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Gloomy times for local construction sector

June 9 (CT) The surfeit of foreign consultants and contractors engaged in mega construction projects is depressingly affecting the local construction industry, sources said. "The foreign construction companies are ruthlessly snatching away all the mega projects and benefiting from the construction boom in the country," an industry analyst said. He said Sri Lanka was at the cross roads of a new era and the need for expertise in the local construction industry would be unprecedented. more..

Editorial: Horns and hoons

June 9 (Island) The police have begun to look for private buses fitted with air horns, we are told. Why should they expend time and energy conducting checks? All those contraptions which pass for buses have such pneumatic devices loud enough to make even wild jumbos flee as fast as their legs can carry them. It is no exaggeration that driving small vehicles on Sri Lankan roads full of such monstrous juggernauts, roaring and bearing down on them, is so scary as to make one’s ticker go haywire. more..

'Peace would have been won without bloodshed'

June 9 (CT) Former Norwegian politician, Erik Solheim, who became a household name in Sri Lanka as a peace envoy who tried and failed to make peace between LTTE and the govt, said the war was won at a tremendous cost and that he would stand as witness before any recognized international tribunal, if asked to do so, on war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan Govt. Solheim, who is now the Chair of the more..

Families struggle to mourn 5 years after Sri Lanka's war

June 9 (AA) Sri Lanka's nearly three decades-long civil war was forcibly ended in May 2009. In its last stages, daily shelling and bombing killed thousands of innocent civilians cornered into "no fire zones." Thousands more have disappeared over the years, women became widows, and buildings have been left in disrepair. In the five years since the Sri Lankan army crushed the LTTE -- the Tamil Tigers -- the country has struggled to move on. This year's victory day parade saw a military showcase, more..

Noritake launches new flagship store in Colombo

June 9 (Island) Noritake Lanka Porcelain, (NLPL) the pioneer porcelain tableware manufacturing conglomerate in Sri Lanka last Friday moved to its new address in Colombo 77, Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 07. Strategically situated at the crossroads of Dharmapala Mawatha / Sir James Peries Mawatha (popularly better known as Pitthala Junction), the 10,000 sq ft flagship store is spread over three floors and enjoys prestigious visibility from its vantage location. more..

Authorities to crackdown on illicit satellite and cable TV trade

June 9 (ST) Authorities are intensifying a crackdown on unauthorised satellite and cable television stations, and dubious distributors who sell dish TV satellite receivers as well as users of such facilities without a valid licence. These llegal operators have around 300,000 Sri Lankan subscribers. Officials and police are looking out for residents as well as commercial establishments that use dish TV satellite receiver units illegally, more..

SL buoyant despite Keogh resistance

June 9 (CI) Sri Lanka will head into the first Test at Lord's generally fortified in their hopes of scalping England at home for the third series in a row and a little wiser about their starting line-up after a gentle workout in one of the quieter corners of the county circuit. Dinesh Chandimal, promoted to open the second innings, managed only a single-figure score but Dimuth Karunaratne's scratchy 38 did not quite cement the batting order. Four wickets for Dhammika Prasad, however, suggested at more..

We are confident - Thirimanne

June 9 (Sportal) Sri Lanka stand-in captain Lahiru Thirimanne said spirits were high despite their tour match against Northamptonshire ending in a draw. The match - Sri Lanka's final warm-up before the first Test against England, which starts at Lord's on Thursday - saw heavy rain make a result unlikely. Thirimanne (156) and Kaushal Silva (152) showed promising signs as Sri Lanka amassed 558-8 in their first innings and Dhammika Prasad (4-68 off 15.1 overs) then impressed with the ball. more..

Colombo says donated Saudi dates ‘properly distributed’

June 9 (AN) A senior Muslim minister has rejected claims of irregularities in the distribution of dates donated by the Saudi govt. The dates donated by the Saudi govt in April were distributed among needy communities in Sri Lanka without any bias, said senior minister A.H.M. Fowzie. He told Arab News that 200 metric tons of dates had been donated by the Kingdom to the Sri Lankan govt to be distributed among the more..

