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Fisheries talks: Academics call for inclusive, long term approach

Jan 22 (FT) Days ahead of crucial talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fisheries associations, several Vice Chancellors of universities hosting an international conference on resolving the fisheries conflict in the Palk Bay, have called for the negotiation process to be inclusive and take a long term perspective. Concluding the first day of an international conference on Conflict Resolution and Sustainable Fisheries Governance in the more..

Brother in law’s gecko exporting racket with Minister’s blessing

Jan 22 (LT) Information regarding a racket of collecting a species of geckos endemic to Sri Lanka and exporting them carried out by the brother in law of Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen has been revealed. The racketeer secretly buys geckos through his agents who have been deployed throughout the island. He also has publicized that he buys the geckos in areas where the species of endemic geckos are found. It is revealed that this species of geckos endemic to Sri Lanka and more..

Army denies links with grave

Jan 22 (CG) The army denied any involvement in the Mannar mass grave where over 36 human skeletal remains have been found so far. Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake said the grave was found in an area which was once under LTTE control and so it could not have any involvement with the army. Speaking at a press briefing the army chief said that police investigations into the discovery of the grave are underway and the army is ready to assist in the investigations. more..

CB slammed in Parliament for failure on CIFL

Jan 22 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday slammed the Department of Supervision of Non-Bank Financial Institutions of the Central Bank and Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal for failing to caution the general public and to prevent fraudulent finance companies from accepting deposits. During the debate on the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (Amendment) Bill, Dr. De Silva criticised the CBSL for its failure to avoid more..

SC to hear church attack case

Jan 22 (CG) The Supreme Court granted leave to proceed in a fundamental rights case filed on behalf of the Jeewana Alokaya Church in Weeraketiya, which was violently attacked on 9th Dec 2012 and 18th March 2013. The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka said the Supreme Court granted leave to proceed based on the Freedom of Speech and Expression, Article 14 (1) (a) and the Right to Equality, Article 12 (1) and Article 12 (2) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka 1978. more..

Police braces to face protesters

Jan 22 (DM) The Govt has purchased ten water cannon Ashok Leyland trucks for riot control under the Indian Credit Line worth millions of rupees. One truck is believed to cost between Rs.5 million and Rs.6 million. The water cannon/tear gas trucks will be distributed to six key police divisions. Five of the trucks will be given to the Police Field Force Headquarters in Bambalapitiya, one each to the Ratnapura Police Division, Matara Police Division, Batticaloa Police Division, more..

UK notes abuses during CHOGM

Jan 22 (CG) The British Foreign Office noted that there were incidents of human rights abuses reported in Sri Lanka while the CHOGM was taking place. In an update to its Human Rights and Democracy report covering the months of Oct, Nov and Dec, the UK Foreign Office said that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka did not improve during that period. It noted that during CHOGM family members of the disappeared more..

RAM disposes RAM Ratings Lanka

Jan 22 (MR) RAM Holdings Bhd has divested RAM Ratings (Lanka) Ltd, its wholly owned subsidiary in Sri Lanka. The acquisition was led by the management team from RAM Lanka comprising Mahendra Jawerdena and Adrin Perera. “We are pleased with the development of the Sri Lankan bond market from its nascent stage in 2005 to the dynamic market it is today. RAM has successfully nurtured a local team to continue building the company’s considerable market share more..

Cost of building Jaffna-Vavuniya Road Rs.112.88 mn per km

Jan 22 (Island) Reconstruction of one kilometre of 135 km long Jaffna-Vavuniya had cost Rs 112.88 million rupees, Parliament was told. Responding to a question raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, Deputy Minister Nirmala Kotelawala said the Jaffna-Vavuniya road development project had commenced in 2011 and time taken for the project was 28 months. The 135 km long road had a width of nine metres with two lanes and within the Kilinochchi urban area, the road had four lanes. more..

UNP to boycott foreign junkets with President

Jan 22 (Island) UNP parliamentary group yesterday decided not to go on foreign trips with President Rajapaksa except in the event of a funeral of a state leader or high profile religious event. The party had made the decision after taking into consideration what had transpired in their meeting over the issue of Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga accompanying President Rajapaksa in recent tour of West Asian countries, more..

