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Promoting conciliation ...

Sept 8 (CT) Conciliation depends completely on the natural understanding of the realities and the moment it becomes something forced upon, it becomes an arbitration which makes the affected parties to give up some or all of their convictions. The moment, it started inching towards arbitration the sense of conciliation has also been lost because it would become a solution without willingness for the intended results. The way the developments have been taking place in trying to more..

Of UN resolutions, loin cloths and faeces!

Sept 8 (CT) What NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa is to former President Rajapaksa, is, what the rectum and the faeces is to the loin cloth (Amuday)! Weerawansa who played the self-proclaimed role of Foreign Affairs spokesman of President Rajapaksa while in office, also made an absolute mockery of himself and the former President by touting int'l conspiracy theories and staging a fast unto death campaign outside UN office at the time Moon arrived in Sri Lanka in May 2009. more..


CICT partners NAITA to offer training for quay crane operators

Sept 8 (FT) Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) has announced it will support the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) of Sri Lanka by providing facilities for training Quay Crane (QC) operators at the Colombo South Terminal. A new initiative under CICT’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda, the partnership will see the first batch of 10 selected NAITA students undergoing on-the-job training on CICT’s state-of-the-art quay cranes. more..

Real People Power: No politicians, no luxury vehicles

Sept 8 (Island) I set off for Rambawa in Anuradhapura at about 3.30 in the morning joined by Shameer Rasooldeen and Duthika Gayashan of News 1st. We stopped in Puttalam at about 5.45 in the morning to have a cup of tea. Puttalam town was waking up at the time. I was satisfied with an ulundu vadai and a parippu vadai and asked for a cup of condensed milk tea some tea shops are famous for in the area. It is always safer to have vadai when you are out than the famous and more..

We too deserve to serve as doctors: SAITM graduates

Sept 8 (DM) Students’ Union of the first batch to graduate from the SAITM said they too deserve to serve as doctors in SL and underscored their competency as being on par with those from State medical faculties. The union representatives rejected media reports and allegations debasing their medical degree. They said it was disappointing that GMOA and other groups continued to make baseless allegations more..

Runway closure to cut seat capacity by 15%

Sept 8 (EN) An eight hour daytime closure of BIA next year to rebuild its sole will cut seat capacity to the country by 15%, which could slow tourism growth in the first half of next year. For three months beginning January 5, airport will be closed from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm as repair crews break and re-surface the runway section by section. Airlines including state-run SriLankan Airlines, which is the largest user of the airport, are re-scheduling flights to accommodate the closure more..

Editorial: Thus spake Ban

Sept 8 (Island) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has come and gone, but brouhaha one of his controversial remarks triggered has not yet died down. The govt was over the moon about Ban’s visit, but now it has been left with egg on its face. How sad! The UNSG, delivering a lecture, Sustainable Peace and Achieving Sustainable Development Goals, at Colombo Hilton last week, went out of his way to bracket SL with Rwanda and Bosnia while speaking of the Vanni war. more..

Cabinet nod for $ 250 m ADB loan

Sept 8 (FT) Cabinet approval has been given for the Govt to obtain a $ 250 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund a capital market development program. ADB would also provide technical assistance in setting up the capital markets. Cabinet paper, which was presented by Minister Ravi Karunanayake, noted the $250 million would be disbursed in two tranches of $125 million to accomplish policy actions relevant under more..

Sri Lanka bill yields plunge at auction

Sept 8 (EN) Sri Lanka's bill yields plunged at Wednesday's auction with the 12-month yield falling 34 basis points to 10.39%. The 6-month yield fell 23 basis points to 9.94%, and the 3-month yield fell 28 basis points to 8.75%. The debt office offered to roll over Rs 11 billion of bills and bought only exactly Rs11 billion, made up of Rs 1 billion of 3-month, Rs 2 billion of 6-month and Rs 8 billion of 12-month bills. In bond markets, yields have also fallen several basis points over the week, dealers said. more..

