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NDB Bank chief resigns to become lawmaker

Mar 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's NDB Bank said its chief executive Eran Wickramaratne has resigned from his post as he plans to enter parliament as a member of the main opposition United National Party. The bank said in a stock exchange filing that Russel de Mel, now serving as vice president - head of the corporate banking group, will be appointed as the new chief executive. more..

Sri Lanka to protect Colombo from floods with Chinese finance

Mar 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka will build a flood protection system for parts of the capital Colombo with Chinese funding, a government minister said. Colombo suburbs of Kotte, Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia, Maharagama, Kesbewa and Moratuwa will be protected from storm water flooding by the project, minister G.L. Peiris said. The 6,800 million rupees (59 US dollar) project will be financed with a loan from China Construction Bank. more..

Shares up on hotel shares; foreigners exit

Mar 6 (Reuters) Shares gained 0.5 percent on Friday led by hotel shares with local investors dominating the buying, while foreign investors continued with their exit strategy. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed up 0.48 percent, or 18.32 points, at 3,824.17. It hit a record high of 3,847.18 points on Tuesday. "Local investors do not have much investment options due to low interest rates," more..

'Victory in April polls will help President Rajapaksa consolidate peace'

Mar 6 (AT) On the eve of the Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao’s visit to Colombo on Saturday, Sri Lanka has underlined the excellent bilateral ties between the two countries in political and economic fields. As the closest neighbour, links with India will always remain firm, Sri Lanka feels. This was stated by Mr Prasad Kariyawasam, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India, more..

Sri Lanka General Elections: Whom to vote in & whom to vote out

Mar 6 (AT) 2010 for Sri Lanka has been all about elections so far. The Presidential Elections concluded peacefully and an overwhelming majority supporting the incumbent President, stupefying the main opposition who thought its candidate had bagged victory before elections were even held. April 8th will see the general elections and as expected posters adorn every area that candidates can be posted & finally the power of the vote returns to the voter. more..

'Govt continues to deceive IDPs in resettlement in HSZs in Valikaamam'

Mar 6 (TN) Sri Lanka government continues to deceive the people evicted from their properties in Valikaamam north and east in Jaffna, which were declared High Security Zones by Sri Lanka Army, without allowing to them to resettle in their homes as promised time and again by government ministers and officials, A. S. Nadarajah, the president of the Federation of Welfare Organizations in Jaffna peninsula told TamilNet more..

Petition to promote access to vote for Sri Lankan’s abroad

Mar 6 (AT) Recently, Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Justice and Law Reform, and the leader of the Sri Lanka National Congress (SLNC), a constituent party of the United People’s Freedom Alliance launched a website to to ‘Promote Access to Voting for Sri Lankan’s Abroad.’ While launching website Minister Milinda Moragoda said the Vote” is a universal human right. more..

Q+A-Why are foreigners net sellers of Sri Lanka bourse

Mar 6 (AB) Sri Lanka's shares hit a record high this week to make the market the top performer in Asia after a meteoric 2009 when the index soared 125 percent. But the rise is not proving attractive to foreign investors. They have been net sellers of the market since an end was declared to the island's 25-year civil war last May. Here are some questions and answers about why foreigners are leaving: more..

Police collect information of Vanni IDPs living out of refugee camps in Tamil Nadu

Mar 6 (TN) Tamil Nadu police and its intelligence unit personnel are actively engaged in collecting details of the persons internally displaced from Vanni during the later stages of war who had gone to Tamil Nadu in South India from the detention centres in Vavuniyaa, sources in Tamil Nadu said. Information is being gathered particularly of those who are living with their relatives and friends in Tamil Nadu. more..

Sacred relics of St. Anthony to Sri Lanka on Sunday

Mar 6 (AT) Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo has made all arrangements to bring the Sacred Relics of St. Anthony to Sri Lanka on Sunday the 07th March 2010. For the first time, the Catholics in Sri Lanka are blessed to have this very rare opportunity to see and pray before the Holy Relics of St. Anthony. This Holy Relic is presently at St. Anthony's Basilica in Padua, Italy. more..

