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Sri Lanka a safe haven for investments: Top Japanese fund manager

Jan 28 (FT) A top senior Japanese fund manager is so bullish on Sri Lanka has launched a book titled “Why world asset holders invest in Sri Lanka” giving a major boost to the country’s investment profile. Takanori Shimizu, Corporate Advisor of Bensei Securities, and former Executive Vice President of Nomura International of New York, President of Nomura Investment Banking of Middle East, Official Advisor of Asian Investments to the Kuwait Investment Authority of Ministry of more..

Future UNP govt. to probe misuse of public property since 1948

Jan 28 (Island) The misuse of public property and funds since Independence would be probed by a future UNP govt, General Secretary of the party Tissa Attanayake said. Accepting the challenge thrown at UNP by JVP’s Lal Kantha, he said that as a party which extended its fullest support to enact the 17th Amendment to the Constitution which established all the Independent Commissions including the Commission to Investigate more..

More houses in Jaffna returned to legitimate owners

Jan 28 (SLA) 23 more houses of civilians, hitherto used by Army troops serving under the 51 Division in the Jaffna peninsula on rent basis were handed over to the Divisional Secretariat for return to their respective legitimate owners during a brief ceremony on Saturday. Headquarters and Company bases of 9 Sri Lanka National Guard (9 SLNG), 23 Gajaba Regiment (23 GR), 25 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (25 VIR), 11 Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (11 SLSR) and 14 Gemunu Watch (14 GW) more..

Sri Lanka: Plea for democratic governance

Jan 28 (IDN) There has been, in recent times, public discussion in regard to whether our country is moving towards an authoritarianism that undermines democratic governance. The President, Ministers and govt spokespersons have consistently denied this allegation. They refer in particular to the recent elections in three provinces as indicative of a functional and vibrant democracy responsive to the needs of the people. Infrastructure development that has taken place is also cited. more..

World Bank commends SL's achievements

Jan 28 (FT) Phillippe Le Houerou, World Bank Vice President for the South Asian Region, who is in town commended Sri Lanka for its economic and other achievements when he met President Rajapaksa yesterday. During the discussion Sri Lanka’s development process and the present and future cooperation between the World Bank and Sri Lanka were highlighted. Houerou said that after his arrival he had visited the north, more..

Time to create and share wealth

Jan 28 (SFG) What a fitting place to read about the growing fervor against Silicon Valley's tech companies. I am here as part of a delegation from the Association of Science and Technology Centers and the National Science Foundation to assist in the development of a national science center in this remarkable country. Sri Lanka is doing all it can to overcome the effects of a long civil war that ended in 2009. Its leaders seem to believe the path to prosperity lies through the ability to fuel more..

‘Oil Mafia’ blamed for power sector woes

Jan 28 (Island) CEB is planning to go for more thermal power plants, using problems at Norochcholai as an excuse, Advisor to National Movement of Electricity Consumers, Bandula Chandrasekara alleges. He said that bigwigs at the Power and Energy Ministry and the CEB especially some engineers should be held responsible for this move. He warned that they would not allow CEB Chairman W.B. Ganegala and Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando to more..

Sri Lanka says international war crimes probe would bring 'chaos'

Jan 28 (Reuters) An international inquiry into war crimes in Sri Lanka would bring "chaos," and govt's national reconciliation process must be given several more years to work, a top aide to SL's president said. Lalith Weeratunga, in Washington to lobby against calls for such an inquiry, said Sri Lanka needed at least five years from July 2012 date the govt regards as the start of its reconciliation process for the effort to take root. more..

Use of trawlers a contentious issue at fishermen meet

Jan 28 (Hindu) Use of high-powered trawlers, banned in Sri Lanka, by the Indian fishermen while fishing in Palk Strait remained a contentious issue in the talks between the fishermen of the two countries here on Monday. The two sides, however, agreed to have another round of talks in Colombo after a month. “Till that time, SL representatives urged Tamil fishermen not to enter Sri Lankan waters as they need to convince their fishermen,” said a participant of the meeting held in Chennai. more..

