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Forced to falsely implicate seniors for ragging, undergrad claims

June 6 (ST) A first year management student of the Sri Jayawardhanapura University is alleged to have been forced to lodge a false complaint with the Hakmana Police on Wednesday saying that he was ragged by senior students resulting in his shoulder being injured. Nuwan Madushanka (21) from Hakmana was allegedly taken by force to the police station by three senior university officials who had pressurized him to lodge this complaint and later hospitalized him for more..

Death on the roads – a daily story

June 6 (ST) Road traffic accidents account for the majority of sudden deaths recorded by the Chief Judicial Medical Officer, Colombo. Most of the post-mortems conducted by the Institute of Legal Medicine and Toxicology (ILMT) relate to accidents, and more than 50 per cent of these are the results of road accidents. There has been a significant increase in such accidents since the beginning of the year. On average, 600 medico-legal examinations are conducted each month, more..

Sri Lanka, UAE sign petroleum reserve deal

June 6 (DN) The government has reached an agreement with a petroleum company in the United Arab Emirates for a petroleum reserve over a period of six months. Petroleum Industries Ministry Secretary Titus Jayawardena said that this agreement was carried out on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a solution to the large sum spent to purchase petroleum from foreign countries. He said that the benefits under this agreement would be passed on to the consumers. more..

Rs. 57m. missing from Trinity funds

June 6 (NS) A Rs. 57 million fraud involving school funds of Trinity College, Kandy is being investigated by the College Board of Governors, the school Principal, Brigadier Udaya Ariyaratne told The Nation yesterday. He said that the money concerned relating to the last nine years from 2000 to 2009, handled by the Old Boys’ Association (OBA) was detected in the process of preparing school’s budget report by its special auditors. “The money concerned was from school fees and more..

Police powers to PCs will cause security concerns: Karuna

June 6 (NS) The devolution of police powers to provincial councils is not practicable and would cause further security concerns for the government, SLFP Vice President and Deputy Minister of Resettlement, Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman said. Muralitharan pointed out that such a mechanism could be implemented in countries like India, which has a large geographical area, where devolution of powers to the provincial governments were needed. more..

Paracetamol - a killer drug

June 6 (LB) It is estimated that over 20,000 persons are admitted to hospitals countrywide, annually, due to poisoning from drugs. Of that number around 200 succumb to various diseases that stem from such poisoning. According Dr. Priyadarshani Galappaththi, the reason attributed for this situation is the over use of paracetamol. She said that daily, at least two persons are admitted to hospitals due to poisoning through the intake of paracetamol. more..

UNP mulls legal action against govt.

June 6 (DM) The UNP is contemplating taking legation action against the alleged violation of the Constitution by the govt through denying the Provincial Councils the powers vested with them in accordance with the 13th Amendment. UNP Member of the Central Provincial Council Sanjeewa Kaviratne said that the party was contemplating legal action to safeguard the powers of the Provincial Councils. He charged that the govt had left room for India to intervene in order to get the more..

England v Sri Lanka: Dilshan shines but rain dampens day

June 6 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan fell seven runs short of Sri Lanka's first double century at Lord's before rain wiped out the second half of the third day to leave the visitors 372 for 3, 114 behind England's total. Kumar Sangakkara was the other wicket to fall but Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene added 82 for the third wicket against an England attack that remained inconsistent. Dilshan started the morning on 127 and took a few overs to play himself in more..

Saker left frustrated as England fluff their lines

June 6 (CI) As the drizzle closed in during the afternoon session, there was plenty opportunity for Sky to trawl their archives, and one match in particular seemed pertinent to this situation. At The Oval in August 1998, England looked to have their destiny under control when they posted a hefty 445 in their first innings. A hard-hitting opener had other ideas, however, and once Sanath Jayasuriya had finished battering a stunned attack all across South East London, more..

Over 2000 dengue patients are being treated in hospitals in Colombo

June 6 (Island) The Colombo National Hospital, Kalubowila Hospital, Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte and the Lady Ridgeway Hospital had more than 200 dengue patients each at the moment besides the patients in private hospitals, Health Ministry spokesman W. M. D. Wanninayake told The Island. The Health Ministry is baffled by the high incidence of dengue and warns the general public to help eliminate dengue mosquito breeding places as quickly urgently. more..

