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Encouraging start for Lions in Sri Lanka

Feb 9 (SKY) The England Lions side warmed up for the start of their ‘Unofficial Test’ series in Sri Lanka with a couple of promising performances, as they drew both of their two practice games. Durham’s Mark Wood – who spoke to DEC before the tour – impressed heavily with the ball, taking a five-wicket haul in the first game against the Sri Lanka A Emerging Players side. Unfortunately for Wood, that game in Columbo proved to be his first and only game of the tour, as he headed home on more..

Is Sri Lanka turning into a rogue state?

Feb 9 (AJ) As international pressure mounts on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to launch a credible process to investigate war crimes alleged to have taken place during the last stages of the war, the people - largely the Sinhalese who form 75% of the country's population - rally round him. Since the Sri Lankan armed forces defeated the LTTE in May 2009, Rajapaksa has been winning almost every election by whipping up more..

Muzammil to continue

Feb 9 (SL) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil says he will continue his political activities with the UNP despite the party rejecting the nomination of his wife Feroza for the upcoming WPC Elections. Muzammil said that he holds no grudge against the party regarding the decision even though his wife has stopped working for the party and is disappointed about the decision. “She has not taken a decision whether to join a different political party as yet. So far her decision is to stay away from more..

Korean Air to start direct flights to Sri Lanka

Feb 9 (BTN) Starting 9 March, Korean Air has launched a direct service flying from Sri Lanka and the Maldives to Seoul Incheon, expanding its network to countries in the Indian Ocean. Korean Air’s new three times weekly direct service flies from Male in the Maldives to Colombo in Sri Lanka first, and then onto Seoul/Incheon in Korea. The Male-Colombo-Seoul/Incheon flights operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Flight KE 474 departs from Male at 15:30 and arrives more..

Samarasinghe ready for Geneva

Feb 9 (CG) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says he is ready to represent Sri Lanka at the upcoming UNHRC session on Geneva if he is asked to go by the President. Samarasinghe, who had led the Sri Lankan delegation at key sessions in Geneva in the past, says he is yet to be nominated to represent Sri Lanka at next month’s crucial session. Minister said he is expected to hear from the President more..

Police probe fraud by NSSP

Feb 9 (CG) Police have launched an investigation into the nominations list of Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) led by Vickramabahu Karunaratna after it was found that three people mentioned in the list do not exist. The nominations list containing 39 names was handed over to the Gampaha Returning Officer by the NSSP last Thursday. However Department of Elections had found that some fraudulent activities had taken place when compiling the name list of the NSSP. more..

Ministers’ relatives, artistes and scribes also in the fray

Feb 9 (Island) Many kith and kin of Ministers, popular tele-drama artistes, vocalists and journalists representing mainstream political parties in the fray for the March 29 elections to the Western and Southern Provinces, Elections Secretariat sources said yesterday. Family members/relatives of UPFA Ministers are Hirunika Premachandra, Senel Welgama, Manjula Buddhadasa, Thushara Perera, Rohana Yapa Abeywardena, Jeevandha Keerthiratne and J. Malsha Kumaratunga. more..

Global TU head coming here on fact finding mission

Feb 9 (ST) The leader of the world’s single largest trade union (TU) federation will be in the country on a five-day visit starting Feb 15, on a fact-finding mission regarding issues faced by local workers, including those unjustly terminated by their employers, senior union officials said yesterday. General Secretary of the Global Union Federation of Industry-All (GUFIA), Yruki Raina will hold discussions with affiliates and more..

Jaffna – An Exemplary City

Feb 10 (SL) The people who stay in post-war Jaffna for a few days can witness not only the past havocs taken place during the war, but also the extent of the post-war rebuilding and rehabilitation that continues to take place in the region. But for me one strong feature in post-war Jaffna city is the “discipline” on the roads in contrast to what we experience daily in our Capital City of Colombo and its suburbs. It was fascinating to see adults and school children using the commonest and cheapest mode of more..

Stop hoodwinking public over CKDu

Feb 10 (CT) The disease picture in Sri Lanka is fast changing. An increase in sedentary occupations, less physical exercise and new dietary practices are seen as factors that have contributed to an increase in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity, especially in urban areas. Ecological changes and the use of agrochemicals have led to asthma, various cancers, and kidney disease in rural areas. These non-communicable diseases [i.e. cardiovascular, etc. as well as asthma, etc.] more..

