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Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.3%

Jan 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks close higher Friday with healthcare and beverage firms gaining amid improved US growth numbers. All Share Price Index closed 20.82 points higher at 6,248.08, up 0.33%. The S&P SL20 closed 1.62 points lower at 3,442.94, down 0.05%. Turnover was 1.33 billion rupees, up from 808.33 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 79 firms closing in the red against 116 gainers. Brown and Company closed 50 cents lower at 91.00 rupees with an off market transaction more..

Refugees enjoy an Aussie summer holiday thanks to Warrnambool families

Feb 1 (ABC) Home Among the Gum Trees is a group that connects asylum seekers with people in rural communities. The idea is to give the asylum seekers a much-needed holiday and a chance to connect with everyday Australians and the land. This summer, five Warrnambool families put up their hands to host a group from Sri Lanka. Sitting on a jetty on the bank of the tranquil Hopkins River, Katherine Stewart watches Australian and more..

Some remarkable events and Premadasa’s victory

Jan 31 (CT) On 21st Oct, the SLFP decided to call off two meetings in the Badulla District after the JVP’s military wing, the DJV, called upon the people not to attend the SLFP’s propaganda meetings. It accused the SLFP of a secret deal with India where it agreed to abide by the Accord and keep Indian troops. The meeting in Badulla town was subsequently held where Anura Bandaranaike accused the UNP and SLMP (USA) of sending them threatening notes in the name of the JVP, more..

JVP docs blame govt

Jan 31 (Island) The JVP affiliated All Ceylon Government Medical Officers’ Association (ACGMOA) General Secretary Dr. Jayantha Bandara yesterday said that the government was solely responsible for the delay in implementing the doctors’ service minute. Dr. Bandara added that the government was not trying to retain doctors in the country. Although medical faculties had been producing a large number of qualified doctors, only 17,000 had remained in the country. more..

Sri Lanka inflation at 4.4% in January 2014

Feb 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's consumer prices rose 4.4% in the 12-months to January 2014, down from 4.7% in December, the state statistics office said. But the Colombo Consumer Price index rose 0.6% to 177.5 points in the month with transport and communications costs rising though the food index fell 0.9%. Sri Lanka's inflation has been moderate with a stable exchange rate and weak bank loan growth after a credit bubble burst in 2011 more..

Sri Lanka briefs top Japanese official

Jan 31 (CG) Sri Lanka today briefed Japan on several key issues during talks held between the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda and Hiroshige Seko, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Office of the PM of Japan. The Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan said that Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seko and the Ambassador discussed myriad issues of mutual relevance and importance to both the countries. The two dignitaries also discussed, in detail, more..

Rupee weaker on importer dollar demand

Jan 31 (Reuters) The rupee traded weaker on Friday due to importer dollar demand from a state bank, and dealers expect more downward pressure on the local currency after the U.S. Federal Reserve further trimmed its monetary stimulus. At 0553 GMT, the spot rupee was at 130.75/80 per dollar, weaker from Thursday's close of 130.63/65. The Fed announced a further $10 billion reduction in its monthly bond buying as it stuck to plans to wind down its extraordinary stimulus despite more..

Video: JVP accuses Bribery Com. of evading tactics

Jan 31 (DM) The JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti today accused the Bribery Commission of attempting to sweep under the carpet the investigation against its Chairman by needlessly delaying the investigation. He said the complaint was made a month ago but nothing had happened so far. “We made the complaint on January 1 but we have not been informed yet whether an investigation was being carried out or not. more..

Govt. agrees to reduce size of pictorial warnings on packets of cigarettes

Jan 31 (Island) AG told the Court of Appeal that the Minister of Health was agreeable to reduce the size of the pictorial warnings to 70% of the display area of packets of cigarettes. He said warnings occupying 80% of the display areas were a concept of National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol. Ceylon Tobacco Company had filed a Writ Application against a gazette notification published by Minister of Health making it mandatory for pictorial warnings to cover 80% more..

SF’s DP fears move to sabotage Feb. 4 youth membership drive

Jan 31 (Island) Former Army Chief, General Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party (DP) will launch a membership drive at Kalawewa electorate in the Anuradhapura District on Independence Day. Deputy Leader of the DP Jayantha Ketagoda, MP and National Organiser Captain Gayan Vithanage will spearheaded the initiative. DP organiser for Kalawewa Lalith Karunaratne said that the proposed membership drive would coincide with the 66th National Independence Day celebrations. more..

The country needs an intellectual dialogue now – JVP

Jan 31 (LT) The govt has come down to the low level of taking revenge from the Director of the National Accounts Division of the Census and Statistics Department by transferring him from place to place and changing his position said JVP MP Anura Disanayaka and said instead of gibbering at various places a dialogue on the data distortion should be carried out. He said this at a media conference yesterday. more..

