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Sri Lankan Airlines plans to cash in on tourism boom

Dec 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines is expanding its domestic flights and plans to purchase a plane to meet rising demand, an official said here on Friday. SriLankan Air Taxi service is now running a network connecting 17 local destinations to its network, SriLankan Airlines Product Development and Air Taxi Manager Sanjeeva Jayatileke said. He said since the reintroduction of the air taxi service in 2010, the airline has seen an upward trend in more..

Sri Lanka protest against NATO air attacks on Pakistan

Dec 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Friday held a protest condemning last month's NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops on the border with Afghanistan. Organized by one of the allies of ruling govt, NFF and Sri Lanka Pakistan Friendship Association, a spokesman said the protest was to condemn NATO attack and express solidarity with Pakistan. "The attack is one of the heinous crimes by the NATO forces and as Sri Lankan we strongly condemn it," more..

Destruction of Kanniya Sivan Temple flawed propaganda

Dec 9 (MoD) A diabolic and subtle propaganda attempt at funneling international condemnation and disgust over the Sri Lankan government and security forces has proven flawed. Certain mono-ethnic ideology groups and anti-peace fronts swayed through the lucrative 'watch-dog' business has stepped-up at creating a media hype over an alleged destruction of the Kanniya Sivan temple and forced occupation at the historic hot-water wells by the security forces. more..

Lawyer bailed out in Editor assault case

Dec 9 (DM) Attorney-at-law Asoka Samararatne who had allegedly assaulted Lakbima News Editor Rajpal Abeynayake at a Voet Lights dinner held at a leading star class hotel in Colombo surrendered before Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court and was released on a surety bail yesterday. Filing a motion in Court, the Kollupitiya Police submitted that the lawyer who had allegedly assaulted the complainant had not so far given a statement to the police though he was ordered to do so. more..

India to help in rehabilitating Lanka''s Industrial Zone

Dec 9 (PTI) India today said it will undertake a major infrastructure project to rehabilitate the Atchchuvely Industrial Zone (AIZ) in Tamil-dominated Jaffna district at a cost of USD 1.7 million. The objective of the project is to assist potential investors to commence business ventures by providing for required infrastructure and utilities at the AIZ. The project will see the construction of access roads, internal roads, water supply system with more..

National Anthem should be sung in Tamil in North and East

Dec 9 (DM) The National Anthem is continually sung in Sinhala in the north and the east, and it should be allowed to be sung in Tamil in those areas, TNA MP for the Batticaloa District S. Selvarajah said today. He said that though the Minister of National Languages, Vasudeva Nanayakkara assured that the National Anthem could be sung in both the languages, it was not in practice in the north and the east. Public Administration Minister John Seneviratne said that more..

Sri Lanka reserves slip 12-pct in Sept to US$7.0bn

Dec 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves slipped 11.8 percent to 7,095 million US dollars by end September from a month earlier, amid defence of a soft dollar peg, official data showed. The central bank said reserves were equivalent to 4.6 months of imports. Sri Lanka has a dollar soft peg, where the central bank tries to control both the exchange rate and the interest rates. The peg which was around 110 rupees to the US dollar came under pressure from high credit growth and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 09.12.2011

Sri Lanka lawmaker speaks for food freedoms, voiceless minority

Dec 9 (LBO) A lawmaker has spoken out for food freedoms, after a fellow MP and PM proposed banning an imported food heavily consumed by Tamil speaking minority citizens. Harsha de Silva, a lawmaker representing main opposition spoke out against a proposal by Prime Minister D M Jayaratne to ban the import of wheat flour. "The statement by the Prime Minister that wheat flour imports should be banned is an irresponsible statement and must be retracted," more..

Examinations Department’s inefficiency delays examination results – CTSU

Dec 9 (LT) Failing to release results of G.C.E. A/L examination is due to inefficiency of the Department of Examinations states Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU). The General Secretary of CTSU Mahinda Jayasinghe said the issue has risen regarding Z-score marks and pointed out that the examinations department should have planned it before hand. The General Secretary of CTSU said the department knew that the exam would be held under the old syllabus and more..

