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SLBFE gets tough: 84 bogus job agencies raided

Feb 27 (Island) The SLBFE netted in 84 bogus job agencies in 2010. The SLBFE conducted raids on information provided mostly by registered foreign employment agents, official spokesman Kalyanapriya Ramanayake said last week. "They complained directly to SLBF Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka as these spurious job agencies were tarnishing the image of the business", he said. Minister Dilan Perera has also directed tough action against these illegal operations, he said. more..

A match of perfect twists and turns

Feb 27 (CI) At last, a big game to match the occasion. The World Cup has needed this and the 50-overs game has needed it as well. This was ODI cricket at its most infectious, when you feel it inside you, when you can't help but respond to its many rhythms and nuances, shift around as it shifts it gears, when each one of the 100 overs of the day is of meaning and consequence. There was atmosphere at the R Premadasa from the off, music and noise for once. more..

Interference in judicial matter: Lanka protests to India

Feb 27 (ST) Sri Lanka has lodged a strong protest to India over the interference in the country’s judiciary by New Delhi’s Jaffna-based Consul General V. Mahalingam, a senior official in the External Affairs Ministry said yesterday. Speaking on grounds of anonymity, the official said the government’s concerns were expressed by External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris during a dinner meeting with India’s High Commissioner Ashok Kanth. more..

'Architecture in Sri Lanka is of the highest standard'

Feb 27 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa inaugurated ‘Architect 2011’, the 29th Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA), coinciding with the unveiling of Architects’ Work and Trade Exhibition last Wednesday at the BMICH. The exhibition has witnessed significant growth over the past three decades, and this year it showcased 315 stalls, with around 260 construction-related companies offering their goods and services to the public and more..

Colombo is clean and EIU survey stinks, says Omar Kamil

Feb 27 (NS) Special Commissioner Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Omar Kamil says Colombo city is rated as one of the best cities in South East Asia. Omar Kamil reacting to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Liveability survey, ranking Colombo as one of the worst 10 livable cities in the world said, those economists would have based their ratings on the situation in Colombo four to five years ago. “It is not mentioned from where the economists got these ratings. more..

'Top-order collapse cost match'

Feb 27 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, rued his side's top-order problems which wasted the solid start provided by the openers as they came up short in their run chase against Pakistan to register their first home defeat in a World Cup. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga put on 76 for the first wicket but Sri Lanka then lost 4 for 20 in seven overs. The middle order became bogged down as Chamara Silva struggled to build momentum until more..

Election-related violence keeps rising

Feb 27 (EB) Election monitors report that there has been a rapid escalation of violence and violation of election laws involving all mainstream political parties, more than at any other election during the last seven years. But, this view is not accepted by the head of the Police Election Secretariat Senior DIG Gamini Navarathna. He refuted outright claims that there has been a significant rise of election related violence and flouting of election laws by political more..

SriLankan Airlines secure more frequencies to UK

Feb 27 (Island) Sri Lankan Aviation officials who held bi-lateral air services negotiations with their counterparts in London last week have been successful in securing an increase in the number of frequencies for SriLankan Airlines to the UK from 14 to 21. The Sunday Island learns that in terms of the agreement, Sri Lanka’s national carrier will also be permitted to use London as a transit point in ongoing moves to launch flights to Canada. more..

Satellite photos catch Indian fishermen in Lankan waters

Feb 27 (ST) The Fisheries Ministry has released satellite photographs that clearly show the presence of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters. The pictures taken by the Sri Lanka Air Force track the movements of the Indian fishermen, who are first seen fishing within India’s territorial waters, then entering Sri Lankan waters by late afternoon, and completely crossing over into local waters after midnight. more..

PC licensed tourist guides a law unto themselves

Feb 27 (ST) The police are having an uphill task in putting down the tout menace at the World Heritage site of Sigiriya as a group of some 45 persons armed with questionable guide licences continue to pester visitors to the area. “This group argue that their members have the right to do what they are doing because they are in possession of a tour licence issued by a female. official at the local Provincial Council in return for a fee, Sigiriya OIC Vajira Atapattu said. more..

