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Bluebottle Jellyfish bids farewell

June 22 (LP) The poisonous jelly fish which were seen along the coastal line of Sri Lanka have seemed to have left the coast. According to Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), the activities of the jelly fish were not to be seen for about two weeks time. The particular jelly fish which was mostly seen around Mt Lavinia, Benthota and Benthara are scientifically called Physalia Utriculus. more..

A Road map launched to eliminate child labour

June 22 (LP) The road map to work towards eliminating child labour from Sri Lanka by the year 2016 was launched yesterday (21) in Colombo. Addressing the function Minister of Labour Relation and Productivity Promotion Gamini Lokuge said that it is the Sri Lankan Governments main purpose to completely eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka and that measures are already taken in this regard. more..

Britain eyeing exploring oil in Sri Lanka

June 22 (N360) UK Trade and Investment, which is an arm of the British Government is currently exploring oil and gas exploration opportunities in Sri Lanka. A statement by the British High commission in Colombo said oil and gas exploration is one among many other areas, it is exploring in Sri Lanka to bring in British Companies to invest. more..

Govt to increase milk purchasing price

June 22 (GDI) The government under a program to make the country self sufficient in milk production has decided to launch a dual program that is beneficial to both consumers and the producer. President Mahinda Rajapaksha at a discussion yesterday with the authorities of the livestock sector,instructed them to encourage dairy farmers to increase milk production by at least 10 percent to counter the rising cost of imported dairy products. more..

Vehement condemnation of UN Sec General’s action by NFF

June 22 (LP) The NFF chairman, Minister Wimal Weerawansa while condemning the decision of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to appoint an advisory panel on his own initiative has exceeded his powers to interfere in the internal affairs of a country. The Sec General says that he was led to appoint this committee in view of the accusations heralded against Sri Lanka on war Crimes and breach of Human Rights. more..

Dengue threat: Owners of bare lands to be penalised

June 22 (DN) The Colombo Municipal Council will take stern action against the owners of bare-lands in the Colombo city and its suburbs if they do not properly maintain such bare lands. A shramadana program was set up by the CMC to clean the city and prevent dengue mosquito breeding. City Chief Administrator Omar Kamil said the highest number of dengue cases were currently reported from the Colombo District. more..

Gem and jewellery centre for World Trade Centre

June 22 (LNP) The National Gem and Jewellery Authority plans to set up a fully-fledged gem and jewellery centre to be housed at the World Trade Centre tower soon. The gem and jewellery industry will become a one-stop-shop facility with this gem centre along with industry related services under one roof. The centre will be a fully owned subsidiary of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority and managed under a public-private partnership. more..

Editorial: Drink but don't fall sick?

June 22 (LNP) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has some bad news for tipplers. He has said the government is exploring the possibility of making drunkards foot the bill for treatment at the State-run hospitals for diseases caused by alcohol. What the minister says may seem to make some sense. One may praise the minister and say people must drink at their own risk and they cannot expect others to pay for their health care. more..

Raavan screening resumes in Sri Lanka

June 22 (PTI) The screening of Mani Ratnam's Raavan has resumed in eastern Sri Lanka despite threats by a an unidentified group demanding the boycott of the bilingual film, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. A cinema hall planning to screen Raavan was torched last week by the group, which is protesting Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya and director Ratnam's decision to stay away from the IIFA awards more..

Reconstruction of Sri Lanka’s tallest transmission tower begins

June 22 (DN) Work on the Kokavil transmission tower, Sri Lanka’s tallest transmission tower has begun. The 172 metre tall Kokavil transmission tower is estimated to cost Rs 220 million. China is providing technical expertise for this project which will be jointly implemented by the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and Mass Media and Information Ministry. Security Forces will also assist in this project. more..

Stabilising prices: Govt to import essentials

June 22 (DN) The Government is looking at the possibility of involving itself in the import of essential food items to make their prices more affordable to consumers. According to Trade, Marketing and Cooperative Development Minister Johnston Fernando, a number of essential commodities have been identified to be imported to stabilize the prices of essential commodities in the local market. more..

Range Bandara meets President

June 22 (LeN) Puttalam District M.P Range Bandara along with his wife and three children met with the President at Temple Trees today (21) to express his gratitude to President for helping him to get medical treatment expeditiously for speedy recovery. Thanking the President profusely he said that, had it not being for the help so extended by the President he would not have been more..

Lankan gays want equal rights

June 22 (DM) Sri Lanka’s gay community on Sunday demanded equal rights and urged the authorities to emulate India which had last year lifted restrictions on the gay community in New Delhi. Equal Grounds Executive Director Rozanne Flemar Caldera, speaking at a fashion show in Colombo on Sunday evening organized by Sri Lanka’s gay community said people must be treated equally be they gay or straight. more..

Extortionists get protection money by threatening to kidnap children

June 22 (Island) Police have gathered information on several armed gangs that obtain money from rich parents in Colombo and its suburbs threatening to kidnap their school going children. Parents have not complained to the police of the extortionists for fear of reprisals. The STF intelligence unit has received about 15 complaints from parents who paid protection money to the underworld gangs that threatened to more..

