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Sri Lanka ‘national’ tennis champion is Pakistan’s Heera Ashiq

Aug 25 (Island) Pakistan’s Heera Ashiq who travelled here all the way to play in the Sri Lanka Tennis Nationals, an over-a-century-old annual sport competition in the island, and toppled three-time champion and title defending Thangarajah Dineshkanthan in a four-set Men’s Open Singles final at the SLTA hard courts in Colombo yesterday. Dineshkanthan, who emerged as Sri Lanka’s key player in the national circuit and the Davis Cup after a long dominance of Harshana Godamanna more..

Senior duo ejected; ABA wants to rise from Glasgow ruins

Aug 25 (SL) In what clearly is a backwash to the dispiriting performance of our seven-man boxing team at the recent Commonwealth Games, the ABA executive committee last week decided that Manju Wanniarachchi and Anuruddha Rathnayake won’t be candidates for next month’s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Their rejection even before the selectors sit down to the job is a touch sad and melancholic, personally; they’ve never been quiet so snubbed like this before. more..

Eastern Provincial Council to launch sweeping economic reforms

Aug 25 (Island) 'Plans are afoot to uplift the economy in the Eastern Province by developing the Trincomalee harbour, making the region self-sufficient in fresh milk and also by cultivating a hybrid variety of Basmathi rice exportable to Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province Chief Minister, Najeeb Abdul Majeed said, at a forum where Sustainable Development Strategies were discussed. This forum held at Trincomalee more..

CA Sri Lanka degree in Applied Accounting attracts foreign students

Aug 25 (Island) The BSc. Degree in Applied Accounting offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) has received a fresh boost after it attracted an impressive number of students from Oman this month. The degree programme recognized by the UGC was chosen as the 'most relevant' degree programme by a leading multinational Omani Oil and Gas company which enrolled several of its employees attached to its company with more..

Bellybees fruit solution launched

Aug 25 (SL) First-ever Sri Lankan ‘Ready to Eat’ baby food, ‘bellybees’ was formally launched at the inaugural day of Pro Food Pro Pack & Agbiz 2014 exhibition at the BMICH, under the patronage of Minister Basil Rajapaksa. ‘bellybees,’ a product of the newly formed Quebee Den, is manufactured by Country Style Foods, SMAK products. Currently ‘bellybees’ is available in mango, papaya and mandarin blends and available to be purchased in all leading supermarkets islandwide. more..

Good for Casinos

Aug 25 (CT) With the govt struggling to increase tax revenue amidst growing expenditure and mounting debt, several taxes on existing casinos have been removed. The Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Finance and Planning meeting on 9 May 2014, questioned Treasury Secretary Dr P.B. Jayasundera as to why the 12% Value Added Tax and 2% Nation Building Tax charged on existing casinos were removed more..

Balance required to uplift external economy

Aug 25 (LMD) Sri Lanka’s GDP grew at a robust 7.6% in the first quarter of 2014, continuing the momentum that was seen in the second half of 2013. The fastest-growing sectors in the first quarter were the usual suspects from recent years – hotels and restaurants (23.2%), construction (22.5%) and apparel (16.5%). However, several of these fast-growing sectors are relatively small in size and their contribution to GDP. A better indicator of the drivers of GDP growth is the contribution to more..

Vietnam wants enabling environment in SL

Aug 25 (CT) Vietnamese Govt has called for an enabling environment for its businesses and investors in order to boost investments in Sri Lanka. "Already 10 Sri Lankan investment projects are in Vietnam. Vietnam investors and businesses too are eager to go out of the country and invest. I hope the Govt of SL would create an enabling environment for Vietnamese business and investors," said Pham Minh (Vietnamese Deputy PM who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs) more..

Govt plays Peeping Tom with its proposed eNIC

Aug 25 (ST) “People have been surfeited with sweetmeats and their digestion has been ruined: bitter medicines, sharp truths, are therefore necessary,” wrote Russian writer Mikhail Lermontov in his acclaimed book, “A Hero of Our Time.” It was these words that Galle District Independent MP Ajith Kumara used to bring to light a sharp truth by way of an adjournment motion in Parliament on Thursday, in which he exposed more..

