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JCPSM demands mobile and internet allowance

July 22 (Island) The Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine urged the Health Ministry to conform to the Treasury circular and pay the allowance for mobile and internet facilities to all specialist health professionals. JCPSM President Ravi Kumudesh said on Tuesday (20) that the Health Secretary had provided the mobile and internet allowance only to doctors and left out other professional categories in the public health sector. more..

Buddhism denigrated on Facebook

July 22 (DM) The national centre for cyber security, the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT) said yesterday it had received many complaints from Facebook users regarding profiles that contain material derogatory to Buddhism. SLCERT’s Senior Information Security Engineer Rohana Palliyaguru speaking to Daily Mirror said several complaints had been made concerning Facebook users who had circulated material that degraded Buddhism. more..

Priests tell taxi drivers to be more polite

July 22 (UCAN) Members of the clergy have urged drivers of three-wheeled taxis to conduct themselves in a more dignified manner, as their service to the country was invaluable and should be respected. “In society, your service has become essential. It is your responsibility to regain respect for the service you do,” said Father Don Wimala Siri Jayasuriya, judicial vicar of the diocese, during an address to about 250 taxi drivers taking part in a one-day seminar that more..

Sri Lankans crumble to hand Leicestershire advantage

July 22 (CI) Leicestershire surged to a clear advantage over Sri Lanka A on the second day at Grace Road, Wayne White picking up four wickets and Greg Smith reach an unbeaten fifty to secure a 258-run lead. The Sri Lankans took the final two Leicestershire wickets early leaving James Taylor, whose century lit up the first day, unbeaten but were soon in deep trouble and were eventually bowled out for 176 in the 50th over. White found most reward from the Sri Lankan batsmen, more..

Import of sub standard petrol: CPC fraud alleges Ravi K

July 22 (Island) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had knowingly imported sub standard petrol from a private company, resulting in over 10,000 vehicle engines being damaged, the UNP alleged. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that fuel purchases should have been made from companies approved by the Cabinet Tender Board and not from dubious private dealers. The CPC was engaged in a racket, he alleged adding that more..

A video, an amendment — and a vote?

July 22 (IE) The Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had drawn its own agenda for outreach since May 2009, when the war against the LTTE was ended with the killing of Prabhakaran and other frontline leaders. Plans were in place to showcase to the rest of the world how the tiny island defeated terrorism. It took a considerable amount of time for the Tamil diaspora to regroup and gather a fresh line of attack, which they did with the now infamous Channel 4 documentary. more..

Sri Lankan ruling party resorts to violence in northern elections

July 22 (wsws) Sri Lanka’s ruling UPFA is engaging in violence against opposition candidates and flouting election laws in the local govt election campaign in war-torn northern Sri Lanka. President Mahinda Rajapakse is mounting a desperate attempt to capture the local govt bodies to counter criticisms of his govt’s involvement in the military’s war crimes during the final stages of the island’s civil war and to claim his govt has the support of Tamil people. more..

War over, fear still stalks polls in north Sri Lanka

July 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's northern cities hold local polls for the first time in many years on Saturday and though the civil war is over, fear and intimidation remain rife, poll monitors and opposition politicians say. Voters in the separatist Tamil Tigers' self-declared capital of Kilinochchi, and in Mullaittivu where they were defeated by government forces in May 2009, will elect local councilors for the first time in 29 years. more..

Police yet to remove propaganda: EC

July 22 (DM) The Elections Department has received several complaints that election propaganda material like cutouts and posters in the Jaffna and Kilinochchi areas had not been removed by the Police, the Department’s Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. “Many areas in the Jaffna and Kilinochchi area have a lot of cutouts and posters that have to be removed and we have received complaints that they hadn’t,” Mr. Deshapriya said. “The Police say that there have been far too many rallies in more..

Ottawa says 30 war criminals hiding in Canada

July 22 (AFP) Thirty fugitives wanted for war crimes or crimes against humanity are believed to be hiding in Canada, the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday. The government's Border Services Agency published on its website the names of suspects from Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Ghana, Haiti, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and the former Yugoslavia, among others. "We all have a part to play in making more..

