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Thai Pongal is a time for renewal: Ontario Premier

Jan 14 (LR) Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released wishes for Thai Pongal today in Toronto. The Premier paid tribute to the Tamil community in Canada. The Premier says, “The festival of Thai Pongal is a reminder of the spiritual and cultural richness of Tamils around the world.” Wynne also added the festival was a time of renewal and fresh beginnings, an occasion that brings together family and friends in a spirit of thanksgiving — and an event that bonds the community in more..

Krrish must complete project within 3 years or exit : Minister

Jan 14 (ST) The govt would be forced to cancel the Krrish square project in Colombo if it is not completed within 3 years, a senior govt minister said. “Although the Delhi-based investor requires making a major effort to avoid the dire consequences of failure to make the final payment nothing is impossible if you have money”, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told a media conference in Colombo this week. More than 18 months have passed since Krrish signed more..

Economic data ‘jilmart’ and development myth revealed

Jan 14 (ST) The rosy economy presented by the Rajapaksa govt to attract foreign and local investors as well as to raise sovereign bonds overseas to repay foreign debts has suddenly turned to an inflated economy with startling revelations of concocting fundamenal economic data by the authorised state body, a leftist party MP asserted. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a packed gathering of bankers and govt officials that more..

Rs. 40 m property transfer: Magistrate gives Kotte Mayor time to file objections

Jan 14 (FT) The Kotte Municipal Council Mayor was yesterday granted time till 13 March by the Colombo Magistrate to file preliminary objects against the case in which he was alleged to have transferred in his name a property worth over 40 million and equipment to the value of Rs. 600,000 belonging to the Kotte Municipal Council. The petitioner, Prasanna Ravindra Lal, a UPFA member of the Kotte Municipal Council, accused the Mayor, Janaka Ranawaka of No. 121/25 Sapumal Place, more..

'Thief was Mangala’s close associate'

Jan 14 (Island) Panadura Magistrate Ruchira Weliwatta yesterday released S. Priyankara, the suspect remanded earlier for stealing a laptop computer and seven bottles of foreign liquor from UNP MP Mangala Samaweera’s house in Panadura, on Rs. 5000 cash bail and Rs. 25,000 surety. The Magistrate ordered the Panadura North police conducting investigations into the theft at the MP’s house to work according to the affidavit given by the suspect’s counsel and to file a case more..

President protecting corrupt LG heads – JVP

Jan 14 (Island) The JVP yesterday accused President Rajapaksa of protecting corrupt heads of local govt authorities by treating them at Temple Trees recently. Addressing the media after handing over a petition to the Human Rights Commission against preventing its Wattala Pradeshiya Sabha member from attending the second reading of the budget, JVP Gampaha District leader for WPC election Mahinda Jayasinghe more..

Vasan Raps SL Minister's Statement

Jan 14 (ENS) Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan has hit out at Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne for putting forth conditions for the release of Indian fishermen, a week before the Indo-Lanka talks on January 20 to resolve the fishermen row. Senaratne had stated that all the 275 Indian fishermen would be freed only after India sent back all their fishermen, including 34 lodged in Andhra Pradesh. Talking to reporters after unveiling a bronze statue of freedom fighter and more..

No grass likely on Sharjah pitch for third Test

Jan 14 (Dawn) While Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has blamed the flat pitch in Dubai for his team’s loss against Sri Lanka in the second Test on Sunday, there are chances that a similar sort of track will greet them for the third Test which commences in Sharjah on Thursday. This is Pakistan’s home series but none of the groundsmen here in the UAE have received any prior instructions, either from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) or skipper Misbah, to prepare certain more..

Opening of Galle to Matara expressway put off

Jan 14 (DM) The Govt has decided to postpone the opening of the Galle -- Matara section of the Southern Expressway by another month. This section was to be commissioned on January 31 by the President. This move has been prompted by the delay in completing the access point from Nupe Junction in Matara to Godagama and the landscaping of the stretch of land from Pinnaduwa to Godagama. more..

Peradeniya Allied Health Sciences Faculty closed indefinitely

Jan 14 (Island) The Allied Health Sciences Faculty of the Peradeniya University was closed indefinitely yesterday due to students boycotting lectures but protesting undergraduates are determined to continue with their Satyagraha demanding the restoration of the four year degree course. Allied Health Sciences (AHS) students started Satyagraha near the Galaha junction three weeks ago protesting against the reduction of the duration of their degree course by one year. more..

