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Daily FT’s Dharisha wins coveted Journalist of the Year Award

Aug 6 (FT) Proving its prowess, the Daily FT last night bagged three awards including the coveted Journalist of the Year and Columnist of the Year – English, both won by Dharisha Bastians, the paper’s Political Columnist. The Daily FT’s newcomer Shabiya Ali Ahlam was also the only English business journalist to be recognised with a Merit Award at the 2013 edition of annual Excellence Awards organised by The Editor’s Guild of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Press Institute. more..

24 hour Ebola virus monitoring unit at BIA

Aug 6 (Island) A 24-hour Emergency Centre has been set up at the BIA to detect to prevent passenger infected with the deadly Ebola virus from entering the country. Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala told The Island that Ebola virus had caused a serious health problem in some East African countries as several hundred people had already contracted the deadly disease and many had died of it. more..

CCC Chief’s tonic for Sri Lanka 2020

Aug 6 (FT) Following is the address delivered by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Suresh Shah, during the inauguration of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2014 yesterday. The two-day event on 5 and 6 August is discussing the topic ‘Sri Lanka 2020: Towards Surpassing $ 7,000 Per Capita’. Dignitaries, distinguished past chairmen, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning and a very warm welcome to the 15th Sri Lanka Economic Summit. more..

AIDS wake up call for private sector!

Aug 6 (FT) Top CEOs congregated on 25 July for ‘Stripping the Stigma,’ a special movie night aimed to remove the stigmatisation associated with HIV and AIDS. The event, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, was the latest initiative by the Lanka Business Coalition for HIV and AIDS (LBCH). Prominent businessmen gathered at Stein Studios, Ratmalana in support of a good cause. An estimated 4,200 people live with HIV in Sri Lanka, with new infections detected almost daily. more..

Bold quest for 2020 and beyond

Aug 6 (FT) Sri Lanka is well on its way to achieving $ 7,000 per capita income by 2020, believe the two top finance officials of Sri Lanka but acknowledge a “to do” list exists for both the public and private sectors. Speaking at the CCC Economic Summit 2014 under the title ‘Sri Lanka 2020: Towards surpassing the $ 7,000 Per Capita’ Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara and Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal more..

Madras HC hopes for solution to fishermen issue

Aug 6 (TOI) The Madras high court on Tuesday expressed hope that the Centre would look into the problem of Indian fishermen being arrested and jailed in Sri Lanka, and would make efforts to thrash out a reasonable solution to the vexed issue. First bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, however, disposed of two PILs which sought immediate release of the arrested Indian fishermen and clarification to the external affairs minister's statement more..

AI: Australia 'continues to violate' the Refugee Convention

Aug 6 (DW) The asylum seekers, thought to be mostly ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka, were eventually brought to the Australian mainland to be interviewed by Indian consular officials with a view to returning them to that country, but Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said they all refused to meet the officials. All 157, including 50 children, were then transferred to the island of Nauru to be processed and either resettled or returned to Sri Lanka, Morrison said in a statement. more..

'My absence benefits many'

Aug 6 (DM) The controversy looming over the decision of slinger Lasith Malinga to represent his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians in the forthcoming Champions League tournament over the local team he skippered, the Southern Express, was cleared by him when he said that many stand to benefit from his decision and it was one he made after great thought. “SLC stands to gain US $ 150,000 from Mumbai Indians more..

Sri Lanka Cricket looks for a Silva Lining

Aug 6 (WSJ) The most recent Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was also the last time Pakistan took to the field in cricket's longest format, six months ago in the United Arab Emirates. On that occasion a tightly fought three-match series ended in a 1-1 draw, which Pakistan snatched in the final match, at Sharjah, by chasing down 302 for the loss of five wickets in just 57.3 overs. The conditions in Sri Lanka for the two-Test series that starts at Galle International Stadium on Wednesday more..

GMOA to meet Govt. bigwigs

Aug 6 (NS) Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) will meet several key members of the Government to discuss issues pertaining to the GMOA. The GMOA will hold discussions with several Govt members and ministers including Speaker, Chamal Rajapaksa, Prime Minister, D. M. Jayaratne, Health Minister, Maithripala Sirisena, Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa, Defense Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa regarding the prevailing issues of the GMOA. more..

