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Controversial monk locks horns with TNA over death threats

Nov 12 (AM) Madakalapuwa Mangalaraama Temples Chief Monk Ampitiye Sumanarathana thera has requested redeploy police protection due to alleged death threats by the TNA. Monk said that his temple was the only Buddhist religious place in the area and therefore the TNA was trying to remove it. Thera also added that there is a severe increase in the number of death threats over the past few days. “I have been receiving regular death threats from the TNA for years now, but now police protection more..

Invoking the Goddess: Pattini-Kannaki Amma photo exhibit in Canada

Nov 12 (LR) Pattini-Kannaki Amma is a goddess shared by both Hindu and Buddhist traditions in SL. Yet many Sri Lankans are unaware that she is a shared goddess. Invoking the Goddess a new photo exhibition hopes to shed that estrangement while capturing the complexity and diversity surrounding the way she is worshipped. SL photographer Sharni Jayawardena’s and Socio-Cultural Anthropologist Malathi de Alwis more..

Housing, the biggest problem of disaster victims – Bishop

Nov 12 (Island) Bishop of Badulla Rev. Dr. Winston Fernando commended the army for keeping two camps where Koslanda landslide victims are accommodated clean and tidy. He said that he had recently visited the places where more than 1,000 landslide victims were living. It was the duty of the private sector to come forward to build houses for the displaced besides the provision of relief material. If private companies could build a house each the victims would be immensely benefited. more..

'UN accused of withholding real-time evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka'

Nov 12 (AM) ICP charged that the “UN has withheld real-time evidence of war crime” in SL in 2009, in “effect protecting the govt of SL from criticism” by the international community at large. This allegation was leveled yesterday at a discussion that was held about "War Crimes Records," primarily about the Holocaust but with Syria, for example, mentioned by Dan Plesch on the panel. Plesch asked, if people could collect records in London under bombing, how not in Syria today? Indeed. more..

Video: JVP rally against ‘3rd term’ on Nov 18

Nov 12 (DM) The JVP today said it would hold a mass protest rally on November 18, if President Rajapaksa announced his participation at the speculated Presidential Election. Party said participation of Rajapaksa at the election for a third term would make the Election illegal. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that President Rajapaksa got what he wanted from the Supreme Court in order to contest for the third term. more..

Sports minister defends sudden Indian tour

Nov 12 (PTI) Sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has defended the decision to undertake the unscheduled tour to India. "Some say we were attracted to the 6-7 million dollars that we will be making. It was not the reason," Aluthgamage told reporters. "It was a decision by the SLC and the selection committee. They wanted to give fringe players more opportunity." Aluthgamage said the Indian tour was looked at as part of Sri Lanka's preparations for the world cup. more..

Rathana Thera says 10 UPFA MPs ready to support common candidate

Nov 12 (AM) JHU MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera addressing the common opposition meeting in Colombo this evening said it was a historic opportunity to find a common candidate who can bring about a change. Rathana Thera, who also leads the Pivithuru Hetak organization, clearly underscored in his speech that there was no space for an interim agreement between his party and the UPFA govt. MP told the cheering crowds that 10 MPs of the govt were ready to extend their more..

Video: Huge crowd at campaign against Executive Presidency

Nov 12 (DM) A campaign to pressurise the President to abolish the Executive Presidency and implement the 19th Amendment is underway at the Muttaiah Park in Colombo 2. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya, Mangala Samaraweera, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, JHU MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, Former CJ Sarath N. Silva, JVP MP K.D. Lal Kantha and DNA MP more..

Security concerns over Chinese submarines visit to Colombo

Nov 13 (SAAG) India expressed “serious concern to India’s national security” to SL Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa when he met the Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at New Delhi on Oct 20, over the docking of a Chinese submarine “Great Wall No.329” in Colombo harbour along with the support ship “Changxing Island” from Sept 7 to 14. The wrong identification of the diesel-electric Song class submarine as a nuclear-propelled submarine more..

JVP’s second uprising and the moral breakdown of the society

Nov 13 (CT) The 13th of November (tomorrow) will be the 25th Death Anniversary of Rohana Wijeweera, the late leader of the JVP, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuana. It is perhaps an appropriate moment to recall the cruelty and the violence engaged in by the JVP as well as of the government security forces in during the so called ‘second uprising’. I propose to do so through a short reflection on a poem which I wrote, of an actual incident that took place during this time. more..

