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Radiation tests on sea water

Apr 8 (NN) The Atomic Energy Authority in Sri Lanka is to conduct radiation tests on sea water after radiation-contaminated water from a quake-crippled nuclear plant in Japan was discharged to the sea. Chairman of the Authority Proferssor W. Abeywickrama said that radiation tests will be carried out in the Western and Southern seas over the next few days. He also said that radiation tests conducted so far on people arriving from Japan as well as rain water, more..

Cabinet Decisions of April 06, 2011

Apr 8 (GDI) The details of the Cabinet Decisions announced by the Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa at the post Cabinet Press Briefing held at the Government Information Department on Thursday. 1. Govt. to set up a National Organic Control Authority. On a proposal by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Mr. Rishard Bathiudeen the Cabinet of Ministers approved the establishment of a National Organic Control Authority to facilitate the Export of Organic Products. more..

Railway wants rent

Apr 8 (NN) The Railway Department has warned private companies using property owned by the Railway Department to pay overdue rent or be removed. Commercial Superintendent of Sri Lanka Railway S. Sisira Kumara said that several State and private companies have not paid rent for over 10 years. He said that among the State institutions which have not paid rent for several years include Sri Lanka Telecom, Sathosa and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. more..

'Sri Lanka has not violated international law'

Apr 8 (GDI) The government has already relaxed several Emergency Regulations and certain regulations are still required to ensure peace and harmony in the country. However, the International Groups and the local politicians who demand for relaxation of emergency regulations were silent about violation of human rights by the terrorist outfit LTTE, when they terrorized the innocent people of the country, when they denied human rights to people living in more..

Could not bear losing World Cup - de Silva

Apr 8 (CI) Aravinda de Silva, the outgoing chairman of selectors for Sri Lanka, has said that Sri Lanka's failure to win the World Cup final is something he could not bear. "When we took over I remember telling Sanga (Kumar Sangakkara) that I don't want it to be mentioned that the 1996 team was the only one who won a World Cup," de Silva, a member of the 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lanka side said. "It's time we changed that. "This was the best opportunity we had to go out there and more..

No power cuts yet

Apr 8 (NN) The Power and Energy Ministry says there are no moves to impose power cuts in the country despite the lack of rain. A spokesman for the Ministry told News that the Ceylon Electricity Board is capable of meeting consumer demand especially after the Norachcholai thermal power plant came into operation. Asked if there would be power cuts any time soon if water levels continue to recede the spokesman at the Power and Energy Ministry said no. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief 07 04 2011

Cricketing defeat - should be an eye opener

Apr 8 (LG) Given the subjugation by India at the recent ICC World Cup Final (or was it wanton capitulation?), many Sri Lankans appear to console themselves by saying how great cricket ambassadors our cricketers have been. I have personally received several messages from friends, saying ‘not to stress out too much’, but accept being beaten by a better team ‘on the day’. I am sorry, I beg to differ in my assessment, and will go further to say that the match typifies some problems more..

Rebels or Terrorists ?

Apr 8 (LG) I have been pondering about the legal meaning of ‘Racial Hatred’ as referred to in the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, here in Australia. Legal meanings do not always coincide with social meanings, which often results in conflict in a multicultural society. In fact, with those driven by Faith – they usually do not. Similarly, the meanings of Terrorists and Rebels. It seemed to me that when responding to a recent complaint of mine, the Australian Human Rights more..

Both officers & soldiers receive new housing units at Manning town

Apr 8 (MoD) Alleviating the problem of housing of Army personnel to a certain extent, Engineer Service Regiment soldiers, on the direct intervention and instructions of the Commander of the Army, has managed to complete the construction of 9 blocks with 72 residential units for the use of both officers and other ranks at Manning Town, Narahenpita. The new housing project in five-storeyed buildings was initiated as a direct contribution to the President's island-wide one million house construction scheme. more..

Uniformed criminals cannot prevent crime

Apr 8 (LG) Police officers from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are holding a two-day meeting in Colombo to discuss issues concerning policing in the region since yesterday. The Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, inaugurated the meeting. It is reported that the officers participating in the meeting are discussing ways and means to counter drug trafficking and terrorism in the region. It is indeed good that more..

