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Man hunt on: Final notice on Danuna

June 1 (DN) Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Lanka Jayaratne yesterday issued notice against Danuna Tillakaratne, son-in-law of General Sarath Fonseka, to appear before the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court on June 30 at 9.00 a.m. without fail. If he failed to appear before Court as directed by the Court his movable and immovable properties will be forfeited, the Judge said. more..

Prices gain by 1.6 percent in May: Inflation 5.3 percent

June 1 (Island) The general level of prices increased 1.6 percent in May while the rate at which prices increase, or inflation, declined further to 5.3 percent during the month of May after reaching 6.9 percent in February, data from the Department of Census and Statistics showed. The Colombo Consumers’ Price Index, the official inflation index in Sri Lanka, gained 1.6 percent to 215.9 points in May from 212.6 points the previous month. more..

Dies atop coconut tree

June 1 (Island) A 65-year-old father of four died of a heart attack atop a coconut tree. B. A. Gunapala of Pototuwa, Beralapanatara, a heart patient, was engaged in cutting down fronds when he was suddenly overcome by a stroke and died atop the tree. He had not fallen to the ground as he had been trapped among the branches. B. A. Chaturanga, a son of the deceased, said that his father had been suffering from a heart ailment and more..

MR to consult SLFP CC on constitutional reforms

June 1 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to consult the SLFP Central Committee members on the constitutional reforms proposed by the government before he leaves for India on June 8 for a crucial meeting with Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. The President is expected to brief the Indian government on measures being taken to resolve the ethnic issue, proposed constitutional reforms and more..

‘Sri Lanka’s last chance to get rid of Executive Presidency’

June 1 (Island) ‘It used to be said that J.R.J. locked-up the 1978 constitution in a box and threw away the key. The key, it was believed, could not be found. But now the key has been found with the UPFA enjoying an almost two thirds majority in Parliament. With the SLMC, the TULF and the Left parties, all prepared to help President Mahinda Rajapaksa to pass the relevant constitutional amendments, more..

Three wheeler driver earns Rs 60,000 a month

June 1 (Island) Can you imagine a three-wheel driver earning an average of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000 a month? Two three-wheel drivers earned an income of Rs. 100,000 in April alone. They all belong to the 3-Wheel Lanka Private Limited, which was inaugurated in 2005 and fixed with digital metres for the first time in Sri Lanka. Altogether there are about four to five companies with metres operating at the moment. more..

UNP reforms committee meets with organizations affiliated with the party

June 1 (CT) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, two former parliamentarians and representatives of affiliate bodies met the party reforms committee headed by senior parliamentarian Joseph Michael Perera yesterday (May 31). They have presented their suggestions and opinions on the reforms that were approved by the party's Working Committee recently. more..

New Inland Revenue chief to implement improved tax policy

June 1 (DM) The new Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department, K.M.S. Kandegedara pledged to make the department a vibrant government institution by taking up the challenge of implementing the government’s new tax policy which would bring a change to the institution. Kandegedara who assumed duties yesterday said he was ready to take up the challenge of implementing the new tax policy of the government more..

Editorial: The Jaffna intake of Police

June 1 (DM) Integration always follows lessons learnt during bad times and one of the first lessons of the conflict here was how the distance between the law enforcement authorities and the community they policed in the North and the East went on to create a major gulf and contributed to the war. It was a fact that poor language skills and understanding of culture and emotions created a mutual suspicion between the police and the policed. more..

Sri Lanka says ‘no hurry’ to launch foreign probe

June 1 (DM) Sri Lanka says there need be no hurry to set up an international probe into the final stages of the war against the LTTE, as the government has taken the ‘necessary action’ to address human rights allegations. This comes after Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said today that Sri Lanka needed an international probe despite the government having created a more..

Huge civilian toll in Lanka war: Indian doc

June 1 (HT) One year after the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, one of the Indian doctors who treated Tamil refugees during the last months of the conflict says there were "massive casualties" among the civilian population. The Sri Lankan government has denied any targeted killing of civilians and contested figures by the United Nations that 7,000 civilians died in the final phase of the conflict. more..

India wants TNA proposals submitted to Rajapaksa

June 1 (TN) Top officials of the Indian government have advised the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to consider submitting its devolution proposals to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa before he leaves to New Delhi on June 7, informed diplomatic sources in Colombo said. The move has come as the Indian Establishment, locked in a corporate race with China, more..

Sri Lanka slashes vehicles import duty; lifts import surcharge

June 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka has slashed an import excise duty on vehicles by 50 percent amid a pick up in the economy and demand for vehicles, lifted a general 15 percent surcharge on all imports and slashed duties on electronic items. With effect from today a car such as an Indian-made Maruti which had attracted excise duties of up to 183 percent of its value will now be charged a duty of 90 percent, more..

Sri Lankan foreign minister denounces UN rights chief

June 1 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has hit out against UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, accusing her of hounding the country on rights issues. The indignation was expressed by new Sri Lankan Foreign Minister GL Peiris. It came a day after Ms Pillay repeated her view that an international body was needed to look into war crimes allegations in the Sri Lankan context. more..

