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Sri Lanka must reduce deficits, debt; contain inflation: World Bank

June 8 (LBO) South Asian countries like Sri Lanka must reduce high budget deficits and public debt to gain from the global economic recovery that is underway, the World Bank said in a report. The region weathered global recession much better than any other, showing remarkable resilience and is the second-fastest growing area after East Asia, it said. But South Asia's fiscal deficit is the highest of all regions and more..

Sri Lanka elected as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat

June 8 (MoD) Sri Lanka was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat at the recent meetings (11-13 May 2010) of the Board of Governors held in London. Election to the Chairmanship of the Board of Governors is timely and important in the context of Sri Lanka hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2013. The Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat is the more..

Higher and Higher in Higher Education

June 8 (LP) Speaking to Lankapuvath Chairman of the University Grants Commission Prof Gamini Samaranayake stated that since taking over the chairmanship in 2006, many improvements have been made in the number of admissions to Sri Lankan National Universities and Campuses in the process, curriculum and general facilities despite the Challenges faced by the Government in the period between 2006 and 2009 because of the conflict situation that had an impact Island Wide. more..

Maligawatte prison break: 2 of the 11 escaped convicts arrested

June 8 (NF) Two of the 11 prisoners who had escaped from the prison cell in Maligawatta courts have been arrested. One had been arrested close to the Maradana Technical College and the other had been arrested at the traffic signal lights at Dematagoda, while attempting to escape in a three wheeler along with another two escaped convicts. Of the 11, nine were serving prison terms while the other two were remand prisoners. more..

India’s dashing Vivek enjoys in Vavuniya

June 8 (LP) Bollywood superstar Vivek Oberoi, stillin the island even after the IIFA celebrations visited Vavuniya yesterday. He visited the area along with the members of his family, accompanied by Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. The Superstar is planning to put up a school in Vavuniya located in Mareithuruppai where 75 students are studying. more..

56 Housing Units ceremonially handed over to IDPs

June 8 (NPC) Two Sri Lankans presently living in the United Kingdom, donated two housing complexes consisting 34 and 22 housing units in Pirappamadu and Kokeliya respectively. 34 housing units were constructed newly in Pirappamadu and the Kokeliya houses were fully renovated. These houses were ceremonially handed over to the new occupants. Hon. Governor Northern Province GA Chandrasiri attended the ceremony on 06 June 2010 more..

Abduction and rape by court officer

June 8 (LG) Mother tells a story of abduction, rape and denial of justice to a 17 year old girl from Kalutara. An officer named Priyankara working in high court of Kalutara, has abducted a young girl of 17 years. When the girl was going to bring water from the well, three persons, one with a knife, one in a three wheeler and Priyankara has threatened her with knife, tied her legs and taken her away. She had been taken to secret place and raped her. more..

Global warming, humans endanger marine sanctuaries

June 8 (DN) Hikkaduwa and Bar Reef Marine Sanctuaries are threatened mainly due to human activities and global warming, Sri Jayewardenepura University Zoology Department Senior Lecturer Kamal Ranatunga said. He was addressing a Mini Symposium on Biodiversity, organized by the Biology Institute and Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) at more..

Reduce taxes on Mobikes, three wheelers, urges UNP

June 8 (NF) The United National Party claims that the government has to take steps to reduce taxes on motorbikes and three wheelers. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathilake made this comment while addressing a media briefing in Colombo yesterday. “They increased the prices of bread and flour. They also increased the price of gas. In the near future they would increase the price of milk powder too. more..

Zimbabwe close to fairytale finish

June 8 (CI) The fairytale of Zimbabwe's run to the final is etched in every scorecard of this tri-series. They have not just been winning but have looked like a team that knows how to win. They have never chased targets with such serenity ever before. Where did the nerves vanish? Where did the infamous middle-order collapses disappear? Where did that tendency to choke at the sight of victory go? more..

Can’t enter universities without English hereafter!

June 8 (LT) The 6 months English course has been made compulsory for students who had passed the G.C.E. A/L examination to enter university hereafter states Ministry of Higher Education. The students who fail the English examination could sit the examination a second time but they should pass the examination at this attempt says Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake. more..

Why CEPA is not presented to Parliament – Anura asks in Parliament

June 8 (LT) DNA MP Anura Dissanayake asked the government to present to Parliament the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) before it is signed with India and to explain why if they are unable to present it to Parliament. Mr. Dissanayake, making a special statement in Parliament on the CEPA agreement posed several questions in Parliament today more..

'IIFA boosts Sri Lanka globally'

June 8 (LP) The International Indian Film Academy awards (IIFA) was a great promotion opportunity for Sri Lanka in all means. It was announced on the 23rd of March that the IIFA awards would be held in Sri Lanka and being given a time of two months Sri Lanka prepared for the grand Indian Film awards which was so far held in different parts of the world. more..

Editorial: What ails schools?

June 8 (LNP) Hardly a day passes without a shocking incident reported from a school in some part of the country. During the past few years, there have been several reports of schoolchildren taking their lives. It was only the other day that a schoolboy assaulted a principal with an iron rod for being asked to have a haircut. Then there was a report that three boys had taken to cannabis or ganja and dropped out of school. more..

