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Back to the people, the Uva message

Oct 2 (SL) Enough has been written about the results and impact of the Uva PC elections since polling and counting concluded a week ago. Barring the fact that the inevitability of anti-incumbency is catching up with the ruling SLFP-UPFA at the Centre as also in the Province, arguments proffered on every side is stale and self-defeating, particularly if one thought that the presidential polls are round the corner. Facts speak for themselves. Uva is the smallest Province in the country. more..

The H-Factor in Uva

Oct 2 (NS) Some months ago when there was talk of Harin Fernando giving up his parliamentary seat to come forward as the UNP’s Chief Ministerial Candidate for Uva, there was one rather talkative man who pooh-poohed the notion. ‘Just a media show – he will not contest,’ he was convinced. He offered instead that the UNP should find ‘a suitable candidate,’ meaning that Harin was not the deal. more..

The malaise of justice

Oct 2 (CT) Another week... Another death in Police custody... Or to be more precise, another suspect 'shot, while attempting to escape from custody', or 'drowned by jumping into a river after escaping'. The public doesn't care too much when a known thug, murderer, drug dealer or rapist is liquidated. In fact, most of us tacitly support such killings, on the grounds that society is better off without these nefarious individuals, and that the justice system is impotent in dealing with them. more..

Buttterfly: Stories of SL child soldiers

Oct 2 (CT) When I lived in Berlin, I often shopped at a nearby Turkish supermarket and was on easy terms with those working there. One day I came upon a young man who, while stacking the shelves, was singing to himself, quietly but with much feeling. Not knowing Turkish, I asked whether he was singing about love. In turn he asked earnestly, “Was sonst, Habibi? Was sonst?” What else, indeed! Perhaps not consciously, the young man had recognised that ‘the urge to merge’, to more..

Turned Back to Torture?

Current world natural rubber position and future prospects

Oct 2 (DM) The most recent rubber Industry report of IRSG indicates that a negative growth of natural rubber (NR0 production in the face of steady rate of NR consumption has created a large deficit in the world NR market in 2014, which suggests future performance of NR market would not be as bad as was expected. The global economy continues to recover. The Euro area’s GDP is projected to grow by 1.2% in 2014, while the USA’s economy contracted in Quarter 1 (Q1) 2014, but more..

Low credit growth Uncertainty keeps borrowers at bay

Oct 2 (DM) Despite Central Bank’s (CB) push to cut lending rates, the broad uncertainty prevailing in the market over the ability to sustain low interest rates in the foreseeable future is seen keeping prospective borrowers at bay, leading to low demand for credit. According banking sector analyst at Softlogic Stockbrokers, Asanka Ranasinghe, there was some uncertainty among the SME’s and consumers if these low rates would stabilize in the medium term. “However, now there is some positivity in more..

Sri Lanka CERT|CC puts cyber security in national spotlight

Oct 2 (FT) The 7th Annual National Conference on Cyber Security kicked off yesterday at the BMICH, highlighting some key challenges as well measures taken locally and globally to address the threats. Several foreign and local experts shared key insights at the conference attended by local as well as overseas delegates from several parts of the world. The Chief Guest was Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. more..

SriLankan wins big at Oracle OpenWorld

Oct 2 (CT) National carrier SriLankan Airlines was awarded the Industry Excellence Award by Oracle, under the travel and transportation category. Apart from SriLankan Airlines, American Airlines was the only other carrier to receive this award. Japan's aero-engine manufacturing giant IHI (Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries) and APL Logistics from America won the other two awards in the category. The integration of Operational Data Store (ODS) from Oracle into SriLankan's existing more..

FTAs must bring FDI

Oct 2 (CT) Sri Lanka could get the best out of the existing free trade agreement (FTA) with India and the yet-to-be-finalised FTA with China only if foreign direct investments (FDI) were attracted from these economies and 'remedies' were put in place to affectively safeguard trade, a think tank said. "The full potential of gaining preferential access to a combined market to 2.5 billion people (China/India) cannot be realized without a dramatic increase in FDI, mostly from these 2 countries. more..

