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Koapaay Teacher trainees boycott lectures

Mar 17 (TN) Nearly 300 teacher trainees of Koapaay Government Teachers’ Training College began a boycott of lectures Tuesday demanding better basic facilities and the removal of their principal alleging that he is involved in malpractices swindling college resources. Ninety-five percentage of the teacher trainees are Muslims from Eastern Province of whom many had sought refugee with Tamil families in the peninsula because of the lack of basic facilities, more..

4,15,432 public servants eligible for postal voting

Mar 17 (TN) 4,15,432 government servants are eligible for postal voting in the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka. 4,77,110 public servants applied for postal voting. Applications of 61,678 of them were rejected for various reasons. However there is an increase in the number of public servants eligible for postal voting by 14, 314 than during the presidential election held on January 26 this year, more..

Ven. Uvatemme Sumana Thero & 4 others further remanded

Mar 17 (LT) Five including Ven. Uvatenne Sumana Thero arrested and have been remanded in connection with the incident where it is alleged that weapons and bombs were found at Bodhirajarama Viharaya at Malgawatta were ordered to be further remanded till the 30th by Colombo Additional Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara yesterday. Ven Uvatenne Sumana Thero, Thamil Chelvam, Dhammike Attanayake, Raja Balan and Subramanium Sengaeshwaran were ordered to more..

Railway Track to Omanthai nears completion

Mar 17 (LP) The final construction phase of the 10-km long railway track stretch from Thandikulam to Omanthai is nearing completion. The project is conducted with the support of 5 Field Engineer Regiment of Corps of Engineers in the Army. Army Engineers in support of the government’s ongoing reconstruction of the northern bound railway line responded positively to the challenge and commenced De-mining work more..

Petition filed for Eknaligoda put off to 27th April

Mar 17 (LT) The Appeal Court put off until 27th April the petition filed by the wife of Prageeth Eknaligoda and his two children seeking an order from Court to produce Eknaligoda, who has been disappeared without any information. The petition came before Appeal Court Judges Ranjith Silva and D.S.T. Lekamvasam yesterday. The DIG in charge of CID, Inspector of Police at Homagama Police and IGP Mahinda Balasooriya have been named as respondents. more..

Ballot papers for postal voting to be delivered

Mar 17 (LP) The ballot papers for postal voting of the General Election will be posted today. According to the Election Secretariat the security/insured packets of ballot papers will be received by the Returning Officers in the next few days and Returning Officers are instructed to ensure the safety of all security packets received in their offices and to ensure that these packets are held in safe custody in the respective offices, more..

Govt. to increase sugar production

Mar 17 (GDI) The Government is in the process of reviewing four sugar manufacturing plants at Pelawatta, Hingurana, Kantale and Sevanagala in order to produce at least a 30 to 40 percent of the country’s sugar requirement in the near future. According to Tea and Sugar Research Institute (TSRI) sources India which produced and exported sugar earlier is now importing sugar from other countries due to crop failures. more..

'Nagamu Purawaera' first phase successful

Mar 17 (LP) The first phase of the programme implemented under “Nagamu Purawaera” which was initiated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been successfully completed. The National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) issuing a press release in this regard said that the ‘Nagamu Puravara’ programme has been speedily implemented to provide basic amenities for underserved settlements in the city of Colombo. more..

Court to hear Anoma`s case

Mar 17 (LNP) The Habeas Corpus application filed to the Court of Appeal by Anoma Fonseka was fixed to be taken up before a three judge bench on March 19. Habeas Corpus application was filed on Thursday before the Court of Appeal seeking the Court to direct the Army Commander, Army Provost Marshal and Navy Commander to produce Gen. (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka to the Court to be dealt with according to law and to discharge him. more..

UNP manifesto released, gradual pay hike promised

Mar 17 (LNP) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday insisted that his party would increase public servants salaries by Rs. 10,000 gradually beginning from an increase of Rs. 3500 with immediate effect. Asked why the UNP had not increased public servants salaries during the period of 2001 to 2004 April, the Opposition leader said that the cost of living index had been very low at that time, but more..

Editorial: Ministerial balderdash

Mar 17 (LNP) Our politicians are never at fault. They only find fault with others. Even if a parliamentarian were to stab a person to death and get caught for that some of MPs, in fact, should be behind bars for such crimes he would readily pass the blame on to the blacksmith who made the knife! Minister Bandula Gunawardane has had a brainwave. He has found the root cause of the deterioration of parliamentary standards! The rot set in, he has revealed, the day the JVP gained representation in Parliament. more..

