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Sri Lanka stocks close flat

Mar 26 (LBO) Stocks close flat Wednesday with some index heavy stocks losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 1.81 points lower at 5,950.97 down 0.03%. The S&P SL20 closed 4.56 points higher at 3,261.05, up 0.14%. Turnover was 762.29 million rupees, up from 416.42 million rupees a day earlier with 78 stocks close positive against 88 negative. John Keells closed flat at 218.00 rupees with market transactions of 246.09 million rupees contributing to 32% of the daily turnover. more..

Long running dispute ends in violent clash

Mar 26 (Island) An owner of a night eatery at Bisowela, Galigamuwa, was stabbed to death on Monday evening. The assailant had committed the crime to prevent his daughter’s eatery being set on fire by the victim, the police said. The deceased, 43-year-old Rasika Dharmapriya Pathirana of Turpentine Watta, Bisowela died on admission to the Kegalle hospital and the postmortem was to be held yesterday. There had been a long running dispute between the two parties, the police said. more..

Pillay insists on international probe

Mar 26 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, in a statement after presenting her report on Sri Lanka today at the UNHRC in Geneva, said that an international investigation is a must in Sri Lanka. Pillay said that new evidence has surfaced over the war in Sri Lanka and witnesses are willing to come forward and give evidence before an international commission. She said that so far there has not been a credible and more..

Sri Lankan rupee steady despite importer dollar demand

Mar 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee ended steady on Wednesday despite importer dollar demand as dealers were reluctant to trade above 130.70 levels due to moral suasion by the central bank. Dealers said banks were asked to keep the currency at the 130.70 per dollar level through moral suasion, a measure used by the central bank to keep the rupee volatility at low. The spot rupee ended flat at 130.70/75 per dollar. "Nobody traded above 130.70, though there was import demand," more..

Rules tightened for bus drivers from Jan. 2015

Mar 26 (Island) Minister Kumara Welgama yesterday told The Island that he had submitted a Cabinet paper to amend criteria for issuing bus driving licence and it had received approval. He said that in accordance with the section 128 of the Motor Traffic Act, a special gazette notification had been issued. The would-be bus drivers were required to comply with the amended provisions in the gazette notification to obtain the driving licence from January 1, 2015. more..

Sri Lanka monk demands capture of wild elephants for temples

Mar 26 (AFP) A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk led a procession of elephants Wednesday, demanding authorities capture wild pachyderms from the jungle to boost the dwindling number of the animals in temples. Patron of the Tamed Elephant Owners’ Association, monk Maagalkanday Sudaththa said temples faced a severe shortage of animals for their annual pageants where caparisoned elephants are paraded. more..

Pubudu Dassanayake's term as Nepal coach extended

Mar 26 (CI) Pubudu Dassanayake will continue as Nepal coach for another year, after the Cricket Association of Nepal announced it would extend his contract. The extension follows a string of encouraging results for the national team, the most recent of which was their victory over Afghanistan at the World Twenty20. Dassanayake, a former Sri Lanka Test cricketer, has coached Nepal since September 2011. "Dassanayake has done so many good things for Nepali cricket more..

Kithul products promotion week

Mar 26 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Kithul products exports had steadily increased with a growing demand from US, UK and Japan due to their medicinal value and hygienic preparation, Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development Ministry, Secretary, V. Sivagnanasothy said yesterday. The country’s Kithul treacle and jaggery exports earned Rs. 26 Million in 2011. The earnings rose to Rs. 58 million in 2012 and to Rs. 68 million in 2013, according the ministry. more..

No extra spin for Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (CI) Sri Lanka will resist the temptation the bolster their spin attack against England even though the opposition have a poor record against the turning ball. The conditions in Chittagong, which has offered help for quicker bowlers, will persuade Dinesh Chandimal to persist with the balance of attack that dispatched Netherlands for 39 and overcame South Africa. That does not mean SL will be short of spin more..

Lankan companies keen on tie-ups with Kerala firms in coconut sector

Mar 26 (Hindu) Sri Lankan companies have shown interest in business tie-ups with Kerala-based companies in setting up coconut products manufacturing facilities. The shortage of coconuts in the island nation due to rapid urbanisation has prompted these firms to try investments in Kerala. Prominent among them are Hayleys and CIC, Shivdas Menon, Chairman of Made in Kerala, a CII initiative, said. Menon, who led a 10-member CII delegation jointly with the Govt to Sri Lanka, more..

