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Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka appoints new member

Mar 2 (LBO) Former head of Fitch Ratings Lanka, Ravi Abeysuriya, joined as commission member of the country’s securities watchdog on Thursday. The appointment as member of the Securities and Exchange Commission was made by President Mahinda Rajapakse, the SEC said in a statement. Abeysuriya is currently managing director of Amba Research, a specialized provider of investment research and analyst report services. more..

US should take care of its resident who's behind media suppression in SL - Mangala

Mar 2 (LeN) Former Minister Mangala Samaraweera says that the Troika in the government who is selling the act of war is tarnishing the media freedom. He said that the head of the Troika is threatening certain editors of newspapers not to publish news articles with regards to his meetings. He stated the above during a press conference organized at the parliamentary complex to explain to the media why he and Sripathy was sacked from the government. more..

Mangala demands Rs. 200 million as compensation from Gotabhaya

Mar 2 (LeN) Former Minister Mangala Samaraweera says he will file a case demanding 200 million rupees as compensation from secretary to the Defense Ministry Ghotabhaya Rajapakse. He said that he has asked his lawyers to file a case regarding a statement issued by Rajapakse saying that a request made by Samaraweera to use for a purpose of the LTTE was turned down by the Defense Minister. more..

Courts strike as Karuna demands ransom

Mar 2 (LeN) The judicial system has faced a breakdown as all the judges in Vavuniya have not reported to work today. The Vavuniya judges association says this action had been taken in protest of demanding ransom from by them by a group identifying themselves as Karuna Faction. They say that a person called Seelan has been demanding ransom from them but the security forces have yet not been able to arrest the suspect. more..

Hambonthota Port Construction to be taken up in next three months

Mar 2 (GDI) Chinese Construction Contract Agency has expressed willingness to initiate the construction work of the Chinese funded Hambanthota Port within next three months. Accordingly the first phase construction work of the Hambanthota Port is scheduled to begin in next July. This decision was reached after a lengthy discussions conducted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the Chinese President Hu Jintao more..

President visits the first ever office of the Chinese Communist Party

Mar 2 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today arrived at the Chinese city of Shanghai leaving Beijing. Sri Lankan Delegation headed by President Rajapaksa visited the first ever office of the Chinese Communist Party which is situated in Shanghai. The Chinese Communist Party was started with 13 members in 27th July 1921. Today the party has a large number of a member stat which exceeds 80 millions. more..

Ranatunga backs Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (ECB) Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga believes this month`s World Cup may be his country`s best chance to win the tournament for some time as a number of key players come towards the end of their careers. Ranatunga has identified 37-year-old opener Sanath Jayasuriya as the key man for Mahela Jayawardene's charges, along with spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, 34, and 33-year-old seamer Chaminda Vaas. more..

Sri Lanka halts sale of telecom services to embattled regions

Mar 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka suspended sales of telephones and mobile phone cards in the embattled north and east on Thursday as troops stepped up attacks against Tiger rebels, an official said. The move was temporary and aimed at preventing guerrillas making use of phone services for military operations, telecoms watchdog chief Kanchana Ratwatte said. more..

Security Of Canadian Diplomats In Sri Lanka Questionable

Mar 2 (CCNM) An incident involving six high-level diplomats has raised concerns about the safety of Canadian and other foreign representatives in Sri Lanka. A military envoy carrying six foreign ambassadors to Sri Lanka's embattled eastern region was dangerously caught in the crossfire between Sri Lankan military personnel and LTTE rebels on Tuesday. more..

Marks& Spencer eyes Sri Lanka to help drive million-dollar eco-plan

Mar 2 (LBO) British retailer Marks & Spencer will use Sri Lanka to help drive a 390 million dollar ‘eco-plan’, to turn its business entirely green over the next five years. Targets are to turn all operations in the United Kingdom carbon neutral over the next five years, reduce manufacturing waste and source from ethical and labour compliant countries. more..

