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All arrangements in place in NCP for Poson

June 9 (Island) Arrangements have been made to hold the annual poson ceremony in Anuradhapura, Mihintale and Tantirimale for one week starting from today. Around 1.6 million devotees from around the country are expected to visit Anuradhapura this week. Arrangments have been made to provide pilgrims with transport, drinking water, health care and sanitary services, guidance services etc. Rituals are to be commenced with historical water procession this evening. more..

'Sri Lanka, China to strengthen cooperation on Maritime Silk Road'

June 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and China can strengthen cooperation on trade, combating terrorism and confidence building in terms of the Maritime Silk Road initiative, Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, executive director of Sri Lanka state-owned think tank Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations said here on Monday. Addressing a seminar on South Asia development in Hong Kong, Asanga said Sri Lanka, having more..

Sri Lanka rupee ends near 1-year high; state banks curb volatility

June 9 (Reuters) The rupee ended near a one-year high on Monday as exporters and dollar sales by banks outpaced importer demand, while two state banks bought the greenback to prevent any sharp volatility in the local currency. The rupee ended at 130.26/28 per dollar, its highest since June 28, 2013 and slightly firmer from Friday's close of 130.26/30. Dealers said the two state banks, through which the central bank directs the market, bought dollars at 130.26 rupees per dollar as more..

Challenging Modi in Colombo

June 9 (CT) During an extensive interview with ‘The Hindu’, President Rajapaksa was asked about his oft-repeated ‘13th Amendment plus’ promise. “Even tomorrow I can give that…” he replied promptly. That was July 2009. During the next five years, President Rajapaksa promised 13+ and denied promising 13+, again and again. The Rajapaksas and their acolytes (including the BBS) were elated when Narendra Modi won. They seemed to have believed that Mr. Modi’s Hindu supremacism would more..

Hakeem slams ex-military Governors

June 9 (CG) Minister Rauff Hakeem slammed the appointment of military Governors to the Northern and Eastern provinces. He said he fails to understand why retired military officers have been appointed as Governors to the North and East while in the South the Governors are civil officials. “What I feel is happening is that while on one hand we allow the minorities to enjoy their powers in the provinces on the other hand more..

Ravi, Range Bandara deny crossover rumors

June 9 (AD) Denying rumors that he is preparing to cross over to the govt, UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara says that he will continue to serve the public from the opposition party despite the injustices done to him. I have no intention to join the ruling party, he said, adding, that despite the injustices to him from the UNP he will continue serve the masses through the party as the organizer of the Anamaduwa electorate. He further stated that UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe will be more..

Ghost panic at Karapitiya hospital

June 9 (Island) The ghost of a white clad woman walking in the corridor allegedly seen by some employees has caused fear at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. Some hospital employees have claimed to have sighted the ghost and heard strange noises. These claims have caused panic among hospital employees. Minor health worker Chaminda Kumara, who claims to have seen the ghost said that he and another worker had been returning after taking a patient from the Accident Service to more..

President orders release of all Indian fishermen

June 9 (AM) To mark the first joint sitting of Indian Parliament, President Rjapaksa has instructed to release all Indian fishermen who are presently in Sri Lankan custody. President Rajapaksa tweeted his decision Monday afternoon, saying: “On the occasion of the 1st joint sitting of Indian Parliament, I have instructed officials to release the 78 Indian fishermen in SL custody.” The 18 trawlers seized from them, however, more..

While govt. soft-soaps multinational companies 20 die of kidney disease daily

June 9 (LT) According to health sections about 20 Sri Lankans die of chronic kidney disease daily. The daily death rate of kidney patients is 13.16 and each hospital that has dialysis facilities has to cater to about 2000 patients. According to statistics given to World Health Organization (WHO) the number of kidney patients in Sri Lanka is about 150,000. However, unofficial figures could be much more. Despite fatal chronic kidney disease is spreading across at an epidemic level badly affecting more..

Schools closed from today to accommodate 4,000 cops providing Poson security

June 9 (Island) North Central Provincial Council Education Ministry announced that 15 schools in the Anuradhapura and Galenbindunuwewa Educational Zones would be closed from today to June 15. These schools would be used to provide temporary accommodation to about 4,000 policemen coming from other districts on special duty to provide security to thousands of devotees and VIPs visiting Anuradhapura, Mihintale and Thantirimale sacred sites during the Poson festive season. more..

