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Sri Lanka invites Czech

Mar 29 (NN) Sri Lanka has invited the Czech Republic to take part in the extensive process of reconstruction and infrastructure development now taking place in the country. Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris extended the invite after signing and Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement with the Minister of Finance of the Czech Republic Miroslav Kalousek in Prague. The agreement provides for full protection of foreign investment, more..

UNP postpones appointment of national organiser

Mar 29 (DM) The UNP Working Committee yesterday deferred the appointment of party’s National Organizer on the basis that it should be done in consultation with everyone concerned for the unity of the party. Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at the meeting said that all the other posts had been appointed with the consensus of all concerned, and that unity should be maintained in making appointments to the remaining posts as well. more..

Indian drug suppliers to be blacklisted

Mar 29 (DM) Nearly a dozen Indian drug suppliers may be blacklisted if they are found to have failed to supply drugs on time, or for having supplied sub-standard drugs leading to the present drug shortage especially at government hospitals. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has asked Health Services Director General Dr. Ajith Mendis to prevent a further drug shortage by purchasing essential drugs from more..

Sri Lanka restrict New Zealand to 217

Mar 29 (CI) Scott Styris ground out a responsible 57 from 76 balls on a worn wicket at the Premadasa Stadium, to provide the bed-rock of New Zealand's total of 217 in the first semi-final against Sri Lanka in Colombo. But when he was extracted lbw by the final delivery that Muttiah Muralitharan will ever bowl on home soil, Sri Lanka closed in to claim 4 for 4 from the final 12 balls of the innings to put themselves within touching distance of more..

Sri Lanka per capita income on the rise

Mar 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's per-capita income at market prices was estimated at 271, 259 rupees or 2,399 US dollars in 2010, up 14.7 percent in rupee terms or 16.6 percent in dollar terms from 2009, the government said. The Department of Census & Statistics (DCS) said in a statement Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) at current prices rose to an estimated 3,684.7 billion rupees in 2010 from 3,116.2 billion rupees in 2009. more..

North was deprived for 30 years - Sangakkara

Mar 30 (BBC) People of the north have been deprived for thirty years of everything that is taken for granted in Colombo, Captain of Sri Lankan cricket team Kumar Sangakkara told the media. One of England’s all-time cricketing greats, Sir Ian Botham, described post-war northern Sri Lanka as a scene of devastation after paying his first visit to the region. But Sangakkara and Botham also spoke of their hope that the north could be redeveloped as prominent cricketers launched a more..

Railway men resort to trade union action

Mar 30 (NN) The police were called in to control a tense situation which developed at the Fort railway station this evening as irate passengers began to attack parked trains. Passengers who were returning home after work were angry over the strike launched by station masters and train guards which resulted in train services being disrupted. The Fort police said that the situation was brought under control after a police team was deployed to more..

Korean visa eased

Mar 30 (NN) The Korean Justice Ministry will ease visa regulations for South Asian visitors including those from Sri Lanka, the Korea Herald reported. Under regulations to come into effect next week, nationals from 11 major South Asian countries will be issued a double-entry visa, which allows them to freely revisit Korea within six months, in between or after transits to other countries. The beneficiary states include India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Vietnam, more..

Probe on dealers

Mar 30 (NN) The National Gem and Jewelry Authority has launched a probe on gem merchants in Sri Lanka after tourists had complained that some merchants were selling gem stones well above the market prices. Deputy General Manager of the National Gem and Jewelry Authority Ajith Perera said that some tourists had lodged complaints over the fraud with embassies in their respective countries. Perera said that as a result of the complaints a comprehensive investigation has more..

Sri Lanka survive jitters to reach World Cup final

Mar 30 (CI) Sri Lanka overcame a serious bout of the jitters to book their place in Saturday's World Cup final in Mumbai, as New Zealand bowed out in the last four for the sixth time in ten campaigns, though with their pride fully intact after another fabulous never-say-die performance in Colombo. In a strange amalgam of the one-sided thrashing that Sri Lanka handed out to England in their quarter-final on Saturday, and more..

