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Banking stocks highest gainers

Mar 23 (GDI) Banking sector stocks were the highest gainers in the resurging Colombo Bourse in the second half of 2009, a report on the local banking sector said. The Bartleet Mallory Stock Brokers report on local banking sector said Year on Year (YoY) profit growth of around 3 percent and net interest margins of 4.6 percent saw Sri Lanka’s banking sector ride out the slowdown in the domestic economy due to the global financial crisis with a healthy and more..

Permanent military occupation of the North and East

Mar 23 (wsws) In an official gazette notification earlier this month, President Mahinda Rajapakse declared that the extensive network of army camps established during the war against the separatist LTTE will be made permanent. This indefinite military occupation of the northern and eastern provinces is aimed at the forcible suppression of the basic democratic rights not only of Tamils but of all working people. more..

Boston Lanka News Edition

Dubai’s health sector offers new opportunities for Sri Lankans

Mar 23 (SLNN) Dubai’s growing demand for health workers could open up new prospects for Sri Lankans seeking skilled jobs in the Middle East. Currently, only a handful of Sri Lankans are employed in Dubai’s health sector. “I see this as a huge opportunity as there are many in Sri Lanka who would benefit if the opportunities are (made) available,” said Wasantha Senanayake, Sri Lanka’s consul general in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. more..

Mastermind in attempt on Gotabhaya's life remanded

Mar 23 (CT) The man who is said to have masterminded the suicide attempt on the life of defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been produced before a court and remanded. The suspect appeared before Colombo chief magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne today (Mar. 22) and was sent into remand custody until March 30. Another suspect produced by the CID too, was remanded similarly. more..

For Mallika Hemachandra: Hobby becomes business

Mar 23 (DN) A business which started as a hobby is the success story of Mallika Hemachandra Jewellers. Mallika Hemachandra speaks to the Daily News Business on her success story. Excerpts of the interview. Q. What is your business and how do you set about it? A. Jewellery is my business. In my business we identify a specific market. Understand the customer and design jewellery in our design studio. more..

Archbishop expresses concern over Advertisement

Mar 23 (LP) The Archbishop of Colombo and the Catholic Community of the Archdiocese have expressed their grave concern and disapproval of the newspaper advertisement that appeared together with the election symbol of the party concerned, in the Lankadeepa of 22-03-2010 page 09, which appeals to the public to vote for General Sarath Fonseka. We denounce the use of the sacred image of Jesus Christ for election campaigns. more..

Parking slots for three-wheelers

Mar 23 (LP) Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said he will provide three-wheeler operators with parking space in every town. The three-wheeler operators are inconvenienced in every town due to the absence of a permanent parking area, the Minister said. He was addressing a group of trishaw owners and drivers at Maharagama recently. He said he would relax the restrictions on two stroke three-wheelers and more..

Bangladesh Army Officers here to share SL experience

Mar 23 (MoD) A high-level military delegation from People's Republic of Bangladesh, now in Sri Lanka met Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya. The Bangladeshi delegation, aimed at further promoting bilateral relations and the bondage between the two friendly Armies, has also expressed their overwhelming willingness to share each other's experience, more..

Light a candle for life and democracy in Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (LT) A protest campaign to force the Sri Lankan government to release General Sarath Fonseka and all political Prisoners; including Journalists, to cease undemocratic activities and human rights violations was held on the 19th March 2010, at Town Hall Square, Sydney, Australia. This was organized by the Campaign for Democracy in Sri Lanka. A large number of leaders and trade union members of Australia and more..

JAS condemns Sirasa attack

Mar 23 (LNW) The Journalists Against Suppression (JAS) while condemning the attack on the Sirasa media institution has called on the government to punish individuals who carried out the attack on the Sirasa head office in Colombo. JAS states that by investigating and bringing to book those who attacked Sirasa, the government could prove it was not involved in engineering the attack. JAS Convener Chandana Sirimalwatte issuing a statement said more..

Still waiting for justice in Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (GV) Several Commissions of Inquiry into Disappearances of Persons (COIs) had been appointed by successive governments since 1990. Of these, the writer had been the Secretary to what is known as the Central Zone Commission and the All Island Commission appointed in 1994 and 1998, respectively. Militancy of Sinhala youth in the South and the Tamil youth in the North resulted in what the NGOs estimate to be more..

Campaigning as a rehearsal?