'Sirasa' ordered to hand in Fonseka's taped speeches to CID

June 22 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate Sujeewa Nishshanka today (June 22) ordered the 'Sirasa' News Director to hand in complete speeches of General Sarath Fonseka in Rathnapura and Ampara as presidential candidate, to the CID. The additional magistrate also ordered to hand over the news clips of the above speeches as well as the tape of Gen. Fonseka?s media briefing on Dec. 14, 2009. more..

Import to boost value added exports

June 22 (Island) Chief, Economic Section, US Embassy, Edward Heartney says Sri Lanka should expand its exports basket by importing raw materials from other countries, which could be value added and transformed into finished goods for re-export. "The potential of doing this has not been considered and it can be a large foreign exchange earner for the country," he said addressing a recent forum. more..

Editorial: Need to make SL more child- friendly

June 22 (DM) A three-year-old abducted by ransom takers in Buttala, four children including a three- year-old girl abandoned by parents in Rangala, Kandy and a whole lot of cases about attempts to kill dozens of new born babies, all have suddenly made Sri Lanka a child-unfriendly nation. Crimes against children are generally considered a reflection of the values of a society. Perhaps the absence of war news had helped crimes against children to get better publicity post-war. more..

'UN Chief revealing his hidden agenda'

June 22 (LP) By attempting to provide oxygen to the LTTE which has been completely wiped out and in order to blow up its image before the international community the United Nations and its Secretary General have revealed their hidden agenda in no uncertain terms, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He said it is a matter for suspicion when one considers the actions of certain world organisations and more..

Nurses threaten strike to win 11 demands

June 22 (Island) The All Ceylon Nurses’ Union yesterday said its membership would unconditionally support any form of trade union action taken by the Public Service United Nurses’ Union to win its eleven demands. ACNU General Secretary Sisira Senaratne said (21) that the PSUNU had warned they it would resort to a strike next week if the obstructions to rectifying irregularities, which occurred with more..

Protestors stage a fast to death on Sigiriya fortress

June 22 (CT) An organization called the 'Sigiriya Protection Organisation' has is staging a fast to death protest demonstration on top of the Sigiriya rock fortress today. The organisation's president, W.M. Wijeratne said that they demand a stop to the destruction on the fortress by the JAICA firm. Among their demands they have also requested that Sigiriya which is controlled by Central Cultural Fund to be taken under the wing of the Archeological department. more..

CMC to be dissolved tonight

June 22 (CT) The Western Province Chief Minister has decided to dissolve the Colombo Municipal Council from midnight today. The power of the Colombo Municipal Council was held by the UNP until 1996. In 2006, all UNP nominations for the Local government elections in Colombo were rejected. The independent group 03, which was affiliated to the UNP, won 23 seats while the UPFA candidates led by Wasudewa Nanayakkara won 14 seats. more..

JHU apologizes for ‘UNP attack’ on Jaffna library

June 22 (DM) The Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday apologized to the Jaffna citizens for what it called an ‘unpardonable and disgraceful’ attack on the Jaffna library carried out by ‘violent elements within the UNP’. JHU General Secretary and Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka made the apology when JHU leaders visited the Jaffna Public Library to handover books worth more than Rs.two million more..

Maharoof hat-trick restrict India to 209

June 22 (CI) Three wickets for 19 runs stalled India's start, and then Farveez Maharoof's hat-trick, during a period of play when four wickets fell for no runs, destroyed the middle order's efforts at rebuilding the innings. Thrice India seemed to have inched ahead of the game, thrice a spirited Sri Lanka pulled them back through superb fielding and persistent bowling. Live Video (US only) more..

BASL opposes hasty moves on constitution

June 22 (DM) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) by way of a Bar Council resolution yesterday urged the government to desist from passing any constitutional amendments as urgent bills. BASL opposes Govt. moves on constitution “While we have appointed a special committee to study constitutional amendments, the Bar Council passed this resolution because of reports that the government was planning to more..

'Extension of President’s tenure a Cabinet decision'

June 22 (Island) The proposal to remove the limitation on the President seeking election for a third term is not a proposal of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is a proposal by the Cabinet of Ministers which is the supreme organ of the government, said Deputy Finance Minister and Senior Advisor to the President Dr. Sarath Amunugama in Kandy last Saturday (19). more..

Govt reimposes Rs 10/kg duty on Wheat grain

June 22 (GDI) Government today reimposed a duty of Rs 10 per Kilo Gram on wheat grain imported into the country. The government in November 2009 had waived this duty due to shortage prevailed for rice in the country at that time. As wheat flour is used in Sri Lanka as a substitute for rice the government had taken this measure to bring down the demand for rice. The Government with the intention of protecting the farmers at a time when more..

