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Hush-hush topics on women and health to the fore

Apr 30 (ST) It is a boost for women’s health and many are the issues of importance to this group who form a majority not only in Sri Lanka but also in South Asia being discussed at Colombo this weekend. Horizontal integration of all spheres of women’s health is the need of the hour, Prof. Harshalal Seneviratne, the Dean of the Colombo Medical Faculty and newly-inducted President of the South Asia Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (SAFOG) more..

Ampaarai teacher transfer scheme suspended

Apr 30 (TN) The teacher transfer scheme scheduled to come into effect from May 1 in the Ampaarai district in the eastern province has been put off following protests from the teachers’ trade unions. Provincial Director of Education Mr.M.T. Abdul Nizam had earlier ordered that all excess teachers should be transferred from May 1 to schools in other districts that suffer due to shortage of teachers. Teacher trade unions protested that the transfer scheme had used racial and more..

NGJA grabs Devalaya land

Apr 30 (SL) Accusations have been leveled against the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) Ratnapura for its failure to uphold justice when issuing gem mining licences due to interference from a higher official. The NGJA has deprived the Saman Devalaya of its custodianship to a gem mining land (Weligodella Watta in Gonapitiya, Kuruwita) for the past few years and instead issued a gemming licence to a person who produced illegal documents as proof of ownership to the particular land. more..

Royal wedding highlights

National level athletes in Power and Energy Ministry

Apr 30 (DN) Power and Energy Ministry recruited six national level athletes aiming to assist the Ministry's workforce to take up sports in order to create a healthy and physically fit workforce. Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said so addressing the media at the Ministry yesterday. Rohan Pradeep Kumara, Prasanna Pieris, Shehan Ambepitiya, Chandrika Subhashini Rasnayake, Uditha Gayan Wickramasinghe and Dhanushka Nalin Karunaratne received appointment letters. more..

CJ underlines importance of training for judges

Apr 30 (DN) "The traditional view that training judges is unnecessary has long prevailed in most parts of the world. However, that view is now outdated," said Chief Justice Asoka de Silva addressing the opening ceremony of the new premises of the Sri Lanka Judges Institute at the Superior Complex in Hulftsdorp Wednesday. "In the United States, judicial training began in the 1950s and in England in 1979 with the establishment of the Judicial Studies Board." more..

Floods in several areas, over 16,000 affected, three deaths reported

Apr 30 (Island) Heavy showers experienced during last thee weeks have caused floods in several areas. So far, three deaths due to floods have been reported, according to relief workers. Assistant Director of the Disaster Management Center Pradeep Kodippili said that several areas in the Ratnapura, Kalutara and Matara Districts were still under water. more..

'More potential for trade between SL and Philippines'

Apr 30 (Island) The small trade value between Philippine and Sri Lanka showed that there was strong potential for further expansion of bilateral trade between the two nations. It was therefore ‘high time’ for both countries to explore new avenues in economic cooperation, says Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the Philippines Ambassador to Bangladesh (accredited to Sri Lanka) Banharim Abu Guinomla on Thursday 28. more..

Food poisoning puts 70 students in hospital

Apr 30 (Island) Mannar Police said that 70 students of St. Xavier’s College were hospitalized at around 3.00 p.m. yesterday due to food poisoning. Police sources said those students, boarded at the school hostel took ill after having their lunch. According to the sources at the Mannar Base Hospital, 70 students were admitted with symptoms of vomiting, stomachache and headache. Five of three of them were discharged after treatment. He said one student was in a serious condition.

'New pension scheme a victory for workers'

Apr 30 (DM) The new pension scheme for the private sector is a gigantic victory for all our people and those who contribute towards the Employees Provident Fund could expect a brighter future, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday in his May Day message. He said that steps had been taken to increase the compensation payable to male and female workers who end up as victims of accidents. Also, the Workmen’s Compensation Act has been amended to suit more..

‘Win over the world on the basis of truth’

Apr 30 (DN) “Sri Lanka should act with wisdom to defeat the intentions of the controversial Darusman Report by trying to win over the world on the basis of truth and by pointing out the manner in which we have acted - that is in a fair and just way - and by forming a global united front against it,” said Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France Dr Dayan Jayatilleke commenting on the Darusman Report said. “We should also forge a wider national unity locally by more..

