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LG bodies, PCs silent on CEB order to pay for street lighting

June 4 (Island) Local Government bodies and Provincial Councils are keeping mum on Power and Energy Ministry order that they pay for street lighting. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) will from next month transfer the electricity bills of the country’s 700,000 street lamps to the relevant local authorities as the Treasury has so far failed to absorb the losses incurred by CEB due to street lighting. more..

Committee to examine loss making government institutions

June 4 (Island) A Committee to examine loss making government institutions and recommend improvements is to be established shortly, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwalle said yesterday. He said that the appointment of the Committee was sanctioned by the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday. The committee, which will consist of representatives from the Ministries of Resources and Entrepreneur Development, Finance and Planning, Industry and Commerce and more..

Editorial: Which is the worst ?

June 4 (DM) It looks that the comments by Sports Minister C.B. Ratnayake that Sri Lanka Cricket is the most corrupt institution next to education and the police departments have ruffled a few feathers. One initially thought a spokesman for the Education would come forward to defend the department for many thought that although certainly there are some corrupt elements in the institution it is still not bad as the police or Sri Lanka cricket. Instead one saw a denial coming from the Police Department and more..

Ravi raps reformers

June 4 (DM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake yesterday set the stage for another controversy asking the party leadership to stop the party reforms. Addressing the meeting to felicitate Provincial Council Member Shiral Lakthilaka, Mr. Karunanayake said there was no need for selecting suitable persons through a ballot but called for selecting them on the seniority basis. more..

Sri Lanka war crime inquiry not on UN Security Council agenda

June 4 (AD) Proposed investigations into the war crimes allegations during the recent conflict in Sri Lanka, will not be considered by the Security Council during Mexico’s presidency in June. Regarding proposed investigations into the killing of civilians during the recent conflict in Sri Lanka, he said that was a sensitive issue that was not on the Council’s agenda. more..

Survey reveals politicians a major source of illegal weapons

June 4 (DM) It has been found out that politicians are one of the major sources that help the flow of illegal fire arms to society. This was revealed following a survey carried out by the National Commission against Expansion of Illegal Small Firearms headed by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The survey on illegal small fire arms in Sri Lanka had recommended a apolitically independent commission more..

UK to continue Tiger ban

June 4 (DM) The British government has assured that the ban on the LTTE will continue to remain in force and Britain will continue to prevent actions supportive of the LTTE on British soil. The assurance was given by the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka to Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne. The British High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Dr. Peter Hayes met Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne at more..

'Sri Lanka possesses Vibrant policy, immense scope, enticing and abundant opportunities for investments'

June 4 (LP) “Those of you who are keen to explore, will find abundant opportunities for investment in Sri Lanka. The scope is immense: from infrastructure, to agri-business, to manufacturing and to a range of services. You will also find that our country offers a rare package of skills, capacity, and a willingness to learn and adapt. more..

Sri Lanka government, Emirates finalize deal to buy back national carrier

June 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's government and Dubai's Emirates Airlines have finalized a deal to buy out its stake in the national carrier, its chairman Nishanta Wickremesinghe said. "The deal has been finalized," Wickremesinghe said. "It is between the government and Emirates." Wickremesinghe said he was not aware of the final price. more..

Sri Lanka taps Bollywood glitz to boost post-war image

June 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is hoping to use the glitz of a Bollywood awards ceremony to emerge from the devastation of a quarter century war and re-build its image among global travellers as a serene, sun-bathed Indian Ocean island. The tear drop-shaped island is hosting this year's International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, billed as India's Oscars, and pumping in money and resources for a host of Indian stars. more..

Miracle of Asia in the making: Will it cause value of MPs’ car permits to plummet?

June 4 (Island) A government decision to halve excise duties on imported vehicles by 50 per cent may upset some MPs’ plans to sell their duty free vehicle permits for a premium sum. Any MP prepared to put on the market his or her vehicle permit could have received as much as Rs. 13 to 15 million due to the sharp increase in what a politician called the permit value of the vehicles from $ 35,000 to $ 50,000. more..

Sri Lanka north-east ripe for tourism, agriculture

June 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Eastern and Northern provinces are ripe for investment in tourism, food processing and finance with infrastructure being built to improve connectivity, officials said. Sri Lanka's Northern and Eastern provinces were devastated by a 30-year war which ended last year with the military wiping out the last remnants of Tamil Tiger separatists. "There was a lot of destruction of property and assets during the war," more..

Sri Lanka cinema park targets Bollywood

June 5 (WSJ) If Indian film superstars like Hrithik Roshan and Bipasha Basu get locked out of southern India’s cinemas and studios for showing up at the Indian International Film Academy awards in Colombo, they can just stay here and make a movie. In March, Sri Lanka unveiled its answer to Bollywood, the Mahinda Rajapaksa National Tele Cinema Park. It’s more than 200 acres of sets and studios aimed at revitalizing the Sri Lankan film and television industries more..

