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SL takes steps to develop Petroleum industry

June 28 (RZ) Sri Lanka is encouraging foreign investors to help the country develop its fledging upstream oil and gas sector as exploration and potential development of hydrocarbon resources is expected to reduce dependence on expensive petroleum imports. The domestic oil and gas industry is small, with no hydrocarbon production despite a refinery at Sapugaskanda with a processing capacity of 50,000 barrels of oil more..

SLC Super 4's: Kosala Kulasekara powers Troopers to big win

June 28 (CI) An unbeaten half-century from Kosala Kulasekara laid the platform for Western Troopers to beat Yaal Blazers by 44 runs at the Sinhalese Sports Club. Troopers were 101 for 5 in the 15th over, having just lost Kithuruwan Vithanage for a 31-ball 44, when Kulaseara walked in. He proceeded to smash an unbeaten 23-ball 54, with three fours and four sixes, to power Troopers to 165 for 8. In reply, Blazers never really got going, apart from a 63-run fourth-wicket stand between Sahan Wijeratne more..

Most common productivity killers in the workplace

June 28 (ST) What are the most common productivity kilers in the workplace? Data recently released by Pulp PR broke it down to four main things that today’s offices are unfortunately too full of. At Frontier Research we too have found ourselves grappling with these issues as we try to manage our resources in the most effective manner. The following will hopefully set out some useful best practices and our experiences when it comes to key productivity killers at work. more..

Riposte to Farbrace- Aluthgamage

June 28 (CT) Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage says the 1-0 historic Test series win claimed by Sri Lanka over England last Tuesday was akin to cocking a snook at former coach Paul Farbrace who decamped to the England coaching set up last April. "This magnificent series triumph is the ultimate riposte given to our former coach (Paul Farbrace)," he said in the aftermath of SL's memorable Test series win over England. more..

Former Sri Lankan seamer dies at 57

June 28 (CI) Former Sri Lankan fast bowler Lantra Fernando has died at the age of 57 during his morning jog in his hometown of Moratuwa. Fernando was a member of the Sri Lanka team that toured England under Bandula Warnapura in 1981, the year the country was granted Test status. Prior to that tour, Fernando won his first Sri Lanka cap by playing in the unofficial ODI against Kim Hughes' Australian team at the SSC ground, and opened the bowling with Ashantha de Mel. more..

Meet the violent Buddhists starting riots

June 28 (Vice) On June 15 a violent mob ripped through three neighboring towns in southwestern Sri Lanka. The horde explicitly targeted Muslims, slinging Molotov cocktails, burning bikes, and looting homes and businesses. Riots, violence, and personal threats aren’t unheard of in Sri Lanka, but this riot caught the world’s attention. It was one of the largest and most deadly in recent years, wounding over 50 and killing four Muslims. It follows a spate of anti-Muslim sentiment more..

Sri Lanka Factory Index strengthens

June 28 (FT) Despite cost pressures, Sri Lanka’s manufacturing signalled an expansion in the first quarter, while the country’s global competitiveness ranking moved up by three notches. “The Factory Industry Production Index that stood at 106.4 this January strengthened and by March it increased to 115.9. I am also pleased give the good news that Sri Lanka has advanced from rank 68 to 65 in the latest Global Competitiveness Index of 2013-2014,” more..

Raheems account for three new records

June 28 (Island) Asian International School swimmer Kimiko Raheem who has been selected to represent the country at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games came-up with flying colours when she established one of the nine records on the second day of the 41st Sri Lanka Schools Swimming Championship at the Sugathadasa Swimming Pool yesterday. Kimiko clocked 1:08:20 seconds in the Under-15 100 metres Back Stroke event to improve on the previous record of 1:14:68 seconds more..

Three drug peddlers arrested

June 28 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, Athurugiriya police yesterday arrested three drug peddlers, including two women with 62 grammes of heroin. Suspects arrested had been peddling heroin in Athurigiriya, Malabe and Battaramulla. Another suspect is yet to be arrested. Police carried out the raid after they had elicited information about the drug racket from a suspect they had arrested previously. An investigator said the suspects had squealed on some more drug peddlers more..

Basil inaugurates Sancharaka Udawa as post-war SL celebrates tourism revival

June 28 (MED) Minister Basil Rajapaksa declared open ‘Sancharaka Udawa’, two days exhibition and trade fair yesterday. Exhibition was organized by Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition and Event Organizers for the fourth consecutive year. Exhibition is held in June 27-28 at more..

