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Arresting Bribery and Corruption: The A,B,C of Good Governance

June 30 (Island) If this or any future government is to survive as a viable entity it must clean up the mess of 79 year’s of self-rule, i.e. since 1931 because this cancer has been growing and spreading since then. Government should constitute a special commission [with teeth that can bite] to root out this malignancy from our midst. more..

Basil Rajapakse fails to reply TNA allegations

June 30 (TN) Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapakse has failed to respond to questions raised by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians at the Batticaloa District Development Council (DDC) meeting held on Monday at Batticaloa District Secretariat over the resettlement of displaced Tamil families and settling Sinhalese from the south in traditional Tamil villages in the district under the pretext of resettlement. more..

Fishery sector geared towards country’s development goals

June 30 (LP) The Ministry of Fisheries plans to build a strong production base by launching several programs in Jaffna and Matara to benefit fishermen for the promotion of the industry and targeting export promotion and import substitution through these programmes. According to Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne the Ministry will import 90 multi-day boats within the next two months to increase the production base for fish exports. more..

Northeast poised for massive development

June 30 (MoD) Though the media highlighted the 290,000 internally displaced persons on May 18 last year, there were a larger number of persons who were displaced since 1980s in the country as IDPs languishing without even a hope of going back to their homes, Resettlement Minister Milroy Fernando said. He said these people are eager to go back to their native palaces. more..

A committee for the betterment of the Health sector

June 30 (LP) Minister of Health Maithreepala Sirisena has decided to appoint a advisory committee in order to carry out the health related tasks efficiently. The Committee is due to advise the Minister of Health on issues related to the Health Sector while the committee is also instrumental in advising him on reaching more efficient and productive solutions. The Committee will compromise of Academics involved in the field of Health. more..

Two new Environment Protective Zones in Sri Lanka

June 30 (LP) Two new Environment protective zones have been declared by the Central Environment Authority (CEA). There are already 9 such zones declared in the island, Gregory River in Nuwara Eliya, Hanthana in Kandy, areas near Bolgoda River, North Thalangama are some of the Environment Protective Zones so far declared. The two new Environment Protective Zones are, 6 km towards land from the Colombo- Matara Bridge across Benthara River and more..

Puttalam wind power plant to add to National Grid

JJune 30 (LP) Puttalam Wind Power Plant will be commissioned another 10 megawatts on July 05th (Monday). With the commissioning of this plant another 10 megawatts will be added to the National Grid. Investment of this project is US $40 million. The investment is made by two private companies, Segawantivu Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd and Vidathamunai Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd. more..

President pays floral tribute at Ukraine war heroes’ memorial

June 30 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Sri Lanka delegation paid floral tributes today at the Ukraine Memorial anonymous where thousands of unnamed soldiers are remembered eternally situated at Internal Glory Park in Keiv city. President who is on a three day official visit in Ukraine on the invitation of the Ukraine President spent some time this morning at this memorial where dead and missing are remembered. more..

Local industries on a new path

June 30 (LP) The Budget 2010 mainly focuses on the Local Industries of Sri Lanka said Prime Minster D M Jayarathne. Remarking on the budget speech presented in Parliament yesterday Prime Minister said that through this Budget the Government has given more emphasis to developing and safeguarding the Local Industrialists. The Budget deficit is less while more investment opportunities are now open through the budget. more..

Education building and computer centre for the benefit of the displaced

June 30 (LP) Singapore-based ‘Maha Karuna’ Buddhist Foundation, headed by Ven. Dr. Gunarathane Thero, Religious Advisor with the support of Dr. Saj Kim Nayo of Chen Shu Lan Education Centre, Singapore has once again offered their assistance to raise living standards of the resettled people in the North. The Singaporean donors constructed two buildings and established a new computer centre for the benefit of children in Mathawaittakulam area in Vavuniya more..

Sri Lanka to utilize satellites to conserve coastal areas

June 30 (LP) Sri Lanka plans to use Satellite Technology to conserve the coastal areas of the country. According to the Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardana the Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum has offered to provide the technical support for the project to help conserve the coastal areas to help Sri Lanka to successfully face environmental and meteorological changes. more..

SLTB begins services to Jaffna

June 30 (MoD) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) will begin semi-luxury and super-luxury bus services between Colombo and Jaffna shortly following high demand from Jaffna-bound passengers in the aftermath of the war. Transport Deputy Minister Rohana Kumara Dissanayake said that there is a big public demand to travel on the A9 Road especially during school vacations and public holidays. more..

Vocational Training Centre for disabled in Batticaloa

June 30 (MoD) Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday said the Cabinet has approved a Vocational Training Centre for the disabled in the Batticaloa district. The proposal for the setting up of a vocational training centre for the disabled has been submitted by the Women's Affairs Ministry and the construction of the proposed centre would begin very soon, he said. He was addressing the Batticaloa district development committee meeting at the Batticaloa District Secretariat. more..

