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The New Cycle of Elections

Jan 15 (Island) The upcoming elections to the Western and Southern Provincial councils kick off a cycle of elections leading to the big ones, the presidential and the parliamentary. Contrary to the Opposition’s speculation, it is not likely that Presidential elections will be held this year. The story in the Daily Mirror (14th January 2014- ‘Presidential Polls Early Next Year’) to the effect that that election will be held in early 2015 has the ring of credibility. more..

'Is govt going to listen to 9% or the 90%?'

Jan 15 (CT) The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema (ACJU) last week announced that it will not issue Halal Certificates in future. The certificates will be issued by the new authority ‘The Halal Accreditation Council (HAC) (Guarantee) Ltd.’ Reference to the new development, the General Secretary of the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS), Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera said, they will continue to protest against the issuing of Halal Certificates. more..

Editorial: Unacceptable intolerance

Jan 15 (BP) Distressing news from Sri Lanka last weekend revealed that some Buddhists there have organised an aggressive and offensive anti-Muslim movement. Monks have supposedly been at the forefront of organizing the movement, called Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or Buddhist Power Force. They have attracted thousands of followers who have staged numerous intimidating and provocative acts to harass the minority Muslim community. BBS is similar to the 969 movement of Myanmar. more..

Prosecute the prosecutors

Jan 15 (Island) Enough is enough. Stephen Rapp the prosecutor came to Sri Lanka as an official of the USA. He visited the Northern Province with the ambassador in Sri Lanka for USA and gave a judgment. It was a case of the prosecutor becoming the judge, aptly described by the Sinhala saying "naduth hamuduruvange baduth hamuduruvange". The embassy of USA in Sri Lanka tweeted that Sri Lanka forces had used cluster bombs and also engaged in chemical warfare. more..

'Pace attack's image has transformed'

Jan 15 (CI) Sri Lanka's pace attack arrived in the UAE with a poor reputation, but two Tests into the series, they may have already transformed their image, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal believes. Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga and Nuwan Pradeep had been instrumental in the Dubai victory that has seen their team achieve an unassailable series lead, having taken seven wickets for 132 between them in the first more..

Ajmal wants more spin in Sharjah

Jan 15 (CI) After listless performances in the first two Tests in the UAE, Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has called for pitches that provide more support for spinners. He rued the lack of help from the surfaces in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, after managing only five wickets in those two matches but has vowed to bounce back in the Sharjah Test. He was wicketless in the second innings of the first Test for 49 overs, conceding 115 runs, and had to wait another 28.2 overs in Dubai to take his first wicket, more..

Amanté opens its 50th store in Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (CT) The premium lingerie brand Amanté recently launched its collection at No Limit Kegalle, marking the brand’s availability in 50 stores nationwide. After just over a year of operations in Sri Lanka, this showcases the demand, growing popularity and success of the brand, which strives to cater to their Sri Lankan consumers with fashion forward, high quality premium lingerie. Amanté is available at leading retail partners across the country including Glitz, Cotton Collection, more..

'Exciting two years ahead for Sri Lanka'

Jan 15 (CI) At the end of Graham Ford's penultimate training session as coach, the Sri Lanka cricketers worked themselves up to a frenzy in anticipation of a challenge that has brewed for some time. Padded up and wielding willow, physio Steve Mount stepped into one of the practice nets at Sharjah Stadium and took a middle-stump guard with umpire Kumar Sangakkara's assistance. At the bowler's end, Sri Lanka's smallest more..

CSE to replace Central Depository System

Jan 15 (ST) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will replace its Central Depository System (CDS) after nearly two decades, officials said. “After 18 years we’ll be replacing the CDS and introducing the new system in June,” Rajeeva Bandaranaike, the new CSE CEO said. He said the new CDS will encompass better support from the vender, Millennium IT. “The new CDS will have better features enabling us to give a better service to its customers,” he said. more..

PCCSL celebrates 10th anniversary

Jan 15 (ST) The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) yesterday celebrated its tenth anniversary with the inauguration of a two day international conference on ‘Self regulation and ethical news reporting.’ With delegates representing over ten countries, the conference will, over these two days look at issues such as right to information, journalism, ethics and globalisation, enforcement of self regulation on cyber media news coverage guidelines among many other related topics. more..

