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'Indian fishermen can't fish near Katchathivu'

Jan 23 (TOI) Sri Lanka's sovereignty over the island of Katchativu is a settled matter and fishermen from India do not enjoy any right to indulge in fishing activities in the region, the Centre informed the Madras high court on Thursday. In counter-affidavit, filed in response to a PIL seeking a direction to retrieve the island ceded to Sri Lanka by two agreements in 1974 and 1976, the Centre categorically said: more..

Video: UPFA provincial councilor joins UNP

Jan 23 (AD) Former UPFA member of the Southern Provincial Council Ananda Kariyawasam today obtained membership in the UNP, during a ceremony at the Opposition Leader’s Office. Former Provincial Councilor was also appointed as the party’s Organiser for the Baddegama Electorate. Only the UNP can save this country from the abyss it has fallen into, Kariyawasam told reporters. He stated that SLFP no longer exists in the full meaning of the word and that the once great party is more..

U.S. govt helps to revive communities with $1.5 Million grant

Jan 23 (USE) Today the United States Embassy in Colombo, through its development arm, the USAID, announced a new program to revive the fishery community in the Maradankerny Division of Jaffna. This initiative is part of a significant USAID livelihoods project worth $1.5 million USD (approximately SLR196 million) that focuses on empowering economic opportunities and accelerating permanent resettlement for many displaced families in the North. more..

Secretary Lalith Weeratunga briefs Geneva diplomats

Jan 23 (IL) Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga who briefed Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in Geneva on Tuesday on ‘Progress in the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka’, has said Govt of Sri Lanka has done all that was humanly possible to implement the recommendations of the National Plan of Action on the implementation of the LLRC, since its approval by the Cabinet in July 2012. more..

Father Rayappu Joseph confesses

Jan 24 (NS) Lord, let me start with a disclaimer. I am frail, M’Lord. That’s because I am human, M’Lord. I falter, M’Lord. That too because I am human, M’Lord. I err, M’Lord. That’s human too, M’Lord. M’Lord, I am blinded by ignorance and arrogance and this myopic condition is further aggravated by my prejudices; I am human. I was ordained a priest in 1967 at the age of 27. I was appointed Bishop of Manner in 1992. I’ve seen a lot in my life and in my ministry. more..

The ‘thambi’ boy who paints the temple

Jan 24 (NS) 24 years ago, Osman Saldin was born in Grandpass, Colombo. His parents and all his relatives were practicing Muslims. Osman’s father’s job was painting temples. Osman grew up watching his father draw intricate patterns of Buddhist imagery and scenes from various Jataka tales on walls and ceilings of Buddhist temples around the island. Later, Osman learnt that like his father, his grandfather and generations of ancestors had earned their livelihood in this way. more..

Jollyass Seesaw

Jan 24 (CT) Once upon a time, when Jollyass Seesaw was Caretaker of Sri RogerPakistan, he led his Peacekeeping forces against the Tranquil Tourists in the north of the island. After a long drawn out humanitarian crusade, he was finally able to subdue them, and returned to the capital city CalumBoo in triumph. There were many celebrations throughout the country with drinking, dancing, eating of milk rice and lighting of fire crackers. The Sri RogerPakistanians thronged more..

Army Volunteers, a vital cog in country's development

Jan 24 (SO) Amidst views expressed by many sectors, the Sri Lanka Army still plays a leading role in national development. Before 2009, it was the responsibility of the Army's fighter regiments to defeat terrorism and they did it successfully. Following the victory it was the responsibility of the Army's non-fighting forces to extend their professional skills for the development in the post-war era. Major part of the development work more..

On Rajapaksa practice: If you cannot win them over, buy them!

Jan 24 (CT) It has been industry practice in many countries for authorities to curry favors from news personalities. Such a practice becomes more evident when their institutions are under fire and they need all the good press they can cultivate. But a few independent news publications and individuals do stand out and do not fall for the financial windfalls doled out in exchange for good print. One such publication is the Sri Lankan Colombo Telegraph whose motto says, more..

SLT wins an award at ‘Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards 2013’

Jan 24 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), was the proud recipient of a Merit Certificate at the Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards (SLNEEA) organized by SL Sustainable Energy Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy. The company is the only telecommunication service provider to win an award this year. SLNEEA 2013 was organized on a grand scale at the BMICH, to coincide with the inauguration of Vidulka 2013, more..

