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Sangakkara 169 takes Board XI to dominant position

Oct 23 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara's 169 propelled Board XI to a dominant position on day two of their four-dayer against Sri Lanka A at Sinhalese Sports Club. A sodden outfield had made play impossible on day one, and with two days remaining, Board XI have almost batted the opposition out of the match, ending the day on 427 for 5. Dimuth Karunaratne and Mahela Jayawardene made 73 and 86 respectively, during long associations with Sangakkara. Sangakkara first rebuilt after more..

Fitch affirms Standard Chartered Bank at 'AAA(lka)'/Stable

Oct 23 (Reuters) Fitch Ratings has affirmed Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka Branch's (SCBSL) National Long-Term Rating at 'AAA(lka)'. The Outlook is Stable. The rating action follows the affirmation of Standard Chartered Bank's (SCB) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'AA-' with Stable Outlook on 23 October 2013. KEY RSCBSL's rating is at the highest end of the National Rating scale and reflects the credit profile and financial strength of the head office SCB. more..

CHOGM: Malaysian PM’s attendance confirmed

Oct 23 (FMT) Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will attend the 23rd CHOGM which will be held in Sri Lanka. “We have confirmation that PM Najib Tun Razak will be attending CHOGM next month,” said Foreign Ministry’s assistant secretary for the South Asian desk, Mashitah Ahmad. There have been calls by certain parties for Malaysia to boycott the meeting following Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes against its Tamil population. more..

Chemicals used for abortions destroyed by Customs

Oct 23 (CT) Over 30,000 vials of chemicals used in injections for abortions have been destroyed by the Customs Department this morning. The injections were confiscated by the Customs Task Force last April, and have been valued at Rs. 30 million, Customs Director General Jagath P. Wijeweera said. Acting on a tip off, the head of Customs Revenue Monitoring Unit Mali Piyasena detained the container which the injections were stored in for five days. The vials of injections were hidden more..

Devinuwara PS Opp.leader sacked

Oct 23 (DM) Devinuwara Pradesiya Sabah Opposition Leader Thusahara Wijesuriya has today received a letter dismissing him from his post. Mr. Wijesuriyais said to have participated in the October 5 protest march against UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at Matara. “Yes I took a prominent part at the rally and that is the reason why they sacked me, I did this for the sake of the people and the people are with me. I am still a member of the Urban Council and I don’t need positions to more..

Matale bone samples ready for DNA testing

Oct 23 (CT) After nearly a year since the skeletal fragments were found in a mass grave behind the Matale Base Hospital, samples of the bones will soon be ready for DNA testing. Former JMO of Matale, Dr. Ajith Jayasena, said the forensic examination on the dental remains of the skeletons will be completed in the next two weeks, and that arrangements will be made to conduct DNA testing on the bone fragments of the skeletons. more..

A ‘yes we can’ story from Vavuniya

Oct 24 (NS) The Southern Provincial Council can brag. And they have. A missive from the Sumith Weerasinghe, Media Coordinator of the Minister of Education, Lands and Land Development, Highways, Media, Rural and Plantation Infrastructure Development, notes that 4,702 out of 40,299 children who had sat the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination had scored more than the cut-off mark (160 in Matara and Galle, and 156 in Hambantota). more..

A genial and knowledgeable officer

Oct 24 (NS) The demise of General Denis Perera, VSV, D.Litt. FMCI (UK), FL Mgt (SL), ndc, pc SLE on August 14, 2013 has brought great sadness and sorrow not only to his family, his loved ones, his colleagues and friends but also to us who were in Sri Lanka Air Force in the 1970s and 1980s and who were privileged to know and work with or under him in Joint Services operations and other Service and social events. ‘Colonel Denis’ as I knew and called him in those ‘Air Force days’ was more..

Pesticides on a plate

Oct 24 (NS) Research reports reveal that although a Pesticides Act exists to safeguard consumer interest, there is no Maximum Residue Level (MRI) in place or regulations to enforce it. Nearly every food item from rice to vegetables and fruits available in the market are contaminated with poisonous pesticides, authorities caution. An awareness program is to be launched from August 28 with this regard. more..

Auditing key policy functions of a CB

Oct 24 (CT) Central banks are subject to a financial audit either by local auditors or by international auditors or by both. The local auditors are usually those from the state audit office, the Auditor General in Sri Lanka’s case, who conduct the audit as mandated by the laws establishing central banks. For instance, Section 42 of the Monetary Law Act or MLA under which the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has been set up requires the Auditor General to audit the “accounts of the Central Bank” more..

