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Ranil- Sajith nexus may oust Ravi

Aug 29 (AM) It is in the grapevine that Colombo District UNP Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake might step down from the party, if and when Hambanthota District Parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa as the Deputy Leader of the party. Several media reports claimed that Premadasa has requested the party to appoint him as a Deputy Leader ahead of the next national level election. However there are two schools of thought among the UNP rank and file over the matter. more..

Sri Lanka receives US$ 57mn to fight HIV, TB Malaria

Aug 29 (Island) French Embassy in Colombo revealed that the Sri Lankan govt had already received US$ 57 million US from Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. A new funding model had been established from 2014 to 2016 to provide Sri Lanka with the required amount of money to fight the diseases considering the country’s income. According to the new funding model Sri Lanka would receive US$ 16 million for HIV/AIDS, US$ 12.2 million for tuberculosis more..

Sri Lanka suggests moves to investigate war-time missing

Aug 29 (IRIN) Sri Lanka's govt has given its strongest indication to date that it will go beyond enumerating missing persons from it 26-year civil war and investigate the circumstances of their disappearance. Activists, however, remain skeptical, pointing to the administration's history of empty gestures. In August 2013 President Rajapaksa appointed a three-member Presidential Commission to inquire into the war-time missing; more..

A Bridge Too Far

Aug 30 (CT) The late minister and one time journalist Pieter Keuneman once said the Yal Devi train remained a lifeline of co-existence between the North and the South. However, the train service to the North had also suffered immensely due to the three decades of war with the removal of rail tracks, blowing up of bridges and destruction of railway stations in the North. Since the war came to an end in 2009, with priority given to rebuild the railway to the Jaffna Peninsula, it is fascinating more..

Go enframe a change: Colombo Film Festival

Aug 30 (CT) It is very challenging to detach the South Asian life from the many forms of arts richly available around its societies. The civilizational process in South Asia seems to have wrapped around with demonstrative sense of arts even while certain renouncer philosophies like Buddhism and Jainism has lived over 2500 years. In a modern sense, to me, cinema in South Asia is the collective expressions of all such arts in a historical continued process. more..

International Film Festival of Colombo 2014: Your seat awaits

Aug 30 (SO) Everything is set for the much awaited, first ever major international film festival in Sri Lanka: International Film Festival of Colombo 2014, which will be held from September 2 to 7. It has an exciting line-up of films including the Asian premier of Beauty and the Beast (La belle et la bête) by Christophe Gans as the opening night film, which was screened at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival 2014. more..

Truth, accountability and the last stages of Sri Lanka’s war; A private sector perspective

Aug 30 (CT) The “Third Narrative” reviewed at the Colloquium presents an alternative narrative, of the events of the last stages of the war, and has been developed as a response to the UNHRC resolution of 2014. This is in the wake of the purported conflicting and contradictory accounts of the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka. These varying accounts have come from the Defense Authorities/ Army and the Govt of Sri Lanka, I-NGO’s, University Teachers for Human Rights, Academics, more..

Who is Mahinda afraid of?

Aug 30 (CT) Political analysts are intrigued by what Mahinda is studying with much interest these days. It is, without a doubt, reports submitted to him by his political intelligence sources, in particular about the political leaders who attended Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera's latest and much publicized meetings. He must be wondering who, among them will come to challenge him for the Presidency. A close study of his probable thought process on this matter will yield interesting results. more..

UN investigators for SL, Show your work!

Aug 30 (GV) If the UN wants to promote reconciliation in Sri Lanka, it has to show its work. UN investigators should use tools and methods that are transparent, replicable, and open to scrutiny by all. Every Sri Lankan, both inside and outside the country, deserves the chance to question the methods behind UN findings. Last week, President Rajapaksa, announced that he would not grant entry visas to UN human more..

Editorial: Dregs rolling in dosh

Aug 30 (Island) EC Mahinda Deshapriya has urged the mainstream political parties to curtail expenditure on election related propaganda. They spend billions of rupees during elections and one wonders where all this money comes from. The higher the campaign expenditure candidates or their parties incur the more dependent they become on financiers who, in most cases, are crooks who part with some of their black money in return for various favours from politicians after elections. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims at the crossroads

Aug 30 (Island) I will now make some observations on the external dimension of Muslim extremism, perceptions of which among non-Muslim Sri Lankans tend to impact negatively, very negatively indeed, on the local Muslims. Islam tends to be seen as a religion that encourages fanaticism, violence, and aggression, which has led to the notion that Islam was spread by the sword. That is supposed to be the process by which once predominantly Buddhist countries became predominantly more..