Import duties slashed despite increasing trade deficit

June 8 (ST) It is surprising that in a situation when the country is incurring a large trade deficit that the government has decided to reduce the import duties on motor vehicles on the grounds that such vehicles are needed for increasing tourist arrivals. Duties have also been reduced on a number of electronic items, wristwatches and other similar consumer items. The rationale for reducing duties on these is to make Colombo an attractive shopping centre for tourists. more..

Royal College to establish urban forest

June 8 (DN) Royal College, Colombo will establish an urban forest in the vicinity of school to mark World Environment Day. City Chief Administrator of Colombo Municipal Council Omar Kamil said a function was held at Royal College to mark the World Environment Day. A green program was held during this function. Royal College also proposed to establish an urban forest inside the school for a green environment. more..

Dear Mr. Minister, you are walking naked

June 8 (ST) We feel that a prerequisite to indulge in present day politics is the ability to walk naked in public. Reason: Once you do that you get rid of all shame and self respect that you have and learn the art of just hanging by the rope and keep on dancing whenever the puppeteer upstairs pulls the string. It was only on Wednesday May 26 that the newly appointed Sports Minister C.B. Ratnayake flexed his muscles by more..

Of teachers and students, learning and giving

June 8 (DN) Yesterday, I ran into an old friend, Dr Panduka Karunanayake. We were in the same class almost 40 years ago. We had time to have tea. Had time to talk. So there was reminiscing as often happens when old friend meet after a long time. Naturally, the conversation tended towards schooldays and school. Happily, however, we had both outgrown school enough to talk about other things. School and school-things were thereafter just points of departure. Nothing more. more..

'Create employment in North East'

June 8 (DN) Sri Lanka needs to understand the expectations of the people in the North and East and implement policies to create employment in those areas to enjoy peace dividends, a World Bank official said. World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Naoko Ishii launched the World Bank Regional Update in Colombo yesterday. Ishii said the Government which is focused to make Sri Lanka the wonder of Asia has moved significantly towards this cause during the recent past. more..

Sri Lanka Coastguard in talks to acquire flagship vessel

June 8 (CT) The nation's newest security agency, Sri Lanka Coastguard, is holding talks to acquire an 85-metre offshore patrol vessel for sale in Spain. According to Sri Lanka Coastguard sources, negotiations are at an advanced stage and plans have been made for senior officials to visit Spain in late August to inspect the ship. more..

Sit-down protest on 27th day over 18 students' class suspension

June 8 (CT) A sit-down protest on its 27th day today has failed to draw authorities' attention to the plight of 18 suspended students of Sri Jayewardenepura University. Vice president of the Students Union Thilanka U. Gamage said the suspended group was yet to be brought before a disciplinary committee. They have been suspended on the charges of misleading their lecturers and pasting posters under the name of the Students Union. more..

CMC seeks help to beautify city

June 8 (Island) The Chief City Administrator of the CMC, Omar Kamil, is calling on the private and corporate sectors to assist in the programme to beautify the city which he said "belongs to all of us". Kamil told The Island that people should get together to keep the environment free of pollution. The public and corporate sector must get involved in planting trees, landscaping etc. They were morally bound to assist the municipality. more..

University admissions top 21,000

June 8 (DN) A total of 21,111 students would be admitted to Universities for the next academic year. Among students who are selected around 15,000 are those following science courses while only 5,000 are following arts courses. The cut off marks for university admission based on the GCE (A/L) examination held in 2009 was released by Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake yesterday. more..

Editorial: IIFA – where SL went wrong

June 8 (DM) The political instability in Thailand, the sea level rise and the lack of diversity in the Maldives and the drastic cuts in import duty on gizmos and other equipment here will see Sri Lanka emerging as the most sought after tourist destination in the region in the months to come. However by the time the country placed the bid to host IIFA, Bangkok remained a relatively safer place and the import tax cuts were yet to come. more..

Hambantota has highest ‘Z-score’ for Medicine, Matara for Engineering

June 8 (Island) The Hambantota District has the highest ‘Z – score’ marks (1.9686) for Medicine for the 2009/2010 academic year followed by Colombo (1.9671) and Matara (1.9656), according to the minimum ‘Z–score’ marks released by the UGC yesterday. The highest ‘Z–score’ for Engineering, 1.9790, is for the Matara District and the second highest 1.9170 and third 1.8822 are for the Colombo and Jaffna Districts respectively. more..

Country getting deeper into economic mess - JVP

June 8 (Island) The JVP yesterday said that the country is in an economic mess and it is getting worse day by day due to the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s corrupt administration and bad economic policies. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that according to the Central Bank report for 2009, all products and earning of the country had decreased while local and foreign borrowings of the government increased. more..

Two refugees killed in accidental explosion in northern Sri Lanka

June 8 (DPA) Two refugees were killed in an accidental explosion in northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Five others were injured in the incident. The blast occurred when 30 people clearing land set fire to grass so they could put up temporary shelters in the Chavakachcheri area. The dead and injured were among a group of people trying to resettle in their villages after being displaced by fighting in the north of the country last year. more..

