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FDI of Rs. 850 m to set up 60 modern theatres around Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (FT) A leading movie producing company, Senith Neathan Media Production, will go for a joint collaboration with a Singapore-based firm to set up 60 modern theatres in 30 strategic locations in the country. “At present discussions are ongoing and they expect to invest more than Rs. 850 million for the total project. All proposed theatres will be up to international standards and will come up in strategic locations in the country,” Senith Media Production Chairman Dr. Arosha Fernando said. more..

Japan’s Bansei gets more bullish on Lanka; invests Rs. 400 m in Hikka resort

Mar 27 (FT) Japan’s financial markets specialist Bansei Securities has turned more bullish on post-war rebounding Sri Lanka’s tourism sector by investing over Rs. 400 million in a resort in Hikkaduwa. Bansei’s engagement and commitment in Sri Lanka for the past two years was confined to channelling Japanese investments into Govt securities with a portfolio of over Rs. 25 billion whilst last year it acquired a 15% stake in Pan Asia more..

Immunity from prosecution for new GK Directors worries depositors

Mar 27 (ST) Immunity from any prosecution granted to newly appointed Directors of the Golden Key Credit Card Special Purpose Vehicle (GK-SPV) under the action plan devised by Central Bank with the consent of Supreme Court, is worrying many depositors. In a letter sent to President Rajapaksa recently the GK Women Depositors Joint Organisation says that according to the action plan, the directors of this SPV and any others who succeed them shall be indemnified against more..

Finance Cos. could lose licence if merger proposals are not ready by 31st March

Mar 27 (ST) Finance companies (Non-Bank Financial Institution – NBFI) could lose their licence if they fail to submit their proposals to merge under new rules, before the March 31st deadline. Industry sources said that the seriousness of this process has been communicated to the relevant NBFIs. Separately, CB Assistant Governor C.J.P. Siriwardena said that by this month end if the identified NBFIs (Category B NBFIs) haven’t submitted ‘concrete’ proposals pertaining to more..

Govt. tags guaranteed price for potato, big onion and dried chillie

Mar 27 (FT) The implementation of guaranteed price for potato, big onion and dried chillie will kick off this week in furtherance of the proposal in the Govt’s 2014 Budget. The official ceremony of signing the ‘Forward Sales Agreement’ between Lak Sathosa and selected potato farmers has been scheduled to be held tomorrow, at the Ministry of Finance and Planning. Minister Basil Rajapaksa will participate as the Chief Guest more..

PHIs and 14 other health sector TUs join forces against docs?

Mar 27 (Island) Public Health Inspectors and 14 other trade unions including nurses, paramedics and Professions Supplementary to Medicine warned that they would resort to trade union action against the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) if it did not reinstate the PHIs serving in the Jaffna District. President of the Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL), Upul Rohana said that the PHIs had been affiliated to the Jaffna District Pradeshiya Sabhas (PSs) under the NPC. more..

'DNA-JVP electoral alliance in the offing for national elections'

Mar 27 (Island) The DNA which is in the process of being revamped, is to form an electoral alliance with the JVP to contest the next national election. Founder member of the DNA Arjuna Ranatunga MP said that talks with the JVP had progressed well and it was a matter of time before they linked up along with some other Opposition parties to form a strong grouping to face the next Presidential and Parliamentary Polls. Asked whether other parties would join their alliance, more..

'I cried every day': inside SL's 'No Fire Zones'

Mar 27 (C4) Five years ago Dr Varatharajah Thariajah was given his freedom in exchange for refuting war crimes allegations against the Sri Lankan govt. Today he tells Channel 4 News a different story. At the end of the Sri Lankan civil war the govt of Sri Lanka held a press conference, writes Callum Macrae. Five doctors who had been trapped in the war zones – and had told the world of the awful suffering of the more..

Korea hands over sanitary landfill

Mar 27 (Island) A ceremony to hand over Sri Lanka’s first sanitary landfill facility built by KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) on behalf of the Govt of Korea was held at the landfill site in Dompe on Tuesday. Ceremony was attended by Ambassador of Korea Choi Jongmoon, Minister Susil Premajayantha, Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority D.W. Prathapasinghe, KOICA Country Representative Cho Kyu-chan and officials from CEA and KOICA. more..

