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'Laughable: Swire ire on LLRC'

Feb 1 (DN) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday lashed out at British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Hugo Swire for making a statement devaluing the LLRC appointed by the Sri Lanka government. He stressed that the Sri Lankan government is not concerned about the views of an individual or a country when the UN and other organizations have accepted the LLRC as more..

'Motorbikes, the new family vehicle'

Feb 1 (ST) A January 2014 presentation charting Sri Lanka’s consumer trends, by researcher Nielsen, has unearthed a number of new developments changing the landscape of local consumer behaviour, first amongst which was the fact that the motorbike had replaced all private motor vehicles as the new family vehicle. According to the “Nielsen Annual Review 2013 Sri Lanka: Opportunities and Challenges” presentation, more..

Court reprimands the Police

Feb 1 (SL) Supreme Court, last week, reprimanded the police on their failure to file a case against those accused of attacking a church in Weeraketiya on 9 Dec 2012. The judges went on to suggest that disciplinary action should be taken against police officers who do not do their duty. Supreme Court further ordered the area police chief and all other relevant police officers connected to the attack on the church at Weeraketiya appear in court more..

TESO Seeks Probe into Lanka Genocide

Feb 1 (PTI) Reviving its demands over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, DMK-led Tamil Eelam Supporters' Organisation (TESO) today urged the Centre to propose an international enquiry into the alleged genocide in the island nation in the coming UNHRC meeting in Geneva. One of the resolutions passed at the TESO meeting here urged the Centre to not only support the US resolution against Lanka, but also propose a more..

JSS asks President to crack down on CPC corruption

Feb 1 (Island) The Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) union branch at the CPC, urged President Rajapaksa to act swiftly and protect the industry against rampant corruption and malpractices highlighted by the govt unions there and not to burden the public by increasing fuel prices to cover waste. Ceylon Petroleum Storage JSS Secretary, Ananda Palitha said that the Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa should be aware of more..

Ranjan to be UNP’s WP chief ministerial candidate

Feb 1 (DM) UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake is expected to be the party’s chief ministerial candidate at the elections to the WPC and would contest from the Gampaha District. A UNP Leadership Council member who wished to remain anonymous confirmed Mr. Ramanayake’s candidature and added that the nominations would be finalised by Monday. When contacted, Mr. Ramanayake did not rule out possibility more..

No move to dissolve NPC

Feb 1 (CG) The Govt says it has no intention on dissolving the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) despite the recent controversial resolutions adopted by the council. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the Govt must face the challenges before it and this includes any challenge coming from the NPC. He said that some feel the Govt is facing the repercussions of holding elections for the NPC. However he said Govt could not deprive more..

ICC’s last gasp move stumps SLC exco

Feb 1 (DM) International Cricket Council (ICC) had played a reverse sweep off the final delivery that made a baffled Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) executive committee deciding to further defer their final judgment on the controversial position paper till Monday. The SLC had summoned an emergency executive committee meeting yesterday to discuss the revised proposals brought into the position paper by the ICC last week, and just 15 minutes more..

'Isn’t democracy all about people’s choice through the ballot box?' – No

Feb 1 (CT) The question in the title is from K.A. Sumanasekera to my last article on “President Reduces Democracy to Elections and Human Rights to Defeating Terrorism!” The simple answer is no, but the present is an explanation in addition to what I have already said. Answering the question is important not as a polemic against the questioner, but because this appears to be a confusion or misconception even among the supposed to be educated people in the country. more..

The war in Sri Lanka: AP bureau chief’s slanted story for USA

Feb 1 (CT) Ravi Nessman was Associated Press Bureau Chief in 2008/09 based in either Delhi or Colombo. He was carried to the war front on day visits in October 2008 and late January 2009. He was certainly located in Colombo when asked by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to speak to America on the show that is simply titled Tavis Smiley. This show usually features “a unique mix of news and pop culture to create a thought-provoking and entertaining program. more..

Event organisers slammed over dirty dancing

Feb 1 (ST) Event organisers agree common sense should guide the choice of variety acts at formal occasions after a hot Latin dance duo performed at a political book launch, leaving monks in the audience aghast and fearing worse was to come when the female dancer stripped off her outer costume halfway through the act. One Buddhist monk walked out in protest and Minister Basil Rajapaksa was seen to clutch his head more..

