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Erudite scholar monk passes away

Jan 21 (Island) Ven. Weligama Gnanaratana Thera, Mahanayake of the Amarapura Sri Dharmarakshitha Maha Nikaya and Chief Incumbent of Mallikarama Viharaya, Ratmalana passed away at the age of 101 on Saturday. He was known among devotees as a monk who delivered Buddhist sermons in the simplest language and precise manner and as one of the most renowned scholars in the country. Ven. Thera headed the team of scholars tasked with translating the Tripitaka into more..

Sri Lanka drown in their negativity

Jan 21 (CI) On the fourth evening of the third Test, Sri Lanka spurned the chance to press their advantage and crawled, bat in hand, slighting spectators, opponents, and in turn, the game itself. Before the last day's play was done, cricket had bit back, bloodied Sri Lanka to mindlessness, then left them for dead in the gloom. The team did not just lose a Test match in Sharjah, when they slowed play deliberately in the final overs, Sri Lanka lost more..

Sri Lanka stocks close flat

Jan 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks close flat Tuesday with banking and plantation stocks losing ground, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 3.14 points lower at 6,153.54, down 0.05%. The S&P SL20 closed 2.45 points higher at 3,428.16, up 0.07%. Turnover was 414.14 million rupees, down from 675.77 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 89 firms closing in the red against 90 gainers. Commercial Bank closed 1.20 rupees higher at 127.20 rupees with market transactions more..

Garments and textiles lead industrial growth

Jan 21 (JS) Garments and textiles were the leading drivers of industrial growth in Sri Lanka in Nov, with exports climbing 35% on last year. Earnings from exports grew to US$491m in Nov, the highest monthly value of export of textiles and garments ever recorded. Exports of garments and textiles to the US, one of Sri Lanka's major markets, grew by 58.7% during the month, while exports to Europe grew by 16.7%, reflecting the recovery in those economies as well as seasonal demand. more..

Ramasamy to speak on genocide in SL

Jan 21 (FMT) Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy will take his fight for Sri Lankan Tamils to Britain at the end of this month with a paper he will present at a conference organised by the British Tamils Forum. He said he would speak on “structural genocide” in SL as his contribution to the international conference, which will focus on the allegation that the govt in Colombo is engaged in grabbing land owned by Tamils. more..

SC orders Sirimavo to admit child to Grade 2

Jan 21 (Island) Supreme Court ordered that Nihinsa Arambewela of Fife Road, Colombo 5, be admitted to Grade 2 of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya at the beginning of 2014. The judgment said that the respondents, the Principal Dhammika Jayanetti, Secretary Ministry of Education the Minister of Education, Gotabhaya Jayaratne and the interview board of the school on admission to Grade 1 in 2013, had acted arbitrarily and in a discriminating manner by refusing to admit Senuli to more..

US calls for end to impunity

Jan 21 (CG) The United States (US) today called for an end to impunity over attacks on places on worship in Sri Lanka, the US Embassy in Colombo said. The US Ambassador in Colombo Michele Sison met the National Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka today and discussed the recent mob attack on two churches in Hikkaduwa. Embassy spokesperson Juliana Spaven said the meeting between the Ambassador and the National Evangelical Alliance took place in Colombo. more..

Little progress on rights in Sri Lanka: report

Jan 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka made little progress in 2013 in accountability for serious human rights abuses committed during the civil war that ended in 2009, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. As the UN and international condemnation escalated, human rights activists and journalists critical of the govt continued to face intimidation and threats, it said in its World Report 2014. "The Sri Lankan govt makes more..

Governance in Northern Province of Sri Lanka: Stresses and Strains

Jan 21 (ISDA) CV Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Northern Province of Sri Lanka has lamented in a recent public speech on January 10, organized by a Colombo-based think tank that Colombo is not appreciative of the essence of issues of governance in his province. The Chief Minister has opined that Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is hindering governance in the northern province and that post-war context demands a different approach to governance. Wigneswaran has further highlighted more..

India v SL, 2nd women's ODI: All-round India cruise to victory

Jan 21 (CI) A batting collapse from Sri Lanka Women paved the way for India Women's comprehensive seven-wicket win in Visakhapatnam. Sri Lanka, put in to bat, raced to 61 in 7.3 overs, thanks to Yasoda Mendis' 29-ball 56. Mendis slammed seven fours and three sixes, but was trapped lbw by Amita Sharma in the eighth over. Sri Lanka never recovered from her dismissal, as from 90 for 2 in the 16th over, they were bundled out for 140 by the 48th. more..

