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Malaysian investors eyeing Lanka

May 5 (LNP) More Malaysian investors are keen on investing in Sri Lanka and with the tourism boom in the country more tourist arrivals are also expected from Malaysia. The Malaysian Business community is interested in investing in infrastructure, construction, real estate and power generation in Sri Lanka, Malaysian High Commissioner Rosli Ismail told Daily News Business. more..

Rs. 130 million fraud in SPMC

May 5 (LT) The State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation has defrauded a sum of Rs.130365168.24 by selling to Medical SuppliesDivision of the ministry 13 kinds of drugs it had manufactured above their selling prices say sources in the Corporation. These drugs have been bought from the State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation this year by the Medical SuppliesDivision to be distributed to government hospitals. more..

Begging in buses continues despite ban

May 5 (DN) Despite the ban on begging in public transport, the business is lucrative as ever, with the authorities diligently practising the code of silence. Begging was banned from May 1 onwards in private buses and since the end of March in trains. This is in reality, a rule that had been declared several years ago, but never imposed till the recent ban. Accordingly, any person caught begging or selling in public transport can be arrested on the spot. more..

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

May 5 (LG) MILITARY: The military aspect of defeating LTTE. The Techniques, Tactics and Procedures (TTPs), equipment, people and factors that helped or were deployed, employed or utilized to defeat the LTTE militarily. a. Failed Strategy: When SLA (Ealam War I- 23 Jul 83 Operation Kinihira-06 Jan 2001 and every operation in between) engaged LTTE or more..

President grabs 78 Institutions; Former PM gets just one!

May 5 (LeN) According to the SL gazette notification dated April 30th , the President Mahinda Rajapakse under the powers vested in him by the constitution S 44 -1, has in the distribution of Ministries grabbed for himself four Cabinet portfolios. In other words, as many as 78 Institutions coming under those Ministries will be controlled by him. more..

UNP accuses Prisons Commissioner of breach of privilege

May 5 (DM) The UNP urged Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa in Parliament yesterday to summon the Commissioner of Prisons before the Privileges Committee, saying that he was responsible for preventing the party’s Kalutara district MP Palitha Thewarapperuma from attending Parliamentary sessions. Shortly after the House resumed business for the day, Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga said that Mr. Thewarapperuma, who is on remand, more..

Sri Lanka creates more state jobs, but costs mount

May 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's expanding state has created more jobs in recent years but costs are mounting with 57.6 cents out of every tax rupee being taken home by workers as salaries and pensions last year, official data shows. State workers as a share of total employed had grown from 13.2 percent to 15.2 percent over the last five years but they are consuming an increasingly larger share of taxes collected from the people. more..

Kongahage remunerated – appointed Chairman SLRC

May 5 (LT) Minister of Media Mahinda Rajapakse has decided to appoint Mr. Sarath Kongahage as the Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC). Mr. Kongahage will commence work as the Chairman of SLRC tomorrow (6th). Mr. Kongahage presented nomination for the presidential election and on the day the nominations were handed over he objected to the nomination of Gen. Sarath Fonseka, more..

We don’t need another hero!

May 5 (DN) Yes, that’s from Tina Turner’s song from the 1985 film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle. The line came to me, strangely, after I had just told a set of schoolchildren that we don’t need to look beyond our shores to find heroes (if indeed we needed any, I should have added). The line is nice and echoes another from Brecht’s ‘Galileo’ (again from beyond our shores): ‘Unhappy is the land that needs a hero’ (and not ‘a land that has not hero’). more..

Editorial: Liberate universities!

May 5 (LNP) Sri Lanka has made a name for herself as a country that has effectively neutralised terrorism. The JVP terror was defeated on two occasions, in 1971 and in the late 1980s. The LTTE terror which spanned three decades was brought to an end last year. However, there are still pockets of terrorism of a different kind. They are the national universities, where some thugs in undergraduates' garb are unleashing hell. more..

Sarath Amunugama is Senior Adviser to President

May 5 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today appointed Dr. Sarath Amunugama as the Senior Adviser to the President. He succeeds Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, reports the media unit of the President. Dr. Amunugama, a civil servant by profession held a number of Cabinet portfolios including Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning and Public Administration and Home Affairs. more..

Mystery shutter bug causes uproar in Parliament

May 5 (Island) The presence of a photographer in the public gallery of Parliament yesterday and his constant clicking of the camera with flash lights targeting the MPs, caused an uproar with Opposition MPs demanding to know who the unidentified photographer was. The matter was first raised by DNA MP Sunil Handunnetti wanted to know who had given permission for MPs to be photographed inside the chamber. more..

