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Another Sakvithi in the making

June 16 (LP) Another bogus banker who had set up 39 bogus banks countrywide to lure his prey was arrested recently. The banks of the suspect Selvathirai Dhanaraja were all managed under the name of Rural Investment Development Bank and Co. to give the operation a veneer of respectability and alley suspicions of prospective customers. Police say that the suspect has also appointed a “Board of Director” for the Bank that comprised his wife and relatives which more..

After three decades cricket shines in North

June 16 (MoD) For the first time in the history of the 32nd Sunday Observer Mobitel schoolboy cricketers contest a school from the Northern Province-Kokuvil Hindu College received an award being adjudged the Best Up and Coming Team. In addition, Jaffna College, Vadukkodai were adjudged the best team of the Northern Province. The runner-up award went to Jaffna Central College. more..

Rs 1690 million for paddy purchasing under guaranteed price of Rs 30/kg

June 16 (GDI) Treasury has allocated Rs 1689.8 million rupees to purchase paddy directly from the farmers. The guaranteed price given to farmers is Rs 30/kg for Samba and Rs 28/kg for Nadu. The highest amount of 1300 million has been allocated to Paddy marketing Board and Rs 184 million to Dept of Co-operative Development. In addition, rupees 206 million has been distributed among the District Secretaries to purchase paddy through more..

Giants roaming Galagamuwa finally find their way to former habitat

June 16 (NF) The herd of wild elephants, which had strayed in to the Galagamuwa area recently after they lost their way while searching for food and water, left the area last night. The herd had remained in the area until last evening. The herd of jumbos had arrived in the Galagamuwa area from the Getadivula Teak Reserve on Sunday night and had been roaming close to the Kongama tank, unable to return to the forest. more..

SLTB records highest operational profit in North

June 16 (MoD) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has recorded the highest operational profit of Rs 150 per km in the Northern region this year. A SLTB Mallawi sub-depot had earned a profit of Rs 150 per kilometre which is the highest profit gained for a kilometre by a CTB bus ever in history, Deputy Transport Minister Rohana Dissanayake said. He said this amount could be increased further by more..

Police force agitating undergrads into buses, dump them

June 16 (CT) Police have disrupted a protest by undergraduates in Colombo by forcing them into buses and dumping them later in various locations. Around 400 students of allied health sciences had been abandoned in Kadawata and Mahara areas in that manner. Not for the first time, they had been agitating in front of the University Grants Commission against the curtailment of their course duration from four to three years. more..

Elections for local councils in January

June 16 (LT) The government is planning to hold elections for local councils in January next year and according to Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, who heads the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms, the elections will be conducted under a new electoral system. Minister Gunawardene said local council elections will be held next year after the new electoral reforms are passed in parliament. more..

Sri Lanka: Time to Return

A/L Exam approaching - Text books & Teachers' guides still with Minister

June 16 (LT) Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union expresses, that the recommended text books for the new syllabus of year 13 A/L students and the teachers’ guide books have not been received yet. New syllabus has been introduced in the last year and the present year 13 A/L students who entered the A/L classes last year have confronted with difficulties due to the absence of text books. Teachers training and granting of guide books relevant to the new syllabus have not been made yet. more..

Fonseka’s arrest wrongful - Counsel

June 16 (Island) A junior officer of the army cannot arrest the Army Commander, according to the Military Act. Hence, the arrest of General (retired) Sarath Fonseka was wrong in law, said Romesh de Silva PC, in the Court of Appeal yesterday, when he appeared for Fonseka, who had challenged, in the Court of Appeal, the Jurisdiction of the Court Martial to hold an inquiry against him. Romesh de Silva, PC, appeared with Viraj de Silva for Fonseka. more..

All arrangements ready for National Victory Day celebration

June 16 (MoD) Mass Media and Communication Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the Media at 1100 hours today (15) that the Victory Day Celebration scheduled to be held on 18th June is neither to celebrate the death of Prabakaran nor the defeat of a Tamil organization but to celebrate the eradication of Terrorism which had brought immense misery to Sri Lanka for several years. more..

NSC reps tell President: LTTE terrorism abhorrent to US

June 16 (MoD) The United States of America too had been through the experience of combating terrorism and considered the terrorism of the LTTE as abhorrent said two high ranking officers of the Obama Administration, attached to the US National Security Council (NSC), who called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. NSC representatives Special Assistant to the US President and more..

Editorial: Clean this festering wound!

June 16 (LNP) A report the Auditor General has submitted to Parliament has revealed that the country incurred a loss of nearly half a billion rupees because of the poor quality drugs purchased during 2008. About 16 million syringes the State Pharmaceutical Corporation supplied to the Medical Supplies Division had to be rejected and destroyed as they did not meet the required standards, the AG has pointed out. more..

Soldier transferred for saluting Anoma Fonseka

June 16 (LeN) An Army soldier who saluted Anoma Fonseka, the wife of Army Commander when she went to pay tribute at an Army memorial situated at Parliament Road, Sri Jayawardenapura had been given orders by the Defense Ministry to be transferred immediately to another place of work in the Army. Mrs. Fonseka who performed a religious pooja on the 8th, lighting traditional ‘pahans’ invoking blessings for the release of Gen. Fonseka, had gone to the Army memorial to pay her tribute. more..

