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Sri Lanka John Keells Holdings opens 'Cinnamon Red'

Sept 2 (LBR) Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings opened 243 - room , lean luxury, business hotel Sri Lanka's capital Colombo yesterday with an investment about 3.5 billion rupees officials said. “As much as Cinnamon Red signifies the creation of a new tier within the Cinnamon Hotels and Resort Brand, it has also created an impetus for a brand new tier in Sri Lanka’s hospitality industry,” Ajit Gunewardene, Deputy Chairman of John Keells Holding said. more..

UNP Uva candidate’s office attacked

Sept 2 (CG) The election office of the opposition leader of the Buttala pradesheeya sabha and UNP Moneragala district PC candidate Wijesinghe Herath Dharmasena was attacked in the early hours of today. With this incident the number of attacked election offices of the opposition parties had reached 55, the election monitoring group CaFFE said. CaFFE also noted that while there are over 200 legal and illegal election offices of UPFA in the Moneragala district, more..

Rubber prices to be controlled

Sept 2 (Island) The govt would control rubber prices soon, Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said that rubber prices had declined steeply locally at present due to depressed prices in the world market. "We cannot control world rubber prices as we have only a 2% market share," Samarasinghe said, adding that Thailand and Malaysia produced the highest market share of rubber. more..

SLFP, UNP celebrte their 68th & 63rd anniversaries in Badulla

Sept 2 (Island) The SLFP will celebrate its 63rd anniversary on a grand scale in Badulla this morning. President Rajapaksa would address over 40,000 SLFP activists at the Vincent Dias stadium in Badulla town. The President was expected to formally announce his intention to seek a third successive term in office today. Earlier in the day the Badulla branch of the SLFP is scheduled to be ceremonially opened on Gangabada Road in the town at 11.00 am by the district leaders of the party. more..

NPC funds lie idle

Sept 2 (DM) The Northern Provincial Council (NPC), which is administered by the TNA, has failed to utilize at least 30% of its capital allocations in the annual budget, an opposition politician charged. The Govt had allocated Rs.5,831 million to the NPC which was constituted last year for its capital expenditure. NPC Opposition Leader Joseph Thavarajah said that the inefficiency of most elected members of the ruling party had led to this situation. more..

Raids to restore rice price stability

Sept 2 (ST) As rice prices shoot up amidst a shortage, a deputy minister warned that raids would be carried out on mills that hoarded paddy without milling it and releasing the rice to the market. Deputy Internal Trade Minister Hemal Gunasekara said the ministry had called upon millers, traders and importers to give details of the stocks of rice and paddy in their possession. They should furnish the details before September 15 and thereafter every fortnight, more..

'Norochcholai shut down costs CEB Rs.600 mn a day'

Sept 2 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka says that the shutdown of Lakwijaya coal-fired power plant at Norochcholai costs the CEB Rs. 600 mn a day. Addressing a book launch on Sunday in Kandy, the former Power and Energy Minister Ranawaka said that the future of Sri Lanka’s power and energy sector would depend on the Norochcholai power plant. If the power plant was handed over to another authority, it would severely affect the country’s power sector, he said. more..

Gun culture the order of the day!

Sept 2 (SL) The number of crimes committed with the use of weapons has increased across the country in the recent past, and there have been many instances where persons had been shot at, with these illegal weapons, sometimes over trivial, personal disputes. Investigations are underway with special focus in the Western Province, and the police have been instructed to seize all illegal firearms in the possession of persons who do not have the license to possess the same. more..

Harin challenges Shasheendra to debate

Sept 2 (FT) UNP Chief Ministerial hopeful in the Uva Province Harin Fernando challenged his main rival Shasheendra Rajapaksa to a public debate yesterday, while playing down his recently-publicised interaction with another member of the Rajapaksa family. “I am willing to debate him on any television network and I will come wherever he wants me to. If he is too busy campaigning to come to Colombo, I will go to him in Moneragala,” Harin Fernando told journalists at Sirikotha. more..

