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Johnston admits 22,500 coconuts dumped at sea

Nov 30 (DM) Minister Johnston Fernando admitted in Parliament today that 22,500 coconuts valued at Rs.688,506 and imported from India were destroyed by being dumped at sea. He said the order was placed to import a stock of coconuts from India since there was a shortage in the local market last year. However, he said there was no such shortage in the market by the time the stock reached the country, and therefore, it was destroyed. more..

Driver arrested over death of doctor

Nov 30 (Island) The Kananke police have arrested the driver of a vehicle which knocked down dental surgeon Dr. Jannaki Bandusena of the Matara General Hospital on Nov. 24. A senior GMOA spokesman told The Island that Dr. Bandusena had died as a result of the accident in the Mirissa police area. The Kananke police moved in as the suspect evaded the Matara police. The police identified the suspect as a soldier. He was to be produced before the Matara Magistrate. more..

Illegal job agencies busted

Nov 30 (DN) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) sleuths arrested three females who operated illegal employment agencies in three different locations in Colombo and the outstations. "All three were engaged in securing overseas jobs for Lankans for a fee without the sanction of authorities. They are also believed to have duped millions of rupees from migrant worker hopefuls with false promises," the SLBFE said. Two agents were arrested from Pitakotte and Nugegoda, more..

Sleeping Met Dept. comes out with lame excuse: shortage of stuff

Nov 30 (Island) The country was short of six meteorologists, says Meteorological Department Director General M. D. Samarasinghe. He said that most of the candidates, who sat the examinations for the Department jobs, ended up finding higher paying employment, elsewhere. He said that their salary structure was not attractive despite handling a responsible and dedicated job. However, their utmost duty was to serve the public and more..

Jacqueline to sign Sri Lankan film

Nov 30 (TOI) A source close to the actress says, "She is in Colombo shooting an ad for an international food brand. While there, she got offered a Sinhalese film." Budgets for Sri Lankan movies are quite small compared to Bollywood, and an actor there is paid around US $1,000 for a full-fledged role. "Since Jackie gets paid very well in Bollywood, the director and producer offered to pay her US $10,000 for the part. It's too small an amount for Jackie, as she can make the more..

Rubber to be grown in North

Nov 30 (DN) The Plantations Industries Ministry will cultivate rubber in non- traditional areas to meet the ever increasing demand for rubber, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. Under this programme, a research team appointed to look into the feasibility of rubber cultivation in areas of the North and East has confirmed that certain parts of the provinces are suitable for rubber cultivation. At the initial stage rubber will be cultivated in the Vavuniya, Mulaitivu and more..

Hostel facilities suspend for 160 students

Nov 30 (DM) The Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenapura had allegedly suspended the hostel facilities for 160 university students, University of Jayewardenapura Students’ Council Secretary Ven. K. Chandrananda Thera said yesterday. The students who had been thus suspended received their letters when the university started for the new semester and the reason cited was due to a batch-trip they undertook three months ago, more..

Seed paddy for affected farmers

Nov 30 (DN) Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena told Parliament yesterday that seed paddy would be given to farmers affected by floods. He said that five bushels of seed paddy would be provided as material assistance for the maximum of one hectare of paddy lands destroyed in each district due to floods from November 2010 to the present day depending on the extent of damage. The minister was responding to an oral question raised by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. more..

Five TN fishermen detained in Sri Lanka

Nov 30 (PTI) Five Tamil Nadu fishermen have been taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Naval personnel while fishing in mid-sea, officials here said today. The fishermen of Rameswaram had been handed over to the police in Neduntheevu, an island in the Palk Strait of northern Sri Lanka, they said. The Fisheries officials said Nedunthivu Christian Priest Michael informed Indian officials about the detention of the fishermen. However, no reason had been cited for their detention. more..

Exhumed Lankan woman’s body sent for postmortem

Nov 30 (AN) The exhumed body of a murdered Sri Lankan woman has been sent for a postmortem to help Riyadh police’s investigations, Sri Lankan embassy sources said. Chitra Ranasinghe, 44, was murdered and buried in a house belonging to another Sri Lankan woman. Acting on a tip off, the police found the body buried in a residential apartment in the heart of Riyadh. Following the exhumation of the body, the authorities arrested the woman, a housewife, more..

