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Central bank seen keeping key rates at multi-year lows on Friday

Mar 20 (Reuters) Central bank is expected to keep its key policy rates steady on Friday, after slashing them to multi-year lows to boost the faltering economic growth. Central bank has cut the repurchase rate by 125 basis points (bps) and reverse repurchase rate by 175 bps since December 2012 to stimulate economic growth, which picked up to 7.3% last year from 6.3% in the previous year. Central bank has estimated the $67 billion economy would grow 7.8% this year. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

‘Dhanapala’s position ethically untenable’

Mar 20 (CT) “I am dismayed and disappointed that Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, remains a key member of two institutions that are clearly in ethical and moral conflict” said Colombo based senior social anthropologist, writer and op-ed columnist Dr. Pradeep Jeganathan, to Colombo Telegraph today. “Its also quite surprising that he would use the term, ‘alleged’ to describe the blocking, when neither he, Friday Forum nor Dialog has contested the US State Department’s HR report for 2013, more..

Sri Lanka shares close flat

Mar 20 (LBO) Shares close slightly higher amid thin price increases in the index heavy stocks. All Share Price Index closed 2.51 points higher at 5,914.56 up 0.04%. The S&P SL20 closed 6.69 points higher at 3,231.91, up 0.21%. Turnover was 263.33 million rupees, down from 640.97 million rupees a day earlier with 93 stocks close positive against 97 negative. Commercial Bank closed 1.20 rupees higher at 117.70 rupees with market transactions of 50.60 million rupees contributing more..

Ambassador of Sri Lanka calls on Minister of Internal Affairs & Communications of Japan

Mar 20 (AT) Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan, met with Minister of Internal Affairs & Communications of Japan, Yoshitaka Shindo, last Friday, to discuss issues of mutual interest and relevance to both the countries as well as of the scheduled visit of Minister Keheliya Rambukwella to Japan. Minister Yoshitaka Shindo visited SL in August of last year and met with his counterpart Minister Rambukwella more..

President in House to wish former PM on completing 54 years in Parliament

Mar 20 (Island) President Rajapaksa attended parliamentary sittings and addressed the House to extend his best wishes to former PM Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, who notched 54 years as a parliamentarian yesterday. Parliament met with Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presiding at 1.00 pm and the President arrived at the Chamber around 1.25 pm and took his chair in the front row of the govt side. While sitting there the President said something jokingly across the Well of the more..

Sri Lankan rupee steady in dull trade

Mar 20 (Reuters) The rupee traded steady on Thursday on thin trading volumes, while currency forwards traded actively, a day after the central bank governor said the local currency would continue its stable trend for the rest of the year. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said on Wednesday the rupee would be stable throughout this year due to rise in inflows through exports and remittances into the island nation. The spot rupee was trading at 130.60/65 per dollar at 0613 GMT, more..

UNP protest plunges House into chaos

Mar 20 (Island) Parliamentary sittings were suspended for 15 minutes yesterday after UNP members staged a placard carrying protest inside the Chamber against Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa’s rejection of their request to take up a no confidence motion against the govt immediately. While UNP MPs were staging their protest, President Rajapaksa was also in Parliamentary complex attending to the Consultative more..

CPC sittings put off as mark of respect

Mar 20 (Island) The meeting of the Central Provincial Council on Tuesday (18) was put off till April 8 as a mark of respect to the late provincial council member Sanjeewa Kaviratne who passed away on Sunday (16). The meeting of the provincial council commenced at 10.00 a.m. at the council’s Pallekele headquarters chaired by Chairman Mahinda Abeykoon. On a proposal by Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, Chairman Abeykoon announced the postponement of the meeting at more..

Tamil Tigers and Sinhala Tigers, reborn

Mar 20 (CT) The first arrests came in January 2007. Others followed, in succeeding wavelets. Altogether twenty five Sinhala men were arrested by the TID (Terrorism Investigation Unit) and detained under the PTA. The govt called them ‘Sinhala Tigers’. The accusations levelled at them sounded dastardly in the extreme to most ordinary Sinhala ears. The state said they belonged to an organisation called the ‘Viplavakari Vimukthi Peramuna’ (Revolutionary Liberation Front), more..

