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Sustained economic growth the challenging task in the next decade

June 1 (ST) Sri Lanka’s economic growth that reached 8% in the two years after the war declined to 6.4% in 2012, increased to 7.2% in 2013 and picked up to reach 7.4% in 2014. The economy is expected to grow by only 6.5% this year. Growth may in fact be lower than 6.5% this year owing to political and economic uncertainties, the impending elections and stoppage of foreign funded infrastructure development. What is of concern is not this short-term setback, more..

By Gad, Sir, has the Pukka Sahib of Lanka’s leftists flipped his lid?

June 1 (ST) Suddenly summoning a news conference as if to announce that Elvis is alive and has been spotted leaving the building — in the same way that the former president Rajapaksa told a temple crowd in Bibile last week that he had turned up there to show he was not dead and that appachchi is still alive — the UPFA bearded Vasudeva Nanayakkara, instead, revealed to the gathered media personnel another spot of bizarre news. He announced the grand plan to topple more..

Delimitation issue no excuse

June 1 (SO) The demand for electoral reforms has been gathering momentum, with a large segment of civil society demanding that the 20th Amendment that paves the way to abolish the much criticised preferential voting system, be introduced in Parliament as a matter of urgency. On Thursday several prominent public figures, who participated in a CaFFE media event, reiterated the demand, deeming that the delimitation issue more..

Who is controlling the SLFP?

June 1 (CT) On 16 Jan 2015 former President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, following his unexpected defeat in the presidential election, gave up the leadership of the SLFP and Mr. Maithripala Sirisena who contested against the former president assumed duties as the new leader of the SLFP. Mr. Rajapaksa stated that the reason for relinquishing his leadership of the party was to avoid any possible division in the party. The new leader, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena assumed his duties more..

Vasu, Ranil, & Sumanthiran

June 1 (CT) I once wrote about Pissudewa, Buruwansa, and Gommanpila, the latest incarnations of SL Three Stooges; their hallmark is political farce, chauvinism, and Mahinda-nostalgia. Recently, as we say in the vernacular, Ape Pissudeva went bananas; in front of hapless school children, he displayed his arrogance and vituperative skills by using profanity. Bravo, my friend, you gave a pukka performance! You have concretized and given credence to my hypothesis. more..

Vasu behaving badly

June 1 (CT) Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Leader of the DLF, is generally known as a close friend of the working class. He is famous for eloquence in delivering moving speeches. He is also known to be a friend of politicians of all hues, as well as the media. However, the recent heated argument he had with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in the august Parliament of the country took Vasudeva's articulacy to new heights. more..

Committees: No action, noise only!

June 1 (SL) More than 150 days have passed since the new regime came into power on January 9 this year, but the pledges given during the election campaign, especially by the UNP, seem to be wavering. The assurances to bring culprits to book and ensure good governance appear to be elusive, but the appointment of committees for various issues goes on regardless. The latest are the Central Bank’s 30-year bond issue controversy and the stalled Colombo Port City Project. more..

Enough is enough!

June 1 (SL) The entire country last week continued to mourn the death of Vithya Sivaloganathan who was allegedly gang raped and then brutally murdered in Kayts in the Jaffna Peninsula. This incident shook the country and with that came the wake where protests emerged in many parts of the North breaking the silence. In solidarity with Vithya’s family and the North, a vigil was held last Tuesday at the Kanatta Roundabout in Borella with the participation of many individuals, more..

Vesak in Oregon, USA

SLRFU continues unheeded amidst confusion

June 1 (ST) The office bearers elected two years ago headed by Asanga Seneviratne still continue to carry on their duties at the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) after the second attempt to hold its AGM was put off by the Ministry of Sports two weeks ago. According to the incumbent general secretary of SLRFU, Nalin de Silva they are yet to get a new date from the Ministry of Sports after Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake postponed the AGM, which was due to be held on May 14, indefinitely. more..

Failed international sovereign bond issue

June 1 (Island) Finance Minister and the Governor have claimed that the 10 year International Sovereign Bond of USD 650 million issued on 29th May 2015 at an interest rate of 6.125%, is a great success. They have even gone to the extent of making an unprofessional and comical exercise of combining the results of this 10 year international sovereign bond with two short term 13 and 35 month locally floated Sri Lanka Development Bonds to portray a lower interest rate of around 5.2% more..