'Jana Jaya political strategy will restore UNP's lost glory'

Feb 10 (SL) The post-Independent political history of the country has shown that major political parties experience ups and downs in their existence. The UNP, founded by D.S. Senanayake in 1946, had governed the country for over 30 years under seven leaders in different terms of office. The party was defeated by SLFP-led coalitions on four occasions since Independence, but it never remained in the Opposition for more..

Group One promotion dream becomes demotion nightmare

Feb 10 (SL) Any claim of our promotion to Group One of the Davis Cup competition will have to be taken with a pinch of salt. In thrashing Sri Lanka comprehensively,3/1 last week, the Philippines clearly showed that harbouring hopes of achieving Group One status anytime soon is a tad too ambitious – notwithstanding the fact that we’ve already spent three years in the ranks of Group 2. The chasm between the two countries was all too obvious, and it’s clear that, for the time being more..

Thirty years of war and still on

Feb 10 (CT) Wars occur first in the realm of ideas. Therefore, the elimination of physical elements of wars alone can neither bring peace nor permanent credible solutions to conflicts. When a war is fought particularly on identity issues of people, peace and reconciliation becomes even more difficult. Sri Lanka’s ethnic war led to the physical elimination of a major party to the war, the LTTE. However, even the Govt concedes that the end of the war with the removal of the LTTE has more..

'My son had to call me uncle'

Feb 10 (CT) Former leader of the JVP says people feel the need to change the govt and a strong force is being built up at the moment. "We are watching this and making use of it and the change may take place at any moment," he says in no-holds-barred interview with the paper. Q: Can you tell us about your family. A: My father's name is John Amarasinghe. He served in the police and later joined the Department of Irrigation. more..

Investment of Rs 100 in good governance

Feb 10 (CT) I made a request to the general public to contribute Rs 100 each for my election campaign if they believe in good governance irrespective of their racial, religious, political or provincial differences. Unfortunately, my message has been distorted to some extent in several websites in their attempt to add an emotional tone to it. Hence, there is no significant difference between my request and an appeal made by a beggar, which forces me to explain the rationale behind my request. more..

New chauffeur for JVP jalopy

Jan 10 (ST) The younger rises when the old doth retire and, like a fond father handing over the keys of his rickety but beloved jalopy that had exhausted its fuel tank and combusted its cylinders, Somawansa Amarasinghe passes the long burnt out torch to Anura Kumara Dissanayake who pipped the post in a one horse race to claim the purple poisoned chalice: the JVP crown of thorns. Last Sunday at the 7th National Convention held in Colombo, in the backdrop of a red curtain adorning more..

Boston Lanka with Hussain Jiffry

Alternating economic policy regimes since Independence retarded development

Jan 10 (ST) Economic policies that alternated between regimes which were market oriented and ones that had much state control of the economy retarded economic development. Changing economic policies created uncertainties and perceptions of risk by investors. Furthermore, the inward looking import substitution policies and state control together with inefficient administration are important factors for slower growth. However, no single explanation is sufficient to more..

Central Bank must take responsibility for debacle of finance companies

Jan 10 (ST) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) regularly advertises the names of finance companies which are registered with it and are lawfully entitled to solicit deposits from the public. By such advertisements the CB explicitly conveys to the general public that monies deposited with such companies are safe because they are under the supervision and control of the CB authorities, whilst implicitly saying that other finance companies are unsafe for the public to trust for deposits. more..

Scrapping Life Skills from syllabus: Is it a wise move?

Jan 10 (SO) 13% of the suicides reported in Sri Lanka every year are committed by children under 18 years of age. Suicide - the act of taking one's own life - is a serious issue and Sri Lanka is ranked 11 out of 193 countries in the rate of suicides. Roughly, 24 out of 100,000 people commit suicide annually and 13% of them are below 18 years. Another 10% of children have admitted that they have felt suicidal at some point of time. more..