COPE Interim Report reveals Rs 9.7 B loss

Aug 6 (CT) The three biggest losers, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Mihin Air and Ceylon Fisheries Corporation (CFC) accumulated losses amounting to Rs 9.7 billion during 2013, according to the 4th Interim Report released by the COPE. CPC had suffered loses up to Rs 6.3 billion, Mihin Air Rs 3.2 billion and CFC Rs 75 million. The COPE report was submitted to Parliament by its Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekara yesterday. more..

Now no water for hundreds of thousands

Aug 6 (DM) What a shame, in a country that boasts of a unique irrigation system that supplied water for the entire dry zone in the past while blowing its trumpet on the current mega development projects and vows to be the wonder of Asia; millions of people are craving for a drop of water to drink. Almost every day the electronic media brings us visuals of people who brave the sun walking miles in search of water and collect water from small pits dug in parched lakes. more..

Doctors’ dispute at the National Hospital Differences of opinion resulted in the clash

Aug 6 (DM) Recently the police had to intervene to stop a clash between medical professionals who are representing two parties of the GMOA, one of the leading trade unions in the country at the National Hospital premises. The profession of medicine is known for its power of healing but not for fighting. The issue that erupted the fighting was said have been related to an opening of a branch of the GMOA at the National Hospital premises and this is what the two parties had to say on more..

'Things have happened against wishes of some people’

Aug 6 (DM) The question of political power that is wielded by women especially in the third world countries like Sri Lanka has been questioned from time to time by social activists, in spite of the fact that the representation of women in this field in the developed countries are higher in Norway, Sweden and Finland. This conversation, in a way, is about the woman’s place and their honourable positions that had been held by more..

Rajitha seeks legal advice to sue Gnanasara thera

Aug 6 (AM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has sought legal advice to sue BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnansara Thera over the “slanderous” statements the latter made against him. Minister said Gnanasara Thera should substantiate his allegations with concrete allegations before court. Minister Senaratne flatly denied allegations against him saying he was never involved in any sort of drug scam, more..

Norochcholai to fire third stage soon amidst claims of coal shortage

Aug 6 (Island) The third 300 MW boiler of the Norochcholai coal fired power plant complex would be in operation shortly, a senior engineer said in spite of claims that there was a coal shortage. A senior CEB engineer said that plans were underway to meet the shortfall arising from the shutting down of the first plant with an energy mix comprising primarily of an enhanced hydro power intake with three of the reservoirs currently more..

Perturbed by a dossier and tightening relations

Aug 6 (SL) While the Indian media had published several reports claiming that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has prepared a dossier to hand over to Sri Lankan officials with details of an official in the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, suspected of being involved in a terror plot to target US and Israeli Consulates in Chennai and Bangalore, the Sri Lankan authorities said that no such dossier more..

Champika slams energy Mafia saying Oil is thicker than blood

Aug 6 (AM) "When petrol is purchased at Rs.102 and sold for Rs.162, why does the Petroleum corporation run at a loss?". "Where did that money go?". These were some of the uncomfortable questions asked by Minister Champika Ranawaka at the launch of his book Power and Power yesterday. People should be made aware as to why a liter of diesel is imported at Rs. 103 but sold at Rs. 125. more..

Probe report on baby elephants awaited

Aug 6 (ST) One baby elephant is dead and the other is very ill at the Ath Athuru Sevana in Uda Walawe. A post-mortem has been held by the Veterinary Surgeons of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) under which comes Ath Athuru Sevana but the cause of death has not ascertained. Some specimens have been sent for 'independent' analysis. "Reports are awaited," said Minister Wijayamuni Zoysa. more..

NFF happy with SLFP response

Aug 6 (Island) A last minute bid by the SLFP to prevent UPFA constituent, the NFF from going it alone at the Uva PC polls failed yesterday. The NFF team contesting the Badulla District handed its nomination papers to the returning officer while the SLFP and the NFF were having talks in Colombo to resolve the dispute, political sources said last night. The NFF last night said that the party was ready to contest on the UPFA ticket in more..

‘I haven’t asked Gota to enter politics’

Aug 6 (Island) President Rajapaksa yesterday indicated that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wouldn’t enter active politics in the near future. President was addressing heads of media at Temple Trees. President said that he hadn’t asked his brother to enter politics. A smiling President said that the govt needed efficient secretaries, too. Defence Secretary had turned down a previous invitation to join politics, more..