Wariyapola girl teaches pervert a lesson

Sept 2 (DM) A video of a girl slapping a man at the Wariyapola bus stand went viral on social media sites recently. In a country where many women’s rights activists are active, so far none of the activists or such organizations had commented on the event. Instead of having an open discussion, the girl who slapped the man was highly criticized through the social media. The entire incident was marketed in many ways. So far no one has been bold enough to more..

Modi’s wake-up message for Indians

Sept 2 (DM) On August 15, India celebrated her freedom from Britain. Traditionally, the day begins with a speech by the Indian PM from the towering ramparts of the Mughal-era Red Fort in old Delhi. First, the flag is hoisted and the national anthem is sung after a gun-salute has sent millions of roosting pigeons fluttering into the sky. Finally, the head of govt “addresses the nation”. In the 67 years since independence, most Indian prime ministers have used the occasion for self-aggrandizement, more..

Rubber losing its bounce

Sept 2 (DM) The crisis in the local rubber industry has deepened as prices continue to collapse. At the latest rubber auction in Colombo, the top grades -- Latex Crepe 1X and Latex Crepe 1, 2, and 3 were unquoted. The prices of Ribbed Smoked Sheet (RSS) were lagging at Rs.248. According to the Colombo Rubber Traders’ Association (CRTA), the rubber auction prices have fallen 50 per cent over the past three years. The current latex rubber price (latex crepe 1x and 1) hovers around Rs.300 to 320 a kilo more..

Sri Lanka court gives green light to deport Pakistani asylum seekers

Sept 2 (Reuters) A Sri Lankan court on Monday gave permission to authorities to send back scores of Pakistani asylum seekers, after the govt said they were a threat to the island's security and public health. Deputy Solicitor General Janak de Silva asked the Appeal court to lift an earlier suspension of deportations, saying there was evidence Pakistanis were committing crimes and bringing malaria into the country, more..

Parents sell infant for Rs. 50,000; buy house for Rs. 18,000

Sept 2 (DM) Police arrested the parents of a week-old infant and four others for allegedly selling the infant for Rs.50,000 in Modera. Police said among the arrested were a couple who bought the baby and two other women believed to be the brokers who arranged the deal. Initial police investigations revealed that the infant’s mother and father, who already have a two year-old child, had purchased a temporally-built shanty at Lellama in Modera for Rs.18,000 after selling their infant. more..

MR interrupts Mervyn’s attacking speech

Sept 2 (DM) President Rajapaksa had to interrupt Minister Mervyn Silva’s speech during an event at Madulla in Moneragala yesterday and advise him not to sling mud at anyone at personal level. In his speech Minister Silva had been making a scathing personal attack on JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake when the President, who was on stage, advised the minister to refrain doing so in future. The Minister immediately obliged and continued his speech following the President advice.

'Why worry about my meeting with Harin?'

Sept 2 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa asked as to why eyebrows are raised when he meets UNP Uva CM candidate Harin Fernando over a cup of tea, while such a meeting between UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and his father- President Rajapaksa was seen as normal. Commenting on his recent meeting with Mr. Fernando, the Hambantota MP said the opposition’s main job was slinging mud at everything. more..

CB appoints 4 new Assistant Governors

Sept 2 (FT) The Monetary Board has appointed D. Wasantha, C.P.A. Karunathilake and H.A. Karunaratne to the post of Assistant Governor with effect from 28 August. S.R. Attygalle who is presently functioning as the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, has also been appointed as an Assistant Governor. These promotions have been made in accordance with the succession plan of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to address the emerging challenges of the economy. more..

Remanded for taking gun to Court

Sept 2 (CT) A person who entered the Colombo Magistrate's Court complex carrying a Brazilian made revolver was remanded till 5 September by Colombo Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday. Officers of Keselwatte Police arrested Mohammad Marzook, a resident of Colombo 14, who had entered the complex with a firearm. He has arrived around 11:40 a.m. and was searched at the entrance by a security guard who discovered the revolver strapped round his waist. more..

