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Sri Lanka teachers, undergraduates taught capital markets

Mar 19 (LBO) Colombo Stock Exchange and education authorities have started a program to educated 13,000 teachers and 15,000 undergraduates on capital market investments. CSE said a series of compulsory workshops will be conducted on a program which has been approved by the ministry of education and the UGC which oversees state universities. "These workshops intend on making capital market investment more..

Mobile brothels make police see red

Mar 19 (ST) The undercover agent went into the “spa” in Wellawatte to inquire about the services offered; since he was referred by one of the spa’s good clients he was under no suspicion. After paying Rs. 4000, a female escort led the way to a “spa room”. Keeping his phone connected with his team outside, he initiated a conversation with the escort. After collecting enough evidence from the phone conversation the team sprang into more..

NPC approves talks with Mahinda

Mar 19 (CG) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has approved holding talks with President Rajapaksa on the Tamil issue if the President agrees to negotiate unconditionally. According to reports from Jaffna, NPC had unanimously agreed that the TNA should sit down for talks with the President. Opposition members in the NPC representing the Govt had said that there should not be international intervention in Sri Lanka. more..

Delayed telecasting of parliament proceedings soon

Mar 19 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said that he had instructed the Engineering Department of Parliament to resume the live telecast of parliamentary proceedings. It would be a delayed transmission, he added. Once the engineering department was ready, he was ready to sanction the resumption of telecast of the parliamentary sessions on TV, the Speaker said. He pointed out that most of the countries more..

Sri Lanka to host World Conference on Youth in May

Mar 19 (DN) The World Conference on Youth (WCY) which will be held in Sri Lanka in May 2014 will provide an exclusive platform for an inter generational dialogue which leads to a joint youth and youth ministerial declaration. Sri Lankan govt is now in the forefront to host WCY from May 6 to 10 at the BMICH. "A proposal made by the Sri Lankan govt in 2011 at the 66th UN General Assembly to host this Conference more..

Missing journalist’s wife in Geneva, confers with GTF chief

Mar 19 (Island) Sandhya Ekneligoda, wife of missing media personality, Prageeth is now in Geneva to back US-led resolution targeting Sri Lanka at the ongoing UNHRC session. On her arrival, Mrs. Ekneligoda was met by Rev. Father, S. J. Emmanuel, head of the UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF), one of the most influential Diaspora grouping wanting to haul Sri Lanka up before an international war crimes tribunal. more..

CEA clears Hanwella Rubber Products Factory

Mar 19 (CT) Hanwella Rubber Products Factory is not contaminating the water and polluting the environment, Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has determined. Although the villagers in Thunnane, Padukka have charged that the effluents, discharged from the factory, were the cause for the acidity in the well water in the area, laboratory tests conducted by the CEA, have disproved this view. more..

Crimea plebiscite, what next?

Mar 19 (CT) In what can be described as a confirmation of the unsurprising, the Russian-sponsored referendum to decide on Crimea's future saw an overwhelming majority of its people endorsing secession from Ukraine, eliciting an infuriated response from the US and the European Union, both of which not only questioned the legitimacy of the poll, but also summarily rejected its outcome, threatening sanctions against Russia. In fact, both Washington and the EU more..

SL in Geneva: Frozen in fixed positions

Mar 19 (CT) With almost exactly a week to go before a crucial vote in Geneva, Sri Lanka seems very much on the back foot. While William Hague, the Foreign Secretary of the UK makes a direct appeal to the readers of ‘The Hindu’, presenting four points in support of his country’s call for an ‘international mechanism’, his counterpart Prof GL Peiris busies himself addressing a series of meetings, not in the member states of the UNHRC but in the Southern province of Sri Lanka. more..

A disaster in the making

Mar 19 (CT) In the past, pilgrims climbed the holy mountain of Sripada in groups, singing devotional songs called thunsarane. Those early pilgrims were devotees who loved the environment. They never left behind polythene or other hazardous material. But, the situation is different today. There are a number of byroads connected to the main road leading up to the Uda Maluwa from Nallathanniya. more..

