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CEB unions doing an Oliver Twist – Minister

Sept 1 (Island) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka on Tuesday said that he would not grant, what he called, unfair demands by some CEB unions. He told The Island that CEB workers enjoyed 55 benefits, which other workers in the public sector were not entitled to. "Therefore, it is unfair for them to demand more and more from the State," he said. "In fact their salaries have doubled in the last 10 years." He said that CEB workers had been given a 34-per-cent pay hike in 2003, more..

Women light up Arugam Bay at SriLankan Airlines Pro

Sept 1 (SAP) Day two of the SriLankan Airlines Pro started in similar conditions to day one, two to three foot waves peeling down the Arugam Bay point. But it soon became apparent that the swell was dropping so a shorter day was called. Sarah Mason (NZL) one of the event's youngest competitors at just 16-year-old took control of her heat and scored the highest wave score of the event so far, a 9.25 out of a possible 10. more..

Anura Yapa unanimously elected to head US-SLPFS

Sept 1 (DM) Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa has been unanimously elected to Chair the US-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Society (US-SLPFS). The annual convention of the US-SLPFS was held in Parliament recently and Minister Yapa received the backing of the govt as well as the opposition, who were on hand as he accepted the post of chairman of the society. Co-deputy leader of the UNP, Sajith Premadasa, MPs Sunil Handunnetti and Sri Ranga were elected deputy chairmen more..

Karuna’s backup vehicle meets with accident

Sept 1 (DM) Two STF personnel who were providing security to Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan (Karuna) were injured when their jeep met with an accident early last morning near the Arch Culvert, Welikanda. The injured STF personnel were admitted to Polonnaruwa General Hospital. A herd of cattle had been crossing the road and the driver of the jeep had attempted to avoid the cattle and met with the accident. Hospital sources said the injured were out of danger. more..

Questionable cement not certified yet

Sept 1 (DM) The Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) said yesterday the alleged stock of low quality cement imported recently has still not received quality certification though the ban imposed on the Lucky Cement Company had been lifted. SLSI Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte said the July 20 ban imposed on the Pakistan cement company was removed after samples sent by the company to an internationally accredited lab showed positive results. more..

Japanese FM’s Commendations 2011: Sri Lanka bags two

Sept 1 (Island) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan recently announced the list of recipients of the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for the fiscal year 2011. The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups for their outstanding achievements in international fields, to acknowledge their contribution to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. Two individuals and one group have been awarded this more..

They’ll come back to UNP: Dayasiri

Sept 1 (DM) UNPers who were contesting independently for various local bodies at the upcoming local govt election would ultimately end up in the party fold once again, UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera said. “They will not leave the party at all,” he said responding to a question raised by the media as to why some members of the party were going separately. Mr. Jayasekera explained that the situation was same with the UPFA as well as some of its members who had lost the party ticket more..

Development Diaries - August 29th 2011

Mine clearing ops block polls to two PSs

Sept 1 (Island) The Election Secretariat said that local govt polls for the Pudukuduirippu Pradeshiya Sabha and the Maritimepattu Pradeshiya Sabha wouldn’t be held on October 8, though polls chief Mahinda Deshapriya earlier explored the possibility of conducting the poll. Polling couldn’t take place due to ongoing mine clearing operations. Sources said that now there would be a LG polls IV in spite of the Election Secretariat earlier planning to complete LG polls in three rounds. more..

Uruwarige Ratnayaka released on bail

Sept 1 (Island) Uruwarige Ratnayake, a Veddah from Dambana, who was arrested by the Kandy police for shooting an arrow at a security officer of the Kandy General Hospital, was released on personal surety bail in Rs. 25,000 by the Kandy Chief Magistrate S.U.B. Karalliyadda. The injured security officer is being treated at the Kandy hospital. The Magistrate ordered that the bow and arrow allegedly used to cause injury to the security officer be released to more..

