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Rs. 150 m lost due to normal mail use by state, private sector

June 5 (CT) The practice by state and private sector institutions to send their correspondence on normal mail, instead of business mail, is incurring the Postal Department an annual loss of around Rs. 150 million, reports say. Without sending the letters on business mail, these institutions paste a Rs. 5.00 postage stamp on an envelope to send it on normal mail. If a letter is by business mail, a Rs. 15.00 postage stamp should be used. more..

Mahathir Mohamed in Sri Lanka next week

June 5 (CT) Malaysia's former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed is due in Sri Lanka next week, said the ministry of external affairs. He has been acclaimed as the architect of Malaysia's transformation into a modern economic power in Asia. Deputy minister Geethanjana Gunawardena will welcome Dr. Mohamed on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake on June 08. more..

Editorial: Taking swipes, her way

June 5 (DM) Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has always been a newsman’s delight. Her ability to blow hot and cold and speak her mind ensures a good copy before it pricks the pride of parties concerned. As such the contents of the former President’s latest public speech at a ceremony held to mark the completion of 22 years of the provincial council system, does not come as a surprise. While thanking President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Bus fares, prices of motorcycles & milk food to go up

June 5 (LT) Market sources reveal that bus fares, prices of milk food and motorcycles would go up within the next few weeks. The revision for bus fares that was due at the beginning of this month will be implemented in July states National Transport Commission. The Commission states statistics relevant to revision of fares are being studied and the final report would be handed over to the Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama by the middle of June. more..

Health Ministry says no medicine shortage

June 5 (DN) The Health Ministry yesterday vehemently denied press reports about a shortage of medicine and vaccines needed by child Thalassaemia patients as false and baseless and said adequate stocks of these medicines were available with the Health Department supplies division as well as the respective hospitals. The Ministry said that Minister Maithripala Sirisena who investigated into certain newspaper reports about the death of four child patients due to more..

Editorial: More leeches on the way

June 5 (LNP) Sri Lanka seems to be moving towards a situation where there will be a political party for every ten people or so. Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake has said new political parties could apply for registration. He is likely to get quite a number of applications, though we already have enough and more political parties numbering 66. The reason for this kind of exponential growth of political parties could be more..

Five new meet records set up

June 5 (LNP) Five new meet records were established at the 53rd Junior Athletic Championship which began at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Diyagama yesterday. W.M.N.G. Abeyratne (Sri Lanka Army) set a new record for the 5000m in the Under-23 Men s event with a time of 15.00.6sec. T.M.U.M.K. Seelaratne of Sri Lanka Air Force established the other new meet record for the 3000m Steeple Chase in the Under-23 Women s event with a time of 11.48.9sec. more..

Rs 2 billion windpower plant for Kalpitiya

June 5 (DN) A windpower generation project designed for the North Western province will generate 25 gigawatt hours of energy per year to the national grid. It is expected to start operations by the end of this year. A Singaporean company, Daily Life Renewable Energy and several other Sri Lankan investors have shown interest in setting up this windpower generation plant in Kalpitiya supporting the national energy grid, more..

Cader still undecided

June 5 (DN) UNP Kandy District Parliamentarian Abdul Cader said he stands by his statement that he will not get involved in UNP politics and expressed his displeasure over the manner in which UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was handling party affairs. He said he was frustrated with the UNP because of the present leadership. “I have no interest in the present party leader at all,” he said. more..

Sincerity in delivery and abundance of opportunity - President

June 5 (DN) “The sincerity of our government has been in its delivery and not in its promises made.” This was how President Mahinda Rajapaksa set out to the world, the message of the Government’s record of success in both the defeat of terrorism and the swift moves towards economic success, reconstruction and reconciliation. It was the key message delivered through the Business Forum held yesterday, more..

Rtd. General SF's Secretary re-remanded

June 5 (LNP) Colombo Chief Magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne yesterday re-remanded Senaka Haripriya Silva, alias Sha Silva, who had been earlier taken into custody for allegedly conspiring against the government. The suspect, a former army officer, had been the Co-ordinating Secretary to defeated presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka. When the case was taken up, there was a legal tussle between the CID and more..