Concrete Angels reach out to save children

Nov 13 (SO) A group of students from Holy Family Convent (HFC)Bambalapitya, led by Shiandra Gooneratne who had been selected to represent the school and Sri Lanka at the South Asian Finals of Horlicks Wizkids 2014, formed a foundation called "The Concrete Angels Foundation" at HFC to raise awareness on prevention of sexual abuse of children. "Yes, they're angels; they're beautiful, charming and innocent. more..

Moving forward: India and Sri Lanka

Nov 13 (CT) In the period leading up to the victory over the LTTE in 2009, India and Sri Lanka enjoyed an excellent relationship. It was clear that, despite the opposition of politicians in Tamilnadu, India was supportive of the military initiatives of the Sri Lankan govt. More importantly, it assisted Sri Lanka in dealing effectively with the efforts of some Western countries to stop the Sri Lankan offensive, and then to condemn it after the military success of May 2009. This was most obvious in Geneva, where more..

Sri Lanka and Gun Boat diplomacy

Nov 13 (SL) While our brothers in New Delhi are getting hot over their collarless kurtas over Chinese submarines docking in the Colombo harbour, the Chinese Defence Ministry with casual detachment issued a statement claiming that Chinese ships and submarines call in Colombo Port to refuel and allow their crews to rest. We realised that Chinese warships calling in Sri Lankan ports is nothing new. They did it as far back as in the 14th Century. Reading in an effort to educate ourselves more..

'Top athletes stole hotel towels'

Nov 13 (CT) From tackling unruly players to taking on the mighty sports Federations, the Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage says, he's is a man on a mission to clean up sports in Sri Lanka. Speaking to Ceylon Today he highlighted that one of the many embarrassing problems when it came to dealing with top athletes revolved around teaching them, 'how to behave, talk and dress' when they travel abroad. more..

Nothing fair in love and fairness

Nov 13 (NS) Dark isn’t beautiful. In fact, some would even go as far as to calling it ugly. This is a truth most of us would deny, because directly or indirectly, we have contributed to these attitudes towards complexion. This state of denial we live in could be the reason for the outrage about the Maliban White Chocolate Puff commercial.The storyline of the commercial is simple and familiar; a female is visited by a potential suitor and sitting next to him is a matchmaker. more..

Kosher, anyone?

Nov 13 (NS) Nowadays with so many diets, dietary restrictions, food allergies and the monthly finding of the super food, we are constantly bombarded and niggled into choosing a particular type of food over others. So, whenever one books a flight that is over a few hours duration, the question invariably pops, “Do you require special meals?” Unfortunately, the question is never whether you would like Chinese, Macedonian, Jaffna curry, barbecue or whether you like Frisch’s or Grey Poupon on your more..

Excavating archeology with Raj Somadeva

Nov 13 (NS) Raj Somadeva, one of the top Sri Lankan archeologists, has drawn attention to his work in recent times with two interesting claims viz: discovery of a yaksha inscription and the existence of Buddhism in the island complete with a cave dwelling monastic sangha prior to the 3rd century BC. He spoke to Darshanie Ratnawalli on these claims as well as the ideological debates within the discipline. more..

Two weaker telcos 'may' exit SL: Fitch

Nov 13 (CT) Over-capacity in Sri Lanka's telecommunications industry could shrink as two weaker operators may exit the sector, which would benefit the remaining players, Fitch Ratings says in a report. "Data tariffs could rise following consolidation, and this would slow the decline in profitability and prevent duplication of capex. The number of industry participants could fall to three from five. Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT; BB-/AAA(lka)/Stable), the largest integrated operator, more..

Seminar on Doing Business with China: FTA and Beyond

Nov 13 (Island) Verité Research and the Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka (EASL) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce have come together to organize a special seminar titled "Doing Business with China: FTA and Beyond." The seminar, to be held on Nov 26 at Taj Samudra, Colombo, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm, will explore opportunities and challenges for Sri Lankan businesses as they look to navigate the forthcoming Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and business with China. more..

Nivard promotes Mahinda Chinthana at World Economic Forum – India Summit

Nov 13 (FT) The nation’s success story of the past decade came under a fresh spotlight last week when the Central Bank (CB) Chief outlined Sri Lanka’s approaches towards financial inclusion at the World Economic Forum – India Economic Summit. Featured as a panellist for a session titled ‘Inclusive Finance: From Paper to Action’ at the forum that took place from 4 to 6 Nov, CB Governor Cabraal shared a list of 10 approaches more..

