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Record breaking production at Hingurana Sugar Factory by LOLC subsidiary

Dec 26 (ST) The revitalised Hingurana Sugar Factory managed under Gal Oya Plantations (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of the LOLC Group, has reported sugar production of 19,960 metric tonnes for 2014/15, the highest ever in a year, through successful sugar cane cultivation spanning 3,440 ha of land. This record breaking production has been achieved after 38 years and is by far the largest sugar production output compared with other local producers in 2014. more..

'Survival of tourism industry during the war a miracle'

Dec 26 (FT) Mine is a very easy story to tell. Now, our company has been in tourism for the last 40 plus years. We’ve had some golden periods in the 1970s and early 80s and then for us, time stood still. We could never blossom out in tourism due to factors that are very well known to all of you. During the time of war it is a miracle that we survived, those of us who were in tourism. All of us in tourism lost our confidence and we did whatever to market the destination, because to invite tourists to SL more..

Anti Doping Agency officially launched

Dec 26 (CT) A new website of Anti-Doping Agency was launched by Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, at the Ministry Auditorium. The newly launched website contains all details regarding doping. Site caters to all three mediums in Sri Lanka. The newly set up Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency will have a wider area to work on, especially to ensure implementation of international policies on anti doping being more..

No longer a sewage hell but woes remain

Dec 26 (ST) They were a community battered by the 2004 tsunami. After languishing in temporary shelters for some time, this group of tsunami survivors from coastal villages down south were resettled in the Turkish Village in Midigama, Weligama in 2006. It was back in December 2009, that the Sunday Times highlighted how this tsunami village had turned into a ‘Sewage hell’ due to a malfunctioning waste treatment plant. With the tenth anniversary of the tsunami approaching, more..

Pope Francis’ Sri Lanka mission unleashes controversy

Dec 26 (IDN) Pope Francis is due to make a three-day visit to Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka with the highlight of the visit being the canonization of Joseph Vaz, an Indian born 17th century Catholic missionary who spent most of his life in Sri Lanka to help Catholics persecuted by the island’s Dutch rulers at the time. The canonization and Pope Francis’s second visit to an Asian country has created much controversy, which fortunately for the Vatican, has been drowned out by more..

Video: Filmmakers release amazing three-minute Sri Lanka tour

Dec 26 (CNN) They met a daring cliff jumper. They followed the path of religious pilgrims. They negotiated with a road-blocking elephant. And then a team of Australia-based cinematophers on a two-week road trip through Sri Lanka produced a three-minute memoir of their trip that ranks as the most "I wanna go there!" videos we've seen in a while. "We all have Sri Lankan backgrounds and as we were growing up, more..

Sadaharitha in partnership to supply sandalwood and agarwood to Australia

Dec 26 (CT) Wescorp Australia, the largest Sandalwood oil supplier to the world and stepping up to be the largest agarwood oil suppliers to the world, has come to an agreement and partnership in ensuring the purchase of sandalwood and agarwood through Sadaharitha Plantations. "We have an understanding with Wescorp Australia which is the largest Sandalwood oils providers in the world. This has been our reason to guarantee our investors the return on their hard earned money more..

CEB nets Rs 94 M in 1H from meter raids, illicit tapping

Dec 26 (CT) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has earned more than Rs 94 million in the first six months due to wide spread emergency raids. Of that amount, the CEB has recovered Rs 10.3 million through Court fines and the remaining Rs 84 million as recovery of losses. Accordingly, there have been 1,670 incidents of illicit tapping and meter tampering during the period under review. Of this, 979 amount to meter tampering and 691 devious uses of electricity. more..

Gammanpila accepts Warnasinghe’s challenge for TV debate

Dec 26 (Island) Former JHU stalwart and leader of newly formed Pitivithuru Hela Urumaya Udaya Gammanpila said that he had accepted the challenge thrown by his erstwhile colleague and JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe for a public debate. "I am ready to debate Warnasinghe on any TV channel named by him. I call upon Warnasinghe to come and debate with me without laying down any conditions. more..

