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Justice Owada hails President's AALCO speech

June 28 (DN) President of the International Court of Justice Hisashi Owada yesterday hailed President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the President's speech at the 50th annual sessions of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) that a solution to the country's problem should be based on the culture and the aspirations of its people. Owada hailed the speech made by President Rajapaksa at the 50th annual sessions of the AALCO held at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel more..

Authorities to probe Knuckles Range fire

June 28 (DM) Authorities are conducting investigations into the fire that erupted in the eastern part of the Knuckles mountain range. Police investigations are also underway to ascertain the cause of the fire. The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) dispatched a Bell 212 helicopter to help in the efforts of fighting the fire which has broken out in the Welangala area in the Knuckles forest range. SLAF was asked last morning to assist in order to douse the fire which is believed to have come up again. more..

CB releases latest Economic & Social Satistics publication

June 28 (DM) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has just released its annual publication titled “Economic and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka 2011 – Volume XXXIII”. This publication contains data covering a wide range of economic and social aspects of Sri Lanka. There are around 200 data tables comprising information pertaining to areas of Climate, Population and Labour Force, National Accounts, Agriculture, Industry, Prices and Wages, External Trade and Finance, Money and more..

AALCO Golden Jubilee Conference kicks off in Colombo

June 28 (IL) The 50th Anniversary Conference of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) kicked off at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo today on 27 June. This is the fourth time that the AALCO annual session is held in Colombo and Sri Lanka is privileged to host the Golden Jubilee Conference. At the beginning of the sessions, Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs of Tanzania and the current President of AALCO, more..

Act with more responsibility, PM tells Opposition

June 28 (DN) “The Opposition should act with more responsibility at this time when the people are trying to stand united as a single nation. At this time when there are various international conspiracies launched against the country, the duty of a responsible Opposition is to support the government without trying to create ideological differences among the people,” said Prime Minister D M Jayaratne. He was speaking after calling on the Malwatte and Asgiriya Prelates at more..

Australia satisfied with Sri Lanka security

June 28 (Hindu) Cricket Australia said on Monday that it expects Sri Lanka to provide adequate security for Australia's tour this year despite a slashing of the security budget. CA officials visited Sri Lanka last week as part of standard pre-tour reconnaissance and were satisfied with the assurances they received for Australia's August-September tour, a CA spokesman said. Sri Lankan sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the budget for Australia's visit had been cut, more..

'Don't harm developing countries through economics of developed world'

June 28 (GDI) Sri Lanka's pre-occupation with social equity is certainly appropriate at the international level at this time. It is important to ensure that the major trends of economic policy in the developed world should not have a harmful effect on the well-being of developing countries, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Inaugurating the 50th annual sessions of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel more..

100 applications for death certificates in EP

June 28 (Island) The Ministry of National Language and Social Integration has taken measures to issue death certificates for those who have been missing for a period of over one year in the Eastern Province. "Currently, a mobile service to issue death certificates is underway in the Chenkalady Divisional Secretariat in Baticoala district covering 32 Grama Niladari Divisions," Additional Secretary to the Ministry, S. L. M. Hazeem said. more..

LG elections: Apply for IDs before July 1

June 28 (DM) Voters without national ID cards or any proof of identity acceptable to the election officials must apply for a temporary ID card from the relevant Grama Niladharis on or before July 1. Temporary ID cards issued for previous general and local govt elections would also be valid for the July 23 local govt polls as well, he said. The Passport, driving licence, Pensioners ID card and the Bhikku ID card will be valid in addition to the national ID cards to cast their votes more..

Phone charge reduction from this week

June 28 (DM) The minimum floor rates on mobile and land phones will be reduced from July 1, the TRC said yesterday. TRC Economic Affairs Director H.N Jayaweera told the Daily Mirror that the minimum mobile and land floor rates on outgoing calls would be reduced to Rs 1.50 from Rs 2.00 a minute and the service providers would make the necessary changes once the commission papers were approved. more..