Durham University honours two exceptional Lankans

Mar 2 (TW) Durham University awarded honorary degrees to the vice- chancellor of one of the country’s leading universities and the executive director of one of the largest non-governmental organisations in Sri Lanka. At a ceremony at the University of Ruhuna on Friday February 16, Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, conferred honorary doctorates in civil law (DCL) on Dr Vinya Ariyaratne, more..

US Ambassador Robert Blake Jr speaks at Colombo MBA Alumni Association

Mar 2 (TW) Thank you for the invitation by the Colombo MBA Alumni Association to speak at this important conference. Members of the Colombo MBA Alumni Association are at the forefront of Sri Lanka’s economy so I am honored to have the opportunity to speak with you today. Today’s topic, “Beyond Traditional Boundaries,” is especially appropriate as Sri Lanka seeks creative, non-traditional directions to a future of hope, security and prosperity. more..

Sultan of Brunei bestows honour on Lankan scholar

Mar 2 (TW) Sri Lankan scholar Dr. Haji B.A. Hussainmiya, received high State honours from His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah during his recent 60th birthday celebrations held at Istana Darul Iman, the Brunei Sultan’s palace attended by royal dignitaries, diplomatic community, and state officials. more..

Sri Lanka sovereign rating weighed down by weak budgets, war, public employment

Mar 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's weak public finances which leave little room for the country to counter shocks and an ongoing war are weighing heavily on its credit rating, Fitch Ratings said. Sri Lanka has a BB- sovereign rating with the outlook downgraded to negative in April 2006 after the conflict intensified, which is now due for a review. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines flying to Jeddah twice weekly from March

Mar 2 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines will carry passengers twice weekly to Jeddah through a code-share deal with Saudi Arabian, Arabian Airlines, the company said Thursday. The Tuesday and Thursday flights will start on March 27, making Jeddah the 51st destination Sri Lankan carries passengers to. Jeddah is SriLankan Airlines’ third destination in Saudi Arabia and the ninth in the airline’s Middle East route network. more..

Sri Lanka corporate leaders tells his peers: Consciousness in a company is key to success

Mar 2 (LBO) A company’s consciousness is made up of the collective consciousness of the workers that will help a company be productive and succeed, a top Sri Lankan corporate leader said. “The edifice is the shell. It is empty without the consciousness," Mineka Wickramasingha, Chairman, Ceylon Biscuits Limited said at the LBR-LBO CEO Forum this week. People make up the consciousness. It pulsates with vibrations.” more..

Appeal to MPs, ICRC, GA to bring murdered student’s body home

Mar 2 (TN) Eight Tamil parliamentarians have written to Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary, Gothebaya Rajapakse, on behalf the family of a murdered Jaffna University student, who are pleading for permission for his body to be taken to their home in Viswamadu in Tamil-Tiger controlled Vanni. The family has also requested the University authorities and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Kilinochchi to also help, relatives said. more..

Sri Lanka Consul General for US Western States Means Business, Political and Otherwise for Lanka’s Benefit

Mar 2 (AT) The man has a clear perspective of the needs of the country he represents in the United States, with eleven States under his wings. In the two months of assuming the responsibility, he has gauged the political, investment and trade scenario in this most important region of the nation vis a vis Sri Lanka. more..

President arrives at Guangzhou today

Mar 2 (GDI) Ending a successful mission in the Chinese Commercial city of Shanghai, President Mahinda Rajapaksa today arrived at Guangzhou which is considered as the commercial hub in the Southern China. 70 million civilians are residing in Guangzhou region. It is in Guangzhou that the most ancient temple is situated. The Mahanayakes of the three Buddhist Chapters along with the President Rajapaksa visited the city today. more..

Village upliftment under Jathika Saviya

Mar 2 (GDI) The government has launched a comprehensive plan for development of economic and social values of selected villages. A programme to uplift 4,000 villages through the ‘Jathika Saviya’ of the Mahinda Chinthanaya concept is being launched by the Religious Affairs Ministry this year. Steps will be taken to contribute towards the physical and economic as well as moral and spiritual development in these areas under this programme, more..

