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DPF may go it alone at LG polls

Aug 8 (DM) The Democratic Peoples Front (DPF) led by Mano Ganeshan is to contest the L/G elections to the Colombo, Dehiwala-Mount Lavonia, Moratuwa and Negombo Municipal Councils and, the Kolonnawa Urban Council on its own, breaking ranks with its former alliance partner, the UNP. The elections to these remaining local bodies will be conducted in October, this year. DPF General Secretary Dr. Nalliah Kumaraguruparan said that more..

Ranil wants priests to oppose evictions

Aug 8 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the need for a collective effort by religious leaders to stop what he termed the forcible eviction of dwellers in Colombo. Mr. Wickremesinghe also vowed to take up this issue internationally. He made these remarks when he met some low income city dwellers at his office on Saturday. He explained that the building of houses, tanks and temples were meritorious deeds more..

Attack on Kuhanathan latest in a series

Aug 8 (LB) The attack on the news editor of the Jaffna based Tamil daily Uthayan, Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan last week has not come as a surprise considering the political landscape of the Northern Province and the role the Uthayan played during the Northern L/G election. Uthayan took the opposition political parties’ views among the Northerners -- and was a lifeline for the opposition that faced great difficulties in conveying their message to more..

Cement arrives, but cannot be released to market without SLS certificate

Aug 8 (Island) The five million Kgs of cement from Pakistan has arrived in the country, but cannot be released to the market without a SLS certificate. The cement arrived in the port on Thursday (4) from Pakistan and it is stuck in the port without the certification. The National Cooperative Council (NCC) imported 100,000 bags of cement each comprising 50 kg to tide over the shortage now being experienced and affecting the construction industry. more..

Malinga, Tharanga available for ODIs

Aug 8 (CI) Sri Lanka's fast bowler Lasith Malinga has said he is fit and ready to face Australia in the five-match one-day series, having recovered from a back ailment. Malinga was ruled out of the two Twenty20 matches that began Australia's tour, but he trained freely on Sunday and subsequently said his body was ready for battle. "I feel that I am fit and ready for the five ODIs that are coming up," Malinga said. "I will play in all the games if I am picked, and am ready for it." more..

Now pictorial warnings on cigarette packets

Aug 8 (DN) The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) called for the introduction of necessary laws which would require the industry to include pictorial health warnings on all tobacco packaging to show the sickness and suffering caused by tobacco use. Pictures of deceased lungs, oral cancer, wasted gums, children afflicted due to second-hand smoke etc. should be displayed covering at least 50 per cent of the pack more..

Emergency likely to go from next month

Aug 8 (DM) Fresh after the reiteration by India that Sri Lanka should do away with the state of emergency immediately, the govt has decided to lift it from next month, a senior govt minister said yesterday. Last week in Lok Sabha, India’s External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, making a suo motu statement, said that he stressed to his Sri Lankan counterpart the need for an early withdrawal of emergency regulations, investigations into allegations of more..

Govt to go ahead with 'Parliamentary Select Committee'

Aug 8 (DN) The government will go ahead with the formation of the Parliamentary Select Committee that would serve as the platform to arrive at a solution to the longstanding national question. A senior government minister yesterday said that the PSC was most likely to be formed within this week. Meanwhile, the TNA has denied certain media reports that they were against the PSC. more..

Sri Lanka’s state paper mill to get Australian investor

Aug 9 (LBO) Perth Engineering Ltd, an Australia based firm, will invest 600 million rupees to revive a defunct state-run paper mill in Embilipitiya, secretary to Sri Lanka's state resources and enterprises ministry Willie Gamage said. "They agreed to sign 30-year leasehold agreement with the government of Sri Lanka under a joint venture, public-private partnership," Gamage said. "In addition to their 600 million rupee investment, they agreed to pay a 4 percent more..

Survey on elephants in order to provide 300 elephants to religious places

Aug 9 (LT) Minister Mr S M Chandrasena said that an island-wide survey of elephants will be carried out to estimate the requirement of elephants including tuskers for the places of religious importance. He said this decision was taken on complaints received from various religious places including a request made to the President by Mr Pradeep Nilanga Dela of Temple of Tooth Relics in Kandy that there is a shortage of elephants in performing religious events. more..