Unforgettable moments at the stadium and in the lecture hall

June 28 (TI) In 40 years of watching international cricket, one of the absolute highlights remains an innings I saw by the stocky Sri Lankan, Duleep Mendis. It was played at Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla ground in the first week of November, 1975. Sri Lanka, which had not yet been awarded Test status, were touring India, and playing the North Zone in preparation for the unofficial ‘Tests’ to follow. Mendis’s father was a cricket fan, naming his son after K.S. Duleepsinhji, more..

Global medical equipment supplier mulling Lankan entry

June 28 (DM) A leading global electrosurgical gear maker with nanotech capacity is exploring Sri Lanka’s healthcare sector for entry. “We are gold standard in terms of electrosurgical gear and operating theatre equipment. In Sri Lanka we are looking for turnkey hospital projects to start with,” said Tugrul Karagulle (Sales and Marketing Manager of Turkey’s Üzümcü Týbbi Cihaz ve Medikal Gaz Sistemleri San. ve Tic. A.Þ.), addressing Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. more..

Chris Adams has no mixed feelings as he hails Sri Lanka’s famous win

June 28 (Guardian) There were no mixed feelings for Chris Adams as he celebrated his involvement in a famous Sri Lanka victory against an England team coached by his old Sussex friend Peter Moores. Adams and Sri Lanka also had the last laugh on England and Paul Farbrace, who was lured from their coaching set-up to work with Moores weeks before the series, shortly after being involved in their World Twenty20 triumph. more..

Fitch affirms & withdraws HDFC bank rating

June 28 (Reuters) Following statement was released by the rating agency. Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed the Housing Development Finance Corporation Bank (HDFC Bank) National Long-Term Rating at 'BBB(lka)' with a Stable Outlook and has simultaneously withdrawn the rating. Rating has been withdrawn as it is no longer considered by Fitch to be relevant to the agency's rating coverage. Fitch will no longer provide ratings and analytical coverage of HDFC Bank. more..

Keep an eye on maids, police tell sponsors

June 28 (AN) Nawaf Al-Bouk, Jeddah police spokesman, announced that police in coordination with the Passport Department recently apprehended more than 50 domestic workers who had run away from their sponsors in lure of better salaries in upcoming Ramadan. He said that the incidence of maids and household workers running away from their sponsors’ homes typically increases before Ramadan due to the increased demand by housewives for such workers to carry out more..

'Military, Science cooperation gives new dimension to Russia- SL relations'

June 28 (Island) Bilateral cooperation between Russia and Sri Lanka had moved into new fields such as Military Technical Cooperation and Science and Research, Russian Ambassador Alexander Karchava said. He noted that bilateral relations had grown rapidly from the traditional spheres of cooperation such as education, tourism and humanitarian assistance, into new areas such as science and research, more..

Adverse economic impact of ethno-religious violence

June 28 (DM) Political stability and social harmony are crucial for creating a conducive enabling environment for sustained development and upliftment of the lives of all Sri Lankans. Any instability on these fronts has serious adverse implications for development. The recent violent disturbances in the country should, therefore, be a matter of the utmost concern to all Sri Lankans. Domestically the following negative impacts are likely to materialize: The confidence of more..

Sri Lankan govt pressured to contain BBS

June 28 (KSA) Sri Lanka faces calls from home and abroad to rein in BBS, the radical Buddhist group believed to have incited communal violence against Muslims in two southwestern towns earlier this month. SLMC party, an ally of President Rajapaksa, is among the domestic groups demanding an impartial inquiry into the deadly riots in Beruwala and Alutgama on June 15th and 16th. During a June 18th visit to the riot zone, Rajapaksa said the govt would launch an impartial inquiry more..

Morrison denies refugee boat in trouble

June 28 (CT) Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has refused to confirm claims by refugee activists that a boat carrying Tamil asylum seekers off the coast of Christmas Island is in trouble. Refugee activists said the 21m boat carrying 153 asylum seekers, which left from India, had sprung an oil leak and was 200km from Christmas Island. Mr Morrison said there were no significant incidents at sea to report. more..