Positive corporate earnings add stimulus to investor sentiments

Aug 25 (FT) Positive growth in corporate earnings reported so far has given an added stimulus to investor sentiments in boosting the Colombo stock market to reach a psychologically-important milestone last week. Acuity Stock Brokers Research said approximately 87% of the market reporting a 14% Y-o-Y increase in earnings for the quarter ending June 2014 (to Rs. 39.16 billion in comparison to Rs. 34.24 billion in June 2013). On a cumulative six month basis, earnings increased 5% more..

Briton arrested for threatening

Aug 25 (DM) A tourist from the United Kingdom had been taken into custody for abusing and obstructing duties of a medical officer of the Arachhcikanda Government Hospital. The Police said that the suspect was staying at a rented house in Tiranagama. A young woman had taken the latter for treatment to the hospital. The doctor said the tourist was drunk when he called over at the hospital with the woman. OIC of the Hikkaduwa Police CI Prasad Madanayake is conducting investigations. more..

'Study must to elicit views of Tamils'

Aug 25 (Hindu) Tamil National Front leader P. Nedumaran called upon Govt of India to factor in the views of the Sri Lankan Tamils and refugees living in Tamil Nadu while pushing for a political solution to the issue. Referring to PM Narendra Modi’s statement to a TNA delegation that he favoured a political solution in Sri Lanka, Mr. Nedumaran said that a study must be conducted to elicit the views of all Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

Indefinite PSM strike from tomorrow

Aug 25 (Island) Around 5,000 medical laboratory technologists, pharmacists, radiographers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists serving in government hospitals would launch an indefinite strike on Aug 26 at 8 a.m. over three main demands, the Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine said. Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM) General Secretary Saman Jayasekera said that their first demand was to implement Class One more..

PC moves SC against alleged police injustice

Aug 25 (Island) Police Constable Sumith Kumarawansha, who was interdicted on July 23 by an an Assistant Superintendent of Police of Colombo South for allegedly passing information on to a private TV Channel that he was ordered to do labourer’s work at the Borella police station by its OIC, filed a Fundamental Rights violation application in the Supreme Court on Friday. The nine respondents are ASP Roshan Dias, Borella OIC CI Sarath Premachandra, DIG of Discipline and more..

Mahela says NO to politics!!

Aug 25 (CT) Q: Mahela, was there any special reason to select playing cricket? A: Well, I loved cricket from a very tender age. All my friends played soft ball cricket. In fact, I participated in athletics also until I was 13 years of age. Yet, since I was clever at cricket, I keenly pursued it with dedication. Q: What made you stop at the 149th Test match and not stay on to play the 150th? A: I was not concentrating on a number. more..

Five cops assaulted

Aug 25 (CT) Five police officers were attacked while on duty, on Saturday night in three separate incidents. Attacks took place in the Urubokka, Kitulgala and Kandy areas. The police had arrested three suspects over the reported incidents. On 23 August, two policemen were assaulted at a fuel station in the Urubokka area, allegedly by retired military officials. Police had arrested one retired soldier while a retired air force officer, also involved in the assault, escaped. more..

Rikillagaskada death due to Ebola or drug poisoning: President orders probe

Aug 25 (Island) Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala has, on the orders of President Rajapaksa, appointed a committee to ascertain whether the death of a patient at the Rikillagaskada hospital recently was due to Ebola virus or drug poisoning. The daughter of the deceased has said that her mother was hospitalised after she complained of an ailment in the spine. The following day her face was swollen after being given an injection and subsequently she died. more..

As polls campaign intensifies UVA turns violent

Aug 25 (CT) In the run up to the 20 Sept Uva PC polls, incidents of violence and violation of election laws have rapidly increased in the Province, police and election monitors claim. The NEM-IHR, CaFFE and PAFFREL said 57 incidents were reported up to yesterday. Of a total of 57 incidents reported since the nominations date, CaFFE reported six acts of violence (4 from Badulla District and 2 from Moneragala District), more..

Calgary man runs afoul of law trying to rescue sister in Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (CH) Ryan de Hoedt’s thoughts read like a desperate broken record. From morning until the time he goes to sleep, he recites a single prayer ­— that his sister will live another day. De Hoedt is a Canadian citizen from Sri Lanka who lives in northeast Calgary. In April 2013, he was caught in Japan trying to help his sister, who remains in Sri Lanka, enter Canada using false documentation. His passport was revoked, a decision that de Hoedt, 42, is now appealing through the Federal Court more..