$ 75 m French and Dutch funding for NDB

Oct 2 (FT) PROPARCO, a French development finance institution, has allocated a $ 60 m credit line to National Development Bank (NDB), with an additional $ 15 m from its Dutch counterpart, FMO, under a joint facility to support the financing of projects in the renewable energies, agro-industry and water supply sectors. This financing has been syndicated by PROPARCO and will support the activity of one of SL’s largest banks. more..

China Shipping Container Line to Colombo

Oct 2 (FT) Local shipping industry; already the luckiest beneficiary of Chinese investment in Sri Lanka, will get a further boost when China Shipping Container Line (CSCL) resumes calling Port of Colombo soon, the industry sources reveals. CSCL one of the top container shipping lines in China and in the world is reported to have teamed up with CMA CGM; the third biggest container carrier in the world and the UASC; the strongman in the Gulf sector. The new alliance; known as Ocean Three, more..

Sri Lankan fishermen brought to Tuticorin

Oct 2 (Hindu) The detained Sri Lankan fishermen and their two boats were brought to Tuticorin on Wednesday evening. As the Sri Lankan fishermen in two boats were found to be fishing in the Indian waters off the coast of Kanyakumari on Tuesday, Indian Coast Guard ship Vaibhav detained the vessels along with 12 fishermen from Thoduvava in Sri Lanka and five tonnes of fish. The fishermen and the boats were brought to the Tuticorin port around 4 p.m. on Wednesday. more..

Sri Lanka continue to disappoint in Athletics

Oct 2 (DM) Javelin thrower Nadeeka Lakmali came a cropper shattering Sri Lanka’s hope for an athletic medal in Incheon in a yet another disappointing day for Sri Lanka here at the XVII Asian Games on Wednesday. 33-year-old Lakmali, considered Sri Lanka’s best bet for a medal in Incheon performed well below expectations finishing fifth with a best of 57.71 meters. It was more than two and half metres short of her more..

Weekly Treasury bill auction rejected for first time in 3 years

Oct 2 (FT) All bids at yesterday’s weekly Treasury bill auction were rejected for the first time in three years as total bids received amounted to a 28-month high of Rs 75.64 billion. Wealth Trust Securities said following the outcome of the auction results, the decreasing trend in secondary market bond yields witnessed during morning hours of trade was seen reversing as yields were seen edging up considerably. It said activity was at its highest levels across yield curve with two 2018 maturities more..

Failed Japanese unit helps husband-and-wife team launch artificial flowers’ business

Oct 2 (ST) The bankruptcy of a Japanese artificial flower manufacturing company has turned out to be a fortune for a Sri Lanka entrepreneur, not because the latter took over the manufacturing, but he made use of the knowledge and experience he obtained while working in the factory. It is the success story for that matter. Now the only local manufacturer of artificial flowers – Nandana Maliyadewa, and in his endeavour he is not alone, as their prosperity is a joint effort with his wife, Chithra Lalani. more..

WFP assists communities affected by drought in Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (WFP) WFP is providing food or cash for approximately 190,000 people in urgent need of assistance. A WFP-led Rapid Drought Assessment estimates that as many as 770,000 people have been affected by the drought, which has resulted in the loss of about one third of the paddy harvest in parts of the country. "WFP is always determined to assist people affected by climate shock in Sri Lanka and more..

Govt. to establish a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment

Oct 2 (GDI) Proposal made by Minister G.L. Peiris, to establish the Indian Ocean Rim Association's (IORA) Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and Environment in Sri Lanka in consultation and collaboration with local stakeholders, the IORA Secretariat and IORA Member States and to proceed with the related activities was approved by the Cabinet. Sri Lanka in June hosted a workshop for the IORA member to discuss the modalities of establishing the Centre of Excellence (CoE). more..

Top corporates in Lanka’s first industrial energy push

Oct 2 (GDI) “As our industries were affected during last year’s power price hikes, to support them my Ministry has launched Sri Lanka’s first ever Industrial Estate Energy Efficiency Programme recently. The selected manufacturers will reduce their annual energy usage by as much as 20% by the end of this year” said a satisfied Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, recently in Colombo. Several top Lankan manufacturing firms have been enlisted in the first ever industrial energy initiative. more..

SLT's submarine cable system starts deployment

Oct 2 (FT) Sri Lanka Telecom announced that the new South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe (SEA-ME-WE 5) submarine cable system, a multi-regional superhighway enters the operational implementation phase after the “coming into force” fulfillments that have totally been met. SEA-ME-WE 5 will now enter its execution stage as it relies on strong commitment and large upfront funding from its consortium members. more..

