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Today’s election and the ‘Nursing Council’ are frauds – All Ceylon Nurses Union

Apr 9 (LT) Not only the election to elect members to the proposed Nursing Council which is due to be held today (9th) but also the ‘Nursing Council’ is a fraud says the General Secretary of the All Ceylon Nurses Union Sisira Senaratne. The election is held to appoint a group of people sympathetic to the government states Mr. Senaratne. He points out only 9 representatives are elected to the Nursing Councils that comprises of 19 members and all other positions are more..

CAA gets tougher with unscrupulous traders

Apr 9 (FT) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) is stepping up its raids on traders and shops that do not display the prices of goods and services they offer, as well as those resorting to unethical practices. Although these raids have been carried out by the CAA since the beginning of this year, they are to be intensified due to the forthcoming Sinhala New Year and more shops and trade outlets are resorting to many ruses to attract an increasing number of shoppers. more..

AG to advise on cable Tv stations in north

Apr 9 (DM) The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) said that they were seeking the Attorney General’s advice in relation to the ownership of certain cable TV stations operating in the North and East. TRC Director General Anusha Palpita said that the original permits had been franchised by the rightful owners to other groups and they were seeking the AG’s advice on whether or not such transfers were legal. “The groups that had cable TV station permits more..

Lecturers to continue strike

Apr 9 (NN) University lecturers have decided to continue their strike over salary demands and will withdraw from some services next month if their demands are not met. Members of the university lecturers union met this evening to further discuss the issue and decided to continue their action. The university lecturers launched the island-wide token strike last month demanding the pay hike promised by the Higher Education Minister. Union representatives claimed that more..

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UN agencies, INGOs briefed on Divi Neguma

Apr 9 (DN) Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday briefed all UN agencies and International Non Governmental Organizations on the Divi Neguma programme aimed at empowering one million families islandwide. The meeting was held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. The Minister gave a full overview of the Divi Neguma programme to representatives of UN agencies and INGOs. According to President's Advisor and former IGP Chandra Fernando, more..

April declared dengue risk month

Apr 9 (DN) The Health Ministry Epidemiology Unit has declared April as the high risk month for the dengue epidemic. During the past the highest number of dengue patients and dengue deaths were reported in April. Health authorities will take legal action against dengue mosquito breeders, a Health Ministry spokesman said. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has issued instructions to health authorities to re-inspect the 61,780 possible dengue mosquito breeding places. more..

What I said at the LLRC: Tampitiye Gnnananda Nayaka Thera

Apr 9 (Island) "I do not know how I escaped from the killing frenzy of the Tigers. I still recall that day in 1985 when armed LTTE terrorists stormed the Tampitiya Raja Maha Viharaya and our village. About 60 innocent villagers were killed. The terrorists pointed a gun at my head and ransacked the Temple. They took anything and everything that was of value from the Temple. more..

Some power developers to lose permits

Apr 9 (Island) Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday decided to cancel the permits issued mini-hydro power project developers who had failed to complete their project within the stipulated timeframe. De Silva took this decision following a ministry’s internal investigation which revealed that persons who originally obtained permits had sold them. He believes that such misdeeds had contributed to the delays in completing projects on time. more..

2600 Sambuddha Jayanthi celebration in USA

Apr 9 (Island) The 2600th anniversary of the enlightenment of the Lord Buddha will be commemorated at the United Nations Headquarters from May 16 to 21. This event is being organized by the diplomatic missions of Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Philippines. Sri Lankan Buddhist temples in America, with the officials of the Sri Lanka Mission to the United Nations will play a lead role. more..

World Bank calls applications for Civil Society Fund 2011 grants

Apr 9 (WB) The Civil Society Fund or CSF (formerly Small Grants Program) supports activities related to civic engagement by providing small grants administered through World Bank Country Offices. The CSF seeds and supports activities that empower and enable citizens to take initiatives to enhance and influence development outcomes. Activities strengthen mechanisms for inclusion, accountability, and participation. more..

