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Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.61-pct

Sept 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's bourse closed in red mainly due to counters Commercial Bank and Carson Cumberbatch. All Share Price Index closed 43.71 points lower at 7,174.97, down 0.61%. The S&P SL20 closed 41.21 points lower at 3,974.42, down 1.03%. Turnover was 1.57 billion rupees, down from 1.83 billion rupees last Friday with 68 stocks closed positive against 128 negative. People’s Leasing and Finance closed 20 cents higher at 19.20 rupees with more..

The need for a new Constitution

Sept 15 (CT) There is much demand to scrap the executive presidential system of governance. There is also a demand to retain it with diluted powers. All these demands come from political parties. Looking back to the political history of 42 years, both the 1972 republican Constitution and the 1978 presidential system of governance Constitution was the work of two people; Dr. Colvin R. De Silva and J.R. Jayewardene. All the time it is the political leaders who aspired to more..

Interim Committee for cricket administration until the end of 2015 WC?

Sept 15 (AM) Sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage is likely to appoint an interim committee for the country’s cricket administration until the end of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, if SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa and Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga do not arrive at a settlement. Ongoing controversy between the SLC President and Secretary has made a crippling impact on the country’s cricket administration. more..

Norochcholai: Never ending problems in pipeline

Sept 15 (ST) The first unit of the Chinese-built coal power plant in Norochcholai started malfunctioning a few weeks after it was commissioned in March 2011. There have been nearly 30 breakdowns since then, sometimes resulting in the plant remaining idle for many days. One of the main issues with Unit I was that its condenser, containing 16,000 narrow pipes, kept springing leaks. The problem with this defect more..

Govt restricts import of fertiliser containing heavy metals

Sept 15 (Island) The govt on the recommendation of the CKD Research Team will cut down on 24% of the Rs. 20 billion annual imports of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) which contains heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, uranium, lead and arsenic. Sri Lanka has been importing 100,000 MT of TSP per annum at a cost of USD 600 per one MT. National Project for the Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease more..

'A win for UNP will facilitate Ranil’s victory at next presidential poll'

Sept 15 (Island) UNP strategist Mangala Samaraweera, MP, on Saturday, declared that a UNP victory at the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council would pave the way for a powerful Opposition coalition required to help UNP national leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe win the next presidential election. MP Samaraweera was addressing a rally at Bowewatte, Haputale in support of UNP Uva chief ministerial candidate, more..

Gemfields forms jv to explore gemstones in Sri Lanka

Sept 15 (Reuters) Gemfields Plc, which produces about a fifth of the world's rough emeralds, said it had formed a joint venture to explore sapphire and gemstones in Sri Lanka. The London-listed miner said the joint venture with East West Gem Investments Ltd (EWGI), a Jersey-registered company, would operate via three Sri Lankan subsidiaries. Gemfields would own 75% stake with EWGI holding the rest in the venture. more..

Sri Lankan caught on camera molesting shoppers in UAE

Sept 15 (KT) A Sri Lankan man was arrested after a CCTV footage reportedly showed him molesting unaware customers of a shop in Al Rafaa, a Dubai court heard on Sunday. The 29-year-old vendor was apprehended on May 30 after the shopkeeper reported him to the police. The accused, identified as S.D., is accused of molesting a man and a woman while they were checking items at the shop. more..

UNP members to present a counter-proposal to appoint Ravi K as deputy leader

Sept 15 (AM) A group of UNP working committee members is now exploring the possibility of presenting a “counter-proposal” to the party working Committee next week to appoint MP Ravi Karunanayake as the Deputy Leader of the party. This move will counter the proposal to appoint Sajith Premadasa as the Deputy Leader of the party. Matter will be taken up for discussion at Working Committee meeting on Sept 23. more..

President commences the construction work of Etampitiya Drinking Water Project

Sept 15 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa commenced the construction work of the Etampitiya Drinking Water Project in the Hali-Ela constituency of Badulla District on 12 Sept. The project which will benefit around 1500 families in the area is expected to be completed by 2016. A sum of 2,250 million rupees will be spent on the pure drinking water project. The President was also engaged in a friendly conversation with more..

Corruption flying high at BIA

Sept 15 (SL) The failure of Airport and Aviation Services Limited (AASL) to comply with mandatory standards and practices required by international civil aviation rules and regulations on safety measures, hasled to many malpractices at the BIA, Katunayake, employees of AASL allege. Among the major frauds that are taking place at the BIA is the loss of luggage where those responsible for purloining the luggage of passengers, more..

'Chinese loans will bleed country dry'

Sept 15 (DM) Speaking to Dailymirror ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Sri Lanka, UNP MP and leading economist Harsha de Silva revealed that the Govt was poised to sign loan agreements --amounting to a staggering Rs.164 billion at a high interest rate -- with China during its President’s visit. He highlighted the fact that with our external debt already at a high level, the new loan agreements will place more..