Mangala case dismissed

Jan 28 (FT) Panadura Magistrate yesterday declined to hear evidence against UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera based on media reports and said the Court would only be guided by the Police B report regarding the theft at the P’s residence last month. The case of petty theft that has elicited significant media attention due to the sexual allegations and aspersions being cast on Samaraweera and the suspect that broke into his home came up before Panadura Magistrate’s Court yesterday. more..

US to press Sri Lanka again at UNHRC

Jan 28 (AP) The United States said Monday it will sponsor a resolution at the UNHRC that Sri Lanka is worried could call for an international investigation into allegations of war crimes during island nation’s civil conflict. Hoping to head off that threat, a top aide to SL’s powerful president is in Washington this week, trying to persuade the Obama administration and lawmakers that SL is on a path toward national reconciliation, more..

Casting the net on fishing issue

Jan 28 (DM) Barely one week after the ministerial-level talks held on January 14, between Sri Lanka and India on the fisheries crisis in the seas between the two countries, 25 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Navy near the Delft Island in the North. Pointing to the deep political nature of the problem, TN Chief Minister Jeyalalithaa Jeyaram had protested against the arrest and warned that the much-awaited talks between the fishermen's associations of both countries which more..

Simple minded agricultural 'Messiah' from South

Jan 28 (DM) The south of Sri Lanka produced many distinguished and outstanding men and women, excelling in various fields for decades. One such personality is the Speaker of Parliament, Chamal Rajapaksa. His biography, written by Punya de Silva - a close friend of his, reveals many salient facets of his illustrious character, his contribution to the social development of people and his untiring contribution towards the overall development of the region. The book is well compiled with notes on more..

'LLRC is a step in the right direction'

Jan 28 (DM) Professor Ernest Petric is at present a senior judge of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia. From 2010 to 2013 he held the title of President of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia. He has been an Ambassador of Slovenia to the US, Mexico, Australia and Brazil. He has been the Permanent Representative of the Republic to the International Organizations in Vienna and served as Ambassador of Yugoslavia, India & Nepal. more..

‘I’m ready for the suicidal mission’

Jan 28 (DM) Actor and film director turned UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake recently made a bold statement, offering to contest as chief ministerial candidate at the Western Provincial Council elections, an act many political analysts believe would be a ‘politically suicidal move’ for a parliamentarian. He spoke to the Daily Mirror about his decision and expressed his views about the present political situation in the county. more..

Sri Lanka rural roads link villages to cities improving rural economy

Jan 28 (WB) Nirupa, a 13-year old school girl from Neluwa recalls the difficulties she and her friends faced walking to school for miles. She also observes how people’s lives changed since the new rural road was developed connecting her small village to markets outside the village. “Now we have a good quality road” she observes describing the progress in her village since the road was constructed. Although Sri Lanka ranks high in more..

Was he framed?

Jan 28 (SL) Senior high ranking police officers are of the view that there is no protection for honest police officers in the Police Department when politicians are involved in police investigations. Following the arrest of the former OIC of the Wellampitiya Police for an alleged heroin peddling charge, these senior police officers, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that they are demoralized over how their colleague was more..

Schoolboy’s tragic death raises questions over child-safety regulations

Jan 28 (ST) Prabath and Nilmini Wijesinghe from Thalawathugoda would not have imagined that their playful nine-year-old son who waved goodbye to them and got into the school van on Tuesday would come back home lifeless in a coffin. A grade four student of Ananda College, Colombo, Senith Wijesinghe’s killer was a turf roller lying in a corner of the school grounds. The playground was packed with students practising for more..

Don’t post cops to their home areas on polls duty - PAFFREL

Jan 28 (Island) Election monitoring body, PAFFREL, has requested the IGP to deploy police officers who are not residents of the area concerned when setting up district level complaint units to be operated under the supervision of the Election Commissioner at the forthcoming elections to the Western and Southern PCs. "The deployment of police officers from the same district will create bottlenecks in the discharge of their duties. more..

SL Women take series after six-wicket win

Jan 28 (CI) An incisive bowling performance from Sri Lanka Women paved the way for the team's six-wicket victory against India Women in Visakhapatnam, and helped them take the series 2-1. India, put in to bat, lost four quick wickets to slump to 12 for 4 inside four overs. Poonam Raut briefly stopped the slide, scoring a slow, but important 38 which included three fours, before departing in the 17th over. more..