Sri Lanka told no unconditional extension of EU trade benefits

June 22 (LBO) The European Union will not unconditionally extend the GSP Plus trade deal giving Sri Lankan exporters duty free access to European markets, the EU Delegation in Colombo said. The EU is ready to extend the GSP Plus deal for a limited period when it is set to end on August 15 if the Sri Lankan government makes specific human rights commitments, it said in a statement. more..

Lankan lawyer to sue ICC over referral system

June 23 (Nation) A cricket loving Sri Lankan advocate, Senaka Weeraratne, is considering to sue the ICC over the authorship of the Umpires Decision Referral System (UDRS). Claiming that the original idea was given by him, he said during the chat with this scribe from Colombo, “It is my contention that the basic elements of this UDRS have been adapted from my ideas which I conceived with a view to resolving a problem in cricket due to umpiring errors. more..

MR holds urgent meeting

June 23 (DM) External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris, speaking to reporters a short while ago, said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called him to attend an urgent meeting this evening but did not elaborate on what the meeting was about. The Minister who was attending the launch of a website said that he had to cut short his participation at the event as he had to attend an urgent meeting with the President. more..

Menik Farm IDPs gradually returning home

June 23 (IRIN) The population of Sri Lanka's largest remaining camp for IDPs is dwindling at a rate of up to 2,000 people a week, with efforts being stepped up for the remaining 50,000 IDPs to return home. "Every week, some 1,000 or 2,000 people are leaving for their homes. We in the government are doing this with the support of other international agencies, including UN agencies," more..

Navy assists in the Repatriation of 22 Sri Lankan Fishermen

June 23 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the repatriation of 22 Sri Lankan fishermen, who were released from the Indian custody, yesterday (21). The fishermen were handed over to SLN officials by the Indian Coast Guard Ship "Vikram" at the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line in the seas north of Kankasanthurei. They were brought to the KKS Harbour yesterday evening by Sri Lanka Naval Ship "Edithara II" and were provided with food and required assistance by Naval authorities. more..

Sri Lanka state-managed pension fund buys into another hotel

June 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Employees Provident Fund (EPF), a pension fund of private citizens managed by the state, has bought an 11 percent stake in Ceylon Hotels Corporation which lost 35 million rupees last year, for 700 million rupees. A stock exchange filing said Galle Face Hotel, its controlling shareholder, had sold 20 million shares at 35 million rupees, which was 11.63 percent of Ceylon Hotels Corporation stock. more..

Maharoof's five-for leads Sri Lanka's huge win

June 23 (CI) Three wickets for 19 runs stalled India's start, and then Farveez Maharoof's hat-trick, during a period of play when four wickets fell for no runs, destroyed the middle order's rebuild and practically finished the dress rehersal for the final in Sri Lanka's favour. Thrice India seemed to have inched ahead of the game, thrice a spirited Sri Lanka pulled them back through superb fielding and persistent bowling. more..

A successful political response to international pressure possible

June 23 (NPC) This month has seen an increase in the level of international activity with regard to Sri Lanka and concerns about its human rights record. Sri Lanka figured once again in the UN’s Human Rights Council with several European countries calling for an investigative mechanism to be set up with regard to human rights violations. The Sri Lankan situation was also debated in the British Parliament. more..

Great waves invade the SriLankan Airlines Pro

June 23 (ST) Yet another splendid day of surfing in sweltering heat on Sri Lanka’s lush south east coastline with the round of 24 completed and now just 16 surfers remain in the Association of Surfing Professionals 6-star rated SriLankan Airlines Pro. Indonesia’s Dede Suryana was again in outstanding form and the 24 year-old west Javanese surfer is enthusiastic about his chances here. more..

US Supreme Court bans support to designated terrorist outfits

June 23 (MoD) U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal criminal law that bans support to designated terrorist organizations, including the LTTE, rejecting a free-speech challenge by groups that say they have peaceful aims. The court ruled 6-3 that the law can be applied to organizations and U.S. citizens looking to teach nonviolent methods of conflict resolution to LTTE and Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK]. more..

Debrief News 22 06 2010

Three newborn Tiger cubs at Dehiwala Zoo, but only one survivor

June 23 (NF) Three tiger cubs of Bengali origin were born at the Dehiwala National Zoo recently, but only one survived. The cub’s parents were given to Sri Lanka in 2008 by the Xiang Jiang Park in China, as part of an animal exchange programme. The parents are restless, probably because their cubs are not with them. The cub that survived and is only 6 days old had to be separated from its mother. more..

State sector has deteriorated, says Ratnasiri

June 23 (NF) The state sector needs to be streamlined in order to establish good governance in the country devoid of bribery or corruption, says Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, Minister of Public Management and Reforms. The minister made this comment at a discussion held yesterday. He met with representatives of trade unions attached to the state sector, at the ministry of Public Management and Reforms yesterday. more..

UNP plans to sue IIFA, says Ranjan

June 23 (AD) The UNP is considering suing the top management of the Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) and its Brand Ambassador over the large scale financial fraud perpetrated against the Sri Lankan tax payers, says Ratnapura District Parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake. He said that the UNP is considering legal action against IIFA chairman Sabbas Joseph, Brand Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, more..