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Double-digit growth in tourist arrivals persists

June 10 (FT) Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals recorded a growth of 20.3% in May 2014 compared to the same period in year 2013. In May, 90,046 tourist arrivals in the country were recorded compared to 74,838 in May 2013, which is the highest in foreign tourist history for the month. The cumulative total of foreign tourist arrivals for the first five months of 2014 is 624,178, a 26.5% increase from 493,294 that arrived during the more..

Narrow escape from falling brick for President’s astrologer

June 10 (ST) Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s astrologer and a working director of the National Savings Bank (NSB), narrowly escaped injury on Thursday when a brick fell off the exterior of the lobby area of the NSB headquarters building which is now under construction, hitting his vehicle, witnesses said. An eye witness said that he saw a brick falling from the area under construction onto the vehicle, completely smashing the windscreen. more..

‘Challenging’ Q1 2014 for SL food and beverages sector : Nielsen

June 10 (ST) Sri Lankan food and beverages sector had a “challenging” first quarter of 2014, revealed market research agency Nielsen recently. This is despite this category featuring the highest, consumer spend within the larger Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) super’ category. Q1 2014 Dashboard update, issued at the beginning of June; “Of the 40 or so FMCG categories tracked by Nielsen’s Retail Audit, about two thirds of spend is on Food and Beverages”. more..

Victims of political manipulation

June 10 (Hindu) “I will have a job only if the Indian trawlers stop coming.” Gently nudging a reluctant crab out of the fishing net with a stone, J. Rajeswari speaks of the acute impact the Indian trawlers have had on Pesalai, one of the biggest fishing villages in Mannar, Sri Lanka. “On the days that the trawlers come our fishermen don’t go to the sea. If they don’t go, I have no job.” Removing the fish and crab entangled in more..

Chamal congratulates Lok Sabha Speaker

June 10 (GDI) Sumitra Mahajan, an eight-time BJP member of Parliament from Indore, has been elected the Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha. She has been representing Indore since 1989 and is the longest serving woman parliamentarian. Ms Mahajan, who has never lost a Lok Sabha election, was elected unanimously. Sri Lankan Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa, while congratulating the new Speaker, said, India and Sri Lanka share a special bond which spans centuries. more..

'UNP shields slander merchants'

June 10 (DN) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said it was regrettable that UNP was trying to defend spurious and scurrilous websites which slander and defame even personages of the calibre of the Most Venerable Mahanayake Theras. "When certain web sites are making baseless allegations and slinging mud at honourable and respected persons including venerable Mahanayake Thera, UNP leaders such as Tissa Attanayake and Mangala Samaraweera were trying to defend such web sites" more..

Presidential patronage for dengue prevention

June 10 (DN) A Special Dengue Prevention Program will be implemented next week on President Rajapaksa's instructions, with the support of public servants, Security Forces, Police personnel and Local Govt bodies. This special program will be implemented on a decision reached at the Presidential Task Force on Dengue Prevention meeting headed by President Rajapaksa held at Temple Trees last morning. more..

Accountant stranded in Sri Lanka due to passport backlog

June 10 (Telegraph) An accountant has been stranded in Sri Lanka for almost three months and is unable to get home because he does not have a passport due to the chaotic backlog of applications in Britain. Sam Lewis, 27, was advised to send his passport to the Liverpool offices from Sri Lanka as he needed it renewed because he had less than six months left and planned to climb Everest before returning home. The trip was a present for completing his accountancy qualifications. more..

CA Sri Lanka workshop on how to improve business with Google Apps

June 10 (Island) The many benefits of Google Apps and how it could help businesses develop and improve will be the focus at a workshop organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) on June 11. The workshop which will feature several local and foreign experts on the subject will address how businesses can improve productivity while saving costs with the use of Google Apps, and also reduce IT management overheard and licensing costs. more..

'Golden Key Task Force can seize and sell'

June 10 (DM) The Supreme Court granted permission to the Board of Directors (Task Force) appointed by Court to give effect to the seizure and sale of assets of the Golden Key Credit Card Company with the subsidiary assets of former Directors. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justices K. Sripavan and Rohini Marasinghe made this order after considering the Progress Report submitted by Task Force. more..

