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First batch of Sri Lankan nurses to arrive soon

May 3 (KT) In about two month's time the first batch of Sri Lankan nurses will arrive in Kuwait, disclosed Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Kuwait Sarath Dissanayake. He spoke during a press conference yesterday where he formally thanked the government and people of Kuwait for the successful one-week staging of Sri Lankan Cultural Week. "[The nurses] were arranged through government to government channels," more..

Questions around Sri Lanka’s T20 squad

May 3 (SL) T20 cricket is volatile, with the performances of individual players subject to highs and lows in sharp profile. It is rare for a player to sustain good efforts consistently over 5-15 games in the manner revealed by Ashwin, Tendulkar, Malinga and Bollinger during the recent IPL tournament. An outstanding performer in one series, take Sohail Tanvir of IPL 2008-09, can become a lame duck in another. more..

Beware the flash of fury

May 3 (ST) It is all too familiar. The skies suddenly darken, a distant rumble of thunder is heard and a vivid streak of lightning flashes across the sky, followed by a heavy downpour. So accustomed are we to this almost daily occurrence that we are in danger of disregarding the serious threat that lightning poses. Severe lightning storms experienced throughout the months of March and April, have claimed the lives of several people across the country, more..

Murali ruled out of ICC World T20

May 3 (SLC) Sri Lanka’s champion off spinner Muttiah Muralidharan has been ruled out of the ICC World T20 after suffering a groin strain whilst participating in the match against New Zealand. Sri Lankan team Physio Tommy Simsek speaking to revealed that Clinical tests revealed a Grade 1 strain of his right adductor muscle. more..

Clearing operations continue; Troops recover more mines and bombs

May 3 (MoD) Security forces are making swift progress with intensified clearing operations at areas of Vavuniya and Kilinochchi, making way for immediate resettlement and infrastructure building. According to finalized military reports received on Sunday (May 02), 56 Division troops engaged in clearing operations at Kanagarayankulam North have recovered a 130mm artillery round. more..

Withdrawal of SLA forces from Jaffna peninsula to be reconsidered

May 3 (TN) The earlier decision taken by Jaffna Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander Major Gen. Mahintha Kathursinghe to withdraw SLA forces in stages is to be reconsidered as per request of newly appointed Defence Secretary, Gothabaya Rajapakse, the brother of President Mahintha Rajapakse, Mahintha Kathurusinghe told the editors of Jaffna dailies in a meeting Sunday night at Gnanams Hotel SLA base. more..

Sri Lankan workers face austerity measures

May 3 (wsws) Sri Lanka’s Central Bank annual report for 2009, issued last month, claims that “the optimism created by the restoration of peace, the conducive macroeconomic environment, complemented by the global economic recovery has placed the economy in a position to grow at a faster rate”. The bank predicts growth of 6.5 percent in 2010, up from 3.2 percent in 2009. more..

“Vidulka”, to be held in August

May 3 (LP) The grand energy exhibition of the year “Vidulka” will be held at the BMICH from the 03 – 08 August 2010. The exhibition will be held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The exhibition is structured to have 3 components, viz., the National Energy Efficiency Award (NEEA), the Energy Exhibition and the Energy Symposium. The five day exhibition will basically focus on the main thrust areas of the SEA – renewable energy and energy management. more..

Jana Sabha Secretaries to be recruited soon

May 3 (GDI) Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that initial arrangements for the recruitment of “Jana Sabha” Secretaries have entered the final phase. He said “Jana Sabha” Secretaries will be recruited for the 14,440 Grama Niladhari Divisions. The Deputy Minister revealed that “Jana Sabha” Secretariats will be set up in all Grama Niladhari Divisions within the next few months. more..

Plans for 10 national parks

May 3 (LP) The proposed plan to set up 10 national parks in the country will be expedited, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. He said this will be done with the aim to develop the tourist industry. The Minister was making an inspection tour of the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens said that there are only three National Parks in the country - Peradeniya, Gampaha and Hakgala. more..

Prime Minister calls the nation to help transform Lanka into Asia's miracle

May 3 (LP) The nation as a whole should contribute to the success of the Mahinda Chintana future vision to transform the motherland to the Miracle of Asia, said Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne. He said matchless and unique personalities had emerged to save the country from disaster during the reigns of kings Agbo, Mahasen, Dutugemunu and Parakramabahu the Great. more..

Relaxation of emergency regulations to be debated over 2 days

May 3 (GDI) The Government is presently considering the relaxation of the emergency regulations. In this connection, the debate on extending the state of emergency will be held for two days giving more time for the parliamentarians to discuss it, said Chief whip of the Government Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. The extent to which the emergency regulations are to be relaxed will be debated over these two days. more..

