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SF to undergo 14 more days of physiotherapy

Sept 6 (DM) The High Court Trial-at-Bar yesterday directed the Prisons Superintendent to take former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to Consultant Chest Physician Dr. Vajira Tennakoon for two more weeks of physiotherapy.Judges Deepali Wijesundera, W.M.P.T.B. Warawewa and Mohamed Razeen made this order consequent to the superintendent being told by Dr. Tennakoon that Mr. Fonseka had to undergo physiotherapy treatment for another two weeks. more..

Reconciliation and reconstruction: Sri Lanka becomes a beacon for Pakistan

Sept 6 (PT) Colombo is buzzing. The end of the war and the start of what locals call the ‘reconciliation and reconstruction process’ has led to Sri Lanka once again being in the limelight. With basic infrastructure in place – in two years time, all parts of the island will have uninterrupted power supply – and with a literacy rate of over 90%, there are numerous opportunities for business and growth here. The general feeling is that Sri Lanka is about to take off. more..

Mendis to play in second Test

Sept 6 (Island) Unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis is likely to get the nod to play in the second Test against Australia at Pallekele ahead of the uncapped leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna, The Island learns. Off-spinner Suraj Randiv, who was ineffective failing to pick up a wicket in Australia’s second innings is expected to be dropped. Sri Lanka will do just one change after conceding the lead in the three match series following their 125 run defeat in Galle. For Australia Shaun Marsh will make more..

Working capital: tea small holders turn to brokers, not banks

Sept 6 (Island) Tea small holders who account for around 70 percent of the country’s production finding it hard to access bank credit to finance working capital requirements are increasingly turning to tea brokers for credit, and banks are more willing to deal with brokering houses. Finance is one critical area that a tea broking company must increasingly get involved with. This has become even more important with the development of individual proprietary factory owners who may not more..

500 MWs second coal power plant in Trincomalee

Sept 6 (DM) The agreement for the second Coal Power Plant in Sri Lanka with the installed capacity of 500 MWs will be signed by officials of India and Sri Lanka in Colombo this morning at a ceremony chaired by Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. Trincomalee - Sampur Coal Power Project is a 50:50 joint venture between the CEB and National Thermal Private Co. Ltd, (NTPC) with each investing approximately 15% of the project capital cost while the balance required more..

Responsibility for renaming roads lies with PCs

Sept 6 (Island) The renaming of a public road comes under the purview of the Local Government Minister of the respective Provincial Council said the Special Commissioner of the Colombo Municipal Council Omar Kamil. When the Provincial Council decided to rename a public road the local govt concerned was requested to call for views from the residents of that street, Kamil said. Regarding the renaming of Bagatalle Road after Dr. W. Dahanayake, request had been forwarded to more..

Lies Agreed Upon: Sri Lanka ready to clear any misconceptions

Sept 6 (DN) The govt yesterday reiterated its commitment to reply queries raised in any quarter in the international arena in respect of the humanitarian operation launched by the Security Forces to free over 300,000 people who were held hostage by the LTTE terrorists, any time. Commenting on the documentary Lies Agreed Upon which is to be screened before an esteemed audience, including UN officials in New York, Foreign Secretary Karunatilleke Amunugama said that many people in the world are more..

Docs strike tomorrow: Against Pvt. Medical College

Sept 6 (Island) Doctors will stage a countrywide strike tomorrow (7) in protest against the gazette notification issued by Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake recognising Malabe Private Medical College as a degree awarding institute. Assistant Secretary of the Govt Medical Officers’ Association Dr. Sankalpa Marasinghe said yesterday that the Minister has legalised the Malabe PMC by issuing the Extraordinary Gazette Notification 1721-19 of Aug. 30, 2011. more..

Ethnic Triumphalism?

Sept 6 (TD) Its been two years since the ethnic civil war in Sri Lanka drew to a close. The LTTE, the principal organization that had sought to create a separate state through the systematic use of terror, hasn’t managed to re-group. Nor is it likely to do so as a viable force any time in the foreseeable future. Quite understandably, I’ve found during my trip here a palpable sense of relief across the island – especially amongst the dominant Sinhala speaking community. more..