Sri Lanka rubber, food products boost Sept exports

Dec 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports in September 2011 rose 20 percent to 854 million US dollars from a year ago, helped by higher shipments of garments and rubber and food products, the central bank said. Imports in September rose 61 percent to 1.76 billion US dollars with sharp increases seen in spending on petroleum, investment goods and vehicles. The trade gap in September 2011 widened 137 percent to 905 million US dollars, a central bank statement said. more..

Sri Lanka, Qatar to strengthen ties with agreements

Dec 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a High Joint Committee with Qatar next week, an official said Friday. The MoU is expected to strengthen the two countries' relations in the economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, technical, educational and information sectors, said Sarath Dissanayake, director general of public communications of the External Affairs Ministry. The agreements will be signed on Dec. 12 more..

Sri Lanka reaches billion dollar FDI volume in 2011: minister

Dec 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka has reached a highest ever foreign direct investment volume of a billion US dollars by November 2011, deputy minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said. "This includes state land sales," minister Abeywardene said. "Land purchases are an integral part of an investment project. By November 2011 we have posted the highest ever volume of foreign direct investment." Sri Lanka is targeting a billion US dollars of FDI or about 2.0 percent of GDP more..

'Some retired judges breaking the law'

Dec 9 (DM) The Justice Ministry is in a quandary as to how to reclaim millions of rupees worth of movable and immovable properties from several retired High Court Judges who continue to use these properties illegally even after several years of retirement, a senior ministry official said. Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath said the ministry had even sought legal redress to reclaim these properties but the judges had refused to return them. more..

'Colombo must resolve the Tamil question'

Dec 9 (AN) "The basic rights of every ethnic community must be protected. The right to work, food, a house, land, the rights of women and children: Today we are witnessing gross violations of these, in every aspect of life. Human rights should allow the different ethnic communities to live together in full equality." This was revealed by the 4 ESC Rights Collective (Collective for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), in a special seminar organized to demand the more..

Slow start to ticket sales as Sri Lanka, SA square up

Dec 9 (BD) The world’s highest-ranked cricketers will come face to face when South Africa’s spearhead Dale Steyn runs in to bowl to star Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara in the first Test at Centurion, which starts next Thursday. However, public interest in cricket would appear to have dipped since the Proteas hosted Australia in a thrilling drawn series last month. The ongoing bonus scandal at Cricket SA, which has seen a high-profile airing of dirty laundry at more..

Sri Lanka's cricket crisis

Dec 9 (BBC) On a Saturday afternoon in one of the poorer parts of Colombo, a group of men and boys are playing street cricket, Sri Lankan-style. Some of the fielders stand on the adjacent railway line. Between them and the batsman there is a pile of rubble. The wicket is an old piece of wood sitting on two bricks and propped up by a plank. "Cricket is the best sport in Sri Lanka - I like to play for my team and I do my best," a beaming 14-year-old tells more..

Sri Lankan Minister, Iranian envoy agree on expanding media cooperation

Dec 9 (FNA) Sri Lanka's Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella met with Iranian Ambassador to the South Asian nation Mohammad Nabi Hasaki to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the field of media. Following the meeting, Rambukwella told reporters that the Iranian and Sri Lankan governments have agreed to exchange knowledge and technology in the fields of media and filming industry. The Sri Lankan govt has signed a MoU with more..

London Chief Buddhist Thero charged for more rape

Dec 9 (CT) Pahalagama Somaratana Thero, chief incumbent of Thames Buddhist Vihara, Croydon, has been charged with another eight counts of sexual abuse on Friday, 11 November the London Metropolitan police told Colombo Telegraph. According to the metropolitan police these eight indecent assaults on a female under 14 took place between 01/01/1985 and 31/12/1986 at an address in Croydon. Phalagama Somartana, 65 of Dulverton Road, Croydon appeared on bail at more..

Rauff ready to convey pardon plea

Dec 9 (CT) Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said today he would consider appealing to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to pardon former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka if such a request was made by Mr. Fonseka’s family members. Mr. Hakeem told parliament a procedure had to be followed in securing a pardon for Mr. Fonseka. “For me to act in this regard, a request should be made by his family members If such a request is made, I will definitely consider it,” he said. more..

