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Multiple deals with China major boost for Sri Lanka: HSBC

Sept 19 (FT) Global giant HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives CEO Patrick Gallagher yesterday said the record 27 agreements signed with China during President Xi Jinping’s visit would be a major boost for Sri Lanka. Noting that the historic visit, first by a Chinese leader in 28 years, places bilateral ties on an incredibly strong footing, Gallagher said HSBC was highly impressed by the developments. “It is great to see the level and depth of the engagement more..

Fighting dengue: Doctor to the fore

Sept 19 (Island) The eDoctor team held a workshop on dengue prevention at the National school of business management (NSBM), Nugegoda recently with the participation of over 200 undergraduates in business administration and IT along with their Lecturers. Founder of eDoctor, Dr. Harsha Jayakody said that their attention was focused on the importance of being vigilant about factors which promoted the spread of dengue, early identification of suspect dengue patients and their early management. more..

Cabinet Decisions

Sept 19 (DN) Establishment of a Human Heart Valve Bank: It is estimated that 2,500 to3,000 children are born with congenital heart defects in Sri Lanka annually and around 2,000 of them need corrective surgery. The current practice in Sri Lanka is to use imported bovine grafts (Tissue valves) which cost about Rs. 300,000 per graft which is borne by the govt. With the rapid advancement in healthcare offered to children with heart diseases in Sri Lanka, the establishment of a more..

Packer's project a 'go'

Sept 19 (CT) Australian billionaire gaming tycoon James Packer's US$ 400 million resort project in Colombo is still on the cards with the govt in the process of finalizing the agreement. Packer's project was said to have been put on hold after the govt released a Gazette notification on the project, which left out the setting up of gaming facilities. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that despite some legal issues that needed to be ironed out more..

China FTA must not distract

Sept 19 (CT) While signing an FTA with China, Sri Lanka must not lose sight of opportunities arising from regional economic partnerships, work hard to improve existing FTAs with India and Pakistan and improve the competitiveness of Lankan firms, a marketing professional said. The Country Head for Turner Investments for Sri Lanka and Asia Pacific Rohantha Athukorala told a recent forum that progress was unsatisfactory under the FTAs with India and Pakistan. more..

Sri Lanka's first CSR conference in October

Sept 19 (CT) CSR Lanka, an organization formed under the alliance of six pioneering partners to propagate streamlined islandwide CSR activities, will be hosting the country's first ever CSR Conference next month. Featuring several expert international speakers, and a host of renowned local speakers the event will work towards uniting the numerous CSR efforts made by local companies under one umbrella. The conference will be held on 3 Oct 2014 at the Cinnamon Lakeside. more..

China Merchants signs two agreements with the govt of Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (HP) Following discussions between Xi Jinping, the President of China, and Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, a series of bilateral cooperation agreements were entered into between China and Sri Lanka on 16 Sept, which were followed by the signing of two agreements, under the witness of both Mr. Xi and Mr. Rajapaksa, between China Merchants (Holdings) International (CMHI) and the govt of Sri Lanka, including an agreement on more..

Responsible tourism rewards families who discover the real Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (HP) The world is waking up to Sri Lanka. Evocatively described in Paul Theroux's 1975 travel journal, "The Great Railway Bazaar", it is once again captivating the imaginations of wanderers around the globe. Emerging from a 26 year civil war and the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, it is now an island idyll for wildlife watchers and beach lovers, history buffs and honeymooners. For families however, outside the non-descript southwest coastal resorts which more..

Calamander to bring in another F&B franchise by 1Q next year

Sept 19 (ST) The Calamander Group, a Singapore based investment holding company which recently announced expansion plans for its Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise in Sri Lanka is poised to introduce another ‘brand name’ franchise, Roman Scott, its Founder and Chairman says. “We had discussions with the management of this new chain and by first quarter next year we plan to launch this,” he said. He said that the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise is now in Bangladesh as well. more..

Spotlight on electronic commerce law and secured transactions in Colombo

Sept 19 (FT) The UN Commission on International Trade Law Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific (UNCITRAL-RCAP) began its two-day South Asia seminar on ‘Electronic Commerce Law and Secured Transactions regime’ at the Colombo Hilton yesterday. Chief Guest was CJ Mohan Pieris whilst the Guest of Honour was Solicitor General Y. Wijeyatilake. Held in association with the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), more..

What Sri Lanka should know about China’s new economic dynamism

Sept 19 (Island) "China is still a developing country. We must give top priority to economic development. Only development will deliver progress. Ultimately, only development will resolve all the problems in China". These were Premier Li Keqiang’s words at the start of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions (AMNC) 2014 held in Tianjin, China, last week, and would no doubt resonate well with the current policy orientation of the Sri Lankan govt as well. more..

Editorial: Of that Scottish caber toss

Sept 19 (Island) The Neverendum happened yesterday and the Scots had the opportunity to decide on the future of their 300-year-old union with the UK. They were still voting at the time of writing and political observers described the vote as being on a knife-edge. The unprecedented groundswell of support for Scottish independence as well as stiff resistance thereto from others albeit democratically is sure to strain relations between London and Glasgow whatever the outcome of the referendum may be. more..