A Northern path to reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Oct 24 (GV) I salute the people of the Northern Province for showing the door to the self-proclaimed “People’s Dynasty”; the only province in the country to do so, which is a glimmer of hope for re-establishment of democracy in the country. Although I am not a fan of the TNA, I wholeheartedly welcome its landslide win in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections as a symbolic defeat of corruption, crime, cronyism, militarism, and nepotism of the Rajapaksa regime. more..

Mixed expectations from 2014 Budget

Oct 24 (SL) The budget is a yearly reflection of a larger economic vision of the govt to financially strengthen the country, even though in the Sri Lankan context, many politicians who come into power hold the view that the budget is a private treasure to be enjoyed during their term of office. Sri Lanka has been unfavorably maintaining a budget deficit of the country’s GDP since 1992 to date. The war that lasted for nearly 30 years may more..

Should we invite Canada to be the Opposition?

Oct 24 (CT) Canadian PM Stephen Harper's decision to boycott the CHOGM, to be held in Sri Lanka next month, has caused some tremors affecting the Commonwealth's very foundation. The ouster of the 43rd Chief Justice, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayaka, in the blaze of a controversial impeachment motion passed hurriedly in Parliament, has been touted as the main reason behind Canada's drastic action. Canada's boycott and the reasons adduced to it, pose a disturbing more..

Mirrored Images – A move towards unity (and sanity)

Oct 24 (CT) I had the good fortune to participate at the launch of Mirrored Images, an anthology of Sri Lankan Poetry edited by Rajiva Wijesinha. The book was published by the prestigious National Book Trust of India. Prof Wijisinha had already collected An Anthology of Sri Lankan Short Stories for NBT, beside, of course, his modest collection of Modern Sri Lankan Poetry in English. But this is a more ambitious work which has drawn from Sinhala. Tamil and English representative works. more..

Boston Lanka: October 23, 2013

Will Logarani be the last victim of violence against women?

Oct 24 (GV) Around 5pm on 17 October 2013, within the Jaffna municipality, one of our friends (a male youth resident of Jaffna) came to our home (a few friends were gathered there) looking very disturbed. We were surprised to see him again, as he was with us since afternoon and had just left a little while ago. After seating himself on a chair, he spoke, “A female dead body, without cloths, has been found near Naachimar Amma Kovil. I saw it. The sight of it made me sick. more..

Remembering Gamini

Oct 24 (Island) Since the days of the Independence struggle in the early part of the twentieth century and thereafter we have had the opportunity to study the lifestyles and dispositions of many Sri Lankan leaders who paved the way for Independence. Some were politically savvy while the others contributed in their own way towards the political emancipation of Sri Lankans. Starting from Sir D.B Jayatilleke, F.R. Senanayake, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, E.W. Perera, Ananda Kumaraswamy, D.S. more..

Pinwheels of fortune

Oct 24 (FT) If there is one thing the Govt of President Rajapaksa loves, it is to put on a grand show. Domestically and internationally, the regime has excelled at marketing its smallest successes to great effect. As it prepares to strut upon the global stage for the performance of a lifetime, the ruling administration is pulling out all stops to showcase Sri Lanka’s paradise potential, economic promise and political stability. more..

Over 100 tour operators to attend tourism show at CHOGM

Oct 24 (FT) Over 100 tour operators are slated to attend the trade, tourism and investment exposition ‘Reflections of Sri Lanka’ exposition which will be held from 13-17 November alongside the CHOGM in Colombo. The exhibition will be housed in a newly-constructed makeshift facility in Battaramulla and will be open for the general public on 14, 15 and 17 November. Among those who have confirmed are tour operators from UK, China, Russia, India, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, more..

Munchee receives Gold award for engineering excellence

Oct 24 (FT) The annual Sri Lankan Engineering Excellence Awards organised by the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) was held recently at the Cinnamon Grand. Ceylon Biscuits (CBL) excelled, winning an Engineering Excellence Award in the Large category at the event. The award was received by the CBL Group Deputy Chairman Ramya Wickramasingha and Group Director Engineering and IT Rasith Wickramasingha. Minister Basil Rajapakse was the Chief Guest. more..

New Zealand mantra for Sri Lanka?