Two more gates of Yala National Wildlife Park open for public

Sept 6 (PRIU) Wildlife authorities have opened two more entry paths to the famous Yala National Wildlife Park in the Southern Province. The two entry points to the park are located in Katagamuwa and Galge areas. Those gates were closed for around three decades due to terrorist activities in the area. Minister of Wildlife S.M. Chandrasena was the chief guest at the occasion. The Minister said that the sanitary facilities of the wildlife parks would be developed. more..

CPC delays adds to power crisis in the country

Sept 6 (SL) Delays on the part of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in importing fuel for thermal power plants has resulted in the country facing a power crisis in the country. The CPC has delayed fuel purchases for the power plants due to the actions of several senior CPC officials with vested interests. The CPC has now further compounded the issue by placing an order with a company blacklisted by the Corporation in 2009 to import low sulphur fuel to more..

The killing fields: Sri Lanka’s dog problem

Sept 6 (LB) Long ago, President Mahinda Rajapaksa put the authority of his high office behind a policy of humane rabies control and denounced the mass slaughter of street dogs. Now it seems that the president is being defied by a body of persons called the Environmental Police. I have seen these officers wandering the streets of Colombo vainly trying to find their way around in the dense black fog of vehicle emissions. I felt rather sorry for them because they looked so puny and ineffectual in their fluorescent yellow jackets. more..

Story of jubilantly ending long stretch of emergency rule changed to one of sheer consternation

Sept 6 (TC) When a country’s cabinet is habitually uninformed, it is no surprise that its citizens also know nothing. In Sri Lanka, governance is carried out on a need-to-know basis: only a coterie at the top needs-to-know. President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced in parliament on August 25 that he proposed not to extend the state of emergency. He explained that he was satisfied administration could take place under normal law. more..

Posters, cut-outs and promises dominate launch of LG polls campaigns

Sept 6 (ST) Political parties and Independent groups have launched their election campaigns for the October 8 polls for 17 Municipal Councils (MC), five Pradeshiya Sabhas (PS) and 1 Urban Council (UC). With five more weeks left, posters and cut-outs of candidates dominate the landscape in every municipality where the polls are scheduled,. Candidates have launched their house-to-house campaigns as usual, but the election manifestos of the mayoral candidates are still pending, more..

Four Lankans accused of stealing abandoned cars in Dubai

Sept 6 (GN) Six men have been accused of forming a gang that specialised in stealing cars that had been abandoned by their owners on the streets for months. Prosecutors said the six men — four Sri Lankans and two Syrians — would search for deserted cars that had Dubai Municipality warning notices on their windshields. Then they would wash the cars before breaking the locks open, cutting new keys and driving off. more..

No action taken against the Secretary on substandard petrol

Sept 6 (LT) Ministry of Public Administration says that no action has been taken against the Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Industry who was alleged to have imported substandard petrol which led to a big controversy. It is reported the Secretary Mr Titus Jayawardena is in service at the Ministry of Public Administration. According to the Secretary of Public Administration Mr P B Abeykoon neither an indictment has been more..

Lankan expats should apply for new deeds

Sept 6 (Island) The government requests the Tamils who have gone abroad for various reasons and not visited their agricultural and residential land in the Northern Region for several decades, to apply for new deeds, Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon says. He said that some members of the Tamil community who had abandoned their properties and gone abroad for fear of the LTTE or the conflict or in search of more..

Hainan flies here on Oct. 18

Sept 6 (DN) Hainan Airways, China’s fourth largest international airline in terms of fleet will launch its maiden flight to Colombo on October 18. The Chinese airline, will also have four weekly flights to Colombo via Bangkok, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, will arrive in Colombo on all days at 1720 and depart to Beijing at 1900 hours on the same day. “We will be flying a Boeing 737-800 aircraft to Colombo which will have more..

Massive vehicle racket bared

Sept 6 (DM) A large-scale vehicle racket involving millions of rupees in unpaid import duty has come to light with the use of ‘Carnet’ permits issued to foreigners, dual citizenship holders and tourists who regularly travel abroad with permission to keep the vehicle with them for one year in Sri Lanka. The vehicles brought to the country under this system are not subject to any customs duty or other tariffs. They also need not be registered in Sri Lanka and more..

Inferior petrol: CPC loses Rs. 487 mn.