Vithya's final 24 hours: Mother reveals

June 1 (CT) Sivaloganathan Vithya's mother Saraswathie says that out of the nine suspects who had raped Vithya, three are brothers and involved in illegal activities in the area. People are well aware that this group was involved in drugs and other narcotic rackets. It is possible that some Police officers also had connections with them. Q: Mother, I am not sure whether you are in a position to engage in a discussion. more..

Hemas posts earnings growth of 23.5%

June 1 (DN) For 2014/15 Hemas Holdings PLC recorded consolidated revenues of Rs 32.5Bn, a 19.2% growth over last year, while operating profits and earnings were Rs 3.4Bn and Rs. 1.9Bn respectively, a decline of 3.2% and 20.0%. Excluding the discontinued Power sector operations and one-off items recognised the previous year, the Group recorded an underlying growth of 27.5% in profit to Rs. 3.1 Bn, while profits attributable to parent grew by 23% to Rs 1.9Bn. more..

Editorial: Stinking callousness

June 1 (Island) One of our readers, in a letter published on the opposite page today, rightly questions the wisdom of taking Colombo’s garbage all the way to Puttalam. He warns that if this harebrained project gets underway the people of Puttalam will take to the streets. Here is a remedy which is as bad as the malady! The people of Meethotamulla stage protests from time to time against a massive garbage dump which has made their area inhabitable. more..

Sorting out fishing row via talks: Sri Lanka

June 1 (ENS) The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday that both Lanka and India are for solving the fishing issue through dialogue. “There is full appreciation on both sides of the livelihood and humanitarian dimensions of the issue, and the two Governments will, in the spirit of goodwill and understanding that exists, continue to engage in dialogue on this issue, to seek satisfactory short-term & long-term solutions,” more..

People’s Bank profit up 17.3% to Rs. 4.02b

June 1 (FT) With an impressive 91.9% increase in net interest income, People’s Bank unveiled a cascade of ground-breaking financials in a splendid all-round performance in the first quarter ended 31 March 2015. Net interest income zoomed to Rs. 12.16 billion in the first quarter 2015 compared to Rs. 6.34 billion during the corresponding period in 2014. The bank’s pre-tax profits surged to Rs. 4.02 billion, witnessing 17.3% growth in comparison to Rs. 3.43 billion in the first quarter of 2014. more..

Who will get the economy going? No one, unless truth is told

June 1 (Island) With the parliamentary elections approaching, Sri Lanka is on the verge of entering another phase of its familiar pledge cycle, therefore, it's high time the main political parties told the masses the absolute truth on the status of the country's economy, and the masses demanded to know the truth and nothing but the truth before the country would end up in an economic crisis, think tanks of the Pathfinder Foundation told the media in Colombo last week. more..

Sri Lanka takes a lead in multi-lingual Internet Initiatives

June 1 (IL) Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said Sri Lanka had taken a lead in multi-lingual Internet initiatives, by putting in place technical conditions to facilitate the presence of its local languages on the Internet and encouraging the development of relevant Sinhala and Tamil content, thus ensured cultural and linguistic diversity and identity. more..

Com Bank to enter Myanmar, Maldives

June 1 (CT) Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC plans to enter Myanmar and Maldivian banking businesses with acquisitions, a senior official reveled. Meanwhile, the bank received the Italian central bank clearance to form a Foreign Currency exchange house in Italy, which will help bank to tap the large foreign worker remittances market, he said. "We wish to invest US$ 5-10 million for Myanmar acquisition, we are currently having a discussion to acquire one of Myanmar's smaller bank." more..

Rivals on track Friends outside

June 1 (CT) Sri Lanka has many individual champions in the 23 member team for the Asian Championship, who are well ahead of their local competitors to hold the title of National Champion, that is, until their records are broken – sometimes after many years. High Jumper Manjula Kumara, Javelin Queen Nadeeka Lakmali and 400m champion Chandrika Rasnayake have been miles ahead of the other athletes for years on the local track. But the case of the women's 800m is more..