Tug-o-War leaves PCs topless

June 10 (CT) Even though three months have passed since the Western and Southern PC Elections, the positions of the Leader of the house and Govt Whip have yet to be filled. The protocol is to make these appointments within days after the establishment of the Provincial Councils. Councillors from both Provinces belonging to the UNP have claimed that the present tug of war between Councillors of the UPFA has resulted in the lacuna, pointing out that if one ruling party councillor more..

President opens IT lab at Thurstan

June 10 (DN) President Rajapaksa opened a three storied building complex and an Information Technology laboratory housing 100 computers at his alma mater, Thurstan College, Colombo yesterday. The IT lab was donated by K.D. Ebert and Sons Company while the computers were provided by the Chinese govt. Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that no leader in the country committed so much resources as President Rajapaksa for the protection and promotion of the free education system. more..

'PSC, an utter waste of time; implement 13A'

June 10 (Island) Following President Rajapaksa’s recent assurance to Indian PM Narendra Modi that he was willing to implement the 13th Amendment with the exception of police powers, UNP urged the govt to match words with action without wasting more time on yet another Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) process. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said: "We have lost count of number of All Party Conferences more..

'Govt has failed in building relations with key countries'

June 10 (NF) UNP MP Rosy Senanaye says that the govt has failed in building relations with key countries that Sri Lanka engages with. She expressed following views, In a post war situation I think we need to basically, re-portray, re-brand Sri Lanka. I strongly believe that the govt has failed in building relations with key countries that we deal with in the last couple of years. When the govt fails to have good relations with the people – we need to have good relations; I strongly believe more..

Over 3,500 Rameswaram fishermen go on strike

June 10 (Hindu) Fishermen of Rameswaram launched a strike on Monday, protesting against the continuing arrests of fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy and demanding a permanent solution to the problem. About 3,700 fishermen in Rameswaram (750 trawlers) began the strike, while about 1,000 Pamban fishermen went on a day’s strike expressing solidarity with them. However, about 3,000 fishermen in Mandapam did not join the strike. Leaders of 11 fishermen associations in more..

GL explains why Sri Lanka won't attend London conference

June 10 (Island) Minister G.L. Peiris has ruled out the possibility of the Sri Lankan govt endorsing much touted British initiative, Declaration of Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict on the basis that it too, could be used against the country. The LTTE rump has accused the military of systematic rape as well as abuses of both men and women during eelam war IV, a charge strongly denied by the govt. He was responding to more..

Legal action against 3 canteens at prominent govt. institutions

June 10 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo MC said they would take legal action against the canteens in three major govt institutions today. Acting Food Inspector, Lal Kumara said that legal action would be filed at the Maligakanda Magistrate Court against the canteens functioning at the Department Immigration and Emigration, the Govt Press and the Sri Lanka Customs on the instructions of the Chief Medical Health Officer PHD, Dr. R. Wijayamuni. more..

'I am the cheapest'

June 10 (CT) Minister Mervyn Silva said he is the cheapest of all the Ministers in the Cabinet. He said this aspect combined with his social service was the reason behind his predicament. "During the past couple of days I have helped many who suffered from the floods. Giving a packet or two of rice is not the real solution as it is like instant noodles. There should be a mechanism in place to prevent flood related accidents in the Gampaha District. Filling of marsh lands is not over and water drainage more..

UNHRC curtain raiser on Sri Lanka today

June 10 (FT) After a brief three month respite, Sri Lanka’s rights record will be back in the spotlight in Geneva, when the UNHRC’s 26th Session opens at the Palais des Nations today. A formal announcement on the two senior pro bono experts that will be supervising the UN inquiry on Sri Lanka is also likely in Geneva today. International judge on the Khmer Rouge War Crimes Tribunal Silvia Cartwright has already been named as more..

Act now before it is too late

June 10 (DM) Just as the prophetic Pope Francis in a dramatic new Pentecost initiative held prayerful talks in the Vatican with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Buddhist and other religious leaders in Sri Lanka need to play a more active and effective role in conflict resolution on the ethnic and other issues here to bring about social justice. Though the Israeli-Arab conflict was one of Apocalyptic proportions with prophets of doom predicting it could be an endtimes scenario, the conflicts in Sri Lanka are more..