Govt. mulls community based correctional programmes for children

Sept 1 (Island) The govt is planning to implement a scheme where child offenders and children who have been victims of abuse could be rehabilitated through community based correctional programme, instead of being sent to State run children’s homes, some of which function as rehabilitation centres. Commissioner General of Probation and Child Care Sarath Abegunawardana says that there is no need for establishing more and more State-run children’s homes more..

Ten member committee to probe into national flower

Sept 1 (DM) A ten member committee of eminent persons has been appointed to give a determination on the national flower by Minister Anura Priyadharsaha Yapa following the controversy over it. He said the reason to appoint the committee was the indecision about the two varieties the light blue Manel (Nymphaea Nauchali) and the bright blue Nil Manel (Nymphaea Stellata) as both flowers are used indiscriminately as the national flower of Sri Lanka at various functions and more..

Lankan daily praises Krishna over fishing issue

Sept 1 (PTI) A leading Sri Lankan daily today praised on External affairs minister S M Krishna, days after he said Kachchathivu islet was Lankan territory and the Indian fishermen had no right to do fishing there. With an editorial captioned "Let's pay tribute to India for reconfirming Sri Lanka's hold on Kachchathivu", 'Lankadeepa', said, "Sri Lanka ought to express its happiness and praise to the Indian minister for such a diplomatic statement". more..

Top level changes soon at CEYPETCO

Sept 1 (DM) Top level management changes were expected at CEYPETCO soon -- including that of its chairman Harry Jayawardane -- a reliable govt source said. The source said a former public servant S. Amarasekara who had served as a highways ministry secretary and as a former secretary to the prime minister was likely to replace Mr. Jayawardana. Meanwhile, the same source said that in future the purchase of oil would be only permitted after more..

SB’s police driver arrested

Sept 1 (Island) The police have arrested one of the police drivers attached to Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake’s security contingent for causing the death of a retired engineer of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board on Tuesday morning on the Serpentine Road, in the Borella police area. Borella police also took a jeep into custody. The suspect had been on his way to the Bandaranaike International Airport to pick Minister Dissanayake’s son when more..

Navy’s “Galle Dialogue 2011” to be held in Nov.

Sept 1 (DM) An international maritime conference- ‘Galle Dialogue 2011’ will be held in the port city of Galle on November 14 and 15 with local and foreign participation encompassing the maritime fraternity. The “Galle Dialogue” initiative held last year created a forum to discuss and exchange views on regional maritime security and other concerns, it was revealed. The dialogue this year will aim to discuss the experiences of events that took place over the past year or so. more..

Sri Lanka: Rajapakse brinkmanship

Sept 1 (Himal) The last few years in Sri Lanka have been marked by numerous elections at various levels – presidential, parliamentary, provincial council and local govt. The Mahinda Rajapakse regime won all these elections with landslide victories, and now controls all eight provincial councils, barring the Northern Provincial Council for which elections are yet to be held. Indeed, the regime seemed to have mastered the art of electoral politics, more..

President Rajapaksa honours musicians at the National Music Awards Festival

Sept 1 (IL) The National Music Awards Festival, the only awards ceremony to honour musicians in the field in Sri Lanka was held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on 30 August. The President handed over awards to artistes who were recognized as the best in the years 2009 - 2010 period. In a felicitation message to mark the occasion, President said arts and creative sector plays more..

Muza Vs Milinda

Sept 1 (SL) Western Provincial Councillor A.J.M Muzammil will be contesting for the post of Mayor of Colombo from the UNP ticket. Muzammil was fielded along with several candidates, but came out on top. What is his strategy for the upcoming election, and what plans does he have for Colombo city, should he win? The Sunday Leader visited Muzammil at his home Thursday evening to find out. more..

Overcharging private hospitals to be dealt with once Act amended

Sept 1 (Island) Patients admitted to most private hospitals for cardiac, kidney, brain and eye operations are transferred to the Colombo National hospital once they develop complications. The hospitals are also alleged to have charged exorbitant fees. The Health Ministry has neither resolved this problem nor introduced a standard charge formula, medical sources said. more..