Tamils protest as Bollywood goes to Sri Lanka

June 1 (AFP) Bollywood goes to Sri Lanka later this week for its glitzy annual awards ceremony, but the decision to hold the event in the capital Colombo has sparked a backlash from minority Tamils in India. The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), which has been held overseas every year since 2000, begins on Thursday and is designed to celebrate the popular Hindi-language film industry and win new audiences abroad. more..

Sri Lanka: A year after

June 2 (FL) The political topography of Sri Lanka has changed beyond recognition since the military defeat of the LTTE and the death of its leader, Velupillai Prabakaran, in May last year. Contrary to the apprehensions in several quarters, there are no apparent signs of a revival of the LTTE within the geographical boundaries of Sri Lanka. It is significant that not a single incident of violence, ethnic or otherwise, has occurred for a whole year. more..

Sri Lanka to hire cruise liner for World Cup fans

June 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka plans to hire a cruise liner to accommodate cricket World Cup fans and spectators at the newly built stadium in the island's south, an official said on Tuesday. The six-million dollar stadium in Hambantota, President Mahinda Rajapakse's hometown, lacks hotels to accommodate thousands of fans expected to watch the games in February-April next year. more..

Sri Lankan VIPs to outnumber fans at Indian film awards

June 2 (LBO) Sri Lankan public will get 100 seats but VIPs will get 400 seats at a India film awards venue in the island's capital, officials said, though hundreds of millions of rupees of public money is being spent, including to spruce up the venue. The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards ceremony will be held at Sugathadasa stadium later this week. "Only 100 seats would be sold to the Sri Lankan public," more..

Lanka trying to hard keep image clean

June 2 (HT) Last week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa completed 40 years in politics. But all the experience and diplomatic acumen collected over four decades could not prevent him from losing his cool in an interview, also held last week, to the Al Jazeera television channel. "You don’t ask that from the Americans! You don’t go and ask that of the British about Iraq, or Afghanistan or what is happening in Pakistan? Be fair with us…be fair with us… more..

Spinners, Dilshan humble Zimbabwe

June 2 (CI) It was a one-way street in Bulawayo. Only Hamilton Masakadza turned up for Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka attacked from every corner, with spin and seam, to strangle and harass the hosts who just about managed to get past 100. Only Masakadza managed to successfully combine aggressive intent with the required skill that the rain-reduced 26-over game demanded of the batsmen. more..

Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, where war has never ended

June 2 (AN) A year after the end of the war in the north, the situation is described as "calm and peaceful" by the government and ordinary people. But some visitors who do not fall into these two categories, think differently. One of them is Rukshan Fernando, human rights activist and director of the Justice, Law & Society Trust, Colombo. Returning from a trip to Vanni, he tells AsiaNews that the situation is far from peaceful. more..

Handset-maker Micromax forays into Sri Lanka

June 2 (HT) Buoyed by its success in India, homegrown mobile handset maker Micromax today announced that it has forayed into the Sri Lankan market. Micromax has entered into a distribution arrangement with Infinity Lanka Holdings, which will make Micromax products available through 1,500 outlets across the country. To begin with, the company will launch seven handset models and 3G USB data cards, ranging from LKR 3,000-25,000. more..

A super train service linking BIA – Colombo

June 2 (NF) The luxury intercity train service between Colombo and the Katunayake International Airport commenced this morning. The inauguration was attended by many dignitaries including Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama, and the first train left Katunayake at the auspicious time of 9.07am. It reached the station at the Colombo General Secretariat at 9.45am. The service, launched to coincide with the IIFA, will be a permanent service, more..

Sri Lanka to test first coal power plant by Sept: minister

June 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka will start testing its first 300 MegaWatt coal power plant in September with plans to connect it to the national distribution grid by January 2011, power minister Patali Ranawaka said. Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Electricity Board is building a 900 MegaWatt Chinese financed coal power plant on a design-build-transfer contract in Norochcholai in the north-western coast of the island. The first phase of the project is 300MW. more..

Debrief News 01 06 2010

Oberoi urges film world not to skip Bollywood Oscars

June 2 (AFP) Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi on Tuesday urged the Indian film fraternity to attend the annual awards festival in Sri Lanka despite protests from pro-Tamil rebel lobbies. "Come to Colombo. I don't believe in boycotting the awards. Bollywood films are about building bridges, not putting up walls against people," Oberoi told reporters in Colombo during an event to promote the "Bollywood Oscars". more..

Gem deposit located in Maskeliya Oya

June 2 (NF) A gem deposit has been discovered in the Maskeliya Oya area in Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya District Secretary G.P.G. Kumarasiri said that the deposit had been found when work was being carried out to widen the Maskeliya Oya in order to minimize the threat of floods. The gem deposit had surfaced when the Ministry of Disaster Management took steps to renovate the Maskeliya Oya. Incidentally the District Secretariat had taken steps to halt work on the project. more..

