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Sri Lanka's first ever Gold Centre opens on September 5

Aug 26 (DN) Sri Lanka's first ever Gold Centre or a hub for gold jewellery and gem merchants, located at the refurbished Central Super Market, Pettah (former St. Johns fish market) will open on September 5. 'Gold Centre' a project by the UDA will have 83 gem and jewellery shops, banking facilities, car parks and restaurants. The building will also have a shop and customer service centre operated by Gem&Jewellery Authority. more..

Human trafficking racket busted, 4 held

Aug 26 (Hindu) Police on Monday busted a human trafficking racket involving six Sri Lankan Tamils by taking into custody four racketeers including a fisherman from the island nation when the job-seekers moved towards the coast at Surareddypalem, near here, on Monday. The four racketeers including a Sri Lankan national and two from Chennai had brought to Ongole the six Sri Lankan Tamils with a promise to send them to Australia in a cargo ship from Prakasam more..

Where to stay in Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (MW) Jungle Beach Resort, Kuchchaveli: This pioneering hotel aims to attract visitors to this once-troubled region of Sri Lanka, which is now safe for tourists. The hotel is situated on a strip of jungle between a large Indian Ocean beach and a tropical lagoon. “Jungle Beach has a distinct look, described by its website as ‘luxurious treehouse’,” says Johnny Morris. “Teak pillars… palm thatch and a jungle hot tub work together to create the impression of a castaway’s castle.” more..

Sri Lanka seek to stall Hambantota slide

Aug 26 (CI) The locals in Sri Lanka's southeast had been hoping for heavy rains to rejuvenate their crops and refill their wells. The rain though, has been in Colombo. Hambantota gets extra cricket instead. Given Sri Lanka have now lost three on the trot at the venue, that may not be much of a condolence prize. Sri Lanka is often thought of as a tough team to beat at home, particularly in limited-overs cricket. But since 2006, they have lost more..

FITIS conducts big data training with ICTA

Aug 26 (FT) The Federation of IT Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) conducted two training programs on ‘Big Data and Hadoop’ recently with financial assistance from ICT Agency Sri Lanka. Practicing ICT professionals from local software firms joined these programs held at Hilton Colombo Residencies. The training was delivered by Venugopal Krishna of Simplilearn India, who is an expert on Big Data and Hadoop. ‘Big Data and Hadoop’ is a timely topic as we now live an era where more..

National Craft Council and Colombo Fashion Week present ‘CRAFTALIVE’

Aug 26 (ST) In a continuous effort to develop fashion designers who bring design innovations to crafts, the National Craft Council (NCC) in partnership with Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) recently announced the unique ‘CRAFTALIVE’ initiative. NCC and CFW will host their first ‘CRAFTALIVE’ show on August 28 against the backdrop of the Independence Square. In just over a decade, CFW has established itself as the backbone of the local fashion design industry more..

Foreign remittances, the main economic driver, drying up in the north

Aug 26 (ST) Foreign remittances to the northern city of Jaffna are drying up now compared to earlier when the city was built on this input. This view was expressed by K. Poornachandran, President, Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yarlpanam speaking at the launch of the 6th Jaffna International Trade Fair JITF) held in Colombo last week. Northern Province recorded the highest regional GDP growth, reporting 26% growth in 2012, more..

Apply National Drugs Act before budget

Aug 26 (CT) People's Movement for Rights of Patients (PMPRP) yesterday expressed hope that the Ministry of Health will implement the National Drugs Act before the upcoming budget. PMPRP, Executive Committee member M.K.P. Chandralal said that Minister Maithripala Sirisena had given an assurance to all stakeholders that the new Act will come into effect before the budget in Nov 2014. The Act, if implemented will seek to end importation of poor quality and non-essential drugs more..

Australian U19s to tour Sri Lanka next month

Aug 26 (WI) Cricket Australia’s (CA) Youth Selection Panel (YSP) has today announced a 15-player Australian U19 squad to tour Sri Lanka next month. The 15-player squad is a showcase of Australia’s top emerging talent, including Tom Healy, son of former Australian wicketkeeper Ian; 2014 U17 National Championship player of the tournament Jake Winter; and 2014 U17 Championship leading wicket-taker Kyle Scrimegour, who also scored 200* during that tournament. more..