Sri Lanka shares end slightly higher

Mar 19 (LBO) Shares end 0.07% higher with banking and beverages stocks gaining amid strong foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 4.41 points higher at 5,912.05 up 0.07%. The S&P SL20 closed 10.58 points higher at 3,225.22, up 0.33%. Turnover was 640.97 million rupees, up from 509.27 million rupees a day earlier with 92 stocks close positive against 74 negative. John Keells Holdings closed 1 rupee lower at 218 rupees with market transactions of 379.53 million rupees more..

Netball Federation AGM suspended

Mar 19 (Island) Court of Appeal yesterday suspended the holding of the Annual General Meeting of the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka, scheduled for March 22, and further suspended the operation of the List of Nominations and the purported notice of the AGM. Suspension is valid for 14 days. Trixie Nanayakkara the Captain of the National Netball team of 1985, had petitioned the Court that, the AGM had been organised in violation of Regulation 29 of National Sports Law. more..

Protest demand protection of minority rights

Mar 19 (Xinhua) Protestors marched in Colombo today calling on govt to release human right activists and promote equal rights for minorities ten days ahead of a crucial vote on a resolution at the UNHRC. SL govt is facing its third consecutive resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva for failing to promote reconciliation and equal rights after the end of a three- decade war in 2009 with govt troops defeating the LTTE. more..

SLT to develop property holdings

Mar 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom group said it had set up a separate company to develop its "extensive property portfolio" around the country which was unused or or under-used. In 2013, SLT Property Management (Pvt) Ltd (SLTPM) had been incorporated to develop its property holdings. "Given the growing demand for property in Sri Lanka, it was strongly felt that such idle lands could ideally be channelled towards more lucrative avenues that would not only enhance the more..

NPC Secretary takes Wigi to court

Mar 19 (CG) Chief Secretary of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Wijiyaludchumi Ramesh has filed legal action against the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. Wigneswaran said that Wijiyaludchumi had accused him of diluting her powers in the Council which has prevented her from carrying out her duties effectively. Wigneswaran has been calling for the removal of the Chief Secretary as she was appointed by the Govt ahead of the NPC elections held last year. more..

Video: Police fire tear gas on university students protest

Mar 19 (NF) Police use tear gas and water cannons to disperse a group of university students engaged in a protest march in the Colombo Fort area. The protest commenced on Wednesday morning near the Kelaniya University demanding a solution for problems with student accommodation at the university. The police say that measures were taken to disperse the protesters as they were approaching the high security zone more..

Sri Lankan rupee ends tad down on late importer dollar demand

Mar 19 (Reuters) Rupee ended slightly weaker on Wednesday, erasing early gains, as late importer dollar demand outpaced inflows from remittances. Spot rupee ended at 130.60/63 per dollar compared with Tuesday's close of 130.58/64. "There was importer dollar demand in the latter part of the day which brought the rupee down," said a currency dealer. Contrary to market expectations, the local currency has been gaining ahead of the traditional new year in April. more..

Lankans asked not to go abroad seeking jobs on student, tourist visas

Mar 19 (Island) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) yesterday warned the public to refrain from going for foreign employment with student and tourist visas, as the bureau would not take any responsibility for them. SLBFE, Deputy Director Mangala Randeniya said that the Bureau had already uncovered many illegal rackets where people were sent for employment to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Malaysia through student and tourist visas. more..

'UNHRC members under US pressure on resolution'

Mar 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka today claimed that most of the 47 member countries of the UNHRC are under pressure to back a tough US-sponsored resolution that has called for an international probe into alleged rights abuses during the country's war with Tamil Tiger rebels. "Countries have told us they do not want to pursue SL's case. But they want to be seen with the US. Some of them have defence pacts with US and wider trade links" more..

Prasanna Jayawardene backs Sri Lanka for World Twenty20 title

Mar 19 (GN) Prasanna Jayawardene believes Sri Lanka can use the momentum gained from their Asia Cup win to mount a serious challenge for the World Twenty20 title in Bangladesh. The Sri Lankans’ Test wicketkeeper will be a keen spectator as Dinesh Chandimal’s side bid to go one better than their 2012 runners-up spot on home soil over the next three weeks. The island nation had earned a reputation for struggling in the biggest matches after losing four successive major finals more..