Sri Lanka's stock market outlook with Softlogic Stockbrokers

Mar 27 (Forbes) Softlogic Stockbrokers is a subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings, a growing conglomerate that began as an IT company in 1991. Dihan Dedigama has been CEO of Softlogic Stockbrokers for three years after previously working as CEO of Sri Lankan stockbroker Asia Securities for six years. Mr. Dedigama provides his insights into Sri Lanka’s capital markets and economy. When Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war ended in 2009, the stock market rose euphorically through more..

Murder trial opens in Sri Lanka after Western pressure over delay

Mar 27 (Reuters) Six men went on trial in Sri Lanka on Wednesday on charges they murdered a British aid worker and gang-raped his Russian fiancée, following two years of international pressure to prosecute the defendants, who include a member of the country's ruling party. Khuram Shaikh, a 32-year-old Red Cross worker based in Gaza, was shot and stabbed to death at a hotel while on holiday in 2011. Victoria Tkacheva was beaten more..

Credible evidence of LTTE revival

Mar 27 (CG) Govt says there is credible evidence of the resurgence and revival of LTTE activity in Sri Lanka and masquerading these activities in the garb of human rights impeded the legitimate exercise of protecting the citizens of the country from terrorism and protecting their right to life. Detailing the circumstances which led to the arrest of Mrs. Balendran Jeyakumari, the Govt said the performance of the investigative action should not be portrayed as selective or singling more..

Elections chief issues polling day guidelines

Mar 27 (DN) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday said only the voters, staff of the polling station, secretaries of contesting parties, candidates, polling agents and election observers, police officers on duty at the polling station and persons authorized by the returning officer are permitted to enter polling stations. The use of mobile phones, taking photographs, videoing, retaining firearms and smoking and the use of liquor and other intoxicants are prohibited more..

Dud money racket: Police defend decision to release Dulanjalee

Mar 27 (Island) The CID questioned Former President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s daughter, Dulanjali Jayakody for nine hours to record a statement from her over the 403 fake currency notes of Rs. 5,000 denomination she brought to a private bank at Cinnamon Gardens on Tuesday around 2.17 pm, but she had been released after the sleuths realised that she had tried to deposit them in the bank without knowing more..

Disappearances commission probe to cover IPKF period

Mar 27 (CG) The time period of the Presidential Commission to inquire into cases of alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces has been amended to cover the period from 1983 to 2009, the Govt announced. Previously, the time period for the commission consisted of the years from 1990 to 2009. On a warrant issued under the hand of President Rajapaksa, a Gazette notification was issued yesterday (25) in accordance with provisions more..

Facing a war crimes inquiry, Sri Lanka continues to vex the U.N.

Mar 27 (NYT) What to do with Sri Lanka? The island nation, triumphant after nearly three decades of war against ethnic separatists, has vexed the United Nations. Five years after the war’s brutal ending, the world body has been unable to address grave human rights violations committed by the warring parties, making Sri Lanka something of an object lesson in the difficulties of pursuing accountability. UN’ own conduct during the war led to a change in doctrine: Secretary general late last year more..

Russia, China, criticise Pillay’s report; others commend it

Mar 27 (DM) Several countries including Russia and China criticised the report compiled by UN Rights Chief Navi Pillay, at the UNHRC sessions while a majority of countries including the US, UK and France commended the document and called on all countries to support the adoption of the resolution against Sri Lanka. SL received strong backing from Russia, China, Cuba, Pakistan, Venezuela, Belarus and Zimbabwe, more..

Fishing community facing raging waters

Mar 27 (DM) For the fishing community comprising tens of thousands of hardworking and courageous fishermen and their families, life has often if not always been fraught with danger, despair and destitution. With the brazen poaching by Tamil Nadu fishermen, who during the past few years have been robbing in Sri Lanka’s waters while also destroying the ocean bed through bottom trawling, the plight of Sri Lanka’s fishing communities has been plunged into raging waters. more..

Least important sector in political agendas

Mar 27 (DM) Ageing population in SL is one of the fastest growing aging populations in Asia. Economic and Social analysts have predicted that the population of those over 60 years of age will double in less than 20 years with the percentage of the over 60’s rising to 18% in 2020 and 27% in 2040. The govt has initiated numerous legislative acts to bring in a social security scheme for the elders but unfortunately it does not appear that any awareness is created about the available facilities. more..