Boston Lanka: August 30, 2014

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce woos the young

Aug 30 (FT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the country’s premier business chamber has formed the ‘Young Members Forum’ (YMF) in a bid to identify, engage and develop the next generation of Sri Lankan leaders by providing an inspirational growth opportunity for them through various strategically driven programs. The YMF, which is expected to be officially launched shortly, is focusing on providing leadership and entrepreneurship development programs to its members. more..

Time to stop this raging mob justice!

Aug 30 (NS) No one in his or her right mind can condone the intolerant insanity of mob justice that is sweeping our nation. As if the recent violent upheavals that transpired in our peaceful southern townships where a violent mob riot left four people violently slaughtered was not enough, the ominous signs re-emerged two weeks’ ago. On August 4, a meeting for the families of disappeared persons, held at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in Colombo 10, was disrupted by a mob of more..

Yala National Park gasping for breath

Aug 30 (FT) Recently I had the good fortune (or was it bad fortune?) of going down to Yala and staying at the newly-opened Jetwing hotel. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and was impressed with the efforts that have been made towards holistic energy conservation initiatives and systems in the hotel. While staying at the hotel, which was indeed very nice and relaxing, being avid wildlife enthusiasts, my son and I planned to explore more..

The Bucket Brigade of blindness to reality

Aug 30 (Island) The Ice Bucket Challenge that recently went viral on social media with many celebrities of the cinema, politics and others getting under the bucket for a charitable purpose has caught on in Sri Lanka, too. Not surprisingly, the bucket was picked up first over here by a woman provincial politician, and was followed soon by another of the same category; two people of little service to the people, but an abundant desire for publicity to one’s self. more..

Ajmal return buoys Pakistan in series decider

Aug 30 (CI) A gap of three days between games can sometimes be a luxury in the manic schedule of an international cricketer. For Pakistan, the break and the ensuing change of scenery as the series shifts to Dambulla, is a chance to process the implosion in Hambantota. Their collapse gave Sri Lanka another shot at remedying an average record of ODI series wins at home. For Pakistan, the series so far has been a tale of two chases, similar in their setting but vastly different in outcome more..

Mathews puts faith on versatile XI

Aug 30 (CI) Adaptability has been among Sri Lanka's strengths in global competitions. Since 2007, they have put together their fine run of finals appearances by reacting quickly to the diverse challenges each new opposition and venue pose, during the competition. In recent years, Sri Lanka have achieved this with a clot of multi-skilled cricketers in the middle order. Angelo Mathews has been chief among these, more..

Choppy waters

Aug 30 (IE) Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi’s remark in the Supreme Court on Tuesday that India will have to wage war with Sri Lanka if it wants to retrieve the Katchatheevu island is a blunt admission of the impossibility of the demand frequently raised by Tamil Nadu politicians. Katchatheevu, an uninhabited stretch of sand with no source of drinking water off Rameswaram, was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974 while the two nations settled the international boundary. more..

Country’s top ten AL students to become chartered accountants at CA Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (Island) One of the country’s largest tertiary education providers, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) continued to attract the best and brightest students with the top ten 2013 Advanced Level students also joining the institute to commence their professional journey to become chartered accountants. CA Sri Lanka attracted the island’s top ten in the commerce field including the island’s first Ms. Erandi Kanchana of Rathnawali Balika Vidyalaya (Gampaha), more..

Transworks prime property becomes money spinner for the govt

Aug 30 (ST) The govt is earning money with ease from the idle 4-acre Fort Transworks land as the Krrish group, the lessee of the property continues paying an interest plus some part payments for delaying the final payment of Rs. 640 million of the total lease payment of Rs. 4.9 billion. Krrish has paid a sum of around Rs. 66 million during the past two months and the company has already paid 87% of the total lease amount, more..

