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We will not allow an external probe
Thursday, 11 September 2014 - 1:52 PM SL Time

Interview with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka s President Mahinda Rajapaksa faces the twin challenges of external pressure for an international probe into allegations of war crimes and internal pressure over the dialogue process with the Tamil National Alliance. In his first interview since meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May, he spoke to Suhasini Haidar about the UNHRC resolution and the possibility of restarting dialogue.
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MP Pathirana takes up Amu Miris Challenge
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 - 5:39 PM SL Time

Opposition United National Party (UNP) Matara District MP Buddika Pathirana has undertaken to eat green chillies tomorrow (11) to raise funds for the people affected by Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

Accepting the challenge of the campaign launched locally called SL Amu Miris Challenge or Green Chillies Challenge to collect funds for kidney patients as against the infamous Ice Bucket Challenge, he will eat three green chillies within two minutes.
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Prince al-Hussein to present oral report on Sept 24
Saturday, 6 September 2014 - 5:14 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka has decided against cooperating with the ongoing UN investigation into alleged atrocities committed during the war against the LTTE, but it will get an opportunity at the 27th Geneva human rights session later this month to counter allegations against political leadership as well as the military.

An authoritative government official told The Island yesterday that Sri Lanka would receive an advance copy of an oral statement scheduled to be made by United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein to enable the government to comment on it. Responding to a query, the official said that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights would probably make available the document to Sri Lanka about 24 hours before the scheduled delivery of the statement.
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Friday, 5 September 2014 - 12:30 PM SL Time

The position of the government is that President Mahinda Rajapaksa can contest for the Presidency for the third time, Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.

Responding to a question by a journalist at the Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry auditorium yesterday on a statement by ex-Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva that President Rajapaksa cannot become the Presidential Candidate for the third time, the minister said anybody who has a different opinion can challenge this position before the courts, adding that the judicial decision would be final.
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Lanka slips eight places in Global Competitiveness index
Thursday, 4 September 2014 - 1:20 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka has slid eight places to rank 73rd out of 144 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 released yesterday by the World Economic Forum, as experts warned the health of the global economy is at risk despite years of bold monetary policy, as countries struggle to implement structural reforms necessary to help economies grow.
In its annual assessment of the factors driving countries productivity and prosperity, the report identifies uneven implementation of structural reforms across different regions and levels of development as the biggest challenge to sustaining global growth.
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Meet aspirations- put aside personal agendas: President tells public servants
Wednesday, 3 September 2014 - 6:28 PM SL Time

President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged public servants to render an efficient, effective and dedicated service for the benefit of the people irrespective of any differences. The government provides every facility for the public services hoping the people will receive an efficient service from all the public servants. The President also noted that government servants should identify issues of the people properly and give solutions to them expeditiously to meet their aspirations while putting aside personal agendas and act with a common agenda for the well-being of the people and the country.
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Champika Says Energy Mafia Is A Worse Terrorist Than Prabhakaran
Monday, 1 September 2014 - 11:06 PM SL Time

The energy mafia operates a terrorism which is even more dangerous than the terrorism of Prabhakaran because it robs even the poorest people in many ways, Minister of Techology, Research and Atomic Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka stated. He made this statement yesterday during the Kandy launch of his new book Power and Power.

He stated that the energy sector is vital for the future of the country. However, a few people have taken control of the whole sector. If a country has a clear, rigid policy against this mafia, it could be defeated within a year, the Minister says.
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Govt. keen to triple rubber industry to $ 3 b
Sunday, 31 August 2014 - 1:15 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka is on its way to making the rubber industry a $ 3 billion sector, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen stated following the announcement that the 4th Global Rubber Conference (GRC) and Exhibition will be held in Colombo from 27 to 30 October.
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 it for the first time with over 700 trade visitors and 28 countries set to participate.
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Now Lankan insurers include sanction clauses
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 - 10:04 PM SL Time

Sri Lankan insurers, like their international counterparts, have begun stating in their contracts that policy cover will be suspended in case of the United States, the European Union or the United Nations imposes sanctions against the country. The Government and sections of the private sector are fighting back but experts warn that sanction clauses are here to stay.

Some weeks ago, a leading Sri Lankan insurance firm gave a local construction company a draft agreement to provide cover for a government building contract it had secured. One of its provisions took the company and the relevant State agency by surprise.
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LTTE Running Madrassa Type Indoctrination Schools in Europe
Saturday, 23 August 2014 - 4:21 AM SL Time

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are running Madrassa type indoctrination schools in European Union countries in which there is a substantial population of Tamils from Sri Lanka, a top Lankan diplomat has revealed.

Speaking at the Ministry of Defense conclave here, Sri Lanka s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha, said that the LTTE has established Madrassa-type schools called Tamil Cholai to ferment the radicalization of Tamil youth, and glorify terrorism and martyrdom.
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Sri Lanka facilitates infrastructure to attract investors into rural
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 - 6:16 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka to open up five factories in every district in the county and to widen the facilities for investors who goes into the rural areas, a minister said.