UNP trapped in an elephantine vicious cycle of defeatism

Mar 30 (LG) Political parties contest elections seeking power. In defeat, they adjust and readjust themselves to prepare for the next election. This process of adjustment and readjustment entails changing the focus of their programme, organisational design and the modalities of taking on the ruling party. Hence, as a necessary corollary, changing the leadership would become imperative. In this sense, an electoral defeat is not in itself a bad thing for more..

Govt reassurance regarding NGO probe

Mar 30 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa appeared to take a reassuring stance towards non-governmental organisations when he addressed editors of media organizations. The President said that the ongoing probe by the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Sri Lanka Police had nothing to do with politics or with suppression of dissenting views. On the contrary, he had said that the government had a right to ascertain how funds received from foreign countries by some NGOs had more..

New Engineering Faculty for Jaffna: Reverse the brain drain

Mar 30 (SO) Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole was recently appointed as the Coordinator for the University of Jaffna’s Engineering Faculty by the UGC. Prof. Hoole who had to leave the country due to the threats he received from the LTTE is now back in Jaffna with the intention of establishing an Engineering Faculty for the University of Jaffna. Professor Hoole shares his views with the Sunday Observer in establishing an Engineering Faculty in Jaffna. more..

LLRC report will be buried without final rites

Mar 30 (LG) There are journalists who take a stand and there are those who sit on the fence not wanting controversy. I still recall these words of the late veteran journalist Ajith Samaranayake who belonged to that rare calibre of independent and honest Sri Lankan journalists. Then there is yet another breed who profess to being journalists when in fact they have obtained a doctorate in social sciences (the last refuge of those who failed to get a degree in more..

Which side are you on Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala?

Mar 30 (LG) I respond to the article ‘Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka’ in Sri Lanka Guardian of 27 March. The article was forwarded to me by Jaya BT E-Mail under the subject matter ‘We need more forums like the 'Friday Forum' to promote democracy, social justice and pluralism in Sri Lanka’. Dr. Dhanapala says in relation to the Friday Forum ‘The Friday Forum is an informal gathering of public spirited persons who are dedicated to promoting peace and development in more..

'Honest and dedicated members will head LG bodies'

Mar 30 (SO) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said that on the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa a decision has been taken by the Govt to appoint only honest and dedicated members as chairmen and deputy chairmen to all UPFA controlled Local Govt institutions. The Premier said if any UPFA Council member has committed an act of corruption or wrongdoing, he will not be given the chairmanship even though he had obtained the highest number of preferential votes. more..

The politics of domestic and international accountability options in Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (TC) The International Crisis Group, like others concerned with a sustainable and just peace in Sri Lanka, has been calling for the establishment of an independent and international commission to look into the many credible and well-documented allegations of war crimes in the final months of Sri Lanka’s long civil war. A serious and independent accountability mechanism is needed, first of all, as a matter of principle. The violations of international more..

Should SL ask China to respect reincarnation of Panchen Lamas?

Mar 30 (DM) When Sri Lanka is gearing up to commemorate the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi to mark the 2600th year following the enlightenment of Lord Buddha, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama popularly recognized as the ‘living Buddha’ has decided to go on retirement on the 10th of March 2011. Nevertheless , Jiang Yu , the spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, regarding Dalai Lama‘s retirement had declared thus: ‘Dalai Lama has often talked about more..

Sajith Premadasa ‘selfless hero’ she says

Mar 30 (LB) UNP RMP Thalatha Athukorala dismissed suggestions that the party’s leadership aspirant and Hambantota district MP Sajith Premadasa had settled for a deputy leader’s post due to his inability to oust the UNP leader. She insisted that Sajith Premadasa had accepted the position to prevent the main opposition political party from being divided and not due to any lack of ability to oust the incumbent UNP leader at this juncture. more..

Editorial: A damning indictment

Mar 30 (Island) The on-going battle between the Ministry of Power and Energy and the Ministry of Petroleum Industries––which led to the suspension by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) of the supply of furnace oil to the Kerawalapitya thermal plant on the grounds of unpaid bills––has taken a dramatic turn. The Ministry of Power and Energy has accused a high ranking CPC official of having deliberately crippled that power plant causing a loss of Rs. 100 mn in just ten days more..