Election frenzy ferments in Southern and Western Provinces

Jan 24 (DM) With the dissolving of the Southern and Western PCs, Sri Lanka is again getting ready for another election. The term time of the Southern PC was supposed to come to an end in Oct 2014 while the Western Provincial Council was supposed to come to an end in 2014 May. Nevertheless, govt has decided to continue with its scattered election system by conducting one now and then but also in a series. more..

Refocusing on a negotiated settlement

Jan 24 (SL) More than a fortnight after President Rajapaksa’s parliamentary call for TNA’s R. Sampanthan and the party’s Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran to “hold my arm and walk in harmony”, the Govt is yet to come out with practical and pragmatic initiatives aimed at attempting the same. In between, Wigneswaran called on President Rajapaksa with his litany of woes. Not all of them could be dismissed as an unsubstantiated and unsustainable aspect of the ethnic chasm. more..

Editorial: Laws as weapons

Jan 24 (Island) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera has taken umbrage at what he calls a govt move to invoke an archaic Victorian law in Sri Lanka’s Penal Code as part of a political witch hunt against him. He accuses his rivals of using a domestic aide turned thief who broke into his house recently for that purpose. We do not intend to go into details of the issue or elaborate on what MP Samaraweera has chosen to leave unsaid. Everybody has a right to privacy which needs to be respected. more..

Boston Lanka: Semini Iddamalgoda

Laugfs to launch electric car with zero impact on environment

Jan 24 (CT) In moving with the next generation trends Laugfs Holdings will soon launch a pure electric car — BYD e6 to the Sri Lankan market. Emotion Automobiles, a subsidiary of Laugfs Holdings, as the sole agent, will campaign in promoting the BYD e6, electric car in Sri Lanka. Laugfs Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya said, "BYD e6 is a view of the future." BYD e6 is a long-range, pure-electric vehicle. It is a cross between a sedan and a SUV with superior interior space. more..

Lanka coir now used by Mercedes Benz -EDB

Jan 24 (Island) Sri Lankan coir has grabbed the attention of a leading global automotive firm. "I am happy to say that our coir is now used by Mercedes Benz. This is the first time we learn that our coir have gone to such high levels" said a pleased Sujatha Weerakoone, Director General of EDB on Jan 22. EDB Director General Weerakoone was addressing "Exporting to Korea" event, organised and held at the EDB. The session was honoured by a 16 member strong South Korean more..

'Govt is on a crash course to disaster'

Jan 24 (FT) The Govt is on a crash course to disaster and its days are numbered, asserts newly-appointed Chairman of the UNP Kabir Hashim, adding that the only obstacle to bring the Govt down is unity within the party. A very confident Hashim explains moves to revive the party, preparations for the upcoming elections, achievements of the Leadership Council and the UNP’s foremost task of getting into power. more..

'SL Chartered Accountants world class'

Jan 24 (DN) One of Sri Lanka's greatest exports were Chartered Accountants, said President of International Federation of Accounts (IFAC) Warren Allen. Speaking in an event hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, he said Sri Lankan Chartered Accountants are highly respected and were in high demand all over the world and are much sought after." Allen said that he was in Sri Lanka after a decade and was amazed to see the changes which he described as 'remarkable'. more..

The advent of Immigration phobia

Jan 24 (CT) Here is a classic case of how religious and nationalist rights could decisively influence national policies. The JHU, has complained to the President that an increasing number of South Asian nationals have overstayed their visa in SL. According to statistics cited by JHU, but could not be verified, 8,900 Indians, 4,000 Maldivians and 1,500 Pakistanis are currently living in SL without a valid visa. JHU's interlocutors have argued that those nationals pose a threat to national security. more..

Over 12,000 Chinese, Indian workers in SL

Jan 24 (FT) There are over 12,000 Chinese and Indian workers permitted to work in Sri Lanka, Parliament was told. By 2011, there had been 6,600 Chinese workers and 6,297 Indian workers for projects in private and public sector approved by the BoI for a period of one year. “Competency and experience, skills, and the technical knowhow” are the key factors which were taken into consideration for granting visas, more..

A failed test match and lost identity

Jan 24 (GV) At the post match conference after the third test against Pakistan, the captain of Sri Lanka said that his team lost; not because they were too negative in their approach to the game, but on the contrary, because his batsmen weren’t defensive enough. His words not only failed to convince, but it all seemed like a scene from a tragic movie about a total amnesiac who had lost all memories of his past, including his own identity and pedigree. Those who let their imagination wonder, more..

