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The Food Act to be enforced strictly

Feb 17 (GDI) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has appointed a special sub committee to monitor the marketing and labeling of food available in Sri Lanka, Deputy Director General, Health Services - Public Health,Dr. Palitha Maheepala said. He said about 20 food advertisements have already been banned by this committee. Dr. Maheepala pointed out there are 300 million food poisoning incidents reported from China annually and more..

Era of bottle lamps will be ended

Feb 17 (DN) Electricity is an essential component for development of a nation. Politicians in the past paid scant attention to develop this sector and major projects envisaged to develop electricity supply was kept in abeyance for political reasons. This resulted in Sri Lanka experiencing a huge power crisis and this developed to a critical extent in 2000 forcing the Electricity Board to curtail power supplies for several hours each day, more..

Wilpattu National Park reopens end February

Feb 17 (GDI) The Wilpattu Sanctuary will be opened for tourists at the end of this month. At present, the park is controlled by the security forces and the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) presence is restricted to an office near the entrance, but wildlife officers are readying themselves to take up the challenge of protecting Wilpattu’s diverse wildlife, more..

Fonseka and Fonseka

Feb 17 (LG) Many pundits and Mahanayake Theros are disturbedover the arrest of Sarath Fonseka by the military police. They have appealed to the President to release Fonseka. Various reasons are given by various people usually woven around democracy but Mahanayake Theros have said that the utterances made by the former army commander during the Presidential election campaign should be ignored. more..

Fonseka's arrest is testimony to the fate of those who earn the wrath of the Rajapaksa brothers

Feb 17 (IL) The arrest of the former Sri Lankan army commander who also contested in last month's presidential election, Maj. General Sarath Fonseka, shows that the Sri Lankan State apparatus will be activated to its fullest to ruthlessly crush anyone who dares oppose Mahinda and Co. While in his Colombo office Fonseka was arrested in the most ignominious manner like a common criminal undeserving of more..

Mosque Fed'n to resolve sensitive burial issue in Karbala

Feb 17 (PSM) Burial of the body of a Tamil man from Arayampathy Selva Nagar in a land owned by Mr. H.K. Hajiyar has created a tense situation yesterday at the Muslim village of Karbala in Kattankudy. A conflict has arisen since the ownership to the land is claimed by another Tamil person who has bought land adjoining the land where the body was found buried. The Kattankudy Police are conducting investigations and more..

Bodies of 3 Sri Lankans brought to the island

Feb 17 (LP) Bodies of three Sri Lankan women who died in accidents which occurred in Jordan were brought to Sri Lanka with the intervention of the Foreign Employment Bureau. Accordingly the bodies of Nishanthi Vijithangani, Amara Kumari who died due to pneumonia and the body of Thushari Lakshmi who was an employee in a Garment factory were flown to the island on the 15th. The bodies have been handed over to their relatives to conduct the final rites. more..

Security for Parliamentarians withdrawn

Feb 17 (LP) The security provided to all Members of Parliament (MP) has been withdrawn with effect from yesterday on the instructions of the IGP Mahinda Balasuriya. The withdrawal follows the recent dissolution of Parliament after which all MPs become ordinary citizens. However the security for Ministers and Deputy Ministers remains. The security will be restored following the General elections in April to all those elected to Parliament. more..

“Architect 2010” commences tomorrow

Feb 17 (LP) The grand event in the Sri Lankan construction industry “The ARCHITECT 2010 Exhibition” will be held at the BMICH from the 17th to the 21st of February. The exhibition organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) is been held for the 28th consecutive year. The Annual Sessions of SLIA comprises several key components – the Inauguration, the National Conference, more..

Magistrate orders five TV channels to submit visuals

Feb 17 (DM) The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) had requested the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court to order five TV Channels to tender the visuals of the incidents that took place during the disturbances at Hulftsdorp Street on Wednesday during a peaceful protest rally organized by a pro-Sarath Fonseka group. The CCD filing the report in court informed the Magistrate that they had initiated investigations more..

Fonseka petitions SC against MR s re-election as Sri Lanka President

Feb 17 (LNP) General (retd) Sarath Fonseka yesterday filed a petition in the Supreme Court, requesting that the re-election of Mahinda Rajapaksa as President of Sri Lanka at the Jan. 26 polls be declared void. The petition requested the Court to declare the return of Mahinda Rajapaksa as undue and to declare Sarath Fonseka the duly elected President of Sri Lanka. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was named the first and more..

Upali Wijewardena: Memories of the unforgettable tycoon

Feb 17 (LP) If Philip Upali Wijewardena was among the living he would have reached the Seventy-two today (February 17). Alas, this was not to be as he disappeared 25 years ago, just four days before his 45th birthday. This article is written as tribute to the man in this eventful week of significant anniversaries. Legally, Wijewardena is presumed dead though his body was never found. more..

Too good to be true!

Feb 17 (LNP) It looks as if astringent criticism of undesirables in politics were beginning to sink in. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have asked the SLFP General Secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena to impress on the UPFA candidates in the parliamentary fray that they will have to forego ministerial posts etc in the event of their election, if they antagonise the Elections Commissioner and/or violate the law during their campaigns. more..