Sri Lanka needs to think beyond a regional financial hub: CCC

Sept 8 (DN) Sri Lanka may need to think of development beyond a regional financial hub with the massive investments envisaged in both the Megalopolis and the Port City Development project for the Colombo financial hub to progress beyond the region to become significant globally, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, CEO Dhara Wijayatilake said. Speaking at the SL-China Business Forum, he said as SL’s economy grows and financing requirements of businesses develop, more..

We hope to recruit more Tamils for Security Forces: PM

Sept 8 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament the Govt was hoping to increase the percentage of Tamils in the Security Forces, the Police Service and the Prison Service. Responding to a question asked by EPDP leader Douglas Devananda, PM said SL's first Army Commander Anton Muthukumara was a Tamil. He said there were Tamil-speaking officers in Police Service, but the situation changed after 1978. more..

Sri Lanka lacks 15,000 scientists

Sept 8 (CT) Sri Lanka is short of a basic component that's a prerequisite for sustainable development as the country lacks about 15,000 scientists who can be actively entrenched in scientific research, said the Project Director of the Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Ajith De Alwis. "Even of the 5000 available scientists in the country only 2500 are active in the field while the rest are tied up in administrative functions" he said. Professor Alwis stressed that the upcoming more..

When hope turns just a blur

Sept 8 (Hindu) Is this tale of assistance across the seas likely to have a sour ending? Nuwan Wickramasinghe was 22 when he became a victim of a family feud over property. He sustained burns in an acid attack to his chest and eyes. Twelve years later, in a hospital across the sea, he is still struggling to regain sight in at least one of his eyes. An electrician hailing from north-west SL, Nuwan was advised to head to Sankara Nethralaya here during one of his visits for reviews to more..

Truth behind missing businessman bared

Sept 8 (DN) Police unravelled the truth behind the disappearance of a businessman from Bandaragama who had purpotedly gone for a gold auction at a bank in Trincomalee. Businessman had stage managed his disappearance to avoid repayment of debts to the tune of Rs 250 million. A team of officers of Trinco Police arrested the businessman at Haldummulla while traveling to Haputale by bus at around 1 a.m. yesterday. more..

We salute all spectators: SLC President

Sept 8 (Island) We salute all the spectators who came in thousands to support our One Team, said SLC in a media communique issued on Tuesday. "It is no secret that sport is a universal language that transcends all boundaries, and unifies all, and Sri Lanka especially over the years has proven this adage consistently. In a nation where cultural and religious diversity abounds, Cricket, is the one single unifier, and this has been proven time and time again as Sri Lanka has come together as more..

President of Iraq commends progress in SL

Sept 8 (GDI) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, Major General (Rtd) Niranjan Asoka Ranasinghe presented his Credentials to Fuad Masum, President of the Republic of Iraq on 30th August at the Presidential Palace in Baghdad. Ambassador was accompanied by M.Y.M. Rizab, Attaché of the Embassy and Ali Dhafer the official Translator of the Mission. Following the Credentials ceremony, the Ambassador was given an audience with the President of Iraq. more..

SLC chief pushes for four-day Tests

Sept 8 (CI) While expressing differing views on the ICC's decision to withdraw the proposal for two-tier Test cricket, Full Member boards welcomed the discussions opened up at Wednesday's chief executives' meeting on ways to sustain the longest format of the game. Thilanga Sumathipala, the SLC president, called for boards to market Test cricket more vigorously, and suggested four-day Tests as a step towards increasing more..

Big banks exploit countries like Sri Lanka, probe finds

Sept 8 (LBO) Big banks have turned to the powerful worldwide legal system and commandeered it for profit, exploiting countries like Sri Lanka in the process, according to a Buzzfeed probe. In 2006, big international banks presented officials who ran Sri Lanka’s state oil venture with a way to hedge against further price hikes. As Sri Lanka’s CPC didn’t have good enough advisors, the deals went through. “The banks — including giants such as Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and more..

Bribery Commission files two corruption cases against Sarana

Sept 8 (DN) CIABOC filed two corruption cases in Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court against former Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena over non-declaration of assets and liabilities while he was serving at the National Lotteries Board (NLB). Bribery Commission alleged that Sarana Gunawardena had failed to declare his assets and liabilities for two years since 2006 to 2007 while he was serving as NLB Chairman. When the case came up before Colombo Chief Magistrate, more..