BOC finances East Container Terminal development

Mar 20 (DT) Bank of Ceylon signed a financing agreement for LKR 10.50 Billion with Sri Lanka Port authority (SLPA) for the development of East Container Terminal (ECT) under Colombo Port Expansion project. This project is facilitated through leading infrastructure development provider Hyndai Engineering and Construction Co. Korea and is expected to complete in 2015. Sri Lanka is strategically located more..

Peradeniya VC urges early appropriate measures in water issues

Mar 20 (Island) In water issues before confusion reigns, which could end in violence and killing of people, get the assistance of scientists and experts who would do the necessary research, tests and assessments, said Professor Athula Senaratne, Vice Chancellor, University of Peradeniya. Professor Senaratne himself a Geologist with higher qualifications in Environment studies told ‘The Island’ that people resorted to various types of agitations and protests, more..

Jason Gillespie tips English coach to win World T20 … with Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (Guardian) At least one English coach will take charge of a team at the World Twenty20 with a decent chance of winning it. Not Ashley Giles, alas, for whom qualification for the semi-finals would represent an achievement that may boost his credentials to be appointed Andy Flower's long-term successor. But that is the minimum expectation of Paul Farbrace, a little-known former Kent wicketkeeper from Ash-next-Sandwich who holds the trust and respect of the SL superstars more..

Mahela rubbishes allegations of announcing retirement to Indian newspaper

Mar 20 (IC) Mahela Jayawardene has responded to allegations levelled against him in a recent article on a Sri Lankan newspaper. The article, which appeared in Daily Mirror under the headline 'Sanga, Mahela betrayal shocks SLC', suggested that Jayawardene did not announce his retirement plans to their publication, when they had interviewed him just days prior to the eventual announcement, and had chosen to announce his more..

Video: Deputy Minister behind bus block on E01: LPBOA

Mar 20 (DM) A deputy minister in Matara had assisted a private bus organisation to halt buses from being commissioned on the Southern Expressway from Matara, the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) alleged today. Earlier the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) said it had decided to temporarily suspend the bus service along in the Southern Expressway due to the objections of private bus owners. “We, the LPBOA have nothing to do with the situation. more..

'Namal should take over country's reins after Mahinda'

Mar 20 (SM) Namal Rajapaksa should take over the country after the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Mervyn Silva says. He made these comments while inviting parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa to address the gathering at an election campaign rally in Peliyagoda. Addressing the gathering the Minister further stated “I was the one who invited Rajapaksas to the stage when they were at Beliatta. I am the one who invites the Rajapaksas in this occasion as well. more..

Video: EC rejects Janapathi Janahamuwa

Mar 20 (DM) Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya today said he had informed the responsible authorities that he did not agree with programmes such as ‘Janapathi Janahamuwa’ TV programme being telecast during the Western and Southern PC polls and that they had accepted it. Responding to a journalist at today’s news briefing regarding opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s letter on President more..

'Human Rights violations of LTTE ignored'

Mar 20 (DN) Tiger terrorists destroyed 20,000 houses, 79 mosques and over 60 schools of Muslims in the Northern Province and a similar number of houses, temples and schools of the Sinhalese community. It is a pity that no one is highlighting these human rights violations by the terrorists, leaving unfounded allegations against the Sri Lankan govt to go unchallenged, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. He said Muslim and Sinhala communities who lived in the North for more..

Vehicles with garage number plates campaigning despite the ban

Mar 20 (Island) A local election monitoring outfit claimed that though the Elections Commissioner had banned the use of vehicles with garage numbers for election activities, candidates used such vehicles with impunity. CaFFE has observed that more than eight vehicles with garage number plates are being used in the Kalutara District for electioneering by a UPFA member. CaFFE Chief Keerthi Tennakoon claimed that his outfit had reported matter to the Commissioner of Elections, more..

Commission on war missing starts investigations in East

Mar 20 (Xinhua) A special commission appointed to investigate thousands of missing people during Sri Lanka's three decade war has started its probe in the eastern part of the country, an official said. Last month SL's president extended the mandate issued to the special commission tasked with investigating thousands of people who disappeared during the country's brutal three decade war amid international pressure. more..

