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Confidence in economic opportunity not picking up

Feb 25 (FT) The boost in confidence that came along with the CHOGM and the 2014 Budget was short lived according to the Perceived Economic Opportunity Index (PEOI) measured by the Foundation for Economic Freedom in Sri Lanka. FEFSL said the dip in the index in December put paid to the expectation that the uptick was the start of a sustained increase in the perceptions of the economy. “However the slight increase for more..

Chance for SL to look beyond big three

Feb 25 (CI) On May 14, 1999, Sri Lanka opened the defence of their World Cup title, against England at Lord's. Their top seven, in batting order, went like this: Jayasuriya, Mahanama, Atapattu, Tillakaratne, de Silva, Ranatunga, Kaluwitharana. No one knew it then, but it would be nearly 15 years before they next lined up for an ODI without Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan or Kumar Sangakkara. On Saturday, against Bangladesh, the three batsmen weren't really missed. more..

SL V Pak: Familiar foes in Asia Cup opener

Feb 25 (CI) While cricket boards slink around wooing the moneyed and coaxing promises of bilateral tours for the new Future Tours Programme, Pakistan and Sri Lanka raise the curtain on the Asia Cup knowing fixtures between the two nations may soon become more common. They already play each other plenty, but having risked ostracisation from cricket's oligarchy at the Singapore meeting, they may find other nations anxious about designing tours with either of them. more..

Fourth daring heist by helmeted robbers

Feb 25 (Island) Armed robbers wearing full face helmets staged a heist at a private bank in Kohuwala, yesterday. Three other heists have been carried out in a similar manner in Matugama, Malabe and Negombo recently. Two robbers armed with a gun and a sword entered Nations Trust Bank Kohuwala branch around 10.20 a.m. and got away with nearly Rs. 1.5 million in cash and a gold chain snatched from a female bank officer. more..

India beat Sri Lanka in under-19 playoff

Feb 25 (Island) Sri Lanka Under-19 suffered a heavy 76 runs defeat at the hands of India Under-19 in the ICC Youth World Cup fifth place playoff match played in Dubai yesterday. Chasing 292 runs to win, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Priyamal Perera were the only established batsmen to make notable contributions as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 215 runs in the penultimate over. While Samarawickrama scored 58 his St. Joseph’s College teammate Perera hit 47. more..

Now, Damitha demands Rs. 100 mn from Semini

Feb 25 (DM) Film and tele drama actress Damitha Abeyratne has demanded Rs. 100 million as damages from popular actress Semini Iddamalgoda for allegedly defaming her. Ms Abeyratne made this claim through her lawyer when the case filed by Ms. Iddamalgoda claiming Rs. 500 million as damages from Ms Abeyratne for allegedly defaming her, was taken up at the Colombo District Court today. She also alleged that she never gave information to any websites as mentioned by Ms. Iddamalgoda more..

Amarapura Nikaya bans its monks from politics

Feb 25 (CT) Executive Sangha Council of the Amarapura Sirisaddhammawansa Maha Nikaya has decided to ban all monks belonging to the Chapter from engaging in any kind of active politics or election- related matters, at a meeting held last evening. Accordingly, member monks of the Chapter will be compelled to refrain from attending political rallies, taking part in protests, sathyagrahas or other demonstrations, more..

UNP councillors accuse police media spokesman

Feb 25 (SM) UNP councillors of Negombo urban council have told the media that they strongly condemned police media spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana’s accusations against they party’s electoral organizer for Negombo Royce Vijitha Fernando, who is presently in police custody over a robbery. The councillors this morning (24) met the media to express their objections to the police spokesman for the biased remarks he has made in the past few days. Councillor Gihan Fernando accused more..

Sri Lanka nuclear deal: Russia is locking up uranium market, says expert

Feb 25 (LR) Recent news Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank were planning to sell off their raw uranium supplies has put a spotlight on Russian nuclear deals that went relatively unnoticed in the West. An investment strategist observed recent Russian nuclear deals including a pact with Sri Lanka are part of a greater geopolitical game to lockup the market for nuclear fuel, which may increase global uranium prices. He was speaking on the CBC radio show “The Current.” more..