I can’t remember if policeman was black or white - Hemal

June 9 (AD) Rejecting accusations leveled against him over the alleged assault of police officer on duty at the Southern Expressway, Deputy Minister Hemal Gunasekara today said that he doesn’t even remember the appearance of the police officer who issued him a ticket for speeding. “I don’t even remember if he was black or white,” he told reporters. He stated that on the day a no-confidence motion was brought against more..

SLBFE fake website: 97 complaints received

June 9 (DM) CID had received 97 complaints regarding a fake web site, which had been as the web page of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau. A man and his wife along with the web developer were arrested by the CID for swindling over Rs. 16 million by maintaining the fake web site on the assurance of offering jobs in Korea last Friday. Colombo Chief Magistrate remanded the suspect man and his wife till June 16. The web developer was released on two sureties of more..

'Moves underway to shut down bus depot'

June 9 (Island) JVP affiliated All Ceylon Transport Worker’s Union has accused authorities of moving to close down the Matara Depot of the SLTB by transferring 56 of its operational fleet to other depots. "The employees have not been paid their salaries for the last two to three months and when they resorted to trade union action against this arbitrary move, a day’s pay was deducted from their salaries throwing the already suffering employees from the frying pan into the fire." more..

India to construct a Cultural Centre at Jaffna

June 9 (HCI) Govt of India will be constructing a Cultural Centre at Jaffna. A MoU for implementation of the project was signed by High Commissioner of India Y.K. Sinha and Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development, Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka. MoU was signed in the presence of Minister Basil Rajapaksa. The Cultural Centre is to be built in the next 36 months, on a plot of land adjacent to the Jaffna Public Library, more..

Pope to visit Sri Lanka from Jan 13-15

June 9 (AD) His Holiness Pope Francis will visit Sri Lanka from January 13 to 15 next year, Bishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith confirmed. Pope Francis had stated that he will visit Sri Lanka for two days in January 2015, but gave no definite dates and details. Pope will also visit the Philippines during the trip. Philippine Catholic Church officials have reportedly invited him to visit the Philippines, with a trip to typhoon-devastated Leyte as the highlight of his visit. more..

Minister Priyankara Jayarathna's devil dance: Threatens Police to release suspect

June 9 (AM) Another powerful Cabinet Minister has intervened to release a suspect, who was arrested by Police, in connection with an assault on a Policeman. Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayarathne, has staged a protest in front of the Karuwalagasweva police, demanding the release of Karuwalagasweva PS Deputy Chairman Chaminda Ruwansiri, who was arrested for assaulting a Police officer. Along with the Deputy Chairman, a few other suspects, who were also allegedly more..

Sri Lanka credit to business positive in March; state borrowings surge

June 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's loans to business expanded 7.6 billion rupees in March 2014, ending two months of contraction, while borrowings by the central govt surged, official data showed. Credit to private businesses and individuals rose 7.6 billion rupees to 2,498 billion rupees, with loans from domestic units rising 15.3 billion rupees while there was a net repayment of 7.8 million rupee equivalent to the dollarized banking sector. more..

Sri Lanka slams Karachi airport attack

June 9 (CG) Govt of Sri Lanka today vehemently condemned what it termed as a heinous terrorist attack on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, killing several security forces personnel and civilian employees. External Affairs Ministry said that the attack is a deliberate attempt to cause mayhem and damage critical infrastructure which services international travel and commerce. “It is to the credit of the professionalism of the Pakistani security forces that attack was effectively thwarted. more..

Gnanasara Thera calls Maithri a 'Dog'

June 9 (AM) Former UNP PC member Maithri Gunaratne today lodged a complaint against BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera saying the latter called him a "dog" at the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court premises. Gunaratne, who is a lawyer, appears on behalf of Vatareka Wijitha Thera in a court case involving the BBS and the JBS, led by Wijitha Thera. According to the complaint, Gnanasera Thera had called Gunaratne names after hearing of the case more..