SL HC meets Jayalalithaa: Resettlement, re-democratisation discussed

July 22 (Island) Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam today met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa in Chennai—-the first such meeting between a Sri Lankan envoy and the state chief minister in more than half a century. The Island understands from authoritative sources in Chennai that the meeting was cordial and friendly. Ms Jayalalithaa was extremely courteous to Kariyawasam and his two colleagues from the more..

Holding polls in North a victory in itself – Govt.

July 22 (Island) The govt yesterday said that the holding of elections to local authorities in the Northern Province, under peaceful conditions, was in itself a victory and assured that the polls scheduled for Saturday would be free and fair. "The govt will fully support the Elections Commissioner in holding free and fair elections," Minister Nimal Siripala told Parliament. He was responding to a statement made by the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe in more..

Govt. has appealed UK ruling: Susil

July 22 (DM) The Govt had already appealed against the London court ruling that said it owed nearly $162 million plus interest for non-payment of dues linked to hedging deals, Minister of Petroleum Industries Susil Premajayntha informed Parliament yesterday. Minister Premajayantha who was responding to a question raised by DNA Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake on the hedging deal in the House yesterday said the government would not have to make any payments to more..

US panel votes to bar aid to Sri Lanka

July 22 (AFP) A US congressional committee voted to ban aid to Sri Lanka unless the nation shows "accountability" over the bloodshed in the final stages of its civil war in 2009. In a voice vote, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a measure that would ban all US government funding to Sri Lanka except for humanitarian aid, demining and activities to promote democracy and governance. more..

Six domestic airports to be developed

July 22 (GDI) Ministry of Civil Aviation is to develop six domestic airports to facilitate air travel, targeting tourism. The tourists will be able to purchase their air tickets to the local destinations and travel by air from Katunayake airport to the relevant airport closest to their destination. Sri Lanka already has a number of domestic airports at Ratmalana, Palali, Weerawila, Koggala, Hingurakkgoda, Anuradhapura, Kalutara and Ampara which are primarily used for military purposes. more..

LIOC cuts losses on ship fuel sales

July 22 (LBO) The Sri Lanka unit of Indian Oil Corporation has said strong sales of bunker fuel to ships in the last three months of the last financial year helped offset losses in the previous three quarters. Lanka Indian Oil Corp chairman G C Daga said that during the financial year ended March 31, 2011 the company "reoriented" its business strategies by enhancing focus on profitable business lines like lubricants, bitumen and bunkering. LIOC made profits on the sale of more..

'Three new borns killed each day by mothers'

July 22 (DN) Three infants are killed by their young mothers in Sri Lanka daily while one female child gets abused, Foundation for Law and Justice President, attorney-at-law Sumedha Senanayake said. The rate of divorce too is rapidly increasing within Sri Lanka and a majority of couples divorce during the first year of their marriage, he said. He was addressing a seminar in Colombo yesterday organized by CRAN, more..

Monk leads protest over use of pesticides in Sri Lanka

July 22 (DPA) A Buddhist monk led hundreds of protestors Thursday to campaign against the use of pesticides in Sri Lanka after fresh scientific research revealed that waterways were contaminated with arsenic, which can cause kidney failure. The monk, Ven Athureliya Rathana, who is also a parliamentarian, led a march from parliament to a temple in the south of the country to perform rituals against those promoting pesticides. more..

Mobile phone ‘jammers’ for prisons cost Rs. 10 mn each

July 22 (Island) The Prisons Department says steps have been taken to install mobile phone signal jammers to prevent inmates from carrying out the narcotics business and other illegal activities from their cells. Commissioner of Prison Supplies, Venura Gunawardana said that one such jammer had already been installed at the Welikada prison complex at a cost of Rs. 10 million. more..

Northerners go to the polls

July 22 (IRIN) Voters in northern Sri Lanka go to the polls on 23 July in what could prove a litmus test of public sentiment in the former conflict zone, say experts. The crucial local elections are the first in the area since the government declared victory in 2009 over the LTTE, which had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland since 1983. "This is a real opportunity for the people of the north to have a voice; more..

