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BOI plans a state-of-the-art Water Gardens at Sigiriya

July 29 (NS) The BoI allows a Water Gardens project in Sigiriya at the heart of the island’s cultural triangle at an estimated cost of Rs. 650 million. Facilities will include 30 super luxury villas, each equipped with every imaginable facility, amenity and convenience. “Recent economic growth, infrastructural development and an overall rise in tourism to the island has also seen a host of ambitious new projects, which will cater to these more..

Muslims celebrate Ramazan Today

July 29 (GDI) Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fiṭr means "to break the fast". Today all Muslims in Sri Lanka celebrates Ramazan, ending their month of fasting. The festival of Eidul Fitr began on Monday in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring states. The religious authorities in the desert kingdom had announced on Sunday they had received reports of sightings of the new moon, marking the end of Ramazan. more..

Cuba, an example to the world - Minister Dinesh

July 29 (DN) Cuba has been able to stand on its own feet by successfully overcoming the challenges posed by various inimical countries after the “Moncada Attack” 61 years ago, setting an example to the whole world, said Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday. He said that when the country was freed from the Batista dictatorship, which allowed the imperialists to destroy the country’s resources, 36 percent of the population was illiterate, the unemployment rate was 34% while more..

Lady luck finally deserts Sri Lanka

July 29 (CI) Two slips and a gully. A leg slip and a leg gully. A short leg. Silly mid off. Dilruwan Perera lurks at short cover. Rangana Herath prowls the bowling crease. Crows patrol fine leg. Fresh air blows through deep point. Sri Lanka are in their third last-hour finish in four Tests. Drama follows them like a man with an axe after the pretty girl in a horror flick. This is the kind of stuff Sri Lanka's Test supporters - a meagre and masochistic, more..

Indian CEO Forum plans free medical aid

July 29 (LBT) The Indian CEO Forum (ICF), which completed one year of its formation on July 12, 2014, announced the roll out of its plan to bring free medical aid to all sectors of society through a health check camp specifically focusing on two major silent killers – Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. The first such camp was held on July 27 at the ‘Lama Huruwa Pre School’, Aramangolla, Horana, from 9 am to 2 pm. The objectives of the Indian CEO Forum is to promote and contribute to more..

‘Press Centre to get fishermen freed’

July 29 (Hindu) Chief Minister Jayalalithaa should send a delegation of ministers and fishermen leaders to New Delhi to press the Centre for steps to free fishermen and their boats from Sri Lanka. Fishermen leaders made the demand at a demonstration here on Monday. The fishermen of Rameswaram and Mandapam have not put out to sea for the past four days to condemn the continuing arrest of fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. They went in procession to the Collectorate to hand over more..

Dravidian parties uneasy with BJP's policy shift on Sri Lanka

July 29 (DNA) BJP-led govt of PM Narendra Modi seems determined to press the reset button on India’s policy towards Sri Lanka. Equally perceptible is the displeasure of the Dravidian parties from the ruling AIADMK to the DMK as well as the Kazhagams that constitute the BJP’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state. Although it is certain that a re-set of bilateral ties is underway, there is no clarity on the emerging policy outline and its direction. more..

Nandimithra’s secretary prevented from attending SLFP meeting

July 29 (Island) Deputy Higher Education Minister and Matale District Parliamentarian Nadimithra Ekanayake yesterday complained that Central Provincial Council Health Minister and Chief Organiser for Rattota, Bandula Yalegama had stopped his co-ordinating secretary Maithri Dawson from attending a committee meeting of the SLFP and ordered him out in the presence of others. Yalegama told Ekanayake’s co-ordinating secretary had arrived for the meeting without prior notice. more..

Bird droppings can kill mosquitoes, finds study

July 29 (TOI) A team of researchers from Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC), Puducherry and Pondicherry University has discovered bacteria in bird droppings that can kill mosquitoes. It has proposed to develop an anti-mosquito formulation using these bacteria, which can replace chemical insecticides. The team, which undertook a three-year-study analyzed 1,000 samples of bird droppings and discovered 12 bacterial strains that kill mosquitoes. The bacteria belong to Bacillus species more..

