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Sri Lankan economy accelerates at fastest pace in five quarters

Mar 30 (BN) Sri Lanka’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in five quarters as the government stepped up spending on new roads and ports after the end of a quarter- century of civil war in the country. Gross domestic product rose 6.2 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier after gaining 4.2 percent in the previous quarter, more..

'Don’t compromise General’s life for election gimmicks'

Mar 30 (LT) The Government is engaged in a futile attempt to garner credit for General Fonseka’s well being inside an airless prison cell when in fact, he is gravely ill, charges Anoma Fonseka. Mrs Fonseka’s statement comes as a response to the Army claim that the General is in good health. Her statement also contains the following. more..

'Previous governments erased country’s history'

Mar 30 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that previous governments of the country had erased the history of the country. “History was removed from school curriculum; as a result, the present generation does not know our history. But, when someone wants to go abroad, he/she learns the history of that country and even sits for examinations too,” more..

Video: Majority UPFA complaints regarding attacks within the party

Mar 30 (AD) From the announcement of the General Election on February 10 to-date police have received a total of 219 election violence related complaints, IGP Mahinda Balasuriya said. Interestingly it was revealed that a majority of the UPFA complaints were regarding attacks among the same party candidates. The IGP said that so far 174 suspects had been arrested and regarding 161 of then the courts had been notified. more..

Sri Lanka stymied investigation

Mar 31 (SMH) The Sri Lankan government sought to influence an Australian police investigation and prosecution of three Australian citizens charged with terrorism offences in 2007 for their support of the Tamil Tigers. The Sri Lankan Deputy Solicitor-General, Yasantha Kodagoda, exercised extensive control over aspects of the Sri Lankan arm of the federal police investigation, including demands that he advise local witnesses and be present when they testified. more..

Sri Lanka bourse slips on retail profit-taking

Mar 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares edged down on Tuesday on retail profit-taking, with volumes down as smaller investors have locked up their funds in forthcoming IPOs and rights issues, dealers said. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.23 percent or 8.69 points weaker at 3,765.07. "The market slow on IPOs and rights issues came down with retail-profit taking ahead of the end of the financial year," more..

Maldives to host Akon's aborted Sri Lanka concert

Mar 31 (AFP) The Maldives stepped in on Tuesday to offer US rap star Akon a replacement concert after his scheduled appearance in Sri Lanka next month was scuttled by protesting Buddhist monks. "We are very happy he is planning to come and perform," President Mohamed Nasheed's press secretary Mohamed Zuhair told AFP by telephone from the atoll nation. more..

2 more Tsunami warning towers erected

Mar 31 (GDI) “The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights is planning to install two more tsunami warning towers in the Kalutara District. The tsunami warning towers around the country are linked to a network of tsunami warning centres in Japan and the Hawaiian Islands", the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said while addressing the commissioning ceremony of the tsunami warning tower in the Nalluruwa Army Camp grounds. more..

President expresses grave concern & deep sorrow to Russian President

Mar 31 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message dated March 30, 2010 addressed to His Excellency Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation says "Your Excellency, I hasten to express to you and the people of the Russian Federation our grave concern and deep sorrow at the suicide bomb attack at two Moscow subway stations yesterday". "I wish through Your Excellency’s good offices to send a message of condolence to more..

Minister clarifies the Consumer Affairs Authority DG issue

Mar 31 (GDI) Minister Bandula Gunawardena briefed the media today of the circumstances in which the Consumer Affairs Authority Director-General's tenure in office ended. He said that as the probation period given to her had ended and no extension was approved, the Director General of the Consumer Affairs Authority was not working in that capacity any more. more..

UPFA minister’s posters pasted on vehicle of election office

Mar 31 (LT) A group of supporters of a senior minister have pasted posters on a vehicle belonging to the Election Secretariat. The Election Commissioners Department has made a complaint at Nugegoda Police. When a vehicle driven by an Assistant Commissioner of Elections stopped on the Parliament Road due to a traffic block a group of UPFA supporters had pasted posters of a senior minister amidst protests from the Asst. Commissioner. more..

U.S. Govt and Sri Lankan authorities cooperating to raise awareness on intellectual property rights

Mar 31 (USE) Officials from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) joined with representatives from Sri Lanka’s National Intellectual Property Office and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) to hold a series of workshops on Intellectual Property (IP) Law. Employees and officials from Sri Lanka Customs and Law Officers from the Attorney General’s Department took part in the workshops. more..