Tory hopeful's stations played Tamil Tiger 'propaganda': expert

Apr 30 (CBC) The Conservative government's own expert on Tamil extremism is raising concerns about a Toronto Tory candidate, claming he has worked for two television stations that telecast "propaganda" for the Tamil Tigers. Rohan Gunaratna told CBC News that Raghavan "Gavan" Paranchothy's work for two Tamil television stations in Toronto that "at times telecast information that was propaganda for the LTTE, the Tamil Tiger organization" does not work towards more..

'Tamil Tiger definition too broad'

Apr 30 (CBC) The federal government's definition of which migrants aboard the MV Sun Sea are members of the Tamil Tigers is so broad that, if it was accepted, ongoing hearings to determine membership in the terrorist group would be meaningless, says an adjudicator with the Immigration and Refugee Board. On Friday, Marc Tessler chided a lawyer for the Canada Border Services Agency during a hearing in Vancouver for a Sri Lankan refugee claimant who is more..

Rehabilitation centre tops Rs. 3 lakhs revenue

Apr 30 (Island) The Youth Rehabilitation Centre conducted by the Prisons Department at Taldena has topped Rs 300,000 revenue per month by sale of the products manufactured by its metal work unit. An officer said that youth who have finished serving prison terms are rehabilitated at this centre and they are provided with vocational training in various fields. The inmates here produce aluminium buckets, saucepans, cauldrons etc and they are sold at very nominal prices, more..

Hindu donates statue, renovates church

Apr 30 (UCAN) A statue of the Risen Lord donated by a Hindu has been ceremoniously installed in a beautifully renovated church. A large crowd thronged to St Anthony’s Church at Opatha, on the outskirts of Colombo, to see the statue, which is made of fiberglass, around 15 feet high and some 3½ tons in weight, on its 20ft high pedestal. K. Raju, an ardent Hindu who attended the ceremony on Easter Sunday, renovated the church and donated the statue to the poor parish. more..

Shirani, next CJ

Apr 30 (DM) Supreme Court Judge and President’s Counsel Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake has been named as the next Chief Justice by President Mahinda Rajapaksa according to powers vested in him by the Constitution. According to the notification, the Parliamentary Committee has to submit its report within a week, to the President. She will become the 33rd Chief Justice of the Republic of Sri Lanka and would be the first female Chief Justice. more..

Learn from UN report, Christians say

Apr 30 (UCAN) Christian clergy and laymen have urged serious consideration of a damning UN panel report and say it should be treated as a resource and tool towards a process of reconciliation based on truth, justice, accountability and reparation for victims. “We call on all Sri Lankans and particularly religious leaders and the government to take into serious consideration the stories of our brothers and sisters contained in the report, along more..

UN report: Lanka officials 'can be arrested'

Apr 30 (BBC) Senior Sri Lanka officials may be arrested and tried abroad as a result of the UN expert panel report on Sri Lanka, a legal expert said. Wijedasa Rajapakshe, an opposition MP, said it is possible for interested parties abroad to seek a warrant to arrest visiting dignitaries as a result of the UN report. Amnesty International said that Sri Lankan leaders can be charged while they are travelling abroad after the release of the report. more..

US envoy heads to Sri Lanka amid war flap

Apr 30 (AFP) A US envoy heads to Sri Lanka next week to encourage a full accounting over its civil war after the government angrily rejected UN-backed allegations of atrocities, officials said Friday. Robert Blake, the assistant secretary of state handling South Asia, will leave Saturday on a six-day trip to Sri Lanka and Maldives for talks with political leaders and civil society, the State Department said. more..

Artistes call for withdrawal of Darusman Report

Apr 30 (DN) All Sri Lankan artistes in one voice appeal to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to withdraw the controversial Darusman Report which is harmful to the nation's sovereignty and post conflict reconciliation, veteran film director Somaratne Dissanayake said. Addressing a media-briefing in Colombo yesterday, he said that the controversial Darusman report is a totally biased and inaccurate document which is the product of a personal initiative taken by the UNSG. more..

No equipment to test sea water - MEPA scientists

Apr 30 (Island) Despite plans by the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) to check the quality of water in the seas around Sri Lanka every month, scientists say they don’t have equipment to coduct routine checks. A scientist told The Island yesterday that they had only one instrument. "We had requested at least three more sets, which will cost around Rs. 1.8 million but we have not got them as yet," more..

