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LRC in Jaffna in August; lands for displaced

July 12 (Island) The Land Reforms Commission will establish a new office in Jaffna in August to address the grievances related to land issues, Executive Director of the Commission, Hariguptha Rohanadeera said. "Nearly 70 per cent of ownerless lands have been identified in Jaffna and the LRC will take steps to provide lands to the war displaced people and those who have returned after many years," Rohanadeera said. The returnees and the displaced will be given 20 perches of land each more..

Minister writes to IGP on vehicle plates issue

July 12 (DN) Minister Dr Mervin Silva in a letter to IGP N K Illangakoon said that he has instructed his staff to remove the WPC 2010-2011 number plates in vehicles used by him in accordance with the order given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has instructed his staff to use the registered plates that have been issued by the RMV. The minister has urged the IGP to take appropriate action against those who misuse his good name by driving vehicles bearing WPC 2010/2011 plates. more..

'UNP and JVP in smear campaign'

July 12 (DM) Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premjayantha today charged that the opposition UNP and the JVP are in a campaign to provide weapons to detractors of Sri Lanka to make allegations against her in the global forums. “They are using the local government poll campaign to create a non-existent violent situation in the North saying that political parties other than the UPFA cannot do election propaganda in the North,” more..

Chamal Rajapaksa wants more women and youth in SAARC Parliaments

July 12 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa has said that he favours greater representation of women and youth in the Parliaments of SAARC countries. Speaking at the 4th conference of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians here on Saturday, Rajapaksa said: "We must strive to increase youth and female representation in our respective Parliaments because greater participation of youth and female representatives is essential in the task of achieving socio-economic development." more..

Kobeigana PS opposition Leader remanded on sex charge

July 12 (Island) The Police arrested the opposition leader of the Kobeigana Pradeshiya Sabha S. A. Vijitha Premalal of the UNP on allegations of molesting an eleven-year-old boy on Sunday. According to the Police the boy had been alone at home when the politician had entered and molested him. The politico is 34 years old. The mother had complained to the Police who took the suspect into custody. He has been remanded till July 18 by the Nikaweratiya Magistrate. more..

Former IGP not budging from official residence

July 12 (Island) Former IGP Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya has not surrendered his official residence even after a month has lapsed since his retirement. The new IGP N. K. Illangakoon is unable to move into his official residence since his predecessor has failed to vacate the house. This has caused a major headache to those providing security to the new IGP as he continues to travel from his earlier residence, the senior official said. more..

DPF to back TNA at upcoming LG Polls

July 12 (DM) The Democratic Peoples Front (DPF) led by former MP Mano Ganesan had decided to back the TNA at the coming local government election. DPF General Secretary Dr. A. N. Kumaraguruparan told Daily Mirror yesterday that his party had decided to back the TNA considering the current situation in the North. He said the party cannot support the government because of the situation in the North where there is a military presence despite the war ending. more..

Elections commissioner moves to check malpractices today

July 12 (Island) The Elections Department has dispatched its own monitors to areas identified as being vulnerable to malpractices, to monitor the marking of postal votes as 55,871 postal voters cast their ballot for 65 local bodies in 21 districts today, Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya disclosed. He said that permission had also been granted to election monitoring bodies like PAFFREL and the CMEV, as well as representatives of contesting political parties to monitor more..

'No evidence' asylum seekers heading to NZ

July 12 (Stuff) Immigration Minister Jonathon Coleman said there was "no concrete evidence" that the Sri Lankan people on a boat were actually trying to reach New Zealand. A boat carrying Tamil asylum seekers was detained on Saturday by the Indonesian Navy as they apparently tried to make their way to New Zealand. Many onboard were photographed holding signs saying they wanted to go to New Zealand. more..

Over 8 pc of population disabled

July 12 (Island) A Survey conducted by the Health Ministry has revealed that over eight percent the population is disabled. The war, sickness and natural disasters were the main cause of the situation. The development in the health services have increased the life span of people thereby contributing to the increase in the number of elderly. This has increased the numbers of persons susceptible to-non communicable diseases such as diabetes, and strokes. more..

