissioner, which has already been gazetted, state photographing or videotaping inside polling booths is prohibited. Deshapriya said, his predecessor took this initiative to keep cameras out of the polling stations, as there were incidents where more..

Champika, Harsha perform Satyagraha calling for free and fair election

Dec 19 (Island) JHU General Secretary Champika Ranawaka urged Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to commit himself to conducting a free and fair election by using the powers he has under the Constitution. Ranawaka performed a two hour Satyagraha opposite the Elections Secretariat in Rajagiriya together with UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva and several supporters to urge more..

Petrol, diesel levies anulled after Jan. 8: Champika

Dec 19 (DM) The petrol and diesel levies will be annulled after the January 8, 2015 under the government of Maithripala Sirisena, said Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) General Secretary and former minister Champika Ranawaka. “Being a compassionate president, Mahinda Rajapaksa levies of Rs.52 on one litre of petrol and Rs.17 on one litre of diesel from the people,” he said. People will gain lots of relief after the levy is removed, he said.

Polls chief chants opposition slogans

Dec 19 (CT) When the joint Opposition parliamentarians of the common presidential candidate's election monitoring unit stormed the Election Commissioner's office, after conducting a protest and shouting slogans, the Elections Commissioner was seen chanting the slogans in his office last morning. When UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake stepped into the Commissioner's room, the latter was chanting those slogans nonstop loudly but stopped on seeing Karunanayake. more..

Jilmaat: JVP disputes Sirisena’s claim

Dec 19 (Island) The JVP disputed Opposition Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s claim that there was no truth in the allegation that the results of 2010 Presidential Election had been fraudulently changed. In answer to a question whether there had been computer fraud or ‘computer jilmaat’ at the counting stage of the 2010 Presidential Election, Sirisena said that allegation was baseless. more..

Doom behind boom: Dangers of bankruptcy

Dec 19 (DM) Former Minister Champika Ranawaka who worked closely with the Rajapaksa Govt for more than nine years has made some bombshell disclosures in a book titled Alapalu Arthikaya: Mega Dealda the Navothpadanayada- The Boom Doom Economy- Mega Deals or innovations? The book, launched at a well-attended ceremony in Kotte on Monday, is turning out to be a bestseller as President Rajapaksa and the Opposition’s common candidate enter into their second week of more..

Peshawar school massacre: Vital lessions

Dec 19 (DM) Something is seriously wrong with Pakistan. It is an understatement to say the world was devastated to learn of the school massacre in Peshawar. How can anyone do such a heinous act? Killing children and that too in the name of Islam, which clearly says that killing of one human being carries the sin of killing the entire humanity? In Islamic laws of defensive warfare, causing harm to children is prohibited. Did not the Pakistani Taliban know such edicts? more..

Have yourself a very little Christmas

Dec 19 (ST) A 50-foot blue spruce decked in red ribbons and silver baubles stands resplendent at the Independence Square arcade and fluorescent angels hang alongside gigantic snowflakes from the ceiling of Majestic City – but besides such pockets of decoration in public hangouts Colombo seems stripped of the Christmas spirit. The holiday buzz is still latent in the city and suburbs against a backdrop of political volatility, bad weather more..

'This is a contest between men and frogs: I won't cross'

Dec 19 (AM) UPFA MP Vidura Wickramanayaka has stated that the 2015 Presidential Election will be written in history as a contest between men and frogs. However, he did not elaborate on who the men and frogs are. He refuted the crossover claims on him and his father, the former Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka, saying that despite some grievances, he was not disillusioned with the party. more..

Dr. Amarasekera warns of great danger to country

Dec 19 (Island) The Federation of National Organisations (FNO) alleged that JVP and JHU had changed their tracks and were now dancing to the tune of imperialists in a bid to effect a regime change. FNO President Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera told a media briefing in Colombo that the members of the common opposition were now trying to create an Arab Spring type uprising in Sri Lanka. more..

Do minorities count?

Dec 19 (SL) Now that the presidential election is here, the two main contenders seem to be on a denial mode as far as the 25% minority votes are concerned yet wanting them to come his exclusive way, without being seen by their majority Sinhala-Buddhist brethren as asking for the same, or cutting a deal and the corners, for the purpose. Between the two, President Rajapaksa is slightly better-placed, not because he may have more..

'Canvassing at state institutions forbidden'

Dec 19 (DM) It is forbidden, at any of the offices owned by the state or the provincial councils, govt schools, local authorities or any institution owned by any state corporation or board, to canvass for presidential candidates in any manner – such as by the distribution of handbills or leaflets or conducting meetings, Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya announced. “Therefore, all the politicians and their political activists are more..

Danuna Thilakaratne surrenders to court; released on bail

Dec 19 (AD) Danuna Thilakaratne, son-in-law of former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka, has been released on bail after he surrendered to the Colombo High Court over the Hicorp fraud case. He was released on a cash bail of Rs 400,000 and two personal bails of Rs 500,000 after being produced before High Court Judge Irangani Perera. However, he has been prohibited from leaving the country for the duration of the court case more..

Sri Lanka 89th in Forbes’ Best Countries for Business

Dec 19 (DM) Sri Lanka is placed 89th out of 146 nations in the Forbes’ Best Countries for Business 2014 ranking. The best country for business this year is Denmark, which ranked No. 1 three straight years between 2008 and 2010. The top10 includes also Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland. India has been placed 93rd, behind countries like Mexico, Kazakhstan. more..

'Church cannot withdraw invitation to Pope'

Dec 19 (DM) The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka is not in a position to ask Pope Francis to cancel his visit to Sri Lanka next month, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said yesterday. “The church cannot just ask the Pope not to come visit Sri Lanka after inviting him in the first place,” the Cardinal told a media briefing yesterday. He emphasised that organizing such an event as a papal visit to any country is a difficult task and therefore more..

Lone plane crash survivor dies

Dec 19 (CG) The sole survivor of the Air Force plane crash last Friday at Athurugiriya has succumbed to his injuries at the Colombo National hospital, the hospital director said. The survivor had suffered severe burn injuries to his body and was in the intensive care unit of the Colombo hospital when he succumbed to his injuries last night. The plane with five people on board was on its way to Ratmalana when it crashed more..

Rangana Herath to miss first Test

Dec 19 (CI) Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has been ruled out of Sri Lanka's first Test against New Zealand by the hamstring tear he suffered last week, team manager Michael de Zoysa has confirmed. Herath had damaged his upper, inner left thigh while training ahead of the fifth ODI against England, and though team management had initially been hopeful for a quick recovery, he will now likely be out for more..

Too much China connection

Dec 19 (CT) Excessive reliance on another is not good for a person or a country. This is exactly what is happening today in Sri Lanka. The repercussions of such a policy will be disastrous for democracy and also the economy. Already the consequences are visible in both spheres. ‘Like getting chillies by giving ginger’ (inguru dila miris gaththa wagai) is a common saying in the country. Origins of the proverb goes back to early 17th century when King Rajasinghe II invited the Dutch to defeat more..

Sri Lankan stocks end up in a week of foreign selling

Dec 19 (EN) Stocks closed mixed Friday with the benchmark index up in a week of subdued trading that saw foreign investors on the selling side, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed up 22.08 points (0.3%) to reach 7,252.60 while the S&P SL20 index, fell 6.30 points (0.6%) to end at 4,062.79. Turnover fell to a low 661 million rupees. "Seasonal blues at the Colombo bourse resulted in subdued activity for most part of the week, albeit picking up in the last two days of trading," more..

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