Commonwealth calls for investigation of Sri Lanka war crimes

June 28 (scoop) The Commonwealth has called on Sri Lanka to conduct “a full, credible, and thorough investigation" of the atrocities detailed in Channel 4s documentary, Sri Lanka's Killing Fields. A statement by Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma's spokesperson said: “The Commonwealth has long supported the peaceful resolution of the civil war in Sri Lanka, and recognises that genuine and sustainable reconciliation must include more..

'Imperialists targetting Sri Lanka to disintegrate India'

June 28 (DM) Imperialists who want to see India disintegrate into fragments are targetting Sri Lanka in order to influence the neighbouring country, Prime Minister DM Jayaratne said. "This is a campaign to see India disintegrate into the formation of smaller states like the fragmentation of the Soviet Union," Jayaratne said. His comments came while referring to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's special panel report on Sri Lanka more..

'Grade 1 class should not exceed 35'

June 28 (DM) The number of children to be admitted to a Grade 1 classroom will be limited to a maximum of 35 under the new Education Bill being worked out now, a report says. The National Committee for formulating a New Education Act for General Education in Sri Lanka has compiled its final report. The proposals made in the report will be incorporated in the new Bill to be presented in Parliament by the end of this year. The more..

Govt. institutions apply for land

June 28 (DM) 18 govt institutions and Ministries had applied for the acquisition of 1631 hectares of state lands by August last year for the implementation of various projects. The Highway and Road Development Ministry had applied for the acquisition of 196 hectares, Irrigation and Water Management Ministry for 652 hectares and Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Ministry for 668 hectares. more..

Post-war recovery project receives unexpected boost due to increased inward remittances

June 28 (Island) With the collapse of the LTTE, many Tamils living overseas have begun transferring money to their relatives, particularly the war displaced in the Vanni region. Expatriate Tamils are utilizing the services of the State Banking network, with the Bank of Ceylon accounting for the lion’s share in the growing inward remittances market. There had been a marked increase in remittances from many countries, more..

2018 CWG bid:Has the Nielsen survey been spin-doctored?

June 28 (Island) As reported in the media on Monday, the Govt is quoting a survey undertaken by The Nielsen Company Lanka, to suggest that a vast majority of Sri Lankans are backing the 2018 Commonwealth Games bid for Hambantota, says UNP MP Harsha de Silva. The UNPer issued the following statement: "From the press release of Mr Nalin Attygalle, CEO of the Hambantota Bid Committee, the question posed by Nielsen to the 2,600 sample is more..

Key railway projects in NP: JVP alleges India making huge profits at Lanka’s expense

June 28 (Island) The JVP alleges that the UPFA’s post-war relationship with India is at the expense of Sri Lanka’s national economy in spite of the govt’s attempt to create a positive image of Indo-Lanka bilateral relations. The JVP says the Rajapaksa administration has missed an opportunity to develop the national economy as it handed over key infrastructure projects in the Northern Province to the govt of India. more..

'Sri Lanka, a source for sex trafficking'

June 28 (DM) The 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report released by the United States stated that Sri Lanka does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking the country but is making significant efforts to do so. The report said Sri Lanka is primarily a source and to a much lesser extent, a destination for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. more..

Rajapaksa denies Indian pressure over Tamil issue

June 28 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday denied that he had come under pressure from India to offer the minority Tamils a political solution, saying that any settlement to the matter will have to be approved by the parliament. "There was no pressure from India on the thirteenth amendment of thirteen plus," Rajapaksa told reporters. Responding to a query on the visit by Indian National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, more..

Illegal fishing: 505 cases filed

June 29 (DN) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry has filed 505 cases against fishermen and other employees using illegal fishing vessels’ equipment and transport methods in the fisheries industry. Around 505 cases have been filed for violating the Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Act. Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne urged those in the fisheries industry to help detect illegal fishing vessels and equipment so that legal action could be taken against those using them. more..

