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Global Chinese firm launches first real estate project in Sri Lanka

Oct 10 (Xinhua) Global Chinese manufacturing firm AVIC International launched their first real estate project in Sri Lanka to build a four tower structure with 602 luxury apartments, an official said here Friday. The project will focus on building one of the largest apartment building projects in post-war Sri Lanka. It is also the first real estate project launched jointly by a Chinese company in collaboration with SL's govt. more..

Rs.6 mn fraud: CID arrests pension officer

Oct 10 (DM) CID has arrested the Kegalle Pradeshiya Sabha Pensions Officer in connection with some Rs.6.3 million fraud. Investigations had revealed that the suspect identified as Neil Jayasinghe of Pilimathalawa had fraudulently credited the money allocated for pensioners to his personal account. The arrest was carried out after several complaints were received by the CID. The investigators found that Jaysinghe’s account showed a credit balance of Rs.6.38 million. more..

SLFP will develop East

Oct 10 (CT) The SLFP organizer for the Paddiruppu area, in the Eastern Province, Chanakyan Rasamanickam, welcomed the TNA's agitation for the legitimate rights of the Tamils in the North and East. In spite, he said the SLFP will continue to focus on developing the Eastern Province and uplift the lives of the down trodden in the region. Chanakyan Rasamanickam is the son of late ITAK stalwart of the Eastern Province S.M. Rasamanickam. Chanakyan spoke at more..

Sri Lanka lifts temporary ban on some Fonterra product sales after tests

Oct 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has lifted a temporary ban on the sale of some Anchor milk powder made by New Zealand-based Fonterra after local tests showed it did not cause illness in children, a government official said on Friday. The govt last week halted the sale and distribution of Anchor powder from three batches after some children who consumed the product fell ill. "The director general of health today said that the sample tests have more..

UNP coup in Uva PC flops as JVP refuses to support

Oct 10 (Island) JVP refused to cooperate with the UNP to appoint opposition members to the posts of Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Uva PC when the newly elected council had its inaugural session. UPFA Badulla District member A.M. Buddhadasa was proposed by Chief Minister Shasheendra Rajapaksa for the Chairman post while veteran UNP member from the same district Upali Samaraweera was proposed by R.M. Rathnayaka. more..

Opposition tantrums over Dy Minister’s brevity

Oct 10 (Island) Opposition MPs expressed their displeasure and hollered at Provincial Councils and Local Govt Deputy Minister Indika Bandaranayake when he failed to explain to the House the objectives of amendments made to four bills presented to Parliament by his ministry. Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardena after announcing the four Bills namely Municipal Councils (Amendment) Bill, Urban Councils (Amendment) Bill, Pradeshiya Sabha (Amendment) Bill, Local Authorities more..

Sri Lanka to implement most of post war recommendations

Oct 10 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan govt said it will not fully implement the recommendations of a post war commission despite calls to do so by the international community. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that of the 180 recommendations made by the LLRC, govt will implement 144 recommendations. "Govt has already implemented 45 recommendations and is in the process of implementing others stage by stage" more..

Dons put student union in straitjacket

Oct 10 (Island) Colombo University Arts Faculty Board yesterday decided to resume lectures from Monday on the strict condition that the Students Council members obey teachers and refrain from causing trouble. The Faculty Board that met with all department heads attending also decided to take legal action against the troublemakers in the future. The Colombo University Arts Faculty lecturers have refrained from teaching since Thursday in protest against the unruly behaviour of more..

Keheliya accuses British PM and Ranil

Oct 10 (CG) A top Govt Minister today accused British Prime Minister David Cameron of working on a contract issued by pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora. Cabinet Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that Cameron’s links with the diaspora was clear through his actions during the Commonwealth summit in Colombo last year. During the summit the British Prime Minister had raised concerns over Sri Lanka’s human rights record and backed calls for an international investigation. more..

Playboy model apologises over photos

Oct 10 (DM) German model Nasia Jansen, who had posed next to a Buddha statue in a defamatory manner, posted a twitter message apologising for her actions and said she had removed the photos. The pictures defamatory of Buddhism had appeared in an online version of an American Magazine called Playboy. She said “I never meant to disrespect the Buddha, when I work I have to pose wherever I get told to pose, more..

