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The Sinhalese speakers club

Sep 6 (CG) August 19: Colombo has changed since I was last here, in 2002, yet much is familiar. The changes are startling - the Taj Samudra hotel is not a fortress anymore; the porch is easily seen from the main road. The wall between its compound and the public footpath is three feet high. In 1996, there was a hunker of a bunker, barriers to enter the hotel, uniformed men with guns. Back then, for the first time, I saw mirrors on sticks, used to inspect the undercarriages of cars, and more..

LPBOA not happy with Nimal

Sep 6 (SL) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne expressed disappointment over the appoinment of Nimal Siripala de Silva as the new minister for transport. “This is a very complicated ministry and those who are clueless about this operation cannot run this ministry. We have had many issues that dogged the transport sector and a minister who has no prior experience will only serve to complicate matters further,” he added. more..

Tea with Murali

Sep 6 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan's directions to his home in the hilly suburb of Pelawatte, east of Colombo, are not immediately promising. "It's past the Parliament. If you get lost, give me a call." We get lost - a reminder that Murali built a career on trying to simplify the apparently complex - and he's not picking up his phone. We stop and ask for help. One word is enough: Murali? In the year the ICC got tough on chuckers, more..

Govt will consider reducing fuel price

Sep 6 (CG) Govt will consider reducing fuel prices to be on par with world market prices, Minister of Petroleum Chandima Weerakkody said. He said that the price of fuel is not determined domestically but is based on world oil prices. He said that with world oil prices seeing a decline in recent times, Govt will consider passing on that benefit to the public. The newly appointed Minister also said that a new fuel price formula will also be looked into once he assumed duties at his Ministry. more..

Seagull directors indicted in HC for breach of trust

Sep 6 (ST) The Directors of Seagull Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd, a company which builds condominium properties for sale, have been indicted in the High Court of Colombo for breach of trust. The case was called up this week before High Court Judge Lalith Jayasuriya. The indictment has been served by the Attorney General’s Department under Section 403 of the Penal Code for “cheating and dishonestly inducting a delivery of a property”. Between Nov 1, 2003, and Apr 2, 2010, more..

Video: President Sirisena reveals secrets behind January polls

Sep 6 (AD) President Sirisena revealed that he was alerted by his security not to attend the last election rally held in Maradana prior the presidential polls in January. Observation was made at the 69th anniversary of the UNP held at Sirikotha. This was the first time in the history, that the leader of the SLFP attended a UNP anniversary celebration. “Owing to some security reasons, I was told not to attend the Maradana rally more..

Looking askance at this sweetly phased national govt

Sep 7 (ST) One might easily be lulled into a sense of complacency for having kept the barbarians at bay, first presidential polls in January this year and then most decisively in last month’s general elections. Heartening signs are certainly evident such as the assumption of the UNP’s Karu Jayasuriya to the office of the Speaker. This was one lone voice unceasingly speaking of the need for the Rule of Law and stubbornly upholding the 17th Amendment when most were hibernating during more..

A woman and her broken shop: Who will take action?

Sep 7 (CT) A woman, who is the head of a family, runs a small vegetable shop in Pungudutivu after her husband left her and his two children. The earning from the shop is the only source of income for her entire family. She was also badly injured after an accident and now finds very difficult to walk. On 4th September 2015 around 10 am, a man with a knife attacked her shop. She closed the shop with the support of a neighbour fearing his action and stayed at home. more..

Prabhakaran committed suicide: Karuna

Sep 7 (SO) Earlier last week Karuna Amman alias V Muralithran, a one-time, trusted bodyguard of LTTE leader, V Prabhakaran and LTTE Eastern Commander turned politician, in an interview, stirred a hornets nest, when he claimed Prabhakran was not killed by the Sri Lankan military as claimed but shot himself with his pistol, His claims were however rejected outright by former Army Commander, Field Marshal Sarath more..

Misguided priorities of CBK

Sep 7 (CT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga now as the head of the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation has declared her three main priorities. They are taking back land from the Sri Lankan army, investigating disappearances of Tamils, and resettling the displaced, the Indian Express reported. There is no doubt that the task of resolving those issues that included in Ms. Kumaratunga’s priority list is important and good in terms of winning hearts and minds of Tamils. more..