Fab four to faceoff in brain game semi finals

Jan 10 (Island) The tension is piling up as four teams of exceptionally intelligent young men and women set their sights on being crowned the smartest students in Sri Lanka - not to mention bringing home Rs 1,000,000 to their alma mater. The pressure has been building, as the final showdown draws closer. One team of four young people will finally be recognised by the entire country as the four brightest stars of Sri Lanka's public education system. more..

When ‘peace’ kills and nobody cares

Jan 10 (Island) Canadian and British foreign ministers are girding up their loins to lead a human rights charge against Sri Lanka at next month’s UNHRC summit in Geneva. US is going hell for leather to muster support for its diplomatic badger hunt. Ironically, powerful western countries and the UN pursuing Sri Lanka with their customary gung-ho zeal have let down the youngest nation they created—South Sudan faced with a humanitarian disaster owing to an armed conflict. more..

Making thing legal

Jan 10 (CT) With 16.2kg of Wallapatta agarwood, valued at Rs 12.8 million, being confiscated by the Sri Lanka Customs at the BIA, Katunayake last week Wallapatta is back in the news. Wallapatta (Gyrinops walla) has become one of the most lucrative items on the black market today, with its extract being able to fetch up to US$ 25,000 in the world market. It is in this context that the Ministry of Environment and more..

PSM suspends planned strike

Jan 10 (Island) Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) General Secretary Saman Jayasekara announced the suspension of its indefinite strike scheduled to be launched on February 11 due to the intervention of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. About 5,000 Medical Laboratory Technologists, X-Ray technicians, Pharmacists and all the paramedics had planned the trade union against the Health Ministry’s inability to implement the promotional scheme more..

'Debt-driven growth not felt by the masses'

Jan 10 (CT) Post-conflict economic growth was govt-led and debt-driven with few of the benefits trickling down to the grassroots, an economist said. Economics Professor at the Department of Economics in the Colombo University, Dr. Priyanga Dunusinghe, speaking to Ceylon FT said that although Sri Lanka experienced reasonable growth rates after a decades-long conflict ended in 2009, it was largely due to foreign funded projects that will not go in to the grassroots level. more..

'I didn’t receive a show-cause letter'

Jan 10 (DM) UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma today denied being served show-cause letter over the last’s week’s alleged incident in the Parliamentary Complex. He is accused of having attempted to assault UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at the group meeting. Mr. Thewaraperuma said he had neither received a letter about the suspension of his party membership. He said the MPs who made allegations more..

Dambadeniya Base Hospital goes high-tech with ICTA-initiated HHIMS

Jan 10 (Island) The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA)-initiated Hospital Health Information Management System (HHIMS) was launched at the Dambadeniya Base Hospital recently. Coinciding with the upcoming ‘Deyata Kirula’ in 2014, the inauguration at the Dambadeniya hospital was held under the patronage of Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura, North Western Province Health Director Dr. R.M.D. Ratnayake, more..

Eran raises concerns over regulator-driven financial services industry consolidation

Jan 10 (FT) UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne in Parliament last week raised a host of concerns on the consolidation of financial services industry as well as the Central Bank (CB)’s Master Plan. Wickramaratne questioned the CB-driven Master Plan and opined there was a developing financial crisis, which he said the CB was attempting to respond to with its directed consolidation. He questioned why the CB had issued so many finance company licenses since 2006, more..

A traumatic past and a stifling present

Jan 10 (Hindu) With its failure to convincingly address allegations of war crimes, or implement a meaningful process of reconciliation over the last five years, Sri Lanka finds itself trapped by international pressure ahead of the UNHRC meet in Geneva. All along, criticism of the country’s human rights record has come largely from rights groups or sections of the Tamil diaspora — some still espouse the separatist cause. more..

Police crackdown on beggars

Jan 10 (CG) The police launched a special operation in Colombo last night and arrested 39 beggars on suspicion they maybe involved in illegal activities. Police media spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that there is a suspicion the beggars are involved in the heroin trade. He said the beggars were arrested from Fort, Slave Island, Viharamaha Devi Park and other nearby areas. The police spokesman said that investigations had revealed that some beggars are part of an organised ring. more..

Moratorium Kicks in

Jan 10 (ENS) The next four weeks will be crucial for the fishing community in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka as a moratorium on destructive fishing methods of bottom trawling and double trawling in the Palk Bay between Sri Lanka and India will kick in on Monday. The Indian side agreed to a month-long moratorium as part of a formula to address the contentious issue of bilateral fishing rights. That was the main takeaway of the first round of talks convened on Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s more..

