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Archives

Ministry secy. frowns on ‘CEB-Chinese firm MoU’

Aug 3 (Island) The CEB General Manager Shavindranth Fernando has come under fire for signing a MoU as regards the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) without the Power and Energy Ministry approval. Ministry Secretary, M.M.C. Ferdinando, said the MoU had been signed without his approval. When a formal agreement between the two govts was signed, they would take up more..

Minister does not deny requesting state land for chena cultivators

Aug 3 (Island) Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa said he had not asked for state land for himself, but he he had requested land for chena cultivators. An angry minister said: "Forest land is being given to multi national companies, but when it comes to deserving farmers they make a hue and cry." The Environment Conservation Trust (ECT) alleges that Zoysa has pressured the Department of Forest Conservation (DFC) to let govt supporters encroach on land belonging to proposed Lunuthibahela Forest more..

Malsha glad of publicity over Ice Bucket Challenge

Aug 3 (DM) WPC member Malsha Kumaratunga said she did not take up the “Ice Bucket” challenge to gain publicity but she was happy that she was able to open the eyes of the people of Sri Lanka to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which was not talked of earlier. “I did not even think of getting publicity but it came unexpectedly. I did it as it was a good deed to help combat a fatal disease, she said. Ms. Kumaratunga said she would not let this talk about ALS be forgotten but more..

JVP wants voting rights for expatriate Lankan voters

Aug 3 (Island) Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake has urged the Commissioner of Elections to explore ways and means of enabling over one million Sri Lankan expatriate workers to vote at national level elections. The JVP said its leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake had made that proposal when he, together with a party delegation, met Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya at the Elections Secretariat last Friday. more..

SL & Human Rights: Ambassador’s view

Aug 3 (NYT) Your Aug. 23 editorial “Sri Lanka’s Intransigence,” about the govt’s refusal to cooperate with the UN investigation into suspected human rights abuses during the country’s civil war, makes insensitive assertions about my country. Sri Lanka has enjoyed uninterrupted democracy since 1931. Last September we held the first election to the NPC, delayed by more than two decades because of the refusal of the LTTE to politically empower people in the North. more..

'5 million families benefit thanks to Basil'

Aug 3 (FT) More than five million poor families are set to benefit from the Govt’s latest micro credit initiative launched island-wide on 1 September – rewarded with no less than spot cash. “It is thanks to Minister Basil Rajapaksa that the Divi Neguma scheme arrived in Mannar for the first time. Today’s launch of the Divi Neguma Credit Scheme will allow loans up to Rs. 50,000 without guarantors, at a very low interest rate of 4% and direct cash,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen in Mannar. more..

Jayalalithaa writes to Narendra Modi against Subramanian Swamy remark

Aug 3 (TOI) TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday took exception to reported remarks of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy that he had advised the Sri Lankan govt not to release the boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, chief minister pointed to a televised interview of the BJP leader on September 1. "It is particularly distressing that a senior member of the BJP has, in a televised more..

Tourism sector gets big boost from Seychelles-Sri Lanka business forum

Aug 3 (eTN) Tourism Principal Secretary Anne Lafortune represented the Seychelles tourism sector at the second Seychelles-Sri Lanka business forum held in the capital Colombo from August 27-29. Mrs. Lafortune was part of a strong delegation led by the Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment at Pierre Laporte. The business forum is an initiative of the Seychelles Investment Board together with the Seychelles non-resident Ambassador Waven William, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, more..

Sri Lankan retailers step up India presence via single brand route

Aug 3 (Hindu) Sri Lankan retailers are making a beeline to enter India through the single brand FDI (foreign direct investment) route. After premium brands such as Avirate and Amante, fashion and lifestyle brand Odel is also seeking to set up stores in the country. Odel will bring in its private labels and stay away from multi-brand retail, since the norms and clauses attached to it are considered to be stringent by most international retailers waiting to enter India. more..

