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Buddhists appear in passion play first

Apr 19 (UCAN) Jesus was a Buddhist, albeit for a short while yesterday, when Kandy diocese staged a passion play performed by both Buddhist and Catholic youths for the very first time. Passion plays are a traditional part of Lent for Sri Lankan Catholics. Yesterday, the Church-run center for media apostolate staged the play with 18 young Catholic and Buddhist actors at a theater in Kandy. Father Sudath Rohana Perera, the center’s director developed the script. more..

Kidney cases – a cause for concern

Apr 19 (ST) The mystery behind Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Aetiology, also known as CKDu, continues to puzzle local and international medical research teams, including WHO experts, while the disease itself is spreading. CKDu is largely concentrated in the North-Central Province, but hospitals remain understaffed to deal with the problem. Hospitals with kidney treatment units are experiencing a shortage of specialised doctors and nursing staff. more..

The rogue post war Indian poacher

Apr 19 (LB) The Indian fishermen who began poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters off the north are covertly moving towards the Western coastline, claim fishermen’s unions. Herman Kumara, head of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NFSM) claimed that this will increase the resentment among Sri Lankan fishermen which will lead to increased clashes between Sri Lankan and Indian fisherfolk. The Indian fishermen started mass scale poaching in more..

Christians join oil anointing ceremonies

Apr 19 (UCAN) Christians joined Buddhists and Hindus in traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year anointing ceremonies held across the country on Saturday. The ceremony involves people returning to their family homes or temples, which are lavishly decorated to receive blessings and be anointed with herbal oil from senior family members or Buddhist monks. The one receiving the blessing is dressed in blue and has to face south as herbal oil made from Bo leaves is applied to more..

Private hospitals to inform ministry of infant deaths

Apr 19 (Island) All private hospitals registered with the Health Ministry will have to provide information, to the Ministry, on infant deaths during confinements. In addition, a special provision empowering the Health Ministry to investigate such cases will be incorporated in the Private Medical Institutions Act. Until now the private hospitals have neither provided information on infant deaths at delivery nor has the Health Ministry had power to probe such cases more..

Decision on Sri Lanka players by tomorrow

Apr 19 (DNA) The much-publicised meeting between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) did not take place. Nor is such a meeting scheduled in the next few days. As of Monday night, there was a status quo over the vexed issue of Sri Lankan players’ participation of in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the situation might change in the next 36-48 hours. A meeting of the interim committee (IC) of the SLC is more..

Suranga Mama: From children’s world into Guinness Records

Apr 19 (DN) Ananda Kumarage, popularly known as Suranga Mama (Uncle Suranga), a children programme producer of Sri Lanka, has set a new world record by creating the world’s longest series of children’s programmes, to enter the Guinness World Records. Suranga Mama is credited with revolutionizing Sri Lanka’s television presentations on children. He has presented over 5,000 children’s programmes in schools, more than 1000 children’s programmes, about 100 radio presentations more..

International symposium starts in East today

Apr 19 (DN) Arrangements have been finalized by the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka for a three day international symposium on ‘Post-war economic development through Science Technology and Management’ scheduled to commence at SEUSL’s New Arts Theatre at Oluvil today. The inaugural ceremony which is to be presided over by Vice-Chancellor Dr S M Mohamed Ismail will be attended by the University’s Chancellor Prof Achl Mohamed Ishak as the chief guest and more..

Minister tells fishermen: Don’t stray into Indian waters

Apr 19 (DN) Fisheries Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne yesterday urged Sri Lankan fishermen not to trespass into Indian territorial waters for fishing. The Minister making a statement in connection with the 10 Sri Lankan fishermen arrested in Andra Pradesh, asserted that illegal fishing affects the goodwill between the governments of Sri Lanka and India. He also added that the same act affects the good image of the country as well. more..

250 fish outlets islandwide

Apr 19 (DN) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry's main target is providing an opportunity to have fish included in every meal of each family. In pursuance of this, the Ministry has taken measures to open a Ceylon Fisheries Corporation (CFC)s fish outlets in every city, said Minister Dr Rajitha Senarathne. "Under the guidance of the Fisheries Ministry, the CFC's fish stalls network had been expanded already and fish prices had dropped by 20 percent," more..