Mar 23 (LNP) What is unfolding on the political front makes one`s gorge rise. The voter is treated to three things mud, more mud and still more mud. In the run-up to a crucial election, hardly any intelligent debate takes place on vital issues the country is faced with. Instead, we see cockfights and bullfights ad nauseam on TV. Campaigns of all parties are characterised by empty rhetoric, venomous outpouring, slander and plain obloquy. more..

Akon respects Buddhism

Mar 23 (LNP) liaune Badara Akon Thiam (AKA Akon) means no disrespect to Buddhism or any race or religion and is eager to perform in Colombo according to event organizers who have secured the international R&B act. Akon is scheduled to perform in Colombo at the SSC Stadium on April 24 in a concert that is backed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau but a Facebook group with a growing number of members claims the singer is disrespectful of Buddhism and more..

PM calls for strong mandate to fight conspirators

Mar 23 (DN) Foreign nations should not meddle with the internal affairs of our country. Sri Lanka has never interfered in the internal affairs of any country, said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka yesterday. He said the people have the ultimate right to get involved in the solution of any problem in the country. “We have established a very strong diplomatic service which is entirely based on more..

Water levels down but no power cuts, assures CEB

Mar 23 (DN) The public need not to be alarmed of power cuts as experienced in earlier years although water levels of major reservoirs used to generate hydro electricity have dropped since thermal power plants have been integrated with the national grid to provide the public an intermittent power supply. The Kerawalapitiya and Norochcholai thermal power stations are functioning and the CEB can guarantee an uninterrupted power supply. more..

World Meteorological day

Mar 23 (LP) The 23rd of March is declared as the World Meteorological day and is celebrated worldwide. Each year, the World Meteorological Organization, its 189 Members and the worldwide meteorological community celebrate World Meteorological Day around a chosen theme. This day commemorates the entry into force, on that date in 1950, of the WMO Convention creating the Organization. Subsequently, in 1951, WMO was designated a specialized agency of the United Nations System. more..

Boat Show 2010 to kick off next month

Mar 23 (GDI) Boat builders and those in the marine industry pointed out that the Government should be more lenient to those engaged in the industry by liberating the waters further and issuing more licences. The overall marine industry which first recovered from the catastrophic tsunami in 2004 was now experiencing difficulty in sailing forward despite the end of the war last May. more..

Govt.’s election gundu : promises not to increase prices until 9th May

Mar 23 (UNP) The Govt. which created a record for making the most number of dishonored promises before elections in its 84 page Mahinda Chinthana in the political history of SL, has now promised just before the General elections on 6th April, that it will not increase the prices of essential commodities until 9th May, that is after elections. The Govt. has made this possible by its decision to extend the import tariff concessions to ten food items. more..

Karu seeks fair polls through Court

Mar 23 (Island) Deputy Leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya, yesterday filed a fundamental rights violation application in the Supreme Court, requesting the Court to direct the Election Commissioner to lay guidelines to the media and state rigid regulations to conduct a free and fair poll on April 8. The petitioner requested that the regulations formulated by the Commissioner be submitted for the perusal of the Court within one week. more..

'Opposition alliances now in tatters'

Mar 23 (Island) The UNP, JVP and the DNA took every effort to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential election, but the alliance was now in tatters after General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka was taken into custody. Now all three parties would be contesting under three symbols, Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said at a media conference held at Mahaweli Centre yesterday. more..

'US$ 640 mn IMF loan obtained by govt. lying in foreign banks'

Mar 23 (Island) An IMF standby facility totalling US$ 640 million obtained by the Rajapaksa government, was lying in foreign banks and had not been used for development purposes as claimed, the UNP said yesterday. Economist and UNP National List MP, Harsha de Silva said that the government had lied to the people when it claimed that the IMF standby facility was to be used for development in general and more..

Don’t expect free, fair polls- UNP

Mar 23 (Island) Puttalam District UNP Leader Ranga Bandara said, at a series of campaign meetings in the district over the last few days, that they cannot expect a free and fair election at the April 8 Parliamentary Polls. Except for the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, no other development was seen in the Puttalam District. UPFA candidates had spent millions of rupees on their campaigns. more..

26,000 students studying in camps

Mar 23 (DM) Some 26,000 students still live in IDP camps and continue their academic activities in temporary schools set up within the camps, a Northern Province education department official said yesterday. “We have been able to revive and restore academic activities for displaced children without delay because of the commitment of the relevant government authorities, teachers, more..