Hotel rooms to be doubled to 45,000 by 2016

June 6 (DN) The Economic Development Ministry with the private sector will launch an ambitious programme of doubling the hotel room capacity to 45,000 by 2016 over the current 22,745 to accommodate 2.5 million arrivals by that time. The other key objectives will be to increase foreign exchange earnings from $ 501 million in 2010 to $ 2.75 billion in 2016, increase arrivals from the current 654,000 to 2.5 million by 2016, increase the current employment of more..

Pradeep Master freed

June 6 (Island) Top TMVP official Pradeep Master has been set free after being arrested over a murder in Batticaloa. TMVP spokesman Azad Maulana said that Pradeep Master, who was arrested on May 16, was freed last Friday. The arrest of Pradeep Master and a subsequent search on the residence of Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, threatened to create a rift between the govt and the TMVP. However, a meeting was later held between more..

STF arrests seven treasure hunters

June 6 (DM) The Special Task Force (STF) arrested yesterday seven suspects when they were engaged in treasure hunting in the Hulannuge area inside the Lahugala forest reserve. The seven persons were arrested while they were engaged in digging a land in the area. The STF came to the scene following a tip-off from the residents of the area about their activity. Sharp materials used to break stones, a gas regulator, pooja items and two grammes of ammonia were taken into custody. more..

Marketing guru Professor Philip Kotler: ‘Govt needs to adopt business approach'

June 6 (DN) ‘The govt needs to adopt a business approach in its governing mechanism for better results as normally govets are slow to respond to marketing mechanisms. The govt should follow more businesslike behaviour with a citizen driven approach, intellectual giant and marketing guru Professor Philip Kotler said. ‘The attitudes change behaviour of people and governments and techniques such as total quality management matrix (TQM) can be used by more..

Pinnawela becomes sinnawela

June 6 (DM) A two-and-a-half year old baby elephant had drowned at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage Saturday evening, officials said. It drowned after the foot of the baby reportedly got trapped in stones in the area which led to the drowning in the Ma-Oya, they said. Senior Assistant Director Renuka Bandaranayake said that the body of baby elephant had been sent to the Veterinary Faculty of the Peradeniya University for the postmortem and that they were waiting for the autopsy report. more..

High-level Indian team to visit Lankaý

June 6 (EB) A high-level Indian team, comprising National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar is likely to be in Sri Lanka on June 16 and 17 to discuss a wide range of bilateral issues, an India High Commission official said. The Indian team will meet a three-member Sri Lankan team comprising Secretary to President, Lalith Weeratunga, Minister Basil Rajapaksa, and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

Undergrad held over alleged attempt to kill J’pura VC

June 6 (Island) The police on Friday (3) arrested a final year student of Sri Jayewardenepura University, following a complaint received from the Vice Chancellor of the University. Police identified the suspect as W.K. Lalith Prasanna, a JVPer, allegedly involved in subversive activities. The Vice Chancellor brought the undergraduate’s alleged subversive activities to the attention of the police, a charge strongly denied by the IUSF more..

Pak-Lankan relations to grow further: envoy

June 6 (TN) Sri Lankan High Commissioner Air Chief Marshal (R) Jayalath Weerakkody said on Saturday relations between his country and Pakistan were time-tested and would continue to grow. Addressing a function arranged in connection with students exchange programme at Modernage Public School and College, the Sri Lankan envoy said Sri Lanka and Pakistan continue to maintain strong, robust and reliable relations through increased interaction at the highest political level and more..

Govt. will get tough with conspirators

June 6 (DM) The govt yesterday blamed the leftist JVP of a conspiracy to topple the government and charged that it would not be reluctant to take legal action against those who engaged in such conspiracies. Issuing a statement the govt stated that “State Intelligence agencies were currently investigating after receiving information that thugs had been utilized during the last week’s Free Trade Zone (FTZ) protest to attack the police and create a violent situation.” more..