GSK launches first cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix in Sri Lanka

June 5 (DM) Cervarix, a breakthrough vaccine that can prevent the commonest types of cervical cancer, a disease that claims the life of a woman every four minutes in Asia, has been launched in Sri Lanka by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK) following its registration with the Drugs Regulatory Authority (DRA). Cervarix is the first cancer vaccine to become available in Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lankan fishermen’s freedom bid hits a snag

June 5 (UCAN) Negotiations for the release of six Sri Lankan fishermen arrested and detained in India remain stalled after the boat owner failed to appear in an Indian court. “We have been negotiating to bring these fishermen home and the only problem is that the boat owner did not appear to facilitate their release,” Caritas Sri Lanka public relations officer S.P. Anthonymuthu said. The men have been held for eight months. more..

'Lanka has miles to go in refugee rehab'

June 5 (EB) On May 28, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had ordered that all Tamil war refugees living in government-run camps should be sent back to their villages in three months. Local officials and Tamil political leaders have welcomed the President’s announcement, but they point out that resettlement is much more than just sending refugees back to their villages. “Resettlement means giving them the wherewithal to live and make a living. more..

Kohona heads UN team

June 5 (DM) Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the UN Dr. Palitha Kohona is to head a UN delegation to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, UN officials said. The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of more..

Demo against Sri Lankan Prez visit on June 8

June 5 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Tamils Movement, a group of pro-Tamil parties, including MDMK and CPI,will stage a state-wide black flag demonstration opposing the visit of Sri lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to India on June 8, MDMK general secretary Vaiko said. The demonstration will be held outside the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai. Besides, black flag demonstrations would be held in district headquarters across more..

Q&A: Will Sri Lanka's high deficit further delay IMF loan?

June 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is planning to reduce its budget deficit to 8 percent of GDP this year, well short of an IMF target for a $2.6 billion loan and the government's own official estimate, a top treasury official said. Here are some questions and answers on the implications of the higher than expected deficit for the IMF loan that was delayed after Sri Lanka failed to achieve a deficit target last year. more..

Sri Lankan team knocks out Bollywood stars in charity matches

June 5 (IANS) Sangakara XI, boasting of some Sri Lankan greats, knocked off two teams consisting of Bollywood stars to emerge the winner of a charity cricket match 'series' played here Friday as part of the ongoing IIFA weekend. Sangakara XI, consisting of the Sri Lankan captian-wicketkeeper himself, along with Muthiah Murlidharan, Upul Chandana and Aravinda de Silva, among others, more..

Sri Lankan airline chief calls for fully liberalized skies with India

June 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka and India should fully liberalize air services within the two countries, further strengthen links between them and set an example to South Asia, the head of the island's state-run national carrier said. "The time has come to a fully liberalize aviation in the region, which will be an example in the pursuit of true intra-regional trade," SriLankan Airlines chairman Nishanta Wickremasinghe told more..

Central Bank releases latest economic, social statistics

June 5 (LBO) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said it has just released its annual publication 'Economic and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka 2010' with data on a wide range of economic and social developments. "The vast amount of data included in this publication will be of use for analysing trends in the economy, and will be of use for entrepreneurs, policy makers, researchers, teachers, students and the general public," more..

Discovery Launches Its Two Channels In Sri Lanka

June 5 (BMI) Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, a division of the number-one nonfiction media company Discovery Communications has announced the launch of Discovery Science and Discovery Turbo in Sri Lanka. The two new networks will air on Dialog TV – the country’s premier DTH operator. Discovery Networks enjoy immense affinity amongst viewers in Sri Lanka. more..

Church does not stop helping civil war refugees

June 5 (AN) Although Caritas-Sri Lanka is quite involved in helping civil war victims, “we are not completely satisfied” by the outcome of its work because “the needs of the people are so many. We can provide aid, but people need so many things. We cannot meet all their needs or requests. For what we have done for them, I, as [a member of the] Church, am happy, but I also know that the needs are so many. There is so much to do,” more..

Sri Lanka a new hotspot for India Inc

June 5 (HT) Sri Lanka is looking to be the next big investment destination for India Inc as the decades-long armed conflict is finally over in the island nation. India, which is already the largest source of imports (nearly 17.8 per cent), ranks among the top five investors in Sri Lanka. It was the second highest donor country — with $209.2 million (Rs 978 crore) in loans and grants — next only to Japan last year. more..

Anupam Kher to open acting school in Sri Lanka

June 5 (PTI) Veteran actor Anupam Kher today said that the Sri Lankan government has requested him to open a branch of his acting school, 'An Actor Prepares' in the country. The 55 year-old-actor, who was felicitated with the CNBC-IIFA global leadership award for his contribution to the field of art by President Mahinda Rajpaksha here at the IIFA Global Business Forum admitted, more..

'Raavan' team not scared of Tamil protests: Nikhil Dwivedi

June 5 (IANS) Reufting reports that 'Raavan' director Mani Ratnam and actors Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai skipped the IIFA event here because of the Tamil protests back home, Nikhil Dwivedi said Friday this was just not true. 'Raavan' was supposed to be screened at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards here and the director not only cancelled the screening but also refused to attend it, citing work pressure. more..