Sri Lanka U19 make it 2-0 with thumping win

Oct 2 (DN) The Sri Lanka U19 cricket team helped by a terrific hundred (127 off 103 balls) by Avishka Fernando and impressive bowling performance by Keshan Wijeratne (4 for 38) and Charith Asalanka (3 for 32) recorded a 80-run win over Australia U19 in the fourth one-day game of the five-match series, played at the Colts Cricket grounds, Colombo yesteray. Sri Lanka leading the series 2-0. Fernando, the 16-year-old right hander anchored the Lankan Youth innings with a solid century more..

Sri Lanka to focus on Geriatrics Medicine

Oct 2 (DN) Sri Lanka will take measures to commence training Geriatricians (consultants in medical care for elderly) next year since the demand is increasing rapidly with the 14% aged population today expected to reach 22% by 2031. The Sri Lanka Association of Geriatrics Medicine said that the health sector has to focus on the issue if the country needs to successfully face the challenge ahead as the country does not have a single such Consultant in Geriatric Medicine. more..

'Fair pricing formula essential'

Oct 2 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka said that a pricing formula for Sri Lanka's energy sector should be the foremost objective of any political propaganda during the next national election. He stated that an issue far more important than the abolition of the executive presidency is that of finding a solution to the country's energy crisis through a fair pricing formula that would have a positive impact on the masses. more..

Say hello to Anu and Rada

Oct 2 (CT) As part of World Children's Day celebrations, a competition was held at the Dehiwala Zoo to name two abandoned leopard cubs, rescued from the wild, yesterday. The female leopard cub was named Anu and the male cub Rada because they were brought to the National Zoological Gardens (NZG) from Anuradhapura. The Young Zoologist Association (YZA) members picked about 10 to 20 entries submitted by visitors in the naming game. NZG Director General Anura De Silva, more..

UNP proposes foreign pre-polls monitors

Oct 2 (CG) The UNP has urged Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya to have foreign election monitors in place from the day Presidential Elections are announced. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that there is strong speculation that a Presidential election will be held early next year. He said that, keeping this in mind, the UNP met the Elections Commissioner today and discussed the preparations which should be in place once a Presidential Election is announced. more..

'I want my son and not his death certificate'

Oct 2 (CT) A mother of a missing person demanded the Presidential Commission, Investigating complaints on missing persons, to find her son and hand him back to her, instead of issuing a death certificate on the disappearance of her son, who disappeared during last lap of the war in 2009. Sasikala Anthony, the mother, also pleaded with the Commission Chief not to bring the death certificate of her son to her door step. more..

Sri Lanka seizes India-bound gold

Oct 2 (PTI) Two persons were arrested in Sri Lanka today for allegedly smuggling gold slabs weighing 45 kilogrammes to India. The boat was seized in the sea 25 nautical miles west of Mathagal in the Jaffna peninsula, the Sri Lankan Naval spokesman said. The Navy said that the gold was allegedly being smuggled into India. Two persons have been arrested in this connection. On Monday, the Navy had also seized 1.7 kgs of gold hidden in a boat anchored in the Mathagal shore line. more..

SLMC on the fence

Oct 2 (CT) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) maintained neutrality on the issue of a private medical faculty (PMF) being allowed to conduct clinical training for its students in State-run hospitals, but added that the primary objective of State-run hospitals was to produce doctors, through State sponsorship. SLMC President Prof. Carlo Fonseka said that SLMC was neither for nor against private medical college in question. Nonetheless, Council would meet shortly to discuss the issue, more..

'Media shy of reporting positive developments in the country'

Oct 2 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it is wrong to think that the govt gains an undue advantage from the positive developments taking place in the country even though the media rarely gave publicity to these positive developments. He said that the children of today do not have an opportunity to see the good things happening in Sri Lanka though the country boasts of having hundreds of newspapers, television and radio channels. more..

India reacts cautiously to PLAN submarine visit to Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (IHS) India has reacted cautiously to the docking of a People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) submarine in Sri Lanka from 7-14 September. The Type 039 (Song)-class boat, on long-range deployment to escort PLAN warships conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden, docked at the Colombo International Container Terminal, which China funded and helped to build. "We continuously monitor them [the PLAN], see their deployments, and what challenges they pose for us," more..

