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UNP ready to discuss its draft manifesto with all, including UPFA

May 31 (Island) Chairman of the Research and Policy Unit of the UNP, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, MP, said that the party would discuss its new manifesto with all political parties, including the ruling SLFP as well as its UPFA constituents. Having released the manifesto at the parliamentary complex on Wednesday, the UNP was readying for meetings with political parties and civil society organizations, Rajapakshe said. more..

Censure or another form of control?

May 31 (CT) To the uninitiated, Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia, gives a succinct description of the elementary functions of a journalist. It says, "Journalism is the activity or product of journalists or others engaged in the preparation of written, visual or audio material intended for dissemination through public media with reference to factual, ongoing events of public concern. It is intended to inform society about itself and to make public, things that would otherwise be private." more..

Handling bankrupt banks

May 31 (CT) Banks are wonderful institutions which help people to acquire assets, make money and prosper. In the process, the prosperity of people will bring prosperity to a nation as well. But they are all built on thin paper like paper castles without solid assets of worth since all their assets are just book entries. Hence, if their paper castles are set ablaze – either by events outside their control which economists call ‘external shocks’ or by their own not-properly assessed business deals, more..

Sri Lanka missing world’s biggest trade party and it’s in her backyard

May 31 (DM) Once upon a time, Sri Lanka was at the forefront of South Asian trade liberalisation. Beginning in 1989, Sri Lanka made large reductions in import duties and by 2001, Sri Lanka’s average applied import duty was down to 9.1% compared to India’s 32% and Pakistan’s 20%. Sri Lanka was also the prime mover in South Asian trade agreements with the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of 2000. more..

Political duplicity and devolution of Police powers

May 31 (CT) At political discussions on devolution, a protest that is often highlighted is that devolving Police Powers to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) would ‘annihilate law and order‘. Last week a leading lawyer went public on television that by devolution of Police Powers to Provincial Councils (PCs) would weaken central police investigations. He did not explain that offences related to the government, tri-forces, elections, money, stamps, state capital and assets, more..

Sri Lanka firms can drive markets through customer insights: marketers

May 31 (LBO) Gaining insights into customer thinking and needs through market research can help Sri Lankan companies transform and expand markets, officials said. "There are three 'W's in insights," Uditha Liyanage, professor and head of the Postgraduate Institute of Management of Sri J'pura University told a high level forum on branding in Colombo. "The first is: what do they think, feel and do. The second point is: why do they think, feel and do and (the third is): more..

'Cavalier donation of jumbos without concern for their welfare'

May 31 (Island) Environmentalists yesterday strongly criticised the govt for its continuing practice of gifting elephants to temples for cheap popularity at the expense of the majestic beasts. Minister Wimal Weerawansa recently donated an elephant, Kandula Weera, to the Kaduwela, Kothalawala Sankapitti Purana Viharaya. Senior Environmental Lawyer Jagath Gunawardane said that it was an ethical issue. more..

Sri Lanka a development model says leader of Bosnia & Herzegovina

May 31 (GDI) "Sri Lanka’s social and economic development model is encouraging for countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina", stated Nebojša Radmonovič, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina when Ambassador of Sri Lanka called on him at the President’s Office in Sarajevo, following the presentation of the Letter of Credence later this month. Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, who is accredited to Bosnia & Herzegovina with residence in Vienna, took the opportunity to more..

Smokes, booze take away 70% of rural income

May 31 (Island) The root causes of rural poverty were cigarettes and alcohol consumption, as around 70% of the rural people’s earnings was being spent on smoking and drinking, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. Speaking to The Island about World No-Tobacco Day, which falls today, he said his Ministry had decided to introduce rehabilitation programmes to help the rural population to quit smoking and drinking. He said that smoking and drinking among the rural population in more..

China to train Sri Lankan army, to provide military technology

May 31 (PTI) Firming up its ties with Sri Lanka, China has granted fresh development loan worth USD 2.2 billion for infrastructure projects and agreed to provide defence technology as well as training to the island nation's army. Both sides agreed to further deepen defence cooperation and maintain exchanges between the two defence ministries and would continue to carry out cooperating in defence technology, personal more..

Fonterra confident of meeting govt’s DCD standard

May 31 (DM) Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka said in a statement that it is confident that all of its dairy products meet the DCD free standard to be introduced by the Government from 1st June 2013. Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka Managing Director Leon Clement said Fonterra had not found any detectable traces of DCD in any of its branded products in Sri Lanka from 187 test results carried out to date.“Internationally certified and independent testing laboratories, the Cawthron Institute more..

First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa visit Beijing Children’s Educational Institution

May 31 (GDI) Sri Lanka's First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa who accompanied President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his four-day state visit to China visited the Zhang Jinwan Children’s Educational Institution in Fu Zhang, Beijing. Zhang Jinwan Children’s Educational Institution was launched by the Chinese Government ans it is one of the popular Institute’s of Child Education in Beijing. The First Lady on arrival was warmly received by the staff and students of the institution. more..