Sri Lanka hosts World Textile Conference

Mar 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka is hosting the 85th Textile Institute World Conference. “Success or failure in responding to any challenge that come upon us depends on our adaptability”, Minister of Export Development and International Trade Professor G.L. Peiris said at the inaugural session. “Any country should identify its real strength to face the challenge that confronts them, he added. more..

Relief for the industrialists affected by Tsunami

Mar 2 (GDI) The machineries and equipments had been distributed for 41 industrialists affected by Tsunami in the Amparai District at the Amparai Superintendent's Office on February 26. Lanka Industrial Development Board under the Ministry of Industries, "Technonet Asia" of Singapore, Southern Unit of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly implemented this programe to uplift the living conditions of the people affected by tsunami. more..

“President’s visits laid a solid foundation ...

Mar 2 (GDI) Making a special media announcement at Shanghai, Secretary of the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundara stresses that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s state visit to China has laid a solid foundation for Sri Lanka to reach its expected eight per cent economic growth and also to go beyond that limit within this year. more..

LTTE was informed of Batti tour

Mar 2 (PISL) All relevant sections at Batticaloa were informed that diplomats were visiting the town before they left Colombo French Ambassador Michelle Lummans said yesterday. The French Ambassdor’s statement gave the lie to the LTTE claim that the LTTE was not aware that diplomats were traveling to Batticaloa on Tuesday. This was the first instance that diplomats were attacked by the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka and NZ biggest Cup threats: Warne

Mar 2 (AAP) Spin king Shane Warne today rated New Zealand and Sri Lanka as Australia's biggest threats in the cricket World Cup while saying recently crowned world No.1 South Africa had no chance of claiming the title. Enjoying his retirement at the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar race in Adelaide, Warne also told AAP the West Indies were his dark horse, but he expected Australia to overcome their recent slump more..

Order imposing fine on 77 fishermen set aside

Mar 2 (Hindu) The Madras High Court has set aside a Fisheries department order imposing fine on 77 fishermen who, breaching the international boundary line (IBL), fished in Sri Lankan waters off Rameswaram. A Division Bench comprising Justices P. Sathasivam and N. Paul Vasanthakumar passed the order on a writ appeal preferred by the Rameswaram Port Visai Padagu Meenavar (mechanised fishing trawlers) Sangam against a single-judge order rejecting their plea. more..

Batticaloa attack: Security negligence?

Mar 2 (LNP) The LTTE mortar attack which injured diplomats and a group of security personnel as helicopters carrying them landed at the Webber stadium in Batticaloa on Tuesday, could have been avoided, if not for security negligence, as there had been shelling in the vicinity earlier that morning, a defence source told the Daily Mirror. more..

We are still UNPers

Mar 2 (LNP) UNP dissidents Gamini Lokuge and P.Dayaratne yesterday told media that there will be no more cross overs from the UNP to the government ranks. `We want them to remain in the party and consolidate it,` he said. Asked whether those who crossed over are planning to join the SLFP, Lokuge said `we are very much with the UNP. We haven`t abandoned it. We will engage in rebuilding the party while being in the government benches,` he added. more..

Jaffna working hard to make 101st Big Match a reality

Mar 2 (LNP) Despite growing security concerns, the heads of the two leading cricket playing schools in Jaffna, Central College and St. John`s College have decided to play their 101st `Battle of Jaffna` annual Big Match commencing on the Ides of March. `Despite security concerns, we will try to stage the annual Big Match from March 15-17,` said S. Padmanathan, the Principal of Jaffna Central College. more..

Of that `secret pact between Mahinda and Prabhakaran`

Mar 2 (LNP) The Opposition is pressuring the government to clarify its position on the allegation by the ousted Minister Sripathy Sooriayaarachchi that there is a secret pact between President Rajapakse and the LTTE. That is why, Sripathy insists, the government has confined its military campaign to the East. The real war, he believes, should be fought in the North. more..