Mahinda will tinker the present constitution to make him the life long President

May 3 (LG) Post independence Sri Lanka is preoccupied with political skullduggery than considering real progress of the country. Persons installed in power have time and again conned their way forward and the present President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse is not an exemption to this historical duplicity. It is expected that President Mahinda will change the constitution during his current term. more..

How the LTTE was 'military' defeated: A Soldier’s view - Part Four

May 3 (LG) Those were the four main players in the diplomatic warfront who acted as the Great Wall or fire wall, moats, bulwark or whatever you call it against the audacious onslaughts of Stein, Boyle, and MIA and subtle machinations of the likes of Pillai, Bildt. Milliband or Solheim or the avalanche of international support garnered from the misinformed public with the crocodiles tears of the cry babies like Vany K. more..

CID who went to search for General’s son in law, instead, search the safe etc. of Temple!

May 3 (LeN) The CID who went to Mihintale Raja Maha vihara in search of the General’s son in law Dhanuna Tilakaratne, had ransacked the Temple and searched the safe of the Temple, the chief incumbent of the Vihara, Walawahengunawewe Dhammaratne Thero stated. The Ven. Thero said, if the CID had truly come to search for Dhanuna, they should have searched for him; instead they searched the safe, almirah etc. of the Temple. more..

Japan to help Sri Lanka eradicate Leprosy

May 3 (NF) Japan is to assist Sri Lanka in the national programme to eradicate leprosy from the country with financial and technical aid. A special Japanese delegation arrived in the island yesterday in order to grant aid for the national programme to eradicate leprosy. The delegation includes the Chairman of the Japanese Nippon Foundation and the Friendship Ambassador of the World Health Organisation. more..

'CWC committed to lead estate workers'

May 3 (DN) The Ceylon Worker’s Congress has become part and parcel of the plantation community. For the past 60 years or more, it has been rendering service to the people of Indian origin in Sri Lanka. Nuwara-Eliya District MP and Ceylon Worker’s Congress General Secretary Arumugam Thondaman at the CWC, May Day Celebrations at the Central Bus Stand, Talawakelle. more..

Crime wave sweeps North Lanka

May 3 (EB) Jaffna and Vavuniya districts in Sri Lanka’s Tamil speaking Northern Province have become a happy hunting ground for ransom seekers and house breakers who do not hesitate to murder their victims. Incidents of murder and abduction for gain have mounted in the past few weeks, reaching a peak now, says M V Kanamylenathan, editor of Jaffnabased `Uthayan’ daily. Mavai Senathirajah MP and more..

SEC to improve CSE structure

May 3 (LNP) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will improve market microstructure of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). SEC Director General, Channa de Silva told Daily News Business that this was an encouraging decision for the investors and fundamental changes like this were required. The crossing threshold will be increased from Rs 10 million to Rs 20 million. The tick size on transactions will be reduced to 10 cents across the board. more..

Wandering in the land of palm fronds

May 3 (DN) What I noticed during my two visits to the Jaffna peninsula in February and April this year was that the people were very relaxed and happy and were once more travelling around in bicycles more than in any other form of transport. The Police and the Security Forces were very courteous and friendly towards not only the visitors but also to the general public of Jaffna. more..

Ven. Uduwela Nanda makes children fly

May 3 (DN) Saturday, I was in Peradeniya. Well, Kiribathkumbura to be precise. I was with about a dozen of my batchmates from Peradeniya. We meet like this now and then, but this time it was a families-included affair. The ‘group’ was made up of a set of people who had opposed the JVP-led Student Action Committee of Peradeniya or were at least critical of their methods. The conversation went around old times, recollecting incident and personality, more..

Editorial: They`ve never had it so good!

May 3 (LNP) The hurly-burly is done and the battle is lost and won. Dust is settling on the political front where elections were fought bitterly the other day. And, now, it is gala time for the winners. The victorious UPFA is having a fabulous feast, of course at the expense of the hapless public, and the bloodied Opposition is settling for crumbs off the table. It will be the other way around if the latter manages to turn the tables on the former someday somehow. more..

'Shelter for homeless, my top priority'

May 3 (SO) Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa who had built a reputation as a born orator made lots of sacrifices towards the attempts made by the President and the government to achieve lasting peace in the country. Hailing from a humble stock as a person who launched his political career from one of the country’s marxist political parties, more..

Male migrant workers out number females

May 3 (DN) After years of toil the Sri Lankan male migrant workers has been able to out number their female colleagues, with the former enjoying a 52 percent of the share, according to latest statistics. In recent years, Sri Lankan officials have actively encouraged male migration coupled with skilled labour and has taken steps to discourage the common practice of promoting unskilled female migrant domestic labour. more..