Two-tier proposal shelved at ICC meeting

Sept 8 (CI) The ICC has withdrawn the proposal for a two-tier structure in Test cricket at the meeting of its chief executives' committee (CEC) in Dubai, despite six Full Members reportedly being in favour of it. There was no vote at the meeting but the consensus was to take the proposal off the table for the moment. "There was a significant compromise and it was subsequently decided to withdraw the two-tier proposal," a CEO more..

CID wanted to question me: Astrologer

Sept 8 (DM) Astrologer Wijemuni Vijitha Rohana de Silva said that CID wanted to record a statement from him over a video released by him forecasting the future of President Sirisena and said an astrologer should have the freedom to carry out his work independently. Mr. Silva said that he had told the CID that he had given a statement over the matter on a previous occasion and asked them not to bother him anymore. “CID officer phoned me and said she wanted to record a statement. more..

Cabinet Sub Committee to look into cigarette tax increase

Sept 8 (DN) A Cabinet Sub Committee has been appointed to look into the tax increase on cigarettes upto 90%. The committee is to present its report at the Cabinet meeting next week, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday. The tax increase on cigarettes was put to the Cabinet in July through a joint Cabinet Paper proposed by both the President and Health Minister but it has faced much opposition from the Ministry of Finance, according to Senaratne. more..

Govt living a high life on borrowed money: Rs 18.8 B drawn down for debt servicing

Sept 8 (CT) Govt of SL's massive foreign debt servicing commitments continued for the second consecutive market day yesterday, resulting in the drawdown of excess liquidity to the tune of Rs 8.4 billion from the money market at yesterday's trading, Central Bank's open market operations (OMO) data showed. This follows a sum of Rs 10.5 billion being creamed off for a similar purpose the previous day (Tuesday) as well, data showed. more..

Ven. Nauyane Ariyadhamma Thera no more

Sept 8 (CT) Anunayaka Thera of Ramanna Sect, Most Venerable Nauyane Ariyadhamma Thera (77) passed away yesterday at a private hospital in Colombo. A senior meditation teacher, he was spiritual advisor of the Sri Kalyani Yogasrama Samastha, and for many years resided at the Na Uyana Aranna, until 2011, when he moved to Meetirigala Dharmayataya Aranna. The Ramanya Nikaya bestowed on Ven. Ariyadhamma Thera the titles of Tripitaka Vagisvaracarya and more..

Woman arrested attempting to sell infant

Sept 8 (CT) Women and Children's Bureau of the Kandy Police have arrested a 45-year-old woman who had attempted to sell her six-month old infant for Rs 2,000. The suspect is said to have resided in Katugastota area before going to the Middle East. Inquiries had revealed that the suspect had returned from the Middle East only two months ago and had given birth to her child while being overseas. Police said that the woman and her child had been chased out by her husband who more..

Irregularities in coal tenders: Batagoda fires strong missive at CEB Chairman

Sept 8 (DN) Secretary to Ministry of Power & Renewable Energy Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda has written a strong letter to CEB Chairman Anura Wijepala on a number of irregularities and lawlessness that have continued to dog the tenders awarded to suppliers of coal to Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant. He has also said that CEB’s lack of initiative in preventing this kind of malpractice has resulted in enormous losses to the country. more..

All MPs to get copies of AG’s report on bond controversy

Sept 8 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament that he would distribute copies of the full report by the Auditor General on Central Bank Treasury Bond controversy among all parliamentarians. The Speaker said that the incumbent Central Bank Governor, too, had agreed to the idea of distributing the complete report among MPs. The Auditor General handed over a concise report to the COPE and the full report containing 1,250 pages to the Speaker on June 29. more..

Foreign Ministry moves to Jawatta Road

Sept 8 (CT) Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be relocated to a two-acre land in Jawatte Road, Colombo 5 which is situated close to a number of foreign missions. Foreign Ministry is currently housed in a historic building, dating back to the British era and the govt has decided to preserve it as a national heritage site. "Since it is a historic building that must be preserved, Minister Mangala Samaraweera has requested that a new building be constructed to house the ministry at Jawatta. more..

