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'Oil prices rise due to ME unrest '

Apr 12 (SO) Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha said despite the revision of fuel prices, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has to incur a loss of Rs. 1.90 per litre of petrol, Rs. 33 per litre of diesel and Rs.47 per litre of kerosene. In addition, the CPC has to bear a loss of Rs. 37 per litre of furnace oil supplied to the CEB. The Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer said it is very difficult for the Treasury to cover up these losses. more..

Editorial: The story of a sick physician

Apr 12 (Island) ‘Domination by the Rajapaksas of Sri Lanka’ seems to have caused serious concern to the US government as a recent State Department report suggests. Many allegations have been levelled against the Sri Lankan government including human rights violations but, we reckon, what is really of concern to the US is none of them. The opening section of the report betrays a kind of visceral hatred some bigwigs of the Obama administration have for the incumbent more..

Editorial: People power to end corruption

Apr 12 (DM) It is an open secret that rampant bribery and corruption, the plundering of state resources and the extravagant lifestyles of our political leaders are diluting if not polluting Sri Lanka’s 2,500 year-old culture. Often we read or hear of instances where little or nothing is done in most public institutions when complaints are made of money having to be paid under-the -table to get a job done. The millions needed to upkeep the country’s jumbo cabinet, and more..

March draws second best ever tourist arrivals

Apr 12 (FT) Tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2010 have jumped by 34.1 per cent to 215,124 boosted by a 43.5% increase to a high 75,130 pax in March largely on account of the Cricket World Cup. Data released by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority yesterday revealed that arrivals bounced back in March after a dip in February in comparison to January 2011.Sri Lanka began the New Year with 74,197 tourists, up by 46.2% over a year earlier more..

Pension pains

Apr 12 (FT) Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge yesterday attempted to sweep over the fracas caused by the proposed Pension Bill presented to Parliament without the concurrence of the employers and unions by insisting that another meeting would be held before 27 April. “There is no problem with the Pension Bill,” he told the Daily FT insisting that the points of concern for the employers and unions were unfounded. Dwelling on two of the points he observed that the pension scheme more..

Economic challenges posed by global crises

Apr 12 (ST) On the eve of another national New Year, it is appropriate to ponder on the responses of the country to the several challenges that face the country’s economy. This is especially so with respect to whether there are specific ways in which we should respond to recent global developments that were discussed last week. Do the recent global developments require a redirection of economic policies? What are the ways in which the country must respond to be more..

Sri Lanka fast highway to have special emergency services

Apr 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s first 100 kilometer per hour expressway from Kottawa in Colombo suburbs to Godagama in Matara in the southern province will have a specialist police division, paramedics and fire brigade, a top official said. "There will be a special police division for traffic control, paramedics and separate fire brigade for the highway," Ranjith Pemasiri, director beneral of Sri Lanka's Road Development Authority said. more..

SriLankan Engineering wins IndiGo fleet maintenance deal

Apr 12 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines said its aircraft maintenance arm SriLankan Engineering has secured a deal to carry out maintenance checks on twenty aircraft for India’s largest low-fare carrier IndiGo in 2011. It was SriLankan Engineering's biggest contract to-date, the airline said in a statement. "This is the third consecutive year in which IndiGo has awarded SriLankan Engineering the contract to carry out ‘C-checks’ on its Airbus A320-200 fleet, and is a significant expansion from more..

Mystery surrounds killing of women

Apr 12 (SO) Niladura village located in the Divulwela area is a desolate village off Kahawatte in the Sabaragamuwa province. Niladura village acquired notoriety almost three years ago owing to several unsolved murders committed in the area. The victims were elderly women who lived in the area. They had been brutally killed by a mysterious serial killer, police said. Five elderly women who lived in the villages of Kotakothana, Divulgala, Opatha, Kattange and Niladura were killed during more..

New Year Auspicious Times 2011

Apr 12 (Island) The New Year dawns at 1.01 pm on April 14. Punya Kalaya: Punyakala starts on April 14 at 06:37am and ends at at 7:25 pm. The first part of the Punyakala is allocated for religious ceremonies and the second for traditions like preparing Meals. Starting work, transactions etc. Preparing Meals: April 14 at 01:06 pm. Auspicious direction is North. Auspicious cloth – Golden. Prepare a "Kiri Bath" from rice mixed with Ghee and Jaggery. more..

