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Sri Lanka shares close down 0.1%

July 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.11% lower ending a seven day winning streak with banking stocks losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 7.46 points lower at 6,661.40, down 0.11%. The S&P SL20 closed 26.98 points lower at 3,708.16, down 0.72%. Turnover was 1.67 billion rupees, down from 2.36 billion rupees a day earlier with 79 stocks closed positive against 128 negative. DFCC Bank closed 3.40 rupees lower at 166.60 rupees with an off-market transaction more..

Editorial: Gigolos, eunuchs and thugs

July 11 (Island) Power not only corrupts but also drives the wielders thereof mad. Craving for power also has the same corrupting and unhinging effect on the minds of ambitious politicians. It causes mood swings in those who savour it; they are in transports of delight when they are not troubled by fear of losing it, and they get transmogrified into dangerous monsters if they feel their interests are threatened. Greedy wielders and desperate seekers of power are seldom at peace more..

Senanayake may be over limits says expert

July 11 (DM) There is a strong likelihood that the laboratory tests would prove Sri Lanka’s star spinner Sachitra Senanayake to be a degree or two above the legally permitted 15-degree allowance of straightening the bowling arm, a local expert told the “Daily Mirror”. He said that all local expert analysts who reviewed footage of the recently concluded ODI series against England with the aid of technical equipment and computer more..

Sri Lanka rupee rises to over 1 year high

July 11 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee ended at its highest in more than a year on Friday due to inflows from remittances and exporter dollar sales, while state banks bought dollars at a lowered buying rate to curb any sharp appreciation in the local currency. The rupee closed at 130.20/22 per dollar, its highest close since June 26, 2013 and firmer from Thursday's close of 130.23/24. "There are inflows and the state banks lowered the buying rate by 3 cents," a currency dealer said. more..

Fonseka’s ex-media secretary complains of goon threats

July 11 (Island) Sanjeewa Samarasinghe, former Media Secretary of DP Leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka lodged a complaint with the Ragama police station that he was threatened by a group of men, who posed off as policemen after arriving at his home at Ragama in the early hours of on Wednesday. He had been asked to accompany them to Ragama police station around 12:15 am to give a statement; refusing to go with them, he had offered to come later in the morning if required. more..

Video: Funds placed in Swiss banks via Seychelles: UNP

July 11 (DM) The UNP said there was a trend where black money including money swindled from development projects was deposited in Swiss banks through Seychelles because Switzerland was tightening its laws. It said that though all funds deposited in Swiss banks were not ill-gotten lucre a large amount of such funds were deposited concealing the true identity. UNP MP Harsha De Silva said the amount of funds more..

Muslim ministers deny and condemn Sri Lankan Islamic Terrorism claim

July 11 (CT) Grave concerns have been raised over the promotion of unfounded claims concerning Islamic terrorist groups operating on Sri Lankan soil, by five Muslim Ministers through a joint statement issued last night. Statement that has been signed by 5 govt Ministers including Rauff Hakeem, A.H.M. Fowzie, Rishad Bathiudeen, Basheer Segu Dawood and LM Athaullah, it has been pointed out that the promotion of such baseless claims is like ‘rubbing salt to a wound’ in the wake of more..

Tiger who attempted to kill CBK to be brought to Colombo

July 11 (Island) Malaysia has agreed to hand over to Sri Lanka four former members of the LTTE arrested during a recent operation. Four specially trained policemen would leave next week for Kuala Lumpur to bring down the hardcore terrorists to Colombo, police sources said. A senior police officer said that the Malaysian police had assured to cooperate with their Sri Lankan counterparts to apprehend other Tiger suspects who have taken refuge in the South East Asian country with more..

Mathews backs Sri Lanka to overcome pressure of decider

July 11 (CI) Formula and fight have been the cornerstones of Sri Lanka's limited-overs cricket for some time. Sri Lanka have stuck with the same plan for so long now, fans could draw up a checklist of their tactical manoeuvres for a game of cricket bingo. There is often a fast start and an early wicket, when they bat. Then Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara join hands for a sometimes promising, often plentiful, stand. more..

