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Prospects bright for tea, rubber and coconut

Jun 23 (DN) Plantations Industries Minister D. M. Jayaratne said the Ministry has implemented a series of programs to elevate the cultivation of the three main export crops by providing relief and assistance. Q: What kind of measures have been taken to overcome the problems faced in the tea, rubber and coconut industries? A: At present, there are no serious problems regarding tea, rubber and coconut industries. more..

Danduwam’s death leaves depositors claimless - Lawyer

Jun 23 (Island) Over 4,000 persons who placed deposits with Piyadasa Ratnayaka alias Danduwam Mudalali are in a quandary since he had died while the case against him was still pending in Court. Attorney-at-Law Premasiri Gunaratne, who appeared on behalf of the depositors said that since Danduwam Mudalali had died while the case against him was still pending the depositors have no legal right to his property and money, now in the custody of the Court. more..

Vehicle Emission tests in Provinces too

Jun 23 (Island) Commissioner General of Motor Traffic Bandula Wijeratna yesterday said that special provision had been made for the convenience of all vehicle owners in the Southern, Central and North -Central Provinces to obtain their emission test certificates in their own provinces from yesterday. He said that until recently vehicles owners of these provinces had to bring their vehicles all the way to the Western Province and more..

Sri J’pura u’grads claim VC unqualified

Jun 23 (Island) Students of the Sri Jayewardenepura University claimed yesterday that the Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr. N. L. A. Karunaratne is unqualified for the post. He had the patronage of the present government and his appointment is a political one, they charged. President of the Students Council Daminda Pushpakumara said that he had never held any position as a Department head, Faculty Dean, Students Counselor or disciplinary committee member. more..

Youths in welfare camps to be engaged in agriculture

Jun 23 (Island) The government has decided to provide 1000 acres of fertile agricultural lands and inputs for agriculture purposes to youths in the IDP Relief Villages in Vavuniya to enable them to be motivated towards engaging in agriculture, Presidential Secretariat sources said yesterday. "This would prevent them from just idling" sources further said. This decision was arrived at by the Minister of Agrarian Services Hemakumara Nanayakara following more..

325,000 new houses to be built in North

Jun 23 (DM) The government is planning to construct 325,000 new houses in the north while 150,000 houses are to be repaired, under a three-year programme,, the President’s Office said. At the progress evaluation meeting of the Presidential Task Force for the Development of Kilinochchi, its Chairman, Basil Rajapaksa led the discussion on Highways, Electricity, Housing, Water Supply, Irrigation, Agriculture and Health Education treating as priority issues on Sunday. more..

Paediatric hospital congested: fever patients increase

Jun 23 (DM) Deputy Director of Lady Ridgeway Paediatric Hospital, Borella – Dr. Vijith Gunasekera said yesterday that around 3,000 children are brought daily to the OPD and the majority of them with fever. As the serious cases are admitted, all six medical wards of the hospital have become full, he said. Among the patients admitted, there have been cases of dengue as well. The biggest problem they are faced with is the lack of space in the Intensive Care Unit. more..

'We have to act to reduce pollution'

Jun 23 (DM) Every unit of nuclear waste will take more than 25 years to decay and every nation has a responsibility to act to reduce the harm on the environment, former Vice President International Court of Justice, C.G. Weeramantry said yesterday. He stressed the importance in finding the balance in local and international environment law in protecting and safeguarding the environment whilst combating polluters in a common front. more..

UN concerned over arrest of local staff

Jun 23 (DM) The United Nations said yesterday it was looking at the legal options available to ensure the protection of its staff as the Foreign Ministry sought information from the Defence Ministry and the Police on the reported arrest of two local UN staff members serving in Vavuniya. “On being informed by the UN office in Colombo, about the arrest of two local staffers – both Tamils serving in Vavuniya -- we have requested more..

Decline in imports & exports reflected in Lanka's trade deficit

Jun 23 (ANN) Sri Lanka’s trade deficit continued to contract due to a drop in export earnings and reduced expenditure on imports. This trend has continued for the fourth consecutive month, Central Bank sources said. Private remittances , though marginally lower helped to build up a more favourable trade deficit. Among the export earnings which were effected were all major sectors, while tea continued to perform well. more..

