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Raids on errant pharmacies to be intensified

Mar 3 (DM) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday instructed officials to conduct raids on pharmacies and cosmetic outlets as the complaints from public about irregularities at these trading places were on the rise, a spokesman of the ministry said. Ministry spokesman W.M.D. Wanninayaka said that there had been many complaints on things as selling techniques, storage and dispensing of sub-standard drugs, medical equipment and cosmetics that were coming in every day. more..

Unconditional apology from ITN - SLC

Mar 3 (BBC) A state-run television station has made an “unconditional apology” to national cricket team, says the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). DS de Silva told BBC Sandeshaya that, therefore, the SLC will not take legal action against the ITN channel, which implied Sri Lankan players guilty of match fixing when they play Pakistan on Saturday. “We believe this is an attempt to demoralise our team,” he said. more..

Dambulla EC’s new manager assaulted

Mar 3 (Island) Lasantha Sanjeewa, who was appointed senior manager at the Dambulla Economic Centre by Minister of Cooperative and Internal Trade Johnston Fernnado, to put an end to all illegal activities there, was set upon by a gang on Tuesday. According to sources Sanjeewa was admitted to the Dambulla Hospital with injuries sustained in this attack, but has since been discharged after treatment. The attack had been instigated by an official allegedly responsible for more..

Nearly 1,000 families left to be resettled in EP

Mar 3 (Island) Resettlement in the Eastern province is nearing completion. But, nearly one thousand families are still waiting to be resettled in the Trincomalee district, an official from the Ministry of Resettlement said. "Though alternative lands have been proposed for those families, they prefer to be resettled in their original lands, which are still under mine clearance," Secretary to the Ministry of Resettlement B.M.U.D. Basnayake said. more..

New perfume ad law

Mar 3 (NN) There are moves to introduce new regulations where it becomes mandatory to seek prior approval from the authorities for importers and distributors of cosmetics and perfumes to advertise their products. Director of the CDDA Dr. Hemantha Benaragama said that prior approval had to be sought from the CDDA to advertise the cosmetic product and perfume and only if it matched the required quality, would permission be granted to advertise the product. more..

Rains, again

Mar 3 (DM) Spill gates of several tanks in the East and the North Central province had been opened again after showers that lashed just weeks after the torrential rains caused havoc affecting more than one million people. The Department of Irrigation took steps to open four spill gates of Kantale Tank in the East. The capacity of the tank had increased up to 114,000 acre feet from the regular capacity of 113,000 acre feet. It was reported that 200 cubic feet of water was being let out per second. more..

Pregnant after rape in Kuwait

Mar 3 (NN) A Sri Lankan maid who returned to the country from Kuwait last September is now pregnant after allegedly being raped by the driver of her employer. The lady, whose identity is being withheld as she is a rape victim, is a resident of Rajanganaya, Galgamuwa and went to Kuwait last April as a maid. However the 27 year old lady returned to the country in September and lodged a complaint with the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau alleging she was raped. more..

UNWTO confab on March 26 in Colombo

Mar 3 (DN) Sri Lanka Tourism will host the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference from March 24 to 26 in Colombo. Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene addressing the media-briefing held in Colombo on Tuesday said that the month of March in the Sri Lankan Tourism calender has been allocated to promote MICE activities that stand for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions. more..

Antiquity of Jaffna city goes back to Roman times

Mar 3 (TN) Pottery associated with Roman times of the early historic period were found in the premises of the King’s House in Jaffna fort by archaeologists of the University of Jaffna led by Prof P. Pushparatnam. The team took over digging after getting information on pottery finds when a pit was dug for toilet purposes in the King’s House premises. The disturbed rubble layer at the top had a variety of pottery of various periods, including Rouletted Ware and Amphora Ware more..

Occupying military orders VVT people to register

Mar 3 (TN) In a draconian order, the SL military occupying the country of Eezham Tamils has asked the people of Valveddiththu’rai, a densely populated town in the northern coast of Jaffna, to register themselves with the military, along with family photos, before 10:00 a.m. Wednesday. The shocked Eezham Tamils wonder whether their country is fast turning into an open concentration camp for them. The order comes even as there is a case against such registrations filed by more..