'UPFA president, UNP Govt. best for Lanka'

Mar 23 (DM) The UNP said yesterday an executive president from the UPFA with a UNP-led government would be the best option for Sri Lanka. UNP Galle district candidate Gayantha Karunatilleke told a news conference such a system of governance would be the most suited to thwart undemocratic moves that might be attempted by political parties in the legislature. more..

Govt. probes news leaks from Fonseka

Mar 23 (DM) The government is investigating how interviews by retired General Sarath Fonseka were leaked to the media while he was under detention at the heavily guarded Naval Headquarters. General Fonseka is alleged to have smuggled out documents to Britain’s Channel 4 TV station and a weekend newspaper claiming that he had been hauled before a court martial on more..

'Ranil’s credibility has hit rock bottom'

Mar 23 (DM) Education Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday claimed that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s credibility has hit rock bottom as he makes comments on education without facts. Minister Premajayantha said Mr. Wickremesinghe had accused the government saying that the national education has destroyed under the UPFA. more..

'JR was not dictatorial despite 5/6th majority'

Mar 23 (Island) At a press meeting of the Thun Korale Electorate and Print Media personnel held at the Dehiowita Malwasawa Hotel, Labour Minister Athauda Seneviratne, answering a question fielded by a correspondent said it is just a myth that the government will be dictatorial if it gets a two third majority in the General Election. more..

Cabraal says GSP Plus, IMF would not be problems

Mar 23 (GDI) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal says he is confident that European Union GSP Plus trade concessions for Sri Lankan exports would continue while the IMF Review Mission’s return after parliamentary elections would also see improvements in the fiscal front. more..

UPFA plans end to preferential voting: Manaape to go

Mar 23 (DN) This will be the final election in Sri Lanka to be held under the preferential system, said Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. All voters,especially public sector employees who cast their postal vote on March 25 and 26 should use all three preferential votes at the April 8 Parliamentary election. more..

'40 ministers will lose jobs'

Mar 23 (DM) Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said yesterday about 40 ministers would lose their jobs in the next UPFA government as President Mahinda Rajapaksa was determined to prune the cabinet to less than 40. “This is a sacrifice the country expects from us as government politicians. A large cabinet was not to the liking of the government or the people. more..

My husband will never seek your pardon - Anoma Fonseka writes to President

Mar 23 (LT) In a letter to the President, Mrs Anoma Fonseka has reiterated that her husband will never seek a pardon from him – she also says that it is very clear that the President has affirmed the Government’s position of not giving her husband a pardon under any circumstances. Following is the full text of the letter. more..

Private sector workers demand promised pay hike

Mar 23 (Island) More than 300 delegates from the private sector met at the National Library on Sunday organised by the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU) to pressure the government to increase salaries of private sector employees by Rs. 2,500 as promised during the campaign for the Presidential Election on January 26. more..

UNP touts new policies

Mar 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's right wing UNP promises socialist style intervention to fix economic problems by clamping down on errant banks, increasing state-sector pensions and wages and threatening to cancel foreign commercial loans. Troubled assets of the Sri Lanka's banking system will be absorbed into the state by a future UNP government to lower non-performing loans ratios of banks, more..

British MP trips paid by Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (BBC) A senior members of British ruling party as well as the main opposition are accused of breaking the rules on hospitality on foreign trips including Sri Lanka. A BBC investigation into the parliamentary rules by MPs has found out that Shadow Defence Scretary Liam Fox has broke the rules on two occasions, having visited Sri Lanka five times in the past three years courtesy of its government. more..

Sri Lankan protests over court martial of Fonseka

Mar 23 (AFP) Sri Lankan opposition groups demonstrated in Colombo on Tuesday demanding the release of former army chief Sarath Fonseka, who attempted to unseat the president in recent elections. Hundreds of activists from the JVP, which backed Fonseka's failed bid for the presidency, shouted anti-government slogans outside the main railway station. more..

Stocks down for 7th session; foreigners buy

Mar 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares fell on Tuesday for a seventh straight session to an over one-month low, on retail selling ahead of parliamentary polls. Nonetheless, foreigners bought up conglomerate John Keells Holdings. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.33 percent or 12.33 points weaker at 3,730.67, its lowest since Feb. 18. It had hit a record high on March 15. more..

India spends $4 mn on demining Lanka ops

Mar 24 (PTI) India has spent four million $ on demining operations in Sri Lanka's North and East to facilitate resettlement of Tamil civilians displaced during the ethnic conflict which ended in May last year following the defeat of the LTTE. The seven Indian demining teams in Sri Lanka are fully funded by New Delhi, an Indian High Commission release said today. They have been deployed at a cost of Sri Lankan Rs 450 million, it said. more..

