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Rupee edges up on remittance inflow

Aug 18 (Reuters) Rrupee rose against the US currency on Monday as inward remittances and dollar sales by exporters outpaced importer demand for the greenback even as state banks prevented any further appreciation. The rupee was trading at 130.15/17 per dollar, slightly firmer than Friday's close of 130.16/19. It had hit a two-week low of 130.26 per dollar on Wednesday. One of the two state banks through which the central bank usually intervenes in the market bought dollars at more..

Govt notes threat from NGOs

Aug 18 (CG) The Govt says NGO which operate in non regulated environments has become a threat to financial management, inclusive development and law and order itself. Finance Ministry Secretary P.B. Jayasundara said this while speaking at the Defence Seminar in Colombo today. Ministry of Defence (MOD) had recently warned NGO’s not to go beyond their mandate. An MOD letter sent to NGOs notes that some of them conduct press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, more..

Merril accuses some Lankan tea traders of harming national interest in Russia

Aug 18 (Island) In an "I told you so" statement in the annual report of Ceylon Tea Services (CTS), Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando, has said that Lankan tea traders had helped Russian traders to develop their own brands "much against saner advice not to do so." Fernando has said that the sensible thing to do would have been to develop jointly owned brand names and he has over the last 10 years pointed out the dangers to more..

Leave no room for extremists, Mahanayake tells Cader

Aug 18 (Island) Some extremist groups might try to create incidents but they should not be allowed to lead to crisis situations, Most Venerable Mahanayake of Asgiriya Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera said when the Deputy Minister Abudl Cader called on him on Saturday. Sri Lanka was home to all its communities and therefore all communities should live in harmony, the Mahanayake Thera noted. There might be extremists, both racial and religious, and more..

Consultants’ forum condemns removal of GMOA trustees

Aug 18 (Island) The medical consultants’ meeting which was held yesterday, with the participation of countrywide membership discussed the matters pertaining to consultants, the removal of two senior trustees from the GMOA and the unfortunate incident that had taken place in the National Hospital on July 30. A statement signed by Dr. R.P. Dayasena and Dr. B.L. Perera, the President and Secretary of the Consultants’ Forum respective said: "Many members expressed their opinion more..

What a fitting tribute to Sri Lanka cricket legend Mahela

Aug 18 (IL) Sri Lanka bade farewell to their former test and ODI captain Mahela Jayawardena this morning as he helped his side to win the second test and the series 2-0 against Pakistan in Colombo. He scored 54 runs in his final inning of test cricket. President Rajapaksa also graced the occasion to witness Sri Lanka’s cricket legend’s final hours of play in test cricket at SSC grounds. Spectators were let into the ground for free more..

Ranawaka wants war declared against white-collar criminals

Aug 18 (Island) Public should join forces as they had done to eradicate terrorism against white collar criminals who misled the Cabinet and Parliament as regards the power sector, Technology and Research Minister Champika Ranawaka said at an open intellectual discussion in connection with his latest book, Power and Power. The former Power and Energy Minister, who is an electrical engineer, told a packed gathering in Colombo last week it was clear that the wealth amassed by selling more..

Audio launch of Balachandran’s film creates furore in Chennai

Aug 18 (AM) The audio of Pulipaarvai, a Tamil film portraying slain LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s son Balachandran as a heroic warrior, was released amid flutter in Chennai on Saturday with students’ forums raising questions about the motive behind making such a movie. The audio launch was attended by dignitaries, including Union Minister of State Pon Radhakrishnan, in a multiplex off Anna Salai in Chennai. The movie was made by Vendhar Movies and directed by Pravin Gandhi. more..

Sri Lanka says probe travesty of justice

Aug 18 (CG) The Govt says the UN-led probe on Sri Lanka is not objective and is a “travesty of justice” and so cannot be assisted by the Sri Lankan authorities. Minister G.L. Peiris, addressing the Defence seminar organised by the army in Colombo today, noted that the Govt had no issues with operative para 2 of the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UNHRC recently which calls for strengthening of domestic mechanisms more..

Herath betters Murali, Sarfraz equals Flower

Aug 18 (CI) 11: The number of instances of Sri Lanka winning both matches of a bilateral two-Test series. The last such instance was five years ago, at home against New Zealand in 2009. Seven of those wins have been against Zimbabwe or Bangladesh; South Africa and West Indies are the other teams to have suffered such defeats. For Pakistan, it was only the second such defeat: they'd lost a two-Test series 2-0 in South Africa in 2002-03. 14: Rangana Herath's match haul in the Test. more..

