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PC polls another reality check for UNP

Mar 14 (CT) Prior to the elections in the Wayamba and Central Provinces in September last year, and also in the post-1994 era, the battle for electoral supremacy in the Sri Lankan political landscape had been between the UNP and the UPFA led by the SLFP. The Wayamba and Central PC elections and the recent changes that took place in the leadership of the JVP altered the mix; how long this altered set of circumstances would last, can be known only after the results of the elections for more..

Colombo has become a wounded city

Mar 14 (CT) Living in a post-war era, where the govt is vigorously indulging in road development among a wide array of other multifaceted projects can be frustrating for the regular wage earner. The road development projects have created a major headache for residents and motorists travelling along Galle Road and Duplication Road in the heart of Colombo. Following the immense expenditure spent on more..

Controversy over household income: The heated-up debate is a salutary development

Mar 14 (CT) My View in this series two weeks ago on ‘Average income of a Sri Lankan: When numbers gathered from top and bottom do not tally!’ has evoked a number of comments from several critical readers. These readers, including a few reputed economists, had contacted this writer by email and on the telephone to express their reservations on the arguments presented in the article. They had pointed out one important aspect which this writer had omitted to clarify but contributes to more..

From mass grave to cemetery: Questioning the claims in Mannar

Mar 14 (GV) Various explanations have been offered by Govt officials around the discovery of skeletal remains in Mannar some months ago. BBC reported in January that a govt medical official overseeing the excavation, said the bodies had been buried in layers and that he was “very much worried” (sic) that no signs of clothing or human-made artefacts had been found in the mass grave. The skeletal remains of 83 – women, men and children – have been found on the site. more..

Some 13 firms to go public this year

Mar 14 (ST) Around 13 Sri Lankan private companies are preparing to go public this year, Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) officials say. “These are in many different sectors and they will list on the CSE in a few months,” a CSE official said on the sidelines of an issuer relations forum held recently in Colombo to expose the IT-BPO and ‘Knowledge Service Industry’ to the benefits of listing on the CSE. more..

Editorial: A propaganda Jilmaat

Mar 14 (Island) UNP has said it will register its strong protest with Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya against a recent television discussion with President Rajapaksa, flanked by some of his ministers, aired on several channels simultaneously. The President, in his capacity as the SLFP leader, is openly campaigning for the UPFA coalition which he represents, ahead of the PC elections, and, therefore, that telecast amounts to a breach of polls laws, the UNP has argued. more..

Sri Lanka needs to promote food products to the export market

Mar 14 (ST) Sri Lanka being a developing country, without focusing only on the domestic sector, should also consider and promote food products for the export market, says Anura Siriwardena, Secretary of Ministry of Industry and Commerce. He made this comment at the launch of the Pro Food/Pro Pack and AgBiz 2014 Exhibition held at the Cinnamon Lakeside last week. He said, “The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has been involved from the initial stages of the exhibition. more..

Are we heading down the same disastrous way of the LTTE?

Mar 14 (FT) There are many similarities of the behaviour of the LTTE and the present Sri Lankan Govt. LTTE adopted a violent approach right from the beginning. They did not tolerate different views and opinions. They have gone to the extent of killing the members of rival militant groups with different viewpoints who also fought for the liberation of the Tamils. Thereafter the activities of such groups were seized and more..

HDFC Bank’s PAT grows 320%

Mar 14 (Island) HDFC Bank’s CEO/GM, Nimal J B Mamaduwa stated that the Bank recorded a profit before tax of Rs. 306.9 Mn in 2013 as against Rs. 125.8 Mn in the year 2012.  (subject to finalizing of audit).  The profit after tax had been Rs. 233.5 Mn as against Rs. 55.5 Mn in the previous year which is an increase of almost 320%. ‘During the year 2013 HDFC Bank was able to change it’s traditional business model and introduced a number of new short term lending products that more..

Not as a Frontline neighbour?

Mar 14 (CT) The question raised in the title of this article may encapsulate the essence of Indo-Ceylon relations from the inception of independence of the two countries nearly 66 years ago, until India's border war with China in 1962. Later, Sri Lanka's war against terrorism set India on a different course. The two countries started their relationship after independence, not with a positive note as over two millennia of recorded history and other living evidence would expect one to see, more..

