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A repeat performance is not acceptable

Jan 2 (CT) At the dawn of a brand new year, most well-wishers for Sri Lanka would, while hoping for the clichéd trinity of health, wealth and happiness, also desire that it brings some reasonably astute handling of foreign policy and prudent placing of able diplomats at crucial centres of global power. A mere attempt at more cunning messaging would not hold any water, if the substance of the message remains the same as in the past – muddy and murky at best and dishonest and deceitful at worst. more..

On foreign investments and exports

Jan 2 (CT) The structure of labour supply discussed in section II in the context of the Sri Lankan economy was also largely the inner dynamic of the organisation of labour, shared by the three model economies under review; namely Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The strategy adopted by these economies to absorb the spatially immobile rural labour surplus to manufacturing industry was to expand small scale industries in rural areas through a system of subcontracting with vertical more..

WikiLeaks: Chandrika precipitated the current crisis – US

Jan 2 (CT) “The Ambassador said that he wanted to be sure the PM realized two things before going into a discussion of the current issue. First was that we believed that what he and his govt had done in the past two years on peace and on bringing Sri Lanka into the modern economic world were unprecedented. Second, that we were clear that it was the President who had precipitated the current crisis. more..

Ceremony to honour Most venerable Dauldena Siri Gnanissara Thero

Jan 2 (MoD) A ceremony was held in view of the 99th bicentenary celebration of Agga Maha Panditha Most Venerable Dr. Dauldena Siri Gnanissara Thero at the Sri Vidya Vijaya Aramaya in Pagoda today (31). Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was in attendance at the special religious ceremony held to invoke blessings on the erudite prelate. Dauldena Siri Gnanissara Thero was born in 31st Dec 1915 as Aloka Mudiyanselage Siribaddana in Daullena more..

More assistance to Mullaithivu children

Jan 2 (MoD) Children of resettled families in Mullaithivu received a New Year treat from the Security Forces at a brief ceremony held yesterday (31).Two hundred and fifty gift packs of school essentials each worth Rs. 4000.00 were presented to the children. Financial support for this project to assist the children of low income families was facilitated by the 'Gunajaya Sathuta' foundation. In addition to the gift packs 500 solar powered rechargeable bulbs were also distributed more..

Little (pet) shops of horrors

Jan 2 (DM) A cluster of rather tiny cages chockfull of various birds, kittens, rabbits and puppies crowd the entrance to the wee pet shop located alongside the pavement bordering the busy road, a few feet away from the Jubilee Post junction. The twittering of birds and whines of puppies coupled with the stench of animal faeces and putrefying food set off a rather foreboding tone to anyone who approaches the shop. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.9%

Jan 2 (LBO) Stocks end on a strong note Thursday with index heavy and diversified firms gaining despite net foreign selling, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 55.26 points higher at 5,968.04, up 0.93%. The S&P SL20 closed 21.52 points higher at 3,285.39, up 0.66%. Turnover was 944.12 million rupees, up from 565.25 million rupees last Tuesday, with stocks of 27 firms closing in the red against 174 gainers. Commercial Bank closed 40 cents lower at 120 rupees with an off market transaction more..

Organised criminal gang busted

Jan 2 (Island) The Teldeniya police recently took into custody two suspects belonging to an organised gang including its leader were responsible for a series of burglaries in Rajawella and its surroundings. The suspects were produced before the Acting Teldeniya Magistrates on two different dates and further remanded. They were ordered to be produced in court on January 6. They were wanted by the Alawathugoda, Menikhinna, and Balagolla police stations. more..

Sri Lanka to reduce finance companies

Jan 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's finance companies will be encouraged to merge with each other and banks and outside investors will be invited in a bid to strengthen capital deficient ones, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. The regulator would like to see 58 non-bank financial institutions consolidated into 20 larger ones, he said, delivering an annual road map for monetary policy. Multiple finance companies under one holding more..

Swedes find Sri Lanka too expensive...

Jan 2 (Island) Sri Lankan Rienzie de Silva left the country in search of greener pastures as a 17-year-old in 1976 and settled down in the Swedish town called Helsinborg. Rienzie returned to Sri Lanka with his bride Mina on holiday in 1999 and they have been visiting the country every year ever since on a month long holiday and travelling around the island exploring the exotic places. Mina and Rienzie who have widely travelled says "There should be a day that a person could travel more..

