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Video: BBS raps Mervyn

Aug 19 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva should correct himself first before making allegations against others, the General Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera said. “We would like to invite Minister Silva to set himself right and then to correct his son instead of accusing others,” Thera said as a response to a question posed by media. Earlier, during a meeting with the Mahanayakes Minister Silva had criticised the language more..

Sudden death of returnee from India sets off alarm

Aug 19 (Island) The Health Ministry has commenced investigations to ascertain whether the sudden death of a person at Rikillagaskada Hospital soon after returning from India was due the Ebola virus. The deceased had been a member of a group of Sri Lankans who had toured several areas in India including Puttaparthi in Andra Pradesh recently. Soon after the Indian tour, he had fallen ill and was admitted to the Rikillagaskada Hospital. The patient had complained of high fever, more..

Govt spends Rs. 200 million to repair damaged properties in Aluthgama

Aug 19 (AM) Ministry of Defence has stated that the govt is spending up to Rs. 200 million rupees in the repair and reconstruction of the homes and shops damaged by the violence in the Aluthgama area a few months ago. The restoration work is done by the Sri Lankan Army under the supervision of Commander of Security Forces in Western Province Major General Ubhaya Medawela. President Rajapaksa, who visited Beruwala and Aluthgama following violent clashes, instructed more..

Kachatheevu: SC to hear Karunanidhi, Jayalalitha’s petitions together

Aug 19 (Hindu) The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear together the petitions filed by the DMK President M. Karunanidhi and the TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa seeking a direction to the Centre to retrieve Kachatheevu Island from Sri Lanka. A Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and S.S. Bobde, posted for final hearing the two petitions, after hearing senior counsel R. Venkataramani for Mr. Karunanidhi and State Additional more..

Mervyn says Gnanasara Thera wears saffron robe to earn money

Aug 19 (AM) Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs Mervyn Silva has vehemently criticized the Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera saying the latter is wearing the ’Buddha Robe’ only to earn money. The Minister, speaking to reporters, said people like Gnanasara Thera were nowhere to be seen during the time of war. He also added that the BBS organization has come out of the shell after the government ended the thirty year long conflict. more..

Champika laments low population growth

Aug 19 (Island) Population growth of the Sinhalese was declining at an alarming rate with the current birth rate standing at 0.74%, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Addressing the annual scholarship awards presentation ceremony of France-Sri Lanka Educational, Cultural and Social Organisation, he said that it would take 160 years to double the country’s current Sinhalese population. This would be the last century where Sinhalese would live as a majority in Sri Lanka, minister said. more..

Govt grilled on commissions

Aug 19 (CG) The opposition today questioned the Govt on the past Presidential Commissions of Inquiry (COI) and the latest commission and why reports of past commissions have not been submitted to Parliament. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that thousands of Rupees have been spent on these commissions and yet the Govt is not keen to submit the findings of the commissions to Parliament. more..

Uva: UPFA bigwigs’ references to Harin irk Shasheendra, claims UNP

Aug 19 (Island) The UPFA’s Uva Chief Ministerial candidate Shasheendra Rajapaksa has complained to President Rajapaksa that some ruling party Ministers and MPs were promoting the UNPs Chief Ministerial candidate Harin Fernando by their actions. Anuradhapura District UNP MP P. Harison said that some govt Ministers and legislators campaigning in Uva for the forthcoming Provincial Council Election were talking only about Harin and not about Shasheendra. more..

CML-MTD sets up a BOI housing projects for the Underserved

Aug 19 (GDI) CML-MTD has set up a BOI venture to undertake housing projects under the Urban Regeneration Plan set out as per the model proposed by the UDA. The new BOI Company has been successful in sourcing foreign funding for its project. The initial scope of the project comprises of the construction of 5,000 housing units under mandate from the UDA’s ‘Urban Regeneration Plan’, for the relocation of the underserved settlements in the city of Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka urges caution from UNHCR

Aug 19 (CG) The Govt today urged the UN refugee agency to exercise caution when giving refuge to Sri Lankans overseas. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinghe said that following the end of the war Malaysia had assisted Sri Lanka is cracking down on LTTE suspects living in Malaysia. He recalled that a few suspects had been arrested and sent back recently and investigations had more..