Commander of the Navy meets the fishing community of North of Colombo

Mar 6 (SLN) Commander of Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe met the Palliyawatte fishing community at the Palliyawatte Church premises today (5). Commander Western Naval Area Rear Admiral Dharmasiriwardene, former Member of Parliament Mr. Neel Rupasinghe, member of Wattala Pradeshiya Saba Mr Nishantha De Silva and several senior officers of the Western Naval Command too participated in the discussions that followed. more..

Nine school children of late war heroes received scholarships

Mar 6 (MoD) "Murungagasyaye Gnanissara Nahimi Foundation" granted scholarships for nine school children of late war heroes under the patronage of Mrs. Iyoma Rajapaksa, Chairwoman of Seva Vanitha Unit of the Ministry of Defence, at the Ministry premises today (05). These children were selected representing nine Provinces of the country, and granted Rs.15,000 to each children for the academic year 2010. more..

Learning English in Sri Lanka

Manipulating bail and publicity to deny justice

Mar 6 (LG) Chandradasa was a young man living in an urban area making a living through various kinds of odd jobs.He was engaged in various kinds of buying and selling, such as the selling of vegetables and fish. He also worked in small commissions of trade. He was very well liked within his community; he was an extremely helpful person who was willing to be of assistance to anyone who needed it. more..

Kulatunga steers Wayamba into semi-final

Mar 6 (CI) Jeevantha Kulatunga scored the first century of the Inter-provincial Twenty20 tournament to power two-time winners Wayamba to the semi-finals with a 27-run win over Kandurata in the final round-robin match played at the Galle International Stadium. Kulatunga's 62-ball century helped the defending champions run up an impressive 181 and maintain their 100 percent record in the qualifying round. more..

Beware of using ATM Machines in Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (IL) On the night of March 4 around 9.45 p.m I used the HNB ATM machine situated next to the Bible Society in Colombo-03. I inserted my Nations Trust Bank ATM card (cirrus) into the machine to withdraw Rs.10,000/=. The words "Transaction in progress" appeared on the screen. A few seconds later the card was ejected with the message on the screen "insert card". I tried twice and had the same results. more..

Rs. 50 million commission Dulles' 'Colomba Gedera' evaporates

Mar 6 (LT) Nothing has been done regarding the construction of 'Colomba Gedera' for which a foundation stone was placed and propaganda carried out by Transport Minister Dulles Alahapperuma with much fanfare. The Minister admitted in Parliament that more than Rs. 50 million was received from China as commission for the 10 compartments imported from that country. He carried out a massive propaganda campaign stating the money would be utilized to more..

EU to hold talks with Sri Lanka regarding duty free status

Mar 6 (ER) The European Union could initiate talks with the Sri Lankan government after that country's General Elections next month, and which are aimed at retaining the nation's duty free status, or GSP plus trade concessions, according to an article posted on the Sri Lankan government's website. As reported, late February the EU temporarily removed Sri Lanka free export status. Sri Lanka enjoyed the duty free export status because more..

Sri Lanka: End the state of emergency!

Mar 6 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) demands an immediate end to the country’s state of emergency, which was renewed on March 1 by President Mahinda Rajapakse and comes before parliament on March 9 for ratification. The SEP warns that the draconian emergency powers will be used to suppress the opposition of workers and the rural poor to the austerity measures that the government will implement after the April 8 parliamentary election. more..

UN can't go against member states, says French envoy

Mar 6 (TN) French Ambassador to the UN, Gerard Araud, when asked by the Inner City Press (ICP) on the Secretary Ban Ki Moon's inaction in Sri Lanka "on the slaughter of civilians in Sri Lanka," said "[t]he Secretary General can't go against member states which did not want to intervene." Meanwhile, Inner City Press in a previous story reported quoting reliable UN sources that Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, had solicited a "UN job for his son" more..