Editorial: Monk’s advice to mandarin

Nov 13 (Island) Politics is a disease which popularity predisposes some people to. Those who excel in their chosen fields are often asked whether they intend to take to politics. Some of them stoop so low as to go behind politicians, seeking nominations or allow themselves to be lured into partisan politics. Among them are scholars, former judges, sports personalities and various other professionals like doctors, engineers, accountants et al. Ven. Rahula Thera of Namal Uyana fame has recently more..

Introduce a Bill in Parliament to repeal 18 A

Nov 13 (CT) It is becoming clear that the next presidential election will be held in January 2015 or so. The Opposition is seeking to field a common candidate with a single issue, which is the abolition of the Executive Presidency. But, the President is seeking to counter the demand by justifying it as necessary to deal with a resuscitation and revival of the demand for a separate State or Eelam. MR seems to expect just that despite the denial of the TNA. He can ensure that it happens by more..

Treasury rejects publicly the appeal of footwear and leather product manufacturers

Nov 13 (ST) Sri Lanka footwear and leather products manufacturers have been asked to venture into export market making high quality up market shoes without asking tax concessions from the Treasury as the govt is ready to extend necessary assistance for manufacturers turning out value added products for the export market without focusing only for the local market. This directive was issued by Treasury Secretary more..

Assets worth Rs. 761 m reverted to PCH Holdings

Nov 13 (FT) Adam Investments (AINV) announced it has entered into an agreement with PCH Holdings and 10 other respondents in the recent case filed in the Commercial High Court. As result of this agreement, AINV gets full management and Board control of PCH Holdings and Bieco Link Carbons. AINV has agreed to pay Rs. 35 million to MMD Ventures Lanka according to the agreement. In addition it stated that 100% ownership of Bieco Link Carbons will be restored to PCH Holdings more..

Aitken Spence earnings grow

Nov 13 (CT) Aitken Spence PLC announced a pre-tax profit of Rs 2.29 billion for the six months ended 30 September 2014, an increase of 13% from the corresponding period last year.The blue chip's half-year revenue soared by 23.7% to Rs 19.7 billion, results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange revealed. Profit attributable to equity holders rose by 8.1% to Rs 1.3 billion while earnings per share improved by 8.1% to Rs 3.27, over the corresponding period. more..

Mahela pushes case to open

Nov 13 (CI) Mahela has urged Sri Lanka's national selectors to let him open the innings in one-day cricket for the final phase of his international career. Speaking in Kolkata ahead of the fourth one-day international against India on Thursday, Mahela said he had been "pushing for the move since the 2011 World Cup." "The only thing I haven't done is gone down on my knees to the selectors and asked for me to be allowed to open," more..

Cinnamon Air introduces new southern route

Nov 13 (CT) Cinnamon Air recently introduced its new route from BIA to Bentota River Water Aerodrome. Daily scheduled flights depart from BIA at 10:00 a.m. to reach Bentota at 10:25 a.m. Return flights depart Bentota at 12 noon and arrive at BIA twenty five minutes later. Apart from these flights, Cinnamon Air also operates daily scheduled flights from its exclusive domestic terminal at BIA and Colombo City (Waters Edge in Colombo) to popular destinations like Koggala, Passikudah, more..

Ratepayers pay for street lamps in Nallur

Nov 13 (Island) Nallur Pradeshiya Sabha has introduced a novel scheme to light up the area under its purview by installing 1,200 street lamps which receive electricity from nearby houses and shops. The system has helped the local govt authority light up the area without being burdened with a huge electricity bill, Chairman of the TNA-controlled Nallur PS Paramalingam Vasanthakumar said. He said his institution had been adjudged the fifth most productive local body out of 335. more..

Sanga peeved to head home

Nov 13 (CT) Star batsman Kumar Sangakkara who has been rested for the last two matches against India wasn't that happy about leaving in the middle of the series as he left the hotel on Monday evening to head back home. "Nobody likes to leave a series in the middle, especially when losing. We always like to stay together and earn a win when the team is losing. Leaving while winning is no problem," more..

SL to host Asia-Pac Business Forum in Nov

Nov 13 (BoI) Sri Lanka is to host the 11th session of the Asia-Pacific Business Forum (APBF) organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (US-ESCAP) with the main participation of Sri Lanka’s business promotion agency, the Board of Investment (BoI). The three-day event will be held from November 25 to 27, at the BMICH with the participation of at least 500 delegates - at least 60% expected to be foreign participants. more..

