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‘Financialisation’ in Lanka is a myth

Oct 14 (CT) People are not usually concerned about the more arcane aspects of theory, but of recent there has been discussion of whether the Lankan regime’s economic strategy can be termed neo-liberal and whether finance-capital has become a crucial element in this process. This is argued by some left party leaders and Marxist intellectuals. Ad hominem remarks will not help my case; therefore I will deal with concepts, not name protagonists. I argue in this essay that neo-liberal more..

And then what?

Oct 14 (CT) With the Sri Lankan armed forces’ juggernaut seemingly on an unstoppable march and the prospect of the LTTE being vanquished (read Tamils of the North and East being reduced to abject fear and misery), what is in store for the country as a whole? There have already been ominous signals of the emergence of robber gangs armed with sophisticated light arms running loose, it has been suggested, with the connivance of the local security personnel. In fact, in one small town in more..

Fashion found her

Oct 14 (ST) Walking across Barefoot’s courtyard on a sunny day, Marisa Gnanaraj is hailed by more than one regular. She’s a familiar face here, the young designer whose debut collection under her ‘MFact’ label sold out almost as soon as it made it to the racks. It also helps that some of these people have known her since she was a little girl. She’s inherited their affection along with a love for the store’s signature more..

Wishing the north’s chief minister well

Oct 14 (ST) As he embarks on his official duties in this month of October 2013, Chief Minister of the NPC and former judge of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court C.V. Wigneswaran must be left in no doubt of the hopes reposed in him by Tamil and Sinhala moderates despite extremists who revile him post-elections. Overheated election rhetoric appears to have given way to a saner approach as signified by the Chief Minister taking oaths before President Rajapaksa even as he was more..

Battle over land turns into Battle of the Chief Justices?

Oct 14 (Island) In what seems to be becoming the battle of the Chief Justices, former Chief Justice Sarath Silva has publicly disputed the factual foundation of the so called landmark Supreme Court ruling whose main consequence might be to prop up political claims denying provincial powers over land. One is left to wonder if Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake will also enter the fray. As the only academic who vaulted to the bench, she might be better placed in adding to the knowledge of more..

We can't learn from India anymore, feels Arjuna Ranatunga

Oct 14 (PTI) There was a time when the budding cricketers of Sri Lanka looked upto India for learning the nuances of the game but former captain Arjuna Ranatunga feels this can no longer happen due to the advent of Twenty20. "It's unfortunate that most youngsters only want to play the shorter version for financial gains. Let's be very clear that India won't have any more Sachin Tendulkar or a Sunil Gavaskar. more..

Pouring advice on a duck’s back

Oct 14 (ST) When advice based on fundamental economic principles is flouted a county’s economy could drift into crises. Good economic advice repeatedly given by international agencies and economists is like pouring water on a duck’s back: it runs away as rapidly as given. The IMF has once again given sound advice on the management of the economy based on fundamental principles of good economic management. The advice is highlighted and underscored in the expectation that more..

Son incurs father's wrath after failing exam

Oct 14 (SO) The long queue of line rooms occupied one part of the Bogawanthalawa plantation. These were not very comfortable homes. Families lived in a cramped space as comfortably as they could. They shared common toilets, wells and showers among other amenities. Also they shared were sorrow, happiness, anger, jealousy and frustration as they lived so close to each other. They all rose in the morning. While the elders went to the estate to work, children went to school. Only the old who more..

Lankan bank to buy credit card debts

Oct 14 (ST) Credit card outstanding balance transfer from one card to another has been introduced in Sri Lanka as a growing number of Sri Lankans are failing to pay their credit card bills due to economic difficulties. Pan Asia Bank has stepped in to offer this “Balance Transfer” facility through its ‘Black’ MasterCard at a reduced interest of 19.75% whereas the market rate is 24 per cent per annum providing consumers a benefit of 4.25% p.a. more..

Another C-4 problem

Oct 14 (Island) It has been reported that state intelligence agencies are looking for a Channel Four journalist believed to have come here with his partner. The purpose of their visit is said to be unclear, but it is said they could be on a campaign to discredit Sri Lanka or on some private business. Channel Four propaganda against Sri Lanka is blatantly lopsided and obviously aimed at ruining its tourism industry besides backing the LTTE’s war crimes campaign. more..