Maithri sets nation on course

Sep 7 (ST) It was the day when the meek momentarily inherited Parliament and the defanged wolf was forced to sit before the nearly fleeced lamb. At sharp 2.30 pm on September the 1st when President Sirisena walked the red carpet rolled out for him to the steps of Lanka’s supreme legislature, the bevy of girls who sang Lanka’s Song of Songs echoed the jaya mangalams of the nation for a new beginning to dawn with the advent of Maithri as the messiah of hope. more..

Prabhakaran was killed by the Army: SF

Sep 7 (SO) Earlier last week Karuna Amman alias V Muralithran, a one-time, trusted bodyguard of LTTE leader, V Prabhakaran and LTTE Eastern Commander turned politician, stirred a hornets nest, when he claimed Prabhakran was not killed by the Sri Lankan military as claimed but shot himself with his pistol, His claims were however rejected outright by former Army Commander, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who claimed more..

Pakistan ups Ceylon Tea imports; silver lining to a dark cloud

Sep 7 (Island) Our last report on Ceylon Tea was all bad news. Prices were down. The plantation sector was in dire straits. Production results year – on – year were dismal. To make matters worse the Russian ruble affected our tea exports to Russia. The Middle East oil crisis was additionally a telling factor on Colombo’s tea auction. Nevertheless, Ceylon Tea Brokers reported that Pakistan had increased their Ceylon Tea imports. End July exports to Pakistan recorded at 1.2m kilos. more..

There is a difference between Due process of law & Dereliction of duty

Sep 7 (SL) How long the people of this country are going to keep tightening their belts, grinning and bearing, etc., etc. before there is another explosion like the first Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) uprising of 1971 is anyone’s guess. The fact that such Rohana Wijeweera’s Che Guevarists could emerge from the ranks of the Rajapaksa Horde shouldn’t be cause for surprise if one were to examine the history of Sri Lanka in the latter part of the 20th century. more..

Prageeth is still alive: Sandhya

Sep 7 (CT) Sandhya, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, says that she requested US Assistant Secretary of State, Nisha Biswal, to help her bring justice to Prageeth. Despite the latest revelations, she refuses to accept that her husband was killed a long time ago. In an interview she says; "Prageeth is alive. He is everywhere I am. My religion is searching for him. I believe in it. I will live for him bearing all difficulties." more..

Editorial: Sheep and goats

Sep 7 (Island) People sans basic science and maths skills tend to make bad decisions and run the risk of being bamboozled, BBC has reported quoting Head of the British Science Association Prof. Dame Athene Donald. She is of the view that teaching students maths up to 18 years will help produce a wiser population. Prof. Donald laments that students in the UK are forced to make subject choices too early in life––at the age of 14––and that practice effectively divides the nations into more..

Tigers are terrorists, period

Sep 7 (Island) I always wanted to represent SL because Sri Lankans lived in Sri Lanka and people who lived in Canada were Sri Lankan Canadians to me. That too those who wanted to have connections with Sri Lanka. Some who became Canadians were not interested in dealing with us. But, our doors were open for them if they needed our services. I hated and strongly disapproved when certain elements tried to describe all Tamils as LTTE. LTTE too tried to portray it. more..

'I am a Sri Lankan & Sri Lanka belongs to me'

Sep 7 (CT) Newly appointed Leader of the Opposition, and TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R Sampanthan said, in an interview, "I'm a Sri Lankan, I belong to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is my country and Sri Lanka belongs to me. My duties will be towards Sri Lanka and all Sri Lankan people, irrespective of who they are". He as a Tamil Leader, keeping in mind democratic rights of Tamil people, will be concerned about more..

Learning the new three Rs

Sep 7 (SL) Reconciliation Guru Con Hathaway, specially flown down from London was on the podium lecturing on 3Rs for Reconciliation of the UNP and SLFP at a seminar conducted by National Govt. Reconciliation does not come about naturally because you wish it. You should have read Tony Blair’s talk on 7 Points of Reconciliation in Colombo last week. Likewise it’s not easy for you of two parties who have been at each others throats for decades to kiss and make up, said Con more..

Sumedha, Indunil and Nilani clinch Gold

Sep 7 (CT) Javelin Thrower Sumedha Ranasinghe along with two middle distance runners, Indunil Herath and Nilani Rathnayake, clinched Gold for Sri Lanka at the 61st Thailand Open Athletics Championship 2015 which commenced at Thammasat University Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday. Ranasinghe won the first Gold with a 75.19m throw in the men's Javelin throw finals. Herath who is normally an 800m runner, took part in the 1500m where he won the Gold more..

