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Dam-hit Sri Lankans to get their own 'Bridge on River Kwai'

Aug 29 (AFP) Its detonation is one of the most iconic scenes in movie history. Now, 57 years after it was blown to smithereens, authorities in Sri Lanka plan to rebuild the "Bridge on the River Kwai" to assuage the anger among locals over a controversial dam project. While the World War II epic was supposedly set in Japanese-held Burma (present-day Myanmar), it was mostly filmed in Ceylon (now SL) between 1956 and 1957, more..

Polls Chief discusses changes to election law with political parties

Aug 29 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya has proposed to the mainstream political parties that they reduce their propaganda expenses at elections. He made the proposal during a meeting with a delegation from the Democratic Party (DP) on Wednesday. The matter would have to be discussed in Parliament before an amendment could be introduced to the Elections Act, more..

Alarm over rising seas but villagers keep returning to risky shore

Aug 29 (ST) For Shanthi of the Sri Dharmaarama Road fishing village in Ratmalana and Kamala Fernando of Ransigamawella off Wennappuwa, the coming days are a struggle to protect their houses from the strong waves that are rapidly swallowing up the shore. Thousands of families living bordering the south-western coasts and north-western coasts are at a growing risk of coastal erosion, experts fear. more..

Kites pose risk to BIA planes

Aug 29 (DM) Flying kites near the airport raises the possibility of airplane crashes, The Air Traffic Control (ATC) room of the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake said. “We have a few reports of near misses, reported by pilots,” the ATC said. “Several awareness campaigns were held in the surrounding areas such as placing banners and deploying police officers to educate children and parents. more..

Demining: 98% complete

Aug 29 (AM) Brig. Ruwan Wanigasuriya states that nearly 98% of landmines in the Northern and Eastern Provinces have been cleared. This has cleared all areas needed to restore civilian life in the North to normalcy, he further stated. Only 80 square km of the total of 5000 square km remain to be cleared. He described this as a great achievement leading to restore normal civilian life in the conflict affected areas. more..

'I have looked at officiating as a challenge'

Aug 29 (WI) After officiating in his 500th international match, ICC Chief Match Referee talks about his life in the game, how the role of the match officials have evolved and his hopes for the future. ICC Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle officiated in his 500th international match when England faced India in the second One-Day International in Cardiff on Wednesday. The former Sri Lanka captain, who recently became more..

Govt intensifies propaganda war

Aug 29 (SL) As international pressure continues to mount on the govt on the human rights issue, supported by human rights groups and some western countries, including the United States, the govt is using all options available to boost its image both locally and overseas. Govt propaganda has targeted the local voter base while overseas millions of rupees is being spent on US based firms to promote the country among more..

'President cannot contest for 3rd term'

Aug 29 (DM) While the question whether President Rajapaksa could contest the Presidency for the 3rd term has become a hotly debated argument in legal and political circles, former CJ and Constitutional expert, Sarath N. Silva says that President Rajapaksa has no right to contest the next Presidential Election. Describing why the 18th Amendment came into being, Mr. Silva says it is a dishonest amendment and was introduced more..

Thilini to file FR case against police

Aug 29 (DM) Thilini Amalka who had allegedly been subjected to sexual harassment by a man at the Wariyapola bus stand is to file a Fundamental Rights Violation case against the police for arresting her. Attorney-at-Law Lakshan Dias, who is appearing for Thilini said his client’s fundamental rights had been violated when she was arrested by the police. Mr. Dias said that in a situation where his client was a victim, more..

Sri Lanka, Seychelles sign MoU to promote investments

Aug 29 (FT) Sri Lanka and Seychelles yesterday signed a MoU to promote investments among the two countries. The two-year deal which is automatically renewable was entered into by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and the Seychelles Investment Board. Seychelles Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment and Sri Lanka’s Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena witnessed the signing. more..

An ugly transition from Dharmadeepa

Aug 29 (CT) Sri Lanka is no longer the 'Dharmadeepa' (land of piety), which it once proudly claimed to be, when morality was held in high esteem and murder made everyone pause in shock. Today, this land, supposedly blessed, not once but thrice, by the Buddha, is taking on the mien of the long forgotten Wild West, with gun fights, knife fights, brawls, kidnappings, bank heists and all other kinds of violent encounters becoming not just commonplace, but everyday occurrences. more..

Jackie refuses junk; Some food for thought

Aug 29 (DM) The unethical or illegitimate promotion of questionable products including junk food, often using popular personalities, has become a major problem for Third World Countries battling against various forms of neocolonialism by the West. One of the latest cases involved Bollywood star and Sri Lankan beauty queen Jacqueline Fernandez. In the afterglow of her latest Bollywood blockbuster ‘Kick’ where she plays the lead role with another superstar Salman Khan,reports say Jacqueline was more..

MPs’ shocking dereliction of duty: 200 out of 225 missing

Aug 29 (Island) Parliamentarians’ attendance has dropped sharply and Opposition members skip parliament even when important Bills were taken up. About 200 members representing both the govt and the Opposition were absent when the vote on the Ocean University of Sri Lanka Bill was taken up on Aug 20, according to a statement issued by Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry shortly after Parliament adopted the Bill more..