High Court metes out bigger punishment

Apr 9 (DM) Anuradhapura High Court yesterday imposed a heavier penalty on an Ayurvedic physician who appealed against his conviction on charges of possessing a stock of western drugs without a permit. High Court Judge Menaka Wijesundera imposed a five-year suspended sentence instead of the three-year suspended sentence imposed by the Kebetigollewa Magistrate before whom the case had previously come up for hearing. In this case the accused a Kebetigollawa Ayurvedic more..

The swing of death snuffs out a life

Apr 9 (DM) A 13-year-old schoolboy attending the New Year festival of the Passara Madya Maha Vidyalaya at the Passara Public Playground was killed yesterday when the iron post and the cross bar meant to hold up a swing fell on his head, police said. The seriously injured boy was rushed to hospital but died on admission. The victim Kodituwakku Arachchige Sashendra was a Grade-7 student of the school. The Passara police said the ceremony was meant to create awareness among students of more..

President Rajapaksa fetes best O/L students in the Island

Apr 9 (IL) The government of Sri Lanka recognized over 134 students who performed outstandingly at the highly competitive national exam- G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination in December 2010. These young talents, the country's best students who scored highest marks received their medals, certificates and gift packs including a pass book with a deposit of Rs 5,000 from President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat on 08 April 2011. more..

GNOA challenges today’s election

Apr 9 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers Association intends to obtain a Court order to cancel today’s elections to the Nursing Council. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said on Friday that his association intended to challenge the Nursing Council elections in Court of law as they were being held in contravention of Act No. 19 of the 1988 Nursing Council law. According to a Health Ministry’s list of voters, approximately 16,900 nurses did not have voting rights more..

Bill to regulate finance companies

Apr 9 (DM) In efforts to curb the activities of unauthorized financial institutions defrauding money from the public, the government yesterday presented the Finance Bill in parliament which seeks to regulate finance business in the country. The government said these laws were necessitated after the collapse of financial institutions such as Golden Key and the defrauding of millions of rupees by Sakvithi and Danduwam Mudalali. According to the new Bill, more..

Country Report 2011: Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (LG) Area: 65,610 sq. km. (25,332 sq. mi.); about the size of West Virginia. Cities: Capital--Colombo (pop. est. 1.3 million--urban area). Sri Jayewardenepura-Kotte is the officially designated capital and is the site of Parliament. Other cities--Kandy (150,000), Galle (110,000), Jaffna (100,000). Terrain: Coastal plains in the northern third of country; hills and mountains in south-central Sri Lanka rise to more than 2,133 meters (7,000 ft.). more..

Politicians need qualifications - Welgama

Apr 9 (DM) The GCE Ordinary Level as minimum educational qualifications is a prerequisite for employment as a sanitary labourer but qualifications in any kind are irrelevant to become a minister in Sri Lanka, said Transport Minister Kumara Welgama. Participating as the chief guest at the 53rd annual convention of Railway Guards’ Union at the Mt. Mary Hall at Dematagoda, Minister Welgama said a majority of ministers would not have been in Parliament today if more..

No funds: SLTB bus crews are without uniforms

Apr 9 (Island) A much publicised government directive that both public and private bus workers wear uniforms doesn’t apply to SLTB crews. SLTB Chairman M. D. Bandusena says his institution is unable to provide uniforms for want of funds, though an effort is being made to rectify the shortcoming. Bandusena said he was confident that about 20,000 drivers and conductors could be given two sets of uniforms each before end of this year. more..

President Rajapaksa launches royalty payment scheme for music artists

Apr 9 (IL) A royalty payment scheme for Sri Lankan music artists was launched by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on 08 April. This much needed new royalty scheme will benefit lyricists, singers and song composers in Sri Lanka. The state run SLBC took the initiative by organizing the event for the benefit of the music artists. The relevant gazette notification was issued on the 5th of January this year on the instruction of more..