SLC security budget exceeds 23 million for ten days

June 5 (Island) Following the government’s admission that Sri Lanka Cricket is the third most corrupt institution in the country, more news about corrupt deals are emerging. ‘The Island’ learns SLC’s controversial security measures, that have earned the wrath of public, media and even police is going to exceed 23 million rupees. SLC was severely criticized for allocating massive funds for security during several home series last year, more..

Another setback amidst UNP reforms: Podinilame appointed Dy. Chairman of Sab PC

June 5 (Island) Close on the heels of the Court of Appeal dismissing a UNP move to expel Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councillor Jayatilleke Podinilame for supporting President Rajapaksa’s candidature at the presidential election, the UPFA has rewarded the veteran politician. He has been appointed Deputy Chairman of the Sabaragamuwa PC in place of Ranjith Bandara, who succeeded Athula Kumara Rahubedde as Chairman of the Council. more..

'State ventures will not be sold but made profitable'

June 5 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa would never hand over State enterprises to the private sector, but make every attempt to make them profitable ventures, Minister of Housing and Construction, Minister, Wimal Weerawansa, said after an official visit to the Government Factory at Kolonnawa. Addressing the employees at the Government Factory, he said that the best example was the taking back of SriLankan Airlines from the control of Emirates. more..

Labour Ministry blown offside

June 5 (Island) The Trade Union Confederation is accusing the Ministry of Labour of violating standing orders of the International Labour Organisation by sending private sector trade Union representatives from Sri Lanka for the Annual Constitutional Summit of the ILO to Geneva. General Secretary of the TUC, Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday that according to ILO standing orders the trade union representatives should be those who represent the majority of the country’s workforce. more..

Minister CB dressed up as Chaplin

June 5 (LT) A poster carrying the image of Sports Minister C.B. Ratnayake with popular comedian Charlie Chaplin's face has been circulated around Sri Lanka Cricket on Friday. Sri Lanka Cricket sources say that the poster had been prepared and circulated by Interim Committee Secretary Nishantha Ranatunge. Meanwhile, Nishantha Ranatunge had decided to travel overseas for the 33rd time and had left for Dubai on the 4th. more..

'Sri Lanka aims for investment grade rating by 2013'

June 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka is aiming to push its speculative sovereign rating to investment grade by 2013 by fixing government finances, keeping inflation low and growth high, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We will take necessary steps to improve our credit rating," Cabraal said. "I have been critical of credit rating agencies, but we will take the necessary steps to improve our credit rating more..

'Lanka can learn from Japan'

June 5 (DM) Japanese ambassador Kunio Takahashi observed that it is the communication gap between Sri Lanka and the global community that has contributed to creating misconceptions between the two parties. “This has resulted in the negative attitude displayed towards Sri Lanka by a section of the global community and international agencies. “I think there was a breakdown of communication between the global community and Sri Lanka as more..

Lankan war was corporate one, says Arundhati Roy

June 5 (TOI) The war in Sri Lanka was not just a war of the Sri Lankans against the Tamil people, according to writer-activist Arundhati Roy. "That was a corporate war. All the large Indian companies are now heading to Sri Lanka to make more money," Roy said. "The political parties of Tamil Nadu were the only ones who could have stopped the genocide in Sri Lanka, but they chose to stand by silently. more..

The 'Intermestic' Tamil issue in Indo-Lanka relations

June 5 (DBS) The term “Intermestic” was first used by Henry Kissinger to explain international issues having domestic economic implications like for instance the middle-eastern situation abroad impacting on the price of gas in the US. The term coined by Kissinger took the “inter” from International and “mestic” from Domestic. It was however veteran Journalist Mervyn de Silva who popularised the term in Sri Lanka. more..