Big B to skip IIFA

June 2 (DM) Ending weeks of speculation, Bollywood superstar and IIFA Brand Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan said he will not attend the IIFA events in Colombo, India’s NDTV reported. Bachchan had been targeted by Tamil groups who staged protests outside his residence in Mumbai last month and asked the actor to stay away from IIFA in Colombo. Later last month Bachchan wrote in his blog that he would respect everyone's sentiments. more..

Should we oppose bridging Services under the CEPA?

June 2 (BL) The Comprehensive Economic Partnership follows upon the Free Trade Agreement with India entered earlier. The increase in bilateral trade between the two countries since the FTA is quite significant. We have always had a large adverse trade balance with India. But since the FTA the gap has narrowed. The value of our exports to India increased from US$ 55.7 million in 2000 to US$ 516 million in 2007, almost a tenfold increase. more..

Motor industry lauds tariff cut

June 2 (BL) The local automobile industry, badly hit hitherto by the global financial crisis and exorbitantly high domestic tax regime, is expected to see a drastic drop in vehicle prices after Treasury slashed excise duty on vehicles yesterday. Almost all vehicle importers whom The Bottom Line spoke to were very positive over the tariff revision, but majority opined that they were in the dark regarding the exact net duty levels applicable. more..

Jaffna Muslims reopen mosque after 20 years

June 2 (UCAN) Jaffna Muslims evicted by Tamil rebels 20 years ago, have revived prayer services following the re-opening of their newly renovated Grand Mosque. The Dutch-built mosque, which dates from 1713, was abandoned in 1990 as the separatist LTTE drove Muslims away from the Northern Province. Sheik M.J. Abdul Halik, a Muslim cleric, delivered a special Friday sermon at the May 28 re-opening ceremony, more..

National Nutrition Month begins

June 2 (BL) The Ministry of Health Care and Nutrition has declared the month of June as the National Nutrition Month. During the Nutrition Month the Ministry will concentrate on developing the standards of nutrition of children in Sri Lanka. Mainly, the Ministry will concentrate on ensuring an optimal nutrition throughout the life cycle. One of the core expected outcome of the programme is to have a reduced malnutrition status among adolescents. more..

Top Sri Lankan economist wants CEPA to be implemented

June 2 (N360) The prominent economist and the Vice President of the Sri Lanka Economic Association R.M.B. Senanayake says if Sri Lanka does not sign the CEPA agreement with India, it will definitely be a lost opportunity for the country. He says despite the protest by the local business community, Sri Lanka should go ahead with this agreement which according to Senanayake will bring in enormous economic benefits to the country. more..

The politics film of film

June 2 (Gulf) With only a few days to go, politics, star schedules and protests are threatening to dampen one of the biggest events on the Indian film industry calendar. Controversy surrounding the Sri Lankan capital Colombo as this year's choice of venue for the IIFA awards is coming to a head as more stars back out and major names, such as Amitabh Bachchan, refuse to confirm or deny their attendance. more..

Winning hearts and minds in Jaffna

June 2 (LG) One year after the end of the war, Jaffna gives the impression of being a bustling town and on the mend in the new post-war era. The shops are open till late at night and people can move about freely if they wish, although residents said that practices from the days of war die hard, and so the people prefer to retire to their homes with the fall of dusk. The hotels are full, many with pilgrims from the rest of the country, and more..

Policy on Sri Lanka

June 2 (LG) I wish I knew what India’s policy on Sri Lanka is. It now favours reconciliation between the Tamil minority and the Sinhalese majority. Not long ago, it stood for devolving power to provinces in a federal structure. True, the two communities have no other option except to co-exist, as they have been doing all these years. But the lackadaisical attitude towards Tamils, particularly in all walks of life, has to go before they gain confidence that they are equal citizens. more..

Historic match in the U.S. marks launch of Cricket diplomacy

June 2 (SLE) Members of the Sri Lankan National Cricket Team were guests of honor at a May 22 charity dinner for nearly 400 people co-hosted by the Sri Lankan Development foundation and Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States. The dinner was the highpoint of a historic cricket weekend, when two teams - Sri Lanka and New Zealand - played two cricket games in more..

Whither University Education?

June 2 (DM) A media report quotes the Governor of the Central Province stating that the numerous failures in the recent O/L examinations held in the province has become an intractable problem with over 18,000not passing even a single subject in the GCE O/L Another newspaper speaks about the present minister commenting that the teacher’s complain that student failure percentage is due to the fact that question papers have been set by university professors who more..

Wanted: A balanced approach

June 2 (DM) Independent of the purported procedural flaws that the TNA parliamentary delegation might have committed in not obtaining prior permission for visiting the Manik Farm IDP camp in the North, the episode has left a bad taste in the mouth. Considering that the TNA team met other IDPs at the same time, it may have shown up the kind of communication gap at the Government-level even after the exit of Gen Sarath Fonseka. more..

Sri Lanka: Kandy town