H’tota records highest life expectancy

July 12 (DN) Hambantota district records the highest life expectancy figure in Sri Lanka with Colombo recording the lowest. Sri Lanka’s life expectancy has gone to around 79 years for women and around 72 years for men. ‘Sri Lanka records a higher life expectancy than Malaysia, Health Ministry additional secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. Addressing a seminar on ‘The World at 7 Billion’, Dr. Mahipala said that Sri Lanka records 385,000 births annually. more..

CPC loses hedging case in London: Ordered to pay $162 mn to bank

July 12 (FT) High Court in a 140-page judgment awards case to Standard Chartered Bank on all counts; State oil utility liable to pay minimum of $ 162 m previously withheld plus interest Govt likely to appeal against the ruling in a higher court; Ruling on $ 200 m-claiming Citi’s arbitration scheduled for late July; $ 60 m claiming Deutsche Bank’s arbitration in Washington to start in Sept. more..

Notice issued on incumbent Elections Commissioner for July 18

July 12 (DM) The Court of Appeal yesterday directed to issue notice on the incumbent Elections Commissioner returnable for July 18. The Writ petition of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, seeking to sit and vote in Parliament, was yesterday taken before the Bench comprising Justices A.W.A.Salam and Upali Abeyratne. When the Writ application of the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, seeking his Parliamentary seat back, came up before the Court of Appeal yesterday, more..

H’tota a younger more vibrant Colombo: Dullas

July 12 (DM) Hambantota is going to be the younger version of the city of Colombo, only more vibrant and appealing to meet the present day demands of economic, trade and cultural spheres, said Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. Addressing a meeting held at his ministry to discuss a corporate plan on how this could contribute to the blossoming of Hambantota into the Metropolitan Capital of the country, he said that the need to come up with a substitute for the aging Capital City more..

C’wealth Games: SL seeks merit vote

July 12 (DM) The committee-in-charge of the bidding for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held in Hambantota said, Sri Lanka did not want a sympathy vote instead was competing with others on the merits of its bid. Australian media had claimed that many developing nations might vote for Sri Lanka based on political reasons. However Hambantota bidding committee CEO Nalin Attygala said that such statements were unfounded. more..

‘Education in land mines’ in N/E school curriculum

July 12 (DM) ‘Education in land mines’ is to be introduced as a subject to the school curriculum in all three languages in war torn areas in order to create mine risk awareness in the North and East. “The educational programmes are comprehensive projects that might extend to several years. We have coordinated with the Education Ministry to introduce a subject regarding mine awareness in war torn areas.” more..

EPDP – Army intelligence suspected of attacks in Jaffna to terrorise TNA candidates

July 12 (DBS) EPDP cum military intelligence suspected of perpetrating series of “attacks” to terrorize TNA candidates in Jaffna local authority polls. Proliferation of “low-level” incidents targeting individual candidate residences during night aimed at instilling fear into TNA, party says. TNA wants foreign monitors appointed for the forthcoming elections due to “terror” campaign intimidating TNA candidates. more..

New video - more confusion

July 12 (LB) Diverse govt positions on footage of an alleged summary battlefield execution have befuddled even devout followers of this continuing saga. Officials had insisted for months that the video clip first aired in August 2009 by UK’s Channel 4 was ‘fake.’ But they now say they are in possession of the ‘original’ clip which might be a genuine depiction of the Tigers killing Sri Lanka Army soldiers. The film purports to show the execution of nine prisoners more..

Petrol Fiasco: Minister blames Corp bosses

July 12 (DM) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Ltd. (CPSTL) Chairmen should take the responsibility for importing and distributing the 20,000 metric tonnes of low quality petrol, Minister Susil Premajayantha said yesterday. He said compensation would be paid to vehicle owners whose vehicles were damaged after using the contaminated petrol and more..

Leopard mother’s skin at Minister Duminda Dissanayake’s residence

July 12 (LT) According to internal sources in the Forest Department the skin of the mother of the three leopard cubs that were found in Thabbowa jungles has been found at the first floor of the super luxury house belonging to Minister Duminda Dissanayake at Skelton Gardens, Havelock Town in Colombo. This has been revealed when the house was raided recently by a team led by the head of the Forest Protection and more..