University hostels are star class – SB

Oct 10 (CT) Complaints made by the Sabaragamuwa University students, pertaining to hostel issues, are baseless, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. "We have built all hostels with three or four star hotel facilities. These hostels are provided with well equipped kitchens, TV rooms and study rooms among others. Nobody can make allegations with regard to the standards, as it certainly is not substandard. I invite you to go and see for yourself," he invited. more..

Parliament: Wijeyadasa fails to present anti-tobacco Bill

Oct 10 (Island) UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe was barred from presenting a Bill titled ‘Bill to amend National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act No 27, 2006’ as he was late to arrive in Parliament yesterday. When Deputy Speaker called MP Rajapakshe’s name at the commencement of public business to introduce the Bill, the latter was absent. Minutes later, at the time for Notice of Motions and Orders of the day, the MP rushed to the House and took his seat. more..

U.S. govt support for new hospital for Akkarayankulam in Kilinochchi district

Oct 10 (USE) U.S. Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Andrew C. Mann is planning to join Dr. P. Sathiyalingan, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Northern Provincial Council, for a personal tour of the Akkaryankulam Divisional Hospital tomorrow, Oct 11. The tour will be guided by hospital Director Dr. Chandrika Basnayake. On Sunday, Oct 12, Chargé d'Affaires Mann will join President Rajapaksa for formal opening ceremonies. more..

50,000 letters backed up following Sri Lankan railway strike

Oct 10 (Xinhua) The trade unions of Sri Lanka's Postal Department said on Friday that over 500,000 letters had been accumulated due to a railway workers' strike ahead of the World Postal Day. Over 200 employees of the department traveled to the northern town of Jaffna for the World Postal Day celebrations on Thursday and senior officials had also focused on the train strike. Thousands of Sri Lankan train commuters were stranded Thursday and Friday as workers of more..

Afghan expat strangles to death ‘cheating’ Sri Lankan girlfriend

Oct 10 (ATO) An Afghani expatriate was arrested for strangling his 33- year old Sri Lankan girlfriend to death using an electrical wire. According to security sources, when the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information about the murder of a woman in Fahaheel area, securitymen rushed to the location to find the corpse of a Sri Lankan woman. Forensics officers found bite marks as well as marks of strangulation on the corpse and conducted necessary investigations. more..

LJS threatens to sue Polls Chief

Oct 10 (CT) Lawyers for a Just Society (LJS) informed the Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya that they would take the Commissioner to Court if he were to call for nominations for an upcoming presidential election. They claimed that the incumbent President Rajapaksa had no legal right to contest a third term, and it would be against the law for the Commissioner to call for an election, more..

Wigi will boycott Mahinda’s Jaffna meet

Oct 10 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran says he will boycott the District Development Meeting in Jaffna on Monday to be attended by President Rajapaksa. Wigneswaran had been invited by the President to attend the meeting when the President visits the North. In a letter to the President, a copy of which was made available to the media, Wigneswaran said that Northern Provincial Council was neither consulted or informed of the agenda of the meeting. more..

Budget debate: Opposition wants more time

Oct 10 (DM) Opposition, yesterday, urged the govt to increase the number of days allotted for the budget debate. The govt advanced the budget debate this year and allotted only 20 days for it, comprising five days for the second reading and 15 for the committee stage or third reading. However, the UNP and JVP said more days should be allotted. This had been discussed at the party leaders' meeting,. It is reported that the UNP had asked for seven days for the second reading and more..

Blood ivory on Sri Lanka’s hands

Oct 10 (TA) Sri Lanka has been urged to ­destroy a huge stockpile of blood ivory seized more than two years ago, amid fears the President intends to place it under his control. Conservationists have written to Mahinda Rajapaksa demanding that the 359 elephant tusks, worth about $2.6 million and originally poached in Tanzania, be publicly burnt to demonstrate Sri Lanka’s opposition to the global ivory trade. more..

An open mind Keeps Learning

Oct 11 (Island) I became a grandmother last month - Anasuyaa which means "without envy"- and that introduced me to yet another Hindu avatar Dattatreya, the son of Anasuyaa and Sage Atri. Dattatreya is regarded as an incarnation of all three- Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. While his birthplace is regarded as Mahur, Maharashtra some sources claim that he was born in Kashmir jungles near Amarnath. Guru Gobind Singh writes in the Dasam Granth that Dattatreya was an incarnation of more..