Consider patients' plight, minister to striking health staff

Aug 29 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appealed to all health staff engaged in the ongoing strike to end the strike and report to work for the sake of poor and innocent patients. It was the stand of the Health Ministry that problems should be solved through discussions. Meanwhile, all Raajya Osu Sala outlets operated by the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) countrywide provided drugs to patients free of charge during the strike. more..

Dr. Dewasiri walks out of senate meeting after argument with VC

Aug 29 (Island) An argument between the Colombo University History Department Head Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri and Vice Chancellor Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama on Wednesday resulted in the former walking out from a Senate meeting. Dr. Dewasiri inquired about a request he had made six months back for two lecturers to teach history but there was no positive response from the Vice Chancellor. Dr. Dewasiri staged a day-long sit-in opposite the office of VC in protest more..

'Work with existing powers before devolution'

Aug 29 (Hindu) The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) should work with existing powers before demanding further devolution, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. “They have not done anything yet,” he said, speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a press conference to announce a new bank loan scheme launched by his ministry. His comments come less than a week after the TNA, which leads the NPC, met Indian PM more..

Dayasiri discharged but told to rest

Aug 29 (CT) North Western Province Chief Minister, Dayasiri Jayasekara has been advised by doctors to take a break from the hectic election campaign after he fell sick while campaigning in Badulla Wednesday night. Jayasekara, who was engaged in election campaign work, in Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva's electorate, continuously for three days, was rushed to the Badulla General Hospital with breathing difficulties and giddiness, hospital sources said. more..

Pakistan Air Chief has talks with Gota

Aug 29 (CG) Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force had discussions with the Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Defence Ministry today. Air Chief Marshal Butt arrived in the island yesterday on an official visit to Sri Lanka. During today’s meeting, a cordial discussion was held between Secretary Defence and Air Chief Marshal Butt on matters of bilateral cooperation and mutual interest. more..

Australia police probe Lankan’s death

Aug 29 (DT) Still unable to comprehend how the 31-year-old died sometime on Tuesday night, Sahan Rajapakse said his sister had gone out to buy food around 7.30pm but never returned. The pair lived at the Absolute Waterfront Apartments Monarco Westmead with their father. Ms Rajapakse was last seen pacing the foyer of her unit block looking agitated and using a thin scarf to keep secured door open as she came in and out. more..

Servicemen take to Tamil language training

Aug 29 (DN) The Joint Services Language Training Centre established by former National Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali in 1986 has provided Tamil language training to over 80 officers and 7,338 personnel of other ranks by 2014. This training centre provides language training to members of the Tri Forces and the Police. The centre is aimed at developing Tamil language proficiency among members of Security Forces and the police. A number of programs are also organised to more..

Health strike continues to heap more misery on poor patients

Aug 29 (Island) The continuous strike by the Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JPSM) entered the third day yesterday and sources revealed that drugs available at Osu Sala outlets were sufficient only for three days. The Society for Govt Pharmacists, one of the striking unions, that State Pharmaceutical Corporation outlet, Osu Sala, only provided a three day quota of drugs to patients. Spokesman for the union, said the majority of patients who were used to receiving more..

80 LG members spend garbage money to see world

Aug 29 (Island) 5 heads of local govt bodies and 80 technical officers attached to them have recently been on foreign jaunts to Thailand and Malaysia utilising public funds. Local govt institutions they represent are the Negombo MC, the Katana UC, the Ja-Ela UC and Panduwanuwara and Hettipola PS. Deputy Minister Pandu Bandaranayake denied a claim by some LG heads claimed that every year members of more..

SLT upgrades LEARN – The National Research and Education Network

Aug 29 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), announced the successful upgrade of the LEARN (Lanka Education And Research Network) of Sri Lanka. LEARN upgrade consists of enhancing both Internet Access Bandwidth up to 1.65 Gbps and the interconnecting wide area network (WAN) with island wide Universities and Research institutes. LEARN interconnects all the UGC funded state universities, a number of public universities that function under other ministries, the UGC, more..

Master blaster to recommend stamp in honour of Mahela

Aug 29 (Island) Deputy Postal Services Minister Sanath Jayasuriya said that he would recommend that a stamp be issued to honour Sri Lanka’s cricketing sensation Mahela Jayewardene. Jayewardene retired recently from Test cricket after scoring more than 10,000 runs and he is currently among the 10 leading run getters in the world with his teammate Kumar Sangakkara. Jayasuriya quoted Postal Services Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga as having said that if more..

SL welcomes one millionth tourist for 2014

Aug 29 (GDI) Achieving another remarkable milestone in the country’s booming tourism industry, Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed the arrival of 1,000,000th tourist in year 2014 at the BIA today (28). Sri Lanka Tourism officials including Managing Director SLTPB, Rumy Jauffer along with representatives from travel and tourism industry including Mervyan Fernandopulle (Board Member SLTPB), Kumuda Eramudugolla (SLITO), more..