In terms of Resettlement Action Plan: SL’s Displaced coming back from T’Nadu

Sept 1 (DN) With the resettlement process in the North reaching its final-phase, the Ministry of Resettlement has stepped up its resettlement drive by making moves to bring back to this country Displaced Sri Lankans living in some 31 camps in Tamil Nadu. Resettlement Ministry Secretary Uthpala Basnayaka said the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi is currently working with more..

Over 185 pharmacies prosecuted

Sept 1 (DM) Legal action has been taken against at least 185 pharmacies for violating the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Act. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Authority had levied fines totaling two million rupees from private pharmacies, during the past eight months, following raids and inspections. He said there were many unregistered pharmacies and some which had failed to renew their trade licenses this year. more..

Uncertainty over Indo-Lanka power cable

Sept 1 (DM) The plan for an undersea power cable between Sri Lanka and India hangs in the balance because India is still undecided whether to go ahead with the Sethusamudram project, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday. The minister said a feasibility study was being carried out on the laying of a power cable between Madurai in South India and Mannar in Sri Lanka but the viability of the project depended on whether more..

TNA submits memo to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Sept 1 (DM) The TNA has, with the help of some Lok Sabha members, submitted a memorandum to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to prevail upon the Sri Lankan govt to remove the military camps in the North, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said. He said the TNA delegation, which participated in the Delhi summit, had highlighted various other issues confronting the Tamil people in the North and the East. more..

UNP alleges lifting of emergency ruse to deceive int’l community

Sept 1 (Island) The UNP alleged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s much publicized lifting of emergency was nothing but a transparent move to deceive the international community ahead of the forthcoming Geneva Sessions of the UN Human Rights Council. Deputy Secretary General of the UNP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena lashed out at the SLFP-led UPFA government for playing politics at the expense of the country. more..

Sri Lanka hackers claim 'DNS poisoning'

Sept 1 (LBO) A group of hackers said to be from Sri Lanka are claiming to have 'DNS poisoned' a series of internet servers related to domestic and foreign entities, where viewers are misdirected, using a recently exposed flaw, reports said. Sri Lanka members of 'Anonymous', a group of international 'hactivists' promoting internet freedom issues are claiming to have hacked in to domain name servers (DNS) that resolve web addresses using a flaw that was exposed in early July. more..

Sri Lankan govt ends emergency, but police state continues

Sept 2 (wsws) More than two years after the defeat of the LTTE, the Sri Lankan govt has finally lifted the state of emergency imposed during the war. President Mahinda Rajapakse announced the move last Thursday in a bid to deflect mounting international pressure over his government’s war crimes and abuses. The decision was immediately hailed by the media and political establishment in Colombo as a step toward democracy. In reality, the change is purely cosmetic. more..

Tamil Mothers: Help us find our children

Sept 2 (AN) "Help us to find our children, without looking at our ethnicity or religion." This is the appeal launched by Tamil mothers, yesterday, on the occasion of World Day of the disappeared. A collective of various civil society groups, mostly Christians, has organized a commemoration in Colombo, to demand the government of Sri Lanka investigate and reveal the truth about the disappearance of the children of these women, during the long years of ethnic conflict. more..

SL v Australia, 1st Test: Debutant Lyon puts Australia in control

Sept 2 (CI) After eight months of soul-searching, Australian cricket finally has something to be excited about. A few things, in fact: Nathan Lyon's five-wicket haul on debut, including a wicket with his first delivery in Test cricket; the performance of the other debutant, Trent Copeland, who struck with his second ball at international level; and the return to form of the new captain Michael Clarke, whose confident half-century more..

Muzamil confident of success in CMC despite challenges

Sept 2 (DM) UNP Mayoral candidate for CMC A.J.M. Muzamil today expressed confidence in capturing the council at the coming local govt election despite the challenges faced by the party. Mr. Muzamil told a news conference that he was chosen as the mayoral candidate by the nomination board appointed by the party nomination board which the compassed party leader, two deputy leaders, the national organiser and General Secretary and has the backing of all of them. more..

