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LMD releases Most Respected rankings

Aug 18 (FT) The 10th edition of LMD’s Most Respected entities in Sri Lanka has been released. John Keells Holdings (JKH) tops the list for a record ninth time. The special annual edition notes: “In a bid to better reflect corporate perceptions – and in honour of this being the 10th issue of the special edition that measures peer perceptions of corporate admiration – the Most Respected rankings have been revamped more..

National Youth Corps partners with BCI USA to launch IBPO

Aug 18 (Island) The National Youth Corps (NYC), together with the BPO Certification Institute (BCI), last week announced the launch of the Institute of Business Process Outsourcing (IBPO), Sri Lanka's first fully-fledged training institute for Business Process Outsourcing. The IBPO will offer several internationally recognized certification programs for empowering Sri Lankan youth with employability in global professions of Customer Interaction, Transaction Processing; Datawork; more..

EPF sheds minor Cold Stores stake with hefty capital gain

Aug 18 (FT) The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) had sold a small parcel of Ceylon Cold Stores (CCS) shares last week, but at a hefty capital gain. Market sources said EPF was among the sellers of CCS last week which saw 1.05 million of its shares traded for Rs. 249 million and figured as the fifth largest in turnover. EPF, which had 1.2 million shares (or a 1.3% stake) as at June 2014 in CCS, had sold a block of 500,000 shares at Rs. 245 each in a deal worth Rs. 122.5 million. more..

Rapes surge in Sri Lanka amid weak laws

Aug 18 (AJ) Recent allegations that a naval officer Jaffna raped an 11-year-old girl have cast a spotlight on the growing problem of sexual violence in SL. Incidents of rape have increased by nearly 20% in the last two years, with 4,393 cases registered during 2012-2014 as compared to 3,624 in 2010-2012. In the Jaffna case, police confirmed they had apprehended and brought before the courts a suspect attached to the navy, more..

Nurses retirement age raised to 63

Aug 18 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that he had decided in consultation with the Ministry top officials to obtain Cabinet approval to raise the retirement age of nurses to 63 years from 60. About 5000 nursing vacancies had not been filled and as a result the nursing profession was experiencing a severe shortage of cadre. Although the Health Ministry called applications for the post of nurses, the young men and women were not interested in joining the nursing profession.

'Win would be fitting farewell for Mahela'

Aug 18 (CI) The Sri Lanka team had spoken about keeping emotions in check in Mahela Jayawardene's final match, but they will relish the chance to bid him farewell with a 2-0 series win, Kumar Sangakkara said. Sri Lanka finished day four three wickets away from victory, with Pakistan still 144 runs adrift of their target. "As a team and a player we knew about Mahela's retirement, but we didn't want to think only about that but to perform as a team," Sangakkara said. "That's what we spoke about more..

Cricket cold war: Blood on the dance floor

Aug 18 (ST) There are some things that capture the imagination of the masses more than any other social norm. In this tiny island nation, the game of cricket is such a massive social pastime that the people have come to believe in the game and the result is that they advertise the fact that they are proud to be Sri Lankan. Just take a stroll down your street and count how many people irrespective of age, gender, race cast, religion or even more..

SL repatriates seek better working conditions

Aug 18 (Hindu) At the time of the retirement of her father, Pushpa Rani was working as a nurse in a private hospital in Sullia – one of the few among the Sri Lankan repatriates to find qualified outside the rubber plantations. However, the retirement left her with a dilemma and the decision she took still brings her to tears. “I had no choice. I had to leave my job so that we can still keep our house,” she said. Her house, like every other house in Kalloni colony at Sullia Taluk, is allotted based on more..

We’ll find a lasting solution : Minister

Aug 18 (Hindu) The BJP government at the Centre will find a lasting solution to the fishermen issue, Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Pon. Radhakrishnan said on Sunday. Talking to reporters at Kooriyur near here, he said the solution would be worked out in such a way that the community continued fishing (in the Palk Bay) generation after generation. “I do not want to say the solution will be found this way or that way,” he said, declining to go into details. more..