Police stations to demolish front parapet walls

Feb 27 (LB) The police department has decided to order all police stations in the country with the exception of those in the North and the East, to demolish their front parapet walls and hence make them look attractive to the public by displaying flower pots. They have also ordered such police stations to grow vegetables in their respective backyards. An official communique issued by the IGP had been sent to all police stations countrywide except of course those in the North-East. more..

Mahinda won’t last forever, says Gen. Fonseka

Feb 27 (Island) General Sarath Fonseka, in an obvious reference to the removal of the term limit on the presidency, Friday warned President Mahinda Rajapaksa that in spite of changing the Constitution he couldn’t remain in power eternally. A smiling former Army Chief told the press at the Appeal Court that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi whom the President had embraced was now finished. Wire services reported the collapse of the dictatorial regime, more..

Dual citizenship gone - to avoid war crime charges?

Feb 27 (LB) Some key positions of this government have been filled by dual citizens. Gotabaya Rajapaksa - the powerful Defence Secretary is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and the USA. Basil Rajapaksa - Investment Development Minister has a US Green Card in addition to his Sri Lankan citizenship. Sarath Fonseka, the now incarcerated former army commander is also a Green Card holder. more..

Lanka faces multi-pronged attack on human rights

Feb 27 (ST) Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Dr. Palitha Kohona, now at the centre of a brewing legal battle with the overseas pro-Tiger guerrilla lobby, was surprised when news reached him that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would meet a visiting two member delegation from Colombo this week. The UNSG's Secretariat had conveyed the news to him. Evidently, the request for a meeting linked to a "top secret" mission had gone not from more..

Strict new criteria for dual citizenship

Feb 27 (ST) Foreign nationals now holding dual citizenship in Sri Lanka are to have their status reviewed. For this purpose they will be required to face an interview where their eligibility under new criteria will be examined. “These are some of the new aspects now under consideration,” Immigration and Emigration Controller Chulananda Perera said. He said the new procedures for granting dual citizenship would be discussed by him and his officials with President more..

Commissioners move to amend Human Rights Act

Feb 27 (NS) The Human Rights Commission (HRC) that has been malfunctioning for several years is to be streamlined with an amendment to the Human Rights Act, according to HRC chairman retired Justice Priyantha Perera. The decision to amend the Human Rights Act was unanimously agreed by the board of commissioners when they met for the first time after being appointed officially as independent human rights commissioners two weeks ago. more..

CID accused of framing victim shot by them

Feb 27 (NS) The CID in trying to avoid being charged for shooting and injuring an innocent man through mistaken identity has tied him with a case of land fraud, said Attorney-at-Law Ranjith Sepala Dahanayake appearing before Mount Lavinia court recently. The counsel said the main suspect in the property fraud case Swarnadasa Dias has given a sworn affidavit that he has no relationship whatsoever to the man who has been shot and injured. Addressing the court in this regard, more..

Cyber criminals target customers of two leading Sri Lankan private banks

Feb 27 (Island) In what Sri Lanka’s financial sector officials described as a "disturbing wave of cyber crime", customers of at least two well-established, longstanding private banks had received emails purported to be from their bank warning that their accounts will be for security reasons if valid details are not provided for updating". Banking officials expressed fears last week that many customers could fall prey to these bogus, more..

KP courts diaspora for govt.

Feb 27 (LB) Former LTTE’s arms supplier Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP has organized meetings with Tamil Diapora members in the coming weeks ‘for government representatives to iron out differences’, government sources said. The government intends to obtain diaspora support to transform the negative perceptions of Sri Lanka in Western countries and use the diaspora support to rebuild the North and East, sources said. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Feb 27 (ST) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne shocked physicians, surgeons and other visitors alike when he was in Dambulla to open the operating theatre of the public hospital there. He wanted to be attired in the garb of a surgeon before declaring open the operating theatre. Hospital officials rushed from room to room looking for a sterilised surgeon’s gown and headgear. They found one that suited him. more..

Estate sector agitates for salary increase

Feb 27 (LB) The estate sector of the country has begun to boil once more on the issue of salary increases. A protest campaign in this connection has been organized by the All-Island Estate Workers Union (AIEWU). Their main demand has so far been to increase their daily basic salary by 700 rupees. The basic salary of an estate worker currently stands at 285 rupees per day. more..