Colombo Port City Project: Parliament sovereignty disregarded – UNP

Feb 25 (Island) Colombo City Port Project did not recognise Parliament’s sovereignty over state land and property, UNP MP charged. Eran Wickremeratne MP said that the present system allowed the president to alienate land and sell it to locals and foreigners alike. "Our little island can be sold piece by piece to foreigners without the specific approval of Parliament. These unsolicited proposals are entertained because payouts in bribes more..

Colombo skyline to liberalise airspace for airlines

Feb 25 (ST) Aviation authorities are looking at improving air services agreements entered into with international carriers flying into Colombo aimed at further liberalising the airspace, a key official at the ministry said. Aviation Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu said that they would be re-visiting the air services agreements with international airlines this year in order to increase frequencies and improve traffic rights. He noted that in terms of frequencies there would be no reduction but more..

Harsha says ‘there is nothing to correct’; CCCC and CHEC are banned by WB

Feb 25 (FT) With reference to the news item in the Daily FT of 24 Feb that the UNP had been ‘corrected’ by the China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC), UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva issued the following statement. What the UNP disclosed is that CCCC and its subsidiary China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has been debarred until Jan 2017 by the World Bank for fraud in the Philippines. Perhaps the correction that should have been made is more..

'Sri Lanka’s foreign policy dictated by the Defence Ministry'

Feb 25 (ST) Sri Lanka can’t win in any international arena through a foreign policy strategy that is dictated by the Defence Ministry, a situation that would never have occured when the late Lakshman Kadirgamar was foreign minister, a former Sri Lanka diplomat and political scientist said. “Lakshman Kadirgamar would never have allowed such a situation to happen,” said Dayan Jayatillake speaking at a luncheon more..

Sajith ready to defend war heroes, but not corrupt govt.

Feb 25 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said that he was ready to do anything to protect war heroes who had liberated the country from LTTE terrorism, if there was any international conspiracy, but he would not give oxygen to the corrupt govt which helped drug barons carry out heroin trade in the country. Govt sought to win the forthcoming PC polls by marketing the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC next month, MP Premadasa said, adding that Minister Wimal Weerawansa, more..

Undergrad 1st time unlucky in fake currency racket

Feb 25 (SM) Police seized a computer and a printer, worth Rs. 17,000, from the Kalawana home of a university student, who has been arrested on a charge of printing counterfeit currency notes. The first year student of Sabaragamuwa Universtity was taken while trying to buy a beer bottle at a liquor shop in Balangoda from a fake Rs. 5,000 note. The 23-year-old has told police that he was new to the racket, and that it was the first time he had attempted to use a fake note he had printed. more..

Sri Lanka rejects Pillay's call

Feb 25 (IL) SL Govt has rejected the call by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navnanethem Pillay's 'to establish an international inquiry mechanism to further investigate the alleged violations of IHRL and IHL and monitor any domestic accountability process in Sri Lanka', saying 'it gives scant or no regard to the domestic processes ongoing in Sri Lanka within the framework of the LLRC NPOA, and is politicized in premise'. more..

'Port City will be one of world's largest'

Feb 25 (DN) The historic port city project taking shape in the Galle Face area reclaiming land from the sea will be one of the biggest projects in the world said Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama. Speaking at the APEA awards ceremony on Sunday he said that no country has embarked on a large scale sea reclaiming project of this nature in the world . "This will be the largest in the world and will give many opportunities for both local and foreign entrepreneurs," he added. more..

Bangkok Gems and Jewellery Fair 2014 opens today

Feb 25 (DN) Sri Lanka is exporting gems to several countries which have shown a keen interest in fine quality blue sapphires of large sizes and the prices fetched by unheated sapphires were unprecedented. Therefore participating in an event like the Thailand Gem show will help not only promote our gem and jewellery products internationally but also learn about the sector National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) Director General Janaka Udaya Kumara told Daily News Business. more..

UN rights boss seeks international probe into Sri Lanka war crimes

Feb 25 (Reuters) The UN human rights chief called on Monday for an international inquiry into war crimes committed by both sides during Sri Lanka's civil war, saying the govt had failed to do its own credible investigation. In a much anticipated report ahead of a UNHRC debate next month that could order action on the issue, Navi Pillay recommended an "independent, international inquiry mechanism, which would contribute to more..

Facing the reality of Facebook

Feb 25 (DM) There are signs that the authorities are contemplating on blocking or banning social media networks such as Facebook within Sri Lanka following two schoolgirls committing suicide after incidents related to Facebook. One media report said that the Police and the Children and Women’s Bureau have decided to bring in legislation to enable law enforcement authorities to impose severe penalties on individuals helping and encouraging young people between 16 and 18 years to more..