Probe over fake land deeds in Kalpitiya

Aug 9 (NN) The Economic Development Ministry is to conduct an investigation into the racket in Kalpitiya where fake deeds are being given to investors to purchase lands. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that some lawyers in the area are also believed to be involved on the racket. He said this during a meeting in Kalpitiya today between some investors and officials of the tourism ministry as well as area residents. more..

Sri Lanka water management: Multiple choice

Aug 9 (LBO) It is said that inland reservoirs cover one tenth of Sri Lanka’s land area. Sri Lanka may possibly be the country with the greatest density of artificial reservoirs. It sure seems so from Google Earth, or from looking down from the Delhi flight on a clear day. I just got back from Minneriya, one of Sri Lanka’s “maha weva”s, originally built under King Mahasen (275-301 CE) and rehabilitated under the leadership of D.S. Senanayake and C.P. de Silva. more..

No inferior cement

Aug 9 (NN) In the midst of a nationwide cement shortage and inferior stocks being circulated in the market, the Consumer Affairs Authority says it will take stern action against low quality cement importers. Speaking to, Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority Mr. Rumi Marzook stated that if any complaint is lodged by consumers who have been victimized by purchasing sub standard cement in the recent past, action will be taken against the importers or distributers. more..

Former Foreign Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe passes away

Aug 9 (HN) The former Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Romesh Jayasinghe has passed away today due to a longstanding illness. A spokesperson confirmed to out news team that the former Secretary to the Ministry and career diplomat had passed away this morning. Prior to being appointed as the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2009, Romesh Jayasinghe served as the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India, more..

JVP accuses the US

Aug 9 (DM) The JVP today accused the USA of violating international law by intruding into Sri Lankan airspace. The party’s political affairs committee in a statement today said this was a threat to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, “No country could intrude into airspace without prior permission”. “People of this country are living in suspense not knowing what is in store for the country,” the statement added. JVP also expressed suspicion as to whether the intrusion has a connection with more..

Lankans to return home from Kuwait

Aug 9 (NN) Over 250 Sri Lankans are to return home from Kuwait after being held at a safe house operated by the Sri Lankan embassy. The Sri Lankan Ambassador in Kuwait C.A Wijeyrtne said that he had obtained approval from the Kuwaiti authorities to send back the Sri Lankans who had sought employment in Kuwait, without any fee or charge. The Sri Lankans ended up in the safe house either after leaving their jobs in Kuwait over various forms of abuse or had been deceived by more..

Korean job seekers in disarray

Aug 9 (DM) There was chaos and confusion among some 10,000 Korean job seekers for Korean exam applications at Police Park in Havelock Road today after a large number of job seekers were refused applications owing to the stampede at Police Park. The large crowds gathered at Police Park brought traffic along Havelock Road to a grinding halt. Some job seekers said that they had been in the front section of the queue when those at more..

19 SLT trade unions go on strike

Aug 9 (DM) Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLTL) a while ago informed the Colombo Stock Exchange that 19 trade unions of the firm are presently engaged in union action. The filing said these trade unions are engaging in union action despite the negotiations had with the company with certain concessions being granted in consequence thereof. The filing also noted in order to safeguard the best interest of the company, the working staff and the customers obtained a court order more..

President off to China

Aug 9 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be on a 4 day official visit to China from 9th to 12th of this month. The visit is being made on the invitation of the Chinese President Hu Jintao. He will be an honored Guest in the World University Games. The President is expected to hold bilateral talks with the Chinese leaders during his visit. This will be President’s fifth meeting with the Chinese President Hu Jintao after winning the Presidential Elections in November 2005. more..

There was no intrusion; US

Aug 9 (DM) The United States Embassy in Colombo said that there was no intrusion by US fighter jets into Lankan air space. “There was no intrusion,” the official said, and refused to comment further. The govt is said to protest to the US over the intrusion of air space by a squadron of ten fighter jets. Civil Aviation Director General H. M. C. Nimalsiri said earlier that they were trying to establish whether the US fighter jets had violated more..

