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'FDI inflows increased during President Mahinda Rajapaksa's tenure'

Sept 21 (SO) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the total number of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) gained by Sri Lanka from 1978 up to 2005 was US$ 3 billion. However, US$ 8 billion worth FDI inflows have come in during President Rajapaksa's tenure from 2005 to 2013 which is a 74% increase in FDIs. He said when we look at the past, all former governments expressed confidence over Europe as they thought the more..

The Uva election

Sept 21 (Island) By the time you read this commentary, you would hopefully know who had won or lost in the Uva, what kind of voter enthusiasm has been displayed as indicated by the turnout and, most importantly, if there has been violence and/or cheating. Unfortunately the latter is far too common at elections in this country and the situation gets worse and not better at each succeeding poll. The political will to end that is sadly lacking as evidenced by more..

President, the architect of new Sri Lanka

Sept 21 (SO) Now that the Uva PC elections have concluded, the focus will be on the next Presidential election and the Parliamentary general elections. Unlike earlier Presidents, the incumbent President Rajapaksa invariably held elections ahead of schedule. The Opposition hopes that the two elections scheduled for 2016 could be advanced to early next year. Although President Rajapaksa could continue as the Head of State till Nov 2016 and the UPFA Govt with a two-thirds majority more..

High voter turnout recorded at Uva poll

Sept 20 (CG) A high voter turnout was recorded at the Uva PC elections held today and Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said he was satisfied with the overall conduct of the polls in the Monaragala and Badulla Districts. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) was among those involved in the election monitoring process during the Uva elections and it published a list of some of the incidents recorded during more..

Google brings turn-by-turn navigation to SL

Sept 20 (AO) Google has silently rolled-out turn-by-turn navigation support in Maps to 19 new countries including neighbouring Nepal, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka. The other countries include Angola, Bahamas, Bolivia, Botswana, Fiji, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, and Trinidad and Tobago. Android (and iOS) users in these countries will now be able to get free spoken turn-by-turn directions in Google Maps app. more..

Warnings over fatigue as expressway claims more victims

Sept 20 (ST) Thirty-two-year-old Krishantha, lying on a bed at the Colombo National Hospital, lost his right leg below the knee in the freak accident on the Southern Expressway last week that also claimed the right leg of parliamentarian Ajith Mannapperuma. Krishantha is the UNP MP’s police-appointed security officer and has 12 years of VIP security service for political leaders such as former defence minister Anuruddha Ratwatte and former presidential contender Sarath Fonseka. more..

Did not wish Modi on B'day due to Xi's Gujarat visit: Rajapaksa

Sept 20 (PTI) President Rajapaksa on Saturday told two visiting BJP leaders that he deliberately refrained from wishing PM Narendra Modi on his birthday because he did not want to disturb the Premier with Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting Gujarat. BJP national secretary P Muralidhar Rao and the party's global convenor of overseas affairs Vijay Jolly held a 45-minute meeting with Rajapaksa at the Presidential Palace. more..

President visits Thondaman at hospital

Sept 20 (AD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today visited Sendil Thondaman, at the Colombo National Hospital, who suffered injuries following a road accident in Bandarawela. The medical condition of the politician is now stable, a spokesperson from the hospital said. One person died and 18 other supporters of Thondaman were injured in the accident which took place at Bandarawela town, on 17 September. Thondaman’s driver was arrested over the accident, on 18 September. more..

UK to utilise Sri Lanka ODI series for WC

Sept 20 (CG) England fast bowler James Anderson is looking forward to the forthcoming One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka in the latter’s backyard in November as an ideal platform for preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. “Leading up to a World Cup we’ve never had that focus on one-day cricket. It’s nice to have that and I think with the one-day game we’ve got a promising squad, a very promising squad,” Anderson was quoted more..

BJP leaders meet Rajapaksa; discuss issues of Tamils in Lanka

Sept 20 (PTI) Two senior BJP leaders today met President Rajapaksa here and stressed that the pending issues relating to Tamils in Sri Lanka need to be resolved within the framework of the country's Constitution. BJP national secretary P Muralidhar Rao and the party's global convenor of overseas affairs Vijay Jolly held a 45-minute meeting with Rajapaksa. During the meeting, Rao underlined that the settlement of the pending Tamil more..

Teachers’ Unions at loggerheads over long overdue promotions

Sept 20 (ST) Trade unions are in a war or of words over school principals’ promotions on the eve of the Uva Provincial Council elections, with a pro-government union claiming that the government has agreed to resolve the issues, but a rival trade union disputed the claim. The Sri Lanka Independent Teachers’ Union (SLITU) claimed that the Education Minister and officials, at a meeting held this week, agreed to several demands proposed by the Union. SLITU President, Wasantha Handapangoda more..

Four soldiers killed at Ambepussa camp

Sept 20 (CG) Four soldiers were killed after an earth mound collapsed on them at the Sinha Regiment camp at the Ambepussa army camp this evening. The army media unit said that the soldiers were on a tractor are were engaged in some work when the earth mound unexpectedly fell on them. Soldiers at the camp rushed the four injured soldiers to the Warakapola hospital but they were pronounced dead on admission. Army Commander Daya Ratnayake has ordered a full investigation more..