Reduce gap between Rich and the Poor

Feb 25 (DM) Election propaganda meetings do give an insight into the attitudes of certain politicians. A few days ago a senior Minister of an earlier UNP govt who has now crossed and is yet a senior Minister of the present govt was exhorting with total conviction that though the people were complaining about the ever increasing cost of living, they have no legitimate right to do so for 'How do we think we pay the salaries of all the unemployed undergraduates to whom we have now given employment to, more..

The unquenchable thirst for power

Feb 25 (DM) What is it that drives a politician? The answer is as simple as it is tragic. It is the love, and an unquenchable thirst, for power. What should be the reason for any politician or other person seeking power? That answer too is simple. It is to benefit the Country. To put the Country first, above self, above family, above kith and kin and above all else. Though the answer to that question is simple, does anybody anywhere seek power more..

Diesel 'lobby' costing Rs 40 billion a year

Feb 25 (SL) CEB is contracted to pay up to Rs 40 Billion per annum in so-called ‘capacity charges’ to operators of diesel power plants. A capacity charge is also referred to as a ‘standing by’ charge – whereby a payment is made to the operator irrespective of whether the plant produces power or is simply kept on stand-by in case power is required. Cost per unit of electricity produced by the Norochcholai Power Plant is Rs 7.55 per unit more..

UN report must be call to action on international war crimes investigation

Feb 25 (AI) The international community must act on a robust new UN report calling for an international investigation into alleged human rights violations and war crimes in Sri Lanka, Amnesty International said. “It’s utterly shameful that five years after Sri Lanka’s armed conflict ended, the victims and family members have yet to see justice. Navi Pillay’s latest report is another urgent and poignant reminder that more..

Perks given to Dehiwela-Galkissa Municipal Council overseer irk residents

Feb 25 (ST) A section of residents in Dehiwala-Galkissa are up in arms over the conduct of an ordinary overseer at the Dehiwala-Galkissa Municipal Council who has allegedly amassed a fortune. Angered residents have forwarded petitions to President Rajapaksa, the Police Department and the Office of the Commissioner of Bribery and Corruption with copies to the private media. The residents alleged the man, more..

Farmers using organic fertilizer will get Standard Certificates

Feb 25 (GDI) Ministry of Technological Research and Atomic Energy said that a standard certificate will be issued from today onwards for organic fertilizer cultivation devoid of using chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides has caused many problems by now and the consumption of food produced by using chemical fertilizer and pesticides has even threatened the existence of human beings. more..

Two-year suspended jail sentence for Roger Seneviratne

Feb 25 (DM) The Avissawella Magistrate today sentenced popular film star and UPFA WPC candidate Roger Seneviratne to two years rigorous imprisonment suspended for five years after he was found guilty of causing grievous injuries by fracturing the leg of the husband of his paramour by assaulting him with an iron rod in 2002. Magistrate Devika Abeyratne also ordered Mr. Seneviratne to pay a compensation of more..

Milk powder samples sent for testing

Feb 25 (Island) Samples of milk powder collected from the open market by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) have been sent for testing to various institutions including the Sri Lanka Industrial Technology Institute (SLITI) and Medical Research Institute (MRI) following complaints that low quality products were being sold. Chairman of the CAA Rumy Marzok said that his officers were investigating the complaints and until more..

Robots to aid surgeons at National Hospital

Feb 25 (DM) Preparations to provide robotic assistance to surgeons, mainly in the area of prostate surgery had begun at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. Robotic machines will be used as a natural extension of key hole surgery which is already being practised at the National Hospital. Senior Urological Surgeon Dr. Neville Perera said it was a necessity to keep up with current medical needs in the context of modern times. more..

'Media sensationalism blamed for youngsters’ copycat suicides'

Feb 25 (Island) UPFA MP Dr. Sudarashani Fernandopulle blamed the media for sensationalising suicide and thereby contributing to an increase in the suicide rate among youngsters. She said that irresponsible reporting mainly by the electronic media had led to a sudden increase in the incidence of suicide by hanging to some extent. "Media organisations must adhere to ethics without producing sensational news regarding more..