Unbridled powers vested in Executive Presidency have to go - Ranil

July 11 (Island) The UNP, while reiterating its commitment to abolishing the unbridled powers vested in the Executive Presidency, said yesterday that it would go along with whatever model to achieve that objective Informed sources said that the UNP’s position had been conveyed to JHU MP and Head of the Pivithuru Hetak movement Athuraliye Rathana Thera, who met UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and party seniors at Sirikotha to discuss their National Policy statement more..

Sri Lanka firm sells banking software to Solomon Islands

July 11 (LBO) Fortunaglobal, a Sri Lanka based tech firm said it had delivered a digital banking platform to a lender in Solomon Islands. Its 'FortunaFinance' branded platform will allow Solomon Island's Pan Oceanic Bank to provide services to customers through mobile phones and the web. "Financial institutions of all sizes are seeking more flexible, responsive, cost efficient multi-channeled and personalized e-banking solutions to enhance their business propositions effectively," more..

Hundreds of Tamils have simply vanished on the perilous sea voyage to Australia

July 11 (Time) Antonyamma, a Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka living in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, last heard from her daughter Mary more than a year ago when the younger woman had boarded a boat heading for Australia, along with seven other members of her family, including four children aged under 9. In total, 63 people from their community were on the same boat, which left the Indian port of Kochi on May 1, 2013. more..

Those who owe millions to Mahaweli Authority to be taken to courts

July 11 (Island) Many governmental organisations own the Mahaweli Authority large sums of money for using its properties including land. They are the Petroleum Corporation (Rs 1.2 million), Sri Lanka Transport Board (Rs 5 million), Ceylon Electricity Board (Rs 2.7 million), Embilipitiya Paper Corporation (Rs. 50 million), Lak Sathosa (Rs 1.5 million), Coconut Development Board (Rs 1.2 million), Agricultural Insurance Board (Rs 2.1 million), People’s Bank (Rs 1.3 million) and more..

Govt has taken action needed to safeguard environment

July 11 (GDI) Govt has taken action necessary to protect environment and the UNP should not forget the fact that over 200,000 acres of forest had been destroyed by expediting the Mahaweli project, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told Parliament. He said so while participating in the debate on two regulations under the Marine Pollution Prevention Acts Nos 1 and 2. Sri Lanka was among the nations that discharge lowest amounts of Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere. more..

Demand to revisit Katchatheevu pact with Lanka raised in RS

July 11 (PTI) A demand was raised in Rajya Sabha that the govt should renegotiate Katchatheevu agreement with Sri Lanka to protect the rights of Tamil fishermen in the island, under possession of the neighbouring country. Raising the issue of plight of Tamil fishermen at the hands of SL Navy, D Raja (CPI) said "Katchatheevu agreement should be reopened and renegotiated" to ensure fishing rights to fishermen from India there. more..

Hajj Pilgrim Operators challenge allocation of quotas in SC

July 11 (Island) Ten Muslim Hajj Pilgrim Travel Operators have complained to the Supreme Court about the allocation of quotas for Hajj pilgrimage in 2014. These petitioners, M. Althof Nuwaz and ten others have requested the Supreme Court to direct the respondent, Chairman of the Interview Panel and others to hold fresh interviews with these operators or to get the already made selection after it is reviewed by a panel appointed by the Supreme Court. They have said that the accepted more..

MLTs to take up lab equipment racket with Ministry next week

July 11 (Island) Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) said they would meet with the Health Ministry next Wednesday to discuss the waste of public funds on purchasing laboratory equipment in an unplanned manner. President of the Sri Lanka Association of Government Medical Laboratory Technologists (SLAGMLT), Janaka Nishantha said that a suitable method should be formulated to purchase laboratory goods and equipment. An accurate assessment of their cost more..

Sri Lanka urged to boost skills for economic growth, global competitiveness

July 11 (FT) Sri Lanka’s workforce lacks critical job-specific skills that are in high demand, threatening the country’s sustained economic growth, said the World Bank in a new report. The workforce’s lack of technical and soft skills undermine private sector growth as well as the Govt’s ambitious development plan, the ‘Mahinda Chinthana,’ which aims to sustain economic growth at 8% annually while transforming the country more..