Teaching of English to undergo radical change

Mar 14 (DN) On the advice of President Rajapaksa, the teaching of English will be subjected to a radical and rapid transformation in line with the govt's initiative to create a trilingual society, Presidential Task Force on English and IT Coordinator, Sunimal Fernando said. He said so at a function organised to advice and offer air tickets to 12 officers, who are leaving for India to formulate a road map for the radical and rapid more..

China starts Sri Lanka agro value chain studies

Mar 14 (Island) Fujian, China’s emerging high growth province, is eager for more Sri Lankan exports to its demanding marketplace-and a visiting delegation to Colombo pushed for direct links with Lankan businesses on 06 March in Colombo. "Sri Lanka has been rebuilt as the pearl of the Indian Ocean. And I agree with you that both sides can mutually benefit in many sectors of cooperation, including trade. In fact, we want Sri Lanka – Fujian trade to grow in Sri Lanka’s favour" more..

Preparations underway for Aluth Sahal Mangallaya

Mar 14 (GDI) This year's National Aluth Sahal Mangalya or New Rice Festival will be held on April 11th at the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi premises in Anuradhapura. An initial discussion in this regard took place in Anuradhapura at the District Secretary's Office. The festival is being organized by the Anuradhapura District Agrarian Services Dept. in collaboration with all State Institutions The District Agrarian Services Deputy Commissioner, the Additional Govt Agent together with more..

BBS takes on CBK: Calls her an ‘enemy of Buddhism’

Mar 14 (CT) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) called former President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, an enemy of Buddhism and demanded to know the funding source of a report on Sri Lanka. They said, if the present regime does not take measures to control the growing scourge of prayer centres operated from homes, the BBS would turn into an unofficial armed force to clear the country of this menace. Dilantha Withanage, CEO, BBS, more..

Sri Lanka Hotel demonstrates best practices

Mar 14 (eTN) In line with the corporate motto “I Will Care,” the Bentota Beach Hotel in Sri Lanka, is dedicated to combating HIV and Aids, to ensure that the status remains “low prevalent” in the country. The John Keells HIV/Aids Awareness Campaign focuses on prevention through education and access to the correct information. The Bentota Beach Hotel belongs to the small group of Elite Green Globe Members, renowned to lead by example. This property stands out with their more..

Court upholds lawyer’s death sentence

Mar 14 (CT) Court of Appeal upheld the death sentence imposed on Attorney-at-Law, K. Amarasena, for murdering his wife, Sandya Kanthi Ekanayake, on 27 March 2008 by stabbing her to death. The convicted Attorney-at-Law had appeared before the Appeal Court against the sentence. The Bench comprised Justices Sarath de Abrew and H.N.J. Perera. At the hearing, Counsel for the appellant confined his argument to the main ground of appeal, as the facts of the case more..

SLC offers contract compromise

Mar 14 (CI) SLC has offered its national cricketers a flat fee for ICC tournament participation, as well as further tiers of incentivised payment, in response to the players' demands for a 20% cut of the gross sum received by SLC for global events. SLC's proposal represents a significant stride towards settling the ongoing contracts standoff, but the players are yet to agree to the revised terms for the two ICC tournaments on the horizon. more..

12 law students go on fast in Tiruchi

Mar 14 (Hindu) Twelve students of the Tiruchi Government Law College went on an indefinite fast near the college in the city on Thursday demanding that India should move a resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka for the alleged war crimes. They also sought an international inquiry into the alleged human rights violations and a referendum on separate Eelam. The students sat on the fast alongside the portraits of LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran and his son Balachandran. more..

Fishworkers' body urges Rajapaksa to release impounded Indian boats

Mar 14 (ENS) National Fishworkers’ Forum chairperson M Ilango has requested Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa to release the five boats of Indian fishermen, which were impounded and announced as nationalised. In a letter to the Lankan President, Ilango said, “In the last months, several boats belonging to Indian fishermen were seized by Sri Lankan Navy accusing them of fishing in Lankan waters. Fishermen from Tamil Nadu were also held and imprisoned by Lankan authorities. more..

Sri Lankan born Real estate agent murder case in court in Sydney

Mar 14 (DT) The man accused of murdering Pendle Hill real estate agent Vissa Esan may need to undergo a mental health assessment, a court has heard. Toongabbie man Adam Brewer, 33, declined to come out of the cells in Fairfield Local Court today with his legal aid lawyer telling the court there may be the possibility his client would apply for a “Section 32” at some stage. Section 32 helps determine mental fitness more..