America issues signals to SL via Wikileaks cables

Apr 8 (DM) There were reports in the media that the Sri Lanka (SL) Govt. was very concerned about the meeting that took place with the participation of the US State Dept. Assist. Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian affairs ,Robert Blake, the Global Tamil Forum and the British Tamil forum. The principal reason for this concern was, this meeting was being convened in the interim while the report of the UN Panel appointed by UN Secretary Gen. Ban Ki Moon to more..

Drug shortage: Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry responds

Apr 8 (DM) The Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry notes with much concern, the reported shortages of drugs in state hospitals. This is indeed a serious matter, which needs an immediate and permanent solution. Similar shortages of drugs were last reported sometime back when the Minister Maithripala Sirisena took over the Health Ministry, and the monstrous problem was already causing serious issues for Govt Hospitals and medical institutions. more..

Twenty five years after Kantale: Have we learned?

Apr 8 (DM) The Kantale dam breached twenty five years ago, in April 1986. It cost 176 lives, LKR 65 million in relief only, LKR 186 million to repair the dam, uncounted amounts to repair damage to infrastructure, livelihoods and private property and still haunts the survivors. But do we remember? Have we done what needs to be done to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of our people living in the shadow of the dams? We have 12,000 small dams and 350 medium and more..

Hack Attack!

Apr 8 (DM) Over the last so many weeks and still continuing, there have been a number of critical reports on the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)- the election monitoring body of which CPA serves as the Secretariat, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (MEV), in particular - the National Peace Council (NPC), and Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL). There have also been personal attacks on me. Consequently, I am taking the liberty to clarify and more..

Family Based Wage System deceives the Plantation Community

Apr 8 (DM) The last Collective Agreement (Wage) ended on the 31st of March 2011. The workers are anxiously waiting for the increase of their wages but the tactics of the Employers Federation by resorting to dilly-dally tactics bidding time to sign on every occasion deny the workers the benefits of the wage increment. For this delay, the traditional trade unions who signed the agreement say that the new wage system will be implemented from the more..

Editorial: Student loans scheme is a praiseworthy proposal

Apr 8 (BL) The Minister of Higher Education, S.B Dissanayake has the courage to bring to the open the present parlous situation of University Education in Sri Lanka. In the minds of the parents of the school going population the whole secondary school education is for the entry into universities. The competition is severe and only 3-5% of those who seek university education can be admitted not because they are not eligible or suitable but because the number of more..

Save the Foreign Service by Statute

Apr 8 (Island) We need to statutorily secure the Foreign Service from predators. The Service must be, in the first instance, professionalized and become like any other professional service. This must be done in the interest of the country. Today there is a belief that anyone can represent the country and do the work of a diplomat. We were indeed grateful that, on the last occasion, the President himself intervened to save the service from an unethical and indefensible act of more..

A private affair? Let these not be domestic issues

Apr 8 (LB) Few weeks ago, MP Upeksha Swarnamali’s (aka Paba) high profile domestic violence story adorned nearly every newspaper in Sri Lanka. Though some saucy details of the violence she experienced were described, others got lost in translation. For instance, Paba and her husband were the cynosure of all eyes. Yet security personnel and their reluctance to intervene was addressed ever so casually. It was also reported that well-wishers and the police had more..

Editorial: Of those diplomatic hit men

Apr 8 (Island) Blake, the poet, created 'The Tyger' and Blake, the diplomat, is trying to recreate the Tigers. The LTTE rump may not feel the loss of its international spokesman, Anton Balasingham so much; Assistant Secretary of State William Blake is playing that role very effectively. He seems to be both Balasingham and Erik Solheim rolled into one! The Overseas Tigers struggling to revive the LTTE could not have found a better person to speak for them! more..

Editorial: World Cup: From Glory to Gory

Apr 8 (DM) When former sports minister C.B. Ratnayake branded the current Interim Committee running Sri Lanka Cricket as the most corrupt public institution in the country, he put himself on a shaky wicket and became an umpire whose verdicts were ignored when the powers that be virtually forced him to retain the same committee. Like most people, we have little respect for politicians in terms of integrity, high principales and sincere sacrificial service to the people. more..