Battling the war of cybercrime

Aug 6 (FT) A siren call was issued yesterday at the EC-Council Cyber Security Summit 2014, rallying the country, govt, the public and private sectors, and individuals, to arm themselves against one of the biggest wars being waged globally today – the threat of cyber-terrorism and cyber-attacks, which have firmly established themselves as one of the largest and most elusive risks the world has faced. Held for the second consecutive year more..

Sri Lanka groups say govt wary of U.N. war crimes probe

Aug 6 (Reuters) Authorities in Sri Lanka are clamping down on the activities of civil society groups, who accuse the govt of trying to discourage survivors of the country's civil war from giving evidence to a U.N. war crimes investigation. Accusations of atrocities have been rife since the end in May 2009 of conflict between ethnic Tamil separatist rebels and govt forces that killed more than 100,000 people. Tens of thousands are unaccounted more..

COPE: CEA did not test Rathupaswala water properly

Aug 6 (Island) The COPE has faulted the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) for failing to carry out a proper investigation before issuing the required authorisation to the Dipped Products (PLC) owned gloves manufacturing factory at Rathupaswela to launch operations. The COPE released its findings at a special press conference held at the parliamentary complex yesterday. The media was told that the CEA had issued the environmental certificate after testing the water samples more..

Sri Lanka rupee ends firmer; state banks curb gains

Aug 6 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee ended firmer on Wednesday on inflows from exporter dollar sales and inward remittances, while two state banks bought dollars at a lower level, dealers said. The rupee ended at 130.19/21 per dollar, firmer from Tuesday's close of 130.21/24. "There are regular inflows. State banks lowered the buying rate by two cents to 130.19 and there is not much demand from others. The state banks are the buyers and directing the market," said a currency dealer. more..

Police not acting on illegal permits for jumbos

Aug 6 (CT) Environmentalists complain that two govt organizations are yet to respond to a complaint made by them, regarding the forged signatures of a former Wildlife Director permitting the issuing of elephant licences. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) and the Police Department have not responded to letters sent by Environmentalist Vimukthi Weeratunga regarding this matter. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.3%

Aug 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.26% higher with index heavy stocks gaining despite net foreign buying, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 17.84 points higher at 6,833.26, up 0.26%. The S&P SL20 closed 9.76 points higher at 3,752.79, up 0.26%. Turnover was 1.40 billion rupees, down from 1.57 billion rupees a day earlier with 130 stocks closed positive against 62 negative. Commercial Bank closed 90 cents higher at 142.40 rupees with an off-market transaction of more..

How not to conduct foreign relations...

Aug 6 (CT) We might be deluded into thinking all politics is local, but a tactless article published in the Ministry of Defence website, has proved otherwise and has served to prod home Newton's Third Law of Motion in no uncertain terms, with the equal and opposite reaction continuing to reverberate in TN and New Delhi. Sri Lankan Govt might consider itself invincible in the home front courtesy a non-existent Opposition, the over-extended euphoria of defeating a terror outfit and ending a 30-year war, more..

Younis century leads Pakistan recovery

Aug 6 (CI) When Misbah-ul-Haq chose to bat, the skies were overcast and the pitch had been under covers following overnight rain. The ball moved around for a while, and Pakistan lost their openers inside six overs. Then came in Younis Khan and fought his way through to lunch. By stumps, Younis was batting on 133, had equaled Mohammad Yousuf for 24 Test centuries, the second-most by a Pakistani, and more..

Tamil mood simmers yet again thanks to SL

Aug 6 (Rediff) In what could be seen as inexplicable and disproportionate over-reaction to a Sri Lankan faux pas, a section of the Tamil film industry over the weekend called for shutting down the nation’s deputy high commission for southern India at Chennai. Like the rest of the state, including the otherwise critical political Opposition, the film industry was protesting an inappropriate depiction of PM Narendra Modi and CM Jayalalithaa in a cartoon on the SL defence ministry’s official website. more..