Wallapatta haul taken into custody with six suspects

June 9 (Island) Beruwala police nabbed six persons with 35 kilos of Wallapatta worth around Rs. 5.5 million yesterday. The arrest was made on a tip-off received by the Intelligence Unit operatives of the Beruwala police while the stock of Wallapatta was being sold to an Indian national at the Maradana area in Beruwala. Police also took into custody a van the suspects had arrived in to purchase Wallapatta. According to the police the buyers had come from Dehiwala. more..

President inquires from IGP about progress in probe into assault on cop

June 9 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Inspector General of Police to carry out a full investigation into the assaulting of a police constable serving at Kottawa entry/exit point of the Southern Expressway and torching of his car. It is learnt that the President had also inquired from Deputy Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Hemal Gunasekera regarding the statement made by the victim that he suspected the politician of being behind the incident. more..

Suspecting infidelity, man murders wife in Dubai

June 9 (KT) Hours after a Sri Lankan housemaid was found murdered in a villa in Arabian Ranches area, the Dubai Police have arrested her husband for the crime. The husband, who is here on a visit visa, allegedly stabbed the victim because he suspected her of infidelity. On June 4, the Dubai Police rushed to the villa after being informed about the murder. CID officers and forensic doctors discovered the deceased, identified as S.A., more..

Top firms among list of Sri Lanka’s ‘15 Best Companies To Work For’

June 9 (FT) After a comprehensive study the Great Place to Work Institute – Sri Lanka on Friday felicitated the ‘Top 15 Best Companies to Work For’ based on employee experience benchmarked with global practices. With the participation of over 50 companies representing 13 industries, and over 30,000 employees, this study identified a number of key practices unique to the companies identified as ‘Best workplaces’. The study concluded overall that with the right attitude and practices, more..

Tangalle killer gang leader netted with three other suspects

June 9 (Island) The police have arrested the killer gang leader Indika Nilusha alias Ukkuwa over several murders committed in and around Tangalle along with three other suspects. Ukkuwa is responsible for various crimes in the Southern Province, according to investigators. The police believe investigations will help find out the crimes the gang has committed. The police have also recovered a micro pistol and six bullets from one of the suspects in custody. more..

'Country needs a benevolent dictator'

June 9 (CT) The SLMC said the Executive Presidency should not be abolished and what the country needed was a benevolent dictator who would control the situation without bias. General Secretary of the SLMC, Hasan Ali highlighted that in a completely 100% democracy, the majority would bulldoze decisions on the minorities. Commenting on the controversial issue of abolishing the Executive Presidency, he said while the more..

Interview: rate cuts on Sri Lanka’s radar

June 9 (FT) With inflation in Sri Lanka tamed to single digits for the longest period on record, there is room to cut interest rates further below current historic lows to steer the country towards its growth target, says its central bank governor. In the five years since its bloody 26-year long civil war ended, island nation’s $67bn economy has enjoyed rapid expansion thanks to tourism bouncing back and rising exports of goods such as manufactured textiles, tea and coconuts. more..

Sri Lanka to host World Blood Donor Day

June 9 (DN) Sri Lanka will host the World Blood Donor Day 2014 on June 14 at a ceremony at the BMICH, under the patronage Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Sri Lanka is the first country in the region to host this global event. Thailand was the only Asian country which had the opportunity to host it before, WHO Country Representative Dr. Firdosi Rustom Mehta said. Addressing a special press briefing Dr. Mehta said Sri Lanka will show once again that it can host global events. more..

Senanayake's action to be tested in Cardiff

June 9 (ST) Off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake who was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action during his side’s seven-run victory over England in the fourth ODI at Lord’s will undergo scrutiny in England itself. Although Senanayake who is not part of the Lankan Test contingent, returned to the island, and is scheduled to go back within the next few days. Sri Lanka Cricket’s CEO Ashley de Silva said more..

Bogus tip off from a cheat

June 9 (CT) An individual who called the police from London to warn that a woman in Jaffna was trying to launch a terrorist attack on the Kopay and Manipay police had, in fact, defrauded the woman of a sum of Rs 350,000 on a false promise that he would marry her, police investigations have revealed. The police said an LTTE suspect, who credited the money into his account in order to transfer money to London, was arrested at the Katunayake airport when he tried to leave for India on Saturday. more..

