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Sri Lanka court keeps five in Australia asylum case in detention

July 14 (Reuters) A Sri Lankan court on Monday ordered that five suspected ringleaders of a people-smuggling operation remain in custody for two more weeks, in a case that has fuelled controversy over Australia's tough line on immigration. The five were among 41 Sri Lankan asylum seekers sent home by Australia after their refugee boat was intercepted. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has denied that operation more..

Counsel raises preliminary objection to proceeding with trial

July 14 (Island) President’s Counsel M M Zuhair raising a preliminary objection in a case under the Bribery Act before Colombo Additional Magistrate Chandima Liyanage last Monday, submitted that in view of Section 78(1) of the Bribery Act which provides that no Magistrate shall entertain any prosecution for an offence under the Bribery Act, except by or with the written sanction of the Bribery Commission, the prosecution cannot commence trial and Court cannot proceed with the case as more..

Police to expedite case against top trade union leaders

July 14 (AM) Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage today instructed the Slave Island police to take necessary advice from high ranking police officers to conclude the criminal case filed against thee trade union leaders Saman Rathnapriya, Joshep Stalin and K.B. Sirisena over violating a court order on May 01. The Magistrate, while instructing the Police to take necessary measures to conclude the case without further delay, said that this type of cases should not be dragged more..

Sri Lanka's tourism industry posts 35.8% growth in earnings in Jan-May

July 14 (Xinhua) Earnings from Sri Lanka's lucrative tourism industry in the first five months of 2014 amounted to US$ 901.8 million, a 35.8% rise over the same period last year, central bank said. Meanwhile, latest data from state-run Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) said the number of Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka in the first six months of 2014 jumped by a significant 137.2% year on year to 52,230. more..

Nimal Siripala wants Mustard seeds from an unemployed graduate

July 14 (AM) Minister Nimal Sirpala de Silva has challenged the opposition to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a house where there is a graduate without a job. Speaking at a public event, he said the govt gave jobs to each and every graduate who passed out from universities. "As a result," the Minister said, "unemployed graduates have now become a rarity." "Lord Buddha asked Kisa Gotami to bring a handful of mustard from a house where a death had not occurred. more..

Deputy Minister Abdul Carder charges Minster Fowzie over Hajj quota

July 14 (HN) Chief Justice Mohan Peries informed the parties who involved in the dispute of Haj Pilgrims quotas to settle the matter amicably. The Serendib Haj and Umra Association last Friday filed a fundamental case against the Haj Pilgrims Committee and charged the Committee has distributed the quotas in a biased manner. The case was taken before a panel of three Supreme Court Judges this morning. Later the court issued an injunction over the quota distribution, and more..

Mahela in the league of SL greats - Murali

July 14 (CI) Retiring batsman Mahela Jayawardene is one of Sri Lanka's greatest with the bat and as captain, Muttiah Muralitharan has said. Murali played 96 Tests alongside Jayawardene - 28 of those under Jayawardene's leadership, from 2006 to 2009. "He is one of the greatest players who has ever played for Sri Lanka," Murali said. "He has a superb record. We have him and Sangakkara from the younger group, but when you consider more..

Red notice issued for suspects arrest

July 14 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today issued red notice for the arrest of S.D.T. Christine Dilhari of No 2, Kotikawatte Shopping Complex, Angoda for aiding and abetting the main suspects in the Korean Job scam by communicating with the victims and getting the victim’s cash deposited in the suspects bank accounts. Magistrate Pilapitiya issued this order on considering the submissions made by IP Senaratna of the CID who submitted that even though more..

Two Turkish men, Ukrainian woman remanded

July 14 (DM) Two Turkish men and a Ukrainian woman who were produced in a Colombo Court on charges of having carried out an ATM-skimming racket in Colombo were yesterday remanded till July 16. The CID told Colombo Fort Acting Magistrate that the three suspects -- Zanburkan Hakan and Ahmet Akdemit of Turkey and Maryan Levchnco of Ukraine were arrested on charges of having withdrawn money from ATMs using skimming devices. The CID said they carried out more..

India to assist Agriculture and Engineering Faculties in Killinochchi

July 14 (GDI) Govt of India is happy to announce a partnership with the Govt of Sri Lanka to assist in the setting up of a Faculty of Agriculture and a Faculty of Engineering for the University of Jaffna at Kilinochchi. A MoU between the two Govts for the implementation of this project was signed on today between the High Commissioner of India, Y.K. Sinha, and the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne, more..