T-20 World Cup Final: Will they ever learn from this?

Jun 23 (ANN) It was really great to see two cricket teams from Asia fighting it out in the 2009 T/20 World Cup Final, at Lords. Although we were the favourite to win the trophy, lady luck failed to smile on us. The main contributor to our total right along, the player of the tournament, who scored 317 runs, Tilekeratne Dilshan failed to score even a single run on this fateful day. The shrewd Pakistani captain placed a fielder right at the place his ‘Dil-scoops’ more..

Sri Lankan and Malaysia Airlines in new code share deal

Jun 23 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines has expanded its code share deal with Malaysian Airlines increasing its reach to the United States, Australia and Asia-Pacific sectors, the airline said. The agreement enables Malaysia Airlines to codeshare on SriLankan’s flights to Male in the Maldives while SriLankan Airlines will access Los Angeles, Sydney, Melbourne, Jakarta, and Seoul through Malaysia Airlines. more..

EU grants 5 million euros for emergency assistance in Sri Lanka

Jun 23 (ISRIA) The European Commission has allocated €5 million to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to internally displaced people, mostly ethnic Tamils, placed in camps in Sri Lanka. All funds are channelled through the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel. The projects are implemented by non-governmental relief organisations and specialised UN agencies. more..

Malaysia invited to rebuild Sri Lanka war-shattered zones

Jun 23 (MI) Sri Lanka, fresh from its success in eliminating rebels in the north and east of the island, is inviting Malaysian investors to join efforts to rebuild its war-shattered zones that need at least US$4 billion (RM14 billion) to US$5 billion in initial development. Minister Anura Priyadarshana said as Malaysian companies have vast experience in the telecommunication, construction and agriculture sectors in the country, more..

Sri Lanka's forgotten displaced Muslims

Jun 23 (BBC) As the world focuses on displaced Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, a large group of Muslims forcibly ejected from the north by Tamil Tigers 20 years ago are finally contemplating a return home. There are more than 100,000 Muslims living as refugees across Sri Lanka. Many are in Puttalam - a small fishing town on the north-western coast of Sri Lanka. They vividly remember the day when the LTTE forced them to leave at gun point. more..

Tamil Diaspora should lay down the ideology "eelam"

Jun 24 (LG) I am a Tamil living outside Sri Lanka hence by mere definition unfortunately I belong to Tamil Diaspora which I am ashamed of myself of being one of them and I am making this appeal again to the misled pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora to lay down the ideology “Eelam”. I have been very critical of the Tamil Diaspora for chasing an illusion and written articles to many websites criticizing the role played by the TD supporting LTTE terrorist outfit. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism launches a new brand, logo and tagline

Jun 24 (GDI) With the emergence of peace, the rebranding of Sri Lanka’s tourism positioning became not only time-critical, but also mission-critical. “And, Sri Lanka must be able to meet its full potential as one of the most exciting tourist destinations in the world,” Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda said extending an invitation to all concerned. more..

‘Mathata Thitha’ on the rocks

Jun 24 (LT) It was revealed in the Parliament today that despite ‘Mathata Thitha,’ (A halt for intoxication), a programme to curb alcoholism and drug abuse under ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ is said to be implemented the ministers themselves have issued licenses to various people to open wine stores. During the question time in Parliament session today JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana accused government MPs and ministers for issuing licenses for wine stores. more..

'Malnourished children' in IDP camps

Jun 24 (BBC) Nearly 5000 IDP children in Vavuniya camps are malnourished, a charity that works in Menik Farm IDP camp says. Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, Executive Director of Sarvodaya told BBC Sandeshaya that there are about 30,000 -35,000 children in Menk Farm. “Many of them are suffering from diseases and some still suffer from injuries,” he said. 15-20 percent of these children are also suffering from chronic malnutrition and acute malnutrition, more..

Why do Buddhist monks sleep upright?