World T20: On-site generators to prevent floodlight failure

Mar 26 (CI) Organisers of the World T20 in Chittagong will use on-site generators to run floodlights at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, rather than off the main electric grid, to try and ensure against another loss of power. The Super 10 game between Netherlands and Sri Lanka on Monday evening was interrupted for around 10 minutes by a set of the lights failing. This was the second time that Netherlands had seen the lights go out, after a power cut at the ground led to more..

'Draft resolution reflective of partisan politicized agenda'

Mar 26 (IL) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha responding to the High Commissioner's Report on Sri Lanka, informed the UNHRC today that rather than encourage and support the ongoing reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, as well as the constructive engagement Sri Lanka continues to maintain with the Council, it was ironic that the draft resolution on Sri Lanka more..

Court restrains Anura Lokuhetty from acting as CEO of Serene Pavilions

Mar 26 (AD) The District Court of Colombo restrained Anura Lokuhetty from acting as the CEO of Serene Pavilions Hotel in Wadduwa. The Commercial High Court on March 19 refused an enjoining order sought by Anura Lokuhetty, restraining his termination as the CEO of the Serene Pavilions Hotel. The Commercial High Court of Colombo in December issued an interim order restraining 3 directors nominated by Mr. Anura Lokuhetty and South West Holdings Ltd, more..

One-day awareness programme for docs on preventing child abuse

Mar 26 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said it would conduct a one day awareness programme for doctors on child protection today with the hope of widening the safety net for children in preventing abuse. NCPA Manager (Planning and Information), C.P. Chandrasena said that the number of child abuse cases was on the increase, while certain media reports revealed that children were subject to various types of abuse. Awareness programme would commence more..

Man sentenced to two years for role in weapons smuggling ring for Tamil Tigers

Mar 26 (NP) Eight years after a group of Toronto men got caught buying arms for Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, a New York court sentenced the last of them Tuesday to serve two years in prison. Piratheepan “Peter” Nadarajah, 37, had pleaded guilty to his role in a Toronto-based smuggling ring that had attempted to acquire $1-million worth of missiles and AK-47 assault rifles for the Tamil rebels. The former Rogers wireless technician, more..

Video: Murdered British aid worker’s girlfriend in SL Court

Mar 26 (DM) British aid worker Khuram Shaikh’s Russian girlfriend was present at the Colombo High Court today when it took up the inquiry into the killing of Mr. Shaikh at a holiday resort in Tangalle two years ago. She was accompanied by officials of the British High Commission. The 32-year-old Red Cross worker from Rochdale was stabbed and shot dead on December 25, 2011 allegedly by six men while he was holidaying in Sri Lanka with his girlfriend Victoria Aleksandrovna Tkacheva, more..

Driver in Sumathipala Manawadu's fatal accident, arrested

Mar 26 (SM) The hit-and-run lorry driver involved in the motor accident that killed JVP Provincial Council Candidate from Gampaha, Sumathipala Manawadu, has been arrested. Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana stated that the driver and lorry involved in the accident were taken into custody in the Polgahawela area last evening. JVP candidate, Sumathipala Manawadu was travelling on his motorbike along the Colombo-Kandy Road when he was hit by a lorry in the Imbulgoda area. more..

Mervyn cries at his grave

Mar 26 (CT) Minister Mervyn Silva, cried yesterday after laying the foundation stone for his tomb at the Borella Cemetery. Silva and many friends of his were present on this occasion at the cemetery. The religious ceremony was headed by Vice Chancellor of the Sabaragamuwa University, Ven. Prof. Kamburugamuwe Vajira Nayake Thera. The minister himself offered pirikara pooja to the Maha Sangha present, more..

Nurses’ TU action: 'Hospitals not affected'

Mar 26 (Island) Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) has launched a protest by refusing to take instructions from doctors and assist them in patient management from March 24 but hospital administrators say their institutions have not been severly affected. Director of the National Hospital Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that though the nurses kept away from their routine duties such as ward management and helping doctors with ward rounds, the hospital had functioned smoothly as usual. more..

UNHRC: Crucial vote on Sri Lanka inquiry

Mar 26 (HRW) Members of the UNHRC should vote for a resolution calling on the UN’s human rights office to investigate allegations of war crimes by all sides during the final months of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Human Rights Watch said today. The vote on the resolution is expected this week. Sri Lankan govt has failed to seriously respond to two previous Human Rights Council resolutions seeking national investigations into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the more..