Experience: I was on a plane that blew up

Sept 20 (Guardian) In May 1986, I went on a diving holiday to the Maldives with my husband, Robert. We were travelling with other British people, all sitting together at the back of the plane. When the plane, an Air Lanka Tristar, made a transit stop in Colombo, Robert and I were given boarding passes to move to the front of economy. The rest were given the same seats as before. The plane was on the tarmac and I was just more..

Set for Peace 2014 Sri Lanka at Park Street Mews on Sunday

Sept 20 (FT) Peace starts with individual action, and your actions will inspire others. So, what will you do on Peace Day, 21 Sunday Sept? Who will you make peace with? Calling DJs and promoters around the world to celebrate Peace Day – Saturday 21 Sept, DJs will be asked to play a ‘set’ in the name of peace and promoters will be asked to dedicate their event to Peace Day. The vision is to hear the DJs of the world, from conflict zones to nightclubs, to the front rooms of our homes, more..

20% have voted by 10.00, UPFA continues to violate election law – NEM-IHR

Sept 20 (LT) The Network for Election Monitoring of the Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM-IHR) in a press release on complaints it has received until 10.30 a.m. Reports following information: Enthusiasm to vote could be seen in both Badulla nd Monaragala districts since polling commenced today at 7 a.m. Our monitors have reported large numbers of voters coming to polling stations to cast their votes. They have reported that by 10 a.m. about 20% of the votes have been cast. more..

Maldives asks for Sri Lanka’s help in obtaining specialist doctors

Sept 20 (Haveeru) Maldivian President Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Friday asked for Sri Lankan govt’s help in obtaining aestheticians, gynecologists, and pediatricians needed for Maldivian hospitals. In a meeting held with Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, President Yameen said that the lack of specialist doctors was the biggest challenge faced by Maldivian health sector, and noted that the sector was now more..

Goa to Sri Lanka: From blessed Vaz to Acharya Kosambi

Sept 20 (TOI) Well-deserved celebration in Goa as the longstanding candidature of native son Joseph Vaz has finally been approved for sainthood. He will be "the first saint to Sri Lanka" but the Vatican noted "since Blessed Joseph Vaz was born, educated and ordained a priest in India and opted to be a missionary in Sri Lanka, both the countries have special significance at his being raised to the honours of the altar." The Benaulim-born priest, a son of Sancoale, exemplified personal more..

Bakery owners ready to cut prices

Sept 20 (DM) All Ceylon Bakery Owners' Association (ACBOA) said the prices of bakery goods could be reduced if the benefits of the recent fuel and electricity tariff reduction was passed on to them by wheat flour providing companies. “Flour providing companies have benefitted from the fuel and electricity tariff reduction. So if they reduce flour prices, we can also reduce the prices of our products,” ACBOA spokesperson N.K. Jayawardena said. He also urged the govt to reduce more..

'Out of 225 MPs142 had failed the GCE A/L; 94 had failed GCE O/L exam'

Sept 20 (DM) UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana said that 142 of the 225 members in the present Parliament had failed the GCE A/L Exam while 94 members had failed GCE O/L exam, “This is today’s state of affairs in the Parliament where the country was being administrated. Although I don’t have statistics on the situation in the PCs and other local bodies, I’m sure it cannot be better” he said. He said he agreed that exams meant brushing up more..

SB to new varsity entrants: Make Sri Lanka a different place

Sept 20 (ST) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake invited new entrants to universities to think differently, engage in constant research and innovations, to make Sri Lanka a different place. Addressing the newly enrolled undergraduates at the opening ceremony of Leadership Training at the Gannoruwa Electric Engineering and Mechanical Forces base, the minister said that it is important to have mentally and physically healthy youth for a better tomorrow. more..

Opinion of SL Nutrition Society divided on use of agrochemicals

Sept 20 (Island) A conflict has arisen at the Sri Lanka Nutrition Society represented by two groups headed by Dr. Mrs. Angela de Silva and Dr. Renuka de Silva over divergent opinions on traditional and high yielding food crops dependent on agrochemicals. Consultant Nutritionist attached to the Colombo University Faculty of Nutrition Dr. Mrs. Angela de Silva said that her team of nutritionists had been spearheading a campaign to popularise healthy food habits among people, more..

Sri Lanka to push medical tourism

Sept 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka to push medical tourism in order to support the 20 billion dollars export target in year 2020 an official of Export Development Board (EDB) said. “Professional service exports present a tremendous opportunity and can speed up govt’s ’20 billion dollars exports by 2020’ goal,” Sujatha Weerakoone, Director General of EDB said. “Medical Tourism is one of the most promising sub-sectors in this,” more..

The changing face of dynastic politics

Sept 20 (ST) A previous analysis revealed that 20% of MPs benefited from dynastic influence. On the flipside, how are current MPs ensuring that their dynasties continue? UNF more dynastic in the past: As a proportion of their coalition, the UNF have benefited more from dynastic influence than the UPFA. 17 of the 42 UNF MPs are direct beneficiaries of political family members (Exhibit 1). UPFA display more dynastic tendencies: Election to Provincial Councils (PC) is more..