UN, IMF, ADB changing attitude towards Sri Lanka: President

June 8 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday the unfavourable attitude towards Sri Lanka was fast changing with even the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund now looking at Sri Lanka in a friendlier manner. He made these comments at the island wide SLFP meeting held at Temple Trees in connection with the ‘Swarna Thilina’ felicitation ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the president’s entry to parliament. more..

'Parliamentary poll not to int’l standards'

June 8 (DM) Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFÉ), which put out its final report on the Parliamentary Election held in February, said that the election was not held according to international standards. It said that CaFFE had received reports of 39 confirmed cases of misuse of State/Public properties during the pre-election period. Many government servants it reported had complained to the Human Rights Commission of incidents more..

National Nutrition Policy to be declared today

June 8 (DM) The National Nutrition Policy will be declared today. The health ministry has declared this month ‘The National Nutrition Month’. Though Lanka boasts of higher health indicators in control, prevention and therapeutic sectors, it has become a matter for concern for health authorities as 32% new born male babies and 25% of the female new born babies are in the risk of stunting due to malnutrition. more..

Sri Lanka PM says Tamil rebels re-emerging

June 8 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels are re-emerging a year after their defeat, Sri Lanka's prime minister said Tuesday, despite the once-powerful guerrilla force launching no attacks. D.M. Jayaratne told parliament that remnants of the separatist LTTE were planning a comeback with financial backing from Tamils abroad. "There are hardcore Tigers who are still mingling among civilians," Jayaratne said. more..

Vaiko, 1000 others detained for protest over Rajapaksa’s visit to India

June 8 (PTI) MDMK founder Vaiko and leaders of CPI and VCK were detained today when they attempted to stage demonstrations at different places at Chennai to protest Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to India. Rajapaksa is scheduled to arrive in India on Tuesday on a three-day visit during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and others. more..

Sri Lanka outlines spending plans for 2010

June 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka will spend at least 202 billion rupees on defence, 87.8 billion rupees on roads, 53 billion rupees on health, 26.2 billion rupees on ports and 25.1 billion rupees on water supply this year, a bill submitted to parliament said. In 2009 Sri Lanka spent 188.6 billion rupees, according to budget out-turn numbers released by the Central Bank. Sri Lanka submits an 'appropriation bill' ahead of more..

Opposition MPs demand decentralised funds

June 8 (Island) Opposition parliamentarians are up in arms against the government’s failure to provide them with decentralised funds for this year. Even though over five months of 2010 have already lapsed, the Rajapaksa regime was the least bit concerned about the obligations of opposition MPs towards their electorates, Chief Opposition Whip John Ameratunga told The Island yesterday. more..

Keheliya says he will not be surprised if KP gets pardon

June 8 (LT) Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said he will not be surprised if the government decides to pardon Kumaran Pathmanadan alias KP during Derana TV's 360 programme yesterday. In reply to a question, Minister Rambukwella said that the information revealed by KP has enabled the authorities to identify most of the foreign assets of the Tiger outfit. more..

'Trust me to resolve problems of the people' President tells Tamil leaders

June 8 (MoD) "Trust me, and together we can find a solution to the problems faced by all our people" President Mahinda Rajapaksa told representatives of the Tamil political parties when they met him at his office. The President had meetings with members of the EPDP led by the Hon. Minister Douglas Devananda and the TNA led by Mr. R. Sampanthan. more..

Opinion: Sri Lanka still demands justice

June 9 (GP) If international criminal justice is ever to be effective, its enforcement cannot be selective. We recently marked the first anniversary of the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, yet the international community — in stark contrast to its approach on other conflicts — still has done nothing to address accountability for war crimes committed in its final months. The difference between the speedy dispatch last year by the United Nations Human Rights Council of more..

India, Sri Lanka to discuss Tamil settlement, sign pacts

June 9 (IANS) Sri Lanka will brief India on the post-war political reconciliation plan and sign a slew of pacts to expand cooperation in areas ranging from counter-terrorism to development when leaders of the two countries hold talks here Wednesday. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrives here Tuesday evening on a four-day state visit, his first since being re-elected the island country's president in January this year. more..

Tamil Nadu MPs to call on Rajapaksa

June 9 (PTI) A delegation of DMK and Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu will call on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Wednesday to exhort him to take steps for early resettlement of over 80,000 Tamils displaced due to war and political resolution of the ethnic issue in that country. The delegation headed by DMK Parliamentary Party leader T.R. Baalu will meet Mr. Rajapaksa, more..

LTTE suspect 'tortured in custody'

June 9 (BBC) The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka allowed to proceed a fundamental rights (FR) petition against police accused of torturing a detainee resulting the victim sustaining psychological damage. The lawyers representing Sivaguru Sivalingam told the court that the victim was arrested on 20 February 2008 on charges of being connected to the LTTE. The victim was tortured by the officers of CID in an attempt to get a confession, they said. more..