Battle of the brands gets bigger

Apr 19 (FT) The battle of the brands has got aggressive in post-war Sri Lanka judging by the findings of the latest and the seventh annual review compiled by specialist Brand Finance. State owned and industry giant BOC which topped the table for the third consecutive year, with a value of Rs. 16.7 billion is still the country’s most valuable brand. However, this year, it is able to retain that top slot by just a whisker, as second best People’s Bank was just Rs. 73 million away, more..

Sri Lanka central bank profits fall; sells gold

Apr 19 (LBO) Profits of Sri Lanka's central bank fell 65.1 percent to 11.7 billion rupees in 2010 as the cost of domestic monetary operations and rupee appreciation generated losses but made capital gains from gold sales. In 2009 the Central Bank made profits of 33.6 billion rupees largely as a result of high yield government securities holdings it acquired before and during a balance of payments crisis. more..

Untold stories from the battlefield

Apr 19 (DM) Eastern Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Major General Boniface Perera has served 30 years in the military of which 20 years have been dedicated to the warfront. His invaluable experience has given him vast knowledge of warfare and its effects on those who choose combat as an occupation. His desire to share his knowledge and experiences on the warfront has led him to produce a largely autobiographical book titled, “Avi Bimaka Hada Gesma” (Pulse in the Battlefield). more..

Shangri-La shenanigans

Apr 19 (FT) Making exceptions can lead to blunders. The government in a recent gazette notification announced that sweeping tax benefits will be granted to Shangri-La hotels that will infuse around US$109 million to two locations in Colombo and Hambantota. This sets a negative precedent ignoring the multitude of investments that have been done by other companies and subverts the legal system that has been set in place through the Board of Investment (BOI). more..

Arjuna slams Murali for siding with India and the IPL

Apr 19 (NN) Former Sri Lanka World Cup winning cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga slammed retired spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for siding with India and the Indian Premier League (IPL) and not his country. In a live television interview late this evening, Ranatunga reminded Murali that it was former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and others in Sri Lanka who fought hard for him when the chucking controversy emerged just before the 1996 world cup and not India. more..

New form of protest

Apr 19 (DM) A number of stray dogs painted with English letters S and B roamed the precincts of Ruhunu University as well as the Wellamadama Area when Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayaka went to open a new building at the University, sources said. They said that in view of the visit of the minister, security had been tightened in the area throughout the day, with hundreds of officers in civvies deployed to prevent any student unrest. more..

Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa silent on UN's SL war crime claim

Apr 19 (DC) Even as pro-Tamil outfits and mainstream parties like the CPI came down heavily on the Indian government following the UN panel accusing Sri Lanka of committing war crimes, two main political parties, the ruling DMK and its rival AIADMK which made such a hue and cry in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections over the killing of Tamils, have been keeping a stony silence. A UN panel has called for an independent inquiry into ‘credible’ allegations that more..

UN warns Sri Lanka to protect staff

Apr 19 (AFP) The United Nations on Monday warned the Sri Lankan govt that it must protect UN staff, after the country's president called for protests against a UN war crimes report. President Mahinda Rajapakse has called for this year's May Day rally to be turned into a "show of our strength" against international calls for a war crimes investigation. "We have made it very, very clear to the govt of Sri Lanka that we take it very seriously that more..

8 killed, 19 injured in separate accidents

Apr 19 (DM) At least eight people including a 13-year-old novice monk and two 4-year-old children were killed and 19 injured in separate incidents during the weekend, police media spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said. The novice monk Rev. Sunanda Thera of the Galkanda Temple in Matara and his 32-year-old mother Kusumalatha Dahanayake were drowned while bathing in the Walaspugala River at Suriyawewa. They were rescued by the villagers but died on admission to the Suriyawewa Base Hospital. more..

NFF urges Russia, China to defend SL

Apr 19 (DM) The National Freedom Front (NFF) yesterday urged Russia and China to defend Sri Lanka against the report issued by the United Nations Experts Panel. “We call on Russia and China to stop the United States, France and Britain from monopolizing the UN. The UN has failed as an organization for world peace and as such Russia and China must set up a new world order,” NFF MP Piyasiri Wijenayake told the media. He described UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as a US puppet and more..