Air Force 60th anniversary celebrations commence on a grand scale at Ratmalana

Mar 3 (MoD) Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) commenced its anniversary celebrations today (March 02) at its Ratmalana Air Base with Commander-in-Chief, President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest. The hard-fought victory achieved by the forces including the SLAF would not be sold out, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said while addressing the opening of the week long celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the SLAF. more..

Malinga's searing straight yorkers remind Waqar of his hey days

Mar 3 (TOI) There are two things that you don't want to be when Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga starts his run to hurl the ball at you. One is the batsman, the other is a stump. He can cause serious damage to both like he did on Tuesday, during his devastating spell of 6 for 38 against Kenya, which included his second World Cup hat-trick at the R Premadasa Stadium. However, he felt that his previous hat-trick against South Africa at Guyana's Providence Stadium was better as more..

UFOs...The truth is up there

Mar 3 (Express) Floating mysteriously between the clouds, this orange-coloured disc sparked fears of extra-terrestrial activity. The bizarre, fluorescent “doughnut” was spotted, photographed and reported to the Ministry of Defence by a retired RAF officer. Although the UFO investigators declined to launch an inquiry – because the sighting was in Sri Lanka – they filed it away with other British “X-files”. Details were published online yesterday in more..

BOI restructuring in chaos as politico moves in

Mar 3 (Island) A restructuring plan for the crisis-ridden BOI has run into trouble with a govt minister taking over BOI-owned 27th floor of the West Tower of the World Trade Centre, in spite of strong objections by a section of the workers. Deputy Minister Muththu Sivalingam moved in soon after the BOI vacated the floor amidst protests by some workers. Under a restructuring plan worked out by a British consult at a heavy cost to the Sri Lankan taxpayer, more..

Intrigue over pitch for Sri Lanka clash

Mar 3 (NS) Intrigue surrounds how the Colombo pitch will play for Australia's World Cup blockbuster against Sri Lanka on Saturday. The Trevor Bayliss-coached Lankans recovered from their 11-run loss to Pakistan last weekend with a nine-wicket win over Kenya on Tuesday, paceman Lasith Malinga grabbing 6-38 including a hat-trick. Australia leg-spinner Steve Smith says he expects the home side to ask for a spin-friendly deck at Pramadasa stadium on Saturday, more..

Five member Air Force team began investigations on Kfir jet crash

Mar 3 (GR) A five member team led by Air Vice Marshal Kapila Jayamapathi is investigating in to the Kfir Jet crash which occurred yesterday in mid air of Warana area according to the Air Force sources.Air Force has also decided to grounded the Kfir Jets till the ongoing investigations on Jet Crash concluded. According to the Sri Lankan Air Force the decision behind the grounding of Kfir Jets till the Investigations concludes is to evaluate the technical records of the Jets. more..

Govt land to foreigners in keeping with JRJ policy – JVP

Mar 3 (Island) The JVP yesterday alleged that the government is going to sell the high valued lands in the Colombo city and suburb to foreign companies on the pretest of promoting tourism. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said that the as the government was planning to hand over land along the D. R. Wijewardena Mawatha from Lake House to the Gamini Hall Junction to foreigners for set up tourism sites. more..

Sabaragamuwa Uni closed indefinitely

Mar 3 (DM) The Sabaragamuwa University has been closed indefinitely from 9am today, Vice Chancellor of the Sabaragamuwa University, Prof. Mahinda S. Rupasinghe said. He added that the students were not attending lectures since 23rd of February calling for the reinstatement of 58 students who were expelled due to ragging newcomers. All students have been informed to vacate the University hostels by today, Prof. Rupasinghe said. more..

Govt. exposed trying to unwind ‘Vimasuma’ muddle

Mar 3 (LT) The President of Sri Lanka Cricket D.S. de Silva has stated that ITN has ‘unconditionally apologized’ to Sri Lanka vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene and Tilan Samaraweera for telecasting a programme suggesting that they played badly for financial gain in Saturday's Cricket World Cup defeat by Pakistan. As such Sri Lanka Cricket will not take legal action against the ITN channel said Mr. D.S. de Silva. However, the programme was an attempt to demoralize more..