Films with Sri Lankan connect run into trouble in TN

Aug 26 (TOI) It wasn't always like this. We've had acclaimed Tamil films like Santosh Sivan's The Terrorist and Mani Ratnam's Kannathil Muthamittal — both dealing with Sri Lankan civil war and conflicts — being often talked about, not for the controversies, but for their themes and portrayal of the subject. But in this age and day, when almost every other movie promo sees PILs filed against it and protests happening on the most more..

Tamil body wants India help to find Lanka solution

Aug 26 (TOI) Toning down its strident demand for Eelam, a section of the influential Tamil disapora, the British Tamil Forum, has said a political solution was more realistic than a separate Tamil land in Sri Lanka. "The diaspora can't be an advocate for Eelam. The affected Tamils in Sri Lanka have to decide what kind of solution they want," BTF's Human Rights Coordinator Kana Nirmalan said. The BTF and few other siaspora groups have been lobbying with many countries, including India, more..

No credit growth

Aug 26 (CT) Latest data showed that credit to the private sector on a net basis had not grown during the first six months of this year, with the govt continuing to be the main borrower from domestic banking sector. Private sector had paid back loans to the domestic sector amounting to Rs 61.4 billion on a net basis during the first six months of 2014 while the govt was a net borrower to the tune of Rs 51.5 billion. During the six month period, govt borrowed Rs 35.8 billion from domestic more..

PSM strike from today to win six demands

Aug 26 (Island) Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) and other Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) would resort to a continuous strike action from today in hospitals countrywide making six demands, which include the implementation of Class One, Special and Supra-Grade promotions. Media Spokesman for PSM, warned that PSM in all teaching hospitals, general hospitals, ten health institutions as well as more..

Fresh concessionary loans for Divi Neguma families

Aug 26 (FT) As part of its poverty alleviation policy the Govt will provide concessionary loans to families under the Divi Neguma program. Minister Basil Rajapaksa has stated the program will be launched to grant loans at concessionary rates of interest to each Divi Neguma beneficiary family and it will be possible to obtain loans without security. He added that under this program, loans of Rs. 5,000 to 50,000 will be granted at concessionary rate of 4% interest to commence self-employment and more..

Two killed and seven injured as container truck rams small lorry

Aug 26 (Island) A brother and a sister were killed and seven others including four children injured in the early hours of yesterday at Mahabage in front of the Welisara Navy filling station when a small lorry attempting to turn into it was rammed from behind by a container truck. The injured were admitted to the Colombo North Teaching Hospital at Ragama. The condition of one of the injured, a woman is said to be in a critical condition. 13 persons had been travelling in the small lorry from Stace Road, more..

Central Bank to diversify reserve management

Aug 26 (FT) Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the People’s Bank of China entered into a Bilateral Investment Agreement on Bond Investment yesterday, which enables the Central Bank of SL to further diversify its reserves management activities into Chinese Renminbi denominated assets. “As a result, the Central Bank could now access one of the largest and growing securities markets in the world, more..

Sri Lanka and Korea sign MoU to develop Technical and Vocational Education

Aug 26 (GDI) At the debate which took place over the Sagara Ocean University Bill, some debated that entering University without GCE A/L or disregarding Z-score is not right. The methodology used to enter a conventional University does not apply to enter Universities of Technical Education in any country in the world said Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. He made these observations at a ceremony where a MoU was signed between the governments of Sri Lanka and Korea to develop more..

Explosive situation at Karapitiya hospital finally resolved

Aug 26 (Island) Patients who came to the Out Patients Department (OPD) of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle demonstrated opposite the hospital Director’s office as doctors boycotted their duties yesterday in protest against the failure of municipal authorities to remove garbage that was piling up there. Director of the Hospital Dr. Shelton Perera said that doctors had decided to boycott their duties and stop hospital admissions as the Galle Municipal Council had not removed garbage more..

Video: Ex-CJ to petition SC on snap presidential poll

Aug 26 (DM) Former CJ Sarath Nanda Silva said there were provisions to take legal action against the Elections Commissioner if he makes arrangements to hold the presidential election before Nov 19, 2016. He said if this was to happen he would intervene by petitioning the Supreme Court against the Elections Commissioner. Mr. Silva said Section 31.2 of the Constitution clearly states that a President who is elected to more..