At UN, Sri Lanka put on security council schedule

Apr 19 (ICP) While UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sits on the Panel of Experts' report on Sri Lanka, it was scheduled to be a topic in the UN Security Council's Monday afternoon meeting, Ban's top political official Lynn Pascoe told Inner City Press Monday at 3 pm. Inner City Press asked Pascoe, “Are you one of the senior advisers studying the report among with Ban?” “I'm always a senior adviser,” Pascoe quipped in reply. more..

Sexy looks by Sri Lankan woman used to commit jewelry theft

Apr 19 (ATO) Police have arrested a Sri Lankan woman for stealing expensive jewelry from shops, reports Al-Anba daily. The daily quoting security sources said the arrest came following a call by the owner of a jewelry shop in Hawalli to the Operations Department of the Interior Ministry. It has been reported the owner accused the woman of stealing but she denied the charge. However, when police arrived at the shop, they requested to see the CCTV film. more..

Pakistan overcome Sri Lanka to claim Baseball Cup

Apr 19 (Dawn) Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka 8-2 to clinch the inaugural SAARC Baseball Cup at the Punjab Stadium here on Sunday. Pakistan remained unbeaten in the four-nation regional contest which also featured Nepal and Afghanistan. Sri Lanka claimed the second position in the single-league contest, Afghanistan took the third spot while Nepal ended the competition at the bottom.Pakistan started their first innings against Sri Lanka with Imtiaz Ahmed making a score. more..

Navy releases stranded giant blue whale into deep sea

Apr 19 (SLN) A giant blue whale, which had accidently swum into the shallow waters of the Trincomalee Harbour, was safely towed and released into the deep sea by the Sri Lanka Navy on 14th April 2011. The blue whale, measuring 25 meters in length, had been stranded in the shallow waters in the naval harbour and was spotted by a naval craft on patrol. Subsequently, the Operational Room of more..

Sri Lanka gets most FDI from India in 2010

Apr 19 (LBO) India was the largest source of foreign direct investment to Sri Lanka in 2010 with 110 million US dollars followed by Malaysia with 72 million US dollars and the United Arab Emirates 66 million dollars, the Central Bank said. Telecoms continued to lead FDI, the Central Bank said. Malaysia's Axiata, which owns Sri Lanka's Dialog Axiata, has been a top source of FDI to Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka not to blacklist errant Indian drug suppliers

Apr 19 (PTI) Sri Lankan health authorities have said that there will not be any black listing of Indian drug suppliers who have violated procedures in medical supplies to Sri Lanka, a local media report said. Instead of black listing, the errant companies will have to forego the cash bond furnished in terms of the supply contract, the authorities were quotes as saying. more..

Tanks and Reservoirs over spilling

Apr 19 (GDI) The Director General of Irrigation Dr. G.G.A.Godaliyadda informs that several reservoirs in six districts are over spilling due to the heavy showers being experienced for the last several days. Hakwatuna-Oya and Ambakolawewa in the Kurunegala district, Igimitiya reservoir in the Puttalam district, Devahuwa tank in the Matale district, Weheragala, Lunugamwehera and Udawalawa in the Hambantota district and more..

Turnover at Lanka Sathosa Rs. 2.5 billion in 16 days

Apr 19 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando disclosed that the turn over at Lanka Sathosa outlets from April 1 to 16 was a record Rs. 2.5 billion. Minister Fernando said that this was the highest turnover recorded in the history of Lanka Sathosa for 16 days. Essential food items, at reasonable prices, were made available during the Sinhala and Hindu New Year to consumers through outlets of the Lanka Sathosa, more..

SL baseball squad visits March 2009 attack site

Apr 19 (Dawn) Sri Lanka’s baseball squad on Monday visited Liberty Chowk here, where their national cricket team was attacked by terrorists two years ago, to pay tribute to the martyred policemen who sacrificed their lives in order to save the visiting cricketers. The team visited Liberty Chowk along with President of the Pakistan Baseball Federation (PBF) Shaukat Javed and Secretary Khawar Shah. more..

President Rajapaksa pays floral tribute at Bangladesh Memorial

Apr 19 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is on a three day state visit to Bangladesh paid a floral tribute at the National Marty’s Memorial in Savar near the capital city Dhaka on 18 April. After placing a floral tribute to the Memorial, Sri Lankan President also planted a mango sapling neat the Memorial to mark his official visit to the place. Mango tree is the National Tree of Bangladesh. more..