Export resilience gathers pace

June 9 (FT) In spite of external and local challenges, the resilience in the export sector is gathering momentum as evidenced by year-on-year (YoY) growth for the past 14 months and March recording the highest-ever figure of $ 1.07 billion. Analysts note that for the first time in many years exports have enjoyed positive growth year on year since February 2013. “Although January 2013 recorded export earnings of $ 727 million, an 18.2% dip compared to 2012 figure of $ 888 million, more..

National Drug Policy draft Bill not up to the mark – don

June 9 (Island) Professor of Pharmacology of Colombo University Lal Jayakody said the National Drugs and Cosmetic Devices Draft Bill submitted to the Cabinet Sub Committees was not up to the expected standards. He said that the Bill lacked provisions necessary to help patients. Section 38 of the draft Bill stipulates that "every medical practitioner, dentist or veterinary surgeon shall write in the prescription given by him, more..

Sangakkara admits 'relief' that Pietersen won't be batting for England

June 9 (MO) Kumar Sangakkara is entering the beginning of the end of his international career. Having recently retired from the shortest form, he plans to wind down in the other two and then, a little surprisingly, finish up with a couple of seasons in county cricket. When mapping out his future beyond Sri Lanka’s two Tests this month, Sangakkara, 36, talks with boyish enthusiasm for the English domestic game. So far he has had just a couple of bite-sized chunks, seven seasons apart. more..

Wimal keen to push like dog’s owner

June 9 (CG) Minister and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa says he will push the Govt like an owner bathing his dog in order to achieve the goal at hand. He explained that a dog often takes two steps back when about to be bathed and the owner then takes two steps forward to achieve the goal of bathing the dog. Likewise, he said he and his party will go behind the Govt to wake it from its sleep in order to achieve the goals that need to be achieved in the best interest of the country. more..


June 9 (CT) The UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants has called for sweeping reforms in Sri Lanka to protect the rights and safety of the island's migrant worker population, including the introduction of a legal framework on par with international instruments, ratification of specific ILO Conventions and the decriminalization of irregular migration. Following his week-long visit to Sri Lanka in May, more..

Targets set but not met; what’s gone wrong?

June 9 (DM) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena announced that Sri Lanka was setting up a US$2 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) target for 2014, but wasn’t US$2 billion the target set for last year as well? The total FDI in 2013, including loans, amounted to US$1.42 billion against US$1.38 billion in 2012. Despite the original target being US$2 billion for 2013, govt altered the target several times throughout the year and re-set it at US$1.5 billion, a figure it still failed to achieve. more..

Balance in motion?

June 9 (DM) With the historic election was of the world’s biggest democracy ushering in a new era of leadership and a break in the Nehru – Gandhi dynasty, India’s new PM Narendra Modi invited President Rajapaksa to his swearing-in ceremony on May 26. President Rajapaksa graciously accepted the invitation. This gesture was preceded a few days before by the prompt courtesy extended by President Rajapaksa hot on the heels of Modi’s resounding election victory for good wishes more..

'Executive Presidency erodes democracy'

June 9 (DM) Political activist and former President of the FUTA, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri spoke to the on the revival of the FUTA campaign to win academics’ demands, the need to revisit the electoral political process in Sri Lanka and the reasons behind his decision to support the common candidacy of Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera. Q: Do you believe the revival of the campaign to resolve academics’ grievances initiated with June 3 more..

Ministry bans free education!

June 9 (SL) The controversial instructions given by the Education Minister and the Ministry Secretary to Heads of schools, barring international school students from having admissions to govt schools, has not only caused concern among students, parents and the country’s educationists, but also has prompted trade unionists to allege that this is a move to safeguard the interest of education mudalalis who are govt stooges. more..

Meteorology Department in deep trouble

June 9 (AM) Meteorology Department found itself in an embarrassing position with almost all its recent predictions about weather conditions in Sri Lanka going wrong! As a result of wrong predictions made by the Met Department, fisheries community in coastal areas had refrained from their day-to-day activities over the past few days. Some of the fishermen, reportedly, had telephoned the Met Department and lashed out at officials more..

SLTB workers to take legal action

June 9 (CT) Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) employees will file a petition in the Supreme Court against the SLTB Board of Directors for not crediting their EPF installments to the relevant fund. General Secretary, ACTWU Sepala Liyanage, said a sum of Rs 4.5 billion had not been credited to the EPF account by the SLTB. "From 2010 onwards, installments deducted from monthly salaries of employees' were not credited more..