Editorial: Overdose of drugs makes Sri Lanka sick

Mar 30 (DM) With the people-power revolutions spreading in the Middle East, the price of fuel is soaring and a fuel price increase in Sri Lanka is likely after the National New Year. With this fuel price increase the cost of living crisis is likely to burn more fiercely and millions will find it more difficult to keep their home fires burning. World fuel prices are largely beyond Sri Lanka’s control, but there are other important areas where the government could act more..

From LPs to cassettes: A trail of music

Mar 30 (SO) A sprawling area of land of about fifteen acres, half a kilometre from the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata where screaming and weeping were its identity during the British period in India is now a prime spot in delivering the joy and happiness of the Indian music heritage to the rest of the world. A pretty, browny, tiny dog lending its ear before a trumpet, who had won the heart of millions and more..

HRW picks the Ostrich Option

Mar 30 (NS) The US-led air strikes in Libya may have boosted President Barack Obama’s stature in the eyes of belligerent, war-like, liking-war, profiting-from-war Americans of his country. They might even please the wide-eyed, partially-informed sections of the general public that don’t have the intelligence or the necessary information to ask ‘Why Libya but not Bahrain or Saudi Arabia?’ To all these I would say ‘expected, expected’. Then there are others who would ask if more..

If the opposition wants to pull it off next time…

Mar 30 (SL) Despite all the rhetoric, all arguments, in this LG election too, the people were left with a defeated Opposition. Excuses blurted by the Opposition this time too, are no different to those in the past. It is time to drop all excuses and begin a new discourse, that would not end up as in the past with the same stupid mistakes. This umpteenth defeat should at least play catalyst for a discourse to focus on how the future should be. This therefore is an opening draft for such dialogue. more..

‘Most motorists are know to bribe Police'

Mar 30 (LB) The police recently decided to levy a fine of Rs 5000 from those who park vehicles on pavements and over designated crossings. The decision is in keeping with the Road Act No.40 of 2008 that deems such parking as being illegal, and imposes a fine of Rs 5000 for first time offenders. The fine is enhanced to Rs50000 when the offence in committed for the second time. This gives rise to the question whether the revenue collected through more..

Investing in social infrastructure: Education and technical skills

Mar 30 (ST) A country’s economic development is closely related to the levels of achievement in education, technology and skills. In as much as economic infrastructure has an important role in economic development, the improvement of social infrastructure is vital for economic progress. This is much less appreciated than the importance of economic infrastructure discussed last week. The other constituent of social infrastructure is health. more..

SUROL throws a lifeline to victims of Leprosy

Mar 30 (ST) The hands and feet are clawed. Sometimes fingers and toes have been amputated, but the spirit is strong. Aiyo Thaththa ne neda, cries a woman with her face crumpling up for a moment, as she hobbles up to us, but gives a toothless smile and says, Eth putha innawane, and asks for a few rupees to eat hoppers. Yes, the nurturer is no more, but the succour and support extended by his organization live on – this is what is evident when the Sunday Times visits not only more..

Tragedy in Maryland, USA

Emotions run high in tight game

Mar 30 (CI) Sport can be cruel, sport can bring immense boundless joy. Sometimes it can do both at the same time. Tonight was a night when sport hurt and uplifted in equal measure. As Thilan Samaraweera's outside edge bisected the wicketkeeper and slip to win Sri Lanka the semi-final, the whole New Zealand team sank to their knees; something just left them, the spirit that had kept them alive when they had no business being alive had now gone. more..

'The goal is to construct a million houses within six years'

Mar 30 (NF) The goal to construct a million houses within six years, will be achieved, says minister Wimal Weerawansa. He made this statement while launching the construction of the “Haritha Purawara,” Sri Lanka's first Condominium village. 830 houses are to be constructed at this village located in Vavulugala in Horana, under the supervision of the Condominium Management Authority. A house within this village which spans over a 19 acre plot of land, is valued at Rs. 985,000. more..