Many vacancies in Provincial Councils

Aug 9 (SL) Provincial Councils have recorded close to 30,000 vacancies, according to the 2011 Finance Commission Report. The report has stated that the vacancies in the Provincial Councils in the country were 29,084. While the approved cadre of the Provincial Councils was 327,248, the existing number in the cadre stood at 298,164. However, Chief Ministers of several Provincial Councils in the country have told the media that the existing vacancies in more..

SLT informs CSE of union action

Aug 9 (SL) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has today informed the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) that 19 trade unions at the institution had resorted to union action and that SLT has obtained a court injunction against any strike action. SLT in a statement to the CSE has said that a court injunction has been taken against strike action by the unions in the premises, damaging company property and intimidating or threatening non-striking workers. “SLT meanwhile continues to maintain more..

STF step up combat against illegal activities

Aug 9 (DM) Special Task Force (STF) has taken steps to establish a camp covering each of the administrative districts to combat and tackle illegal activities which are difficult to be countered by the police. STF Commandant DIG R.W.M.C Ranawana said that orders and instructions were given by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. “Establishing camps is the first step taken by the STF to engage in the development activities in the more..

Sri Lanka supports Palestinian plan to seek UN recognition

Aug 9 (WAFA) Sri Lanka Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gamini Peiris, Monday affirmed his country’s support of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) intention to seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state in September. Peiris said, during his meeting with Palestine ambassador to Sir Lanka and Maldives, Anwar al-Agha, that his country will continue its support for the Palestinian cause and the establishing of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. more..

Hoteliers should inform police about foreigners

Aug 9 (DM) As part of efforts to ensure security for foreign tourists visiting the city, Police have instructed hotel and lodge owners to inform them about the visitors' stay in their premises to the nearby police stations. The move comes in the wake of the reported attack on some Sri Lankan tourists by activists belonging to a pro-LTTE outfit on August 3. “As per the City Police Act, all hotels and lodges are supposed to inform the nearest police stations of the stay of any more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 08.08.2011

80% of striking SLT workers return for duty, claims CEO

Aug 9 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) management has begun discussions late on Monday with trade union representatives to settle their grievances and urging them to call off a crippling strike. Trade unions said earlier today that some 95% of SLT’s 8,000 workers were on strike to win 10 demands including settling of salary anomalies, granting promotions and increasing transport and food allowances. In a related development 25 workers involved in the strike were interdicted. more..

Call to publish report on FTZ clash

Aug 9 (BBC) Trade union leaders representing workers of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has called on the authorities to publish the report of the presidential commission that investigated recent unrest in the FTZ. President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed one-man commission chaired by retired judge Mahanama Thilakaratne after a young FTZ worker was shot dead by the police. The killing of Roshen Shanaka led to further protests by the FTZ workers who first took to the streets against a controversial more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa hits out at Jayalalithaa

Aug 9 (IANS) A top Sri Lankan official has hit out at Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for demanding the trial of leaders in Colombo for alleged "war crimes". Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa also told Headlines Today that Sri Lankan would not devolve any more powers to the minorities in spite of the promises it made in the past. "If they are interested in the welfare of (Tamil) people, it is useless calling for international investigation," more..

Sri Lanka SEC's mulling easing margin trading ban

Aug 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday said it is seriously considering a stockbrokers' proposal to ease a margin trading ban, at least on a temporary basis to help smaller investors in the Colombo Stock Exchange. The island nation's regulator has directed all brokers to phase out margin trading by end of this year, a change which has hit trading volumes and which brokers blame for cooling business and prices on the bourse. more..

Sri Lanka commissions 500kW solar plant

Aug 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka has commissioned a 500 kiloWatt solar power plant in Hambantota in the south of the island built with Korean help, the island's power and energy ministry said. The solar plant in Hambantota in the South of the island built with 412 million rupees of Korean financing has been connected to the national grid, the ministry said in a statement. The plant is operated by Sri Lanka's Sustainable Energy Authority to demonstrate the potential of solar power. more..