Govt shifts focus to displaced Muslims

Mar 3 (IRIN) The government of Sri Lanka has renewed its pledge to resettle Muslims evicted more than two decades ago from the war-affected north. In 1990, during their struggle for increased autonomy, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels forced out the entire Muslim population, estimated to be at least 70,000, from northern Sri Lanka, suspecting them of collaborating with government intelligence services. more..

President lashes out at those who opposed military parades to mark war victory over LTTE

Mar 3 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday assured that the SLAF would be given new assets and an opportunity to engage in research and development in spite of the conclusion of the war in May 2009. Addressing a gathering at the Ratmalana air base, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the force, President Rajapaksa emphasised that the SLAF would not revert to its pre-1983 ceremonial role as more..

TNA unhappy over govt. deferral of meeting

Mar 3 (DM) The last minute postponement of the scheduled meeting between the TNA and the Govt on Monday, by the govt has caused much concern within the main Tamil political party which would lead to create more mistrust, a senior TNA member said yesterday. A delegation of the party was to meet a govt team headed by Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka on Monday to discuss what he called 'power devolution and political settlement to the ethnic issue'. more..

Kfir pilot promoted

Mar 3 (NN) Flight Lieutenant Monath Perera has been posthumously promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader with effect from today, Air Force Spokesperson Wing Commander Andy Wijesooriya told News a short while ago. Flight Lieutenant Perera was killed on Monday following a mid air collision between two kfir jets. A post mortem conducted yesterday revealed that he had suffered a heart-attack which resulted in his death. more..

'UNP supported war'

Mar 3 (NN) The UNP says it was supportive of the war and the defeat of the LTTE and had no objections to billions of rupees being spent by the government to purchase weapons from overseas in order to eradicate terrorism. Speaking at a rally in Galgamuwa today, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa however said that while being supportive of the war against the LTTE there were questions being raised as to why the government was not more..

'LLRC’s credibility rests on establishing Witness Protection Act'

Mar 3 (Island) Important information that would have been placed before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was not forthcoming, because there was no Witness Protection Act, the UNP said yesterday. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told The Island that the LLRC proceedings could gain credence, only if witnesses were able to testify without fear. There were many people who would willingly come forward and more..

Govt. says Anti-SL lobby poses threat to post-war recovery

Mar 3 (Island) The SLFP on Tuesday alleged that in spite of the LTTE’s defeat in May 2009, those promoting separatist sentiments hadn’t given up their operations. The dominant partner of the UPFA government accused an influential section of the Opposition of still pursuing the eelam project. Minister Dallas Allahhaperuma said that anti-Sri Lanka elements, here and abroad, couldn’t bear Sri Lanka’s military triumph over the LTTE. more..

Kfirs grounded, miss flypast

Mar 3 (Island) Tuesday’s tragedy involving two Kfirs, which caused the death of one pilot, Flight Lt. Monath Perera (29), forced SLAF headquarters to ground the celebrated No 10 Squadron, thereby denying the formation an opportunity to join yesterday’s fly past over the Ratmalana air base. The Kfir aircraft will remain grounded pending an investigation. The SLAF said that preliminary investigation had revealed the wings of the two Kfirs aircraft more..

Govt. plans Rs.10 b veggie project

Mar 3 (DM) The accelerated national food production drive ‘Divi Neguma’ carried out at a cost of Rs. 10 billion with the participation of one million families would be launched on March 12, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday. Each family will be paid Rs. 10,000 to purchase materials and other necessary items for their home gardens with the aim to produce at least 300 kilograms of vegetables, fruits and green leaves more..

US call upon accounatbility mechanism on alleged war crimes in SL

Mar 3 (AD) The United States Senate passed a resolution which calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka, the international community, and the UN to establish an independent international accountability mechanism to look into alleged war crimes. The resolution was presented by Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania and passed unanimously by the Senate. The presented resolution reads as follows; more..

Sri Lanka vacant apartments can be used for tourism: official

Mar 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist development office says owners of vacant apartments in Colombo will be given a chance to use them for tourism in a bid to expand room capacity in the capital amid a steep increase in tourist arrivals. Sri Lanka tourist development authority chairman Nalaka Godahewa said about 500 rooms can be added quickly in the city by making use of vacant apartments many of whose owners reside abroad. "An apartment owner who can meet the requirements for more..

