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The Catholic Church and the Govt preyed on the gullibility of Roshen’s Family

Dec 8 (SL) Six months after the tragic demise of Roshen Chanaka who was shot by the police inside the Katunayake Free Trade Zone at a protest held against the govt over the private sector pension scheme, his parents claim that they were denied their right to give their son a proper funeral due to political interference. They also alleged that an unnecessary fear psychosis was created in them by the ruling party politicians and the Parish Priest of Yatiyana, Minuwangoda. more..

Things can not get any worse for Sri Lanka

Dec 8 (Island) When South Africans arrive in Colombo, the curators here provide them with a wicket that has some grass for the warm up game, but when they turn up for the Test match, they are given the driest of wickets. The Sri Lankans, who are in South Africa at the moment, are sure to get a taste of their own medicine. Everyone agrees that Sri Lanka will have to play out of their skin to compete against Graeme Smith’s side and no one even has asked more..

Nawaloka inks major breakthrough deal with Japan’s biotech specialist Mebiopharm

Dec 8 (FT) In a first-of-its-kind move which is likely to transform Sri Lanka’s healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, Nawaloka Holdings Ltd. today in Tokyo announced a groundbreaking joint venture with Japanese biotechnology specialist Mebiopharm Co Ltd. The announcement was made at a press conference at the Tokyo Stock Exchange jointly by Tokyo Alternate Investment Market (AIM)-listed Mebiopharm Co Ltd., CEO Tadashi Fujisawa and more..

Sri Lanka to hook higher fish exports

Dec 8 (FT) Sri Lanka is targeting increased revenue from fishers with over 172 million tonnes of fish exported annually, the Industry and Commerce Minister said yesterday. Addressing the 26th session of the INFOFISH Governing Council meeting, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen pointed out that from January to October 2011, Sri Lanka produced 309,580 metric tonnes of marine fish and 47,450 metric tonnes of freshwater fish. Sri Lanka exports around 172 million tonnes of fish annually more..

Singapore’s Musthapha to set up Rs.10 bn hotel, shopping mall at Mutwal

Dec 8 (Island) Singaporean retail shopping complex giant Musthaphas will set up a giant US$ 104 million complex in Mutwal, Colombo 15, in which premises, it will house a 975-room hotel, 100 service apartments and a ballroom which could accommodate 1,000 people. It will also house 1,000 car parking slots and go up to 23 levels. Musthaphas had already purchased a five-acre block, which was hitherto owned by The Finance Co. for more..

No Opposition member to move the cut

Dec 8 (DN) The committee stage debate on the Appropriation Bill on the financial Heads of five ministries yesterday was commenced by Livestock and Rural Community Development Deputy Minister H R Mithrapala. He did so since opening speaker from the Opposition who moved the cut and opens the debate as is the tradition, was absent when his name was called by the Chair. After the presentation of papers and oral questions, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody announced more..

'Students forcibly taken for protests'

Dec 8 (DN) Students of Sri Jayewardenepura University yesterday launched a protest opposite the University Grant Commission at Ward Place in Colombo. They demanded that the authorities solve problems with regard to student quarters. These students walked from Sri Jayewardenepura University to the UGC in Ward place and held a protest. A group of student representatives discussed their problems with Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne. more..

Wild elephants to be insured

Dec 8 (DN) The National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) is making arrangements to insure wild elephants in the country in collaboration with the Agrarian Services and Wildlife Ministry. Discussions regarding this insurance scheme are to be finalised next week. All measures are in place to initiate this programme from January 2012, said NITF chairman Senaka Abeygunasekara. According to statistics, the wild elephant census held in Sri Lanka recently has more..

Menik Farm still under Def. Ministry -JVP

Dec 8 (Island) JVP MP Ajith Kumara yesterday alleged that in spite of the govt lifting the Emergency several months ago, the Menik Farm still remained under the control of the Defence Ministry. The JVP MP said that those in charge at Menik Farm had refused to give him access to the IDP facility, though he obtained approval from the Rehabilitation Ministry to visit it. Now that the emergency was no longer in place, the military shouldn’t be in charge of IDP facilities in more..