LSSP tells govt. not to tar all NGOs with same brush

July 29 (Island) The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) while condemning the NGOs responsible for activities detrimental to the country has called on the govt not to tar all of them with the same brush. Following is the full LSSP statement on NGOs: The fact that there area large number of NGO operating in Sri Lanka and most other countries is well known. While some of them get local funding many are funded from abroad. more..

UN 'probe' just a big show - Dilan

July 29 (DN) The so-called UN 'probe' is only a big show. This is because the whole world knows that the conclusion and the report are already prepared and ready, Minister Dilan Perera said. He said what V Prabhakaran could not do through terrorism, Navaneetham Pillai was trying to do in other ways. "We have to completely ignore this one sided probe and we have to use our own mechanisms. This is the only way to defeat Navaneetham Pillai's efforts to make Prabhakaran's dreams a reality," more..

Uva PC Election: Selection of UNP candidates commences today

July 29 (Island) The UNP is to begin selecting its candidates for the forthcoming Uva PC Election today. MP Gayantha Karunathillaka said that the Nomination Board (NB) headed by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would meet from tomorrow till August 4, to pick its candidates. The NB would also include Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, UNP Chairman Kabeer Hashim, Tissa Attanayake, Daya Gamage, Harin Fernando, Ravi Karunanayake, Sajith Pemadasa, Lakshman Kiriella, more..

Govt’s decisions not election oriented – President

July 29 (DN) President Rajapaksa yesterday said that whatever decision taken by the govt has never been election oriented. “All decisions of the govt were taken for the well being of the country and we did not gain any kind of advantage by these decisions,” he said. President Rajapaksa said the govt is striving to mould students suitable to present themselves to the modern world. President was speaking at the national ceremony to distribute more..

SEC sounds stockbrokers on lending rates on credit extension

July 29 (Island) The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), has called on stockbrokers to align their lending rates on credit extension with the policy rates prescribed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. This is in view of the fact that the ‘Average Weighted Prime Lending Rate (AWPR) of the CBSL has declined considerably in the recent past and the lending rates on credit extension of certain stockbrokers have not been adjusted accordingly, transferring the benefit of more..

SLASSCOM launches first ever Strategic Review for IT/BPM Industry

July 29 (Island) SLASSCOM ,the IT and Knowledge Services Industry Trade Chamber in Sri Lanka launched its first ever IT/BPM Industry Review at a simple ceremony held under the patronage of Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning and Treasury Secretary, Dr. P. B. Jayasundera recently. Welcoming the audience SLASSCOM Chairman, Jayantha de Silva said that the industry with strong support of the government has shown tremendous growth in the last few years from more..

Yal Devi to resume opeations on Sept.15

July 29 (MoD) The reconstructed Colombo - Jaffna, Northern Railway Line up to Jaffna will be completed by September and the Yal Devi train service to Jaffna, which was suspended for nearly 30 years, due to LTTE terrorist activities will resume operations on 15 September, the Ministry of Transport said. Northern Railway Line from Vavuniya to Kankasanthurai in the northern most tip of the island was completely destroyed by the Tamil Tiger terrorists more..

I wish all followers of Islam in Sri Lanka a Happy Eid ul-Fitr. Eid Mubarak - President

July 29 (GDI) I am pleased to send this message of greetings to the devotees of Islam as they celebrate the festival Eid ul-Fitr today, President Rajapaksa stated in a message to mark the Ramazan festival. “The Muslim community of Sri Lanka join their brothers in faith the world over today, to mark the completion of the important period of fasting and religious fervour, in keeping with the traditions of Islam. “This is now the time of rejoicing at the end of a holy month more..

