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BoC says strong demand for debt offer

Oct 17 (LBO) A planned 8.0 billion rupee debt offer by state-run Bank of Ceylon is seeing strong demand with preliminary orders and interest assessed at about 15 billion rupees, officials said. The subordinated debt with tenors ranging from 5 to 10 years offer has tax free annual interest of up to 13.75%. P A Lionel head of Treasury and International at Bank of Ceylon said the 8.0 billion rupee offer is expected to be twice oversubscribed when it opens Monday (21). more..

Dissent in govt. over Casino gazette

Oct 17 (DM) Govt ally, the JHU, which recently described itself as an ‘opposition within the govt’ said yesterday it would vote against the casino gazette notification scheduled to be taken up for voting after a two-day debate next week. JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said he and Minister Champika Ranawaka would vote against the gazette notification on Oct 24 and 25. “As a party the JHU will vote against the casino more..

32 Indian fishermen arrested

Oct 17 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Navy on Thursday arrested 32 Indian fishermen and seized four trawlers near Pulmoddai, off SL’s north-eastern seas, for alleged illegal fishing activity. They were taken to Trincomalee for legal action. The arrest comes days after 37 fishermen from Rameswaram and Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu were arrested off Thalaimannar and the Deft Islands on Monday. Observing that the issue of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters had become more..

SL A ease to seven-wicket win

Oct 17 (CI) Pabasara Waduge struck an unbeaten 54 as Sri Lanka A sauntered to a seven-wicket victory over Development XI in the second four-dayer, at SSC. Sri Lanka A required 74 to win, with all wickets intact on the fourth morning, and though two batsmen were dismissed in the third over of the day, Waduge ensured the stumble would be of little consequence. He hit six fours and a six in his 74-ball knock. Vishwa Fernando had been the bowler whose double-strike provided more..

One week- Two oath ceremonies for lucky Vigneswaran

Oct 17 (IL) Newly elected Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Vigneshwaran was sworn in once again for more ministerial portfolios of the provincial council this morning at the Presidential Secretariat. The Chief Minister took oaths before President Rajapaksa. This is the first time in history that a chief minister took oaths twice in a week. Earlier Wigneswaran was sworn in as the NP Chief Minister on Oct 11th. more..

68 St. John's fishermen without place of trade

Oct 17 (CT) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has requested the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to report before 20 October, on whether 68 traditional fishermen, who have been removed from the former St. John's Fish Market in Pettah can be accommodated at the unused municipal abattoir at Baseline Road, Dematagoda. Roshan Perera, President of the St. John's Fisheries Marketing Association Limited, said they belong to a clan of fish traders, more..

CPC gets new 27,000-tonne consignment

Oct 17 (CT) The CPC yesterday (15) received a fresh stock of 27,000 tonnes of Octane 92 fuel from Petro China Chemicals of China, which was being discharged in the afternoon. "This was in lieu of the earlier rejected stock of Octane 89, which also came from the same supplier, CPC Managing Director, Susantha Silva said. The previous stock was rejected not because it was contaminated or substandard but due to the level of Octane, which was 89 and not 90 as it was expected to be. more..

'Force Sri Lanka to end rights abuses'

Oct 17 (IANS) Diplomats from Commonwealth countries meeting here Thursday must push Sri Lanka to end its crackdown on human rights defenders, Amnesty International said. The Commonwealth Committee of the Whole is meeting Oct 17-18 to prepare for the CHOGM in Colombo. "Commonwealth countries must agree new measures to address the continuing human rights crisis in Sri Lanka and especially to more..

Fake Oxford, Cambridge mania

Oct 18 (NS) It is undeniable that everyone with a sense of education would consider it an honor to attend a university like Oxford or Cambridge in England. An opportunity to study at Oxford or Cambridge comes through a challenging as well as costly process. Fluency in English is a must as well as vigorous academic performance, when it comes to gaining admission. In simple terms it is “once in a lifetime opportunity”. Nevertheless, a conscious walk along a town, looking at the posters or more..

Young people's Voice in the chogm

Oct 18 (DM) The countdown has begun. With just over a month to go before the Commonwealth Youth Forum 2013 kicks off in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, the pre-forum discussion has already begun this week. The second development is that the sub-themes for the Forum have now been finalised. They will include the following: Reconciliation and Social Cohesion; Youth and the Post-2015 Agenda; Well-being and growth; Education; Generating Quality Youth Employment; Gender Equality; more..

