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Education reaches boiling point

Mar 17 (NS) Despite the change in government the crisis in the country’s higher education sector continues. Some officials who were in charge under the previous govt have resigned from their posts. However, changes at the top has not resulted in a change in the system, critics claim. Open University students launched a token strike in Nugegoda on Wednesday (11) since the authorities have failed to reduce the course fee that has been raised unfairly within the past two years. more..

Need for A National Environmental Policy

Mar 17 (CT) Sri Lanka needs a National Environmental Policy that can be effectively enforced to deal with current threats. We should not only react, but should develop and implement policies that will reduce risks. In fact the Disaster Management Centre, together with the National Building Research Organization, has developed plans in some sectors. But these institutions need to be strengthened, and given a mandate to ensure implementation of the Risk Reduction Plans more..

'President Sirisena our only hope'

Mar 17 (CT) President of Society Requesting the Release of Political Detainees, Aazhwar Sivalingam said, President Sirisena will definitely make a move to release the political detainees as the people of N&E have unconditionally cast their votes for him. "We are endangered by both the PTA and Emergency Laws. Both laws are not good for minorities. If the, President, can give a General Pardon to Daya Master & Karuna Amman, more..

Rajapaksa and the Ozymandias fascination

Mar 17 (SL) Many well thought out reasons have been attributed to the dramatic exit of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his regime. The reasons given have been varied: Political, sociological, financial, local and international conspiracies, astrological, devilish and spiritual invocations. This columnist has not contributed to any of the above mentioned causes for defeat but at least in three columns of Serendipity in the past few years, we alluded to one fatal temptation of the seemingly more..

Heralding a new neighbourliness in IOR

Mar 17 (SL) Independent of the late Indian decision to drop Maldives from PM Narendra Modi’s mid-March visit to immediate Indian Ocean neighbours, it has the potential to be remembered for the intended and unintended initiatives that can change the face of politics, business and geo-strategic situation in these parts, if taken to the logical conclusion. For this to happen, and India coming to be acknowledged as a global power in its own right without being one or having to be one it has more..

India PM embarks on historic Sri Lanka visit

Revolutionizing sovereignty to secure permanent peace in Sri Lanka

Mar 17 (CT) By militarily defeating the LTTE, Sri Lanka eliminated a violent advocate for separate Tamil state in the North. Yet, that elimination of the most violent element expression of Tamils’ struggle for autonomy and self-determination has not in any way led to a permanent solution for the issue. Today, with the emerging space of democracy created through a hard fought change of an ultra-nationalist regime, we need to give serious thoughts to this pressing issue for if we fail, more..

Ceylinco Insurance posts after tax profit of Rs. 2.1 b

Mar 17 (FT) Marking another successful year, Ceylinco Insurance recorded a notable after tax profit of Rs. 2.1 billion, for the year ended 31 Dec 2014. Contributing to this remarkable performance, the General and Life Divisions of Ceylinco Insurance, recorded profits after tax of Rs. 780 million and Rs. 1,363 million, respectively. Moreover, the consolidated results recorded an imposing expansion, with the profit before tax reaching an exceptional Rs. 4 billion, and more..

In Sri Lanka, underworked army runs resorts, shops, salons and travel agencies

Mar 17 (IE) A pristine white building with a classy brown wooden finish overlooks the blue Indian Ocean at Kankensanthurai, about 19 km from Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka. It’s a luxury resort, and on Sunday mornings, families come here for a meal, a swim in the pool, and to play on the beach. Foot-tapping music plays at the restaurant, and DJs are hired for corporate-sponsored parties. The owner and operator of this beachfront property, more..

Tokyo Cement to merge with Fuji Cement

Mar 17 (DN) Two of the leading Japanese cement manufactures Tokyo Cement Lanka and Fuji Cement Lanka have announced the amalgamation of the two in terms of the Companies Act No 7 of 2007. The process has being completed and a Certificate of Amalgamation has been issued by the Registrar General of Companies on March 13, 2015 in terms of Companies Act No 7 of 2007. Registered office of the amalgamated company Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) will remain same more..