U.S. Govt provides 750 Scholarships to Youth in the East and North

Mar 24 (USE) The USAID recently awarded 500 scholarships in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to youth in the North. Earlier, USAID/Sri Lanka, the development agency of the U.S. Embassy, provided ICT scholarships to 250 young people from the East. The scholarships will provide the recipients with the skills needed to meet current workforce demands. more..

Debrief News - 23. 03. 2010

MTV suspects bailed out

Mar 24 (DM) All 16 suspects who had been arrested over yesterday’s mob attack on the MTV/MBC head office at Braybrooke Place have been released on bail, the police said today. Police Spokesperson S.P. Prashantha Jayakody told Daily Mirror online that all the evidence had been produced to court and the police would conduct further investigations. “For the moment all the suspects have been bailed out,” SP Jayakody said. more..

Minister's supporter found shot dead

Mar 24 (CT) A leading supporter of minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena has been found shot dead in Matugama last night, police said. According to police spokesman SSP Prishantha Jayakody, a gunman in a motorcycle had carried out the shooting around 9.45 pm. He said that it was yet to be ascertained whether the killing was politically-motivated. The man had been consuming liquor inside a car at the time of the shooting, police said, adding that he had died on the spot. more..

DNA oppose Ban ki Moon's panel

Mar 24 (BBC) The DNA led by the former army chief has voiced strong objections against the proposed UN advisory panel on Sri Lanka. The DNA said it opposed moves by UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon to appoint a team to advice him on human rights situation in Sri Lanka. Mr Ban plans to ask a panel of experts to advise the UN on "accountability issues" relating to possible human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. more..

Jailed Tissa named for British award

Mar 24 (BBC) A Sri Lankan journalist serving a twenty year prison sentence is nominated for an international award. JS Tissainayagam, who is currently on bail, is among 16 international journalists nominated by British Press Awards under International Journalist of the Year. Journalists from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Eritrea, Azerbaijan and Burma are among the other nominees. "Winning a British Press Award is justly seen as the crowning achievement of any journalist's career more..

The Psychology of Nazism

Mar 24 (LG) The Nazi movement which did horrifying atrocities to the people was based on racial superiority. Adolf Hitler who was the main architect of the Nazi organization was supported by many intellectuals. Many leaders of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (Nazi) had many things in common. They all believed in destructive Nazi nightmare of racial hearted and ethnic cleansing. more..

'Sri Lanka blocks US rapper Akon'

Mar 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka Tuesday said it had refused US rap star Akon entry to the island following protests that a music video he produced was offensive to Buddhists. Director General of Information Anusha Pelpita said Sri Lanka would not grant the US star a visa for next month's planned concert at a cricket ground in Colombo. "The government has taken into consideration the sensibilities of the Buddhists who more..

Sri Lanka tea output back to normal levels in February

Mar 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea production in February was back to the usual levels having recovered from the effects of drought and a market crash last year, Tea Board statistics showed. A total of 23.5 million kilos of tea, including green tea, was produced in February 2010, up sharply from the 12.9 million kilos made in the same month last year. Production last year was affected by the effects of drought and the global commodities crash in late 2008 when more..

Construction of Buttala Industrial Estate nearing completion

Mar 24 (GDI) The construction of the Buttala Industrial Estate has been completed 95 percent according to the Secretary of the Industries Ministry, RVD Piyathilaka. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had given guidance previously to produce timber and related goods where timber is found in abundance. Accordingly, the Industries Ministry has been constructing the Buttala Industrial Estate to produce high quality timber and partly finished goods, added the Secretary. more..

Let them finish what they started in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is honored by Sinhalese for eliminating 'terrorism'. The term is generally used to define Sri Lanka Tamil's long drawn struggle for identity in the political system. Under the rule of Rajapaksas, a rapid transformation took place in governance and politics as well. The liberal democrats might not like it but the majority of the voters had endorsed it. more..

High King and the Forsaken Land

Mar 24 (LG) There is no doubting the bitterness with which Sri Lankans talk about politics under the present regime, which has held power by force and manipulation since last January. The Sri lankan citizens were taken in by hopes for a lasting return to democracy on the last week of January, but have since become yes-men to the self proclaimed "High King," who places himself above the law. Perhaps we have to accept the blame ourselves for his excesses. more..