Law; The Language of the elite

Oct 11 (CT) The Legal Council of Sri Lanka has made a decision to hold its examinations only in English, meaning Sinhala and Tamil medium students of Sri Lanka Law College will now be required to answer for papers in English, meaning a majority of students of Sri Lanka Law College will now be compelled to understand and write in a language that most Sri Lankans are not very familiar with, the colonial ghost that we all revere, English. Argument against this decision is very plain, more..

Navy thwarts largest gold smuggling attempt

Oct 11 (SO) The smooth waters off the coast of Jaffna were ruffled - a dinghy was moving rather suspiciously in the smooth waters giving the Sri Lanka Customs the opportunity to make its hundredth detection in Jaffna. The cooperation of Customs officials who were advised to increase surveillance and intelligence in busting gold smugglers is at a high level as the rewards made to officials who lead to successful more..

Ethics and Religion

Oct 11 (NS) Most ordinary people believe that there is no morality where there is no religion. Irreligious people are immoral, they think. This feeling is strong particularly among those who belong to god-based religions. Rational thinkers, who are profoundly concerned with ethics, hold that this is a wrong view. But we have evidence to believe that ‘irreligious’ people (here meaning people following no religion) are probably more conscientiously ethical than the average professors of religion. more..

The inflation of Sajith Premadasa

Oct 11 (NS) Dayan Jayatilleka in an article titled ‘The Uva effect and the Presidency’ argues against the UNP fielding Ranil Wickremesinghe as its presidential candidate in a repeat of the 2005 face-off with Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has, with the use of a few important statistics, shot down the notion of a UNP resurgence that some commentators have seen in the Uva result. While offering that the UNP does not have anyone who could best Rajapaksa, Dayan offers that it is possible more..

'The UNP must not miss this opportunity'

Oct 11 (Island) UNP Working Committee member and former Education Minister Karunasena Kodituwakku speaks to C.A. Chandraprema about the most suitable candidate from the opposition to challenge Mahinda Rajapaksa and the opportunity that has opened up for the UNP after the Uva PC election. Q: There seems to be much confusion within the UNP about the candidate for the upcoming presidential election. more..

The Monk and the Peasant

Oct 11 (Island) I must thank the President of the YMBA for inviting me to speak on Professor J.B. Disanayaka’s book "The Monk and the Peasant". Seventy, or so, years ago my father D.T. Devendra was Editor of the YMBA Journal The Buddhist. He decided to invite me to review some of the books he had received. I was then an undergraduate student of Professor Ludowyk and, as such, I must admit that my reviews tended to be over critical and rather short of Buddhist compassion, more..

Sri Lankan Muslims at cross roads

Oct 11 (Island) I believe that in the present series of articles I have established, beyond reasonable dispute, that the two issues that supposedly constitute existential threats to the Sinhalese, namely Muslim extremism and Muslim population growth, are really non-problems. The other issues that have been bedeviling Sinhalese-Muslims relations, sometimes for decades, can be settled quite easily or at least without much difficulty, provided that the Govt has the will to take more..

Nimalka Fernando

2015 Presidential Election: A shared opposition strategy and common candidate

Oct 11 (CT) The voters of Uva sent a clear and powerful message to President Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR), Opposition and the country at large. That is that the “Emperor (MR) has no clothes!” Up until Uva MR was seen as politically/electorally invincible. That myth collapsed with Uva. The risk is that the opposition, UNP and Ranil Wickramasinghe (RW) in particular, would mishandle the situation helping MR to wear his clothes back and make a comeback! It is up to the opposition in general more..

Brandix supports ‘National Safety and Health Conference’

Oct 11 (Island) The Brandix Group has extended its support to the 2014 National Occupational Safety & Health Conference organised by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as part of this year’s National Safety Week programme. This is the fifth successive year that Brandix is playing the role of Main Sponsor of the programme, and the seventh time overall that the Group is supporting events conducted for the National Safety Week initiative. more..