Can this soup be re-cooked anew?

July 15 (CT) Me with Dr. Udan Fernando were on a long haul to a remote area beyond Kurunegala and on the outskirts of Anuradhapura district, spending time from Friday afternoon, till Saturday afternoon. Roughly about 20 hours in all. A 65 rupee bus ride takes one to this area from Kurunegala town. The ordinary villager there does not often travel to Kurunegala. The closest town and the turn off is Madagalla, beyond Ibbagamuwa, if travelling to the area. more..

Should SL jump onto Modi’s bandwagon?

July 15 (CT) Dr Ganeshan Wignaraja, Director of Research at Tokyo based ADB Institute, made a presentation on an apt topic to a selected crowd at a seminar at the Institute of Policy Studies or IPS recently. The main title of his topic was “Will South Asia benefit from Pan-Asia Integration?” Implying that the answer to his question was in the affirmative, he went onto analysing a newly emerging aspect of the issue under a subtitle “The Challenges for the Modi Govt”. more..

Lanka's first Radiological Security Incident Response Team

July 15 (SO) The Special Task Force (STF) is the elite paramilitary force of the Police Department. It has earned a high reputation for its involvement in maintaining law and order and uplifting security during the war against terrorism for a long time. From handling VIP security to disposing bombs and to rescuing victims of serious hostage drama the STF is being summoned in the most crucial scenarios pertaining to the national security. more..

Civil society is part of democratic society which govt must engage with

July 15 (SL) There appears to be a strong sense of insecurity within the govt that Western countries are trying to ensure a change of regime by two means. One is by engineering their defeat at the national elections that are anticipated next year. The other is by pursuing them with an international investigation on the grounds of war crimes. Where elections are concerned, the govt appears to be seeing a threat to itself through NGOs that are receiving foreign funding. more..

Is BBS the new face of Buddhist revivalism?

July 15 (GV) The campaign of hate, intimidation and violence directed against Muslims in post-war Sri Lanka has been built substantially on blatant lies. ‘Guard Post’ column in Ceylon Today penned by UPFA’s Group Leader for Colombo District and WPC Minister Udaya Gammanpila (UG) is no different in this respect. UG, in his article, attempts to distort the facts relating to the recent anti-Muslim attacks, and most irresponsibly, seeks to portray the victims of the violence as the perpetrators. more..

'Ramposha’s visit only for discussions'

July 15 (SL) The NFF is opposing any kind of foreign mediation on the national issue. However, the NFF did not consider the visit of the Deputy President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa as’ interference’ as the govt has assured them that the visit is confined to mere discussions. Despite the claims of the govt, Cyril Ramaphosa has had discussions with the Chief Minister of the Northern Province related to Tamil national issue during his visit. more..

Editorial: Tears of joy and sorrow

July 15 (Island) Wives and mothers will stop cursing; they can now have a good night’s sleep, after a lapse of about one month, without being disturbed by loud oohs, aahs, groaning, swearing and ecstatic cries from TV rooms in the dead of night. FIFA World Cup 2014 is over! Germans were the hot favourites of many football lovers the world over and they didn’t disappoint their fans. They proved they were as good as they were thought to be, and executed a well-thought-out game plan more..

UNHRC initiated inquiry on Sri Lanka

July 15 (Island) It is reported that the infrastructure is in place for the UNHRC-initiated International inquiry on Sri Lanka to commence operations. However, the Terms of Reference/Remit for the conduct of the inquiry have not been reported. This is unusual because the accepted practice is that any inquiry should be conducted within stipulated parameters set by the remit to the inquiring body. In the absence of a formal remit to guide the International inquiry on Sri Lanka it is likely that this inquiring body more..

A man who speaks for a nation

July 15 (CI) Three years ago, the Sri Lankan cricket team rode through the streets of Lahore, Pakistan, on the third day of a Test match. Captain Mahela Jayawardene, who is to his country what Derek Jeter is to the city of New York, rode near the back of the bus. The convoy, with a police escort, rolled through the streets outside the stadium. Mahela, known as MJ, took out his phone to call his wife, and that's when more..

BOP surges 1,218%

July 15 (CT) The Balance of Payments (BOP) surged 1,218% during the first five months of this year with official reserves continuing to grow as economists and ratings agencies continue to warn against rising external debt. As at end May 2014, the BOP reached US$ 1,667.6 million, up 1,218% from US$ 126.5 million a year ago. Official reserves reached US$ 8.8 billion as at end May 2014, up from 8.1 billion a month ago. The IMF has said net debt to net reserves was nearly 100% and more..