Handicrafts industry can boom with tourism

Aug 29 (FT) The local handicraft artisans will see greater earning prospects if it increases emphasis on targeting the fast-growing tourism sector as its main segment, the National Craft Council (NCC) Chief said yesterday. With tourism currently being the third biggest revenue contributor to the local handicraft market, after exports and local purchases, NCC Chairman Buddhi Keerthisena said much has to be done to make the most of this promising sector. "Tourism is the next big market for us; more..

FIFA General Secretary to visit SL

Aug 29 (DN) FIFA Regional Development Seminar for President, Secretary and Technical Directors of Member Associations of South and Central Asia will be held from August 31 to September 2 at Galadari Hotel, Colombo. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke This is a periodical seminar FIFA conducts with a vision of up-grading the standards in both Technical and Administrative aspects of the game. FIFA obliged the request from Ranjith Rodrigo who heads the Football Administration more..

BOI opens Exit door for investors

Aug 29 (CT) The Ministry of Investment Promotion and the country's investment promotion agency have decided to introduce an exit route through the capital market to foreign investors present in Sri Lanka. This would allow major investors to exit from Sri Lanka without any hassle by trading their holding in the relevant companies to others as well as seek capital for future expansions. more..

Gamage to coach Bangladesh Women

Aug 29 (CI) Janak Gamage, the former Sri Lanka medium-pacer, has taken over as head coach of the Bangladesh women's team. Gamage, who has accepted a one-year contract with the BCB, arrived in Dhaka on Thursday. Gamage, who represented Sri Lanka in four ODIs, played in the Dhaka League between 1987 and 2000. He returned to the country to coach Mohammedan in the Dhaka Premier Division League in 2006. "This is a country that holds magical memories for me," more..

Dassanayake finally lands in Kathmandu

Aug 29 (HNS) Pubudu Dassanayake finally arrived here today ending the three-month-long speculation about the fate of his coaching job with the Nepali national cricket team. Dassanayake, who had returned back to Canada on June 4 after Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) failed to decide on his contract, has been hired by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) for one year. The final deal was possible after Cabinet approved the MoYS proposal to extend the coach’s contract last month. more..

Country’s best track and field athlete not picked for Asian Games

Aug 29 (Island) Despite achieving locally set qualifying standards, several leading track and field athletes, including this year’s best athlete at the Nationals have been axed from the country’s athletics team for the forthcoming 17th Asian Games to be held from Sept 19–Oct 4 in South Korea. The Athletics Association of Sri Lanka selectors picked a team of 21 athletes, who reached qualifying standards at the recently held more..

Senkadagala Finance to acquire Newest Capital at Rs 300M

Aug 29 (CT) Senkadagala Finance, keeping up with the consolidation efforts of the Central Bank, has entered into an agreement with Newest Capital Limited to acquire 100% stake in the company. Senkadagala Finance told the CSE that the company entered into an agreement with Newest Capital to acquire 100% stake in Newest Capital at Rs 300 million. And according to the Stock Exchange filing Newest Capital would become a subsidiary of Senkadagala Finance more..

Admiral Colombage the Presidential Adviser on Maritime and Naval Hub

Aug 29 (MoD) Chairman of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation and Former Commander of the Navy, Admiral Jayanath Colombage has been appointed as the Adviser to the President on Maritime and Naval Hub, with effect from 15th Aug. In accordance with the "Mahinda Chinthana Policy Manifesto-Vision for the Future" country envisages to be a regional Maritime Hub on her way forward to be the Wonder of Asia. Maritime and Naval Hub takes a prominent place among those 5 sectors. more..

Colombo International Film Festival: Six days that would change your world

Aug 29 (Island) It is possible that one may find my title to be exaggerated: this is not the first time that we are hearing the words ‘international film festival’ in a Sri Lankan context. Over the years, we have had many events of this nature where films made by non-Sri Lankans were shown together. True, those words may have been used before for some of those, no doubt important, efforts to bring in those cinephiles and other art enthusiasts more..

Shenanigans in Sri Lanka?

Aug 29 (OI) Sri Lankan Tamil issue has been on boiling point with Tamils of India in suppressed anger. To assuage this, members of the Chennai based Civil Society Coalition for Justice and Peace including former union health minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, met Sushma Swaraj, union minister of external affairs in mid-July and presented a Memorandum requesting re-setting of India’s foreign policy on Sri Lanka. Inter alia, we submitted that UPA govt had not been following a more..

Policy rate cut needed to rejuvenate markets

Aug 29 (CT) Thin trades dominated the foreign exchange (FX) and secondary market trading in govt securities yesterday, with sources telling Ceylon FT a policy rate cut is needed to rejuvenate markets. The exchange rate (ER) in interbank spot trading of the US dollar closed unchanged at Rs 130.18/23 in two way quotes. Central Bank last cut its policy rates seven months ago in January, that is, its standing lending facility (SDF) by 50 basis points (bps) to 8%, whilst keeping its SDF unchanged at 6.5%. more..

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