It has come to a stage we can t bring people from villages to town to employ in these zones, Lakshman Abeywardene, Minister of Investment Promotion said.
People who are in the villages do not come to towns anymore because they have found sources of income in the village itself,

Also the expenses to do a job in Colombo is high if you compare the village expenses. So it is not viable for them to come here. Abeywardene said.
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Sanction clauses for Lanka s deals with European agencies
Sunday, 17 August 2014 - 11:59 AM SL Time

European export credit agencies have begun imposing sanction clauses into draft agreements with Sri Lanka in anticipation of international economic, trade and financial sanctions or embargoes -- a move the Government has vigorously opposed.

This would mean that if international sanctions or embargoes are imposed on Sri Lanka, the export credit insurance cover would be suspended. This could result in the lending partners demanding a renegotiation of terms with higher interest rates, seeking outright settlement or introducing fresh conditions reflective of the higher risk.
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Union wants President to thwart Customs move
Saturday, 16 August 2014 - 10:10 AM SL Time

All Ceylon Customs Service Union (ACCSU) yesterday wrote to President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking his intervention to thwart an attempt to breach the international law and the Customs own Act by handing back Rs. 100 million worth of red sandalwood detected by Customs on November 22, 2013 in a 20 foot container at the Colombo Port to its original owners after imposing a meagre fine of Rs. 5 million.

It was detected by the Customs Preventive unit together with Bio Diversity, Cultural and National Heritage Protection Unit (BDCNHPU) on a tip-off.
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25000 acres of acquired land missing in Sri Lanka
Monday, 11 August 2014 - 11:57 AM SL Time

There are no substantial information on over 25,000 acres of land acquired by the government under Land Reform Act No. 1 of 1972 and its amendments, said a higher official attached to Ministry of Land and Land Development.

According to `Divaina` news paper, he has further stated that there are heavy suspicions rising weather they were acquired by the politicians or distributed among their acquaintances.

The governments which came into power since 1972 failing to follow a proper method has led to the particular situation, he has said.
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Sri Lanka has deported 36 Pakistanis
Wednesday, 6 August 2014 - 1:39 AM SL Time

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has learnt that a total of 36 Pakistani asylum-seekers have been deported from Sri Lanka since last Friday. The deportations took place between August 1 and 5 following two months of arrests and detentions of people of concern to UNHCR.

UNHCR spokesperson Ariane Rummery told reporters at a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva that most of the deportees have arrived in Pakistan and been released.
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SL hosts 13th Regional Committee sessions on Higher Education
Tuesday, 5 August 2014 - 12:36 AM SL Time

The 13th Session of the Regional Committee on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific and the Regional Workshop on Quality Assurance in Higher Education was held today with the participation of several key personalities including Minister of Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake. The conference is hosted by Sri Lanka this time and is partnered by UNESCO. Speaking at the event, the Minister stated the importance of recognition of qualifications. In our National Higher education Strategic Management plan we have identified 12 goals. I would like to draw your attention to one of them: `Improved global compatibility, global links and exchanges.` This conference is directly related to that goal. Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific would help us to achieve this goal, he said. He further said he was looking forward to working with UNESCO whose focus has been on education. Key focus areas of UNESCO in education are increasing equity and access, improving quality, and ensuring that education develops knowledge and skills in areas such as sustainable development, HIV and AIDS, human rights and gender equality, he said. Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Nandimithra Ekanayake, Director, UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Bangkok, Thailand, Gwang-Jo Kim, Secretary/Ministry of Higher Education, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratna, and Chairperson, University Grants Commission, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama were among those who took part at the event. Full Story     Post Reply To This     Read Replies ( 111 )

Pakistan official in Colombo moved out amid pressure from India
Sunday, 3 August 2014 - 11:52 PM SL Time

New Delhi: Amid mounting pressure from India, Pakistan is understood to have quietly withdrawn its official from its High Commission in Colombo following an allegation against him that he was involved in conspiracy to target the US and Israel consulates in south India at ISI`s behest.

Counselor (Visa) Amir Zubair Siddiqui had been withdrawn even before NIA`s request under Mutual Assistance Legal Treaty (MLAT) reached Colombo as his presence had become untenable to his diplomatic duties, officials here said. Pakistan, which has been on the back foot, maintained that Siddiqui`s tenure had got completed in Sri Lanka and he has since returned to Islamabad.
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Sri Lanka tenders unqualified apology to Modi and Jayalalithaa for derogatory article
Saturday, 2 August 2014 - 4:20 AM SL Time

NEW DELHI: The Sri Lankan government has tendered an `unqualified apology` to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for a controversial article on the two leaders on its defence ministry s official website.

The Sri Lankan government said in a statement that the article was published `without proper authorization and it doesn`t reflect the government`s official position.`
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Sri Lanka Leases 1200 Acres In Trinco To China
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 - 9:42 AM SL Time

The Green Left Weekly news agency reported that the Sri Lankan government has signed an agreement to give China 1200 acres of land in the Trincomalee area on a long term lease for defence-related development .

The land which has been allegedly given to the Chinese Republic is an area populated with over 450 families and with places of religious observances. The news agency reports that all these will lose their lands and places of worship.
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I wish all followers of Islam in Sri Lanka a Happy Eid ul-Fitr. Eid Mubarak - President
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 - 10:21 AM SL Time

I am pleased to send this message of greetings to the devotees of Islam as they celebrate the festival Eid ul-Fitr today, President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated in a message to mark the Ramazan festival.

The message: The Muslim community of Sri Lanka join their brothers in faith the world over today, to mark the completion of the important period of fasting and religious fervour, in keeping with the traditions of Islam.
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