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Life amidst death when guns stopped firing

Aug 28 (Scroll) After several wet days, sunshine lit the bunker in patches. No bombers had come that morning, nor had the rain. For the first time in months, Mugil heard birds sing. After sunrise, on 29 January, the Sri Lankan government had announced a forty-eight-hour safe-passage window to allow civilians to move into the Thevipuram no-fire zone. The streets filled with families, bicycles and motorbikes, tractors, trishaws and bullock carts loaded with possessions double their weight. more..

A word from an academic to the new Govt

Aug 28 (GV) Let me first congratulate President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena and the elections commissioner Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya for bringing such an honor to Sri Lanka from across the Globe for the high standard of the General Election 2015. I returned to Sri Lanka and joined the staff of the University of Moratuwa in 2003 mainly to start a research laboratory for field robotics to make some contribution to the humanitarian demining efforts at that time. more..

Yala Park closed for a month due to drought

Aug 28 (DM) Yala National Park will be closed for one month starting from Sept 7 as a result of the extremely low waterfall in the area. The bookings of bungalows would not be allowed for local and foreign visitors during this time. The park will re-open again on Oct 6, provided rains being experienced during this time. However, it should be noted that last year too the park reopening following the dry season had to be extended as more..

Editorial: US backing Sri Lanka

Aug 28 (Island) The US has decided to back Sri Lanka’s domestic war crimes probe. It has also undertaken to move a resolution in Geneva next month, calling upon the UNHRC member states to support that mechanism, we are told. Uncle Sam’s change of heart has come as a surprise! What has really caused the US to soften its stand on Sri Lanka as regards alleged accountability issues? Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal has, addressing the media, attributed US decision more..

BoC leads first half growth: Rs 6.7 b profit

Aug 28 (DN) The Bank of Ceylon (BoC) continued to lead its growth course in first half of 2015 with Rs. 9.1 billion Profit Before Tax (PBT) achieving 6% growth over the previous year. Profit After Tax (PAT) stood at Rs. 6.7 billion resulting in 8% growth. The Group reported Rs. 9 billion PBT resulting in 5% growth over the corresponding period of the previous year and the Bank dominates the results of the Group accounting for 96% of total earnings and 97% of the Group’s assets. more..

Colombo International Maritime Conference

Aug 28 (CT) With the declaration of the first ever maritime week in Sri Lanka by the govt from 21 to 27 Sept, 2015 (which falls in line with the world maritime day UN observance on 24 Sept 2015), the industry is now gearing for a week of activity. The Colombo International Maritime Conference (CIMC 2015) will be the mega event with the participation of 30 international speakers. The maritime sector is considered as one of more..

Dilip Ruwan, Mohamed Ashrof beat odds on damaged Sugathadasa Track

Aug 28 (Island) You need supporters to hold starting blocks when sprinters make starts on damaged synthetic track. Worn out patches are visible everywhere. But none of these odds at the treacherous Sugathadasa Stadium track could hold SLEME’s Mohamed Ashrof and Gemunu Watch’s new national champion Dilip Ruwan from reaching personal best performances in their respective events on the final day of the 52nd Army Athletics Championships on Thursday. more..

Rising of democracy and fading away of autocracy

Aug 28 (FT) The unconventional move of former President Rajapaksa to contest and win the general election failed. The Central Committee of the UPFA has already taken the line of the President and agreed to a National Govt. At the same time, although he was defeated, we should congratulate Rajapaksa for his contribution to form the strongest Opposition against several odds under the second republican Constitution. Rajapaksa was defeated twice during a short span of time period, more..

ADB suggests inflation calculation model

Aug 28 (CT) Asian Development Bank has confirmed that the forward-looking New Keynesian Phillips Curve (NKPC) model of inflation is applicable to Sri Lanka. It was highlighted in ADB's latest South Asia working paper series. The working paper applied the NKPC framework to nonfood inflation in SL during Jan 2006-April 2015. "The objective of this paper is to construct an economic model of inflation for Sri Lanka to understand more..

India dream of redemption at SL fortress

Aug 28 (CI) The SSC's leafy environs and its tributes to the island's cricket history in the form of honours boards, trophies and faded photographs is in many ways a decoy that hides the sturdy heart and the tough skin of the country's cricket. The club's well-heeled (and well-spoken) members, the Cinnamon Gardens set, may float around ground whispering about how things were. Out in the middle, though things have always been very different; the SSC's cricket is soaked with sweat, more..