A Sri Lankan re-education for Tamil child soldiers

June 5 (BBC) What happens to child soldiers when the army they are fighting for loses the war? In Sri Lanka, some teenagers who fought for the Tamil Tigers have gone back to school, to be rehabilitated by an officer from the victorious government forces. Just before 7.30 in the morning a steady stream of teenagers heads across a courtyard in Colombo's Hindu College. more..

Sri Lanka to allow foreigners in domestic league

June 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka plans to welcome foreign players to compete for the first time for local teams in a revamped Twenty20 format, a top administrator said Saturday. Modelled on the glitzy Indian Premier League (IPL), the new format is also aimed at attracting overseas sponsorship, Sri Lanka's chief cricket selector, Aravinda de Silva, said. "This (new) Inter Provincial League will create opportunities for players, spectators and viewers and more..

Chief Prelates to ask President not to sign CEPA with India

June 5 (DM) The Mahanayake Theras of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters yesterday said they would ask President Mahinda Rajapaksa not to sign the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India if it were to have an adverse impact on Sri Lanka and its economy. Most Venerable Thibbotuwave Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Maha Nayaka Thera and Most Venerable Udagama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera gave more..

Providing ‘home-grown’ solutions in Sri Lanka: Long live the corrupt!

June 5 (Island) Minister of Sports C. B. Ratnayake’s sensational revelation last week that Sri Lanka Cricket was a rat hole, where corruption thrived attracted headlines and cricket supporters were looking for a change. But barely 48 hours after the allegation, the minister extended the term of D. S. de Silva as Chairman of the Interim Committee and Nishantha Ranatunga as its Secretary. The third individual, Suraj Dandeniya, the highest paid employee at at SLC’s World Cup Secretariat has also survived. more..

Why not signing the CEPA is inimical to the interests of Sri Lanka

June 6 (TC) When the first bilateral agreement setting a legal framework for services trade, the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement, went through, it became the main issue in a general election that saw Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, its principal proponent, win. When the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement went through in 1998 there was barely any public discussion. Both were not optimal in public-policy terms. Bilateral agreements, more..

The new constitution should target national unity as one of its primary objectives

June 6 (TC) Most of our politicians, intellectuals and other opinion-makers continue to give prominence to the issues that divide us and offer myriad solutions to deal with the fragmented society that we have become. What is really needed is to look at what we are (a motley collection of Veddahs, Sinhalese, Tamils, Moors, Malays, Burghers, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, other groups and random mixes of all of these) and more..

Chandimal ton sends India packing

June 6 (CI) It's a script that never seems to go stale. Sri Lanka have yet again disposed India from a multi-nation tournament. They were splendid today; they hustled on the field, the spinners kept hauling them back when India threatened to break free, and Dinesh Chandimal made the chase look ridiculously easy with a charming ton. more..

Sri Lanka’s top Central Banker is big on Bollywood

June 6 (WSJ) Sri Lanka’s top banker, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, had breakfast with Bollywood stars Saturday morning. Like most Sri Lankans, he is a fan of Indian films. However the governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka also watches movies here for news about the economy. “I would like to see that people are going to the movies, that would give us an indication” consumer sentiment is strong, he told more..

Vietnam trade delegation visits Sri Lanka

June 6 (LBO) A trade delegation from Vietnam headed by the country's vice trade minister will visit Sri Lanka next week and also form a joint business council with the island's Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. "This delegation from Viet Nam is a state promoted initiative which encompasses the state sector through representation by high government officials led by a powerful Vice Minister in charge of Trade and Industry," more..

Sinhala Film Industry Given shabby treatment by organizers of Bollywood IIFA ceremony

June 6 (TC) The much touted IIFA awards finally arrived in Colombo with (reportedly) some 2,000 Indian delegates in tow. Prior to that Colombo was agog with urgent preparations at breakneck speed and with much fanfare. Sri Lanka went extra miles to facilitate the arrival of the stars and the delegates. Red tape was cut, airline tickets handed out, procedures relaxed, money was found. more..

