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Chamal asks CPA delegates to visit Sri Lanka

July 29 (DM) Sri Lanka is to host the Common Parliamentary Association (CPA) next year, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa announced at the closing ceremony of the CPA conference in the UK yesterday. This will be the 3rd instance that Sri Lanka would be hosting the conference, the first being back in 1974 and the second in 1995. “We are pleased to host the CPA Conference next year particularly, as Sri Lanka is enjoying peace and tranquility once again after winning the war more..

Rupavahini gets broadcasting rights for SL-Australia series

July 29 (DM) Clearing the air over the live telecasting of the forthcoming Sri Lanka – Australia matches, Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that Rupavahini had been given the rights to telecast the entire series by the govt. “President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed me to ensure that the telecast rights for these matches be given to Rupavahini,” Minister Rambukwella said. This turnabout came following media speculation that the telecasting rights more..

Sri Lanka tour a real test for Aussie cricket

July 29 (SMH) Time's up. No more excuses, think-tanks or planning sessions. The upcoming tour of Sri Lanka is the moment when Australia begins the rebuild of its tattered cricket reputation on the one place it matters - the cricket pitch. The tour, featuring two Twenty20s, five one-day internationals and three Tests, provides Michael Clarke's first real challenge as captain. And several players know they're on notice, if Simon Katich's controversial axing is more..

Plans to set up 1.5 m home gardens during Maha season

July 29 (DN) Plans have been formulated to set up 1.5 million home gardens under the Divi Neguma programme during the forthcoming Maha Season, said Minister Basil Rajapaksa at a discussion held at his ministry on Wednesday. The discussion centred around the contribution made by the Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Industries sectors to the Divi Neguma national programme. Already 1,312,000 home gardens have been set up in 13,110 Grama Niladhari Divisions under more..

Sri Lanka needs to promote exports

July 29 (Island) International Monetary Fund (IMF) Representative Dr. Koshy Mathai in recently outlined a range of proposals Sri Lanka needed to adhere to if it was to sustain its healthy growth, which the post war nation was enjoying at present. Speaking at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) on ‘Economic Outlook and Policy Issues,’ recently, Dr. Mathai impressed upon the need for Sri Lanka to focus more on promoting Sri Lankan exports overseas. more..

Sirasa and Nawaloka ordered to hand over video footage

July 29 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate ordered the news director of the Sirasa media network and the chairman of the Nawaloka Hospital to hand over video footage showing a certain person preventing prisons officials from carrying out their duties when former army commander Sarath Fonseka was taken for treatment to the private hospital on July 21. Making a complaint at Colombo Crime Division, a jailer attached to the prison headquarters had alleged that more..

Finco builds two east coast resorts

July 29 (LBO) Finco group, which has interests in construction, export manufacturing and real estate is building two resorts in the island's eastern coast investing nearly 16 million US dollars to expand its leisure arm. The group is planning to open an 850 million rupee, 50 room resort in Kuchchaveli in the eastern coast in June 2012. Branded 'Jungle Beach Kuchchaveli' the resort is built to create an experience of both the jungle and the beach in an eco friendly environment, more..

Navy launches humanitarian op to help Thalassemia patients

July 29 (Island) The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) has launched a project to supply locally manufactured drug infusion kits to Thalassemia patients in line with what Navy Chief Vice Admiral Somathilaka Dissanayake called a post-war naval social responsibility scheme. The 52,000-strong SLN has established a special fund to facilitate selected humanitarian projects with financial support from all officers and men. Vice Admiral Dissanayake yesterday said that more..

UNP Reformists score major coup

July 29 (Island) The UNP reformist group scored a major coup yesterday when party co-deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya accepted their proposal to come forward as the compromise leader to rebuild the party, which has fallen to its lowest depth, polling just 22 per cent of the votes at the recently concluded L/G election. Reformists, led by Sajith Premadasa that they decided on Karu Jayasuriya at a meeting of the reformists held at Sajith’s residence on Wednesday. more..