Sri Lanka third in income among ornamental fish exporting countries

Mar 14 (DN) Sri Lanka ranks third in income among all ornamental fish exporting countries in the world. During the last year Sri Lanka earned Rs 1,212 million by exporting ornamental fish and arrangements are in place to double this income by 2016, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. The minister was addressing a special discussion with ornamental fish exporters. The ornamental fish industry in Sri Lanka and was started in 1952 as a commercial industry. more..

NCP docs to stage 24 hour strike over fight with PHI

Mar 14 (Islaand) About 1,200 medical officers of the GMOA attached to the Anuradhapura Teaching hospital, the Polonnaruwa General hospital and 80 peripheral clinics in the North-Central province will launch a 24-hour token strike on March 17 from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 a.m. the following day in protest against the inability of taking action against Public Health Inspectors’ union General Secretary Senerath Bandara. GMOA General Committee member Dr. Navinda Soyza said that more..

Faizer lashes out against Minister over report to UNHRC

Mar 14 (DN) Investment Promotion Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha yesterday lashed out at a Cabinet Minister who has recently forwarded a report to the UNHRC over alleged issues faced by the Muslim community in the country. He said that it was improper for a Cabinet Minister who is bound by the principle of collective responsibility to go against the country when plenty of avenues are available to address issues faced by more..

Namal charges: LTTE Diaspora still dreaming of Eelam

Mar 14 (CT) "We have effectively defeated LTTE terrorism, militarily; yet the Tamil Tiger terrorist Diaspora is still waging war with the country at a different level to establish a Tamil Eelam. Their dream is still alive and is sustained with help from various sources," MP Namal Rajapaksa, said while addressing a UPFA election rally. He further said, "With the military victory over the LTTE, we have ushered in a peaceful era in the country for the benefit of all communities. more..

Aussie mum opens home to asylum seekers

Mar 14 (SBS) For most people, opening your family home to newly arrived asylum seekers would be a daunting prospect, but for one South Australian woman it has become a way of life. Ten months ago, Jeanie Walker decided to buy a bigger house with more land out the back for her two daughters to play in. But after talking it over with Icis, 11, and Violette, 10, family instead decided to buy a house with more rooms for visitors to stay. And it wasn't immediate family they were hoping to fill the spots. more..

Fishermen’s Association talks on March 25

Mar 14 (Hindu) TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa declared here on Thursday that the next round of talks between the fishermen of TN and Sri Lanka would be held only after all the fishermen from TN and their boats were released by the Sri Lankan Govt. (The second round of talks scheduled for Thursday was called off.) Out of 177 apprehended fishermen and 44 confiscated boats, SL had released 116 fishermen and 26 boats, more..

Customs detects four containers of glyphosate

Mar 14 (CT) Sri Lanka Customs had detected four containers of glyphosate which had been imported into the country, at the Colombo Port, yesterday. However, the Customs officials could not take any legal action against the importer of the consignment, as no formal directive had been given to them by the Import and Export Control Department (IECD), with regard to the present legality of the weedicide in the country. On 12 March, Project Minister, S.M. Chandrasena, said more..

Heart and will of govt, people needed to hold successful AY Games– AOC official

Mar 14 (Island) Expressing a virtual fifty – fifty estimation on the current progress of Hambantota as the prospective venue of the Asian Youth Games 2017, the two high-profile Asian Olympic Council officials, who were here on a fact-finding mission, stressed the need of heart and will of the Sri Lankan govt and its people for successful hosting of the event coming up in three years. "We’re happy about the infrastructure development in Hambantota but we’re really worried about logistics more..

Dharmapuram tense following raid

Mar 14 (CG) A village in Dharmapuram, Kilinochchi was tense after the police reportedly raided a house claiming there was an LTTE suspect inside. SSP Ajith Rohana said that one policeman was injured after being attacked when they attempted to arrest the suspect. Tamil politician Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said that police and the army had raided the house of an activist identified as B. Jeyakumari, who had more..

White sambhur spotted in CP

Mar 14 (CT) In a rare turn of events, a white sambhur had been spotted in the Central Province by a nature lover, while on a visit to the area. The female white sambhur whose age could not be gauged, had been spotted between 3:30 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. The nature lover pointed out that the white sambhur had signs that would indicate that it could be an albino. It had been among a group of other sambhur. Villagers said they had seen at least two other white sambhurs roaming in the area, more..