President gives green light to Wimal: 12 proposals to be discussed at length

June 9 (AM) President Rajapaksa has informed NFF Leader Minister Wimal Weerawansa that he is ready to have in-depth discussions on the 12 proposals presented to the govt by Weerawansa's party. Two weeks ago, a delegation representing the NFF, led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, met the President at Temple Trees and handed over the proposals to senior leaders of the UPFA. The proposals were endorsed by more..

SC affirms death sentence on Royal Park convict

June 9 (DM) Colombo High Court Judge Padmini Ranawaka today informed Royal Park murder convict Shramantha Jayamaha that the Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence imposed by the Appeal Court and that he would be hanged on a date announced by the President. Convict Jayamaha appealed to Supreme Court against the death sentence imposed by Appeal Court Judges pleading that the judgement be set aside. However the SC had re-affirmed the judgement more..

Fishermen issue: DMK wants steps for permanent solution

June 9 (PTI) Expressing concern over the continuing arrests of Indian fishermen by SL navy despite PM Narendra Modi ‘honouring’ Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa by inviting him for his swearing-in ceremony, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi on Monday asked the BJP govt to take steps for a permanent solution to the issue. “The Indian PM honoured Sri Lankan President by inviting him for his swearing-in ceremony. He (Mr. Rajapaksa) also announced releasing of arrested Indian fishermen more..

Missing persons commission concludes public sittings in Batticaloa

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

The major picture in understanding our ethnic conflict

June 10 (CT) One reason for our inability to understand, or understand fully, the ‘ethnic conflict’ in Sri Lanka may be our emotional involvement with the conflict one way or the other. This does not mean that the emotional dis-involvement could necessarily bring a proper understanding of the conflict. The reason is that apart from the emotional dis-involvement, it might require a certain amount of knowledge to understand the intricacies of the ethnic conflict. more..

Inter-religious empathy that waits to be harnessed

June 10 (CT) In addition to being subjected to international scrutiny on account of war-time human rights violations Sri Lanka is now coming under international scrutiny for religious intolerance. Several incidents have highlighted the rise of Sinhalese nationalism that is at odds with the requirements of national reconciliation that includes the ethnic and religious minorities. These have included attacks on mosques and churches. Attacks on Christian churches have been going on more..

Sri Lanka makes giant strides in transfusion

June 10 (SO) Sri Lanka being selected by the World Health Organisation to host the 11th global event of World Blood Donor Day this year is a monumental achievement that will honor the success story of Sri Lanka's National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) which has evolved from a single room to a vast network. Blood donation in SL was known following an appeal for blood to save the life of former PM S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike more..

Let’s get rid of the ‘virtuous society’

June 10 (GV) How many of you can honestly say that you have never visited a pornography website? I don’t have the numbers, but if I had to guess, only a small number of you would be able to say that. So why pretend? Why pretend that you have never watched them? Why pretend that you are already psychologically damaged, if pornography indeed does any psychological damage? What’s the point of trying to censor them, when you know people would watch them anyway? more..

A review of long war, cold peace

June 10 (GV) Dr Dayan Jayatilleka’s book, Long War, Cold Peace, now in its second revised edition of 2014, is one of the few book-length attempts by a Sri Lankan scholar to make sense of our post-war condition and the policy challenges that we face. His take on all this, it can reliably be assumed, is not everyone’s cup of tea. But it would take partisan blinkers of an extreme sort to deny that it is an impassioned attempt to realign our political discourse in a way that seeks to keep us more..

Fishing issue clouds India and Sri Lanka ties

June 10 (AJ) Relations between the Asian powerhouse, India, and its southern neighbour Sri Lanka are facing growing pressure due to the ongoing issue of fishermen from each country straying in to the other’s waters. Nearly every month, dozens of fishermen from the two countries are arrested by authorities for illegally poaching in the waters that do not belong to their country. On Saturday, 71 Indian fishermen were arrested more..

McCain criticizes Ranil's weak leadership

June 10 (CT) UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who spoke proudly of his lecture (attended by only five participants), at the MIT, where he spent over a month learning techniques to abolish the executive presidential system in his country, has come in for severe criticism by senior members of the Republican Party in the United States, foreign media reports noted last Wednesday (4). Republican Senator, John McCain, is reported to have expressed utter disappointment over more..