Sri Lanka inflation accelerates to 7.3% on power tariff

May 31 (LBO) Consumer prices in Colombo rose 7.3% in the 12 months to May 2013 accelerating from 6.4% in April mostly due a power tariff hike. The Colombo Consumer Price Index gained 2.3% during the month, driven by a 9.9% gain in the housing and utilities sub-group. The sub-index was up 13.5% year on year. Sri Lanka's inflation has been moderating after a spike in mid 2012 after the currency depreciated due to more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.1%

May 31 (LBO) Stock closed up 0.12% on Friday in rather a dull day of trading compared to the previous day, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed 7.94 points higher at 6,463.06 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed up 6.28 points at 3,646.32 up 0.17%. Turnover was 731 million rupees up from 2.5 billion day earlier. Foreigners brought 237 million rupees worth shares while selling 118 million rupees of shares, in a day that 113 stocks advanced and 82 stocks declined. more..

'JR built more tanks than ancient kings'

May 31 (CT) Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said former President, J.R. Jayewardene, had made a great contribution to upgrade the irrigation system in Sri Lanka by launching several irrigation projects, even superseding similar projects undertaken by the great Kings such as Dhathusena, Mahasen and Parakramabahu in ancient times. He went on to say that President Jayewardene had introduced a Constitution which gives comprehensive more..

Thailand-Sri Lanka trade goal $1 bn

May 31 (BP) Thailand and Sri Lanka hope to almost double bilateral trade value to $ 1 billion by 2017, according to Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom. He made the comment on Friday following a meeting in Colombo between PM Yingluck Shinawatra and President Rajapaksa. Trade between the two countries has averaged $536 million for the past three years. The figure last year was $545.3 million, more..

Sri Lanka A leave on West Indies tour

May 31 (CI) The Sri Lanka A team departed for their month-long tour of the West Indies on Friday, after having trained throughout May for what is their only overseas trip this year. The team is captained by Sri Lanka Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne, with middle order batsman Angelo Perera serving as his deputy. Kithuruwan Vithanage, who played in the Bangladesh Tests in March, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal and wicketkeeper-batsman Kaushal Silva are the other Sri Lanka Test players on tour. more..

Court fines 40 householders

May 31 (CG) The Gangodawila Magistrate today imposed a Rs. 5000 fine on 40 householders in the Kohuwala area after the police charged them with having dengue mosquito breeding grounds, the police media unit said today. A special search operation for dengue mosquito grounds was carried out on 1560 houses in the Kohuwala area. Police officers attached to the Mount Lavinia police and health officers of the Mount Lavinia Municipal Council were involved in the operation. more..

US says counter-terrorism cooperation with SL ‘limited’ due to human rights concerns

May 31 (AD) Counterterrorism cooperation and training between Sri Lanka and the United States in 2012 was limited, due to statutory and policy restrictions based on “concerns about alleged past human rights abuses” committed by Sri Lankan security forces, US report said. In 2009, the Govt of Sri Lanka militarily defeated the LTTE, which was seeking an independent homeland for Sri Lanka’s Tamil population. The Sri Lankan govt’s more..

Fishing ban ends, SL Navy on alert

May 31 (ENS) The Sri Lankan Navy as part of measures to monitor and prevent Tamil Nadu fishermen from straying into the island nation waters has stationed nine of its warships near Katchchatheevu on Thursday. The island nation’s move comes as the 45-day ban on fishing had ended in the State on Wednesday. As the restriction period has drawn to a close, fishermen from different coastal districts here were gearing up to venture into the sea from this week. more..

UNP vows to forge Sri Lankan identity

May 31 (DM) The UNP vowed to build a Sri Lankan identity by way of its draft constitution which would help unite all communities in Sri Lanka. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said supreme power wielded by the executive presidency had stunted the Sri Lankan identity. He said India had 25 official languages and pointed out that the Indian central govt had not suppressed its states unlike what happens in the Sri Lankan provincial council system. “Indian central govt has allowed people to demonstrate more..

CMC declares 'war' on schools with mosquito-breeding sites

May 31 (CT) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will take action against several schools in the Western Province, which have unkempt gardens that encourage mosquito breeding sites. It is learnt that around 12 schools in the Western Province will be taken to Court following the upsurge in the number of dengue affected cases in the Province. Of these, 11 are State schools, while the other is an international school. According to the Chief more..

International police investigation regarding Matale mass grave

May 31 (LT) The case on the Matale mass grave was heard again in Matale Magistrates Court today. The Court informed that an international police investigation has been called for and DNA tests would be conducted after this investigation. The Court also ordered the CID to publish notices in all three languages for the information of those parties affected if there are any to come forward. Meanwhile, 22 more affidavits were presented to Court today. more..

President pays last respects to Jayalath Jayawardena

May 31 (AD) President Rajapaksa paid his last respect to the remains of late UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena at his Ja-Ela residence a short while ago. UNP MP passed away at a hospital in Singapore early morning yesterday. He has passed away following a surgery at a private hospital in Singapore, Hospital sources said. UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena who has a history of heart ailments was admitted to the ICU of the Sri J'pura Hospital on Nov 8, 2012 after suffering a heart attack. more..

Prasad Kariyawasam re-elected to UN Committee on Migrant Workers

May 31 (DM) Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in India, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam was re-elected to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW), at the election held at the UN Headquarters in New York on 30 May. The UN Committee on Migrant Workers comprises 14 experts elected for a term of four years by State Parties to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all migrant workers more..