Sri Lanka removes car import curb

Jan 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka has lifted a 100% cash margin requirement to import cars with immediate effect, as the exchange rate came under appreciating pressure, and the monetary authority held it down. The Central Bank said the restriction imposed on August 30, 2013 has been removed. The monetary authority has been buying dollars heavily in recent weeks, to prevent the rupee from appreciating as credit weakened. Sri Lanka has the habit of trying to restrict two types of imports more..

Day 3: Late strikes put Pakistan on top

Jan 2 (CI) Bilawal Bhatti and Junaid Khan picked up three wickets late on the third day to put Pakistan in a dominant position at stumps on third day despite Sri Lanka being able to erase the first-innings deficit. Bhatti removed the experienced duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in successive deliveries, while Junaid dismissed the set Kaushal Silva off the last ball of the day to put a win within sights. more..

Sri Lankan monks distribute necessities among Gaya counterparts

Jan 2 (ANI) Buddhists from Sri Lanka distributed items of daily needs to monks in the holy town of Bodh Gaya in Bihar this week. Bodhgaya is regarded as a holy spot since Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment under a tree and it still exists although in a pitiable state, even after thousands of years. Around 75 Buddhist monks were given blankets, books and other essential commodities by the monks from Sri Lanka. "We are giving away essential items to more..

Sri Lanka bank merger plans to be submitted by June: CB Governor

Jan 2 (LBO) The Central Bank is expecting two development banks and smaller state banks to be merged, Governor Nivard Cabraal said. New foreign banks setting up in Sri Lanka will also have to be locally incorporated. At the moment foreign banks operate as branches of a parent incorporated elsewhere. DFCC Bank and National Development Bank, both listed, will have to merge and become a stronger bank, he said, during the Central Bank's annual policy speech Thursday. more..

Secretary Defence graces 'Ranaviru Real Star mission - IV'

Jan 2 (MoD) Another exciting preliminary round of the unique 'Ranaviru Real Star' Mission IV (RRS) TV Reality Show exclusively for Tri Forces personnel was held at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base in Ratmalana yesterday. The mastermind of this programme, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Chairperson of Defence Ministry's Seva Vanitha Unit Mrs. Ioma more..

GL underscores need for public servants to work collectively

Jan 2 (Island) A special Ceremony was held at the Ministry of External Affairs with the participation of all Ministry staff for the commencement of official duties for the year 2014. Following the hoisting of the National Flag by Minister G.L. Pieris, at the Ministry premises on 1st Jan 2014, and the singing of the National Anthem, two minutes of silence were observed to commemorate war heroes and others who had sacrificed their lives on behalf of the country. more..

Twice defeated Homagama PS budget approved

Jan 2 (CT) Local Govt Commissioner Chandrani Samarakoon has issued a statement that the twice defeated Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) budget has been approved. The budget of the UPFA controlled Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha was defeated for the second time by a majority of two votes. Chairman A.G. Kumarasiri has since been removed from his post. “The approval of the twice defeated budget was done by the Local Govt Commissioner, using the special provisions more..

Chief Minister Wigneswaran meets President Rajapaksa

Jan 2 (IL) Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran met President Rajapaksa this morning at Temple Trees. A press release stated that both parties discussed some practical problems prevailing in the North and the ways and means relating to administration at the discussion. Chief Minister and the President had a cordial discussion and also exchanged pleasantries at the meeting. more..

Sri Lanka Cancer Society wins 12-year-old case in District Court

Jan 2 (Island) After prolonged litigation over twelve years the Sri Lanka Cancer Society won its claim to a valuable property at Queen’s Road, Colombo 3. On the basis of the last will of George Alfred Hettiaratchi the title of this property passed on to the Sri Lanka Cancer Society subject to the reservation of life interest in favour of his wife the 1st defendant. This claim was contested by the widow of Mr. Hettiaratchi who alleged that she becomes entitled to the property concerned on the basis of more..

President Unveils the pinnacle of historic Henkaduwa Raja Maha Viharay Chaithya

Jan 2 (GDI) The unveiling of the pinnacle of the Chaithya of the historic Henkaduwa Raja Maha Vihara was held under the patronage of the President Rajapaksa on January 1. A series of religious ceremonies was held under the guidance of its Chief Incumbent and Chief Sanghanayake of the Ruhuna Magampattuwa, Ven. Weeraketiye Nalaka Thera to invoke blessings on the President and the country. Thereafter the President participawted in the offering of alms to 50 Buddhist monks. more..