Increase in trade with Latvia

Nov 30 (DN) Trade between Sri Lanka and Latvia is on the rise and there is more room for expansion, Consul General for Latvia in Sri Lanka Thomas Daetwyler said. Speaking to Daily News Business at the recently concluded Latvia National Day celebrations he said that there is a 35 percent increase in trade in recent times. The main commodities exported from Sri Lanka include tea and apparels while imports include mainly electronics. “With rapid development taking place in more..

MR intervenes to resettle evicted IDPs

Nov 30 (Island) A dispute over the recent eviction of a group of people by security authorities from some parts of Talaimannar, on the basis that they were squatting on State land, was settled through presidential intervention. Mannar Divisional Secretary Mrs. Stanley de Mel said that those evicted had been given permission to return to their land as President Rajapaksa had intervened after Minister, Rishard Bathiudeen brought the plight of the affected to his notice. more..

Minister insists on drug price control

Nov 30 (DM) While the Health Ministry is determined to implement price control on medicinal drugs from January 1 next year, transnational drug companies are up in arms against this move and say a price control system is unnecessary and could be counterproductive to the delivery of good healthcare. Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industries (SLCPI) President Vish Govindasamy claimed drug prices in Sri Lanka were much lower when compared with more..

Six Rajarata Uni. Medical students suspended

Nov 30 (Island) The Rajarata University administration yesterday suspended six medical undergraduates over Monday’s incident, where the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Medical Faculty Dean were held hostage in the faculty office for two hours. Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. K.A. Nandasena said that it was a totally anti-disciplinary act committed by students and the university’s disciplinary committee would conduct an inquiry against those involved in the incident. more..

Norochcholai plant fire extinguished

Nov 30 (Island) The Lak Vijaya or the Norochcholai Power Plant in Puttalam was back in operation yesterday after the internal fire which erupted around 1.30 a.m. yesterday was extinguished. Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman Professor Wimaladharma Abeywickrema told The Island yesterday that there was no major damage despite the fire. He said a fire inside the coal crushing machine forced a temporary shut down of the plant in the morning and afternoon hours. more..

Speaker: Serious threat to MPs in Parliament

Nov 30 (Island) The Parliament yesterday suspended Deputy Minister, Sarana Gunawardena for a week for allegedly throwing a bottle of water towards UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe during a mini-battle in parliament while the budget was being presented on Nov. 21. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa announced Gunawardena’s suspension following a motion moved by Leader of the House Nimal Siripala De Silva calling for the suspension of more..

Will the judiciary crack under pressure?

Nov 30 (DM) It is our right to protest that no government or political party can investigate past decisions and actions of the former Chief Justice or else the next victim will be the incumbent chief justice and the government will take steps to appoint a new person. This has become a threat for judges to act independently. The former Attorney General Mohan Peries a few weeks ago showed that one can mislead a United Nations Committee by giving false statements. more..

Govt. won’t cancel Colombo CHOGM 2013 over Ranil’s antics - GL

Nov 30 (Island) The Govt will not cancel the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Govt meeting in Sri Lanka just because Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe put up a show in Parliament by removing his Commonwealth Parliamentary Union tie, Minister Prof G.L. Peiris said in Parliament. Not a single member country of the Commonwealth was against the decision to hold the meeting in Sri Lanka, he said adding that none of those countries questioned whether the Sri Lankan govt rules more..

Denied permission to talk of SF, Irate Ranil removes Commonwealth tie

Nov 30 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday prevented Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe from making a special statement in parliament on behalf of defeated presidential candidate, General Sarath Fonseka. The Speaker intervened in the wake of ruling party members strongly objecting to the UNP leader’s move, promising he would decide whether that could be allowed to be made in Parliament and inform the House of his ruling today. more..

UNP goes it alone to save SF

Nov 30 (Island) Having failed to secure the support of the DNA and the JVP, the main opposition party, UNP has decided to go ahead with its campaign alone to pressure the govt to release the imprisoned defeated presidential election candidate, General Sarath Fonseka. UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena emphasised the UNP’s resolve to continue its struggle both here and abroad for Gen. Fonseka. He said that a two-pronged strategy was needed to ratchet up pressure on the govt to give in. more..