Agriculture Research and Production Assistants make 10 demands

Jan 22 (CT) Agriculture Research and Production Assistants' Association plans on staging a satyagraha if the 10 demands they seek are not met, a source told Ceylon Today. Representatives of the association are to meet the Secretary to the Treasury, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, on 6 Feb, in this regard. The announcement was made in the immediate aftermath of their protest held on Monday near the Ibbanwela and Suduwella junctions down T.B. Jayah Mawatha, Colombo 10, more..

One of the four white turtles handed over to zoo on court order dies

Jan 22 (Island) Referring to the death of the white baby turtle at the Dehiwela National Zoological Gardens yesterday a few days after four of them were brought there, an official said the zoo was simply not geared to house turtles as there till those were introduced. He said that the Zoo management, particularly its Director should have told the Court that they didn’t have resources and expertise to house turtles. "The health condition of the other white baby turtle is also too weak," he added. more..

Fishermen's arrest threatens to derail bilateral talks

Jan 22 (TOI) Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has said the fishermen level talks between India and Sri Lanka scheduled to be held in Chennai On June 27 could run into rough weather unless Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took decisive action to intercede with the Rajapaksa govt for immediate release of 25 TN fishermen apprehended on Tuesday, before they were remanded by Lankan courts. more..

'No warship sale to Sri Lanka; Only patrol vehicles'

Jan 22 (PTI) The Centre has asserted in the Madras High Court Bench here that Sri Lankan Navy did not kill even a single Indian fishermen in Indian waters since 2011 and denied having any proposal to sell warships to it. "Only Offshore Patrol Vehicles (OPVs) would be sold," the Central government said in a counter affidavit to a petition which sought a court direction to stay sale of warships to Sri Lanka. Deputy Secretary (Sri Lanka) Mayank Joshi, who filed the counter on behalf of more..

School accounts should be under ‘School Development Council’

Jan 22 (CT) The Ministry of Education has instructed all government schools in the island to open accounts only in the name of School Development Council and to close down accounts in banks under any other names, according to a circular issued by Ministry’s Secretary, Anura Dissanayake, to all principals. Copies of the circular have been sent to all Zonal Directors of Education as well. Accounts that were held in banks under various names should be closed and the balance money held more..

War crime allegations: Minister calls for cross examination of accusers, verification

Jan 22 (Island) Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said those who levelled war crime allegations against Sri Lanka should be cross-examined. Hakeem, who is also the leader of the UPFA constituent, SLMC, said that the veracity of allegations had to be ascertained and, therefore, specific allegations would have to be made in a court of law either here or abroad. Minister was responding to questions raised by The Island at the more..

Curb the narcotic menace

Jan 22 (DM) Amidst allegations and counter - allegations over the ‘heroin container’ dominating the news over the past few months, it is time that the general public does not mistake the wood for the tree as there is an urgent need for effective steps to curb the use of heroin and other narcotics mainly by young people. In the backdrop of the recent developments there are even reports indicating that the relationship between President Rajapaksa and PM D.M. Jayaratne have been strained, more..

Challenge of Human Capital Formation

Jan 22 (DM) Modern historians, who explored western colonial expansion and the related development process, recognised the then widening gap between settler and non-settler colonies. The settler colonies were territories where the people who migrated from the colonial centre to the periphery settled down there in large numbers. These territories included North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. On the other hand, the territories like India, more..

'China will stand-by Sri Lanka at all times'

Jan 22 (DM) Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao, says that China will stand-by Sri Lanka during the session of the UNHRC. He outlines measures for further economic cooperation between the two countries and also the steps for signing a Free Trade Agreement. Q: How was the development of China-Sri Lanka relations in the past year? How do you anticipate the growth of bilateral ties in the New Year? more..

A Taxing Issue At CMC

Jan 22 (SL) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is facing a serious issue in collecting municipality taxes on time as tax payers have avoided paying money, plunging the CMC into a deep financial crisis. Among the local govt institutions of Sri Lanka, the CMC generates the largest revenue annually, standing at Rs 14,000 Million and municipality taxes account for nearly 23%, or Rs 3300 Million, of the total revenue. more..

