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'Sinhalese community will be a minority in Sri Lanka in the next century'

Aug 21 (AM) Minister Champika Ranawaka said the Sinhalese community will be a minority in Sri Lanka in the next century. Addressing a function, Minister has said the growth of the Sinhalese population in the country is slower than that of the population of Sri Lanka. "It will take another 160 years to double the population of the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka" Minister Ranawaka said while adding that population-growth of different ethnic communities in Sri Lanka is asymmetrical. more..

Three women arrested for visa fraud

Aug 21 (CG) A 42-year old Sri Lankan woman and her two adult daughters who applied together for UK visas were arrested today for using deception in their applications by applying in multiple identities. The applicants were referred by the UK Visas and Immigration to Fraud Investigations Bureau police in Colombo. The visa applicants had previously applied in 2005 using different names and dates of birth. Three visa applications have been refused and the arrested applicants will have a 10 year ban more..

SL activist: Gov't trying to hurt UN probe

Aug 21 (AP) President Rajapaksa's decision to deny entry to U.N. investigators is intended to undermine the credibility of an ongoing war crimes inquiry, an activist said. Paikiyasothy Saravanamuttu, chief of Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), said he believes the inquiry can still be conducted effectively because much evidence is available outside Sri Lanka and testimony can be gathered from within the more..

For God’s sake investigate Mahela’s discontent

Aug 22 (CT) Sri Lanka’s beloved singing entertainers, Gypsies, have come out with a beautiful tribute to true son of the soil, Mahela Jayawardena, who dazzled the world with his cricketing genius. He put in all his might for the country that raised him and gave the island glory. He behaved in and out of the field in a most exemplary way-every signature of the gentleman he is. At times like these in Sri Lanka, when almost everyone is seeking his/her self- interest putting the more..

Gautama Buddha: The unique psychotherapist

Aug 22 (CT) Many people interpret Buddhism as a religion and a philosophy (or a practical philosophy) known from antiquity. The Buddhism has a vast system of psychotherapy. The Buddhism offers mental healing allowing growth promotion. Buddhism is a method of mind training. Understanding of the function of mind has been recognized as the basis of Buddhist philosophy. In this context the Lord Buddha can be identified as a unique psychotherapist of all time. more..

Rebecca's untimely curtain call

Aug 22 (CT) Veteran Director Jayantha Chandrasiri was on a quest to find a woman who had the earthy good-looks resembling Smita Patil the one of the all-time best actresses of Bollywood, to play the role of a courageous 'Mangalee' who lives in a rural village of the dry zone and has not lost any of her artistic sense, even though, at times life becomes a battle. None of the existing big stars in the field at the time could match more..

Karu-led Leadership Council in disarray!

Aug 22 (CT) The UNP Leadership Council headed by Karu Jayasuriya seems to be on a low profile despite the Uva provincial election just a month away from today. The Council had hardly met to discuss plans and strategies to face the Uva elections. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe set up the Council and entrusted it with the task of organizing the Party to win elections. Jayasuriya was specifically briefed on the subject by Wickremesinghe. Despite such directives, more..

What is left of the left movement in SL

Aug 22 (NS) Recently, several ‘left wing’ members of parliament held a meeting to explore the possibility of forming a common front against Bodu Bala Sena and its General Secretary, the firebrand monk Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera. While this may have been seen as an attempt to control the activities of the movement, it also emphasizes the level of bankruptcy the left movement had fallen to. Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, had one of the strongest Trotskyist movements in the world. more..

'A common candidate is the only way out'

Aug 22 (FT) The TNA claims the Opposition is still not prepared to put forward a common presidential candidate, despite speculation. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran asserted that although a common presidential candidate will be the only way out of the present situation, there is lack of seriousness in the talks about the matter. He added that a member of the Buddhist clergy will not be able to secure votes of all communities. more..

Writing is on the wall

Aug 22 (CT) This week, the global insurance giant, American International Group (AIG), announced that it was pulling out from Sri Lanka, effective from 31 August. The decision to withdraw from the Sri Lankan market was first communicated as early as June this year. AIG's share in the local insurance market is a meagre 0.3% and its withdrawal is unlikely to have an impact on the local market. An AIG statement attributed the pull out to the on -going effort to streamline its operations. more..