TGTE gets more support for its cause

July 11 (CG) The Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has secured more support for its self proclaimed ‘parliament’ with some well known names joining its membership. The self proclaimed prime minister of the TGTE, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, named fifteen ‘senators’ for the TGTE’s second Parliamentary Session. The Senate serves as the Upper House of TGTE’s self proclaimed parliament. “Former US Attorney General, Senior Civil Rights and more..

Polls chief against criminals at polls

July 11 (CG) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has urged political parties not to nominate anyone with a criminal background for the provincial council elections. The Polls Chief has made the request when he met political party representatives, elections monitors and other officials. The Executive Director of the election monitoring group PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachi, said that Deshapriya had discussed issues related to the upcoming Uva PC elections. more..

G.L. invites Sushma Swaraj to visit Sri Lanka

July 11 (ANI) Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris had extended an invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to visit Sri Lanka in his meeting with her, which covered substantive issues concerning both India and Sri Lanka. "The Sri Lanka Foreign Minister has invited the External Affairs Minister to visit the country at an appropriate date. As you know India and Sri Lanka has a joint commission, more..

ATM theft: 4 Sri Lankan refugees held

July 11 (NIP) Four Sri Lankan refugees were arrested on Thursday by Palluruthy police on charge of swindling crores of money through ATMs using fake ATM cards and a swiping machine. The arrested have been identified as Suresh, 31, Sendhooran, 31, Shivasuthan, 31, and Anandaraj,31, who are refugees stationed at Trichy, TN. The police have seized 372 fake ATM cards, a laptop, a card reader, a swiping machine used to withdraw money and a Hyundai Santro car more..

143 'suspicious' Asylum seekers detained at Boossa camp

July 11 (AM) Military sources told Asian Mirror that 143 refugees out of the 1570 who settled down in Sri Lanka after arriving with tourists visa have been detained in the Boossa holding camp. They further said that over 1570 Pakistani asylum seekers were under investigation by Sri Lanka Army during recent times. These alleged refugees had arrived in the country under visiting visa and had seek asylum via UNHCR. The 143 who are currently being detained in the Boossa camp are being being more..

Cigarette packets must contain pictorial warning from 2015 - SC

July 11 (AD) Supreme Court today ordered the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) to include 60% pictorial warnings on cigarette packets released to the market from Jan 1, 2015. Verdict was delivered by a judge bench comprising CJ Mohan Peiris, Justice Rohini Marasinghe and Justice Sisira J. De Abrew when the Fundamental Rights petition filed by the CTC against the pictorial warnings was taken up for hearing today. more..

From shanty to home : Myth vs reality of Colombo’s Urban Regeneration Project

July 12 (GV) The ambitious Urban Regeneration Project (URP) launched by the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development aims to transform Colombo into a world-class destination for tourism and investment. Central to this eliminating “shanties, slums and other dilapidated housing from the city of Colombo by resettlement of the families presently living under unhygienic and poor environmental conditions in such housing in new housing schemes of internationally recognized standards and more..

Photos around questions I couldn’t answer: Four days after the riots

July 12 (GV) At journalism school I was taught to get as close as possible without getting involved. Go in, get the story, don’t become the story, don’t interfere with the story. These rules played like a soundtrack on loop in my mind when I visited Aluthgama and Beruwela, four days after the devastating riots in June 2014. I make this trip to Galle often, almost every weekend. We rarely use the highway so it’s always the same trip along Galle Road, same pit stops, same sights. more..

Vicinity of Temple Trees: Live and let live

July 12 (SO) Peace is an occurrence of harmony characterised by lack of violence, conflict behaviour and the freedom from fear of violence. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests sincere attempts at reconciliation, the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the establishment of equality, that serves more..

Illegal deposit takers: Time for a crackdown?

July 12 (CT) Recent newspaper reports carried a story on one more financial pyramid scheme, allegedly called ‘Pandora Advertising’ in Tangalle, allegedly modelled on another in Tissamaharama, ‘Luminous Advertising,’ both in the Hambantota District. A pyramid scheme is one by which an unauthorised deposit taker offers high interest rates to gullible depositors, paying off early depositors, with funds deposited by later depositors and at some point decamps with the money. more..

Educational Mishaps

July 12 (CT) Apart from its failure to pursue Reconciliation with determination and coherence, perhaps the saddest failure of the current govt has been with regard to Education. When the Cabinet was being formed in 2010, one of the President’s friends who was pressing hard for me to be appointed Minister of Education was told that they had found a brilliant candidate, namely Bandula Gunawardena. I presume his long experience in giving tuition was thought an appropriate more..