India cautions rural banks in dealing with Sri Lanka: report

July 29 (LBO) India's central bank has asked regional banks to be careful when dealing with people and entities from Sri Lanka after an international anti money laundering body listed the island as having insufficient compliance, a media report said. India's Hindu newspaper said the country's regional rural banks have been advised to consider risks in dealing with eight countries including Sri Lanka by the Reserve Bank of India, the country's central bank. more..

25 years on, the Indo-Lanka Accord has some silver linings

July 29 (DNA) The Indo-Sri Lanka Accord signed on July 29, 1987 will soon enter its twenty-fifth year. It still remains the best example of an earnest attempt by both sides to provide a durable political solution to the ethnic issue and underscores the importance of mutual security interests. This document has survived sabotage by the LTTE, faced opposition by several Sinhala chauvinist groups such as the JVP and reluctance of the ruling dispensations, at different periods of time, more..

Notice on PB Jayasundara

JJuly 29 (DM) The Appeal Court issued notice on Treasury Secretary P. B. Jayasundara sequel to an application filed by parents of a disappeared youth from Trincomalee complaining the failure to pay compensation undertaken by the govt. The bench comprising Justices S. Sriskandarajah and H.N.J. Perera issued notice following the writ application filed by Shanmugaratnasarama Jegatheeswarasarma and Jessammah more..

Unsafe abortions off Lanka’s agenda?

July 29 (LB) Sri Lanka’s maternal mortality rate at 39 deaths per 100,000 live births is remarkable. On the coin’s other side, abortions go on, in spite of their illegality in this country. Hardly anyone is brought to book. Ironically, these foetus termination surgical or non-surgical procedures are not documented. Our survey pointed to the rich in our country having access to abortions, carried out in and around Colombo, be it safe, or unsafe. Illegality had sent it underground, more..

Sangakkara nominated for ICC award

JJuly 29 (DM) Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara is among the five international cricket stars nominated by the ICC for the second LG People’s Choice Awards which will allow cricket fans the unique chance to vote for a galaxy of international stars who have produced outstanding performances in the past year. The others nominated for the award include Hashim Amla, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chris Gayle and Jonathan Trott. more..

Teachers steer students to serve motherland - President .

JJuly 29 (GDI) The teaching profession is a noble profession and teachers have a responsibility to steer the students on the correct path. It is their duty and obligation to prepare students to serve the motherland, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The President was addressing the newly appointed aesthetic teachers after handing over appointment letters to 3,174 aesthetic graduates, recruited as government teachers. more..

Indian quacks cause medical mishaps in private hospitals

July 29 (LB) A serious health issue has emerged with reports of surgeries that were carried out by unqualified Indian doctors that resulted in six patients being currently treated at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) and the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Colombo, post-surgery. These patients were admitted to hospital for heart surgery, the costs of which were Rs.600,000 per operation. more..

More Lankan fishermen arrested in India

July 29 (TOI) Eleven Sri Lankan fishermen were arrested off the Paradip coast on Thursday for straying into Indian waters. "This is the second such incident in four days. Recently, 13 foreign fisheremen were caught near Paradip," officer of marine police station in Paradip T Patel said. "Two boats and five quintals of fish were seized from the Sri Lankan fishermen caught 160 nautical miles from Paradip," he said. more..

Release all Tamil political prisoners

July 29 (LT) An agitation demanding the govt to release Tamil political prisoners was held opposite the Fort Railway Station yesterday. The agitation had been organized by the Socialist Youth Union (SYU). SYU organized several programmes on behalf of national unity to celebrate the ‘Fraternal Day’ that falls on 23rd July, every year. The agitation demanding the release of Tamil political prisoners was one of the items of this programme said the National Organizer of the SYU Bimal Ratnayake. more..

Sri Lanka's deaf march for equal rights, jobs

JJuly 29 (AP) About 1,000 deaf Sri Lankans took to the streets of capital Colombo on Friday to demand equal rights, social recognition and more sign language translators, with an official saying only about four are currently qualified. The protesters from the Sri Lanka Central Federation of the Deaf held a rally opposite Colombo's main railroad station to highlight their plight in a country still struggling to return to normalcy after more..