Estate staff demand pay hike

Dec 8 (Island) Salaries and wages of executives of plantations as well as of the daily paid labourers have been increased by many folds while the salaries of estate staff remained stagnant the President of the Ceylon Estates Staff Union Dhammika Jayawardana told a media conference in Kandy. The failure on the part of the authorities to respond positively to the representations of the union without delay will compel the union to take stern action to win the demands, more..

Connections | December 05, 2011

Tension prevails as SLA terrorizes Tamils confronting Sinhala thugs in Vanni

Dec 8 (TN) Scores of Tamils, including women and children, were injured and terrorized by the occupying Sinhala army at Ira'naimadu junction in Kilinochchi on Tuesday night between 8:00 and 10:30 p.m., following 4 Sinhala thugs were confronted by the local people. Four Sinhala men from South who came to a Tamil shop at Ira'naimadu junction on Tuesday night threatened the shopkeeper and attacked him. When the people of the locality retaliated, the Sinhala men escaped into more..

Indicted on charges of giving info to LTTE

Dec 8 (DM) An army lieutenant attached to the Ratmalana Army Transit Camp was indicted in the Colombo High Court on charges of having provided defence secrets to the LTTE and thus help carry out its attacks. The Attorney General indicted Lieutenant Ranjith Perera alias 'army uncle' for allegedly providing vital defence secrets to LTTE suicide cadre Kandavanam Gogulnath and LTTE intelligence Officer Kanagaratnam Adityan to carry out an attack at the Deyata Kirula Exhibition. more..

Over 1,000 Lankan peacekeepers to leave for Lebanon, Haiti

Dec 8 (Island) Over 1,000 Sri Lankan troops are preparing to leave for peace keeping missions in Lebanon and Haiti in January next year. Military spokesman Nihal Hapuarachchi said that the mission to Lebanon would comprise Mechanized Infantry and support elements, including engineers and medical personnel. It would be the third SLA contingent sent to Lebanon, the official said. Troops deployed in Lebanon are equipped with armoured fighting vehicles. more..

Some companies mix bleach with stale milk: Minister

Dec 8 (DM) Some private companies are known to use stale milk mixed with hydrogen peroxide in their products despite health risks for consumers, Deputy Minister H.R. Mithrapala told parliament. He said the ministry had conducted inquiries into such acts by the private sector. “We do not purchase milk that has turned stale or sour from cattle farmers. Yet, some private companies do so and mix it with hydrogen peroxide. They are not concerned about health risks. more..

Sudarshini lashes out at NGOs

Dec 8 (Island) UPFA MP Mrs. Sudarshini Fernandopulle yesterday walked out of a gathering of NGOs at the BMICH alleging she was denied a seat. She said that the Socio Economic and Environmental Development Organisation, which organised the meeting, had provided seats for only two UNP women parliamentarians, one representing Colombo and the other Jaffna. According to her, the event, sponsored by the Norwegian Embassy had attracted those bent on undermining the government. more..

Dilshan backs Sri Lanka batting

Dec 8 (CI) Sri Lanka's Test squad have arrived in South Africa with an obvious weakness - their bowling. Tillakaratne Dilshan, their captain, chose to say almost nothing about it. "Any fast bowler who comes to South Africa likes to bowl here," Dilshan said in Benoni, where Sri Lanka are preparing to play a warm-up match against an Invitation XI starting on Friday. And that was that. He made no reference to their missing quintet of seamers that includes more..

Lankans among chief gold smugglers into Chennai

Dec 8 (TOI) Chennai airport is seeing a steady build-up of gold smuggling cases this year compared to last year. Since April 2011, over 63 smuggling cases have been registered at Chennai airport against 45 cases last year. A senior customs official said Sri Lankan nationals and Indian labourers returning from Malaysia were involved in most of the cases registered in Chennai. The Lankans who had been arrested were smuggling gold to convert it into Indian rupee, which is more..

Court revokes travel ban on Dilantha Malagamuwa

Dec 8 (DM) A Colombo Court yesterday revoked travel restrictions imposed on well-known Sri Lankan racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa after his counsel’s assurance to court that Mr. Malagamuwa would appear in court on December 14. Mr. Malagamuwa is currently living in Malaysia. In a case before the Colombo Fort Magistrate, the CID alleged that Mr. Malagamuwa had obtained Rs.15 million from a Sri Lankan businessman and thereby committed a criminal breach of trust by more..