Video: Govt. calls state employees to Uva, JVP goes to HRC

Sept 2 (LT) The JVP filed a complaint in Human Rights Commission today (1) against the govt’s move to deploy Samurdhi Development Officers, graduates recruited to the Department of ‘Divi Neguma’ of the Ministry of Economic Development, Agriculture Research Officers and other state employees in its election campaign for the Uva PC election. Complaint was filed by former Member of UPC Sugath more..

Laugfs ventures into maritime with $ 7 m LPG ship

Sept 2 (CT) Laugfs Gas announced that the company has ventured into maritime services with a total investment of over US$ 20 million. Laugfs Holdings Managing Director Thilak de Silva said that the company had incorporated a fully-owned subsidiary called Laugfs Maritime Services, as a BOI approved project to venture into international shipping, logistics and maritime services. The firm (LMS) will own operate, hire and charter various types and size of ships including LPG vessels more..

Two Turks in remand for over one year without indictment

Sept 2 (Island) Two Turkish Nationals arrested in July 2013 for fraudulently withdrawing money from local Automatic Teller Machines have been in remand custody for more than one year pending indictment. Despite being granted surety bail the suspects Akbal Cemet and Ozlurk Levent are yet in remand as they are not in a position to furnish sureties acceptable to court. The CID Investigations have been completed and the file has been referred to AG’s Department for advice in Nov 2013. more..

Video: Harin to launch death fast if police are biased

Sept 2 (DM) UNP CM candidate Harin Fernando threatened to launch a death fast if the police and the other authorities continued to act biased in favour of the Govt when maintaining law and order in the Uva Province. He told a media briefing that he would fast to death if the authorities attempted to remove his party’s propaganda material while permitting the ruling party to continue with its propaganda material. more..

Allianz Global Healthcare is now in Sri Lanka

Sept 2 (DN) Allianz Lanka launched the exclusive Allianz Global Healthcare Plan for the protection of its customers in Sri Lanka. Allianz Global Healthcare Insurance is a comprehensive international medical cover that meets the healthcare needs of the policyholder and his/her family, anywhere in the world, except in the USA and Canada. A single solution for all healthcare needs, from pre-to post hospital care, in first class healthcare facilities the world over is now within easy reach, more..

Coach Dassanayake signs deal with ministry

Sept 2 (HT) National cricket coach Pubudu Dassanayake and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) signed a new contract here on Monday as the both parties aggreed on the terms and conditions. As per the contract, labelled as Umbrella Agreement by the MoYS, the national team coach will receive $10,000 per month and will work under the ministry as a cricket consultant. The contract, who came into effect from today will end on June 15, next year. more..

Asian Youth Games moved from Hambantota to Doha

Sept 2 (ST) Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is to make clear of its limit to tolerance as unofficial reports say that the Asian Youth Games (AYG) 2017 has been moved to Doha, Qatar from Hambantota. The previous proposal made by the AYG Secretariat to host the AYG 2017 in Colombo apart from Hambantota has been treated unfavourably by the OCA officials. Two months ago an OCA delegation met the AYG 2017 more..

Over 100 foreign buyers at this year’s FACETS Sri Lanka trade show

Sept 2 (ST) FACETS Sri Lanka 2014, the international Gem and Jewellery Show, will be attended by over dozens of buyers from China, India, Myanmar, Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, USA, Russia and Germany. Already 76 buyers from China and over 35 Indian buyers have confirmed their participation at the September 5th exhibition in Colombo. The final stall holders meeting was held at SL Gem and Jewellery Association Secretariat in Colombo recently. more..

Ayomali and Eshan crowned as single champs

Sept 2 (ST) Neranji Ayomali and Lahiru Eshan were crowned Women’s and Men’s single champions respectively at the Lanka Plate Carrom Championship 2014 concluded at the Carrom Federation Headquarters yesterday, Ayomali met Pavani Yasoda in the Women’s final in which the champ gave a tough fight to win 25/15 and 25/12. In the Men’s final Eshan scored a cake-walk victory over Joseph Dilan by 25/8 and 25/4. Suchini Sashikala partnered by Malshani more..