'Opposition is no competition for us'

Mar 27 (DM) A software engineer from Monash University, Australia and a Constitutional lawyer Udaya Gammanpila is a forerunner if not the key contender for the post of chief minister of the WPC. Legal Adviser of the JHU, Gammanpila who had been the Western Provincial Minister of Agriculture, Agrarian Development, Irrigation, Trade and Environment of the last council had been in the forefront of the modern nationalist movement more..

'SLMC did not discredit govt in Geneva'

Mar 27 (SL) After failing to bring up issues faced by the Muslim community during and after the 30-year-long war in the country, SLMC has no option but to present their grievances before the UNHRC, says General Secretary SLMC Hasen Ali. According to Ali, there is no wrong in presenting the issues faced by the country’s Muslim community in Geneva if the Tamils and the Sinhalese can talk about their issues. more..

'UPFA survey predicts govt. winning 51 of 57 electorates'

Mar 27 (Island) UPFA said that it would easily secure 51 electorates out of 57 in the six districts of the Western and Southern Provinces at Saturday’s election, according to the latest survey conducted by university lecturers for the ruling coalition. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that out of the six electorates not favourable to the alliance, there would be a big fight for three, while the balance three would be won by UNP. more..

CA curriculum 2015 geared to produce ‘partners in business’

Mar 27 (Island) In a change aimed at revolutionizing accountancy education, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) unveiled its new curriculum which it hopes will produce highly versatile Chartered Accountants by 2020 and beyond, who will help steer businesses across all sectors with their newly acquired competence and skills. Curriculum 2015 was ceremonially launched on Tuesday more..

All eyes on India's vote at the UNHRC today

Mar 27 (NIE) It will be a tough judgement call for India during today’s vote in the UNHRC on the resolution on Sri Lanka. While India has voted in favour of the Lankan resolution in the last two years, the inclusion of the need for an inquiry in the draft of the resolution to be examined by the UN High Commission for Human Rights has made officials consider all implications — as this vote could set a precedent. more..

Sri Lanka arrests 19 Indian fishermen

Mar 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan navy arrested 19 Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri Lankan waters. The fishermen were arrested off the northern seas of Mannar overnight and four boats used by the fishermen were seized following the arrest. The move came just days after the cancellation of second round of talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen in Colombo. Last week, the navy arrested 75 Indian fishermen and more..

Congress manifesto calls for probe into Sri Lanka war crimes

Mar 27 (NIE) Reduced to being a marginal player in Tamil Nadu mainly due to its policy with Sri Lanka, Congress gave its most detailed attention to the island nation in its manifesto with talk of putting international pressure on Colombo to hold a time-bound inquiry into war crimes in the last stages of civil war. The manifesto, released on Wednesday, devoted 10 paragraphs to articulating its foreign policy vision. more..

Internationalising SL issue inimical to reconciliation – UK MPs

Mar 27 (Island) A group of British MPs has urged PM Cameron not to back the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing sessions of the UNHRC. MPs representing Democratic Unionist Party as well as the ruling Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, have, in a recent missive to Premier Cameron, expressed serious concern over what they call a bid to internationalise the Sri Lankan conflict. more..

Canada approves motion on Lanka

Mar 27 (CG) The Canadian Parliament approved a motion on Sri Lanka which calls for an independent international inquiry mechanism to establish the truth over incidents related to the war in Sri Lanka. Opposition legislator Paul Dewar moved the motion in the Canadian House of Commons which also encouraged the Govt of Canada to continue to take a strong position on Sri Lanka in international forums. more..

More countries sponsor resolution

Mar 27 (CG) More than 35 countries have been listed as the co-sponsors of the resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the UNHRC for a vote today. Earlier the resolution had the US, Britain, Macedonia, Mauritius and Montenegro as the co-sponsors. However as of last night the resolution listed Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, more..

1978 Constitution, mother of sociological ills

Mar 27 (CT) Recently, this writer was at a seminar organized by the European Chamber of Commerce in Colombo, where the issue of tourism promotion was a focal point. One of the speakers, an Austrian woman, found it fascinating to find Buddhist temples, kovils, churches and mosques, to be seen located side by side in Sri Lanka. But, what she found abominable was sexual harassment on the streets, even emanating from the so called educated classes of the country. more..