'Abuse of girls at Kurunegala town, a major problem'

Mar 17 (CT) Sexual abuse of a large number of young girls coming to Kurunegala town for tuition classes at the weekends has become a major problem, UNF organizer for Galgamuwa Upulanganie Malagamuwa said. Police investigations have found that as many as 37 of these girls are abused by their boyfriends on an hourly basis at hotels, restaurants and secluded places, she pointed out. Mrs. Malagamuwa was speaking at a meeting for women at Devasarana Centre in Kurunegala. more..

Champika Ranawaka on YaTV

Astrologers arrested for violating visa regulations

Mar 17 (DN) Four Indian Astrologers, engaged in forecasting predictions for a fee, while on tourist Visa's, have been arrested by Immigration and Emigration Sleuths. According to Sri Lankan Visa regulations engaging in employment or business while on tourist Visa's, which are issued at the port of entry is banned and is considered a punishable offence. more..

Fertilizer subsidy to continue without limitations

Mar 17 (DN) The fertilizer subsidy currently offered to paddy farmers since 2005 will be continued without any limitations in the future. National Fertilizer Secretary Office, Director Ranjan Dharmawardena stated that the fertilizer price per 50 kilos will be maintained at Rs 350. During the past four years the international fertilizer market has seen great fluctuations in price, with a commercial price peak as high as Rs.7,800 per fifty kilos. more..

Over 150 FTZ employees hospitalized with food poisoning

Mar 17 (DN) Over 150 persons have been hospitalized yesterday from a private company in the Biyagama Free Trade Zone with abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea. They were admitted to hospitals following episodes of vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea that had occurred after eating a special Tuesday meal provided by the company. There are 850 male and female workers in this company, of them more than 150 have been taken sick with more..

President to open Mannar bridge, causeway tomorrow

Mar 17 (GDI) The new Mannar bridge and the causeway connecting the Mannar Island with the mainland constructed at a cost of Rs 2,460 million will be opened to the public by President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow. Around 41,000 people in Mannar Island will directly benefit from this project which will improve market approachability and facilitate transportation at a low cost. more..

'It is UNP which gave pride of place to the Goviya and developed SL's agriculture since the time of DS'

Mar 17 (UNP) It is the UNP which had always recognized that Sri Lanka is essentially an agricultural country and developed it in that direction. The first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, D S Senanayake, the leader of the UNP party and fondly remembered as the Father of the Nation realized the importance of the naturally fertile soil of SL -UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasooriya said more..

Tussle over interest rates ahead of monetary policy review

Mar 17 (Island) The money market and the monetary authority are in a tussle over interest rates and dealers say the Central Bank’s monetary policy review to be released tomorrow and the weekly Treasury bill auction today would help give an indication as to how market rates would perform as inflation expectations and government demand for funds are putting pressure on interest rates. more..

'UNF manifesto stands out for its unique two page two year success plan'

Mar 17 (UNP) UNF leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said, the UNF Manifesto which was released yesterday is confined to two leaves outlining the successful programs and plans the UNF envisages to implement within two years when his Govt. is installed in power. It is unique because it is comprehensive, practical, practicable and committed to full implementation, in contrast to high sounding chinthanas and mantharas in 84 pages more..

A battle between SLFP and UNP candidates

Mar 17 (Island) In the Southern Province comprising the Galle, Matara and Hambantota electoral districts, there’ll be a three-cornered fight for 25 seats at the April 8 parliamentary election. Galle, Matara and Hambantota are represented by 10, 8 and 7 members respectively. In line with the Parliamentary Election Act, for each electoral district three candidates more than the actual number of elected is fielded either by recognised political parties or more..

Justice Minister calls for special effort to clear Colombo of heroin users

Mar 17 (Island) Welcoming the recent recovery of 70 kgs of heroin by the police, Sri Lanka National Congress leader Justice and Law Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda said a special effort was needed to clear Colombo and its suburbs of heroin users and suppliers. Minister Moragoda told The Island that Colombo was the worst affected, though heroin use was rampant in many other areas. more..

Now, MPs’ personal aides seek their pound of flesh

Mar 17 (Island) Following a controversial decision to pay the March salary of all MPs after the dissolution of Parliament on February 8, their personal aides are now demanding their salaries. They are entitled to a vehicle each, fuel allowance, mobile phones and a range of other perks. Among the staff are family members and relatives of parliamentarians. more..

'Parliament term will be reduced to 5 years'

Mar 17 (DM) The main opposition UNP in its election manifesto launched yesterday vowed to cut down the term of Parliament to five years from the present six years if it is elected to office at the upcoming parliamentary election. The party said it would introduce sweeping changes to build a new society based on good governance, achieve economic development and promised a host of concessions to the people on adopting a pro agriculture policy which the party held in the past. more..