'Sri Lanka looks forward to increasing cooperation with China'

Aug 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka looks forward to increasing cooperation in trade and investment from China, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in an interview with Xinhua ahead of his visit to China. Rajapaksa will leave for China late Monday on a state visit where he will have talks with Chinese leaders. He will also attend the opening ceremony of the 26th Universiade, the latest large- scale international sports event for China. more..

Unexpected sea waves due to the stormy weather conditions

Aug 9 (HN) The Coast Guard Department states that the reason for the unexpected sea waves which are witnessed in certain areas is assumed to be due to the stormy weather conditions experienced in the Asia Pacific countries including China. Speaking to our News Team, the Director General of the Coast Guard Department Anil Premaratne stated that these unexpected waves were not only witnessed in the Western coastal area of the island but also in the Southern coastal area. more..

Protest to secure release of Fonseka

Aug 9 (ST) The Democratic National Alliance backed by the JVP today protested outside the Welikada prisons demanding the release of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe and UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa were among those who took part in the protest. Mr. Fonseka contested Parliamentary elections under the DNA ticket. Mr. Fonseka was arrested in February 2010 and jailed for 30 months period in September of the same year. more..

2nd Twenty20: Ajantha Mendis' six gives SL series

Aug 9 (CI) Sri Lanka were held to 157 for 9 by an improved Australia despite a study in elegance from Mahela Jayawardene in the second Twenty20 in Pallekele. Again batting first, this time after winning the toss, the Sri Lankans were unable to conjure the partnerships they managed in game one, even as Jaywardene's 86 off 63 balls provided a centrepiece to stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan's effort on Saturday. more..

They will understand because now we speak their language

Aug 9 (LG) In 1958, that was 50 years ago and two generations before when the first violence was unleashed against innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka, we Tamils said the same thing you people said when they got assaulted in South India, Do I see anything wrong in it?. This is merely the beginning. If you think what happened in 1958 is wrong and if you will admit it now, yes I will say it is wrong. Am I a bad guy? Yes. if "tit for tat" is only way to make people realize what more..

Regional Settlements: Strategic conditions in SA

Aug 9 (LG) Modern world is not for the ‘ordinary man’. He needs many interpreters, experts, and ‘academics’ so that he can understand the world he has created and to make ends meet, the people next door, and even his relationship with spouse. Before the progress he only needed one expert, just to interpret the ‘holy texts’ so that he can get on ‘with his maker’. Please note we don’t intend a gender bias with ‘he’, ‘man’ references. When someone reduces the US borrowing more..

'Public should be informed on the Urban development taking place'

Aug 9 (MoD) Discussion secession and a meeting on town planning were held between the officials of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council and Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 05th August, 2011 at the Chief Minister's office in Rathnapura. Sabaragamuwa Provincial Chief Secretary Mr. Herath P. Kularathne delivered the key note address. Provincial Chief Minister Maheepala Herath stressed the main objectives of the meeting. more..

SRI LANKA: Hallmarks of our police force

Aug 9 (LG) Evidence can be found Sir, the moronic sidekick for the CID chief Inspector Grimms in the popular British TV comedy, Thin Blue Line, replies when asked why he had not found evidence of drugs in the home of a suspect Grimms wants prosecuted. The beer swilling football fanatic and male chauvinist CID assistant belies the myth of British honesty when he plants a bag of cocaine behind a cooker to apprehend an undesirable so that Inspector Grimms could get his promotion and more..

Malaysia, Australia and the Tamil Tigers

Aug 9 (LG) As per today’s Bigpond news, the Malaysian Deal in relation to the Refugees is going to be tested in Australian Courts. Asylum seekers have become yo-yos. As per this report ‘The asylum seekers were due to be flown to Malaysia at 11.30am (AEST) on Monday but in a special hearing in Melbourne, High Court judge Kenneth Hayne granted an interim injunction delaying the flight until 4.30pm. That will give refugees advocate David Manne enough time to put his case again more..