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President + 168 advisors + 110 Ministers = Mahinda Chinthanaya

May 30 (LG) UNP Gen. Secretary, Tissa Attanayake said, the recent price hikes on fuel and Kerosene oil is not because of World Market fluctuations as the Govt. is falsely claiming ;rather , it is because of the losses that have to be covered up due to Govt.’s corruption, profligacy, mismanagement and maintenance of its largest Cabinet of Ministers (110 Ministers) in the World and President’s 168 advisors who are enjoying the best of perks and benefits at the expense of the common man. more..

NFF appoints 14 district organizers

May 30 (LD) The National Freedom Front, led by JVP breakaways Wimal Weerawansa and Nandana Gunatilake, has appointed organizers for 14 districts. The most prominent of the appointees are Achala Suranga Jagoda for Colombo, Jayantha Samaraweera for Kalutara, Piyasiri Wijenayake for Gampaha, Samansiri Herath for Puttalam and Senaratne de Silva for Kurunegala. The NFF is also having Priyantha Bellana as its organizer for Galle, Deepal Gunasekara for Ratnapura, more..

Will persuade JHU & MEP to re-join APRC -Tissa Vitarana

May 30 (LD) The Chairman of the APRC, Minister Tissa Vitarana said measures would be taken to persuade the JHU and the MEP to re-join the APRC process. The President will intervene and solve the crisis that resulted in the JHU and the MEP withdrawing from the APC, he added. The two parties withdrew from the APRC after several co-members, including the SLMC and the Western peoples’ Front refused to let the TMVP participate in the deliberations of the APRC. more..

Lanka IOC to withdraw from diesel sales?

May 30 (LD) Lanka Indian Oil Corporation is planning to further increase its diesel price with the ultimate objective of withdrawing from diesel sales and focus on the more profitable petrol sales, 'Lanka' newspaper says in its banner headline story. Lanka IOC has been raising its diesel price without control after the government granted it permission to fix prices. Since May 21st, it had increased the price by Rs. 20, more..

Delegation led by Defence Secretary visits east

May 30 (GDI) A top level defence delegation led by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the Eastern Province yesterday (29) to review the new security developments in the East after the Provincial Council Elections. Mr. Rajapaksa was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff Donald Perera and Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. The visiting defence authorities took steps immediately to resolve certain matters that were related to Special Task Force (STF) personnel, more..

Man who faked death pleads guilty to $331k scam

May 30 (ST) FOR more than two decades, Gandaruban Subramaniam hid out in Sri Lanka after faking his own death. The elaborate plan - his family claimed he had been killed by Tamil Tiger rebels - netted his kin about $330,000 in life insurance payouts. But yesterday, the 60-year-old Singaporean saw the ruse officially come to an end. Gandaruban pleaded guilty to four charges, including insurance fraud, on the second day of his district court trial. more..

A Sri Lankan has been sentenced to death for killing a compatriot as he slept

May 30 (LNP) A Sri Lankan has been sentenced to death for killing a compatriot as he slept, Gulf Times reports. Ravi Naga Lingam repeatedly smashed Parthiban Rama Chandran in the head with a ceramic instrument and a bottle, because of an old dispute. He then locked the 22-year-old victim in his room and threw the key into a rubbish bin. The body was discovered three days later. more..

President s proposal: One and a half cheers!

May 30 (LNP) Sri Lanka has a peculiar way of handling crises. Being a land of lotus eaters, it doesn t give two hoots about portents of trouble. It tries to wish away any sign of tribulations and lets the grass grow under its feet. It swings into action only after it is beset with a full-blown and unmanageable crisis. At present, the country is in the throes of a fuel crisis and the government has woken up from its slumber. more..

Chief selector says Lankan cricketers have lost focus

May 30 (LNP) Sri Lanka's Chairman of Cricket Selectors Ashantha de Mel made a stinging attack on the national cricketers at a media briefing yesterday when he questioned the top cricketers commitment to the national team. Since ending as runners-up of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007, Sri Lanka has been a pale shadow of the side that was a year ago, having won only four of their last 16 games. more..

Doc remanded for performing abortions

May 30 (SAMN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Ajith Anawaratna Thursday remanded a private medical practitioner till June 9 for allegedly performing illegal abortions at a house at Ruwanpura, Aggona, Rajagiriya. The suspect Senaratnalage Gunasiri Pathmalal was a doctor who had practised for some time at the accident service of the National Hospital Colombo. At the time of his arrest he was engaged in performing the illegal abortions on five women. more..

Raise the salaries: JVP

May 30 (SAMN) The JVP Thursday urged the government to raise salaries by at least Rs.5000 to relieve the working people of the country from the burden of the escalating cost of living. JVP Parliamentarian K.D.Lalkantha said they would only give a month’s time for the government to increase the salaries and that they would go for strong trade union action if the government did not act. more..

