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Secretary Defence visits Buddhist and Catholic religious leaders in the East

Jan 27 (MoD) During his visit to the Eastern Province, Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the Mangalaramaya in Batticaloa yesterday (23). Ven. Seruwawila Saranakiththi Thero presided over the religious activities during the occasion. A meeting was also held at the temple between Secretary Defence and the Maha Sanga. During the meeting Mr. Rajapaksa was appraised on the areas to be concerned by the Maha Sanga. more..

Keeping India at bay

Jan 27 (Hindu) Fish move over the Indian Ocean knowing no borders, while marine resources including corals on the continental shelf are important for the seasonal migration and reproduction of fish. Similarly, for centuries past, fishers and traders travelled freely over the ocean, fishing and accumulating wealth needed to build coastal economies. Eventually, colonial empires and post-colonial states drew borders and more..

'Not me, you or anyone markets Sri Lanka'

Jan 27 (CT) A veteran shipper blamed himself, the business community, and the government for not marketing Sri Lanka, despite several authorities claiming that aggressive marketing campaigns were taking place. Chief Executive officer of Shippers' Academy, Rohan Masakorala, told a forum organized by the Charted Institute of Logistics and Transport that everyone in the country had failed to promote Sri Lanka internationally and was following their own agendas. more..

A bullet misses monk by few inches

Jan 27 (Island) Chief incumbent of Galgoda Sri Maha Viharaya in Panadura, Ven. Ratnapura Potupitiya Pannasekera Thera had a narrow escape on Saturday night when an unidentified gunman tried to kill him. SSP Ajith Rohana said that a special police team had been deployed to arrest the suspects responsible for the attack. Ven. Pannasekera Thera has told the police that he had seen a person clad in black fire at him through a window around 11. 20 pm. more..

Joint Opposition march and rally on Tuesday

Jan 27 (ST) All major Opposition political parties and trade unions will come together at a mass protest march and rally against the Govt on Tuesday. The UNP, trade unions led by the JVP, Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party (DP) and political parties in Vipakshaya Virodhaya will participate in a protest against state oppression, social degradation and corruption, and to push for the abolition of the Executive Presidential system. more..

EAP Holdings gears itself for the future

Jan 27 (FT) EAP Holdings, has implemented two key measures signifying it is gearing itself for the future. The Company moved into its new head office building together with its new Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) unit, Swarna Solutions, on Dr. N.M. Perera Mw. (Cotta Road) Borella recently. Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Ajith Nivard Cabraal was the Chief Guest of the opening ceremony, which was hosted by the directors, and senior management of EAP Holdings Ltd. more..

Korean cricket team in SL for training

Jan 27 (ST) Have you heard of the Korean National Cricket Team? You might think that I am joking. But, it actually exists. This newborn Korean team is even coming to Sri Lanka for field training to brace for the 2014 Asian Games, which will be held in Incheon, Korea from September 19 to October 4. Many Koreans, men in particular, are big fans of sports games such as football and baseball, and give fervent supports to their favorite professional teams. However, when it comes to cricket, more..

2014 to be better after below-expectations 2013: CEOs

Jan 27 (FT) For Sri Lanka Incorporated, the 2013 ended below expectations but 2014 is primed to be better according to CEOs who responded to a comprehensive survey. It said 2013 was below expectation for majority (53%) of the respondents in regards to the business environment for their respective industries/domains. This continues the sentiment held in 2012 (54%) after the post-war highs of 2010-11. more..

Docs strike demanding PHI union chief’s removal

Jan 27 (Island) Around 900 doctors attached to the GMOA in Polonnaruwa District will launch a token strike today in protest of the Health Ministry’s inability to take action against Public Health Inspector L. Bandara, GMOA said. GMOA General Committee member Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that doctors at the Polonnaruwa General hospital, Medirigiriya Base hospital, Dehiattakandiya Base hospital and all the MOH areas, including the peripheral clinics in the Polonnaruwa district more..

UAE-Sri Lanka Joint Committee holds first meeting in Abu Dhabi

Jan 27 (GN) The UAE-Sri Lanka Joint Ministerial Committee opened today (Saturday) a two-day meeting in Abu Dhabi aimed at exploring new avenues for joint cooperation in areas of economy, trade, investment, tourism, energy and oil and gas. The first meeting of the committee, which was co-chaired by Khaled Ganem Al Gaith, Assistant UAE Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, and SL Minister Faizer Mustafa, lauded the depth of distinguished bilateral ties more..