Two shooting incidents: One killed, another seriously injured

Aug 18 (Island) Two separate shooting incidents yesterday at Ratmalana and Wellampitiya left one man dead and a schoolboy seriously injured. At Telawala, Ratmalana 26-year-old Hemal Yasantha, who was taking a shave at a barber shop, was shot in the head. The police believe that the victim might have been killed through mistaken identity as investigations conducted by them had failed to connect the dead man, who was from Polgasowita, to any wrongdoing. more..

Sri Lanka again delays dig at suspected Muslim mass grave

Aug 18 (AFP) Sri Lankan officials on Monday sought more time to exhume a suspected mass grave in a former war zone after failing to secure the services of forensic experts. The site in the eastern coastal town of Kalavanchikudy has been under investigation since a resident petitioned the local court, claiming the remains of around 100 Muslims killed 24 years ago at the height of Sri Lanka's ethnic war were buried there. more..

Dr. Nimal Gamage's nurses did not even have GCE O/L

Aug 18 (AM) It was transpired in court that the cosmetic clinic operated by Dr. Nimal Gamage at Bambalapitiya was not well-standarded in line with accepted medical requirements and four women who served as nurses were neither GCE (O/L) qualified nor properly trained as nurses. Bambalapitiya police made this revelation before Colombo Additional Magistrate, who ordered the suspect doctor to be remanded till August 25. Police further maintained that the said clinic more..

People crying out for water; SLFP, UNP giving them arrack – JVP

Aug 18 (Island) SLFP and UNP politicos campaigning for the Uva Provincial Council poll provided their supporters free liquor, while people who voted for them wee thirsting for water, JVP Group Leader for the Uva Province former MP Samantha Vidyaratne said. Vidyaratne, addressing a public rally, said the SLFP and the UNP were telling people to drink arrack if there was no water. He said that supporters, relatives and family members of the SLFP and UNP politicians had more..

'Got a move on again in Tests'

Aug 18 (CI) When Angelo Mathews was made captain in Feb 2013, Sri Lanka's Test cricket had been at a low ebb. Fresh from the 0-3 hammering in Australia, which included a three-day drubbing in their first Boxing Day Test in 17 years, Mathews' target of becoming a top-three Test nation seemed ambitious. In his first 10 months at the helm, he had to tackle only two Tests, against B'desh. But since the beginning of the year, more..

Sri Lanka establishes ties with Samoa

Aug 18 (CG) Sri Lanka and the Independent State of Samoa have established formal Diplomatic Relations. Dr. Palitha Kohona, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, and Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, the Permanent Representative of Samoa to the UN, signed the Joint Communique on behalf of their respective Govts. Both Ambassadors expressed great pleasure at having finally formalized diplomatic ties and hoped that this would further enhance the existing friendly relations more..

No Politics, coaching: Mahela

Aug 18 (DM) While claiming that the 2015 ICC World Cup would be his last international tournament, star cricketer Mahela Jayawardane, who retired from the international Test Cricket, has ruled out entering politics and being a cricket coach. “I will have to go out from house if I take that decision (Entering politics)," Jayawardane said addressing the post match press conference at the SSC in Colombo. He also ruled out being a coach. “You need lot of patience to be a coach, more..

Video: Operation seize fire

Aug 18 (DM) The Police had launched a special operation in Colombo and suburbs since Monday to seize illegal firearms following several shooting incidents in the recent past, SSP Ajith Rohana said. Shooting incidents were on the rise in Grandpass, Mattakkuliya, Wellampitiya, Borella, Nawagamuwa and Ratmalana in the Western Province recently. Seven persons had been shot dead in the recent past, while two more more..

Remembering 1994: Violence interrupted, democracy restored

Aug 19 (GV) May 2014 marked the fifth anniversary of the brutal end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, amidst massive human rights violations by rival armies that killed thousands of civilians. While many Sri Lankans felt relieved to be free of the fear of the LTTE, communalism has since been allowed to flourish and democracy and the rule of law undermined. Yet 16 August represents a very different sort of anniversary. Twenty years ago, through non-violent direct action, more..

Don’t trust the Colombo TNA leadership with war crimes evidence

Aug 19 (CT) Several news portals have reported that Abraham Mathiabaranan Sumanthiran, an unelected member of Sri Lanka’s parliament, recently informed the people of Jaffna that they can submit war crimes evidence to the UNHRC inquiry through the TNA. They also report statements made by the TNA’s leader Sampanthan in its parliament will be presented to the inquiry as well. It seems noble of the TNA to encourage witness to war crimes and crimes against humanity to more..

