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Colombo Uni Senate votes for ouster of VC

Jan 29 (Island) Colombo University Senate unanimously had decided yesterday that its present Vice Chancellor Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama was not suitable for the post, sources said. They said the Colombo University Arts Faculty Teachers’ Association (AFTA) and Colombo University Federation of Teachers’ Associations (CUFTA), who earlier demanded the resignation of the VC, had moved the matter at the Senate more..

Sampath Bank offers customers revolutionary online experience

Jan 29 (Island) Sampath Bank recently launched their new online experience developed by Pyxle, premier provider of award winning internet business solutions. The unveiled Sampath Bank site is a revolutionary new platform featuring dramatic advances in navigation, an updated look and feel and a wealth of useful financial information for clients and online visitors. Featuring a needs-based structure and intuitive navigation with wizard-like product more..

Laksala retains growth momentum, to set up more outlets

Jan 29 (DM) Laksala, the leader in handicraft, gift & souvenir market in Sri Lanka has recorded a 25 percent year-on-year growth. The supplier base too has continuously increased and recorded over 8,000 craft entrepreneurs in 2014 from various parts of the country. Laksala continues to uplift the living standards of those occupied in rural cottage industries. Anil Koswatte Chairman & CEO Laksala stated that, with the implementation of a well design business plan Laksala, was able to more..

'Sri Lanka battling corruption like China'

Jan 29 (EN) Sri Lanka is battling corruption just like China, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had told Beijing's envoy to Colombo, his office said in a statement, as 71,000 Chinese officials were punished for graft in 2014. China's ambassador to Colombo, Wu Jinaghao had met Karunanayake at his office Wednesday. Sri Lanka's new administration had heavily criticized Chinese funded projects for inflating cost, through more..

Dropping Upul Tharanga a blunder, yet…

Jan 29 (Island) Sri Lanka icon with the cherry, who holds the world record for the most number of wickets in international cricket, in Test and ODIs, Muralitharan, said a mouthful when been shocked at the absence of opener Upul Tharanga from the 15-member squad for the World Cup in 2015. Murali knows what he is talking about, unlike the square pegs in round holes, in the panel of National cricket selectors, headed by its Chairman Sanath Jayasuriya, a cricketing legend. more..

Sri Lanka gets Facebook Lite App

Jan 29 (EN) Social media giant Facebook has launched what's been called a stripped-down version of its mobile app, aimed at users with low-end mobile devices in emerging markets that include Sri Lanka. Facebook had confirmed to it that "Facebook Lite" was an official app. It is available in eight countries: Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nigeria, Nepal, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Facebook Lite takes less than one megabyte of storage space, much less than more..

Sri Lanka is ready to take center stage

Jan 29 (WSJ) The following op-ed was contributed by Richard Armitage, Kara Bue and Lisa Curtis. Mr. Armitage was deputy secretary of State from 2001 to 2005. Ms. Bue was deputy assistant secretary of State for political military affairs from 2003 to 2005. Ms. Curtis is Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Sri Lanka has rarely, if ever, topped any U.S. foreign-policy agenda. more..

A Whistle-blower protection act

Jan 29 (GV) The presidential election results of 8 January suggest that a significant segment of our electorate concurred with the assertion of the then common Opposition that bribery and corruption that tainted the administration of the incumbent president Rajapaksa which, in turn, tainted him, was a sufficiently serious flaw to deny him a third term. Candidate Sirisena promised the Sri Lankan electorate that, if elected, he would wipe out corruption and establish good governance. more..

The future state of the nation

Jan 29 (FT) In the run-up to Independence Day 2015, we must thank God for Sumanthiran. He is indubitably a moderate and an intellectual. Let us give thanks also for the Sunday Observer, which is a State-run newspaper not given to running stories or distorting them in a manner inimical or embarrassing to the Govt of the day. Therefore, when Sumanthiran says something to the Sunday Observer, I take it seriously because I know I am on safe ground. Sumanthiran tells the newspaper that more..

The tale of two CJs

Jan 29 (FT) Eventually, it all ended the way it began. The high domed, iconic red roofs of the Superior Court Complex shimmering in the scorching sun. A gathering of black coats outside the gates at noon. Activists and demonstrators, their protest ended, chatting in small groups. Journalists, cameras poised, standing by the gates endlessly waiting for the footage of the day. Dressed in a simple grey Kandyan sari, Shirani more..

Politicians and astrology

Jan 29 (Island) In The Island of 19 January 2015, N. Amarasekera of Colombo writes: "It was the late Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru who pooh-poohed astrological predictions as inspired guesses, but as there is a saying that a sucker is born every minute one may have to give in to the majority’s wishes!" If I understand NA correctly, what he is saying is this: "Although JN pooh-poohed astrology he nevertheless gave it to his people because most of them were born suckers". more..

Editorial: Probing jail massacres

Jan 29 (Island) New Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe has appointed a committee to probe the killing of 27 prisoners in the Welikade Prison riot in 2012, we are told. This is a step in the right direction because previous investigations have left many questions unanswered and the public none the wiser. Prisoners are also humans, as is written on prison walls and their rights must be respected. However, one should not lose sight of the fact that victims of the Welikade riot were no babes more..