Chinese 'pre-fabricated structures' in Kachchatheevu

Mar 6 (TN) The presence of Chinese in Sri Lanka owned island of Kachchatheevu, considered as a threat to the security of India, is confirmed by a group of journalists and social activists from Tamil Nadu. More than thirty pre-fabricated structures with Chinese names were found on the island of Kachchatheevu located on the sea boundary between India and Sri Lanka by Tamil Nadu journalists and social activists who participated in the recent annual festival of Kachchatheevu St. Antony’s Church, more..

Unacknowledged suffering can return to haunt history, says NPR

Mar 6 (TN) During the popular Diane Rheme show in Washington's National Public Radio (NPR) Friday, responding to a question on the muted response of Obama administration to the slaughter of civilians in Sri Lanka, NPR's commentator Gjelten said, "When people feel that their suffering is not acknowledged and recognized by the international community, they tend to develop grudges, and they remember this. more..

Sampanthan warns of ‘hidden agenda’ of Sri Lanka government

Mar 6 (TN) “Sri Lanka government does not want any area in the island where minority community lives in majority. Hence the government led by President Mahinda Rajapakse is implementing its ‘hidden agenda’ to colonize such areas with Sinhalese to reduce the majority of minority community,” Mr. R. Sampanthan, leader of ITAK and the chief candidate for the Trincomalee electoral district, said more..

Hambanthota youth to receive free English training

Mar 6 (GDI) A programme to teach the youth of Hambantota District English free of charge has commenced. This initiative has been in parallel to mould an English speaking generation based on the “Mahinda Chinthana”. Another phase of this programme got underway in Weeraketiya, recently. A group including Minister Chamal Rajapaksa and UPFA Hambantota District candidate Namal Rajapaksa was present at the event. more..

Foreign exchange remittances on the rise

Mar 6 (GDI) Foreign exchange remitted by migrant workers has reached a new high.The Foreign exchange remitted by these workers last year was 330 billion rupees. In 2008 it was 290 billion rupees. The reported increase is 14 percent. Foreign Exchange Bureau Chairman Kingsley Ranawana said this is the highest earnings so far registered. The total number which took up foreign jobs last year was over 247 thousand. A majority of them had gone to Saudi Arabia. more..

Ravi Shanker meets Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mar 6 (GDI) The world renowned musician Ravi Shanker is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka for a music concert titled “Geeth Maduri” 2010. It will be staged at the Sugathadasa Indoor stadium on Sunday. He met the President at the Temple Trees. The President presented an award to the musician, extending his best wishes for his music career. more..

Gampaha to be made the most envied city by Basil Rajapaksa

Mar 6 (GDI) UPFA Gampaha District Group Leader Basil Rajapaksa has said that while Sri Lanka would be made the wonder of Asia while Gampaha will be developed as the prominent city in the island. Basil Rajapaksa said the President’s desire is to make Sri Lanka the wonder of Asia under the “Mahinda Chinthana”. When it becomes a reality, Gampaha out of the 25 districts will be upgraded as the most developed and prominent district in the country. more..

Bodhirukkarama priest whose temple stored explosives remanded

Mar 6 (GDI) Four suspects including the Ven. Uvatenne Sumana Thero who were arrested for allegedly possessing explosives to stage an attack against the Government during the Presidential polls, have been remanded. The CID, submitting a report to Courts said that inquiries against the suspects had already been completed. Thereafter Additional Magistrate Lal Bandara ordered that they should be remanded until the 15th of this month. more..

Enews Editor flees country for protection

Mar 6 (LNW) Lankaenews Editor, Sandaruwan Senadhira it is really learnt has fled the country recently due to the threat on his life. He played a key role in popularizing news websites in Sri Lanka. Many attempts made by the President and his brothers to take charge of the locally and internationally popular Lankaenews website, were unsuccessful. The staff including Senadhira and News Editor Bennet Rupasinghe started to receive death threats thereafter. more..

SL- India Centre for English Language Training opens tomorrow

Mar 6 (LP) Foreign Secretary of India, Smt Nirupama Rao will formally open the Sri Lanka India Centre for English Language Training (SLICELT) in Peradeniya on Sunday. This Centre, expected to develop into a focal point of English Language Training in Sri Lanka, is established jointly by the Ministry of Education and the Indian Government on the initiative of the Presidential Task Force on English and IT. more..