Chandrika attends international education conference

Mar 30 (Gulf) Education leaders on Tuesday highlighted the need to use technology in the education system in order to raise the standards of schools in rural areas of developing countries. "The problem is that we set the target for a classroom but we do not think about how they benefit from being there. On an international level, you should not use traditional [teaching] ways in a classroom because in developed worlds, more..

Sirisena settles KTH Thalassemia drug issue

Mar 30 (Island) The drug issue, that plagued patients at the Thalassemia Unit of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, was settled during a visit by Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The Health Ministry spokesman said that parents with Thalassemic children had complained of allergic reactions in their children to the drug ‘Talifer’ which is being administered to them at present. Over two years ago the Ministry switched from administering Desferrioxamine to Talifer, more..

Sri Lanka ministry glut worsens transport gridlock

Mar 30 (LBO) A surfeit of ministries handling transport in Sri Lanka has turned the sector into a "nightmare" with fragmented responsibilities preventing urgently needed reforms to modernise a long-neglected system, an expert said. A "lead agency" is required to provide proper guidance to develop the island's transport system, said Amal Kumarage, chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. The transport administration structure in Sri Lanka is more..

India, Lanka agree on road map on fishing

Mar 30 (NN) India and Sri Lanka have agreed that a road map needs to be put in place to ensure resource sustainability, livelihood, safety and security of the fishermen of both countries. Fishermen from both countries have also stressed on the need for all fishermen to be treated in a humane manner and that their issues should be prioritized. The agreement was reached following the 3rd Meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on more..

Number of Lankans seeking asylum drops

Mar 30 (Island) With the end of the war the number of Sri Lankans seeking asylum in the industrialized world has seen a considerable drop though the country still remains in the top 10 source countries. A report by the UNHCR released yesterday saw less Sri Lankans seeking asylum in Australia and Europe last year as compared to a year earlier. The number of Sri Lankans arriving in Australia has fallen as a result of improvements in circumstances in northern Sri Lanka and more..

'Mews Street residents will get houses'

Mar 30 (DM) The Attorney General on Monday (28) informed the Supreme Court that houses are being constructed to be given to the aggrieved residents/owners of the Mews Street Houses in Slave Island , which had been demolished by the Urban Development Authority (UDA). Counsel J. C. Weliamuna appearing for the aggrieved petitioners making his submission before the Bench comprising Justices N. G. Amaratunga, S. I. Imam and Suresh Chandra pleaded that in addition to the houses, more..

Pakistan arrests six more in Sri Lanka team attack

Mar 30 (AFP) Pakistani police said Tuesday they had arrested another six alleged plotters over the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team that cost the country its World Cup hosting rights. Six policemen and two civilians were killed and seven Sri Lankan players injured when militants launched a gun and grenade assault on the team as they travelled to a match in the eastern city on March 3, 2009. The latest arrests were made in different swoops in more..

Malinga's magic and Ryder's Leverock moment

Mar 30 (CI) Lasith Malinga was always going to target the toes of the New Zealand batsmen and the delivery he got Martin Guptill out on was the most attractive yorker of the lot. It was a perfect inswinging ball that would have taken exemplary defence and the ability to the bat down at just the right moment to keep out. Guptill didn't time it badly, but he didn't time it perfectly and that was what made the difference. He was properly corked, the stumps were out of the ground and more..

Sri Lanka, India central banks facing common challenges: RBI Governor

Mar 30 (LBO) Central banks in Sri Lanka and India are facing common challenges and are also saddled with responsibilities going beyond keeping prices and the economy stable, Reserve Bank of India governor Duvvuri Subbarao said. "Both of us have a wider mandate than is typical of central banks," Subbarao said delivering an oration at Sri Lanka's central bank in the capital Colombo. "In addition to maintaining price stability and macroeconomic stability, we both have more..

Murali's fitting run across the home stretch

Mar 30 (CI) "It would have been incredibly contrived had it not been for real," this reporter wrote on July 22, 2010, just having watched Muttiah Muralitharan end his Test career with a wicket off the last ball, No. 800, also the last wicket in the match. At 792 wickets, Murali had announced the Galle Test would be his last. If 800 happened it would be good; if 800 didn't happen, so be it. How could 800 not happen? more..