Debrief News - 30. 03. 2010

School helps free deaf children from stigma

Mar 31 (UCAN) For the past 70 years, a Church center for deaf children has helped dispel the social stigma attached to such people by educating them and helping them find employment. Sister Jacintha Jayasinghe, principal of St. Joseph’s Deaf School in Ragama, Colombo archdiocese, says the institution is currently educating 250 students. “We have classes from preschool to advanced level. We teach them the normal school syllabus,” more..

Mattala will see the landing of first aircraft in 2012

Mar 31 (GDI) Authorities expect the first aircraft to land in the Mattala international airport in the year 2012, Ranjith de Silva, Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Civil Aviation told today. According to the Ministry of Ports and Civil Aviation, 8,000 acres have been set apart for the country's second international airport and preliminary work on the 3.5 kilometre runway is already underway. more..

‘Allow us to tell the truth’ – Sathyagraha by journalists

Mar 31 (LT) A ‘Sathyagraha’ on the theme ‘Protect the right to know the truth’ to protest against the media repression of the government was held opposite Fort Railway Station today (30th) morning. Members of media organizations and mass organizations participated in the ‘Sathyagraha’ organized by ‘Journalists against Repression.’ The ‘Sathyaagraha’ continued for more than an hour more..

Future of Lankan Tamils-Current Concerns and Approaches

Mar 31 (TC) This columnist was one of the invitees to attend a special Panel Discussion held at Colombo Ramada Hotel on Wednesday March 24, 2010. The Liberty Ballroom was filled with many Lankan Tamils located in Colombo, some of them were the cream of a section of the Tamils intelligentsia in the capital. The theme of the Discussion was: Future of Tamils- Current Concerns and Approaches. more..

Boralessa and Bandara star in easy wins

Mar 31 (CI) The dominance of spin was quite evident in the second week of the Inter-provincial four-day tournament with as many as three spinners deciding the outcome of their teams' fortunes resulting in both Basnahira teams - North and South recording facile victories. Basnahira North secured the more impressive of the two wins, beating Ruhuna by an innings with left-arm spinner Sohan Boralessa proving to be unplayable more..

Ranminithenna once paved way to the closure of a radio channel now Sri Lanka's first ever tele cinema park

Mar 31 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will declare open the country’s first ever tele cinema park today in Thissamaharamaya in the Southern Province. This namesake park is opened in the President’s home district. Hambanthota is the luckiest district of Sri Lanka under President Mahinda Rajapaksa although it is one of the least developed areas of the country. more..

Create the conditions that will banish the idea of separatism

Mar 31 (TC) In post war Sri Lanka, no one wants another spate of violent disturbances that would deny the majority of the people in all communities the long overdue harmony and lasting peace. There seems to be some confusion among politicians about the means of achieving this national objective. To put it bluntly, lasting peace cannot be achieved by force or deception. How the idea of separatism got ingrained in the minds of disillusioned Tamils has been discussed earlier. more..

Where are we, Sri Lankans, Heading?

Mar 31 (LG) After nearly two months of animosity fallowing the presidential election and the arrest of General Fonseka by the Rajapakse government, the political situation in Sri Lanka is getting worse every day. Sri Lanka’s Minister of Human Rights, Mr. Mahinda Samarasingha, stated that the government categorically denied any international monitoring panel. The election commissioner Mr. Dayanada Dissanayake, for upcoming elections in April, confirmed this. more..

Whom to vote

Mar 31 (LG) In Sri Lanka, despite the claim for a 90% literacy rate, only about 20% of the voting public use their vote in any meaningful manner. The rest waste their votes for reasons that are not hard to fathom. Some examples are that some from the remaining 80% may vote for an actress with the wishful thinking that she would visit them in a dream to help them wet their pants or at least they get an opportunity to gather in her back garden for more..

Sri Lanka Tourism gropes in the dark

Mar 31 (BL) Again, the Sri Lankan Tourism Ministry has made itself the laughing stock in the country, further proving its recent track record as the ‘ministry like no other’. While The New York Times and National Geographic channel rate Sri Lanka as one of the ‘must see’, ‘hottest’ destinations, the country’s tourism ministry is seen drifting like a ship with neither a mast nor a sail. In its very literal meaning this is a very sad state of things. more..

'Future of local celco industry gloomy'

Mar 31 (BL) The future outlook for Sri Lanka’s telecom industry, once hailed as one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy, remains gloom despite the recent entry of another global player into the market, a recent report has suggested. This is due to the fact that the market is expected to be saturated in a few more years as mobile penetration is nearing capacity while the lack of regulatory supervision in turn has led to an intense price-war more..

Sweeping amendments to CPC Act

Mar 31 (BL) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Amendment Bill, anticipated to be one of the first bills to be presented to the next Parliament, will make way to place the hitherto unregulated petroleum industry under the purview of the country’s utility watchdog – Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL). Already a final draft had been jointly compiled by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and PUCSL. more..