Two persons arrested in possession of petrol bombs and other weapons

Mar 19 (AD) Two persons including one female suspect were arrested in the Narangwela area in Meegahawatta in possession of petrol bombs and several other weapons. Police reported that a raid had been conducted on a house in the area after the Panadura-Walana Anti-Corruption Unit had received a tip-off. Police found eight petrol bombs, a sword, a machete, five iron poles, a sharpened knife and a fake wooden gun in the house. Initial investigations indicated that the male and female suspects more..

'Saboteurs will not have their way'

Mar 19 (DN) Certain elements are trying to create problems in the country by closing down factories and inciting schoolchildren, President Rajapaksa said yesterday. He said attempts by saboteurs to close down factories that have been in existence in the country for over 100 years, and inciting schoolchildren, cannot be allowed under any circumstances. "It is the responsibility of parents and teachers to be vigilant of such attempts to more..

'Ravi K. used bus halt to put up posters'

Mar 19 (DM) Colombo Mayor A.J.M Muzzamil said MP Ravi Karunanayake had used funds obtained from Ministry of Economic Development to build the bus halt, which has been caught up in the centre of a storm. He said bus halts within the city limits came under the purview of the Colombo Municipality and therefore could not be used for private purposes. “The bus halt that was demolished had Mr. Karunanayake’s posters on it. He has used the bus halt for advertising purposes,” more..

Price of rice to be controlled

Mar 19 (DM) The govt is slated to introduce a controlled price for rice in order to arrest the continual rise in the price of rice, sources from the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade said yesterday. The sources said the controlled price of Nadu rice would be Rs 64 per kilogram and of Samba Rs 75. The decision had been taken, the sources said, in order to stall the price increases and reduce the burden on consumers. The current market prices of Nadu and Samba are more..

West Indies beat SL in the warm-up game

Mar 19 (CW) West Indies warmed up nicely for their ICC World T20 title defence, recording a second victory on the bounce, as they beat Sri Lanka by 33 runs in Mirpur. Sunil Narine bowled an incisive spell of four for 24 and Dwayne Bravo took three for 29 as the losing finalists from two years ago were once again humbled by the 2012 champions, bowled out for 139 in 19.2 overs, albeit in a practice match. more..

Pilot’s private simulator has Lankan, Diego Garcia airport software

Mar 19 (Island) Ongoing investigations into the flight simulator taken from the missing pilot’s home showed a software for five practice runways, including, Sri Lanka. "Among the software we checked so far is the Male International Airport in Maldives, three airports in India and Sri Lanka, and one belonging to the US military base in Diego Garcia. All have a runway length of 1,000 metres," Berita Harian quoted an unnamed source as having said. Police seized the flight simulator from more..

Gateway Airport Garden Hotel opens new wing

Mar 19 (DN) The new lobby and wing comprising 100 rooms of the refurbished Gateway Hotel Airport Garden was opened on Monday with an investment of over Rs 1.3 billion. In addition Rs 260 million had already been invested in the old wing of the hotel for refurbishment and renovation. “Now what you are experiencing is a total new renovated product,” said Rohit Khosla, Area Director, Sri Lanka addressing the press conference held in the hotel premises. more..

ICRC meets Jeyakumari at Boosa

Mar 19 (CG) International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has met Tamil activist Balendra Jeyakumari at the Boosa detention camp. Sources said that the meetings to look into her well-being took place both yesterday and today at the Boosa camp. Govt had informed the UNHRC yesterday that ICRC will have access to Jeyakumari like it does to all detainees being held at Boossa. Jeyakumari was ordered to be detained at more..

Skeleton remains found in Polonnaruwa?

Mar 19 (NF) Skeletal remains have been discovered in close proximity to the Watadageya in Polonnaruwa during an excavation. Skeletal remains, believed to be human, was discovered on Tuesday during the construction of a drainage system close to the historical Watadageya in Polonnaruwa. Head of the Mural Conservators of the Central Cultural Fund, Dias Wagachchi said that the skeletal remains were discovered when excavations were being carried out in the east section of more..

Pakistani drug smuggler arrested

Mar 19 (CG) Police have arrested a Pakistani national in Kandy who is suspected to have smuggled heroin into Sri Lanka earlier this month. A Sri Lankan was also arrested over his connections with the Pakistani man in the heroin smuggling incident. Customs department had seized 36 kgs of heroin at the Orugodawatte customs yard earlier this month after an attempt was made to smuggle it into the country. Heroin had been hidden in two boxes and were brought to SL from Pakistan. more..

