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Sri Lanka rupee edges up, supported by dollar inflow

Jan 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee traded slightly firmer on Friday, as exporters' selling of dollars outpaced demand from importers for the U.S. currency. Dealers said the local currency was also propped up by expected inflows from a $1 billion sovereign bond. Spot rupee was trading at 130.60/70 per dollar, a tad firmer from Thursday's close of 130.68/75. Currency dealers said sentiment was positive due to an expected $1 billion inflow from a bond proceed. more..

John refutes crossover claims

Jan 10 (CG) UNP MP John Amaratunga refuted reports he plans to join the Govt as a Deputy Minister. Reports emerged he may join the Govt after he went with President Rajapaksa on his trip to the Middle East. Amaratunga said that he went with the Presidential delegation to visit some of the religious sites in the Middle East and not as part of the Govt. Some local media had claimed that he will join the Govt as the Deputy Defence Minister but Amaratunga says those reports are baseless. more..

Water situation grim despite some showers

Jan 10 (Island) The water levels of major reservoirs had receded by about 41% by yesterday, Water Management Director of the Irrigation Department Janaki Meegastenna said. Light showers experienced during the last couple of days had increased the water levels of some reservoirs, she said, adding that under the current circumstances water in 72 major reservoirs in the country would only be released in more..

Deyata Kirula Mobile Service Phase 2 continues today in 31 electorates

Jan 10 (GDI) Phase 2 of the Deyata Kirula Mobile Services which commenced in 2731 Grama Seva Divisions of 57 Divisional Secretarial areas in the Kurunegala, Kegalle and Puttalam Districts parallel to the 2014 Deyata Kirula National Development Programme will continue at electoral level in 31 electorates from Jan 10, to deal with problems not yet solved. Minister Basil Rajapaksa made this observation during a meeting held at the Ministry on Thursday to discuss Deyata Kirula Phase 2. more..

Two Black Belts take Karate Federation to court

Jan 10 (Island) District Judge of Colombo yesterday ordered the President and the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Karate Federation of Moratuwa to submit to the court the transaction records of the federation and to be present in court on January 24, 2014. Two black belt karate instructors, Tikirikapuwa Somapala and Jayantha Medonza, had filed a plaint in the District Court of Colombo, requesting the court to remove from office President of Sri Lanka Karate Federation, A.A. Abeysekera of Negombo. more..

Day 3: Younis, Misbah hold up Sri Lanka

Jan 10 (CI) Sri Lanka were a wicket away from breaking Pakistan after lunch on the third day of the second Test in Dubai, but they could not take it. Having conceded a first-innings lead of 223, and then slumped to 19 for 3 in the second, Pakistan were on the brink. Their old guard dragged them back from it. Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq batted with focus and not flash to whittle the deficit below 100 but because of the spectacular more..

Student pierced by javelin out of danger

Jan 10 (DM) The condition of the 17-year-old student of Panamura Central College, Embilipitiya who was critically injured when a javelin pierced his face close to the eye was now stable and he was recovering, the Colombo National Hospital said. “The health condition of the student is stable and he has regained consciousness. The part of the javelin lodged in his eye was removed through surgery,” Pushpa Ramyani Soysa, the Hospital’s Nurses Training Officer said today. more..

Mandana is back

Jan 10 (LT) Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, the President of SL Journalists’ Trade Union (SLJTU) and was an Associate Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper but had to flee the country due to death threats targeting her has returned to the country today say sources in the Airport. Before she left the country she said who was leaving for a short period due to death threats but would be back soon. Ms. Abeywicrema was a journalist for 15 years and was one of the most experienced in more..

US Embassy won’t change Twitter post

Jan 10 (DM) The US Embassy in Colombo today said it would not change the controversial photo caption posted by the US Embassy in its official Twitter account. US Embassy had posted a caption to a photo of US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Patricia Butanis and US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice Stephen Rapp taken at St. Anthony’s Ground in the North saying that more..