Curb on university ragging

May 3 (DM) Measures are being put in place to curb ragging at universities and the Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Professor Gamaini Samaranayake is planning on implementing a system which involves new students and their parents signing an agreement ensuring that the student will not engage in any ragging activity. At the National Convention on student discipline, anti-ragging and anti-violence held today, Chief Justice, Asoka de Silva said that more..

Mahaweli lands given to private sector Govt to prosecute firms in arrears of rent

May 3 (Island) The Irrigation and Water Resource Development Ministry has decided to take legal action against private companies which fail to pay the rent of government farms in the Mahaweli areas. There are about 38 government farms in the Mahaweli area which have been rented out to private companies. But most of companies have not paid the rent from 1995, more..

Minority parties concerned over new rules for local poll

May 3 (Island) Minority parties have expressed concern over Government moves to conduct local government elections under the earlier ward system since they feel that their chances of representation could be minimal. According to SLMC sources, the reintroduction of the earlier ward system would benefit only the two major political parties. The matter will be discussed in detail by all minor political parties and more..

Agricultural production campaign takes root

May 3 (Island) Sri Lanka’s agricultural development projects are gathering pace with fresh efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and to export local products. This programme is supported with a total budget of 3,664.46 million, the Department of Agriculture data revealed. The programme was launched in 2006 and is in progress. Sri Lanka hopes to reach 100 percent self-sufficiency with a production of three million tonnes of rice, more..

Range Bandara attackers released on bail

May 3 (DM) The UNP member of the Wayamba Provincial Council and his four accomplices who have been remanded on the charge of assault on the Puttalam District UNP Member of Parliament Palitha Range Bandara were released on certified cash bail of one million rupees and fifty thousand rupees each by Chilaw District Judge and magistrate Mrs. K. Sivapakya Sundaram. more..

'Decision to clear pavements of stalls final'

May 3 (Island) A senior government official says unauthorised stalls will not be allowed in Pettah despite protests by a section of government politicians. He insists a decision to remove them is not open to discussion as the vast majority of people as well as politicians and officials support the move. The Colombo police had been directed to ignore political interference and thwart any attempt by pavement hawkers to take over the Pettah pavements again. more..

Another ‘miracle of Asia’ – Mahinda’s committee finds election at Nawalapitiya clean & free of violence

May 3 (LT) The report submitted by a team from the SLFP that held a disciplinary inquiry regarding irregularities carried out by several ministers of the government at the general election targeting Nawalapitiya electorate has proved to be a prank only. According to the report there hadn’t been any election violation, violence or irregularities in Nawalapitiya electorate during the general election and more..

Tamil Nadu recommends entry to Prabhakaran's mother

May 3 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu government has urged the central government to let the 79-year-old mother of the late Tamil Tigers chief to visit India for medical treatment in the state. Announcing this in the state assembly Monday, Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said: "The government considered the request made by Parvathi and has written a letter to more..

Defectors to remain with UPFA

May 3 (DM) UNP defectors who split from the party in 2006 say that even if Sajith Premadasa or anyone else is appointed as the new UNP Leader, they will not return back to the party noting that the UNP was now deteriorating. UNP defector and newly appointed Minister, Dr. Rajitha Senaratna said that the problems within the UNP would not fade away even if Premadasa was made the new UNP leader. more..

President directs ministers to return ministry vehicles taken for election campaigns

May 3 (LT) The President has asked all former ministers and deputy ministers to hand over vehicles belonging to their former ministries that have been taken away by them. The President has made this directive at a meeting of newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers. At the meeting ministers who were sworn in for the present cabinet have severely reprimanded former ministers who had not returned the vehicles they more..

Sri Lanka suspends Fonseka court martial

May 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's court of appeal on Monday suspended a court martial against former army chief Sarath Fonseka, who tried to unseat the president in elections earlier this year. The court ordered the military tribunal that began hearings against Fonseka in March to halt its work until a decision has been made on the validity of the military's legal proceedings. more..

Post-war Sri Lanka softens tough emergency laws

May 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka relaxed on Monday its powerful wartime emergency rules, seeking to boost investment a year after the end of a 25-year war, officials said, a move likely to help it deflect criticism over its human rights record. The decision coincided with the presidential pardon for a journalist convicted under the law, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said. more..

Injured Murali out of World Twenty20

May 3 (CI) Sri Lanka's chances at the World Twenty20 have suffered a huge blow after offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan was ruled out of the tournament with a groin injury. He has been advised two to three weeks' rest, and no replacement has been named yet. Murali, who is also the team's vice-captain, was injured during Friday's opening match against New Zealand in Guyana, which Sri Lanka lost by two wickets. more..

