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Road Accident Victims Unit to be set up

Nov 16 (DM) The health ministry requests the public to maintain one minute silence at 10.00am next Sunday to remember those who have died following road accidents, a senior official said today. He said the Health Ministry is to set up a special ‘Road Accident Victims Unit’ under the Non Communicable Disease Branch at the ministry to control road accidents. Addressing a seminar conducted for media personnel at the Health Education Bureau more..

‘President aims for a realistic budget’

Nov 16 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government was successful in pushing Sri Lanka in the right direction through last year’s budget ensuring economic empowerment even during the recession. In the same manner, I am confident that President Rajapaksa, as the Finance Minister, will put forward a realistic budget aimed at economic development rather than aiming for short-term benefits, said Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva during an interview more..

Sri Lanka decides to hold interest rates again

Nov 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank on Wednesday said it has decided to keep policy rates steady for a 10th straight month, as expected. It said inflation should slow further by this end of the year, on improved domestic supply arising for high growth momentum. The island nation aims for record 8.3 percent economic growth this year, topping 2010's 8.0 percent, the highest level in 32 years. more..

JVP warns against leasing state property for a song

Nov 16 (Island) While the government has signed an agreement to lease out its Embilipitiya paper mill to an Australian company, the JVP yesterday warned the government to stop the sale or lease of state properties at rock bottom rates. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said in a statement that the mill had been leased out for 30 years at Rs. 600 million, but it has over 250 acres of land with all facilities to produce first class paper. more..

Prof. Peiris calls for govt. Tamil Diaspora partnership

Nov 16 (Island) External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris on Monday (14) declared Sri Lanka’s readiness to work with the Tamil Diaspora, while urging the international community to take tangible action against those still pursuing the LTTE’s eelam project. The Minister stressed that the government wouldn’t want to demonize the Diaspora and was willing to work with it in the post-war era. Addressing delegates representing 19 countries at the Galle Dialogue, more..

The next war in Sri Lanka: Law, order, justice and law enforcement

Nov 16 (UL) Law, order, justice and law enforcement are pillars of a strong society. If they break, the fabric of the society shatters, resulting immense sufferings to its members. Recently, two incidents took place in two different countries across the globe—one is trying to be a developed nation; one is already a developed nation. These two incidents showcase how this basic norm of the society operates in these two countries. In 2002, Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant in Penn State, more..

Editorial: Speak out and act now before it's too late

Nov 16 (DM) Despite widespread protests from civic rights groups and even from two parties in the ruling UPFA, the govt last Wednesday politically bulldozed its way to push through parliament the Bill to "Revive Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets" or in blunt terms the acquisition of any private business enterprises or assets. President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and other business more..

Upgraded Pulugunawi Irrigation Scheme in Batti declared open

Nov 16 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa declared open the Pulugunawi Irrigation Scheme upgraded under the Pro-Poor Economic Advancement and Community Enhancement Project (PEACE) yesterday. With the improved additional capacity of 4 million cubic meters (mcm) at Pulugunavi and 2 mcm at Kankaniyarkulan tanks, the Pulugunawi Irrigation Scheme can irrigate about 1800 hectares of land area and directly benefit over 1100 farmer families. more..

Paranthan Chemical Factory to be reconstructed

Nov 16 (GDI) The Ministry of State Resources and Enterprise Development has taken steps to reconstruct the Paranthan Chemical Industry in a 217 acre plot of land. The factory was completely destroyed by the terrorists during the time of humanitarian operation. A Project Report estimates that it would require Rs.3 Billion for the re-establishment of the factory in Paranthan. Investors from India, Ireland and Dubai have already come forward to invest in this project. more..

Mattala Airport constructions on schedule

Nov 16 (GDI) The construction work of the runway at Mattala International Airport is nearing completion. The project is being implemented under the Mahinda Chinthana initiative of “Winning The Blue Sky", with the aim of making Sri Lanka a major aviation hub in South Asia. The total cost of the airport project is in the region of over 300 Million U.S.Dollars. Construction of the sub runaways connecting to three and half kilo meter main runway has also been started. more..