Research find bio-diesel from rubber seed oil

May 5 (DN) The production of bio-diesel using rubber seed oil has attained successful results, Moratuwa University Chemical and Process Engineering Department Senior Lecturer Sanja Gunawardena told the Daily News. The research team had tested this new technology in a three wheeler recently. She said that certain percentage of bio-diesel can be used in any diesel engine. more..

Secure place for youth - Namal Rajapaksa MP

May 5 (DN) He said it is a social requirement to appoint a special commission to look into the reasons that led youth to take up arms against the Government. “As a young man, I spent most of my 23 years of life under the Emergency like many others in the country,” he said. Therefore, we must thank President Mahinda Rajapaksa for relaxing Emergency Regulations. more..

Measures to arrest drug shortage

May 5 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a special committee headed by Deputy Director General, Public Health Dr. Palitha Maheepala to investigate into drug shortages reported time to time at State hospitals, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. Minister Sirisena appointed this committee after a special discussion held at the Ministry Monday with more..

On the pretext of Hajj discussion:Kith and kin of UPFA

May 5 (Island) Two veteran ruling party politicians are seeking to take their kith and kin for a forthcoming discussion in Saudi Arabia to finalize arrangements for annual Hajj pilgrimage. Informed sources said that one minister had included his wife and his colleagues both his son and grandson in the delegation. Sources said that both politicians had forwarded two separate requests to Office of the President more..

Daily Mirror scribe assaulted

May 5 (DM) Daily Mirror senior journalist Sandun A. Jayasekera was assaulted by security officers providing security at the Maharagama cancer hospital while President Mahinda Rajapaksa was attending an event at the hospital this morning. According to Mr. Jayasekara the security officers had not allowed him to enter the premises to cover the event despite him receiving an official media invitation. Mr. Jayasekara had produced his media card to the security officers but they had scolded him in filth. more..

Budget deficit expands 15.75 % year-on-year in January

May 5 (Island) Sri Lanka’s budget deficit for the month of January 2010 reached 1.15 percent of GDP, expanding 15.75 percent to Rs. 63.2 billion from Rs. 54 billion in January 2009, as total expenditure increased by 10.48 percent while total revenues grew 5.45 percent on better tax collections which increased 7.92 percent. Tax revenue in January amounted to Rs. 46.3 billion compared to Rs. 42.9 billion in January 2009. more..

Editorial: Golden era only if there is statesmanship

May 5 (DM) With the new government taking office President Mahinda Rajapaksa proclaimed an unprecedented development era that will be written in letters of gold. This process must essentially have a foundation of social equality, sincere, selfless and sacrificial service by the leadership to the people with urgent and effective steps to bring about a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. more..

Military will still have police powers

May 5 (DM) The government said in Parliament yesterday that the military would continue to have police powers to deal with ongoing investigations and legal action into incidents connected with terrorism. External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris gave a detailed account of the emergency regulations that the government had rescinded. He said the government had rescinded these emergency regulations without endangering national security. more..

Mervin thrown from media to highway

May 5 (LT) MP from Gampaha District Mervin Silva, who was sworn in as the Deputy Minister of Media when portfolios were handed over to UPFA Parliamentarians, has resigned from that portfolio and has been appointed as the Deputy Minister of Highways today (5th) morning. The Minister of Highways is the President. Dr. Mervin Silva has said he was sworn in as a Deputy Minister of Highways in addition to being the Deputy Minister of Media. more..

'MPs who support the emergency regulations throttling the people must be ashamed'

May 5 (LeN) DNA Colombo District M P Gen. Sarath Fonseka told in Parliament today (4) that the emergency regulations which was introduced only to meet exigencies of circumstances, has been in existence for the last 30 years. But, now that the war is over these regulations should be withdrawn and the country be ruled by the ordinary laws of the country. more..

UN should have intervened under R2P in Lanka war says Oxford Chancellor

May 5 (Island) Lord Patten, currently Chancellor of Oxford University, makes a startling reference to Sri Lanka, asserting that the UN should have intervened politically and diplomatically under the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) "to protect Tamil civilians in the Sri Lankan government campaign to wipe out the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam". more..

Ranil decides on Mano

May 5 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickramasingha is expected to make a decision on the national list slot of Democratic National Front (DNF) Leader Mano Ganesan on Monday after a meeting was held to discuss the issue between the both the parties. During the meeting which was also attended by SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, Wickramasingha promised Ganesan, that he would convey his decision on May 10 after more..

Four more Ministers and Six Deputies sworn in

May 5 (IL) Four more Ministers and six Deputy Ministers were sworn in before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s House this morning on 5th April increasing the size of the Cabinet to 42 members. Keheliya Rambukwella: Minister of Media and Information. S.B. Dissanayaka: Minister of Higher Education. Tissa Vitharana: Minister of Technology and Research. more..

