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Mihin Lanka and SriLankan airlines be merged: COPE

Aug 6 (DM) The COPE had recommended that Mihin Lanka and the national carrier SriLankan Airlines be amalgamated and brought under one management, the Chairman of the Committee, Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said. He said that this recommendation had been made in COPE’s interim report which was presented to Parliament last afternoon. Accordingly, the report said COPE had asked for a report within more..

UPFA supporters violate election laws in Badulla – CaFFE

Aug 6 (LT) Over 80 vehicles carrying UPFA supporters have camped near Kandeketiya Vidyalaya, after traveling from Mahiyanganaya violating election laws and elections commissioners directives banning rallies and vehicle parades during the last two days of the nominations period states CaFFE. CaFFE also states a group had threatened election officials, including Kurunegala Deputy Elections Commissioner Namal Thalanganama and policemen near Loggal Oya. more..

Top Aussie border protection official in SL

Aug 6 (DM) Commander of the Australian Border Protection Command, Rear Admiral Michael Noonan is currently in Sri Lanka to discuss a range of maritime security issues, including people smuggling with the Sri Lankan authorities. The visiting top official held discussion with Sri Lanka Navy Commander Jayantha Perera at the navy headquarters on Tuesday. The Sri Lanka Navy said that attention was drawn to people smuggling and the counter measures implemented to thwart more..

OHCHR to still seek access for probe

Aug 6 (CG) UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will continue to seek access to Sri Lanka to conduct the investigation on the war. In the terms of reference for the probe OHCHR says it will continue to seek to engage with the Govt of Sri Lanka, as envisioned in the Council resolution. It also said that the High Commissioner will continue to request for the team conducting the OHCHR Investigation on more..

Will start where JVP left off - First Front

Aug 6 (SM) The newly initiated political movement - First Front says that their main objective would be to take up the battle for democracy from the point where the JVP left off. First Front operations committee member Kalum Amarasinghe said thus at the movement's maiden media briefing held in Colombo today. Amarasinghe said that deep issues over democracy and freedom prevailed in Sri Lankan politics for over a decade. Though the JVP initiated the battle against this, more..

Kandy expressway to go via Pothuhera

Aug 6 (DM) Initial plans made for the proposed Kandy Expressway have been changed because hilly areas are an obstruction to the expressway having direct access from Ambepussa to Kandy, the Ministry of Ports and Highways said. “According to our amended plans the Expressway will start in Kurunegala and move via Pothuhera and Mawathagam to Kandy,” it said. Ministry said the change in plans had delayed construction work on the expressway and even the newly more..

Four arrested for spreading rumours about another anti-Muslim attack

Aug 6 (AM) Four Muslims have been arrested by Police for spreading rumours via text messages, Police headquarters said. The text message, which went viral among a section of the Muslim community, stated that there was a plan to carry out another attack against Muslims after August 10. The text message also claimed that a special meeting in this regard had been held at the Ministry of Defence, a spokesperson from more..

Demurrage liability running to several hundred million rupees in limbo

Aug 6 (Island) A ship carrying 35,000MT of low sulphur furnace oil was turned back from the Colombo Port recently when the CPC found that the ship had not been loaded with the fuel from the country stipulated by the CPC. Energy sector observers admired the move by the CPC for a taking a bold step even at a time it was facing a crisis situation owing to the bursting of fuel unloading hoses on May 23 and the resultant shutting down of the country’s sole oil refinery. more..

Sixth sitting of Missing Persons Commission in Mannar

Aug 6 (DM) The sixth round of public sittings of the commission inquiring into allegations of missing persons would be held in the Mannar District from August 8 to 11, the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Missing Persons (PCIMP) said today. “The commission will conduct next sittings at the Manthai West Divisional Secretariat on August 8 and 9, at the Mannar Divisional Secretariat on August 10, and at the Madhu Divisional Secretariat on August 11,” it said. more..

'Pakistan, Sri Lanka have significant potential for trade'

Aug 6 (AAP) PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that there was significant potential for trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka particularly after the Free Trade Agreement 2005 became operational. PM was talking to Sri Lankan Secretary for External Affairs Mrs Kshenuka Senewiratune, who called on him here. He emphasized the importance of relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, particularly in more..