Court stops today’s GMOA election

June 28 (Island) The Mount Lavinia District Court yesterday issued an enjoining order to stop the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) from conducting its elections today. The order is effective till July 09. Five petitioners namely, Dr. N. Premaratne, Dr. R. Saranapala, Dr. S. Sivapriyan, Dr. N. Abeyratne and Dr. M. Gunasekera were the petitioners. The District Court took up the case for hearing on Wednesday but the order was issued yesterday evening. more..

Pope can do what Cameron did – Solheim

June 28 (SM) Former Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim has objected to a proposal by Tamil Diaspora leaders that Pope Francis should cancel his Sri Lanka tour in view of the prevailing situation in the country. Instead, the pope should visit the country and point out the issues that need to be pointed out, says Mr. Solheim in a twitter message. He is responding to a question by Suren Surendiran of the Global Tamil Forum, who has asked as to whether the Pope should cancel the tour more..

Ahead of Presidential polls: Govt. troubled by US-funded project

June 28 (Island) Govt would investigate local NGOs involved in an unprecedented US project meant to influence the electorate ahead of national level elections next year, a govt spokesman said. Official alleged that US was planning to fund those who have been opposed to SLFP-led coalition, in accordance with an overall plan to undermine the govt. Asked whether govt would take it up with the US embassy, more..

Kelani river to get a marina for boating operations

June 28 (ST) MMBL Pathfinder group is developing two leisure-related ventures – a boat ride on the Kelani river and a tourist residential facility in the Knuckles mountain range, company officials said. The boat project, aimed at encouraging locals and visitors to explore Sri Lanka’s waterways will be undertaken in collaboration with an experienced Nordic company. The boat has been manufactured by veteran boat builder Neil Marine at a cost of Rs.4.5 million. more..

Honorary Tea Ambassador for Ceylon Tea appointed in the UK

June 28 (ST) SL Tea Board has appointed Mike Bunston OBE, an eminent personality in the international tea trade with over 56 years of experience as the Honorary Tea Ambassador for Sri Lanka in the UK. Mr. Bunston is a goodwill ambassador of tea. He has served as Honorary Chairman of the International Tea Committee for 19 years, a task he first undertook in the later years of a career as a tea broker that began in 1959. Bunston retired in 2002 but has never been busier. more..

Rajarata Univresity hostage-takers win the day, free VC and dons

June 28 (Island) Rajarata University’s VC Prof. Ranjith Wijewardena and a group of academics held incommunicado for more than 24 hours by a group of undergraduates were released yesterday. The undergraduates who defied a directive of the university administration that the campus premises were out of bounds for them following an incident which had happened the previous day remained inside the university more..

Who is pulling the strings of WHO?

June 28 (DM) The UN was set up after the Second World War with the vision of “turning swords into ploughshares and spheres into pruning hooks.” While the primary aim was to prevent war, the UN goals also included world poverty alleviation, the battle against environmental pollution and global warming and social justice issues including the provision of food, shelter and clothing, healthcare and education for all. To what extent the UN has moved toward this vision and goals more..

Demarcation of the lines of authority essential for peace

June 28 (DM) It appears from the various news reports and electronic media news clips that all is not well in our paradise island. The violence in Aluthgama and Beruwela whether they be referred to as communal, religious or pseudo communal, has raised a hornet’s nests. But the most strange situation that has arisen is that the official spokesmen appearing regarding these incidents are either from the Police or from the armed forces. Politicians have press conferences or more..

BBS and its religious fanaticism

June 28 (SL) The Communal fires that were ignited in Aluthgama over the last week, is what is despicable about the island nation. It is what drove this country towards three decades of bloodshed and economic loss. It saw the fine fabric of society broken to unrecognizable shreds that no one dare desire a return to. Yet the incidents in the sea side town and its environs have the potential to push country to that bitter history of brutality. more..

Dengue teams carry ID to foil cheats

June 28 (ST) The Ministry of Health has taken steps to see that members of the public are not stung by pests bigger than mosquitoes when dengue control officers came knocking on doors this week to inspect residences. Residents were warned to check for the special identity card issued to members of the dengue control team before permitting them to enter homes for inspections of dengue breeding spots, and to make sure more..

If one Zoo is woeful we’ll make more zoos!

June 28 (ST) While the government is ambitiously planning new zoos, critics say the existing Dehiwela Zoo’s glaring lack of resources and poor record of animal care – a lion and a hippopotamus died this month – create strong doubts about animal welfare in new institutions. In its pen an African elephant sways from side to side. His fore and hind legs are tightly bound with metal chains limiting its movements. more..

