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'Chinese loans will bleed country dry'

Sept 15 (DM) Speaking to Dailymirror ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Sri Lanka, UNP MP and leading economist Harsha de Silva revealed that the Govt was poised to sign loan agreements --amounting to a staggering Rs.164 billion at a high interest rate -- with China during its President’s visit. He highlighted the fact that with our external debt already at a high level, the new loan agreements will place more..

What Xi is looking for in Colombo and South Asia

Sept 15 (DM) Chinese President Xi Jinping who is arriving in Colombo on Tuesday, on the second leg of his South Asian tour is expected to sign nearly 20 bilateral agreements including a MoU on the handling of the Chinese-funded Hambantota Port Project and another on the proposed 260-hectare Colombo Port City. These two projects would drastically transform our fortune but naysayers of the Chinese economic involvement in SL would not see the benefits that would accrue to Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka’s wealth: Check the Hong Kong stock exchange

Sept 15 (DM) We join the Rajapaksa govt and Sri Lanka’s people in saying a hearty ‘Ayubowan’ or ‘Wanakkam’ and Huānyíng zhōngguó in Chinese to President Xi Jinping who arrives tomorrow on a much awaited and much highlighted state visit, though it will be only for 23 hours. For hundreds of years Sri Lanka has maintained close ties with the world’s most populous country which, according to the latest figures has a population of about 1.390 billion of the 7.25 billion in the world. more..

Grease Yaka tried to abduct three other girls

Sept 15 (Island) No woman was willing to live with him after his wife had deserted him and, therefore, he wanted to abduct a little girl, raise her and then marry her when she grew up, the suspect (31) in the abduction of four-year-old Keshani has confessed to sleuths of the CID. The interrogation of suspect Nimal Wickremesinghe, alias ‘Grease Gamini’ or ‘Grease Yaka’ has revealed that he is of limited intelligence. more..

Budget 2015 on Nov 7

Sept 15 (CT) President Rajapaksa will present his 2015 Budget in Parliament on 7 Nov while the Appropriation Bill will be presented to the House on 7 Oct, authoritative sources disclosed. 2015 Budget, to be presented by President Rajapaksa as his 10th consecutive budget in the capacity as Finance Minister, will be a Human Resources oriented budget. There will be more focus drawn towards employment orientation, self employment, skills development, vocational training, and more..

Japanese NGO awarded funds to improve fishing industry in the North

Sept 15 (Island) The Paific Asia Resource Center Interpeople’s Cooperation (PARCIC) operative in the Mulaitivu District was awarded aid funds for improvement of the fishing industry in that area, including conducting the education of fisher families in English as well. Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo said at commencement of the press conference that Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Sri Lanka was a resounding success and enhanced cooperation between both countries. more..

Pakistan hiring Sri Lankan Muslims as spies spooks Indian intelligence agencies

Sept 15 (TOI) The arrest of a third Sri Lankan spying on India on behalf of Pakistan in less than 10 months has got intelligence agencies to train their focus back on growing radicalization among Tamil-speaking Muslims in eastern Sri Lanka where Pakistan has been fishing for a long time. Although the latest Pakistani spy in the Indian net, Arun Selvarajan, is a Colombo-based Tamil Hindu, two others arrested since April are Muslims more..

'Sri Lanka prepared for Tsunamis'

Sept 15 (DN) The public need not panic over the recent reports of the possibility of large tsunamis in the Indian Ocean region as Sri Lanka has now built effective and powerful disaster early warning systems covering the entire island, Meteorology Department Director General Lalith Chandrapala said. He said after the tsunami catastrophe in 2004, the country has progressed fast on early warning and emergency operations, adding that Meteorology Department now has the capacity more..

Panic after Lankan arrest says DMK

Sept 15 (CG) India’s DMK chief M Karunanidhi said the recent arrest of ISI spies who were said to be Sri Lankan nationals, and their activities in Tamil Nadu has created panic among people. Referring to the arrest of alleged ISI spy Arun Selvarjan last week by the National Investigation Agency, he said it was not the first time ‘such terrorists’ had been apprehended during the AIADMK rule. He recalled that while one Thameem Ansari was arrested last year from Tiruchirappalli on espionage charges, more..