Prepaid for Sri Lanka electricity customers

June 10 (LBO) Govt-owned monopoly telephone companies did not connect 100 percent of households anywhere in the world. But in Sri Lanka, the govt-owned monopoly electricity companies are approaching that threshold. But Sri Lankan citizens pay among the highest prices for electricity in the region. The reason is that they live in a country that has decided that load shedding is unacceptable, but which neglected to install adequate low-cost, base-load capacity at the right time. more..

Watching over you

June 10 (CT) Each day, thousands of people commute to and from Colombo City. The city is bustling with life and even past midnight, you can spot a vehicle or two travelling on the roads. With this many people and vehicles to monitor, the Sri Lanka Police cannot physically supervise every junction or public space. To ensure greater security and to curb traffic violations the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Division was created. more..

Editorial: Scrapping executive presidency

June 10 (Island) Several constituents of the ruling UPFA coalition have called for the abolition of the executive presidency. While these calls are viewed by some political analysts as signs of dissension within the govt ranks boiling over they are dismissed by others as a ruse to prevent the Opposition from using the issue to muster enough popular support to win elections. The opponents of the executive presidency strive to achieve different goals through the abolition of that institution. more..

No change on Lanka but what about the economy?

June 10 (Island) In several essay in the last three weeks about the outcome of the Indian elections I argued five points. In the voluminous outpouring in the global, Indian and even local media about expectations for Modi’s term of office, there have been no sharp differences in respect of three of the five. In respect of the fourth many have adopted a different emphasis from that which I intend to press in this piece. The fifth item pertaining to Lanka is no longer open ended; Modi has committed more..

A Pakistani’s tribute to SLBC for preserving old Hindi film music

June 10 (CT) Naik Kakar and his daughter Rozina, from remote Loralai in the rugged Pakistani province of Baluchistan, have done something which millions of lovers of old Hindi film music in India and Pakistan would have loved to do - visit their favorite radio station in Colombo, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), only station in the world which still broadcasts Golden Oldies of Hindi cinema on a daily basis. more..

Eshan vows to improve personal best in pursuit of medal

June 10 (Island) Kalutara Vidyalaya sprinter Himasha Eshan vowed to improve his personal best in pursuit of a medal in the 100 metres dash despite the presence of strong Japanese and Chinese contenders in the medal hunt at the 16th Asian Junior Athletics Championships which begins in Taipei, Chinese Taipei on Thursday. "First it will be to improve my personal best. I am sure of improving on it. When I do that I will be within the medal winning standard," Himasha said. more..

Darusman's advent as UNSG portends a tough scenario for Sri Lanka

June 10 (CT) Last week saw most political parties in the grip of rising election fever. And of them all the SLFP, perhaps, is the most active in gearing up the party machinery for the coming event. The SLFP headquarters has become a hive of activity where the Party's General Secretary, Minister Maitripala Sirisena, and the National Organizer, Basil Rajapaksa have gone into action. Minister Sirisena recently sent out a circular to all party organizers making it mandatory for them to hold more..

Rubber at risk of becoming a lost heritage

June 10 (CT) A top industrialist has warned that the country's rubber industry, once a major export sector, could soon become a lost heritage. "As a manufacturer and an exporter of finished rubber products, I must say that we have benefited enormously with the prevailing low prices of natural rubber. However I see certain worrisome developments with regard to the Sri Lanka rubber plantation industry, which is a major cause more..

Foreign debt servicing creams off US$ 72M

June 10 (CT) The exchange rate (ER) held at Rs 130.25/30 to the US dollar in interbank spot trading yesterday on thin volumes, with the State continuing to collect dollars at the Rs 130.26 level. State buys dollars from the foreign exchange (FX) market, generally through State owned People's Bank or Bank of Ceylon, either to settle a petroleum bill (petroleum bills account for 25% of Sri Lanka's total annual import bill), or, to boost Central Bank's external reserves. more..

Duminda Silva to open share trading in Adam Investments

June 10 (CT) Ordinary voting shares of Adam Investments Plc (AINV) is set to commence trading today on the Diri Savi Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) with the presence of Colombo District MP Duminda Silva, the company said. It said MP Silva accepted the invitation presented by Adam Investments Director/CEO Larry Adams to ceremonially open trading. AINV is categorised under the diversified holdings sector in the Colombo Stock Exchange. more..