Appeal to President for early publication of reports on prison riots

Oct 14 (Island) This intervention is made in a spirit of democratic engagement by the Friday Forum, a group of concerned citizens who have come together to consider current issues of public interest with a view to making a contribution to peace, democracy, good governance and social justice in Sri Lanka. When persons in the custody of a state institution meets with violent death it is a matter of great public concern, reinforcing and even going beyond the immediate issue of justice for more..

Govt. snubs UNP on gaming by qualifying green-era casinos for new licensing

Oct 14 (FT) Under fire from the Opposition for promoting the gaming industry, the Govt is apparently checkmating the UNP by qualifying casinos which operated during the latter’s regime for licensing under new regulations. The Daily FT learns that upcoming new regulations under the Casino Business (Regulation) Act No. 17 of 2010 are expected to stipulate that all casinos which have operated for a period of over 12 years or more..

Keheliya promises to remedy grievances of visually handicapped

Oct 14 (Island) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella assured that many of the grievances of the visually handicapped community of Sri Lanka would be remedied before the next year’s International White Cane Day that falls on Oct 15. He made the pledged while presiding at a meeting organised by the Central Province Sri Lanka National Federation of the visually handicapped held at the Kandy police auditorium. The Minister told the meeting that those who were fortunate to more..

Access Engineering completes Rs. 1.1bn gated salinity barrier

Oct 14 (Island) Access Engineering continues their prominent presence in the water sector through the successful completion, commissioning and handing over of the Gated Salinity Barrier across the Walawe River which is located in close proximity to the Ambalantota Water Treatment Plant. The National Water Supply and Drainage Board under the Govt of Sri Lanka took the initiative to increase the water intake capacity of this Water Treatment Plant in order to meet the increasing demand and more..

Sri Lanka Army encourages higher educational standards among members

Oct 14 (SLA) A gathering of 528 officers and 2704 other ranks of the Army's second most formidable strength, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF) on Saturday morning assembled at Panagoda Army Cantonment gymnasium to listen to their Commander of the Army, Lt General Daya Ratnayake for the first time after he assumed duties as the 20th Commander. Major General Prasad Samarasinghe, Commandant, SLAVF more..

President to inaugurate World’s Best e-Content Winners’ Congress 2013

Oct 14 (FT) President Rajapaksa will inaugurate the World Summit Award (WSA)/the World’s Best e-Content Winners’ Congress 2013 in Colombo next week. The ICT Agency said President accepted the invitation in view of the inherent potency of WSA to bring huge benefits to the country through ICT enabled development. The inauguration ceremony will take place at the Presidential Secretariat on 23 Oct. As quite apt, it will be held under the patronage of President Rajapaksa more..

Gazette soon on user fee for Colombo-Katunayake expressway

Oct 14 (SO) The Ministry of Port Development and Highways will shortly issue the gazette notification regarding the user fee for vehicles using the Colombo-Katunayake expressway after its opening on Oct 27, Secretary to the Ministry Ranjith Pemasiri said. The Ministry is now finalising the fee to be charged from vehicle owners using the expressway and will launch awareness programs to educate motorists on how they could use the expressway, within the next two weeks. more..

Pallai to be connected to Northern rail network soon

Oct 14 (SO) The re-constructed railway line from Omanthai to Kilinochchi was commissioned by President Rajapaksa recently. The reconstructed track was the first segment of the Omanthai - Kankesanthurai line. The second segment of 30 km, from Kilinochchi to Pallai, is now being readied to be added to the railway network of the island. General Manager, IRCON International Ltd, S.L. Gupta confirmed that the track more..

Police arrest ten for illegal sand mining

Oct 14 (Island) The Unsolved Crimes Unit of the Matugama Police recently raided two places where illicit sand mining was being carried out near the Weragam Ferry on the Kudaganga in Bulathsinhala. Villagers said a powerful politician of the area was behind the illegal operation. The police took into custody two boats, a lorry, a tractor belonging to the Bulathsinhala Pradeshiya Saabha and arrested ten persons. Among them were a tractor driver attached to the Bulathsinhala Pradeshiya Sabha more..

Railway fares to be revised

Oct 14 (CT) Sri Lanka Railway (SLR) is planning to increase railway fares for journeys more than 200 Kilometers, a senior SLR official said. The railway fares of first, second and third class would be increased by Rs.80 in order to avoid long distance railway fare anomalies. Railway ticket prices of railway journeys beyond Nanu Oya in the up country railway line, beyond Gal Oya in the northern railway line and commencing from the Fort railway station will be increased. more..

