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BOI briefs Tel Aviv on Sri Lanka Investment opportunities

July 21 (Island) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka recently engaged in promotion of investment at an important event held in Tel Aviv, Israel. BOI Chairman Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera briefed the business community of Israel on the potential Sri Lanka has to offer to Israeli investors. His presentation covered Sri Lanka's strategic position, business friendly climate and attractive regime of incentives offered to investors. He was assisted by Duminda Premaratne, Deputy Director more..

Ranil wants parliamentary and PC polls held on the same day

July 21 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Friday, proposed that parliamentary and PC polls should be held on a single day to avoid waste of time. Speaking to media representatives at Asgiriya Temple in Kandy late Friday evening UNP leader Wickremesinghe said that much time was wasted on elections. At least five months of the year were spent on Provincial Council elections. Time could be saved by holding parliamentary provincial council elections on the same day, he said. more..

Bandula makes another ‘farcical’ calculation

July 21 (AM) Despite his previous statement that an ordinary family in Sri Lanka can live a period of one month with Rs 2500, Minister Bandula Gunawardena has now stated that an average family needs at least Rs 3500 for their monthly expenses. He has made this remark while participating in a radio interview. He added that according to the present economic situation he is compelled to ‘update’ his previous statement. more..

Eranga out of Colombo Test

July 21 (CI) Sri Lanka fast bowler Shaminda Eranga has been ruled out for the second Test against South Africa, due to the hand injury he sustained in Galle. He was fielding at mid-off when he tore the webbing between the thumb and index finger of his right hand on day one of the first Test. He was immediately taken to hospital, and had eight stitches sewn in and bowled only nine overs in that match. Dhammika Prasad and left-armer Chanaka Welegedara are in the Sri Lanka squad as more..

No home advantage in World Cups

July 21 (CI) When MS Dhoni hit the six towards long-on to win the 2011 World Cup, it was the first time in cricket's history that the winning side was playing in front of its home crowd. I was reminded of this fact during the recently concluded football version of the same event, where home nations have won six out of 19 tournaments. Home advantage is a well-discussed and dissected facet of sport, and it holds true in almost all kinds of sports. The presence of supporters, more..

MP Nilwala Wijesinghe flees before arrest

July 21 (AD) Police today said that UNP MP Nimal Wijesinghe, popularly known as Nilwala Wijesinghe, who has been accused of assaulting a Grama Seva officer, has fled from his residence and the area. Wijesinghe is charged with assaulting Ananda Wimalasiri, the Grama Seva officer in-charge-of the Kurunegala-Ambakote 617 division. A police team had visited the MP’s residence today in order to arrest him, more..

The grey slender loris: Conservation success

July 21 (BBC) The grey slender loris is found only in Sri Lanka and parts of India. Human activity is threatening the habitat of this nocturnal primate, but one site in Sri Lanka is now seeing a boost in numbers. Hotel Jetwing Vil Uyana in central Sri Lanka put development plans on hold when the animals were discovered there in 2010, and now runs a successful conservation area to protect them. Resident naturalist, Chaminda Jayasekara, runs the site. more..

Rajapaksa welcomes new BRICS Bank

July 21 (AD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today welcomed the formation of the New Development Bank (NDB) by the five Brics countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — at the 6th BRICS summit in Brazil, saying it will assist emerging nations significantly. “Sri Lanka welcomes the initiative of BRICS leaders to establish a new Development Bank. It will assist emerging nations significantly,” Rajapaksa said in his Twitter account. The group of emerging economies signed more..

India rejects visa for UNHRC committee investigating Sri Lanka

July 21 (NF) Five countries expressed its objection to the UNHRC’s international investigation into Sri Lanka. These countries are India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Maldives. Commissioner of the SL Human Rights Commission, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa stated that India has rejected to provide visa to the investigations committee to enter the country. “They have appointed a committee comprising 13 individuals and 3 experts. more..

Docs on sick leave campaign against colleague’s arrest

July 21 (Island) Doctors at the Wathupitiwala Base Hospital had been on a sick note campaign since Saturday in protest against the arrest of a female doctor attached to the same hospital over a road accident, All Ceylon Medical Officers’ Association (ACMOA) said yesterday. ACMOA Secretary Dr. Jayantha Bandara said that they had taken up the issue with IGP N.K. Illangakoon. Police on Saturday took into custody Dr. Malika Gunaratne serving at the Wathupitiwala Hospital more..