Joint TU action urged

June 16 (Island) The Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union has called upon all trade unions, in the private and public sectors, to join hands to launch a joint campaign to win the promised salary increase of Rs. 2,500 made during the campaign leading to the Presidential election of January 26. The Joint Secretary of the FTZGSEU, Anton Marcus, told The Island that it was now very clear that this promise would not be fulfiled by the government as more..

Gama Neguma benefits over five million villagers

June 16 (DN) The Government under the Gama Neguma spent Rs 9,023 million for rural road construction and providing other amenities in 2009 benefitting 5,215,049 villagers. Rs 9,023 million was used to construct 2,840.3 km of roads, bridges and rural houses, provide electricity supplies, irrigation and other facilities, water supply and other amenities. Over 50 percent of the money amounting to Rs 5,965 million had been spent to construct rural roads and bridges. more..

Reclaim Buddhist Relics, says Sambuddha Jayanthi Committee

June 16 (DN) Members of 2600th Sambuddha Jayanthi Action Committee yesterday urged Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne for a viable program to reclaim the Buddhist Relics that were drawn out of the country by various elements. They made this plea at a meeting of the 2600th Sambuddha Jayanthi Action Committee at Prime Minister's office yesterday. The Action Committee has decided to invite the representatives all recognized Buddhist Associations in more..

Cuba ready to provide: BTI bacteria without pre-payment

June 16 (DN) Cuban Ambassador Nirsia Castro Guevara has agreed to the request made by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to obtain the Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis bacteria (BTI) from Cuba without pre-payment. The Cuban Ambassador met the Health Minister at his official residence in Colombo yesterday and agreed to provide BTI bacteria to Sri Lanka without a pre-payment. more..

Gama Neguma benefits over five million villagers

June 16 (DN) The Government under the Gama Neguma spent Rs 9,023 million for rural road construction and providing other amenities in 2009 benefitting 5,215,049 villagers. Rs 9,023 million was used to construct 2,840.3 km of roads, bridges and rural houses, provide electricity supplies, irrigation and other facilities, water supply and other amenities. Over 50 percent of the money amounting to Rs 5,965 million had been spent to construct rural roads and bridges. more..

Editorial: JVP strikes Gold

June 16 (DM) Irrespective of the utter lack of accountability that the JVP displayed in its handling of gold and other jewellery the movement amassed during the insurgency, its move to look into the grievances of the Northern civilians who had their money and jewellery in the banks comes as a welcome change. The drubbing the JVP led alliance received at the elections surely would have made the ex-Marxists to realize the need to expand their base beyond the southern borders. more..

Sri Lanka's unreported war

June 16 (Guardian) Sri Lanka has been accused by Human Rights Watch of widespread abductions in its counter-insurgency operations against the Tamil Tigers. Blame is levelled against the army, navy and police, but also against the government for failing to investigate the cases properly. Jonathan Gorvett is at the Civil Monitoring Commission headquarters in Pettah, where he talks to Jasemin, a woman whose husband was abducted last year. more..

Japan seeks transparency in Sri Lanka after war

June 16 (AFP) A visiting Japanese envoy said Wednesday that Sri Lanka must ensure an open and fair process to address grievances of minority Tamils after the end of the civil war last year. Yasushi Akashi, whose country is the largest national donor to Sri Lanka, said a planned reconciliation commission must be "transparent and comprehensible" if it is to secure a prosperous future for the island. more..

Low investment in technology, holding Lanka down

June 16 (Island) Sri Lanka’s contribution to the global GDP is very low compared to its potential. The country can develop in a significant manner, and the main reason against it is the unawareness and low funding towards technology, to increase the contribution. The country should focus on technology development, as today’s industries are facing difficulties with low quality technology there by reducing its profits, says Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Tissa Vitarana. more..

Maithripala uses polls nomination to fight dengue

June 16 (AD) Heads of Local Government councils who fail to assist in the eradication of dengue will not be given nominations in future elections, said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Issuing this warning to party members, Minister Sirisena said that they should not forget that in addition to his post as Health Minister, he was also the General Secretary of the SLFP. more..

CEB to introduce two-way meter system

June 16 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board will soon introduce a net metering system to encourage customers to use renewable energy sources thereby contributing the additional units to the national grid. Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, following the government’s approval, had instructed CEB officials to introduce two-way meters, to export and import, to interested consumers. more..

'JVP will make the maximum mediation to solve issues of the masses in the North'

June 16 (LT) The JVP, as a political party, would make the maximum mediation to solve the issues confronted by the masses in the North said the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe addressing villagers of Kalmadu. Mr. Amarasinghe and a team from the JVP visiting Jaffna and Killinochchi districts had a discussion with villagers of Kalmadu and relatives of Dwaraka Rasiah, the student of Peradeniya University who is being detained. more..