Lanka’s cultural values, vital in promoting tourism

Dec 10 (SO) This widely used expression in Sri Lanka, is at once a hearty greeting and a touching blessing. The word signifies, “May you live long”. In our traditional culture, “Ayubowan’ is a classic mantra of cordiality, promoting harmony and good-will. From time immemorial Sri Lanka – The Resplendent Isle – enticed voyagers from the far flung corners of the civilised world, compelling the travellers by the land’s fabled charm and allure. more..

Co-existence of humans and mugger crocs

Dec 10 (SO) It is said that the word mugger is a corruption of the Urdu word ‘magar’ which means the water monster. The Urdu word is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit word ‘makara’. Famously known as the mugger - the marsh crocodile - may look like a monster with his swift, stealthy predator skills. The largest living reptile in Sri Lanka, crocodiles plays a key role in the aquatic eco systems. Sri Lanka has only two species of crocodiles - one is mugger or more..

It's Christmas time in the city...

Dec 10 (SO) Nobody can deny that the spirit of Christmas, be it commercial or religious, will bring nostalgic memories and joyous feelings. We allow ourselves to be whisked away by it, we love it because it comes once a year. All Sri Lankans may not be Christians, but we all love Christmas because of the atmosphere of fun and joy in the air during this time. Be it the bargain shoppers' discounts, special offers and promotions in stores or the festive food, more..

The Rule of Law and the Judicial Process

Dec 10 (Island) This week, we had at last some refreshing news from the Supreme Court. A Bench of three Judges headed by the Chief Justice had declined to give a determination on the Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill since the constitutional requirement for the Bill to be placed on the Order Paper of Parliament had not been followed. The Attorney General’s Department which was there to assist Court had failed to draw the attention of the Supreme Court to this deficiency. more..

Editorial: Needed: A capable Opposition

Dec 10 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa should look after the Opposition politicians better than his Cabinet ministers, most of whom are real liabilities to his government as well as the country. He has got his dream Opposition, which is his biggest political asset in that it kept his govt with a wafer thin majority going for five years from 2005 to 2010 by driving away a large number of its parliamentarians, who joined the government (besides those who decamped to more..

Peerless voice that carries into eternity

Dec 10 (SO) The singer has everything within him. The notes come out from his very life. They are not materials gathered from outside -Rabindranath Tagore. Sujatha Attanayake is the unique music personality that Sri Lanka has ever produced. She is a music personality at the highest level among the Sri Lankan music personalities. Her multifaceted and trailblazing career spanned over decades in diverse areas in the field of music. more..

Opportunities for reshaping democratic engagement

Dec 10 (DN) On December 10, the world celebrates the 63rd Anniversary of the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This critical document born out of the international post-World War II determination to establish a new world order that would not see a repetition of the horrors of that experience, set a global standard and basis for what we now regard as international human rights law. Inspired by this document, more..


Dec 10 (Island) Folks did you all know that kerosene that is sold in the country is subsidised because the authorities want to help poor people who have no electricity to light their homes, but did you know that the bulk of the subsidised fuel is sold in the Greater Colombo region, where practically everyone has electricity. The truth according to those in the know is that the country is simply helping the unscrupulous fuel filling stations to adulterate costly petrol with more..

Significance and importance of the Unduvap Full Moon

Dec 10 (Island) The arrival of the much revered Maha Theri Sanghamitta with a sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi from Gaya, on a Unduwap Full Moon day, led to the emancipation of Buddhist women, and the establishment of the Bhikkhuni Order in Sri Lanka. Today, historians reckon that the Sri Maha Bodhi, at Anuradhapura is the oldest and most venerated Tree, of great spiritual value to the Buddhists of the world. more..

Nano to drive Lanka

Dec 10 (DN) Sri Lanka is sitting on a ‘Nano technology gold mine’. It has not utilized its potential to the world market, said one of Asia’s leading nano-scientists Dr Lalin Samaranayake. He said that nano can drive Sri Lanka to be made the ‘Wonder of Asia’. Speaking at an event held in Kirimatiyagama, in Kelaniya he said that while Sri Lanka has the technology to reap economic benefits the country is only exporting raw materials. “Sri Lanka sells nano raw materials such as more..

Rain welcomes Sri Lankans in South Africa

Dec 10 (Island) Rain seems to be accompanying the Sri Lankans everywhere they go as the first day’s play of the three day warm up game against South Africa Invitation XI was washed off at Willowmoore Park in Benoni yesterday. Not a ball was bowled throughout the day as heavy rains kept the players indoors and lack of preparation is sure to affect the Sri Lankans ahead of the first Test Match starting on the 15th of December at Centurion. The three day warm up game is the more..