Heroin discovered inside grinding machines in Orgodawatta

July 21 (AD) Three industrial grinding machines packed with heroin were seized at the Orgodawatta container yard by customs officers a short while ago, in what is believed to be the largest haul detected in the country. The industrial grinding machines had arrived in the country from Karachi, Pakistan. A suspect has been arrested with the machinery and is currently in the custody of Sri Lanka Customs. The two Clearance Officers responsible for clearing the equipment are also in custody, more..

Modi wants 'excellent' relations with Sri Lanka: Swamy

July 21 (PTI) PM Narendra Modi wants "excellent" relations with Sri Lanka, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said as he met President Rajapaksa here today and underlined that the end of the LTTE campaign in this country had ensured the security of India too. Swamy, the chairman of the BJP Committee for Strategic Action, is here to deliver a talk on 'India under Modi: relevance for the region and the world'. more..

SL external debt sustainability: Intervention by practical economist keeps the debate live

July 22 (CT) In a welcome move, an economic analyst writing under the penname ‘Practical Economist’ has responded to this writer’s previous articles on Sri Lanka’s external debt sustainability highlighting the misleading conclusions of a press release issued by Central Bank’s Public Debt Department or PDD due to data incompleteness. These articles could be accessed by visiting the following links: first: here; second: here; third: here. The intervention of Practical Economist more..

Of Gonawala Sunil, Ranil, Shriyan and Sriyani…

July 22 (CT) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing an organization of good governance last Wednesday in Colombo charged that there was a complete breakdown in the rule of law and noted that 'family rule' had destroyed the country. These two aspects become quite interesting when it is spoken by a person like Ranil Wickremesinghe. 'Family rule' derives from family bandy-ism in Sri Lanka's politics. Any breakdown in the rule of law stems from political backing more..

Bio-gas plants for domestic & industrial use

July 22 (CT) Central Environment Authority (CEA) is taking steps to protect the environment from contamination and pollution. It insists that large, medium and small scale industries set up waste water management systems in factory premises. This decision comes in the wake of environment activists urging the authorities to minimise pollution. Producing biogas using household waste is also recommended. more..

Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim violence

July 22 (CT) The recent rampage by Buddhist bigots against Muslims at Aluthgama and Beruwala resulting in the death of three persons, and injuries to 80, rendering over a thousand people homeless is a defining moment for Sri Lanka. The headline “Country has a responsibility to promote Buddha Sasana” in the govt-owned Daily News report on the President’s speech on July 3 eloquently summed up the President’s priorities. Addressing at the higher ordination ceremony of Buddhist more..

MR shows the door to fence-straddlers

July 22 (CT) "If you cannot remain in the govt, you are free to leave. The door of this govt is like that of a barber salon that allows anyone to step in or step out." This is a statement President Rajapaksa has been often making by way of a message to disgruntled Ministers in the govt. The President had occasion to repeat this statement when the Cabinet met last Thursday morning. And it was obvious to all Ministers that the President directed this statement at Minister Navin Dissanayake, more..

The numbers didn’t add up but sketches did

July 22 (ST) Barbara Sansoni was 11 years old when she met Maria Montessori. Having fled to India after being exiled by Mussolini during WWII, Maria’s school in the Olcott Garden Bungalow already had a small complement of students. Now, here was this child in need of her guidance. Barbara, enrolled close by in a boarding school in Kodaikanal, was a poor student. A bad case of dyslexia had left her struggling to read and write and more..

Where in-fighting generates fervour & power: ISIS today, LTTE yesterday

July 22 (GV) “Division and in-fighting will sap and weaken any organisation or ideological current.” This formulation (mine) may seem a common-sense dictum. Let me challenge this notion with another dictum: “fratricidal militant fission sparks dedication, skill and organisational power.” The recent, explosive expansion in Syria and Iraq of Sunni militants under the banner of ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) can be placed alongside the rise of the LTTE among Tamil militants more..

Taking the sting out of executive presidency?

July 22 (SL) After a break, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has reportedly revived talks on the need to ‘topple this dictatorship’ (of President Rajapaksa?) through democratic means. He has in mind ‘well-organised’ struggles by political parties and civil society groups from the grassroots-level. It’s unclear if he wants these ‘democratic struggles’ in addition to the earlier, better-spread demand for an ‘imminent end’ to the existing scheme of Executive Presidency — or want it as more..