Commercial Bank installs ‘forex ATM’

Jan 24 (ST) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has installed an automated teller machine (ATM) that converts foreign currency into Sri Lanka Rupees at Crescat Boulevard, one of Colombo’s leading shopping malls and can be used by anyone. Located on the walkway between Crescat Boulevard and the Cinnamon Grand hotel, the ATM accepts US Dollar and Euro currency notes and issues their equivalent in Sri Lanka Rupees, making it convenient to many customers, particularly tourists. more..

Calls to 1919 in 2013 more than 1.6M

Jan 24 (CT) The number of telephone calls to 1919, the Govt Information Centre (GIC), in 2013 exceeded 1.6 million, says the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). Close to half of these, namely 749,016 were from the Western Province. The recently introduced Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Online Tax Payment System is likely to further increase the number of public calls to I919, the agency said in a statement. more..

SLT’s 2014 calendar focuses on medicinal plants in Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has focused on medicinal plants in its latest 2014 calendar. Calendar has drawings of 12 varieties of medicinal plants that have been widely used for medicinal purposes for over thousands of years. “SLT has been continuously promoting and advocating the preservation of the rich heritage of our country for the benefit of future generations. One of the ways in which this is being done is via the CSR theme of “Preserving heritage for tomorrow”. more..

Sri Lanka recognized as Best Travel Destination for China

Jan 24 (DN) Sri Lanka was awarded with the "Best Travel Destination" Award at the Annual Travel Award Ceremony of the Travel and Leisure Magazine of China held on Jan 16, in Beijing. Awards were given for Best Travel Destination, Best Hospitality Provider, Best Airlines and Best Travel Organizer. Sri Lanka's Ambassador to China Ranjith Uyangoda received the Award at the awarding ceremony, which was attended by more than 400 representatives including diplomats, more..

Sri Lankan fishermen to visit India for talks on Monday

Jan 24 (TOI) The Sri Lankan fishermen representatives, who are all set to visit India for the mutual talks scheduled on Monday, appealed to their Indian counterparts to send representatives who are genuine fishermen, who can understand the plight of both the sides. According to sources from Sri Lanka, the 15-member team consists of a few officials and 10 fishermen leaders from Mannar, Jaffna, more..

111 fishermen likely to reach Tamil Nadu in couple of days

Jan 24 (Hindu) One-hundred-and-eleven fishermen, whose release has been ordered by a court in Trincomalee, are expected to reach the State in a day or two. They were apprehended by the Sri Lankan authorities along with their boats on January 11. The court, which issued the orders for the release of Nagapattinam fishermen on January 17, also directed the authorities to release their boats, numbering 15, on Wednesday, according to a government press release. more..

Political will needed to resolve fishing dispute

Jan 24 (ENS) India has behaved responsibly by agreeing to phase out destructive methods of fishing like bottom trawling within a time frame. This was among many decisions taken at a joint meeting of high-level officials of the two countries, a day after the fisheries ministers of India and Sri Lanka met in New Delhi on Jan 15. Bottom trawling involves dragging huge nets along the sea floor. Large metal plates and rubber wheels attached to the nets move along the bottom and crush nearly everything more..

SLC Ex-co against ICC reforms asks ICC to defer vote

Jan 24 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Ex-co which met last evening decided to write to the ICC and ask them defer taking up the planned controversial constitutional changes for a vote at the next ICC Executive Board meeting on Jan 28 and 29. “We decided to write to the ICC, informing them of our concerns about the proposed changes and also the inadequate time given to us to take a decision on such crucial and sweeping reforms to more..

Bank of Ceylon felicitates S.P. Tao

Jan 24 (DN) Raju Sivaraman, Acting Chairman, Bank of Ceylon (BOC) recognized the longstanding relationship BOC has had with S.P Tao, Chairman of Mireka Capital Land, which owns and developed the Havelock City project, at a ceremony held recently at the Head Office of BOC, during Tao's short visit to Sri Lanka. Tao has been instrumental in the Havelock City project, a joint venture between BOC and Overseas Realty (ORCL). Tao is also the Chairman of ORCL which more..