Claim Muslims are overtaking Buddhist numerically in Sri Lanka baseless – Zuhair

Sept 20 (Island) False rumours and myths continued to be spread that Muslims in Sri Lanka would overtake the Sinhala Buddhist population before the turn of the century though official statistics proved otherwise, former MP M.M. Zuhair. PC said at the English Course Awards Day ceremony of GPL Organisation held at Arafa National School in Weligama on Monday. The former Sri Lankan ambassador to Iran said it was regrettable that in a country blessed with a very high literacy rate more..

Colombo University’s hostel facility made self sustainable

Sept 20 (ST) The University of Colombo aims at generate sufficient funds to maintain their student residence facilities through the new exhibition and convention centre in Telawala. The centre, designed as part of the Telawala hostel project, will be up to international standards to attract private establishments to use the facilities. The first batch of students moved into the Telawala student residence wing last week after more..

Chinese loans for unproductive investments

Sept 20 (CT) China's President Xi Jinping ended his two-day official visit to Sri Lanka on Thursday, 17 September, 2014.His departure coincided with the 108th birth anniversary of late President J.R. Jayewardene. During his short stay, he signed a number of agreements amounting to millions of US dollars, said to be beneficial to Sri Lanka. Unlike the West and to a certain extent Japan, China is not worried about human rights when it enters in to commercial agreements. more..

India destroys LTTE detonators, bombs

Sept 20 (CG) Nagapattinam police in Tamil Nadu have destroyed a large quantity of explosives seized from the LTTE. A special police team led by ADSP Usha Rani safely detonated and destroyed explosive material seized from the LTTE in 1985. The police said the explosives were seized in the coastal areas of the Nagapattinam district, particularly Vedarnayam and Kodiyakkarai. The police had seized 166 detonators and 250 hand bombs and had kept it under their safe custody.

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka and Ari Shavit’s ‘My promised land: The triumph and tragedy of Israel’

Sept 20 (CT) The Israel - Palestine conflict is many decades old and seems intractable. It’s a constant haemorrhage with one side losing far more “blood” (both literally and figuratively) than the other. Periodically, violence peaks and it’s headline news, such as during the recent ‘incursion’ into Gaza when hundreds of Palestinian civilians, children and women included, were killed. The landscape of destroyed houses and buildings in Gaza was like that of several other cities we have seen more..

Mayor of Bandarawela hospitalized after being assaulted by UPFA Politico

Sept 20 (AM) Mayor of Bandarawela Chaminda Wijesiri has been hospitalized after he was allegedly assaulted by a gang led by UPFA politician Heenkenda inside the Bandarawela Police premises. The Mayor has been transferred from the Diyathalawa base hospital to the Badulla General Hospital. A clash has broken out between the Mayor and the UPFA politician at the Kabillawela polling centre when the Mayor has allegedly assaulted the UPFA politician who had been idling in the more..

CBK expresses fears over a possible military rule

Sept 20 (CG) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has expressed fears whether a military rule would be established within Sri Lanka. In an interview with 'Aththa' former president expressed her opinions on the ‘country heading towards a military rule’. "I have strong fears over this matter. Today even the roads are being swept by the military. Even the drains in front of my house are being cleaned by them. more..

North CM feels NPC can develop North

Sept 20 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran has questioned why he needs to work with the Govt, as stated by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, when funds allocated for development of the North come from donor countries and can be directed to the NPC. Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had said recently that Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is not cooperating more..

Malinga shock for Sri Lanka

Sept 20 (DM) Sri Lanka's aspirations for next year's cricket world cup received a massive hit yesterday as the country's biggest weapon Lasith Malinga has been dispatched to Australia this morning to undergo a surgery which according to the doctors would keep the star bowler out of action for at least 16 weeks. This means that 'slinger' will only be able to resume his full training and practice just about a week or two before the World Cup more..

Fisheries Ministry withdraws subsidised fishing gear

Sept 20 (Island) Following the recent fuel price reduction, Fisheries Ministry has decided to suspend its new equipment subsidy scheme introduced to replace the fuel subsidy. Govt has reduced the price of a litre of diesel, petrol and kerosene by Rs. 3.00, Rs. 5.00 and Rs. 20.00 respectively. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that there was no need for subsidies for fishermen now as they had repeatedly asked the govt to reduce the fuel more..

Uva poll: NGOs claim monitoring not funded by local or foreign sponsors!

Sept 20 (Island) CaFFE Executive Director Ranjith Tennakoon said that his organisation hadn’t received any foreign funding for monitoring Uva PC election. Asked to explain how CaFFE had carried out a large scale monitoring exercise without overseas funding, Tennakoon insisted that he managed to operate at PC polls for the Southern and Western provinces as well without foreign funding. However, the CaFFE had received more..

President Rajapaksa warns of dangerous trends

Sept 20 (Island) The emerging trends in the world including in parts of Asia gave signals that were dangerous to the Asian Community, President Mahinda Rajapaksa cautioned the Asian political parties. "We see how external forces under the guise of democracy and other enticing slogans seek to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries. They show little concern about destabilizing nations. more..