Uva PC meets for less than ten minutes without a single minister

Aug 28 (Island) Uva Provincial Council sittings lasted less than 10 minutes yesterday as there was no quorum to proceed. The council sittings scheduled to commence at 9.30 am got off to a delayed start at 10.15 am with chairman of the council A.M. Buddhadasa presiding. At that time there were only nine councillors, five UNP members, two UPFA members and two JVP members. Provincial council has 34 members and its quorum is 11. Chairman ran the quorum bell and waited more..

Political crisis brews over foreign nationals in parliament

Aug 28 (EN) Opposition SLFP acknowledged that they risked losing 11 parliamentary seats as it emerged that its lists of candidates for Galle and Matara districts may have been invalid. SLFP's new general secretary Duminda Dissanayake told reporters in Colombo that they were consulting legal opinion after it was discovered that two dual nationals had been fielded as candidates from the party for the two districts. more..

Brandix allocates Rs5 mn for each model village in CSR project

Aug 28 (LBO) Apparel exporter Brandix says it plans to allocate five million rupees for each model village it supports with improved water supply and sanitation facilities under its corporate social responsibility program. The villages are selected within a five kilometre radius of its factories, initially in Polonnaruwa. The program has contributed to nine schools in the district and the Kaduruwela police station, Anusha Alles, Head of CSR of the Brandix Group, said. more..

Pelwatte Dairies moots Butter-Oil pact with Iran

Aug 28 (DN) For the first time in Sri Lankan history Pelwette Sugar is looking to ink a Butter - Oil pact with Iran. Pelwatte Dairies, Managing Director Ariyaseela Wickramanayake, said for the first time they have a surplus of butter manufactured at the factory in Buttala, Moneragala. “I have contacted the Commerce Ministry and they have positively responded for this proposal.” “We hope to export 100 tonnes of butter per year which would be Halal certified.” more..

India officially gifts Coast Guard Ship to SL

Aug 28 (SLN) Ceremonial handing over of the former Indian Coast Guard Ship Varaha, which had been in service with Sri Lanka Navy as SL Naval Ship Sagara since 2006, took place at the port of Colombo on 27th Aug in keeping with naval customs and traditions. Indian High Commissioner, Y.K. Sinha handed over the ship on behalf of Govt of India and Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, B.M.U.D. Basnayake accepted more..

First Embark store in Galle Fort

Aug 28 (CT) Embark, entrepreneur philanthropist Otara Gunewardene's unique fashion brand with a cause, has forayed into independent retail with the opening of its first stand-alone store in Sri Lanka in the picturesque Galle Fort. With a completely new look, the 5,500 square ft. vibrant Embark store at 33, Lighthouse Street brings to life the pooch-inspired themes of the brand and features new additions to the collection of stylish clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women and children. more..

Taiwan wants to do more business with SL

Aug 28 (Island) Taiwan says it wants to do more business with Sri Lanka, according to the president and CEO of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council Peter Huang, who visited the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Monday. "Taiwan plays a vital role in development of SMEs, not only trade but also services and tourism. Therefore, we wish to invite companies in Sri Lanka to further expand their business activities in Taiwan" said Huang during the meeting with the Chamber. more..

Longer wait for new Cabinet

Aug 28 (FT) National Unity Govt continued to show teething problems with a further delay expected in the appointment of the new cabinet of ministers as the tussle for portfolios between the SLFP and the UNP continues and the Govt navigates a legislative blockade on the number of Ministers allowed by the Constitution. UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema said that the Cabinet would be sworn in on 2 Sept, but more..

First stock market road show under MS-RW Yahapalana regime in October

Aug 28 (FT) The first ever capital market road show in the new era of President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe Yahapalanaya will be held in October. Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka said that the first road show will be held in Zurich on 27th October followed by in London from 29 and 30th. The last road show in the successful series initiated under the previous regime was in New York. He said a more opportune time was anticipated before rolling out more..