UK stranded SL students to get visa renewal

Sept 2 (LP) Speedy measures are now underway in London between the Sri Lankan High Commission, British Home Office and British Immigration authorities to grant renewed student visas to the 52 stranded Lankan students who were put to roads by the sudden closure of some University Colleges. Already some University Colleges have opened the doors to accommodate them to continue their studies, reports from London said. Modalities over the new admissions to the University more..

Rajiva clarification of NDTV interview

Sept 2 (DM) Adviser to the President Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha refuted claims today that he had admitted to there being Army personnel involved in war crimes and that these persons would be investigated. "I did not say anyone was found guilty of killing civilians during the final phase of the war. In fact I pointed out that the general allegations about indiscriminate attacks on civilians were easily shown to be exaggerated if not false,” more..

Six universities to be upgraded

Sept 2 (SL) The Higher Education Ministry is to upgrade six local universities in order to achieve top ranks in the world university rankings. The infrastructure, curriculum and foreign student intake in the Colombo, Peradeniya, Moratuwa, Ruhuna, Kelaniya and Sri Jayawardenapura universities are to be upgraded within the next few years. The main objective of the programme is to receive ranks above 1,000 in the world renowned university ranking systems. more..

Jaffna Kovil robbers caught red-handed

Sept 2 (MoD) Six youths who were involved in breaking into six Kovils in various parts of Jaffna were caught red-handed by the Army, when the culprits were attempting to remove valuables from the Inuvil Kanthaswamy Hindu Kovil, disproving an allegation levelled against the Security Forces. SSP Jaffna Nevin Padmadeva told the Daily News that the Police also recovered brassware worth Rs two million that was robbed by these gangsters from only one Kovil. more..

Elections Commissioner halts transfers

Sept 2 (SL) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has requested the IGP N.K. Illangakoon to temporarily halt police transfers in areas where local government elections are scheduled to be held on October 8th. The request has reportedly been made following reports received by the Elections Commissioner about police transfers taking place in some areas where elections are to be held. Independent election monitors earlier said that complaints had also more..

Import of TV satellite Antennas without TRC permission banned

Sept 2 (ST) Import of Television satellite Antennas will need approval of the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC) in future, Director General of the Authority Anusha Palpita said. He said that this was in view of the import of a large number of antennas illegally. The Sri Lanka Customs have been directed to take action against those importing Antennas without permission. A large number of companies and persons were currently importing these antennas and more..

Election propaganda through SMS to be restricted

Sept 2 (HN) A discussion was held this evening between Secretaries of Political parties and the Elections Commissioner at the Elections Secretariat in Rajagiriya. Party representatives stated that election propaganda activities through SMS will be restricted from the 05th of October while general propaganda activities will also end on the same day. UNP General Secretary Parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake speaking after the meeting regarding the decisions taken had this to say. more..

JVP: Govt. misled the people

Sept 2 (SL) The JVP today said the govt has misled people by saying it has withdrawn the emergency regulations when the laws were still very much in force. JVP MP Vijitha Herath told a press conference that the basics of the emergency regulations were still in place. He said the JVP and many activists had continuously protested to get the emergency regulations withdrawn and the government’s announcement that it would be removed was welcomed by the people. more..

True Democracy exists within the UNP, says Harin

Sept 2 (NF) Parliamentarian Harin Fernando says that true democracy exists within the UNP. He made this observation while addressing a meeting of UNP representatives in Badulla yesterday. The meeting of UNP local govt representatives in Badulla was presided by MP Harin Fernando. "The Party Constitution is amended. If necessary I can contest for the party’s leadership next time. If they are in the working committee anyone can contest at an election." more..

Why Prabakaran ordered to assasinate Gamini Fonseka and Gen.Janaka Perera

Sept 2 (LP) Some secret correspondence between slain LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabakaran and his 'Regional Commanders' which are now in the possession of Lankapuvath,today unfold a plan that was hatched to kill former North East Governor,Gamini Fonseka and former Eastern Military Commander,Major General Janaka Perera. The reason, according to LTTE 'Intelligence' reports had been the successful military attack launched on three battalions of LTTE cadres in more..