Oct 24 (FT) Ruth Richardson, former Finance Minister of New Zealand, the third ranked nation in Ease of Doing Business, shared with the Daily FT a good mix of proven and credible measures that Sri Lanka can follow to avoid the middle income trap as well as become a competitive nation. “In my view the only countries that are going to go above the middle income trap are those that have rule of law and civic society, more..

Hameedia’s, new clothing sponsor of SLC

Oct 24 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket announced yesterday that Hameedia’s was appointed as the Official Formal Clothing Sponsor of Sri Lanka National Cricket Teams. Treasurer / Secretary of the Sponsorship Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket, Nuski Mohamed said: "Today is a special day for Sri Lanka Cricket as Hameedia’s Group enters into a partnership with Sri Lanka Cricket as the Official Formal Clothing Sponsor of Sri Lanka National Cricket Teams." more..

Eating our national bird into extinction

Oct 24 (Island) Poachers slaughter rare species of wild animals and wild birds in forest reserves secretly and the flesh of those animals is sold to tourist hotels in the vicinity. These poachers hunt jungle fowls (walikukula) too and sell a kilo of their meat at Rs. 1000/- to tourist hotels. Athik Nazeer, the President of the Indigenous Forest Protectors’ Association said that jungle fowl is Sri Lanka’s national bird and it will vanish soon from the country if measures are not taken by govt more..

SLT connects CHOGM 2013

Oct 24 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) is proud to be the ICT Solutions Provider for the 2013 CHOGM to be held in Sri Lanka. The entire SLT team considers it a privilege to have been chosen the total telecommunications service provider to this prestigious highest-level meeting of the Commonwealth of Nations. Sri Lanka believes this meeting will prove to be fruitful and very influential in setting the agenda for achieving development more..

Number of mega development projects to be implemented next year -President

Oct 24 (DN) President Rajapaksa on Tuesday said a number of mega development projects will get off the ground next year in addition to the projects that have already commenced. President was addressing MPs at Temple Trees, representing the govt and those supporting the govt in Parliament, to obtain their views for the preparation of the 2014 budgetary proposals. The discussion also focused on the govt's program for the development of highways, power and energy, tourism, more..

Shariah laws should be enforced against casinos

Oct 24 (CT) Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, said casinos, prostitution and heroin peddling are already booming in Sri Lanka, and if such harmful activities are to be stopped, the Shariah laws in this regard should be enforced. He noted that casinos, prostitution and the drug trade have reached uncontrollable proportions in Sri Lanka. "If such businesses are to be stopped completely, the Shariah law should be followed in Sri Lanka too. But even then, it may not be possible to more..

Dharmapala MV Kottawa Principal assaulted

Oct 24 (DN) The Principal of Kottawa Dharmapala Maha Vidyalaya, Y Yasaratna was assaulted by four unidentified persons who stormed into the school premises at around 12 noon yesterday, when the rear gate of the school was opened for primary students to leave after school hours. When contacted the school's general phone number at around 3 pm, a person who said that he is from the school, but did not give his name, more..

SB admits to playing casino

Oct 24 (Island) Minister S.B. Dissanayake said he had played casino in Las Vegas early this year. He said that he had started playing with USD 2 at a time. But girls who worked there had tried to persuade him to increase it to USD 140, but in vain. The Minister said: "Casino is not a bad game. Even foreigners spend a lot money on casino. Let any Sri Lankan who likes to play at a casino, do so. At the same time it is very important to listen to the other side of the argument, so we got to listen to more..

It’s time to get closer to Colombo

Oct 24 (BL) A persistent Indian diplomatic effort and growing trust and confidence between New Delhi and Colombo eventually led to Provincial elections being held in the Northern Province last month. The elections in September were considered internationally as free and fair, despite efforts by the Sri Lankan army to intimidate voters and candidates. Moreover, the TNA has shown statesmanship in the aftermath of the elections. TNA spokesman Sumanthiran rejected separatism and more..

Foundation Stone laid for Handicrafts Village

Oct 24 (GDI) The foundation stone for the Handicrafts Village at Hambantota was laid by the High Commissioner of India, Y.K. Sinha and Minister Douglas Devananda, at a brief ceremony held in Hambantota on 23 Oct. Raghunathan, Consul General of India, Hambantota, Sivagnanasothy, Secretary to the Ministry of Traditional Industries, Buddhi Keerthisena, Chairman of the National Crafts Council more..