Editorial: When relief becomes worse than disaster

June 30 (LNP) The UNP has, while condemning the appointment by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of an advisory panel on Sri Lanka, faulted the government for not discussing such a crucial matter with the Opposition. It has also blamed the government for `mismanaging` the GSP Plus issue. The UNP is entitled to its views and has a democratic right to demand that it be consulted on vital national issues. more..

Surfing The Nations: Sri Lanka

Development oriented budget, say MPs

June 30 (LNP) Most of the members of the House yesterday expressing views on the budget submitted by Acting Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama stated that it was a development-oriented budget specially targeting long planned development goals. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa commenting on the budget presented to Parliament yesterday, said that the budget for the next six months has basically focused on the economic development by giving more opportunities for medium-scale investments. more..

Johnston & Lakshman to testify at Court Martial

June 30 (LT) UNP MP Lakshman Seneviratne is ready to give evidence before the first Court Martial against Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Consumer Affairs Minister Johnston Fernando will also give evidence on General's alleged involvement in political work while in active service. Minister Johnston Fernando is a former UNP member and he joined the government. They will be the two key witnesses of the court martial hearing on July 12 to give evidence. more..

Folk Art Centre Complex: Introducing traditional handicrafts to the world

June 30 (DN) Hidden among the lush green trees in close proximity to the Parliament complex there is a Folk Art Centre. In this quiet place there are huts built for craftsmen and women. Shriyani Chandralatha in her small cottage was making beeralu a traditional lace twisting and turning the spools of her beeralu kotte. She is not only making beeralu but also turning out bridal sarees, table cloths with her skills more..

A 'unique' budget turning people's hopes to more despair!

June 30 (LeN) The acting Minister of Finance Dr. Sarath Amunugama presented the Govt.'s annual budget which was a very antithesis of a people acceptable traditional budget providing relief and hopes to the people. The working classes were denied their salary increases, people were divested of relief, even that little they enjoyed at the moment. In short, it was a damp squib only matching the Govt.'s favorite hobby horse imposing more and more hardships on the common man by more..

Budget proposals for 2010: Strong progress in economic stability

June 30 (DN) The Government presented the budget for 2010 in Parliament yesterday with a forecast GDP growth of 6.5 to 7 percent for the year. The budget deficit of Rs 438.8 billion will be 8 percent of the forecast budget. The Government revenue plan is to raise Rs 817.8 billion of which Rs 729 billion will come from taxes and Rs 88.8 billion is from non-taxes. Tax from goods and services to generate Rs 423.4 billion, revenue from income tax is Rs 162 billion and more..

On GSP plus issue: Two MEPs side with Sri Lanka

June 30 (DN) Two Members of European Parliament (MEP) have rallied behind Sri Lanka urging the EU against the withdrawal of the GSP facility. They have spoken in unison for extension of the GSP suggesting that many of the condition demanded for its restoration have already being implemented. "The latest developments in Sri Lanka are promising. As you well know the main concern to the Parliament a year ago was more..

IFC helps Sri Lanka with $12.5m loan for clean energy projects

June 30 (IFC) IFC, a member of the Word Bank Group, will share NDB Bank’s risks to help finance a larger quantum of renewable energy projects, including mini-hydro and wind power projects in Sri Lanka. IFC is extending a $12.5 million risk-sharing facility to NDB Bank to support the country’s power-generation capacity while addressing climate change. The project is expected to produce economic benefits for local project developers, more..

Lift Sri Lankan restrictions: Amnesty

June 30 (AAP) Amnesty International is calling on the federal government to lift its suspension on processing the claims of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, saying the troubled nation is still a dangerous place. The three-month suspension ends on July 8. Amnesty has written to Prime Minister Julia Gillard asking her to protect the rights of Sri Lankan asylum seekers and begin processing their claims. more..

Railway org. queries awarding of Rs.4bn contract to Chinese firm

June 30 (Island) The Organisation for the Protection of the Rights of Railway Employees yesterday claimed that a Chinese firm, CMC Company, had been contracted to install colour lights between the four railway stations to be established between Matara and Beliatta, along the proposed new railway extension project to Kataragama, at a cost of Rs 4 billion, whereas the Railway Department could do the same work at a cost of Rs 750 million. more..

'All IDP camps will be closed within two months'

June 30 (DM) The Government expects to close down all IDP camps and complete the resettlement of 48,000 IDPs within two months, Deputy Minister of Resettlement Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan said yesterday. “We hope to close down all the IDP camps within two months time,” Mr. Muralitharan said. He said the restrictions on IDPs who still remain at camps in Vavuniya were for their own good and more..

Sri Lanka plans to sell Dollar bonds overseas by end of 2010

June 30 (BN) Sri Lanka plans to sell dollar- denominated bonds overseas by the end of this year as an improving economy bolsters confidence in the nation’s assets, according to the central bank. The South Asian country’s third-ever overseas offering is likely after August, Central Bank of Sri Lanka Assistant Governor C.J.P. Siriwardena said in a telephone interview today. more..