NPC calls for national policy on resettlement of war-displaced

June 1 (FT) The non-partisan National Peace Council (NPC) has called for a national policy on resettlement of the war-displaced on 30 May. In its press release, NPC also said that Muslim resettlement is one of the tragic problems, stressing the need for an ‘administrative mechanism to ensure resettlement in a fair and transparent manner’. The statement: “One of the unresolved and tragic problems of Sri Lanka’s war is more..

Open skies? Proceed with caution, says trade

June 1 (ST) Sri Lanka wants an open skies policy to boost its tourism numbers as it targets 2.5 million arrivals in 2016 but aviation and travel experts are urging the Government to be cautious. Minister Ravi Karunanayake speaking at a hospitality investment conference in the Indian Ocean in Colombo told delegates that Sri Lanka will adopt an open skies policy similar to what is happening in the Maldives. “We are opening out the economy to encourage foreign investments. more..

Apple’s ex-Creative boss to visit Sri Lanka in July for SLASSCOM forum

June 1 (FT) Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) will organise a tour of Sri Lanka for Ken Segall, a globally-acclaimed guru in marketing, design, strategy and branding, from 23-28 July. Ken was the Creative Director at Apple for 12 years working closely with Steve Jobs. Ken has had an extensively successful career in branding, strategy, technology marketing and product naming. He revolutionised Apple with his Think Different campaign and more..

JKH sets the record straight on Waterfront project

June 1 (FT) John Keells Holdings (JKH) has set the record straight on the landmark Waterfront project, which entails the Untitled-2biggest-ever private sector investment of over $ 650 million. In JKH’s Annual Report, Chairman Susantha Ratnayake has assured shareholders that the Waterfront project will continue. He also clarified about the casino operations. “For clarity, we wish to state that Waterfront was to lease a 150,000 more..

Japan, Sri Lanka ink air service agreement

June 1 (DN) Govts of Japan and Sri Lanka have agreed to amend the schedule attached to the agreement between the Japanese Govt and Sri Lanka for air services. With this amendment, civil aviation regulations will be liberalized in principle and flight routes can be operated by designated airlines of Japan and Sri Lanka at the specified locations in Japan, Sri Lanka, intermediate points and points beyond. In 2013, Japan and Sri Lanka also added Narita International Airport, more..

3 Lankans held for trying to smuggle ganja

June 1 (Hindu) Q Branch police have arrested three Sri Lankan Tamils, including two refugees, when they attempted to smuggle 11 kg of ganja from Thonikarai seashore near here on Saturday night. Acting on a tip-off by local fishermen, a special team detained the Lankan Tamils when they reached the seashore to smuggle the contraband to Talaimannar via the sea route. Police identified the accused as A. Chandran (48) from Guru Nagar in Jaffna, P. Ashok (30), a refugee staying in Mandapam camp more..

SL’s first female zookeeper at Pinnawela

June 1 (CT) We went to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage to find out about the recently opened zoo in close proximity to the orphanage which is regarded as Sri Lanka's first outdoor zoo with its first female zoo keeper Udari Hettiarachchi. There are various animal species that are endemic to Sri Lanka. The behaviour of various species differs. It is not very easy to control these various animals. Nevertheless Udari has been able to more..

GL: A majority govt will pass 20A

June 1 (Island) Sri Lanka’s currency notes are today signed by a person who has taken an oath under the Constitution of Singapore, renouncing all his loyalty to any other country, former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has said. Addressing a gathering of professionals and members of the business community at the Tangalle Town Hall yesterday, he said that the signing by Governor of Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran of currency notes was a supreme indignity inflicted on Sri Lanka. more..

'Sirisena has to toe majority line'

June 1 (CT) The SLFP led UPFA said that President Maithripala Sirisena as the Chairman and Leader would definitely have to heed the call of the majority of the SLFP Central Committee (CC) who were in favour of former President Rajapaksa. MP T.B. Ekanayake added that Sirisena would have to decide soon on the matter of giving nominations to Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate, regarding which a proposal would be presented before the Executive Committee tomorrow. more..

Another schoolgirl missing in Kilinochchi

June 1 (CT) In a turn of events towards the worse, regarding the security and safety of schoolgirls in the North, Maniyam Vithusha, a 16 year old schoolgirl is reported missing over the past five days in Kilinochchi, Police said. She had gone to visit her mother who works at an orphanage in Kilinochchi on Thursday but had failed to return home. 16-year-old Maniyam Vithusha is studying at Ootrupulam school in Kilinochchi. more..