Colombo rejects criticism over former military officer working at Manus Island

Feb 25 (ABC) Sri Lanka's top diplomat in Canberra has criticised human rights activists for campaigning for the removal of the former military officer now running the Australian detention centre on Manus Island. High Commissioner Thisara Samarasinghe has told Peter Lloyd the man's background in the Sri Lankan military is irrelevant. Interviewer: Peter Lloyd Speakers: Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, more..

Scholarships for Ranaviru Children at Deyata Kirula

Feb 25 (MoD) Over 50 scholarships each worth of Rs 12000 were distributed among children of veteran War Heroes by the Chairperson of Ranaviru Seva authority Mrs. Padma Weththewa at a function held at the Defence Ministry premises in Deyata Kirula Exhibition yesterday. Meanwhile, forty certificates were also awarded for Ranaviru children and widows' those who have successfully completed the Information Technology course which conducted in North Western area during the session. more..

UNP candidate to be grilled for a month over heist

Feb 25 (Island) UNP former Negombo Municipal Council Opposition leader and candidate for WPC election, Royce Fernando and two other suspects arrested over an armed robbery are to be grilled further. A 72-hour detention order was extended yesterday to 30 days. The two remaining suspects, who threatened the owner of a jewellery cum money exchange shop in Negombo on Feb 17 and robbed foreign and local currencies to the tune of Rs. 10.1 million would be arrested within a few days more..

Weerasundara breaks new ground in adopted country

Feb 25 (CT) Shortly after Raki Weerasundara's third birthday, his family called time in Colombo and started a new life in Wellington. The year was 1998, and with Sri Lanka plunged in civil war, the political and security situation had compelled several of its citizens to relocate to countries with friendly immigration laws. There had been mass emigration in the 1980s, when the ethnic conflict boiled over, and relocation more..

Flying ‘Tale carrier’ lost over Yala

Feb 25 (Island) remote controlled camera mounted micro aircraft launched by the Department of Wildlife recently to monitor the forested areas of the country has gone missing while being tested over the Yala National Park on Sunday. The flying eyes dubbed Kelema (Tale Carrier) has been lost over Zone III of Yala. The Department requests anyone who may come across it to hand it over to the police or any Wildlife Department office. On Saturday the machine had carried out a successful aerial more..

Sri Lanka rupee down to near 3-month low

Feb 25 (Reuters) Rupee fell to a near three-month low on Tuesday due to dollar demand from importers and equity outflows, with the market expecting downward pressure to continue ahead of festival import demand in April. Spot rupee ended at 131.05/08 per dollar, its lowest since Dec. 3, and a tad weaker from Monday's close of 131.00/10. One of the two state banks, through which the central bank usually directs the market, defended the rupee by selling dollars at 131.05. more..

President Karzai to visit Sri Lanka soon

Feb 25 (BNA) A spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai will soon visit Sri Lanka. It was determined the president visited Sri Lanka on Sunday, but killing of 20 ANA soldiers in Ghazi Abad of Kunar has caused that president Karzai postponed his official visit to that country. A spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a briefing said President Hamid Karzai would soon visit Sri Lanka. more..

Jayalalithaa’s incredible tenacity

Feb 25 (CT) Today 24, Feb is Jayalalithaa‘s 66th birthday and she is sitting pretty. Incredible woman that she is, she has just now said she will “counter in court” the action, by the Congress dominated Centre, to move the Indian Supreme Court for a restraining order, questioning the legality of her decision to release the 7 imprisoned for Rajiv‘s killing. As a result the decision to release has been held in abeyance; the Centre also disputing the powers of the TN State and her authority. more..

Special probe on death of cop

Feb 25 (CG) A special police investigation has been launched into the death of a policeman in Ududumbara, months after he was suspended from service. The policeman had been suspended following an internal investigation which found him guilty of being under the influence of liquor while on duty. However two medical examinations had found that the policeman was innocent and was not drunk as claimed by the police investigation. The policeman had been depressed after more..

SL to open honorary consulate in Kerala

Feb 25 (IANS) A honorary consulate of Sri Lanka will be opened in the Kerala capital Wednesday by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. A. Jayaprakash, advisor to the honorary counsul Joemon Joseph, said this new beginning will be a boost for business between Kerala and Sri Lanka. "Tourism is one business that will get a major boost both in Kerala and Sri Lanka as people from both these places do travel up and down. more..