Sri Lanka agro chemical firms forecast pesticide shortfalls

July 12 (LBO) A group of agro firms have warned that Sri Lanka may run short of pesticides for the next growing season unless a controversy over the presence of arsenic is resolved quickly with independent testing. 'Croplife Sri Lanka' an industry grouping representing 26 agro chemical firms said arsenic is not an active ingredient in any pesticide marketed by them. Researchers at Sri Lanka's Kelaniya University have said that more..

'A/L evaluations could be done without university teachers'

July 12 (LT) The procedure of evaluation and the marking scheme for the G.C.E. A/L examination has been already completed says the Minister Bandula Gunawardene. The trade union action taken by the FUTA to boycott the lay out the evaluation process and the marking scheme of the A/L examination would not have any effect on the A/L examination states Minister Bandula Gunawardene. more..

Don’t sell land: Basil tells people in North

July 12 (DM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa has said he requested the people of the north not to sell their properties and wait for the development of the road that will bring pride and value to their properties. The Minister on Sunday officially handed back the lands to 247 families in the Thanankilappu area on the Chavakachcheri- Pooneryn road after it was cleared of land mines by the Sri Lanka Army. more..

SL wants Fox to take up UNICEF

July 12 (Island) The government expects the UK to take up the issue of child combatants with the UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and other LTTE front organisations operating in the country. Defence Ministry and External Affairs Ministry sources told The Island that those demanding an international probe into accountability issues in Sri Lanka couldn’t ignore the child combatants’ issue. more..

Not all doom and gloom despite defeat

July 13 (CI) We came to England with high hopes for the one-day series so it was a huge disappointment to lose 3-2. I thought we played some very good cricket but we had a couple of really poor games as well. Old Trafford was the closest match of the whole series and unfortunately we couldn't do quite enough to get over the line. It wasn't a polished performance from us and there are a lot of areas to improve on. But it's not all doom and gloom. more..

Sri Lanka bourse down 1.5 pct to fresh 6-mo lows on margin calls

July 13 (Reuters) Stocks fell over 1.5 percent to a more-than-six-month low on Tuesday as margin calls forced sales due to a regulator directive and lack of liquidity amid concerns over a further market fall as the index breached key support levels. Share index fell 103.95 points to 6,663.64, its lowest close since Jan. 3, ending below a key support level of 6,700. The next support is seen at 6,500. It has lost 3.6 percent so far this week. more..

UNP wants PSC for petrol issue

July 13 (DM) The UNP today said it would move towards calling for a Parliamentary Select Committee(PSC) to probe the substandard petrol issue. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told a news conference that the party’s Parliamentary group will make the final decision on calling for a Select Committee on the fuel issue shortly. He said the Elyantha Whie issue would also be discussed as it is am important national issue just like the fuel drama. more..

Divi Neguma to improve nutrition levels of people .

July 13 (GDI) The Economic Development Minister addressing the Press Officers and officials of the Department of Government Information at its Auditorium today, explained on the main objectives of the Divi Neguma Programme. Improving family nutrition is one of them, the Minister said. With this programme it is expected for the people to add more fresh vegetables and fruits into their diet and increase consumption of milk, eggs and other animal products. more..

Toronto Police offer reward in 2009 beating death

July 13 (TS) Two years have passed since Kristian Thanapalan was surrounded by dozens of young bat-wielding men and savagely beaten to death in a Scarborough park — and the 22-year-old’s family is still waiting for justice. However, his family members are hoping a $50,000 reward announced Monday by Toronto Police will lead to an arrest in their loved one’s killing. “It has been two difficult years since we lost our beloved brother Kristian and no one has come forward in this murder,” more..

CPC to appeal against hedging order

July 13 (DM) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) today said it would appeal against the order of the Commercial Court of London on the disputed oil derivatives transactions pertaining to Standard Chartered Bank. Aggrieved over the judgment, the CPC had sought leave to appeal against the judgment and the Judge in the London Court had decided to grant permission to the CPC to appeal to the Court of Appeal, the CPC in a statement said. more..