True information led to WHO post: Nimal

May 30 (SAMN) Sri Lanka was able to win the honour of being elected to the chair of the Executive Board of the WHO as nobody could poison the world body by negative propaganda and a positive image of Sri Lanka had already been built within the Board over the years, new Chairman of the Board, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said Thursday. Minister said he had been a member of the Board since 1997 and more..

'Govt. facing grave economic crisis'

May 30 (SAMN) Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardene said Thursday the government was facing a severe economic crisis, but assured President Mahinda Rajapaksa would announce a set of measures to avert it, after meeting the ministers next week. Speaking at the weekly Cabinet press briefing, Gunawardene assured measures would be taken to avert the crisis without a heavy burden being placed on the people. more..

SCOPP Report

May 30 (PISL) Dear Editor, I write in response to some misrepresentations in the article entitled “Security Council concerned over civilian deaths’ on the front page of the Daily Mirror of May 29th. This is an example of the mischief making that had to be corrected by some months ago by the Press Council of Sri Lanka, when a reporter in the Daily Mirror sought to create the impression that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission had accused Sri Lankan forces of assisting in the recruitment of child soldiers. more..

Dengue hits Colombo city

May 30 (DN) There is a 95 per cent increase in the number of dengue cases in the Colombo city alone, the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) revealed. Eighteen patients have already been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital during this month. "This is an alarming situation and there is a possibility of a rise in the number of dengue patients in the coming months unless proper action is taken to control mosquito breeding," more..

108 houses for low income families

May 30 (DN) Arrangements are being made by the Community Development and Relief Services Association, Katiyawa, Udahena in the Rideegama DS division to build 108 houses for low income families in the area. This novel project is known as "Swarna Vimana Housing project". According to Ven. Katamberiya Sumanajothi Thera, Deputy Director of the Association, financial assistance for this project is granted by the Government, non-governmental organisations and Philanthropists in the area. more..

Teachers against increased school hours

May 30 (Island) Teacher trade unionists are up in arms against the proposed move to extend school hours thereby paving the way for the reduction of school days to four. According to the unions, Education Minister Susil Premajayanth would submit this recommendation to the Cabinet on June 4. The government has said this would help reduce fuel consumption and is necessary to bring down the growing oil import bill. more..

Land acquired for public utility devalued, given for golf course - Counsel

May 30 (Island) A 136-acre extent of land which had been acquired for public benefit had been unduly devalued as flood retention land and handed over to Asia Pacific Golf Courses Limited, Counsel J. C. Weliamuna, told the Supreme Court on Thursday. He said the land at Battaramulla had been alienated by the UDA to Asia Pacific Golf Courses Limited to construct a golf course, which was not of public utility value. more..

Maha Sinnathamby - tenth wealthiest individual in Queensland, Australia

May 30 (DM) Maha Sinnathamby, a man with Sri Lankan Tamil roots, who migrated to Australia while in his teens, has been listed as tenth wealthiest individual in Queensland, in the BRW 2008 rich list. Courier Mail reported his achievement as, “The man who founded Springfield property development, Sinnathamby is worth an estimated A$571 million. He has few obvious trappings of wealth, living in a modest abode at Fig Tree Pocket, more..

Ward Place murder: Accused couple sentenced to death

May 30 (DM) Colombo High Court yesterday imposed death sentence on a domestic aide and her paramour who had murdered her elderly woman employer at Ward Place. High Court judge Ms. Deepali Wijesundara imposed the death penalty on the two convicts M. Sydney Rohitha Priyantha Pinto alias K. Jude Prasantha and his lover, Samanthi Athukorala alias Isuri Priyadharshani Perera alias Malee for committing the murder of A. Margarita Evelyn Nancy Fernando on or around July 15, 1998. more..

Mihin Air seeks cash, merger

May 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's grounded state-run budget airline has sought an 800,000 dollar cash infusion from the Treasury and may be merged with the national carrier, as part of a restructure plan, officials said. Mihin Lanka, which has been dogged with financial problems since it began commercial operations last year, has suspended services after running up debts to nearly 15 million dollars. more..

SEC fines Nawaloka official over securities offence

May 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka securities watchdog said Nawaloka director Jayantha Dharmadasa has been fined over a price manipulation case involving the shares of a hospital firm. The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a notice that Dharmadasa had been fined 3.3 million rupees following a request to 'compound' a case a under a procedure allowed in Sri Lanka securities laws. more..

Sri Lanka Cargills puts Dhanapala on board

May 30 (LBO) Cargills (Ceylon) Ltd, said former top Sri Lankan diplomat Jayantha Danapala would join its board from June 01. Dhanapala was former United Nations under-secretary-general for disarmament affairs (1998-2003) and a former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the USA (1995-7) and to the UN Office in Geneva (1984-87). He is currently Chairman of the UN University Council and more..