India, SL meet to discuss narcotics menace

Aug 19 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka are expected to finalize a strategy to jointly tackle cross-border smuggling of narcotics and syndicates running the illegal trade between the two maritime neighbours. This is for the first time that the anti-narcotics sleuths of both the countries are coming together to the discussion table to take up the issue of drugs menace. The two-day conference starting tomorrow will be headed by a deputy inspector general rank officer of Sri Lanka and more..

Sri Lanka's FDI jumps 51% y/y in first-half 2014

Aug 19 (Reuters) Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Sri Lanka totaled $817 million in the first half of this year, 51% more than the inflow during the same period a year ago. Sri Lanka has set a $2 billion FDI goal this year, though it failed to meet that target for two years in a row. "We have recorded a 51% growth in foreign direct investment in the first six months to $817 million, compared to last year," Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told reporters in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka says won't allow terrorist acts against India

Aug 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka today assured India that its soil would not be used for terror attacks against its neighbour even as Colombo has stepped up deportation of Pakistani nationals amid reports that they were involved in subversive acts directed at India. Minister G L Peiris said that Colombo had assured New Delhi that its soil will not be used for anti-India activities. "We have constantly assured India that under no circumstances more..

Can Swamy change Modi's policy on SL?

Aug 20 (CT) When the Congress Govt of Dr. Manmohan Singh was in power in India, a regular visitor to this country was N. Ram, Editor of the Hindu. He was granted exclusive interviews by President Rajapaksa. The close connection between Ram and Mahinda was built up by the tireless effort of an Indian PR company, which had been tasked to build bridges between Mahinda and India. To do so, the PR company engaged in a manoeuvre of putting Indian politicians who could influence Indian more..

Ebola, globalisation and Sri Lanka in 2039

Aug 20 (CT) At the recent 175th anniversary celebrations of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, its Chairman Suresh Shah provided a ‘fast forward’ , describing how the business community wished Sri Lanka would be in the year 2039, when the Chamber will celebrate its 100th year of existence. In summary the picture the Chairman presented was of a country having a strong globalised and regional presence in the worlds markets. He said: “Sri Lankan brands are on the shelves around the more..

'No SL infected by Ebola in West Africa'

Aug 20 (SO) With the World Health Organisation (WHO) announcing the current Ebola outbreak as an “International Public Health Emergency” on August 8, Sri Lankan ambassador in Nigeria accredited to the West African countries wrote to the foreign Ministry that none of the Sri Lankans had been affected so far by the deadly virus. According to the Foreign Ministry there are about 1000 Sri Lankans in Nigeria and more..

Play of politics in Right to Information

Aug 20 (CT) Right to Information (RTI) is a haunting buzz word for the govt. It keeps coming back amidst the plethora of false promises to enact the law and random rejection by senior officials. Over the last few weeks both the UNP and the JVP went public with their promise to stand for a RTI Law in Sri Lanka. UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne, repeatedly highlighted the genuineness on the part of the UNP to introduce a RTI Law. The JVP has publicly claimed they will be formulating more..

Will Uva set the proper criterion for present political trends?

Aug 20 (CT) An opinion is currently in the making that the results of the Uva Provincial Council elections would be decisive for future political trends of the country. UPFA Govt thinks that the victory margin of Uva PC elections will be instrumental in deciding the future political strategy and election strategy of their alliance, while opposition political parties also believe that the results of the Uva PC poll would be a key deciding factor for the future power transition in the island. more..

'Sri Lanka has no legislation to provide right to information'

Aug 20 (NS) UNP MP and member of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), Eran Wickramaratne says that Sri Lanka lacked a mechanism which assigns personal responsibility for heads of public sector institutions In an interview to The Nation, he stated that heads of the public sector needed to take up responsibilities for the drawbacks and problems within their respective institutions in order to ensure effective management. more..

Unite against the West

Aug 20 (Island) What is the most important function of a govt of any country? The govts whether elected according to western democracy or not have to look after the security of the state and maintain the sovereignty of the nation. The other functions of the govts include providing health, education, employment, food, childcare, and maintaining democracy, freedom of expression, individual rights are all secondary. What is the use of democracy if we can elect only stooges of the west more..

Editorial: TNA twisting the knife?