‘CKD has snuffed out more lives than 2004 tsunami’

Mar 27 (Island) Govt had allocated Rs. 900 million to supply special water filters to the people in areas where kidney diseases were prevalent, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said. With those funds, the minister said the Ministry had commenced distribution of Reverse Osmosis Plants (filters) to the people living in the affected areas. Approximately 5,000 farmers in the North Central Province died of kidney failure annually mainly due to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). more..

‘People and communities should unite for better future’

Mar 27 (DM) The outgoing South Korean ambassador, Jong-moon Choi speaks about his experience in Sri Lanka, the exchanges between the two countries and his perspective about the social and economic development of Sri Lanka. Q: What is the favourite memory of your three years in Sri Lanka? A: I cannot forget my first trip to Nuwara Eliya by train. The scenery of tea plantations was breathtaking and the old, petite train stations more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.7%

Mar 27 (LBO) Stocks close 0.70% higher Thursday with diversified John Keells Holdings and Sri Lanka Telecom gaining. All Share Price Index closed 41.65 points higher at 5,992.62 up 0.70%. The S&P SL20 closed 13.10 points higher at 3,274.15, up 0.40%. Turnover was 1.62 billion rupees, up from 762.29 million rupees a day earlier with 106 stocks close positive against 49 negative. National Development Bank closed 90 cents higher at 180.90 rupees with off market transactions of 1.24 billion rupees more..

Army captain apologises in Supreme Court

Mar 27 (Island) A petitioner in a fundamental rights violation application, Captain Madhushanka Wickramanayake apologised in the Supreme Court to respondents the officer-in-charge of minor offences of the Anuradhapura Police station, Sub Inspector Wijeratne, a corporal and his wife. The captain arrested by the Anuradhapura Police on a complaint made by the wife of the corporal that the captain had entered her house while her husband was away and she was alone. more..

India slams resolution and abstains

Mar 27 (CG) The Indian Govt today made a surprise u-turn on the Sri Lankan issue by criticizing the US sponsored draft resolution submitted to the UNHRC and decided to abstain from voting in favor of the document. The Indian delegation at the UNHRC, speaking ahead of the vote on the draft resolution, said that the resolution is inconsistent and impractical. “The resolution is inconsistent and impractical in asking both the govt of SL more..

Rajapaksas Vs. Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (CT) Next to China, Vladimir Putin’s Russia is Rajapaksa Sri Lanka’s most reliable international friend. Nowhere has this been more evident than in Geneva this season. Moscow is at the forefront even now, opposing the US sponsored resolution and defending the indefensible record of the Rajapaksa regime. Such unconditional support always comes with conditions. Last week, the Russian Ambassador met External Affairs Minister GL Peiris with a request. more..

Probe on explosion near mosque

Mar 27 (CG) An investigation is underway on an incident where an explosion had occurred on a bare land near a mosque in Dambulla last night. Statements were recorded from the mosque authorities and others over the incident. The explosion had taken place after two policemen who were providing security to the mosque had left. The police said that an explosive device placed on the bare land exploded and there was no damage to the mosque from the blast. more..

US resolution gets 23 for 12 against

Mar 27 (CG) Resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to UNHRC was passed by a majority vote today with 23 countries of the 47 member council voting for and 12 against while 12 abstained. Resolution was adopted after a long debate prompted by Pakistani delegation which demanded a motion to postpone the vote over a funding issue. Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights said it will need over USD 1,460,000 to more..

Govt. asks countries without sins to cast stones at Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (Island) The govt asked the western powers to carefully analyse the people’s verdict at the March 29 PC elections as they were pressuring 47-member UNHRC to vote for the resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva. On behalf of the govt, Minister Dullas Alahappruma asked the West why it had abused the UNHRC to suppress countries which did not dance to their tune and whether they were all out to destroy a peaceful country like Sri Lanka. He said that powerful countries such as US and UK more..

Sri Lankan rupee steady despite importer dollar demand

Mar 27 (Reuters) Rupee ended unchanged on Thursday despite importer dollar demand as dealers were reluctant to trade above the 130.70 level due to moral suasion by the central bank and the market was forced to trade in forward. The central bank asked banks to keep the rupee at the 130.70 per dollar level to keep volatility low, dealers said. The spot rupee ended flat at 130.70/75 per dollar. "They didn't want the spot over 130.70. So swaps and forwards were active," more..