The President loves me -- Mervyn

Jan 24 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva said that though some people thought the president disliked him now they were wrong.: It was his belief that, not only the president, but the whole of DA Rajapaksa’s family loved him. “Some people believe that the President is angry with me now. I know that he is in love with me. I know Basil Rajapaksa and the whole of DA Rajapaksa’s family loves me. I was a close associate of the Rajapaksa family since childhood. Mr Silva’s remarks at an event held at more..

Docs to strike over alleged PSC failure

Jan 24 (Island) The GMOA Executive Committee, at an emergency meeting on Wednesday, decided to launch an indefinite countrywide strike from Jan 30 in protest against the non-implementation of the doctors’ service minute. GMOA General Committee member Dr. Navin de Soysa pointed out that in accordance with the 2006 No 6 Circular the service minute of the doctors had to be implemented without delay. more..

IUSF Convener gets relief from HC

Jan 24 (Island) The Colombo High Court Judge Lalith Jayasuriya yesterday issued an Interim Injunction, restraining the Magisterial Courts from proceeding against Sanjeewa Bandara, the Convener of the IUSF until the conclusion of his revision application. Bandara sought the court intervention to relax his bail conditions. Sanjeewa Bandara, who was facing a Magisterial inquiring in the Fort Magistrate’s Court for the charge of having conducted unlawful protests for more..

First bilateral consultations between Sri Lanka and Oman

Jan 24 (AT) The first bilateral consultations between Sri Lanka and Oman took place on 15th Jan, in Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman. The political consultations between the Foreign Ministries of Oman and Sri Lanka was held at the Diplomatic Club in Muscat. Undersecretary for Diplomatic Affairs HE Ahmed bin Yousef al Harthy headed the Omani delegation while Neomal Perera lead the Sri Lankan delegation at the bilateral consultations. The meeting focused on strengthening ties more..

'European HR crusaders are similar to wolves in sheep clothing'

Jan 24 (DN) Europeans clamouring for Human Rights in Sri Lanka are akin to wolves sympathising with goats getting wet in the rain, President Rajapaksa said. He said Western countries are talking of Human Rights without an iota of concern for the grievances faced by the people of all communities in the country. "Certain elements of our country are also supporting them," President said at the annual prize giving more..

AAC holds conference for SL Astrologers

Jan 24 (DN) The President of the Asian Astrologers' Congress and Convener of the Astrological Research Project Jyotish Mahamahopadhyay Dr. Satya Biswas announced that he planned to hold an Astrological Conference in Sri Lanka in June. “I welcome all astrologers in Sri Lanka to take part in the conference which would pave the way for sharing each other's knowledge in the subject of astrology for the benefit of individuals and countries,” Dr Biswas said. more..

Biggest ever haul of smuggled fags seized

Jan 24 (Island) Customs yesterday detected the biggest ever haul of a smuggled cigarette consignment in a 20-foot container worth Rs. 112 million at the Rank Container Terminal, Orugodawatta. The consignment contained four million cigarettes in 400 big cardboard boxes each containing 50 cartons. Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said that the consignment declared as curtain fabric had been imported from Dubai giving a bogus address at Keyzer Street, Colombo 11. more..

UK, SL equally responsible for addressing accountability issues – European HR body

Jan 24 (Island) European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) said that it hoped member states of the UN would raise war crimes committed by the UK in Iraq at the forthcoming session of the Geneva-based UNHRC in March. Andreas Schueller, legal adviser at the Germany-based ECCHR said that he would appreciate UNHRC members as well as those representing other countries referring to more..

Indian Minister Kurshid and Rishad in Delhi meet

Jan 24 (FT) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen called on External Affairs Minister of India Salman Khurshid on 16 January in New Delhi. Bathiudeen was in Delhi leading the Sri Lankan delegation to the fifth SAARC Business Leaders Conclave (SBLC) which successfully concluded on 17 January at K.K. Birla Auditorium, FICCI, New Delhi. SL high Commission in Delhi states: “Both Ministers discussed a range of issues relating to enhancing trade and investment between the two countries. more..

SL elected Chair of Group of 77 in Vienna

Jan 24 (DN) Sri Lanka assumed the chairmanship of the Vienna Chapter of the Group of 77 from Sudan on January 22, 2014 at a formal meeting attended by the Group's Ambassadors as well as the executive heads of Vienna based international organizations. Sri Lanka takes over the Group of 77 in Vienna as the Group marks its 50th Anniversary in June this year. Election of Sri Lanka to this post in the Group of 77, which is the largest block of developing countries in the UN with more..