Prince Saud, Lanka envoy discuss ways to bolster ties

Aug 18 (AN) Strengthening relations between the Kingdom and Sri Lanka was the focus of the meeting held between Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Sri Lankan Ambassador Mohamed Hussein Mohamed in Jeddah on Sunday. The meeting took place after the Sri Lankan envoy presented copies of his credentials to the minister, who also received the credentials of Niger’s Ambassador Amadou Songhai, more..

Sri Lanka’s trade with Indonesia to touch $1b in 2015: SLIBC

Aug 18 (GT) Bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Indonesia is expected to increase up to $1 billion by 2015. This could be achieved through the cooperation of the business community of Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Now the total volume of trade is $450 million, said Sri Lanka-Indonesia Business Council (SLIBC) President Jatinder Biala. The council’s objective is to promote trade, services and business between Sri Lanka and Indonesia, particularly exports from Sri Lanka. more..

Rain may go away

Aug 18 (DM) The Department of Meteorology said the rains in the drought hit areas may be temporary as they were brought about by a atmospheric condition that did not usually last long. A spokesman from the department said the tropical convergence which caused the showers would be temporary as it could move away within a day or two. However, showers were welcomed as Anurdhapura, Mihintale and Moneragala are the areas which were mostly hit by the drought. more..

Cricket bigwigs in podium tussle

Aug 18 (Island) Cricket bigwigs are fighting among themselves to get into the podium during the post match presentation of the second Test against Pakistan where former captain Mahela Jayawardene will be felicitated. SLC Chief Jayantha Dharmadasa in an e-mail to members had suggested the names of the officials who will be in the podium during the presentation. The egos of some officials seem to have no end and more..

'Banking sector face declined demand for credit'

Aug 18 (CT) Over the past six months, whole of the banking sector have seen a contraction in the demand for credit amidst the relatively low interest rate, said Nations Trust Bank CEO and Director, Renuka Fernando. Explaining she said that this contraction in loans and advances was mainly a result of the significant reduction in pawning advances due to the reduction in price of gold. Fernando made these remarks at a special media conference organized by more..

President Karzai accepts Sri Lankan ambassador’s credentials

Aug 18 (BNA) Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan accepted credentials of Sari Lankan first ambassador to Kabul (Parsad Karia Wasam) in a ceremony at presidential palace yesterday. After the ceremony, President Hamid Karzai while welcoming the Sri Lankan ambassador to Kabul said, “I’m so happy that the first ambassador of this region’s great country Sri Lanka is here to open the country’s embassy in Kabul.” “By opening Sri Lanka’s embassy in Afghanistan, bilateral relations more..

Sangakkara scotches retirement fears

Aug 18 (CI) It was just one raise of the blade. One turn, a smile, and a wave. But all across the country, its ripples were being felt. Kumar Sangakkara has become an increasingly reticent celebrator of his hundreds. At times he seems bored by his own success. A 200 in Galle brought little more than a fist pump. But here he was, acknowledging applause after being cut down for a half-century. Already overdosing on emotion, more..

Sri Lanka a hot spot for organ trafficking

Aug 18 (CG) Sri Lanka is seen as a hot spot for organ trafficking, according to a report published in the New York Times which uncovered attempts by people in the Middle East to purchase kidney’s in Sri Lanka. The report said that one lady, identified as Ophira Dorin from Israel was directed to Sri Lanka to purchase a kidney by Avigad Sandler, a former insurance agent long suspected of being involved in trafficking. Sandler had told Dorin that he was sending clients to SL for $200,000 in cash. more..

India wants Sri Lanka to release all boats

Aug 18 (CG) Indian Govt wants Sri Lanka to release the boats detained following the arrest of Indian fishermen, who were eventually freed recently. Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Pon. Radhakrishnan said the BJP govt at the Centre will find a lasting solution to the fishermen issue. Talking to reporters at Kooriyur near Ramanathapuram, he said the solution would be worked out in such a way that the community continued fishing (in the Palk Bay) generation after generation. more..

Three key Asian heads of state here soon

Aug 18 (Island) Three Key Asian heads of state would be here in the next couple of months and address Lankan parliament, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said. PM of Japan Shinzo Abe would address the Parliament on Sept 9, followed by Chinese President Xin Jinping. "We know that the Chinese President will arrive in the country on Sept 16 and the day on which he addresses Parliament would be confirmed more..

