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Upali Dharmadasa, new Director of Seylan Bank

June 23 (LBT) Seylan Bank has announced the appointment of Upali Dharmadasa as a Director of the Bank with effect from June 9, 2014. A high-profile industrialist, with strong leadership qualities, proven strategic abilities and an inherent and abiding interest in all matters concerning business and cricket, Mr. Dharmadasa counts over 32 years of experience in corporate management. Mr. Dharmadasa is the Managing Director of Nawaloka Group of Companies which consists of more..

Kotagala docs continue strike

June 23 (Island) The GMOA said that the doctors attached to 12 MOH areas in the Nuwara Eliya District, except Kotagala had called off the strike action last Friday as Ministers Navin Dissanayaka and Maithripala Sirisena had given them an assurance for their safety. GMOA member Dr. Lasantha Jinadasa said that Minister Navin Dissanayaka had met Minister Maithripala Sirisena last Friday and assured that the security for all MOHs except Kotagala would be provided. more..

Canada being misled says Sri Lanka

June 23 (CG) The Sri Lankan Govt today accused Canada of being driven by diaspora imperatives which it says is not helpful to the process of bringing about genuine reconciliation among communities in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka strongly rejected allegations raised by Canada which said that the presence of the military contributes to the insecurity of women and girls in the former conflict-affected areas. more..

Anti-Sinhala and Anti-Muslim pages mushroom on Facebook

June 23 (AM) Although the Facebook pages of the BBS and Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera have been banned, hundreds of Facebook pages and profiles are still in operation spreading racist sentiments among Sri Lankans. 'Racist' Facebook pages and profiles are operated by "Sinhala-Buddhist" extremists as well as Muslim extremists. While Sinhala extremist call for the elimination of the Muslim community of Sri Lanka, Muslim extremist pages urges Muslim to embark on 'Jihad' more..

Job oriented professional training for Mullaitivu women

June 23 (MoD) A sewing training center has been setup in Mullaitivu to provide training for a group of females selected for employment at the proposed 'Hirdaramani' apparel factory. The training center, established at the Security Forces Headquarters- Mullaitivu (SFHQ-MLT) premises will provide training for thirty five local women. Upon initiatives by SFHQ- MLT, Hirdaramani Pvt Ltd is to set up an apparel factory in Mullaithivu that would provide employment to 350 women. more..

Mahanayakes write to MR over Kandy night races

June 23 (DM) A letter signed by four Maha Nayake Theras has been sent to the President Rajapaksa requesting him to stop the Night Motor Races to be held in the Kandy during this weekend. The Asgiriya Chapter Maha Nayaka, Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddarakkitha Thera; the Malawatta Chapter Anu Nayaka, Ven. Niyangoda Wijithasiri Thera; the Sri Lanka Amarapura Chapter Mahanayaka the Ven. Davuldena Gnanissara more..

Met Dept earns nearly ten million rupees selling weather predictions

June 23 (Island) Meteorology Department had earned Rs 9,446,633 by selling data and weather reports to various institutions and persons during the year 2013. During the year, the department had sold 12 reports predicting the weather two months in advance, 122 reports on daily situations, 100 certified reports, 112 uncertified reports, sources said, adding that 79 reports had been provided free of charge. These data reports had been provided free of charge to universities, govt institutions more..

Child Safety Week to mark SLGGA centenary

June 23 (DN) Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association (SLGGA) has organized a ‘Child Safety Week’ from June 25 - July 1 to mark its centenary anniversary which falls on March 21, 2017 with a 1,000 day’ celebrations program. Many activities have been planned from national level down to the youngest individual member of five years to mark this week. Seven themes have been allocated for the seven days, while decision-makers from govt entities, private sector partners, prominent persons/ more..

President calls for communal harmony

June 23 (Xinhua) President Rajapaksa on Sunday called for peace among all citizens and downplayed Buddhist-Muslim clashes that killed four and injured as many as 80 people last week. The president was making a public address after opening bunkering facilities at a harbor in southern Sri Lanka. "We must all come together as one people. We cannot allow our future to be taken over by one ethnic group or religion only. more..

A Presidency under threat: The whims of Wimal Weerawansa

June 24 (CT) The last few weeks have seen an appalling erosion in the image of the govt. In a piece that traced our unfortunate decline from the great military and diplomatic successes of 2009, I had written of cracks within the govt, but after that we had two Cabinet Ministers refusing to support the Govt in a Vote of Confidence. This is unprecedented, and I believe has never happened in this country before. But there has been total silence from senior members of the govt, and more..

