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Sri Lanka in talks for a 30MW municipal waste plant

Mar 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state -run Ceylon Electricity Board is in talks with a private developer to buy power from a 30MegaWatt municipal waste burning plant, a government minister said. Sri Lanka's power regulator's latest tariffs offer 22.02 rupees a kilowatt for municipal waste plants under 10MegaWatts on a standard power purchase agreement. The plant would be near Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, power minister Patali Ranawaka said. more..

Sri Lanka gets two Ironman triathlons

Mar 11 (Examiner) The World Triathlon Corporation announced a new location for both their Ironman 70.3 series and the new 5150 seriesthat will debut this month with the Miami International Triathlon on the 20th. In a press release yesterday, the WTC announced Sri Lanka will be the newest location added to their growing list of international locales. The events will be run in the city of Colombo, more..

'Elect reps who will work for you to LG'

Mar 11 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has no right to talk about the democratic rights of voters and he must not try to incite them to violence as he has continuously refused to leave the party leadership despite heavy opposition by all party supporters for 15 years, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said that former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, who ruled his country for 31 years since 1981, left the country in disgrace after 15 days of popular revolt against him. more..

Prisons Minister stops release of 22 rapists

Mar 11 (DM) The Prisons Ministry informed the prisons minister that there were 22 rapists among the 45 prisoners selected for release on permits by the prison authorities. This matter surfaced when the subject minister, Chandrasiri Gajadeera, scrutinized the folders relating to the crimes committed by these prisoners before he approved the list for release. When the authorities became aware of this matter they promptly withheld the release of these 22 prisoners. more..

Boston Lanka News: March 10, 2011

Kidney ailment cause to be unearthed in June

Mar 11 (DN) The cause for chronic Kidney Disease due to Unknown Origin (CKDU) can be unravelled by June this year and the Sri Lankan Government needs to be congratulated for the steps that have been taken to manage CKDU, WHO Representative in Sri Lanka Dr F R Mehta said. Addressing a seminar on CKDU, Dr Mehta said that at present a comprehensive research by local and foreign institutions are being carried on to detect the reason / reasons behind CKDU. more..

Lanka’s exports to the region inadequate – Koshy Mathai

Mar 11 (DM) Sri Lanka’s export share to Asian giants such as China and India is far below expectations, IMF Resident Representative for Sri Lanka and Maldives Dr. Koshy Mathai, said. “SL should focus her attention on growing economies such as China and India, rather than entirely on the US or the European region. Dr. Mathai made these observations delivering the Memorial Oration of the late K. Sivagananathan, where he graced the occasion as chief guest. more..

Insider trading defense: It's just a bunch of lies

Mar 11 (Forture) Prosecutors have what appears to be a very strong case against Raj Rajaratnam, with taped conversations and dozens of cooperating witnesses. But the defense team is not going to go down easy. Raj Rajaratnam enters the courthouse earlier this week. In opening remarks Wednesday that ran over an hour and a half, defense attorney John Dowd began to dismantle what many assume to be the strongest evidence against his client, more..

Hilton Colombo owner demystifies Govt. takeover

Mar 11 (FT) Hotel Developers (Lanka) Plc (HDL) the owning company of Hilton Colombo yesterday demystified the sudden announcement of the Government takeover of the country’s premier five star. It said that the Hilton hotel stands on state land which was granted to the Urban Development Authority (UDA) by special grants dated on 21 October, 1981 and 12 December, 1979. The UDA leased a portion of the land to the Cornel and Company Ltd (CCL) in 1984 for a period of 99 years who more..

Dogs beaten to death at Galle Marina

Mar 11 (DM) Animal activists alleged yesterday that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) had been abusing and persecuting stray dogs inhabiting the Galle Marina last Friday. Animal activist, Shamini Rathnayake, was alerted on the issue after security guards at the marina was seen kicking and beating the dogs with iron bars and broomsticks, trying to chase them away, severely injuring them in the process. Ms. Rathnayake was given this account by two Britishers, more..