What Xi is looking for in Colombo and South Asia

Sept 15 (DM) Chinese President Xi Jinping who is arriving in Colombo on Tuesday, on the second leg of his South Asian tour is expected to sign nearly 20 bilateral agreements including a MoU on the handling of the Chinese-funded Hambantota Port Project and another on the proposed 260-hectare Colombo Port City. These two projects would drastically transform our fortune but naysayers of the Chinese economic involvement in SL would not see the benefits that would accrue to Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka’s wealth: Check the Hong Kong stock exchange

Sept 15 (DM) We join the Rajapaksa govt and Sri Lanka’s people in saying a hearty ‘Ayubowan’ or ‘Wanakkam’ and Huānyíng zhōngguó in Chinese to President Xi Jinping who arrives tomorrow on a much awaited and much highlighted state visit, though it will be only for 23 hours. For hundreds of years Sri Lanka has maintained close ties with the world’s most populous country which, according to the latest figures has a population of about 1.390 billion of the 7.25 billion in the world. more..

Grease Yaka tried to abduct three other girls

Sept 15 (Island) No woman was willing to live with him after his wife had deserted him and, therefore, he wanted to abduct a little girl, raise her and then marry her when she grew up, the suspect (31) in the abduction of four-year-old Keshani has confessed to sleuths of the CID. The interrogation of suspect Nimal Wickremesinghe, alias ‘Grease Gamini’ or ‘Grease Yaka’ has revealed that he is of limited intelligence. more..

Budget 2015 on Nov 7

Sept 15 (CT) President Rajapaksa will present his 2015 Budget in Parliament on 7 Nov while the Appropriation Bill will be presented to the House on 7 Oct, authoritative sources disclosed. 2015 Budget, to be presented by President Rajapaksa as his 10th consecutive budget in the capacity as Finance Minister, will be a Human Resources oriented budget. There will be more focus drawn towards employment orientation, self employment, skills development, vocational training, and more..

Japanese NGO awarded funds to improve fishing industry in the North

Sept 15 (Island) The Paific Asia Resource Center Interpeople’s Cooperation (PARCIC) operative in the Mulaitivu District was awarded aid funds for improvement of the fishing industry in that area, including conducting the education of fisher families in English as well. Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo said at commencement of the press conference that Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Sri Lanka was a resounding success and enhanced cooperation between both countries. more..

Pakistan hiring Sri Lankan Muslims as spies spooks Indian intelligence agencies

Sept 15 (TOI) The arrest of a third Sri Lankan spying on India on behalf of Pakistan in less than 10 months has got intelligence agencies to train their focus back on growing radicalization among Tamil-speaking Muslims in eastern Sri Lanka where Pakistan has been fishing for a long time. Although the latest Pakistani spy in the Indian net, Arun Selvarajan, is a Colombo-based Tamil Hindu, two others arrested since April are Muslims more..

'Sri Lanka prepared for Tsunamis'

Sept 15 (DN) The public need not panic over the recent reports of the possibility of large tsunamis in the Indian Ocean region as Sri Lanka has now built effective and powerful disaster early warning systems covering the entire island, Meteorology Department Director General Lalith Chandrapala said. He said after the tsunami catastrophe in 2004, the country has progressed fast on early warning and emergency operations, adding that Meteorology Department now has the capacity more..

Panic after Lankan arrest says DMK

Sept 15 (CG) India’s DMK chief M Karunanidhi said the recent arrest of ISI spies who were said to be Sri Lankan nationals, and their activities in Tamil Nadu has created panic among people. Referring to the arrest of alleged ISI spy Arun Selvarjan last week by the National Investigation Agency, he said it was not the first time ‘such terrorists’ had been apprehended during the AIADMK rule. He recalled that while one Thameem Ansari was arrested last year from Tiruchirappalli on espionage charges, more..

Controversial proposal to be presented to UNP working committee next week

Sept 15 (AM) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake has said the proposal to appoint MP Sajith Premadasa will be presented to the Working Committee of the party on Sept 23, just three days after the Uva PC election. However, the party has not yet arrived at a final decision on conditions put forward by Premadasa – namely the abolition of the Leadership Council, 10 working committee slots for Premadasa’s nominees more..

Private bus operators throw challenge to govt

Sept 15 (Island) The LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne posed a challenge to the SLTB by promising to run their buses from Colombo to Matara at Rs. 375 instead of current bus fare of Rs. 500 charged by the SLTB on the Southern Expressway if the govt canceled the corrupt tender procedure. Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Ratnayaka had grossly violated section 12 of the Sri Lanka Transport Ordinance by issuing 70 bus route permits without any tender procedure, more..

Postal Union critiques govt

Sept 15 (CT) The Lanka Postal Services Union (LPSU) criticized the govt for spending funds on Asia-Pacific Postal Union (APPU) Executive Council Meeting in Colombo when it has failed to allocate funds to provide minimum facilities to ensure an effective postal service. Chairman of the LPSU, Jayantha Wijesinghe said the Cabinet has allocated Rs 20 million to hold the event at a time when the postal service was incurring huge losses. "Postal department has failed to provide bicycles more..

US$ 331.5 m boost for govt from World Bank

Sept 15 (FT) Key development projects of the govt have got a fresh boost, with the World Bank agreeing to extend a staggering $ 331.5 million financing support. The funds will be used to support the govt’s Skills Sector Development Program, Water Resources Planning Activities which includes Dam Safety and Strategic Cities Development. Financing Agreements on these programs were signed last Friday by more..

