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The forgotten side to Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (Stuff) Darkness descends and the fighting stops - it's stifling hot down in the bunker. The group huddle together, breathing the same stagnant air for hours, days, weeks on end. The fighting in these final stages of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war is brutal. For Jeyea's sister, it becomes too much. She needs to get out - to give her one-and-a-half-year old baby some fresh air. It's late at night, there's no shelling, so she makes her way to more..

Exporters hold discussions with Czech envoy

Oct 15 (Island) The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) organized a meeting of member exporters with the Ambassador of the Czech Republic Miloslav Stasek last Wednesday, at the NCE Conference Room. Mangala Yapa – Vice President of the NCE made the introductory remarks. The Ambassador addressed the members on the current business trends, potential for exports, imports, investments and services, for Sri Lankan Exporters in the Czech Republic. more..

The past, present and future of the securities market of Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (Island) It has been 4 years since our country ended the war on separatism in 2009. We have achieved lasting peace and political stability. Today the country has an undivided focus on economic development. With the war coming to an end more funds are available for economic development. There are business opportunities everywhere both local and international. The initial few years has been spent laying the foundation and getting the policy framework geared to support more..

'Tamil people will not be humiliated'

Oct 15 (SL) As the newly elected Northern Provincial Council took oaths this week, there were members of the TNA who voiced their distaste towards the official selections. Despite internal conflicts, the TNA has softened its stance towards the govt. Once functioning as a proxy of the LTTE and Tamil Diaspora, the TNA is now willing to work together with the government in the best interest of the Tamil people of the Northern peninsula. more..

President to attend Tea Exporters AGM today

Oct 15 (FT) President Rajapaksa is scheduled to attend the Tea Exporters Association (TEA) Annual General Meeting today at the Hilton Colombo from 7 p.m. onwards. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe will be the Guest of Honour at the TEA’s 14th AGM. The days’ proceedings will include the current Chairman of TEA Rohan Fernando presenting to President Rajapaksa the status of the tea export industry and the TEA’s plans to support the Govt’s efforts to increase exports toward the goal of more..

Japanese hydro power firms gets BOI nod

Oct 15 (Island) The BoI signed an agreement with Kosgulana Hydro Company to set up a Mini Hydro Power plant. Dr Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman of the BOI signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and Watanabe Satoru, Chairman and Mohamed Azam Koya, Director of the company have signed the agreement on behalf of the company. The wire site of the 1.5 MW project is located on Kukule Ganga in Kosgulana village in the Ayagama Divisional Secretariat in Ratnapura. more..

Touchwood submits repayment plan to Court

Oct 15 (FT) Touchwood Investments (TWOD) via its lawyers yesterday presented to Commercial High Court a full repayment plan on all maturing agarwood contracts executed in Sri Lanka with regard to plantations in Thailand. As per the plan, TWOD will pay 100% due to agarwood plantation customers within eight months on the basis of 25% in three months, 25% in five months and the balance 50% in eight months. When the case was taken up in more..

Police thanked me for my cooperation, now seeking warrant for my arrest: Mangy

Oct 15 (FT) Matara Police who had thanked him for cooperating with the Police investigation into the 5 October clashes between two warring UNP groups were now seeking a warrant for his arrest, UNP Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera charged yesterday. Issuing a special media release, Samaraweera who is currently in Matara said he would be presenting himself to Matara courts at 9 a.m. today and that he would continue his fight against the Rajapaksa regime. more..

Educational community center increases opportunities for Sri Lankan students

Oct 15 (OEF) Rainbow Bridge is a community education center situated in Batticaloa, on the East coast of the island of Sri lanka. Sri Lanka is an island racked with the consequences of a 30 year long civil war, which caused a rift between the two main ethnic groups. Education became secondary to warfare, and many young people’s educational development was interrupted. But peacetime has brought with it many new opportunities for learning from a dedicated group of empathetic more..

Rare surgery at Kalmunai Ashraf Hospital

Oct 15 (DN) A rare surgery was performed on a woman suffering from Gastro-Oesophageal, a form of cancer, at the Kalmunai Ashraf Memorial Hospital by Dr. A.W.M. Sameem of Maruthamunai who is serving at the Sammanthurai Base Hospital. The operation lasted eight hours although no blood transfusion was made. It was touch and go for the 64-year-old patient who was neither able to take any food or liquid for nine months. more..