Sept 6 (DM) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has suffered a loss amounting to a staggering 487 million Rupees due to the importation of 20,000 metric tonnes of sub standard petrol, the three-member Committee appointed to look into the blunder has revealed. The report also said the loss borne by the unused stock of 2,565 metric tonnes of petrol alone amounted to Rs. 435 million. It said they could not be sold due to the inferior quality. more..

Moody sure Lanka will opt for batting paradise track following Galle disaster

Sept 7 (TT) Tom Moody believes Sri Lanka will not doctor their wickets again in this series after the tactic backfired spectacularly in the first Test. The former Sri Lankan coach was surprised to see such a dry, dusty turning wicket at Galle, where Sri Lanka was bowled out for just 105 in its first innings by debut spinner Nathan Lyon, who claimed 5-34. It gave Michael Clarke his first win as captain and Australia set up the series with a 125-run victory despite a more..

Vietnam, Sri Lanka strengthen defence cooperation

Sept 7 (VP) The Defence Ministries of Vietnam and Sri Lanka will strengthen cooperation through exchanging high-ranking delegations, language training and sharing experience in army building, mine and bomb clearance and the defence industry. The two ministries reached the agreement during the talks between Deputy Minister of National Defence Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and visiting Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in Hanoi on September 5. more..

Matara is being made as The Renaissance City

Sept 7 (GDI) The government has allocated nearly Rs. 4,000 Million for the development of the Matara District which the “ Mahinda Chintana – Vision for the Future” has pledged to be developed as a “Renaissance City”. Under this huge allocation of funds, Rs. 2,700 million has been provided for provincial road development projects in the district. The road projects that are to be carried out include nine road projects in the Devinuwara electorate and more..

Sri Lanka August tourist arrivals up 30 pct yr/yr

Sept 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals jumped 29.6 percent in August from a year earlier with the visitors expect to hit a record high, as the island nation kept attracting more visitors and tourism-related investment since the end of a 25-year civil war. Arrivals have risen every month on a year-on-year basis since the war's end in May 2009, and the govt is targeting annual revenue of $2.5 billion by 2016 from 2.5 million expected visitors coming to see Sri Lanka's more..

Sri Lanka stocks dip on retail selling

Sept 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock market fell on Tuesday in heavy volumes as retail investors took profits and institutional investors remained cautious after a two-week high in the previous session. The island nation's main share index lost 0.6 percent, or 41.82 points, to 6,956.21 from its highest close since Aug. 18. Having been Asia's best performer this year, the decline on Tuesday clipped the bourse's return so far down to 4.83 percent, behind Indonesia's. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 06.09.2011

'Fishermen should be high income earners'

Sept 7 (DM) A Fisheries Bank is to be established for the benefit of 175,000 fishermen and to make the fishing industry one of the leading export oriented ventures, minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. “Our immediate objective is to bring fishermen to the high income category and increase the export earnings to one billion US dollars by 2015. This will not be a difficult task if a bank is established with the initial capital raised by the fishermen themselves,” Minister Senaratne stressed. more..

Sexual assault in bus

Sept 7 (DM) A man who had allegedly sexually harassed a Japanese woman while she was travelling in a bus near Union Place, Colombo 2 was remanded till September 12 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate today. The Japanese woman complaining to the Slave Island police, accused a person who stood beside her in the bus of touching her in an inappropriate manner. She had further told police that she was a resident of Kammachi in Japan and arrived in Sri Lanka for a short holiday tour. more..

President orders strict action against sexual molesters

Sept 7 (HN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that attention should be paid towards the standards and caretakers of children at children’s homes. The President also stated that when introducing laws with regard to issues faced by women and domestic violence, the culture of the country should be given consideration. The President made these comments during a discussion that was held yesterday at Temple Trees to obtain views and proposals from more..

End of emergency

Sept 7 (FL) A day before the delayed debate on Sri Lankan Tamils took off in the Indian Parliament and just over a fortnight before the 18th regular session of the UNHRC is scheduled to meet, President Mahinda Rajapaksa proposed to the Parliament that the state of emergency in the island nation need not be extended. “I would like to present to this supreme Parliament the proposal to repeal the emergency regulations for administrative activities to function democratically under the ordinary law. more..