Undergrad military training kicks off

Oct 2 (CT) The second stage of the fourth phase of the Training Programme, on Development of Leadership Qualities and Positive Thinking (Leadership Training Programme), will commence on Saturday, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. Muslim students participating in the programme will be excused from attending the programme for three days beginning Saturday. This will be in lieu of Hajj due on Monday. The Muslim undergraduates would join the following day Tuesday. more..

Nonis assault; No inquiry yet

Oct 2 (DM) The Govt has still not launched a formal inquiry or investigation into the alleged assault on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Britain, Chris Nonis by MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena. The assault had reportedly taken place at the residence of Dilan Ariyawansa who hosted a dinner for the delegates attending the 68th UNGA in New York. Sajin Vass is the monitoring MP for the Ministry of External Affairs. more..

The power of love and love of power

Oct 2 (DM) In India and all over the world, billions of people will today remember the legendary Mahatma Gandhi on the 67th anniversary of his assassination by a Hindu fanatic who opposed Gandhi’s vision for inter-religious dialogue and unity in diversity. Among the hundreds of gems of Gandhi’s wisdom that is inspiring generations is his saying, that the world will know peace on the day that the power of love overrules the love of power. Though Gandhi was killed, the spirit and vision of more..

Editorial: Leaders as scribes

Oct 2 (Island) US President Barack Obama and Indian PM Narendra Modi have, in a joint op-ed piece in The Washington Post on Tuesday, stressed the need for ‘a new agenda to expand Indo-US ties’ and expressed confidence that the two nations can, through their ‘natural and unique partnership, help shape international security and peace for years to come’. They have also said, "With a reinvigorated level of ambition and greater confidence we can go beyond modest and conventional goals." more..

Regime’s Chintana: A bogus document on mythical promises

Oct 2 (DM) This is the stuff that myths are made of. Agriculture, power and education, three key areas where development could be visible and tangible, are all showing, if not stagnation, certainly a slowing down of pace. Cost of living is spiraling but the Government backed by its main economic loudhailer, the Central Bank is pouring out fictitious facts and figures to buttress its lies and half-truths. more..

Video: Mannaperuma keen to attend the Budget debate

Oct 2 (DM) UNP MP Ajith Mannapperuma whose right leg was amputated after an accident on the Southern Expressway said that he would soon return to Parliament even on crutches or on a wheel-chair to serve the people. “My leg was amputated below the knee and my left knee was also dislocated in the accident. But I am recovering quickly as the doctors at the doctors have been helping me both mentally and physically,” more..

Probe Balapatabendi: JVP

Oct 2 (CT) The JVP threatened to surround the Bribery Commission to protest against its decision not to consider their petition against the Chairman of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), Jagath Balapatabendi, over an alleged misdeed committed while he was a Judge of the Supreme Court. JVP North Central Provincial Councillor, Wasantha Samarasinghe said, they will take action more..

International spotlight on Sri Lanka dimmed

Oct 2 (DM) President Rajapaksa, a day after his return from New York, had an eventful day on Tuesday. First, he swore in the newly elected members of the Uva PC including his nephew Sashindra Rajapaksa as the Chief Minister for his second term. It was followed by the Cabinet session and the meeting with the leaders of political parties in his coalition. On the agenda of the swearing-in ceremony, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva more..

Goan flavour to SL saint's canonisation

Oct 2 (IANS) There will be a Goan flavor to the canonisation of Sri Lanka's first saint, Joseph Vaz, on whom Pope Francis will confer the status when he visits the island nation in January 2015. A native of Goa, then under the Portuguese colonial regime, left in 1686 for what was then called Ceylon to propagate Catholicism in the Dutch-ruled nation, where Calvinism, a major Protestant branch, had begun taking root. more..

SriLankan requalifying for ‘Usually Late’ tag

Oct 2 (ST) More than a quarter of SriLankan Airlines flights were delayed in August amidst reports that the national carrier is slipping up on its punctuality. A majority of delays are listed in official reports as being beyond the control of the company. But industry sources were doubtful, saying that some of the problems cited by the airline can be resolved through realistic scheduling and use of resources. more..