Child’s guide to IMF’s press release on SL

Aug 7 (CT) The IMF, has issued a press release on July 29, 2014 after its Executive Board had discussed the report presented to it by the Staff Mission that had visited Sri Lanka in May 2014. The staff mission had been fielded by the IMF under Article IV of its Articles of Agreement which is the constitution governing the Fund. This Article has stipulated that the IMF should have discussion with member countries, usually once a year, on their economic development and policies. more..

Mihin Lanka: Profit any time soon?

Aug 7 (CT) The airline has been plagued by financial losses, debt, waste, corruption and other irregularities since its inception in 2007. Is this a profitable venture? I feel not, as it is the taxpayer’s money put to use for yet another prestige project. Mihin is another “White Elephant” which served no purpose since the country already had a national airline and it was also in a severe financial mess. Mihin Lanka (MJ) was incorporated in October 2006 and began international flights more..

Raju has unique resemblance to Raja

Aug 7 (SO) The chubby little ball of black born on February 3, 2006 was named Raju, the King. Perhaps the authorities at Pinnawala Eth Athuru Sevana - the elephant transit camp, where Raju's parents, Neelagiri and Punchi were resident pachyderms, had some sort of inkling of what the future held for the baby elephant, for its not customary to think of a royal name for any newborns there. During his relatively short time at more..

Jayalalithaa and the Defence Ministry

Aug 7 (CT) Some interlocutors of this govt get so overwhelmed by peripheral rhetoric that they tend to forget the full picture. This happened last week and back fired in a rather humiliating way. The Defence Ministry website, published a piece by one of its regular contributors, titled, " How meaningful are Jayalalitha's love letters to Narendra Modi?" The article under the mysterious feminine byline Senali Waduge , kicked off, with a famous line borrowed from the 18th century more..

How will Trincomalee affect Mahinda?

Aug 7 (CT) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe recently posed a question in Parliament to Minister G.L. Peiris. He wanted to know if the govt had granted permission to a company belonging to the Chinese Govt to start an aircraft servicing project in Trincomalee. Ranil pointed out that the project would be a problem to India as it violated the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord signed in 1987. Assassinated former FM Lakshman Kadirgamar asked a similar question in more..

Sri Lanka's day-long deja vu

Aug 7 (CI) Stranded on a far-off island where one day's routine was hardly different from the next, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe put a cross in the ground and began to make a daily notch, hoping to wrap his mind around the passage of time. Weeks wound by without change. Months melded into one another. When Crusoe was rescued, he learned that even with his wooden cross, he had not managed to accurately more..

Post-UVA political pivot

Aug 7 (GV) Perhaps the most interesting single thing to watch about the upcoming Uva election is whether or not the UNP will get significantly more than half of the vote that the Govt succeeds in obtaining. Will the Govt’s percentage of the vote increase, decrease or remain roughly static? If it is a decrease, will that be lesser or greater than the increase in the UNP vote, if increase there is? Will the UNP show tangible signs of recovery, of bottoming out of its long downswing? more..

Should women be reborn men?

Aug 7 (SL) May all women be reborn as men’, Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena, is reported to have said when he addressed the Sri Lanka Women’s Federation meeting last Sunday at Manampitiya. The Minister has cited the achievements of Sri Lankan women in recent times and also the loving and obedient manner his wife sees him off from home and wished that she be reborn as a man. The minister’s appreciation of women, despite the headaches that more..

Small Canada town named after Ceylon Tea

Aug 7 (LR) Years ago, tea held sway, powerful enough to change a name of a town. During the late 1800s mail was confused between Flesherton rail station and Flesherton town. In 1899, it was decided the station would be named Ceylon. The name was coined through a parcel of Ceylon tea sitting on the shelf of a grocery store. Today, the railway line no longer runs through Ceylon in Grey County, it was replaced by a scenic trail. more..

Much has to be desired from public transport

Aug 7 (NS) Repair works on roads in Colombo seem to continue endlessly making driving, and traveling not a so pleasant experience. While part of the roads in Colombo have seen an image makeover of sorts, most roads continue to be half done, resulting in inconvenience and huge traffic blocks in several places. While this has been the case over the past several months, what has been a matter of concern and inconvenience to the public for a long time is the state of public transport, namely the buses. more..

Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind

Aug 7 (NS) Like many ordinary Sri Lankan citizens who feel genuinely concerned about the future of the country, I have been apprehensively watching a steady flow of potentially inflammatory talk about so-called Sinhala Buddhist extremism against Muslims, as well as actual incidence of violence particularly over the past few months. It is implied that Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism is chronic in our island nation’s politics, and that all minorities are threatened by it, and further that, at the moment, more..

