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Profoods/Propack 2011 stimulates Sri Lanka's economic growth

Aug 30 (GDI) The Profoods / Propack 2011, three day exhibition showcasing the food processing, packaging and agri business industries held at the BMICH in Colombo, Sri Lanka, was concluded yesterday. The Chief Guest of the event was the Minister of Economic Development, Bssil Rajapaksa. Over 300 exhibiting companies from 15 countries, especially from the SAARC region, showing more than 10000 new products and services participated at this Exhibition. more..

CEB spending on “madness”; workers to go on strike

Aug 30 (AD) Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) workers threaten to launch a half-a-day strike on September 7 from 12 noon onwards, if their promised salary increments are not provided. Operations Committee member of the CEB Joint Trade Union Alliance, Ranjan Jayalal said that the final wage hike they received was way back in 2006. He stated that CEB workers had been promised a 22% salary increase in 2009, however the increment was never provided. more..

Gunnie Pieris arrested

Aug 30 (DM) A suspect on whom a red notice was issued for his arrest allegedly for importing dionial chloride to Sri Lanka was arrested at the Chennai Airport by Interpol recently. The CID said they are discussing with Interpol to bring down the suspect Canute Siripalan Pieris alias Gunnie Pieris on whom a red notice was issued by the Sri Lankan Courts for arrest and been in the custody of Interpol in India. The CID who initiated investigations on an alleged case of importing dionil chloride for a factory in Kosgama in the alleged reason of more..

Sri Lanka forex reserves US$8.1bn in July

Aug 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves rose to 8.1 billion US dollars in July 2011 boosted with the sale of a sovereign bond, up from 7.5 billion US dollars in June. Based on the previous 12-month, average imports of 1,398 million dollars a month, gross official reserves were equal to about 5.8 months of imports. Worker remittances were 2.5 billion US dollars in the first six months of the year. Tourism revenues rose 50.9 percent to 370 million US dollars. more..

'No powers to commute death sentence'

Aug 30 (Hindu) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Monday told the Assembly that she did not have the powers to commute the death sentence of Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan, the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, after the President of India rejected their mercy petitions. “As a Chief Minister I don’t have the powers to change the ruling after the President of India has rejected their mercy petition. more..

No more smoking or drinking on TV

Aug 30 (AD) All programmes aired on TV channels should not have smoking or drinking scenes in them starting from September 1, 2011, the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) informs. However, it added that if the programme was produced before the NATA Act became operative or if there are formidable practical difficulties in deleting such scenes, TV channels are to conform to the following instructions instead of covering those scenes with mosaics. more..

Rajiv assassins row: Karunanidhi is a hypocrite, says SIT chief Raghothaman

Aug 30 (DNA) The chief investigating officer of the Special Investigation Team which probed the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case blasted various organizations in Tamil Nadu for distorting the facts associated with the death sentence awarded to Santhan, Murugand and Perarivalan, the three LTTE assassins. "I saw Karunanidhi appealing to the state and central governments on Monday to commute the death sentences of the three LTTE activists to life imprisonment. more..

Compensation to those who suffered damages due to substandard petrol

Aug 30 (DM) The three member committee that probed into the circumstances that led to the import a stock of contaminated petrol and the aftermath of it last month, has found a series of lapses on the part of CEYPETCO officials and recommends to charge the losses either from the company that exported low quality petrol and from the officials who were involved in the racket. more..

27th Meeting of the Board of Directors of the India Sri Lanka Foundation

Aug 30 (HCI) The 27th meeting of the Board of Directors of the India Sri Lanka Foundation (ISLF) was held in New Delhi on the 25th August, 2011. The session was Co-Chaired by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India, H.E. Prasad Kariyawasam and the High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka, H. E. Ashok K. Kantha. Board members of the Foundation, Ambassador M. Rasgotra, Prof. P. V. Indiresan, Mr. Sunimal Fernando and Mr. Thirukumar Nadesan were also present. more..

IDPs dropped to 7,422

Aug 30 (AD) The total number of IDPs has declined to 7,422 as of today (29). This number includes 3, 319 IDPs in Kadirakamar Zone-0 and 4,103 IDPs in Anandakumaraswami Zone-1 in Menik Farm Relief Village. The Government has resettled and released 273,088 IDPs so far under its programme for speedy resettlement. Accordingly, 235,517 IDPs from Vavuniya, Mannar, Trincomalee and other districts have been resettled in their places of origin. The Govt released 27,720 IDPs for humanitarian reasons. more..

