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KIK Cola records a kicking start

Jan 14 (DM) Kik Cola the new addition to the Sri Lankan carbonated soft drink market has posted impressive results for the first month after its grand launch. According to officials they have surpassed sales of 1 million litres in December alone. The local cola market has been dominated by international brands. This domination has been hard to break by the local cola manufacturers. However Kik Cola under the Elephant House brand promises to take the cola market to a new high. more..

Gota to give evidence in White Flag case

Jan 14 (Island) The Trial-at-Bar, hearing the ‘White Flag’ case, yesterday issued notice, returnable on January 25, on Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and IP Jayasundera of the CID. The latter is the police officer who recorded the statement of former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka. At yesterday’s hearing, several police officers gave evidence, led by Senior State Counsel Dilantha Ratnayake, more..

Special leave for flood-hit

Jan 14 (DN) Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W D J Seneviratne has decided to grant special leave with payment to all public sector employees who have been unable to report to work due to persisting inclement weather and flood situation. This decision was arrived at a special meeting with Ministry officials at the Ministry premises yesterday. The circular pertaining to this decision would be sent to institutions in the coming few days, more..

CID investigates alleged Rs.260 M fraud at LECO

Jan 14 (DM) The CID had begun an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of Rs.260 million at Lanka Electricity Company Limited (LECO). The CID told the Colombo Fort Magistrate that Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy Mr. M.M.C. Ferdinando had lodged a written complaint with the CID regarding an alleged misappropriation valued at Rs.260 on November 24, 2010. In the complaint he had alleged that several properties purchased by LECO had more..

India, Sri Lanka spar over fisherman’s killing

Jan 14 (IANS) Sri Lanka yesterday denied its Navy had fired on three Indian fishermen that led to the death of one of them even as the Indian government, under pressure from its political ally in Tamil Nadu, protested strongly against the incident and asked Colombo to avoid the use of force. Conveying concerns over the killing of an Indian fisherman by Sri Lankan Navy personnel, India’s external affairs ministry summoned Sri Lankan High Commissioner more..

In my 37 years of living in Batticaloa I have never seen anything like this – UNICEF official

Jan 14 (TC) Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by flooding in eastern Sri Lanka, where water levels in some areas are two metres higher than normal – and still rising. Preceded by more than a week of intense wet weather, four days of non-stop heavy rain since the weekend have turned part of Sri Lanka into an ever-deepening lake. Crocodiles and snakes are a threat to anyone considering wading through the floodwaters. more..

Brattskar laughed at JVP for accepting Norwegian money

Jan 14 (Island) The then Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar has expressed amusement that the JVP had no reservations about receiving money from Norway in spite of spearheading a campaign against the peace facilitator. Brattskar’s Colombo-based US counterpart, Jeffrey Lunstead, in a classified cable dated Dec. 6, 2004, revealed that Brattskar laughed at the JVP during a Co-Chairs pow-vow. Lunstead said: "Brattskar laughingly noted that that morning he had presented more..

More than 1 million cut off in Sri Lanka's deluge

Jan 14 (Time) When the rains began on Dec. 26 along the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, they brought with them a foreboding sense of unease. The day after Christmas still gives the chills to those living here since the day six years ago when the Asian tsunami pulverized communities living along the beach. This year, the nightmare has returned, raining almost continuously now for over fifteen days over an area of about 4000 square miles. more..

Troublemakers in North identified

Jan 14 (Island) The situation in the Northern Province was not so bad as it was made out to be and negative reporting was part of a concerted effort to discredit the government and project the country as a failed State, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the media heads and newspaper editors. He was commenting on media reports on the deterioration of law and order situation in the North. The President said the alleged incidents in the North were not endemic to that part of the more..

Media MR’s biggest challenge?