Batticaloa Catholic Bshop asks for general amnesty to political prisoners

Jan 27 (CT) Batticaloa Catholic Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Ponniah, has requested the Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, to offer a general amnesty to the Tamil political prisoners or rehabilitate them and reintegrate them into the society. Defence Secretary paid a courtesy call on the Batticaloa Catholic Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Ponniah, at the Batticaloa Bishop’s house on Thursday. more..

'Development in N&E is tremendous'

Jan 27 (MoD) "There is a section of the international community that wants to try and force its own agenda on Sri Lanka despite the tremendous progress that has been achieved in less than five years after the end of the war" Said Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa participating as the chief guest at the 'Presidential Induction of the Ceylon College of Physicians for 2014' held at the Hilton Hotel Colombo last evening (25). more..

Shakib wants sporting Mirpur pitch

Jan 27 (CI) Shakib Al Hasan wants a sporting pitch at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in the first Test against Sri Lanka. He said Bangladesh are now capable of handling such conditions, and not just playing on featherbeds. The home side has never won a Test match in Mirpur. They have lost eight times and drawn twice, both against New Zealand. The pitch has tended to be on the slower side over the last three years, with bowlers getting less assistance as the match progresses. more..

'Breach of contract costs the public dear'

Jan 27 (Island) The CEB management has paid a construction consulting firm close to Rs. 35 million in damages. CEB awarded the firm a contract to built its new head office at Narahenpita in 2009 in keeping with the govt tender procedure. The consultants proceeded with their work until the CEB directorate changed in late May 2010 with the appointment of Minister Champika Ranawaka. The General Manager of CEB at the time, more..

Australian student allegedly raped

Jan 27 (DM) Police are investigating the alleged rape of an Australian Uni student during an excursion to Gendawana Rock in the seas near Ambalangoda on Thursday. Student who had stayed in a hotel in Patabendimulla, Ambalangoda had been serving as a volunteer at a turtle hatchery in Ambalangoda as part of an academic project since last December. She had been allegedly raped by a youth when she had been isolated from the group that had gone on the excursion with her. more..

LSSP demands abolition of executive presidency

Jan 27 (Island) The Central Committee of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party at a meeting held on 25 January 2014 has unanimously resolved to press for the abolition of the executive presidency before the end of the current term of the President and the installation of a parliamentary form of govt with a Prime Minister and Cabinet responsible to Parliament. Accordingly, the Party will demand that another Presidential election should not be held. The LSSP also decided to demand more..

Sri Lankan fishermen raise concerns ahead of crucial talks

Jan 27 (Hindu) A day before the scheduled talks between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka, sections of northern fishermen said they received no information about who was going to India, what would be discussed. A fishermen’s delegation, with members from the National Fisheries Federation, left for Chennai on Sunday, but some fisher leaders in the north — which is worst-hit by Indian trawlers allegedly poaching in SL waters more..

Food and nutrition; time for a paradigm shift

Jan 27 (DM) Food and nutrition are the most vital factors for human life and growth, but the Ministry of Health and Nutrition and officially-recognised groups like the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka (NSSL) appear to be doing little to educate and empower the people on how to get nutritious and unpolluted Sri Lankan food at affordable prices. As a result, investigations have revealed that most people including children are consuming small doses of toxins with every meal because most food items including rice and more..

A slight change in the way we live?

Jan 27 (DM) In our day-to-day lives, it is almost natural for us to be preoccupied with social time without realising that our social world is embedded within more abstract conceptions of time such as ecological time. Our own social world in particular and the wider social world in general change much faster than ecological time. The present controversy over climate change, whether the global climate is changing for the worse i.e. increasing global warming, is very much related to more..

Young, tech savvy counterfeiters on the increase

Jan 27 (ST) Counterfeiter gangs have sharply increased activity in the past 12 months, police said after arresting members of three different gangs last week, some with superior technological skills in making fake money. One set of arrests took place in Negombo following a tip-off from a man who had rented a house to a person named Vinod. As associate of Vinod had given the man a Rs. 5000 note as part of the rent more..