Carsons' oil palm subsidiaries to list on Singapore Stock Exchange

Aug 30 (CT) Blue Chip Carsons Cumberbatch will soon list its oil palm subsidiaries on the floor of the Singapore Stock Exchange. The four subsidiaries which will be listed on the floor of the Singapore Stock Exchange soon were Goodhope Asia Holdings, of Singapore, Shalimar Malay, Indo Malay and Selinsing. Ceylon FT in May reported that Goodhope Asia Holdings was on track to de-list four of its listed subsidiaries, involved in Oil Palm business, following the intervention of more..

UNOPS, KOICA enhance education access in Kilinochchi

Aug 30 (DN) Around 55 kilometres down the A32 road from Mannar to Pooneryn, in the middle of what seems to be a forest, you have to turn off on to a gravel road leading towards the Western coast. Another 10 kilometres or so on this gravel road, passing flat salt beds, dried out remnants of paddy fields and the occasional household, you come to the little known town of Veravil, in the Kilinochchi District, on the North Western coast. Just before the township, you would come to pass a school more..

'Development slowdown in North'

Aug 30 (FT) Observing what he called a ‘slowdown’ of development activities in the north, Minister Basil Rajapaksa called on the NPC to cooperate with his Ministry to push the process forward. He said that his understanding was that the NPC was not very interested in development, because they had more important priorities. “But my own view is that people’s needs are more important than politicians’ needs. more..

NCE announces launch of Export Awards

Aug 30 (Island) The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) Tuesday announced the launch of the 22nd Annual NCE Export Awards, at the Hilton Colombo, for the benefit of the exporter community in Sri Lanka. NCE President Mangala Yapa speaking at the occasion said," This year too the Chamber has received a large number of applications. It reflects the commitment and keenness of applicants to compete for these coveted awards". "The structure, and the content of more..

Sri Lanka vying for $3B rubber sector

Aug 30 (Island) As the first ever Global Rubber Confab to be held in Sri Lanka is announced on Aug 28, the country positioned its historic rubber industry to be a $ 3B sector. And a top global rubber body voiced that rubber prices would recover ‘before very long’. "We are now aiming at an ambitious $3B rubber industry in the coming decade. To arrive at this $3B in a viable manner, it is essential for us to support our rubber farmers. I believe it is time for a long term development plan for this sector. more..

UN makes note of tensions in Lanka

Aug 30 (CG) A UN official today noted that incidents in some countries, including Sri Lanka, clearly demonstrate that societies are grappling with identity based tensions. The UN official highlighted the important role played by the initiative known as the Alliance of Civilizations in building bridges to peace, especially amid the current instability in many parts of the world, as he kicked off a global forum in Bali, Indonesia. more..

Cop, gambler injured in clash

Aug 30 (Island) Seven persons were arrested following a clash with the police during a raid on a gambling den at Muneswaran, Chilaw, on Thursday night. SSP Ajith Rohana said that one officer injured in the attack had been admitted to the Chilaw Hospital. The assailant, too, had been admitted to the same hospital with injuries sustained in a scuffle with the police. The SSP said that about 50 police officers and men had been injured during raids so far this year. more..

Police looking for Wariyapola videographer

Aug 30 (DM) Police are looking for the person who recorded the video depicting a young girl slapping a youth at the Wariyapola bus stand for allegedly verbally harassing her. SSP Ajith Rohana said they were looking for the person who recorded the video to record his statement. “We also want to look at the interpretation whether the girl has the right to assault a person after being subjected to verbal harassment. So we want to see how this case will be taken up at the Supreme Court,” he said. more..

Saudi Arabia seeks talks on hiring of Sri Lankan maids

Aug 30 (AB) Saudi officials have announced a five-day visit to Sri Lanka in a bid to overcome "difficulties" related to the recruitment of domestic workers from the south Asian country. Gulf kingdom's National Committee of Recruitment of the Council of Saudi Chambers said in comments that discussions will focus on the labour issue, without giving any further details. Last year, Sri Lanka said it would gradually stop more..

Yaldevi sleeping berth attack: 3 soldiers remanded

Aug 30 (Island) The Galgamuwa Magistrate yesterday remanded three soldiers till September 05 for assaulting an officer in charge of the sleeping berth of Yaldevi train on Thursday night. Galgamuwa police arrested three suspects, Janaka Chamara, Thilak Senanayake and Mahinda S. Silva, who had boarded the train at the Palai station after attending a seminar. They had been drunk at the time they were arrested, police said. A heated argument had led to the assault, police said. more..

