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Lankan wood-work professionals seek to revive the industry

Feb 8 (ST) A group of Sri Lankan wood working professionals has stepped in to revive the industry infusing modern technical know-how with the assistance of German expertise. The wood and wood-based industry of Sri Lanka is not performing up to standard and it has to be revived soon to produce goods in the modern age, a group of wood industrialists resolved at their inaugural forum held in Colombo. “We have decided to convene the forum at least once in two or three months more..

Sri Lanka records highest footwear and leather exports jump in recent history

Feb 8 (FT) Sri Lanka’s booming footwear and leather sector has demonstrated the highest exports surge in recent history, with industry players praising the Govt for the support extended. “Our footwear and leather exports have shown a strong growth trend. In 2012, exports from this sector stood at $ 30 m but now it has registered a remarkable 63% increase in 2013 to $ 51 m” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen more..

Declaration wasn't defensive - Silva

Feb 8 (CI) Kaushal Silva denied suggestions Sri Lanka's declaration on the fourth day had been too conservative, after captain Angelo Mathews had allowed the lead to stretch to 466 before asking Bangladesh to bat again. Sri Lanka had only eight overs at the hosts before stumps were drawn, with all ten Bangladesh wickets intact for the final day. The final phase of Sri Lanka's innings was ostensibly extended to allow Dinesh Chandimal to reach his third Test hundred, after a long stretch of more..

Rubber prices take a dip in new year

Feb 8 (DM) Sri Lanka’s rubber prices have seen a considerable decline since the beginning of the new year, an analysis of the Colombo rubber auction prices by Mirror Business showed. The average prices for the main categories of Latex Crepe (1, 2, 3 and 4) in the last auction of December 2013 were within the range of Rs.295-407, while the average prices for the main categories of Ribbed Smoked Sheets (RSS) (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) were within the range of Rs.310-340. more..

ICC revamp: Grim legal tussle expected at Board meeting

Feb 8 (CI) A grim legal tussle between three of the most powerful cricket boards and three of their unexpectedly stubborn adversaries is set play itself out when the ICC's Board of directors meets in Singapore on Saturday. Cricket South Africa has sent its "formal response" to the Big Three's revamp proposals in a nine-page letter to ICC president Alan Isaac. Sri Lanka Cricket has been involved in a terse exchange of correspondence with more..

Commercial Bank to pump up investment banking business

Feb 8 (DM) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has signalled its intentions to sharpen its focus on the sphere of investment banking, with the re-launch and renaming of its Corporate Finance Unit as ‘Commercial Bank Investment Banking’ to reflect the broader dimensions of the unit. Commercial Bank Investment Banking will leverage t he status of Commercial Bank as the largest private bank in the country to offer potential issuers of listed securities in equity and debt forms, more..

SLF launches a series of National Level Training Programmes

Feb 8 (CT) The Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF), the centre for Leadership, Education and Training in Sri Lanka incorporated under the Sri Lanka Foundation Law No.31 of 1973 is under the direct purview of the Presidential Secretariat and is managed by a board chaired by Prof Ranjith Bandara. The SLF has taken a proactive step to enhance and widen the ongoing Public Procurement and Audit Management training activities from the year 2014 onwards. For this initiative, experts in the field such as more..

'Int'l pressure on Sri Lanka will damage reconciliation process'

Feb 8 (DN) The international community should not push Sri Lanka too hard on the issues of accountability as this would be counterproductive, polarize the communities and damage the process of reconciliation that is in progress, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said. He was speaking during a meeting with South African High Commissioner Geoff Doidge who met him at his Ministry on Thursday, to discuss matters more..

City hotel occupancy down in 2013

Feb 8 (DM) The average city hotel occupancy rate during the year 2013 stood at 65 percent, down from 70 percent in 2012, despite an increase in tourist arrivals, Colombo City Hotels Association Chairman M. Shanthikumar said. Sri Lanka’s tourism exceeded the target of 1.25 million tourists in 2013 after statistical counting methods were revised. Shanthikumar cited the economic recession as a possible reason for the drop in occupancy rates on a Year-on-Year basis. more..