Editorial: Hope springs eternal

Aug 22 (Island) Overcoming addiction is no easy task. Druggies are said to undergo immense suffering when they are made to go cold turkey on chasing the dragon because the withdrawal symptoms are agonisingly unbearable. So do politicians thrown out of power. Drug addicts recover fast if guided and treated properly and they can do without substance abuse and lead normal lives after rehabilitation. But, never do defeated politicians recover from their blues until and unless more..

Boston Lanka: August 22, 2014

Will Uva reflect people’s growing frustration with mainstream politics?

Aug 22 (ST) The Uva provincial council election set to take place next month is the last of the nine provincial elections the UPFA coalition holds in its second term. There is much interest in relation to this election, the final one before presidential and general elections expected early next year. It’s being regarded by analysts almost as a dry run to test which way the wind will blow at the national polls. Uva, comprising the agricultural and plantation districts of Moneragala and Badulla, more..

Pakistani HC wants SL to harness potential of improving Pakistani economy

Aug 22 (FT) Pakistani High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Major General Qasim Qureshi invited the Lankan business community to take advantage out of the promising Pakistani economy, which he says has started to grow. Speaking at the 21st AGM of the Sri Lanka – Pakistan Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Qureshi also said that most of the major economic indicators of the Pakistani economy have improved during the last one year period, which he attributed to more..

Janus' exit affects Govt. securities, FX markets

Aug 22 (CT) Janus, a US based fund's exit from JKH in the stock market, had a reverberating effect on the govt securities (Treasury (T) bills and T bonds) market, with the "more liquid" T bonds of four and five year old maturities seeing their yields increase by 30 and 25 basis points (bps) and 30 and 35 bps during the course of yesterday's trading due to selling pressure, before closing 10 and 15 bps more respectively over the previous day's more..

The Veddas of Sri Lanka

Aug 22 (Island) The Vedda represent a primitive community of the world who are faced with an imminent threat of extinction as a consequence of their contact with the more advanced communities. Most of the Veddas in Sri Lanka live in Dambana and Hennanigala. Veddas are hunter gatherers. Earliest account of the Veddas was written by a foreigner named Palladius – in 400 AD. In 1675 Rijklof Van Goeus, the Dutch Governor of Ceylon has reported a full description of the Vedas. more..

Asia Leisure plan for luxury hotel in Galle

Aug 22 (Island) Asia Leisure, a fully owned subsidiary of Asia Capital PLC (ACAP) today announced the construction of a 100 room luxury resort in Galle, which is expected to be the largest hotel property in the southern coastal town. Asia Leisure currently owns and manages four globally acclaimed luxury boutique hotels in the south – Shinagawa Beach, Tamarind Hill, The River House and Taprobana (opening in 3 weeks). Asia Leisure at present has a 70 room inventory and more..

Global tea promotion to get state fast-tracking push

Aug 22 (ST) In the wake of recent turmoil in key tea exporting markets globally, the Government is currently looking at fast-tracking the much-awaited global promotional campaign having shortlisted two advertising agencies. The tea promotion fund established in 2012 following an initiative by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has accumulated about Rs.4 billion, Plantation Industries Ministry Secretary Dr. Damitha De Zoysa more..

'External degree applicants pick easy subjects'

Aug 22 (GDI) Candidates applying for external degrees in universities usually opt to select subjects which are considered easy to get through rather than selecting ones which have higher demand in the labour market, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said in Parliament. He said that it had been noticed that most of the applicants for external degree holders plan to get through examinations to obtain a degree with the intention of securing a govt sector job that would ensure pensions. more..

Praying for Malaysia

Aug 22 (TS) Buddhists gathered at the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur to pray for Malaysia’s wellbeing in conjunction with the upcoming 57th National Day. This programme, “Pray for Malaysia” is aimed at building solidarity among Malaysians. “This is the first time various religious institutions are participating in the programme organised by the Multimedia and Communcations Ministry and Special Affairs Department with support from the Govt.” more..