Japan, Sri Lanka discuss fresh boost to strong bilateral ties

July 29 (FT) Senior Japanese Vice Minister of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry [METI] Kazuyoshi Akaba, who is heading a senior delegation to Sri Lanka, called on Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday. Following a warm welcome, matters of mutual interests and future development programs were discussed during the meeting between Rajapaksa and Japanese envoy. The key objectives of the visit are to enhance commercial activity between the two countries, increase investments to more..

CodeGen first movers to Trace Expert City Colombo

July 29 (FT) CodeGen Interna-tional Ltd., an innovative IT company catering to the global travel tourism industry software solution market, ceremoniously opened its 30,000sqft modern office premises at the Trace Expert City Colombo. The launch was held under the patronage of Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, UDA Chairman Nimal Perera, dignitaries from the Sri Lankan Army and the management of CodeGen. more..

New Chairman, Deputy Chairman at Commercial Bank

July 29 (FT) The Commercial Bank yesterday announced the appointment of Dharma Dheerasinghe and Preethi Jayawardena as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the bank, effective 29 July. Dheerasinghe, formerly Deputy Chairman of the Bank, succeeds Dinesh Weerakkody on the latter’s retirement after two-and-a-half years as Chairman. An eminent economist with a distinguished career of over 40 years in the banking industry, Dharma Dheerasinghe was appointed to the Board of Commercial Bank on more..

Minimum room rate a disincentive to tourism

July 29 (CT) The Sri Lanka tourism industry is threatened by the over dependence on destination management companies, shortage of skilled labour and minimum room rates. International market research firm, Amba, said that Sri Lanka was lagging behind Asia, and was facing threats of losing competitiveness due to the minimum room rate. According to the firm in 2012 Sri Lanka received more than 1 million tourists, whilst competitor nations such as Philippines recorded 4.3 million tourist arrivals, more..

'It was emotionally draining' - Amla

July 29 (CI) Traditions are the ties that connect groups of people even when individuals change. It is also how sports teams define a philosophy. An hour-and-a-half after play in Colombo, once the presentation, media engagements and autograph signing was done, the South Africa team walked down the changeroom stairs to applause from a small group of people still hanging around. They made their way past their team bus, whose engine had already more..

Mahela's safe hands, and SA's stonewalling

July 29 (CI) 2: Number of Test series won by South Africa in Sri Lanka. Monday's draw secured South Africa their second series win in five visits to the country. The only other time South Africa won here was in the first ever series between the teams in 1993, when the hosts were beaten 0-1. 541: Deliveries that Hashim Amla faced in the match, which is the fourth highest a South Africa batsman has ever faced in a Test. Given that Amla was required to anchor South Africa's first innings more..

Much to be admired in South Africa's stonewalling approach

July 29 (CI) The day the Netherlands lift the football World Cup, Sergio Garcia triumphs in a golf major or David Ferrer is crowned Grand Slam champion, they will have a supporter in all of us. All three have been top competitors for significant periods but have not pushed on to the big prize. When they do, we will acknowledge that this time, after all that trying, they 'deserved' it. Deserve - To earn something; to have a claim over it; to warrant calling it your own. more..

Mathews rues Galle collapse

July 29 (CI) Sports teams like to make clean breaks from bad results - to forget failure and renew focus on the future. But as in life, mistakes have clear consequences in cricket. As he reflected on Sri Lanka's series loss, it was the poor outing in Galle that Angelo Mathews kept returning to. The 1-0 lead that South Africa had won there allowed the visitors to pull the shutters down and pursue a draw at SSC from as early as the second day. more..

Free media for truth to prevail especially in North

July 29 (Island) The disruption of two media training programmes for Tamil journalists from the former war zones of the North in quick order makes it appear that they have become a target for suppression. In the space of less than six weeks there have been at least two attempts to prevent Tamil journalists from interacting with the larger civil society, to share their experiences and to benefit from the latest advances in methods of news investigation and dissemination. more..