Political bribe to hang on to power

Aug 26 (DM) On the very day last week when we editorially questioned the rationale for having so many ministries for certain sectors in the country, two more deputy ministers were sworn in by President Rajapaksa, bringing the number of deputy ministers to 40. Prabha Ganesan once a die-hard Tamil nationalist and hailing from the Indian-origin community in Colombo was appointed Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology while P. Digambaram, more..

Can North Rule Sri Lanka? – Possible

Aug 26 (DM) Election procedure is flexed in such a manner the day is not too far away, when the Northern Province determines the declaration of the next President of Sri Lanka. Token assistance will be required from the Eastern Province to make it definitive and that will be forthcoming. This would have been conclusively established in 2005 if Prabhakaran did not prevent the people of the North from exercising their franchise. That was the election that Mahinda Rajapaksa won by a whisker. more..

Saudi-SL talks focus on investment, tourism

Aug 26 (AN) Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin and Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the Kingdom, M.H. Mohamed, held a meeting in Jeddah to promote investment and tourism between the Kingdom and SL. Mohamed said that the talks, which were cordial, addressed issues of bilateral interest. He said that the deputy crown prince was confident that Saudi businessmen could invest in countries like Sri Lanka if they were offered attractive incentives. more..

Hidden dangers highlighted in Defence Seminar

Aug 26 (SL) The Sri Lanka Army flagship Defence Seminar 2014 held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from August 18-20, 2014 attracted 450 delegates including 200 foreign participants from 66 countries. The LTTE fronts in TN attempted but failed to prevent high level Indian political and military participation in the Defence Seminar. After the Indian authorities ignored the LTTE fronts, the actor turned director Seeman, leader NTK, more..

Sri Lankan man arrested in New Zealand over Swiss murder case

Aug 26 (AP) A man accused of murdering his girlfriend nearly 14 years ago in Switzerland was arrested Tuesday in New Zealand. The 42-year-old Sri Lankan national is accused of murdering 23-year-old Kavitha Kandiah on Dec. 13, 2000, in the city of Basel. He was arrested under a Swiss warrant and granted interim name suppression by a New Zealand court pending an appearance next week. more..

18 bland new lagoons

Aug 26 (DN) New lagoons will be created by developing 18 lagoons in the country without harming the biodiversity of the lagoons, but by eliminating unauthorized structures and building the lagoons outward. A large number of lagoons specially in the North and East possess a very high potential for development as recreational and ecotourism centres. The development work on the new lagoons is expected to be completed more..

Glyphosate banned in four districts

Aug 26 (Island) In a bid to prevent farmers from harmful effects of agrochemicals, the government has banned the use of glyphosate in four districts with immediate effect. Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that the govt had decided to ban the use of glyphosate in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala, Monaragala and part of the Badulla as many farmers were contracting chronic kidney disease more..

TESO to protest against Mahinda Rajapaksa's UNGA address

Aug 26 (Hindu) Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) will hold demonstration in Chennai on Sept 3 urging the UN not to allow President Mahinda Rajapaksa to address its General Assembly on Sept 25. A resolution adopted in the meeting of the TESO chaired by DMK president M. Karunanidhi said Mr. Rajapaksa had refused to allow the UN team seeking to investigate SL’s human rights record. more..

Video: Gun shots fired at JVP office in Moneragala

Aug 26 (DM) Members of the ruling UPFA had opened fire and had run amok at an election office of the JVP in Maneragala, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said at a hurriedly organised media briefing in Colombo a while ago. This is the first instance of firearms being used in election related violence in the run up to the forthcoming Uva PC elections. Gang had ransacked the platform set up for the political rally to be addressed by more..

‘Solution must come from within Sri Lanka’

Aug 26 (Hindu) While PM Narendra Modi’s emphasis on devolution of political rights to Tamils is welcome, a solution has to come ultimately from within Sri Lanka, Tamil politician and Cabinet Minister Douglas Devananda said here on Monday. He was referring to Mr. Modi’s statement at a recent meeting with TNA leaders in New Delhi that India would continue to engage with Sri Lanka for full implementation of 13th Amendment. more..