Police to arrest 14 students over demo

Mar 20 (CG) Police are to arrest 14 students for violating a court order and taking part in a protest in Fort yesterday, SSP Ajith Rohana said. He said that a court order had been obtained against the 14 students of the Kelaniya university preventing them from taking part in any protest. However the students had violated the court order and took to the streets and eventually clashed with the police. Court order had been obtained against the 14 students as they had organised the protest. more..

SL-China FTA feasibility study completed

Mar 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and China have completed the joint feasibility study for establishing a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries and will push ahead with signing it before the end of the year. The finalization of the joint feasibility study on the proposed Sri Lanka-China FTA was jointly announced by SL Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P B Jayasundara and Assistant Minister of China's Ministry of Commerce Wang Shouwen during an official meeting more..

Julie Bishop stalls on UN call for Sri Lanka war crimes inquiry

Mar 20 (SMH) The Abbott govt is resisting a push by its closest allies to establish a United Nations investigation into war crimes and human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, where Australia has returned more than 1100 failed asylum seekers in the past 18 months. A draft UN resolution calls on the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct the inquiry into 'alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights' more..

Sri Lanka Women brush Ireland aside in second warm-up match

Mar 20 (WI) Fifties from Shashikala Siriwardene, the captain, and Deepika Rasangika helped Sri Lanka Women beat Ireland Women by 49 runs in their second warm-up match ahead of the Women’s World Twenty20 2014. Put into bat, Sri Lanka batted well to post 170 for 5 in their 20 overs on Thursday, and then Chandima Gunaratne and Inoka Ranaweera picked up two wickets each to restrict Ireland to 121 for 9. Chamari Atapattu and Rasangika set the platform for Sri Lanka more..

Pictorial warnings on cigarette packs in two months

Mar 20 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said on Tuesday that smoking killed about 21,000 people in Sri Lanka annually. He said pictorial warnings would be printed on packets of cigarettes after two months. Addressing the WHO Asia-Pacific Region Conference on "Non-Communicable Diseases in Lower-Middle Income countries - Sri Lanka’s Approach to NCDs" held at Sea Breeze Hotel Beruwala, Minister Sirisena pointed out that apart from smoking, SL govt had focused more..

CID identifies 3 in connection with OICs death

Mar 20 (DM) Three individuals have being identified by the CID in connection with the death of Borella OIC Prasad Siriwardena who succumbed to his injuries after a tree cut down by protesters fell on to him in Thunnane, Hanwella. Another 23 persons have also being identified in connection with the clashes. CID took over the investigations from the Padukka Police in the aftermath of the incident. more..

Buddhist Sinhala

Mar 21 (Island) A clear case of mock-reverent use of the Sinhala terms hamuduruwo" and sadhu by a previous political writer (Kumar David) has generated an interesting exchange of opposing views in The Island about the appropriateness or otherwise of his adoption of those words to refer to a Buddhist monk. To date (March 18, 2014) five contributors have joined the conversation, two of them supportive of that particular writer’s usage of the terms, and three critical of it. more..

India’s Lanka self-goal

Mar 21 (NS) In an extremely myopic maneuver aimed at pleasing the world gendarme, India aborted all chances of rising as a regionally- respected power by supporting the US-led resolution to censure Sri Lanka at the UNHRC for alleged war crimes in the climax to its prolonged war with the LTTE in 2009. Though driven by Chennai’s competitive regional politics, the move has upset the nation as a whole, and betrayed Colombo, with which we share a deep civilization continuum. more..

Cancer cure breakthrough by Nalanda student

Mar 21 (SO) A casual glance at Rakitha Malewana, a grade 13 student of Nalanda College will not give away any telltale signs of his genius. He appears quite ordinary, like any other school boy of his age who likes to chill out with his friends, get glued to watching cartoons on TV or nothing short of a computer game fanatic. But underneath that mischievous smile, and happy go-lucky demeanour you wouldn't know that more..