Gayesha and Ginger avoid media

Feb 8 (CT) Actress and former Miss Sri Lanka, Gayesha Perera, and singer, Judith White (Ginger), are avoiding the media as they had failed to get nominations to contest the upcoming Provincial Council elections. Although Ginger said that she is 200 per cent confident of getting nominations, sources close to her told us that she had not got nominations and no reason had been given why she had been rejected. When contacted, former model and Miss Lanka, Gayesha said, more..

'Attempt to divide Sri Lanka'

Feb 8 (CG) There is an attempt by external forces to divide rather than unify Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the UK, Dr Chris Nonis, said. He emphasised that the wealth of the country was in the diversity of its people of varying backgrounds, ethnicities and religions. He said it was imperative to make optimum use of that diversity and build a strong and unified Sri Lanka which would then be able to resist those more..

Law and order in Sri Lanka

Feb 8 (LBO) Each violent death is one too many. When it is senseless, when the victim is innocent, young and full of potential it hurts even more. When the victim is like us, we empathize. The phenomenon looks large and frightening. We feel we are in the midst of carnage. We perceive a collapse of law and order. We fear hordes at the door. I am still in mourning for Mel Gunasekera, senselessly killed in the prime of her life. But in the spirit of the fact-based journalism she practiced, more..

Court issues notice on Ranil and Tissa

Feb 8 (CT) Colombo District Court Judge, Pradeep Hettiarachchi, after considering plaints filed by several UNP Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) members, issued notice on Party Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Secretary General, Tissa Attanayake, and Executive Committee Members, returnable on 13 Feb. All the plaintiffs claimed the Party and its leadership are in the process of taking steps to expel them unlawfully from the Party. Sampath Bandara, Rasika Wellapully of more..

'Deputy Speaker had set a bad precedent'

Feb 8 (DM) The UNP charged that Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakoky had set a harmful precedent by not allowing the opposition to go ahead with a debate on the Norochcholai Power plant by adjourning Parliament sessions. “The Deputy Speaker set a fine precedent by adjourning sessions,” MP Ravi Karunanayake said in sarcastic manner. He said that the sessions were adjourned following the advice of Minister Nimal Siripala more..

Laugfs to open luxury resort Anantaya in Chilaw

Feb 8 (ST) A vast, isolated beach, the magnificent Indian Ocean and the Chilaw lagoon filled with large stretches of mangroves make up the surroundings of Anantaya Chilaw, the soon to be unveiled luxury beach resort of Laugfs Leisure (LL). The serene allure of Anantaya’s environment is complemented by comprehensive work and leisure facilities and world class service quality. Realizing that food is an essential element of the guest experience, LL has ensured that the F&B options more..

President to declare open Architect 2014 Exhibition

Feb 8 (GDI) Architect 2014, which is the annual apex construction sector exhibition in Sri Lanka will be held from 19ty to 23rd February at the BMICH. Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) has made arrangements to hold this exhibition for the 32nd consecutive year. The event would be declared open by President Rajapaksa on February 19. Sri Lanka Institute of Architects said that the exhibition would comprise many additional features this year with the highest number of stalls more..

Sri Lankan Embassy in Saudi sets up 24-hour toll free phone-in service for expats

Feb 8 (AN) The Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh has set up a 24 hour phone-in service to help its distressed expatriates workers in the Kingdom providing assistance to their matters. “This is a new service set to be introduced from next week to help our countrymen who need our services,” Sri Lankan Ambassador Vadivel Krishnamoorthy said. The toll free number 8001180050 is a 24-hour helpline. In addition to strengthening bilateral ties with more..

Sobhitha Thera's demand from PM Chief Prelate offers to mediate

Feb 8 (CT) With the time given in the letter of demand sent to Prime Minister, D.M. Jayaratne, by Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera drawing to a close, the chief prelate of Ramanna Nikaya, Most Venerable Napana Pemasiri Thera, has offered to act as the mediator with a view of settling the problem between the parties. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera had, in his letter of demand, given the PM 14 days to pay him a sum of Rs 1,000 million. Sobhitha Thera, who was out of the country last week, more..

Students march against dengue today

Feb 8 (CT) Nearly 3,000 children from 35 schools in and around Colombo will be involved in a dengue awareness programme, organized by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), today. The students will march from the Town Hall through Alexandra Place, Dharmapala Mawatha and Marcus Fernando Road. They will carry banners and placards warning people of the dangers of dengue fever and the importance of keeping one's premises clean. CMC, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam more..