Some rebels ready to take oaths – TNA

Oct 14 (Island) ITAK yesterday said that some of those newly elected members of the NPC who had boycotted last Friday’s swearing in ceremony in Jaffna subsequent to a dispute over allocation of ministries were now ready to take oaths. ITAK General Secretary Mavai S. Senathirajah said that of the 28 elected members of the first NPC, nine belonging to the TELO, the PLOTE and the EPRLF shunned the more..

Dialog holds on to triple-A crown

Oct 14 (Island) Fitch Ratings has affirmed Sri Lanka-based telecoms company Dialog Axiata PLC’s (Dialog) ‘AAA(lka)’ National Long-Term rating. The Outlook is Stable. "Parent support: Dialog’s rating reflects Fitch’s expectations that its 83%-parent, Axiata Group Berhad of Malaysia (Axiata), is likely to provide support if required, given operational and strategic linkages between the companies. Linkages include a common brand name and common creditors which can more..

Dalits embrace Buddhism at meet

Oct 14 (TOI) Dalits in large numbers embraced Buddhism at a public event in Dungarpur, eight km from Junagadh, on Sunday. Organizers claimed this was the biggest religious conversion event in decades. They accepted the new religion in the presence of Buddhist monks, who had come down specially from Ladakh, Mumbai and Sri Lanka. The event 'Chalo Buddh Ki Aur' was organized by Buddha Diksha Mahotsav Samiti. "This was the first single event where at least 60,000 more..

Sihala Ravaya ordered out

Oct 14 (CT) Minister Gunaratne Weerakon, has ordered the controversial association, Sihala Ravaya, out from Kurundugahahethekma, after a group led by a controversial monk held a protest against a Muslim businessman opening a business establishment in the town. Pandemonium reigned in the Kurundugahahethekma town within the Elpitiya Police Division in the Galle District on Saturday afternoon, with the Buddhist monk, more..

Overpriced agrochemicals with fake labels seized

Oct 14 (DN) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) officers yesterday, seized a large stock of overpriced agrochemicals with fake labels from a private warehouse in Wattala. The stock valued at over Rs.11 million, contained liquid fertilizer and chemical plant growth agents. The production date on some of the Agrochemical packs too had been changed in addition to selling prices. The officers had seized around 20,000 liquid fertilizer packs and 10,000 packs containing chemical growth agents, more..

Maithri wants real perpetrators brought to justice immediately

Oct 14 (Island) One of the leading UNP reformists, Maithri Gunaratne, agitating for the ouster of party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested the Matara Police to arrest and produce before a court of law the real perpetrators including former Minister and UNP Matara District MP Mangala Samaraweera, Sugath Chandrasekera and H. R. Wimalasiri and others instead of innocent UNP supporters misled by the former to attack the protesters in the Matara town. more..

Mannar Bishop intervenes

Oct 14 (CT) Three constituent parties of the TNA who had planned on holding a separate swearing-in ceremony for its Provincial Councillors today, in a show of defiance against the Chief Minister of the NPC, C.V. Wigneswaran, have postponed the ceremony consequent to the Bishop of Mannar, Rev. Rayappu Joseph, intervening on the issue. Earlier, nine Provincial Councillors from the EPRLF, PLOTE and TELO, boycotted more..

Call to ban 14-18 year olds as domestics

Oct 14 (DN) The employment of persons between 14 and 18 years in domestic service must be prohibited, Colombo University former Vice Chancellor and Emeritus Professor of Law Savitri Goonesekere said. She said females between the ages of 14 to 18 have a high risk of been subjected to sexual harassment in domestic service. Goonesekere said considering this fact, attention must be given to amend the Employment of Women and Young Persons and Children Act to more..

‘Kudu’ Naufer pleads for lenient sentence

Oct 14 (Island) Mohamed Niyaz Naufer alias ‘kudu’ Naufer on death row in the Bogambara Prison for his role in the assassination of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya has requested the Commissioner General of Prisons C. Pallegama to obtain a commuted sentence for him. The request was made to the Prisons Chief by Naufer when the former visited the Bogambara Prison to see the issues pertaining to the welfare of the inmates. Naufer told Pallegama that the Prison officials had more..