Post Master General made ineffective

Apr 9 (AT) Sri Lanka’s Postal Services Ministry Secretary Hemasiri Fernando will be temporarily overseeing the functions of the Post Master General, the Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga told reporters. The minister also said that an investigation has been launched on the Post Master General M.K.B. Dissanayake, over allegations raised against him by the Postal workers. A coalition of Postal Department trade unions had recently held a march in Colombo against more..

Indian fishermen stage road blockade at Thangatchimadam

Apr 9 (Hindu) A large number of fishermen on Friday staged a road blockade for more than three hours at Thangatchimadam near Rameswaram protesting the inaction of the State and Central governments for failure to locate four fishermen missing since Sunday. Most of the fisherfolk, including women, were carrying black flags. The agitation turned vociferous as soon as they heard that two bodies of fishermen were reportedly washed ashore in Sri Lankan waters. more..

Ravi’s motions turned down

Apr 9 (DM) The government yesterday turned down two private member’s motions by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake seeking to prevent the President and the Prime Minister from holding Cabinet portfolios and to grant permission for journalists to cover the proceedings of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Parliamentary Consultative Committees. more..

TNA says HSZs not necessary now

Apr 9 (DM) The TNA said yesterday it had told the government that considering the present security situation in the North and the recent Supreme Court ruling there was no longer a necessity for High Security Zones (HSZ). A TNA delegation comprising party leader R. Sampanthan, Mavai Senathirajah and Suresh Premchandran met a government delegation comprising House Leader and Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and Sajin Vas Gunawardena. more..

Broadband speeds increase

Apr 9 (DM) The latest speed test results indicate that a majority of broadband service providers give internet users more than 60 per cent of the advertised speed, which is an improvement from last year’s speed tests, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) said. The first speed test conducted last year indicated that the majority of service providers supplied only 20 per cent of the advertised rates. more..

Peliyagoda Fish Market crisis takes new turn:62 old stall holders shut out

Apr 9 (Island) A group of stall holders, at the St. John’s Fish Market in Pettah, said yesterday that they had been evicted without being provided space in the new Peliyagoda Fish Market. 62 of the 192 stall holders, at St. John’s Fish Market, had been ignored in the allocation of stalls at the Peliyagoda Fish Market, despite the new premises having a total of 276 stalls. more..

AI agrees for talks

Apr 9 (NN) Amnesty International (AI), has accepted an invitation from the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya for direct talks and has also sought approval for a delegation to visit Sri Lanka. Asia Pacific Director of the London based International human rights group Sam Zarifi, in a letter to Wickramasuriya, said that he will be in the US from 18-21 April and would like to use that opportunity to meet the Ambassador and discuss Sri Lanka. more..

US does not support separatism — Blake

Apr 9 (Island) Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia Robert O. Blake says in a letter to The Island in response to our recent reports on his meetings with members of the Global Tamil Forum etc that the US does not support separatism and he has never met individuals or organisations that espouse terror or violence. Full text of the letter: I would like to clear up some misinformation and more..

Workers flee while embassy officials negotiate visa issue

Apr 9 (DN) The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau yesterday said that 37 Sri Lankan expatriate workers overstaying their visas had fled while Sri Lankan embassy officials in Jordan were negotiating with the authorities over this matter. The Bureau in a statement yesterday said that the Sri Lankan women had sought protection at the Sri Lankan embassy as their visa had not been extended. more..

Outbreak of Dengue feared this month

Apr 9 (DM) The Health Ministry warned of a major outbreak of dengue this month because of the extreme heat during the day and occasional rains in the night. At a health ministry discussion Minister Maithripala Sirisena was told that during the past five years the most number of dengue cases had been reported in April. “I have instructed additional secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala to alert all MOH offices island wide to more..

Over three tonnes of E-waste collected in single day

Apr 9 (DN) About three and a half tonnes of electronic waste was collected on a single day with the launch of the National Electronic Waste Management Programme last Thursday, Central Environment Authority (CEA) Waste Management Unit Acting Director Sarojini Jayasekara said. She said that the bulk among the E-waste was computers and computer parts. A large number of mobile phones, photocopy and fax machines, rice cookers, more..