Jan 14 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa came out with a repartee when he was asked by an editor what he thought his biggest challenge in 2011 was. "You!" said the President jokingly, meaning the media. The President then said his challenge was to achieve his development goals. Reconciliation, communal amity and unity were essential for developing the country, he said urging the media to work towards bringing communities together and to eschew hatred. more..

Sri Lankan teacher becomes the first Asian recipient of the Teachers of Physics Award

Jan 14 (BHC) The Institute of Physics (IOP) UK has awarded one of the “Teachers of Physics Award 2010” to Priyankara Gunawardena, a teacher of Sri Lankan origin at Liverpool College. He is the first Asian recipient of the award. Mr. Gunawardena was born in Sri Lanka and studied at Seevali College, Ratnapura and D.S. Senanayake College, Colombo, later graduating from the University of Colombo with an honours degree in Physics. more..

Tigers’ George Master exposed by Japanese emb. interpreter

Jan 14 (Island) LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s son, Charles Anthony is believed to have been in London during the Norwegian-led peace initiative. The Army killed him, while he was making a desperate bid to escape through a cordon in the third week of May 2009. A US diplomatic cable from Colombo transmitted on May 8, 2003, said that: "Charles Anthony, who is believed to be in London, is approximately 17 years old. more..

‘Govt. determined to catch Lasantha’s killers, but no evidence’

Jan 14 (Island) Chairman of Leader Publications Lal Wickrematunga yesterday inquired from President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who met media heads and newspaper editor yesterday at Temple Trees, why there had been no breakthrough in the investigation into the assassination of his brother and Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, though two years had elapsed since that tragic incident. more..

'Norwegians did not see danger from terrorism'

Jan 14 (Island) Norway revels in its role as the ‘moral superpower’ and points to the Oslo Peace Accords as a defining national moment’. US Ambassador in Oslo K. Whitney asserted the Norwegians’ indifference to terrorism in a confidential diplomatic cable sent to Washington on Feb. 13, 2009, amidst stepped-up efforts by a section of the international community to throw a lifeline to the sinking Tigers. more..

Sink differences for LG elections

Jan 14 (DM) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa, at the party’s Working Committee yesterday, agreed to work unitedly for the local government elections without agitating for the appointment of new office bearers under the new UNP constitution. However, Premadasa said that he and his fellow MPs would push for the implementation of the political reforms approved at the party’s convention in December once the election is over. more..

3-year-old jumbo dies caught in raging waters

Jan 14 (NF) The raging waters caused by the incessant rains spared no man nor beast in its path. When nature unleashed it fury across the land, this little pachyderm had little chance of survival. The tiny jumbo got swept away by the raging floods. Whether he breathed his last by drowning or by getting his skull cracked when he hit this tree while being swept down, no one would ever know! more..

UN Expert Panel term extended till February

Jan 14 (NN) The term of the UN panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon on Sri Lanka has been extended till the end of next month, the UN said today without elaborating further. The was earlier scheduled to submit its final report to the UN Chief this month and the UN Chief was to decide if he wants the contents of the report to be made public. The panel, headed by Indonesia's former attorney general, more..

'400 tanks, 900 anicuts fully damaged'

Jan 14 (DM) Some 400 tanks, 900 small anicuts and irrigation canals have been fully damaged in the deluge that hit the Central, Eastern, North-Central, Northern and Uva Provinces for the past few days, Agrarian Services Minister S.M. Chandrasena said. He said instructions had been given to renovate all of them within one month. Mr. Chandrasena said that the government had arranged plans to do cultivations for the Yala season more..

'Sri Lanka economic freedoms improve'

Jan 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka has improved its score in an economic freedom index for 2011 compiled by US based heritage foundation and the Wall Street Journal, but the increasing non-tarrif barriers and state expansion has dragged the score down. Sri Lanka improved its score by 2.5 points to 57.1 making it the 107 freest economy out of 179 countries in the index, but the score remains below 60 in the 'mostly unfree' category. more..