Second hand vehicles no longer appreciate in value as in the past

July 15 (ST) Sinhaputhra recorded a growth in profitability in FYE 2014 vs. FYE 2013, despite the industry’s profitability falling from Rs. 14 billion to Rs. 7 billion. Company Managing Director Ravana Wijeyeratne said, in a statement to the media, that Sinhaputhra’s conservative expansion on credit growth allowed it to steadily maintain its growth momentum without large variations that could be extremely damaging. “Although, Sinhaputhra faces the same market conditions, more..

International travel bloggers set sights on destination Sri Lanka

July 15 (ST) A selected number of Sri Lankan travel bloggers will participate at the upcoming Asian Travel Bloggers Conference scheduled for November this year. Travel bloggers from around the world will gather in Colombo this November from 14-18 for what has been described as an “on- the go touring conference” capturing moments travelling across the country for the Travel Bloggers Conference Asia 2014. more..

Sri Lanka ‘A’ to play 12 one-dayers in England and Ireland

July 15 (Island) Sri Lanka ‘A’ players captained by Ashan Priyanjan flew to England yesterday to play 12 one-day games against county teams, England Lions, Ireland and New Zealand ‘A’. The Sri Lankans will be in England until 14th August. Sri Lanka Squad: Ashan Priyanjan (Captain), Kusal Perera, Dushmantha Chameera, Chathuranga de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (Wicketkeeper), Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage, Danushka Gunathilaka, Ishan Jayaratne, Lahiru Jayaratne, more..

Global apparel label and packaging giant to set up joint venture with Printcare

July 15 (Island) Royal Pac Printcare Lanka has signed an agreement with the BOI to establish an operation for the manufacture of apparel labels and packaging material for the apparel industry of Sri Lanka. r-pac International Holding, the foreign investor in the new venture, is a company based in New York, USA, and is one of the largest label and packaging material suppliers to the global apparel industry. It currently has operations in over 25 worldwide locations including more..

Netherlands focusing more on trade than aid in post-war prospering Sri Lanka

July 15 (FT) The Netherlands yesterday expressed optimism about Sri Lanka’s economic progress saying the post-war prospering country would see more support for trade than aid. “In 2005 the Netherlands decide to phase out the bilateral development corporation and the decision was informed by our understanding that our limited development should be focused on the poorest of the poor. more..

BoC in talks with Treasury for Rs.10bn cash infusion: sources

July 15 (DM) Bank of Ceylon (BoC), is currently in talks with the Finance Ministry to obtain a Rs.10 billion cash infusion as early as the third quarter of this year, to improve its capital adequacy levels, sources revealed. When inquired about the matter, BoC General Manager D.M. Gunasekara declined to comment. BoC is believed to have been seeking govt support since last year, as its capital adequacy levels have come under pressure due to unprecedented growth in its asset base. more..

Sri Lanka 2.0 and beyond: Part 1

July 15 (FT) After three decades of civil war, peace has dawned on Sri Lanka and with the peace dividend, it is necessary to catch up on lost development and surge ahead with rapid economic development and growth for the prosperity for the nation. To discuss how the country could be taken forward, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CMA) recently held its National Management Conference 2014 under the theme ‘Sri Lanka 2.0 and Beyond: Fast Tracking more..

Credit in crisis!

July 15 (FT) The monetary authorities are continuing to grapple with poor demand for credit, with latest data showing a further contraction for the second consecutive month. The Central Bank disclosed that credit to the private sector by the banking sector contracted by 2.2% year-on-year in May. In April it dipped by 3.3%. The continuous dip is despite interest rates being at an all-time low. more..

Create a positive environment for NGOs to engage with govt.

July 15 (Island) The ambiguously worded directive from the govt’s NGO Secretariat responsible for monitoring NGOs, and which calls on NGOs to operate within their mandate, has led to strong criticism from a range of actors. These include the main opposition party, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and the international community. The circular issued by the NGO Secretariat that was posted to more than 1400 NGOs throughout the country stated that "It has been revealed that more..

New report alleges British complicity in Lanka war

July 15 (SM) Phil Miller, a researcher for Corporate Watch in London, has written a report titled “Britain's Dirty War against the Tamil people - 1979–2009” published by the International Human Rights Association Bremen. “This report draws on original research conducted at the UK National Archives and from Freedom of Information requests, as well as pooling together disparate information that is available in the public domain,” Miller says in the preface. The first of the three phases in more..