TNA hoping for a package of solutions from Govt. at next meeting

Feb 27 (NS) The TNA said it hoped the government would come up with a package to solve the ethnic question when they meet next month. The TNA and the government appointed committee are scheduled to meet on March 1. “We hope that the government appointed committee would come up with a suitable package for the ethnic question when we meet the next time,” TNA MP, Suresh Premachandran said more..

PC nominates Finance Commission

Feb 27 (NS) The Parliamentary Council (PC) yesterday nominated three names for the Independent Finance Commission. The names of the new three commissioners are Ariyawatte Hewage, C.P.E. Gunasingham and M.M Junaid. Following the nomination by the PC, the commissioners will officially be appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week. The PC comprises Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, more..

Govt. welcomes screening here of Tamil film starring protest leader

Feb 27 (Island) The govt yesterday welcomed the screening of Tamil movie Kavalan (The Bodyguard) in Sri Lanka in spite of its main actor, Ilayathalapathy Vijay, throwing his weight behind anti-Sri Lanka campaign over a simmering dispute over Tamil Nadu fishing fleet invading Sri Lanka’s northern waters. Bandula Jayasekera, Director General of Presidential Media said that the govt wouldn’t give in to what he called "politics of hate." more..

Galleon probers trailed Rajaratnam through tips, Tamils and taps

Feb 27 (BN) The insider-trading trial of Galleon Group LLC co-founder Raj Rajaratnam next month is the culmination of U.S. investigations dating back 12 years that involved blind alleys, anonymous tips, wiretaps and a trip into the Tamil Tiger underworld before prosecutors got their man. Rajaratnam, 53, stands accused by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of leading an insider-trading conspiracy that more..

Proposed Sapugaskanda Refinery expansion project: Govt. to seek better terms from Iran

Feb 27 (Island) The govt is expected to seek from the Iranian govt better concessionary terms and conditions with longer repayment period for the funding of 70% of the estimated costs of the proposed Sapugaskanda Refinery expansion project, CPC sources said. The overall cost of the project is US $ 1.57 Billion. On the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to accelerate the launch of the expansion project, more..

Lanka goes for new climate change policy

Feb 27 (SO) The Environment Ministry has taken steps to formulate a National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) with support from the UN-Habitat. A team of consultants has been selected and agreements have been signed to formulate the NCCP. The NCCP framework was prepared and finalised following several meetings with Ministry officials and other stakeholders, a Ministry spokesman told the Sunday Observer. more..

Dilshan admits batting mistakes

Feb 28 (BBC) Pakistan once again proved what a dangerous and unpredictable side they are and obviously the day belonged to them. It is, of course, sad that we lost after such a competitive game. It was Sri Lanka's first defeat at home in a Cricket World Cup match. I failed to give the team a proper start and I don't think it was my day even as a bowler, though I took two crucial catches. I am not sure whether we were complacent but we thought we would easily chase more..

Subsidized fertilizer at Rs 1000/ in the open market from March 03 .

Feb 28 (GDI) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will officially release to the open market on March 03, the subsidized fertilizer making the growers to purchase them in the market without any hindrance. Following the destructions caused to the vegetables and fruits cultivation by heavy rain and flood, President had said that the government would extend the fertilizer subsidy given to coconut growers to all other vegetable and fruit growers as well. more..

Over 300 Sri Lankans are at the Sri Lankan embassy in Tripoli seeking shelter

Feb 28 (NN) Over 300 Sri Lankans are now at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Tripoli seeking shelter as violent protests continue in Libya calling for the ouster of President Muammar Qaddafi. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that in Tripoli, about 350 Sri Lankans are taking shelter at the Sri Lankan Embassy with several hundred other Sri Lankans spread around the country. Sri Lanka has sought the assistance of the IOM to help the stranded more..

Pakistan fined for maintaining a slow over-rate against Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (Reuters) The Pakistan team was fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its 11-run win against Sri Lanka in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in Colombo on Saturday. Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fines after Shahid Afridi's side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration. In accordance with ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing more..