Sri Lanka is more than a pretty place

Mar 17 (Hindu) Sri Lanka is changing fast. The markets wear a vibrant look and are thronged with consumers enjoying higher disposable income, roads have improved and there are more cars on the Lankan roads, a sign of rising prosperity. There is also a visible air of optimism in the relations between India and Sri Lanka which, as President Maithripala Sirisena has signalled, was keen to elevate its bilateral engagement and take it to greater heights. A testimony to this are four agreements more..

A tale of two contrasting knockout teams

Mar 17 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene has the stalling semi-final knock that became a Kingston mauling in 2007. Kumar Sangakkara has the nifty World T20 final fifty. Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara have their many tandem successes; trying batsmen with the new ball, tying them down with the old. Angelo, Thirimanne, Dilshan, Rangana, Thisara - they've all had star turns on big occasions. more..

Is this our final game? Maybe not

Mar 17 (CT) The World Cup quarter finalists have been found. Over the course of 6 preliminary games the quality, depth and experience of the established teams proved too much for the occasional brilliance of the Associate Nations, and the not so brilliant England. In their final group match v Scotland, borne more out of necessity than design, Sri Lanka finally opted for a 4 bowler attack. Kulasekara returning in place of Senanayake, and World Cup debutants Kusal Janith and Chameera coming in more..

Toss all important for SA v SL quarter-final

Mar 17 (Guardian) Now, at last, for the serious stuff, when the delicious intensity of knockout cricket comes to the fore. It may be that some of the batsmen will not be quite so gung-ho, while funky captains will think a little longer before stationing that third or fourth slip. It’s sudden death and it does not matter much how invincible the sides have seemed during the pool games. One slip and the dream is shattered. The hardest quarter-final to call is the first one on Wednesday, where SL play SA. more..

Jayasuriya hails unbelievable Sangakkara

Mar 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka great Sanath Jayasuriya has said he would love Kumar Sangakkara to go back on his decision to quit ODIs after the World Cup after witnessing his unbelievable batting feats during the tournament. Islanders head into their quarter-final against South Africa at SCG on Wednesday with Sangakkara in sensational form after becoming the first batsman to score hundreds in 4 successive ODI matches. more..

Scrabble champion lacking an opponent while studying in Brisbane

Mar 17 (TA) Sri Lankan Ransi Weerasooriya has placed 11th and 15th in the World Youth Scrabble Championships, but moved to Brisbane from her home in SL this year to study economics at the Uni of Queensland. Despite English being her second language, Miss Weerasooriya knows all of the 124 two-letter words and regularly studies three, four, seven and eight-letter words. Since her move, the 19-year-old has struggled to find fellow Scrabble enthusiasts to help keep up her skills. more..

CDA to crack down on substandard virgin coconut oil companies

Mar 17 (ST) The growing demand for Sri Lanka’s virgin coconut oil overseas especially in Europe and importance of curbing substandard exports has prompted the Coconut Development Authority (CDA) to crack down on bogus virgin coconut oil companies, the CDA chief said. There is strong demand for Sri Lankan virgin coconut oil from the US, Europe, Japan and South Korea and exports from Sri Lanka has increased by around 140 per cent last year compared to 2013. more..

SL calls its R&D to push for Mod-Trad food

Mar 17 (FT) In a bid to overcome issues posed by a rising fast food lifestyle among its consumers, Sri Lanka directed its Research and Development officials in the food sector to focus more on Mod-Trad innovations. “Increased use of Mod-Trad in the fast food sector can help to close the nutrition gap in our busy lifestyles. Food security and cost have become important in protecting the rights of consumers who consume around more..

Herath likely to be fit to face Proteas

Mar 17 (SMH) Sri Lanka's front-line spinner Rangana Herath is recovering well and looks likely to face South Africa in Wednesday's quarter-final at the SCG, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said. Herath, 36, split the webbing between two fingers on his bowling hand trying to take a return chance off Jos Buttler in a thumping defeat of England on March 1. The left-armer missed the last two pool matches against Australia and Scotland but the stitches have been removed more..

Air Berlin to code share with SriLankan

Mar 17 (DN) For the first time the second largest airline in Germany will be tying up with SriLankan Airlines from the end of the year. This will be by way of a code share agreement. Air Berlin is Germany's second largest airline after Lufthansa and Europe's seventh largest airline in terms of passengers carried. Air Berlin operates an extensive network from a total of 17 German cities, including some European metropolitan and several leisure destinations in the Mediterranean region, more..

