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Over 40 m seek OPD treatment

Nov 25 (DN) The total population of Sri Lanka is only 20 million but 42 million people receive treatment from the OPDs of State hospitals annually. This is without the number of patients who obtain treatment from the private sector and other medical institutions. Around 2.5 million patients receive treatment from the Colombo National Hospital (CNH) annually and 300,000 patients receive in-house treatment, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. more..

Electronics industry pleased with 2011 budget

Nov 25 (Island) Merrick Gooneratne, past President, Sri Lanka Electronic Manufacturers and Exporters Association, says policy direction in the 2011 budget clearly integrates Sri Lanka with the most positive trends of the global economy. Responding to questions in a post-budget interview with The Island, Gooneratne said: "Following the annihilation of terrorism and the political stability, the Electronic Manufacturing Industry entered a phase of unprecedented growth. more..

'Tax holidays not extended to North'

Nov 25 (NF) D. M. Swaminathan, the UNP MP said that tax holidays were not being extended to investments in the northern province. “It is with great regret that I note that the tax holidays, which were there earlier, was not granted to any investments made to the northern province. There is no tax holiday at all to the northern province up to date. If that is the intention of the government, there would be no proper development in the northern province. more..

University education: Student intake widens

Nov 25 (DN) Plans are under way to increase the students intake for local universities by 3,000 from next year. About 25,000 students would be admitted to Universities for the next academic year scheduled to start by June 2011, said Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake. He was addressing the annual prize giving of the Hanguranketha Sirimavo Bandaranaike Balika Vidyalaya. The Education Ministry will release A-L results in the next month and more..

State honours for Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on his return

Nov 25 (Island) Archbishop Rt Rev Malcolm Ranjith elevated to Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church last week, will be accorded State honours on Saturday, Dec 04, by the congregation of St Lucia’s Cathedral in Kotahena, where a special service will be held, said Rev Fr Cyril Gamini Fernando. Cardinal Ranjith returns to the island on Saturday November 27. The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka requests all Catholics to hoist the Catholic flag in their homes to mark the event. more..

'80% lankans want Sajith in a high position'

Nov 25 (NF) Eighty per cent of the people of this country wish for Sajith Premadasa to come to a very high position in this party, says Joseph Michael Perera, UNP parliamentarian. Speaking at a function yesterday at the State Printing Corporation, organised by its workers' union, Joseph Michael said that at a time when Sajith Premadasa was also there, he wished to say that there was no issue with him being a future leader. more..

New kidney stone removing machine installed

Nov 25 (Island) A state-of-the-art lithotripter machine, capable of removing 95 per cent of kidney stones, has been installed at the Colombo National Hospital at a cost of Rs. 50 million. It is able to dissolve kidney stones by means of X-ray. The sophisticated machine, the latest in the world, is more quicker and safer, Healthcare Minister Maithripala Sirisena said, at the installation ceremony held at the Colombo National Hospital on November 23. more..

Govt protects women’s rights

Nov 25 (DN) I am pleased to send this message on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to mark the occasion. “Sri Lanka recognizes the need for the universal application to women of the rights and principles with regard to equality, security, liberty, integrity and dignity of all human beings, accepted by the United Nations in its Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women. more..

'A hilarious budget, few soldiers have a third child'

Nov 25 (NF) Few soldiers have a third child, says former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. He made these comments while leaving after the hearing of the white flag case was postponed yesterday. “The hilarious budget has stated that a grant of Rs. 100,000 would be granted to the third child of a soldier. Not one in even among thousand soldiers has a third child. None of the officers has a third child,” said former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. more..

Ex-Liberation Tiger combatant student in Jaffna University attempts suicide

Nov 25 (TN) A first year Arts Faculty student in Jaffna University, a released ex-Liberation Tiger combatant from Vanni, tried to commit suicide Monday by taking overdose of tablets, sources in Jaffna. Meanwhile, the parents of a former Liberation Tiger combatant who had been rehabilitated after arrest and later released to join his family complained 18 November to Jaffna Human Rights Commission office that their son is continually threatened by Sri Lanka Army more..