Country kids flock to nudge Tillekaratne

Oct 15 (CT) Scores of teenage cricketers from four districts flocked to impress former Sri Lanka captain Hashan Tillekaratne when he spearheaded a project to discover new talent for the team's future. The occasion marked Sri Lanka Cricket's National Coaching Department together with the national selectors venturing out on a course to conduct what they called a Talent Search Program at the Dambulla International Cricket Stadium last week. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said the more..

Russian help for SL's export industry

Oct 15 (DN) The Russian government will assist Sri Lanka to develop its export industry while providing more opportunities for Sri Lankan products in the Russian market, Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alexander Karchava said. Alexander who met Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi at the ministry, said Russia was looking forward to have more investment opportunities in Sri Lanka to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. more..

NPC inaugural sessions on Oct 25

Oct 15 (Island) The inaugural sessions of the NPC would take place in the newly constructed Secretariat at Kaithady on Oct. 25, ITAK General Secretary, MP, Mavai Senathirajah said. Meanwhile, former TELO leader and MP M. K. Sivajilingam, who was among those who boycotted last Friday’s swearing in ceremony, said that he had taken his oaths before a medical doctor at Mullivaikkal yesterday. more..

Supplementary estimates of over Rs. 1 billion

Oct 15 (ST) Rs.100 million has been allocated from funds of the President’s Secretariat as a supplementary allocation to renovate the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre ahead of November’s CHOGM. The opening ceremony of CHOGM will be held at the Theatre which was opened last September. A supplementary allocation of Rs. 100 million has also been made to improve the facilities at the BMICH for CHOGM, according to documents tabled in Parliament last week. more..

Three-wheeler heroin racket exposed

Oct 15 (CT) The Bogawantalawa Police has exposed a racket in which heroin was being peddled in three-wheelers, while those travelling in them were purportedly going on family excursions. A high-ranking police officer said, when a three-wheeler under suspicion was searched, 13 packets of heroin weighing two grams each, were discovered. A woman, her 11-year-old sister, another individual and the driver of the three-wheeler were taken into custody. more..

Sri Lanka values state fixed assets

Oct 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka is valuing fixed state assets as part of efforts to move into accrual accounting and about 75% of land and buildings have been valued so far. Nimal Rajakaruna, chief valuer of department of valuations said the agency planned to complete the assessments by December. "The valuations are being made under fair value basis." Rajakaruna said. Govt is moving into accrual accounting instead of cash accounts. more..

UMT to host Unity Camp 06 at Killinochchi

Oct 15 (GDI) This October in Killinochchi, 500 student leaders from all over the island will gather; they have been nominated by their respective school to attend the 6th Unity Camp – hosted by Ekamuthu Oray Makal Unity Mission Trust. The camp will be conducted from the 17th to the 20th of Oct, and will also have over 40 teachers and 60 volunteers (most of who are past campers) in attendance. The Unity Mission Trust has been in existence since May 2009 and is a registered non-profit trust more..

Caught selling rotten apples

Oct 15 (CT) Police took into custody 22 fruit and vegetable vendors from Pettah yesterday, for selling rotten apples, grapes and vegetables to customers. The traders had made neat packs of the fruits and vegetables, which customers who are in a rush to get to their homes after work, purchase without being aware that the produce they have bought are partly rotting. In a three-hour raid conducted, the police deploying 10 teams nabbed the traders who had the packs of fruits and vegetables more..

Norochcholai recommissioning delayed?

Oct 15 (Island) The re-commissioning of the country’s first coal fired power plant, at Norochcholai, scheduled for today, has been postponed as the annual maintenance work has not been completed. This would result in the CEB continuing to spend billions of rupees on costly power purchases. National Electricity Consumers’ Movement (NECM) Advisor cum Convener Bandula Chandrasekera said that more..