Wimal on his continuing role with govt....

July 22 (CT) Leader of the NFF, Minister Wimal Weerawansa, at a discussion held recently, was reported to have reached a consensus on tipping the scales in favour of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera contesting the presidential elections as a common candidate. He explains the reality behind the media reports, and why he thinks the recently appointed three-member international advisory panel to guide the Presidential more..

Editorial: ‘Party before post’

July 22 (Island) It is very seldom that SLFP politicians have a kind word to say about the late President J. R. Jayewardene, who is blamed for all present-day politico-economic or even socio-cultural ills in this country. But, never do they hesitate to emulate him when it serves their purpose. They make a public display of their contempt for the Constitution he introduced in 1978 while making the best use of it to perpetuate their power; they won’t let go of the executive presidency which more..

Can the economy recover from setbacks to achieve economic expectations?

July 22 (ST) This year’s trade deficit was expected to be much lower than in recent years and the balance of payments was expected to be in a significant surplus. The economy was projected to grow at more than 8%. The prolonged drought in the first half of the year and the mid June communal violence may weaken these expectations. Will developments in the second half of the year overcome these drawbacks to achieve the economic expectations at the beginning of the year? more..

Reduce sacrificial animals: CJ tells Munneswaram Kovil

July 22 (DM) Chief Justice Mohan Peiris advised the Munneswaram Badra Kali Amman Kovil trustees to reduce the number of animals that are sacrificed at its annual festival and that it should be done in a more scientific way. He told them the numbers could be reduced from the 300 to 400 animals sacrificed annually. CJ said he was not going to stop their rituals which had been practiced for more than 100 years and asked more..

Drought gripped Yala to be closed for one month

July 22 (Island) The prevailing drought had badly affected the country’s most attractive National Park, Yala in the deep South, but the number of visitors had not decreased, Director General of Wildlife Conservation H.D. Ratnayake said. Around 10,000-15,000 local and foreign tourists visited the park daily, but the park would be closed for one month in September for maintenance. "We are closing the park for a month every year and it is not just because of the drought," more..

ICBT Campus bags Platinum Award from Pearson

July 22 (CT) ICBT campus the leader in private sector higher education industry in Sri Lanka received the Platinum Award at the at the 'Ed-Edge' CEOs' forum hosted by the Pearson Education at a glamorous function held at Cinnamon Grand Hotel on the 15th July. 'Ed-Edge' CEOs' forum and partner awards are organized by Pearson Education, which is the world's largest qualification awarding body to acknowledge and award providers of BTEC Edexcel qualification in Sri Lanka. more..

Caution to Maithri from Basil

July 22 (LT) Minister Maithripala Sirisena who expects to become the prime minister at the next cabinet reshuffle is being pressurized within the govt to withdraw any such plan. The latest to attempt to overturn Minister Sirisena’s dream has been the Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Minister Basil Rajapaksa has said Mr. JR Jayawardene never allowed the secretary general or the treasurer of the party to participate in more..

Sri Lanka hopes on three athletes

July 22 (Island) Sri Lanka pin hopes for medals during the Commonwealth Games on three athletes when the event gets underway tomorrow in Glasgow, Scotland. More than 100 athletes will represent the country in 13 different sports. The medal prospects for Sri Lanka during the Commonwealth Games are Christine Merrill, Niluka Karunaratne and Heshan Unamboowe. Niluka Karunaratne, who overcame word’s eighth ranked player Kenichi Tago of Japan 2-0 in more..

Salaka: Cheating case amicably settled

July 22 (AM) Owner of the Salaka business at Union Place, Colombo 2 Gamini Nethicumara today pleaded guilty for charges filed by Slave Island police over defaulting a sum of Rs.326,987 owed to a private security company which provided security to Salaka. However, the case was settled before Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage since the entire amount of due payment had been paid by the suspect to the complainant party. In a separate development, Samantha Dilrukshana, more..

UNP nomination board for Uva PC polls

July 22 (CT) The UNP announced the names of the 13 members who would be on the nomination board of the party for the upcoming Uva PC elections. Out of the 13 men, 10 are loyalists of the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was granted power by the UNP working committee to appoint the nomination board. They are Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Karu Jayasuriya, Kabir Hashim, Tissa Attanayake, Daya Gamage, Sajith more..