Students to get hygienic facilities: Ministry

Nov 16 (DM) The education ministry has taken measures to ensure all school children have access to clean drinking water and hygienic facilities at schools, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana said. Addressing the first meeting of the programme yesterday at the ministry, Minister Gunawardana said 250 schools had been selected from the Uva, Central and Eastern provinces for the programme at a cost of Rs. 330 million. more..

Sri Lanka stocks extend losses

Nov 16 (LBO) Stocks extended losses falling 1.14 percent in thin trading Wednesday amid continuing negative sentiment over an expropriation law and margin sales. The All Share Index fell 69.42 points to 6,022.88 nearing a psychological 6,000 points, which was crossed on September 08, 2010. The Milanka Index of liquid stocks fell 2.3 percent to 5,272.9 points. Turnover was only 590 million rupees. Diesel and Motor Engineering fell 8.90 rupees to 1,252, more..

Sri Lankan maid acquitted of theft

Nov 16 (GDN) A Sri Lankan housemaid, who was accused of theft by her Bahraini sponsor, was yesterday acquitted by the High Criminal Court. The 40-year-old had run away and gone to the police station, complaining that her sponsor always treated her badly. However, the female sponsor, 52, told the police that the maid stole some clothes, three call cards and two biscuits. When the maid was asked by the police about the clothes in her possession, she claimed that her more..

United Bikkhu Front to bring 4000 monks to Colombo

Nov 16 (DM) UNP led United Bikkhu Front which challenged the party's working committee to dissolve the Bikkhu Front yesterday said they would bring more than 4000 monks to Colombo on November 18 to challenge this decision and to decide on further steps. National Organizer of the United Bikkhu Front Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera said that all monks would come to Colombo and decide on their next step with regard to the party. more..

Second juvenile court in Jaffna

Nov 16 (DM) In another step towards expediting child related cases, the country’s second juvenile Court has been set up in Jaffna and it is scheduled to be opened tomorrow Nov 17, the Justice Ministry said yesterday. Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath said the new juvenile court house constructed at a cost of Rs.3.5 million would be opened by Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem. “The offences committed by children would be heard in this court to more..

Sri Lanka: Still struggling to find reconciliation

Nov 16 (BBC) Sri Lanka is still a country struggling to put decades of civil war behind it. The final stages - in 2009 - were of particular concern to human rights groups as reports suggested thousands of civilians had been killed. The Sri Lankan government rejected calls for an independent international inquiry but it did appoint its own commission, and that panel is due to submit its report in a few days. But will it move the reconciliation process forward? more..

Mano confirms his decision to resign from the CMC

Nov 16 (AD) Democratic People’s Front (DPF) Leader, Mano Ganeshan has decided to resign from his post as a Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) member following a committee decision made by his party. Ganeshan said that the decision was taken to focus on his party leadership and to strengthen as well as develop the DPF for future elections. He added that a suitable candidate from his party will be put forward to fill the vacant seat at the CMC. more..

'Child exploitation on the rise'

Nov 16 (DM) The police department has detected an increase in child abuse cases ranging from rape to sexual harassment with 850 such cases being reported this year. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said that the number is relatively high when compared with the last two years. “Notably the children who fell prey to these suspects are ones who live alone or children who are isolated in the society,” he said. “There is a police women and childrens bureau headed by a more..

Sri Lanka to build more elephant conservation centers

Nov 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has started to build four elephant conservation centers to end the ongoing human- elephant conflicts, the country's Wildlife Conservation officials said Wednesday. Four centers bordering national parks in Sri Lanka would be future homes for elephants trespassing into villages, W.S.P. Pathirathne, deputy director of the Wildlife Conservation Department said. There is a vast increase in the number of incidents of human- elephant conflicts more..

WikiLeaks: All most all media reps criticized US policy

Nov 16 (CT) “In addition, nearly all of them criticized some aspect of U.S. policy. It would be incorrect to assume that a free local press would spontaneously agree with Western criticism of GSL actions.” the US Embassy wrote to Washington. A leaked US unclassified, recounts details of meetings the US Senate Foreign Relations staff members has had with the senior government officials, more..

Sri Lankan SAARC monument vandalised as PPM file case over import of ‘idols’

Nov 16 (MN) The SAARC monument designed and gifted to the Maldives by the Sri Lankan government, has been doused with crude oil. The lion statue, representing the national symbol of Sri Lanka, was vandalised last night following the toppling, burning and theft of the Pakistani monument, which protesters had claimed was idolatrous. Council Member of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Ahmed ‘Marz’ Saleem, meanwhile today filed a case with police against the more..