Kfir tragedy: Heart attack or plain mishap?

Mar 11 (LB) On the sunny Tuesday morning last week, military airport base at Katunayake was bustling with activitiy. Reason: The following day would mark the 60th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air force, the youngest arm of the Sri Lankan defence forces, which was founded as Royal Ceylon Air Force in 1951. A host of celebrations were on the cards to mark the occasion. One of the most sought after events was the ‘fly past’ in which the fleet of SLAF aircraft more..

Editorial: Cops, brats and thugs

Mar 11 (Island) Big match fever is running high. This is usually the month when some schoolboys bitten by the cricket bug become as mad as a March hare. They run around carrying flags and playing pranks of all sorts. Some of them even make bold to consume liquor and scale the perimeter walls of girls' schools in session and 'storm' classrooms. There's the rub! The police are reported to have set up special units to nab such unruly boys. more..

Imported maize for poultry farmers

Mar 11 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry has decided to import a certain percentage of maize and reduce the tax on it, Agriculture Ministry Additional Secretary Shantha Amitiyagoda said. This decision was taken at a meeting held under the patronage of Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abewardena recently. Poultry farmers, Animal Seed producers, Maize Production Societies, Maize Collectors and Government officials participated at the meeting, the Additional Secretary said. more..

India hands over new power sets for southern railway line

Mar 11 (DN) Govt deployed the first new power set imported from India under an Indian loan scheme to strengthen long distance travel on the coastal railway line from Colombo to Matara. This new power set designed for long distance service with all facilities will replace the Ruhunu Kumari train. Minister Kumara Welgama launching the new service from the Matara Railway station yesterday morning, said that three of the 20 new power sets ordered from India more..

Ex Jaffna Commander speaks out

Mar 11 (Island) A despicable LTTE decision to exterminate rival Tamil groups had the blessings of an influential section of the Tamil Diaspora and Indian officialdom, retired Brigadier Hugh Fred Rupesinghe says. Rupesinghe says during his tenure as the senior most officer in Jaffna in the 80s, he had offered protection to TELO leader Sri Sabaratnam at any Army camp in the peninsula, though the LTTE killed Sabaratnam along with several dozens of TELO cadres. more..

Lanka to restrict tourist arrivals on capacity constraints

Mar 11 (Island) Sri Lanka is planning to restrict the number of tourists arriving in to the country, officials said. This comes soon after the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) paid former English cricketer Tony Greig US$ 10,000 to be the tourism ambassador for six months. SLTDA, Chairman, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa told the Island Financial Review that the tourism ministry would endorse a restriction on the number of arrivals. more..

'Fertilizer subsidy to all farmers'

Mar 11 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that the Govt would take steps to provide subsidized fertilizer to all farmers. “At present the Govt provides subsidized fertilizer to paddy, rubber, coconut and tea growers. I have instructed officials to extend the facility to vegetable cultivators as well,” he said. He also noted that the Government would ensure that all farmers would be able to obtain subsidized fertilizer without any hassle. more..

UNPer’s application dismissed: SC upholds Appeal Court decision

Mar 11 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday refused an application filed by Lakshman Abeyguneratne of the UNP seeking leave to appeal against a Court of Appeal decision rejecting his Writ application. Abeyguneratne had filed a Writ Application, in the Court of Appeal, challenging the appointment of Kithsiri Fernando and Nimal R. Pieris to the Western Provincial Council. The petition had said that four UNP members of the Western Provincial Council, Rosie Senanayake, more..

Fishers released by Somali pirates due home

Mar 11 (Island) Ten Sri Lankan fishermen and two fishing craft captured by Somali pirates late last year and later released but found drifting by the Indian Coast Guard are expected to arrive at Talaimannar today. A spokesman for the Ministry of Fisheries said that 12 crew members on board Lakmini 3 and Lakmali had left the Beruwala Fisheries Harbour on Nov 2 and 20, respectively. He said that 10 members of the crew and two craft were later released by the Somali pirates. more..