Unruly bhikkus and the media

Sept 19 (Island) Lanka Jathika Sangha Sabhawa was set up recently under the leadership of several high ranking bhikkus including Ven. Medagama Dhammananda, member of the Karaka Sangha Sabha of the Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi, Ven. Balangoda Sobitha the head of the Maligakanda Vidyodaya Pirivena, Ven Tirikunamalaye Ananda the Mahanayake of Amarapura Nikaya, head of the Shanthi Foundation Ven Kotapola Amarakeerthi among many other distinguished bhikkus. more..

‘Remove war crime charges, revisit IHL’

Sept 19 (ST) An NGO submission to the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) presented in Geneva on Monday has demanded that war crimes charges relating to indiscriminate artillery fire, driving civilians into No Fire Zones and causing a large number of casualties tantamount to genocide be removed from the slate of allegations against the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). It also asked for a revisiting of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which in its present form does not adequately more..

Cry wolf and raise Uva polls alarm

Sept 19 (ST) As the countdown begins for the provincial polls to be held in Uva, doubts mount whether the alleged rising toll of violence will incline the election commissioner to make good his threat and order the postponement of the entire election or hold it in stages. Next Sunday, whether the nation will be able to have a fair idea as to how the weathercock of public opinion has turned or whether the people’s right to exercise their franchise has been put on ice, none can say today. more..

Child Soldiers: A stolen innocence

Sept 19 (GV) When I’m gone, release me. Let me go. I have so many things to see and do.” – Excerpt from ‘Butterfly’. Even today too little is been said about them. Yet, they lived as fighters and died as children in a war they knew nothing about, in a war they had nothing to do with in the first place. Vishnu Vasu’s documentary poem, Butterfly, is a remarkable tribute to those thousands of child soldiers who died in vain, as well as those who more..

INFOGRAPHIC: Military presence in the North of Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (GV) Five years since the end of the war, a significant military presence still remains in the Northern Province. This despite repeated assurances by the Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that the military presence is, and will be phased out in order to pave way for post-war reconciliation efforts. In a context of increased militarization, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) highlights the numerous statements made by Govt officials regarding the varying numbers more..

INFOGRAPHIC: Views from Uva

Sept 19 (GV) With the Uva PC elections taking place tomorrow, Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives has analysed data from field work conducted in May and June 2014 to get a sense of the issues and priorities of the people of Uva as they go to vote. The current state of the economy has had an impact on the lives of the people in the Uva Province, especially at the household level. 43.4% of people say that the financial situation in their household more..

An ethical code helps to lead a fruitful life

Sept 19 (SO) Suppose you run a building construction company. You receive a bid from a sub-contractor, which you find to be 25% lower when compared with the lowest bidder of the lot. You realise it is a mistake that could put the sub-contractor out of business within months. But accepting it will improve your chance of winning the contract for a big apartment block project. What would you do? You are a property developer. You buy a medium sized hotel more..

The energy trap

Sept 19 (CT) In Sri Lanka, Around December 20th 1979, an official communiqué was issued by the Govt and displayed in the nation’s newspapers stating, “No oil means no development, and less oil, less development. It is oil that keeps the wheels of development moving”. This defines with clarity what is to be considered development by the policy makers of that Nation. Here was a fundamental and fateful decision that cast a deadly policy framework for the nation. more..

Rajani and the Tamil national struggle

Sept 19 (CT) Dr. Rajani Thiranagama was killed 25 years ago on 21st Sept 1989. Every death, as Rajani said, is a monumental tragedy that needs to be accounted for and the moment we lose that human empathy and become apathetic or indifferent, we are, as a people, doomed. While death and loss was not confined to one community, we Tamils believed in the liberation struggle, lost a great deal, sheltered behind apathy while many of our best were killed as traitors and children of more..

US notes the failure to act on Sri Lanka

Sept 18 (CG) The US says had the international community responded earlier and more appropriately to situations in some countries, including Sri Lanka, lives could have been saved. In a statement during the ongoing UNHRC session in Geneva, the US delegation noted that the most troubling aspect of recent atrocities is the concern that they could have been prevented. In the prepared statement issued during the panel more..

'We missed Malinga and Dilshan'

Sept 18 (CI) The absence of two high-profile Twenty20 cricketers hamstrung Sri Lanka's Southern Express in Champions League T20, their manager has said. Southern Express lost all three matches of the qualifying group - to Northern Districts (from NZ), Mumbai Indians and Lahore Lions (Pakistan) - to make an early exit from the tournament. "Dilshan's absence had a psychological effect on the team. Everyone was upbeat with Dilshan's inclusion in the team," more..

21,000 police to be deployed for provincial election in Sri Lanka

Sept 18 (Xinhua) As many as 11,000 policemen and another 1000 officers of the police Special Forces have been deployed ahead of provincial elections in Sri Lanka. Police Special Forces will be deployed at the outer security circle at counting centers in the Uva provincial council that will vote on Saturday. All campaign activities ended midnight Wednesday and display of promotional material, placards, posters or other decorations is strictly prohibited in election offices after campaigns ended. more..