Plantation union says no to wage cut

AAug 30 (BBC) The most powerful trade union representing plantation workers in Sri Lanka has rejected a call by tea traders for a wage cut to face a decline in revenue due to the crisis in the Middle East and global economic downturn. Deputy minister Muthu Sivalingam said that plantation companies have never called to share when they made profit. The Minister, who is a senior leader of the Celyon Workers Congress (CWC) was responding to remarks made to more..

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka on Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam

Aug 30 (LG) I returned from a week-long stay out of Paris, to discover an article by Malin Abeyatunga posted on Sri Lanka Guardian, entitled ‘Will new Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office Ms Tamara Kunanayakam be able to deliver the goods?’ I thought I’d put my views on the record not only because commentator Abeyatunga has made a kind reference to me for which I thank him, but also because of my experience in and acquaintance with the UN HRC, Geneva. more..

What they talked about Tamils?

Aug 30 (LG) The conference of the Sri Lankan Tamil Parties organised by the Parliamentary Forum for Human Rights for Global Development (PFHRGD) was held on 22 & 23 August in New Delhi. It was to serve as a forum to discuss all the issues relating to the Sri Lankan Tamil problem and to ascertain the opinion of the Sri Lankan Tamil leaders on how the Indian govt could facilitate an early resolution. It was further aimed at providing an opportunity for the Sri Lankan Tamil leaders to more..

Man cannot decide end of his ‘Best Friend’

Aug 30 (NS) The city of Colombo is looking brighter than ever. The well maintained roads, cleaned up pavements, orderly, maintained greenery pose a vivid picture of a cleaner and brighter Colombo in the future. However several animal welfare societies highlighted a matter that has gone unnoticed in the process of this city beautification project. They claim that the authorities have resorted to cruel and inhumane ways to control the city’s dog population. more..

Forcing any investigation on Lanka most unlikely

Aug 30 (LG) I stumbled upon an interesting article by Chaminda Weerawardhana the other day. In that he says: “Here are the two comments in question; one was made during the months that followed the war. It was made by the gentleman who heads Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the UNHQ. He noted, responding to the very same rape allegation, that if they wanted, the Sri Lankan military forces could have raped every single woman who came their way soon after the final victory. more..

The state as an agent of systemic lawlessness

Aug 30 (LG) The reason why the machinery of state has lost the confidence of the public as an entity that can be relied upon to uphold the law, dispense justice and conduct public administration is that state agencies are used and abused by government politicians to promote partisan ends, or cover-up crimes, or further nefarious purposes. If the government of the day draws the organs of state power (police, military, the administration and the courts) into more..

‘Military losses honoured in public ways – civilians, also Sri Lankan citizens, remain unmourned’

Aug 30 (TC) In the case of September 11 2001, communal loss is – comparatively, at least -well understood. Everyone saw or could see those deaths; they were on the news even as they happened; the broadcast was part of their lasting tragedy. Few perceived denial of the deaths as rational. The people who had killed them made sure there was plenty of physical evidence. No one fought the act of mourning and was taken seriously. more..

Editorial: To hang or not to hang

Aug 30 (Island) It is a supreme irony that the stage is now set for hanging three LTTE activists for their involvement in the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi way back in 1991, in Tamil Nadu itself, where political leaders are baying for their Sri Lankan counterparts’ blood over the killing of LTTE leader Prabhakaran and his fellow criminals in 2009.The scheduled hanging of Rajiv killers is a real challenge for India, which has come under tremendous more..

Editorial: Lanka needs Anna Hazares for war against corruption

Aug 30 (DM) The fight against the scourge and cancer of corruption has rocked the very foundations of Indian politics, the Indian govt and the parliament. The fast by the 74-year-old social activist and Gandhian Anna Hazare has galvanised the people to stand up and be counted in the fight to eradicate the blight of corruption at all levels of govt and the bureaucracy. The 12-day fast ended on Sunday morning at 10.00 a.m. with Mr. Hazare accepting a drink of coconut water and honey. more..

Memories of fallen Sinha Regiment (SLSR) war heroes recalled

Aug 30 (MoD) Secretary Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the invitation of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya took time off on Saturday and attended a series of commemorative ceremonies, organized by the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment at its Ambepussa Headquarters. Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Chief Guest for the occasion received the salute of the Guard of Honour accorded in his honour more..