US Congress members back Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (IANS) Key members of Congress have urged their colleagues to support a campaign for stronger US-Sri Lankan relations as the country recovers from years of conflict against terrorism. In an April 15 appeal, Chris Van Hollen and Robert Aderholt, co-chairs of the Sri Lanka Caucus, advised their colleagues to consider Sri Lanka's progress since it defeated the Tamil Tigers two years ago. more..

United stand required if Moon report infringes on Lanka’s sovereignty – UNP

Apr 19 (Island) A united stand was required if the UN report, on the conduct of Sri Lanka’s security forces during the war against the LTTE, affected the country’s sovereignty, the UNP said yesterday. Harin Fernando MP, said that the UNP was yet to make a detailed study of the UN statement, but if it infringed on the country’s sovereignty all Sri Lankans should speak in one voice. more..

As UN security council hears of Sri Lanka report, Russia objects

Apr 19 (ICP) Sri Lanka and the UN Panel of Experts' report were listed in advance as topics of the Security Council briefing on the afternoon of April 18 by UN Department of Political Affairs chief Lynn Pascoe. Click here for that exclusive Inner City Press report. The issues had been so listed even before the leak, presumptively by the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, of a summary of the report to The Island newspaper. more..

A tricky job for an uncluttered brain

Apr 20 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara didn't leave them any choice, did he? At 33, he said, he was not sure if he would be available for the next World Cup, and said he favoured a leader who would take the side into the next event, four years down the line. Except there was only one probable candidate younger than he: Angelo Mathews, who is yet to become a permanent fixture in the Test side. Perhaps Sangakkara himself wasn't left with any choice. Perhaps the accompaniments to more..

Sri Lanka Chinese-built port costs escalate: report

Apr 20 (LBO) A new port being built in southern Sri Lanka could cost 41 percent or 148 million US dollars more because of additional rock blasting, re-shaped breakwaters and rising raw material prices, a newspaper report said. The extra cost of the port in Hambantota of 15.9 billion rupees is equivalent to meeting the government’s 'Samurdhi' food welfare package given to the country’s poor for six months, the Sunday Leader newspaper said. more..

Atapattu appointed Sri Lanka batting coach

Apr 20 (CI) Former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu has been appointed as the team's batting coach. He will join a training contingent that includes interim coach Stuart Law, Champaka Ramanayaka and Ruwan Kalpage for the tour of England that gets underway next month. Sri Lanka will name the full-time successor for Trevor Bayliss, whose tenure as coach ended with the World Cup, only after the England tour. more..

South sea is safe

Apr 20 (NN) The Atomic Energy Authority in Sri Lanka says the seas off the southern coast of Sri Lanka is free from of any nuclear radiation. The Atomic Energy Authority had begun to conduct radiation tests on sea water after radiation-contaminated water from a quake-crippled nuclear plant in Japan was discharged to the sea. Following tests in the southern seas it has been found that there is no form of contamination and that the sea in the southern coast is safe. more..

LLRC to prepare report by May 15

Apr 20 (SL) Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is targeting the completion of its report to be handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by May 15. LLRC Media Spokesperson Lakshman Wickremasinghe has told the media that the Commission has commenced preparing the first draft. The draft, according to Wickremasinghe, is being prepared on the evidence received and analyzed by the LLRC. According to him, expert knowledge had been required in processing certain evidence. more..

Minor earth tremor in Kirinda

Apr 20 (NN) The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) is conducting a full investigation into the earth 'tremor' which occurred in Kirinda last night damaging at least 7 houses. It is still not clear what caused the 'tremor' which resulted in the damage being caused to the houses. “We still can’t say if there was an earthquake. The GSMB is investigating this at the moment and it is still a bit too early to draw any conclusions,” more..

Petronet LNG plans terminal on East Coast with eye on Lanka

Apr 20 (ET) Petronet LNG, India's biggest gas importer, is eyeing the Sri Lankan market, planning a new terminal on the east coast and aims to double imports of the fuel as its braces for serious competition from the proposed gas marketing joint venture of global major BP and Reliance Industries. Petronet, which set up India's first LNG terminal about a decade ago, also plans to sell gas using cryogenic trucks directly to consumers in regions not connected by pipelines of GAIL India, more..