President wants to make SL free of agrochemicals by 2020

June 9 (Island) President Rajapaksa chairing a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the Prevention of the Chronic Kidney Disease last Friday stressed that he wanted to make Sri Lanka free from agrochemicals in 2020. About two billion rupees was spent on CKD patients per annum from the health budget amounting to Rs. 150 billion. Dr. Channa Jayasumana of the Rajarata University Medical Faculty, who attended the meeting more..

Policeman in hiding citing security threats, politico says he’s not involved

June 9 (ST) The policeman who was attacked and whose vehicle was set on fire following a dispute with a deputy minister had gone into hiding, because his life was under threat, family sources said. They said, Sumith Saman was given medical leave and advised to seek further hospital treatment but he has not got himself admitted to hospital due to threats. The policeman sustained injuries when he was attacked by a gang that later set fire to more..

People of eight villages protest against wild elephant menace

June 9 (Island) Residents of areas coming under the purview of Mahiyangana and Rideemaliyadda Divisional Secretariats staged a protest recently and attempted to obstruct the Mahiyangana-Ampara road demanding action to put an end to the wild elephants menace. A tense situation prevailed at the scene and the protesters dispersed after the OICs of Mahiyangana and Girandurukotte police stations gave an more..

SriLankan airlines cancels flight to Karachchi after attack

June 9 (Xinhua) A flight from Sri Lanka's national carrier bound for Karachchi from Colombo was canceled on Monday after gunmen attacked the Karachi airport. SriLankan Airlines are waiting for further instructions from Pakistani authorities for clearance to operate flights and passengers are being updated. Flights have been canceled after gunmen attacked one of Pakistan's biggest airports, killing at least 23 people, more..

LTTE massacre among complaints

June 9 (CG) The Missing Persons Commission has recorded evidence in relation to the Kurukkalmadam massacre where the LTTE allegedly killed 163 Muslims in 1990s. The Commission concluded its fourth round of public sittings in Batticaloa over the weekend with 195 people making submissions and 216 new complaints registered during the four-day period. The sittings were held at the Kattankudy Divisional Secretariat more..

Govt. was notified about UN team: OHCHR

June 9 (DM) The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the Govt of Sri Lanka was notified last week regarding the particulars of the investigation team set up to probe alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during the war in 2002-2009. OHCHR spokesperson said that a letter was sent last week giving a broad outline of the structure to be put in place for investigation more..

Being environment conscious

June 9 (CT) Joining the many countries that marked World Environment Day to draw attention to the need to preserve the natural world, Sri Lanka too, despite the disruption caused by the recent floods, celebrated the event pledging its support towards creating awareness on the need to protect the world we live in. That the celebrations took place amidst the death and destruction caused by floods in the country is reason enough to create an impact on the people for the need to do something positive more..

Schoolgirl chided for pictures on mobile phone takes her life

June 9 (Island) Ragama police are investigating a schoolgirl’s suicide. The victim, a pupil of the Hapugoda St. Mary’s College, had jumped in front of a moving train last Friday, the police said. The girl is said to have committed suicide after two teachers reprimanded her for keeping some pictures on her mobile phone. One of the uncles of the girl had said at the inquest that two teachers had accompanied her to her residence on the day of the incident and wanted to meet her parents. more..

Could cardamom end mighty irrigation projects?

June 9 (CT) The Knuckles Conservation Forest is one of Sri Lanka's most unique, scenic and most ecologically sensitive areas. It has also been one of the most threatened areas in the country, for decades, for the same reasons. Cardamom (enasal) plantations have been one of the most severe threats to the forest for decades and once again, after recent controversies over hotel constructions kept the public's eyes away more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.1%

June 9 (LBO) Stocks closed higher with telco and oil palm stocks gaining amid strong foreign buying mostly into conglomerate John Keells. All Share Price Index closed 7.89 points higher at 6,287.03, up 0.13%. The S&P SL20 closed 0.52 points higher at 3,479.69, up 0.01%. Turnover was 1.40 billion rupees, up from 835.02 million rupees last Friday with 120 stocks closed positive against 72 negative. John Keells closed 10 cents lower at 234.80 rupees with seven off-market transactions more..