Does the disorder in the UNP matter?

Aug 30 (LB) Which is the cart and which is the horse? There are those who explain the absence of any credible opposition to Rajapaksa and the UPFA in the south as a consequence of self-immolating, factional warfare in the opposition – meaning the UNP. There are a minority like me who are more inclined to believe that things are the other way round. There are powerful objective reasons why an anti-govt opposition is unable to get off the ground in the Sinhalese south and more..

Let’s not be lazy on grievance or resolution

Aug 30 (LB) There was a time when ‘talks’ with the LTTE were touted, vociferously too, as the one and only way of combatting terrorism. There was a time when the champions of the 13th Amendment (principally the Old Left, various self-styled Left ‘Intellectuals’ and civil society activists - so-called- who were almost all anti-Buddhist) argued that power devolution will result in alternatives to the LTTE emerging from the Tamil community, thereby isolating the terrorists. more..

Accountability? What nonsense!

Aug 30 (LB) Former IGP Mahinda Balasuriya “created history in public accountability in Sri Lanka” by leaving his post after police attacked Katunayake Free Trade Zone workers earlier this year. Today, just weeks after the unrest, he is poised to earn himself another distinction-that of “making a mockery of public accountability in Sri Lanka”-by being sent to Brazil as Sri Lanka’s ambassador. The Ministry of External Affairs has forwarded Balasuriya’s details to more..

Selling state land: Company director released on cash bail

Aug 30 (DM) A director of a resort company in Kalpitiya who was produced in Court on charges of selling a state land was released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. The suspect Dallas Martenstyn was produced by the CID and alleged that the resort company had allegedly prepared a forged deed declaration to some state land in Alankuda and the suspect had been one of its directors. The CID further charged that the concerned company had sold blocks of land to more..

Prof Rohanadheera’s funeral under state patronage

Aug 30 (DN) The funeral of well-known historian and literary personality Prof Mendis Rohanadheera who died on Thursday will be held with full state patronage at the Borella cemetery on August 31 at 4 pm, said Wimal Rubasinghe, Secretary, Ministry of Culture and the Arts in a press release yesterday. This follows a directive issued by Minister T B Ekanayake. Prof Rohanadheera’s remains are lying at his residence at No 34, Asoka roundabout, Sri Subhuthi Road, more..

Interview with A.J.M. Muzammil

Aug 30 (ST) The two key contenders for the mayoral post in the Colombo Municipal Council have opened their campaign. Here UNP candidate – A.J.M.Muzammil speaks to Timesonline about his plans. Q: Why do you think you have been selected as a mayoral candidate? A: I’m one of the most senior members in the UNP in the city of Colombo. I have secured the highest preference of votes in the past in spite of the fact that I was not an organizer in the electorate, more..

Australian boost for northern fisheries sector

Aug 30 (Island) The northern fishing community will receive a tremendous boost courtesy of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid) today when they are given newly built fish market and storage facility. A spokesperson for the IOM said that the large auction centre and multi-purpose storage facility would be a boon for Madagal Rural Fishermen Organization (MRFO) in the Sandilipay DS Division of Jaffna District. more..

'2.6 m tourist arrivals target no pipedream but possible only by 2020 not 2016'

Aug 30 (FT) Stock Broking firm Capital Alliance suggests that the 2.6 million tourist arrivals target isn’t a pipedream but achievable though it will be only by 2020, which is 4 years later than the Government and industry set timeline of 2016. “The Govt projects 2.5m arrivals in 2016, but the industry will lack the rooms and trained staff to hit that goal,” Capital Alliance said. On its part the broking firm said a 15%+ arrivals on a Compound Annual Growth Rate more..

President wants reduction in imported pharmaceuticals

Aug 30 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed the importance of providing better and efficient health services to the public. He was of the opinion that more pharmaceuticals needed to be produced locally in order to reduce the number of pharmaceutical items imported from foreign countries. The President made these observations at a discussion with a view of obtaining the observations of Health and Indigenous Medicine more..

