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Jaffna’s first luxury apartment complex Tulasi Mahal inaugurated

Feb 3 (Island) "Tulasi Mahal", the first luxury apartment complex in Jaffna was ceremonially inaugurated by renowned business leader and philanthropist, Ken Balandra on the Jan 31. A large gathering including top business leaders, foreign dignitaries and religious leaders were present to mark this momentous event. Distinguished invitees flew from Colombo in a special chartered flight and were treated to a spectacular bird’s eye view of the Jaffna city prior to more..

Sri Lanka capable of producing footwear in millions annually-EDB

Feb 3 (Island) Sri Lankan footwear and leather industry is growing at a steady pace-and has developed into a sector catering to international markets. "Forthcoming 6th International Footwear & Leather Fair is a three day event and will move our producers, who now show 45% value addition, to international buyers" said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on Jan 31 in Colombo. He was acknowledging his officials’ info more..

Sri Lanka Day to be celebrated at Surajkund Crafts Mela in India

Feb 3 (DN) Sri Lanka Day will be celebrated at the Surajkund International Crafts Mela in Haryana tomorrow parallel to the island’s 66th Independence Day. Minister A.H.M. Fowzie and MP Malini Fonseka will be the Chief Guests. The Sri Lankan national flag will be hoisted followed by the national anthem at the commencement of the ceremony. Sri Lankan cultural items will be performed throughout the day depicting the island’s identity, heritage, history, culture, arts, customs and traditions. more..

CIFL case: Court further extends interim order till 24 February

Feb 3 (FT) Depositors of Central Investment & Finance Ltd. (CIFL) brought to the cognisance of the Court of Appeal that though the Directors of CIFL have sought permission from the Court to carry out certain functions of the CIFL, these activities are, in fact, not prevented. When their Writ petition was taken up last week before the Bench comprising Justices Anil Goonerathne and Malinie Gunaratne, they moved the Court to record the functions indicating the paragraph 22 of more..

Consumption recovery in sight – Nielsen

Feb 3 (NS) With declining interest rates, and provided the Sri Lanka Rupee remains stable, 2014 may well be a year when consumer and business confidence starts recovering, resulting in bounce back in consumption, a leading research and consultancy firm has suggested. In an Annual Review of 2013 published recently by Nielsen Sri Lanka, analysts say that while the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) and more..

Two die in gun battle with STF

Feb 3 (Island) Two underworld figures including a criminal known as Minuwangoda Jeewan were killed in a gun battle with the Police Special Task Force (STF) at Ratmale on Saturday night. Police said that acting on a tip-off the police commandoes had launched an operation and ordered a trishaw carrying the duo to stop but the vehicle had sped away. STF personnel who gave it achase had come under fire, the police said. In the gun battle that ensued, the trishaw toppled. more..

Bus accidents on the rise; authorities plan to leash bad drivers

Feb 3 (ST) Bus accidents continue to rise, with 20 people suffering injuries rushed to the Warakapola Base Hospital and Kegalle Teaching Hospital on Friday after a bus collided with a lorry in Warakapola on the Colombo-Kandy road. On Wednesday, 15 passengers were admitted to the Eheliyagoda Hospital after their bus suffered brake failure and, veering off the road, hit a sand mound in Idamgoda, Eheliyagoda. In Kekirawa last week, 18 schoolchildren were taken to hospital more..

Tamils’ smuggling journey to U.S. leads to longer ordeal

Feb 3 (NYT) Five Sri Lankan men left hometowns reeling from the remnants of a ruthless civil war and embarked on a months long human-smuggling journey that spanned seven countries. They each paid $55,000 for a ride by air and sea to a fresh chance in the Americas. They were captured within hours of their arrival in South Florida and served as witnesses for the F.B.I. in the investigation of their smugglers, cooperation that more..

Commander of the navy declares open Merchant Marine Training School

Feb 3 (SLN) Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage declared open the Merchant Marine Training School at the Naval & Maritime Academy on 30th Jan. Commander Eastern Naval Area, Director General Training, Director General Civil Engineering and Commandant NMA were also present on the occasion. With the appointment of Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage as the Acting Chairman of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation in addition to the Office of Commander of more..