Sri Lanka May tourist arrivals jump 42 percent

June 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals jumped by 42.3 percent in May compared to a year earlier, boosted by the end of the country's 25-year civil war, tourism board data showed on Friday. Arrivals have risen for 12 straight months since the end of the war in May last year, and were up 31.2 percent in the June 2009-May 2010 period compared to a year earlier. The hotel and travel index has almost tripled since the war's end, more..

Sri Lanka invites Indian investment

June 5 (Hindu) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday urged the Indian business community to explore abundant opportunities in infrastructure, agri-business and services sectors in the post-conflict era. Addressing the Business Forum organised jointly by the Indian and Sri Lankan Chambers of Commerce here to coincide with the IIFA Awards Weekend, Mr. Rajapaksa said that the new areas and sectors have opened out since more..

Tamil political prisoners appeal to TNA seeking amnesty

June 5 (TN) Tamil political prisoners held in Welikada and Magazine prisons have appealed to TNA to move an adjournment motion in Parliament when it is scheduled to meet next week 8 June demanding general amnesty for them. More than one hundred and twenty Tamil political prisoners are held in these prisons and most of them are yet to be produced in court. The political prisoners have requested TNA leader R. Sampanthan to work for their release. more..

SLA denies permission for fishing in areas allowed for resettlement in Jaffna

June 5 (TN) The residents of the coastal villages of Jaffna town evicted by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in 1996, though permitted to resettle in their villages, complain that SLA does not allow them to engage in their livelihood of fishing, sources in Jaffna said. The uprooted civilians are greatly shocked to find their lands and properties destroyed while a great part of their villages is still being occupied by SLA, more..

JR used to read ‘Dammapadaya’ to learn patience: Ranil

June 5 (DM) Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkita Thera yesterday said that a leader would get his place at the proper time. “Till then one must not be impatient. Leadership will come automatically. If one tries to take it by force he or she will lose it forever. Leadership is not a post that could be taken by force,” the chief prelate said. more..

Healing of memories needed in the North and South

June 5 (LG) Years of conflict and living amidst suffering and death has traumatised a whole people. Particularly the 300,000 or so who survived the final months of the war in Vanni have seen much and undergone much. Nearly all of them have had some psychosocial impact on their lives. Their problems began with their repeated displacements over the period 2008-2009. In the final months of the war, more..

Rajapakse Regim : A veritable member of global tyranny

June 5 (LG) As you are aware, Sri Lanka is one of the oldest democracies in Asia where all, irrespective of their ethnicities or religion, had enjoyed certain inalienable rights and privileges of democracy. One such privilege is the universal suffrage which we had since 1931 when it was called Ceylon. The world is also aware of the unfortunate and brutal civil war which lasted more than three decades which led to more than 80,000 deaths. more..

Minister to inspect de-mining in Vavuniya

June 5 (MoD) Resettlement Minister Milroy Fernando will inspect the de-mined areas in the Vavuniya District before the new batch of Internally Displaced Persons were settled in the area Sunday. There were around 17,282 families to be resettled in Vavuniya district and the total number of IDPs remaining to be resettled now was 57,012. The government's aim is to send the remaining IDPs back to their native places as soon as the land area is cleared of mines, more..

India releases 47 jailed Lankan fishermen

June 5 (MoD) Indian authorities have released 47 Sri Lankan fishermen from Indian jails in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu States after talks between Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratna and Indian authorities. There are 70 fishermen still in Indian prisons apart from the 47 who have been released. The fishermen were held in Indian custody for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) over to the Indian side more..

Lessons learnt Commission commenced work from Kadirgamar Institute

June 5 (MoD) The Commission on "Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation" which will function from the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in Colombo has already taken steps to commence initial work, in keeping with the wide mandate issued to them to ensure independent functioning. President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with the Members of the Commission on "Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation" at Temple Trees yesterday more..

North east to get golden share of the development aid

June 5 (MoD) Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa pointed out that 60 percent of the aid given by lending agencies had been diverted for the development of the North and East of Sri Lanka which was devastated by the 30 year prolonged war with tiger terrorists. The government has accorded the maximum support for immediate development and the resettlement of IDPs in the North. more..

By importing 20000 Tons inferior quality petrol CPC sends Rs. 1610 million down the drain!

June 5 (LeN) Because the petrol imported from Singapore by the Ceylon petroleum Corporation (CPC) has is of inferior quality, its unloading has been suspended. Because of this import the CPC has suffered a loss of US Dollars ten million forty four lakhs which converted to SL rupees amounts to Rs. 1610 million 28 lakhs. What has triggered the suspicion is the payment of vessel charges on the 22nd May and more..

Learning old lessons from a new ‘Lessons Learnt’ commission: the ‘home-grown’ way?

June 5 (GV) One year after the war, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has established another commission; known as the ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’. Eight eminent members have been appointed. The Commission is chaired by a former Attorney General. The Commission is to ‘inquire and report’ the following: the facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA); more..