'Govt to take legal action against violations of official languages policy'

July 22 (DM) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said yesterday that legal action would be taken against Government Institutions violating the Official Language Policy. Some Govt Institutions, Corporations and Statutory Boards are still issuing their circulars only in Sinhalese Language, causing grave hardship to the public officers and general public living in Northern and Eastern provinces, he said. more..

Sri Lanka offers Air Taxi services to reach tourist havens in the East

July 22 (AT) With the East coast of Sri Lanka becoming a tourist haven in the country, following opening up of several chalet-type hotels, commencing boat services to the near-by islands such as the pigeon island which has several hundred varieties of corals and colorful fish, whale and dolphin watching, surfing and sun bathing in the silvery beaches luring scores of tourists, SriLankan Airlines plans to extend more..

Dr. JJ wants CPA to discipline its local branch

July 22 (Island) In spite of the Executive Committee of the CPA (Commonwealth Parliamentary Association) Sri Lanka branch refusing to nominate UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena as an observer at the forthcoming centenary sessions of the Association in London, the UNPer is going ahead with his planned visit. An Irate Jayawardena said that even if he had to stand outside the House of Commons, where the sessions would take place, more..

To hedge or not to hedge

July 22 (SL) The arbitration proceedings held in the High Court, London recommended that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will indeed have to pay Standard Chartered Bank according to the hedging agreement entered into between them. The CPC earlier was ordered by the Supreme Court with former Chief Justice Sarath N. de Silva passing judgement that the amounts due to the five banks be withheld as the agreements violated the Constitution. more..

Clinton’s TN visit: A sigh of relief from Lanka

July 22 (DM) The Chennai visit by the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram were not as fiery as feared by the Sri Lankan govt, a top External Affairs Ministry official said yesterday. He said the ministry had been alert to any negative fallout from Ms. Clinton’s meeting with Ms. Jayalalithaa and had expected a stronger statement than what was made by Ms. Clinton. more..

Govt. thanks Ranil

July 22 (DM) The govt yesterday hailed UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for supporting talks between the ruling UPFA and the TNA on working out a political solution to the national question. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that unlike some other extremist parties, Mr. Wickremesinghe had supported the govt’s initiative in resolving this longstanding crisis. “We thank you for that. We have to address this issue. We have to address this issue. So far there have been eight rounds of talks with the TNA,” more..

"Abuser" monk's bail conditions eased

July 23 (BBC) A court in Sri Lanka has eased bail conditions for a Buddhist monk accused of abusing underage novice monks in his custody. Aparekke Punnanada thero, a former parliamentarian, is charged in Colombo magistrate courts of sexually abusing three novice monks in his custody. National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) in an earlier report to the court stated that the monk, who was among nine JHU MPs in the previous parliament, has admitted "occasionally" abusing the underage monks. more..

Sri Lanka stx hits 7-month low; rupee flat

July 23 (Reuters) Stock market fell to a seven-month low on Friday and deeper into negative territory as investors sold large-cap shares, foreign investors kept selling out and month-end margin settlements all weighed. The main share index fell 2 percent or 131.68 points in early trade and closed 0.94 percent or 61.72 points weaker at 6,537.25, the lowest since Dec. 23. The bourse, Asia's best performer for the last two years, had gained since the beginning of 2009 when more..

SL and Russia to combat int’l crimes

July 23 (DM) Sri Lanka has entered several bilateral mutual legal assistance treaties with Russia in the context of combating serious international crimes such as those relating to terrorism and narcotic trafficking. The External Affairs Ministry said that the third round of bilateral negotiations was held in Colombo this week between the Delegations of Sri Lanka and the Russian Federation in order to conclude a bilateral treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in more..

MDMK to hold demonstration outside Parl on Aug 12

July 23 (PTI) The Vaiko-led MDMK on Friday announced staging a demonstration outside the Parliament on August 12, pressing for various demands on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, including calling upon New Delhi to cancel its trade and economic agreements with Colombo. The party's top policy-making bodies including the Parliamentary Board took a decision in this effect today, and said that Vaiko will lead the demonstration. The protest would demand for more..