Indian High Commissioner visits Jaffna

Nov 25 (TN) The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Mr. Asok K. Kantha is on a sudden visit to Jaffna where he is engaged in preparations to receive Indian Minister of External Affairs Mr. S. M. Krishna who is expected to visit Jaffna peninsula on 27 Saturday, sources in Jaffna said. The Indian minister will be taking part in the event of resettling families in the outskirt villages of the Army High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valikaamam North that is to be presided by by Minister, Basil Rajapaksa, more..

Hedging case may end advantageous to govt.- Dinesh

Nov 25 (DM) The legal cases involving the CPC Hedging Deal would end up in a manner advantageous to the government, minister Dinesh Gunawardena said in Parliament. He made this remark during the question time responding to UNP MP, Ravi Karunanayake. However, he declined to give details about the Hedging deal citing it as a matter now taken up in a Court of Law. MP Karunanayake argued that it was not a matter pending before Court in Sri Lanka. more..

Global meet on universal brotherhood in Sri Lanka

Nov 25 (Hindu) Eminent thinkers and philosophers from around the world are expected to address a global convention on universal brotherhood to be held at Colombo on December 19 and 20 under the auspices of the Sree Narayana Guru Society of Sri Lanka, Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust, Sivagiri and S.N. Mandira Samiti, Mumbai. Head of the Sivagiri Math Swami Prakasananda and chairman of the Mandira Samiti M.I. Damodaran said the discussions to be held at more..

Govt passing only Bills beneficial to it – Opposition

Nov 25 (Island) The Opposition yesterday accused the government of being selective in passing Bills in Parliament. It said only Bills favourable to the government were passed. UNP Hambantota District MP Sajith Premadasa demanded to know why the government could not expedite the process of bringing in legislation for the welfare of the tenant farmers with the same enthusiasm as it had displayed as regards the enactment of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

UNP rejects senior ministers

Nov 25 (DM) UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakse told Parliament the appointment of Senior Ministers contravened the Constitution because it did not permit the creation of such posts. He said as a result the opposition would not recognize the newly created posts of senior ministers. Mr. Rajapakse said however by using his executive powers the president could make such appointments. He said the powers to monitor public finances were fully vested with the legislature, but more..

Budget does not provide expected salary increment – TUC

Nov 25 (DM) Public Sector workers are unhappy with the budget as it does not provide them with a much needed and anticipated salary increment, the Trade Union Confederation (TUC) said. The TUC said that they were giving the government a week to correct this deficiency. The TU said it would take action in conjunction with other trade unions if the government did not attend to the matter by then. The Confederation invited other trade unions to join them in this endeavour more..

Lanka caught up in Indo-China tussle, UNP tells parliament

Nov 25 (Island) The Opposition on Wednesday alleged that due to short-sighted foreign policy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, Sri Lanka had been caught up in the geo-political conflict between Asian giants, China and India. Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna expected in Sri Lanka today. UNP Kurunegala District MP Gamini Jayawickrama Perera told parliament that mismanagement of international affairs would cause serious problems. more..

Nurses want to be categorized as professionals

Nov 25 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) yesterday warned they would resort to trade union action if Nurses too were not included into the ‘Professionals’ category that is entitled to a 25 percent increase in allowances, announced on Monday in the 2011 Budget. President of the GNOA Saman Ratnapriya said the 2011 budget discriminated between health services. more..

Sri Lanka budget 2011 for stability, knowledge economy

Nov 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's 2011 budget has been made to keep the economy stable allowing monetary policy to maintain low inflation and also speed the country towards a knowledge economy, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said. "This entire fiscal strategy is to bring stability in macro terms," he told a seminar organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka. "Consolidate the low interest rate regime, consolidate the exchange rate strategy, more..

India to start power trade with Sri Lanka by 2014

Nov 25 (BS) The government’s initiative to have trading of electricity with Sri Lanka is likely to bear fruit by mid-2014, with the commissioning of a high capacity power transmission link between the two countries. Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), the country’s largest electricity transmission utility and the implementing agency for the project from the Indian side, is likely to sign a MoU for developing more..

