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Is LTTE trying to regroup in Australia?

Aug 31 (Hindu) Is the LTTE, which ran out of steam in 2009 following the killing of its founder Prabhakaran by SL forces, trying to regroup itself in Australia? The arrest of four human traffickers while trying to transport six Sri Lankans to the land of Kangaroos through the Prakasam coast earlier this week has led to a suspicion among sleuths that the LTTE may be trying to revive itself after lying low for five years. more..

Gloomy economy

Aug 31 (CT) Despite Central Bank's efforts to keep interest rates down to support the private sector credit growth, there has not been any remarkable economic activity as expected, a senior economist said. Senior professor at the dept of economics of the Colombo Uni Dr. Priyanga Dunusinghe said, Central Bank continued to keep the low interest rates unchanged to accelerate private sector credit growth; despite which the private sector has not shown any enthusiasm. more..

TPG to acquire maximum 70% in Union Bank

Aug 31 (ST) TPG, the USA-based global private investment firm has informed Union Bank (UB) that they’ll acquire up to 70% of the latter as permitted by law under the mandatory offer, at an offer price of Rs 25 per share. This will provide TPG with an aggregate shareholding of up to a maximum of 70% of the issued shares of the bank. UB announced recently that it has finalized an investment agreement with the TPG in which the latter is investing Rs. 15 billion in the local bank. more..

13th Amendment: Yes or No!

Aug 31 (SL) Despite the pressure from India and Tamil political parties, the SL govt has maintained that the 13th Amendment would not be fully implemented and police and land powers would not be devolved to the provinces. Sunday Leader spoke to several politicians to get their opinion on as to why the full implementation of the 13th Amendment is important to the Northern Province and what solution could be given to more..

15 teams in Asian Volleyball Championship

Aug 31 (SO) Shehan Bandara of Joseph Vaz College, Wenappuwa, will lead the Sri Lanka Under 18 Boys Volleyball Team at the 10th Asian Boys Volleyball Championship which will commence next Friday at the Sugathadasa Stadium Indoor Volleyball Arena. Almost all the players are from outstation schools with five players coming from Devi Samara Maha Vidyalaya, Seeduwa and a solitary player from Royal College, Colombo. The team coach Charles said that he was confident of the performance more..

Lame duck Lanka for World Cup 2015

Aug 31 (ST) While watching the second One-Day International between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, many thoughts were reverberating in my mind. There is no argument, Sri Lanka won the match in an emphatic manner scoring over three hundred runs against an attack which is as good as the Pakistanis possess. Yet, the composition of the Lankan team looked ill-fitting and full of plasters. In that game, one glaring feature was that the team hierarchy and the selectors had concocted an outfit which more..

'Unconstitutional for MR to seek, third term'

Aug 31 (CT) Q: Why do you say that it's unconstitutional for President Rajapaksa to seek a third term in office? A: Because he was elected to power to serve only two terms in office. Q: But the 18th Amendment (18A) to the Constitution did away with those limits? A: Rajapaksa was re-elected to power before the 18A was passed. He could seek for a third term only if there was a sub clause in 18A, saying more..

The UNP must bridge the democracy-deficit

Aug 31 (NS) Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in his celebrated novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ describes the signing of an agreement between two warring parties, the liberals and conservatives. Colonel Aureliano Buendia, rebel leader, is surrounded by his lawyers. The draft document is not a give-and-take agreement, but an absolute surrender. The fact is pointed out to him: ‘But Colonel, if we agree to all this, it means that all these years we have been fighting against more..

Basil faults provincial administration in the North

Aug 31 (SL) Before the govt announced the PC election of the North, Minister Basil Rajapaksa was the key figure who handled development activities in the Province. However, just days ahead of the election, he made a public statement saying that he would step down from development activities in the Province and hand over responsibilities to the provincial administration. At the PC Election, TNA whose campaign was led by former SC Justice C.V. Wigneswaran secured a sweeping victory. more..