'UK should act against Channel 4'

JJuly 29 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa questioned the credibility of the latest Channel-4 video broadcast on Wednesday night charging that the British Govt should take action against Channel-4 for airing what he called “irresponsible videos”. In the fresh documentary broadcast on Wednesday night over Channel-4, two people claiming to be soldiers had alleged that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had ordered Brigadier Shavendra Silva to more..

'Karu assigned to unite party'

July 29 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said today that he has assigned Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya to unite the party as it is the majority view of the party. However, Mr. Wickremesighe stopped short of stating whether he would step down from the leadership or not. A special communiqué issued by the party yesterday said Mr. Wickremesighe mentioned this when he met the central committee members of the UNP UK branch in London today. more..

Navy man traced to unmarked grave

July 30 (ST) A naval officer who went missing without a trace seven years ago was unearthed from an unmarked grave at Galgamuwa earlier this week, officials said. They said Navy Lieutenant-Nilantha Alwis, a father of two went missing in 2004 during a trip to Kurunegala to purchase a motorcycle. Investigators have found out that the victim, who was thought to have been fatally hit by a train was buried at Galgamuwa at state expense since no one turned up to claim the body. more..

Colour code for bus services

July 30 (DM) The National Transport Commission has introduced a new colour scheme to easily identify bus routes and the service level on inter-provincial bus routes. NTC Director General G.A.S. Ganepola said passengers find it difficult to identify the different destination boards as they were all displayed in maroon and yellow. “Buses will be identified as belonging to one of the four categories as follows – normal in yellow; semi-luxury in blue; luxury in green and more..

Ranil solves disputes among UNP-UK factions

July 30 (IL) UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe requested UNP party members in the UK to join hands together to bring the party into the winning stream. He made these remarks when Mr Wickremasinghe met the interim committee and the members of the UNP-UK branch in London and solved the ongoing disputes among them for some times. He has given firm guide lines to both groups which maintained the most number of more..

Farbrace denies courting Sri Lanka head coach job

July 30 (KN) The 44-year-old, who returned to the county as head coach at the end of the 2009 season after two years as assistant to Trevor Bayliss at Sri Lanka, was strongly linked with the Sri Lanka job after it was made clear Stuart Law wouldn’t be kept on. While Farbrace has admitted he was contacted by the Sri Lanka board earlier this summer, he denies speculation about putting himself forward for the job. He explained: “I had a call from a journalist in India who said more..

U.N. says body of Sri Lankan activist found

July 30 (AP) The U.N.'s human rights office says the body of a prominent human rights activist missing since February 2010 has been found in Sri Lanka, where more than 5,000 such cases remain unresolved. Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters Friday the body of Pattani Razeek was exhumed based on tips from two suspects arrested in the case in recent weeks. She said the U.N. hopes "investigation and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 29.07.2011

Amana starts first Sri Lankan commercial bank under Islamic law

July 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Amana Bank on Friday said it will next week start the operations of the island nation's first sharia-compliant commercial bank with the opening of 14 branches across the country. The bank in a statement said it from Monday will offer a range of products including trade and treasury services. Over the last 10 years, Amana developed its insurance and investment divisions as it prepared to become a bank. Analysts estimate the island more..

Sri Lanka stx at 3-week high on earning hopes; margin easing rumour

July 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's bourse jumped 2.9 percent on Friday to a three-week high on high turnover and volumes, sparked by hopes of good quarterly earnings and rumours the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may roll back plans to end margin trading. The SEC after market hours on Friday said it had not received any proposal from brokers to ease the margin phase-out and other regulations, as numerous brokers have anonymously said. more..

Sri Lanka inflation quickens, adding to interest-rate pressure

July 30 (BN) Sri Lanka’s inflation accelerated in July, adding pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates in the South Asian nation. Consumer prices in the capital, Colombo, climbed 7.5 percent from a year earlier after gaining 7.1 percent in June, the statistics department said on its website today. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal has refrained from increasing rates since 2007 to spur economic growth, judging that more..

Sri Lankans to have their own Maldive Fish

July 30 (GDI) After inaugurating the work for establishing Sri Lanka’s first fish canning factory in Galle last week, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is to establish a Maldive fish production factory in the Kalutara district shortly. The Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that a businessman from Japan had agreed to the venture to set up the factory and the agreements in this regard would be signed within a month. more..