Development Diaries

Bitter medicine for errant pharmacy owners

Mar 11 (Island) Legal action has been taken against several pharmacy owners involved in various malpractices. A spokesman for the Health Ministry said yesterday that the National Cosmetic Devices and Drug Authority had, during two days, conducted over 20 raids and nabbed a number of errant pharmacy owners. Quoting Authority chief Dr. Hemantha Benaragama, he said several pharmacies had been found selling drugs without prescriptions. more..

Galleon case strains old grad school friendship

Mar 11 (NYT) Raj Rajaratnam and Anil Kumar met 20 years ago at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, ambitious graduate students who had come to the United States for an elite business education. On Thursday, the two met again under very different circumstances. Mr. Kumar took the witness stand in federal court in Lower Manhattan on the third day of the trial of Mr. Rajaratnam, the central figure in in the government’s vast investigation into insider trading at hedge funds. more..

Nandimithra manhandled at rally

Mar 11 (DM) Deputy Higher Education Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake was manhandled yesterday by some supporters of his party at a rally in the village called ‘Madawala Ulpatha’ in the Matale electorate. After the incident, the deputy minister said that he had faced this unexpected incident while he was addressing the rally attended by MP Namal Rajapaksa. “All the attackers were members of our party. All were drunk. more..

Sri Lanka Hilton building eyed by Indian firm: report

Mar 11 (LBO) An Indian firm in leisure and gaming has had talks in Sri Lanka over a state-run firm that owns a building in which Colombo's Hilton hotel is located, a media report said. Sri Lanka's Ravaya newspaper said that at least two senior officials of India's Deltacorp had met Sri Lankan investment promotion and finance ministry officials over a possible purchase of the hotel property. more..

Sri Lanka receive Japanese grant for community development

Mar 11 (LBO) The Japanese government handed over an 18 million rupee grant to two community development organizations for development projects in Sri Lanka's Ratnapura and Trincomalee districts. The Association of Social Activities Development Sri Lanka (ASAD) was the recipient of a 10 million rupee grant for a conflict affected community development project in the islands eastern Trincomalee district. more..

'I am Sri Lanka in front but casino is open 24 hours in the rear'

Mar 11 (LT) “The government that promotes slogan ‘Mathata Thitha’ (Halt to intoxication) has in its national directory ‘I am Sri Lanka’ on the front page but a casino advertisement ‘Open twenty four hours’ on the last page,” said JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi addressing an election rally. Displaying a directory the JVP MP said the government and the President always deceive masses. more..

'We will never allow our land to be used against India'

Mar 11 (SI) The relationship between India and Sri Lanka appears to fluctuate depending on the political climate in the respective countries. With the Tamil Nadu elections drawing close and the fishermen issue on the boil, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to New Delhi Prasad Kariyawasam tries to clear the mist in an interaction. Q: It's been one and a half years since the conflict ended in Sri Lanka. How different has this period been? more..

SL can compete without GSP+ says Cabraal

Mar 11 (DM) Sri Lanka had shown that it was capable of competing in the international market despite the withdrawal of the GSP concession granted by the European Union, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said in Brussels on Tuesday. “Sri Lankan products no longer needed concessions to compete in the international market, and was fully capable of doing so on the basis of its quality and improved productivity,” more..

Dispute over Anura’s property

Mar 11 (DM) The dispute over Anura Bandaranaike’s last will took another turn when one of the claimants filed an appeal challenging the District Court decision to inquire into whether the late Mr. Bandaranaike had given a part of his property to four friends and close aides. The appeal filed in the Provincial (Civil Appellate) High Court sought an order that it was Mr. Bandaranaike’s sister Sunethra who should prove whether more..