Central Bank reduces rates to encourage lending at low interest

Jan 2 (Xinhua) Central Bank reduced its rates Thursday in the hope of increasing lending as the country targets 7.2% growth in 2014, an official said. The Central Bank decided to reduce the Standing Lending Facility Rate of the Central Bank by 50 basis points to 8% with immediate effect, thereby compressing the Standing Rate Corridor to 150 basis points from the current 200 basis points. more..

Victims give evidence in Wathupitiwela train tragedy

Jan 2 (Island) A survivor of the train engine and compartment fire at the Wandurawa railway station giving evidence said her father had sent her to a safer place and stayed with her mother who alighted from the train. Suddenly a train sped past them without even blowing the horn. Thereafter she saw her parents in a pool of blood.They died after admission to hospital later. "Father helped me down from the train and asked me to stay away from the track. Thereafter as my father and mother more..

32 Tamil Nadu fishermen detained by Sri Lankan navy: Fishermen leaders

Jan 2 (TOI) In continuing midsea detention of Indian fishermen, another batch of 32 people were arrested on Thursday by Sri Lankan naval personnel while fishing off Dhanushkodi. The fishermen of nearby Mandapam were fishing in the Gulf of Mannar Sea near Dhanushkodi at the time of the arrest, fishermen association officials said here. Six mechanised boats of the fishermen were seized by the Sri Lankan naval personnel, Rameswaram Fishermen Organisation president S Emerit more..

JHU to take legal actions against PM

Jan 2 (CT) The Deputy Secretary of the JHU Udaya Gammanpila said that the JHU is to take legal actions against Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne to claim compensation worth Rs.1 billion for offending the leader of the JHU, Omalpe Sobhitha Thero. Gammanpila said that the relevant actions must be taken to reveal the truth about the container that was seized by Customs with the largest haul of heroin in South Asia, instead of criticizing SobhithaThero. more..

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala – Review

Jan 3 (NS) On Dec 26, 2004, when the tsunami broke across the shores of the Indian Ocean, killing at least 275,000 people in a dozen countries, my three small children and I were paddling in the sea in Bombay. We all noticed an unusually high, strong rip tide that morning, but it was not until we returned to the hotel that we learned how lucky we had been. We had changed our Christmas plans at the last minute to attend a friend’s navjot – a Parsi ceremony akin to a confirmation or bar mitzvah more..

Highlights of the year

Jan 3 (NS) January 9: Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek, who had been on death row in Saudi Arabia after being found guilty of having killed the infant of her employer, is executed by beheading. The sentence is carried out despite assurances from Saudi authorities that she would be pardoned. Her execution leads to a diplomatic spat between the two countries. January 11: Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake is controversially impeached in Parliament by the UPFA Govt, despite more..

Living on the edge

Jan 3 (ST) A run, a jump and a splash amidst the cruel rocks, with faces peering down anxiously from far above and spontaneous shouts and loud applause. Act though is not over — more jumps from rocks lower down and then a climb back to the top using the jagged rocks, monkey-style. Bare-chested and clad in long-shorts, a cliff-jumper of the Galle Fort has just concluded a stunning and dangerous performance, to many an encore. more..

In whose homes are the solutions grown?

Jan 3 (SL) In his response to the budget debate in Parliament as Finance Minister, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited the TNA to work with the govt for a ‘home-grown solution’ to the ethnic issue. As was to be expected, the TNA leadership, meeting in Vavuniya only days later, rejected the earlier govt call for a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), one more time, likewise. Sketchy media reports have not indicated that they are opposed to talks, per se. more..

North’s A/L ‘high’ & the ‘gratitude’ factor

Jan 3 (Island) Youngsters of the North are undoubtedly reaping a ‘bountiful harvest’ in these post-conflict times in the form of noteworthy academic achievements. As is known, the highest success rate at the latest GCE Advanced Level examination comes from the Northern Province and it is plain that this should be attributed, to some measure, to the stable law and order situation the military elimination of the LTTE by the Lankan security forces made possible. more..

Abortions: A burning ethical issue

Jan 3 (CT) Abortions are a burning ethical issue not only in Sri Lanka but around the world. The question of whether it is ethical to end the life of an innocent baby and conversely, if it is a life in the first place, given the fact that some doctors claim that embryos are infused with life only after the third month of conception and therefore performing an abortion on a three-month-old embryo is not the same as performing it on a foetus, remains. more..