PM orders survey on all religious places: Priority for those badly needing funds

Feb 3 (CT) Prime Minister, D.M. Jayaratne, has directed the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs to conduct a countrywide survey on all religious venues, so that those in badly in need of funds could be prioritized. "There are 20,000 plus such venues including 10,000 Buddhist temples, 5,000 kovils and 2,500 mosques and churches. We will be classifying all these religious venues according to their need for funds and prioritizing them," Secretary to the Ministry of more..

Ranil challenges MR for a debate

Feb 3 (DM) UNP National Leader Ranil Wickramesinghe challenged President Rajapaksa for a debate on the critical issues faced by the country and its people. He threw this challenge while speaking at a meeting organised by the Rakwana UNP electoral organisation, in Godakawela. “I can prove to the country the failure of the govt to reduce the cost of living and give relief to the people. I can also prove the collapse of free education more..

Shortage of water hits 2,000 farming families

Feb 3 (CT) The livelihood of more than 2,000 farming families has been affected by the lack of water to irrigate nearly 3,000 acres of paddy lands in Kumulamunai, Mullaitivu. This was revealed by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Northern Provincial Councillor, T. Raviharan, who added that the lack of water was due to the renovation work on the Kumulamunai –Thannimurippu Tank not been completed. Raviharan said the tank was not renovated for the past 60 years. more..

Woman jumps into well, taking daughter

Feb 3 (CT) Woman has committed suicide by jumping into a well while carrying her 10-year-old daughter, following an argument with her husband who is a school master. Both victims were residents of Shrawasthipura, Anuradhapura. Investigations had revealed that the husband had asked the woman to take their daughter to a Tamil class in connectoin with the Year 5 Scholarship exam. However, the woman had insisted that the husband should take the child to the class as more..

No harm in gifting baby elephants – Minister

Feb 3 (NS) Minister Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa defended the Govt’s practice of gifting baby elephants to various parties, stating criticism of the action was unwarranted. He brushed aside criticism leveled by environmentalists, claiming the Govt ‘will not be dictated by environmentalists. President Rajapaksa has come under criticism from environmentalists for his latest move to gift two baby elephants to the Army and Police at a time more..

The life and ideas of ACS Hameed commemorated

Feb 3 (GDI) The Book 'The Valley of Gems' containing a collection of Parliamentary speeches of the late Dr. A.C.S. Hameed, veteran Parliamentarian and the first Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, was ceremonially launched at a ceremony held at the BMICH on Saturday, February 1 at 3.30 p.m. Minister G.L. Peiris, delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. Speaking at the ceremony, Prof. Peiris noted that it was a privilege to speak on the occasion to commemorate the life and ideas more..

Midwifery training for nurses: GNOA rejects committee recommendations

Feb 3 (CT) The Govt Nursing Officers' Union (GNOA) yesterday rejected the recommendations of a report prepared by the committee appointed by the Health Ministry, to solve a dispute involving the provision of Midwifery training to nurses. GNOA President, Saman Ratnapriya, said the appointed committee comprised three doctors; hence they could not expect a fair solution. "Doctors are on the side of the midwives in the issue of providing Midwifery training to nurses. more..

HRC debunks US envoy’s allegations

Feb 3 (CT) Human Rights Commissioner, Dr. Prathibha Mahanamahewa, debunked the statements made by the visiting US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal, on human rights issues in Sri Lanka, and added that almost all the recommendations of the LLRC had been implemented. This follows Biswal's comments while addressing a news conference in Colombo on Saturday night, when she said that more..

Excavation of Mannar mass grave halted

Feb 3 (CT) Police confirmed that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had stopped the ongoing excavations being carried out at the mass grave in Mannar due to the annual religious ceremony of the Thirukedishwaram Kovil, and also because the officials in charge of the digging need to attend to other official duties. The digging which started on 22 December 2013, has so far unearthed 55 skeletons and anatomical fragments including those of children. more..

Lankan arrested over bomb threat

Feb 3 (CG) Police at Arlanda airport in Stockholm have arrested a man suspected to be a Sri Lankan national who attempted to enter the cockpit of a plane destined for Sweden claiming he had a bomb. The Emirates airline flight, which departed from Dubai, was due to arrive at Arlanda before midday on Sunday. Not long after the plane left the United Arab Emirates, drama unfolded as the would be bomber rushed through the cabin screaming and shouting according to witnesses. more..

Paint baas confesses to killing journalist

Feb 3 (Island) Police last evening arrested the prime suspect in the killing of journalist Mel Gunasekera at Battaramulla. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the officers of the special Crime Investigation Unit of the Mirihana Police had made the arrest at the New Road, Dompe. Suspect Samson Anthony (39) of the same address is a house painter and he had worked at Mel’s house three months ago. more..