Terror suspect wins entrepreneurial award

May 30 (G&M) An MBA student accused of setting up an elaborate terrorism-support network has been awarded a $5,000 prize for his entrepreneurial acumen. Two years ago, the arrest of the 26-year-old Canadian university student made headlines amid allegations he was known simply as “Waterloo Suresh” to Tamil Tiger figures overseas. Suresh Sriskandarajah continues to be wanted in the United States to face charges that he set up enterprises to acquire $22,000 worth of sensitive warship-building software for the guerrillas. more..

Sri Lanka passes new laws, threatens mission work

May 30 (MNN) Gospel For Asia is raising the alarm over the latest restrictions in Sri Lanka. A new law restricts noise levels after 10 p.m. GFA's Sri Lanka head calls it a direct attack on late-night prayer meetings, adding that it was introduced by a politician extremist who is responsible for violence against Christians. "We are desperately praying for peace in our country," wrote Lal Vanderwall, head of Gospel for Asia's ministry in Sri Lanka. more..

Aging Jayasuriya to play till next World Cup

May 30 (IANS) Picking up the dashing opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya for the forthcoming Asian Cup tournament in Pakistan, Sri Lanka's national selectors indicated that the aging left-hander could well play for the national team till the next World Cup. Head of Sri Lanka's Cricket Selection Committee Ashantha de Mel said that they were 'forced to re-consider the selection policy after Jayasuriya hammered the second fastest century in the ongoing IPL Twenty-20 tournament'. more..

Sri Lanka annual inflation rate at 5-yr high on food

May 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's annual inflation rate rose to 19.8 percent in May, the highest level in over five years, due to rising prices of food and vegetables, putting pressure on the central bank to raise rates. The 12-month moving average increased from 18.7 percent in April as supply shortages boosted food prices, the government's Census and Statistics Department said on Friday. more..

Sri Lanka soldiers capture rebel base

May 30 (AP) Government troops have captured a Tamil Tiger rebel base in northern Sri Lanka after three days of fighting that killed seven rebels and one soldier, the military said Friday. Army troops captured the stronghold known as Munnagam Base on Thursday, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara. He said the base, located four miles north of the front lines in Welioya region, had been used by the guerrillas as an operational center. more..

Sri Lanka warns Western sanctions can stoke ethnic conflict

May 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka called on Western powers Thursday to be wary of imposing sanctions for its alleged human rights violations, warning that the action could worsen the island's long-running ethnic conflict. The United States and the European Union have withheld various aid programs and are debating whether to withdraw special trade benefits from Sri Lanka amid concerns the human rights situation has deteriorated since more..

Sri Lanka politicians to meddle in fuel use

May 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka's ruling politicians are to come up with plans next week to reduce energy use, with the petroleum bill being identified as the biggest threat to the country, senior ministers said. Trade minister Bandula Gunewardene said the country last year spent 2.4 billion dollars on oil imports compared to 838 million in 2003. This year the fuel bill was expected to be close to 3.5 billion dollars, he said. more..

Two children killed in stabbing

May 31 (BBC) Two children have been stabbed to death and a baby left seriously injured in an attack at a home in south London. A five-year-old boy, a girl aged four and a six-month-old girl were found with stab wounds at an address in Carshalton on Friday night. The older children later died and the baby girl remains in a serious condition in hospital. A man, 39, and a 35-year-old woman - the children's parents - were arrested and are being questioned by police. more..

'Food shortage' to Kilinochchi IDPs

May 31 (BBC) Government officials in LTTE-held Kilinochchi say Internally Displaced People (IDP) are starving following restrictions on food transport in the area. Kilinochchi Government Agent (GA) Rasalingam Vedanayagam says "the area is suffering from a severe food shortage after transport of goods and food into the area has been cut by 80 percent." Mr. Vedanayagam further said that despite the shortage, 12,000 are still being provided food under the World Food Programme and more..

"Terrorism and the Challenge to Diplomacy in Sri Lanka”

May 31 (LG) I am pleased to have this opportunity to address you and to share my thoughts on the challenges that Sri Lanka’s diplomacy faces today in its confrontation with terrorism. One of the gravest challenges to Sri Lanka in her post-colonial history is the challenge of brutal terrorism – LTTE terrorism. It is a challenge to Sri Lanka’s very existence as country, its democratic way of life and its social fabric. more..

Political power of profligate prodigality

May 31 (LG) On the heels of Minister Bandula Gunawardena’s political puberty, we now have the utterance of the UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake on the same issue but holding the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse to the current crisis of the perennial phase of nightmare in the country. The entire oily business is wholly and downright slippery, just as this government, every previous governments of post-independent Sri Lanka have found cause to blame foreign market fluctuations when more..