SL cricketers to get performance bonuses

Mar 14 (CG) The ExCo of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) met today to discuss the player contract payments following the meeting between the office Bearers yesterday with player representatives. A statement by SLC said that following a lengthy discussion the ExCo made the under noted decisions: T20 2014 Tournament in Bangladesh: a) To pay a participating fee of USD 500,000/- to the team; b) To make a further payment of USD 250,000/- in the event Sri Lanka reaches the final; more..

'Another NGO project to tarnish SL image'

Mar 14 (Island) President Rajapaksa has alleged that those seeking to destabilise the country were now accusing the govt of causing religious tensions. Addressing an UPFA propaganda rally, President said that it was the latest NGO project directed against Sri Lanka during the ongoing sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva. President stressed that there was absolutely no basis for allegations that religious minorities more..

Kidneys: Our farmers on their knees

Mar 14 (DM) As we marked World Kidney Day yesterday, it was of special if not deadly interest to Sri Lanka because of the kidney disease epidemic in the North Central Province mainly and now spreading to other areas. President Rajapaksa, in a practical and effective move, coinciding with the event ordered that the import and use of weedicides containing Glyphosate be banned immediately. Minister S.M. Chandrasena, who is from the NCP, told a news conference more..

Will Sri Lanka survive the harsh tides rolling in from the ‘Great West’

Mar 14 (DM) Sri Lanka is taking a robust stance against allegations of human rights violations levelled against it at the on-going sessions of the UNHRC and the man who has the unenviable task of leading that effort is Minister G.L. Peiris. In the two preceeding years, the delegation to UNHRC was led by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. In those two years, SL had resolutions against it endorsed by the Council after the outcome hung in the balance for many weeks. more..

Be patient with Ashwin, says Muralitharan

Mar 14 (IE) India has been a second home for Muttiah Muralitharan. He is married to a Chennai girl, has been an IPL regular and now he has been drafted by the Cricket Association of Bengal as spin coach. Ahead of his visit to Kolkata, he spoke to The Indian Express about his new assignment, the upcoming World T20 event in Bangladesh and Ravichandran Ashwin’s slump. Q: Who approached you for Bengal job? more..

Violations galore before polls

Mar 14 (SL) With the PC elections just around the corner, incidents of misuse of public property, which included using govt employees for electioneering, appointment and transfer during the election period, have increased. Despite the Election Commissioner’s instruction that the national emblem and religious symbols should not be used for election propaganda, some candidates have disregarded this rule and more..

TNA rejects Sri Lankan govt accusation of stalling talks

Mar 14 (PTI) Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party has dismissed the govt’s stance blaming it for the stalled direct negotiations to hammer out a political settlement to the island’s ethnic conflict. Veteran TNA leader R. Sampanthan counter-accused the govt for the standoff. The Tamil party had made several overtures but the govt had repeatedly reneged on agreements reached at the direct talks with TNA, Mr. Sampanthan said. more..

Candidates openly distribute gifts to constituents violating election laws

Mar 14 (ST) Exercise books, cement bags, bicycles, application forms for loans are being distributed by candidates contesting for the Southern and Western PCs as more complaints flowed in of election law violations, officials said. Some candidates were openly distributing items while campaigning, while others discreetly passed on goods, with less than three weeks left for the elections. more..

The electricity bill of ‘people’s benevolent patriotic son of Sri Lanka’

Mar 14 (ST) The monthly electricity bill of the official residence of the Minister Wimal Weerawansa, who was awarded the title ‘Janahithakamy Desha Hithaishi Sri Lanka Puthra’ (people’s benevolent patriotic son of Sri Lanka) recently exceeds Rs.100,000 say reports. The December tariff for official residence used by Minister Weerawansa at No. B 13/6 at Stanmore Crescent in Colombo 7 is Rs. 118,176.80. more..

Polls Chief wants state TV to air an Opposition Janahamuwa

Mar 14 (Island) Polls Chief Mahinda Deshapriya has written to Presidential Secretary, Lalith Weeratunga requesting him to facilitate a programme for the opposition, similar to the Janahamuwa telecast on March 6 on state-run Rupavahini and the ITN. This follows UNP MP R. Yogarajan calling for Polls Chief’s intervention after President Rajapaksa and several ministers participated in a live political programme more..