UNP protest a damp squib

Oct 24 (CT) The meeting held at the Opposition Leader's office yesterday presided over by Party Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to discuss the Party's future activities ended in a commotion and confusion, with no decisions being arrived at. Those present were Ranil Wickremesinghe, Tissa Attanayake, Ravi Karunanayake, Kabir Hashim, Mangala Samaraweera, Daya Gamage, Manju Sri Arangala and several electoral organizers. A majority of those present at the meeting had more..

Polls monitors want recognition

Oct 24 (CG) Local election monitors have called on the Commissioner of Elections and politicians to recognize the importance of local monitors and accordingly, accord them recognition in election laws with clear and comprehensive elaboration of their role and functions in light with international standards. The Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), in its final report on the recent NPC Elections, notes that monitors were once again not allowed into the count. more..

Irate Sajith hits out at SB

Oct 24 (Island) Former UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa, MP, yesterday alleged that Minister S.B. Dissanayake was an opportunist who unashamedly manipulated both the UNP and the SLFP alike for his personal gain. He said that Dissanayake had no moral right to be critical of him as well as former President Ranasinghe Premadasa. The UNPer was responding to Minister Dissanayake’s broadside during a live ITN more..

‘Abortion tablets’ in corn flakes

Oct 24 (Island) Two 37-year-old men, one an Indian and the other a Sri Lankan, were nabbed at the Bandaranaike International Airport. The Indian was nabbed by the Airport security yesterday morning while attempting to smuggle out to India six gold sticks, weighing 1,194 grammes and valued at Rs. 6 million, hidden in his travelling bag. The Sri Lankan was collared by the Police Narcotics Bureau on Tuesday evening and detained when he arrived from Chennai with 3,180 abortion tablets. more..

SLC office items sent to Colts illegally

Oct 24 (Island) An officer of Sri Lanka Cricket has taken steps to send Rs.200,000 worth furniture of the cricket board to Colts Cricket Club. This back-door ‘transfer’ of office items of the Maitland Place cricket board has been made without any knowledge of the SLC Executive Committee. Valuable computer tables, chairs and some other furniture had been transported by an SLC cab to the Colts premises during last weekend, it is learnt. It is also reported that SLC officials had decided to discard more..

Video: CHOGM to affect commercial flights

Oct 24 (DM) The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Sri Lanka today said it would try to minimise the disruption to the scheduled commercial flights at BIA when there would be VVIP flight arrivals during the CHOGM. “Priority will be given to the VVIP flight arrivals at the BIA during the summit. In such cases, scheduled commercial flights may be affected but we will try to minimise the disruption to commercial flights,” more..

Video: Queen's Baton Relay

Oct 24 (BBC) Taking a ride on an old steam train across the countryside seems like a great way to enjoy the weekend, and that is exactly how the Queen's Baton spent its time in Sri Lanka. The Viceroy Special steam train, built in Manchester, runs from the capital Colombo to Kandy and transported the baton across the country. The train followed the historic tea route in Sri Lanka that would see the product travel across the country before it was shipped to the UK. more..

SLC on debt to be written off

Oct 24 (Island) Apropos our main news item, ‘Sri Lanka Cricket waste to cost public Rs. 3.2 billion’, on Oct. 22 , Sri Lanka Cricket has sent the following statement: "Sri Lanka Cricket worked towards specific goals on assurances given to the International Cricket Council during a joint bid with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on meeting the desired venue requirements for the jointly hosted CWM 2011. These goals were achieved very successfully and more..

'Tangalle murder made marketing Sri Lanka more arduous'

Oct 24 (CT) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena conceded that marketing Sri Lanka as a tourism and investment destination was an arduous task in the aftermath of the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh, in Tangalle, in December 2011. He was addressing a news conference, under the theme 'Economic benefits arising from CHOGM.' He also said the situation was compounded with the adverse publicity in the international media, more..

WHO to help Sri Lanka manufacture anti-venom drugs

Oct 24 (Island) The World Health Organisation (WHO) would help Sri Lanka establish anti–venom manufacturing facilities, as some foreign products available in the country were not effective, a top official said. WHO Country Representative Dr. F.R. Metha said that some patients had succumbed to the bites of venomous snakes in spite of being given imported anti-venom. It proved that the anti–venom drugs currently available did not work as regards certain snake species endemic to Sri Lanka, more..