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Sri Lanka raises $1 bn in debt sale despite IMF warning

Jan 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Tuesday it had raised $1 billion through a sovereign bond issue despite a warning by the IMF against increasing its foreign borrowing. The central bank said the five-year bond, offering an annual 6% yield, was more than three times oversubscribed within hours of opening Monday. The bank said 62% of the bonds were bought by US investors and Europeans took 26% while Asian investors made up more..

Norochcholai lives up to its sobriquet – Always Breakdown

Jan 7 (Island) The country’s first coal-fired power plant at Norochcholai notorious for frequent breakdowns has failed again since Sunday morning. Something had gone wrong with its boiler, a senior engineer said. When contacted, CEB Additional General Manager M. C. Wickramasekera said that the problem was a minor one. He said that due to the excessive heat, they would be able to examine it only today and more..

Online tax paying system introduced by CMC

Jan 7 (DN) Colombo Municipal (CMC) and ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) signed an MoU to enable Colombo City tax payers pay several categories CMC taxes online. Accordingly CMC tax payments which do not require any supplementary documents / manual interventions could now be made online. For this the tax payers are required to provide the CMC account number and relevant street name and more..

More ethanol detected

Jan 7 (DM) Two people were arrested in connection with the import of another container of Ethanol this morning by the Customs Revenue Task Force and the CID, Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said. The detection was made at the Orugodawatta container yard. Mr. Gamini said the suspects were residents of Kotahena and that the goods were described in the customs declaration form as ‘Palm Olein’. more..

'Lankan navy establishing authoritarian presence in Palk Bay'

Jan 7 (TOI) TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday alleged that "repressive Sri Lankan navy is establishing its authoritarian presence" in the Palk Bay by chasing and arresting unarmed fishermen from TN who offer no provocation. "I am at a loss for words to convey my deepest anguish and frustration over the repeated apprehension and incarceration of a large number of Indian fishermen from TN by the SL navy," more..

Sri Lanka chambers ask for probe on official statistics

Jan 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's key business chambers have called for a probe on official statistics following reports on how an official was allegedly asked to boost gross domestic numbers in a court filing. "If such doubts were to persist, it would lead to a lack of credibility on a range of published data & have serious implications on investor confidence & country ratings," business chambers said in a joint statement. more..

Prosecute or be doomed!

Jan 7 (CT) The Presidential Commission to Probe Disappearances is expected to commence its sittings in the coming weeks, with the inaugural sittings being scheduled to be held in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi from 18 to 20 this month. The Commission has now received 11,500 complaints on disappearances, including 7,500 complaints received from the people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The balance has been lodged by the family members of military personnel who more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.5%

Jan 7 (LBO) Stocks end 0.54% higher Tuesday with banking and tobacco stocks gaining, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 32.08 points higher at 5,977.07, up 0.54%. The S&P SL20 closed 19.21 points higher at 3,300.45, up 0.59%. Turnover was 716.25 million rupees, up from 462.20 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 75 firms closing in the red against 115 gainers. HNB closed 1.80 rupees higher at 149.80 rupees with off market transactions of 228.11 million rupees contributing to 32% more..

VIDEO: Providing relief for people only a dream for govt - UNP

Jan 7 (AD) The govt which in the past enticed certain “big fish” of the UNP to cross over has now resorted to even “reeling in sprat” from opposition parties, in order to cover up its inabilities and incompetence, the UNP Spokesman said. After doing so, the govt is also attempting to give a lot of publicity to it, MP Gayantha Karunatileka said. Now govt Ministers and MPs have started to say that the people will vote for them no matter what more..

Public-private partnership to keep public investments going

Jan 7 (CT) Sri Lanka’s avowed goal has been to maintain a high economic growth in the next few decades to elevate the country from a lower middle income country to a higher middle income country in the first instance and then to a rich country not long after that. But this path is marred with pitfalls and traps. Having recognised these traps, the Central Bank in its Strategic Plan for 2014 – an annual rolling plan which the Bank has had since 2007 – an opportune theme has been more..