Ambassador Amunugama presents credentials to President Gauk

Aug 3 (IL) Dr. Karunathilaka Amunugama, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Federal Republic of Germany presented his credentials on Tuesday the 2nd Sept. to the President of Germany Joachim Gauck at his official residence the Schloss Bellevue. President Gauk while warmly welcoming Ambassador Amunugama, to Germany extended his heartfelt greetings to President Rajapaksa, and the people of Sri Lanka. more..

GL briefs Slovania’s President on developments in Lanka

Aug 3 (DN) On the sidelines of the Bled Strategic Forum, at which he was a panelist, Minister G.L. Peiris called on President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor and briefed him on current developments in Sri Lanka. Among the other matters discussed at this meeting were Sri Lanka’s leadership role as Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth and Chair of the Group of 15. President of Slovenia also showed interest in Sri Lanka’s role in the Non-Aligned Movement, more..

Fitch Ratings says: Reinsurance sector likely to see hiked mergers and acquisitions

Aug 3 (Island) Fitch Ratings says the reinsurance sector is likely to see increased merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, as more stressful market conditions limit organic growth potential, according to a newly-published report. The increased availability of alternative reinsurance could add to an M&A trend by providing further sources of capital to the market while potentially reducing growth opportunities for traditional reinsurers in direct competition with the alternative providers. more..

Army presence unsettles Tamils: Varadaraja Perumal

Aug 3 (Hindu) The heavy presence of the army in the Tamil-speaking areas of Sri Lanka, after the cantonment system was introduced, has prompted fears among locals about Sinhalese settlement, Leader of the EPRLF and former Chief Minister of North-Eastern Province, A. Varadaraja Perumal, said. He said that reducing the presence of the army would help the economy. Expenditure on security, accounting for 1/3 of the spending, more..

Army provides relief measures in drought-hit areas

Aug 3 (MoD) Over 200 families of long-drawn drought hit areas in Kalyanipura, Vavuniya received dry ration packs and drinking water bottles along with a special arrangement coordinated by the Army's 62 Division recently. The notable welfare measure was initiated by the Rev. Fr Sanjeewa in association with the priest of Waga Parish. Meanwhile, Security Force Headquarters - Central (SFHQ-C) further extending their humanitarian assistances to the drought hit populace, more..

Nigerian delegation to learn welfare systems in Sri Lankan tri services

Aug 3 (SLA) An eleven-member delegation from the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), currently in Sri Lanka on a study tour, called on the Commander of the Army, Daya Ratnayake Tuesday at Army Headquarters. Headed by Air Vice Marshal M.R Morgan of the Nigerian Air Force, the delegation was anxious to learn about the SL Army welfare model and how it functions for the best interests of the soldiers. Delegation included officials from Nigerian Ministry of Defence, more..

IFIMES presented a high award to Sri Lanka Foreign Minister

Aug 3 (NS) International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) presented a high award for "special contribution to stability and peace in the Region" to Minister G.L. Peiris. The award was presented by the member of the IFIMES Advisory Board and former President of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia Prof. Dr. Ernest Petrič. He stressed Minister Peiris's contribution to the academic community and diplomacy, more..

Ceylon Tea Brokers shows steady growth

Aug 3 (CT) Ceylon Tea Brokers (CTB), which is 81.357% held by Seylan Bank/Capital Alliance Holdings, has over a relatively short span grown to be a major player in tea broking, commanding an overall market share of over 10%, states the annual report of the company. CTB has shown almost no change in profits for the quarter ended 30 June 2014 as compared to last year, but revenue increased 18%, and the company is showing overall growth. Revenue grew from Rs 185 million in 2012 more..

Commercial Bank acquires Indra Finance

Aug 3 (Island) In one of the first transactions under the Financial Sector Consolidation Road Map mandated by the Central Bank, Commercial Bank acquired a 100% stake of Indra Finance, with the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement signed on 1st September 2014 at the Commercial Bank Head Office in Colombo. Representing the Bank, were Mr. Jegan Durairatnam - CEO, S Renganathan - COO, Sanath Manatunge - DGM Corporate Banking (Designate), Isuru Thillekewardena more..