Artistes organisation led by Arjun Kamalanath pledges support to President

Dec 26 (Island) All artistes belonging to the Hela Bala Kala Sansadaya organization would extend their support to President Rajapaksa’s political campaign for the Presidential election, Chairman of the organization Arjun Kamalanath said. He said that the Hela Bala Kala Sansadaya that had been campaigning for the rights of artistes and other workers in the industry decided to support the incumbent President for the services he had rendered to promote cinema and arts. more..

Hambantota Mayor granted bail

Dec 26 (Island) Acting Hambantota Magistrate on Wednesday enlarged Hambantota Mayor Eraj Fernando, on surety bail. He had been in remand till yesterday over an assault incident. Eraj surrendered to the Hanbantota police over the alleged attack on a street drama troupe, ‘Weediye Virodaya’ over the weekend. Street drama had been led by Jayathilake Bandara on Sunday. Case was postponed to April 2, 2015. On Dec 5, the same street drama troupe was assaulted at Eppawala. more..

BIA Phase 2 to kick off in July 2015

Dec 26 (CT) The construction work on Phase II of the Bandaranaike International Airport will commence in July 2015 and is expected to be completed in three years from then. The consultants for the BIA Phase II would be a Japan based joint venture comprising Japan Airport Consultants and Nipon Koei who would also handle the designs, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services of Sri Lanka Ltd, Prasanna Wickramasooriya said. more..

Cost of track construction: SLR says ...

Dec 26 (Island) Referring to the news item headlined "Govt. Awarded Railway Contract to foreign firm for Rs. 1,600 mn per km" in The Island of December 16, the Sri Lankan Railways has sent us the following reply. Our news item was based on views expressed by former Minister Champika Ranawaka at a book launch on Dec 15, 2014. "This has reference to above captioned news article published in your esteemed newspaper on Tuesday 16.12.2014 regarding the above subject. more..

GMOA declares its traditional neutrality

Dec 26 (Island) One of the most powerful trade unions in the country, the Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has declared that it would remain politically neutral as it had done since 1929. GMOA Spokesman, Dr. Naveen Soysa said that to date neither of the main two candidates, President Rajapaksa nor Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena had spoken to them. He, however, said that as the Executive Committee had decided last year GMOA would have discussions with anyone more..

Under-probe officials retained to tour with players

Dec 26 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has controversially retained the same officials to be in charge of the Sri Lanka women’s cricket team for the forthcoming series against Pakistan to be played in UAE, despite the controversy surrounding these officials who were alleged to have made sexual approaches towards some of the players, who are also in the tour party. A preliminary inquiry carried out by a one-person fact-finding more..

'Pelwatte Sugar Industries liquidation: CSE has failed to protect investors, shareholders'

Dec 26 (CT) Two former past chairmen of Pelwatte Sugar Industries, expressed divergent opinions on the govt's stance on the company. Former Chairman Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said: "Many people have invested in this company, and some didn't benefit from this company at all. I blame the Colombo Stock Exchange for not doing their job properly, and it's our fault for investing. There was a time when Pelwatte Sugar produced 45,000 to 50,000 tonnes, and now it has come down more..

CAA to launch snap raids against unscrupulous vendors

Dec 26 (FT) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has widened its raids on food outlets island-wide to prevent vendors selling substandard food to consumers and the flying squad of the CAA will launch a series of snap raids countrywide in the coming days where numerous complaints relating to unscrupulous vendors have been reported during this festive season. The CAA has instructed all district CAA senior officials to prepare a special program to be launched to more..

Wimal asks Sirisena where huge forex stash came from

Dec 26 (Island) UPFA challenged opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena to reveal from where the huge foreign exchange stash which was recovered by the CID from a relative of his son’s girlfriend had come from. Minister Wimal Weerawansa alleged that Swiss francs and US dollars to the tune of Rs. 150 million found by the CID acting on a tip-off had been contributed to Sirisena’s campaign by the more..

Basil sure of SLMC support

Dec 26 (CT) Minister Basil Rajapaksa is optimistic that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) would decide to support President Rajapaksa at the presidential election. Minister said that he expects the SLMC to support President Rajapaksa. SLMC, the major party representing the Muslim community of the country, had not decided whom to support at the election. Currently, the SLMC is a coalition partners of the govt, and its leader Rauf Hakeem is the Minister of Justice. more..