Public funds go down DPL drains

Aug 18 (DM) The time-tested principles of good governance and the foreign policy-making appear to be crumbling with the Monetary Board virtually playing that important role by signing a Rs. 99 million contract with an American Public Relations firm to repair and improve strained ties with the United States. According to startling revelations made in the Sunday Times Political Editor’s column, Sri Lanka Central Bank had signed a contract with Liberty International Group in Florida. more..

Eroding a Constitution

Aug 18 (DM) Some months ago the Friday Forum issued a public statement that reflected on certain emerging trends in our country and posed the question whether Sri Lanka was moving towards authoritarianism. Though circulated widely, this statement did not receive extensive publicity in the national newspapers. A recent letter issued ‘To all NGOs’ by the Director/Registrar of an Institution known as the “National Secretariat for NGOs’ located in the Ministry of Defence more..

Is the beauty business skin deep?

Aug 18 (DM) While the beauty industry and cosmetic products have become thriving businesses the world over, cosmetic surgery has become a major business in Sri Lanka. Despite controversy over their quality and professional standards, resulting in so many raids on dubious establishments described as “beauty clinics” which are mushrooming in the country today. The controversy reached its climax when a more..

No evidence to establish drowning

Aug 18 (SL) Following the mysterious death of Punyasena Bandara the key witness in Priyani Herath case and the death threats received by Herath, eyebrows have been raised as to how lethargic the police is as no breakthrough has been made so far in the past two weeks. The police department’s failure to make a breakthrough in the mysterious death of Punyasena and to nab the perpetrator who has threatened Herath that more..

'A putsch using education'

Aug 18 (DN) The continued conspiracy of the cabal trying to topple the govt by means of a deliberate process of creating a negative perception of the country’s education system and exams, resurfaced with a series of actions designed by them to destabilise the grade five scholarships exam held throughout the country yesterday, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. “This is a very dangerous political conspiracy that has been going on more..

‘Jaffna suicide rate increased after end of war’

Aug 18 (AM) Daya Somasundaram, Professor of Psychiatry at Jaffna University said thatsuicide rate in Jaffna has gone up in the aftermath of the three decade long civil war in SL. Statistics collected by him show that in 2005, at the beginning of Eelam War IV (Aug 2005 to May 2009), suicide rate in Jaffna district was about 23 per 100,000 population. In 2006, when the war began to intensify, it came down to less than 20. more..

Killer disease Ebola: Porous defence at BIA raises combat questions

Aug 18 (ST) As the World Health Organisation sends out an SOS saying that “extraordinary measures” are needed to contain the killer disease Ebola, in Sri Lanka the steps the authorities have taken so far appear neither effective nor adequate. Investigation has found only passport holders from the affected countries – mainly Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone – are required to go through the mandatory screening process. more..

Disney raids wholesaler for sale of Disney stationery without a license

Aug 18 (FT) The Colombo Crimes Division recently conducted raids at a shop and factory, for sale and distribution of Disney stationery items without a valid license. The actions were spurred upon a complaint made by Disney Enterprises Inc. through their lawyers Sudath Perera Associates. The raids took place with a search warrant issued by the Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya and executed by the Colombo Crimes Division. more..

Sri Lanka electricity tariffs second highest in the world – expert

Aug 18 (Island) Sri Lanka’s electricity tariffs were higher than those of Australia, Singapore, Canada, Germany, France, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Nepal, Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne of the Dept of Economics, Uniof Colombo disclosed. Speaking at a discussion on Minister Champika Ranawaka’s latest book, Power and Power, Prof. Abeyratne said apart from Italy, Sri Lanka had the highest electricity charges in the world. more..

'An FTA with China before end of 2014'

Aug 18 (Island) "This govt promises you a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China before the end of 2014", Professor G L Pieris told the Ceylon Association of Ships’ Agents (CASA) on Friday. "The feasibility is completed", he said adding this exciting development should further support the initiatives by CASA and the wellbeing of the industry of which the CASA is engaged in. Pieris was standing in for President Rajapaksa at the 48th AGM of more..

NPC, EPC members seek wider probe

Aug 18 (CG) A group of members of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) have written to the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, seeking a wider probe on Sri Lanka by her office which looks at incidents even before the war. In a letter signed by 33 members of the two councils, the investigative team of the OHCHR has been requested to look into the pattern of more..