We are waiting for legal redress - BBS

Mar 26 (SM) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) says they wish to inform forces behind minister Risath Badurdeen that if the minister seeks legal redress against their organization, the BBS would consider it as a golden opportunity. About an agitated minister Badurdeen sending a letter of demand to the organisation’s General Secretary - Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara over the recent media release issued recently over the more..

Sri Lanka braces for final verdict

Mar 27 (CT) As the UNHRC sessions draw to a close this Friday, there are last minute diplomatic and media offensives to portray Sri Lanka as the innocent victim in the hands of the UNHRC, several powerful nations practicing double standards as well as LTTE propaganda. It is a formula that had worked wonders during poll time but almost five years after the end of the war, counter allegations and crying foul add little value when the call is to demonstrate accountability. more..

Southern Provincial Council Election

Mar 27 (NS) Southern Province is an important battleground in Sri Lankan politics. It consists of three districts, Galle, Matara and Hambatota and has a population of nearly 2.5 million. While Hambantota District is the smallest in population, it is a significant district in politics. It is the stronghold of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as the UNP MP Sajith Premadasa. Furthermore, it is the stronghold of the leftist JVP or the People’s Liberation Front. more..

Kachchathivu feast: Creating a great brotherhood across the Palk Strait

Mar 27 (SO) St. Anthony, the patron Saint of the fishermen and the seafarers, according to the belief of the Catholics, has given this one and half square kilometres tiny dotted, uninhabited island of Kachchathivu in the Indian ocean, prominence for the fishermen from Sri Lanka and India. Fishermen from both countries believe that a small shrine dedicated to St. Anthony located in this tiny island is a blessing and their lives will be protected more..

Chris Panabokke turns 88 - Renowned soil scientist and reputed author

Mar 27 (NS) Mention the name CR Panabokke, and the first thing that comes to one’s mind is soil science. Indeed, he is unquestionably the foremost soil scientist produced by our country to date, as well as one of Asia’s most renowned soil scientists. He has authored many books and published over 30 research papers in reputed International journals in addition to presenting 35 scientific papers at national and international workshops/conferences on: Soils of Sri Lanka and fertilizer use, more..

Does Crimea make Thamil Eelam more likely?

Mar 27 (CT) Every time I address a topic like this it is necessary to define what The Right to Self-Determination means. It is boring but I have to do it, repeatedly, because of ignorance. The simplest barebones statement of the principle is as follows: If a cohesive group of people X, inhabiting a territory Y that can credibly become a separate state Z, wants to secede from nation W and constitute themselves as nation Z, so be it; they have the moral and political right to secede and set up sate Z. more..

A sombre eulogy to Mercy Edirisinghe: Prima donna of Sinhala comedy

Mar 27 (CT) Mercy Edirisinghe was born on 18 Dec 1946 in Ambepussa. Her father, Don Lorenzo Elvin, worked at the Department of Examinations. She was the third in a family of nine children – 'the most stubborn', she would later recount. She remembered her mother as a 'pious, devout woman,' whose devotion to God and Christ was 'insuperable'. Sent to a mixed school in her hometown, she later became one of more..

Lap Top journalism and the Laptoppers

Mar 27 (CT) With the local Government elections getting closer and speculation on bigger things to come in the near future, a well oiled military type operation seems to be swinging into motion. Opinion leaders (mostly self styled – some with doctorates, others who claim to be professors and most of them involved with NGOs) are pontificating in SPADES. We have Colombians (to borrow a phrase coined by advocates of this regime) urging similar drawing room patriots to vote for the JVP. more..

Why is Mahinda concerned about Crimea?

Mar 27 (CT) Mahinda's unmitigated concern about the Ukraine issue came out strongly at last week's Cabinet meeting. He pulled up Minister G.L. Peiris, over an untimely and hasty release of a statement on the Ukraine issue. President drew Peiris' attention to a column I had written under the title, 'Putin-Yanukovych, Modi-Wigneswaran,' in Ceylon Today, which also appeared in Thursday's Mawbima column under the title, 'Will Modi follow Putin doctrine to interfere in Sri Lanka,' more..

'Geneva resolution is against govt, not SL'

Mar 27 (FT) Opposition is calling on the Govt to restore more democracy, rule of law and media freedom in Sri Lanka in order to reduce the international pressure. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella, upon his return from Geneva, emphasises that if the Govt takes the above steps, Opposition will support it to overcome the resolution at the UNHRC. The party bigwig points out that the heavily-discussed resolution is not against Sri Lanka more..