Maldives mulls joint tour packages with Lanka for Europeans

Aug 25 (DN) The Maldives is looking to promote more joint travel packages to Europeans where tourists will be able to stay in the Maldives and Sri Lanka said the Minister of Economic Development in the Maldives, Mohamed Saeed. Speaking at the inauguration of the Food and Hospitality Asia(FHA) event that began at the Dharubaaruge Exhibition Centre yesterday Saeed said that this will bring benefits for both countries and could increase arrivals as well. more..

'SF has extremely short memory'

Aug 25 (Island) Election Secretariat said that former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka had conveniently forgotten the circumstances under which Polls Chief Mahinda Deshapriya recognised his Democratic Party (DP) in early April 2013. A senior Election Secretariat spokesman said that either the DP Leader had an extremely short memory or was playing politics at the expense of Deshapriya. more..

'North will not get land, police powers'

Aug 25 (CG) The Govt says the Northern Province will not be given land and police powers as demanded by the Provincial Council in the area. Minister S.B. Dissanayake says giving land and police powers to the North could result in another armed struggle and the LTTE being allowed to regroup. Speaking at a public rally in Passara he said that the LTTE is fully active in Europe and if they are allowed to regroup in Sri Lanka then the people in Jaffna will be the first to suffer. more..

11 party offices attacked in 24 hours

Aug 25 (CT) Eleven election offices of the Opposition Political Parties, including four of the JVP, were attacked on Saturday night and early yesterday in the Moneragala District. CaFFE said Saturday had been one of the most tense days in the recent election campaign and supporters of a leading UPFA candidate were behind the attacks. "JVP offices in Obbegoda, Mariyarawa and Weliyaya, in Moneragala and Mayuragama, in Kataragama, have been attacked. more..

'India must respect Sri Lanka sovereignty'

Aug 25 (NIE) Avdhash Kaushal, the Indian social worker, who has been appointed as one of the five advisors to the Sri Lankan Presidential commission on missing persons and war crimes, has said that India should respect Sri Lanka’s sovereignty while trying to help the latter resolve the Tamil question. “You can talk to the Sri Lankan government and give them advice, but you cannot ask them to behave. more..

Vase does not an altar make

Aug 25 (DM) The grave extent of the breakdown in the Rule of Law, administrative and financial regulations and the checks and balances in the Constitution are seen by the way a powerful Member of Parliament and the Central Bank are continuing political publicity stunts in the US. According to revelations made by the political editor of the Sunday Times, the External Affairs Ministry monitoring MP Sajin Vas Gunawrdena has signed another huge deal with a US public relations more..

Revamping the Education System for Younger Generations

Aug 25 (DM) It is true that a significant minority of youths in this country make use of the education system to attain their goals in life. Yet, for the others, education is largely irrelevant and meaningless. The perpetuation of such a system of education at public expense, without major reforms, is unjust and counter-productive. The purpose of this article is to show that, in spite of the presence of a large body of teachers, school managers and education officials as well as many institutions dedicated to more..

Pictorial warning: It should be 100%

Aug 25 (DM) Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, UNP MP and a Presidents Counsel lawyer, is a vociferous critic of smoking and has been campaigning for 100% pictorial warnings on cigarette packets. Speaking to Dailymirror he expressed his views on the tobacco menace and the best way to eradicate it. He also spoke about the country’s political situation, the upcoming elections and the formation of the Common Opposition. more..

UNP starts under the radar talks on common candidate - Sajith backs down

Aug 25 (AM) The UNP has taken a new step in the direction of forming an opposition alliance by starting under-the-radar discussions with several political parties of the opposition about facing the next national level election. UNP is now exploring the possibility of signing MoU with other political parties and civil society organizations on how to contest a national level election and to interact with the consequent govt. more..

Minister to consult cross-section of intelligentsia

Aug 25 (DN) The opinion of University academics have been consulted for the draft five year ‘National Research and Development Plan’, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. During the ‘Knowledge Economy Convention the ministry obtained the feedback of the scientists and professionals for the draft investment plan. The minister said he would consult the opinion of the University academics, including professors more..