Havelock City unveils spectacular Clubhouse

Jan 11 (NS) An architectural masterpiece spanning over 60,000 sq. ft. with luxurious star-class facilities where one will be spoilt for choice, is at the doorstep of every Havelock City resident at the newly opened clubhouse. Nestled in a roof garden that will boast seven acres of lush greenery, the clubhouse bespeaks the unique luxury lifestyle Havelock City has to offer in the heart of Colombo. Exclusively for Havelock City residents and their guests, the clubhouse is the largest of its kind more..

The fish didn’t complain about the water

Jan 11 (NS) Things were getting tough in the Indian Ocean, in particular in that tiny neck of sea between India and Sri Lanka. There are currents and undercurrents in the sea and no creature is more sensitive to such things than those actually live in it. So they had a meeting. There were representatives from all species, all fish big or small. They met in the deep. They came up with a position paper. Well, not a paper really but a thought-doc which explained how things stand and what should be done to more..

Chathuni, South Asia's Budding Economist of the Year

Jan 11 (SO) Sri Lanka last week had the honour of producing South Asia's Budding Economist of the Year. Chathuni Uduwela, a second year undergraduate from the Colombo University beat many talented competitors cross South Asia to win the prestigious award at the South Asian Economic Student Meet (SAESM) held in Pakistan recently. The SAESM is an annual conference of undergraduate students of economics from more..

Now the solution is active; Do we need another war?

Jan 11 (CT) I consider it a great privilege to be elected to the first body of the Northern Provincial Council established by President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa to ensure democracy in the North and to deliver my maiden address. I express my gratitude to President Rajapaksa on behalf of the people of the North for providing an opportunity to raise the lives of the people through the establishment of a provincial council and other administrative bodies. more..

Lessons SL can learn from Yitzhak Rabin

Jan 11 (CT) President Rajapaksa created history last week by becoming the first Lankan Head of State to visit Palestine and Israel, which are still struggling to iron out their political differences, despite the landmark peace deal reached between the two sides in 1993 known as the Oslo Treaty. President Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka-Palestine Friendship Association, has been giving a voice to the Palestinian struggle, from the very beginning more..

A Day in the life of Rugby player

Jan 11 (CT) Chethiya Wadugodapitiya, a rugby player at the Police Sports Club, is a six-footer aged 22, born in August. 1991. He has been playing rugby since his school years in the Under 13 and Under 20 teams in his home town at Kingswood College, Kandy, where both his father Ananda and uncles Ranjith and Vipula Wadugodapitiya had also played. His cousin brother had been a captain at Wesley, earlier. more..

Editorial: Indo-US ties strip-searched

Jan 11 (Island) Whoever would have thought that the arrest and strip search of a female Indian diplomat in the US would lead to an unprecedented diplomatic row between New Delhi and Washington? It was thought that India was eating out of Uncle Sam’s hand and would take any indignity lying down. But, the worm has turned, so to speak. Devyani Khobragade, the diplomat concerned, has returned to New Delhi in spite of her indictment in the US on the count of visa fraud, but more..

Enforced Disappearances in SL: 2006-2013

Jan 11 (GV) According to Article 7, paragraph 2(i) of the Rome Statute, an Enforced disappearance is defined as “…the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time”. more..

Boston Lanka: Jagath Chamila: Part 1

Lasantha Wickrematunge: Assassination and the Rajapaksa reality

Jan 11 (CT) In 1558, the Spanish Inquisition arrested Bartolomé de Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo and the country’s top prelate, on charges of heresy. After nearly 80 years of persistent persecution (including burnings at the stake) the Inquisition had almost obviated Spain’s Jewish and converso (Jewish converts to Christianity) communities. Needing another enemy and another threat, the inquisitors decided to burrow deep into Spanish society in search of ‘old Christians’ more..

Prime time for Teflon politics

Jan 11 (Island) The Prime Minister is displaying a remarkable capacity to be unfazed and unshaken by being the focus of attention from a range of forces that have caught the widest media attention and the strongest political momentum. There is little in the history of the SLFP, whose founder SWRD Bandaranaike’s 115th birth anniversary was celebrated earlier this week, to show that seniority in politics and advancing years gives a Teflon coating to its members to shake if more..