Kamil blames city dwellers for floods

Nov 25 (Island) The upper and middle class residents of the city too, should share the blame for the recent floods experienced in many parts of Colombo. Residents with large gardens have constructed other buildings in their premises and that is an impediment to the free flow of water. This opinion was expressed by the Special Commissioner of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Omar Kamil. more..

Nothing substantial found in alleged mass grave in Lanka

Nov 25 (PTI) Contrary to suspicions, Sri Lankan investigators hardly found any evidence as they carried out digging of a site where the Tamil Tigers are alleged to have mass buried government troops killed by them. Only a few pieces of clothes and some empty bullets were found from the site, military officials said. The government investigators comprising forensic experts exhumed the area where four LTTE detainees had confessed that more..

Massive Developments around Galle Face in the offing

Nov 25 (GDI) Surrounding areas of Galle Face is to be developed with Luxury Hotels, High-rise residential commercial buildings and other amenities.The first project estimated to cost around U.S.$ 500 Million under this programme will be launched next week. This was stated by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Dr.P.B.Jayasundera when he addressed a post-Budget Seminar more..

No pay hike for 2.2 million private sector employees

Nov 25 (DM) Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge said he would not request private sector employers to grant a pay hike to their employees despite speculation that the government would make a request to do so following the 5% allowance granted to the public sector from the budget 2011. “The government has increased private sector salaries recently through the Wages Boards. more..

Sri Lanka is to provide U.S.$ 200 Million Line of Credit to Maldives

Nov 25 (GDI) The Government is to provide U.S.$ 200 Million line of credit to Maldives to overcome the foreign exchange crisis facing that country. Under this arrangement Maldivian Rufiyaa could be directly exchanged for Sri Lankan Rupees and vice versa. A Minister from the Maldives will arrive in Sri Lanka shortly to seal this currency swap agreement. Maldives has been facing a dollar crisis since recently and more..

Derana journalist says he didn’t hear SF make White Flag allegation

Nov 25 (Island) Derana Ratnapura correspondent Gayan Kanchanamal Kudagama yesterday, testifying before the White flag Trial-at-Bar, said that he had not heard the controversial ‘White Flag’ allegation made by Opposition presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka on Dec. 23, 2009, when he addressed a rally opposite Ratnapura police station, though he was there to record the former Army Commander’s speech. Kudagama’s evidence was led by Deputy Solicitor General Wasantha Bandara. more..

Indian FM in Sri Lanka amid growing Chinese influence

Nov 25 (AFP) Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna was due in Sri Lanka Thursday to shore up bilateral relations amid growing Chinese influence on the island. Krishna is due to call on President Mahinda Rajapakse and also open two Indian consulates in the southern and northernmost parts of the island before leaving on Sunday, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said. The Indian minister will travel to the southern town of Hambantota on Friday to open an Indian Consulate General office, more..

Late strikes give Sri Lanka the edge

Nov 26 (CI) A masterful 80 by Darren Bravo was all that stood in the way of Sri Lanka, as they closed out the third day of the second Test 222 runs ahead. Darren Bravo was assured as he notched up his second half-century in as many innings in Tests, even as his more illustrious team-mates struggled to come to terms with the skill and variation of the Sri Lankan attack. The visitors looked good to end the day just three down as the gloom set in more..

More ministers sworn-in

Nov 26 (DM) Another Senior Minister and three more deputy ministers took oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this evening. Accordingly MP Milroy Fernando was sworn-in as the Senior Minister of Social Welfare, while Neomal Perera took oaths as the Deputy External Affairs Minister. MPs Sarath Kumara Gunaratne was sworn-in as the Minister of State Resources and Enterprise Development, while Wijaya Dahanayaka as the Minister of Public Administration. more..

Prelates request to reduce the Cabinet and give relief to the masses

Nov 26 (LT) Prelates of the Temple of Tooth Relic have asked the Prime Minister to reduce the Cabinet and make arrangements to give benefits to the masses. This request was made by the Prelates when the Prime Minister D M Jayaratne visited them to invoke blessings on his visit to the Temple of Tooth Relic yesterday (24). Ven. Thibatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thero has stated that building of temples competitively throughout the island is useless and more..