'Primary dealer's license could be cancelled'

Mar 17 (EN) The license of a gilt dealership connected to his family could be revoked if a probe faults the firm over controversial transactions, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran who is to go on leave while the investigation is made, said. Sri Lanka has been rocked by allegations that Perpetual Treasuries, a gilt market dealer connected to Mahendran's son-in-law engaged in a series of deals in the secondary and primary more..

CIC to make syringes here

Mar 17 (DN) For the first time in the Sri Lankan medical history, CIC Pharmaceuticals will be manufacturing medical syringes in Sri Lanka. Govt hospitals spend around Rs. 600 million annually to import syringes and CIC hopes to rake around 15% market share from this CIC, Divisional Director, Premakumar Weyhenage. “We hope to come to a forward buying agreement with the government for this operation,” he said. In addition they will also look at manufacturing other medical devices more..

Sri Lankan rubber prices fall further

Mar 17 (EN) Sri Lankan natural rubber prices fell sharply at recent auctions but the market could be bottoming out with the onset of the low-production wintering season, brokers said. However, synthetic rubber prices could also fall further increasing competition for natural rubber owing to low oil prices. "A sharp drop in prices was witnessed as Latex Crepe 1Xs came down from 275 rupees to 250 rupees a kilo," brokers said. Number 2 grade eased off by about 40 rupees a kilo to 220 rupees more..

Barbs from within after Ranil's right to shoot intruders remark

Mar 17 (ENS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe again tried to step on India’s toes by saying his country’s navy has the right to shoot anyone who intrudes into its territorial waters. Statement came just two days after PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the country, when both sides asserted that the fishermen issue was a humanitarian one and must not be looked at from a territorial prism. “Lankan navy has the right to shoot in any more..

Sri Lanka leads the International Women’s Day celebrations in Cuba

Mar 17 (GDI) On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2015, the Asian Ladies Association (ALA), comprising the spouses of Ambassadors and diplomats based in Cuba under the Chair of Mrs. Ramanika Dissanayake, wife of the Sri Lankan Ambassador, organized 2 mega events, namely a Walk Rally and an Official Ceremony cum Gala Dinner in Havana on 7th and 9th March respectively, at which a large gathering of people from all walks of life including Cuban dignitaries, more..

‘Attacks on fishermen will affect ties with SL’

Mar 17 (Hindu) DMK leader M. Karunanidhi warned that attack on Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy would affect the bilateral relationship between India and Sri Lanka, especially at a time Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken efforts to secure the rights for the Tamils in the country. “The attack has proved that our happiness over Mr. Modi’s speech in the Sri Lankan Parliament demanding equal rights and dignified life for Tamil is short lived,” he said in a statement. more..

Rajitha refutes abduction charges

Mar 17 (DM) Refuting allegations that his son had abducted an underage girl, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the girl had come willingly. The parents of a girl on Sunday claimed that their daughter had been forcibly taken away by Eksath Senaratne, the second son of Minister Senaratne. “The girl had come willingly because of some of the issues with her parents. He didn’t take her forcibly. She had also given a statement to the NCPA more..

Win the toss and do not get too hung up on de Villiers: Murali

Mar 17 (ICC) I have two messages for the Sri Lanka squad and captain Angelo Mathews ahead of the quarter-final against South Africa: win the toss and do not get too hung up thinking about AB de Villiers. The toss, I believe, will play a vital part in the outcome of the match. The side batting first in ODIs at the Sydney Cricket Ground wins 58% of the time according to the statistics but, in the pressure of a knock-out match as this one is, I reckon the advantage of runs on the board more..

Indian HC calls for applications for BE, MBBS and B.Pharm courses

Mar 17 (HCI) Applications are invited from Sri Lankan students (excluding PIO, OCI Card holders & NRIs) for nomination to undergraduate course in Bachelor of Engineering (BE), Medicine (MBBS) and Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) under the Self-Financing Scheme for the academic year 2015-16 against the reserved seats of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Govt of India. The applicants are requested to fill up the application forms available at the Education Wing of the HC of India, more..