'Central Bank should increase interest rates'

Apr 8 (Island) Global banking giant HSBC, which also functions as a ratings advisor to the govt, says Sri Lanka’s strong economic growth momentum could help it weather the effects of rising global oil prices but urged the Central Bank to be proactive and increase interest rates in a bid to contain raising domestic inflation. "We are very bullish on Sri Lanka and we have overnight revised its economic growth forecast for this year from 7.2 percent to 8 percent. more..

Investment Shangri-La: Illusion behind reality

Apr 8 (LB) The failure of relevant officials to look at the global perspectives and the big picture outside these shores has stifled an otherwise rapid amount of investments pouring into the country, said Prof. Rohan Samarajeewa. He observed that Sri Lanka was guilty of trying to work in isolation instead of working towards achieving benchmarks in the sphere of investments. He noted that one of the biggest bugbears of the investment sphere concerning the country was more..

Heavy competition in capturing Tamil media in the island

Apr 8 (TN) Shares of a leading all-island Tamil daily, Thinakkural, published simultaneously in Colombo and Jaffna, were for ‘sale’ recently for hundreds of millions, and the competitors ranged from a former LTTE bigwig in the Rajapaksa camp and a Sinhala media house to circles close India. Ultimately, another leading Tamil daily in the island, The Virakesari, succeeded in purchasing 41 percent of the shares for 240 million rupees, more..

Retirement age of Corp. employees now 57

Apr 8 (DM) The government had decided to extend the retirement age of employees working in corporations and statutory bodies to 57. A circular to this effect would be issued by the General Treasury. According to the procedures prescribed by the Public Service Commission (PSC) employees in the government service can continue to work up to the age of 57 years. Approval should be obtained for the extension of their period of service above this age limit. more..

Eastern Tamil, Muslim nurses barred from voting in Nursing Council elections

Apr 8 (TN) Majority of Tamil and Muslim nurses in the eastern province have their voting rights violated in the election of office bearers of the Sri Lanka Nurses Council scheduled to take place on Saturday in Colombo, according to provincial nurses’ union sources. 11 members of the 19 member Nurses Council are to be elected at Saturday election. Ampaa'rai district Sinhalese nurses working in hospitals of Ampaa'rai, Dehiyatakandy and Maha Oya are allowed to vote. more..

'Land grab with govt. patronage'

Apr 8 (DM) UNP MP Palitha Range Bandra informed Parliament that a provincial minister helped by some members of the local govt bodies in the Puttalam District were busy grabbing state land by producing forged deeds. He charged that around 200 acres of land had been grabbed in this manner before being sold to the private sector. Giving an example he said that 48 acres of land in the Kalpitiya area had recently been sold to an Italian national. He said that many persons were more..

Sri Lanka: Account for wartime disappearances

Apr 8 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government should account for everyone who was taken into custody at the end of Sri Lanka's 26-year-long armed conflict in May 2009 and are feared to have been "disappeared," Human Rights Watch said today. Despite numerous requests from families for information about their relatives, the authorities do not appear to have conducted any serious investigations, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights Watch said unresolved enforced more..

Rajiva expresses concern over NZ recommending LTTE sympathizer for Queen’s award

Apr 8 (Island) New Zealand has recommended an LTTE activist for the Queen’s medal. Acting Foreign Minister Dilan Perera, in parliament on Wednesday, expressed serious concern over the move. Queen Elizabeth II, who is the reigning queen and head of state of the 16 independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realm, honoured three Tamils – two Sri Lankan Tamils and an Indian Tamil this year, at the New Year’s awards in New Zealand and in the UK. more..

The legal basis of NGO impunity

Apr 8 (Island) As we reported last Friday, there has been absolutely no response from the Center for Policy Alternatives to the questions that we raised about the money they received to monitor the presidential and parliamentary elections last year. For the presidential elections, they had received Rs 51 million from the Dutch, German, British and American governments and for the parliamentary elections they had received Rs 18 million from more..