The Arjuna and Murali show

July 13 (CI) In our run-up to the 2000th Test, we look at some of Sri Lanka's more memorable Tests, which naturally includes some mammoth scores. v England, Colombo, 1981-82: Sri Lanka competed well for the first half of their inaugural Test, with some efficient bowling restricting England to a first-innings lead of just five runs amid a carnival atmosphere at the P Sara Stadium. Their first innings was rescued from 33 for 4 by the stylish Ranjan Madugalle (65) and a well-padded more..

Increase in June Tourist arrivals .

July 13 (GDI) The number of tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka went up 19.9% to 53,636 in the month of June 2011, compared to June 2010 which was only 44,730, according to the latest figures. Figures showed an increase in the number of arrivals from Western Europe, South Asia, East Asia, Middle East and North America. Tourists from Western Europe, the traditional tourist generating market, rose 1.5 percent to 14,087 in June 2011. The number of visitors from Finland went up 87.5 percent to 90, more..

Sri Lanka promises no power cuts but utility losses up

July 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka will not impose power cuts although hydro-power reservoirs have run dry owing to drought but losses in the state utility will rise as it relies more on high-cost thermal power plants. Power minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said power generation capacity in hydro-power reservoirs had fallen to 29 percent because of the drought forcing the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to use more thermal power plants. more..

Price of essential goods decline

July 13 (DM) The price of essential goods and vegetables have reduced owing to an increase in crop cultivation and increased availability of goods, the Ministry of Cooperative and Internal Trade said. The price of essential goods such as rice, sugar, green gram, locally produced red onions, dried chillies and eggs have reduced in comparison to prices in the past few months. They said that the prices of a large number of vegetables produced in the low country have reduced by 89% and more..

JVP states group in Army uniform videoed it Killinochchi office

July 13 (LT) The JVP in a communiqué states it has lodged a complaint (No. EIB 18/17) at Killinochchi Police charging that the govt, deploying a group of Army soldiers, obstructed its election campaign. The complaint has been lodged by the accredited representative of the JVP for Killinochchi District Lalith Kumar Weeraraju. The communiqué issued by the JVP states: “A group attired in Army uniforms obstructed a group of JVP supporters including several of its candidates who more..

'Govt would not have to face this situation if it had respected the Judiciary'

July 13 (LT) The country would not have to confront a financial issue if the government had implemented the directive given regarding the hedging agreement by the Supreme Court says former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. He pointed out that the country has to confront the present situation regarding the hedging agreement as the government arbitrarily decided to ignore the judgment he gave when he was the Chief Justice said Mr. Silva. more..

Lanka to seek Maldivian assistance to crackdown on human smuggling

July 13 (HNS) Sri Lankan authorities probing into a large scale human smuggling network are making arrangements to seek the assistance of the Maldivian Police in order to crackdown on those involved in the operations. An official from the Sri Lanka police department told Haveeru that they have been coordinating with several local investigation arms as well as foreign governments in order to thwart the human smuggling network in Sri Lanka and have recently learnt that more..

'Deceived' to attend anti-C4 protest

July 13 (BBC) Military authorities in northern Sri Lanka are accused of deceiving people in Kilinochchi to take part in a protest against Britain’s Channel4 television. Those who took part in a protest against the controversial Sri Lanka Killing Fields film in Kilinochchi say they were tricked into take part in a meeting about relief programmes by the military. The protest was held on Friday while MP Namal Rajapaksa, was on a visit to northern Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 12.07.2011

Minister Basil emphasizes the role of Media Personnel .

July 13 (GDI) Development of the country will not become successful if it has not contributed to the development of the life standards of the people. It is because of this fact that the Mahinda Chindana laid emphasis on the development of the life standards of the people as Sri Lanka is a country in which 80% of the people live in the villages and these villages should be developed meeting their needs and aspirations if the country is to achieve realistic development. more..