Deconstructing the UNHRC and the Western approach to Eelam

Mar 21 (CT) The much anticipated 25th session of the UNHRC is unfolding in Genève, and Tamils across the world are following its proceedings vigilantly. While some elements within the Tamil polity vehemently opposed the UNHRC process others desperately hoped that engagement would yield some concessions to alleviate the plight of their nation. The question of whether to denounce it altogether or not, the UNHRC caused an unfortunate division among the Eelam Tamil diaspora, more..

Prejudice against UNHRC and human rights is part of our problem

Mar 21 (CT) There are frenzied protests organized by the supporters of the govt against the impending resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, inside and outside the country. All these are by and large orchestrated by the govt. Instead what they should have done is to negotiate the terms of the resolution diplomatically, both behind and open doors, to safeguard any national interests that might be jeopardized as a result of the implementation of such a resolution. more..

'Contesting alone is the SLMC’s political strategy'

Mar 21 (FT) “If the President does not want our Leader, he can always remove him. But that cannot be held as the point at which the party is expected to keep its mouth shut,” said SLMC Deputy Secretary General Nizam Kariapper. Kariapper, who is also the Mayor of Kalmunai Municipal Council, pointed out: “We joined this Govt on invitation. We did not barge in; neither did we canvass a post for ourselves. more..

Gandhi in Asterix land, story for these times!

Mar 21 (FT) “When Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, there was a professor, whose last name was Peters, who felt animosity for Gandhi, and because Gandhi never lowered his head towards him, their “arguments” were very common. One day, Mr. Peters was having lunch at the dining room of the University and Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to the professor. The professor, in his arrogance, said, “Mr. Gandhi: You do not understand… a pig and a bird do not more..

The power of teamwork

Mar 21 (FT) I was watching the 4×100 men’s relay of 2004 Olympics, live on the television. A few days earlier the 100 metres event was held. Justine Gatlin of USA came first and the legendary Morris Green of USA came third. Shawn Crawford of USA, who was the gold medallist of the 200m, came fourth. In the relay team of USA in addition to these men, there was another person called Coby Miller. British team was comprised of four average persons. Everyone thought that USA team would win. more..

උදය ගම්මන්පිල

Ceylon Chamber, SLSI promotes international standardisation practices

Mar 21 (FT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce together with the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) organised a seminar to promote international standardisation practices among local firms, covering both public and the private sector. This program was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) managed South and South East Asia regions (SESA) program. Approximately, 200 participants, more..

Unity and harmony in our teardrop isle

Mar 21 (NS) Is the popular saying ‘unity is strength” meaningful and acceptable among all citizens of our beloved Motherland in today’s context? Unity is the foundation, bedrock and cornerstone in any country. Unity brings about success. The only difference between a successful nation and others is, positively, not a lack of understanding or strength not a lack of education and knowledge, but veritably a lack of will and character. If all Sri Lankan’s are strong-willed, possessing a never give-up more..

COYLE appeals against US led resolution

Mar 21 (FT) The Chairman, Committee of Management and Members of COYLE lodged an official Letter of Appeal to the High Commissioners and Ambassadors of the various Foreign Offices in Sri Lanka, protesting against the impending resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva. As a consequence of this action, COYLE stressed on the fact that the US led resolution will have an immediate and more..

World T20: Hong Kong beat Bangladesh

Mar 21 (CI) Hong Kong gave every Associate nation a reason to rejoice by pulling off the shock of the tournament thus far beating Bangladesh by two wickets in a last-over finish, despite the hosts managing to edge past Nepal on net run-rate for a place in the Super 10s. Haseeb Amjad smacked Abdur Razzak for a six over extra cover to complete the win in 19.4 overs. But the match was set up by their bowlers who bowled out of their literal skins, with Nadeem Ahmed winning the more..

World T20: Nepal beat Afghanistan

Mar 21 (CI) Nepal have long had an army of fans back home but at this World T20 they have been on a recruitment drive. In their maiden global tournament, they have played with skill and passion, confirming their status as one of the most exciting teams in world cricket's second tier. Even when you consider Ireland's potential progress from Group B, Nepal's performance has been one of the most powerful endorsements of the ICC's decision to expand the competition. more..