Expert Committee appointed to save invaluable Dambulla rock temple art

Sept 15 (Island) A committee of experts had been appointed to expedite the conservation activities of the historical rock temple in Dambulla, Director General of Department of Archaeology Dr Senarath Dissanayake said. He said his department experts had already identified human and natural factors which caused the destruction of the rock art and sculpture in the Dambulla cave temple declared a World Heritage Site since 1991. Minister of National Heritage Dr. Jagath Balasooriya more..

Fully equipped Performing Arts Theatre in Kandy

Sept 15 (DN) A fully equipped Performing Arts Theatre will be built in Kandy shortly. Govt has allocated Rs. 3,000 million for the project, Minister T.B. Ekanayake said. He was speaking at the concluding event of the Jathika Kala Prasadinee ceremony held at the Getambe Municipal Grounds in Kandy. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest. Minister said his ministry would spend Rs. 100 million to restore several world heritage sites in Kandy in association with UNESCO. more..

Tight at the top 5 months out from World Cup

Sept 15 (Reuters) After what at one stage earlier this month looked like a vast game of musical chairs, reigning champions India ended up topping the world rankings when the five-month countdown to the 2015 World Cup started on Sunday. With just three rating points separating the top four nations, however, the 11th version of the quadrennial showpiece of 50-overs cricket, which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, more..

UPFA makes a din: JVP

Sept 15 (DM) A novel strategy has been put in place by the leaders of the UPFA to prevent meetings of other parties in the Moneragala District, the JVP charged today. JVP accused that some higher-ups in the ruling UPFA in Monerala prevented the JVP from holding an election rally on Saturday by holding a rival meeting at the same venue. JVP candidate R.M. Jayawardene, who heads the party’s group in the Moneragala District told the Daily Mirror that his party was getting ready to hold more..

Narcotics transport racket uncovered

Sept 15 (CT) Police STF yesterday busted a racket in which ganja (cannabis) and heroin, originating from Kerala, was transported between Jaffna and Colombo. A high ranking STF officer said the officers had taken into custody a bus driver of a private super luxury bus, along with the ganja from Kerala, valued at Rs. 2 million. The arrest was made at Mankulam, Jaffna, in the early hours of yesterday. The bus was heading for Colombo from Jaffna when the detection was made. more..

Jayalalithaa attacks BJP on fishermen Issue

Sept 15 (NIP) In a scathing attack on the BJP-led Central govt, AIADMK general secretary and CM J Jayalalithaa on Sunday accused the saffron party of resorting to double standards on issues concerning the State’s fishermen whose livelihood has been affected due to the frequent arrests and seizure of their boats by the Sri Lankan Navy across the Palk Strait. Hitting the mayoral by-poll campaign trail in Thoothukudi, where more..

Sri Lankan firm buys local MFI

Sept 15 (PPP) US-based investment bank Developing World Markets Asset Management (DWM) has sold the controlling stake in Cambodia’s fifth-largest microfinance institution, Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC). DWM sold a 55% equity stake in TPC to LOLC Micro Investments (LOMI), a subsidiary of publicly listed Sri Lankan financial services conglomerate Lanka Orix Leasing. DWM will retain a 37% stake in TPC. TPC’s employee association also sold its 4.5% stake more..

Oxford professor without a degree

Sept 15 (Hindu) Two of today’s items may have only tenuous connections with Madras, but I’m writing about them as they do have intriguing links with the city. My first tale is about a person whose linguistic bonds should make him known at least to the world of Tamil Studies, but I wonder how many in that world here recognise the name of Don Martino De Zilva Wickremasinghe (1865-1937). Certainly, despite all my years in Ceylon and my peripheral contact there with education, more..

'Ruling party blatantly violates the law'

Sept 15 (LT) The Network for Election Monitoring of the Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM-IHR) issuing a media release with the signature of the Chief Executive of NEM-IHR Dr. Uditha Gunasekera states 440 incidents of election related violence and violations have been received with regard to the Uva PC election from the day nominations were accepted until today (14th) morning. The summery of the incidents: more..

Mumbai Indians beat Southern Exopress

Sept 15 (CI) Mumbai Indians kept their qualifying chances alive with a much-improved performance in the batting and the bowling to comprehensively beat Southern Express with 22 balls to spare. After Saturday's defeat to Lahore Lions, Mumbai had to win to stay in contention. They did, thanks chiefly to their overseas openers Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey, who put on 139 in under 15 overs. Mumbai and Lions now have four points each, behind Northern Knights' eight, and more..

Ashok hails HNB for financing Softlogic’s strategic investment in Odel

Sept 15 (FT) Softlogic Holdings Chairman Ashok Pathirage has hailed Hatton National Bank (HNB) for financing its acquisition of a 45% stake in Odel, which took place last week via the Colombo stock market with an investment of Rs. 2.7 billion. “Local banks such as HNB have traditionally been our partners, and, with this transaction, HNB has taken a bold step in the right direction. Such a transaction would certainly take a conglomerate like Softlogic to new heights and open exciting portals more..