Bill billed to bungle billions!

Aug 3 (FT) Billion rupees worth of purely foreign and joint venture investments already made or firmed up are under threat thanks to a contentious Bill promoted by the Govt, the private sector warned. The contentious piece of upcoming legislation is the Land Bill, which makes provisions to stipulate restrictions on the alienation of lands to foreigners, foreign companies and institutions with foreign shareholding of 50% or above. more..

Communist Party salutes comrade Tampoe

Aug 3 (Island) Communist Party of SL expressed its grief over the sad news of comrade Bala Tampoe’s sudden passing away. It said in a statement: "Bala, the veteran CMU leader inescapably falls into the category of the galaxy of our foremost pioneering trade union leaders of our country. Distinct from others, he was the longest surviving trade union leader, with an unblemished record, being relentlessly active till his death. "In the seven decades of his Trade Union career, more..

BestWeb.lk 2014 concluded with great success

Aug 3 (Island) The winners of BestWeb.lk 2014, the LK Domain Registry's ground-breaking competition, have been announced. Awards are presented based on Technical, Design, Content and Interaction criteria. A panel of judges, consisting of Senior IT Academics and Senior IT Directors of leading companies, use a specific set of rules to pick winners from nine general categories, three special categories and the overall winners of the competition. more..

Central Bank to punish banks, finance companies resisting mergers

Aug 3 (CT) Central Bank will punish banks and finance companies that have resisted the mergers and acquisitions process under the current financial sector consolidation process. "Central Bank is already on the hunt for banks and finance companies which have not submitted merger proposals under the current financial sector consolidation process and there will be even forced amalgamations, top sources said. more..

Lankan citizens need better treatment when taxed by the State

Aug 3 (ST) The recent controversy over an attempt to impose a retrospective tax by gazette notification on interest free loans for housing and some other benefits given to employees illustrates the need for the state and rulers to treat Sri Lankan citizens with more respect similar to people treated in freer countries. The Sunday Times ran a front page story on July 20 saying that some trade unions were asking for the gazette to be withdrawn. Subsequent reports said the President had more..

Venivel: Local Remedy for cancer, Type 2 diabetes and arthritis

Aug 3 (Island) Cosciniumfenestratum, commonly known as Venivel (Sinhala), Atturam /Kadari (Tamil), Calumba Wood/Tree Turmeric (English) is one of the most important plants used in traditional medicine. It has become very important in recent years due to its rarity and the growing demand in the medicinal plant sector. This critically endangered plant is a large woody creeper indigenous to the Indo-Malayan region. It is found in Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore more..

SLC Ex-Co clips Nishantha’s wings

Aug 3 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)’s Executive Committee, during a meeting held at the board headquarters on Monday, has decided to curtail the extraordinary powers enjoyed by its controversial secretary Nishantha Ranatunga. Ranatunga virtually administered the sport with an iron fist and was SLC’s most powerful official, but the SLC Ex-Co has now decided to hand significant amount of powers to its CEO more..

Editorial: Media phobia

Aug 3 (Island) It was only last week that a Kalutara Urban Council member (UNP) demanded that the media be debarred from covering council meetings. He was incensed at newspaper reports that some councillors were planning to visit Bangkok at the ratepayers’ expense. Close on the heels of that incident, the Polgahawela Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) Chairman has declared his council premises out of bounds to journalists. He is resentful that questions that some PS members raised about more..

Asia’s rise: Undoubted but not unimpeded

Aug 3 (NS) If there is one defining feature of the tectonic shifts in economics, geopolitics and society taking place today, it is the rise of Asia. Asian economies – particularly those in East and Southeast Asia as well as India – are at the heart of the changes that are underway in the global economy. Asia is now home to about 60% of the world’s population, generates around one-fourth of global output (set to rise to half by 2050), and produces 47% of the world’s manufacturing. more..