Wealthy businessman’s killers identified

Oct 15 (Island) The police have managed to identify those behind Sunday (13) night’s killing of a wealthy businessman, over a financial transaction, at Yahakatuwa, Minuwangoda. According to the police 52-year-old businessman Nandana Kumarasiri Ramanayake, a father of two, was shot in front of his house as he was returning after listening to a dhamma sermon. He was shot in the chest by a person from Mirigama, who had been involved in a number of other killings. more..

Health Minister pays tribute to WHO

Oct 15 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the Sri Lankan govt was grateful to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for supporting and granting funds to promote the health sector. When Sri Lanka faced an unexpected disaster in 2004, the WHO had granted around Rs. 1,000 million to the health sector. At the same time many countries were of assistance to Sri Lanka during the disaster, the minister said at the felicitation ceremony held at BMICH for more..

'Lanka's economic growth encouraging despite global, domestic challenges'

Oct 15 (DN) Despite a challenging global and domestic environment, the Sri Lankan economy grew by an encouraging 6.3% during the first half of 2013 with a 6.8% growth in the second quarter while keeping inflation contained in single digits, Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. Addressing the Annual Meeting of the IMF and the World Bank (WB) Group in Washington D.C on Friday, Governor of the World Bank Group more..

Commonwealth meet in Sri Lanka: PM tries to allay Karunanidhi’s concerns

Oct 15 (TOI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said a decision on his participation in the CHOGM would be taken only after considering all relevant factors, including the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu and the DMK party. The Prime Minister was responding to the concerns expressed by DMK chief M Karunanidhi over the deteriorating health of Tamil National Liberation Movement general secretary Thiyagu, who has been on hunger strike since October 1. more..

Report on the Welikada Prison riots out soon

Oct 15 (CT) A source from the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms said, the report on the Welikada Prison riots that took place in November 2012, will be released soon. The report by the Committee that was tasked to investigate the riots had handed the report to the Ministry on 24 Sept 2013. Secretary to the Ministry, G.S. Vithanage, said that Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera is planning on meeting the media and concerned groups next week, to reveal the contents more..

'Govt forgoes Rs. 120 b from Packer venture'

Oct 15 (FT) Terming it the “greatest betrayal of the people,” UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva insisted minimum losses to the public from tax concessions to casino mogul James Packer’s US$ 350 million project would be in the range of Rs. 120 billion annually. Referring to pictures carried in most newspapers on Monday of Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene and Packer smiling at each other, de Silva termed it as more..

Is this development?

Oct 15 (DM) The revelations by three MPs, one from the govt benches during last week’s Parliamentary debate on the report of the COPE might have puzzled many as to where the country is economically heading to. Also, people as tax payers have the inalienable right to know as to what happens to their hard-earned monies that are accumulated by the public coffers through various means. One speaker, UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe referring to the report he had more..

What’s wrong with our universities?

Oct 15 (DM) For a long period of time, the universities in Sri Lanka have been central to the success of the national higher education enterprise, pursuing distinctive missions while responding to changing societal expectations to expand and diversify their functions. In recent years, however, a number of educationalists and opinion-shapers have begun to question about many aspects of our universities and demanding greater attention to undergraduate education, and more..

Docs perform miracle surgery

Oct 15 (CT) A team of doctors attached to the Neurology Unit of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Galle, were able to perform a miraculous surgery on a five-year-old boy, whose skull had been fractured in eight different places. In doing so, they had saved the boy's life. Sources said when the patient was brought to the hospital, some parts of his brain had come out and he was unconscious. more..

Ode to survival

Oct 15 (SL) The past week has seen duplicity at its best – this time round courtesy of the UNP the so-called ‘lead’ opposition party in Sri Lanka. Two factions, one aligned to Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremasinghe and the other aligned to Sajith Premadasa, a much touted figure to succeed Ranil and take the UNP to polls victories, made a huge song and dance about the leadership of the party on the streets of Matara. more..

President opens the renovated E.L. Senanayake Children’s park

Oct 15 (IL) President Rajapaksa opened the renovated E.L. Senanayake Children’s Park in the city of Kandy recently. It is the first urban children’s park and one of the oldest situated at the Ampitiya junction along the Kandy Lake Round Road. The park which was built in 1969 named in honour of E.L. Senanayake, former Mayour of Kandy and prominent SL politician. The Park had been completely neglected more..