Atapattu likely to be Sri Lanka's batting coach

Apr 8 (DM) Former Sri Lanka batsman, Marvan Atapattu is likely to be the new batting coach of Sri Lanka. This was revealed by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chairman D.S. de Silva. He said, "Atapattu has shown interest to be associated with the team and therefore we are considering him to be the batting coach of our national team. We have Champaka Ramanayaka as bowling coach and Ruwan Kalpage as fielding coach and more..

Northern agas upgraded to dss

Apr 8 (DM) The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry has upgraded 16 Assistant Government Agent’s (AGAs)) offices to Divisional Secretariats in the North to improve the services of the government and fast track the resettlement, reconciliation and rehabilitation process. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said Cabinet has granted approval to upgrade AGA’s offices at Kayts and Delft islands, Karainagar and Wadamarachchi East to Divisional Secretariat level. more..

Lankan woman delivers on flight

Apr 8 (DN) A Sri Lankan woman travelling from Riyadh to Colombo aboard a SriLankan Airlines plane gave birth to a baby boy during the flight. The crew assisted in the delivery of the baby on board the SriLankan Airline Flight UL 288. The cabin crew handled the situation with the support of a Canadian passenger, a professional midwife, without disrupting the flight which arrived in Colombo on schedule. Most passengers were unaware of what had taken place until shortly before landing, more..

Rising Musical Star in LA: Chaminda Walpola

Hajj pilgrimage: Delegation to go to Riyadh

Apr 8 (DM) The five members of the Hajj Delegation headed by the Urban Affairs Senior Minister A.H.M.Fowzie are to leave for Riyadh to meet the Saudi Arabian Hajj Affairs Minister at the end of this month. Minister Fowzie presently in London on an official visit told the Daily Mirror yesterday over the phone that Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana, Environment Deputy Minister A.R.M.Abdul Cader, Technology and Research Deputy Minister Faizer Musthafa and more..

Secretary Defence awards scholarships at Prathiba Pranama scholarship programme

Apr 8 (MoD) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa awarded scholarships to children of the members of Welfare Association, of the Department of Immigration and Emigration at a function held at the Ministry's auditorium, yesterday (05). The Secretary Defence participated as the chief guest of the event. Accordingly, 53 scholarships were awarded. 20 students who excelled in Year 5 scholarship exam received Rs. 5000 each, 18 students who more..

'Some rehabilitated LTTErs regressing'

Apr 8 (DM) Some LTTE cadres who were reintegrated into society after rehabilitation had been re-arrested on charges of attempting to carry out terrorist activities, PM D.M. Jayaratane said. However, he did not give elaborate on it. In his speech on the motion on the extension of the State of Emergency, he said more than 6,000 former LTTEers had been handed over to their families after rehabilitation, and the entire process would be completed before the end of this year. more..

Sri Lanka Nestle commissions malted drink plant

Apr 8 (LBO) Nestle Lanka, a unit of Swiss-based Nestle said it had commissioned mated drinks plant which had cost 560 million rupees at its manufacturing complex in Kurunegala in central Sri Lanka. "Nestlé sees a lot of opportunity in Sri Lanka and believes in its potential," Pierre Schaufelberger, a senior Nestlé group official said in a statement. "Accordingly, we have stepped up our investment in the country. With our long term investment plans for Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka donates 1 million USD to Japan Red Cross

Apr 8 (Island) Ambassador Admiral (Rtd.) Wasantha Karannagoda, yesterday handed over a donation of one million USD from the Government of Sri Lanka to Tadateru Konoe, President of Japan Red Cross Society at the Japan Red Cross Society Headquarters in Tokyo. The donation will be used for the welfare of those affected by the recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan. In addition, the government of Sri Lanka has already dispatched a consignment of three million tea bags to be more..

New recruits to the state sector receive appointment letters

Apr 8 (IL) Letters of appointment were given to 2,273 new recruits to the Public Management Service as Management Service Assistants at Temple Trees on Thursday 07 March 2011. President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over the letters to the recruits at the ceremony. The recruitment's have been done covering all districts of the Island. Addressing the gathering President Rajapaksa said that as it mention in the ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ his govt has made a mammoth more..