Sri Lanka, India has best budget transparency in South Asia: survey

Nov 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka and India has emerged on top in South Asia on a global survey on budget tranparency by a Washington based body, which judged that citizens are given enough information to assess how their money is used. Sri Lanka and India has scored 67 points and transparency has improved over the years. The index graded countries as giving scant information (0-20 points - E), minimal (21-40 D), some (41-60 C), significant (61-80 B) and extensive (81-100 A). more..

Sri Lanka navy gets attack craft, focus on guarding ocean wealth

Nov 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's navy is acquiring more fast attack craft as its role shifts to protecting the island's exclusive economic zone following the end of a war, navy commander Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe said. "We are acquiring six fast attack craft," he told a news conference held to announce the navy's plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary. "Four craft have already been delivered and we're getting the other two in January." more..

Nepal rubbishes Sri Lanka's claim of mediator role

Nov 26 (HT) Nepal has refuted claims made by a Sri Lankan minister that it had sought the island nation's help to diffuse the ongoing political crisis in the Himalyan nation. Sri Lankan external affairs minister GL Peiris had stated in parliament on Wednesday that Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav had sought his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa's help. He said that the request was made when both the presidents had met last month in China more..

Lanka's connection to the royal wedding

Nov 26 (HT) Sri Lanka has a sparkling connection to what has been termed as the royal marriage of the century – the oval blue sapphire ring that Prince William gave to Kate Middleton is from here. The sapphire was originally sourced from one among the several gem mines in the rather appropriately named Ratnapura district in central-south of the country. And as it has turned out, it was the same ring given by William's father, Prince Charles during his engagement to Lady Diana in 1981. more..

‘War Criminal gets a UN job’ – Sri Lanka refutes NY Post

Nov 26 (AD) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations has refuted allegations against Major General Shavendra Silva, the new Deputy Permanent Representative to UN by New York Post in an article titled ‘War criminal gets a UN job’. In a letter to the Editor of the newspaper, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Dr. Palitha Kohona stated that the report is ‘not based on fact and is highly defamatory’. ‘This piece is extremely unbalanced and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 25.11.2010

Ranil is a dictator – Dayasiri

Nov 26 (AD) Within the constitution of the UNP Ranil Wickremasinghe is not a democratic leader but a dictator, UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara told Ada Derana. He said this in reply to a question posed by an Ada Derana viewer. An Ada Derana viewer had posted a comment stating that at present Ranil Wickremasinghe is the most democratic leader, Jayasekara replied by saying that even if Ranil wanted to he could not be democratic due to the powers vested on him by the party constitution. more..

54 government institutions incurred losses in 2009 - UNP

Nov 26 (AD) In 2009 due to mismanagement and the lack of policy planning 54 government institutions have registered losses, UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya claimed in parliament today. He added that the 2011 budget was a budget of broken promises. Jayasuriya also stated that bankers had informed him that this year saw the most amount of gold pawned by people. Reacting to the statement Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena said that at a time when more..

'India wants to see early resettlement of displaced Tamils'

Nov 26 (PTI) Keen to see development in the war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka, India will provide a whopping USD 1.7 billion to the country in the next three years for various developmental activities and would like to see the early resettlement of Tamil civilians displaced by the war. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who arrived here on a visit, said India would be particularly interested in seeing the early resettlement of the civilians in their towns and villages. more..

The case of U. A. Somawathi and the Court System

Nov 26 (LG) The case of U. A. Somawathi is well known the country over. Somawathe has been kept in remand prison at the women’s ward in the Welikada prison for more than seven years and the Attorney General’s office has been dragging its feet the entire time. Her case, number 51443, was last heard in the Moratuwa Magistrate Court on November 16, 2010. The judge gave an urgent reminder to the AG to speed its prosecution and sent Somawathe back to remand. more..

Will Mulankavil becomes the next Vanni?