Pakistan's silent partition

Jan 29 (AJ) Pakistan’s story began with a parting — partition from India — and now, for a growing number of people, it is ending with another parting. Negombo, a beach town, is refuge for hundreds of Ahmadi Muslims fleeing persecution in Pakistan. According to UNHCR, there was a nearly 780 percent increase in the number of Pakistani asylum seekers in Sri Lanka from 2012, when 152 people sought asylum, to 2013, more..

Beginning a new beginning

Jan 29 (SL) If the very election of President Maithripala Sirisena has heralded a new era for many in Sri Lanka and those in the international community his PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has since sought to concretise those hopes, expectations and aspirations into what could be loosely described as a policy statement of what truly has become a national govt that had been attempted in the past but never ever materialised. With the countdown for the promised 100-day reforms ticking by more..

Sri Lanka chooses changes

Jan 29 (EAF) The recent election of President Maithripala Sirisena heralds a golden opportunity for Sri Lanka to heal old wounds and to open up its economy — and for the West, India and even East Asian countries to re-engage. In Nov 2014 the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, called an early election in the hope it would be a cakewalk. Instead he was defeated by an effective opposition challenge that tapped into a groundswell of popular resentment with one-family rule. more..

Thalatha on her plans to ensure security of migrant workers

Jan 29 (CT) UNP MP Thalatha Atukorale was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Employment. Ceylon Today speaks to her about the challenges she faces and what she plans to do to assure the safety of Sri Lankans working abroad, especially women working in the Middle East and how to ensure the welfare of their children and families. Q: In your opinion what are the biggest issues and challenges you face to more..

Etisalat celebrates 25-year journey with rewards of 250 lakhs

Jan 29 (DM) Etisalat Lanka, the only network in Sri Lanka to complete 25 years in the mobile telecommunications sector, introduced a promotional scheme to reward its loyal customer base of 4.5 million connected to the 072 network. Etisalat began 2015 by rewarding the first two batches of winners from the 25-year anniversary promotion, marking its dominant presence in the industry in the new year. The network aims to thank and reward its entire customer base with more..

Why did Maithri send Dhanapala to UNHRC?

Jan 29 (CT) No doubt Presidential Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Jayantha Dhanapala is now in Geneva to met UNHRC High Commissioner, Zeid Hussein to discuss the issue of the war crimes probe against Sri Lanka. The UNHRC is expected to present a report in March which may contain the necessity to initiate such a probe against Sri Lanka and the refusal by the previous Rajapaksa government to permit the probing team passage to Sri Lanka to conduct investigations. more..

'National security, govt's prime concern'

Jan 29 (SO) With the shift to a new Govt it is speculated by different parties, people and experts of the field the possibility of changes in the defence sector. With a new State Minister appointed and a senior Administrative officer appointed as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, would there be drastic changes in the field of defence? What is the new approach of the Ministry? Answering to these questions Secretary to Ministry Basnayake more..

The Royal Cabinet and school chauvinism

Jan 29 (CT) A hot topic among the middle class circles in Colombo and on social media in the last couple of weeks was the humongous number of ‘Royalists’ in the Cabinet. Factually that’s true. But why is there such a big noise about it and a waving of the blue-gold-and-blue flag, two months before the Royalists can do it at the SSC grounds? We had a period close to a decade which was dominated by an extra-large Cabinet that drew Ministers who went to so many unheard of schools. more..

The challenges of a 100-day govt

Jan 29 (CT) The common opposition probably shot itself in the foot when they declared the 100-day plan and made it their winning slogan, during the Presidential election campaign of Jan 2015. The promises of a small cabinet, concessions to the people, end to bribery and corruption, introduction of the independent commissions, abolition of the 18th amendment, revamping the executive presidency and constitutional reforms are laudable tasks for a coalition that did not even command more..

Video: Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake resumes duties as CJ

Jan 28 (DM) Chief Justice-43 Shirani Bandaranayake has resumed duties in the office of Chief Justice as there had been no legal removal of her from the post, BASL President Upul Jayasuriya said. Dr. Bandaranayake arrived at the Superior Court complex at Hulftsdorp this afternoon and took office at the chambers of the CJ, after she was welcomed by Mr. Jayasuriya. “There is no requirement for a new appointment therefore,” he said more..

Sri Lanka seen needing maritime reforms to exploit emerging prospects

Jan 28 (EN) Sri Lanka's maritime industry is at a critical juncture with new ports able to handle the region's burgeoning trade but major reforms are required to make best use of the opportunity, a senior industry official said. "We've come a long way but is this the best we can reach?" asked Mangala Yapa, CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the island's main business chamber. "Colombo port has gone through a humungous transformation from what it was. more..

Changing Heads of media not enough: FMM

Jan 28 (AM) Free Media Movement (FMM) said that a substantial change in state media institutions will not take place merely by changing the Head of Media. Movement asserted that even though the Heads of Media were changed, no major policy change has taken place yet. FMM Convener Sunil Jayasekera said that the biggest challenge the new govt face will be to ensure that these policy changes take place. Jayasekera said that the state media has not shown substantial change in their more..