William Porterfield wants Ireland to follow Sri Lanka Test example

Jan 14 (RTE) Ireland captain William Porterfield is calling on his team to draw inspiration from Sri Lanka as they continue their quest to gain Test status from the ICC. Sri Lanka were granted Test status in 1981 after winning the 1979 ICC Trophy, and just 15 years later were crowned World Cup champions. Since then they have finished runners-up in both the 2007 and 2011 finals, as well as winning the 2002 Champions Trophy. Sri Lanka, who Ireland play in two ODI matches in more..

As Colombo Municipal heads clash labs suffer

Jan 14 (Island) Investigations carried out by the Micro Biology Laboratory service and the City Analyst Laboratory facility of the CMC have been affected due to clash between the CMC Commissioner and the Chief Medical Officer of the Public Health Department. Employees of the two facilities yesterday alleged that the CMC Treasury had not paid them for the past ten months for the private investigations due to the dispute between more..

Three foreigners arrested

Jan 14 (CG) The police arrested four people including three foreigners with Walla Patta (Gyrinops walla) herbs in their possession, the police media unit said today. The police said that three people from China and Malaysia and a Sri Lankan national were arrested in Kalawana when the herbs were found after their vehicle was checked. Just over 12 kilos of Walla Patta herbs were found in the car, the police media unit said. The car was also seized by the police and more..

Five Indian dancers arrested in raid

Jan 14 (CT) Police early yesterday (13), raided a club in Borella and arrested five Indian dancers who were found to have been in the country, illegally. The raid was carried out around 12:45 a.m. and the women were handed over to the Department of Immigration and Emigration for deportation. According to the police, the women had taken up residence in Athurugiriya and did not have work permits, which would allow them to work in Sri Lanka. They were all in their 20s, more..

Docs threaten strike in two week unless ...

Jan 14 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) decided to launch a countrywide indefinite strike in two weeks in protest against the Health Ministry’s failure to implement the doctors’ service minute. GMOA committee member Dr. Navin De Soysa said that around 17,000 medical officers attached to the GMOA would participate in the strike unless the govt implemented the service minute within two weeks. more..

Media pass invalid to enter Welisara ground

Jan 14 (CT) Ceylon Today’s rugby correspondent Jatila Karawita and the photographer assigned to cover this key rugby clash between Navy SC and Havelock SC was not allowed to enter the ground with the pass provided by the SLRFU to all media personnel. The reporter was told by the Navy officers on duty at the entrance at the Welisara base that he could enter after purchasing a ticket. The correspondent then purchased a ticket for Rs. 500 to report the game which generates more..

Sri Lankans in UAE raise funds to boost cricket

Jan 14 (GN) Sri Lankan cricket fans living in the UAE joined hands with their national team members to raise funds for the development of the game in their country. In a colourful dinner function held at the Atlantis Hotel on Tuesday evening, they came out in support to ensure that the Islanders remain one among the strongest cricketing nations in the world. Presley Polonnowita, the secretary of Sri Lankan Cricket in the UAE, said: “We are all joining hands for the development of the game, more..

Sponsors can’t withhold passports of Sri Lankan domestics anymore

Jan 14 (AN) Sri Lankan household workers will no longer be required to surrender their passports to their sponsors according to a new agreement signed on Monday between the Kingdom and Sri Lanka. Under the agreement, the salaries of domestic workers will also be remitted to their bank accounts. The two govts signed on Monday a MoU for the protection of Sri Lankan domestic workers in the Kingdom. more..

DIG villain or knight in shining armour?

Jan 14 (Island) The Special Investigation Unit attached to Police headquarters will launch a probe into an incident at the Peliyagoda police station, where a DIG is alleged to have rescued two suspects unfairly arrested on Sunday. SSP Ajith Rohana said that DIG of Police, Mirihana, Sumith Edirisinghe who was alleged to have stormed the Special Crime Investigation Unit at the Peliyagoda police station before forcibly taking two suspects arrested by the unit for more..

Thai Pongal Day message of the JVP

Jan 14 (LT) Today is Thai Pongal Day. According to Hindu calendar the New Year commences today. A new year brings new hopes. The dawn of a new year is a moment that renews hopes of winning challenges that were not overcome and finding solutions for issues that were not solved. However, if the new year of Hindu devotees dawns when wishes made in the previous year were not fulfilled or if new issues are added to the ones that existed, it calls for deep thought. more..