Controversial proposal to be presented to UNP working committee next week

Sept 15 (AM) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake has said the proposal to appoint MP Sajith Premadasa will be presented to the Working Committee of the party on Sept 23, just three days after the Uva PC election. However, the party has not yet arrived at a final decision on conditions put forward by Premadasa – namely the abolition of the Leadership Council, 10 working committee slots for Premadasa’s nominees more..

Private bus operators throw challenge to govt

Sept 15 (Island) The LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne posed a challenge to the SLTB by promising to run their buses from Colombo to Matara at Rs. 375 instead of current bus fare of Rs. 500 charged by the SLTB on the Southern Expressway if the govt canceled the corrupt tender procedure. Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Ratnayaka had grossly violated section 12 of the Sri Lanka Transport Ordinance by issuing 70 bus route permits without any tender procedure, more..

Postal Union critiques govt

Sept 15 (CT) The Lanka Postal Services Union (LPSU) criticized the govt for spending funds on Asia-Pacific Postal Union (APPU) Executive Council Meeting in Colombo when it has failed to allocate funds to provide minimum facilities to ensure an effective postal service. Chairman of the LPSU, Jayantha Wijesinghe said the Cabinet has allocated Rs 20 million to hold the event at a time when the postal service was incurring huge losses. "Postal department has failed to provide bicycles more..

US$ 331.5 m boost for govt from World Bank

Sept 15 (FT) Key development projects of the govt have got a fresh boost, with the World Bank agreeing to extend a staggering $ 331.5 million financing support. The funds will be used to support the govt’s Skills Sector Development Program, Water Resources Planning Activities which includes Dam Safety and Strategic Cities Development. Financing Agreements on these programs were signed last Friday by more..

Expert Committee appointed to save invaluable Dambulla rock temple art

Sept 15 (Island) A committee of experts had been appointed to expedite the conservation activities of the historical rock temple in Dambulla, Director General of Department of Archaeology Dr Senarath Dissanayake said. He said his department experts had already identified human and natural factors which caused the destruction of the rock art and sculpture in the Dambulla cave temple declared a World Heritage Site since 1991. Minister of National Heritage Dr. Jagath Balasooriya more..

Fully equipped Performing Arts Theatre in Kandy

Sept 15 (DN) A fully equipped Performing Arts Theatre will be built in Kandy shortly. Govt has allocated Rs. 3,000 million for the project, Minister T.B. Ekanayake said. He was speaking at the concluding event of the Jathika Kala Prasadinee ceremony held at the Getambe Municipal Grounds in Kandy. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest. Minister said his ministry would spend Rs. 100 million to restore several world heritage sites in Kandy in association with UNESCO. more..

Tight at the top 5 months out from World Cup

Sept 15 (Reuters) After what at one stage earlier this month looked like a vast game of musical chairs, reigning champions India ended up topping the world rankings when the five-month countdown to the 2015 World Cup started on Sunday. With just three rating points separating the top four nations, however, the 11th version of the quadrennial showpiece of 50-overs cricket, which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, more..

UPFA makes a din: JVP

Sept 15 (DM) A novel strategy has been put in place by the leaders of the UPFA to prevent meetings of other parties in the Moneragala District, the JVP charged today. JVP accused that some higher-ups in the ruling UPFA in Monerala prevented the JVP from holding an election rally on Saturday by holding a rival meeting at the same venue. JVP candidate R.M. Jayawardene, who heads the party’s group in the Moneragala District told the Daily Mirror that his party was getting ready to hold more..

Narcotics transport racket uncovered

Sept 15 (CT) Police STF yesterday busted a racket in which ganja (cannabis) and heroin, originating from Kerala, was transported between Jaffna and Colombo. A high ranking STF officer said the officers had taken into custody a bus driver of a private super luxury bus, along with the ganja from Kerala, valued at Rs. 2 million. The arrest was made at Mankulam, Jaffna, in the early hours of yesterday. The bus was heading for Colombo from Jaffna when the detection was made. more..