Probe on Bribery Chief yet to begin

Jan 28 (DM) The investigation into the complaint by the JVP against Bribery Commission Chief Jagath Balapatabendi was still to begin despite the lapse of more than three weeks since the date of the complaint. Reliable sources said that the investigation unit had not received the file containing the allegations against Justice Balapatabendi. On January 1, the JVP lodged a complaint against the Bribery Commissioner more..

BJP and Eelam: Threat shouldn’t be taken lightly, the UNP warns

Jan 28 (Island) The UNP warned that the Rajapaksa govt needed to get its act together with India’s right wing Bharathiya Janathiya Party (BJP), which was expected to win the countrys next General Election, stating that ‘Eelam is a distinct possiblity’. UNP MP Lakshman Kirielle said that Yaswant Sinha, who was the BJP’s shadow Foreign Minister had at a recent party meeting stated that ‘Eelam is a distinct possibilty’. more..

'Milk powder importers will not have their way'

Jan 28 (DN) Milk powder companies will ‘not be allowed to do a Shylock’ in their requests for a hike in imported milk powder prices. Minister Johnston Fernando yesterday denied that he was planning to give milk powder importers the price increase they are anticipating. “The request by milk powder companies is under scrutiny for appropriate action. They will not get their planned price hike,” he noted. more..

How proactive are the Traffic Police?

Jan 28 (CT) Surely, the public should be intrigued by the latest, ‘bright’ idea mooted by the Traffic Police for requesting motorcyclists in the Western Province to ride with their headlights on during day time. No one should blame the average folks for being bamboozled by this brilliant idea for it is simply beyond the comprehension of an average citizen. But, soon they would be beholden to the wisdom of our cops. But until then, it would be the importers of motorcycle spare parts who would make more..

Norochcholai plant back in operation soon

Jan 28 (Island) The month old technical problem at the country’s first coal fired power plant at Norochcholai would be over before the Independence Day and the plant would contribute the much needed 300MW before February 4, CEB officials said. Meanwhile, the second coal fired power plant at Norochcholai is in the process of fine tuning and valves being tightened and it was expected to have a test run today. CEB Additional General Manager M C Wickramasekra more..

Vulnerable employment 40% in SL: UN

Jan 28 (CT) A recent United Nations (UN) report on the world economy shows that although economic growth remains favourable in Sri Lanka, the labour situation leaves much to be desired. Sri Lanka reported a record low unemployment rate of 3.9% for the first quarter of 2012, which increased to 4.5% a year later, Central Bank data showed. The UN report 'World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014' said this data more..

Sri Lanka stocks close 0.4% lower

Jan 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks close 0.43% lower Tuesday with diversified stocks losing ground despite net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 26.98 points lower at 6,218.83, down 0.43%. The S&P SL20 closed 25.88 points lower at 3,435.87, down 0.75%. Turnover was 1.45 billion rupees, up from 872.63 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 82 firms closing in the red against 93 gainers. HNB closed 40 cents lower at 159.00 rupees with three off market transactions more..

Sri Lanka rupee edges down to 1-week low on bond sales, importer dollar demand

Jan 28 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee edged down on Tuesday, hovering near a one-week low on bond outflows and importer demand for the greenback, despite dollar selling by a state bank to prevent the fall, dealers said. The spot rupee ended at 130.80/90 per dollar its lowest since Jan. 22 and weaker from Monday's close of 130.78/85 per dollar. "There were bond outflows and dollar demand from importers in the morning and we have seen a state bank selling dollars at 130.85," more..

Sri Lanka's commission on war missing receives over 13,000 complaints

Jan 28 (Xinhua) An independent presidential commission appointed to investigate people who disappeared during Sri Lanka's conflict have received over 13,000 complaints. Presidential Commission has received approximately 13,700 complaints of disappearances from all parts of the country. According to the Commission approximately 9,300 disappearances are of civilians and 4,300 are of security personnel. more..

Popular sexist outburst and independent election monitoring

Jan 28 (CT) Nominations for the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections will close on 03 March next and the run up to nominations have already stirred much amusement in the local media with new female names and faces announcing their entry into politics. The ruling UPFA in particular has succeeded in listing some names that caught immediate public attention and Face Book comments. So did the statement by CaFFE on these prospective candidates. more..