'US will welcome moves to change SL image'

June 28 (DM) The United States will welcome all efforts made by the Sri Lankan politicians to change the negative image that had been created in the minds of international community that the majority Sinhalese were harassing the minorities, U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison said. UNP MP Palitha Thewaraperuma said that US Ambassador informed him that the US would always welcome efforts made by him to help more..

TNA must take lead in presenting evidence about ltte violations at the UN probe

June 28 (DBS) Outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay has presented a “fait accompli” as her parting gift to an unreceptive Sri Lanka! After weeks of speculation and expectation the UN Human rights chief has formally announced the setting up of an investigative panel to conduct a comprehensive probe of alleged human rights violations committed by both sides during the war between SL Govt and LTTE. more..

Fishermen’s subsidy issues fuel protest in Dewinuwara

June 28 (NF) Fishermen in several parts of the country, sought to turn public attention to the myriad of problems faced by them today. A group of fishermen who staged a protest march from the Devinuwara Fisheries Harbour to the Shri Vishnu Devalaya, held a demonstration opposite the shrine. The protesters demanded that the fishermen’s fuel subsidy be re-instated. Our reporter says that vehicular traffic on Tangalle – Matara road more..

Two weeks after clashes CID launches inquiry into Gnanasara Thera's speech

June 28 (AM) Nearly two weeks after the Aluthgama incident, the CID has said that it has started an inquiry into the speech made by BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera. It was widely alleged that the speech made by Gnanasara Thera incited violence in Beruwala, Aluthgama and Dharga Town. A senior Police officer has informed Minister Rajitha Senarathne that they have launched an investigation into the speech made by more..

Don’t destroy evidence of BBS attacks on Aluthgama, Beruwela Muslims – NSC

June 28 (Island) The National Shoora (Consultative) Council (NSC), a grouping of several national level Muslim Organisations said that the sudden moves to clean up and rebuild properties damaged by violence in Aluthgama, Beruwala and neighbouring areas would destroy evidence vital for the police to complete investigations, required of them according to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act and related laws, so that perpetrators of more..

Middle East jobs at risk - Rajitha

June 28 (SM) Discussions have commenced on removing Sri Lankans who are currently employed in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Minister Rajitha Senaratna says. If Sri Lankans in Middle East lost their jobs as revealed by the minister, a workforce around 1.5 million Sri Lankans could end up unemployed. He also warned that Sri Lanka could also lose the support of 14 Muslim countries that supported SL during UNHRC more..

Police arrests looters behind religious riots

June 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's police arrested key suspects involved in fuelling religious riots and looting, an official said on Saturday as minority Muslims expressed fears of more unrest ahead of Ramadan. Police said a total of eight people directly linked to the June 15 anti-Muslim riots were arrested this week and recovered gems and jewellery looted from two shops that were targeted during the violence. "With the help of CCTV footage and more..

Aba Saranai: BBS barbarity on Muslims in Aluthgama

June 28 (CT) On seeing the pictures and videos in YouTube of the horrendous crimes committed by the Sinhala Zionist Bodu Bala Sena, on 15 Sunday and 16 Monday June 2014, I decided to visit the affected areas to see the destruction and speak to people there. On Thursday 19 June, I visited these areas together with retired SP Abdulrahman Abedeen. There we met Naim Master, a popular retired principal and a well known activist, who took us around .On the way we saw the scale of the destruction more..

Lessons from Iraq!

June 28 (CT) The militants of Al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS), which two weeks back captured Iraq's second largest city of Mosul, are pushing towards the Capital Baghdad. The Kurds, who run an autonomous govt in the Kurdish region, have threatened to declare full independence. Their president says Iraq is falling apart. Iraq's Shia Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, who monopolized State power, alienating the Sunni and Kurdish minorities, has again turned down more..

Sri Lanka move against terminal handling charges bearing fruit: shippers

June 28 (LBO) A Sri Lanka govt regulation against a controversial fee charged from shippers who had not contracted for freight in Asian and African countries was being studied by other affected countries, an official said. Sri Lanka Shippers' Council, representing the country's exporters and importers had long protested a so-called terminal handling fee charged by shipping lines even when freight was not contracted by them. more..