Cabinet nod for MPs' luxury condo

Jan 21 (DM) The govt has decided to construct a luxury high-rise condominium at Thalapathpitiya with all modern amenities to provide housing facilities to Parliamentarians at a cost of Rs. 6 billion. The Parliamentary ComCondo will have swimming pools, gyms, restaurants and playgrounds plex would also be refurbished at a cost of Rs. 500 million. Cabinet memo submitted in this regard by PM D.M. Jayaratne was approved on Jan 7. more..

CA grants military time to file objections

Jan 21 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday, granted the respondents, Army Commander, Lt. General R.F.G. Ratnayake, Army Director Payments Brigadier Padmakumara, Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and a few other army officers time till March 28, 2014 to file objections to the writ application filed by 292 disabled soldiers injured in battle fields in the North and retired consequently. The petitioners are P.V.S. Shantha and 291 others. They have requested the Court to quash more..

Milco fresh milk production at full capacity

Jan 21 (Island) The fresh milk production by Milco (Pvt) Limited’s two factories at Digana and Polonnaruwa are working at full capacity producing 60,000 litres per day. Chairman of Milco Sunil Wickramasinghe said that Sri Lanka needed two million litres of fresh milk per day and they (MILCO) hoped to increase their fresh milk production in 4-5 years time and be self sufficient to meet at least 80 to 90% of the demand. He said that the strikers had returned and that their factories at more..

UAE assures support to Sri Lanka

Jan 21 (CG) The UAE has assured Sri Lanka support following talks held between President Rajapaksa and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is the vice president and prime minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai. The talks had taken place during President Rajapaksa’s one day visit to the UAE today, the President’s office said. In cordial and friendly talks that took place in Dubai, Sheikh told the President that more..

Billion rupee question plagues CEB courtesy sanctions hit Iran

Jan 21 (Island) A five-member team of Iranian experts who probed substandard electrical parts worth billions of rupees supplied Iran has failed to spell out their recommendation to the CEB quality assurance division to overcome the problem. Officials in the CEB Central Stores in Kolonnawa told The Island that they had checked 6,000 pin insulators one by one and found 1,464 could not be used. "This is a serious situation we had ordered 63,000 and we had received more..

Tsunami survivor Chathuranga closes in on international cricketing debut for SL

Jan 21 (DT) Chathuranga De Silva is closing on an international debut for Sri Lanka but he considers himself lucky just to be alive. In December 2004, the all-rounder and his teammates in a Sri Lankan provincial side had completed their warm-up ahead of a tour game at Galle International Stadium when the Boxing Day tsunami struck. The ground was devastated and his family thought he was dead. "We saw the tsunami coming," recalls De Silva, who is Southern District's latest recruit more..

9-yr-old student killed by school lawn roller

Jan 21 (DM) A nine-year-old student of Ananda College, Colombo was fatally injured after being pinned against a wall by a lawn roller in the school premises. Police revealed student Sinith Wijesinha from Kaduwela was killed in the accident. Hospital sources said the student was pronounced dead upon admission to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital. No obvious external injuries were visible on the deceased student. more..

UAE executes Sri Lankan expat

Jan 21 (AB) A Sri Lankan expatriate was executed in the UAE on today for the murder of an Emirati resident, Arabian Business has confirmed. Ravinda Krishna Pillai was convicted of premeditated murder after he fatally ran over the Emirati in an SUV during an argument between the two. The execution, believed to have been by firing squad, took place this morning in Sharjah. Executions are rare in the UAE and a leading official said authorities had made every effort to persuade the victim’s family to more..

Sri Lanka hails transition in the Maldives

Jan 21 (CG) The Sri Lankan Govt today hailed the he recent political transition which took place in the Maldives, the External Affairs Ministry said. Minister G.L. Peiris, during a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives, Ms. Dunya Maumoon in Colombo today said that the political transition in the Maldives indicated the maturity and foresight of all parties concerned. The two Ministers later agreed on the need to intensify discussions within the already established mechanisms more..

CB fumes over questions of data integrity

Jan 21 (NS) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka today said it was disappointed with certain claims regarding Sri Lanka’s data and statistics, made by various persons as published in newspaper articles recently. “The Central Bank wishes to state that the comments and allegations cited in these articles are unfounded and baseless, and that the writers have distorted the recommendations of the IMF, and more..