Local gemstones sold for a song, make a killing overseas

Sep 7 (Island) Gunny bags of Ceylon sapphires are still being imported to a regional gem trading hub in the rough form without adding value because Sri Lanka hasn’t still presented itself to the world as a direct sourcing, value-adding trading destination, EDB Chairman Bandula Egodage said last week. "We are repositioning the Sri Lankan gem and jewellery industry to make it a US$ 1 billion business. We will provide the industry with more..

Microsoft appoints Brian Kealey, Country Manager for Sri Lanka, Maldives

Sep 7 (DN) Microsoft has appointed industry veteren and Australian national, Brian Kealey as the new Country Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The new Country Manager will be responsible for leading commercial and consumer product portfolio, service offerings, corporate reputation, company performance, customer and partner experiences both in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, as well as overall leadership of company operations. Commenting on the new appointment, more..

Isipathana bag Milo U-18 league title

Sep 7 (DN) Isipathana College bagged the Milo Under-18 all Island schools rugby league Championship when they beat S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia in the Cup final by 17 points (two goals and a penalty) to 5 (a try) at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday evening. At half time Thomians led 5-3. Both sides strived hard from the beginning, but Isipathana ruggerites opened scoring when Deelaka Hettiarachchi put over an easy penalty. S. Thomas' seized the lead when more..

Sri Lanka wins bid to host PATA

Sep 7 (FT) Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will be holding its annual summit in Sri Lanka after the bid submitted by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau with the support of the industry was accepted. PATA CEO Mario Hardy made this announcement at a major event hosted by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and SriLankan Airlines in Bangalore where Sri Lanka was presented as the latest tourism and MICE destination in Asia to hosted more..

Lankan politicos swear by the occult despite failures

Sep 7 (ENS) Despite the failure of astrology and charms to deliver the desired results in many cases, Sri Lankan politicians continue to base their decisions on astrological predictions and use occult instruments like charms and amulets to achieve their ends. Because Mahinda Rajapaksa became President for the first time in the election held on Nov 17, 2005, number 8 came to be considered lucky for him. He then made it a point to hold subsequent elections on days adding up to 8. more..

LCMA wants anti-dumping and countervailing bill passed soon

Sep 7 (DN) Lanka Confectionery Manufacturing Association (LCMA) will act to ensure that the Anti- Dumping and Countervailing Bill is passed in Parliament urgently, said Shanasz Hakeem, Chairperson LCMA addressing the 23rd AGM on Friday’ Shanasz Hakeem, expressed these sentiment after being elected Chairperson LCMA at the 23rd AGM. The LCMA has been following this matter from its initial stages for over 22 years now she said. more..

SL woman held in Saudi mansion by force

Sep 7 (DM) Chilling details of a Sri Lankan female migrant worker who has been detained by her employer in Saudi Arabia has come to light, as the victim’s daughter seeks govt intervention to ensure her mother’s release. Victim, S. Wasanthi – a 46 year-old mother of three, had migrated to Saudi Arabia as a domestic worker for the third time on Feb 27. In March, her daughter R. Jayarani had received a call from Wasanthi, who had more..

US expert to lecture on right to information

Sep 7 (Island) US Embassy in Colombo has organised a public lecture on right to information to be held at 3 pm on Tuesday at the auditorium of the Sri Lanka Press Institute. The lecture titled Right to Information-A responsibility for all will be delivered by Corinna Zarek, Senior Advisor for Open Govt to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Zareke works with U.S. agencies to develop and implement open govt initiatives, more..

2240 pilgrims leave for Hajj

Sep 7 (DN) The first light of the Sri Lankan Airlines 180 passengers left to Hajj Pilgrims last month to Saudi Arabia. Around 2240 pilgrims from Sri Lanka will be performing Hajj Pilgrimage this year. Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Department Director M H M Zameel, Members of Hajj Group Y L M Navavi, Moulavi M S M Thassim, Former Minister of Muslim Religious Cultural Affairs M H A Haleem's Coordinating Secretary Mohamed Musthafa, Private Secretary Fahim Hashim, more..

Winds of change for tea?

Sep 7 (FT) Less Govt regulation and protectionism and an increased focus on research were some of the key changes proposed by tea industry stakeholders at the Annual General Meeting of the Tea Exporters Association (TEA) on Friday. Having recognised the potential for the industry, the TEA has proposed a set of strategies aimed at increasing production and quality, while reducing cost. Market diversification of tea-based more..