Sri Lanka still rough around the edges

Jan 11 (CI) As Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan measured out another expert association, Sri Lanka's advance was halted in Dubai. Having lost the first two days comfortably Pakistan mustered more spirit on day three, and in doing so, exposed a small, but not insignificant gap in Sri Lanka's ranks. The batting and bowling appear much healthier than they did two weeks ago, but in the margins, limitations persist, and more..

Two wickets changes outlook - Ford

Jan 11 (CI) Two quick wickets for Sri Lanka on the fourth morning would alter the Test's outlook considerably, coach Graham Ford said, after Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan stalled the visitors on day three. Misbah and Younis added an unbeaten fourth wicket stand of 113 but Sri Lanka still lead by 91 runs, with seven second-innings wicket to get. "Hopefully early tomorrow there will be a bit more in the wicket after the overnight freshness, and hopefully we can get more..

Is workload taking a toll on Ajmal?

Jan 11 (CI) Pity Saeed Ajmal. Since May 2011, he's bowled the most overs in international cricket (1914.1 overs, far ahead of Graeme Swann's 1619.3 and James Anderson's 1640.1 overs). And he's missed only six international matches out of the 122 Pakistan have played since becoming a permanent member of the team across all formats. A relatively late entrant to international cricket, at the age of 30, he played his first Test when almost 32; now 36, it seems he's doing his best to more..

Burdens galore in 2014?

Jan 11 (SL) As a result of the 2014 Budget, there have been reports of a possible price hike on essential goods this year. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, several officials from the govt and trade unions raised issues pertaining to the sectors they represent, that would result from the govt’s decisions. Teachers, parents, students, railway workers, three-wheeler drivers and the general public as a whole, are being burdened more..

Sri Lanka wants to import more EVs

Jan 11 (AB) Sri Lanka is taking steps toward importing more electric vehicles into the country. The island's network of charging stations will be expanded to encourage imports, and even better, the current heavy import fee will be lightened. Sampath Marenchige, president of the Vehicle Importers' Association of Lanka, said that the Sri Lanka's motor vehicle market is moving toward EVs because they're "zero pollution." The largest vehicle importers' organization in the country more..

A new office building for the Treasury

Jan 11 (Island) Action was taken to construct a new office building in order to meet adequate office space required for Treasury affairs. The foundation stone to a new five storeyed building which is proposed to be constructed in the Treasury premises under the instructions and the guidance of Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury, was placed Thursday by Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda and S.R. Attygalle, Deputy secretaries to the Treasury. The area of the new building which is more..

Super Fighter to change the fate of Boxing

Jan 11 (DN) It will be a great opportunity for boxing loving schoolboys all over the island when Super Fighter Season One, organized by MTV/MBC gets underway next week in Gampaha. Launched on Thursday evening at MTV/MBC premises, the programme will hunt for under-18 school boxers island-wide and bring them into the limelight through Super Fighter Season One, the first ever sports realty show. more..

External sector performance - Nov 2013

Jan 11 (Island) Favourable developments in the external sector continued in Nov 2013, with a sharp contraction of the trade deficit, leading to an improvement of the overall balance. Earnings from exports increased substantially, reflecting gradual recovery in export destination countries, while expenditure on imports declined. Accordingly, the current account deficit narrowed, and was strengthened further as a result of increase in inflows from workers’ remittances & tourism. more..

The pulse of peace in today’s Sri Lanka

Jan 11 (TM) Having toured Sri Lanka many times over the past two decades, I thought that to return now that the war between the government forces and the ‘Tamil Tigers’ had ended, would be a good idea. Choosing three distinct regions to visit would give me the best overall impression of the present situation (tourist wise) and how they and the local population viewed it. Every ethnic (non-Tamil) Sri Lankan I spoke with, held strong beliefs that their govt had acted correctly and more..

'Low income earners in Sri Lanka living on one and a half dollars a day'

Jan 11 (Island) Most low income groups in Sri Lanka are eking out an existence on just one and a half dollars a day and poverty is common among some local social segments, Deputy Finance Minister Sarath Aminugama said. Addressing the 3rd Conference of the Public Civil Services Commissions of the SAARC Region yesterday, the minister said Sri Lanka had been able to witness a 7.5% economic growth rate. more..