‘Catch me if you can’

July 30 (DM) South Asian Games gold medal-winning athlete Ranga Wimalawansa who was remanded on charges of having defrauded another person of Rs.1.6 million on the promise of getting him an American visa was today released on bail by a Colombo Court. The defence counsel told Court that the incident was alleged to have happened in 2006 but the complaint against the athlete had been made on June 21 this year and it was uncertain whether the case would be proceeded with more..

'No war crimes charges against SL'

July 30 (BBC) Opposition leader says no war crimes charges can be brought against Sri Lanka as the country is not a party to Rome Protocol on crimes against humanity. Ranil Wickramasinghe, who is currently in London, said that he did not discuss the accusations against the Sri Lanka govt in his meetings with UK political leaders. Mr Wickramasinghe has held discussion with British Defence Secretary Liam Fox and Foreign Office Minister Alastair Burt while more..

Asia's first Yoga Marathon in Sri Lanka .

July 30 (ST) Sri Lanka has seen many marathon events be it walking, running, cycling or swimming. Now add yoga to the list. Sri Lanka has been chosen as the first destination to launch Asia`s Yoga Marathon Challenge wherein for the first time SAARC countries and people from several other nations are expected to participate. “When a beautiful island celebrates yoga even continents join in,” says Vidyut Udiaver, yoga teacher with the Art of Living Foundation and organizer of this marathon. more..

Sri Lanka tractor firm expects brisk sales in the north

July 30 (LBO) Brown & Company, which claims market leadership in agricultural tractors, said it expected sales of around 1,000 units in the next six months with 45 percent coming from former war-torn areas. Sri Lanka's north and east are rich agricultural areas and the end of a 30-year war in the area in 2009 is driving an economic resurgence bringing abandoned and former mine infested land back into production. At least 35 percent of sales of its TAFE branded tractors more..

'Culinary Art 2011' showcases Chefs skills

July 30 (GDI) 'Culinary Art 2011’ Sri Lanka’s Biggest Food & Trade Exhibition and Culinary Competition organized by the Chefs Guild of Lanka for the 14th time was inagurated by Minister Basil Rajapaka at the BMICH in Colombo today. This is a bi-annual event that purely showcases local chefs talents and cooking skills, which otherwise would only restrict them to their respective Hotels and Restaurants. The judging standard of this event is on par to more..

Anti-govt newspaper editor attacked

July 30 (DPA) A news editor working for an anti-government newspaper in northern Sri Lanka was attacked by an unidentified gang outside his office on Friday evening, colleagues reported. Ganasundaram Kuhanathan, 55, of the Tamil language Udayan newspaper based in the northern city of Jaffna was hit with an iron bar by two men who had followed him. He was rushed to hospital with head injuries. The newspaper office and its journalists have come under attack in the past, more..

CEB employees agitate demanding 10 months’ salary arrears

July 30 (LT) An agitation was carried out by employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) opposite the main office of CEB in Colombo Fort today (29) demanding 10 months’ salary arrears. The agitation had been called by the ‘United Trade Union Alliance of the CEB. The decision to carry out the agitation was taken as the government had rejected paying 10 months arrears in relation to the salary increase won by employees in 2009 said the General Secretary of the Lanka Electricity more..

Sri Lanka's ethnic polarization persists strongly despite peace

July 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's old war zone has been at peace for two years but the minority Tamils who populate it say they are hungry for jobs, despite the economic revival the govt has offered instead of the political powers for which Tamils first took up arms. In Sri Lanka's north and east, people last week voted for the first time in at least 12 years and as many as 29 to elect local councils, two years after the military wiped out the LTTE more..

An Academic Spring in Sri Lanka?

July 30 (LG) The Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) has called off the trade union action it launched more than two months ago, somewhat unexpectedly. The blogsphere is buzzing with comments, reactions and analyses of the suspension of the trade union action. This reaction itself shows the degree to which FUTA had succeeded in mobilising university teachers. It now appears that the FUTA membership may have been a few steps ahead of the FUTA leadership; more..