PS chairman challenges his ouster in court of appeal

Jan 7 (Island) Ananda Premachandra, former Chairman of the Mirigama Pradeshiya Sabha, has complained to the Court of Appeal that the budget was defeated at the Pradeshiya Sabha by other members out of malice towards him, and not a single item in the budget had been rejected when a vote was taken in respect of the budget 2014. He has argued that since the items had not been rejected, section 169 of the Pradeshiya Sabha Act was not applicable and therefore more..

Sri Lankan President and First Lady visit Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Jan 7 (IL) The Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, hosted Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Palestinian President Dr. Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah for dinner on Monday evening (6). Many local and foreign dignitaries were present at the dinner hosted by the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III. more..

Health employees to launch two-hour protest

Jan 7 (Island) Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine and Paramedics yesterday warned that they would stage a two-hour protest tomorrow, to win several demands. Convener of the Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine and Paramedics (JC-NPSMP), Saman Jayasekara, said that more than 1,500 members belonging to all categories from each district would gather opposite the National Hospital and march towards more..

Lankan beaten for following EU

Jan 7 (CG) A Sri Lankan girl in Genoa, on the northwestern Italian coast, has been hospitalized after being allegedly assaulted by her father for following European customs. The ’’ website reported that the girl had multiple bruises on her body when she was examined by doctors at a hospital in San Martino. The 18 year old girl had refused to follow her native Sri Lankan culture and instead had adopted European customs which angered her father. more..

Buddhist hardline organization in Sri Lanka renews protest against Halal

Jan 7 (Xinhua) A hardline Buddhist organization in Sri Lanka demanded that the Halal certification process should be put under a State institution or banned. Last year the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or Buddhist Task Force successfully agitated to remove the Halal certification process from food products. Halal logos denote whether a certain food product is allowed to be consumed by Muslim people. At present Muslims compose of 10% more..

Police media sends out strong message to world

Jan 7 (Island) Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana signaled a strong message to the international community and LTTE Diaspora, who are calling for an impartial inquiry into the human rights violations during the final phase of war. He accused the LTTE having killed 48 Tamil passengers including eight children, while being airlifted by a private Lion Air plane in 1998, for medical attention. He said: "The day was a black day for all Sri Lankans as the LTTE killed their very own and it was a brutal attack more..

Massive-scale heroin racket inside Negombo Prison

Jan 7 (CT) The Police Special Task Force (STF) has uncovered a massive-scale heroin racket inside the Negombo Prison, and named it the country’s largest heroin racket. The heroin racket is said to have been carried out in the guise of a delivery service, where the heroin was concealed under the caps and various parts of the uniform of the delivery persons. An STF officer further said the inmates at the Negombo Prison consume 3-4 kg of heroin on a daily basis, and added that more..

Sri Lanka says response to latest bond sale shows investor confidence

Jan 7 (LBO) A billion US dollar 5-year sovereign bond sale at 6%, below yields seen in similar issues earlier is a sign of investor confidence amid turbulent markets, the state debt office said. In 2007 Sri Lanka sold its first sovereign bond at 8.25% and at 7.4% in 2009. The debt office which is a unit of the Central Bank said that the bond sale which attracted 2.3 billion US dollars of orders was "all the more impressive, given the rising more..

Major Gen. Hathurusinghe's service to Jaffna appreciated

Jan 7 (GDI) Appreciating the service of outgoing Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe to Jaffna and it’s people, a large gathering of civilians were present at Vasavilan on Saturday. Religious leaders, senior govt and private sector officials, representatives of deferent community organizations, who gathered on the occasion organized prior to the departure of Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe to take over his new appointment as Adjutant General of more..

UK expat teacher raped and robbed at knifepoint

Jan 7 (E24|7) Police in Sri Lanka is on the lookout for a man who raped a British woman at knifepoint and robbed goods worth about SLRs95,000 from her house, the The 34-year-old woman was a teacher at an international school near Galle. The teacher lived in a rented house with two friends who had gone to Kataragama on January 2, leaving her alone in the house. The culprit is thought to have entered the house after breaking a window early in the morning the next day and sexually abused her more..

Prime lands for free

Jan 7 (DM) Two blocks of prime land covering 12 acres in Colombo would be granted to the Education Ministry and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority - as free grants, according to a Cabinet decision taken last week. Besides, another 72 acres in Suriyawewa, Hambantota would be vested with the BoI. Accordingly, Minister Bandula Gunawardane sought approval to transfer the ownership of one acre belonging to more..