Sri Lanka struggles with flood havoc

Jan 14 (AFP) The Sri Lankan military and aid agencies struggled Thursday to bring relief to a million people displaced by floods that have claimed nearly 30 lives and devastated the island's rice bowl. Even as torrential rains eased overnight to bring some temporary respite, the number of people seeking protection in state-run shelters swelled to nearly 400,000, the state Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. The centre put the official death toll at 27. more..

Kaudulla Park closed

Jan 15 (NN) The Kaudulla National Park located near the Minneriya park, has been temporarily closed over an incident where weapons stored in the park office had been stolen. According to reports the park was closed today by the authorities after 11 employees of the park were arrested on suspicion over the incident. Local and foreign tourists who visited the park were told that it was closed today following the incident as the weapons are still missing. more..

UNP links SF to flood

Jan 15 (NN) The opposition UNP today linked the floods in the country to the imprisonment of former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka saying the country was suffering because of that. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara, speaking to reporters today, said that if Fonseka is set free by the government natural disasters will not affect Sri Lanka. He said the UNP has meanwhile commenced a program to assist the families affected by the floods, especially in the eastern province. more..

Disease epidemic haunts flood victims

Rajapaksa asks for report on Indian fisherman's death

Jan 15 (HT) The death of an Indian fisherman off the Tamil Nadu coast on Wednesday has triggered ripples in the apparently placid diplomatic relationship between India and Sri Lanka. Even the usually confident President Mahinda Rajapaksa played it safe on Friday. "According to the navy, there was no such thing (attack on the Indian fishermen). But I have asked them for a full report," Rajapaksa told foreign correspondents over breakfast on Friday. more..

Sri Lanka gets US$250mn from land sales to developers: minister

Jan 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka is raising 250 million US dollars from the sale of two blocks of land to developers who will build hotels and shopping complexes near the main beachfront in the capital Colombo, a government minister said. Hong Kong based Shangri-La hotels and state-run China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) have been charged 125 million US dollars each for state land near the 'Galle Face' area, more..

India sends relief material to flood-hit Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (Hindu) The Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Ashok Kantha on Friday handed over relief material to Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Bandaranaike Airport in Colombo. Gajraj, the strategic heavy lift transport fleet of IL 76s, carrying 25 tonnes of relief landed at the Banadaranaike International Airport at 12 noon on Friday. It took a neat five hours to clean the insides of the Gajraj (meaning Elephant King). more..

Plans to amend Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act

Jan 15 (AD) There was community based dialogue to amend the current Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act to prevent early marriages of underage girls, the Acting Permanent Representative of Sri Lankan to the UN, Major General Shavendra Silva said while addressing the Working Group on Girls NGO Committee on UNICEF on the yesterday. He added that a single committee termed the “District Child Development Committee”, has also been established to monitor the early childhood care and development. more..

EU pledges 2.7 million dollars in aid for flood-stricken Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (NN) The European Commission today decided to provide emergency funding of €2 million for humanitarian assistance to flood victims in Sri Lanka. This action will be implemented through international aid agencies to provide primarily emergency food assistance, water and sanitation, and emergency relief items. "When I see the images of devastation by the floods in Sri Lanka, I feel that it is EU's duty to make it possible for thousands of people to more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 14.01.2011

Jaffna library staff on foreign training

Jan 15 (MoD) A team of six staff members of the Jaffna Public Library headed by Chief Librarian, Mr. K Thanabalasingam flew to Singapore to attend a training programme on "Enhanced Capabilities of the Librarians in Library Management and Programming Skills" recently. The team met Northern Governor Maj General GA Chandrasiri at the Governor's Sub Office in Battaramulla on 08th January 2011, prior to their leaving the island. more..

Sri Lanka cadet delegation visit India

Jan 15 (MoD) Sri Lankan Cadet Delegation including a Senior Officer, Two Staff Officers and 12 x girl & boy cadets will visit India on 15th January to participate in Indian National Cadet Corps Camp 2011. Each Year cadets participate in the Indian Republic Day Celebration Camp under the Youth Exchange Programme between SAARC Countries and this tour is made possible by the Ministry of Defence. The delegation will stay in India for a period of 15 days from more..