UNP accepts govt.’s challenge: Public protest on June 9

June 6 (Island) The UNP has accepted the govts challenge and is to hold a massive rally in Colombo on June 9, to demonstrate against attempts to ‘rob’ workers of their hard earned EPF, ETF savings and last Monday’s police attack on Katunayake EPZ workers that left one youth killed and 145 injured. MP Harin Fernando said that UPFA Galle District MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama had warned the UNP of serious repercussions if it attempted public protests, while more..

CWC wants daily wage of Rs. 500

June 6 (DM) Minister Arumugam Thondaman, the secretary of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), the main trade union representing the estate workers, announced over the weekend that the daily wage of plantation workers should be increased to Rs 500. Both the employers and the trade unions that were signatories to the collective agreement which determined the wages of estate workers were expected to finalise a new wage package early this week. more..

Ex-B’caloa jailbird recipient of Canada bound anti-SL propaganda material

June 6 (Island) The recent detection at the Colombo Port of a large consignment of a Canada-bound container containing anti-Sri Lanka propaganda material has revealed the alleged involvement of so-called War Victims and Human Rights (CHVHR), in the LTTE operations in Canada in spite of a ban. Anton Philip Sinnarasa (aka) Father Sinnarasa, one of those who escaped from the Batticaloa maximum security prison in the mid 1980s headed the CHVHR. more..

Gold medallist admits taking banned drugs

June 6 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Commonwealth gold medallist Chinthana Geethal Vidanage has admitted unknowingly taking a banned substance months before the Asian Games in China. He told Sandeshaya that the nutritional supplement he has taken was only added to the banned drugs list in 2010 by WADA. "I have never taken any medication from any suspicious people, I always go to the government hospital," more..

India pushes to speed up KKS port project

June 6 (DM) The government is to sign another MoU with India this week on the restoration of the Kankesanthurai Harbour. The date of the signing will be announced today or tomorrow. In the joint statement issued after bilateral talks on May 16, 2011, the government of India for its part has stressed the need to expedite work on projects to be funded, or being funded, by India in Sri Lanka. more..

SL Delegation at UN HRC directed to use ‘new ammo’

June 6 (Island) In spite of the US State Department declaration that a comment by US Defence Attaché Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith at a recently concluded military symposium in Colombo was his personal opinion, the government has directed the Sri Lankan delegation at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva to make use of his statement to counter adverse propaganda against the country. more..

JVP for new pension scheme

June 6 (DM) No one would object to a legitimate private sector pension if the suggestions of the trade unions and other relevant forces were taken into consideration when preparing it, the leftist JVP said. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that a new scheme if introduced should be a new one that would bring real benefits to the working class. “No one would refrain from supporting such a scheme,” he said. more..

Chinese state councilor meets PM

June 6 (Xinhua) Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo told Sri Lanka's Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne on Sunday that the two countries have bright prospects of practical cooperation. "Both China and Sri Lanka currently have the heavy task of development, and there are bright prospects for the two countries to enhance practical cooperation," Dai said in his meeting with Jayaratne in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province. more..

Hundreds turned away in ex-Tiger release

June 6 (BBC) Relatives of the former Tamil Tiger suspects have been crying in front of the Cultural Centre in Vavuniya as the authorities failed to release the number of detainees as promised. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and the Prison Reforms earlier announced that 900 ex-Tamil Tigers would be released after rehabilitation. But only 337 were handed over at a ceremony held in Vavuniya on Sunday. more..

Kokavil stands tall again; links N and S

June 6 (DM) The tallest transmission tower in South Asia would be commissioned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning in Kokavil, officials said. The self supported Kokavil Transmission Tower (KTT) at 174 meters uses digital technology and would resume transmission defence, telecommunication and TV relays to the entire Jaffna peninsula and the north from today, they said. more..

'No Chinese naval base in Sri Lanka'

June 7 (Hindu) Chinese National Defence Minister Liang Guanglie on Sunday dismissed out of court suggestions that Beijing was carving out “a permanent naval presence” in India's neighbourhood in South Asia. Answering questions at a plenary session of the 10th Asia Security Summit, organised here by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies , General Liang disclaimed moves to build naval bases at Gwadar in Pakistan and at a Sri Lankan port. more..