Bahu to be arrested?

Jan 10 (CT) Police said the Leader of the Nawa Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) and the Gampaha District Leader, could be arrested in the wake of allegations levelled against the NSSP over the submission of fake nominations and false details of candidates in the nomination list. Additional Elections Commissioner for Gampaha has lodged a complaint with the Gampaha Police Elections Unit, about the fake details of more..

UAE-Sri Lanka forum highlights investment opportunities

Jan 10 (E24|7) More than 200 businessmen, senior officials and heads of govt departments attended a networking event organised by the Sri Lankan Business Council on Saturday. The event was aimed at bringing more members into the fold and also highlight business opportunities in the two countries to investors. Farooq Kassim, a Senior Representative of the Sri Lanka Business Forum, said the networking event was very well received which saw over 200 UAE and SL more..

UK’s IBC Tamil radio ordered to award damages to Jayadevan

Jan 10 (Island) An unreserved apology, substantial damages and costs have been agreed in a landmark out of court mediation effort on a libel action initiated by Rajasingham Jayadevan against the IBC Tamil radio operating from London. IBC Tamil radio is run by Sathy Media, with Subramaniam Sathiyavadivelu as the overall controller, who has editorial responsibility for broadcasts. The libel action was initiated by Jayadevan following serious unverified allegations levelled against more..

Big local names step up buying foreign blocks at Bourse

Jan 10 (FT) The Colombo stock market last week saw heavy foreign selling in tandem with other emerging markets, but big local names stepped in to accelerate their buying, reflecting renewed confidence. Foreign investors ended the week in a net selling position of Rs. 3.06 billion and brought the year-to-date net outflow to over Rs. 2 billion. This was a reversal or appears to be a temporary setback when compared more..

Vaiko takes up issue of military support for Lanka with Modi

Jan 10 (Hindu) The MDMK and the BJP alliance in the Lok Sabha elections will mark the beginning of an effort to provide an alternative to both the AIADMK and the DMK in the State, MDMK general secretary Vaiko said here on Sunday. Mr. Vaiko said the alliance would prove a turning point in the State. Asserting that there was a ‘Modi wave’ in the country, he said only the BJP could replace the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Govt at the Centre, he said. more..

Future does not look bright for PCB and SLC

Jan 10 (National) Most people with even a passing knowledge of the way cricket runs concluded a week ago that, eventually, the “Big Three” would get their way. Most might have preferred, however, that the name and spirit of Nelson Mandela might not have to be conjured in the same document that essentially sealed the last act of self-interest to complete what amounts to a hostile takeover. Cricket South Africa (CSA) did what they felt they had to do. Pragmatism, like triumph and disaster, is a great impostor, more..

Now, Wimal wants drug dealers hanged

Jan 10 (Island) In the wake of a simmering controversy over UPFA constituent, JHU demanding the arrest of PM D.M. Jayaratne over his alleged links with a Pakistani heroin smuggler the NFF has urged President Rajapaksa to hang those sentenced to death for narcotic offences. Minister Wimal Weerawansa, leader of NFF, emphasised that the implementation of the death penalty would be necessary to curb the heroin menace. more..

Heroin container detection: Police want Sardar Khan for grilling

Jan 10 (CT) The police are of the view that Sardar Khan, who is one of the suspects arrested and detained in Pakistan, should be brought to Sri Lanka in order to get to the bottom of the heroin container detection, in which the Coordinating Secretary of the Prime Minister is suspected of being involved. The police media spokesman said, until the investigation is completed into Sardar Khan's visit to SL and about what he did and said when he was here, a definite answer cannot be furnished. more..

JHU’s call for public donations rake in Rs. 842,000

Jan 10 (Island) Former JHU WPC Minister, Udaya Gammanpila said that in response to his appeal to the 1.5 million or more Colombo district voters to donate Rs. 100 to prevent the party him from asking funds from the rich and powerful for his election campaign, Rs. 842,000 have been collected so far. Gammanpila is the incumbent UPFA Group leader for Colombo district. It is not easy to take the campaign of the UPFA govt towards victory in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural more..