'Sun, sea and sand - a welcome change'

Sept 3 (SO) It's often a sight of joy seeing jubilant beauty queens in numerous beauty pageants these days and this mind you in a country which has just over twenty million people. What would be the feeling of being shortlisted as the top 15 in a country where the population is over 1360 million? 'Fantabulous' isn't it? We got the rare opportunity to meet the 15 shortlisted beauties of the Miss Universe China 2014 on their tour more..

India has no alternative but to follow Swami

Aug 3 (Island) The TNA leaders have met the Indian PM in Delhi and the news media quoting the delegates who went to India claimed that India wants the Sri Lankan government to implement the 13th Amendment. Whether Indian leaders have made this statement, we do not know as there is no official communiqué from the Indian govt on the discussions between the Indian Prime Minister and the TNA delegation, then it is not the first time India has come out with such statement. more..

Garbage

Aug 3 (Island) Many thoughts started flitting through my mind on reading the news item in ‘The Island’ titled ‘Explosive situation at Karapitiya Hospital finally resolved’ and it took a completely different turn after reading another news item, which was the front page headline of many British Newspapers on Wednesday 27th, which I will return to later.I was intrigued by the headline and wondered what caused an explosive situation only to realize, on reading further, that it was all due to more..

Legends and dreams of Hantana

Sept 3 (FT) “The first public holiday after my arrival in Ceylon in March 1941 was Good Friday, and I seized the opportunity to pay my first visit to Peradeniya. I went alone and told nobody I was going, lest the newspaper reporters picked up my trail. I had no wish to reopen the ‘Battle of the Sites’ which had been fought so bitterly for ten years and more, but if a blunder had been made it would be my duty to advice reconsideration. more..

Driving Muslims towards political racism

Sept 3 (NS) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMK) have decided to contest the Uva Provincial Council Elections under one banner. They are fielding their candidates to the Badulla District under the Democratic Unity Alliance (DUA). Minister Rishad Bathiudeen (a former SLMC member) who leads the ACMC left the SLMC because of a conflict with the party and the leadership, but has now joined hands with Minister Rauff Hakeem. more..

Malinga's form concerns Sri Lanka

Sept 3 (CT) Sri Lanka for the second time running goes into a final game of a limited over series with the result of the contest hanging on it. Against the South Africans the limited over series was beautifully poised with the deciding game being played at Hambantota. The Proteas who hadn't won a limited over series for twenty one years in Sri Lanka at that point saw their captain bat out of his skin to clinch a famous win in the match and the series. With the series against Pakistan too more..

The Dark Side

Aug 3 (CT) We have all seen the pictures – the 'before' and 'after' pictures of famous Hollywood celebrities and sports stars whose faces and bodies have been transformed to look more beautiful over the years by 'going under the knife'. This phenomenon, however, of reconstructing one's lesser perfect facial or bodily features through plastic surgery has long reached other parts of the world, too, as more people are confronted more..

CBK, Ven. Sobitha, the Uva polls and the presidential stakes

Sept 3 (GV) Uva PC elections campaign in the Badulla and Moneragala districts, are taking on an intensity that was missing even in the recent Western and Southern PC elections, not least because the UNP’s young firebrand CM Candidate former MP, Harin Fernando has breathed some new life into an otherwise anemic UNP opposition effort. No one expects the UNP or the young Harin to win, but a strong showing especially in Badulla will rather publicly confirm the fact that more..

Creative minds of writers can predict the future

Sept 3 (CT) At the launch of ‘Asirimath Greesiya’ or ‘Wonder that is Greece’ by dramatist-novelist Ranjith Dharmakeerthi last week in Colombo, Colombo University’s senior Don Sarath Wijesoriya, who introduced the book to the audience, drew its attention to a short story written by Dharmakeerthi some 20 years ago. The short story titled ‘A man who has become isolated’ is wound around a writer who is being interviewed by a journalist to get his views on the year just past. more..

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