'Reveal amendments to the constitution'

June 16 (DM) Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called upon President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne to place the proposals for constitutional reforms before the country instead of keeping them in secret. Addressing the media, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the entire country including some government ministers had been kept in the dark about these reforms. more..

Constitutional Council to be dumped

June 16 (DM) The Constitutional Council that had to be appointed under the 17th Amendment to the Constitution is to be done away with under the proposed amendments to the Constitution that are to be introduced soon,government sources said. With the proposed amendments to the Constitution, the nomination of the members of the Independent Commissions would be made by the President, rather than the Constitutional Council. more..

Alston queries Lanka’s stand

June 16 (DM) Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur, accused the Sri Lankan government of double standards for its rejection of an international investigation over alleged war crimes in the island while backing a similar probe on Israel. Alston said that the mandate given to the local Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation, which was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and its members fell short of being independent and impartial. more..

Court names Fonseka as suspect in Hicorp case

June 16 (AD) The Colombo Fort magistrate has ordered that General (retired) Sarath Fonseka be produced in courts as a suspect in the ongoing case against the financial dealings by Hicorp, said to be owned by his son-in-law. This was in response to a request to courts by the CID, which in a report submitted to court stated that there was enough evidence against Sarath Fonseka to be named as a suspect in the Hicorp case. more..

Japan urges world not to dictate to post-war Sri Lanka

June 16 (Reuters) Japan on Wednesday urged the world not to dictate to Sri Lanka amid post-war reconciliation efforts and renewed calls from the West for a probe into possible war crimes. Sri Lanka last month celebrated the first anniversary of its victory against Tamil Tiger separatists, ending 25 years of civil war, and rights groups used the occasion to push for an international war crimes investigation. more..

Sri Lanka bourse hits record, ends off highs

June 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares touched a record on Wednesday on high turnover thanks to buying interest in John Keells Holdings and Dialog Telekom but closed slipping as investors booked profits, traders said. The Colombo Stock Exchange's all-share price index hit an all-time high of 4,638.03 points, surpassing its previous peak of 4,632.86 on Tuesday. But it closed 3.33 points or 0.07 percent weaker at 4,603.36. more..

Trains kill mobile phone users

June 17 (AFP) At least 15 people using their mobile telephones while walking on railway tracks have been killed by trains in Sri Lanka this year, a railways official said on Wednesday. Accidents have increased as mobile phones become more popular, railways general manager Wijeya Samarasinghe said. 'In the past six months, there have been the deaths of 15 pedestrians who did not hear the train coming because they were preoccupied on their mobile phones,' more..

UNP reforms, a mere pretense - Ravi

June 17 (CT) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake says the so-called reforms in his party were a mere pretense. He was speaking to the media at the opposition leader's office today (June 16). Mr. Karunanayake said the party needed radical reforms aimed at taking it to victory at elections. He said the reforms committee of the party could not be trusted, although its chairman was making an honest effort at restructuring the party. more..

Hope for Sri Lanka's child victims

June 17 (Guardian) Torture has become a familiar feature of criminal investigations in Sri Lanka, where children as young as seven have experienced abuse under interrogation. At a small human rights unit in Kandy city, a Catholic priest has created a vital support system for the victims of police brutality. Father Nandana Manatunga relates the often tragic cases he has tried to help with. Our torture act passed 1994, but until about 2000 there was a single case filed against more..

Debrief News - 16. 06. 2010

Sri Lanka An Emerging Golf Destination

June 17 (MEE) Lush green mountains overlooking a tranquil lake; majestic trees lining green fairways; smiling faces; luxury accommodation; a relaxing swim and herbal massage. If you’re thinking golf, it’s the place to be. The Victoria Golf and Country Resort near Kandy in central Sri Lanka is indeed a golfer’s paradise. Donald Steel, former President of the British Association of Golf Course Architects and more..

Facets Sri Lanka 2010 from September 2 - 5

June 17 (NF) Facets Sri Lanka 2010, the 20th Sri Lanka International Gem & Jewellery Show will be held from the 2nd to 5th September at the BMICH in Colombo. Held annually in Colombo since 1991 with state and private sector patronage, FACETS Sri Lanka 2010, the 20th International Gem & Jewellery Show will have hundreds of local and foreign exhibitors showcasing their gem and jewellery products and more..

Sri Lanka mulls planting rubber in former northern war zone

June 17 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government is considering planting rubber in the former war zone in the north to increase production and meet growing demand from local industries, the plantations industries minister said. Mahinda Samarasinghe said the rubber research institute had identified an area north of Vavuniya and parts of Kilinochchi as potential rubber growing areas. more..

Sri Lanka dependent on India

June 17 (LMD) Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa visited New Delhi for four days last week for talks with Indian ministers. He returned home with seven bi-lateral agreements with India, and immediately met China’s deputy prime minister in Colombo. Small nations are bound to have complex relationships with large powerful neighbours. Ireland, for instance, had an ambivalent association with Britain, and the imperial power continued to exert power long after Ireland became independent. more..