Law and order: A point to ponder

Feb 3 (DM) It was a shocking Sunday morning for Sri Lanka’s journalistic fraternity. News crept in slowly that former Sunday Times and AFP journalist Mel Gunasekera had been killed in cold blood at her residence in Battaramulla while her family was attending the Sunday morning mass at the nearby church. The investigations are currently proceeding and as such we shouldn’t arrive at any premature conclusions. But Sri Lanka has not been a safe place for working journalists. more..

Feminine beauty and beastly politics: Women as catalysts for change

Feb 3 (DM) The well-known proverb ‘beauty is but skin deep’ has a rather pessimistic vision of bodily beauty. Like Buddhist philosophy also does, this aged adage teaches us the impermanence and the fragile nature of the human body, weather male or female versions of it. However, this time-honoured adage has gained a new interpretation in our current political culture. Today, it seems that beauty is drawn to the arena where political power reigns. And the seductive power of feminine beauty more..

‘I want to stand up and expose injustices’

Feb 3 (DM) Udara Ratnayake- actor and son of veteran Film Director Benette Ratnayake–is one of the aspiring young politicians who has entered the tussle of the upcoming provincial council polls. In his interview, he talked about his decision to enter politics, his plans for the welfare of the youth while expressing disappointment at being identified with the many other artistes who have recently entered the political arena. more..

Mystery behind Aussie rape

Feb 3 (SL) After two Australian girls were allegedly subjected to physical harassments at the hands of two local youths on two separate occasions in down south, tourism stakeholders have voiced concern over SL’s tourism drive facing a serious threat. A 22-year-old Australian girl was allegedly raped in Ambalangoda and a 9-year-old another Australian girl was molested in Galle by local youths claimed to be ‘beach boys’. more..

Neelan Tiruchelvam the foremost intellectual of contemporary Tamil politics

Feb 3 (DBS) January 31st is the birthday of eminent Constitution lawyer, academic and politician Dr. Neelakandan Tiruchelvam. Neelan as he was popularly known would have completed the biblical life span of three score years and ten had he been among the living today. Born on January 31st 1944, Neelan Tiruchelvam, was brutally assassinated fifteen years ago by the LTTE on July 29th 1999.He was 55 at the time of his death. more..

Lead mixed paint should be taboo for sprucing up schools

Feb 3 (ST) The new academic year has started and with it schools big and small across the country go on a spree of painting not only the classroom walls but also the desks and chairs. Herein may lie a hidden danger, warns a top doctor, reiterating that schools should ensure that the paint being used in classrooms and on desks and chairs should be lead-free. For, if enamel paint is used and that contains a high-level of lead, the impact on children, more..

Kidney disease: Docs to urge govt to claim damages from agro chemical companies

Feb 3 (Island) Dr. Channa Jayasumana, Senior Lecturer in Medicine with the assistance of the GMOA will ask the govt to institute legal action against agro-chemical companies, seeking compensation amounting to at least USD one million for each Sri Lankan suffering from the chronic kidney disease prevalent mostly in areas like the North Central Province. Dr. Jayasumana has, through his research, found that main cause more..

Sri Lankan Navy at it again, Whisks away 19 fishermen

Feb 3 (ENS) A total of 19 fishermen including 11 from Pudukkottai district and eight from Ramanathapuram were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy with their trawlers on charges of fishing on Sri Lankan waters, during the wee hours of Sunday. Hundreds of fishermen from Kottaipattinam in Pudukkottai district had ventured into the sea in 230 boats on Saturday night. When they were in the process of fishing, more..

Fate of Maithri, Shiral in balance

Feb 3 (Island) Moneragala District UNP MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara has taken the initiative to negotiate with the party in a bid to get nominations for two reformists, Maithri Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthilaka, to contest next month’s Southern and Western PC Elections respectively. Gunaratne said yesterday that Madduma Bandara had requested a letter from them but they were not ready take a step backwards. more..

Mahela, Herath rested from ODIs

Feb 3 (CI) Sri Lanka have rested Mahela Jayawardene and Rangana Herath from the three-ODI series against Bangladesh, which follows the two Twenty20 internationals later this month. They also left out batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne from the one-day squad that played Pakistan in the UAE, and brought in spinning allrounder Angelo Perera, who made 244 off 204 balls in his most recent first-class game. more..