Ex CEB head clarifies ; new chairman appointed

June 7 (NN) The former chairman of the CEB Vidya Amarapala says he and the former CEB board resigned from their posts with effect from today in order to ensure the CEB continues to function smoothly following various allegations being raised by CEB trade unions. Amarapala said that by handing over their resignations the Power and Energy Minister was able to appoint a new board according to his will. Proferssor Wimaladharma Abeywickrama was appointed today as the new chairman more..

Sri Lanka Cricket faces finance crisis after World Cup

June 7 (BBC) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has sought financial help from the government and state banks. SLC treasurer Sujeewa Rajapakse told the BBC Sinhala service that the board has sought a grant from the two bodies. It comes after capital expenditure on the recent World Cup put the country's richest sports body in trouble. Mr Rajapakse, also treasurer for the World Cup secretariat, said that unlike India and Bangladesh, Sri Lanka had to work on its venues from scratch. more..

Sri Lanka and Goa link through intra-regional tourism

June 7 (TBA) Promoting intra-regional tourism between Goa and Sri Lanka through joint ventures will strengthen both Sri Lanka and Goa’s tourism industry according to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka. Speaking at the International Centre, New Delhi, The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Prasad Kariyawasam said that there is huge opportunity for promoting intra-regional tourism between Goa and Sri Lanka through joint ventures at governmental and private sector levels. more..

Central bank on sell side of peg

June 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank has been on the sell side of its dollar peg for two months in a row, selling more than 250 million US dollars to maintain the exchange rate, official data show. In May the Central Bank sold 130.15 million US dollars to forex markets on the back of 127.55 million a month earlier. In most years the Central Bank is a net buyer in April as export firms convert dollars to pay advances to workers and the state also prints money for the same purpose. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 06.06.2011

Reviving Sri Lanka's forests - the smart way

June 7 (OW) It’s afternoon and wisps of clouds have already enveloped the Sora Muni shrine that keeps watch over Sri Lanka’s Horton Plains massif. Here, Tamil workers of the Thotulagalla tea estate in Haputale offer a sacrificial goat to the deity following the annual pruning of tea bushes. It is ironic to see principles of analog forestry being piloted in a tea plantation. In its intent and design this silvicultural practice cocks a snook at the country’s monocultural more..

Epilogue: Sri Lanka six years after tsunami

June 7 (JS) The water kept rising. Eight feet, all the way to the ceiling. That's all Sudarshani can recall about the tsunami that destroyed her house. Saying anything else will bring back flashbacks. Nearly seven years after the waves came, the wounds still are fresh. She looks around her home, flat E-1 in a complex near where her old house stood. She's grateful for the people from across the world who donated money so she could live in a new place, she said through a translator last week. more..

Remove military from FTZ - trade unions

June 7 (BBC) Powerful trade unions in Sri Lanka are calling for the immediate removal of military from the Katunayaka Free Trade Zone (FTZ). Anton Marcus of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) also urged the government to withdraw plans to establish a High Security Zone (HSZ) in the FTZ. He told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya that security forces were deployed in FTZ after the police attack on the protesting workers on 30 May. more..

Ban Ki-moon to launch re-election campaign

June 7 (AFP) Ban Ki-moon's bid for a second term at the helm of the United Nations is expected to become official Monday when he formally announces his desire to stay on as secretary general, diplomats said. With no declared rival for the post and none of the five permanent members of the Security Council opposing Ban, the 66-year-old former South Korean foreign minister is certain to get a new five-year term, envoys said. His current mandate ends on December 31 but more..

Sri Lanka Insurance rating raised to 'AA(lka)' by Fitch

June 7 (LBO) Fitch Ratings Lanka has upgraded Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation's (SLIC) National Long-Term rating and National Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating to 'AA(lka)' from 'AA-(lka)' with stable outlooks. "The ratings reflect SLIC's improved risk-based capital position over the last two years, benefited by the improved operating and macro-economic environment as well as its improved profitability in 2010," the rating agency said. more..