Mangala, Sripathy demand PSC probe

Mar 2 (SAMN) Controversy over the alleged pre-election deal between the Government and the LTTE took yet another turn Thursday when ousted Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyarachchi requested Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara to probe the matter through a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). Sooriyarachchi told journalists the image of the President, the SLFP and the country had suffered untold damage in the light of revelations about this alleged deal. more..

80% attendance: Principals to decide

Mar 2 (SAMN) The principals of the leading national schools will meet today or Saturday to decide the fate of a large number of children in the G.C.E. Advanced Level classes (Grade 13) who have not put in 80 per cent attendance at school. The ministry of education has sent a circular to all schools that students who sit the GCE Advanced Level Examination must have 80 percent attendance to be eligible to sit the examination. more..

Govt. politicising war, claims UNP

Mar 2 (SAMN) The UNP which vehemently condemned the LTTE attack on foreign diplomats charged Thursday that the Government should be held accountable as it failed to provide adequate security to them. UNP media spokesman Gayantha Karunatilleke told a media conference the Government failed to provide security to foreign diplomats although it gave state security to LTTE media spokesman Daya Master when he was brought to Colombo for medical treatment recently. more..

Politicians cash in on phone expansion

Mar 2 (SAMN) Corrupt local government politicians and their henchmen are cashing in on the ongoing expansion of the mobile phone industry, brazenly demanding kickbacks in the form of camera phones in return for permission to set up relay stations. "They unashamedly demand the latest, in some instances to distribute among henchmen," an industry source said Thursday. more..

Gotabhaya 'supressing' media

Mar 2 (BBC) Former Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, has accused Defence Secretary of working on an agenda to suppress media freedom in Sri Lanka. Samaraweera was sacked by the President on 09 February accusing him of "plotting against" Rajapaksa's life. The parliamentarian still holds the post of treasurer in the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). more..

China to finance major power projects

Mar 2 (DN) The Chinese Government has expressed its consent to finance major power projects including the Second and Third Phases of the Norochcholai coal fired power plant project which will add 600 MWs to the National Grid, Power and Energy Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage who participated at bilateral talks with the Chinese Government officials here in Beijing, told the Daily News yesterday. more..

Railway to undergo tremendous improvement with Chinese help

Mar 2 (DN) The Railway service in Sri Lanka is set to undergo a tremendous improvement in the coming months with Chinese assistance after adding 15 new power sets and 100 compartments to strengthen and improve the railway services, Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma told the Daily News here Shanghai yesterday. more..

UNP dissidents case:Ranil seeks suspension of enjoining order

Mar 2 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and General Secretary Tissa Attanayake filed a petition before the Colombo District Court requesting suspension of the enjoining order preventing them from removing the dissident members from the working committee of the UNP. Citing Karu Jayasuriya as respondent, the Mr. Wickremesinghe and Mr. Attanayake alleged that seventeen dissidents had obtained an enjoining order by suppressing and misinterpreting facts to court. more..

Chikungunya, Dengue outbreak possible during S-W monsoon

Mar 2 (DM) Chief Medical Officer, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam told Daily Mirror that there is a threat of a resurgence of dengue and chikungunya fevers with the expected South-West monsoon rains during the next few months Of the two diseases, chikungunya is expected to spread rapidly, as the population has no immunity against the disease. more..

Sri Lankan MPs say India must take steps to end conflict

Mar 2 (PTI) Alleging that Pakistan and China were providing arms to the Sri Lankan government to carry out a "war against Tamils", two Sri Lankan MPs today said India should take steps to end the conflict in the island nation. "Involvement of Pakistan and China in the island nation's affairs does not augur well for India, which should take steps to stop the conflict in Sri Lanka," more..