Agility wins wind power logistics contract in Sri Lanka

July 23 (Alalytiqa) Agility has been awarded a contract by Nirmalapura Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd to provide complete logistics services for a 10-megawatt wind power plant on the North West coast of Sri Lanka. This is the third wind power logistics contract awarded to Agility in Sri Lanka. Agility was chosen to provide logistics services for a majority of wind power projects in the country due to the extensive global experience and expertise it possesses in this sector. more..

US acts hypocritical- SL

July 23 (DM) The govt today said that any dictation by the US government towards Sri Lanka’s internal issues was contravening to the principles of democracy propagated by the US. Responding to the possibility of aid from the United States being banned, in the event of a failure of the Sri Lankan government to show “accountability” over the incidents in 2009, minister Keheliya Rambukwella, “If the US was to bring about a ban of this nature, then it would be against more..

Sri Lanka to start tourist call centre

July 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to start an international call centre which will provide assistance and information to tourists, chairman of the country's tourism development authority Nalaka Godahewa said. "We will call for proposals from local firms in two to three weeks," Godahewa said. "We hope to receive innovative solutions. "A call centre like this could perhaps be self-financed with advertisements." He said the call centre was part of a strategy to use information technology to more..

Sri Lanka tea crop steady

July 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea crop is steady at the half-year mark although there was a dip in June, with global tea statistics showing a big shortfall in East Africa while output is up in India, brokers said. John Keells brokers said Sri Lanka's tea crop for June 2011 fell eight percent or 2.4 million kilos to 28.7 million kilos from a year ago. The shortfall came from the medium and low grown elevations while the highb grown crop was up in June. "Despite the shortfall for the month, more..

Sri Lanka: Is the government really ready to face its past?

July 23 (IBT) Minority Tamil candidates hope a weekend election in their heartland in northern Sri Lanka will give them a mandate to demand self-determination, as tensions between the Tamils and the government are still mounting. Analysts however warn that the country's ruling coalition has put a lot of work in the campaign for the local council races in Saturday's vote, benefitting from more resources and influence. more..

VC & Toilet Cleaner

July 23 (LG) I write in response to ‘Dr Hoole opens the can of ugly caste worms’ by Ms Pearl Thevanayagam of Jaffna Holy Family Convent. Ms Tevanayagam says ‘Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole’s article The Class Perspective recently in the Sri Lanka Guardian will no doubt open a can of ugly worms wriggling through the academia, public institutions and politics not to mention societal intercourses such as marriage and mingling in general.’ Academics like Dr. Hoole who aspire to be Vice Chancellors more..

Six teenagers from Sri Lanka travel to America for international peace camp

July 23 (LG) Tuesday’s Children Hosts Week-long Peace-Building and Conflict Resolution Camp at Foxcroft School in Virginia from July 23-30, 2011. Seventy-seven teens from around the world -- including six from Sri Lanka -- who have lost a family member to an act of terrorism will join together to form an international alliance called Project Common Bond under the auspices of Tuesday’s Children, the premiere non-profit organization serving the needs of the 9/11 community. more..

Memories of a former Army Commander

July 23 (MoD) The first edition of the new book "Memories That Linger" written on the true military experience of a former Army Commander General G H De Silva was handed over to the Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a special ceremony yesterday (20). General Gerry de Silva's tenure as Commander of the Sri Lanka Army was from 1994 - 1996. After retirement in 1996 he functioned as Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Pakistan until 1998 and more..

Are you among them?

July 23 (DM) Amidst us live the good and the honourable. They are still around and can be found. Probably you are among them. Sadly, many have resigned to the inevitable: knowing, little or nothing is achievable, withdraws gently to a silent pasture to graze and gaze. A foot backwards is a footprint in the wrong direction. Each such step leads to a decadent, debased, debauched, society of which we complain and in which we live. Are we a bunch of Mr. Do Little’s and Mrs. Do Nothing’s? more..

The hedging deal stirs a hornet’s nest in the House

July 23 (DM) The hedging deal stirred a hornet’s nest in the House after four years following the order by a London commercial court that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) should pay US $ 162 million along with interests accrued to Standard Chartered Bank as compensation. The government has appealed against the ruling in a higher court in England. Yet, the opposition seized the opportunity to take on the govt, and eventually they brought it up before Parliament on Tuesday. more..