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Homeward bound “Solis Mudalalai” arrested

Mar 31 (LP) The CID yesterday (30) arrested a leading businessman and caterer in Colombo, Paranaliyanage Don Sanjeewa Kumara, popularly known as “Solis Mudalalai”, of New Lanka Caterers at the Katunayake International Airport. The businessman, who is a resident of Nawala Rajagiriya, was arrested on arrival at the International Airport on his return from India. more..

Trendy Wear opens new factory in Hanguranketa

Mar 31 (LNP) Trendy Wear commenced operations of their newly opened garment factory in Adikarigama, Hanguranketa recently. This is a BOI project with an investment of Rs 350 million. Ramya Holdings, Chairperson Ramya Weerakoon told the Daily News Business that the company has already started operations with 750 workers. But it will be fully operational in May this year once the construction work of the new building is completed. more..

Editorial: Akon and blind plunges

Mar 31 (LNP) The Akon affair has, to a section of the Colombo-based media fed up with drab, flagitious politics, become something like a welcome shower to the farming community in the drought affected dry zone. The name, Akon, has suddenly become as familiar as Abeykone to Sri Lankans and even those who may have mistaken R&B for a kind of fizz like `EGB` a few weeks ago are now talking about him as if they knew him from his childhood days. more..

Act of the President cannot be challenged in Court – AG

Mar 31 (Island) The Court Martial has been convened by the President, who has immunity under Article 35 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. An Act of the President could not be challenged by way of a Writ in a Court of Law, said Mohan Pieris, PC the Attorney General, appearing for the State, made a respondent in the Writ application filed by General (retd) Sarath Fonseka. more..

Prices of essentials drop

Mar 31 (DN) Prices of a number of essential items have dropped in the market compared to the previous Sinhala and Hindu New Year period following the tax relief granted to importers by the Government recently. Minister Bandula Gunawardene told the media in Colombo yesterday that the Government has removed taxes completely on imports of petrol, kerosene oil, wheat and gas to provide relief to the public for the Sinhala and Hindu New Year. more..

Candidates and elections, jokers and clowning

Mar 31 (DN) I like to describe journeys in terms of changes in the scenery, the nuance of vegetation-difference, landscape-contour, places of historical interest and even random event. I left Colombo around 5.45 pm last Friday. Bad day. Bad time. There was a lot of traffic. The going was slow. By the time I got to Avissawella, it was quite dark. It was a blessing in disguise, I learnt on the way back. more..

'Ranminithenna Tele-Cine Park, biggest fillip for Lankan Cinema'

Mar 31 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the country's first ever fully-equipped National Tele-Cinema Park at Ranmihithenna in Tissamaharama is the biggest investment a Government could make on behalf of its local cinema. He added that the time where Sri Lankan film makers would compete with the best in the global arena would be in the not too distant future. more..

Capital expenditure for 2009 below target

Mar 31 (Island) Sri Lanka continued to sacrifice capital expenditure, or long term government investments, at the expense of recurrent expenditure and economists are hopeful the next parliament would take steps to reverse this structural feature of the country’s public finances. Capital expenditure was estimated at Rs. 368.2 billion in 2009 budget but the actual outturn amounted to Rs. 312.5 billion, more..

Penguins come to Dehiwala during school vacation

Mar 31 (Island) The National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela would soon receive six pairs of Penguins from the Japan Zoo in an animal exchange, a Zoo official said. "We will be getting the penguins in April-during the school vacation- probably before the Sinhala -Tamil New Year," he said. They are yet to decide on what to give in return. They might be mammalian or reptilian species, he said. more..

Tight security for polls: 58,700 policemen, 19,500 Security Forces personnel

Mar 31 (DN) IGP Mahinda Balasuriya yesterday said that he would deploy 58,700 police personnel for election duties. In addition another 19,500 personnel from the three forces, Army, Air Force and Navy - will also assist the police during the April 8 elections and the post election period. He said that 7,620 candidates are contesting in the forthcoming general elections. more..

Editorial: Shame

Mar 31 (DM) What made it so easy to guess as to whose supporters put up posters on the vehicle of an Assistant Commissioner of Elections? After all altogether nine ministers contest parliamentary elections and when one says ‘supporters of a minister’ it could be anyone barring those who opt for poster-less campaigns. Call him Mr. extravagant or Mr. faux pas he leaves behind the trade mark in every blunder. more..

Don’t blame computers in case of defeat, DIG tells Opposition

Mar 31 (Island) DIG Gamini Navaratne, senior officer in charge of the Election Secretariat, addressing the media yesterday, urged the Opposition not to blame computers if it lost the upcoming parliamentary polls. The kneejerk reaction of the Opposition to its crushing defeat at the Jan. 26 presidential election was to accuse the government of having manipulated the Election Secretariat computers to distort the polls results. more..

Swearing-in of two new UNP MPs denied

Mar 31 (DM) The deepening uncertainty over whether Johnston Fernando and Indika Bandaranayake could retain their seats when parliament meets on April 6 took a dramatic turn yesterday with parliamentary authorities refusing to make arrangements for swearing-in the two new UNP members. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told a news conference that the parliamentary authorities had informed the UNP of their decision. more..