Cyber crimes on the increase

Oct 18 (SO) The Sri Lankan cyber situation is now getting out of hand with users being affected by hacking into websites and social networking sites. Many innocent lives especially the younger generation have fallen prey to somebody with a disturbed mindset through these social networking sites or on the other hand organisations being subjected to organised cyber attacks from foreign entities. The banking sector too is at risk but more..

A people out of the box

Oct 18 (NS) During the twilight of the Vanniyas, that is, the latter half of the 19th century, the last remaining representatives of that identity were found eking out a living in several villages of Nuvarakalaviya (North Central province) and Northern province (mainly around Vavuniya in Kurunthankulam and Nochcikulam or Chinna Cheddikulam). They were living, breathing fossils of a species of people that have entered case studies of modern historiography as exemplifiers of more..

Send your name to the stars!

Oct 18 (CT) Would you like to send your name to the stars – as part of a message from humanity to alien beings out there? It could be as easy as signing an online petition, addressed to the US space agency – NASA. A worldwide group of starry-eyed people – drawn from all walks of life, all sharing an interest in space exploration are hoping to persuade NASA to include a message to the stars aboard its New Horizons spacecraft, now on its way to Pluto. The New Horizons Message Initiative (NHMI), more..

When the Missing don’t return

Oct 18 (IPS) Some call it ‘frozen loss,’ a point in time that families and relatives find almost impossible to extricate themselves out of, even years after their loved ones have disappeared. “The families of the missing get into a [state of] tunnel vision,” says Bhava Poudyal, mental health delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Azerbaijan. He is talking about the thousands of families still searching for their more..

What is Sajith?

Oct 18 (CT) If Sajith Premadasa is to replace Ranil Wickremesinghe as the leader of the main opposition party of Sri Lanka, the ‘what’ of Sajith should constitute the leadership material for the UNP. It is clear that Sajith relies heavily on the Premadasa factor embedded in his name as he is the only son of the late President R Premadasa, the man who successfully spearheaded one of the most important individual revolutions in Sri Lankan politics, rising to presidency from the more..

Measuring happiness and its sustainability

Oct 18 (CT) Recently, Columbia University’s Earth Institute, published the World Happiness Report 2013. Happiness was measured by this American University utilising indicators such as economic growth (GDP), life expectancy, level of social support, perception of corruption, and the freedom to make choices on lifestyle, etc. The analysis was based on data available between 2010 and 2012 and with the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. more..

ලිංගික වින්දනය සහ පෙත්තේ මිත්යාව

MR, Gambia and the relevance of the Commonwealth

Oct 18 (CT) President Rajapaksa has recently been rubbing shoulders with some of the least salubrious leaders in the world. Increasingly authoritarian President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, King Mswati III of Swaziland, late Mohammed Gadaffi of Libya, eccentric former President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, were among those who visited Sri Lanka, on the invitation of their Sri Lankan counterpart. However, as the incumbent President of Sri Lanka is about to take over the more..

Sri Lanka’s CDB gets US$ 6 mn funding line from Belgium based BIO

Oct 18 (N360) Citizens Development Business Finance has received a US$ 6 million (Rs. 780 mn) foreign funding line from Brussels based Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, announced the firm in a stock market disclosure. The Company says, this funding line comes with a 4 year tenure and has been fully hedged against any exchange rate fluctuations on a fixed interest rate. CDB says, its urban funding, rural lending business model and the pyramid focus lending more..

Katina season begins, ending the Vassana season

Oct 18 (CT) Today, is the Full Moon Poya Day of Vap, 2557 years since the passing away of Siddhartha Gauthama Buddha, on which day the Katina Season or the Cheevara Masaya begins, concluding the Vassana or the rainy season of the Bhikkhu Sangha in this year. 2603 years ago, the Buddha spent three months commencing from the month of Esala with His five ascetics namely Kondanna, Vappa, Baddiya, Mahanama more..

Sri Lanka damns own, pampers foreigners

Oct 18 (CT) The selection of an Australian based teenage pole-vaulter to receive a financial grant under the Olympic Solidarity Program ahead of several promising local stars has raised serious doubts over claims Sri Lanka was focused on taking care of home grown talent. Muditha Jayasekara a 17-year old residing in Australia will receive a monthly grant of US$ 1000 for a three year period along with badminton star Niluka Karunaratne, the 28-year-old national champion. more..