Uva: A high stakes game

Aug 7 (FT) Uva-Wellassa, the ‘land of one hundred thousand paddy fields,’ will go to the polls to elect its provincial representatives for the sixth time about six weeks from now. The border between Sri Lanka’s beautiful central hills region and its dry zone runs through the Uva Province, making the two districts it is home to as different as night and day. It was long-ordained that the Uva PC election would be an important forerunner more..

Younis to the rescue, again

Aug 7 (CI) Ignore the opening slot and it seems churlish to find a flaw in Pakistan's performance on the first day. Younis Khan's 24th Test hundred, putting him one ton short of Inzamam-ul-Haq's Pakistan record, was a typical rescue act after the openers slipped up. The defining factor was the control throughout his unbeaten 133, though there were a couple of close lbw calls. There were hardly any loose deliveries, but he was patient and capitalised well, waiting for the right one. more..

Editorial: Dolour of workers

Aug 7 (Island) National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) consisting of 366 unions affiliated to the JVP has launched a protest campaign to ratchet up pressure on the govt to grant a substantial pay hike. It argues that the cost of living has increased so steeply under the incumbent dispensation that a family of four needs a monthly income of at least Rs. 51,000. One is reminded of a cantankerous minister’s ridiculous claim that a family of three can survive on a monthly income of Rs. 7,500 if it manages more..

'No one has legal authority to control Bhikkus'

Aug 7 (Island) "If a bhikku behaves in a manner that brings to the mahasangha into disrepute , the mahanayakes can advise that bhikku. But if that bhikku does not listen to the mahanayake thera, there is no further action that can be taken." Former Leader of JHU Ven. Ellawela Medhananda Thera, in an interview, looks at the causes that have contributed to the very visible deterioration in behavioural standards of bhikku community. more..

Seven tech start-ups woo investors at Brandix funded MIT-GSL Sri Lanka challenge

Aug 7 (Island) The application of technology innovatively to improve access to information, products or services was the common theme when seven teams of young Sri Lankans demonstrated their ideas for business start-ups at the conclusion of the Brandix-funded MIT Global Start-up Labs (MIT-GSL) Sri Lanka 2014 challenge. From the delivery of therapy to dyslexic children, accessing organic vegetables and fruit, or eliminating false alarms generated by electronic surveillance systems, more..

Three ATM scammers to be indicted in HC

Aug 7 (DM) Two Turkish men and a Ukrainian woman, who were in remand custody on charges of having carried out an ATM-skimming racket in Colombo are to be indicted in Colombo High Court on charges of having committed an offence under the Payment Devices Frauds Act, the CID told Court today. The three suspects -- Zanburkan Hakan and Ahmet Akdemit of Turkey and Maryan Levchnco of Ukraine were produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate further remanded till August 20. more..

‘Time’s ripe for a Vietnam-SL FTA’

Aug 7 (Island) ‘Although there is a lot of unexploited potential and opportunities for trade between Sri Lanka and Vietnam, the high tariff and fees imposed on Vietnamese products are hindering the trade flow between the countries, Vietnamese ambassador to Sri Lanka Ton Sinh Thanh said. Thanh was addressing the opening ceremony of the Sri Lanka- Vietnam Business Centre at APL Green Towers in Kelaniya more..

Forestry newbies enter ‘tree money’ fray; industry expresses concerns

Aug 7 (ST) Amidst the calamity the beleaguered forestry management company Touchwood Investments Ltd has created, a couple of small scale ‘agricultural investment firms’ are gearing to enter the market, industry sources said. Expressing concerns that the Central Bank hasn’t still made an effort to regulate the forestry firms in the country, they are pushing for a monitoring mechanism for these newcomers. H. Rohana, Chief Executive Director Sadaharitha Plantations Ltd, more..

Kuchchaweli PS Chairman remanded over assault

Aug 7 (Island) Kuchchaweli magistrate yesterday remanded UPFA Kuchchweli Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, T.L.P. Mubaarak till today for assaulting a person, who came to his office at Pulmudai on August 02. The victim was being treated at the Pulmudai hospital and the suspect chairman had surrendered to the court after the police submitted submissions regarding the incident to the Kuchchweli magistrate. A complaint had been lodged by victim to Pulmudai police station. more..