MTLs for Obbegoda Central College and Bakinigahawela Muslim Central College

Sept 2 (IL) Mahindodaya Technological Laboratories (MTL) established at the Obbegoda Central College and Bakinigahawela Muslim Central College in Moneragala were vested with the students under the patronage of President Rajapaksa on Sunday. President was warmly welcomed by the students and teachers of both schools. President declared open the MTLs after unveiling the plaque, had an inspection tour. more..

Lankan Tamil murdered

Sept 2 (Hindu) A Sri Lankan Tamil was murdered in front of his house at Karumandapam area here on Sunday night. The victim, S. Selvendran (59), running a travel agency, had returned home in a two-wheeler on Sunday when unknown persons stabbed him. Upon hearing Selvendran scream, his wife S. Premakumari (53) rushed out of their house in Selva Nagar and found him with multiple stab wounds. He was taken to the Mahatma Gandhi Govt Hospital where he was declared dead. more..

GoSL services US$ 20.64 M FX debt

Sept 2 (CT) Central Bank/Govt of Sri Lanka continued from where they left off the previous market day, by buying a minimum of foreign exchange (FX) equivalent to US$ 20.64 million from CBSL's foreign reserves to service GoSL's foreign debt at yesterday's trading. This figure is arrived at on an analysis of CBSL's open market operations yesterday, and based on the fact that the exchange rate in interbank spot trading of the US dollar, closed at Rs 130.20 yesterday, more..

BOC soars with 1H pre-tax profit up 20% to Rs. 8.6 b

Sept 2 (FT) In a fitting tribute to its 75th anniversary in August, the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has boosted its first half pre-tax profit by 20% to a record Rs. 8.6 billion. BoC said it has reported an after tax profit of Rs. 6.2 billion for 1H2014 which is a 23% growth over 1H of the previous year. Despite the significant interest rate pressures and slowdown in credit growth which is common to the industry during the period under concern, more..

Reduction in large trade deficit strengthens balance of payments

Sept 2 (ST) The reduction of the trade deficit by 20 per cent in the first half of this year is likely to result in a significant balance of payments surplus. The trade deficit of US$ 4.4 billion in the first half of last year decreased to US$ 3.5 billion in the first six months of this year. Although the trade deficit in the first six months of this year is much less than that of the first half of last year, it is likely to exceed US$ 7 billion in 2014. Such a high trade deficit brings out the need to address the weaknesses in more..

Issues of truth and accountability: A private sector perspective

Sept 2 (GV) The 'Third Narrative' reviewed at the Colloquium presents an alternative narrative, of the events of the last stages of the war, and has been developed as a response to the UNHRC resolution of 2014. This is in the wake of the purported conflicting and contradictory accounts of the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka. These varying accounts have come from the Defense Authorities/ Army and the Govt of Sri Lanka, I-NGO’s, University Teachers for Human Rights, Academics, more..

'Sri Lanka can be a breakthrough nation in sustainability'

Sept 2 (FT) The father of the world-famous Triple Bottom Line strategy, John Elkington suggested Sri Lanka can be a “breakthrough” nation in sustainability, provided the private sector leads the effort sincerely. “CEOs must own sustainability. At present they don’t. They think it is someone else’s responsibility. Firms must make sustainability mainstream and a part of their business,” Elkington told a business leaders’ forum more..

Editorial: Fathers and sons

Sept 2 (Island) Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake’s son, Narada, has drawn media attention again due to his appointment by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the SLFP co-organiser for Hanguranketha. Why SB made his son plunge into the same cesspit as he without asking the young man to stick to the groves of academe is puzzling. Maybe, politicians go by the adage: ‘Where there’s muck there’s brass’. Time was when SB’s son was in the news for the wrong reason. more..

Carlton Carnival in Basketball

Sept 2 (Island) They play every week-end at St Sebastian’s College Moratuwa. Old boys and young boys and ancient pelicans like me gather to enjoy a wonderful game of basketball. Past few weeks the court was chock-a-block, three teams playing in the Carlton Tournament were looking for space to practise. The regulars were there, mostly players who had represented the nation. And there were others, players with good reputations who were well known in the local cager scene. more..

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