Aug 20 (Island) In an unexpected turn of events, a group of 33 TNA Provincial Councillors has written to the outgoing UNHRC Chief Navi Pillay calling for expanding the UNHRC war crimes probe to inquire into the atrocities allegedly committed by the SLFP and UNP govts against the Tamils since 1974. Their objective, as stated in their letter, is to have the UN ascertain whether genocide was committed here. They want the UNHRC to operate from TN in conducting the probe as Sri Lanka has more..

'Some have a mindset to see everything negative'

Aug 20 (SL) Sri Lankan govt’s diplomatic approach towards the US and other Western countries has come under a lot of criticism, especially with reference to how Sri Lankan govt has been responding to the concerns of the international community over the human rights issues in the country. Bishop Rayappu Joseph has also made a statement recently showing lack of faith in the domestic process to address human rights more..

Govt should protect rights of its own nationals: HRW

Aug 20 (SL) As the international community maintain focus on Sri Lanka’s human rights issue, the fate of Tamil asylum seekers, both in Australia and those being returned to Sri Lanka as well as the deportation of Pakistani asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, has become a talking point. South Asia Director of the New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW), Meenakshi Ganguly, is of the opinion that the Sri Lankan Govt should uphold its international obligations in protecting the more..

Critical constraints to achieving higher economic growth

Aug 20 (ST) Macroeconomic imbalances of fiscal and trade deficits, foreign debt, an anti-export bias, uncertainty in economic policies and educational inadequacies are critical constraints hampering a higher rate of economic growth, according to Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy who gave the recent South Asian Policy Research Institute (SAPRI) lecture on “Prospects for Middle Income Sri Lanka: Challenges & Opportunities”. Among a whole range of issues of relevance for economic development that more..

Central Bank to allow above-normal investments in banks

Aug 20 (ST) Central Bank will in future sanction large investments by single entities as it did in the case of TPG, the USA-based global private investment firm that is taking a 70% stake in Union Bank (UB), a top official said. “Anyone going beyond 10% (investing above 10% stake in a bank) has to obtain Monetary Board (MB) approval and in this case we welcomed TPG’s investment through its affiliate Culture Financial Holdings in UB as more..

Pakistan call up Irfan for SL one-dayers

Aug 20 (CI) Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan has been added to Pakistan's one-day squad for the Sri Lanka series, as cover for the concussed Junaid Khan. Irfan, who will leave for SL on Wednesday, has not played international cricket since Nov 2013 due to a hip injury. "Junaid is getting better and has started practising," Pakistan's team manager Moin Khan told ESPNcricinfo. "We just want to strengthen the bench, in case anything goes wrong with Junaid, then we can have a bowler to replace him." more..

Floods & droughts: A sustainable solution

Aug 20 (Island) Next to Mahaweli, Kalu Ganga discharges the highest amount of water to the sea. A power plant with capacity 70 MW has been built on one of its tributaries Kukule Ganga. Originally, the plan was to build a large reservoir there by constructing a high dam, with the view to taking water to the South-East along a canal referred to as the South-East Dry Zone (SEDZ) canal, comprising part tunnel and part open duct, and running along the 120 m contour. more..

Electricity tariff reduction wishful thinking

Aug 20 (Island) Senior CEB engineers predicted that despite assurances from top governmental officers of a possible tariff reduction with the additional 300 MW of coal power coming to the national grid soon, there would be no relief for the consumers. CEB Chairman W B Ganegala said the CEB was in the process of deloading coal power plants with the intake of more than 50% of power through hydro generation. more..

Sri Lanka Plast 2014 powered by TASNEE

Aug 20 (FT) TASNEE (National Petrochemical Industrialisation Marketing Co.) Was the Platinum Sponsor for the second edition of Sri Lanka Plast Exhibition – International Plastics Exhibition, which was held from 14-16 August at the BMICH. The exhibition was organised by Enterprising Fairs (India) (EFIPL) in collaboration with the Plastics & Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka (PRISL). The event was also supported and endorsed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and more..

Hybrids boost July vehicle registrations

Aug 20 (DM) Motor car registration figures for July show a significant increase with 2,551 registrations, compared to 2,256 in June and 2,305 year-on-year (yoy), with 827 brand new cars composing the figure, according to JB Securities’ market research. “First signs of a major up tick in vehicle registrations, July numbers show a noticeable increase. It remains to be seen whether this is a monthly anomaly or signs of a trend reversal,” said JB Securities CEO Murtaza Jafferjee. more..