'Indian govt shouldn’t have dealt directly with TNA'

Aug 31 (SL) Sri Lankan govt was expecting the new BJP govt to respond positively towards Sri Lanka govt’s policies, especially towards Tamil national issue of the country. However, the recent statement of Indian PM Narendra Modi on the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka has clouded those hopes of the Sri Lankan govt to some extent. JHU MP Udaya Gammanpila said more..

It’s ice bucket, stupid!

Aug 31 (ST) My Dear ‘Ice Bucket’ victims, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you are being showered with buckets of ice water, for the worthy cause of raising money for research on a rare disease. They tell me that all this originated in America and has spread all over the world through social media. So far, some of our celebrity cricketers and a few politicians have become willing victims of the ‘ice bucket’. It also seems fashionable to invite others to participate. more..

TNA must engage Lankan leaders, not Indian

Aug 31 (ST) Last week’s ‘pilgrimage to India’ by the delegation of TNA leaders had an element of subservience shrouded in subterfuge. Details of the visit were hard to extract though our Political Editor managed to ferret out most. TNA issued no statement, and the Indian PM’s Office issued a standard ‘nothing in it’ statement. One is tempted to paraphrase what Winston Churchill once said in a radio broadcast on Russia – that these talks were a riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma more..

‘We are doing our part’

Aug 31 (SO) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya responds to criticism levelled against him and the preparations for the upcoming UVA PC Election. Q: Both the Opposition and Govt parties allege that the police fail to do their duty which is the reason for the Uva incidents and the election violence reported so far. Your comments. I will not blame the entire Police Dept for the action of a lazy and irresponsible few. more..

Ending the reconciliation impasse

Aug 31 (CT) The TNA on Friday announced its willingness to restart talks with the govt, signalling an end to the protracted impasse that short-circuited any reconciliation moves between the govt and the main representatives of the Tamils and contorted the promise of sustainable peace into something fragile and 'only almost'. The devastating near 30-year war waged by the LTTE ended more than five years ago, with the promise of peace, prosperity and a united Sri Lanka. more..

Who’s afraid of Mahinda Rajapaksa?

Aug 31 (NS) There’s going to be an election in a few weeks time. On the face of it yet another PC election in the now to-be-expected staggered format that gives the ruling party an inside edge should not excite anyone. On the other hand, the Uva PC election is being held amid widespread speculation that it will be followed by a snap presidential election. Perhaps also, this is why ‘hot’ as Uva is, there is as much talk of that campaign as there is speculation and machinations with respect to more..

'Politicians should not hold office in sports'

Aug 31 (SO) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the Opposition is well aware that they are not in a position to topple the Govt in an election. They engage in a futile attempt to break the UPFA by misleading the people saying that if they came to power they would abolish the Executive Presidency. He said that it is obvious the Common Candidate is a proposal put forward by the LTTE diaspora to defeat more..

Making Sri Lanka the hub of Heroin?

Aug 31 (SL) Last week’s exposure in The Sunday Leader of allegations made against some notorious drug peddlers who are also alleged to be involved in crimes ranging from murder and extortion reveals the deterioration of the state of law and order in the country. Even more dangerous than the crimes wreaked on citizens, particularly law abiding citizens, is the immunity enjoyed by some of those accused of the heinous crimes who are roaming scot free. Some members of the Kelaniya PS, more..

TNA leaders must demonstrate their sincerity

Aug 31 (SO) The conduct of the TNA, even at the height of the Security Forces' battle against terrorism and after the dawn of peace is highly questionable. When the world's most ruthless terrorist outfit inflicted untold misery on the people in the North and the East and even threatened the day-to-day life of all Sri Lankans, the TNA leaders showed unswerving loyalty to Tiger leader Prabhakaran, thereby endorsing the acts of the terror outfit which cared two hoots for civilians. more..

Pera to be South Asia’s One Health hub

Aug 30 (Island) University of Peradeniya has organised an International Health Sector conference titled One Health International Conference on Sep 5, and 6 at the Faculty of Medicine of the University. The conference is held in Collaboration with the University of California and its focus was on the interface of environment and health, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya Professor M. D. Lamawansa said more..