Suspected treasure hunters arrested

June 29 (DM) A gang of four suspected treasure hunters were taken into custody by Meegahathenna Police. They were digging up treasure in an archaeological site when the police carried out the raid on information from the public and arrested the suspects. The raid was carried out following information gathered from the area residents. Police also found equipment used for digging treasures. During investigations it was revealed that the suspects were engaged in more..

Poachers, encroachers responsible for forest fires

June 29 (Island) Leading herpetologist Anslem de Silva says rather than accidents, poachers and encroachers were responsible for forest fires particularly at the Knuckles Range. He said that his ongoing study indicated that most of the endemic species perish in fires that affect acres of forest. The veteran scientist believes that not only strict laws but enforcement is needed to apprehend those who were responsible for damaging a World Heritage site. more..

Showdown in Galle

June 29 (NN) Govt MP Nishantha Muttuhettigama and the UNP are expected to clash in Galle on Friday after the UNP said it had accepted a challenge to stage an anti-government protest in the area. Muttuhettigama said today he will make sure the protest organized by the UNP does not take place on Friday in Galle. The MP, who just this week had clashed with three-wheel drivers in Galle, said he will personally get involved to block the UNP protest without the support of the police. more..

Eye virus spreads

June 29 (NN) The national eye hospital has warned that an eye disease is fast spreading and the public have been urged to take precautionary measures. The director of the national eye hospital, Dr. Sisira Liyanage said that so far at least 40 patients have sort treatment from the hospital on a daily basis for this disease. He said that the disease spreads in the form of a virus and causes eye irritation and the formation of a fungus that could last between three day to one week. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 28.06.2011

People’s Bank’s Golden Jubilee .

June 29 (GDI) The golden jubilee of establishment of Sri Lanka's foremost state bank, People's Bank, will take place on July 01 at the Temple Trees under the patronage of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The bank was established in 1961 by the late Mr. T.B.Illangaratne, the then Finance Minister and since then it has become a true people’s bank serving the people mostly in the rural areas. The President will issue a commemorative stamp, a first day cover, an anniversary coin and more..

Business Mafia spreading disease –UNP

June 29 (DM) The UNP today charged that the business mafias in the country had caused the spread of dengue and the kidney disease in the North Central Province. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that companies which markets pesticide are the very persons who allow the mosquitoes to breed. He said the situation is same with the kidney disease as it is the same companies that import Arsenic contaminated pesticides that distribute medicines which are given to kidney diseases.

Cairn India to start Sri Lanka oil drilling in Aug

June 29 (Reuters) Cairn India, majority held by Cairn Energy, will start drilling for oil in Sri Lanka's northwestern Mannar basin in August, though commercial production would be at least six years off if it finds any. Sri Lanka has awarded one of eight blocks to Cairn Lanka, a subsidiary of Cairn India, with an area of 3,000 sq km. "We will drill three wells. In four months after drilling, we will be able to say if there is oil and gas in the basin and more..

'Lalit Modi has no stake in Sri Lanka Premier League'

June 29 (NDTV) Former IPL chief Lalit Modi has nothing to do with the Sri Lanka Premier League, according to the Somerset Entertainment Ventures, the company who has the marketing rights of the tournament. "Contrary to recent news/media reports, SEV would like to point out emphatically that Mr. Lalit Modi, ex Commissioner of the Indian Premier League has no stake or involvement whatsoever in SEV, either directly or indirectly, and has nothing to do with the SLPL or more..

Cameras in buses

June 29 (DM) The Ministry of Private Transport Services has decided to install cameras in private buses to monitor and detect any unprofessional conduct or malpractice by bus crew members on a day to day basis, Minister C. B Rathnayake said. He said this facility will also enable the owners of private buses to monitor their buses while they are in operation. Furthermore Minister said the authorities had been informed to remove stickers, banners and other propaganda material depicting politicians and more..

'I will accept any political solution given by parliament'

June 29 (GDI) President said that the appointing of a Parliamentary Select Committee to find a permanent political solution to the ethnic problem was by no means a delaying tactic, but one that sought to obtain the concurrence of Parliament for any decision made, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “Sri Lanka is having a Parliamentary democracy and strengthening the Parliament is a vibrant democratic process as it is represented by more..