Different goals for rejigged teams

Nov 13 (CI) Where does the series go from here? The three matches so far have almost been carbon copies. India's top order gets runs, with Shikhar Dhawan leading the charge; Sri Lanka's bowlers threaten briefly before wilting; Sri Lanka lose wickets early in their innings, then after a short recovery, treat the batting Powerplay like a cliff to hurl themselves off. It is not easy to work out what either team has to gain from the two remaining matches, so the potential rewards stray into more..

'No decision yet on pardoning fishermen'

Nov 13 (Hindu) A day after Sri Lankan Deputy Minister Prabha Ganesan announced that President Rajapaksa was ready to pardon the five Indian fishermen facing death penalty, presidential spokesperson said: “Until now, no decision has been taken to that effect.” Asked why Mr. Ganesan made an announcement to the contrary, sources close to the President’s office said Mr. Rajapaksa only spoke of more..

Govt. holding MPs hostage – BASL

Nov 13 (CT) Action taken by the government against rebel UPFA politicos, namely Technology and Research Minister Champika Ranawaka and JHU MP Athuraliye Ratana Thera is a warning for those hoping to crossover, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said. BASL Rule of Law Standing Committee Chairman Lal Wijenayake said that while Ranawaka is accused of being guilty of corruption in reference to a coal deal, Ratana Thera is being charged with the misuse of public funds. more..

Police still looking for Malaka’s associates

Nov 13 (Island) The officers of Colombo Crime Division (CCD) have so far failed to arrest the five suspects involved in the Nov. 1 nightclub brawl over which Mervyn Silva's son, Malaka has been remanded till Nov. 18. Acting Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara, Attorney-at-Law, told The Island yesterday that police needed to record another statement from Malaka to identify the other five suspects seen in the CCTV video footage, which was now in police custody. more..

Rape of SL house-maids causes uproar

Nov 13 (CT) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake, who made an emotional speech during the committee stage of budget debate over atrocities faced by female Lankan migrant workers in the Middle Eastern countries, was booed by government MPs when he hurried out of the Chamber, overcome by emotion. Ramanayake criticized the inefficiency of officials and began accusing a number of individuals. more..

Harmony Centre for Jaffna

Nov 13 (Island) Security Forces personnel in the Jaffna Peninsula have identified 18 projects that would help uplift the northern populace. An institution named ‘Harmony Centre’ was set up at Thalaiady in Jaffna said Brigadier S.K. Thirunavakarasu for this purpose. Centre is located 5 km from Jaffna town on KKS road at Thalaiady, Kojuvil East and there are 10 sub centres in the peninsula. All desks at the centres are manned by senior military personnel in civvies. more..

904 gaming and betting businesses have tax files

Nov 13 (FT) The Ministry of Finance yesterday confirmed in Parliament that a total of 904 individuals and institutions have opened tax files based on the gaming businesses they are conducting in the country. Responding to a question for oral answer raised by Opposition lawmaker Dr. Harsha de Silva, the Ministry issued a statement confirming a special licence to operate gaming is “not required” in Sri Lanka and falling in line with the Inland Revenue Act was adequate. more..

'Scrapping executive presidency only a platform to muster those opposed to MR'

Nov 13 (Island) The Opposition had promised to do away with President JRJ’s Constitution within six months after defeating President Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential election, but it was aware that such a feat would never be feasible as long as the SLFP-led coalition retained power in Parliament, Senior Minister Dew Gunasekera said. President Rajapaksa is expected to call for next presidential poll in January more..

Indian envoy holds talks with SLMC-TNA

Nov 13 (CT) Leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, and Leader of the SLMC, Rauff Hakeem, have reportedly met Indian High Commissioner, Y.K. Sinha last Saturday, authoritative sources disclosed. They said the two minority party leaders have had detailed discussions with the Indian Envoy. These talks have lasted three hours, but the details were not disclosed. Political analysts view these talks as crucial with a presidential election likely to be announced early next week. more..

Plantation refugees put down roots in Tiruchi

Nov 13 (Hindu) For M. Karuppaiah, 65, a former plantation worker from Sri Lanka, Tiruchi is virtually his home now. Leaving Tamil Nadu is the last thing in his mind. His view is shared by the 82-year-old Manickam who also worked on a tea estate in Sri Lanka. They are inmates of the Kottapattu refugee camp here. Besides a good number of Eelam Tamils, the camp houses nearly 100 families of plantation workers who arrived here after losing everything in the civil war that broke out more..