Hajj tour operators meet BBS

Aug 22 (CT) Disgruntled Hajj tour operators on Wednesday met members of the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) to air their grievances over the Haj Pilgrimage quotas allocated to them by the Hajj Committee headed by Senior Minister A.H.M. Fowzie. A group of 10 Hajj operators had filed a case in the Supreme Court citing that disproportionate quotas were being distributed among Hajj operators. more..

Sri Lanka ASPI index crosses 7,000 mark

Aug 22 (LBO) An index of stocks by the All Share Price Index (ASPI) Sri Lanka has crossed tandem to 7000 mark yesterday closing at 7,004.75 points after three years. The CSE says the market also recorded a high turnover value of 8.2 billion rupees on 19th of August, this year which is the highest record since a turnover value of 15.7 billion rupees on the 16th of March 2012. The Colombo bourse is within top six best performing markets in the region with the ASPI showing an 18.46% year to date growth. more..

Lanka-Vietnam trade link established

Aug 22 (CT) The first ever Sri Lanka-Vietnam official trade mechanism went live in Hanoi on 21 August, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. The new mechanism, according to the Vietnamese side, is the practical way for bigger trade cooperation in the form of an agreement. "This new beginning will open many new opportunities for both countries. I am fully convinced that setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) or Joint Trade Sub Committee, would lay a concrete foundation to more..

KDU's two-day international symposium inaugurated

Aug 22 (SLA) In the immediate aftermath of the Army-organized year's mega international parley, 'Defence Seminar 2014, the two-day International Symposium – 2014 of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) on the theme ‘Expanding Developmental Horizons through Education, Research and Innovation’, commenced today (21) at the KDU auditorium at Kandawalawatta, Ratmalana. more..

'No loss incurred in obtaining pension gratuity through banks'

Aug 22 (GDI) Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said there was no loss incurred for the retired public servants in obtaining the gratuity form the state banks. Responding to a question raised by UNP MP Tissa Attanayake, minister said as at January 2014, there were 14,256 retired public servants on the waiting list to obtain the gratuity from the Department of Pensions. The minister said that there had been curtain delays in paying the pension gratuities and the delayed period of time ranged more..

Matthew, Machiko break records at Youth Olympic Games

Aug 22 (DN) Matthew Abeysinghe entered the semi-final of the 100m freestyle event and established two new national records in the 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle events at the Natatorium of Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre during the second summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China yesterday. Abeysinghe clocked 50.87 seconds in the 100m freestyle heats with a new national record and he improved the same, clocking 50.86 seconds to enter the semi-final. more..

Fence of trees to stem human-elephant conflict

Aug 22 (BBC) An unprecedented drought in Sri Lanka is exacerbating the longstanding potential for conflict between humans an elephants, reports suggest. But a "fence" of palmyra trees is starting to yield success. With forest vegetation and water holes vanishing, hundreds of elephants are reported to have approached settlements in search of food and water. Sri Lanka has been dealing with the issue for years, and it has led to the more..

HIV on the rise, mainly in Colombo and Gampaha

Aug 22 (DM) The number of HIV infection cases increased to 1,845 last year from 1,649 cases reported the previous year, and the majority of them were from Colombo and Gampaha. The first HIV or AIDS afflicted person was reported in 1987 at the Sri J'pura Hospital. Since then, there is a rise in HIV infections. There were 1,463 cases in 2011, 1,317 in 2010, 1,196 in 2009, 1,059 in 2008, 957 in 2007, 838 in 2006, 743 in 2005, 614 in 2004, 523 in 2003, 455 in 2002,405 in 2001 and 358 in 2000. more..

Govt. claims it has no links with suspected drug dealer

Aug 22 (Island) The govt said suspected drug dealer Nuwan Udaya Gunathilake alias Kudu Nuwan arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) on Wednesday had not links to the ruling UPFA. Minister Susil Premajayantha said that he had not even heard of such a person. The CCD arrested Nuwan along with 300 grammes of heroin in his possession. He was wanted over rape and murder. He was being grilled on a seven-day detention order, police said. In reply to another query, more..

Speeding ticket cop released on bail

Aug 22 (DM) The police constable who was in the spotlight when he issued a speeding ticket to a deputy minister’s driver and later arrested on charges of having solicited a bribe was released on bail. Colombo High Court Judge released PC Suminda Gunasekera and Inspector Bandara Dunuwila on a Rs.25,000 cash bail with two sureties of Rs.500,000 each in a bribery case filed before the High Court. more..