Today is the Esala Poya

July 12 (DN) Many significant events in the life of Buddha took place on Esala Poya. Of all events, the most important one was the delivery of Dhammachakkapavattanasutta at Isipatana to Panchavaggiya Bhikkus. Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama, Assaji and Kondanna. Motion of the wheel of Dhamma-Dhammachakkapavattana Sutta was the Blessed One's first sermon and it contained the crux of His Dhamma, where more..

Country and tourism at their heart

July 12 (Island) It has been smooth sailing for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry despite the country being liberated from terrorism in May 2009 after three decades of turmoil. Statistics released by SL Tourism Promotions Bureau more often than not are inaccurate and they always paint a rosy picture to the public. Whenever some success was achieved there were scores of people from diverse fields who claimed the credit for it without doing much. Most of them were rubber stamp bureaucrats more..

Populism without planning

July 12 (SL) Amongst the many complaints against government made by its own Ministers and MPs who attended the Consultative Committee on Resettlement was one relating to something that has been a constant theme of the opposition. This is that the armed forces are engaging in business at the expense of civilians. The specific case cited related to entry into joint partnership with a foreign national for the generation of bio-fuels. This seems to me in itself a good idea, and more..

Where are the Sri Lankan female scientists?

July 12 (GV) In recent decades, many researchers, education specialists and policy advocates have paid increasing attention to the issue of gender bias in science. While several successful attempts have been made to increase female participation in science, a dearth of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields still remains around the world. 2013 UNESCO study found that only 30% of more..

The Muslim in me

July 12 (NS) One of the greatest lessons that Buddhism has taught me is that the idea or concept of ‘self’ is untenable. Paikkulamanasikara or “reflections on repulsiveness”, where body parts are contemplated in a variety of ways teaches us not just about impermanence but makes us question ‘I’. It helps diminish ego. Similarly if one contemplated sensations and thoughts deep enough immediately one begins to understand that ‘I’ is made of innumerable ‘externalities’. more..

Rainbow Nation’s exemplary Black & White delegation to Sri Lanka!

July 12 (CT) The attempts on finding a political settlement to the Lankan Tamil question has now focused towards South Africa and the effort has even reached a great height with an involvement of a mediator in the Lankan issue, in the status of a Deputy President. India first came forward to deal with the Lankan Tamil question following the 'Black July' of 1983 communal riots against Tamils in the island as a backlash to killing 13 soldiers by a claymore mine explosion in Jaffna. more..

The struggle between measuring tape and shop assistant

July 12 (CT) With tough competition in the form of ready-made clothes displayed in trendy stores in Colombo today, the tailoring industry is not enjoying the fruits of its labour as they did before. This trade was invaluable just a decade or so ago, when buying ready-made garments was a luxury in itself while almost everyone had a favourite tailor, personal or company based, on hand. The number of the afore-mentioned stores, more..

The juicy bite of green politics

July 12 (Island) We may not be up to date in the development of human skills for better employment opportunities. But relax, we are not people who are out of date or out of touch. There is always the trust we can put on our politicians to be fully abreast with the latest events of importance. Brazil may have been thrown out of the competition for the football World Cup. But our politicians have shown they are good and speedy learners, especially the ugly or toothy aspects of sports. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims at the cross roads

July 12 (Island) The focus of the present article and of the previous one is on what the Aluthgama/Beruwela outrages really signify, and what action can be taken by our Muslims to safeguard their lives and their legitimate interests. I concluded my last one by pointing out that the anti-Muslim campaign does not have the backing of the mass of the Sinhalese people. Indeed, the indications are that the majority of the Sinhalese Buddhists view the BBS and other extremist more..

Duminy keen to dispel spin demons

July 12 (CI) Squandering a 1-0 advantage, the spotlight on batsmen to step up against spin, and the likely return of their pace spearhead are exactly what South Africa wanted ahead of their series decider. Yes, all 3 of those things, even though only the last one seems to make sense. Steyn was forced to leave the field with a thumb injury after bowling only 2.2 overs on Wednesday & suffered severe bruising but no fracture. more..