Jayalalithaa attacks BJP on fishermen Issue

Sept 15 (NIP) In a scathing attack on the BJP-led Central govt, AIADMK general secretary and CM J Jayalalithaa on Sunday accused the saffron party of resorting to double standards on issues concerning the State’s fishermen whose livelihood has been affected due to the frequent arrests and seizure of their boats by the Sri Lankan Navy across the Palk Strait. Hitting the mayoral by-poll campaign trail in Thoothukudi, where more..

Sri Lankan firm buys local MFI

Sept 15 (PPP) US-based investment bank Developing World Markets Asset Management (DWM) has sold the controlling stake in Cambodia’s fifth-largest microfinance institution, Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC). DWM sold a 55% equity stake in TPC to LOLC Micro Investments (LOMI), a subsidiary of publicly listed Sri Lankan financial services conglomerate Lanka Orix Leasing. DWM will retain a 37% stake in TPC. TPC’s employee association also sold its 4.5% stake more..

Oxford professor without a degree

Sept 15 (Hindu) Two of today’s items may have only tenuous connections with Madras, but I’m writing about them as they do have intriguing links with the city. My first tale is about a person whose linguistic bonds should make him known at least to the world of Tamil Studies, but I wonder how many in that world here recognise the name of Don Martino De Zilva Wickremasinghe (1865-1937). Certainly, despite all my years in Ceylon and my peripheral contact there with education, more..

'Ruling party blatantly violates the law'

Sept 15 (LT) The Network for Election Monitoring of the Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM-IHR) issuing a media release with the signature of the Chief Executive of NEM-IHR Dr. Uditha Gunasekera states 440 incidents of election related violence and violations have been received with regard to the Uva PC election from the day nominations were accepted until today (14th) morning. The summery of the incidents: more..

Mumbai Indians beat Southern Exopress

Sept 15 (CI) Mumbai Indians kept their qualifying chances alive with a much-improved performance in the batting and the bowling to comprehensively beat Southern Express with 22 balls to spare. After Saturday's defeat to Lahore Lions, Mumbai had to win to stay in contention. They did, thanks chiefly to their overseas openers Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey, who put on 139 in under 15 overs. Mumbai and Lions now have four points each, behind Northern Knights' eight, and more..

Ashok hails HNB for financing Softlogic’s strategic investment in Odel

Sept 15 (FT) Softlogic Holdings Chairman Ashok Pathirage has hailed Hatton National Bank (HNB) for financing its acquisition of a 45% stake in Odel, which took place last week via the Colombo stock market with an investment of Rs. 2.7 billion. “Local banks such as HNB have traditionally been our partners, and, with this transaction, HNB has taken a bold step in the right direction. Such a transaction would certainly take a conglomerate like Softlogic to new heights and open exciting portals more..

Chinese boy reunited with family of Lankan eye donor

Sept 15 (CG) People to people contact is perhaps the best way to build relations between countries and this was emphasized when a Chinese boy who had received an eye cornea from a Sri Lankan met the family in an emotional exchange on Friday. In April of 2011 Saman Amerasena died in a tragic accident when he slipped and fell. Family rushed him to hospital but was informed that he would not recover. more..

M.D. Gunasena launches new Malalasekera Dictionary

Sept 15 (Island) The new edition of The Malalasekera Dictionary was launched at the Colombo International Book Fair which was launched recently. 6th Edition, has been extensively revised and greatly expanded by a panel of distinguished scholars - Professor Kusuma Karunaratne, Dr. Sadagomi Coperahewa and Dr. Lakshmi de Silva to meet the needs of a technologically advanced & computer literate public & on a par with international dictionaries. more..

Union Bank draws NDB’s Indrajit as next CEO for new phase

Sept 15 (FT) Union Bank has announced the appointment of Indrajit Wickramasinghe as CEO Designate with effect from 15 Oct 2014, subject to Central Bank approval. Wickramasinghe will take over as CEO from 15 Nov 2014. He will be replacing industry veteran Anil Amarasuriya who retires from 15 Nov and will relinquish his services as Director/CEO subsequent to concluding his contract. “The Board of Directors wishes to thank Anil Amarasuriya for his immense contribution more..