Candidate selection process in the works for WPC, SPC polls

Jan 22 (ST) Major political parties have begun selecting candidates to contest the forthcoming polls to the Western and Southern Provincial Councils. The SPC and WPC were dissolved at midnight on January 12, and nominations for the elections will be accepted from January 30 to February 6, with election dates to be announced once nominations close. Minister, W.D.J. Seneviratne said that the UPFA had more..

CEB engineers’ union boss wants N’cholai builder held responsible

Jan 22 (Island) The China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) should be held responsible for the never-ending problems at the coal-fired power plant at Norochcholai, a top CEB engineer said. Newly appointed CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) President Aluthge Janaka said that though the maintenance/warranty period was over and the plant was under the CEB, the Chinese builder must take the responsibility for more..

CBK spearheads inter-religious harmony

Jan 22 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has personally invited the Mahanayake Theras of the three Nikayas to send their representatives for a meeting of the Forum to promote inter-faith harmony. She had also requested the Christian, Hindu and Islamic religious leaders have also been requested to do so for the inter-faith meeting on January 28 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute at Independence Square. more..

'SL has made a remarkable transformation'

Jan 22 (MoD) "Sri Lanka has made a remarkable transformation since the end of the conflict," President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson told President Rajapaksa during a conversation yesterday. "More time is needed to address remaining issues. Setting time frames does not yield results." The President of Iceland made these comments during a bilateral discussion that took place last afternoon in UAE. more..

'My private life though private, has never been a secret'

Jan 22 (AD) The Rajapake regime has embarked on yet another attempt to incarcerate and silence me by preparing to invoke an archaic Victorian law of the Sri Lankan penal code against me, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said. In a statement to media he claimed that, ‘the cat burglar who was caught red handed by the police on New Year’s Eve with some alcohol stolen from my house and confessed in the Police statement to more..

Free port concept not to be followed at Colombo Port

Jan 22 (CT) The free port concept approved by the Cabinet recently has come into practice in Hambanthota according to a senior official, who said that the Colombo Port will not practice the concept immediately. Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama told a forum organized last week (16) that the two major ports in Sri Lanka, Hambanthota and Colombo, had been declared free ports. more..

'India aware of harm done by their fishermen'

Jan 22 (Island) Following the arrest of 25 Indian fishermen in six trawlers, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Indian Central Govt was aware of the threat their fishermen posed to Lankan fishermen by poaching and destroying the fish resources that belonged to Sri Lankans by using banned methods such as bottom trawling. He alleged that the Indian fishermen were using aggressive fishing methods that destroyed more..

Sampath arrested in Khuram case

Jan 22 (CG) Former Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha, Sampath Vidanapathirana was arrested last night by the CID in relation to the case on the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh, SSP Ajith Rohana said. Vidanapathirana was found hiding in a house in Kotte when he was arrested. On Jan 9th the Colombo High Court had issued an arrest warrant on the main suspect in the murder case, more..

Keeping their puritanical image alive?

Jan 22 (CT) The government's Sinhala hard line ally, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), appears to be in a perpetual hunt for matters of social and cultural concerns to hitch their political wagon, perhaps in the hope these issues would keep them in the political limelight, also perpetually. Their achievements in the sphere of economy, health, education and other more pressing issues that are of serious concern to a large majority of Sri Lankans, are to say the least, minimal. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.9%

Jan 22 (LBO) Stocks close up 0.96% reversing Tuesday’s losses with tobacco and diversified stocks gaining amid net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 59.13 points higher at 6,212.67, up 0.96%. The S&P SL20 closed 30.10 points higher at 3,458.26, up 0.88%. Turnover was 1.39 billion rupees, up from 414.14 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 60 firms closing in the red against 140 gainers. JKH topped the turnover list with market transactions of 240.77 million rupees more..