New plan over national security

Jan 28 (CG) A new plan will be implemented to strengthen Sri Lanka’s national security, President and Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces Maithripala Sirisena said today. President said this after visiting the Ministry of Defence with a view to discuss the administrative and managerial state-of-affairs of the Ministry. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene welcomed the President on his arrival and delivered more..

I was at CJ's residence on invitation: Salley

Jan 28 (AM) Central Provincial Councillor Azath Salley has refuted the claims of Chief Justice Mohan Peiris that he threatened the latter to resign from his position. Salley said that he knew the Chief Justice from a long time and visited his residence on his invitation. "If I threatened him," Salley said, "CJ's security officials had more than enough time to arrest me." Mohan Peiris yesterday lodged a complaint with the Police against Azath Salley saying that a group which was led by Salley more..

Peshala sworn in as NCP Chief Minister

Jan 28 (DM) North Central Provincial Council UPFA member Peshala Jayaratne was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the Province, a short while ago. He was the former PC minister of Food, Cooperative, Industries and Rural Development. Mr. Jayaratne was earlier removed from his ministerial portfolios by former Chief Minister Ranjith Samarakoon. It was reported that Mr. Jayaratne had been sacked because of his close relationship with then common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. more..

'Time not right for repatriating Tamil refugees'

Jan 28 (IANS) TN Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said discussions on voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees should be deferred as it is premature to deliberate the matter now. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, Panneerselvam said: "The process of voluntary repatriation could be considered only after concrete and credible measures are taken by the SL govt and SL refugees in Tamil Nadu are given more..

NDB grants Rs 3.3b for North wind power projects

Jan 28 (DN) The NDB Bank granted two long term facilities aggregating to Rs.3.3 billion towards construction and commissioning of two wind power projects in Vallimunai and Puloppalai of the Killinochchi District. The two projects Joule Power and Beta Power were successfully commissioned in December 2014 and are the first ever wind power projects set up in the Northern region. Establishment of the two wind power projects is expected to support the economic development more..

Zuhair appointed as new TRC DG

Jan 28 (CG) Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Iran, M M Zuhair was today appointed as the new Director General of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka. Zuhair replaces Anusha Pelpita who served as the TRC Director General under the previous Government. The TRC of Sri Lanka was established under the Sri Lanka Telecommunication (Amendment) Act No. 27 of 1996 as the national regulatory agency for telecommunications in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka's NGOs test limits of new freedoms

Jan 28 (IRIN) Less than three weeks since Sri Lanka voted in a new president, rights activists and other NGOs say there are already encouraging signs that they may have more freedom to work under the new administration, including in the former conflict zone in the north. Six days after the election, around 300 families of those still missing as a result of SL’s two and half decade long civil war attended a prayer service more..

Rainforest protectors conducts tree planting project in Atabade

Jan 28 (GDI) Rainforest Protectors successfully completed a native tree planting project in a four-acre tea estate in Atabage, Gampola recently. Rainforest Protectors of Sri Lanka is a group of volunteers and sponsors dedicated to protecting Sri Lanka's last remaining rainforests through conservation, education and restoration. A total of 70 native endemic trees such as Ginisapu, Nedun, Mee, Kumbuk, Ehela purchased from the Polgolla Forest Conservation Dept Plant Nursery more..

Sri Lanka rupee forwards down on importer dlr demand; budget awaited

Jan 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee forwards ended weaker on Wednesday on importer dollar demand but the central bank capped the fall, as exporters awaited direction from a supplementary budget, dealers said. Fears of depreciation kept exporters away from the market, resulting in the currency's fall and leading the central bank to cap four-day forwards at 133, dealers said. That forced dealers to trade one-week forwards. One-week forwards closed at 133.50/60 per dollar more..

Ratnayake to aid SL World Cup preparations

Jan 28 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed former fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake as a consultant coach for the early stages of the team's World Cup campaign. Ratnayake will be with the team from February 4 to February 20 and will assist the existing coaching set-up, led by Marvan Atapattu, with World Cup preparations. "SLC has made the inclusion taking into consideration the views of the chairman of selectors and the more..

Cabinet ministers have exceeded 50: NFF

Jan 28 (CT) Spokesman for the NFF, Mohammed Muzammil, scoffed at the incumbent govt's campaign slogan of implementing good governance stating that the number of Cabinet ministers has exceeded 50 and that 40 of them are from the UNP. This is an indication that power is not properly distributed among all constituent parties of the govt, he charged. He also said there are 300 institutions in the country and 38 of them come under the purview of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Sri Lanka seek end to cycle of losses

Jan 28 (CI) "Winning breeds confidence," New Zealand's batting coach Craig McMillan said ahead of the seventh match against Sri Lanka, and his team has now won eight of their nine most recent matches. Better even than the good results has been the nature of their wins. In the Test in Wellington, and in the ODIs in Christchurch, Nelson and the first match in Dunedin, the hosts have been in losing positions before a staggering comeback upended the run of play. more..