Editorial: Blood and water

Oct 18 (Island) The Rathupaswala water problem which led to public protests, resulting in three deaths is not yet over. There have been sporadic demonstrations since the brutal crackdown in August and attempts are still being made in some quarters to politicise the issue. It was only the other day that the police stopped a vehicle procession purportedly aimed at raising public awareness of water-related issues in the Gampaha District. Members of a pressure groups cobbled more..

China to crown Lankan ties with FTA

Oct 18 (FT) The forthcoming China-Sri Lanka FTA is the biggest development in Sino-Lanka cooperation history since the 1952 Rubber-Rice Pact and China is keen to see the groundwork on this FTA completed by December. “My mission is to start the China-Sri Lanka FTA process. The forthcoming FTA is the biggest development in China-Sri Lanka bilateral cooperation since the Rubber-Rice Pact more..

Mihin Lanka direct flights to Seychelles

Oct 18 (DN) Mihin Lanka will operate direct flights to Seychelles from Nov 16 as the airline's 11th destination. Mihin Lanka will commence the service in line with the airlines sector development initiatives. At the initial stage the flight will conduct two frequencies per week, leave Colombo on Wednesday and Saturday at 1.30pm. Mihin Lanka operates to 10 destination todate. They are Bahrain, Delhi, Dhaka, Dubai, Bodh Gaya, Jakarta, Madurai, Medan, Sharjah and Varanasi. more..

Chinese art students hold mixed media painting exhibition on Sri Lanka in Shanghai

Oct 18 (FT) Following a visit of a Chinese group of students and their parents to Sri Lanka, facilitated by the Consulate General, a mixed media painting exhibition organised by the school founder Jing Xia was held at the school in the Gubei area Shanghai, recently. Xia, a professor in Arts at the Design and Art Department, Dong Hua University in Shanghai, is a well-known artist and art teacher in Shanghai, who has pioneered the use of diversified materials to promote creativity in painting in China. more..

State mulls takeover of unused funds in commercial banks

Oct 18 (ST) The govt is mulling the takeover of undisbursed money in dedicated ‘Investment Fund Accounts (IFAs)’ of state and private commercial banks, official sources said. These accounts were opened by banks in support of Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SME) in the island under a 2011 budget proposal. Then the govt reduced VAT on financial services to 12% from 20% and reduced tax on profits of banking and more..

Sri Lanka Paralympic Movement receives boost after signing deal with Allianz

Oct 18 (IG) Allianz Lanka, a unit of the Munich-based company, has signed up to sponsor Sri Lanka's National Federation of Sports for the Disabled (NFSD). The company, which has had a partnership with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2006 and two years ago became its first-ever International Partner, already has partnerships with National Paralympic Committees from around the world, including Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, more..

Nanotechnology Centre of Excellence opens on Monday

Oct 18 (DN) Sri Lanka's first ever nanotechnology park 'Nanotechnology Centre of Excellence' (NCE) put up with state and private investment will be opened by President Rajapaksa on Oct 21. It was constructed under the first phase of the Science Park being built in Pitipana in Homagama. The park was constructed with an investment of Rs. 2,081.5 million, of which the government's investment was Rs 1,771.5 million, with the private sector investing Rs 310 million. more..

Rajapaksa gets both bouquets and brickbats from people in 8 districts in pre-budget poll

Oct 18 (ST) President Rajapaksa and the govt came in for both praise and criticism on a plethora of issues relating to spending, development and social values, an opinion poll has revealed. The results of the poll held, in the towns of eight districts are given in the graphical charts on this page. Here are comments received from a cross section of the population including workers, students and others coming into town to use daily services: more..

Political tug-of-war over PM Manmohan Singh's Sri Lanka trip

Oct 18 (ET) A tug of war is on between India's diplomatic establishment and TN politicians over whether PM Manmohan Singh should attend next month's summit of Commonwealth countries in Colombo, with the foreign ministry strongly pitching for his travel. Former TN chief minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and other political parties from the state including the state unit of the Congress want Singh to boycott the November 15-17 CHOGM to express solidarity more..