Minister shies away from ‘Dinuda’ fiasco

Mar 19 (DM) Despite an investigation initiated by the Botanical Gardens and Public Recreation Ministry to look into how baby elephant ‘Dinuda’ was included in an animal exchange programme, Minister Jayaratna Herath today said anyone could complain to the authorities concerned if there were allegations against him or other Ministry officials on the matter. The donation of the 5-year-old baby elephant named ‘Dinuda’, more..

Western Provincial Council Elections

Mar 20 (NS) Elections for the Western and Southern PCs will be held on March 29. This will be the sixth PC election in the Western Provincial Council (WPC). The largest PC in the country, WPC has 104 seats including the two bonus seats. Western Province has a population of nearly six million, and Colombo and Gampaha are the most populous districts in the island. Colombo is the commercial hub of the island and was an important harbor even in the British colonial era. more..

Bones of contention, Tones of intentions

Mar 20 (SL) Now that the heat and dust on the ‘Mannar mass graves’ have settled down – at least for the present – self-appointed and equally self-opinionated Sri Lankan ‘messiahs of truth’ should ask questions that they had not asked themselves. An honest introspection would help them arrive at the truth. Then they would not (have to) peddle ‘half-truths’ and ‘non-truths’ as ‘the whole truth and nothing but the truth’. One half-truth was that mass-graves were found on Manthai- more..

'Quality control vital to promote indigenous medicine'

Mar 20 (SO) The recently concluded International conference on Unani, Ayurvedic, Siddha and Traditional medicine was a milestone in the indigenous medical history of Sri Lanka. 20 Ayurvedic students received the opportunity to follow a three months short Clinical Training connected to an MD course in Ayurveda at Benares Hindu University in Varanasi. They left the country recently. Shortly after the conference local more..

VC election in Jaffna: An open season for academic suicide

Mar 20 (CT) The health of an academic institution calls for norms and restraints to be observed in social behavior, checks to be enforced and a readiness to be accountable when well-founded complaints of impropriety are made. In this spirit, when a Vice Chancellor is to be elected, the university community has a right to know the strengths of the contestants and expects the electors – the Council – to listen to them and to vote for the most qualified candidate in the more..

Hypocrisy and its local practitioners

Mar 20 (CT) If this week’s diatribe drifts beyond the matter of hypocrisy, pure and simple, I make no apology for such a transgression because what we see on a daily basis and which is destroying the fabric of this country is a discourse that begins with hypocrisy at its simplest level and descends into lies and fabrication without missing a beat. As that corny old song had it, in Sri Lanka, it seems “You can’t have one without the other!” It seems like the self-righteousness of local “Pundits in more..

Armed with camera traps the hunt is on

Mar 20 (ST) Wilpattu beckoned tantalizingly. For a brief moment in time, deadlines and headlines and also domestic responsibilities placed on hold, we answered the call of the wild, spending a day and a night amidst the pristine beauty of the largest National Park in the country. And unfold Wilpattu did its grandeur with stunning visions of both its fauna and flora and also its unique villus. Disappointed, however, we were more..

Mervyn vs. Hakeem: A battle of comical proportions

Mar 20 (CT) One is court jester; the other a court serf. One ridicules himself unknowingly while trying to ridicule others; the other is in a constant battle with his own supporters and arguing with them, to be or not be. One's threat of permanent breakdown in relationship seems to have led to a detente and co-habiting; the other's relationship with the powers that be is looming for an ugly divorce. Comedy, melodrama, stagecraft, lighting, acting and fighting, all the ingredients of a third-rate stage play more..

Weight of bread: Are you paying more for less?

Mar 20 (NS) In response to a written request from the Bakery Owners’ Association to amend the existing rule on the weight of bread, the Ministry of Commerce and Internal Trade denied the request citing that they would not allow bakery owners to reduce the weight of a loaf of bread from 450 grams to 400 grams. Minister Johnston Fernando said the request was made by the owners as other mobile bakery goods sellers are selling a loaf of bread that weigh less than dictated by law at lower more..

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