Rodrigo breaks away from Lakmali in disappointment

Oct 11 (Island) Veteran coach A.J. Rodrigo has broken away from his trainee and national javelin record holder Nadeeka Lakmali after her disappointing performance at the recently held Asian Games, where the Olympian produced a below par feat to be placed fifth. Serious lack of focus by the athlete during the Asian Games is cited as the reason for her failure to live up to expectations. Lakmali, with a seasonal best average more..

Fitch downgrades Softlogic Holdings

Oct 11 (Island) Fitch Ratings has downgraded Softlogic Holdings’s (SHL) National Long-Term Rating to ‘BBB-(lka)’ from ‘BBB+(lka)’. Fitch has also downgraded the National Long-Term Rating on SHL’s senior unsecured redeemable debentures to ‘BBB-(lka)’ from ‘BBB+(lka)’. The ratings have been placed on Rating Watch Negative (RWN). The two-notch downgrade reflects the aggressive investments and capital structure and the weaknesses in SHL’s liquidity profile and more..

G.G. Ponnambalam defending Karunanidhi

Oct 11 (CT) India's eminent lawyer, Ram Jethmalani, who had succeeded, a few months ago, in rescuing Murugan, Shanthan and Perarivalan, the three convicted, in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, from the hangman's rope and ensured they got only life imprisonment, had failed to obtain bail for former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who is now serving a four-year jail term, in a disproportionate assets case, at the Parappana Agrakara Prison in Karnataka. more..

'Investing in Sri Lanka, a value proposition'

Oct 11 (Island) Recent economic growth in Sri Lanka achieved in an ideal political climate backed by the wide penetration of new technology has made Sri Lanka a 'value proposition' for potential global investors, and as a provider of Securities Services in cross-border transactions, we'd be happy to work with such parties, Philippe Dirckx Managing Director, Regional Head of Citi Securities Services said in Colombo. more..

Nawaloka buys 68% of Millennium Housing

Oct 11 (FT) Nawaloka Holdings yesterday bought 68% controlling interest in Millennium Housing Developers for Rs. 459 million with the seller Nation Lanka Finance booking hefty capital gain. Nawaloka Construction bought 53 million shares or 39.35% stake at Rs. 5 per share and related party Ceyoka bought 38 million shares or 28.28% stake. Latter is an associate of Nawaloka Holdings. Buyer and seller and acquired company share one or more common directors. more..

Vital step to empower teenage girls

Oct 11 (Island) Ericsson joined hands with Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel and the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) to deliver Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training to teenage girls from farming communities through ‘Connect To Learn.’ The MoU was signed between Ericsson, OUSL and Mobitel recently. ‘Connect To Learn’ is a public-private partnership that involves the use of ICT solutions to promote universal access to a quality secondary education more..

Aerial whale watching tours from December

Oct 11 (Island) Simplifly, the helicopter, floatplane and aircraft operator, is launching their second season of whale watching tours by aircraft from Dec 1, this year. Operating from Koggala airfield, guests will board Simplfly’s luxury eight-seat Airvan aircraft and fly to the marine shelf for a bird’s eye view of the world’s largest animal—the magnificent blue whale. The aerial tour will also allow guests to enjoy a view of more..

Sri Lanka, Australia Foreign Ministers discuss bilateral issues

Oct 11 (FT) Minister G.L. Peiris, who is in Perth, Australia, has held bilateral discussions with Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, the External Affairs Ministry said. The two Foreign Ministers met at the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Ministerial Meeting in Perth, and discussed a wide range of issues that are of mutual interest to both countries. The discussions covered all aspects of the bilateral relationship, in particular the revamped Colombo Plan, more..

Champika’s development investment plan to support mid-income families

Oct 11 (ST) A development investment plan to support middle income families is to be inaugurated by Technology, Research and Atomic Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka at the BMICH on Tuesday (7). This plan will be formulated with the assistance of 500 experts and scientists of various fields. “Though Sri Lanka has had an open economy for 40 years, we have not been able to reach the per capita income level of US$ 12,000,” Minister said, explaining the importance of the project. more..

Ian Botham takes his grandchildren to SL

Oct 11 (MO) My initial impression of Sri Lanka? Hot. I first visited in 1982 – when England played their first test match against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Then we went and played in Kandy, in the central province, and it has become one of my favourite places in the whole country. It’s home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), and is the most important spot for Sri Lanka’s Buddhist community. Whole town is steeped in history. more..