'Help the people or drown yourselves'

Jan 15 (AD) The UNP, the JVP and Sarath Fonseka should unite with the government in helping the victims of the flood during this time or else end their own lives as a service to the country, Minister Mervyn Silva said. He said that the opposition had to start helping the people of the country during this difficult time instead of spreading superstitious beliefs amongst the people regarding the floods. more..

UNICEF supplies arrive in flood-affected eastern part of Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (Unicef) A second consignment of UNICEF supplies arrived in the flood-affected eastern part of Sri Lanka today. These supplies are 4,961 hygiene kits (washing kits to last a family of five a month including towels, soap, toothpaste, washing powder), 10,000 plastic buckets, 15,000 sleeping mats, and 150 community cooking pots (150 litre capacity). This second consignment of goods follows seven truck-loads of supplies sent by UNICEF to assist the one million people more..

Transport vegetables in pastic containers, vendors told

Jan 15 (NF) A gazette notification has been issued to the effect that vegetables should be transported for sale in plastic containers. “A period of one month has been granted to the vendors to make the necessary arrangements,” said Sunil Sirisena, Secretary to the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade. He noted that vendors who do not adhere to these guidelines after the one month grace period, would be taken into custody and produced before court. more..

'All struggles should be incorporated in a people’s struggle'

Jan 15 (LT) All struggles should be incorporated with a people’s struggle that seeks a broad social transformations says Mr. Anura Dissanayake, Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP. Addressing a seminar on the theme “Government’s rage and People’s independence’ organized by the ‘People’s Movement for Democracy’ held yesterday (13) Mr. Dissanayake said, “A broad front should be created against the growing dictatorship in the country. more..

'No visa on arrival' to Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (BBC) A new online visa scheme for all visitors will be introduced soon replacing the current on arrival visa for selected countries, Sri Lanka authorities say. Controller General of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera told BBC Sandeshaya that representatives of tourism industry whom he recently met agreed that it is a much improved measure than the current system of granting visa. The tourism industry has earlier expressed concern that more..

Streamlined process in place to help flood victims: Govt

Jan 15 (GDI) The government has put in place a streamlined process to provide all necessary assistance and relief to flood victims in the country.Since the day one of this disaster Rs 138 million has been disbursed among the District Secretaries of the affected districts to provide cooked meals and dry rations. From last Monday to Friday alone Rs 80.4 million has been dispatched to respective District Secretaries to ensure the continuous supply of relief and to meet the more..

President 'ready for devolution'

Jan 15 (BBC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, says he is ready to "go beyond" the 13 amendment to the constitution as a political solution to the national question. But he has told the foreign journalists at a breakfast meeting that he will never agree to devolve police powers into the regions. It can be clearly seen in India that the central government face serious difficulties as a result of devolving police powers to the States, Mr Rajapaksa has said. more..

On imagining in the Indian Subcontinent

Jan 15 (DM) 'Abhiman’ was the only Hindi movie I had seen until around 1996 when I spent some months in Galgamuwa. The family whose kada-kaamaraya (one-room ‘shop’) I had rented were addicted to Hindi films and I would see snippets when I went over to their house for meals. I don’t know Hindi and back in the seventies when I saw the film there were no subtitles. The music was wonderful and over the years I was able to learn most of the songs by heart. more..

Animals have Rights

Jan 15 (DM) The Daily Mirror is opening its pages to animals who have a claim to rights to live protected by law in this country. Animals cannot defend themselves on their own, dial for emergency services, find their way to hospices, retain Counsel or Attorneys or complain when their lives, habitats or livelihood is endangered. There are though citizens who feel it their duty to feed, care, protect, represent and advocate in terms of their conscience. more..