Allegations of Maldivian celebrities’ misconduct in Sri Lankan nightclub

Jan 15 (MN) Maldives Police Service has confirmed it is looking into allegations of sexual misconduct and consumption of alcohol made against local celebrities by news website “mvyouth”. In a report recently published on the website, Mvyouth accused seven local celebrities – actors, dancers, a singer, a fashion designer and a film director – of engaging in illegal activity at a Sri Lankan nightclub. more..

International Investment Promotion Forum in East on Jan.17

Jan 15 (DN) The first ever International Investment Promotion Forum (IIPF) for the Eastern Province will be held at the Hotel Taj Samudra, on January 17. Over 300 international and local corporate Leaders are expected to participate in this event, said Eastern Provincial Council's Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Tourism Minister Nasheer Ahamed. This significant event is supported by the BOI, the Sri Lanka Tourism Authority, the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, more..

Manhattan Fish Market SL bags top awards

Jan 15 (Island) Monday, January, 13, 2014, Colombo: Popular restaurant chain Manhattan Fish Market (MFM) has in a short period of time not only become the destination for the best seafood in town but have also gained recognition for its success. Most recently, the local restaurant of the international MFM franchise was awarded as 'The Excellent Service Franchisee' and 'The Most Promising Franchisee' at the MFM Global Business Convention 2013 held in Malaysia. more..

Prof. A. V. Suraweera passes away

Jan 15 (DM) Chancellor of the Rajarata University and a former Deputy Minister Professor A. V. Suraweera has passed away following a sudden cardiac arrest this morning at the age of 83 at his residence, his family said. His final rites will take place on Thursday, and his body will be buried at the Borella Cemetery. Prof. Suraweera was born on October 29, 1930, and was a prolific Sinhalese literary scholar and creative writer more..

20 TN fishermen to return home tomorrow

Jan 15 (Hindu) A total of 20 fishermen of Pudukottai district, who were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy and lodged in prisons, have been released on Monday. Four boats from Jegadapattinam and one from Kottaipattinam had ventured into the sea carrying 20 fishermen on November 20. The boats were scheduled to return next day. They were arrested by the Sri Lankan naval personnel at Neduntheevu. Fishermen of both the villages and their family members were jubilant more..

'Govt's housing program on track'

Jan 15 (DN) Sri Lanka has achieved great success in fulfilling housing needs of its population in 2013. Over 141, 670 families benefited from the housing program, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. Addressing the media Minister said under the Mahinda Chinthana Policy, the govt launched several projects to address housing needs of the people. He said apart from the Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Ministry which has the main more..

Victim says, Felix Perera went on rampage; Minister denies

Jan 15 (CT) An investigation is being carried out by the Ja-Ela Police over allegations that Minister Felix Perera, intimidated and threatened a woman living in Minuwangoda on Monday. According to the police, on Monday around 2:30 p.m., Minister Perera, along with a mob of four people, had entered the victim's house and broken five flower pots, five windows and four chairs, in an intimidating manner. more..

JVP docs advise public against vitamin pill-popping

Jan 15 (Island) Vitamins and minerals in tablet and capsule forms sold at most pharmacies caused people to develop many ailments and a balanced diet contained all the vitamins and minerals a person needs, All Ceylon Govt Medical Officers’ Association General Secretary Dr. Jayantha Bandara cautioned. JVP affiliated union pointed out that in recent times pharmacies had been promoting various vitamins and minerals. The food people ate contained all required vitamins and minerals. more..

Increased allowances for health employees

Jan 15 (Island) Most categories of health staff, such as, family health midwives, public health inspectors (PHIs), Malaria health control officers, entomologists, school dental clinicians, veterinary surgeons, drivers and all employees in the junior grades, will be eligible for increased allowances for uniforms, telephone use and accidents. From 2014 January most employees attached to the government health sector would get the increased allowances for different grades more..

'Casinos operate with Govt’s blessings'

Jan 15 (DM) UNP National leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka received Buddhism and a rich culture with the advent of Arahat Mahinda Thera, but now we have received casinos and ethanol detrimental to the nation. “With the advent of Arahat Mahinda Thera we received Buddhism and a rich culture and spiritual values based on Buddhism. But this regime supports drugs, Ethanol and casinos which will ruin the rich culture more..