Jun 24 (BBC) A group of Buddhist monks recently emerged from four years in isolation in a retreat in Scotland, having spent their nights sleeping in an upright position. Why? The monks at the Samye Dechen Shing Buddhist retreat in Dumfriesshire are supposed to sleep upright in a "meditation box". For less than five hours. We've all fallen asleep in armchairs, but it seems a different proposition to sit bolt upright every night for four years. more..

Aid ship still waiting to unload

Jun 24 (BBC) The crew of a ship sent by Tamil expatriates in Europe say they are still hoping they can unload a large cargo of aid for Tamil refugees, after nearly three weeks waiting in the waters off Sri Lanka and southern India. The "Captain Ali" vessel is anchored off the Indian port of Chennai having been turned away by the Sri Lankan authorities. An Icelandic crew member told the BBC that he "saluted" the people in southern India trying to let the ship into Chennai harbour, more..

Sri Lanka to get hydro, renewables support from IFC

Jun 24 (WPM) Efforts to develop small hydro and other renewable energy projects in Sri Lanka through private sector involvement are to be helped by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). IFC, part of the World Bank Group, plans to help boost renewables in Sri Lanka through a package valued at US$15M to support the activities of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon. The package value is based on risk-sharing facilities, more..

Tamil issue a big problem for Sri Lanka

Jun 24 (UPI) The Sri Lankan military's victory ending the 26-year Tamil Tiger rebellion is only weeks old, but already the euphoria is giving way to rising international concerns about what awaits the country's Tamil-speaking minority in the future. The plight of the minority in the predominantly Buddhist country of about 21 million is reflected in the humanitarian crisis of the about 300,000 Tamil civilians now housed in poorly supplied, more..

'The Sunday Leader' lawyers withdraw from case filed by defence secretary

Jun 24 (CP) Lawyers for 'The Sunday Leader' withdrew today (June 23) from appearing for a case filed against the newspaper by defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Mount Lavinia district court judge Mohamed Mackie took up the case that alleges articles that appeared in the newspaper, claiming irregularities in the purchase of MiG-27 fighter aircraft, were defamatory of the defence secretary. more..

Making of “Sri Lanka a Canadian matter”

Jun 24 (LG) With the end of Canadian position MP Bob Rae’s Sri Lanka drama we are eager to let the world know what make Bob Rae and other politicians so desperately wanted to go to Sri Lanka and why they are so unhappy when they loose that opportunity. For few decades there were some international figures that made money from the sufferings of poor Sri Lankans. Norwegian Eric Sholhaim is one of them Canada’s Bob Rae is another one. more..

East to set up no-firearm zone soon

Jun 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's once volatile Eastern Province held by various extremist groups is to be free of firearms next month, defense officials announced. The Ministry of Defense has set a rigid deadline of July 2 for all extremist groups holding firearms to surrender the weapons. "The government has asked all groups to surrender weapons," A. L. M Hisbullah, a provincial government official told the media. more..

Post-Terrorism: Analysis of reconstruction & democratisation of conflict regions

Jun 24 (LG) Mr President, distinguished speakers, ladies and gentleman, it is indeed a great privilege for me to be here on this occasion today to address the Muslim point of view in respect of the reconstruction and democratisation of the conflict regions. I was among those who were persecuted by the LTTE, and those who fought for freedom of speech, expression and freedom of movement. more..

World Bank provides more support to improve health care

Jun 24 (WB) The World Bank today approved a US$24 million IDA credit providing further support to the Government of Sri Lanka’s health service delivery program, with particular emphasis on the special health needs in the north and east arising out of the recent conflict. With the end of the military conflict, Sri Lanka is now facing the challenges of resettlement and reconstruction within the context of reconciliation. more..

Lanka team to arrive today, to discuss devolution

Jun 24 (TOI) India will push Sri Lanka for a much faster move towards a political devolution in the country, particularly after the LTTE has been vanquished. Sri Lanka's top leadership troika -- Gotabaya Rajapakse, Basil Rajapakse and Lalith Wiretunge -- will meet India's top officials on Wednesday. The Indian delegation will be led by national security advisor M K Narayanan, foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and more..

'Eliminated the Tigers is victory of people'

Jun 24 (LG) It was an interesting interview the Sri Lanka Guardian had with the Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Vladimir P. Mikhaylov at the Russian Embassy in Colombo. The interview went on for about two and half hours and issues involving international bilateral relations between nationswere discussed were talked about. “Russia is a traditional friend of the Island Nation” he said. more..