Education: No more a right

Apr 12 (SL) Education is regarded as a fundamental human right, one that is essential in order to exercise all other human rights. Therefore governments have an obligation to provide the best possible environment where education can flourish, without boundaries or interference. However it appears that in Sri Lanka, university students are being continually suppressed by a government unwilling to listen to their demands or even grant them basic human rights. more..

Cat burglar at Kennel Association

Apr 12 (SL) The Kennel Association of Sri Lanka (KASL) is in turmoil after the discovery of monetary fraud from within the organisation. Members of the KASL raised concerns that Association money amounting to Rs.1.8 million was illegally withdrawn on as many as 16 occasions over the past three months without the office-bearers’ knowledge. A highly placed KASL committee member on condition of anonymity told The Sunday Leader that they could not understand how a cheque book bearing the more..

'I am not revengeful and don’t harbour grudges'

Apr 12 (Island) Newly appointed Chairman of the Cricket Selectors Duleep Mendis promised to be transparent and do his best during his tenure as head of the selection committee after taking over the duties yesterday following the resignation of Aravinda de Silva. Mendis, who was unceremoniously dumped as Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), by the current Interim Committee, yesterday sat with the same officials flanked by more..

April 15 deadline for school van registration

Apr 12 (DN) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) chairperson Anoma Dissanayake said that over 4,000 school vans operating within the Western Province had so far been registered. There are many school vans still to be registered. School van owners in the Western Province must register their vehicles before April 15. Registration of school vehicles in other provinces will commence on April 18. The NCPA will also scrutinize the record of all school van drivers to more..

Fully geared for April season: Thousands flock to Little England

Apr 12 (DN) Thousands of holiday makers from all corners of the country have flocked to this Holiday Resort with the school vacation. The hotels, holiday homes and private houses have been fully occupied, while a number of young men and women are seen holidaying in open grounds in their vehicles for want of accommodation. The Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council has warned the public to use water sparingly due to the prevailing hot climatic conditions in Nuwara Eliya. more..

Jaffna University students meet President Rajapaksa

Apr 12 (IL) Students from the Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts of Jaffna University enjoyed a very rare opportunity today on 11 April when they visited Colombo for an educational trip. It is the first time in their lifetime these students have visited southern part of Sri Lanka. They met President Mahinda Rajapaksa when they visited Temple Trees this afternoon. Travel between the North and South had been barred or restricted as the country was more..

Tamil temple consecrated in Myanmar

Apr 12 (TN) Around 200, 000 devotees of all religions gathered at the Peelikan village near Yankon in Myanmar on Sunday to participate in the consecration ceremonies (Kudamuzhukku) of the Angkaa’la Parameasvari – Muneesvarar temple, which is popularly known as Aiyaa Koayil, reports Thiyagarajan Solai from Myanmar. The anthropological significance of this temple that was built 150 years ago is that it is revered as a kind of a ‘court of justice’ not only by the Tamil diaspora but also by the natives. more..

Residents succeed in protest against SLA checkpost in Mannaar village

Apr 12 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army had abandoned its move to set up a sentry in Pa'l'limunai village in Mannaar district Sunday due to vehement protest by residents. A group of SLA soldiers had gathered near the water tank in the village on Sunday morning and had been making arrangement to establish a sentry point. Neighbouring families rushed to the nearby church and alerted the village by ringing the church bell. Villagers in large number gathered at the site and more..

Hope for Indians in Sri Lanka prison

Apr 12 (Hindu) For 43 Indian convicts in the Welikada prison here, there is one small bit of good news – they can complete the remaining term of their sentences in India. Following up on the Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners between the Indian and Sri Lankan governments about nine months ago, the Indian High Commission here has sent out consent forms to the prisoners. “Once they fill up the forms and return it to us, we will formally begin the more..

Eight more Lankan fishermen released

Apr 12 (DM) Eight Sri Lankan fishermen who were arrested by the Indian Coast Guard for poaching in Indian waters were released yesterday, a Fisheries Ministry spokesman said. He said the Indian Authorities had handed them over to the Sri Lankan Navy at the Kankesanthurai Harbour. Two of the fishermen had left Trincomalee on board the ‘Rohana Putha’ while another worked as a technician on a boat named ‘Chaminda Putha’ which had left the local shores in February last year. more..