Media’s darling diaspora kids become goodwill ambassadors

Jan 3 (CT) The sound and fury after Canadian MP Ms Sitsabaiesan spoke eloquently in three languages in the Canadian parliament when war was escalating in 2009 in Wanni fizzled out no sooner than TVs and media turned their attention to other events unfolding. Young and beautiful she is, she became the media darling for diaspora Tamils and Tamils living in Sri Lanka. Then there is MIA, daughter of former Tamil militant Prof. Arudpragasam (comrade of LTTE leader more..

Human rights consciousness is gripping the world – And so it must be

Jan 3 (CT) Many amongst us seem to be unable to grasp the true importance of human rights. The notion just surfs over our consciousness as something abstract or out there-perhaps in a Platonic world of Universals. Self-appointed patriots of Lanka- especially the humorless types living overseas- who are burdened with the self-delusion of ownership of the island- simply hate anything associated with the human rights discourse. With the run up to the Geneva meeting of the UNHRC more..

Favourite of eight prime ministers

Jan 3 (CT) It was the post election period in March 1965. The Govt of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike lost some of her key MP to the UNP, led by Dudley Senanayake, due to the extensive nationalization of many sectors. The election was in March 1965. The UNP was swept to power. Then the usual practice followed. The losing side – the SLFP in this instance – being victimized by the govt-in-waiting – the UNP. more..

Editorial: Reading and brain power

Jan 3 (Island) A team of researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, US, has revealed that reading a book could improve one’s brain function for days. Reading a story is said to cause changes in the brain’s ‘resting-state’. Neuroscientist and lead author of the study Gregory Berns believes what really happens is that ‘the mind is tricked into thinking it is doing something it's not—for example thinking about running can activate the neurons linked to the physical act itself’. more..

Political will is necessary to face Geneva challenge

Jan 3 (SL) There is no reason to hurry to hold elections when both the Presidency and Parliament have two more years remaining of their terms of office. But President Rajapaksa has asked his party members to be ready for elections in the New Year. Although he did not say which election would take place, a presidential election is the more likely. The President remains the ruling party’s greatest single asset. He is honoured by a large majority of the country’s people as the leader who more..

Persistent Kaushal makes a case for the future

Jan 3 (CI) As Sri Lanka's quest for regeneration rolls on, the idea of "talent" is invoked often and by many. Flabby and inefficient as SL's domestic tournaments are, talent is mostly a useful gauge for cutting through meaningless statistics. A first-class batsman might pilfer a decent average by flaying only mediocre attacks. A bowler might steal a bagful from feeble top orders. As a result, selectors make their picks on gut feeling and more..

India edge out Sri Lanka in under-19 semi

Jan 3 (CI) India Under-19s overcame a tense chase thanks to a half-century from Ankush Bains to beat Sri Lanka Under 19s by three wickets and progress to the final of the Under-19 Asia Cup. Bains had retired hurt in the first over but walked out to bat in the 34th with India still 97 runs adrift with five wickets in hand. He struck his first ball back for a four and continued finding the boundary with the regularity needed to tackle a required rate which had reached 5.75. more..

US Embassy Launches Social Media Lab

Jan 3 (Island) U.S. Embassy Colombo is proud to announce a new program designed to promote greater understanding of social media, the Social Media Lab. Accepting applications as of today, January 2, 2014, Social Media Lab will offer free interactive beginner, intermediate and advanced social media training courses at the American Center Colombo. "We have done a number of social media trainings over the past few years, and want to formalize these trainings thorough more..

Sri Lankan named Rotary International’s 105th President

Jan 3 (IW) Ravi Ravindran, a businessman from Colombo, has been named the 105th president of Rotary International, a global network of 1.2 million volunteers working to solve the world’s humanitarian challenges. A member of the Rotary Club of Colombo, he begins his one-year term July 1, 2015. He is the first Sri Lankan to hold the position. Ravindran said his main priority will be to strengthen clubs by more..

New Year will mark a good beginning for a new Sri Lanka: Media Minister

Jan 3 (FT) The New Year will mark a good beginning for a new Sri Lanka if a good transformation takes place in the people’s thoughts corresponding to the New Year, said Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella in a New Year message. Following is the text of the message: The New Year becomes meaningful when human beings are armed with new ideas and acts according to a new vision by discarding obsolete attitudes. Hopes and aspirations give energy to life and becomes more..