Deshodaya Development to acquire George Steuart Finance

July 22 (Island) ‘In keeping with the Financial Sector Consolidation master plan of the Central Bank, Deshodaya Development Finance has entered in to a MoU for the purchase of the majority shareholding of George Steuart Finance. ‘The Principal Shareholders of George Steuart Finance, George Steuart & Company and Capital Trust Holdings will divest their shareholding for a company valuation of LKR 500 Mn for this transaction, which also has been endorsed by the Central Bank. more..

Bahrain-Sri Lanka investment opportunities discussed

July 22 (BNA) A key meeting was held today at Beit Al-Tejjar to explore joint investment opportunities in Bahrain and Sri Lanka. The session was attended by Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) board members, local businessmen and Sri Lankan investors. "The meeting followed-up results of the successful Sri Lankan business delegation's visit to Bahrain last April", BCCI Second Vice Chairman Jawad Yusuf Al-Hawaj said. The two sides discussed the prospects of more..

Video: Don’t expect any compensation from Govt. – Anura

July 22 (LT) No compensation has been paid for the property that was destroyed in clashes that occurred in Dharga Town in 2006 despite Rs.20 million was approved by the cabinet says the Leader of the JVP MP Anura Dissanayaka. He said the govt did not pay this compensation stating it did not have money to do so and added that no compensation from the govt could be expected for the destruction that was carried out during more..

Aravinda Perera appointed director of Sri Lanka's stock exchange

July 22 (LBO) Colombo Stock Exchange said Aravinda Perera, Managing Director of Sampath Bank has been appointed a director. He replaces Krishan Balendra who resigned from the board on June 5, after completing his term as chairman. Perera is a Governing Board Member of the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka; Director, Lanka Financial Services Bureau, Director, Lanka Bangla Finance Limited and Immediate Past President of the Association of Professional Bankers of SL. more..

Tax concession for bank employees

July 22 (DM) President Rajapaksa today decided to remove the taxes imposed on employees in the state and private sector financial institutions imposed under the 1857/8 special gazette notification. Accordingly, the taxes on housing loan interest, disaster loan interest, vehicle loan interest, medical expenses reimbursement, overtime allowance and other allowances of employees at institutions imposed will be removed. The President’s Office said the decision was more..

Sri Lanka gets Subway

July 22 (Island) ‘Sri Lanka is privileged to have the entry of SUBWAY— a globally recognized Quick Service Restaurant brand— as it will matter for the country in terms of creating local entrepreneurs and more jobs, in addition to its core business of providing healthy, gourmet food at value-for-money prices, Nathan Wills, Franchise-Owner and Chairman, Subway Development Sri Lanka, said Monday briefing the media, more..

Crowing cocks, barking dogs too much for this American

July 22 (DN) An American employed as an engineer at the Irrigation Department lodged a strange complain at the Jaffna Police Station. He has complained that he is disturbed at night by the crowing of cocks and the barking of a dog belonging to his neighbour. He has requested the police to get the twin disturbances stopped. The police called the neighbour and asked for his explanation. The man had said it is normal for a cock to crow early in the morning and dogs to bark. more..

Eheliyagoda Town to be Developed as a major city

July 22 (GDI) Eheliyagoda Town has been identified as a priority town to be developed under the Small and Medium Town Development Programme which conducted by the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. City beatifications, development of a Public Fair and a Play Ground have been identified as projects to be implemented under this programme. Eheliyagoda Town is a major gate way to Ratnapura District form Colombo. According to govt's Small and Medium Town Development more..

EU seeks meeting with BASL president over his personal safety

July 22 (ST) The European Union (EU) in Colombo has sought a meeting with Bar Association (BASL) President Upul Jayasuriya for a briefing over his personal safety as more organisations expressed concern over incidents where unknown persons had followed him. Mr. Jayasuriya was followed by known persons on two motor cycles while returning from courts at Hulftsdorp on Tuesday while unknown persons were also seen more..

Sri Lanka 30MW hydro plant financed by ADB; protection for endangered fish

July 22 (ST) Asian Development Bank is financing a 30 MegaWatt hydro plant with a 150 million US dollar credit, and the project will have measures to protect an endangered fish in the river. The Moragolla hydro power plant is estimated to generate 97.7 GigaWatt hours of energy a year, the ADB said. It will be a run-of-the-river plant indicating minimal storage. ADB said the plant will contain measure to assure that water flowed downstream, so that fisheries including more..