Sri Lanka telecom to float US$75mn loan for expansion

Sept 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom, the island's largest telecom operator, said it will raise 75 million US dollars from a syndicated loan to upgrade and expand its network including Mobitel, the group mobile unit. "We are still in the process of finalizing the syndicated loan," chief executive Gregg Young said. "The syndicated loan will be used for further investments into Mobitel, our network investments to expand broadband and network modernization." more..

'Restore law and order in Jaffna'

Sept 7 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today proposed that a committee comprising all the MPs from the Jaffna district be appointed for the government to consult in matters such as the dismantling of the High Security Zones in the aftermath of the withdrawal of the emergency regulations. Mr. Wickremesinghe, raising a question under the Standing Order 23-II, said that advice could be sought from this committee on such matters. more..

Government to establish Audit Service shortly

Sept 7 (LP) Government will soon take steps to establish the Sri Lanka Audit Service. This proposal will address the grievances of the Auditors and provide a systematic recruitments and promotion scheme for the Auditor, he said. Govt Audit Service is rendering a great service to the nation by promoting the efficiency in the state sector through their audit proceeding said Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, addressing the 55th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Audit Service Association held in ICTAD Auditorium. more..

Permission granted to establish election office for each party at 3 MCs

Sept 7 (LP) The Commissioner of Elections has decided to permit each political party to establish one election office in Colombo, Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia and Kandy Municipal Councils. This decision is an outcome of the discussions held with the Elections Commissioner by the political parties on last Thursday. Accordingly each political party contesting at the CMC has been permitted to establish 5 elections each. They should be at Colombo North, Colombo Central, Colombo West,Colombo East and Borella. more..

Sri Lanka can learn from Clarke, says Ranatunga

Sept 7 (SMH) Former captain Arjuna Ranatunga has singled out Michael Clarke for praise over his snubbing of Indian Premier League and Big Bash League riches, arguing the Twenty20 phenomenon is proving the downfall of Test cricket in his homeland as too many put cash before country. Ranatunga, now an opposition member of Parliament, also took Sri Lanka's selectors to task, telling the Herald the decision to leave mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis out more..

Sri Lanka seeks to upgrade skills as tourism booms

Sept 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourism industry intends to ramp up training to meet a critical and growing skills gap amid a tourism boom after the end of the island's ethnic war, officials said. "As the annual output of about 1,500 graduates is the industry requirement, incentives will be provided to promote skills in the industry," according to a new tourism strategy released Monday. Training will focus on housekeeping, food and beverage, professional cookery, more..

COPE report will be released before budget debate

Sept 7 (DM) The report of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) will be released to Parliament before the budget debate, its chairman and senior minister D. E. W. Gunasekara said in Parliament today. Mr. Gunasekara said that the COPE started the examination of audit reports related to state institutions from August 4, 2010, and the work on 185 institutions had already been completed. He said that the work on the remaining 43 institutions would be completed before the end of October. more..

Lankan lawmaker seeks Indian help for Tamil rehabilitation

Sept 7 (ANI) A lawmaker of Sri Lanka's Tamil National Council, Seenithambi Yogeswaran, has complained about the lack of rehabilitation of Tamils in his country, despite adequate monetary assistance given by the Indian govt. Yogeswaran said the Indian govt had provided funds for the construction of 50, 000 houses for those who were affected during the civil war, which had come to an end in May 2009. However, a large number of people are more..

Open Letter: Don't hang them

Sept 7 (LG) I am William Nicholas Gomes, a human rights activist and journalist. I have been campaigning for the abolishment of the death penalty for years. I want to start my appeal to you by quoting a comment of eminent jurist, W.J. Basil Fernando, who is the Director for Policy and Programme Development of Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), “I am opposing the execution of the killers of Rajiv Ratna Gandhi, not because they are the killer of 6th Prime Minister of India but it is because no State has a right to more..

A young man's complaint of imminent threat to life

Sept 7 (LG) We are bringing to your notice an allegation of serious threat to life and deliberate refusal to carry out the duties of the police relating to serious assaults, attempted abductions and several other complaints by a young man living in Ja-Ela. His basic complaint is that due to some unfortunate but simple misunderstanding, a millionaire businessman of the Ja-Ela area with several criminal elements is harassing him and his family members. Further, the OIC of the Ja-Ela Police Station more..