Editorial: A strange wish

July 29 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena is believed to have won the hearts and minds of women, especially mothers and wives, with his sustained campaign against alcohol and smoking. He has, to his credit, adopted some measures to prevent sexual harassment in the public health sector, we are told. He also generously appreciates women’s contribution to national development. But, he is said to have made a strange wish. At a recent meeting of female SLFP members, he has, more..

Lankan boats get international exposure

July 29 (CT) Sri Lanka's boatbuilding capability for international markets will be further showcased when the Boat Show and Fisheries Exhibition 2014 will be held at the Dickowita Fisheries Harbour from 10-12 October. Also coinciding with this event will be the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) regional parley, which will be held at the Pegasus Reef Hotel, also from 10-12 October. more..

Crude foil to bar MPs from oil strike

July 29 (ST) If the Ceylon Petroleum Corporations’ top officials successfully managed to foil all attempts by the visiting UNP fact finding parliamentary team to enter its oil refinery at Sapugaskanda on July 17 and make any important discovery embedded therein, they succeeded even more in displaying to the entire nation the complete absence of transparency in the running of govt institutions. From the very top, from the office of the chairman of the corporation itself came the blunt negative more..

Locking the stable door after the horses have bolted

July 29 (ST) For most of the post-war years, the Rajapaksa Govt’s actions have been informed by a strange and intensely contradictory mixture of the classic classroom bully as well as its exact opposite, the sniveling skinny kid who gets picked on in the playground. So on the one hand, it blustered and roared to the world that its handling of the Wanni war was beyond reproach. Unbelievably we were told very early on that there were ‘zero’ civilian casualties. more..

SLC’s fund-disbursement plan likely to top Rs. 300 million

July 29 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials held a discussion on Saturday to considerably increase the SLC money they are going to distribute among their own clubs while National chief selector and cricket legend Sanath Jayasuriya has commended the earlier money disbursement plan drawn up by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President Jayantha Dharmadasa saying it would provide a strong foundation to nurture the game in Sri Lanka. more..

Hakeem's meet with OIC Head irks MR

July 29 (CT) The feud between Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem and the govt top brass first started at the time when a section of the ruling coalition launched a battle against the halal certification some time ago. Hakeem incurred the wrath of the govt hierarchy when he took steps to make representations to the Heads of Muslim nations in West Asia instead of making any effort to get the issue resolved in consultation with the authorities here. Differences between Minister Hakeem and more..

Opposition trends in the election season

July 29 (GV) If the Rajapaksa administration wanted to mislead and confuse the mainstream opposition and lead it to an electoral dead-end, it could hardly do better than the opposition has itself done, and done unto itself. The main Opposition candidate remains Ranil Wickremesinghe who has no rural resonance. As Mervyn de Silva wrote, “the road to Temple Trees runs through the paddy fields”. Meanwhile there is the project of a common opposition candidate on the single issue more..

Valaichchenai paper mill rises from the ashes

July 29 (SO) Like in the present era, the govt that was in power in 1955 had wanted to create an industry to usher in economic prosperity to the North East. Looking at the resources available the then govt decided to construct a paper mill since there was an abundance of saw dust available. Putting this thought into deed, the country’s first paper factory which was established in 1955 was commissioned for commercial operation in 1956 at more..

The Oslo Forum and the Elephant in the room

July 29 (CT) I was privileged last month to attend the Oslo Forum, an annual gathering of those engaged in mediation and conflict resolution. I had been invited, along with Mr Sumanthiran, to debate on whether it was correct to talk to extremists. The concept paper referred in some detail to recent developments in Nigeria and Afghanistan, but we were in fact the only participants in the debate from a country which had recently been in grave danger from extremists. more..

Let’s start from Uva against Rajapaksa familiocracy

July 29 (CT) Yet another election is looming ahead. The Uva PC has been dissolved and nominations for the forthcoming elections have been announced. Twenty years’ scourge needs to be eradicated and it should be done now, not next year or year after, let’s show that the people of this country are sick and tired of this corrupt and incompetent Familiocracy, that we are distressed and despaired that unless and until this unbelievably fraudulent administration that more..

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