'8% growth not a joke'

Sept 15 (CT) One of the country's most powerful public officials Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said it was no joke that Sri Lanka would soon be on a 8% economic growth trajectory. "The country is on a near 8% growth trajectory. This is not a joke. We have ports and next step is to connect Hambantota and Colombo as a corridor for global trade. When it comes to telecommunication, each person carries two phones because more..

Think hard

Sept 15 (TT) After a prolonged hiatus, Sri Lanka may soon resume its search for a political solution to its ethnic problem. An indication of this came from the recent admission of President Rajapaksa that his govt is open to dialogue on the implementation of the 13th amendment to the constitution. Devolution of powers to the north and east provinces, as enshrined in the amendment of 1987, has long become a litmus test of the govt’s sincerity in giving the Tamil minority its rightful dues. more..

Why Sarath N. Silva is wrong

Sept 15 (Island) Several interesting legal issues have been raised in relation to the eligibility of the incumbent president to contest the next presidential election by former CJ Sarath N. Silva PC and subsequently by Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe PC, Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC and many others in recent weeks. Justice Sarath N Silva’s argument is, that despite the 18th amendment to the Constitution, President Rajapaksa has become constitutionally disqualified to seek a third term. more..

Keshani abduction saga ends

Sept 15 (SO) Ending another tragic period of agitation and suspense the chief suspect wanted in connection with the abduction of Keshani Bandara, who was at large was taken into custody by a special police team in Wellawa last evening within 24 hours of the rescue of the child. Inspector Anura Gunawardena in charge of Wellawa Police received an important message on Friday afternoon from the police divisional 119 unit. more..

'Sri Lanka cannot afford to auction non-existent resources'

Sept 15 (Island) The govt has called for submissions from all stakeholders as part of the preparatory process for its Budget. This has elicited responses from a variety of quarters, including political parties, trade unions, businesses and other interest groups. Some of the wish-lists which have emerged in the media bring to mind a comment made by Lee Kuan Yew some years back. He said that Sri Lankan democracy was a periodic auction of non-existent resources. more..

To editors of Sri Lankan media; Enduring conspiracy theories

Sept 15 (CT) A Sunday Paper published today in a Column “Sunday Punch 2” titled “Rambuk’s ‘right to info’ poppycock”, quotes the Media Minister as stating “the Lankan people do not require a Right to Information Act”, and “There is more than enough access to information. In Sri Lanka, democracy is such that the govt has only two TV channels, whereas there are over twenty TV channels owned by the private sector. In print Media, the govt has one Sinhalese, one Tamil and more..

Suicides must not be isolated on the wayside

Sept 15 (NS) Wednesday was World Suicide Prevention Day. A study conducted by the WHO has ranked Sri Lanka in the fourth position among 172 countries in terms of most suicide-prone counties in the world. According to the report, the suicide rate in Sri Lanka lies at 28.8 for every 100,000 people against the global average of 11 per 100,000 persons. According to reports, 3,000 suicides are reported in Sri Lanka every year. more..

Uva election: A barometer of public opinion

Sept 15 (NS) Next Saturday, the otherwise almost forgotten Uva province, home to the Badulla and Moneragala districts, will go to the polls to elect its provincial councilors. It is an election that is supposed to be a barometer of public opinion before the presidential and general elections that are expected next year. In cricketing parlance, this will be the one-day game before the test match and the main opposition party, the UNP introduced a ‘pinch-hitter’ to the team last week by more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

Sept 15 (NS) A single individual does not a front make. Politics is about people. And leaders. And lieutenants. ‘Right-hand men and women’, as they say. In Passara, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed that he had three hands. He named them: Sajith Premadasa, Wijedasa Rajapakshe, Ravi Karunanayake and Daya Gamage. He said he needed seven more. Talk about a leader dividing his own party. He’s essentially saying that the likes of Karu Jayasuriya, Lakshman Kiriella, Ruwan more..