Ban, Pillay discuss Lanka

Mar 17 (DM) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in touch with the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay on the establishment of a Panel of Experts to advise him on accountability issues as they might apply to Sri Lanka, a UN spokesman said. The spokesman said the Secretary-General had not yet appointed a Panel of Experts who would be asked to advise him on accountability issues on Sri Lanka as he was still to consider terms of references of such a panel. more..

Cinnamon Lakeside CSO remanded

Mar 17 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate today remanded the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel till March 31 for allegedly deleting the data from the Cinnamon Lakeside Security Camera sets of January 26 and 27. General Sarath Fonseka had been confined at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel on January 26 and 27, soon after the Presidential Election, allegedly stating that he had been under house arrest. more..

Govt. challenges AI on hit list

Mar 17 (DM) The Defence Ministry yesterday challenged international human rights group Amnesty International (AI) to release the alleged media hit list in it’s possession to the public to prove that such a list actually exists. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that for the past four years, gross allegations were being made against the government and organizations such as AI were continuing this trend. more..

DNA vows to defeat federalism

Mar 17 (Island) The JVP led Democratic National Alliance yesterday, pledged to safeguard the unitary status of the country and to defeat all attempts to bring about a federal model to devolve power. Releasing its election manifesto, the DNA promised to focus on national reconciliation through decentralising of the administration on the basis of a scientific model and more..

Public sector employees sick of elections?

Mar 17 (BL) The Elections Secretariat had received 477,110 applications for postal voting for the upcoming General Election out of which 61,678 applications were rejected either because those were not filled accurately or have not met the required criteria. But that was not because those public sector employees were not literate or not educated enough to comprehend the application form. more..

UPFA will make country prosperous - Defence Secretary

Mar 17 (DN) The people have wholeheartedly accepted the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ policies and the Presidential Election victory has amply demonstrated this fact, said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at a meeting with Kelaniya Samurdhi recipients and the people of Hunupitiya, Wattala in in the Kelaniya electorate on Monday. The meeting was organised by Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman more..

'People’s joy a blessing to defeat conspiracies against nation'

Mar 17 (DN) The joy experienced by people who visit Nagadeepa and Nallur Kovil will be a blessing for us to defeat conspiracies and false allegations against the nation, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa. At present, hundreds and thousands of people go on pilgrimage to Nagadeepa. When they return, they tell us that they never though it possible to make this journey. more..

'President Rajapakse increased his salary three fold in 2006'

Mar 17 (UNP) Mangala Samaraweera said, the President Rajapakse proved what he is truly capable of, and his ambitions in becoming the President of this country by increasing his salary three fold in 2006. His predecessors could have also done that, but they did not, because they put the people’s welfare before their own. His predecessors could have also done that, but they did not, more..

'No one can stop General entering Parliament'

Mar 17 (LT) For the first time in Sri Lanka a leader of a political movement is contesting an election while being imprisoned and no one would be able to stop Gen. Sarath Fonseka entering Parliament even if he is locked up in a camp of security forces said General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at an election rally of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) more..

Editorial: Memories are beautiful……

Mar 17 (DM) Beautiful indeed are the memories of May 18, 2009 when the whole country celebrated the unification of the motherland. Would the people have scaled down the intensity of their celebrations if they knew that ten months down line the commander who led the army would face a court martial? That he would claim that Sri Lanka has committed war crimes and pit himself against the President who gave the political leadership to war. more..

Sri Lanka general's legal battles

Sri Lanka hotels dress up for post-war rush

Mar 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's hotel owners are racing to refurbish and add thousands more rooms as foreign holidaymakers pour into the country after the end of nearly four decades of ethnic bloodshed. Leading hotel groups plan to spend millions of dollars on new decor and facilities for the influx of tourists drawn to the plentiful sunshine, beaches and tropical wildlife more..

Hearing in court-martial of Sri Lankan postponed

Mar 17 (AP) Judges presiding over the court-martial of Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate indefinitely postponed a hearing into one allegation against him Wednesday, a defense attorney said, but proceedings will continue on another charge. Sarath Fonseka, who as army chief led Sri Lanka to victory in its decades-long civil war but then fell out of favor after more..

UN Chief to go ahead with proposal for panel on Sri lanka

Mar 17 (Hindu) The United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that he is going ahead with his proposal for a panel of experts on Sri Lanka as part of an accountability process following the end of the civil war in island nation despite vehement objections from Colombo and defended it on the ground that the panel would not infringe on the country’s sovereignty. more..