Galle: Good intentions melt with the ocean's hypnotic and monetary power

Jan 27 (Guardian) Built on a promontory, with walls to withstand cannon fire, the ramparts and bastions surrounding the colonial era Dutch fort of Galle acted as a wave breaker, saving the old part within from devastation. After being diverged by the walls surrounding the fort, the first thing the tsunami turned to splinters and rubble in the new part of town was the international cricket stadium, directly adjacent to the fort. more..

Emerald isle or Heroin hub?

Jan 27 (SL) During the recent past the Sri Lankan authorities have busted several large scale illegal drug smuggling operations which suggests the island is becoming a transhipment hub for heroin in Asia. In early December about 10 kilos (22 pounds) of heroin was found at a resort of Hikkaduwa, while in August last year Customs found 260 kilos (572 pounds) of pure heroin in a container at the Colombo port. more..

Five new guidelines for skin creams

Jan 27 (CT) Five new standardization guidelines are to be introduced, by the Ministry of Technology, Research and Atomic Energy, for skin creams and lotions used by children and adults. As part of the process, ministry has decided to seek public opinion on the five new guidelines concerning diverse aspects of quality assurance. Topics for discussion will be: skin creams and lotions used by children and more..

'Govt. determined to abolish caste-based skill development'

Jan 27 (Island) Minister Dallas Alahapperuma told Parliament that skills, expertise and technologies of some trades were confined within certain castes hindering the development thereof. "Since the days of ancient kings and across the colonial times up to now, skills development in our country is locked up in caste hierarchy. This hinders the skills development which could not be limited to cultural or regional groups," more..

Sri Lanka has lowest maternal mortality in South Asia

Jan 27 (Island) Sri Lanka had the lowest maternity mortality rate in South Asia, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. Quoting a maternity mortality report compiled by emergency, obstetrics and Neo-natal units, he pointed out that the comprehensive study revealed that Sri Lanka’s maternal mortality rate had gone down due to the healthcare facilities and family planning guidelines provided to the people free of charge. more..

MP Harsha De Silva accused of assault

Jan 27 (DM) A driver of a medical officer lodged a complaint with the Narahenpita police yesterday against UNP MP Harsha De Silva for allegedly assaulting him over a land dispute in Longden place, Colombo, police said. The driver had admitted himself to the hospital after lodging the complaint stating MP Silva had hit him on the head. The dispute had arisen when the driver and his employer had attempted to clear a land more..

TNA to get support at UNHRC

Jan 27 (CG) The TNA says it will gather support for the UN resolution on Sri Lanka to be submitted at the UNHRC in March. TNA leader R. Sampanthan said that the resolution sponsored by the United States is expected to be very critical. He said that the TNA has urged the United States to ensure the resolution brings a solution to the Tamil issue. Sampanthan said this after the TNA central committee met in Trincomalee. more..

JVP calls for impartial probe into Mannar mass grave

Jan 27 (Island) The JVP yesterday called upon the govt to ensure that an impartial investigation would be conducted into the mass grave at Thiruketheeswaram, Manthai in Mannar and those responsible brought to justice. The JVP politburo has, in a media statement, said that the government should facilitate the ongoing investigation. It should also remove any obstacles which hinder and delay the investigations. more..

Sri Lanka rupee slips from 1-wk high on importer dollar demand, bond sales

Jan 27 (Reuters) The rupee eased from its one-week high on Monday as foreign investors sold treasury bonds and stocks and due to importer dollar demand in the absence of any intervention by state banks. The spot rupee closed at 130.78/85 per dollar, weaker than Friday's close of 130.60/70, its highest since Jan 17. "There was some importer dollar demand, equity outflows and bond sales," said a currency dealer. Rupee is expected to fall in absence of any intervention by central bank. more..

Consumers in trouble's way

Jan 27 (CT) Though there have been many articles and editorials in the media over the last few months about the plight of the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai, which had remained non-functional for 271 days since it was commissioned on 22 Mar, 2011, it has become necessary to revisit the subject due to the latest predicament where four power stations had broken down and two more had been shut down for maintenance, raising doubts in the minds of the public whether there is more..

Heritance Tea Factory secures the first organic tea certification

Jan 27 (CT) Heritance Tea Factory was recently awarded the first organic certification in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) for the cultivation and processing of tea. After eight years of refining the processes used to cultivate and process organic black tea, green tea and herbal tea, the hotel emerged pioneers in achieving the organic certification. Heritance Tea Factory is surrounded by lush tea plantations more..