Umpiring blunder cuts down Thirimanne's team

Oct 18 (CT) An umpiring blunder changed the fortunes of the Sri Lanka Development Squad team when they appeared to be cruising towards a challenging lead which was cut short on the third day of their four-day Triangular series match against the Sri Lanka A team at the SSC ground. The Development Squad team were 254 for 6, a lead of 74 runs as Lahiru Thirimanne on 46 was striking the ball well and set for a bigger contribution after making an unbeaten 95 in the first innings. more..

BBS wants Defence Ministry to take over Archaeological Department

Oct 18 (DM) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) yesterday accused the Archaeological Department of destroying artefacts and urged that they be placed under the purview of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. “The Archaeological Department is not capable of protecting our heritage. There are some corrupt officers in the department. They are giving away clues to treasure hunters. more..

Record prices at tea auctions

Oct 18 (FT) At this week’s low grown auctions a line of BOP grade from Parakaduwa Factory in Ratnapura planting district set an all time record price of Rs. 850 per kilogram which surpassed the all time record price established by them last week which was Rs. 830 per kilogram for the same grade. The buyer of this line of tea was Imperial Teas Ltd. Parakaduwa factory is owned by M.D. Ariyasena an enterprising entrepreneur who commenced operations with one factory and now owns more..

'Some graduates unmarketable'

Oct 18 (CT) The Ministry of Higher Education said yesterday that some graduates produced by State universities are unemployable and unmarketable, and added that the teaching methods used in universities have to undergo drastic changes, in order to produce employable graduates. “Though the market is asking for CDs, the universities are still producing gramophones,” Higher Education Ministry Secretary, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne, said. He also said the concept of Arts undergraduates more..

No seniors charged for Noori terror

Oct 18 (DM) No Senior Police officers in charge of the Deraniyagala area had been charge sheeted yet for the alleged atrocities committed during 2005 and 2013, Police said today. A Special Investigations Unit was to probe the role played by the Police in the area, subsequent to the murder of Noori Estate Superintendent Nihal Perera by a gang allegedly led by former Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Anil Champika alias Athakota. more..

Nine defeated DP candidates seek recount

Oct 18 (Island) Nine Democratic Party candidates who were defeated at the Sept. 21 CPC election have filed a Writ application in the Court of Appeal, seeking a recount of preferential votes. Former army chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka heads the DP. The petitioners, A.G. Herath Banda, of Manikhinna and eight others, have requested the Court to cancel the election of the two candidates to the CPC. Those candidates declared elected are C.A. Galappaththy and Asanga Tilakaratne. more..

LRH finally gets MRI scanner courtesy First Lady

Oct 18 (Island) First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa has intervened to rectify a grave shortcoming at the country’s premier children’s hospital. The non-availability of a MRI machine, at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) caused children to referred to the NHSL and other hospitals for MRI scanning. Parents of the patients made numerous complaints to the health authorities but to no avail. Since the inception of the LRH in 1896, there had been no MRI machine installed in the hospital. more..

Sri Lanka says men accused of killing Khuram Shaikh will face trial in weeks

Oct 18 (Guardian) Six men accused of murdering a British tourist and raping his girlfriend in Sri Lanka two years ago will face trial within weeks, according to one of the island's most senior legal officials. Khuram Shaikh, a 32-year-old Red Cross worker from Rochdale, was killed on Christmas Day 2011 while on holiday with his Russian girlfriend in the southern resort of Tangalle. It is thought he was attacked while trying to protect her from more..

'Sridharan should not be allowed to visit Colombo'

Oct 18 (CT) The Sinhala-Buddhist organization, Ravana Balaya said, if TNA MP, S. Sridharan, is demanding that the Sinhala people should leave Jaffna, then the TNA MP should not be allowed to visit Colombo to attend Parliament. “It is a historical fact that the Sinhala people had been resident in Jaffna and therefore Sridharan making Jaffna his birth place and trying to expel the Sinhalese from Jaffna is most reprehensible,” Ven. Iththekande Saddhatissa Thera, Secretary of the more..

Prince Philip planted tea in Sri Lanka 59 years ago, son Prince Charles to visit estate

Oct 18 (LR) Britain’s Prince Charles will visit a Sri Lankan tea estate next month, following in the footsteps of his father Prince Philip, who planted tea in Pedro Estate, Nuwara Eliya in 1954. Nearly six decades ago Prince Philip drove up the hills of Pedro Estate in an open top car and met with the plantation’s workers after a tea planting ceremony. The tea harvested from a bush planted by the Prince went on sale for about $40 a cup last year to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. more..