Singapore Airlines to fly A330-300 to Colombo from May 1

Mar 31 (BL) From May 1, 2010, passengers travelling out of Colombo to Singapore will be able to experience Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A330-300 aircraft, featuring the Airline’s latest product and service offerings. Currently operating to and from three Australian cities, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and two Japanese cities, Nagoya and Osaka, the aircraft will also be progressively deployed over other regional and medium-haul routes more..

TNA says it does not uphold ‘One country, two Nations’ policy

Mar 31 (TN) Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU) representatives held discussions individually with the candidates of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF) contesting forthcoming parliamentary elections Tuesday in which the candidates were requested to spell out their political principles, the stand and activities they intend taking after the election, the media report released by JUSU said. more..

R.Chandrasekaran on YaTV (Tamil)

Elderly woman knifed to death in Valikaamam

Mar 31 (TN) Unknown persons broke into the house of an elderly woman living alone in A’laveddi in Valikaamam Monday midnight inflicted injuries to her chest and neck with sharp objects killing her, sources in Jaffna said. Many elderly persons, forced to live alone in their houses in Jaffna peninsula due to family members being uprooted from their places, fall victims to robbers, the sources added. more..

Putting cuts, part-putting and pol symbol

Mar 31 (GV) I have always had a fascination for Sri Lankan English. In fact, Sri Lankans use English the way the British used Ceylonese in subjugating them to their will. Now that the good old British have left our shores handing us independence on a silver platter we took English and quite liberally infused it with our own Tamil and Sinhala interpretations. If Americans substituted lengthy and often awkward British notices such as, more..

Basil Rajapaksa: The Foundation of Sri Lanka's Success

Mar 31 (IL) Basil Rajapaksa's official Facebook states "Basil Rohana Rajapaksa is a Sri Lankan politician currently the Senior Adviser to President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on all matters pertaining to the affairs of the State and Government. He is also a former National List member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. He hails from a well known political family from the South of Sri Lanka. more..

Raising hackles

Mar 31 (Age) During his 40 years in the criminal justice system, Paul Coghlan has prosecuted remorseless murderers, locked up white-collar fraudsters and watched countless police take the stand to give evidence. His record and experience rank him among the more learned on the Supreme Court bench. Yet if he thought he had seen all that a courtroom could offer, Justice Coghlan would stand corrected in January last year, when more..

'I am ashamed to feed my children out of the salary collected from CID'

Mar 31 (LeN) A top rung police officer of the CID told Lanka e news he is ashamed to feed his children out of the salaries he collects from his vocation. This officer who wished to remain anonymous made this statement while he is undergoing training abroad. The present CID has become shameless lackeys of politicians and has been politicized on a scale as never before in SL, he added. more..

Biography of Ranil Wickramasinghe

2.5 million Sri Lankan Tamils have points of view numbering 25 lakhs

Mar 31 (TC) A no-war situation can yield dividends to the vanquished is another illusion. Veering from the thought that post-war developments have a dynamic of their own, it is necessary to map out a clear pathway. The compulsions are more for those who have experienced devastation most. Once Nehru was asked how many problems he had. His answer was 400 million. This was India’s population at that time. more..

Two deaths highlight Sri Lanka’s terrible social crisis

Mar 31 (wsws) Two tragedies this month underscored the desperate plight facing poverty-stricken families in Sri Lanka. Two mothers, seeing no way out of their intractable financial problems, each drowned one of their children in a local river. On March 10, Manel Pushpalatha, a mother of five, threw her two-year-old son into the Kalugnaga River at Kalutara, about 40 kilometres south of Colombo. more..

BOC to expand operations with 31 new branches

Mar 31 (GDI) The Bank of Ceylon, will soon open 31 branches focussing attention on small and medium scale enterprises. The Bank will also open nine ATMs in the North, seven ATMs in the East and 11 mobile units. In addition there are plans to eventually open 10 more branches in each of the nine Provinces of Sri Lanka. Some of the bank’s offerings include small farmer credit, more..

'Large number of UNP activists are rallying-round the UPFA'

Mar 31 (GDI) Minister Susil Premajayanth has said that a large number of UNP activists have rallied round the UPFA for the upcoming General Election. The Minister opined that those who were involved in a debate during the 2005 Presidential Election on behalf of the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe have now crossed over to the UPFA. He said that Mahinda Chinthana Policies are correct and those are being implemented as the said policies suit the country. more..

Public cautioned against use of phones during lightning

Mar 31 (GDI) Using mobile phones during thunder showers is considerably dangerous. Public are advised to refrain from using mobile phones during thunder showers and lightning. The warning comes from the Meteorologist-in-charge of the Sri Lanka Meteorological Department. On March 29, a lightning strike injuring 5 people in Ukuwela is suspected to have been caused due to the use of a mobile phone. more..