Young life lost as ‘devil’ plays havoc

Aug 30 (LB) Nithula Rathnayaka, a Year 11 student of Dharmaraja College, Kandy, died after being shot at, at Maligatenna in the Thalatuoya police division in the Kandy district on Friday. A person allegedly under the influence of alcohol had shot at a ‘grease devil’ after a woman had screamed for help, but it was an innocent boy who had joined the crowds to see who the ‘grease devil’ was, that recieved the shot and died on the spot. Nithula was at home when he had heard some people shouting, ‘thief, thief, help’ and more..

Sign language workbooks for pre-school deaf children

Aug 30 (Island) Shamila Kurukulasuriya’s Five Workbooks with Sri Lanka Sign Language for pre-school deaf children, published by M. D. Gunasena and Co., were ceremonially launched on Sunday 14th August under the patronage of Ms. Brenda Haiplik, the head of UNICEF’s Education Programme in Sri Lanka. The event was held at the M.D. Gunasena Auditorium in Colombo before a gathering of educationalists, principals and teachers of deaf Schools, and deaf children and their more..

Atomic Energy Authority issues caution over unauthorized X-Rays

Aug 30 (Island) The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) has ruled that it is an "offense" to operate an X-Ray installation that does not have a license issued by them and "will not hesitate to take legal action against the owners of such institutions." The matter has come to the attention of the AEA after it recently gained information about these illicit practices. There is currently a rigorous examination procedure in order to be issued with an X-Ray license. more..

Catholic School wins green award

Aug 30 (UCAN) A Catholic school has won an award in a government scheme to promote sustainability and environmental awareness. The establishment, called The Roman Catholic School, received a silver award at the ceremony organised by the Central Environmental Authority. “People have begun to think more about environmental conservation. Our staff and children are nature lovers. They work hard to stop environmental pollution,” said the school’s Holy Family Sister Ann Catherine Perera. more..

Editorial: Positive step in Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's decision to lift the Emergency regulations, as announced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Parliament last week, is a step towards creating a positive environment for national reconciliation. The regulations rode on powers granted to govt under the 1947 Public Security Ordinance. They have remained almost continuously in force since the 1971 JVP insurgency in southern Sri Lanka, through the years of the armed Tamil militancy in the North and the East. more..

Social Insurance scheme for prisoners

Aug 30 (DM) The Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms is currently discussing several proposals to implement a social insurance scheme for inmates who are receiving long term prison terms. A spokesperson for the Ministry said that the insurance will be based on the crime that the particular inmate had committed. “He has to be suitable to be given insurance. We will also take their discipline into account,” he said. more..

Grero to meet UNP leader today

Aug 30 (DM) UNP MP Mohan Lal Grero who is at loggerheads with the party leadership over the mayoral candidature in the Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council is to meet party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today. UNP MP had raised objections to the party’s decision to name Sunethra Ranasinghe, the incumbent mayor of Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, as the party’s mayoral candidate at the forth coming local government election. Mr. Grero said that the party leadership had wanted to meet him today more..

Arrest warrants on absconding TRO members

Aug 30 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundera yesterday issued warrants on several members of Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation who had been absconding from cases pending against them in the High Court for providing funds, aiding and abetting the proscribed LTTE. The Judge ordered to initiate action against all accused under the section 241of the Penal Code. The accused are Vellupillai Sivanadiar, Murugesu Shanmugaraja, kanthilingam Prem Regie, more..

GMOA declares war on pvt. medical college

Aug 30 (Island) Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has decided to oppose the Private Medical College in Malabe which has already recruited four batches. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Sankalpa Marasinghe told The Island yesterday that they have passed a resolution to oppose it when their general committee met on Sunday. He said that the Malabe PMC did not complete necessary requirements and Sri Lanka Medical Council too has not recognized it. more..

Road accidents: 2000 killed annually

Aug 30 (DM) Some 2000 people are killed and 4500 are left disabled in Sri Lanka annually due to road congestion, the Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) said yesterday. The association said that the failure on the part of Transport Ministry’s to introduce bus timetables could be the main cause. PBOA President Gemunu Wijeyratne said vehicle owners subject to road accidents make insurance claims worth Rs.10 billion each year. “The authorities had promised us on more..

President assures inquiry into campaign against Pakistani cement

Aug 30 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured Pakistan that he would inquire into complaints that a particular Pakistani cement manufacturer and exporter to Sri Lanka,was being unfairly targeted. A delegation headed by the Pakistani High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Seema Illahi Baloch and Deputy High Commissioner Amna had met Rajapaksa on Friday,to protest against what they termed "certain forces" and "monopolies" trying to more..