Wanted Sri Lankan 'terrorist' walks into French police station

Jan 15 (AFP) A Sri Lankan man wanted on an international arrest warrant for terrorism has been discovered in France by accident, after he walked into a police station to complain about poor working conditions. Judicial sources say Jeyanthan Tharmalingam, 35, went to police in eastern Paris last Thursday to give a statement in a case about illegal employment in which he was a victim. But police quickly realised he was the subject of "an international arrest warrant for terrorism", more..

SF Sergeant killed, Brigade Commander wounded in accident

Jan 15 (Island) A Special Forces Sergeant succumbed to his injuries on admission to Bibile hospital after the vehicle he drove overturned near the Second Mile Post on the Bibile-Mahiyangana road yesterday early morning. The deceased was Sergeant A.D.N. Jinasena attached to the Special Forces detachment in Vavuniya. Commanding Officer of the detachment Brigadier Yasatillake Ratnayake (48) his wife Chandrani Deepika (46) and son Shanila Ranadina (13) who were also more..

MOD ponders rehabilitating Ananthi

Jan 15 (Island) Defence Ministry is seriously considering accommodating NPC member Ananthi Sasitharan at a rehabilitation facility to prevent her from propagating separatist sentiments. She represents the ITAK, the dominant partner of five-party TNA led by R. Sampanthan, MP. She was elected to the NPC last September. Senior Defence Ministry source said that those who hadn’t been arrested/surrendered at the conclusion more..

New APR Regional Director arrives in SL

Jan 15 (DN) The recently appointed Regional Director for the Asia Pacific Region of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement Rizal Pangilinan arrived in Sri Lanka on his first official visit. The Regional Director will be in Sri Lanka until tomorrow. The Asia Pacific Region (APR) of the World Scout Organisation is the region with the largest membership of 30 million scouts out of the 36 million worldwide. The office of the APR is in Manila, Philippines. more..

Sajith rejects nomination board post

Jan 15 (CG) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa has rejected the offer to be part of the UNP nomination board to select the candidates for the upcoming Provincial Council elections. Premadasa said that he had informed UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe his inability to be a part of the nomination board. The UNP MP said that he had decided to remain in Hambantota and campaign on behalf of the UNP for the Southern Provincial Council elections. The UNP nomination board is to be headed by more..

SL, India begin talks on fishermen issue

Jan 15 (Xinhua) A Sri Lankan delegation headed by the fisheries minister flew to India on Tuesday to hold high level talks over fishing issues between the two neighbors as Sri Lanka released a group of fishermen as a goodwill gesture ahead of the crucial meeting. During the last two months, over 400 fishermen have been arrested by the Sri Lankan navy and Indian coastguard for illegal poaching. Fishermen from both countries regularly more..

Thou shalt not lie!

Jan 15 (DM) Fr Rayappu Joseph would know the full quote: ‘Thou shalt not give false testimony against thy neighbour.’ The good father has testified. He has given a figure: 145,000. That’s the number of civilians ‘killed by the Government security forces during the last stages of the war’. Let’s consider the claim. This was no war without witnesses. Everything was seen from the air. We’ve seen satellite images of places that are said to have been shelled. more..

Hopelessness, Economic Pressure and Exodus of Youth

Jan 15 (DM) The number of Sri Lankans leaving the country annually for overseas employment is over 260,000. This far exceeds the number of people added to the labour force annually. The vast majority of those who leave are young men and women. Anyone who observes the movement of people at the Katunayaka International airport would have no difficulty in comprehending such statistics. A national survey on youth that was conducted at the Uni of Colombo, towards the end of 2009 more..

Who funded John's pilgrimage?

Jan 15 (CT) JVP, alluding to Chief Opposition Whip, John Amaratunga's recent overseas pilgrimage accompanying the President on his State tour of the Middle East, raised doubts as to where the funding for this foreign visit came from. While questioning Amaratunga's commitment and loyalty to the Opposition, JVP MP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, alleged that a defection from the Opposition led by UNP Leader, more..

Three-wheeler taxis: Nobody’s baby

Jan 15 (ST) Over six months have lapsed since the gazette notification on three-wheeler taxis used to provide transportation services is yet to be implemented. Gazette notification which was published by the Ministry of Transport is yet to be adopted by Parliament while a number of three-wheeler drivers and owners’ unions are calling on the Ministry of Private Transportation Services to take three-wheeler taxi services under its more..