When bread is unfree and circuses are not enough

June 24 (CT) The Aluthgama attack on the Muslims was followed by several incidents, the exact nature, causes and perpetrators of which have yet to be ascertained. These are the acid attacks on the Police in Mawanella, the abduction and torture of Ven Watareka Vijitha thero (a long standing target of the BBS), and the fire that gutted the ‘NOLIMIT’ store in Panadura. To me what seems to be happening is that someone or something is stepping up the pace or is out of control. more..

Development programs at a pace in the North

June 24 (SO) One Municipal Council, three Urban Councils and 13 Pradeshiya Sabhas are allocating funds for livelihood and development programs in the areas under their jurisdiction, with the Provincial Council also supplementing such programs, Govt allocations for major development programs, under the "Vadakkin Vasantham" program, are continuing unabated since the defeat of terrorism. more..

Counter-thuggery doesn’t pay

June 24 (NS) Out there, in the Northern parts of post-war Sri Lanka, anyone who cares to look will see a difficult situation prevailing. There live people who have not been re-settled in places they were displaced from, there is out of proportionately high presence of the Armed Forces, there are people who are still searching for their loved ones whom they last saw with their hands held high, and they are being watched all the time. They can be taken in at any time, released or not at will. more..

Dickwella religious representatives exchange numbers - No room for external influences

June 24 (NS) In an exemplary act of solidarity religious leaders, both Muslim and Buddhist, met at the Muhiyibdeen Jumma Mosque at Yonakpura, Dickwella, recently. Chief Incumbent Priests of eight Buddhist temples in Dickwella led by Dickwella Shasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya President Ven Godellewela Rathananda Thera spent close to two hours at the Mosque last Monday night. The decision to visit the mosque was made on the instructions of Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. more..

Aluthgama and Beruwala ‘burnt’ by - Fires of racial hatred

June 24 (NS) Some say it started after some stones were pelted at Sinhalese Buddhists from a Mosque. Others blame a fiery speech targeting Muslims by the General Secretary of BBS. Many blame the Police for allowing a BBS rally to proceed in an area where ethnic tensions were already at boiling point. Whatever the cause behind last week’s deadly riots in Aluthgama and Beruwala, the end result is clear for all to see; lives have been more..

Modi sticks to failed policy on Sri Lanka

June 24 (CT) There is a strong belief in the Western world that 13 is an unlucky number. However, 13 has now become unlucky for the bilateral relationship of two Asian nations, that is Indo-Lanka relations. India abstained from voting at the resolution brought against Sri Lanka by the USA at the UNHRC in March 2014 thanks to the efforts of Indian bureaucrats. Analysts saw it as India's willingness to have a fresh approach towards Sri Lanka after Parliamentary Elections. more..

Karu Jayasuriya's journey to 'political hell'

June 24 (CT) UNP Leadership Council Chairman, Karu Jayasuriya, seems not to understand the difference between political heaven and hell. His popularity within the Party and among the people keeps declining by the day. When he made his entry into politics, the Party and the people viewed him as a gentleman in politics and voted for him in an overwhelming manner. That was demonstrated at the first local election in Colombo he contested to become the city father. more..

Mathews innings second to The Don

June 24 (CI) If I asked you which international captain had the best batting record during his period at the helm, you would doubtless answer: Donald Bradman. And you would be right. But if I asked who was next, I'll bet you wouldn't pick Angelo Mathews. Bradman, 24 matches, average 101.51; Mathews, nine matches, average 78.83. For what it is worth: Viv Richards, 50 matches, average 45.11. more..

Muslims of SL: Community under siege?

June 24 (GV) June 2014 will go down in the annals of Sri Lankan history as a turning point in ethnic relations, with large scale communal violence being unleashed on a most hapless minority. This month saw the worst acts of violence targeted against the country’s second largest minority, the Muslims, since the infamous anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1983. This month has been aptly termed ‘Black June’. In the South-Western coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala, hysterical mobs looted and torched more..

Higher FDI imperative for economic development

June 24 (ST) Much higher amounts of foreign direct investment of the right types are needed to propel the economy to higher sustained economic growth and further structural transformation of the economy. This is widely recognised internationally, as well as by most economists in the country, business leaders and analysts. The new Investment Promotion Minister, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, who was till recently Deputy Minister of Economic Development, has stated quite categorically that more..