Maddumabandara continues as District leader

Mar 6 (LeN) So far, no questioning or inquiry has been instituted or any charge sheet has been served on Ex UNP M.P. and Moneragala district UNP leader Ranjith Madduma Bandara who was allegedly linked with the tipp exing of the name of Tissa Katriarachi from the list of Moneragala District nomination list and the interpolation of another name in that place. Madduma Bandara said, not even a phone call was made by a responsible member of the Party in this regard to him. more..

Envoy warns of Tigers' asylum bid in UK

Mar 6 (MoD) Sri Lanka's envoy to Pakistan has warned that some LTTE leaders could take refuge in the UK in the guise of asylum seekers. This could pose a grave threat to regional as well as global peace, Air Chief Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody said. "Yes absolutely, if terrorists get asylum in Britain as civilian immigrants, it could pose grave security challenges," he was quoted as saying more..

False allegations to bring disrepute to Army

Mar 6 (MoD) A post-mortem report on the corpse of a man found floating in the Mailavattuvan river and report of a medical examination on a girl allegedly sexually abused by soldiers had proved that both these allegations were false and were meant to bring disrepute to the army, senior army official sources said. These allegations were made in local and foreign websites. more..

“Digasiya Netha Randi Ru” from today

Mar 6 (LP) Photo exhibition “Digasiya Netha Randi Ru” organized by the Lanka Prabhalekhika Sangamaya will be held on the 8th of March to mark the International Women’s day. The exhibition which includes works by women photographers, vocational and Probationary artists and school Children Island wide is held for the third time. The main idea of this event is to enhance the contribution by women in photography and more..

10 Ministries to Naamal Balakaya

Mar 6 (LeN) It is reported that if the Govt. party wins the upcoming General elections, the President will be allocating 10 Ministries in the Cabinet to Naamal Rajapkse’s Nil Balakaya group. According to sources close to the President, the cabinet will be restricted to 35 Ministers. Of them, only 25 will be appointed from the Seniors and those who were Ministers earlier. more..

Country cannot be developed through slogans - Minister

Mar 6 (DN) A country cannot be developed through slogans. A development war should be launched to achieve that goal. The best weapon for such a war is information technology, Urban Development and Sacred area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said. He was addressing a Diploma awards ceremony organized by the Maharagama Pradeshiya Bala Mandalaya at the Maharagama Youth Centre recently. more..

Three-in-one textile exhibition begins

Mar 6 (DN) The apparel sector has a high degree of relevance and importance to Sri Lanka for rapid economic development. The country is now in a position to derive full benefit from its inherent strengths and need to emphasis on value addition for more foreign exchange and quality, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said. Three exhibitions targeting the textile and apparel industry commenced at the Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC), Colombo yesterday. more..

'Garbage-free Colombo in three months'

Mar 6 (DN) The garbage problem in Colombo will be solved within the next three months. A joint action is being taken in this direction by the CMC, Provincial Garbage Management Project, UDA, Environment Ministry and the CEA's Pilisaru projet, Minister and Colombo District UPFA candidate Patali Champika Ranawaka said. The Minister made this assurance at a press conference at Kerawalapitiya recently. more..

Celebrating the centenary of International Women’s Day with Louisa Arulamma Thambyrajah

Mar 6 (HA) We will be celebrating the centenary of International Women’s Day on March 8th 2010. This year’s theme of International Women’s Day is “Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all”. In 1910, The Socialist International meeting in Copenhagen established a Women’s Day international in character to honour the movement for women’s rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. more..

Vote at your risk?

Mar 6 (Island) Politicians seem to have taken the masses for asses sans an iota of grey matter. President Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking at the opening of a maritime archaeological museum in Galle on Thursday asked the public to ensure that only the good people entered politics. In other words, the President has sought to lay the blame for the heavy presence of misfits in politics at Citizen Perera's doorstep. more..