Fishing invasion causing 60 million dollar loss

Jan 15 (SL) With 49% seafood processing facilities and registered export processing facilities in India located in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which depends largely on fish from disputed waters, Indian trawlers continue encroaching on Sri Lankan territorial waters, causing losses in excess of US$ 59.18 million annually to Sri Lanka. Fishermen from Sri Lanka and neighbouring India, who both share the Indian Ocean, have a history of fishing more..

SLC effectively rules out Sylhet as venue for Bangladesh series

Jan 15 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket have effectively ruled out Sylhet as a venue for their series in Bangladesh, with board vice-president Mohan de Silva saying Sylhet was not on his security committee's schedule. De Silva said the travel involved for the teams if Sylhet was a venue would be a security issue. The tour - scheduled to start later this month - has been the subject of much speculation because of the prevailing political instability in Bangladesh more..

White turtle found in complainant’s daughter’s house

Jan 15 (Island) Following the recovery of a white turtle weighing 5.5 kg from the house of the daughter of the owner of the hatchery from where the animal went missing, the police are probing the veracity of the complaint that he, Chandrasiri Abrew, had lodged against the popular singer Amal Perera. The Kosgoda Police and Divisional Crimes Detection Bureau under the Supervision of Senior DIG, more..

'German-Sri Lanka relations built on goodwill and friendship'

Jan 15 (DM) Interview with Dr. Jurgen Morhard, Ambassador for Germany in Sri Lanka. Q: 60 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Sri Lanka were celebrated on 9 Dec 2013 by the German Embassy: how significant is the milestone for the two countries concerned? A: The relationship between Germany and SL pre-dates its diplomatic ties and hence viewing it as a 60-year relationship is a limited approach. more..

Polls extravaganza leads to increase election related violence - CaFFE

Jan 15 (Island) Money spent on election campaigns was highest in the Western and Southern Provinces according to the records of previous elections, a local election monitoring organisation said. Head of the CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon said that polls extravaganza often led to increased election related violence. "According to our records, average campaign expenditure is highest in the Western Province followed by Southern more..

Sri Lankan minister promises artificial leg for distressed worker

Jan 15 (AN) visiting Sri Lankan minister Dilan Perera has offered an artificial leg and employment in Colombo to the Lankan worker who lost his leg while on duty in the Kingdom. The minister was here to sign an agreement with Saudi Labor Minister Adel Fakeih for the protection of Sri Lankan domestic workers in the Kingdom. Ruwan Herath, 29, lost his leg in a serious accident while driving a vehicle without headlights. more..

Cairn India to get one more block in SL

Jan 15 (PTI) Anil Agarwal-led Cairn India to get one more exploratory block in Mannar Basin of Sri Lanka. A senior Sri Lankan official told Business Standard that the block M5 would be awarded by March. Cairn India has also sought extension of the Ravva production sharing contract. The contract expires in 2019. Rich Paces, Director Operations and Development said, "The Ravva field is significantly larger and has EOR potential. more..

IGP vows to arrest Tangalle PS Chairman

Jan 15 (Island) Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana, the suspect in the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh and rape of his Russian girlfriend at a Tangalle holiday resort on Christmas eve 2011, is still absconding. The main suspect has been in hiding for nearly a week though the Colombo High Court on January 9 issued an arrest warrant for failing to appear at the trail on that day. more..

Norochcholai, now a national burden

Jan 15 (CT) Our lead story yesterday mentioned that the CEB has lost a whopping Rs 104 million as a result of attempting to restart the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant (NCPP) four times in the last 28 days, without the required expertise. Adviser to the National Electricity Consumers’ Movement (NECM), Bandula Chandrasekera said each time the NCPP goes into 'hibernation,' the CEB has to spend Rs 26 million on fuel, tar and other necessities to restart operations. more..

Widow’s throat slit as she slept

Jan 15 (Island) A 42-year-old widow’s throat was slit in the early hours of yesterday by an unknown assailant while she was sleeping at her house at Telwatta in the Meetiyagoda police area. The inmates of the house had not seen anyone fleeing the house in the night. They had only heard the noise of a closing door. Police said that the victim had been sleeping in her room alone, while her 18-year-old daughter and her mother spent the nightin another room that night. more..