Sri Lanka – Where is the common ground?

Jan 22 (NS) As the disconnect between the GoSL and its supporters on one side and the Tamil Diaspora, its supporters and certain western governments on the other side grows ever more wider, one is left to reflect how the two sides can find some common ground. The GoSL takes the view that three decades of living under the spectre of random acts of terror and the de-facto partition of the country was finally brought to an end as a result of the dedication and sacrifice of thousands more..

Global policing and sovereignty

Jan 22 (NS) Pre and post CHOGM is a unique period during which key international players starting from the UNHRC head Navi Pillay in September 2013, CHOGM leaders with particular ‘quick fix attitude’ of the British premier, sensational channel 4 Macrae fiasco, flamboyant Canadian MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan and the US ambassador for criminal Justice (a strange appointment though, to monitor whom?) Stephen J. Rapp have visited Sri Lanka. It seems like everyone is getting ready more..

'UPFA will record a landslide victory'

Jan 22 (SO) "I have no objection in appointing Hirunika Premachandra as Co-organiser to Colombo Central Electorate. During a discussion with President Rajapaksa I also suggested him to appoint her as Co-organiser to this electorate", Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha said. He said that her appointment to this post will increase the youth vote base of UPFA in the Colombo Central electorate. more..

Lies, damned Lies and Statistics

Jan 22 (CT) The American author Mark Twain popularised this quote in his article ‘Chapters from My Autobiography,’ published in the magazine North American Review in 1906. Twain wrote: Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.’ However, it must be pointed out that, the phrase is not found in more..

Who is interested in human rights?

Jan 22 (Island) "Irida Divaina" of 19th Jan announced with a banner headline that the mask worn by US the US had dropped, and it is very likely that the good translators at the American Embassy in Sri Lanka would have brought it to the notice of the officials in the embassy who are ‘committed’ to human rights. It may be that the embassy is not concerned of news items reported in the Sri Lankan press, especially of the ‘vernacular’ Sinhala as these are mostly read by Sinhala Buddhists. more..

Who really is Welle Suda?

Jan 22 (CT) Sri Lanka it was reported, had in recent times, become a hub of drug trafficking in South Asia. The connections between drug dealers and politicians are also under investigation. Welle Suda is a name mentioned locally as well as internationally, in connection with drug dealing. His real name is Gampola Vidanage Samantha Kumara. He is a member of a family of 10, consisting of eight children. more..

What the Chinese want

Jan 22 (CT) The question as to what the Chinese want came to my mind when I visited China 58 years ago. That was when I was posted to Sri Lanka’s pioneering diplomatic mission in Beijing in 1957, under Wilmot A. Perera. I continued to ask that question for the near four years I spent there. My assignment was to oversee administration and also negotiate the annual rice contracts under the bilateral agreements of 1952 and 1957 as well as oversee cultural/media relations. more..

A third resolution against Sri Lanka

Jan 22 (CT) For all the bravado, there are certain reasons to be convinced that the incumbency – invincible as it is – is feeling the heat as the global human rights lobby continues to add fresh perspectives to the Sri Lankan rights quagmire and repeat the demand of State accountability. When the Sri Lankan Govt delegation attends the next UNHRC sessions in Geneva this March, it would also be nearly five years after the war had ended. The issues originally raised have multiplied and more..

Meetings across acrylic, canvas and dance: India-Sri Lanka Artists Week

Jan 22 (GV) I spent some time with 12 visual artists and 1 dancer, from Sri Lanka and India, at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo today, who are part of an interesting and pioneering artistic collaboration between the two countries, from the 18 – 23 January. The artists work in the open near the hotel’s pool. Anyone from the hotel and from outside can choose to meander through their workspaces, and if moved by what they see, more..

The year 1988: JVP demands and the coalition govt interlude

Jan 22 (CT) A particular episode is very revealing about the manner in which different parties approached the elections. The JVP was not attacking Premadasa and Premadasa was saying that the JVP was innocent and that the SLFP was behind the violence. Having given hopes to the SLFP, the JVP became a thorn in its flesh and on 21st October banned SLFP meetings in the Uva Province. It began insisting that it would remain part of the 8 party alliance only if its proverbial more..

Editorial: What a shame!