US urged to reconsider stand on Lanka

Jan 14 (CG) The Government today urged the United States (US) to reconsider its position on Sri Lanka and back efforts towards achieving reconciliation in the country. Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said that instead of further polarizing the country, the international community, including the United States, must look at alternate mechanisms like encouraging a Truth Commission in order to see reconciliation being achieved in Sri Lanka. more..

Two Chinese war ships arrive at Trinco

Jan 14 (SLN) Two Chinese war ships, “JING GANGSHA” and “HENG SHUI” arrived at the port of Trincomalee on 13th Jan on a good will visit. They were welcomed in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. “JING GANGSHA” (LPD) is commanded by Captain Liu Zhonghu, the ship is 210 meters in length and has a displacement of 19,035 tons. “HENG SHUI” (FRIGATE) is commanded by Commander Zhang Xiaosheng. and is 134.1 meter in length and a displacement of 3647 tons. more..

Thai Pongal Day message of the President

Jan 14 (LT) I am pleased to extend my greetings to the Hindus of Sri Lanka who celebrate the important Thanksgiving and Harvest Festival of Thai Pongal today. This festival that takes its name from the first day of the month of Thai is an important tradition among Hindus to offer thanks to Surya - the Sun God for the blessings received in a successful harvest. The boiling over of milk and rice, the Pongal is another important aspect of this festival as it marks the beginning of new opportunities more..

Missing albino turtle found?

Jan 14 (AD) The albino turtle that went missing from the Kosgoda turtle hatchery has allegedly been found with a similar turtle being discovered in a home in Ambalangoda. However, reports indicate that the weight of the turtle that has been found does not match the missing one. The rare albino turtle went missing from the hatchery on December 15, 2013 while the owner had made a complaint to the police. more..

SLFP gets more than 200 applications from novices to contest PC polls

Jan 14 (Island) SLFP said that it had already received more than 200 applications from novices to contest the Southern and Western Provincial Council polls on the UPFA ticket, but there were only 25 vacancies. SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said that the nomination board would meet on January 20 to select candidates. Applications for the nominations could be obtained from the SLFP headquarters, he said adding that the party expected to complete the nomination lists by more..

Hirunika vows to continue her fight to bring her father’s killers to justice

Jan 14 (Island) Hirunika Premachandra, daughter of the slain Presidential Adviser and former UPFA Parliamentarian Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra said that she would never abandon her battle to bring the murderers of her father to justice. She was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa the SLFP Organiser for Colombo Central on Sunday (12). She is expected to contest the forthcoming Western Provincial Council Election scheduled for end March. more..

UNP condemns attacks on religious places

Jan 14 (ST) UNP Leadership Council today condemned the recent attacks on churches and said that religious violence is profoundly damaging to the national psyche. Chairman of the UNP Leadership Council Karu Jayasuriya in a statement said the UNP was taking a strong stand against these attacks. Full statement: The upsurge in religious violence in recent times is profoundly damaging to the national psyche and should concern more..

Indo – Lanka ties to be discussed

Jan 14 (CG) Sri Lanka and India will discuss the status of its bilateral relationship when External Affairs Minister, Professor G.L Peiris visits New Delhi this month. Peiris is scheduled to visit India at the end of this month where he will have crucial talks with India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Kurshid. “All aspects of the bilateral relationship between India and Sri Lanka will be discussed,” the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said today (Tuesday). more..

Central Bank in consolidation push

Jan 14 (LBO) Central Bank said it will outline a master plan to consolidate banks and finance companies with one-to-one meetings to be held among lenders thereafter. Governor Nivard Cabraal will announce a 'Master Plan on the Consolidation of the Financial Sector' to the sector at a forum on Friday. "Thereafter, one-to-one discussions will be held with all banks and non-bank financial institutions so as to guide these institutions in accordance with the newly announced Plan," more..

'Common candidate must be from UNP'

Jan 14 (Island) Opposition’s Common candidate at the next Presidential Election expected to be held this year should be from the UNP, Mangala Samaraweera MP and a member of the UNP’s Leadership Council said. He said that the UNP was in discussion with a cross section of Opposition parties including the JVP, DP led by Sarath Fonseka, TNA and also members of the SLFP fed up with the "Family Circus," more..