IGP appointment illegal: JVP

Jun 24 (BL) Parliament erupted into a furore yesterday over the possible unconstitutional appointment of the IGP due to the delay of the conferment of the Constitutional Council (CC). JVP members in particular were vociferous in their criticism of the delay and questioned the legality of appointing an IGP at a time when the Police Commission was defunct and elections pending. more..

An intra-diaspora war over Prabhakaran

Jun 24 (HT) So what if the LTTE is military wiped out of Sri Lanka? It had control over 15,000 square kilometres of land at one point. Now only torn down sign boards remain by the road side to remind those passing by of the days of LTTE-rule. But now the new talk is of forming a “transnational government" (TNG); the territory is gone but the emotional terrain is still fertile to the keep the dream of Eelam blinking. more..

The solution –(Part III)

Jun 24 (LG) I shall not deviate too much from my main theme to respond to Mr. K. Sivakumaran, who appears to think that I am anti-Tamil or do not have a "soft corner" for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. I have more than a "soft corner" for the Tamils as well as all the other ethnic communities in Sri Lanka and I respect them as citizens of the country. However, I do not keep silent when people misrepresent "facts" especially in the interests of the British and more..

Supermarkets in race to be the cheapest

Jun 24 (BL) With claims of lowest prices emanating from many of the popular super markets these days, The Bottom Line decided to put the claims to test with a visit to Keells Super and Cargills Food City this week. Among a selection of 10 items generally found in a grocery cart, it emerged that Cargills was lower in price for many of the items. However, in the wake of the price war that has taken place, many of the items during the time of study were more..

War of words over peace

Jun 24 (BL) In the latest development in finding a permanent solution to Sri Lanka’s three decade old ethnic conflict, the APRC, is to invite the country’s main opposition- the UNP, to build a wider consensus. “We want the country’s main opposition UNP to come into the process. Within the APRC, we have agreed on most issues and are in the process of finalising the Draft, section by section. Once we invite the UNP, it’s up to them to nominate their representatives and present their input. more..

Lopsided growth confirmed

Jun 24 (BL) Firm signs that the world is heading towards sharply lopsided growth was confirmed by the World Bank (WB) this week, and it forecasts Lankan economy to improve by only 2.5%, whilst growth in comparison to 7.1% in 2008 Government described the 1.5% Q1 gain as commendable, midst global contraction. The Department of Census and Statistics on Monday said the Lankan economy grew by 1.5% in Q1, powered by the performance of Agriculture, Industry and Services, more..

Pakistan donates $70,000 for Sri Lankan IDPs

Jun 24 (DT) Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday directed Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka to present a cheque of $70,000 to the Sri Lankan government for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Sri Lanka. The donation would be made from the Special Assistance Programme for South Asia (SAPSA) Fund. The aid would be used for providing medical supplies to the IDPs. more..

Tamil detainees give eye-witness accounts

Jun 24 (wsws) It is now more than one month since the Sri Lankan military detained the final batch of Tamil refugees fleeing the northern war zone on May 19. They joined more than a quarter of a million civilians already incarcerated in camps set up near Vavuniya and on the Jaffna Peninsula during the last phase of the war. About 160,000 people are interned in four units in the biggest camp, known as Manik Farm. more..

Turn It Up

Jun 24 (LAT) Maya Arulpragasam is an anomaly in many ways. As M.I.A., she has had a lightning-fast rise. From her early singles “Galang” and “Sun­showers,” which spread virally through the Web in 2004, to her 2005 debut album, Arular (named after her father), and 2007’s Kala (named after her mom), she has garnered nothing but critical acclaim. Major fame struck in 2008 with the song “Paper Planes,” more..

Sri Lanka is being screwed up by some international press agencies

Jun 24 (SLW) The United Press International (UPI) which boasts of one hundred years of journalistic excellence has its headquarters in Washington DC and has offices in Beirut, Hong Kong, London, Santiago, Seoul and Tokyo and that much for its selective focus and obvious discrimination. These are all capitals of great prosperity including Chile’s Santiago and are the bulwark of the west’s exploitive capitalist system. more..