Shilpa 2014 Exhibition now at the BMICH

Aug 30 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa, ceremonially opened the National Exhibition and Trade Fair Shilpa 2014 held at BMICH on Thursday. National Exhibition and Trade Fair Shilpa 2014 has been organized with the aim of promoting handicrafts and traditional industries. The event has been jointly organized by Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, National Craft Council, National Designing Centre, Palmyra Development Board and more..

Naranjo sees future in Lankan surfing

Aug 30 (ST) Top international surfer and Red bull athlete Diego Naranjo predicted that Sri Lanka’s surfing landscape would see impressive growth in the coming years, after he visited two of the country’s central locations for the sport while judging the recently-concluded Red Bull Ride My Wave competition. “There is a lot of potential for surfing to develop in Sri Lanka. In Costa Rica, where I come from, surfing is very big now and 20 years ago things were just like they are more..

Govt. keen to triple rubber industry to $ 3 b

Aug 30 (FT) Sri Lanka is on its way to making the rubber industry a $ 3 billion sector, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen stated following the announcement that the 4th Global Rubber Conference (GRC) and Exhibition will be held in Colombo from 27 to 30 Oct. The GRC, formerly held as the Asean Rubber Conference until 2010, has been held in Cambodia (2011), Vietnam (2012) and Indonesia (2013) so far, while Sri Lanka will be hosting more..

Tense situation outside cricket venue

Aug 30 (CG) A tense situation prevailed outside the Dambulla cricket stadium today as hundreds of people attempted to enter the venue to watch the cricket match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The police said that at least two people were injured when several people attempted to climb the fence around the stadium to enter the venue by force. Tickets for today’s match were sold out but hundreds of people queued outside hoping to obtain last minute tickets for the crunch game. more..

Thisara Perera: 79 matches, 9 MoM awards

Aug 30 (CI) 8: The number of times Pakistan have been bowled out for less than 102, which was their total against Sri Lanka in Dambulla. One of those eight scores was against Sri Lanka, when they were bowled out for 75 in Lahore in 2009, after Sri Lanka had scored 309. 1: The number of times Pakistan have been bowled out for less than 102 after winning the toss and choosing to bat first, as they did in Dambulla. The only such instance was against West Indies in a Benson & Hedges more..

Crucial MOU to be signed by Sri Lanka and China over the future of Norochcholai plant

Aug 30 (AM) A MOU between the govt of Sri Lanka and China over the maintenance and technical operations of the Norochcholai coal power plant will be signed in two weeks. A senior official of the Power and Energy Ministry said that the signing of the MOU would coincide with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Sri Lanka. The Chinese President is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on September 16. more..

M.D. Gunasena opens revolutionary bookstore in Galle

Aug 30 (AM) M. D. Gunasena the leading publisher, printer and bookseller, declared open its 17th bookstore in Galle under the patronage of Methsiri De Silva, Mayor of Galle Municipal Council, Percy Gunasena Chairman, Ananda Gunasena Managing Director and Rajiv Gunasena Deputy Managing Director of M.D. Gunasena. The two level, state-of-the-art book store spreads across 2500 square feet embracing a chic ambience through an architectural design. The new bookstore located in more..

Fishermen decide to withdraw stir after India, Sri Lanka talks

Aug 30 (PTI) A meeting of all fishermen's associations today decided to withdraw their 36 day indefinite strike from Monday and put out to sea in the backdrop of the first joint committee meeting between India and Sri Lanka held in Delhi. N D Bose and B Sesuraja, secretaries of TN Fishermen's Association, said the decision had been taken in the light of the yesterday's meeting between the two nations. They urged the Indian govt to take steps to get back the 63 boats seized by more..