Attempt by President to re-open Galle – Matara ‘speedway’ already declared open by Minister

Mar 4 (LT) The Galle – Matara speedway was declared open spending a large sum of money by government ministers including the Minister Kumara Welgama on 16th February. However, there is another attempt to open this rail line on the 12th by the President say Railway officials at Matara. They say they had received instructions to reduce the number of trains plying from Galle to Matara from 10 before the opening of the rail line on the 16th to 3 a day more..

Sri Lanka using fines to beat dengue amid rising climate risk

Mar 4 (AN) Dengue fever, a potentially fatal disease that has infected more than 70,000 people and killed over 500 in Sri Lanka since January 2009, has shown the first signs of abating in two years as the government steps up a campaign that includes fines against people and businesses that fail to remove mosquito breeding areas. The fall in cases comes despite extensive flooding this year, which can encourage more..

Laugfs gas goes up

Mar 4 (NN) The Consumers Affairs Authority says the price of a Laugfs 12.5kg domestic gas cylinder has been increased by Rs.96 from today. As a result of the price hike the new price of a Laugfs 12.5kg domestic gas cylinder will be Rs. 1652. Media reports on Monday had said that Laugfs Gas had sought a price increase. The state owned Litro Gas Managing Director Piyadasa Kudabalage told media that Litro Gas however, had not sought a price hike since the LP gas prices decreased more..

Ganja plants siezed

Mar 4 (NN) The police have raided a ganja plantation grown in one and a half acres of land in Lunugamwehera with ganja plants nearly eight feet high, the police media unit said this morning. The raid was carried out last evening but the suspects had managed to escape. The Lunugamwehera police are conducting investigations. Meanwhile the police also said that at least three people were arrested in three separate locations yesterday with ganja in their possession. more..

Sri Lanka 'comfortable' with current rates, despite inflation, forex pressure

Mar 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka is comfortable with current interest rates, Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said despite a spike in consumer prices to a two year high and an outflow of foreign reserves. Sri Lanka has some of the highest policy rates in the world at 7.00 percent to drain excess liquidity and 8.5 percent to inject liquidity. But in February inflation accelerated to 7.8 percent in February, more..

Sri Lanka police seize World Cup fakes

Mar 4 (AFP) Sri Lankan police on Thursday detained 15 people and seized hundreds of fake items of 2011 Cricket World Cup merchandise being sold in and around capital Colombo. The Colombo Crimes Division raided shops in Colombo and the suburban Maharagama area, seizing T-shirts, caps and other memorabilia, following a complaint by the International Cricket Council. "The ICC had complained about the breach of copyright laws, and also said these merchandise were more..

Two Indians arrested for stealing jewellery in Lanka

Mar 4 (PTI) Two Indians posing themselves as Hindu priests in Sri Lanka were arrested with gold jewellery worth Rs 9 lakhs, police said here today. The two, aged between 24 and 25, were conducting poojas when one of their hosts complained that their jewellery has been stolen, officials at North Colombo police station at Grandpass said. After an investigation, the gold jewellery worth Rs 900,000 were found from the two youths, they said. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 03.03.2011

The Fall of the Printed Newspaper and the Rise of Cyberspace - Part Three

Mar 4 (LG) Cyberspace has been influential in almost all the public and private sectors and they are contributing positive and negative outcomes. Some of the advantages are: benefits for manufacturing; benefits for offices, banks and retail stories; benefits in medicine; benefits for publishers; aids researchers; benefits for private uses; benefits in improving public service; and provides entertainment and pleasure. However, some disadvantages are: more..

LG Poll: Litmus test for lies

Mar 4 (LG) Local polls are a litmus test for the general elections and a prediction on whether the ruling power could sustain its popularity with the voting populace. They are a harbinger of things to come and are decisive of the future of the ruling powers. Local polls should not be treated lightly. The 17 year of UNP rule was quashed by the appeal court judgement of the Western Provincial Council which paved the way for Peoples Alliance under Chandrika Kumaratunga to be elected. more..