Vietnamese delegation visits Parliament

Aug 22 (GDI) A delegation of members of the National Assembly of Vietnam led by the head of Justice Committee Nguyen Van Hien visited Parliament and held bilateral talks with Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody at the Parliament complex today (21). Mr Van Hien said that his govt hoped to expand the bilateral trade and commerce relations between Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The delegation also expected to share the Sri Lankan experiences in legal and parliament more..

Postal Department to be self-financing

Aug 22 (Island) The Postal Department was heading to be a self-financed institution by 2016, said Postal Services Minister. Jeevan Kumaratunga. Kumaratunga stressed that the latest five-rupees increase in postage wouldn’t add much to the Department revenue. He said that stamp purchases both among the local and foreign collectors had increased. "We would be able to add more quality to our stamps with a latest printing machine scheduled to be operational shortly," he added. more..

'Supporting 18A SLMC's blunder'

Aug 22 (CT) SLMC has made a grave error by supporting the 18th Amendment when it was introduced by the govt, Hasan Ali, General Secretary of the party said. He said the SLMC has to accept that grave error, adding that the party's stance to support the Amendment, was not made clear to most of the members. "Our Party made the gravest mistake by supporting the 18th Amendment, and there were some members who were more..

Colombo Uni hostel in Hambantota explained

Aug 22 (Island) Agri-Technology and Rural Sciences Institute of the Colombo University situated at Weligatte in Hambantota had also benefited under the 60 – hostel project of the Higher Education Ministry. Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said that a hostel that could accommodate 400 was also built at Weligatte. Speaker on Wednesday asked Higher Minister S.B. Dissanayake whether a building for the Colombo University was being built at Weligatte more..

Ajmal misses first ODI for tests on action

Aug 22 (Reuters) Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal will miss the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Aug. 23 as he is flying to Brisbane to undergo tests on his bowling action. A senior official said that Ajmal might also miss the second of three one-dayers in Colombo on Aug. 27 if his tests take time in Brisbane. Ajmal’s bowling action was reported by the umpires and match referee to the ICC after the first test against Sri Lanka in Galle earlier this month. He is still free to play. more..

Govt accuses JVP of violating polls law

Aug 22 (Island) The JVP was accusing UPFA of violating election laws on a massive scale but the accusers themselves were breaking the laws through their publicity campaign and using public property in the run up to the Uva PC election, govt claimed. Minister Susil Premajayantha said that the JVP also criticised the govt’s development drive as a waste of public money, but it used them for their publicity campaign. more..

New e-NICs will prevent malpractices

Aug 22 (DN) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody presided when Parliament met at 1.00 p.m. yesterday. After the presentation of papers and oral questions, the House took up the adjournment motion moved by Independent member Ajith Kumara on Electronic Identity Cards. Ajith Kumara (Independent Member): Electronic IDS will deprive the fundamental rights of the people. We request to stop the moves to introduce electronic Identity Cards. There is no proper public discussion more..

On-arrival visa suspended for four African countries

Aug 22 (DM) The on-arrival visa facility for visitors has been suspended, with regard to four African countries, with immediate effect. This has been done as a precautionary measure to prevent the entry of Ebola virus, the External Affairs Ministry said. External Affairs Ministry Public Relations Officer Satya Rodrigo said the privilege to obtain visas on arrival will not be offered to the four African countries -- Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia -- until further notice. more..

Video: Common candidate should be accepted by people: SF

Aug 22 (DM) DP leader Sarath Fonseka said today the common candidate should not be limited to its title but he or she should come forward from the aspirations of the people. “Anyone can nominate a common candidate but if he is to be accepted by the people, he should come from the aspirations of the people. He should not be just a for the namesake,” Mr. Fonseka said. When asked whether he was ready to support a common more..

The colossal omissions of Commissions

Aug 22 (DM) In the spirit of the 1978 Constitution—which unfortunately today is more like a cheque book than a process of checks and balances—the executive power of the sovereign people is exercised by the President and the legislative power by Parliament. During the past 35 years the legislative power of the sovereign people, exercised through their elected representatives in Parliament, has been gradually devalued or degraded. more..