Glamour girl invasion into Lankan politics

Feb 1 (CT) A chorus of actresses and songstresses, some young, sultry and stimulating, and others not so young, are now vying for the nominations for the forthcoming PC elections in the Western and Southern Provinces. Their exercising of the basic constitutional right to take part in electoral process has triggered largely negative reactions from a cross section of the people. Newspapers have flashed in their front pages the advent of those glamour girls into politics. more..

Soothing and familiar Dhaka

Feb 1 (CI) A curry brimming with coconut cream, shocked with an army of red chilli; a palm-lined beach and a blast of baila on the bus - anyone who travels, especially for work, knows the occasional craving for home comforts, even when their surroundings are vibrant and fascinating. But for a Sri Lankan, there is something soothing and familiar about Dhaka, which seems a monumentally weird thing to say at first glance, but bear with me. Sri Lankans like to think we are a very more..

'Exciting time to work with Sri Lanka'

Feb 1 (CI) Only four players remain from the Test XI Paul Farbrace oversaw in his last series as assistant coach with Sri Lanka. In August 2009, Muttiah Muralitharan still led the attack, Rangana Herath was still making his comeback into international cricket, and Thilan Thushara was the brightest pace-bowling hope. Four-and-a-half years and four captains later, the makings of a competitive pace battery is emerging, the top order is more..

AG’s former office complex soon an upmarket shopping mall

Feb 1 (ST) The Auditor General’s former office complex at Independence Square, which is undergoing a major facelift, will soon become an upmarket shopping mall selling some of the world’s wellknown brands, said officials of the UDA. The complex, estimated to cost Rs. 400 million, will house around 40 shops, and is expected to be declared open around April this year, as a major part of the reconstruction process has already been completed. more..

No free and fair election is possible in a dictatorship not even an elected dictatorship

Feb 1 (CT) For the first time people protesting against the ruling govt have opposed elections. It is in Thailand. It is really interesting to ask the question why since they want to change the govt. Is it because they do not have any faith in elections due to the failure of the incumbent govts in several countries in Asia to hold free and fair elections? Or is it because the protesters think they do not constitute the majority who are not with them in their attitude to the govt? more..

Sri Lanka bank, finance firm consolidation in progress: Central Bank

Feb 1 (LBO) Banks and non-bank firm consolidation was progressing with meeting with individual firms with the regulator with preliminary plans expected to be submitted by March 31. Central Bank said it was also in talks with consultancy firms to get valuation and other services for planned mergers. Central bank is trying to shrink the total number of banks and finance firms in the country which will make them larger and more..

Chandrika established Estate Infrastructure Ministry, Mahinda abolished it - Yogarajan

Feb 1 (Island) An opposition legislator charged yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had abolished the Estate Infrastructure Ministry which former President Chandrika Kumaratunga had established. R.Yogarajan MP said that while Kumaratunga had paid special attention to developing the estate sector, Rajapaksa had not only abolished the subject Ministry but also failed to ensure that the Estate Unit within the Economic Affairs Ministry functioned. more..

U-19 Cricket: Kusal, Harsha script Sri Lanka win over Australia

Feb 1 (ST) A brilliant knock by skipper Kusal Mendis and a perfect allround performance from Harsha Rajapaksha helped Sri Lanka record a commanding 95-run win against Australia in their first Under-19 Youth ODI played at the Colts ground in Colombo today. Sri Lanka put into bat first made 262-8 and Australia in return was bowled out for 167 with 29 deliveries to spare. Mendis hit 103 runs from 104 balls inclusive of ten fours and two sixes before Rajapaksha played second fiddle to more..

Norochcholai: Top Chinese team here, Lankan managers abroad

Feb 1 (Island) China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) President Zhang Chun yesterday assured that his team of experts would do their utmost to put the country’s first ever coal fired power plant at Norochcholai back in order. Chun, who is here with eight other top officials of the firm, will spend ten days here to make sure that the first 300MW plant will resume power generation and the second phase will begin its reliability test. more..