Mercury rising cause of Maho explosions

May 3 (DM) The underground explosions in the Kuruengala District which have been occurring since Friday could be due to increasing of underground heat. It did not explain why the temperature was rising, however and it ruled out any volcanic eruptions though some eyewitnesses claimed seeing smoke. Underground explosions had been heard by the residents in Mahawa Katambuwawa in the Kuruengala District more..

Down the pallang? No Budget, two overdrafts

May 3 (LB) To Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, there is nothing strange about the government proposing a second vote-on-account (VoA) instead of a full budget. But many economists, including one of his predecessors, begged to differ last week, calling it a bad move with disastrous consequences for the country. The government was “taking an overdraft over an overdraft”, said a retired treasury official, more..

Tissainayagam to receive Presidential pardon

May 3 (Hindu) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to pardon journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, who is out on bail after being convicted in August last year under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, PTA. The newly appointed External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris made the announcement at a news conference here. The Presidential pardon coincided with the World Press Freedom Day. more..

Sri Lanka bourse at new high; rupee up

May 4 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares hit a record high on Monday on high turnover as investors bought on better earning hopes and select shares of biggest private lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon COMB.CM, Traders said. The All-Share Price Index surged 1.4 percent to hit a new record high of 4,246.08 points, surpassing its previous all-time high of 4,197.22 hit on Apr. 30. It closed 30.34 points or 0.72 percent up at 4,219.22. more..

Sri Lanka US embassy salutes journalists

May 4 (LBO) The US embassy in Colombo says the World Press Freedom Day which falls on May 03 is a reminder to citizens and government that a free media is an essential part of democracy. "In democracies, the people are sovereign, and representatives and elected officials derive their power from them," the US embassy said in a statement. "For the people to exercise their sovereignty wisely, they must have correct and complete information. more..

Sri Lanka bat against Zimbabwe in the deciding 20/20 match

May 4 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara chose to bat in a must-win encounter against Zimbabwe on a slow and low pitch in Guyana. Sri Lanka lost Muttiah Muralitharan on the eve of the game due to a groin injury and have roped in Suraj Randiv as an replacement. They have made one more change: Thissara Perera has replaced Chanaka Welegedera. For his part, Prosper Utseya said he wasn't too fussed with the toss result and more..

Sri Lanka in ADB trade finance deal

May 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka is one of the countries included in a trade finance deal between the Asian Development Bank and Germany's Commerzbank to share risks to support increased trade in developing Asia. According to an ADB statement, the Risk Participation Agreement – signed on the sidelines of the bank's 43rd annual meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan – is part of ADB's billion-dollar TradeFinance Facilitation Program (TFFP). more..

Sri Lanka lures European small business in IT outsourcing

May 4 (LBO) Sri Lankan information technology companies are trying to attract business process outsourcing (BPO) work from European small businesses, an industry group said in a statement. "Sri Lanka is a unique and competitive destination for specialized and SME (small and medium enterprise) sourcing," said Reshan Dewapura of the island's state-run Information and Communications Technology Agency. more..

Police arrest counterfeiters, says clothing brand

May 4 (LBO) Police have arrested several people for intellectual property rights violation after a raid on a factory making fake designs of the Odel fashion brand. Odel said its designs have been registered in Sri Lanka as trademarks and are legally the firm's exclusive property. "However, many of these protected designs and artworks have been subjected to the ever growing piracy of intellectual property," more..

Thousands of Tamil Canadians vote for ‘government’

May 4 (G&M) Tamil Canadians turned out by the thousands to cast ballots in a controversial election, described as “illegal” by Sri Lankan officials, to choose members for a “transnational government” of a non-existent Tamil state within the South Asian island country. Turnout was reportedly high in Toronto, which is home to more than half of Canada’s estimated 200,000 Sri Lankan Tamils, many of whom fled their country after more..

Beware of Crocodiles! Menik ganga residents warned

May 4 (NF) Residents along the banks of Menik Ganga have been alerted to the danger of crocodiles roaming close to the river, says officials of the irrigation office in Thissamaharama. Cautioning the residents, especially in areas of Kataragama, Kohombasingala and Katargama Sacred Area, the officials had noted that with the opening of four spill gates of the Weheragala Reservoir, the water levels of the river had increased. more..

Debrief News 03 05 2010

Sri Lanka's myth of free education and its quality

May 4 (LBO) After the release of the results of every major public examination, a spontaneous debate takes place in the country regarding the deteriorating quality of the students sitting for the examinations. Sri Lankan examination authorities are renowned throughout the world with respect to quality and standard assurance and, therefore, the blame is squarely placed on the country’s school system for failing to deliver the results expected by the community. more..