All acquitted in LTTE terror bust case

Feb 8 (TOI) What the Tamil Nadu police built as a case of major terror bust collapsed in a heap of contradictions when a city court acquitted all 13 people accused of involvement with the banned LTTE. The case relates to the arrest of some Sri Lankan Tamils in Chennai and seizure of communication devices, including satellite phones, from them in April 2009, during the last phase of the bloody ethnic war in the island nation that more..

A mockery?

Feb 8 (DM) Some interesting images of Army personnel getting trained to face civil protests appeared in the media recently. The pictures showed the personnel armed with transparent shields and batons, as well as assault rifles on their backs. Making the photographs more interesting were the mock protestors—probably another group of army personnel dressed in civvies— who held banners which said “Nidahas adyapanaya apata ona” (we need free education). more..

Centenary celebrations at the Church of Mother of Purification, Pitipana, Negombo

Feb 8 (DM) The 100th jubilee of the Church of St Mary, Mother of Presentation in Pitipana Negombo was celebrated on Sunday, February 2. The 100- year jubilee was celebrated under the auspices of the Archbishop of Colombo, Rt Rev. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. Built in 1914 by French priests, the church is of artistic and historical value. The white- marbled altar and the church building with Roman architecture has a rare collection of stained glasses, a form of art popular in medieval Europe more..

Key to Next Elections

Feb 8 (DM) Colombo District results at the forthcoming PC elections hold the key to the outcome of the next General or Presidential election scheduled for 2014/2015. Colombo District and CMC area are two worlds. UNP has to win the Colombo district or come within striking distance of winning to keep their hopes alive at a future General or Presidential election. Colombo District alone can resurrect the UNP or spell its doom. more..

'These allegations are ill founded'

Feb 8 (SL) With the upcoming UNHRC session in Geneva, all eyes are now set on how successful Sri Lanka has been to gather international support to counter the allegations against it. Further compounding matters, the Northern Provincial Council passed a resolution backing an international probe. Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion, Faizer Mustafa, expressed his views on the situation facing the country and the Govt. more..

Our daily deadly diet

Feb 8 (ST) Officials say 400,000 tons of contaminated dhal found in a warehouse raid this week were to be sold to the public after coating with food colouring and oil to give false colour and gloss. Gunnies full of imported dhal, some of it black and discoloured, some covered with fungi and some contaminated with pigeon droppings were confiscated from a Wellampitiya warehouse on Tuesday. In separate raids CAA also found more..

About 30% educated youth unemployed

Feb 8 (Island) Around 30% of educated Sri Lankan youth were unemployed, monitoring MP Mohan Lal Grero said. Addressing a workshop organised by the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) at Taj Samudra recently, he said that though the world unemployment rate was at 8%, Sri Lanka’s overall unemployment rate was only around 4% which was a good achievement for the country. more..

'PUC did not give consumer benefit of hydro power generation'

Feb 8 (Island) The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) was there to protect the consumer but it had failed to provide any relief, despite a substantial part of power generation in 2013 and 2012 being hydro based, UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne charged yesterday. He, was addressing a hurriedly summoned press conference at "Srikotha", after some govt members created a rumpus in Parliament in the afternoon, more..

Galle: Lives of over 1,000 heart patients in jeopardy

Feb 8 (Island) Lives of more than 1,000 heart patients awaiting angiogram investigation at the Karapitiya Teaching hospital in Galle are in danger as the angiography catheter laboratory has been closed due to a sudden breakdown of the machine. Public Services United Nurses Union (PSUNU) Vice President D. Boralessa accused the Health Ministry of turning a blind eye to the problem faced by many heart patients. more..

Now, Colombo Mayor to quit UNP WC

Feb 8 (Island) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil will resign from the UNP Working Committee (WC) in the wake of his wife Ferouza’s resignation from the party’s Executive Committee on Thursday following her failure to secure the party’s nominations from the Colombo District to contest the Western Provincial Council (WPC) elections next month. The Mayor said that he would continue to be the Mayor of Colombo, and in the UNP to more..

Lankan ex-prez recalls her fight for peace

Feb 8 (DH) Former president of Sri Lanka Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday said she always tried her best for peace despite military conflict with the LTTE in the island nation during her tenure. Speaking at the sixth international women’s conference organised by the Art of Living (AOL) in the City, Kumaratunge said she ensured that development works and peace talks progressed simultaneously in the war-torn country. more..