Court extends enjoining orders against Dialog, Nawaloka in eChanneling cases

Aug 28 (FT) Commercial High Court extended the enjoining orders issued on 13 Aug on Dialog Axiata Plc and Nawaloka Hospitals Plc in the cases filed by eChanneling Plc. The original enjoining order was until 27 August and the cases were heard before Commercial High Court Colombo Judge E.A.G.R. Amarasekera yesterday. Dialog Axiata, which was represented by Counsel A. Rodrigo instructed by FJ&G De Saram, filed motions and sought a vacation of the enjoining order issued. more..

'US policy shift aimed at strengthening new govt'

Aug 28 (Island) Former UPFA MP Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha said that the anticipated change in US policy towards Sri Lanka was aimed at strengthening the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration. The US policy shift was not at all surprising because the Obama administration had, in no uncertain terms, made known its desire to effect a regime change in Sri Lanka, he said. He was responding to the US declaration that it would more..

New Zealand to host Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia in home summer

Aug 28 (AFP) New Zealand Cricket announced details of upcoming tours involving Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia, as the team seeks to capitalise on their stirring run to the World Cup final. The international action over the New Zealand summer will feature four Tests, 11 ODIs and five Twenty20s. NZ’s cricket team enjoyed a surge in popularity in the rugby-mad nation when they reached the World Cup final in March, a tournament they co-hosted with Australia. more..

Kandy Crush: Loved by millions

Aug 28 (TR) It was a warm sunny evening of April 2014. India was playing Sri Lanka in World T20 final and were clear favourites to win the game and cash in on the coveted Cup. However, one man passionately stood between victory and India: Kumar Sangakkara. The run maestro and man of the match scored an unbeaten half century and brought Sri Lanka the World Cup which had eluded them ever since the magical performance of Arjuna Ranatunga’s side in 1996. more..

'UNP, SLFP National Govt MoU in tact'

Aug 28 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that there was no change in the UNP-SLFP MoU to establish a national govt. The new Cabinet comprising members of UNP-led UNF and SLFP would be sworn in after the eighth Parliament convenes on Sept 1, said Rajapakshe, who was one of the three ministers appointed by President Sirisena earlier this week, in view of a US delegations visit. more..

Free entry for schools at SSC Test

Aug 28 (NS) SLC is inviting all school cricketers and schoolboys to come and support the Sri Lankan team when they play their final Test match against India at the SSC starting Friday. The entrance for all school cricketers and schoolboys will be free of charge for this special occasion. School principals are requested to inform the school children to make use of this offer. School cricketers and schoolboys are requested to come in their respective school uniform to receive Free Entry to the venue, more..

MoD issues detention order on suspects

Aug 28 (DM) The Defence Ministry issued a detention order to detain and interrogate the four army personnel arrested in connection with the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, the Ministry said. Two lieutenant colonels, a staff sergeant and a corporal were arrested on Monday by the CID over the disappearance of Mr. Ekneligoda. They were arrested and remain in custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Earlier, CID had arrested 3 persons, more..

Tony Blair identifies seven principles for Sri Lanka’s reconciliation

Aug 28 (LBO) Former British PM Tony Blair delivering the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture recently outlined seven principles for a successful reconciliation process. “I think I can identify, based on my experience not only in Northern Ireland but elsewhere, seven principles of successful reconciliation,” First principle is the continued absence of conflict, Blair revealed. “For reconciliation to succeed, you should never more..

Sri Lanka end Mubarak experiment: Kusal Janith to make debut

Aug 28 (Island) Sri Lanka have finally decided to move on with youth in the post Kumar Sangakkara era as exciting young wicketkeeper batsman Kusal Janith will make his debut in the deciding third Test against India at SSC today. At 34, the recall of Mubarak for the national side attracted much criticism, but the selectors and team management persisted with him at the expense of the in-form Kusal Janith. It was argued that Mubarak’s experience with the team rebuilding more..

Jump in cancer patients

Aug 28 (DN) Around 15,000 new cancer patients have been detected from Sri Lanka. Ten years ago, only around 8000 new cancer patients were detected annually, cancer specialists attached to the Maharagama Cancer Institute said. They said around 500 cancer patients seek treatment daily from the Maharagama Cancer Institute while another 1,000 receive in-house treatment. "Annually around 3,000 female cancer patients die in Sri Lanka due to breast and pelvic cancer which more..