Tank project targets 6,000 farmers

Mar 6 (DN) The Northern Re-awakening Project has taken initiatives to rehabilitate Iranamadu Tank at a cost of Rs. 200 million with World Bank assistance to provide irrigation facilities to resettled families in the Kilinochchi district, Project Director PH Sugathadasa said. The tank located in the Northern part of the district is the main irrigation tank in the province. Earlier it had provided irrigation facilities to over 8,000 hectares under more..

What is the regime after? - The steam rolling of all dissent and criticism?

Mar 6 (TC) The 24th of February marked the first month anniversary of the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda, the Lanka E-News journalist. Two special Police teams are said to be on the case. They have however, not come up with any information as to Ekneligoda’s whereabouts. Ekneligoda’s disappearance is yet another statistic of shame in the long list of disappearances, abductions and extra-judicial killings that more..

'IGP will consider adequate security to former MPs'

Mar 6 (Island) The Attorney General yesterday told the Supreme Court that the IGP will consider the possibility of giving adequate security to former MPs. Senior State Counsel Ms. Viveka Siriwardene de Silva told Court that the Police Department and the Defence Ministry has decided to give four security personnel to each party president and party secretary, who had been in Parliament and who will contest the forthcoming parliamentary election more..

Nirupama Rao in Colombo

Mar 6 (TC) Within ten days of stick-handling India’s first formal diplomatic talks Pakistan since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, reportedly on the invitation of the Sri Lankan government. According to Indian media reports, she will “push for a political settlement of the vexed ethnic issue between the Sinhalese and Tamils”. more..

'Banks cannot deliver growth, corporate bonds can'

Mar 6 (Island) A top financial expert based in Malaysia says Sri Lanka should take a leaf from Malaysia’s book and develop its domestic bonds market if long term sustainable development is to be a reality with the government creating an enabling environment for the private sector to take a greater role in infrastructure development while the government contains itself to the role of policy formulation and governance. more..

Mangala files FR petition in SC

Mar 6 (DM) SLFP (Mahajana) leader Mangala Samaraweera yesterday filed a fundamental rights violation petition against the Police complaining of inaction and/or failure and/or negligence in the recurrence of incidents of political violence unleashed against him and his supporters. In his petition filed through Paul Ratnayake Associates, he cited the IGP, DIG of Southern Province, Matara SSP, Matara HQI H.S.M.Caldera, Kamburupitiya Police OIC and the Attorney General as Respondents. more..

‘MR has hardware but I have software’

Mar 6 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe gave an assure that he will bring down the COL after forming a government. "We have solutions to many of the problems faced by the people, including the high COL," Wickremesinghe said at Kahawatte recently. "We will increase the salaries of all employees both in the public and mercantile sectors within two weeks of assuming power. more..

Parties have erected 1,666 unlawful cut-outs: Report

Mar 6 (DM) Political parties have erected as many as 1,666 unlawful cut-outs and banners throughout the country, according to a report compiled by the PAFFREL yesterday. It was handed over to the Elections Secretariat yesterday. The report says that the UPFA has put up the highest number of unlawful cut-outs and banners. According to PAFFREL, the party has erected 630 unlawful cut-outs which are less than six feet in size. more..

Ex-Army Intel. Chief to be quizzed

Mar 6 (DM) The Terrorist Investigation Unit said the former Army Intelligence Chief would be quizzed in connection with the killing of Lasantha Wickramatunga, within the course of the coming week. It is reported that the former Chief of Army Intelligence is to be quizzed in connection with the information gathered from the Army Intelligence Operatives quizzed so far. Already 15 members of the Army Intelligence have been taken into custody for questioning. more..

NFF condemns Pillay’s pro-LTTE statement

Mar 6 (DM) The NFF yesterday condemned the suggestion made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navineetham Pillay to conduct an investigation on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. She had made the statement submitting the Annual Report of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. NFF President Wimal Weerawansa said last year too, although a similar proposal was brought in by a Pro LTTE group including more..