Gang rape of two schoolgirls: All suspects arrested

Aug 6 (Island) Kalutara North police on Monday arrested the last suspect, a soldier allegedly involved in gang raping two 14-year-old schoolgirls from July 25 to 27 in three different places. The suspects used their mobile phones to film the sexual assault. The telephones were taken into custody. Kalutara Magistrate remanded the other eight suspects including a coast guard, a hotel manager and a trishaw driver arrested earlier till August 7 pending the identification parade. more..

Sri Lanka on track to achieve 7.8% growth in 2014: official

Aug 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is on track to achieve its growth target of 7.8% in 2014 and aims to hit 7,000 U.S. dollars of per capita income by 2020. Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara told an economic conference that growth would remain steady despite a drought severely affected over 300,000 families in several key agricultural districts around the country. "SL has the chance to become an advanced country by 2035. more..

India, China and SL: The uneasy triangle

Aug 6 (CT) China’s President Xi Jinping has accepted a long-standing invitation from President Rajapaksa to visit Sri Lanka sometime this year. The first-ever visit by a Chinese President to Sri Lanka will no doubt be hailed alas a crowning achievement for President Rajapaksa’s foreign policy which had been under siege for some time now. Chinese President’s Sri Lanka visit will be an emphatic statement of the growing strategic relationship between the two countries since more..

'Sri Lanka’s legal fraternity in jeopardy'

Aug 6 (AM) Former Defence Minister and President’s Counsel Tilak Marapana said that over 15,000 of the country’s legal fraternity (lawyers) are at risk. He made this statement while condemning the way law enforcement handled the death threats received by BASL President Upul Jayasooriya. “Receiving death threats against the head of the BASL is not merely a threat to a person called Upul Jayasooriya but a threat tom over 15,000 members of the country’s legal fraternity,” more..

Ranil sees new regulations hampering NGO work

Aug 6 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament that the govt’s directive to NGOs receiving foreign funds to get prior approval would hamper their operations. Making a special statement, he said that the govt had issued a circular titled ‘Due diligence on the utilisation of funds received from Foreign Funding Agencies, INGOs and any other sources to all Govt Agencies, Local Institutions, more..

Nirupama gets 3 bowsers of water while Colombo is parched

Aug 6 (LT) MP Nirupama Rajapaksa has pressurized the Water Supply and Drainage Board to supply her with three bowsers of water. It is revealed that the water is needed to fill the swimming pool in her private residence. PM’s daughter Dilini Jayaratna too had phoned the Maligakanda Operational Center of the Water Supply and Drainage Board yesterday night and had requested to send a bowser of water immediately. Chairman of the Board had ordered to supply more..

Khuram murder convict a lucky prisoner

Aug 6 (Island) Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Vidana Pathirane convicted of the murder of British national Khuram Sheikh and sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Walgama recently was not being given any work involving hard labour at the Welikada Prison in clear violation of the verdict, prison sources said. "It is sheer discrimination as other prisoners who have been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment are made to do hard labour," they said. more..

UNP wary of NFF Uva moves

Aug 6 (DM) The UNP today charged that the NFF was running with the hound and hunting with the hare at the upcoming Uva PC elections. Questioning the decision taken by the NFF to contest in the Badulla District on its own while not doing so in the Moneragala District at the Provincial Council elections, the UNP said the NFF was trying to deceive the people. “What is the rationale behind this ruse or double standard? more..

‘No Limit’ fire: Govt. Analyst offended by newspaper query

Aug 6 (Island) The much-awaited Govt Analyst’s report on a fire that destroyed the No Limit Panadura branch in the wake of the Alutgama mayhem had not been submitted. Govt Analyst Sakunthala Tennakoon refused to field our questions on the inordinate delay in issuing the report. She angrily disconnected the call. Fire broke out on June 21 early morning. According to police investigations, there were four employees sleeping inside the shop besides two security guards at the time the more..

Uva PC Polls: Four Muslim parties in Govt. to contest under two-leaf banner

Aug 6 (Island) Four Muslim parties including the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) both constituents of the ruling UPFA coalition are to contest as an alliance at the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council Election. General Secretary of the SLMC Hassan Ali MP, said that the other two parties in their alliance were the Democratic Unit Alliance (DUA), under whose Two-Leaf symbol they would be contesting and the Up Country Muslim Council (UCMC). more..