India honours doyen of modern Sinhala music

June 29 (Hindu) The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka organised an evening with musician and Magsaysay award winner Pandit Amaradeva, at India House here on Monday, to celebrate his six decades of excellence in music, and to underline the deep cultural and civilisational links the two countries share. Pandit Amaradeva (earlier known as Albert Perera), who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2002 and composed the melody for the Maldivian national anthem, along with more..

Prabha calls for Indian intervention

June 29 (SL) UNP MP who defected to the govt, Prabha Ganeshan has written to Indian Premier Manmohan Singh to intervene and address the aspirations of the Tamils of Indian origin. Ganeshan has stated that the Tamil of Indian origin faced the risk of being sidelined in the process of finding a solution to the ethnic issue. He has requested the Indian Prime Minister to put in place a mechanism to commence a continuous dialogue between the Indian govt and the Tamils of Indian origin. more..

Govt. selling degree, 5% local students lose rights

June 29 (AD) The government has taken the initial step of selling degrees for money by quantitatively curtailing the number of students able to enter into the national university system, the United National Party accuses. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had stated at parliament that around 1000 foreign student will be afforded the chance to enter the country’s universities from next year for a fee, UNP MP Tissa Attanayake mentioned. more..

Tamils will get vote in Sri Lankan provincial poll next year

June 29 (AFP) SRI Lanka's war-devastated north - the heartland of the Tamil minority - will hold its first provincial elections next year, three years after the military's victory over the Tiger rebels. President Mahinda Rajapakse announced the elections in a meeting last night with the heads of local media organisations. The concept of provincial councils was incorporated into the constitution in 1987 and was seen as a way of granting ethnic Tamils a limited degree of self-rule. more..

Associates included in 2015 World Cup

June 29 (CI) The ICC has reversed its decision on excluding Associates from the 2015 World Cup, which will now comprise 14 teams including four Associates as it was in the 2011 edition. The decision to reinstate the Associates, which was taken at the ICC's annual conference, is a reversal of the ICC's heavily criticised move to restrict the 2015 tournament to the Full Members. The ICC has, however, reduced the number of teams in the World Twenty20s in 2012 from 16 to 12 more..

Hambantota can deliver great 2018 Commonwealth Games, claims chairman

June 29 (IG) Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the co-chairman of Hambantota 2018 and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, has promised that Sri Lanka will deliver a great Commonwealth Games, as a four-day technical inspection of their bid started today. The five-person Commonwealth Games Federation (CGE) Evaluation Commission, chaired by Scotland's Louise Martin, conducted their official inspection of the Gold Coast, Hambantota's only rivals for the 2018 event, more..

Is the army and the political leadership on a collision course?

June 29 (LG) India and the donor community want the Rajapakse siblings to show their notorious credentials for a satisfactory and conclusive settlement of the Tamil question is misplaced. Besides, there is also the moral, ethical and legal responsibility of the government to re-assure the Tamils they are very much an integral part of the “Nation” - after three decades of hell for the people in that region. This is what, in fact, the President assured the nation more..

Govt. fears judgment against Rajapakse in US Courts

June 29 (LG) The Sri Lanka Attorney General’s Dept is to “retain a lawyer to oversee the [Sri Lanka’s] President’s interests in the US District Court which had issued the summons on Rajapaksa,” latest edition of Sunday Leader said quoting Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath. The statement reflects a change in strategy by Sri Lanka’s Justice Ministry which said last week that it had received the summons but the [Sri Lankan] govt would not respond to it. more..

Shivananthan SC the winners of inter club football tournament

June 29 (Cimic) Expanding opportunities for young players of Vadamarachchi area to show their sports talents, 521 Brigade of Point Pedro organized a football tournament with participation of 32 sports clubs in Vadamarachchi area recently. After a series of matches played for a period of one month, Imayanan Central Sports Club, Navashakthi Sports Club, Shivananthan Sports Club and St. Xavier Sports Club were selected for the semi finals more..