Stop Arrests: Narayanasamy to Lanka

Feb 3 (ENS) Union Minister of State for Prime Minister’s office V Narayansamy asked the Sri Lankan navy to stop arresting Tamil fishermen as this will spoil the smooth progress of talks between the fishermen of the two countries. At a press meet here, referring to the talks held between the fishermen of India and Sri Lanka in Chennai on Jan 27, he said that the talks had evolved conducive situation for an amicable solution to the issue. more..

Anura takes the reins

Feb 3 (CT) Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Anura Kumara Dissanayake, was unanimously appointed as the new Leader of the JVP at the 7th National Convention held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, Colombo, on Sunday evening, ending speculation from the time former leader, Somawansa Amarasinghe, went public about his intention to step down. Dissanayake, who was born on 24 Nov 1968, would create more..

Towards the resolution of conflicts: Lessons from Mandela

Feb 3 (CT) One of the ways of resolving long-standing conflicts can be termed as as presentism and futurism. In deploying this strategy one focuses only on what his happening now and what is available on the ground and in futurism one focuses on what can be done to secure a better set of circumstances than what had been available in the past. In pursuing these two strategies, the first step is to ignore, however painful it had been, the past and start anew and constitute systems of more..

Salley claims govt. squandering money on lobbying firms

Feb 3 (Island) The UPFA govt was squandering Rs. 15.7 million a month to retain two major lobbying firms, Thompson Advisory Group LLC (TAG) and The Majority Group to improve the image of Sri Lanka ahead of the UNHCR convention in Geneva, Switzerland next month, Leader of the National Unity Alliance (NUA) and Central Provincial Council member Azath Salley. If the govt got its act together and honoured its promises it would not have to spend taxpayers’ money in that manner, more..

'Centre mulls giving modernised boats to fishermen'

Feb 3 (PTI) The Centre was examining the prospects of giving modernised boats and fishing equipment to Tamil Nadu fishermen to enable them go for deep sea fishing in the wake of alleged attacks on them by Sri Lankan Navy, Minister Sudarsana Natchiappan said on Monday. “We are looking for presenting modernised boats and other equipment to fishermen so that they can go into deep sea for fishing. more..

Sri Lanka to establish an authority to manage expressways

Feb 3 (CO) The functions related to Expressways are being handled by the Road Development Authority at present. The proposal made by the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Highways, Ports and Shipping, to establish a National Expressway Authority (NEA), in order to administer and manage the operation and maintenance of the already commissioned Expressways and to plan and construct the proposed new projects, which are as follows, more..

Sri Lanka stocks close 0.4% lower

Feb 3 (LBO) Stocks close lower Monday with diversified and finance stocks losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 28.74 points lower at 6,219.34, down 0.46%. The S&P SL20 closed 12.03 points lower at 3,431.22, down 0.35%. Turnover was 1.10 billion rupees, down from 1.33 billion rupees last Friday, with stocks of 104 firms closing in the red against 74 gainers. JKH topped the turnover contribution with five off market transactions of 188.00 million rupees contributing to 17% more..

IPL likely to be played in Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (Rediff) With the schedule of the Indian Premier League clashing with the 2014 general elections, the 7th edition of the popular Twenty20 tournament could be shifted to Sri Lanka. Elections are scheduled for mid-April around the same time the IPL starts. Claiming heightened security risk during the upcoming elections, Home Ministry is likely to ask the Board of Control for Cricket in India to have the matches played outside more..

The irony of Provincial Councils

Feb 3 (CT) The Elections Commissioner's office is a hive of activity these days with elections for the Western and Southern Provincial Councils round the corner, and applications from postal voters flowing in, while meticulous arrangements are being made to hold the elections by the Head of the Commission and his staff. Political parties are busy finalizing their nomination lists with 'hopefuls' lobbying to be included in the list of candidates. This includes film stars, actresses and singers who more..

Holding Sri Lanka to account

Feb 3 (NYT) Washington is once again trying to put pressure on the govt of Sri Lanka to commission a credible independent investigation of crimes and human rights abuses committed during the end of that country’s bloody civil war in 2009. It was a good move to send a senior American diplomat to the island nation last weekend to press the case with public officials and community leaders. A UN panel reported that as many as 40,000 civilians may have been killed in the last stages of the conflict, more..