Sri Lanka firms struggle with rising labour costs: reports

June 6 (LBO) A coir factory in a coconut growing northeastern district in Sri Lanka is facing labour problems and a yet another state enterprises is facing financial difficulties, media reports said. The Sunday Times newspaper said a four year old export oriented coir factory with Indian and Israeli collaboration has run into labor problems when its managers tried to improve labour productivity by outsourcing. more..

Pakistan's tallest player requests for special bed in Sri Lanka

June 6 (Nation) Pakistan cricket team’s new left-arm medium fast bowler Muhammad Irfan has requested the authorities to arrange for him a special-sized bed in Sri Lanka where he is selected in the team for the Asia Cup. “I am being told that all arrangements would be in place. I also need special-sized bats and pads to play,” he said exclusively to this paper from Gaddafi Stadium, where he is attending the team camp. more..

Mahinda 'Boycotts' IIFA function because Hindi film stars did not come to Temple Trees for brunch

June 6 (TC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday kept away from the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards’ gala night at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium along with almost all of Sri Lanka’s cinema personalities. President Rajapaksa was scheduled to attend the premier Indian film awards ceremony already rocked by controversy, as the chief guest. more..

Sumal wants Rs.19 Bn for Waters Edge

June 6 (SL) The Board of Investment Sri Lanka has been slapped with a whopping Rs. 19 billion claim by Asia Pacific Golf Courses Limited for its investment made at Waters Edge, Battaramulla. Sumal Perera, Chairman, Asia Pacific Golf Courses (APGC) is demanding a sum of Rs. 19,191,380,000.00 (Rupees Nineteen Billion One Hundred and Ninety One Million Three Hundred and Eighty Thousand) as damages from the BOI for its violation of the BOI-APGC Agreement. more..

More or fewer laws, rules and regulations?

June 6 (SL) The content of a news item in a recent issue of an English-language newspaper proclaimed that “the authorities” were going to ban the dumping of garbage from a local town in a crown forest where wild elephants were treating this human detritus as a veritable daily feast. What had provoked the response from “the authorities” was the fact that this situation exacerbated the human-elephant conflict in the area very significantly. more..

UNP leader got Rs. 48 mn from one “donor”

June 6 (SL) Sensational new information obtained by The Sunday Leader show that the former Chairman of the UNP and Ranil Wickremesinghe-confidant, Malik Samarawickrema, collected on behalf of UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe a huge Rs. 48 million from one “donor”. Swedish based Sri Lankan businessman, Sabir Hussein, 50, contacted The Sunday Leader with details. more..

Hingurana Sugar company raises concern

June 6 (SL) The State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry has initiated an investigation into the Hingurana Sugar Company, which is currently operating under a partnership between the government and private sector partners LOLC and Brown & Company. LOLC and Brown & Company together hold a 51% stake in Hingurana Sugar Company, while the government holds a 49% stake. The private partnership in Hingurana Sugar had been approved, more..

Editorial: A mandate for Mahinda

June 6 (SL) As has happened in the wake of each of its umpteen previous electoral defeats, the UNP is still spending its time licking its wounds — both metaphorically and otherwise — still trying to figure out just what went wrong. While Mahinda Rajapaksa is on a gallop – apart from hosting Bollywood stars and cricket matches – he is indeed firmly ensconced to stay in office until thy kingdom come and perhaps thereafter. more..

New Sport Minister: Hard words, soft deed

June 6 (SL) To say that the new Sport Minister’s thoughts, Monday, on the Sri Lanka Cricket Board was a breath of fresh air would be an understatement. Rather, Minister C.B. Ratnayake’s remark that cricket is “the third most corrupt institution behind education and the police” was more a tornado, which, while devastating surely the game’s administrators, can only have elicited the full-throated approval of the multitude. more..

Tiger infighting mounts in Europe

June 6 (SO) Two pro-LTTE activists were arrested in Paris on Friday following the death of Ramesh Sivarupan who is believed to be a member of the Ruthrakumar faction of the LTTE, according to informed sources. The sources said that Ramesh Sivarupan was kidnapped and taken in a van from his residence in Paris and was found near his house a few days ago with injuries. He succumbed to injuries at a hospital in Paris on Thursday. more..