Leading Buddhist prelates tell Opposition: Don’t divide Maha Sangha

Feb 17 (DN) Several leading Buddhist Prelates yesterday called on all political parties and all sections of society to rise above petty differences and unite to extend their cooperation and encouragement to the President and the Government to take the country forward on the correct path. They said that it was not the time to create fresh divisions within the country, which was emerging from the wounds created by nearly three decade old conflict. more..

Lanka focuses on Halaal tourism

Feb 17 (LNP) Sri Lanka could be a hub for the Halaal industry in South Asia like Malaysia in the South East Asia region Tourism Promotion Minister Faizer Mustapha said. He said the concept of Halaal Tourism extends far beyond the hotel industry. Restaurateurs, transport providers, healthcare services, retailers and many other industries will benefit from the phenomenal growth that has been witnessed in this market segment. more..

'President has succeeded only in creating divisions in every sphere – in all others he has failed'

Feb 17 (UNP) Addressing the large crowds at the launch of the petition to collect a million signatures today at the JR Jayawardena Center demanding the release of Gen. Fonseka, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said, this petition is also a measure aimed at restoring Democracy which this Govt. is striving hard to destroy. more..

I’m makin’ a list ‘n’ shakin’ it twice

Feb 17 (DN) No, I am not Santa Claus. I am not bringing toys or any other goodies, so if you are a believer, put those stockings away and don’t wait for me. There are no reindeer, no Rudolf, no red noses and sleigh bells; no mistletoe, no cake and no feasting. I repeat, I am not Santa Clause, but wait, I come with clauses. Lots of them. Yes, I am making a list. Yes, I will be shaking it twice. Not a list of gifts, but most certainly a list of names. more..

TNA leadership urged to enunciate policy

Feb 17 (TN) Several organizations in Jaffna including those of the students and intellectuals have called upon TNA to make public its proposed solution for the ethnic issue well before the forthcoming parliamentary election, sources in Jaffna said. The call comes in the wake of rumours that TNA stands divided as some of its senior parliamentarians are planning to field new candidates other than the present representatives in order to strengthen their positions, more..

SriLankan Airlines staff gets new look

Feb 17 (DN) SriLankan Airlines introduced a whole new experience on ground and in the air with a change in the uniforms. The airline unveiled its new uniform for front line staff from cabin to ground crew yesterday. SriLankan Airlines CEO Manoj Gunawardena said: "We've struggled to stay airborne during the past two years. In the process we didn't deliberately set out to do anything new and revolutionary. more..

Parliamentary polls 2010-Kandy District: UPFA vows to take 8 out of 12 seats

Feb 17 (Island) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said that the UPFA could win 8 out of 12 seats in the Kandy electoral district at the forthcoming parliamentary polls, though the UNP vowed to retain the district which it bagged at the last parliamentary polls. The Central Province comprises Kandy, Matale and Nuwara Eliya districts. more..

Govt campaign of victimisation in workplaces

Feb 17 (wsws) President Mahinda Rajapakse’s ruling alliance is waging a campaign of violence and intimidation in public sector workplaces in the wake of his victory in the January 26 presidential election. Pro-government thugs have ransacked a number of trade union offices and physically attacked union officials and members. Government authorities have suspended dozens of employees, transferred hundreds and closed down some union offices, more..

Estate youth attacked for celebrating President’s victory

Feb 17 (Island) There was tension on the Chesterford estate, Gonagaldeniya, in the Ruwanwella electorate following an attack on a youth by four persons from a nearby village. The youth sustained a head injury and was rushed to hospital. He was later discharged. The attack triggered a strike and many families fled the estate fearing violent clashes. The police stepped in to restor normalcy. Two suspects were arrested and others were absconding. more..

'Twelve TNA MPs sidelined'

Feb 17 (Island) Independent candidate at the recently concluded Presidential election and ex-TNA Parliamentarian representing TELO, M. K. Sivajilingham said that his party hierarchy had sidelined 12 former MPs over their alleged support to the LTTE. With the decimation of the LTTE on the military front, the TNA leadership had changed the ideological stands of the party, he said. more..

Workers dress up for showdown

Feb 17 (DM) A trade union which claims to represent the largest group of apparel sector workers said yesterday it would take to the streets against the government and the employers for the loss of the European Union tariff concession - the GSP+. FTZWU general secretary Anton Marcus said the government and the employers should be held accountable for doing little or nothing to prevent the loss of this much needed trade concession. more..

More counting centres for polls

Feb 17 (DM) The Elections Secretariat has decided to increase the number of counting centres for the April 8 General Elections. The decision was informed to District Returning Officers (DRO) yesterday when Elections Commissioner Dayanada Dissanayaka met them at his office, the source said. “We had set up about 888 counting centers at 22 electoral districts for the last Presidential Election based on about 20,000 votes for one counting center. more..

Over 6,000 dengue cases reported in Sri Lanka this year

Feb 17 (Island) The number of dengue cases from the beginning of January till date has been 6,161 with the number of dengue deaths increasing to 42. The Deputy Director General (Public Health), Dr. Palitha Mahipala addressing a press conference at the Health Education Bureau said yesterday, however the numbers have reduced comparatively. more..