Polythene usage, posters still remain: PAFFREL

Mar 31 (DM) PAFFREL said the usage of polythene had increased substantially during the pre-election period of the general election this year in comparison to previous elections. PAFFREL spokesman Rohana Hettiarachchi said a large number of propaganda material was still on display in spite of the attempts of the police and warnings by the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake for their removal. more..

Belgium continues probe

Mar 31 (DM) Belgium is still continuing its probe against General Sarath Fonseka’s aide Senaka Silva for his alleged involvement in an illegal money transfer case in that country, the CID said. CID sources told Daily Mirror online that it is only after Belgium concludes its investigations against Silva, will it approach the Attorney General’s Department in Colombo to file legal action. Belgium authorities are likely to visit Sri Lanka soon to file action through more..

'Govt. invites foreign forces'

Mar 31 (DM) The NBF accused the Government of decisively inviting foreign forces into the country and putting the country in danger while misleading the masses and promising them otherwise. “Even though the Government claims they would not allow any foreign forces to intervene in the political activities of the country, underhand they were welcoming representatives of such groups into the country so that they could gain short-term political advantages,” more..

UPFA nudging 2/3rds - Survey

Mar 31 (DN) The UPFA will obtain 65 percent of the total votes at the upcoming Parliamentary Election and it will win a total of 145 or146 seats in Parliament, a recent survey conducted by the Kelaniya University reveals. The same University conducted a similar survey prior to the recent Presidential Election and predicted the result which was almost hundred percent accurate. more..

First ever road lane for Sri Lankan Cyclists

Mar 31 (LP) The first ever road lane for Sri Lankan cyclists was declared open on the Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Kotte yesterday. The lane was declared open by the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawaka. Speaking at the event the Minister Ranawaka said that Sri Lanka should get over its obsession on four lane roads which will only see a rise in the number of vehicles on the road and more..

Bahrain MP to highlight author's plight with Sri Lanka

Mar 31 (GDN) An MP is planning to take up the case of a Bahrain-based author arrested in Sri Lanka with the Foreign Minister. Sarah Malanie Perera, detained in the capital Colombo for allegedly offending the spiritual leader of Buddhism, is still being held without charge 10 days after being taken into custody. The authorities have yet to give precise details of the her offence, but it is understood two of her recently published books offended ethnic Sinhalese Buddhists, more..

'General’s condition deteriorating – not referred to specialist doctor despite court order'

Mar 31 (LT) Despite Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s health condition deteriorating rapidly, he has not been referred to a specialist doctor says Ms. Anoma Fonseka. She said this at a press conference held at her residence. Speaking further Ms., Fonseka said, “I visited the General today morning. No specialist doctor has seen him yet. The Judiciary had given permission for such an examination by a specialst doctor. more..

Lanka suspicious over UK

Mar 31 (DM) The Sri Lankan government has raised suspicion over the timing of British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s special statement on Sri Lanka as it coincides with the General Elections scheduled to be held in the country next week. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella rejected the concerns raised by Miliband in his special video statement released yesterday saying it seemed Britain was attempting more..

David Miliband on Sri Lanka

'Public fast losing confidence in administration of justice'

Mar 31 (Island) The public was fast losing confidence in the administration of justice, if one goes by what was heard or read these days, the newly elected President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Shibly Aziz said. Speaking at the 36th Annual Convocation of the BASL, he said that they should ensure there was no further decline in the publics perception of the administration of justice. more..

Chandimal, Perera in Sri Lanka's World T20 squad

Mar 31 (CI) Promising wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal is the only uncapped player in Sri Lanka's 15-member squad for the ICC World Twenty20. Kumar Sangakkara will lead their campaign in the West Indies, and Muttiah Muralitharan will be his deputy. Chandimal, 20, has risen in prominence in recent times and has a batting average of 31.62 in 17 domestic Twenty20 matches. more..

Internationalising Lanka

Mar 31 (Himal) The title of this piece purposely uses the word Lanka and not Sri Lanka. The name and concept of ‘Sri Lanka’ was reified in the country’s republican Constitution of 1972, at a time when the prefix Sri was problematic for the minority communities because it symbolised Sinhala Buddhist majoritarianism. Indeed only a decade earlier, there had been a major ‘anti-Sri campaign’ in the North more..

No jail for trio who funded Tamil Tigers

Mar 31 (ABC) Three men who admitted funding the separatist Sri Lankan group the Tamil Tigers have walked free from the Melbourne Supreme Court. The trio had pleaded guilty to providing more than $1 million to the LTTE, and one of them to providing electronic devices. Australian terrorism charges against the men were dropped last year but then they were charged under the United Nations Act for providing funds to more..

Sri Lanka’s March inflation slows for first time in six months

Mar 31 (BN) Sri Lanka’s inflation unexpectedly slowed in March for the first time in six months, giving the central bank room to keep interest rates low and support economic growth. Consumer prices in the capital, Colombo, climbed 6.3 percent from a year earlier after gaining 6.9 percent in February. The median forecast of five economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 7.4 percent increase. more..

Where to buy a land mine in Sri Lanka

Mar 31 (Time) The civil war in Sri Lanka may be over, but you can buy a landmine on the side of the road in Jaffna — though they're more likely to explode in your mouth than anywhere else. In the main city on Sri Lanka's northernmost peninsula, besieged by two and half decades of bloody sectarian violence until last May, the spicy samosa sold by street vendors throughout the city is still known by its nom-de-guerre: "midi-vedi," the Tamil word for landmine. more..