CMC to clip wings of commissioner

Oct 14 (Island) A motion will be brought before the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) shortly to strip Municipal Commissioner Bhadrani Jayawardene of some of her powers. Authoritative sources of the CMC said that the Mayor had the authority to delegate powers of the Municipal Commissioner whose main duty was to collect rates and it was high time her ‘wings were clipped’. Chief Internal Auditor of the CMC Gamini Hettiarachchi has more..

Higher Education or Hire Education

Oct 14 (DM) One of Sri Lanka’s highest distinctions has been the literacy rate of about 90 percent—which is hailed as the best in South Asia. Most analysts believe the main reason for this is the credit-worthy free education policy introduced by Dr. C. W.W. Kannangara whose 129th birth anniversary was celebrated yesterday. The Father of Free education had presented his legislation in 1944 and it came for the common good of the country and also from a personal experience. more..

Milk Production beyond the Wet Zone

Oct 14 (DM) Sri Lanka is once again turning its attention to milk production. Govt policy to decrease the reliance on imported milk powder used interventions such as; crossbreeding of the local cattle population with exotic blood, improve animal health service provision, dissemination of information and the marketing aspect. However, with all these interventions the supply of local milk production has not kept pace with the steady growth in demand. more..

Multi-layered support for reconciliation: Post-provincial elections

Oct 14 (SL) The contrast between then and now could not be greater; when the provincial council system was established in 1987 as part of the answer to the separatist war, it was viewed as a foreign (Indian) imposition. It was an outcome of the controversial Indo-Lanka Peace Accord of 1987 that saw the Indian army come into Sri Lanka as peace keepers to disarm the LTTE while the govt devolved power to the provinces. more..

Brandix designer Radhika Mendis shows 12 creations at CFW

Oct 14 (F2F) Brandix designer Radhika Mendis presented 12 creative ensembles -- mirroring the easy elegance of the seascape outside Galle's Lighthouse hotel -- at the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week Resort Wear Show. Her designs -- created under the portfolio of 'House of Inspiration' -- were inspired by the contours of the landscape, the merging of the beach and the sea, and the vibrant colours that give life to more..

Solheim says denials wont help

Oct 14 (CG) Former Norwegian Minister and Peace Negotiator to Sri Lanka Erik Solheim says the blatant denials of the govt on the human rights issue will only increase the resolve of others on the same issue. He was responding to a Colombo Gazette tweet quoting Minister Keheliya Rambukwella who had said that the govt had not committed human rights violations during or after the war. Rambukwella had said that the govt more..

Listing on CSE via introductions returns

Oct 14 (FT) Introductions, the once popular and easy route for listing on the Colombo Stock Exchange is back via a directive from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following public and stakeholder consultation. Listings via introductions were suspended by the SEC in March last year after the process was found to be misused by some much to the concern of retail investors. more..

Posters in North denouncing Premachandran

Oct 14 (DM) A large number of posters had sprung up in several areas in the North including the Kilinochchi town area criticising TNA MP and EPRLF leader Suresh Premachandran and praising the decision taken by Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran over the appointments of ministers for the Northern Provincial Council. Sources said that posters put up mainly in Kilinochchi, Paranthan and Mullaitivu area more..

SAITM ties up with AIT, Thailand

Oct 14 (Island) The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) is now expected to tie up with the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) to offer latter’s degrees via satellite. A high level AIT delegation visited the SAITM last week to do a feasibility study for that purpose. SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando said a high powered delegation from the AIT comprising former Deputy Prime Minister more..

COPE exposes, Opposition proposes, Govt. disposes

Oct 14 (ST) Parliament took the unprecedented step of holding a two-day debate last week on the Report of COPE, which was presented to the House in July this year. COPE probed the accounts of 244 State-run institutions that come under the purview of this Committee. Here are extracts of speeches made by Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga who opened the debate on behalf of the Opposition, and the COPE Chairman more..

CHOGM: SL to follow same guidelines as Australia in screening media personnel

Oct 14 (DN) Background checks were being done on international journalists who applied for press accreditation to cover the CHOGM in Sri Lanka next month, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. He said whether to allow or not to allow the participation of some foreign journalists belonging to media organisations will be on the same guidelines Australia followed in hosting the 2011 summit in Perth. more..