'AALCO serves as a uniting force between Asian and African countries'

Nov 16 (PRIU) The Asian-African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO) serves as a uniting force between the countries of the Asian and African regions and an invaluable forum to work on important issues of concern in the field of international law, Sri Lankan High Commissioner in India Prasad Kariyawasam said at a ceremony to mark the 55th Constitution Day of AALCO. High Commissioner Kariyawasam, representing the current Sri Lankan presidency of the Asian-African more..

BOI companies default millions

Nov 16 (DM) Some 100 companies registered with the Board of Investment (BOI) have defaulted Rs.639 million to the govt in terms of ground rentals, electricity and water bills for the past three years, parliamentary sources said yesterday. The matters pertaining to the BOI were taken up for debate at the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) in the parliamentary complex yesterday. An MP who attended the meeting told the Daily Mirror that more..

‘Che Guevara would have supported Eelam’

Nov 16 (WL) Leftist writer and author, Ron Ridenour, minced no words in making a strong case for bifurcation of Sri Lanka and carving out a separate Tamil nation during a book release function in Chennai last week. Terming Tamil Eelam as a necessity in view of the bitter history of the struggle spanning several decades, Ron said revolutionary fighter Che Guevara would have supported the Tamil struggle had he been alive. Quoting Che from ‘Socialism and Man’ more..

Sri Lanka orders banks to bring in cheap foreign money

Nov 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will see "substantial" dollar inflows from a central bank directive to commercial banks to raise cheap foreign capital to offset a liquidity squeeze amid strong credit demand, the central bank said on Wednesday. The central bank's order to banks comes as it has been defending the rupee currency exchange rate by selling at least $1 billion from foreign exchange reserves this year, despite concerns raised by the International Monetary Fund. more..

Over a million letters, parcels accumulate at the Mail Exchange

Nov 16 (DM) Trade union action commenced on Nov 14 by the trade unions in the postal sector boycotting overtime duties and demanding the removal of the Post Master General which led to the accumulation of more than a million undelivered letters and parcels up to yesterday, at the Central Mail Exchange. One thousand mail bags containing 700,000 letters, 300,000 registered letters and thousands of parcels had accumulated unattended at the Central Mail Exchange, more..

Lakhanda Radio celebrates 15th B'day

Nov 16 (ITN) ITN’s sister Channel Lakhanda Radio celebrates its 15th birthday. Lakhanda Radio was launched on 15th Nov 1996 during a period. Since then it became very popular among the people as it identified their pulse. Lakhanda which initially began its operation from the premises of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation joined the Studio Complex of the Independent Television Network at Wickremasinghepura in Battaramulla. It succeeded in moulding a modern radio tradition, more..

Only solution for salary issues of working masses is socialism – Lal Kanthe

Nov 16 (LT) The only solution for the issues of wages for working masses is to establish a socialist state structure says the President of National Trade Union Center (NTUC) K.D. Lal Kanthe. He said without achieving socialism their struggle for just salaries for working masses would not be successful. Speaking at a convention of trade unions Mr. Lal Kanthe said under a socialist administrative system the salary would be decided on the ability of the working masses. more..

BTT collection powers to Govt. soon

Nov 16 (DM) The central govt’s decision to take over the provincial council’s power to levy the Business Turnover Tax is to be implemented soon with a gazette notification being issued to close down revenue offices in some Provincial Councils. Accordingly a gazette notification to close down revenue offices in the Eastern Provincial Council was presented to Parliament recently. Revenue offices would not be needed in the Province after the Business Turnover more..

Peons of president’s office further remanded

Nov 16 (DM) Two peons attached to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s private secretary’s office who were allegedly involved in pilfering stationery and computer toners from the stores of Temple Trees were further remanded till Nov 30 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate today. In this case, the CID alleged that the suspects who had been working in the office of the president’s private secretary, had altered the requisition forms in a bid to obtain additional stationery and more..