Air pollution threatens Kandy’s World Heritage status

Apr 30 (Island) The Sacred City of Kandy is likely to lose its World Heritage City status due to its air pollution levels that are higher than the national and World Health Organisation standards, claims an authority in the transport sector. Professor Amal Kumarage, says the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation says the Sacred City might be stripped of its World Heritage status due to the increasing levels of toxic pollutants found there. more..

Indian aid to develop northern fisheries industry

Apr 30 (Island) Amidst increasing incidents of poaching by Indian and Sri Lankan fisherman in each other’s waters, India has pledged Rs.152 million to develop the Gurunagar Fishnet Factory, which was damaged during Sri Lanka’s near three decade war. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the northern fisheries industry, which was greatly hampered due to the ethnic conflict, was being developed in stages and the Gurunagar Fishnet Factory has more..

Govt. plans to regulate use of groundwater

Apr 30 (DM) The govt is to introduce legislation to regulate the use of groundwater, especially for commercial purposes, officials said. They said the legislation being prepared by the Irrigation and Water Management Ministry would include measures to conserve spring water and prevent pollution. Similar attempts were made in the past to introduce such legislation but the efforts were stymied by politically motivated public resistance. more..

WB provides $ 100 million: Major funding for roads

Apr 30 (DN) The World Bank signed an agreement with the Sri Lankan govt yesterday to provide US $ 100 million in additional financing for the Sri Lanka road sector Assistance Project to support the government to continue creating an efficient national road system and lower transportation costs to maximize opportunities and growth. This project will improve connectivity to the Northern and Eastern provinces and assist the government to accelerate and more..

Bus fare hike in July

Apr 30 (DM) The National Transport Commission (NTC) yesterday confirmed that bus fares would be increased in July. NTC Chairman Shashi Welgama said though bus fares were to be revised this month, the revision was being done in July on a request by private bus owners associations. Meanwhile a transport authority official said the Rs. 6 bus fare for the first section was likely to be increased to Rs.7. more..

NHSL docs threaten strike in protest against Sports Medicine Unit

Apr 30 (Hindu) Doctors of the National Hospital yesterday warned the Health Ministry that they would stage a token strike on Monday (2) against the establishment of a Sports Medicine Unit at the NHSL. The Govt Medical Officers’ Association of the NHSL demands that the Health Secretary withdraw his communiqué to the NHSL Director, ordering the establishment of a ‘Sports Medicine Unit,’ in the hospital premises, before Monday noon. more..

Players can't ignore IPL lure - Law

Apr 30 (CI) Stuart Law, Sri Lanka's interim coach, has expressed sympathy with Lasith Malinga's decision to quit Test cricket due to a knee condition, but has also acknowledged that the lure of the IPL - with its bumper signings and opportunities to secure oneself financially in quick time - makes it difficult for players to continue playing international cricket. He added it was important to keep India "sweet", as that's where a significant part of the revenue for more..

Beneficiaries yet to be found for Indian housing project

Apr 30 (Hindu) The second anniversary of Sri Lanka's victory over the LTTE nears, but the govt is yet to provide a list of beneficiaries for the 50,000 houses that the Indian government is building for Tamils in the North. The foundation for the pilot project, which envisages construction of 1,000 houses, was laid by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna last November. New Delhi has since asked Colombo for the list of beneficiaries. more..

Diplomats, NGO talk on report

Apr 30 (DM) Diplomats, representatives of diplomatic missions and Non-Governmental Organization representatives in Colombo met at the United States Ambassador’s residence to discuss the United Nations Secretary General’s Panel Report. The meeting was reported to have been held at the invitation of US Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis on Thursday but the US Embassy refused to deny or confirm the meeting. more..

May Day rallies: IGP calls for peaceful processions

Apr 30 (DN) IGP Mahinda Balasuriya appealed to those participating in May Day rallies to conduct processions in a peaceful manner without violating the law. The IGP also directed the party leaders to advice their supporters to conduct peaceful processions along the main roads. The IGP also gave a detailed report of how political parties should participate in the May Day rallies in Colombo and in outstations. more..

China urges international community not to complicate Sri Lanka issue

Apr 30 (Xinhua) China said Saturday that it believes the Sri Lankan government and people will handle properly problems conerning its civil war and urged the international community not to complicate the issue. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks when asked to comment on a panel report on armed conflicts in Sri Lanka published by the United Nations on Monday. more..