Tilak to assume duties as the chairman of the SEC

Dec 8 (DM) Former MP and entrepreneur Dr. Tilak Karunaratne has been appointed as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and he is expected to assume duties today. “Yes, I received the letter of appointment today (7) and I hope to assume duties tomorrow,” Dr. Karunaratne said. Since the resignation of Indrani Sugathadasa last week as the Chairperson of the SEC, speculation was rife that Dr. Karunaratne would be appointed the new Chairman. more..

Over 1,500 port workers received golden handshake

Dec 8 (Island) Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) says that during the latter part of 2011 nearly 1,500 of their employees had resigned under the voluntary retirement scheme introduced by the authority in April. An attractive compensation package of Rs. two million, along with EPF, ETF and gratuity payments, had been granted to those who had left. "The officials initially received nearly 2,000 applications from the employees and the eligibility was decided on a set criterion," more..

J’pura u’grads demand VC’s removal

Dec 8 (Island) Undergraduates yesterday launched another demonstration outside the University Grants Commission (UGC) demanding the immediate removal of Vice Chancellor of Sri Jayewardenepura University, Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne. Higher Education Secretary, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne told The Island that that the ministry would discuss the issues raised by the protesting undergraduates with the Vice Chancellor and Deans of all faculties. Undergraduates alleged that they would continue protests as more..

UNP rebel group gains ground

Dec 8 (Island) The rebel group in the UNP gained considerable ground yesterday, with their demand to speedily fill the remaining vacancies in the decision making Working Committee being granted. The rebels led by Co-Deputy leaders Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa have over the last few weeks been agitating for the remaining 21 of 94 vacancies in the Working Committee to be filled, as they are convinced it would help them secure the required majority to more..

Fishing industry discriminated say fishemen

Dec 8 (BBC) The Sri Lankan fisheries sector has expressed scepticism about the future of the fishing industry in Sri Lanka. NFCDRF said on Wednesday that they have doubts whether the present government is genuinely interested in developing the industry. Spokesman for NFCDRF, M.Wijendra told media that 2012 budget has set apart Rs.52.5 billion for agriculture while nothing has been allocated to fisheries industry although it directly contributes to the economy. more..

Sri Lanka Army goes high-tech

Dec 8 (FT) After some 30 years of little IT development, the Sri Lanka Army has now plunged into an era of technology and development with some 15 projects currently under way, said a top Army official. Sri Lanka Army IT Advisor and Ministry of Defence’s Centre for Research and Development Head of IT Colonel Dr. Thiran De Silva while attending Microsoft’s Accelerating Asia Pacific 2011 summit in Kuala Lumpur told the Daily FT that backed by two highly technology-savvy people, more..

COPE to summon ministry secretaries

Dec 8 (DM) The COPE will summon ministry secretaries including presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga and treasury secretary P.B. Jayasundara to discuss its recommendations to minimise losses by introducing better management practices at state institutions. COPE Chairman and Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara today stressed the need to ensure that COPE recommendations and guidelines are carried out by the top management at state institutions. more..

Govt. increases assistance to house builders

Dec 8 (Island) Minister Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said that the government had been able to increase assistance to house building projects since the conclusion of the conflict. Weerawansa said that his ministry had facilitated the construction of nearly 25,000 houses this year. Responding to a query by The Island, the National Freedom Front (NFF) leader said that his ministry was making plans to assist some 50,000 families to build a house of their own next year. more..

'Sri Lanka side not good enough'

Dec 8 (ES) 1995 SAFF Champions and semi-finalists at the last two editions- Sri Lanka have been a force to reckon with in South Asian football. Pitted in Group A with India, Bhutan and Afghanistan the boys from the Emerald isle were expected to advance to the semis, at the least. But the Lankans finished a dismal third in their group as underdogs Afghanistan and defending champions India went through and all the Lankans managed was a lone win against lowly Bhutan. more..

One hour to Galle

Dec 8 (SL) In all its pomp and pageantry, the Southern Expressway was declared open to the public on November 27. On Wednesday, The Sunday Leader set out on Sri Lanka’s first expressway, headed towards Galle, a journey that would have roughly taken over three hours on a good day. Unsure of what to expect when taking into account that the very day after the opening, what can only be called an “express accident” took place, we sat tight and held on. more..