UPFA provincial minister threatens to stone Police FCID officers to death

June 1 (DN) UPFA Southern Provincial Council Minister D.V. Upul, addressing a public meeting, threatened to stone the officers attached to the Police FCID to death. He vowed to do so when Mahinda Rajapaksa becomes the Prime Minister again. He made this remark in the presence of UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa and several other local politicians representing the Hambantota district. "Collect the name-list of those who are attached to the FCID from the Constable to the DIG. more..

Sajith predicts UNP-SLFP cohabitation after polls

June 1 (Island) The UNP and SLFP have agreed to work together for two years after the next general election, Minister Sajith Premadasa said recently. Addressing a ceremony to mark the resumption of providing free mid day meals to 15 schools in Hambantota District at the Theriputta Primary School in Ambalantota, the minister said incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe would continue to rule the country even after the upcoming general election. more..

'Security Forces will never be used as political pawns'

June 1 (DN) While accusing his main opponent at the last Presidential election of deploying Civil Security Department (CSD) personnel for his polls campaign, President Maithripala Sirisena asserted that under his rule he would ensure that Security Forces personnel will never be used as political pawns. President said that 15,000 CSD personnel had been forcibly taken to attend his opponent's inaugural polls campaign meeting more..

Large number of heroin pellets in stomach: Life of drug mule in danger

June 1 (Island) Condition of a Pakistani national arrested at the BIA on his arrival after swallowing capsules filled with heroin was critical, Police Narcotics Bureau officials said. Police Narcotics Bureau operatives administering laxatives on the youth said that he had not emitted a single pellet of heroin and there was a danger some of those pellets bursting in his stomach causing his death. The 21-year-old arrived from Karachchi on Friday night was taken in suspicion and more..

Broad public protest against tobacco a priority: President

June 1 (GDI) Creating a broad public protest against tobacco usage has become a priority as it has affected the youth worldwide negatively, President Maithripala Sirisena said. He said so in a message to mark the World No Tobacco Day which fell yesterday. President observed that this year's theme, Stop illicit trade of tobacco products, was a timely slogan to raise awareness among the people. He noted as of reports the majority of tobacco users are living in medium & low income countries. more..

Corruption: Presidential Commission ready for public hearing shortly

June 1 (Island) A Special Presidential Commission investigating major cases of corruption is gearing for public hearing at a special court established at the BMICH this month. A spokesperson for the Commission said that public hearing would get underway in about three weeks. "We are mandated to summon anyone, even a former President," the official said. Official said that a special police team headed by an ASP more..

Drink fresh milk, body fit, smart brain

June 1 (DM) Sri Lanka joins the world today in marking the World Milk Day coordinated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The month of June is also celebrated as the month of brides and when connected with World Milk Day we need to reflect on the need to make young mothers aware of the vital importance of breastfeeding where their blood is turned into milk, and whereby they build a deep, loving relationship with the child—a relationship that cannot be more..

Are Sri Lankans missing the larger picture ?

June 1 (DM) Many people hoped that the change of regime at the beginning of this year would provide a sense of direction for the country. Given the wide-ranging challenges that the people are faced with, the political leaders of diverse ideological persuasions were expected to respect the people’s verdict and allow the newly elected govt to implement the plans that the leaders presented before the voting public. But, what is done after the election has been determined as much by more..


June 1 (DM) The continuing mystery over Thajudeen’s death; Minister claims one, brother says an accident until proven otherwise; Two Defenders at the scene. The unexpected death of Wasim Thajudeen, Havelock Sports Club Rugby player and Vice Captain of the Sri Lanka Rugby team on May 17, 2012 stirred a lot of doubts and concerns over the media for quite a while. Three years after the incident, with the emergence more..

'Colombo Port City design nearing completion'

June 1 (EN) China Harbour Engineering Company is finalising design of the property project in the controversial Colombo Port City on reclaimed land in Colombo and plans to apply to the govt for approval. The company, a big Chinese construction firm, was attracted to Sri Lanka’s by its post-war economic growth that shows its economic potential, said Wang Haiguang, Manager Investment Department, China Harbour Engineering Co. more..