Jan 22 (Island) Tangalle PS Chairman (UPFA) Sampath Vidanapathirana, the main suspect in the Khuram Sheikh murder case, has been absconding since Jan 9. The police, groping in the dark, claim to have deployed special teams to arrest him, but their investigations have drawn a blank. One is not surprised at their failure. Success is something they cannot afford when they deal with ruling party politicians and thugs. The govt has at its disposal about 70,000 policemen, 200,000 soldiers, more..

Distortion in the name of welfare

Jan 22 (NS) Economic experts commenting on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) say it is puzzling that the Director-General of the Central Bank cited the economic growth of the country to be at 7.3% when no records or tabulations show such figures. Theoretically adding more employees to the payrolls of the govt system would not necessarily make it more efficient and may even have a negative impact on the economy. more..

SL's epic anti-pressurisation of batsmen

Jan 22 (CI) Pakistan's brilliant victory in Sharjah was a triumph for enterprising batting, a personal apotheosis for Azhar Ali - an out-of-form grinder who stroked a match-winning century off 133 balls - and a fully justified, well-earned defeat for cricketing caution. Sri Lanka were ineffectively cautious with the bat, then almost masochistically timid in the field, allowing, encouraging and facilitating the steady accumulation of runs, allowing Pakistan to execute a 300-run chase in 57.3 overs, more..

Sri Lanka seamers make big strides

Jan 22 (CI) Shaminda Eranga (12 wickets at 28.75): When the dust settles after the Sharjah loss, perhaps Sri Lanka will take time appreciate the efforts of their fast bowlers, who were a revelation on this tour. Accurate, persistent and generating decent movement away from the right-hander, Eranga pips Suranga Lakmal because he was more effective with the old ball, and had also hit higher speeds throughout the series. He had already gained a reputation for hard work, and more..

Arjuna Herath inducted as 22nd President of CA Sri Lanka

Jan 22 (FT) Chartered Accountant, Arjuna Herath was ceremoniously inducted as the 22nd President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) last night in the presence of a high-profile audience comprising of top accounting personalities from across the world, members of the Institute and business leaders in Sri Lanka. Herath was ceremonially inducted under the more..

UNP exposes Rs. 100 m deal to woo US Congressmen

Jan 22 (FT) UNP yesterday removed the lid on a Rs. 100 million deal by the Govt via the Central Bank to woo US Congressmen but insisted it was done without much success. “The Central Bank and the Thompson Advisory Group of US entered into an agreement in March last year. They were paid a fee of Rs. 100 million per annum expecting them to market SL. Among the key deliverables was an educating process to be launched for US senators; members of House of Representatives. more..

Govt Analyst confirms Wellampitiya OIC had heroin

Jan 22 (Island) The Govt Analyst had determined that the quantum of drugs recovered from former OIC of the Wellampitiya Police station contained one gramme and 16 milligrammes of heroin, the Colombo Crimes Division yesterday informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate court through a report. When the case against the suspects former OIC Bandara Munasinghe, his wife Roshani Chandrakanthi, Madusanka Kumara, Shahul Hasmila and Nizam Sharid was taken up more..

ADB Vice President says proud to support Govt’s development drive

Jan 22 (FT) ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang yesterday ended a two-day visit to Sri Lanka during which he met with Govt officials and visited ADB-funded flagship projects including Colombo Port, the Southern Expressway, and a school in Galle District. During the two-day visit, high-level meetings were conducted with key Govt officials including Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera. more..

Policy document on transport

Jan 22 (Island) A document on Urban Transport Policy Options for Colombo has been formulated to convert Sri Lanka from an agricultural economy to an industrial one, Minister Kumara Welgama said. Addressing the media on urban transport development projects for the Colombo metropolitan region and the suburbs, he pointed out that migration of workers to urban areas had increased the population in these centres, and urban areas had become critical economic hubs. more..

Pelwatte Dairies to open second factory

Jan 22 (DN) Pelwatte Dairy Industries will build a second factory in Sri Lanka this year. The company hopes to invest over US $ 40 million for this project in the Eastern Province. Chairman of Pelwatte Dairy Industries, Ariyaseela Wickremanayake said that though Sri Lanka has over 1.2 million milch cows, milk is being collected from around 250,000 cows. "Due to this we see a tremendous potential to collect milk and this was one reason for us to decide on a second factory," he said. more..