Drag racing: Roads closed for filthy rich brats’ fun

Dec 8 (LB) It is a well known fact that children of VIPs illegally conduct drag races in the dead of the night on city streets. Duplication Road, Nuge Road in Peliyagoda and Marine Drive were some of the most widely used streets. Now, however, drag racing is to receive the blessings of law enforcement. Soon, traffic police will be closing certain roads to facilitate drag racing for these VIP offspring. more..

Demand for pay hike continues

Dec 8 (Island) The Trade Union Committee for Salary Increments in Govt and Private Sectors (TUC-SIGPS) staged a protest near the Lipton Circus last afternoon demanding minimum salary increments for government employees and the increase in minimum salaries of public sector employees through the 2012 budget. Convener of the TUC-SIGPS Ravi Kumudesh said yesterday that the 2012 budget had only afforded more..

Govt ignoring plight of dairy farmers: DNA MP

Dec 8 (DM) Valuable farm land in the Kandaketiya area, located close to the historic Somawathi Chaithya, had suddenly been handed over to an American company to start a banana cultivation, DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake charged in Parliament yesterday. Mr. Dissanayake, who was speaking during the committee stage debate on the budget in the House, said that initially the land had come under the purview of more..

'Vocational training centres will not be closed down'

Dec 8 (DM) Minister Douglas Devananda said that 131 Vocational Training Centres taken over by the National Craft Council from 'Laksala' would not be closed down though they are not on a sound footing at the moment. He said that all of them would be developed to the maximum level. The Minister said this at a conference held at on December 6, 2011, attended by Professional Trainers of the Vocational Training Centres and more..

'Sri Lanka firmly committed to a strong social protection floor'

Dec 8 (PRIU) The global financial and economic crisis has vindicated our calls for a comprehensive coherent and transparent restructuring of the international financial architecture, says Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations at the Fifth U.N. General Assembly High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development. Sri Lanka, as a lower middle income country has been firmly more..

CMC opposes move to acquire Manning Market

Dec 8 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is on a collision course with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) over an attempt by the latter to acquire the Manning Market in Pettah. Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil alleges that the government is taking over CMC properties under the guise of development. An irate Muzammil said that he would resist the UDA move to take over the five-acre plot of land. more..

Sri Lanka expressway draws 5,000 vehicles daily

Dec 8 (LBO) About 5,000 vehicles are using Sri Lanka's first expressway, the southern expressway, each day on average, Ranjith Pemasiri, the chairman of the road development authority, said. Daily revenues from tolls charged from motorists using the southern expressway, linking the capital Colombo with the southern town of Galle, is around 1.5 million rupees, he told, our sister news website. more..

Govt. withdraws Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill

Dec 8 (Island) The government yesterday withdrew the Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill entered in the Parliament Order book for the second reading. Chief Government Whip, Water Supply and Drainage Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena informed Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody that that the government would withdraw the Bill on instruction from the Supreme Court. more..

Release of GCE A/L Exam results delayed

Dec 8 (HN) The Department of Examinations state that the release of the GCE A/L Exam Results will be delayed even further. Even though many reports were circulating stating that the results will be released today, when inquired about this from the Department of Examinations, a spokesperson said that the release of the results had been delayed further. Previously the Commissioner General Anura Edirisinghe had said that the GCE A/L exam results will be released prior to the end of the 3rd School Term. more..

Editorial: Corruption bowls out Sri Lanka Cricket

Dec 8 (DM) The fact that Sri Lankan Cricket team is going through a horror patch that often leaves them as the beaten side is bad enough. Even though the critics blamed it on various reasons, which were ranging from the so-called conflicts within the team; there are far more acute issues, beyond their unfortunate, losing streak. According to the COPE report this year, among the 229 institutions that were under the committee’s scrutiny, Sri Lanka Cricket has topped the list of corrupt institutions. more..

Language ‘barrier to reconciliation’

Dec 8 (UCAN) Failure to speak the same language compounds the major challenges preventing reconciliation in the country following 30-years of civil war, according to a forum of inter-religious leaders. “Mistrust and doubt prevails among Sinhalese and Tamils when they associate,” according to Bishop Cletus Chandrasiri Perera, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Inter-religious and Ecumenical Dialogue. He was addressing a recent conference in Colombo organized by Caritas Sri Lanka, more..