Debrief News - 17. 03. 2010

Sri Lanka risk rating seen covering factors outside war

Mar 18 (LBO) Getting Sri Lanka a more favourable insurance risk rating involves not just the absence of war but other factors like media freedom and corporate governance, officials and analysts said. The government is lobbying London underwriters to remove the island as a 'listed' area for war risk insurance following the end of its 30-year ethnic conflict in an effort to attract investors required for post-war reconstruction. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom says shifting to new network

Mar 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom,said it is transforming its traditional network to a Next Generation Network offering higher speeds and better services to customers as part of a new corporate mission. Sri Lanka Telecom said its new approach would enable it to establish itself not only in the communications sector, but also in the information and entertainment sectors, which are increasingly being converged. more..

'Elections Commissioner has not granted permission for EU monitors'

Mar 18 (LNW) SLFP (M) Wing Leader Mangala Samaraweera today (17) said the Elections Commissioner had not granted permission to the European Union (EU) poll observers to arrive in Sri Lanka to monitor the April 8 general elections. Samaraweera said, “We have reliable information that the international election monitors have not yet been given permission to monitor the general elections by the Elections Commissioner.” more..

'UNF will not re pay illegal loans taken by Govt.'

Mar 18 (LeN) UNP and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the media today (17) said, the election manifesto of the UNF launched yesterday aims at social and welfare benefits for the people by stimulating a commercial economy. The UNF Govt. will not allow anyone to creep into this country and ruin its economy, he added. He explained that the private sector means the entire cross section of business people from the pavement hawker upwards. more..

SLC Inter-Provincial tournament to miss star power

Mar 18 (CI) The longer version of Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) three provincial tournaments - the four-day matches - commences on Thursday but will feature none of the key national players, who are doing duty in the ongoing IPL. The first-class tournament will not only be missing some glamour but will be without a sixth team - the SLC Combined XI, comprising mainly schoolboy cricketers who got good exposure playing along with the established stars in the Provincial Twenty20 and limited-overs tournaments. more..

Danuna still in the country, CID tells court

Mar 18 (CT) Danuna Tilakaratne, the son-in-law of Gen. Sarath Fonseka, is still in hiding in Sri Lanka, the CID has informed the court. Colombo Fort magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today (Mar. 17) took up a case pertaining to an alleged financial fraud by Hicorp Ltd, in which he is the prime suspect. The CID informed the magistrate that the suspect was using global roaming facilities to give the impression that he was not in the island. more..

Sri Lanka: Another country where democracy doesn't work

Mar 18 (NP) One moment, the nation’s military hero and army chief, lauded for putting an end to 37 years of civil war and vanquishing the Tamil Tiger rebels. The next, a reviled and disgraced opposition leader, clapped up in jail on unspecified charges. That’s General Sarath Fonseka of Sri Lanka. His court martial for illegally engaging in politics while still an army officer started Tuesday. The trial is being held in secret, by a panel of officers junior in rank to himself. more..

Sri Lanka shares near 1-month low as hotel shares drag

Mar 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares fell on Wednesday to a near one-month low, led by Light House Hotels LHL.CM amid profit-taking, while foreigners continued to exit, despite better earning outlook and post-war economic optimism. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange fell 14.55 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3768.29, its lowest close since Feb. 19. It had hit a record high of 3,865.17 points on Monday. more..

'Mahinda’s Sinhala regime will swallow Eastern Province in 10 years'

Mar 18 (TN) “Mahinda Rajapakse’’s Sinhala regime plans to take over the Eastern Province under its complete control by wiping out Tamil representation but Tamil National Alliance will certainly defeat this insidious plan,” R. Sampanthan, leader of TNA, said addressing the first TNA election campaign meeting in Jaffna district held Wednesday at Aavarangkaal, sources in Jaffna said. more..

EPDP obstructs other parties campaigning in the islets of Jaffna

Mar 18 (TN) Candidates contesting Jaffna district electorate allege that supporters of EPDP, a constituent party in the ruling UPFA, obstruct other political parties from electioneering in the islets of Jaffna which are under the complete control of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN). EPDP is trying to secure a seat in the parliamentary election in the islets of Jaffna with threats and physical harm to the contestants and supporters of other political parties, more..

Govt discusses an 18m USD World Bank loan for tourism

Mar 18 (GDI) The Government is reported to be negotiating an eighteen million US dollar concessionary loan with World Bank to be used in the Tourism sector. It will be used to build technical capacity in the Tourism sector, review laws and develop infrastructure to meet the increasing demand caused by the increase in tourist arrivals. 4.8 million dollars out of the total amount would be utilized to more..