'Sri Lankan angel maid turned a demon’

Aug 20 (E24|7) A housemaid who is accused of harassing her old Emirati employer has been arrested. The 70-year-old woman, named Aisha, lives alone in Sharjah. Her son, Omar, had arranged for the maid, who hails from Sri Lanka, through an agency last month, since his mother refused to live with him. In the beginning she was extremely helpful, kind and looked after the old lady as if she was her own mother. more..

HSBC and BC create opportunities for emerging young entrepreneurs

Aug 20 (Island) ‘HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards’ presented by British Council was officially launched at a press conference held on 13 August 13, at the British Council Library. ‘HSBC Youth Enterprise Awards’ is a business plan contest aimed at recognizing and supporting emerging young entrepreneurs in Sri Lankan with seed capital to start up their businesses. The competition is open to Sri Lankan postgraduates, undergraduates and students aged 16 to 26 years representing more..

Million dollar Funny Money lands Jaffna duo in jail

Aug 20 (CT) A fake one million dollar currency note landed two men in jail when the Sri Lanka Navy arrested them in Jaffna recently. The men were nabbed on August 10 and handed over to the Jaffna Police for further investigation. The arrest was carried out on the instructions of the Commander Northern Naval Area. The note is believed to have been produced in the United States. Sources say that this is the second time such an incident has occurred in the area. more..

Sri Lanka’s coasts, agriculture under threat from Climate Change - report

Aug 20 (Island) Widespread degradation of Sri Lanka’s coastal and agricultural resources due to climate change could cost the economy more than 6% of its GDP by the end of this century, says a new ADB climate and economics report for South Asia. "A significant number of Sri Lankans are still dependent on sources of income that depend on rainfall such as agriculture, livestock production, and inland fisheries," more..

Swiss specialty chemicals company Sika opens subsidiary in Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (Sika) Sika is expanding its presence in the Asia/Pacific Region with the establishment of Sika Sri Lanka. This represents another milestone in Sika‘s ambitious growth strategy, with a clear focus on the accelerated build-up of operations in emerging markets. Sri Lanka is experiencing a construction boom, driven by infrastructure developments and fast-growing tourism. Heinz Gisel, President of Sika Asia/Pacific: “Our presence in Sri Lanka complements more..

Fishermen to lay siege to Pamban bridge

Aug 20 (Hindu) The striking fishermen of Rameswaram, who are desperate to get their boats freed from Sri Lanka, have decided to lay siege to the Pamban road bridge on August 23. Leaders of 11 fishermen associations met here on Tuesday and took the decision because there was no word from the State and the Centre on the release of 62 boats which the Sri Lankan Navy impounded after arresting over 250 fishermen during the new fishing season since June 1. more..

Krrish proceeds

Aug 20 (CT) The UDA and the BoI have changed their minds on the US$ 460 million Indian mixed development project at Colombo Fort after receiving US$ 500,000 during the last two months for the land. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, who last month said that if Krrish Group failed to pay the balance in full with interest the project would be cancelled, yesterday said that the UDA had received US$ 500,000 from more..

India calls meeting on fishermen issue

Aug 20 (PTI) The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has convened a meeting tomorrow to explore a long-term solution to the contentious fishermen issue between India and Sri Lanka. "The PMO has called a meeting tomorrow to deliberate on India-Sri Lanka fishermen issues like illegal poaching and welfare of Indian fishermen among others," a senior govt official said. The meeting will be chaired by the Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra and attended by senior officials more..

Time to call on Colombo

Aug 20 (HT) It should have been fairly high on the agenda, but barring the photo-op when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa attended the swearing-in ceremony of PM Narendra Modi, the island nation seems to have dropped off the foreign policy radar. The reason seems fairly easy to discern, it has all to do with internal politics, particularly Tamil politics. AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa is not one to take it lightly if the Modi govt were to disregard her feelings, more..

Sri Lanka's health officials begin investigation into possible Ebola death

Aug 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's health ministry has begun investigation into a possible case of the Ebola virus entering the island. A patient at a remote govt hospital in the town of Rikillagaskada was reported to have died after exhibiting several symptoms of the dreadful Ebola disease including high fever, diarrhea and vomiting. He was hospitalized after returning from India where he had worked periodically, according to reports. more..