LECO internal auditor under investigation

Jan 11 (Island) A high ranking auditor recently recruited by LECO––Lanka Electricity Company––has been asked to leave as it has been found out that he falsified his educational qualifications and furnished a false date of birth. The individual had been selected from among several applicants by an elite interview panel that included senior engineers and accountants. He had been short-listed after the first interview and then selected after a rigorous second interview. more..

Bandula, Callum in twitter war

Jan 11 (CG) Sri Lanka’s Consul General in New South Wales Bandula Jayasekera and British journalist Callum Macrae were involved in a twitter war on the Sri Lankan issue. Jayasekera accused Macrae of working for Adele Balasingham, the wife of former LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham, which Macrae strongly refuted. The Sri Lankan Consul General also claimed that Macrae, the producer of the ‘No Fire Zone’ series, is the “propaganda chief” of the LTTE. more..

‘Instead of rehabilitating terrorists, you should have prosecuted them’

Jan 11 (Island) Sri Lanka’s post-war rehabiliation project to reintegrate former LTTE combatants into society has come in for criticism from the United States. The US has faulted President Rajapaksa’s govt for releasing those who had fought for the LTTE without prosecuting them. Ambassador-at-Large, Office of Global Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Rapp has told Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that LTTE more..

TN fishermen threaten stir

Jan 11 (Hindu) A consultative meeting of various fishermen associations of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Friday registered strong objection to the Union and Tamil Nadu govts for failing to arrive at a consensus on a proposed joint meeting between the fishermen of India and Sri Lanka. The meeting that took stock of the recent incidents of mass arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy on the charge of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and more..

Milk powder shortage drags on

Jan 11 (Island) Several months have gone by with the milk powder crisis not being resolved and there are no visible signs of it coming to an end. Officials of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) coming under the purview of the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade were tight lipped when asked whether a price increase would be approved. The CAA said that raids would continue on warehouses where milk powder was hoarded and it had given importers and distributers time till January 31 more..

Not just Tamil Nadu fishermen, Lankans too rot in prisons

Jan 11 (TOI) Detention of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy and their subsequent imprisonment are fodder for political parties and outfits in the state. Amidst the political din, few know that a sizeable number of Sri Lankan fishermen too are rotting in Indian prisons. India detained 210 Sri Lankan fishermen and their 43 boats last year between Aug 21 and Dec 27, according to U Arulanandam of ARIF. more..

UPFA nominations hit a snag

Jan 11 (CT) The preparation of the UPFA nomination lists, for the forthcoming Western and Southern Provincial Council elections, has hit a snag as requests for candidature by the Left Parties, that are constituents of the UPFA, have been ignored. Ceylon Today learns that the senior ministers representing the Left Parties, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, D.e.w. Gunasekara and Tissa Vitarana, have raised objections to the UPFA hierarchy but to no avail. more..

Smoking kills 600 daily – Ministry of Health

Jan 11 (CT) Six hundred out of the thousand daily deaths that occur due to Non Communicable Diseases in Sri Lanka are due to smoking, the Ministry of Health said. The ministry further said around 219 000 deaths occur annually in Sri Lanka as a result of smoking. An island-wide initiative to create awareness about this critical situation will be carried out on Monday, 13 January, coinciding with the Anti-Tobacco Day. A walk has also been organized as part of the initiative. more..

Fury in Sri Lanka at U.S. Embassy Tweet

Jan 11 (NYT) Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense expressed shock and anger on Friday at what it called a “baseless allegation” against the nation’s military in a photo caption posted on the official Twitter feed of the United States Embassy the day before. The photograph showed the American ambassador to SL, Michele J. Sison, and Stephen J. Rapp, the United States ambassador at large for war crimes issues, during a visit more..

The relic of St.Sebatian gifted to Sri Lanka

Jan 11 (AT) Relic of Sebastian is given as a gift to Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo and it was obtained by sectioning a bone fragment of a larger relic present since 1500 A.D. in a reliquary called Reliquary of Saint Sebastian. With the permission of the Provincial Minister of Religious Order, Rev. Fr. Giovanni Voltan, Rev. Fr. Enzo Poiana, Rector of the Basilika of St. Anthony of Padua proceeded to remove the seal of the reliquary to draw out the relic of St. Sebastian. more..