President allocates Rs. 440B. for expenses

May 5 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa informed Parliament yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had ordered the allocation of Rs.440 billion from the Consolidated Fund to meet the expenses of the public service and settlement of bills and loans between April 22 and July 22. However, UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara argued that it was unconstitutional for the President to allocate monies in more..

Sri Lanka plans ethnic reconciliation panel

May 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka plans to set up a reconciliation commission to foster ethnic unity as the island emerges from nearly four decades of bloody conflict. Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said the government hoped the panel would ensure that majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils did not return to warfare. "The commission is expected to prevent the communities falling into an unfortunate situation again," more..

IMF urges Sri Lanka reforms to get loan moving again

May 5 (Reuters) The International Monetary Fund urged the Sri Lankan government on Wednesday to speed up fiscal reforms and produce a more comprehensive deficit cutting plan if wants to get a multi-billion dollar loan back on track. "The disbursement of the next tranche (of the loan) is linked most importantly with the budget," Koshy Mathai, the IMF more..

Debrief News - 05. 05. 2010

Sri Lanka parliament approves state of emergency

May 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's parliament voted on Wednesday in favor of extension of the state of emergency by a further month. The motion was approved 132 voting for and 14 against in the 225-member assembly, officials said. While the ruling party UPFA voted in favor, the main minority Tamil party TNA voted against. The main opposition UNP and the DNA were not present at the time of the vote. more..

Moves to boost livelihoods in former combat-zone

May 6 (IRIN) Reviving the farming and fishing sectors in northern Sri Lanka’s former combat zone is vital for returning residents to regain their livelihoods, experts say. In the early 1980s before the war, agriculture and fisheries accounted for more than 50 percent of the economy of the northern region of Vanni, said Muttukrishna Saravananthan, an economist and lead researcher of the Point Pedro Institute of Development in northern Jaffna District. more..

India opens visa centre in Jaffna

May 6 (PTI) People in northern Sri Lanka need not go all the way to Colombo to get visas to visit India with New Delhi on Wednesday inaugurating a visa centre in Jaffna. Indian High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha inaugurated the India Visa Application Centre in Jaffna, the cultural capital of Lankan Tamils. India is also planning to open a consulate there to oversee the developmental works it is carrying out in war-ravaged northern parts. more..

Telecom shares push Sri Lanka bourse to record high

May 6 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares hit a record high on Wednesday led by telecoms on a possible rise in tariffs and earnings hopes analysts said. But foreign investors were net sellers as the International Monetary Fund urged for reforms to continue its $2.6 billion loan. The All-Share Price Index rose 1.3 percent to hit a new record high of 4,260.11 points, surpassing its previous all-time high of 4,246.08 hit on Monday. more..

Murali to remain in Caribbean

May 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka's injured star spinner Muttiah Muralidaran is recovering slowly and will remain with the team for the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, Sri Lanka Cricket said on Wednesday. The 38-year-old Sri Lankan vice captain has made "significant progress" and is recovering from a groin injury picked up during last Friday's opening game against New Zealand, which Sri Lanka lost by two wickets. more..

President Rajapaksa declares open Gnanam Memorial Operating Theater at Maharagama Cancer Hospital

May 6 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open Deshamanya A.Y.S Gnanam Memorial Operating Theater Complex at Maharagama Cancer Hospital premises this afternoon on 5th April. Newly appointed Health Minister Maithreepala Sirisena, Minister of the Western Provincial Council Upali Kodikara, Maharagama Mayoress Mrs. Kanthi Kodikara and more..

Praba’s house owner surfaces

May 6 (DM) The owner of the house in which LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran was living in just before his death, has surfaced at a camp for the IDP located in Vavuniya and is claiming ownership for the house and property, military officials said. The military said that the owner of Prabakaran’s house located at Dharmapuram, Vishwamadu in Killinochchi claims that the house was taken away from him by force by the LTTE eight years ago. more..

The legacy of Chanaka Amaratunga and the future of liberalism in Sri Lanka

May 6 (GV) The 19th of April was the 52nd birthday of Dr. Chanaka Amaratunga, the founder of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka. Groundviews invited leading political commentators to contribute to a special edition commemorating Chanaka’s role in politics and the liberal movement in Sri Lanka. Essays in this series included: Remembering Chanaka by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director, more..

Speech in the Emergency Debate, 5 May 2010

May 6 (RW) Mr Speaker, I should begin by thanking you and the party I represent for giving me this opportunity to speak here today. Many years ago, as I child, I used to attend debates in Parliament, and marvel at the learning and commitment of our Members of Parliament. That was in the old chamber, which was a place of great dignity. more..