The long road to Geneva

Jan 15 (NS) It is that time of the year. As the heat builds up in an otherwise wintry Geneva, capital cities of the world are abuzz with preparations for the forthcoming UNHRC sessions to be held in March 2014. According to experts in Sri Lankan foreign affairs, the most effective pre-emptive strategy to avert an adverse outcome is the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC report. This, in turn, would provide a platform to argue that serious attempts have been more..

Humility of Sarinda and Nathan

Jan 15 (NS) Eric is a common name in the United States of America. I’ve met many Erics in my time, but one of them I will never forget. This Eric lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I met him more than twenty years ago and might never see him again. Eric was a panhandler. That’s ‘American’ for beggar. Sanitized term, sociologists and literary theorists would claim. He was what people might call a ‘Hippie’. I had seen Eric many times around Harvard Square, either panhandling or hanging out more..

‘Thai Pongal’ the Harvest Festival of Tamils

Jan 15 (DBS) After the Christmas and New Year festivities, the focus is now on the Pongal harvest festival, popularly known as Thai Pongal, celebrated in the first four days of the month of Thai in the Tamil-Hindu calendar. Traditionally, it is the festival of farmers who depend on Mother Earth, the sun, rain, other natural elements and cows and buffaloes for a bountiful harvest of their staple food, rice. It is a time when the poor, the rich, more..

Editorial: Law as a castrated mule

Jan 15 (Island) The main suspect in the Khuram Shaikh murder case, Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana (UPFA), has been absconding since January 09, when he was to appear before the Colombo High Court. It was claimed that he was indisposed and in a private hospital, but the police say they have looked for him at each and every hospital to no avail. IGP N. K. Illangakoon has told this newspaper that the police will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to more..

Can SL counter international pressures?

Jan 15 (CT) There are two senior US officials who visit Sri Lanka these days. They are Stephen J. Rapp, Ambassador-at-Large of the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the US, followed by Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs of the US govt, Nisha Desai Biswal, the successor to Bob Blake. Since the US could influence international thinking and responses due to its military, financial and international motivator might and influence on multilateral organizations, more..

Today is Duruthu Full Moon Poya

Jan 15 (SO) Once upon a time, there was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he should hammer a nail in the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. However, gradually, the number of daily nails hammered dwindled. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally, the first day came when more..

Will Lanka do it on a crumbling pitch?

Jan 15 (CT) The fifth and final day of the second Test which is Sunday is bound to give plenty of excitement to a Test match that has promised plenty of good things for the Lankans. After a rather poor show in the first innings the fight back by Pakistan first with the ball on day three and then followed by dogged resistance from the two experienced batsmen in Younis and skipper Misbah did throw a lifeline to the Pakistanis after their dreadful start in the second innings. more..

Building a Nation of Integrity

Jan 15 (CT) Almost two weeks into the year 2014 we are torn between extreme optimism and pessimism. Early in the year, the Governor of the Central Bank induced a dose of aspirations: “Sri Lanka expects to graduate to the ‘Upper Middle Income’ category by 2016. The Central Bank is fashioning its macroeconomic policies for this graduation. To this end Sri Lanka is to target a 7.8% growth (with the hope of eventual elevation to 8.5% in 2016) in the country’s GDP while more..

Conspiracy in TNA to oust C.V. Wigneswaran as Northern Chief Minister

Jan 15 (DBS) Even as newly elected Northern Province chief minister C.V. Wigneswaran is embroiled in an imbroglio with the Northern Governor GA Chandrasiri over the question of exercising authority in the province, sections of the TNA are reportedly engaged in surreptitious moves to dislodge the former SC Judge from his post and replace him with present council chairman CVK Sivagnanam as CM. more..

Law of attraction, Buddhism and faith based religions

Jan 15 (CT) Recently I had an opportunity to read some inspirational books on Law of Attraction. Law of Attraction theory became popular in the world especially after Napoleon Hill in 1937 published his book “Think and grow rich.” Then there was “ The Law of Attraction” by Ester & Jerry Hicks. Based on these books Rhonda Byrne has produced a book and a movie ‘Secret” which gained widespread attention in the media. I also listened Wayne Dyer, an inspirational speaker who more..