China, India to take part in military exercise

Aug 28 (CG) China and India will take part in the joint military exercise Cormorant Strike VI – 2015, together with more than 2000 tri-service personnel and representative military officers from foreign countries. Major General Jagath Dias, said that the mock Field Training Exercise (FTX) focused on the employment of Special Operations Forces (SOF) in order to provide basis to launch ground operations will commence from Pulmudai to more..

Virginia horror lessons for Sri Lanka

Aug 28 (DM) For the first time on Planet Earth, a real life double murder was seen live on television when Two TV journalists were shot dead in the midst of a live telecast in Virginia on Wednesday-- the victims of an attack by a disgruntled former reporter who was apparently suffering from some mental imbalance. Hundreds of millions of people all over the world were shocked and horrified when they saw the pretty, young and creative reporter Alison Parker (24) and photo journalist more..

Controversy over national list nominations

Aug 28 (DM) Nomination of MPs from the National List after the election has been the bone of contention these days in many political parties. ACMC of former Minister Rishard Bathiutheen has even suspended the party’s General Secretary Y.L.S. Hameed following his criticism of the party leader for nominating M.H.M. Navavi for the sole National List slot they got. Former UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha too cites the controversy over National List nominations more..

Accident or otherwise? It leaked diesel on election day

Aug 28 (DM) At around 6 a.m. on elections day the operations officer at the Ambatale water treatment plant noticed a patch of oil floating in the Kelani River. As this was an occasional occurrence he let it pass. However as the oil had continued to flow even after a lapse of 30 minutes, immediate measures were taken to shut down the plant and stop pump water from the river. Amidst rumours of suspected sabotage Coca Cola Company more..

Victors bask in new found glory as vanquished lick their wounds

Aug 28 (ST) Of those who contested the elections, over 40 lost their seats. While most of them were from the UPFA, there were others from the UNP, JVP and the ITAK. Sunday Times spoke to some of the winners and losers who had been defeated despite years of experience as politicians. Young UNP MP Mayantha Dissanayake from Kandy said the 2013 Provincial Council election had been a good experience for his campaign. more..

Justice delayed is justice denied!

Aug 28 (SL) Journalists have been victimised since they started exposing corruption and especially the wrong leadership of the former regime. Bygone incidents that took place during the former govt had damaged properties and brutally wiped out so many journalists’ lives including the founding editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge. Wickrematunge’s brutal assassination on Jan 8, 2009 shocked nation. more..

Domestic probe will do bidding of US: PNM

Aug 28 (Island) President of PNM Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera that the domestic probe into allegations of war crimes levelled against Sri Lanka, backed by the US, would actually be an international investigation to be conducted according to the diktats of the US. "The investigation will be conducted according to their rules and regulations under the supervision of persons appointed by the US and the report will be submitted making more..

Sea erosion threatens surfers' paradise

Aug 28 (CT) Several tourist resorts in the coastal areas of Arugambay and Ulle in the Pottuvil region are threatened extensively due to sea erosion. Arugambay is one of the internationally renowned areas for sea surfing in the South East Asia. A significant number of sea surfers including the veterans in the sports visit Arugambay since the ethnic strife ended in the North and East in 2009. Several scenic locations such as the Kumana more..

We can form a govt, says SLFP Gen. Secy

Aug 28 (Island) Powerful ministerial posts would be given to both UNP and SLFP elected MPs in the national govt, SLFP Acting General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said. He said that besides the SLFP several other political parties had already expressed their desire to join the national govt. He said CWC leader Arumugan Thondaman and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda had decided to extend their support to more..

New six lane bridge to be built next to Kelani bridge

Aug 28 (DN) The govt is mulling a proposal to build a new six-lane bridge over the Kelani River adjacent to the existing Kelani Bridge (Japan Friendship Bridge) at a cost of Rs. 45 billion linking Colombo-Katunayake Expressway and Baseline road. The objective of this project is to ease traffic congestion around the Peliyagoda area and Baseline Road thereby contributing to the improvement of transportation more..

JVP’s demand for parliamentary debate on national govt granted

Aug 28 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had decided to postpone the swearing in of the new Cabinet of Ministers to Sept 04, sources said. It was earlier agreed to have the swearing in on Sept. 2. The decision to postpone the date had been taken at the request of JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who had asked for a one-day debate in Parliament on the national govt and more..