Organic path to health & sustainable living

June 10 (DM) Industrial civilization that flourished in the West over the last two centuries has made significant inroads into the rest of the world, particularly over the last few decades on the back of neo-liberal economic reforms adopted even by so-called socialist regimes. The hallmark of industrial development was the possibility of mass consumption of all sorts of commodities and services. Most people sought to work hard to have access to industrial goods and services that more..

Colombo Still Floods…

June 10 (SL) Despite all the development projects, certain places in the heart of Colombo still flood when it rains, people complained. Last week, some places in Thummulla and Thimbirigasyaya junctions flooded due to heavy rains causing severe traffic congestion in the area. One of the employees at a food outlet in the Thummulla added, “Water reached the doorstep of the shop. Last year too, a couple of times more..

‘Monks need not enter parliament to change society’

June 10 (DM) With the direct involvement of Buddhist monks in the social political issues in the country, there is social discourse whether this direct involvement of monks is appropriate for Buddhism and for the monks. In this backdrop, Ven. Prof. Kotapitiye Rahula Thera, Director of Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Uni of Kelaniya, shared the following views regarding the role of the Buddhist monks within society. more..

University and school teachers on warpath

June 10 (ST) The FUTA will resort to continuous trade union action if the Higher Education Ministry fails to present solutions before July 10 to the issues raised by the association. “The executive committee meeting held on Friday decided that university teachers will go on continuous strike if the ministry fails to give us acceptable solutions,” FUTA General Secretary Prof. Rohan Fernando told the Sunday Times. more..

Now, a leopard racket

June 10 (Island) Ministry of Wildlife Resources Conservation said that it had received information of a leopard racket, where animals were smuggled out and sold to wealthy foreigners. Minister Vijithamuni Zoysa, said that leopard cubs were being stolen and sold to wealthy oil kingdoms in Arabia who rear them as a status symbol. Attributing the scarcity of the Sri Lankan leopard––Panthera pardus kotiya––to this racket, more..

Protest against Indian intervention

June 10 (CG) A protest was staged outside the Indian High Commission in Colombo today against what the protesters claimed was an attempt to interfere in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs. The protesters drew specific attention to attempts by TN Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa to put pressure on the new Indian Govt over the Sri Lankan issue. Patriotic National Front Secretary Dr. Wasantha Bandara said that several more..

Anura Senenayake at the crossroads!

June 10 (AM) Senior DIG Anura Senenayake, who will soon be retiring from Police service, is tipped to be appointed to a top position handing urban development and city beautification. However, it is also reported that some senior officials of the institutions have vehemently opposed Senanayake's appointment due to potential 'personality clashes.' The govt, at the moment, is also considering name as a replacement for more..

Historic court decision on the rituals of Animal Sacrifice awaited

June 10 (AT) Today is a historic day. Today Ms. J. Mahadevan, Mallakam Courts Magistrate would be delivering her decision on the “ A” Report filed by the Ilavalai Police regarding the Kownawatte Narasimha Vairvar Temple Valevi scheduled for 14th of this month. Tamils of Sri Lanka, majority of them who prayed and longed to end the animal sacrifice rituals would rejoice if the judgment delivered would be in their favor. more..

UGC informs Uni. to increase required credits for allied health science degree

June 10 (Island) The UGC has officially informed the universities that offer Allied Health Sciences degree programme to increase the number of credits for each programme up to 120, UGC sources said. Accordingly a circular had been sent to the universities of Peradeniya, Sri J'pura, Ruhuna, Colombo, Jaffna and the Eastern University by the UGC with instructions to increase the number of credits from 90 to 120. more..

'China, second largest supplier to Sri Lanka'

June 10 (Island) China has become Sri Lanka's second largest supplier of goods and the forthcoming FTA with China signifies the strategic importance of bilateral cooperation efforts. Meanwhile, China's Yunnan Province called for newer avenues of trade with South Asia-including in energy. "China has emerged as the second largest supplier to Sri Lanka accounting for 17% of Sri Lanka's total imports. more..

Pillay notes Sri Lanka is yet to heal

June 10 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says the scars of terrorism in Sri Lanka have yet to heal, five years after the war ended. Pillay said this in her opening speech at the 26th annual session of the UNHRC which began meeting in Geneva today. “last month marked the fifth anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka, where the scars created by terrorism and conflict have yet to heal. more..