Govt wary of seeking explanation from UN

Sept 8 (Island) Govt would not seek any clarification from the UN regarding the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s comparison of civilians deaths during the Vanni war with acts of genocide in Rwanda and Serbia in 1994 and 1995, respectively, Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana said. He said GoSL would not seek clarification as UNSG’s remarks were not mentioned in his prepared speech at Colombo Hilton more..

The planetary preferences of Yahapalana apologists

Sept 8 (DM) A self-proclaimed Marxist recently listed 12 things that the Yahapalana Govt cannot achieve. He should have put it this way: Should but cannot achieve. As someone who once said we must hope that the Govt will not defeat the LTTE when the latter’s invincibility braggadocio was being put to the sword, so to speak, his support for the yahapalanists is understandable. In fact he throws in a tired caveat by way of protecting everything-but-yahapalana regime: “All this is not the responsibility of more..

May this disturb a comfortable world?

Sept 8 (DM) History has shown that the powerful role of prophetic figures and statesmen or women, is to comfort the disturbed or the distressed and to disturb the comfortable. Thus the comfortable world was disturbed and hopefully shocked yesterday, when the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed there were more than 50 million child refugees or migrants and this heinous crime against innocent humanity had increased by as much as 75% during the past five years. more..

Political thuggery at SLBC

Sept 8 (SL) One year has already lapsed since the good governance govt came to power. While some were boasting about the achievements they had made during this time, others have some serious concerns about the conduct of the govt. One of the major concerns is the undue political influence it has had in State owned institutions. Reports have revealed that recruitments, transfers and even promotions are currently more..

CMC’s slow; men at work at theatre district

Sept 8 (ST) The Colombo Municipality’s road construction project around Royal and Thurstan Colleges, the Lionel Wendt Theatre and Women’s International in Colombo 07 has been progressing at snail’s-pace for the ninth month with completion a long way off. This is adding to the misery of long suffering residents, motorists, theatre goers and school children. In what is a bid to pave the sidewalks and collect additional revenue more..

UNESCO to help Sigiri damsels in distress

Sept 8 (Island) International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) attached to the UNESCO has agreed to assist in conserving Sigiri frescoes and the Mirror Wall, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says. He said there were several issues as regards the protection of Sigiri frescoes and other archaeologically important places within the sprawling Sigiriya site. more..

The fractured North

Sept 8 (FT) On 23 May 2009, four days after SL’s civil war had come to its brutal and bloody end, Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon arrived in the island. On a quick trip to the embattled Northern Province the UN Chief flew over the final theatre of battle in Mullaitivu, an area still smouldering from deadly fighting, where a panel of UN experts would later estimate that tens of thousands of people had been killed. more..

Court orders to exhume Lasantha’s remains

Sept 8 (AD) Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court has ordered the exhumation of the remains of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge on Sept 27. The magistrate today approved a request made by CID to exhume the remains of the founding Editor of The Sunday Leader, who was shot dead while he drove to work in Jan 2009. CID informed the court that certain contradictions existed between the autopsy report on the victim, more..

Minister accuses ex-President Rajapaksa of not being consistent

Sept 8 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has accused former President Rajapaksa of not being consistent with his condemnation of violence directed at innocent persons. He castigated the former President for seeking political mileage in the wake of an unprovoked attack on SL’s High Commissioner in Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar last Sunday (4). Samarasinghe said the former President more..

PM reveals govt plans to privatise failing State enterprises

Sept 8 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday revealed that the Govt planned to privatise loss-making State enterprises through the stock market. “We are unable to continue paying off the debts of the Hambantota Port and the Mattala Airport while all efforts have been taken to keep SriLankan Airlines from winding up,” PM said. Listing the reasons that compelled the Govt to restructure loss-making enterprises, more..

'Scientists must give top priority to identify alternatives for harmful chemical fertilizers'

Sept 8 (PMD) President Sirisena says if the scientists must give top priority to identify alternatives for chemical based fertilizers which cause chronic kidney diseases. “Several chemical based fertilizers; weedisides and pestisides are used by farmers to obtain larger harvest, but they cause chronic kidney diseases. If the scientists work with determination, they will be able to find alternatives for this kind of fertilizers”, he said. more..