Lankan govt wants Pakistan team to tour Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (DM) Sri Lankan government wants forthcoming series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka be played in Sri Lanka and not in Pakistan as was hinted by the Sri lanka Cricket board official a month ago. “Sri Lanka Cricket will be pleased to honour our FTP [Future Tours Programme] commitment in Pakistan which is scheduled for October- November 2011, where they will play three Tests and five One-day Internationals,” Nishantha Ranatunga, the board official was reported to have said. more..

President Rajapaksa declares Sri Lanka standard time

Apr 12 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa officially declared the standard time of Sri Lanka which can be obtained through the website, the GDI announced today on 11 April. The Standard time of Sri Lanka is to be announced at midnight today by the government, making it mandatory to display it as the official time of the country, an official said after the 'Sri Lanka Time' Website launching ceremony at Temple Trees. more..

Legal action against report of Uma Oya project

Apr 12 (Island) Legal action will be taken against the approval of the environment impact assessment report of the Uma Oya Multi Purpose Project, President of the Environment Conservation Trust (ECT), Sajeewe Chamikara said. "The ECT is already in the process of collecting necessary documents and with the assistance of the other environmental organizations, the matter will be reflected for legal advice," he said. Pointing out the major weaknesses in the report, more..

Surgeons in dilemma without anesthetist

Apr 12 (Island) Surgeons at the Kalutara General Hospital are in dilemma due to the lack of a consultant anaesthetist. Hospital sources said on Monday that the consultant anaesthetist of the hospital had gone on leave and would be away for the next few days. The anaesthetist who had been rostered could only provide instructions over the phone to junior anaesthetists of the hospital, they said. "The Consultant Anaesthetist from the Panadura Base Hospital more..

World Cup leaves Sri Lanka with $23m debt

Apr 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka Cricket is saddled with a $23 million debt after cost overruns and hefty bills incurred building stadiums for the recent World Cup. “We spent a lot of money to host the World Cup, to build two stadiums and rebuild one stadium. The World Cup left us a 2.5 billion rupee deficit,” Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said. Sri Lanka, which lost the final to India by six wickets, hosted 12 matches during the World Cup, more..

Dedication, commitment turned CEB around

Apr 12 (Island) Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka says the dedication and commitment of the employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board are the main reasons for the CEB to be a profit making institutions. The Minister said that without dedication and commitment nothing could be achieved. "Because of their dedication the employees have managed to turn around the CEB which was dogged by debt for years into a thriving institution," he added. more..

Japan raises severity of nuclear accident to highest

Apr 12 (Reuters) Japan raised the severity of its nuclear disaster to the highest level on Tuesday, putting it on a par with the world's worst disaster nuclear accident at Chernobyl after another major aftershock rattled the quake-ravaged east. Engineers were no closer to restoring the cooling systems at the plant's reactors, critical to bringing down the temperature of overheated nuclear fuel rods, showing that the battle to contain the damage was far from over, more..

Govt. marginally exceeds expectations; deficit 7.9% to GDP

Apr 12 (Island) The government stayed within its 8 percent to GDP budget deficit target for 2010, reaching 7.9 percent, and showed signs of much improved fiscal discipline, the Central Bank Annual Report 2010 showed. In 2009, the deficit ballooned to 9.9 percent of GDP from an original target of 7 percent resulting in the temporary delay of an IMF disbursement. Governments have almost always overestimated revenue and underestimated expenditure in more..

Rigging and bribery during LG polls

Apr 12 (DM) A candidate of the ruling UPFA complained to court of massive election malpractices including rigging and bribing of election officials by candidates of his own party during the last Local Council Election. UPFA candidate for Ja Ela Municipal Council L. J. E. Ranaweera, filing an application before the Negombo Provincial High Court complained of the malpractices witnessed at the counting centres and sought an order for recounting of the preferential votes. more..