President seeks opinions and proposals to change preferential voting system

Mar 17 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday met with political party leaders to seek their opinions and proposals to change the current preferential voting system as stated in his election manifesto. President, meeting with party leaders from both the Govt and Opposition, said that the people’s opposition has been drawn at present on the preferential voting system in the same manner as the agitations were conducted against more..

ICA praises Sri Lanka for safeguarding gem industry

Mar 17 (NS) Chairman of the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) Clement Sabbagh lauded efforts taken by the new government to bring about sweeping changes in the gem and jewelry industry. Speaking at a press briefing hosted past week to commemorate the official launch of the ICA Congress in Sri Lanka this year, he praised the government for taking steps to protect the local industry whilst promoting its precious gems to the rest of the world. more..

Wildlife Dept. holding people's lands

Mar 17 (CT) People from Poombukar village in Vavuniya complained to TNA MPs N. Sivasakthy Anandan and Selvam Adaikkalanathan that their lands are now under the custody of the Wildlife Department. People are agitated and panicky thinking their lands will be taken under the ownership of the Wildlife Department. Villagers of Poombukar-Vavuniya were displaced from the Southern part of the country during the 1977 insurrection. Further, during the civil war they more..

Defence HQ constructions halted

Mar 17 (DM) Construction work on the Defence Headquarters Complex in Battaramulla has come to a halt due to non-availability of funds, and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake saying funds will not be released until the exact cost estimation of the project is clarified. He said that the necessary funds were available but it would not be released until a conclusion was reached on the amount of finances the project would involve. more..

A move in the right direction

Mar 17 (DM) A major step in good governance, democracy and social justice was taken on Sunday when the Cabinet agreed on a draft constitutional amendment to prune certain powers of the Executive Presidency. The new National Unity Govt headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had during the election campaign given solemn pledges it would either abolish the all-powerful Executive Presidency or reduce some of the powers. more..

Editorial: Lucky crooks

Mar 17 (Island) A 13-year-old girl was hauled up by the Thebuwana police before the Kalutara Magistrate in September 2010. What was her crime? She had stolen Rs. 5.00—yes, five rupees—from a kiosk! She was enlarged on bail. She said she had taken the money because she was starving. We asked in these columns why the police and the Rajapaksa government did not act so swiftly against criminals including murderers, drug dealers and those who robbed the public purse. more..

'We have brought in transparency, competition, good governance'

Mar 17 (DM) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the government would seek the expertise of Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative (StAR), a partnership between World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs, which facilitates the findings of proceeds from corrupt practices in the world. He said stolen money seemed to be stashed in Dubai, Ukraine, Switzerland, Italy and Seychelles. Excerpts of the interview are as follows; more..

Gazette notice on 19-A published

Mar 17 (CG) The Gazette notification on the on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which was approved by the Cabinet at an emergency Cabinet meeting on Sunday, has been published. The Gazette was printed late last night. Cabinet of Minister had on Sunday decided to grant the leadership of the Cabinet to the President. The notification will be now open for public recommendations and will next be produced more..

Environmental concerns still remain

Mar 17 (SL) Although the controversial Colombo Port City project has now been temporarily halted, adverse impact to the country’s environment and its bio diversity cannot be ignored if the project continues, environmental organisations said. Some of the leading environmentalists said that the country will not gain anything from the project but it was initiated by the previous regime merely to be in good books more..

Promises of greener pastures for migrant workers with shake up on the cards

Mar 17 (ST) A number of Lankan officials attached to West Asian embassies, consular offices and safe houses are to be recalled and disciplinary action is to be taken against corrupt officers at the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB) and fraudulent job agents in and around Colombo by the Ministries of External Affairs and Foreign Employment to resolve migrant worker issues. Minister Thalatha Athukorale said that the services of more..

Child Affairs Minister denies NCPA receiving complaint regarding abduction of 17-year-old

Mar 17 (Island) Child Affairs State Minister Rosy Senanayake maintained that NCPA had not yet received a complaint regarding the alleged abduction of 17-year-old Dinithi Ranasinghe. Father of the victim, Gamini Ranasinghe, told the media that his daughter had been abducted on Feb 24, 2014 while she was returning home after school and blamed Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne’s second son for her disappearance. more..