Two rounds of BCL before Sri Lanka series

Jan 7 (CI) The Bangladesh players will get two first-class games before their Test series against Sri Lanka begins from Jan 27. Those games will be the first two rounds of the Bangladesh Cricket League which will begin on Jan 12. The tournament, however, will take a long hiatus after the two rounds. It will return after the World Twenty20, which will end on April 6. The Bangladesh Cricket Board's rationale is that since the country's top players will be taking part in the BCL, it will continue the more..

Don't cry UNP!

Jan 7 (LT) There were media reports that UNP Parliamentarian, the chief whip of the opposition and the acting Leader of the Opposition John Amaratunga had joined President’s entourage to visit, Palestine, Jordan, Israel and several other countries. However, the Secretary General of the UNP Tissa Aththanayaka has said Mr. Amaratunga joined the tour with the consent of the party. He says, “Mr. John Amaratunga is taking part in a religious ceremony taking place in Jerusalem. more..

US envoy to visit North over war crimes

Jan 7 (PTI) A top US diplomat will visit Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north on Wednesday to hold talks with local officials over alleged war crimes during the last phase of the civil war against the LTTE. The US Ambassador—at—Large at the Office of Global Criminal Justice, Stephen J Rapp, who arrived hereon Monday on a week—long visit, will spend two days in the north holding talks with officials and leaders. more..

Rain keeps Pakistan, Sri Lanka guessing for second Test

Jan 7 (GN) The threat of rain looming large over second Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, which is set to commence at Dubai International Cricket Stadium from Wednesday, has both the captains guessing on how the wicket will behave and whether it will play a big role in the outcome of the match. Replying to a query about what his team’s approach would be in view of the weather on the eve of the match, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq said: “I hope we could have proper game more..

India Infoline to divest 76% stake in Sri Lankan subsidiary

Jan 7 (PTI) India Infoline will divest its 76% stake in its Sri Lankan subsidiary IIFL Securities Ceylon. "India Infoline proposes to divest its 76% stake in its Sri Lankan subsidiary IIFL Securities Ceylon (Private) Limited, which is engaged in stock broking activities at Colombo Stock Exchange, to its Sri Lankan partner who is presently holding 24% stake," IIFL said. This is subject to necessary regulatory approvals in Sri Lanka and fulfillment of certain terms and conditions more..

'Always under pressure when I play for SL'

Jan 7 (CI) There is a chance Prasanna Jayawardene might not have even played his first Test in over a year had Lahiru Thirimanne been fit in Abu Dhabi, but following his unbeaten 67 in the second innings of that game, Angelo Mathews has outlined the importance of Prasanna's experience in the lower-middle order. The Sri Lanka XI carries three wicketkeeper-batsmen, as well as Kumar Sangakkara, and Thirimanne's more..

Actress Gayesha to enter politics?

Jan 7 (DM) Adding to the list of the string of possible actresses who are to be candidates for the upcoming Provincial Council elections, former Miss Sri Lanka and popular actress Gayesha Perera said today that she too had received invitations from parties to contest the polls. “Yes I have received invitations from several parties. I was working for the govt earlier and my decision will be based on the fact that where I could serve the people the best. I’m yet to take a decision yet about contesting more..

Video: UNP vague on John’s junket

Jan 7 (DM) The main opposition United National Party (UNP) was vague in its response when asked whether Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga was accompanying President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his Middle East tour. “Mr. Amaratunga has informed UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake that he was going on this tour to visit religious sites and as such the party has given him permission to do so,” UNP spokesman Gayantha Karunathilake told a news conference today. more..

Cost of Living Allowance revised

Jan 7 (AD) The cost of living allowance for employees of govt corporations, statutory boards and project staff has been increased up to Rs 7,800 per month with effect from Jan 1, the Ministry of Finance and Planning said. The Management Services Circular No. 01/2014 with the Revision of the Cost of Living Allowance as per the Budget proposal 2014 was issued today. Accordingly, employees of all Govt Corporations, more..