Fowzie and Mustapha in a tug of war to Win over Hirunika and checkmate each other

Jan 22 (CT) Colombo Central’s political atmosphere has heated up after President Rajapaksa appointed Hirunika Premachandra as another Co-Organizer of the SLFP. When President brought Faizer Mustapha from Kandy, Minister A.H.M. Fowzie vehemently opposed it as he wanted his son Nauzer Fowzie to succeed him one day. Fowzie and Mustapha do not see eye to eye since then and now they are in a battle to win more..

Professor S.J. Tambiah: A humble and passionate intellectual

Jan 22 (CT) Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah, a world renowned social anthropologist, Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor (Emeritus) of Anthropology at Harvard University passed away on the Jan 19, 2014 at the age 84. He was born in Sri Lanka and studied at University of Ceylon, Cornell and Harvard universities. Having served as a UNESCO technical assistance expert in Thailand from 1960 to 1963, he joined the faculty at the University of Cambridge, and was a Fellow of King’s College. more..

Imbulpe PS Chairman complains to SC

Jan 22 (Island) The Chairman of the Imbulpe Pradeshiya Sabha D. R. Indra Gunatillake, has complained to the Supreme Court that the Chief Minister of the Sabaragamuwa Province has taken a wrongful decision to nullify the vote on the 2014 budget on the basis that the petitioner as Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha, had failed to amend the budget proposals when they were submitted to the Pradeshiya Sabha for a second time. The petitioner has said that was subjected to more..

UNP accuses state media

Jan 22 (CG) The UNP today accused the state media of selling videos and information on the final stages of the war to the international community. UNP MP Lakshman Kirielle said that the state media had been invited to cover the final days of the conflict from the battleground. He said that it was those journalists who eventually sold videos to the international community to be used against the Sri Lankan Govt. more..

Incidence of eye complications among schoolchildren high

Jan 22 (Island) Around 150,000 adults in Sri Lanka are totally blind and approximately 160,000 schoolchildren have eye problems. A further 450,000 schoolchildren are liable to develop vision complications. The ‘Vision 2020’ of the Health Ministry would therefore launch effective awareness campaigns to educate the public and schoolchildren to prevent eye complications. Under the ‘Vision 2020’, around 10,000 people in 2013 had undergone cataract operations and more..

Sri Lanka rupee hits 5-wk closing low on importer dollar demand

Jan 22 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee closed at its five-week low on Wednesday due to importer dollar demand despite dollar sales by a state bank, dealers said. The spot rupee closed at 130.84/88 per dollar, its lowest since Dec 13 and weaker than Tuesday's close of 130.75/80. Banks traded rupee forwards instead of spot in early trades as one of the two state banks, through which the central bank usually directs the market, sold dollars at 130.85, weaker than its selling rate on Tuesday. more..

Uproar over live Parliament TV

Jan 22 (CG) An uproar erupted in Parliament today over the decision to suspend the live broadcast of Parliament proceedings on television. Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakody informed Parliament today that the broadcasting of Parliament proceedings live on television was a “test transmission” carried out during the last budget presentation and the decision is now being reviewed. He said this when asked by the more..

Protests halt haphazard filling of bird sanctuary

Jan 22 (Island) In the wake of the environmentalist protest against land reclamation in Bellanwila-Aththidiya Bird Sanctuary, Wildlife chief said that the Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) would allow development work in the marsh after demarcating the environmentally sensitive area. DWC, Director General H.D. Ratnayake said that his department had already started to recognise the highly sensitive area of the marshland to protect the sanctuary claiming that more..

Ranjan questions President’s silence

Jan 22 (CG) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake has questioned the silence of President Rajapaksa over the execution of a Sri Lankan man in UAE while the President visiting that country. Sri Lankan migrant worker Ravindra Krishna Pillai was executed in the UAE yesterday for an alleged murder. According to his family and friends he has neither received a fair trial nor was he given access to his lawyers. Amnesty International also confirmed to BBC that Ravindra did not receive a fair trial. more..

SL, Maldives sign MoUs on cooperation

Jan 22 (Xinhua) Visiting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen met his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Wednesday for bilateral discussions that included the signing of three agreements between the two countries. Yameen is on a three-day tour to Sri Lanka that began on Tuesday and this is his first trip to Sri Lanka after assuming office in November last year. Rajapaksa, fresh from a visit to UAE, more..