Nine Sri Lankans arrested for illegally entering Indian waters

Jan 31 (Hindu) Two Sri Lankan fishing vessels with nine crew were apprehended in a midnight swoop on Wednesday off the Chennai coast by the Indian Coast Guard, Eastern Region. A press note from the Coast Guard said the ICG Dornier had detected these boats positioned in Indian waters approximately 38 nautical miles off Chennai during a night surveillance and immediately tipped off the Coast Guard Ship Rajkamal. The Sri Lankan vessels Mangla-2 and Mangla-3 were brought to more..

Other universities to support ‘Rajarata’ students’ struggle

Jan 31 (LT) Despite the continuous ‘Sathyagraha’ campaign begun by students of Rajarata University putting forward 9 demands including the removal of unjustifiable suspensions on 27 students and solutions for other grievances has continued for 52 days, the administration and the vice-chancellor have not taken any measures to solve the issue. Students of other universities too have decided to support the campaign carried out by students of Rajarata University say reports. more..

Biswal insists US has no agenda

Jan 31 (CG) Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal insists the US does not have a set agenda against Sri Lanka, but it is compelled to take up certain issues due to the values upon which the USA has been founded upon. At a meeting with Minister G.L. Peiris in Colombo today, Biswal said that there is “growing frustration” in the international community due to the fear that Sri Lanka more..

'Govt. pushing Northern CM to extremism'

Jan 31 (Island) Leader of the Democratic People’s Front (DPF) Mano Ganeshan said yesterday that UPFA govt, instead of protecting the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), was pushing its Chief Minister Wigneswaran into the hands of extremists. He said that the three resolutions passed by the NPC including the call for international probe on war crimes charges were the outcome of the failure of Mahinda Rajapaksa govt to address the issues affecting the Tamil people. more..

Arrests were not meant to disrupt talks-Navy

Jan 31 (DM) Sri Lanka Navy said it was compelled to arrest the Indian fishermen as they had clearly intruded into the territorial waters of Sri Lanka and that the arrests were not meant to disrupt the ongoing talks between the two govts on the fishing crisis. “The arrests were made after the fishermen had crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line and were well within our territorial waters” Navy spokesman said. He said Indian fishermen were engaging in ‘bottom trawling’. more..

No forced removal says Gota

Jan 31 (CG) Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa says the people in parts of Wanathamulla will not be forced to relocate to the housing scheme at Dematagoda. The MoD quoted him as telling the residents of estate 54 and 66 in Wanathamulla that the Dematagoda project is focused on providing better living conditions for the low income families living in slums and to make Colombo a show case city in the region. more..

Majority of Lankans liable to contract cancer

Jan 31 (Island) Around 84% of people in Sri Lanka are liable to develop various forms of cancers. Smoking, alcohol consumption and chewing betel are believed to be the main causes. Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala addressing a media conference in view of the World Cancer Day, which falls on Feb 4, said that people developing various forms of cancers had increased owing to the consumption of betel, liquor consumption and smoking. more..

Sophisticated CT Scanner at Nawaloka

Jan 31 (GDI) Nawaloka Hospital a pioneering healthcare service provider installed the most sophisticated CT scanner, the first of its kind in a hospital in South Asia. The CT scanner machine was unveiled by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday at the Nawaloka Hospital. The CT Scanner is a product of the Toshiba Institute of Japan. The very first Cardiac Angiogram in the island was performed after unveiling the machine and it was witnessed by the President. more..

Third consecutive US resolution targeting Sri Lanka

Jan 31 (Island) Senior British officials dealing with the LTTE based in UK will meet US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal early next week in London as they step up pressure on member states of the UNHRC to back a third US resolution targeting Sri Lanka since 2012. Biswal, an American of Indian origin is expected to be in London on Monday. Assistant Secretary Biswal will fly to London from Colombo after having more..

Central banks of Sri Lanka and India ink pact for information exchange

Jan 31 (PTI) The Reserve Bank has signed a MoU with Central Bank of Sri Lanka for cooperation and exchange of information. “The Reserve Bank, signed a MoU on ‘Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information’ with Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL),” RBI said in a release on Friday. The RBI has been signing MoUs with supervisors of other countries to promote greater co-operation and sharing of supervisory information between the two supervisors, it added. more..

Jailing of Sri Lankan gang hailed

Jan 31 (CG) The British Govt says the arrest and jailing of a criminal gang who smuggled Sri Lankans into the UK is a major breakthrough. David Fairclough from Home Office Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations unit said the international organised crime gang conspired to smuggle desperate people into the UK purely for their own financial gain. He said the gang members were major players in bringing Sri Lankan nationals to the UK illegally but thanks to the more..

Sangakkara eyes better IPL contract in 2015

Jan 31 (CI) The decision not to place himself in 2014's IPL auction was to increase the likelihood of getting a better contract in 2015, Kumar Sangakkara has said. A Sri Lanka squad is set to depart for tours of Ireland and England around 20 days into the 2014 IPL season, severely undermining the potential value of contracts for Sri Lanka players this year. However, Sangakkara hoped the new IPL rule that allows more..