Sangaree urges Sampanthan to go to Geneva

Feb 8 (DM) Former TNA MP and TULF General Secretary V. Anandasangaree yesterday urged TNA leader R. Sampanthan to take a strong team to Geneva and not to allow others to cheat the innocent Tamil people. “To be very frank I now feel that the TNA must go to Geneva with a very strong team that will do its duty in the proper way, without depending on people who do not know even the recent history and more..

ICC clears governance, financial changes

Feb 8 (CI) The ICC Board has gained the necessary votes to approve a large number of proposed changes relating to the governance, competition and financial models of the organisation. Sri Lanka Cricket and the PCB were the only two Full Members who abstained when a "comprehensive resolution" was put to the vote. In the key executive decisions arrived at the Singapore meeting, it was stated that BCCI president Srinivasan more..

Why the EPDP is in silent mode on war crimes resolution

Feb 8 (CT) Almost all foreign reports for now on Northern Provincial Council (NPC) adopting the resolution it did on 27 Jan on war crimes and international investigations, said the resolution was unanimous. That says, the 38 member Council was not divided on the resolution, demanding an international investigation into possible crimes, or crimes alleged to have been committed during the last months of the war in Vanni. A very personal query made on unanimity of the resolution, more..

Raja Raja Chola 1 and the quicksand of Tamil Chauvinism

Feb 8 (CT) The history of this island can be read as an account of invasion, resistance, conquering and routing the enemy. It is also a history of migratory waves and, in recent times, emigration as well. There are of course all kinds of histories. There are those written by the winners which some claim make their authenticity questionable. There are histories embedded in folk traditions. Histories can be read through careful perusal of archaeological record. more..

History of milk in Sri Lankan culture

Feb 8 (Island) In Sri Lanka, mentions of ‘milk’can be traced back to early Buddhist literature and references to the five different products (‘Pasgorasa’) yielded by the cow. Additionally, according to famous folklores such as that of ‘Andare’, it is evident that the great kings and ministers of ancient times had also realized the value of milk. Our forefathers who lived centuries ago consumed fresh milk yielded by the more..

When laws become silent

Feb 8 (Island) In times of war, it is said, laws are silent—inter arma enim silent leges. Is it that laws have apparently become silent in Sri Lanka these days because elections are fought like wars with people assaulted or killed and their properties destroyed? Having handed in their nominations, politicians are now girding up their loins to contest the PC polls in the Southern and Western Provinces. Stakes are extremely high for them and they will go flat out to win. more..

Former Army Major runs riot in uniform as UPFA candidate

Feb 8 (Island) CaFFE condemned UPFA candidate for the Southern Provincial Council poll, former army major Ajith Prasanna, wearing the army uniform and scuffling with police officers in the presence of senior public and police officers in the area, to the amazement of the general public in the Galle town on Thursday. CaFFE’s executive director, Keerthi Tennakoon said that they had handed over two letters to IGP, N.K. Illangakoon and Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya more..

'We cannot allow Indians to fish in our waters'

Feb 8 (CT) Commander of the SL Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, voiced his opinion on the South Indian fishermen's issue. He said Indian fishermen have no right to infiltrate the IMBL and engage in fishing in the Sri Lankan territorial waters. He also said the SL Navy is doing its best to protect the marine resources in the Lankan waters and to stabilize the livelihood of Northern Tamil fishermen, who were affected more..

Atchuveli Industrial Estate taking shape

Feb 8 (Island) Minister Douglas Devananda handed over letters of approval to six small and medium scale industrialists for commencing industrial ventures at Atchuveli Industrial Estate at a discussion he had with them in his ministerial premises on Feb 3. Twenty five acres of the 65 acre extent of land over which the entire Industrial Estate extends has been now fully developed, paving the way for commencement of industries under the 1st stage of the project. more..

2nd Tourism Awareness Programme a tremendous success

Feb 8 (GDI) The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) conducted the 2nd Tourism Awareness Programme for A/L Students in Kalutara Region on the 06th February 2014 at Royal Palms Beach Hotel, Kalutara and it was even more of a success than the inaugural one held in Negombo a few weeks ago. Over 130 A/L students from 13 schools in the Kalutara, Panadura and Wadduwa areas participated along with 15 teachers in charge. Anura Lokuhetty, Immediate Past President of more..