Temple Trees’ pilfering peons remanded

Apr 12 (DM) Three men were remanded till April 18 for allegedly pilfering stationery from President’s official residence Temple Trees. The CID filing a report in Colombo Fort Vacation Court submitted that they initiated investigations on a complaint made by President’s Senior Assistant Secretary Indika Karunajeewa to the OIC of CID N. Abeywardena of the alleged pilfering by peons in the Private Secretary’s Office by altering the Requisition Forms to more..

New Year shopping rush: Special visitor in the Mall

Apr 12 (IL) The traditional Sri Lankan New Year, the most widely celebrated festival in Sri Lanka falls on 14 April. New Year celebrations follow auspicious times calculated by astrology. Every year Sri Lankans throughout the country rally together with great enthusiasm to celebrate Aluth Avurudu, the Sinhala & Hindu New Year. It is a fact that with the newly found freedom after defeating terrorism ending thirty years of war, more..

Mervyn’s secretary, 2 cops, remanded for extortion

Apr 12 (Island) Three top police officials have been transferred with immediate effect over their failure to take action against extortionists. Officers of the Colombo Crime Division on Sunday arrested Minister Mervyn Silva’s Secretary Jayasena Mudiyanselage Buddhi and three others, including two policemen, for an alleged attempt to extort money from a Tamil businessmen to the tune of five million rupees in Grandpass. more..

Int’l pressure on SL due to absence of internal HR violation inquiries – UNP

Apr 12 (Island) Sri Lanka was under various international pressures because the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt had failed to hold a proper inquiry into serious human rights violations against its citizens, Senior Vice President of the UNP Lakshman Kiriella MP, said yesterday. He told The Island that the LLRC did not have a mandate to inquire into human rights abuses. more..

IGP to New Year shoppers: Look out for pickpockets, snatch thieves

Apr 12 (DN) IGP Mahinda Balasooriya warned the public to be extra vigilant during the festive season shopping since pickpockets and snatch thieves were on the prowl ready to cash in from the congestion. Police Spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody said that IGP Balasooriya had instructed him to deploy a sufficient number of police personnel to man market places, bus stands and railway stations to man market places, more..

Lankan Haj delegation’s visit due for arrangements

Apr 12 (AN) A high-level Sri Lankan delegation is to arrive in the Kingdom on April 27 to make arrangements for the Haj. “This year, we plan to offer better services to our pilgrims,” Sri Lanka's Minister H.M. Fowzie told Arab News from London. Every year, the Lankan government blacklists operators who didn't come up to the expectations of the Haj Ministry during the previous year's pilgrimage. more..

Progress in all sectors - President

Apr 12 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the country has made tremendous progress in almost all sectors amidst various challenges and obstacles. He said the country had to face unprecedented challenges during the last few years and succeeded in achieving remarkable progress. He added that the country faced the challenges of terrorism, natural disasters and economic recession successfully and managed to more..

COPE seeks more powers

Apr 12 (DM) The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) will recommend to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to bring amendments to the standing orders of Parliament to give powers to the COPE to summon former heads and board members of public enterprises and take action against them on financial and administrative irregularities during their time, a senior source of the COPE said. more..

Sri Lankan journalist speaks of attacks on media

Apr 12 (ISD) "They threw my unconscious body in a ditch and left me to die." Poddala Jayantha is a Sri Lankan journalist who was nearly killed because of his investigative reporting with regard to alleged human rights violations executed by the Sri Lankan government. He spoke of his experience last Thursday as part of the First Amendment Day celebration in the Cardinal Room of the Memorial Union. more..

CID has busts a major credit card fraud

Apr 12 (NN) The CID has busted a major credit card fraud operation where the credit card numbers of customers were duplicated and used at several fuel stations in Colombo, Ratmalana and Peliyagoda. The operation was busted after several banks including the credit card divisions of the Commercial Bank, Nations Trust Bank and Hatton National Bank lodged a complaint that illegal money transactions were being carried out using more..

'SLC should appoint a long-term captain'

Apr 12 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has said that the Sri Lankan board should choose a long-term captain as his successor and not succumb and give someone a caretaker role. Sangakkara believed both Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews were ready for captaincy but said they should be given longer runs if they are to be successful. "You have to look long term. Not just what is good for now... If you want to go for Dilshan, give him the confidence for a long term," more..