Public places, blocked gutters at homes breeding mosquitoes

Oct 15 (ST) “Some people donate coins to the gods, seeking protection from evil spirits, but it is more important to check the vicinity of your home at least once a week for mosquitoes,” was the Health Ministry’s message to mark National Mosquito Control Week that began on October 7 and ends today. However, raids conducted within this week revealed mosquito breeding grounds were mainly found in bus depots, cemeteries, more..

Sri Lanka arrests 37 Indian fishermen

Oct 15 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan navy arrested 37 Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri Lankan waters on Tuesday. The fishermen had been arrested overnight after they crossed the IMBL in the northern seas. A group of 22 fishermen were arrested and their boats seized off Thalaimannar in the north while another group of 15 Indian fishermen were arrested off the Delft Islands, also in the north. The fishermen will be brought shore and more..

Weather to clear soon with end of monsoon

Oct 15 (Island) The Meteorology Department predicted that the rainy weather currently experienced would ease within the next two to three days with the receding of cyclonic conditions in the Bay of Bengal. Meteorologist Jeevan Karunaratne said that the sudden rains experienced in the Sabaragamuwa and Western Provinces and Galle and Matara Districts were caused by the Cyclone Phailin which struck India. more..

SL cuts lending rates, hoping for growth

Oct 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka's central bank on Tuesday cut benchmark lending rates by 50 basis points, saying the move was aimed at encouraging growth despite IMF warnings against monetary easing. The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka reduced its key lending rate from 9% to 8.5% and reduced deposit rates from 7% to 6.5% in the third easing since December. The bank said the cut would help Sri Lanka achieve more..

'No decision yet on attending CHOGM'

Oct 15 (Xinhua) India’s participation in the Commonwealth summit in SL next month would be decided upon after considering all factors, including sentiments of Tamils and the DMK, PM Manmohan Singh assured on Tuesday. There has been speculation over India’s participation in the CHOGM, scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka next month, and the prime minister conveyed his assurance in a letter to DMK president Karunanidhi. more..

Collecting of data for new NIC begins Nov. 01

Oct 15 (Island) The Registration of Persons Department (ROPD) has commenced a programme to educate Grama Niladharis, in the 14,020 divisions of the country, to collect data to set up a data base for the issuance of Electronic National Identity Cards (E-NICs), Commissioner (Operations and IT) S. L. Nazeer said yesterday. Nazeer said that the new Electronic NIC would contain security features used globally by more..

SEC gives Rs. 5 mn to 'Tharunyata Hetak'

Oct 15 (DM) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed yesterday that it provided Tharunyata Hetak movement monies close to five million rupees, for “awareness creation regarding capital markets." Tharunyata Hetak is the youth movement headed by MP Namal Rajapaksa, son of President Rajapaksa. Director General of the SEC Dhammika Perera said that the funds were provided to Tharunyata Hetak more..

Stocks close 0.16% higher, rupee weaker

Oct 15 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.16% with foreign buying surging, mainly into the rights issue of John Keells Holdings and the rupee weakened. All Share Price Index closed 9.36 points higher, up 0.16%, after reaching an intraday high of 5,972.55 on Tuesday, provisional data showed. The S&P SL20 closed 12.54 points higher at 3,301.28, up 0.38%. Turnover reached 2.5 billion rupees, up from 233.26 million a day earlier, with shares of 118 firms making gains against 73 losers. more..

The institutional background for devolution of power must be put in place

Oct 15 (CT) The Govt and the NPC have got off to a good start displaying much goodwill to each other. It is now necessary to make the NPC work. All persons who wish peace and good governance will be happy indeed. But there are several obstacles and challenges that have to be ironed out if the NPC is to function in a manner that will fulfill the expectation of the people of the North and make them willingly give up the demand for a separate state put forward by the Tamil Expatriates. more..

WikiLeaks: Ranil never really took people into confidence

Oct 15 (CT) “Overall, the discontent within the UNP stems from the view of many party members (and outside observers) that Wickremesinghe led the party poorly in the April election campaign.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The related leaked cable is from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and discuses the UNP’s internal crisis after the 2005 April election. more..