Common Candidate's Eravur office attacked

Dec 26 (AM) An armed group has attacked a Common Candidate’s office in Eravur in the Battticaloa district. Over 20 armed men arrived at the office at 12:30am local time and began smashing up the posters and banners, before setting the place alight with petrol and running from the scene. 11 people, who were inside the office when the attack took place, had managed to escape the office without injury. The Opposition charged that the attack was carried out by the TMVP party, more..

Jaffna University teachers blast UGC

Dec 26 (CT) University of Jaffna has severely criticized the UGC for requesting University teachers to sign a document, to be sent to President Rajapksa wishing him success at the January Presidential poll. According to University sources, UGC was interfering in their independence and democratic rights. UGC has sent a document to the Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University and down the line to Deans, Professors, lecturers more..

CWC Deputy Leader to go with Maithri

Dec 26 (DM) Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) Deputy leader and CPC member M. Udayakumar pledged his support to the Common Opposition. Udayakumar speaking at a specially convened news conference flanked by former CWC strongman R. Yogarajan, said he decided to join the opposition as the current regime had not fulfilled the aspirations of the people he represented. Earlier, CWC led by Minister Arumugan Thondaman pledged its support to President Rajapaksa. more..

Polls chief wants Boats ready for polls!

Dec 26 (CT) All District Elections officials have been instructed to have boats and other equipment ready to face a sudden flood during the Presidential Election period. These instructions have been issued by Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya. Ballot boxes and election officials need to be sent to polling centres the day before the election, and the boxes need to be taken to counting centres immediately after the voting is over. Thus, election officials must be ready to more..

Ten years after the Boxing Day tsunami

Dec 26 (DM) Kneeling at dusk in the warm surf beneath a mellow Sri Lankan sunset, Tashmila Ushanthi releases a raft of coconut leaves into the Indian Ocean in memory of victims of the tsunami ten years ago and the devastation of her homeland. The 20 year-old lost her father Nihal when the giant, all-powerful 20ft wave hit Sri Lanka’s southern coast destroying everything in its path, including her beloved community school more..

Tsunami: SL must turn to a green economy

Dec 26 (DM) As Sri Lanka today commemorates the 10th Anniversary of its worst ever natural catastrophe the tsunami, the attention of the country is focused more on a possible political tsunami with incumbent President Rajapaksa and opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena widely believed to be running neck and neck. One of the vital issues at the crucial presidential election on January 8 will be the multimillion dollar mega deals of the past five years & rampant corruption more..

Pressures of big dreams

Dec 26 (DM) As such, the definition of success varies among different groups of people. For some it would be intrinsic but for others it would be extrinsic. But with all these materialistic gains that people achieve in life, are they really happy with what they have? Or are they still in search of happiness? Speaking at the Colombo Forum, Mel Medura Executive Consultant Dr. Manoj Fernando expressed his views on the role of parents, teachers and society in nurturing children to more..

Sri Lanka gears up for tight election race

Dec 26 (CNBC) Southeast Asia's fastest growing economy goes to the polls next month and Sri Lanka's vote looks set to set to be a close race for the first time in nearly a decade. In November, President Rajapaksa announced the country would go to the polls on January 8 - nearly two years ahead of schedule - in an attempt to seek a fresh mandate amid waning popularity. In a dramatic turn of events following the news, more..

Deluded and hapless? Eastern Province

Dec 26 (SL) The Eastern Province of Sri Lanka consists of three Districts – Ampara, Trincomalee and Batticaloa and it has a combined population of roughly 1.5 million people. The province is unique because it houses all three ethnic communities. The 2004 Tsunami hit the Eastern Province the most, and the province sustained 25-50% of the national damage. Tsunami affected the children the most in the Eastern province and more..

Reservoir capacity inadequate to accommodate deluge

Dec 26 (Island) Floods had displaced millions of people in 16 districts, Irrigation Department, Director General Eng. Badra Kamaladasa said. Rains due to extreme weather could exceed the reservoir capacity as they were designed for the climate that existed in the area at the time they were constructed. She said that many tanks in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa had been re-built after the flood in 1957, but more..