The State as ‘Consumer Protection Authority’

Jan 8 (NS) When the nation was hit by the DCD controversy, several things happened. For a few days Fonterra products were off the shelves. People also became wary of purchasing milk powder products from New Zealand. Maliban went on an advertising spree, claiming that they import from Australia and that the Govt of that country claims milk powder DCD-free milk powder. Local producers cleared their stocks. The demand for fresh milk went up. The worth of milk powder and indeed more..

An open letter to Rathika Sitsabaiesan

Jan 8 (NS) Asoka Weerasinghe, long time anti-LTTE advocate and one time diplomat has written to Rathika Sitsabaiesan, NDP MP, for Scarborough-Rouge River, Ontario House of Commons, Ottawa about her statements on Sri Lanka. Sitsabaiesan was in Sri Lanka recently. She arrived on a tourist visa and met with representatives of several extremist Tamil groups. She claimed they were not ‘political meetings’ but those who she met with claimed otherwise, i.e. they were most more..

Moragahakanda project on schedule

Jan 8 (SO) People have talked about King Parakramabahu for centuries as the great person responsible for constructing the Parakrama Samudraya. Moragahakanda - Kalu Ganga development project would be four times bigger than the Parakrama Samudraya and people will talk about this project too for decades to come. Moragahakanda - Kalu Ganga development project was first discussed in 1955 and again in 1977 more..

Tamilization and some religious customs

Jan 8 (CT) The editors of Colombo Telegraph asked me to respond to the “comments” made by its readers to my essay titled, “Sinhala women without Sinhalization power.” I consider it my public duty to do this even though most comments are nonsense (noise) by anonymous people who think CT is another website like the Tamilnet (located in Canada?). I think I am the only person writing to CT about the discrimination faced by the Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka both before and after more..

Journalism then and now

Jan 8 (CT) Uvindu Kurukulasuriya, the editor of Colombo Telegraph, is such a pedant I am reminded of Anton Kurukulasuriya at the Daily News who harassed me so much that he had to get every nuance right or else he threatened that my piece would not be published. I dreaded his beckoning me as I was about to leave on such pesky detail as a name of a minister or the sum allocated to a ministry. Sub-editors harangued me and I was on the verge of saying to hell with these more..

Hang us or release us

Jan 8 (CT) The prisoners were once again on the roof top, setting forth their demands, but this time it was the condemned prisoners at the Bogambara Prison, who had demanded that their sentence be commuted. Sources said that around 33 prisoners had climbed on to the roof of the prison last Friday, demanding that they be hanged as per the Court sentence meted out to them, or be released. Three days of negotiation by the more..

Restorative justice & youth court system

Jan 8 (GV) The idea that an offender of the law ought to be judged by a court of their peers is the idea which defines “Youth Court” a legal body consisting of students of the Senior Secondary and Collegiate level age range to which I have belonged to for three years. Youth Court is akin to any other court of law in structure and execution, except for the fact that everyone who partakes in court proceedings is in the 14-18 age range. When someone underage is found guilty of a crime, more..

Rapp: Ready to rap Sri Lanka

Jan 8 (CT) The international community has once again served notice on Sri Lanka, ahead of the UNHRC March session in Geneva. The heat is already on, with a number of unofficial missions currently underway to assess the island's rights regime. Both Stephen Harper and David Cameron – the vocal and highly critical Prime Ministers of Canada and Britain – are offering only a taste of what is likely to happen, come March. Several unofficial missions have already been more..

Troubled waters

Jan 8 (Hindu) There are more than 250 Indian fishermen jailed in Sri Lanka. Their offence: fishing in the Palk Strait. Fishing by itself is not a crime, but ‘poaching’ is, says Sri Lanka. According to Sri Lanka, the Indian fishermen are encroaching into its territory. Ownership of Kutchatheevu, a small island in the Palk Strait (which divides the two countries) and rights to fish here are still under dispute despite a 1974-agreement more..

Editorial: Politicians and other criminals

Jan 8 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son and UPFA parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa has managed to end a protest at Bogambara. A group of death row prisoners called off a roof-top fast following a discussion with Rajapaksa. The young MP may preen himself on his successful mission, but, we think, the starving inmates were so desperate to end their hunger strike that they would have listened to even the President’s youngest son and climbed down! more..