Karunanidhi urged to help settle Sri Lankan crisis

Mar 2 (IANS) Sri Lanka's top moderate Tamil leader and a strong critic of the Tamil Tigers Friday met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and pressed him to advocate devolution of powers to the island's provinces on the lines of Indian states so as to end the ethnic conflict. V. Anandasangaree, head of the TULF, called on Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai and informed him during a 30-minute discussion that there was a ray of hope in Sri Lanka. more..

Hundreds of Sri Lankans 'want to be smuggled to Australia'

Mar 2 (AAP) Up to 600 Sri Lankans are now in South East Asia waiting for an opportunity to be smuggled into Australia, a senior South Asian diplomat says. The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said those behind the racket to smuggle people out of Sri Lanka were closely aligned to Tamil Tiger rebels, who are waging a civil war against the government. more..

Jakarta to deport Sri Lankans if asked to take them

Mar 2 (Reuters) Jakarta would deport a group of 83 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to their home country if Australia asks to send them to Indonesia while assessing their refugee claims, a government spokesman said on Friday. The Australian navy intercepted a refugee boat from Indonesia a week ago, with the 83 Sri Lankans and two Indonesians aboard, near Australia's Indian Ocean territory of Christmas Island, where they have been taken for interviews. more..

Anti-terrorism laws abused in Sri Lanka - jurists

Mar 2 (Reuters) Anti-terrorism laws in Sri Lanka have led to widespread and systematic rights abuses, a panel of global jurists said on Friday, charging government forces of extra-judicial killings and torture. The panel was appointed in 2005 by the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists to investigate the impact of "terrorism" and counter-terrorism measures on the rule of law and human rights. more..

Tamil Tiger excuses

Mar 2 (WT) The ambassador from Sri Lanka dismissed assertions by the Tamil Tigers, after the rebels shelled military helicopters this week carrying foreign envoys, including the U.S. ambassador, who was slightly injured. The rebels, widely accused of using terrorist tactics in their fight for an ethnic-Tamil homeland, complained that the Sri Lankan army should have informed them that the helicopters were carrying diplomats on an inspection tour Tuesday of development projects in the eastern city of Batticaloa. more..

Sri Lanka war planes bomb suspected Tiger camp

Mar 2 (AFP) Sri Lankan war planes bombed a suspected Tiger rebel camp in the northeast on Friday as part of an increased offensive against the guerrillas, a defence official said. "Using MIG 27 jet planes, the air force took Tiger targets in the Thoppigala jungles," military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe told AFP, adding there were no details about any casualties. There was no comment from the rebels. more..

LTTE stumped by Sri Lankan jets

Mar 2 (HT) The Sri Lankan Air Force, which turned 56 on Friday, has never been as deadly and as effective against the LTTE as it is today. Thanks to the free hand and unreserved backing given by President cum Defense Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and his younger brother and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the SLAF is playing a decisive role in keeping the LTTE on the run in the current series of operations termed "Eelam War IV". more..

Pudukkottai fishermen at receiving end

Mar 3 (NIP) The fishermen of Kottaipattinam and Jagadhapattinam in Pudukkottai district are pinning their hopes on the State and Central Governments for finding an enduring solution to the problem of frequent Lankan Navy attack on them. Kottaipattinam, which is no different from any other fishing hamlet in the country, hit the headlines recently in the wake of the firing offensive by Sri Lankan Navy on one of its fishermen. more..

Former mayor ‘hurt’ by Tiger accusations

Mar 3 (SC) Former Kingston mayor Councillor Yogan Yoganathan has strongly denied supporting terrorism after the Sri Lankan government accused him of being a "hardcore" Tamil Tiger campaigner. The accusations posted on a Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence website on Saturday came after Coun Yoganathan organised a meeting at Tolworth Girls School calling for reconciliation and an end to violence in the volatile south Asian country. more..

Government urges Australia to take stern actions against LTTE

Mar 3 (GDI) Australia will look in to the possibility of banning LTTE in Australia after the explanation made by the Health Care and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva regarding the situation in Sri Lanka to Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer during his current visit to Australia, Health Care and Nutrition Ministry sources said. more..