A perfumed mystery

Feb 1 (LT) Investigations have commenced regarding a letter sent using the letter heads of the Ministry of Health by the Director of National Drug Authority Dr. Hemanthe Benaragama to get a consignment of illegally imported perfumes released from Customs. Investigations carried out by now have revealed that the signature of the Director in the letter has been faked. On a directive from the Director General of Customs measures have been taken to stop releasing the consignment more..

Another Lokubandara speaks!

Feb 1 (LT) UPFA MP and SLFP Organizer for Haputhale Uditha Lokubanda has scolded in obscene language the Director of Planning in Badulla District in front of Divisional Secretary Ms. R.M.P.S. Jayasekera and several other state officials. Incident occurred yesterday at a meeting of the Haldummulla PS Committee. Meeting had been attended by heads of hospitals, members of village development societies, local politicians and several other govt officials. more..

National Olympic Committee chairman Hamasiri to resign

Feb 1 (CG) National Olympic Committee (NOC) chairman Hemasiri Fernando has decided to resign from his post following a rift with Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Fernando said that he will not take responsibility of the SL team preparations for the next Olympic Games. Fernando said that he was finding it difficult to work with the current Sports Minister adding that Minister will need to take full responsibility of the more..

Now, Professions Supplementary to Medicine threaten strike

Feb 1 (Island) Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) warned they would launch a continuous strike within the next few days as the Health Ministry failed to grant ten of their demands including grade one and special grade promotions. PSM General Secretary Saman Jayasekara said there were approximately 500 members who had not received their grade promotions while there were 90 vacancies out of 110 Special Grade positions in PSM categories to be filled. more..

Foot and Leather Fair begins February 7

Feb 1 (DN) The Export Development Board (EDB) together with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Industrial Development Board and the Sri Lanka Footwear and Leather Products Manufacturers Association (SLFLPMA) will provide a platform for Sri Lankan Footwear and Leather products exporters, manufacturers and SMEs to showcase their talents and capabilities locally and globally by organizing the sixth Footwear and leather Fair 2014 from February 7 to 9, 2014. more..

Sri Lanka asks US to be objective

Feb 1 (DM) The Govt yesterday expressed its dismay at what it termed as ‘the third consecutive attempt’ by the US to bring a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris met Ms. Nisha Desai Biswal the visiting US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs in Colombo. He told her that the public perception in Sri Lanka was that the US had not sufficiently recognized the more..

Sathosa officers on mat for not doing their jobs

Feb 1 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando has directed the Chairman of Lanka Sathosa Nalin Fernando to immediately remove the manager of the Pitigala Lanka Sathosa outlet and the district manager for not keeping the premises clean. He visited the outlet yesterday. Media Secretary to Minister Fernando said that the minister had directed Nalin Fernando to visit all Lanka Sathosa outlets and see whether they were kept clean. He had found that the Pitigala outlet did not more..

Released Indian fishermen to reach Tuticorin tomorrow

Feb 1 (Hindu) The Indian Coast Guard on Saturday announced that 15 Indian fishermen handed over by the Sri Lankan Navy to it at the Indo-Sri Lankan international maritime boundary line are returning to Tuticorin in one of its vessels. Naikidevi, the vessel, in which the fishermen were expected to arrive in Tuticorin early morning on Sunday, a press release from Indian Coast Guard said. Stating that the ICG took over the fishermen from a Sri Lankan naval ship around 4.45 p.m., more..

Candidates jump into the fray without waiting for invitations

Feb 1 (ST) The elections to the Western and Southern PCs are more than two months away but aspiring councillors are merrily jumping the gun, advertising themselves on posters and in media interviews even before nomination lists have been finalised. The Election Commissioner announced that nominations will be received from Jan 30 to Feb 6. Already an array of film stars and singers have come forward to contest the polls, and some more..

‘Illicit felling’: Soldiers were collecting raw materials for billet – Army

Feb 1 (Island) Investigations conducted by the Military Police have revealed that 11 army personnel including an officer arrested for felling several trees at Bogamuwayaya, Maha Oya Wild Life Reserve were collecting raw material to build a billet and a dining room. The following is the text of a statement issued in this regard by Brigadier, K.J. Jayaweera, the senior officer in charge of Directorate of Media: "Sri Lanka Military Police, probing into the alleged felling of some trees in Bogamuwayaya, more..