Legal provisions to accompany voters with disability

Aug 30 (GDI) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshappriya issuing a media release said provisions exist a person who is totally or partially visually handicapped or physically disabled to be accompanied by another person to assist in marking the ballot paper. The person who accompanies the disabled person should be more than 18 years and not a contesting candidate at the election. Similarly, he should not be an authorized agent or a polling agent of a political party at the election. more..

'MPs’ shocking dereliction of duty: Both govt., Opp. at fault'

Aug 30 (Island) Deputy Opposition Whip Ajith P. Perera (Kalutara District MP) said that the parliamentary system of governance was at stake because parliamentarians were skipping sittings even when important Bills were taken up. He warned that the parliamentary process would suffer an irreparable setback unless all political parties adopted remedial measures immediately. The UNPer was responding to yesterday’s more..

Sri Lankan and Singapore universities collaborate in Clean Kandy City project

Aug 30 (ST) Two universities in Sri Lanka and Singapore recently collaborated on a project to manage waste in the hill country capital of Kandy. “Production of waste and sewage often accompany the quick growth of a city. If not managed properly, the city’s sustainability and its people’s wellbeing may be compromised. The same applies for Kandy City,” the promoters of the project said. The new sewage treatment plant at the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the floating wetlands at Kandy Lake, and more..

Mobitel installs NFC technology at Jaffna Municipal Council

Aug 30 (ST) Mobitel has partnered with the Jaffna Municipal Council in developing the council’s fuel allowance processes into Mobitel’s ‘One Fuel Card’ NFC based technological solution. This is the first municipal council in the country to upgrade its fuel allowance disbursement system to a NFC technology-based fuel management method. In 2012, Mobitel Business Solutions (MBS), the enterprise division of Mobitel introduced its own ‘Tap and Go’ card solution based on more..

Namal and Harin in SECRET TALKS

Aug 30 (CT) In a dramatic turn of events, in the political scene in Uva, where Provincial Elections are scheduled for 20 Sept, UNP's CM candidate, Harin Fernando has had a secret meeting with UPFA MP, Namal Rajapaksa, last Thursday at the residence of UPFA MP, Chamika Buddhadasa, well informed sources revealed yesterday. Meeting had lasted over 45 minutes, sources said adding the details of the talks were not known. more..

ANCL, Xinhua sign agreement

Aug 30 (DN) A bilateral agreement was signed between the representatives of Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) and Xinhua Official News Agency to provide news and images from China, turning a new leaf in the relationship between the two organisations. ANCL Chairman and Managing Director Bandula Padmakumara and Xinhua Colombo Bureau Chief Huang Haimin signed the agreement on behalf of the two organisations at the ANCL premises yesterday. more..

'Constitutional amendments drafted'

Aug 30 (CT) Several prominent lawyers, under the leadership of Athureliya Rathana Thera, will reveal a new constitutional amendment that they have drafted next month. Sources revealed that the new constitutional reforms would include amendments to the office of the President, make changes to the election process, the implementation of the 17th Amendment and changes regarding responsibilities of Ministers. Thera said that more details would be revealed at a media briefing shortly. more..

Tamil Nadu insists on release of boats

Aug 30 (Hindu) TN govt has reiterated its demand for immediate release of 62 fishing boats seized by Sri Lanka. State has articulated this stand in a written response to Raja Vundru, chairperson of India-Sri Lanka Joint Committee on Fisheries, at the first meeting of the committee in New Delhi on Friday. Govt also renewed its call that fishermen fishing in the Palk Bay should not be apprehended, harassed or attacked by more..

Who will rule the ruling alliance?

Aug 30 (DM) While the verbal battles for the political war of Uva rage on with many analysts predicting it would be a forerunner to a Presidential Election early next year, much attention is now focused on a bigger issue – whether President Rajapaksa is qualified or disqualified from contesting for a third term in the all-powerful Executive Presidency. The former Chief Justice and Constitutional expert Sarath N. Silva in an interview in the Daily Mirror yesterday insisted that President Rajapaksa more..