Ranil’s recipe to avoid middle income trap

Aug 7 (FT) Govt may have formulated strategies for the ambitious goal of over $ 7000 per capita income by 2020 but Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday shared with private sector his recipe for the country to avoid the world famous middle income trap. “While going for the 2020 vision, we must realise that this is a make-or-break period. It is important to decide if we are going to get out of it, more..

Up he went hero, Down he came zero

Aug 7 (Island) An attempt by UNP activist Indika Dassanayake to force the party leadership to nominate him to contest Uva PC Election by climbing onto the roof of Sirikotha, failed with his demand being rejected. Chairman of the UNP, Kabir Hashim, when asked why Indika had gone to the extent of climbing on to the headquarters roof without discussing his grievance with the Nomination Board, replied, "We could not accomodate Indika since there was no vacancy. more..

Sri Lanka will be fast growing - Accenture

Aug 7 (DN) A top level French business and construction delegation is in Sri Lanka. A global investment consulting giant said Sri Lanka 'will be very fast growing'. "What we've seen so far in Sri Lanka is very encouraging with highly literate people at above 90%. Sri Lanka is such a good destination for BPOs that even the global ATM processings of an international bank is here. Accenture believes that Sri Lanka will be very fast growing," said Lotfi Kibboua Consultant and Business Analyst, more..

Investors deterred

Aug 7 (CT) Inefficiency, bad governance practices, lack of transparency, want of facilitation and low labour availability are holding back foreign direct investment negating all expectations of the govt, panellists said at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit. According to senior businessmen, Sri Lanka needs to position itself as a preferred investment destination to increase foreign direct investment to the country to fully more..

Vaas Gunawardena's son remanded for 3 more months

Aug 7 (AM) The Colombo High Court Trial-at-bar bench today further remanded Ravindu Vaas Gunawardena the son of ex-DIG Vaas Gunawardena for a period of three months in connection with the killing of businessman Mohammed Shyam. Three Judge Bench comprising justice Rohini Walgama, Lalith Jayasuriya and Leon Seneviratne made this remand extension order taking into consideration the behavior of the accused while being held in remand custody. more..

347 Badulla mobile services completed in two months

Aug 7 (FT) Arrangements have been to complete within three months 567 mobile services launched in the Badulla district under the Village-to-Village, House-to-House National Program to solve problems of the rural population. Of this number 347 have already been completed. Minister Basil Rajapaksa is directing the program on President Rajapaksa’s advice to solve the problems of nearly 811,758 people living in 15 Secretarial Divisions of nine electorates in the Badulla District. more..

Court orders Sri Lankan ministry to handle Haj quota

Aug 7 (AN) A court in Colombo ruled Monday that the Haj quota of pilgrims in Sri Lanka will be handled by the ministry which deals with Bhuddist and other religious affairs. The court order was given as a sequel to a dispute between the govt Haj committee and a group of travel agents who were interested in taking a larger share of the quota of 2,240 pilgrims allotted to Sri Lanka by the Saudi Ministry of Haj. more..

Sri Lanka’s lone medalist at Commonwealth Games returns home

Aug 7 (NF) Upon his return to the country on August 6, Sri Lanka’s lone medalist at the 20th Commonwealth Games, Sudesh Peiris said that his victory in Glasgow will be an encouragement for him at the upcoming Asian Games. Sudesh Peiris, who competed in the 62-kilogramme men’s weightlifting event, was also the captain of the Sri Lankan Team that took part in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Peiris managed to lift 123 kilogrammes in Snatch and 150 kg in more..

Laws of Sri Lanka now online

Aug 7 (FT) The Daily FT and the Daily Mirror, together with Blackhall Publishing and the Lake House Bookshop, have announced that the revised laws of Sri Lanka will be available online via the websites, and Subscriptions for the online version of Blackhall’s Laws of Sri Lanka can be taken out for one year, six months, three months or three days. Maintaining a current statute book is of great importance to civil society, business more..

President inspects Trace Expert City

Aug 7 (FT) President Rajapaksa yesterday inspected the progress of the Knowledge Park in the former Tripoli Market at Maradana which is expected to be completed by the year’s end. The Govt at an estimated cost of about US$ 7 million is building a knowledge park in the heart of Colombo to use as a center to establish knowledge-based industries. UDA and the military, under the supervision of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, more..