Emotional Mahela remembers the good times

Aug 19 (CI) "It's been an emotional day but I promise I won't cry," were Mahela Jayawardene's first words when he took the podium following his final Test. His voice cracked on occasion. Sadness was writ on his face. But most memories of his final day in Tests will be happy ones. Sri Lanka had swept the series "for Mahela", fans had shown up in force, and the institutions that had helped make him - Nalanda College and SSC - more..

Will Kerry shake a leg to GL’s baila?

Aug 19 (ST) The man in charge of America’s foreign affairs, US Secretary of State John Kerry was on Tuesday slipped an invite to visit Lanka by Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris when he happened to meet him at an informal meeting on the sidelines of the 21st ASEAN Regional Forum in Myanmar. “I invited him to visit Sri Lanka and see what we have accomplished on the ground during the past five years after the war was over,” Prof. Peiris announced the next day to the media, more..

Indifference to the plight of the desperate

Aug 19 (ST) When a country or a people are starved of basic compassion, profit alone cannot ensure stability. Equally, toleration of savagery in one form can only breed greater savagery in many other guises. This is the abiding lesson surely that all great religions teach us. Even during the grim conflict years, Sri Lankans practised Buddhist, Christian, Islamic and Hindu teachings which prioritized humanity over every other concern. The evils that confronted us during war more..

Whatmore on a mission to give more to SL

Aug 19 (ST) It’s a sunny Wednesday morning, just the way Dav Whatmore likes it. As we walk past the Galle Face Green towards his apartment, heads turn and people smile. ‘Kohomada?’ Whatmore greets a few khaki-clad policemen on the road and is met with the biggest, and perhaps only smile you’ll see from them for the day. The charismatic, straight-talking, stocky coach who is synonymous with SL’s World Cup more..

Jaffna calm after storm

Aug 19 (CT) My three day visit to Jaffna was a worthy experience. This time, I travelled further north to Neerveli and saw and heard what my relatives, friends and acquaintances said. The face of the mainland Jaffna is rapidly changing, unlike the abandoned islets west of the peninsula. The visual image of Jaffna peninsula is fast transforming from the slumber of war ravages. Within six months of my last visit in December 2013, Jaffna has seen rapid progress. more..

Editorial: Promising police

Aug 19 (Island) Khaki-clad Rip Van Winkles have risen from their slumber once again following two Wild-West-style shooting incidents which left a youth dead and a schoolboy seriously injured on Sunday in Ratmalana and Wellampitiya respectively. The gunmen came, they shot and they went whence they had come. Police vowed to launch a special operation to seize illegal firearms in Colombo and sought public assistance for that purpose. People, no doubt, have to cooperate with the police. more..

The people's man bids them adieu

Aug 19 (CI) When Mahela was a teenager, locals in towns he played in would sometimes shut up shop, and flock to the ground to watch him play. In the early years he had not figured out he was the reason the crowds had swelled. Eventually the truth dawned upon him. As he farewelled Test cricket, the thousands who had come to the SSC to see him off were allowed on to the ground, to form a giant huddle around their hero. more..

Pakistan outplayed by Herath - Misbah

Aug 19 (CI) Pakistan have not won a Test series since beating England 3-0 in the UAE more than two years ago. Since then, they have won three Tests out of 15 and lost nine. Playing Tests after a gap of more than six months, their winless run continued as they were whitewashed by Sri Lanka for the first time. Misbah-ul-Haq said that his team was mainly outplayed by the brilliance of Rangana Herath. "Credit should be given to them the way they outplayed us but I still feel Herath was more..

Simmering with unresolved tensions

Aug 19 (Hindu) “Two of them have come from a lot further. From Holland in Europe.” Kanna laughs again. “But not from Hague, no?”... How a small Dutch town like that on the edge of Europe became the conscience of the world is a mystery to me. We could all learn something from that. Vasantha is a driver who takes tourists around Sri Lanka in his van. “I preferred being behind a wheel — going somewhere — than behind a desk. That’s why I started this business with the van more..

Gas finds pose dangers unless...

Aug 19 (CT) As the govt continues to delay passing much needed amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act which would create a transparent and well governed industry with accountable regulation, a think tank has warned that present and future hydrocarbon discoveries pose dangers to the country. "The discovery of natural resources can disguise bad economic policies as well as inefficient & wasteful state-owned more..