When the truth hurts

Nov 30 (Dawn) TAMIL Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has blown a gasket…. She used to keep telling India that the TN fishermen were not engaged in any illegal activity in … Sri Lanka’s territorial waters. But the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has given … lie to her claim; it has told the Madras High Court in a counter-affidavit in response to a public interest litigation that … Indian fishermen cross the International Maritime Boundary and fish in … Sri Lankan waters using banned methods…. more..

Sevanagala: Tailor-made for UNP financier?

Nov 30 (SL) A perfectly profitable state owned and managed enterprise was handed over on a platter breaking established norms and robbing the people – was the claim made by govt Minister and MP for Moneragala, Jagath Pushpa Kumara. An examination of the figures would indicate that despite being comfortable financially the management of Sevenagala Sugar had plenty to desire. However grandiose the plans of the Ranil Wickremesinghe more..

Comeback Kid: Will Lohan give Mervyn a run for his money?

Nov 30 (LB) Several govt MPs attacked their counterparts of the UNP in parliament during the 2012 budget speech on November 21. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake claims that Mervyn Silva, Rohitha Abeygunawardane, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Lohan Ratwatte and several others ‘who are well known for their violent antics’, spearheaded the attack. The sight of Lohan Ratwatte manhandling several opposition MPs brings back memories of more..

CSE concludes successful Investment Forum in Singapore

Nov 30 (island) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) successfully concluded a strong pitch to the fund managers and investors based in Singapore at an investor forum held at the The Ritz Carlton Millenia yesterday. The forum was organised in association with the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore. Titled "Invest Sri Lanka", the forum attracted the interest of over 150 fund managers and investors, more..

Up against a ‘human’ wall, JVP rebels boycott CC meeting

Nov 30 (Island) A group of dissident JVPers yesterday boycotted a Central Committee meeting at Pelawatte party headquarters, alleging that they had been man-handled on the pretext of being frisked by some thugs brought in there by those loyal to leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. Spokesman for the dissident group, Pubudu Jagoda told The Island that a group of Central Committee members had gone to party headquarters on more..

Marsh under criticism after Lanka`s continuing debacles

Nov 30 (PTI) Sri Lanka`s Australian cricket coach Geoff Marsh has drawn criticism after the team`s loss to Pakistan in the recent Test and ODI series in the UAE with media reports here stating that he was more focussed on his son Shaun`s progress in the Aussie team. In a piece titled `Geoff in Marshland` in the `Daily News` and its sister Sinhalese language `Dinamina`, Marsh has been slammed after Sri Lanka`s dismal showing against Pakistan in the recent Test series. more..

Sri Lanka port rock blasted

Nov 30 (LBO) Chinese contractors building a new port in southern Sri Lanka have finished blasting and clearing a rock blocking the entrance channel whose discovery after construction began had sent the project cost up sharply. The additional blasting and dredging required to clear the rock at the Hambantota port, which was officially opened in November 2010, had been delayed by the monsoon. The extent of the rock at the entrance was underestimated during initial surveys and more..

Pakistan President calls for strengthening relationship with Sri Lanka

Nov 30 (GDI) Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said his country greatly values the ties with Sri Lanka and called for further strengthening those ties based on mutual trust and shared interests in maintaining regional peace, security and stability. President Zardari Tuesday met with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetilleke at his official residence in Islamabad. He has expressed the satisfaction over security cooperation between more..

End politics of hate, revenge release Fonseka – Ranil

Nov 30 (Island) Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday demanded the immediate release of former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka from prison, while calling for an end to the politics of hate and revenge. Addressing a large protest rally at Hyde Park Corner, Colombo, the Opposition Leader said that the continued harassment and imprisonment of Fonseka, indicated the deteriorating law and order situation. more..

Ananda College, Colombo: 125 Not Out

Nov 30 (IL) Ananda College, Sri Lanka’s premier Buddhist School, turned 125 years on 31 October 2011, and celebrated its historic anniversary under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the school premises yesterday on 29 November. Having maintained its pristine glory for 124 years, Ananda College stepped into its 125th year, with an All Night Pirith Chanting Ceremony which was commenced on 31 October and continued up to the morning of the more..