From Tigers to Barbers: Tales of Sri Lanka’s ex-combatants

July 15 (IPS) People are willing to wait a long time for a few minutes in the hands of Aloysius Patrickeil, a 32-year-old barber who is part-owner of a small shop close to the northern town of Kilinochchi. Old men with bushy moustaches sit on chairs alongside youngsters sporting trendy haircuts and beards in the latest styles from Tamil movies, while mothers drag their kids into the long line for the barber’s coveted chair. more..

Bora Bora Resources to release Matale/Kurunegala graphite results

July 15 (PI) Bora Bora Resources is preparing to release highly anticipated exploration results from its Matale/Kurunegala Graphite Project in central Sri Lanka. The ASX has granted a trading halt, which will be in place until the opening of trade on Thursday 17th July 2014, or earlier if an announcement is made to the market. Sri Lanka vein graphite is known for its very high grade (+90% C ROM). Bora Bora has been a share market star recently, with its shares jumping more..

Philander targets new-ball damage

July 15 (CI) South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander believes the key to succeeding in Sri Lankan conditions lies in picking up wickets while the ball is still new. Philander, on his first Test tour of Sri Lanka, feels that seam bowlers can fetch wickets in spin-friendly surfaces by maintaining a simple off-stump line and making the batsmen play. "The more damage you can do with the new ball the better," Philander said on Monday in Galle two days before the first Test. more..

Mr. V takes rap on circular

July 15 (DN) Supreme Court yesterday ordered the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneshwaran to withdraw a circular officially issued by him to the staff of the NPC including the Chief Secretary, Ms.V. Ramesh. The Supreme Court issued this order having considered the Fundamental Rights Application by Chief Secretary to the NPC Ms. Vijayalaxmi Ramesh stating the Chief Minister violated her more..

Secretary Defence inspects 'Embilipitiya public Fair' constructions

July 15 (MoD) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa made an inspection visit to the Weekly Public Fair which is being constructed in the Embilipitiya New Town today morning. Mr. Rajapaksa was accompanied by the Chairperson of the UDA Nimal Perera and the Director General of the UDA Harshan De Silva during the inspection tour. Chief of Staff of the Air Force Air Vice Martial Gagana Bulathsinhala was also present at the visit. more..

Sri Lanka-B’Desh trade crosses $ 100M for the first time

July 15 (GDI) As bilateral trade crossed the critical $100 Mn mark for the first time, a confident Bangladesh called for a formal investment protection mechanism to drive trade volumes to next levels. “As a result of an investment protection agreement, fundamentals of investments would be right for B’Deshi investors looking at Sri Lanka and this would drive our bilateral trade forward as well” said a keen Mohammad Sufiur Rahman, High Commissioner of Bangladesh more..

Lankan Muslim women begin wearing coloured abayas

July 15 (Dawn) Sri Lankan Muslim women are beginning to give up wearing the black abaya in favour of the garment of other colours. Early this week the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) began a campaign to distribute coloured abayas. “There has been a positive response to our project to give abayas of different colours in exchange for black abayas. Within a short time, 1200 abayas have been exchanged. more..

Absolutely poverty-free Sri Lanka by 2020, predicts PB

July 15 (Island) Sri Lanka will have attained the status of an advanced middle-income country by 2020, absolutely free of poverty, Dr. P.B. Jayasundare, Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning observed last week after the IT/BPM Industry Review 2014 was presented to him at the Institute of Policy Studies. IT/BPM Industry Review 2014 indicated that export revenue earned by the industry grew to US$ 720 million in 2013 more..

Karunanidhi gets four weeks to respond

July 15 (Hindu) Supreme Court on Monday granted four weeks’ time to DMK president M. Karunanidhi and the Tamil Nadu govt to file their response to the Centre’s reply that Katchatheevu could not be retrieved from Sri Lanka. Bench granted time on a request by senior counsel R. Viduthalai, appearing for Mr. Karunanidhi, the petitioner. The UPA govt’s stand was that retrieval of the islet did not arise as no territory of India was ceded, nor sovereignty relinquished, to Sri Lanka. more..

'Govt. aims to strengthen State sector'

July 15 (FT) President Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated that his Govt’s policy is to expand the public service by strengthening the State sector. He noted that previously more confidence was placed in the private sector by destabilising the State service and the present Govt has rendered a significant service on behalf of the State sector by expanding public services. The President made these remarks at the opening ceremony of more..