NDF Manifesto pledges 7% of GDP for Education

Dec 26 (ST) NDF candidate Maithripala Sirisena in his manifesto made a series of pledges regarding Education which will be implemented, if elected President. Following are some of the highlights of manifesto regarding Education. Total provision for Education will be increased from the present 1.7% to 7%. A regulatory mechanism will be worked out for all departments of Education from pre-school onwards. more..

Troops to support flood victims

Dec 26 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army troops, swiftly responding to the ravaging flood catastrophe, had provided a number of relief measures to the displaced populace under the instructions of the Commander of the Army. Meanwhile, troops in coordination with respective govt authorities are now engaged in providing temporary alternative shelters, cooked meals, dry rations, medicine, clothes & other essentials more..

SLMC still undecided on candidate

Dec 26 (CT) Senior members of the SLMC are very frustrated because the SLMC has not yet arrived at a decision on whom to support at the Presidential Election. SLMC Deputy Media Spokesperson, Nizam Kariyappa said, "I myself am unable to understand what is going on. Everybody's patience is running out." SLMC is still in the process of determining their stance at the Presidential Election and according to party sources more..

Disaster Ministry boasts country better prepared

Dec 26 (Island) Ten years after the Indian Ocean tsunami calamity which claimed lives of about 30,000 Lankans, Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that Sri Lanka had now built effective and powerful disaster early warning systems covering the entire country. He said that with the lessons learnt following the 2004 tsunami, the country had progressed fast on early warning and emergency operations, more..

Muthuhettigama leaves for Singapore despite arrest warrant

Dec 26 (AM) Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama, who was on an arrest warrant in connection with the attack on the opposition in Wanduramba, has left the country this morning. Muthuhettigama has boarded flight SQ468 from the BIA, at around 12.50 am to leave for Singapore. Under usual circumstances, a person who is on an arrest warrant cannot leave the country from its main airport as there are heavy security measures more..

Faizer Mustapha leaves...for Singapore!

Dec 26 (AM) Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha, who was expected to announce his final decision on the presidential election today, has left for Singapore. The Deputy Minister left the country at 2.45 pm. Sources close to him told Asian Mirror that the Minister would announce his decision upon his return. However, last minutes attempts were made by the govt to prevent the crossover of the Deputy Minister. more..

India hails Sri Lanka’s recovery

Dec 26 (CG) The Indian Govt says cooperation between India and Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami is testimony to the special relationship that the two countries enjoy. Indian High Commission in Colombo said that ten years on, it is heartening to see that the affected communities have been able rebuild their lives and start afresh. Lessons learned continue to influence and improve how the world responds to disasters today. more..

When did the law become a circus?

Dec 26 (CT) A few days ago, it was reported that a deputy minister walked into the Wanduramba police station with a gang of thugs armed with firearms and forcibly freed three suspects who were in police custody. Several police teams have allegedly been assigned to 'find' the deputy minister, but failed for many days! Yet, if he was hiding, he was doing so in plain sight. On Tuesday, he attended a musical show at the Udugama Public Stadium in front of tens of thousands of people, and sang songs more..

Tamils lacks political eadership

Dec 26 (CT) The TNA chiefs are looking for a stunt of some sort to defend their sustained inertia in the context of a profound need for clear leadership for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Of course, the current regime complies – its continued repression of some TNA leaders provides opportunities for them to escape their responsibility. In fact, the TNA leaders intended to keep to the TULF tradition of supporting the right-wing UNP candidate. However, this was spoiled by Maithiripala Srisena’s announcement as more..

Ada Cartoon

Sri Lanka tsunami: Little Nottingham 10 years after disaster

Dec 29 (NP) Memories of water destroying everything in its path across swathes of his native Sri Lanka will never leave Deva Kumarasiri's mind. The Carlton postmaster was celebrating Christmas with his family in Nottingham when the earthquake, measuring 9.1 on the Richter scale, struck. He was woken at 6.30am with the news that his sister's family had been forced into a dramatic barefoot escape from the ensuing tsunami, ten years ago today. "My sister and her husband went to more..