Four KDU cadets hospitalized with serious ragging injuries

Sep 7 (CT) Four fresh undergraduate cadets of the Kotelawala Defence University have been admitted to the military hospital with serious injuries following an alleged ragging incident within the Academy premises, military sources said. One student is said to be in a critical condition as his spinal code has been extensively damaged, sources at the military hospital said. The ragging had been done by some senior students. However, in an attempt to cover up the mess, a few more fresher’s had been more..

Will China's Maritime Silk Road get a new lease on life in Sri Lanka?

Sep 7 (TN) Sri Lanka is well positioned to be a key strategic link in China's planned 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and, until a change of government earlier this year, the close ties between the two countries seemed to know no bounds. Vast amounts of Chinese investment flowed in, with the anticipated jewel in the crown being the US$1.5 billion Colombo Port City project. This would have been SL's largest-ever foreign-funded investment, built on nearly 600 acres of reclaimed land. more..

UPFA group in Opposition to meet Speaker

Sep 7 (DM) Former CM Prasanna Ranatunga, who was elected to Parliament on the UPFA ticket, said he, along with others, would talk to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya about the opposition leadership post. A section of the UPFA is opposed to the appointment of TNA Leader R. Sampanthan to it. This group pushes for the appointment of MP Kumara Welgama to it. He said, he and the team would act as an opposition more..

Windies could add salt to Lanka’s wounds

Sep 7 (DN) Sri Lanka cricket team, beaten by India and Pakistan in successive Test series at home, will have a hectic international calendar starting mid next month. Sri Lanka, after hosting the West Indies for two Tests, three ODIs and two T20 Internationals, will make a full tour of New Zealand with the first Test due to commence in Dunedin on December 10. Apart from the two Tests in Dunedin and Hamilton which ends before Christmas, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will figure in more..

Voters will regret: Athaullah

Sep 7 (CT) Former Minister A.L.M Athaullah, commenting on his recent defeat at the poll said the people who rejected him the last General Election would face consequences not immediately but in times to come. National Leader of the National Congress ALM Athaullah was addressing a meeting at Akkaraipattu to evaluate his performance at the last General Election. Continuing further he said that with the sole intention of serving the common masses and to look into their needs and more..

ITAK leader faults Wigneswaran

Sep 7 (CT) ITAK Leader and TNA General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah has lambasted Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran for having undermined the efforts by the TNA to urge the Centre to begin a domestic inquiry into alleged war crimes which could be monitored by the international community. Senathirajah had pointed out that the proposed internal inquiry in Sri Lanka on alleged war crimes was a part of more..

Sri Lanka Tourism enter China's growing religious tourism business

Sep 7 (GDI) Good destination management include development of new products whilst focusing on market development work on the strong foundation branding if a country wishes to attract the top dollar potential tourists said Sri Lanka Tourist Promotions Bureau Chairman Dr. Rohantha Athukorala at the meeting with Zhao Xian Zhang- Chairman International Tour Management Association of the World Religious Charity Foundation at the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. more..

Minister Swaminathan proposes next EDEX exhibition in Jaffna

Sep 7 (DN) Minister of Rehabilitation, Resttlement and Hindu Affairs, D.M. Swaminathan admired conducting EDEX Exhibitions every year in Colombo and Kandy, and urged the Exhibition committee to take steps to hold this most valuable Exhibition and Job Fair even in the Northern capital of Jaffna in future. The newly appointed Minister Swaminathan made these observations at the EDEX Mid- Year Expo 2015 opening ceremony, held at Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre, Colombo. more..

Oil prices continue plummet in world market; govt. to pass benefits to local consumers

Sep 7 (Island) The govt would bring down the oil prices to pass on the benefit of a drop in petroleum prices in the world market to the local consumers, new Petroleum and Petroleum Gas Minister Chandima Weerakkody. Weerakkody scheduled to assume duties at the Ministry today, said that President Sirisena had instructed him that the benefits of plummeting world oil prices should be given to the public. more..

NWSDB Jaffna partners UTE for ADB funded project worth Rs. 56 million

Sep 7 (FT) National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) partnered with United Tractors and Equipment (UTE) for a project to supply and install two Sea Water Reverse Osmosis Plants with ancillary works in order to ensure a consistent supply of drinking water to the people of Delft Island. Project was driven with the intent of addressing the crucial need for clean drinking water on Delft Island. With this in mind, the reverse osmosis plants, which are worth Rs. 56 million, were installed. more..