SEC probes sentiment

Aug 19 (CT) In a move to back up recent claims by SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa that shortcomings in the Colombo Stock Exchange are being rectified, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the bourse have commissioned an independent study to gauge the sentiments of retail investors holding accounts with the Central Depository System (CDS). Dr. Godahewa's appointment as SEC Chairman took place in Aug 2012 under controversial more..

NSB profits surge

Aug 19 (CT) State-owned National Savings Bank (NSB) said it reported a net profit of Rs 1.8 billion for the first six months of 2014, up 184% from Rs 642 million a year ago. Profit before tax increased 206% to Rs 2.7 billion, the bank announced. Interest income crossed Rs 35 billion during this period. The bank said it saw margins improve this year with fee based incomes and trading gains growing substantially as well. During the first six months of this year, NSB mobilized deposits more..

Krrish fails to deliver, minister expected to announce decision today

Aug 19 (CT) The much delayed Indian mixed development project, Krrish Transworks Tower, which is referred to as the 'broken promise' and facing a 'do or die' situation has failed to honour the recent extension granted by the govt. Krrish group, after appointing Ritz Carlton as the management company for the hotel, agreed to pay the balance in full with interest to the UDA in July this year. more..

Saeed Ajmal reprimanded for breaching ICC Code of Conduct

Aug 19 (ICC) Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has been reprimanded and warned for a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel during the fourth day’s play in the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) on Sunday. Saeed was found to have breached Article 2.1.4 of the Code, which relates to “using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an International Match”. more..

Facets Sri Lanka - September 4-7

Aug 19 (GDI) Held annually in Colombo since 1991 with state and private sector patronage, FACETS Sri Lanka 2014, the 24th International Gem & Jewellery Show will be held from Sept 4th to 7th at the BMICH. The International Gem and Jewellery Show will have hundreds of local and foreign exhibitors showcasing their gem and jewellery products and a large number of influential trade visitors from around the world visiting FACETS Sri Lanka 2014 which promises to be "Bigger & Better" than ever before. more..

Video: 2 SL students receive bravery awards

Aug 19 (DM) Two Sri Lankan students who overpowered a gunman during a McDonalds robbery are among dozens of courageous Victorians to be recognised with bravery awards. He disarmed and disabled a gunman trying to rob a McDonalds store, but what scared Kasun Fernando more, was telling his parents back home in SL that he had risked his life in doing so. "At first mum was a bit scared, but she's really proud now," more..

BBS finalizes draft on developing Sri Lanka on Buddhist principles

Aug 19 (Island) The BBS has prepared the draft of a policy document to develop the country based on Buddhist principles and traditional Sinhalese values, the organization’s CEO, Dilantha Withanage said. This broad-based document includes policies on diverse subjects such as health, education, nutrition, law and order and good governance, he said. Asked whether the policies would be detrimental to the interests of other minorities and religions, Withanage replied, "Buddhist principles & traditional more..

Indictment awaited in last beauty parlour death three years on

Aug 19 (Island) The headline grabbing news last week that a woman doctor seeking a face lift at a Bambalapitiya facility offering cosmetic surgery had died following an injection focused attention on another beauty parlour death almost three years ago – in September 2011. One of the suspects in that case who was unable to post the heavy bail imposed is in remand custody while his wife, the beautician, has been enlarged on bail, police said. "The investigation has been completed and more..

ADB tells Sri Lanka: Focus infrastructure development on needy areas

Aug 19 (Island) Asian Development Bank (ADB) recognizes that Sri Lanka should prioritize its investiments in physical infrastructure development. Sri Widowati, Country Director, ADB – Sri Lanka Resident Mission, speaking at the 21st Sri Lanka-Indonesia Business Council AGM said Sri Lanka needs to focus on physical infrastructure development, which she termed as the major focus in the country’s current development strategy more..

Aitken Spence to build 501 rooms in RIU Resorts Ahungalle

Aug 19 (DN) Aitken Spence Hotels and RIU Hotels and Resorts Spain will invest US$ 100 million to build 501 rooms 'RIU Resort hotel in Ahungalle. Resort is expected to open in mid 2016. The ground breaking ceremony of the hotel was held recently with President Rajapaksa as the chief guest. Chairman of Aitken Spence Harry Jayawardene, said that the timing of the hotel's opening would be right since the Southern Highway to Hambantota is expected to reach completion by that time. more..