Sri Lanka seamers rout Pakistan to seal series win

Aug 30 (CI) Although there was little on paper to separate the two sides, it seemed during the first two ODIs that Sri Lanka were the better team for the long haul - less likely to make silly mistakes, less likely to fold under pressure. And so it proved in the decider, as Pakistan crumbled to their ninth-lowest ODI total in a match that never threatened to become a genuine contest. Sri Lanka strolled to their target in 18.2 overs, more..

BOC announces Rs.8 bn debenture issue

Aug 30 (DM) The state banking giant, Bank of Ceylon (BOC) is planning to issue subordinated debentures up to Rs. 8 billion in mid-September, which is the second such debt issue within 12-months. “We from time-to-time like to test our strength in the market and this issue is also testing our market strength,” BOC Senior Deputy General Manager International, Treasury and Investment P.A. Lionel said at a recent event. Impending debenture will have tenors of 5 to 8 years more..

As I see it: Lower in the order?

Aug 30 (Hindu) Lore about persons — a major form of ‘folklore’ — enters the universe of dry facts in a most unobtrusive fashion. Facts give you the empirical values of a place, act, achievement or person. Only when those are splashed with the colour of stories and legends do we really come to ‘picture’ the impact and magnitude of the person. This is nowhere more real than in the world of sport. Even during the playing days of an individual, he has begun to create a ‘tale’ of his own, more..

Ranaviru Doo Daru Educational Scholarships for children of War Heroes

Aug 30 (MoD) A group of children of Ranaviru families were awarded with 'Ranaviru Doo Daru' Educational Scholarships at a function held at the Ministry premises today (29). The scholarships were awarded by the Seva Vanitha Unit (SVU) of the Ministry under the patronage of its Chairperson Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa. This is the 16th phase of the scholarship awarding programme. A total of 93 children received scholarships under more..

Awareness programs on draft national policy framework for social integration

Aug 30 (GDI) An awareness programme on the draft National Policy Framework for Social Integration organized by the National Languages and Social Integration Ministry and with the coordination of the Nuwara Eliya District Secretariat, was held on Thursday (28). The programme was held under the patronage of National Languages and Social Integration Ministry Secretary Ms. Malkanthi Wickremasinghe and the Nuwara Eliya District Secretary D.P.G. Kumarasirighe. more..

Thisara's bumpers & A contentious line call

Aug 30 (CI) Misbah-ul-Haq and Fawad Alam were just about giving the innings a semblance of shape when a piece of poor judgment landed Pakistan right back among the croutons. Misbah pushed the ball to the right of Tillakaratne Dilshan and immediately set off. It was on Dilshan's natural side, and the ball bounced at a perfect height for him to pick up and throw without crouching too low. The direct hit caught Misbah well short at the bowler's end, and it was the third run-out for more..

Bar/fly: Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (NZH) It won't be much of a surprise to those who know me that I am partial to a beer or two and have enjoyed a variety of ales in the far-flung corners of the world. I've supped in a bar in Antwerp that claimed to have 3000 beers on the menu; I've imbibed fresh, warm beer straight from the oak cask in Kent; and I've lapped up overly-hopped 8 per centers in California, to mention a few. Connoisseur may be too strong a description more..

Discrepancies in Proceedings: The Harsha Abhayawardena case

Aug 30 (CT) During the weeks following the assassination of VK, 5 suspects were arrested by the CDB in the Kirullapone area, who confessed to one or both of aiding and abetting the crime. Shortly after Premadasa was nominated the UNP presidential candidate A.S. Seneviratne, DIG (Metropolitan), asked I.T. Canagaretnam, SSP, CDB, for lists of suspects held by them. A list of 24 persons was sent with details of offences. For the 5 involved in the VK case, more..

Accuntability, efficiency and pluralism: The need and the possibility of urgent reform

Aug 30 (CT) It is not likely that the President will be awakened swiftly from the enchantment cast upon him by his closest advisers. However, if and when he does realize that a change is essential if he is to preserve not just his legacy, but even perhaps his Presidency, he has some obviously desirable remedies to hand. For though the Parliamentary Select Committee has thus far achieved nothing, it has had some very sensible proposals brought before it by moderates within govt. more..