President Rajapaksa scolds Minister Rishad Badhiutheen at Cabinet meeting

June 24 (DBS) Sparks flew at the weekly cabinet meeting held on Thursday when the issue of anti Muslim violence instigated by the BBS in Aluthgama and Beruwela was discussed. Heated arguments occurred between Muslim cabinet ministers Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Badhiutheen on the one hand and Buddhist cabinet ministers Champika Ranawaka on the other. The bone of contention was the BBS. more..

Editorial: Plot thickens

June 24 (Island) Police now tell us that Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera’s claim that he was abducted and assaulted by a group of persons in robes recently is false and his injuries are self-inflicted. Legal action will be instituted against him when he leaves hospital, SSP Ajith Rohana has said. The onus is on the police to prove their allegations against the injured monk. What is of greater interest than the Police Spokesman’s claim, in our view, is a statement attributed to a lawyer retained by more..

No limits?

June 24 (DBS) The Aluthgama attack on the Muslims was followed by several incidents, the exact nature, causes and perpetrators of which have yet to be ascertained. These are the acid attacks on the Police in Mawanella, the abduction and torture of Ven Watarekke Vijitha thero (a long standing target of the BBS), and the fire that gutted the ‘No Limit’ store in Panadura. To me what seems to be happening is that someone or something is stepping up the pace or is out of control. more..

Mahela slams England's tactics

June 24 (CI) A fired-up Mahela Jayawardene shot barbs at England's tactics at Headingley and questioned their embattled captain's public comments, after Sri Lanka finished day four with a famous away win in sight. The tour has been hard-fought on both sides, with the reporting of Sachithra Senanayake's bowling action and the England response to Jos Buttler's Mankading causing the most visible grief in SL camp. more..

Captaincy no burden for Mathews

June 24 (CI) During his innings of 160, Angelo Mathews became the second Sri Lanka batsman to have scored 300-plus runs during a tour to England. The only other man to have achieved this feat was Kumar Sangakkara, also during this Test. The 306 runs that Mathews has scored in this series is the third highest number of runs scored by an overseas batsman in a two-match series (or has played only two matches in a longer series) in England. Sangakkara and Ganguly are higher than him more..

Bell defends Cook captaincy

June 24 (CI) Ian Bell has rejected the suggestion Alastair Cook is on the brink of resigning the England captaincy and said it was the performance of the players rather than any tactical shortcomings that have cost the side in Leeds. Bell, England's unofficial vice-captain and the man most likely to be appointed captain should Cook step down, was one of the batsmen dismissed on the fourth evening of the second Test as England finished on 57 for 5 chasing an improbable 350 for victory. more..

Govt. Hospitals cannot do Dengue tests

June 24 (CT) Private hospitals are exploiting patients who find themselves in dire circumstances due to the non-availability of the equipment for carrying the dengue antigen blood test in govt hospitals, GNOA claimed. GNOA President, Saman Rathnapriya, alleged, doctors who direct patients for blood tests also get commissions from the private hospitals based on the number of patients they send to private hospitals. more..

Zero tolerance policy necessary to forestall another communal conflict

June 24 (Island) The govt appears to have woken up to the gravity of the problem posed by repeated attacks on the Muslim community. The police have announced that they will not permit meetings that cause ethnic or religious hatred to be generated. This new policy is to be welcomed to the degree that it is implemented in fact, and is not simply restricted to rhetoric. The police have become a scapegoat for permitting the BBS to hold the public rally that ended up in anti Muslim violence. more..

Bora Bora Resources acquires stake in graphite mine, facility in Sri Lanka

June 24 (PI) Bora Bora Resources has entered into a binding Heads of Agreement that places the company on the fast track to potential commercial graphite production in Sri Lanka. The company will acquire a 50% interest in RS Mines (RSM), which owns the producing Queens Graphite Mine and associated graphene oxide production facilities. Notably, the mine is located just 2 kilometres from the Kahatagaha Graphite Mine that is surrounded by its Matale Graphite Project. more..

Mathews, Prasad set up SL for famous win

June 24 (CI) Sri Lanka have never won a Test series in England, but they are closing in on a magnificent achievement after their captain, Angelo Mathews, with a brilliant domineering hundred, followed by a scarcely credible spell from Dhammika Prasad consigned England to a day of untold gloom in the second Test at Headingley. Prasad was the fifth Sri Lanka bowler used in an England second-innings innings which more..