Sri Lankan police continue search for 20yo man suspected of raping Australian woman

Jan 28 (ABC) Sri Lankan police are still searching for a 20-year-old man who allegedly raped an Australian woman in the country's south last week. Police say the Australian woman was part of a group on an excursion to a small island off the coast of Sri Lanka where the incident is alleged to have taken place. The group all worked at a turtle rehabilitation farm near the southern town of Ambalangoda, but the woman and a 20-year-old local man became separated from the group for several hours. more..

Sri Lanka to resume oil cooperation with Iran

Jan 28 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is preparing to renew oil cooperation with Iran following talks between the two countries. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said his country will proceed with oil cooperation with Iran. Before US sanctions Sri Lanka imported as much as 90% of its oil demand from Iran. The country also saw an increase in expenditure after it was forced to shift to different imports, mostly from Middle East. more..

Maithri finds President’s smart move

Jan 28 (Island) UNP reformist and former Southern Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunaratne is of the opinion that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has made a smart move in giving nominations to actresses, singers and models to attract more votes for the UPFA. The popularity of the Alliance had diminished to a great extent due to corruption, ever increasing cost of living (CoL) and state sponsored thuggery, as it faced the Southern and Western PC elections in March, he said. more..

Concerns over NPC resolution

Jan 28 (CG) Concerns have been raised over the resolution adopted at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) with Minister Wimal Weerawansa saying it goes against national interests. He said that his party had at the very outset apposed holding elections in the North as there were fears a victory by the TNA could pave the way towards fresh attempts to split the country. ‘The resolution calling for an international probe is just what those looking to damage Sri Lanka want,” more..

Sri Lanka mass grave toll reaches 50

Jan 28 (PTI) Skeletal remains of at least 50 people have been dug out from a mass grave discovered in northeastern SL, amid speculation that the remains were of Tamil civilians who had disappeared during the war with the LTTE. SSP Ajith Rohana said further digging will be continued with the deployment of a team from the crime investigation department to assist in investigations. 3 more skulls were found today, more..

CaFFE wants Western and Southern PC property returned

Jan 28 (Island) CaFFE yesterday sent letters to former Chief Ministers of Southern and Western Provinces requesting them to hand over vehicles and other properties of the respective councils. CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said that they had requested Shan Wijelal de Silva and Prasanna Ranatunga to ask their members to hand over state resources. "According to our information, chief ministers, ministers and Chairmen of those two councils have not handed over more..

Army denies claims of monitoring patrols in Jaffna

Jan 28 (DM) While claiming that within the last two weeks an important step was taken to further reduce the military presence in Jaffna by relocating 214 static guard positions occupied by troops within the peninsula, the army today rejected claims that the Sri Lanka Army had stepped up monitoring patrols in Jaffna. “It has been alleged by certain political activists in Jaffna that the Sri Lanka Army had stepped up monitoring patrols in Jaffna. This allegation is completely baseless more..

Day 2: Silva ton powers SL into lead

Jan 28 (CI) Sri Lanka strengthened their grip on the Test through steady accumulation, aided by a series of let-offs that allowed Kaushal Silva score his maiden Test century. Bangladesh needed to grasp all opportunities given their first-innings score of 232 that appeared inadequate after the opening day, but their performance in the field failed to complement the efforts of their seamers, particularly Al-Amin Hossain, who toiled with more..

Food quality checks by PHIs countrywide

Jan 28 (Island) Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) will conduct country wide inspections on supermarkets during a two day special programme to ensure the quality of food being sold in supermarkets and wayside eateries. Secretary of the Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL), Senarath Bandara said yesterday that Friday (31) and Saturday (Feb 1) had been named the National Food Safety Day by the Director General Health Services (DGHS) who is the Food Authority. more..

Audio: My powers are not limited: Mervyn

Jan 28 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva said, he had received Rs.300 million for the development programmes of the area within a day of assuming duties as Kelaniya electoral organiser. “I will start this journey with 300 million rupees of money for this year,” he said. Addressing a meeting at Kelaniya he said according to his ministry he had the power to implement development programmes anywhere in the country. He said that Public Relations was applicable to the welfare of everyone more..