Sri Lanka to complete digitalization of TV broadcasting by 2020

Sept 18 (NS) Sri Lanka hopes to achieve complete digitalization of terrestrial television broadcasting by 2020. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the govt’s plan was for the country to switchover to digital television over a period of five years from 2014, with the analogous broadcasting system being completely turned off in the sixth year. Plan is to initially achieve complete digitalization of terrestrial television more..

Never neglect development for people: Prez

Sept 18 (OW) President Rajapaksa said he would not stop serving the public and will never neglect development activities which are meant for the people. President stressed that no one in the Govt is ready to take the people for a ride to achieve their petty objectives. Those who were caught dashing children on mango trees are making baseless allegations against the Govt, he said. The President was addressing the final UPFA rally at the Wellawaya Public grounds yesterday. more..

16-year-old driver knocks down two u'grads

Sept 18 (Island) A car driven by an underage student of a leading school in Colombo seriously injured two undergraduates of the Kelaniya University on Tuesday night at Wewalduwa on the Hunupitiya road. The victims were management faculty fourth year female undergrads from Wattala and Gotatuwa and they had been knocked down by a car driven by a 16-year-old when they were crossing the road around 7.45 p.m. Underage driver had been arrested and more..

Sri Lanka eyes 8.2% growth; 4.4% fiscal deficit in 2015

Sept 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is aiming for a higher economic growth of 8.2% and a lower fiscal deficit target of 4.4% of GDP next year, a govt document showed. A cabinet paper submitted by President Rajapaksa, showed that the $67-billion economy is expected to clock higher growth in 2015 than this year's estimated 7.8% expansion, while fiscal deficit is seen to be lower than this year's estimated 5.2% of GDP. more..

3000 TN fishermen go on indefinite fast demanding Sri Lanka to release colleagues

Sept 18 (PTI) Thousands of fishermen along with their family members from 63 fishing hamlets in the district today commenced an indefinite fast demanding the authorities to initiate immediate action for getting the release of 23 fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy. The fishermen were arrested in separate incidents by the navy on charges of violating International Maritime Boundary Line earlier this month when they were fishing off Kodiakkarai. more..

Sri Lanka, the new recruitment hub for ISI

Sept 18 (Rediff) The birth of the BBS, an extremist Singhalese Buddhist organisation in 2012 was a significant event. The organisation was formed to enforce Buddhist supremacy in Sri Lanka, mainly targeting Christians and Muslims in the country. The formation of this organisation was a turning point for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, which had for years been trying to get a foothold in that country, but to no avail. This was partly because of the strength of LTTE which never allowed more..

JVP says will not back Ranil or Fonseka

Sept 18 (CG) JVP says it will not back UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for President, nor does it back proposals made by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, speaking to the media after meeting the Chief Prelate of the Malwattu Chapter in Kandy today, said that backing Wickremesinghe for President would be like backing incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Fitch affirms Citibank Colombo at 'AAA(lka)'

Sept 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Fitch Ratings has affirmed Citibank Colombo Branch's (CitiSL) National Long-Term Rating at 'AAA(lka) with a stable outlook , the rating agency osaid in a statement. CitiSL's rating is the highest on the National Rating scale and reflects the credit profile and financial strength of Citibank, N.A. (A/Stable). Citibank, N.A.'s rating is higher than Sri Lanka's Long-Term Local and Foreign Currency IDRs of 'BB-'/Stable, and as a result CitiSL's rating on more..

PAFFREL for independent commissions

Sept 18 (CG) The PAFFREL noted the pressing need for independent commissions in Sri Lanka. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachi said that the environment leading uoto the Uva PC elections had strengthened the voice for independent commissions. He said that while a policeman may act independently, there is no system in place to protect his future if he acts independently and that shows there needs to be an independent police commission. more..

Cultural minister who wore bottomless shoes reveals his side of the story

Sept 18 (AM) Minister T.B. Ekanayake, who attended a top level diplomatic meeting with a pair of bottomless shoes, said he was aware of what seemed to be a 'wardrobe malfunction; and could do nothing about it. "I decided to wear a white pair of shoes as I wore a national dress. I had an old pair and I gave it to one of my assistants to clean it. Although they were old I thought my shoes were in good condition," more..

Tense situation in Badulla two days ahead of election

Sept 18 (AM) Multiple sources confirmed that a tense situation has arisen in Badulla as a personal dispute between a Sinhala group and a Muslim group has blown out of proportion. The clash had occurred yesterday following a musical show in the Badulla town. Reports from Badulla confirmed that the clash had started when a group of Muslim youth had allegedly assaulted a Sinhala youth during the musical show. As a result, another Sinhala group had attacked several shops in more..

MDMK opposes BJP participation in conference in Sri Lanka

Sept 18 (PTI) BJP's Tamil Nadu ally, MDMK, on Thursday opposed the senior partner's participation in a conference in Sri Lanka, saying it had hurt the Tamils in that country, besides in India and elsewhere. Referring to BJP's two-member delegation of Muralidhar Rao and Vijay Jolly participating in the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Colombo starting today, MDMK chief Vaiko said it amounted to 'belittling' Tamils. more..

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