Travel guide on Sri Lanka in Arabic launched

May 6 (EB) The first travel guide on Sri Lanka in Arabic language penned by a UAE national was launched yesterday at the Sri Lanka pavilion in the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. The guide book titled "Sri Lanka: The Most Beautiful Island in the World", is a 205-page guide on the island nation which has become a favoured travel destination for Gulf residents. The author, Heba Al Mansoori, Middle East director of more..

Government assisting in relocation of Sri Lankans

May 6 (BVI) Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Rosalie Adams has said that six illegal Sri Lankans released today should be treated in a humane manner. According to a GIS press release, Government in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, (UNHCR) granted the men refugee status under the UN Convention regarding the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. more..

Through the Eastern Eyes V: Puthukkudiyiruppu

May 6 (HA) The youth of Puthukkudiyiruppu have taken a new turn in their lives today. They have had their maiden photo exhibition in their village. The 12 member Photo Voice team has undergone a professional training in Photo Journalism for one year, which was provided by Terre des hommes. The youth were trained professionally to handle still cameras, light, angles, composition, more..

Both Brussels and Colombo Groping for a face-saving compromise on GSP+ Issue

May 6 (TC) The European Union’s decision, in February, to withdraw Sri Lanka’s preferential trading access to its market came as little surprise. Under what is known as the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences Plus, commonly referred to as GSP+, duty-free access (currently on more than 6300 product classifications) was extended to a handful of developing countries with poorly diversified economies shortly after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. more..

President to take over Attorney General's Department will further damage the rule of law

May 6 (AHRC) According to a report in the Daily Mirror newspaper today (May 4, 2010) there are moves to bring the Attorney General's Department under the direct control of the president. A gazetted notice to this effect is expected to be released soon. The exact meaning on how the department is to be brought under the president is not yet clear. However, it is clear that this move to bring the Attorney General's Department, more..

UNP faces leadership question as it attempts to regroup

May 6 (National) Sri Lanka’s main opposition party is facing a leadership crisis after losing a number of elections over the past six years to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ruling UPFA. Yesterday, the UNP’s highest policy-making body, the Working Committee, met to discuss the party’s direction and how to revive it, underscoring the growing calls for the party leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe to step down. more..

Pakistan business delegation visiting Sri Lanka

May 6 (AAP) A 25 member business delegation of Pakistan - Sri Lanka Business Forum (PSLBF) led by Abdul Rauf Tabani, is visiting Sri Lanka on May 5. An announcement here on Wednesday said that the delegation would be accompanied by the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Karachi, Sidath Kumar. It said that the week-long visit coincides with INTRAD Expo 2010, International Trade Fair and Investor Forum in Colombo. more..

Monk arrested over alleged abuse of orphaned girls

May 6 (NF) A monk has been taken into custody in connection with an allegation that two school girls of an orphanage in Uppuveli, Trincomalee had been abused. According to police media spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody, the two girls aged 15 and 17 had made statements to police to that effect. The two school girls have been sent to Trincomalee hospital for an inspection. The girls had revealed of the abuse they had more..

'Yarl FM' boon for Jaffna residents

May 6 (MoD) The SLBC is set to launch the new Yarl FM Tamil service in Jaffna this month, its chairman Hudson Samarasinghe said. As Jaffna is the cultural centre of Sri Lankan Tamils, it will be appropriate to broadcast programmes from the region itself, he said. Talented youth from the North and graduates from the Jaffna University are also being recruited to boost the quality of the programmes, said SLBC officials. more..

8 political prisoners assaulted by Jaffna prison personnel

May 6 (TN) Jaffna magistrate, informed of the attack on eight political prisoners held in Jaffna Prison by prison officials and guards on 30 April, ordered the victims to be admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH) for treatment, sources in Jaffna said. The victims who were among 60 fellow prisoners locked in a cell had tried to escape, Jaffna prison authorities claimed. more..

India ready to resume ferry services with Sri Lanka

May 6 (HT) India is prepared to resume ferry services between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, Indian High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha said. The two ferry services are expected to connect Talaimannar in northern Sri Lanka and Rameshwaran and Colombo and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. "The Government of India also favoured an early resumption of the ferry service between Talaimannar and Rameshwaram as more..

Water levels of Keleni River may rise

May 6 (LP) Two sluice gates of the Laxapana reservoir were opened yesterday to facilitate maintenance work which may cause in a sudden rise in the water level of the Kelani Ganga. People living on its banks downstream are advised to be vigilant for any possible eventuality, said Engineer (Operations) attached to the Reservoir. Similar situations may arise within the next five days too due to heavy rains experienced in the area and more..