Enjoining order against Shan Wickremasinghe

Nov 16 (AD) District Judge of Colombo Ranjith Wathupola issued an enjoining order against TNL TV and Isira Radio, and its chairman Shan Wickremasinghe preventing them from causing any defamatory publications against Dilith Jayaweera. Order was given consequent to an action instituted by Dilith Jayaweera at the District Court of Colombo. Jayaweera has already sent a Letter of Demand claiming Rs 500 million to Shan Wickremesinghe and his co-host on TNL Isira Radio more..

Former Sri Lankan President talks peace

Nov 16 (HC) Chandrika Kumaratunga, the former president of Sri Lanka, painted a sobering picture of an island nation recovering from civil war during a talk at CGIS yesterday. Kumaratunga, who led Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2005, described her administration’s unsuccessful attempts to resolve through peaceful negotiations the long-standing conflict between Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese and minority Tamil populations. more..

Armed robbery but no shooting - Police

Nov 16 (AD) A possible shooting incident which had been reported earlier in a shop in Rattanapitiya, Boralesgamuwa has now been confirmed an attempted armed robbery. Two robbers had produced firearms in a bid to steal cash from the shop and afterwards had assaulted the shop owner and his helper prior to fleeing the scene. Officers were dispatched to the location after the police emergency response unit had received information regarding a possible shooting. more..

Sri Lanka should control 'rogue elements' in Navy: Jayalalitha

Nov 16 (PTI) Expressing serious concern over the continued attacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to exert pressure on Colombo to rein in the 'rogue elements' in the island navy. In her fifth letter on the issue to Singh in recent months, Jayalalithaa said the attacks on the state fishermen had caused "great unrest," among the people and they should be construed as more..

Video: 'Only Gotabhaya thought a military victory was possible'

Nov 16 (CT) “No one. Maybe with the exception of Gothabaya Rajapaksa, but he’s the only person I can mention who thought a military victory was possible. I was very hard to say very close to Indian intelligence and an enormous amount of time throughout this process and never, ever did any Indian official hint that a military victory was possible until mid 2008. Then they started, I observed the change in Mr. M.K.Narayanan and others and more..

Expropriating the people's rights

Nov 17 (ST) Not since the passing of the 18th Amendment to the constitution in September last year has a move by the govt generated so much controversy as the so-called Expropriation Bill passed in Parliament on Wednesday. While a two thirds majority in Parliament enabled the govt to bulldoze the Bill's passage into law, expressions of protest over its content and the hasty manner in which it was enacted, have been widespread. It was reported that even the govt's coalition partners more..

Efficient management, not ownership, determines success

Nov 17 (DM) As acknowledged by experts, privatization of state-owned enterprises is one of the most radical policy developments of the last quarter century. It became a trend that gathered momentum in Sri Lanka after 1989 following the liberalizing of the economy. Today, the consequences of the trend have formed a common notion within the country, that privatization is the panacea for ills of state enterprises. Disproving the common notion, some state enterprises more..

'Indian Tamils outnumber Northern Tamils'

Nov 17 (SO) Democratic People's Congress Leader and MP Prabha Ganeshan says TNA's recent trip to the US and Europe was nothing more than a publicity stunt that was intended to please the diaspora and LTTE rump into milking more votes from their kith and kin in the North. Ganeshan says if the LTTE had some interest in the grievances of Tamils, the TNA is least concerned and its power hungry leaders wish, the ongoing talks will collapse so that more..

Jayasuriya and Muralitharan to return to action

Nov 17 (GN) For those who miss Sri Lanka's retired legendary players Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan during the ongoing Pakistan-Sri Lanka series in the UAE, an opportunity to see them in action is being organised. Jayasuriya and Muralitharan will play in the second edition of the Gulf Super Sixes tournament, along with India's stylish left-hander Vinod Kambli and legendary pacer Wasim Akram, who is also the brand ambassador of the event. more..

Tamils living in Australia have been the subject of abusive Sinhalese E-Mails and so have I

Nov 17 (TC) There is a Tamil man from the north of Sri Lanka, sitting in an immigration detention facility in Victoria. He has been assessed as a refugee but is not allowed to be released. He is married. His wife is living with an Australian family. The husband and wife are not allowed to spend time together. ASIO will not give him a security clearance. He will be in detention forever. It is sending the man and his wife mad. They are suicidal. more..