Tourism readies to dazzle

Dec 10 (FT) Sri Lanka is continuing its ambitious tourism plans for 2012 by targeting 950,000 arrivals, 100,000 new jobs and over 100 hotels. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said that the Govt was confident of hitting the target after it posted strong growth this year with 758,000 tourists coming to the country as of November. “We are confident that we can pass the 800,000 mark by the end of this month. We are very positive about the benefits of more..

Sixty Pakistani docs begin training in Colombo on dengue management

Dec 10 (Island) The 60-member Pakistan medical team, which has arrived in Sri Lanka, would commence their training in dengue patient management on Monday. The clinical training and disease management would be carried out during their week’s training period. The Training would be carried out by the Epidaemiological Unit. They would also be provided clinical training in hospitals. The main hospitals to provide resources would be the National Hospital and more..

Dock statement should be considered in evidence – Court of Appeal

Dec 10 (Island) The Court of Appeal, in a recent Judgement, after hearing both counsels in support of their respective cases, explained that a dock statement should be considered in evidence and ordered a re-trial. The accused-appellant in this case, was convicted of the murder of a man named Handuwalge Piyasena and was sentenced to death. The Court of Appeal Judgment, by Justice Sisira De Abrew, with Justice J. S. C. Lecamwasam agreeing said: more..

From Shenuka to Niromi: True tale of a ‘Tamil Tigress’

Dec 10 (DBS) “Tamil Tigress” is a 320 page book released this year by the Australia –based publishing house, Allen & Unwin. The book has a picture of an armed female guerilla fighter on the cover along with the strap line “My story as a child soldier in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war”. It is written by a former member of the LTTE under the pseudonym Niromi de Soyza. The book has reportedly made quite a splash in Australia and New Zealand where it is more..

Lankan tells the world to focus on the magic, not logic

Dec 10 (Island) The Premier Middle Eastern Coffee and Tea Convention that attracted top names to the World Horse Racing Hotel Meydan UAE, featured Sri Lanka’s own Rohantha Athukorala who addressed the delegates on the finer points of taking a brand global. "Focus on the magic of your brand of tea or coffee, rather than getting tied up with logic based on research statistics. This is especially true in today’s context where overall global brand values have declined by more..

Thousands of marginalised entrepreneurs made bankable

Dec 10 (Island) Sri Lanka has successfully enlisted German support for 18,000 marginalised rural entrepreneurs in the country. More importantly, the much needed support is expected to directly uplift purchasing agents in remote regions who are no less than the first point of product distribution for more than 1.4 million rural household ‘economic units’ across the country, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) said. Sri Lanka’s National Enterprise Development Agency (NEDA) under the MIC has now more..

Dengue mosquitoes found in wells

Dec 10 (Island) Inspections carried out in Eravur, following the large number of dengue cases reported in the area during the last month, have revealed that the dengue mosquito has begun to breed in well water. Health Ministry sources said that the dearth of breeding grounds for the dengue mosquito, following the intensive cleaning programmes in the area, would have led to the change. The number of dengue cases reported from Eravur since more..

South Africa-Sri Lanka Tests get sponsor

Dec 10 (CI) Cricket South Africa hopes to secure a sponsor for the one-day series against Sri Lanka by next week, after confirming that sunflower cooking oil manufacturer Sunfoil will continue to back the Test series. Cricket has, so far, endured a troubled summer, in which the ongoing bonus scandal, rather than on-field activities, have dominated the sport's headlines. The issue, centred on money paid out in bonuses to 40 staff after the hosting of the 2009 IPL and more..

Indian Coast Guard to set up air stations in Tuticorin, Puducherry

Dec 10 (Hindu) Security infrastructure along the south-eastern coast is set to scale greater heights with the Indian Coast Guard preparing to establish air stations in Tuticorin and Puducherry and acquire sophisticated aircraft and ships. According to Inspector General and Commander (Coast Guard Region East) S.P. Sharma, the proposal to set up the air station in Tuticorin was in final stages and the State govt is likely to hand over about 50 acres adjacent to the airport. more..