Mudslinging campaign against SF

Feb 1 (DM) DP leader Sarath Fonseka said today about 10,000 books titled “Prabhakaran yali Upadi” had been printed in a press in Nugegoda slinging mud at him. He said the book included some statements made by him in the past. Mr. Fonseka said the police had not searched the press as yet saying that a court order had not been issued to do so. He said they had lodged a complaint with the Mirihana police in this regard and hoped to file a Fundamental Rights petition in SC. more..

US not contemplating economic sanctions

Feb 1 (DM) The United States said today that it does not contemplate economic sanctions although a third resolution will be brought against Sri Lanka, owing to the ‘lack of progress on accountability and the deteriorating Human Rights situation in country’. Addressing a packed media briefing, Nisha Desai Biswal – US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs reiterated that the international more..

Political fantasies and strange bedfellows

Feb 2 (SO) Democratic Party leader, Sarath Fonseka has put his foot in his mouth again by giving a character certificate to the late LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Fonseka has done so in his lust for power to woo the support of Tiger sympathisers at the forthcoming Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. Fonseka is acutely aware that there is a significant Tamil vote base in Colombo and feels he could exploit it by glorifying a megalomaniac terrorist leader more..

Independence Day: Time for re-assessment

Feb 2 (SL) Independence Day is an occasion for people of most countries to look back to the glorious days of the past and have visions of a prosperous and joyous future. Independence 2014 for Sri Lanka, looked realistically at the past and the future, has no such joyous visions. We can only look back at the past in anger and look forward to a rather bleak future, unless we make a break with our disastrous past. 66 years ago when Independent Sri Lanka was born we certainly qualified to more..

'UNP has no strategy to win elections'

Feb 2 (SO) Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the UNP's new Leadership Council won't work as it lacks public confidence. The introduction of this scheme is the biggest mistake the UNP has made. Minister said it is a conception not only in Sri Lanka but world over that people trust only the leader of a political party. Most people voted for this Govt because of the leadership of President Rajapaksa. more..

The run up to Geneva

Feb 2 (Island) Judging from the detailed account of Friday’s meeting between Minister G.L. Peiris and Nisha Biswal, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, there has been a civilized exchange within the norms of diplomatic niceties. What was published yesterday was necessarily from the Sri Lankan perspective (it was a Colombo draft after all) and we will not have the US input until Biswal holds her own wrap-up press conference after more..

Some apa venuven api for the dairy industry?

Feb 2 (NS) For years the milk powder industry operated in a context where officials and consumers were blissfully ignorant about the possibility of contamination. Archaic labeling laws didn’t help either. There was a flutter of interest in the eighties when a newspaper took Nestle to task over contamination following the Chernobyl disaster, but complacency returned not too long thereafter. The play of multinationals in crippling the local dairy industry is well documented, more..

'UPFA confident of landslide victory'

Feb 2 (SO) UPFA led by President Rajapaksa will record a landslide victory at the upcoming WPC election. Unity among the Alliance members should further be strengthened, veteran Trade Unionist and Western Province Governor As Sayyid Alavi Mowlana said. Q: Three co-organisers have been appointed to Colombo Central Electorate. Can you outline the reason for such appointments by President Rajapaksa? more..

The State of the Union

Feb 2 (ST) Sri Lanka celebrates, if that indeed is the appropriate word, the 66th year since regaining its Independence as a free, sovereign state in the comity of nations. Yet this event is marked in a pall of gloom and a cloud of uncertainty with external forces baying at Mother Lanka’s throat overtly demanding war crimes tribunals and covertly threatening economic sanctions, freezing of bank accounts and imposing travel restrictions on Sri Lanka’s leaders. more..

Satellite has some space to orbit again

Feb 2 (ST) My Dear Satellite, I thought I must write to you when I heard people speculating about how you would be the common opposition candidate-obviously against Mahinda maama — at the next big election. I don’t think you would mind, would you, especially since very few people must be writing to you these days! I know you have already said that you have no such intentions because you have retired from politics. That is a very sensible statement and many people would like you to more..