Vote for creating law abiding society – UNP

Mar 11 (Island) The forthcoming Local Government Election would be a good opportunity for the people to vote according to their conscience and ensure the creation of a disciplined, law abiding and contended society, the UNP said yesterday. UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya, addressing a news conference in Colombo, said that the masses should listen to their inner voice before they cast their precious vote on March 17. more..

Such reference is unfortunate: Delhi

Mar 11 (Hindu) India on Thursday “categorically denied” allegations of hosting Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) training camps in Tamil Nadu. “Such reference [Sri Lankan Prime Minister's statement in Parliament] is indeed unfortunate and we urge the Government of Sri Lanka to desist from reacting to speculative and uncorroborated reports,” Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Vishnu Prakash told mediapersons here. more..

Massive 8.9-magnitude quake hits Japan

Mar 11 (CNN) An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan on Friday, triggering tsunamis and sending a massive wave filled with debris that included boats and houses inching toward land. The number of fatalities was unclear, but Japan's Kyodo news reported at least 10 killed and numerous injured. The quake prompted at least 19 countries and numerous Pacific islands to issue tsunami warnings. more..

Dope rumours an attempt to distract my game: Dilshan

Mar 12 (BBC) It is not the first time these kind of allegations have surfaced - they have done so after every recent tournament I have played in. I feel like there is an attempt to distract my game but I am not worried. I try to ignore the reports and concentrate on my game instead. What actually happened is the International Cricket Council randomly selected Ajantha Mendis and Chamara Silva to give blood samples after our game against Australia. more..

Puttalam bus strike

Mar 12 (NN) Private buses operating along the Puttalam–Colombo passenger bus route launched a strike this morning. The strike was launched over an alleged attack on a driver of a passenger bus operating along the route, private bus operators said. They claim that a driver operating a private bus on the Vavuniya-Colombo route had assaulted the driver of a Puttalam–Colombo private bus last night. The driver has been hospitalized and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 11.03.2011

Does cash for work - work?

Mar 12 (IRIN) As the Sri Lankan government launches a cash-for-work programme in areas hit by recent flooding, following similar schemes in the former conflict areas in the north, experts warn of potential pitfalls of such schemes. The new programme will be operating in 12 northern and eastern districts devastated by flooding in January and February, which affected more than two million and displaced close to 700,000, according to the government. more..

Cricket nudges up Sri Lanka Feb tourist arrivals

Mar 12 (Reuters) Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka rose 14.8 percent in February compared to a year earlier, tourism board data showed on Friday, boosted by spectators to the cricket World Cup which the country is co-hosting. Numbers of visitors in the first two months of 2011 rose 29.6 percent as the Indian Ocean island's tourism industry continued a revival that began following the end of a 25-year civil war in May 2009. more..

Sri Lanka PM retracts India rebel training camp claim

Mar 12 (BBC) Sri Lanka's prime minister has retracted his suggestion that Tamil Tiger rebels were being revived in camps in southern India. DM Jayaratne acknowledged his mistake by telling Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror newspaper that his allegation was based on incorrect infomation. Mr Jayaratne's speech to parliament on Wednesday drew a sharp response from the Indian government. He said rebel fighters were being trained to launch terror attacks. more..

WC 2011: West Indies beat Ireland by 44 runs

Mar 12 (CI) West Indies opener Devon Smith made a maiden century but his effort was overshadowed by Kieron Pollard, who bludgeoned a limited Ireland attack all around Mohali to muscle his side to a tall total. Pollard's effort helped to quell the criticism over his lack of performances at the international level, and gave West Indies their third win in four matches, putting them in prime position for a quarter-final spot. more..

Floods destroy over a third of rice harvest

Mar 12 (IRIN) Sri Lanka will lose over one million tons from its upcoming paddy harvest due to recent flooding, officials say. “We expected a yield of around 2.75 million metric tons from the harvest due in March to April,” Kulugammanne Karunathileke, secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, told IRIN. “After the heavy rains we will only get around 1.75 million.” Karunathileke said the country had expected a bumper crop - until flooding, which began in January, more..