Herath scripts perfect farewell for Mahela

Aug 18 (CI) It took Sri Lanka just under an hour on the fifth morning to wrap up the Pakistan innings and kick off the celebrations at the SSC. A 2-0 win in his final series in the presence of his family, fans and team-mates - current and former, a silken-shot laden final innings - Mahela Jayawardene could not have asked for a better farewell after a glittering 17-year-old career. The firecrackers were set alight the moment more..

The opposition and the people

Aug 18 (CT) First they came for pavement traders and unauthorised vendors. Hundreds of thousands lost their livelihoods. Then they came for legally constituted small businesses. The first step was taken last year, when the UDA demolished shops on one side of Bastian Mawatha, Pettah. The owners were given scant notice (just 24 hours) and no alternate premises. At least this gross abuse of power did not go unnoticed. The media was present; voices of concern were raised. more..

Can a family 'live' on Rs 27,100?

Aug 18 (CT) The need of any reasonable human being is for his or her family to have three square meals a day, to live and to be dressed comfortably, be able for him and his/her family to travel from point A to B, to give a sound education for their children, to live in peace and security and to have a little saving for a 'rainy' day. Those may be considered the bare necessities of life, from a socio-economic perspective. To enjoy these comforts, a family needs to earn a decent income, more..

Don't sex workers have rights?

Aug 18 (CT) Last week controversy prevailed over 16 women taken into custody by the police, from an Ayurvedic Centre from Bambalapitiya, on charges of prostitution, then stripped bare and searched at the Welikada Prison. The arrested women allege the female Army officers in the Prison had insisted they remove their clothes to perform body searches on them, before they were allowed into the remand prison. more..

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.4%

Aug 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares closed 0.44% higher, reversing the losses incurred last Friday with telco and tobacco stocks gaining%. All Share Price Index closed 30.86 points higher at 6,974.71, up 0.44 percent. The S&P SL20 closed 9.59 points higher at 3,830.57, up 0.25 percent. Turnover was 1.79 billion rupees, down from 2.93 billion rupees last Friday with 75 stocks closed positive against 119 negative. John Keells Holdings closed 2 rupees higher at 240 rupees with more..

A fitting swansong for Mahela

Aug 18 (CI) The farewell innings had not been perfect. At times in his career a Mahela Jayawardene hundred seemed almost inevitable at the SSC, but throughout his stay at the crease on day three and four, he was some way from his fluent best. Still, he had endeavoured to deliver most of his vintage shots, mostly on day three. He had cover-driven Wahab Riaz, late cut Abdur Rehman and slog-swept Saeed Ajmal. The upper cut, the on-drive and the inside-out shot over cover had more..

Rohitha completes 1st year in space research

Aug 18 (Island) Rohitha Rajapaksa, the youngest son of the President, completed his first year of ongoing research on Optimization of space debris mitigation and strategy analysis. A space engineer who graduated from the University of Southampton, he is currently reading his PHD in the field of Space at the Department of Mathematics, University of Colombo. In a notable achievement, the respected Indian Journal more..

Gammanpila offers online appointments for public convenience

Aug 18 (Island) Minister Udaya Gammanpila has introduced an online appointment system via his website for members of the public keen to meet him. "We have noticed that people waste their valuable time awaiting their turn to meet the Minister on Wednesday, the designated public day", an official said. Minister came up with this idea of a prior appointment as a solution so that people can better manage their time. Web link for appointments is more..

Big hundreds, home superstar, & much more

Aug 18 (CI) Perhaps the biggest compliment to Mahela Jayawardene the Test cricketer is the fact that even his immense numbers don't do full justice to the grace, skill and elegance with which he played the game. For sure, there were weaknesses in his game, and his record across conditions weren't as even and consistent as some of the other greats, but even so when he was on song he played a brand of cricket that was irresistible. And then there was Jayawardene the innovative captain, more..

Key defense forum kicks off in Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's army kicked off a key defense conference in Colombo on Monday, in which over 55 countries including China are participating, an official said. Titled "Defense Seminar 2014," it aims at inspiring discourse on the rise of nations after a conflict. The seminar intends to showcase Sri Lanka's progress in development, reconciliation and promoting regional cooperation, in the context of a country which has more..