Democracy threatened; political rivals in jeopardy: IUSF

Feb 17 (DM) The Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) held a protest yesterday in front of the Kelaniya University against the arrest of the main Opposition Presidential Candidate, General Sarath Fonseka. “We are here today because democracy is threatened; those who don’t have the same political views and who oppose the present government are being in jeopardy,” said Convener for IUSF, Sanjeewa Bandara. more..

'All Sri Lankans facing a bleak tomorrow'

Feb 17 (LP) All Sri Lankans are facing a bleak tomorrow with the draconian emergency regulations, said Chandana Sirimalwatte the Editor of Lanka newspaper, addressing a media conference today. All must come together against the suppression of dissent and the vicious cycle of political revenge, he said. “Fellow journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda has been missing for quite some time now more..

Carbon voting

Feb 17 (DM) The JNP, a party of the ruling coalition, yesterday requested Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake to ensure the transparency in counting preferential votes through special measures at the upcoming election so that noboy could raise doubts about possible distortion of results. JNP leader Wimal Weerawansa told Daily Mirror after the meeting that the Commissioner agreed to use carbon paper, more..

Danuna Tilakaratne's mother produced before court, given bail

Feb 17 (CT) Asoka Tilakaratne, the mother of detained Gen. Sarath Fonseka's son-in-law, was given bail after being produced before the Mount Lavinia Magistrate today. The Mount Lavinia Magistrate also issued an order preventing Mrs. Tillekaratne from leaving the country. Mrs. Tilakaratne was questioned and a statement was recorded by the police after she handed herself over to the CID yesterday through a lawyer. more..

Govt. obstructing Maha Sangha who only wanted good governance: UNP

Feb 17 (AD) The Government has withdrawn the security detail of opposition members after the dissolution of Parliament. This is the first time in history that a Government has done such a thing, charged the UNP General Secretary. He said that the Government was providing security only to its members and henchmen and not to others. more..

Allegations of computer fraud dropped

Feb 17 (Island) The petition did not make any reference to the Opposition’s main allegation in the wake of the Jan. 26 polls that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had won a second term through a computer fraud, a claim vehemently denied by Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake. The UNP, JVP and the SLFP (M Wing) alleged that the election staff had collaborated with the government to more..

Signature campaign for Fonseka’s release

Feb 17 (PTI) Vowing to make every effort to secure release of detained ex-army chief and their defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, opposition parties on Wednesday launched an aggressive campaign to collect 10 lakh signatures for the purpose. “The signature campaign began this morning at J R Jayawardenapura Centre here,” General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake, said. more..

'Fonseka's statements encouraging pro-LTTE groups'

Feb 17 (IE) Describing vanquished opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka's taking support from pro-LTTE groups like TNA as a "great betrayal", the government on Wednesday said his actions helped rebel sympathisers in the West to stoke anti-Sri Lanka sentiments. "A substantially negative impact has been made on the sovereignty of the country through the irresponsible statements of General Sarath Fonseka," more..

Crackdown provokes fears for Sri Lanka’s democracy

Feb 17 (NYT) In a part of the world better known for the interruption of democracy than its stubborn endurance, Sri Lanka has always been something of an oddity. A small country that suffered through one of the world’s nastiest recent wars, it nevertheless remained for the most part a vibrant multiparty democracy. Last spring the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa decisively defeated the Tamil Tiger insurgency that more..

Sri Lanka in talks to buy Emirates’ stake in carrier

Feb 17 (BN) Sri Lanka’s government is in talks to buy Emirates Airline’s stake in the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishanta Wickremasinghe said. “The government has decided to purchase,”. “They are negotiating,” he said, declining to elaborate. The government owns 51 percent of the airline while Emirates has 43.6 percent. Emirates said two years ago it may consider selling its stake after abandoning a decade-long management of the airline. more..

CID records statement from Gen. Fonseka

Feb 18 (CT) Detained Gen. Sarath Fonseka has given a statement to the CID with regard to four questionable tender dealings of the Army when he was its commander. The CID informed Colombo Fort magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today (Feb. 17) the statement had been recorded three days ago. Gen. Fonseka had been the chief of the Army's tender board for the dealings in question. He has told police that he had followed the proper procedures with regard to these tenders and more..

Sri Lanka draws Chinese investors

Feb 18 (LBO) A Chinese economic delegation from its Yunnan province is visiting Sri Lanka to study the economic and investment climate in Sri Lanka, the Board of Investment said. The island’s investment promotion agency said in a statement the 15-member delegation consists of senior Chinese economists and researchers. The BOI statement quoted Yang Jie, as saying Yunnan was trying to strengthen ties with South Asian countries. more..

Debrief News - 17. 02. 2010

Sri Lanka corporate software piracy seen high

Feb 18 (LBO) Software piracy by private sector companies in Sri Lanka is the main problem facing software developers, the Business Software Alliance, an industry body said. The organization, which represents the commercial software industry and its hardware partners, said in a statement it has taken legal action against companies using pirated software. It is also trying to raise awareness on intellectual property rights and more..