Draft legislature of new pension fund before parliament

Apr 9 (Island) The government has dropped a controversial move to acquire the entire gratuity payment of private sector employees to support the setting up of a pension fund. The government recently presented to Parliament a Bill for the proposed new pension amidst protests by some trade unions. The draft revealed that the government had softened its stance and was now asking for not less than 10 per cent of the gratuity from employees. more..

Kokavil Transmission Tower to connect North & South again

Apr 10 (SLA) Kilinochchi, the infamous hub of terrorist brutality and LTTE clandestine operations several years ago is now fast transforming to be a hive of industry and commerce under the government’s ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ (Northern Spring) development project. Directed by the Commander of the Army, many thousands of soldiers in the Army, reminiscent of the post-war period of the legendary King Dutugemunu, are at present enthusiastically engaged in more..

Rally for Sri Lanka ex-skipper flops

Apr 10 (AFP) A campaign by fans of Sri Lanka's World Cup-losing skipper Kumar Sangakkara to demand his reinstatement ended in a flop Saturday, with only a handful of supporters turning up. Sangakkara loyalists had organised the demonstration as a Facebook event, with 6,512 fans signing up to attend, but reporters counted only 17 people at Colombo's Independence Square public park. "It is possible that some of the fans may have gone to another park because of a more..

President's family 'dominates' Sri Lanka

Apr 10 (BBC) The US annual report on human rights says that the government of Sri Lanka, a multi-party democracy, is dominated by the president’s family. “Two of the brothers hold key executive branch posts as defense secretary and minister of economic development, while a third brother is the speaker of parliament,” says the report. The elections in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his coalition came into power in 2010 are described as “problematic” by more..

Truth did not die in Mullivaikkal

Apr 10 (LG) We, as media, have failed miserably and the sooner we admit this then the sooner we could see redemption. Now that we see the end of the protracted war between Tamil separatists and the government, two years hence we still have not communicated. The North-South divide is real. The North cannot see what the South is doing and vice versa; exchanges of students taken on scholarly tours and welcomed warmly on a token basis notwithstanding. more..

International hypocrisy and double standards over Sri Lanka in 2009 and Libya in 2011

Apr 10 (TC) Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of American President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.” The majority of today’s international media speaks about Libya – some talk about coalition air raids and civilian casualities; some talk about rebels recapturing cities and the subsequent celebrations; others say NATO forces in Libya intend to enforce a UN resolution to protect civilians. more..

New Year- a time of joyous renewal

Apr 10 (SO) Our Planet Earth orbits the Sun in a non-stop routine. This space drama has gone on for billions of years. We who inhabit this Planet Earth keep on orbiting the Sun, from birth to death. The time taken by the Earth to complete one rotation round the Sun is described as a year. Conventionally a year has 365 or 366 days, divided into 12 months. Generally, the modern world calculates the year as the period from January 1 to December 31. more..

Editorial: Maximising peace dividends

Apr 10 (SO) Almost two years have elapsed since Sri Lanka won its deadly battle against terror. On May 19, Sri Lanka will be celebrating its second anniversary after LTTE terror was eradicated and the nation united under the Lion flag. Despite countries in the West having the most sophisticated military establishments in the world none of their Armies has been able to match the Herculean tasks of Sri Lanka's Security Forces which vanquished the Tiger leadership and more..

Editorial: Oh what a morass it is!

Apr 10 (SL) In these dispiriting times the dispiriting spectacle of watching the President of Sri Lanka fly to Mumbai to watch the Sri Lankan cricket team play India in the finals of the ICC World Cup 2011 – was dispiriting not only because he flew at state expense together with an entourage of parasites but also because he did so knowing full well he left behind a nation caught flat-footed by him having given the green-light for added price increases in fuel and gas. more..