Sri Lanka stocks close lower

Jan 27 (LBO) Stocks close 0.16% lower Monday with diversified stocks losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 9.82 points lower at 6,245.81, down 0.16%. The S&P SL20 closed 17.89 points lower at 3,460.20, down 0.51%. Turnover was 872.63 million rupees, down from 1.45 billion rupees last Friday, with stocks of 137 firms closing in the red against 48 gainers. JKH topped the turnover contribution list with one off market transaction of 164.50 million rupees contributing to 19% of the turnover. more..

Betraying Buddhism and undermining SL

Jan 27 (CT) In Jan 2014, Stanley J Tambiah – whose ‘Buddhism Betrayed?: Religion, Politics and Violence in Sri Lanka’ became a hate-symbol for people who rarely ventured beyond the first two words of its title – died. That same month, the Pew Research ranked Sri Lanka among the 20 countries with the highest levels of religious hostilities in 2012. Sri Lanka’s Govt Restrictions Index (which ‘measures govt laws, policies and actions that restrict religious beliefs and practices’) more..

Day 1: Quicks bundle Bangladesh out for 232

Jan 27 (CI) If Sri Lanka arrived in Bangladesh having freshly learned about the perils of negative cricket in Sharjah, their hosts illustrated there is also danger in aggression. Having been asked to bat, Bangladesh lost their top four to intense seam-bowling before lunch, and though they mustered a better middle session through a rapid Shakib Al Hasan riposte and a more measured Mushfiqur Rahim resistance, callousness marked the more..

'We could have scored 375' - Shakib

Jan 27 (CI) Bangladesh fell 140 runs short of their expected first innings score, according to Shakib Al Hasan. The allrounder made his 15th half-century, and alongside Mushfiqur Rahim, gave the total some propriety as it was descending swiftly at one stage. The openers almost played out the first hour until one bad shot was followed by errors in judgment, opening up the game as early as the first drinks break. Shakib felt that it should have been the other way around, as the Mirpur surface didn't more..

Prasanna Jayawardene returns to Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (CI) Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Prasanna Jayawardene missed the first Test against Bangladesh as he flew home for family reasons. Jayawardene had been set to play the match before receiving distressing news from home. It appears unlikely he will be available for the second Test, which begins on February 4, though no firm decision on that has yet been made. Jayawardene had only returned to the Test side after a year-long layoff during the series against Pakistan more..

Sri Lanka-TN fishermen reach deal

Jan 27 (Hindu) An agreement has been reached between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka, but is subject to the approval of both the govts. U. Arulanandam, a fishermen representative from Ramanathapuram and Sri Lankan representative T. Sadasivam, said there was a consensus among them and the resolutions adopted in the meeting would be forwarded to the govts. Asked whether both sides were ready to allow fishermen more..

Sally says govt’s priorities wrong

Jan 27 (Island) While the govt was constructing houses at a cost of Rs. 6 billion for its ministers, tsunami victims were still living on pavements and makeshift shacks, former UPFA backer charged. Leader of Movement for Unity with Power Sharing, Azath Sally said that a further Rs. 510 million had been allocated to refurbish MPs’ quarters. He said that the priorities of the UPFA govt were casinos, brothels and drugs. Govt was bankrupt morally and six entertainers in WPC race. more..

Minister’s son abducts MP’s son

Jan 27 (LT) The son of Deputy Minister Neomal Perera and a clique had abducted the son of former MP in the Eastern Province M.C. Ahamed and one of his friends and assaulted them severely causing injuries. The incident had taken place when the two groups had had an argument when they met at a night club at Wellawaththa on Friday night. When he came to know the incident the former MP had immediately asked Senior Minister AHM Fouzy to save his son. Senior Minister Fouzy had told more..

Lanka’s northern council backs international probe into war crimes

Jan 27 (PTI) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Monday adopted a resolution backing the call for an international probe into the country’s alleged war crimes during the final phase of the military clashes with the LTTE. A three-point resolution has been passed to bring to international attention Sri Lanka’s lack of action to resolve Tamils’ problems, said MK Shivajilingam, a NPC member from the main Tamil party TNA. more..