Three JVP offices attacked, polls violence increase

Feb 28 (ST) At least three JVP election offices came under attack last night and today morning as polls related violence increased with more than 100 incidents recorded by the election monitoring groups. Three offices in the Mirigama, Kribathgoda and Biyagama areas came under attack by persons believed to be supporters of the UPFA. Clashes between supporters have increased over the past week with less than three weeks for the local government polls. more..

'Masses of ‘Tissa’ were the first to show that a change could be made'

Feb 28 (LT) The masses in the country ask for a change and it is the people of Tissamaharama who showed that this change could be made said the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at an election rally of the JVP held at Tissamaharama yesterday Mr. Silva said nine years ago many did not know that there was a Pradeshiya Sabha called Tissa Pradeshiya Sabha as Tissamaharamaya was another neglected area in Sri Lanka. more..

National Intellectuals and Professionals Organization created to rally all intellectuals & professionals

Feb 28 (LT) The Inaugural Convention of the ‘National Intellectuals and Professionals Organization’ founded by the intellectuals and professional serving throughout the island was held at the New Town Hall in Colombo yesterday (26th). Office bearers, a national organizer and an executive committee for the new organization were elected. Specialist Eye Surgeon Dr. J.D. Dias was elected the President of the Organization while more..

Malinga primed to give Sri Lanka bounce-back win

Feb 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka have the chance to make a swift comeback from their dispiriting defeat by Pakistan with surely easy pickings against Kenya in a World Cup Group A match on Tuesday. The co-hosts may have their troubles after losing to Pakistan on Saturday by 11 runs, a match they were widely tipped beforehand to win but nothing compared to the east Africans. Not only have they crashed to 10-wicket and 205-run defeats to New Zealand and Pakistan respectively, more..

Sri Lanka commends EU decision to re-list LTTE ban

Feb 28 (GDI) Sri Lanka today welcommed the European Union’s (EU) decision to re-list the LTTE as a banned terror outfit. The EU’s decision came after a comprehensive review of listed terrorist groups. Government sources said the EU’s decision show’s its commitment to eliminate international terrorism and that Sri Lanka would extend its fullest support in this endeavour. The EU’s announcement was made through Council Implementing more..

Sri Lankan Foreign Service : The Deer Skin at Home?

Feb 28 (LG) It looks as if all Pundits have spoken their mind on the recent performance of the Foreign Service and there is nothing more left to be said. But as an old Foreign Service hand, now watching the claims and counter-claims by present generation of our Ambassadors over their respective achievements in Geneva, New York and elsewhere in sheer amusement, I get the impression that Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is being reduced by these few Pundits to more..

The Major who tried to control Muamar Gaddafi in Sri Lanka (1976)

Feb 28 (LG) Colonel Gaddafi visited SL in 1976 for the Non Aligned Conference and was an immediate hit because of his maverick behaviour. His first personal contact with SL officials was at the previous Non Aligned Meeting in Algeria. He sent out an invitation to Mrs Bandaranaike, then Prime Minister, to have afternoon tea with him. Nonplussed by the extraordinary invitation, SL lost a super opportunity to tap into the Libyan leader’s legendary munificence more..

521 brigade organizes mobile dental clinic for students

Feb 28 (Cimic) In coordination with the mobile medical unit of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital, 521 Brigade of Point Pedro organized a dental clinic at Kudaththanai govt school for school students on Tuesday 22nd February. During the clinic conducted by Dr. Kumaran and Dr. Sairuf of Manthikai hospital, lectures were conducted to educate students on oral and dental health. The two dental surgeons were assisted by members of Army Medical Corps and more..

Middle-East agitation is a precursor for Sri Lanka: Rajapakses have lost their plot

Feb 28 (LG) I used to rent a room in London in a house of two young Sri Lankan families when I arrived here in the UK 10 years ago. Since there were five kids ranging from a few months to five years of age i set down house rules among which is never to enter my room when I am not there. One day as I returned from work I found my cotton buds on the floor and the radio channel changed from my usual Magic FM. When I asked Arib, the eldest of the children whether more..