Sixty more Officer Cadets pass out

June 24 (DN) The Passing out Parade ceremony of 60 Officer Cadets at the Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA), Diyatalawa belonging to Intake 78, Intake 53 'A' (Volunteer) and Intake 12 'A' was held on Saturday. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral was the Chief Guest while Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake was the Guest of Honour. The Chief Guest on arrival was accorded a Guard Turnout plus a Guard of Honour and later taken to the SLMA War Memorial for more..

Central Bank says financial system sound

June 24 (CT) Central Bank publishes the Financial System Stability Review (FSSR) annually, presenting information on financial system stability. The FSSR covers developments in the financial sector; policy measures that have been taken to mitigate potential risks to financial system stability; and possible implications of emerging trends in the domestic economy as well as the global economy. In addition, the FSSR covers several topical issues which merit in-depth study. more..

Debt piles up: SLDBs raise US$ 239.5mn

June 24 (CT) The US$ 50 million debt issue of the govt attracted bids amounting to US$ 239.5 million which was accepted in its entirety by the Central Bank. Central Bank issued US$ 50 million in three-year Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDB) which was 4.8 times oversubscribed yesterday with bids amounting to US$ 239.5 million. The yield was determined through competitive bidding at 4.07%, slightly higher than 4% for more..

Orient Express Lines vessel MV OEL Colombo makes history at Magampura Port

June 24 (FT) The feeder vessel MV OEL Colombo owned by Orient Express Lines Fzco, Dubai became the first vessel to call at the Magampura Port Bunker Facility and take a quantity of fuel supplied by the Magampura Port Management Company. Coincidentally, the owners of the vessel named this vessel as OEL Colombo in January 2014 when they decided to dedicate this vessel to Sri Lanka considering that they have been serving Sri Lankan trade for over 20 years. more..

UPFA PS member, another arrested over vehicle racket

June 24 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the Special Crimes Operation Unit, Mirihana, led by DIG Sumith Edirisinghe arrested, on Sunday night, UPFA Hingurakgoda Pradeshiya Sabha member Bandula Wickramaratne and another suspect for their alleged involvement in a racket where vehicles obtained on lease purchase basis or rented from rent-a-car services were sold with forged documents. The DIG’s office launched a probe after it had received six complaints. more..

Sri Lanka turns to Bangladesh for medicines

June 24 (BDN) Visiting SL health minister, Maithripala Sirisena, signed a deal with his Bangladesh counterpart, Mohammed Nasim, on Monday. Nasim said SL had already given a list of “525 types of medicines” that they want to source from Bangladesh. “It’ll solely be a govt to govt mechanism. We will soon form a committee, which will monitor the exports,” he said. Representatives of both sides will be on the committee, more..

Anti-Muslim attacks continue

June 24 (DBS) A gang of hoodlums transported in vehicles carrying Buddhist flags and banners went on the rampage throwing stones and small pieces of metal at Islamic places of worship and Muslim owned Businesses. Gang suspected of belonging to the BBS was armed with clubs and rods but there were no reports of physical violence anywhere. Gang also attempted to torch a Mosque but the rapid deployment of Police and Special Task Force Personnel to the trouble spot prevented more..

EU Ambassador visits EU funded projects in North and East

June 24 (FT) European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, David Daly will be visiting EU funded projects in the Batticaloa and Mullaitivu Districts next week. The aim of the visit is to witness the successful completion of the EU Support to Socio Economic Measures (EU – SEM) projects and to speak with the communities who have benefited from them. During the visit, Ambassador Daly will hold meetings with senior govt representatives and local authorities. more..

World Bank approves US$ 101.5M to Sri Lanka for skills development

June 24 (CT) The World Bank today approved a US$ 101.5 million IDA credit to expand the availability of employable workers by increasing access to high quality, labour market relevant skills development programmes. The project will open new career prospects for skilled employment that is critical to sustain growth in a middle income country. Sri Lanka's workforce is the most educated in South Asia: about 96% more..

HC orders notice on Lankan minister's plea to recall NBW

June 24 (PTI) Madras High Court today ordered issuance of notice to authorities on a criminal revision petition by Minister Douglas Devananda to recall a non-bailable warrant issued by a lower court in a shootout case registered in 1986. When the matter came up before Justice T S Sivagnanam, the govt advocate took notice and sought time to file the counter and the judge posted it to July 9. The petition, filed after 536 days of delay, challenged the order of a lower court refusing to more..