Sports minister asks cricket team to shape up

Nov 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka's sports minister has told the nation's cricket team to start talking to each other to help end their losing streak, saying a lack of communication was the main problem in the squad. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage met the players, selectors and administrators on Tuesday to find a solution ahead of next month's Test and one-day tour of South Africa. more..

Editorial: Towards peace with justice and equality

Nov 30 (DM) Despite the LTTE defeat in May 2009 and victory after victory in subsequent elections for the UPFA govt, Sri Lanka’s democracy rating has dropped to dangerously low levels and immediate action needs to be taken to correct this image or do some damage control. According to the main opposition UNP spokesman Mangala Samaraweera, Sri Lanka’s ranking in the world democracy audit has dropped to a disgraceful 109 among the world’s 193 countries. more..

Stocks up 1.0-pct on credit speculation

Nov 30 (LBO) Stocks closed 1.1 percent up on speculation that the regulator may relax credit rule following a meeting with brokers with President Mahinda Rajapaksa earlier in the week. The Colombo All Share Index closed up 67 points at 6,087.40 and the Milanka Index of liquid stocks rose at a slower 0.5 percent to close 26 points up at 5,273. Turnover topped 2.0 billion, picking up from lower levels seen earlier, giving exit opportunities for cautious players, brokers said. more..

President calls influential Tamil diaspora to invest in post-war progress

Nov 30 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan president has called on Tamil diaspora to assist in rebuilding the once war-torn areas of the north and east through investment, a statement from his office said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on the large Tamil diaspora to aid in the rebuilding efforts of their motherland by investing in the north and east regions of the country that suffered the most during a brutal three-decade war. more..

Sri Lankan govt imposes austerity budget

Nov 30 (wsws) President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the country’s finance minister, presented the budget for next year to parliament on Nov 21. Following the dictates of the IMF, he has maintained the current wage freeze and imposed new burdens on workers and the rural poor, while making further tax concessions to big business. The govt plans to lift revenue by nearly 20 percent over the next year to 1.1 trillion rupees through a series of new taxes on essential items more..

Injured Suranga Lakmal out of Test series

Nov 30 (CI) Suranga Lakmal, the Sri Lanka fast bowler, has been ruled out of the Test series in South Africa because of an ankle injury. He joins Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Kulasekara and Dhammika Prasad, who were not considered for the tour, on the list of injured fast bowlers. Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, Duleep Mendis, said a replacement was not named for Lakmal. "We are hopeful that by the time the first Test ends at Centurion on December 19, one of the inured fast bowlers would be fit to more..

Sri Lanka inflation slows, providing scope to support growth

Nov 30 (BN) Sri Lankan inflation slowed in November to a 16-month low, providing scope for the central bank to refrain from raising interest rates and shield growth from the faltering global economy. Consumer prices in Colombo, climbed 4.7 percent from a year earlier after gaining 5.1 percent in October, the Department of Census and Statistics said. The median of five estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 4.4 percent increase. more..

Sri Lankan fashion brand Aviraté opens first store in India at Bangalore

Nov 30 (IR) Aviraté, a Sri Lankan fashion brand, has opened its first flagship store in India at Indiranagar, Bangalore. The outlet offers a range of western wear, including tops, blouses, tunics, jeans, shorts, and skirts. Accessories for women such as scarves, bags, shoes, belts, and jewelry are also available at the store. The store offers dresses ranging from Rs 1,800 to 8,500. Tops and shirts are priced between Rs 700 to 3, 600 while jeans are available in the range of more..

Sri Lankan Navy breaks India-Lanka drug racket

Nov 30 (PTI) Sri Lankan navy has arrested two Indians and five Sri Lankans, allegedly operating a drug racket, in the international waters off the island's northern coast. Police said over 700 grams of heroine was recovered from the arrested men. They said navy patrols in the waters off Sri Lanka's northern Kankesanturai coast observed two Indians on a boat handing over a parcel to Sri Lankans. The two Indians along with their five Sri Lankan associates were arrested.

FICA to look into Sri Lanka's salary delays

Nov 30 (CI) The Sri Lankan Cricketers' Association (SLCA) has contacted the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) seeking assistance over the delay in the cricketers' salaries for series following the World Cup this year. Sri Lanka have played three series since the end of the World Cup in April and the players are still awaiting payment, including match fees and contract payments. Tim May, the FICA chief executive, stated more..