'Opposition leader & Tylvin Silva doubt the reality'

Mar 31 (GDI) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had said that the construction work of the seaport at Hambantota has been limited to words, Minister Chamal Rajapaksa said. He said Tylvin Silva too has expressed a similar idea. The Minister said he will invite Tylvin Silva to the Hambantota seaport when it is filled, to have a sea water bath. The first phase of the seaport at Hambantota will be completed by October and more..

Child Protection Transit Village for kids in trouble

Mar 31 (GDI) The government is ready to execute a procedure to ensure the protection of children who are in danger due to family and parental disharmony. The National Child Protection Authority has planned to introduce a Child Protection Transit Villages under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Officials are looking forward to submit a series of proposals including the construction of the above mentioned village. more..

Candidates to be allowed in to counting centres

Mar 31 (GDI) Election authorities said that all aspiring legislators will be allowed into counting centres when preferential votes are being counted. It is reported that this measure has been taken to prevent allegations over discrepancies in the selection of winners. The candidates will need to inform the department prior of their desire to be present at counting centres as casual walk-ins will not be entertained. more..

Civil defence force SVU holds new year budget fair

Mar 31 (MoD) The Civil Defence Force Seva Vanitha Unit Monday organized a New Year fair facilitating budget shopping opportune for consumers in the eve of the Sinhala-Hindu New Year. The New Year budget fair was declared open for consumers with the distinguished presence of the MOD Seva Vanitha Unit Chairperson Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa at the CDF premises at Bambalapitiya. more..

'Strong Parliament will accelerate development drive'

Mar 31 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphatically stated that Sri Lanka s growth in spheres such as education, health etc. would continue to evolve in line with the emerging best practices and would not be allowed to stagnate. He was of the opinion that Sri Lankans, specially in the villages should get rid of their laid back approach and should look forward at emerging opportunities with new vigour. He stressed that education too would evolve in accordance. more..

Largest mugger crocodile population at Yala

Mar 31 (LP) The biggest population of mugger crocodiles in the world is believed to be found in the Yala Block of the Ruhuna National Park. A recent survey conducted by herpetologist Anslem De Silva, who is also the current Regional Vice Chairman, South Asia and Iran of the Crocodile Specialists Group, IUCN/SSC along with the assistance of the Wild Life Department officials. more..

Major General Janaka Perera assassination: Eight acquitted

Mar 31 (DN) Anuradhapura Chief Magistrate Dharshika Wimalasiri acquitted and discharged eight suspects out of the ten involved in the assassination case of Major General Janaka Perera. The remaining two suspects were further remanded till April 5. They are Umar Habthab (1st accused) and S. Sudakaran (7th accused). The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th suspects have been acquitted from all the charges framed against them. more..

Dengue prevention campaign rolls in Jaffna

Mar 31 (LP) A week-long Dengue Prevention Campaign, spearheaded in Jaffna by the Army with the support of school children and civil sector organizations was inaugurated yesterday (30). Both Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, Commander, Security Forces, Jaffna and District Secretary for Jaffna Mr K. Ganesh who took the initiative in this connection were present at the inaugural event. more..

The Sri Lankan Media Mafia - 1

Mar 31 (GV) Ravaya editor Victor Ivan initiated a debate in his newspaper last month about the Sri Lankan media. The title of his controversial article was ‘Is only politics uncivilized’, its import being that the media, too, can be found wanting when it comes to propriety and even plain decency. Ivan argued that a lumpen, uncivilized aspect was to be seen not just in politics, but in the mass media in Sri Lanka as well. more..

CID ordered not to question further DNA candidate Capt. Sanjeeva Kandanarachchi

Mar 31 (LT) Colombo Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara ordered the CID yesterday not to question further Capt. (retd.) Sanjeeva Kandanarachchi. Capt. Kandanarachchi is contesting the general election from the DNA to Colombo District. The Magistrate made this order when the CID, for the third time, called Capt. Kandanarachchi to Court to get a statement. The statement was taken before the Magistrate. more..

Sri Lankans in Japan rally for democracy in Sri Lanka

Mar 31 (LT) Sri Lankans in Japan engaged in a protest campaign opposite the UNO office in Tokyo on the 28th protesting against the Mahinda Rajapakse regime that has come to power through a fraudulent presidential election and for imprisoning the national hero who finished the 30 year old cruel war. The campaign organized by the ‘Movement for Democracy in Sri Lanka – Japan’ displayed placards with slogans that demanded establishment of democracy and more..