IP Douglas Nimal killing suspects abducted

June 30 (Island) The main suspects in the murder of Police Inspector Douglas Nimal and his wife in Aturugiriya a few years ago, have gone missing, police say. The two men are believed to have been abducted while travelling in a three wheeler in the Nawagamuwa area. They were returning home after attending Court, where the double murder case was being heard. Police said the suspect duo belonged to an underworld gang operating in Kimbulaela in Modera. more..

Editorial: EU and UN

June 30 (DM) One may jump into many conclusions when Bernard Savage, EU head for Sri Lanka and the Maldives says that it is up to Sri Lanka to decide whether it conforms to EU conditions or do without the GSP plus concession. Notwithstanding that one may still say that it would have been more diplomatic if Sri Lanka kept its mouth shut rather than screaming like a scorned lover, if it has the confidence that it can do without the tax concession. more..

Chamal warns Mervyn Silva

June 30 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapakse today warned Deputy Highways Minister Mervyn Silva that he will be sent out of the chamber if he continues to behave in an unruly manner inside the parliament premises. Minister Silva had attempted to angrily answer a question raised by DNA MP Sunil Handunnetti regarding the “Api Wenuwen Api” funds in parliament today and had to remain quiet after the Speaker's stern warning. more..

Court of Appeal moved against Gayantha, Manusha

June 30 (Island) Galle District UNP MPs, Gayantha Karunathilake and Manusha Nanayakkara yesterday received time till July 20 to file preliminary objections to an election petition filed by a defeated UNP candidate, Nishantha Pushpakumara, challenging their election at the April 8 polls. The petitioner had requested the Court of Appeal to order the Commissioner of Elections to recount the preferential votes obtained by UNP candidates, who contested from Galle. more..

Sri Lanka inflation slows to 4.8-pct in June

June 30 (LBO) Consumer prices in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo rose 4.8 percent in June 2010 from a year earlier, down from 5.3 percent in May, the fourth straight monthly fall, the government statistics office said. In the month of June the Colombo consumer price index rose 0.8 percent in absolute terms to 217.7 from 215.9 points a month earlier. The government has said it intends keeping inflation at single digit levels. It hit 28 percent in June 2008. more..

Lalkantha vows trade union action to win pay hike

June 30 (CT) JVP politburo member and head of the National Trade Unions Centre, K.D. Lalkantha says trade unions will now fight to win the salary increase promised to the working masses. He said the trade unions would launch its battle against the government's failure to grant any relief to the working masses or even the promised pay hike in its 2010 budget, with the understanding that there was no victory without a fight. more..

Beijing tightens its embrace of Sri Lanka

June 30 (FT) At Hambantota, a remote fishing town on Sri Lanka's south coast, Chinese engineers dig a channel through the beaches, connecting the Indian Ocean with a vast inland pit, whose soaring concrete walls dwarf the earth-moving equipment working below. Next year, project managers will fill this man-made crater with water, creating the first phase of an international harbour that will service the passing ships of the oil trade between more..

Dancing Minister in hot water

June 30 (DM) Ministers Karuna and Milroy Perera singing at the wedding of Minister Perera’s official’s son and telecast in the news bulletin of a private television station on Monday night ended up with a minister being summoned to the Temple Trees last morning. A private television station broadcast in their prime time news bulletin the visuals of the two politicians having a jolly good time dancing and singing at the wedding. Pictures more..

Ukraine to take part in exploration for oil in Sri Lanka

June 30 (KP) Ukraine will take part in exploration for oil in Sri Lanka. This agreement was reached during a meeting of Presidents of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych and President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kyiv on Wednesday. "We have agreed that the Ukrainian side will support our proposals to explore for oil in our land," said Rajapaksa said at a joint press conference with Yanukovych. more..

'Govt. had to obtain IMF approval before presenting budget'

June 30 (Island) The Mahinda Rajapakasa government’s 2010 budget was in all respects a "market fundamentalist IMF budget", the UNP said. UNP MP Harsha de Silva said that the government had to obtain IMF approval before presenting the budget in Parliament without any proposals. He called it a record. The Mahinda Chintana trumpeted all along that it was pro poor, but there was no social justice whatsoever in the budget. more..

Wimal Weerawansa wants people to surround UN Lanka office

June 30 (CT) Minister Wimal Weerawansa wants the Sri Lankan people surround the UN office in Colombo and keep its staff inside until UN chief Ban Ki Moon decides to dissolve the three-member advisory panel he appointed on Sri Lanka. He said that the appointment of the advisory panel should not be perceived as a simple act as it could be followed by the appointment of more..

No pay hike this year, revenue proposals dropped

June 30 (Island) Acting Minister of Finance and Planning Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday reiterated the UPFA’s commitment to education, health and assistance to vulnerable groups, rural community, traditional and small enterprises, public servants and the working population to improve their living conditions. Dr. Amunugama said in the post-LTTE era, priority would be given to more..

'Ukraine ready to offer Sri Lanka various forms of cooperation'

June 30 (KP) Ukraine is ready to offer Sri Lanka various forms of cooperation primarily in trade and economic sector, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has said. Yanukovych announced this on Wednesday during a meeting with President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is on a visit to Ukraine, the press service of the Ukrainian head of state reported. more..