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.1%

June 10 (LBO) Shares closed higher for the second consecutive day with finance stocks gaining amid thin net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 6.61 points higher at 6,293.64, up 0.11%. The S&P SL20 closed 4.43 points higher at 3,484.12, up 0.13%. Turnover was 886.88 million rupees, down from 1.40 billion rupees a day earlier with 89 stocks closed positive against 85 negative. Distilleries closed 40 cents lower at 205.60 rupees with market transactions of 74.05 million rupees more..

Mahinda’s style is far more effective than Ranil’s substance

June 10 (CT) Let me be honest; I borrowed some parts of the above heading. If you change the names of Mahinda and Ranil from the names of President George Bush and Senator Kerry respectively, the above heading is a subheading of an article written by Professor Stanly Fish at the Uni of Illinois at Chicago. Ranil should learn a big lesson from seemingly a simple point made by Stanly Fish in this article. Stanly wrote this article just prior to the presidential race between Bush and Kerry more..

Sri Lanka becomes an attractive holiday destination for South Koreans

June 10 (IL) Sri Lanka won the “Best Booth Design Award” at the 29th Korean World Travel Fair (KOTFA), the largest travel exposition held at the Convention & Exhibition Center (COEX) between 29 May and 1 June. KOTFA is an integrated travel fair involving inbound and outbound travel, B2B and B2C meetings, tourism presentations, and special sale offers for travel products. All major tourist destinations more..

Executive President (benevolent dictator) no solution to minority woes

June 10 (CT) It is reported that the SLMC stands against the abolition of the Executive Presidency. This newspaper quoted the General Secretary of the SLMC, Hasan Ali as saying what the country needs is a benevolent dictator, who is capable of managing volatile ethnic relations. He argued that a 'complete democracy' would lead to the tyranny of the majority, thereby subjugating the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. Hasen Ali was both right and wrong. That the majoritarian impulses often curtail more..

'Address Price-Quality ratio and Russian tourists would flow into Sri Lanka'

June 10 (Island) The number of Russian tourists visiting Sri Lanka had increased, but it could be much more if the Price-Quality Ratio was addressed. Director of the Russian Centre and Counsellor at the Russian Embassy, Andrey Nazarkin said that according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) 51,000 Russian leisure travellers had visited Sri Lanka in 2013, which was an 85% increase over 2012, while in the first three months of this year there had been a 91% rise, more..

Sri Lanka adjust on sights on new rival

June 10 (CI) Who is Sri Lanka's greatest cricketing rival? There was once a clear winner but the now the answer lies in shifting sands. Australia had been cast as arch-villain in Sri Lanka's cricket adolescence and there are still many fans who savour wins over Australia most, if only for their enduring scarcity. In recent years, matches against India have evoked the strongest emotions. Once the island's older brother, India has been more..

Sri Lanka rupee steady near 1-year high

June 10 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee ended steady near a one-year high on Tuesday as dollar sales by banks and exporters were offset by mild importer demand, while two state banks bought the greenback to prevent any sharp gains in the local currency. The rupee ended unchanged at 130.26/28 per dollar, its highest since June 28, 2013. The two state banks, through which the central bank intervenes to direct the market, bought dollars at 130.26 rupees as the central bank allowed more..

Sri Lanka wants India to free fishermen

June 10 (CG) A day after President Rajapaksa ordered the release of 78 Indian fishermen, Sri Lanka’s envoy to New Delhi Prasad Kariyawasam today said that they hope that Indian govt will reciprocate in the same manner. “We have consistently released Indian fishermen as goodwill gesture, hope India also releases Sri Lankans in their custody,” Kariyawasam said. Sri Lankan envoy’s statement came after President Rajapaksa ordered the release of 78 Indian fishermen more..

Sri Lankan monsoon comes for the Poor

June 10 (IPS) By now, the tale has become almost mundane: first the rains remain elusive, refusing to quench the parched earth. Then, without warning, they fall in such torrents that they leave scores dead, hundreds injured, and thousands homeless, plus a heavy bill in accrued damages. This is what climate change looks like in Sri Lanka, where unusual weather patterns have left meteorologists stumped, and the poor bear more..