Red alert from Sobitha to MR on post

Aug 26 (CG) The leader of the People’s Movement for a Just Society the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha thero today said if President Mahinda Rajapaksa fails to abolish the post of Executive Presidency then he will gather the support of the public to field a Common Candidate at the next Presidential elections. Speaking to reporters after meeting the Chief Prelates in Kandy today, Sobhitha thero said more..

Pope will visit Madhu while in Lanka

Aug 26 (CG) In his trip to Sri Lanka, that will take place between the 13th and the 15th of January 2015, before proceeding to the Philippines, Pope Francis will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu and will thus be the first Pope in history to set foot in a territory where most inhabitants are Tamil. Francis chooses to touch on the sore point of the civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamil people that devastated the island for 26 years more..

Is BIA becoming a filch heaven?

Aug 26 (CT) Sri Lanka's main airport, the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), it appears is fast earning a reputation as a filch heaven with an organized group of unscrupulous employees taking upon themselves to treat unaccompanied luggage as a treasure trove to purloin and pilfer at will. And as is to be expected, it is the hapless migrant workers, many of them domestics, returning for a holiday or for good, after a long stint, more or less in a Middle Eastern country, more..

Child’s heart moves to save animal from slaughter

Aug 26 (Island) A 9-year-old girl Imesha Prabodhini of Sri Buddha Jayanthi Primary School, Balangoda who was moved by the plight of an ox being dragged to the slaughter house struggling to escape its captors collected money with the help of her classmates, class teacher and her parents to save the life of another ox in a similar plight, later on. She collected Rs.43,000 and after paying Rs. 30,000 to the slaughterhouse she handed over the balance to the Balangoda Hospital to buy a wheel chair. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.4%

Aug 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks continued to rise above the 7,000 mark with price gains witnessed in Richard Pieris and telco stocks amid strong foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 29.29 points higher at 7,013.32, up 0.42%. The S&P SL20 closed 3.42 points lower at 3,851.85, down 0.09%. Turnover was 1.73 billion rupees, up from 1.22 billion rupees a day earlier with 124 stocks closed positive against 79 negative. John Keells Holdings closed 1 rupee lower at 242.00 rupees with more..

SL youth on Taiwanese vessel goes missing

Aug 26 (DM) Parents of a Sri Lankan youth, who had gone missing while working aboard a Taiwanese ship, have sought the assistance of the CID, the Foreign Employment Bureau and the Ministry of External Affairs, to locate their son. Harshaka Srimal, a CINEC Maritime Campus graduate, went missing on August 14 while working on the Taiwanese fishing vessel ‘Sinaw 8’ as a welder and fitter. He and his friends Asanka Indunil, Lakmal Madusanka and Pradeep Indika more..

Sri Lanka launches Rs 150mn floating market

Aug 26 (LBO) Shopkeepers in a newly built 150 million rupee floating market are hoping for better times after leaving behind wayside boutiques in a section of Colombo which is being modernized. Ajantha Dhaundarasekara, 55, was among scores of small businessmen who ran one of about 100 shops in Bastian Road in Colombo's Pettah area,which were demolished as part of a city beautifying exercise. more..

Spectre of evictions & land grabs in Colombo

Aug 26 (GV) There is a new energy to the beautification and development of urban areas in Colombo with a surge in construction, reconstruction and opening up of new spaces. The other side to this is the demolition of private properties and the eviction of thousands of people. In August 2014 media showed the demolition of shops in Pettah area at the behest of the powerful UDA. This incident, like many others, was reported in the media and raised by opposition politicians more..

DEW re-elected Communist Party General Secretary Unanimously

Aug 26 (Island) Communist Party (CP) has reelected DEW Gunasekera its General Secretary according to party Chairman Raja Collure. Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera was elected Deputy Chairman. The election of office bearers followed the 20th National Congress of the CP held in Ratnapura from July 25 to 27. S. Sudasinghe was elected the Deputy General Secretary while Aga Jayasena was elected the Organizing Secretary and S. Nagendran the Treasurer. more..

Video: BBS ties up with Hindu Federation for reconciliation

Aug 26 (DM) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) today charged that the Govt and the National Languages and Social Integration Ministry had failed in the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka and as such would work with the All Ceylon Hindu Federation (ACHF) to complete this task. Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera expressed these views at a joint news conference with the All Ceylon Hindu Federation (ACHF) in Colombo. more..