Nov 26 (LG) Though Srilanka has few events to be remembered in the history, but May 18 marks a very important day after Independence which none of the Srilankans can ever forget. Mullivaikal became the unforgettable place to all Srilankans and of historically a place to be remembered at all times. The famous Valvettithurai lost it fame due to the significance of Mullivaikal. The Srilankans may be forced to remember a place called Mullankavil in near future and more..

Des Gunewardena is king of London’s top restaurants — he has 25

Nov 26 (ES) Time was when I first worked in the Square Mile, there was hardly anywhere to get a decent meal. There was Sweetings of course, a French place called Le Poulbot, Jamaica House, Bubb\'s, Villa Etrusca, and the Davy's wine bars, and that was about it. Now the City is positively groaning with first-class restaurants, and it\'s about to get some more. D&D, the company that owns Coq d\'Argent, Paternoster Chop House, more..

Ethnic and religious harmony can build a Sri Lankan Identity

Nov 26 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address to the nation after his installation for the second term of presidency said his new vision and mission for the new era was to take the country to a future generation that was trilingual. If his vision is realized then at least Sri Lanka will take one step towards finding a Sri Lankan identity. As it is we continue to draw lines dividing the nation into ethnic and religious insular enclaves. more..

Budget 2011 Progressive; but not Innovative

Nov 26 (DM) The 2011 Budget that Mahinda Rajapaksa presented in Parliament on Monday was certainly progressive, but not in anyway innovative. Many analysts were expecting the government to unveil a program that would leave a lasting imprint on our country’s psyche like the Garment Factory programme that Premadasa introduced in the 90s or the EPZ that JRJ introduced to support his open economic policies. Many of the Chambers have praised the government for more..

Roy to join as Sri Lanka batting coach?

Nov 26 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will shortly appoint former Test star Roy Dias as Sri Lanka team’s batting coach ahead of the forthcoming World Cup co-hosted by Sri Lanka, sources said. Dias had two discussions with the Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee chief D.S. de Silva, his former teammate and SLC would make the appointment soon sources added. SLC had also considered Marvan Atapattu, but had felt that Dias was the better choice as more..

Thou shalt label at thine own risk!

Nov 26 (DM) For years anyone who opposed a ‘negotiated settlement’ to the conflict in Sri Lanka were called ‘war-mongers’. Since most of those who argued that the LTTE should and can be militarily defeated happened to be Sinhalese and indeed Sinhala Buddhists, they were gifted the additional tags ‘chauvinist’, ‘religious supremacists/fundamentalists’, ‘bigots’ etc. Now what if these ‘bigots’ had not turned idea into ideology and not convinced a more..

Spend less,save more and share more

Nov 26 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikkum and best wishes in the afterglow of the spectacular show of shows for your inauguration with the portrait in the background raising questions as to whether your vision for the second-term includes a promise of the sun and the moon. The theme and thrust of your inauguration message watched or heard live by millions was poverty eradication and devolution of power directly to the people more..

How many more floods before something’s done?

Nov 26 (ST) Every year, in some more than others, the city of Colombo and its suburbs grind to a halt. Schools are compelled to close, people are unable to get to work, transport services are disrupted, homes are affected and men, women and children are not only displaced but suffer severe economic losses what with furniture floating and houses being damaged. Why? The skies have opened up and the rains have come. Heavy rains overnight and floods have overwhelmed Colombo, more..

Editorial : Look who's talking!

Nov 26 (Island) UNP Chairman Gamini Jayawickrema Perera lashed out at the government in Parliament on Wednesday for having caused the country to be caught in a tussle between China and India. He said India was worried about China’s presence here. The UNP seems to be concerned about India’s worries! Jayawickrema Perera\'s statement evoked our memories of how the UNP-led governments mishandled Sri Lanka's Indo-Lanka relations, the be-all and end-all of our foreign policy. more..

Editorial: Think Tank in the raging waters

Nov 26 (DM) With President Mahinda Rajapaksa underlining his hope to turn Sri Lanka into one of the foremost countries of the world through mega development projects, it is vital for him and the government to have a professional think-tank for strategic studies to analyze and advise him on the complex cross currents of international geopolitics. Sri Lanka with more than 2,500 years of hallowed civilization and culture and a literacy rate of some 90 per cent thus more..