Smothered by cartels, squeezed dry by drought

Aug 25 (ST) As morning dawns, the sleepy villages around the historic city of Polonnaruwa come to life. Brooms in hand, shop owners clear the dust outside their doors and spray turmeric water. Women on wooden benches sip tea, licking at the sugar held in one hand. But tragedy runs under the surface of this placid rural life. In the paddy-farming village of Dalukana, the mood is dark. Just a week ago, a small-scale paddy mill owner more..

Another woman hospitalised after beautification treatment

Aug 25 (DM) Police said that another woman who had taken medicine for beautification from the Beauty Parlour in Bambalapitiya was admitted to a hospital in London after having become ill. She had complained to the Police by fax on Saturday against the doctor. According to the Police, this wealthy female had taken medicine for beautification about two months ago and was admitted to a hospital in London without more..

Kudu Nuwan and the ugly world beneath

Aug 25 (SL) Following the arrest of Don Nuwan Gunathilake alias Kudu Nuwan on Wednesday (20) at Meetotamulla for possessing 300 gm of heroin, members of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha (PS), whilst hailing the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) for the arrest, questioned how long the police would be able to keep him behind bars because of his close links to a powerful minister in the govt. more..

GMOA to pursue four main issues

Aug 25 (Island) The GMOA at its General Committee Meeting yesterday decided to pursue four main issues. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the annual transfer lists of doctors and consultants to be in effect from 2015 was being prepared and the GMOA was confident that it would be ready soon. The second issue was the training of toxicologists by the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM). more..

Presidential commissions cost Rs 270M: What has happened to their reports?

Aug 25 (CT) Currently, the general public has been made to believe that special commissions of inquiry are a method used by the govt to simply suppress dissent or Opposition by the people on certain matters, and as a time consuming method, when the govt wants to avoid certain issues from being addressed. As the time passes, one forgets what commission was appointed to look into what particular issue. more..

No need for special security for Upul Jayasooriya: Police

Aug 25 (AM) Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Order Nanda Mallawarachchi had informed Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon that there was no major threat to security of Bar Association President Upul Jayasooriya, Senior DIG Anura Senanayake told before the Colombo Chief Magistrate court today. However, DIG said that security has been provided to the office and the private residence of BASL President more..

Ebola: SL turns back Nigerian travellers

Aug 25 (PN) Nigerian travellers have been turned back from flying in to Sri Lankan. One traveller, Akinkunmi Adeseye, said his family members arrived in the Asian country for a wedding, but were refused exit from the airport. He said, “They left Nigeria on an Emirates flight and got to Sri Lanka at about 10 am. But the Sri Lankan govt didn’t allow them entry. “At the airport, they were barred from going anywhere. They weren’t given food and more..

Most local politicians a law unto themselves

Aug 25 (CT) There have been many reports of local politicians of the ruling party being arrested for various offences in the recent past. These are wide and varied and range from assault to killings, rape, soliciting bribes and obstructing the Police from discharging their duties. While a few of these incidents are reported to the Police and result in the offender being hauled up before the Court and dealt with under the law, most of the offences are not reported for fear of reprisals, more..

Rs. 200 mn claimed from CPC for demurrage since 2011

Aug 25 (Island) Audit probes have revealed that foreign shipping lines have claimed about Rs. 200 million in demurrage charges from the CPC from 2011 to 2014 for delays caused in unloading fuel shipments at the Colombo port. In 2011 more than Rs. 103,400,000 was claimed as demurrage charges which amounted to Rs. 95 mn the following year. These audit investigations have blamed operational and financial shortcomings of the CPC for the unnecessary delays. more..

Sri Lankans struggle to find clean water

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.3%

Aug 25 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.34% lower with index heavy John Keells Holdings losing ground, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 23.99 points lower at 6,984.03, down 0.34%. The S&P SL20 closed 8.61 points lower at 3,855.27, down 0.22%. Turnover was 1.22 billion rupees, down from 2.70 billion rupees last Friday with 96 stocks closed positive against 102 negative. John Keells Holdings closed 2 rupees lower at 243.00 rupees with an off-market transaction of 51.03 million rupees more..