Editorial: Carter’s wisdom

Mar 27 (Island) Those who thought Big Brother was red and it was better to be dead than red stand corrected. The US National Security Agency (NSA) has become a ‘Bigger Brother’; it is apparently no respecter of even America’s former heads of state. It is believed to monitor their communications as well. No less a person than former President Jimmy Carter has said he does not trust the NSA and, therefore, types or writes letters himself and uses snail mail when he communicates with more..

Good things, no cheap. cheap things, no good

Mar 27 (SL) We were in the shade of our sweeping bamboo grove listening to the incoming inter monsoonal winds whistling in while reading the morning’s papers when our thoughts went back to a saying of Sri Lanka Chinese traders that has come down almost six decades: ‘Good things no cheap. Cheap things no good’. (The Chinese were a part of the Chinese Diaspora spread across South Asia when their country was convulsed by the Japanese invasion, war lords fighting one another and more..

Geneva 2014: First whispers of an impending storm

Mar 27 (FT) Since 2004, President Rajapaksa has been on a remarkable winning streak. In April that year he wrested the Premiership from former Foreign Minister and Chandrika Kumaratunga confidant, Lakshman Kadirgamar, after the newly-constituted UPFA led by the SLFP won its first Parliamentary election. He waged a second battle for the SLFP presidential nomination the following year and against all odds, more..

Michael Vaughan tweet angers Sri Lankans

Mar 27 (Island) A tweet by former England captain Michael Vaughan has angered Sri Lankan cricket fans, who took to social media disapproving the comment. The matches of the ongoing World T-20 tournament in Bangladesh are preceded by the national anthems of the participating nations and during one of Sri Lanka’s games Vaughan made fun at the Sri Lankan national anthem. ‘Just rung home, made a brew, been to the toilet and made a cake during the Sri Lankan national anthem…’ more..

Bopara intent on clearing the ropes

Mar 27 (CI) England go into their second match of the Super 10s in a position where defeat could effectively spell the end of their World T20 campaign after little more than a week in Bangladesh. They face Sri Lanka, ranked No. 1 in the format and on the back of two wins from two; England, meanwhile, have won two of their last eight T20s. The good news is that Ravi Bopara has been dreaming of hitting sixes. Bopara may eventually command a place in the order higher than his current more..

Can England disrupt Sri Lanka's mojo?

Mar 27 (CI) A tense win sealed by Lasith Malinga, one merciless defeat of a weaker side, and significant contributions from various places in the XI; Sri Lanka's World T20 campaign so far bears the hallmarks of so many recent sprints to the knockout phase of a world event. In each of those tournaments, the result against England has prefigured their eventual destination. When they have won the England match, as they did in more..

CCC issues a commemorative stamp

Mar 27 (Island) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, which marked 175 years of its service to the nation and businesses on March 25, issued a commemorative stamp and a first day cover to mark the occasion. The issue took place at the Chamber premises at Navam Mawatha 10.30 am with the participation of Deputy Postmaster General (Western Province) Mrs. Chitra Gunasekera, CCC Chairman Suresh Shah along with the participation of several other personalities, including more..

CSE launches Twitter handle @CSE_Media

Mar 27 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday announced the launch of its Twitter handle @CSE_Media, to keep investors informed on the market updates of the stock exchange via a Twitter feed. The Twitter handle is aimed at retail investors, media personnel and students who are eager to receive on-the-go information from the stock exchange on a wide variety of areas. The venture into social media follows the CSE’s launch of an android mobile application which more..

EPF sets record straight on accounts

Mar 27 (FT) On several occasions the EPF has informed the public that its financial statements and key performance indicators for 2011 and 2012 have already been published in many newspapers on 10 May 2012 and 28 June 2013, respectively. Nevertheless, certain MPs have been repeatedly making allegations that the EPF financial statements have not been forthcoming, possibly with the intention of to discrediting the EPF and more..

Otara Gunewardene announced as Ambassador for Earth Hour Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (Island) Otara Gunewardene renowned Sri Lankan entrepreneur, founder and CEO of the brand Odel, has been announced as the newest brand ambassador for Earth Hour Sri Lanka. From Sir Richard Branson to Miranda Kerr to Leona Lewis, celebrity ambassadors have always been a big part of Earth Hour’s campaign to get people involved. This year, the organizers at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) partnered with a movie release, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" to inspire fans more..