Guangzhou Asian Games Committee trace back the Silk Road spreading friendship

Jun 24 (GDI) The 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, the Republic of China, in 2010 will be a grand success, Hemasiri Fernando, President of the Sri Lanka Olympic Committee (SLOC), said. SLOC President said so at a meeting with a visiting Chinese sports delegation. “I am really confident that the Chinese can make the 16th Asian Games a successful one with the experience of holding a marvelous Olympic Games in 2008,” SLOC President said. more..

Official registration a must for Sri Lankans in UAE

Jun 24 (GDI) Official registration is a crucial component is establishing a person’s identity, and all the Sri Lankans living in United Arab Emirates must be included in a single register, the Sri Lankan Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said. “This special registration process will run from July t1st through 30th, from 9 AM to 3 PM,” the Embassy announced that. more..

Fresh program to safeguard children from electricity

Jun 24 (GDI) The Commission for Public Utility Services has joined hands with the Ministry of Education to look in to the safety of the electricity circuit (power units) units in government schools and, as a first step the Government has launched a new guide project to check the standard of the power systems of the schools in Hambantota. Under the supervision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, this project will be carried out in over 10,000 schools island-wide. more..

Dengue fever swallow 145 lives

Jun 24 (GDI) The number of patients who have died due to dengue fever increased to 145 and more than 11,000 have been reported so far, hospital reports said. Meanwhile, in addition to the dengue prevention programmes that are being implemented, the Ministry of Health is carrying out raids on dengue mosquito breeding grounds. Accordingly, the Ministry of Health has identified nearly 7,000 places as mosquito breeding grounds. more..

'Government to combat illicit liquor'

Jun 24 (GDI) An island wide program has been launched to raid illicit liquor bases under the” Mahinda Chinthana” program to combat the menace in its' entirety, Minister of State Revenue and Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. He pointed out that the Government had not issued any liquor licences to open new liquor shops and all possible measures have been taken by the Government to combat the production of illicit liquor. more..

President declares 2011 as 'Visit Sri Lanka Year'

Jun 24 (GDI) This is a momentous phase for the Tourism Industry. With terrorism defeated after three decades, our people can now travel freely in our motherland. Tourists should have no fear to visit our attractions. And, I believe, we have ended the need for Travel Advisories that crippled Tourism, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an address to the launch of the new image of Sri Lanka Tourism. more..

Dwarf Hippo at Dehiwala

Jun 24 (LP) A rare dwarf hippopotamus was gifted to the National Zoological Gardens at Dehiwala from Singapore. The hippo was given under the friendly animal exchange programme. In return Sri Lanka sent a pair of leopards and a pair of Pelicans to Singapore. The male Hippopotamus who gifted to the Dehiwala Zoo was born on the 17th of September 2006. There are two species of hippopotamuses, the Pygmy Hippo which is the smaller species, more..

Minister predicts grand victory for UPFA in Uva

Jun 24 (GDI) The UPFA would win the Uva Provincial Council election with a bigger majority than ever before predicted, Minister of Agricultural Development & Agrarian Services Development Maithripala Sirisena said at the media briefing held at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo yesterday (23). He pointed out that Uva Provincial Council election will be carried out under the slogan of “Let’s protect the journey of the nation”. more..

Editors oppose draconian Press Council laws

Jun 24 (LNW) The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka and seven other media organizations, in a joint letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on the reactivation of the Sri Lanka Press Council Law, which gives powers for imprisonment of journalists, said that media culture cannot be based on slapping charges against journalists, fining them or sending them to jail. Instead, the modern world has accepted a self regulatory mechanism by media persons themselves as the way forward. more..

Chess Masters hold chess tournament for school children

Jun 24 (LT) Colombo District Chess Tournament conducted by Chess Masters Chess Academy was held at Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya on 20th and 21st June, 2009. More than 250 school children from Colombo District participated in the contest. The prize giving for the winners will take place at Colombo Campus Auditorium and Chess Masters Chess Academy will inform the winners the exact time and date of the prize giving. more..