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Sri Lanka qualifies for Asia Pacific Beach Volleyball semis

Apr 16 (Island) The Sri Lanka women’s beach volleyball team created history yesterday by qualifying for the semi-finals of the Asia Pacific Beach Volleyball Championship, at Songkhla in Thailand. The Sri Lankan duo of Takshila Neranjani and Geethika Gunawardene beat Hong Kong in the semi-finals, by two sets to nil. In the lead up to the semi-final, the Sri Lankans had a tough game against Kazakhstan and overcame them 21-14, 21-13. more..

‘Plantation community’s livelihoods should be enhanced’

Apr 16 (DN) It is necessary to uplift the livelihoods of the plantation community to enhance the productivity of the plantation sector, said Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Haraldstad participating as the Chief Guest at the annual general meeting of the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) held recently at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. PHDT is doing a great service for the betterment of the plantation community by enhancing social welfare facilities, more..

Survey on blindness and eye ailments

Apr 16 (DN) The Health Ministry will conduct a survey on blindness and eye ailments in Sri Lanka this year with the assistance of World Health Organisation (WHO). The main objective of the survey is to find out the exact number of blind persons in the country and the number of persons suffering from eye ailments, a Health Ministry spokesman said. The spokesman said the ministry does not have the latest statistics on blind persons and eye ailments in Sri Lanka to implement more..

18 deaths during Avurudu season

Apr 16 (DM) At least 18 deaths and 16 fatal road accidents were reported during the Sinhala and Tamil New year season. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said these figures were reported during the period from April 12 to yesterday morning. He said of the 18 deaths 10 had died due to accidents within 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday morning. In addition he said 138 had suffered severe and minor injuries in 61 road accidents while 199 vehicles had more..

GMOA takes on Northern health secretary

Apr 16 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) last Friday alleged that the Northern Province Health Secretary, Raza Ranindran was interfering in the overall affairs unnecessarily and helping his favourites to secure additional posts. The appointments and transfers of doctors were stopped at his discretion and his favourites were given appointments and transfers to their preferred areas, the GMOA said. The GMOA met Secretary to the Health Ministry more..

Bribery complaint against hospital officials

Apr 16 (SL) Complaints have been lodged with the Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption against the Director and Deputy Director of the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH) by the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) of the SJGH. Two separate complaints have been lodged on March 28 with the Bribery Commission by the JTUA according to its Chairman Lalith Angampitiya. “Since we did not get any relief either from the SJGH management or from the Health Ministry, more..

Vandalised Gandhiji statue in Sri Lanka restored

Apr 16 (Hindu) A statue of Mahatma Gandhi that was vandalised on April 5 in Batticaloa, headquarters town of the Tamil-dominated Eastern province, has been restored. Three other statues are in the process of being restored. “The statue looks as it did earlier,” the Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Santhirakanthan, said. Plans were afoot to install one more Gandhiji statue in Batticaloa, he said. more..

Community based seed project a success

Apr 16 (NS) The Hadabima Authority has successfully completed community based seed producing project started last year achieving targeted goals. “Total revenue of the completed project is 14.1million and we spent a total amount of 5 million. So, it has made a profit of 9.1million from the completed seed producing project,” Nandasena Herath, Chairman for the Hadabima Authority told The Nation. The Authority launched this project to develop seeds under the guidance of more..

Now banner dispute in CMC

Apr 16 (Island) Banners Printed by Maverick UPFA Colombo Municipal Councillor Azath Salley thanking the Muslim countries for supporting Sri Lanka against the US resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva has not been put up by CMC authorities despite both Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil and Commissioner Mrs. Bhadrani Jayawardena approving same about three weeks back. Both Mayor Muzammil and Mrs. Jayawardena gave the green light for CMC’s Director of Sports Jayalath Aponso to display the banners, but more..

Sri Lanka’s Thangaraja captures golf crown

Apr 16 (PT) Sri Lanka golfer Thangaraja won the 51st National Amateur Golf Championship with a four-stroke victory on the final day as the four-day action culminated at the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club Golf Course in Lahore. Thangaraja, who overcame an ordinary start on the second day, continued his brilliant show to secure a card of 72 on the final day. With his performance of two-over-par 74, six-under 68 and one-over 73 in the first three rounds, more..

India gives Sri Lanka lessons in realpolitik

Apr 16 (GP) The United States sponsored and carried a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva on March 22. However, what surprised observers was not US action but that India had voted in favor of a resolution against its South Asian neighbor. The resolution, calling on Colombo to investigate war crimes allegedly committed by its own troops and Tamil rebels in the final months of fighting in 2009, is admittedly weak. It is nowhere near an international investigation that more..

Sri Lanka expected global shock to slow credit: CB Governor

Apr 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka expected a global slowdown to moderate credit in the second half of 2012 and did not tighten monetary policy but spent foreign reserves to maintain growth, a top official said. Sri Lanka's central bank, which runs a so-called soft-pegged exchange regime triggered a balance of payments crisis from mid 2011 by failing to raise rates when credit growth picked up partly due to a losses at state enterprises, which were manipulating energy prices. more..

Talks on oil purchases from Oman proceeding successfully

Apr 16 (DN) The government’s discussions with Oman to purchase crude oil, in the wake of economic sanctions on Iran, including oil related transactions to which a deadline is set for June 28, are continuing successfully, Petroleum Industries Ministry Secretary Dr R S H Samaratunga said. He said experts in the field have proposed that Oman mixed crude oil is more likely to match the capacity of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery. more..

Whither the Aged? Property seized, thrown out of their homes, and even murdered

Apr 16 (LB) A Sinhalese Anglican gentleman lived in Colombo and drew a sizeable pension after retiring from a top post in the Postal Department. He died just short of his 90th birthday. The doctor who attended to the old pensioner spilled the beans. The pensioner’s daughter had adopted much the method of Matthew Peiris to do her father in. Matthew Peiris was convicted of the murder of his wife, his lover Delrene’s husband, Ingram, and others. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines starts direct flights to Colombo from Kuwait

Apr 16 (KT) Starting on May 1, Sri Lankan Airlines will start a direct and daily flight to Colombo from Kuwait and vice versa. The regular route will depart from Kuwait at 21:55pm daily and arrive in Colombo at 6:15am. Lal Perera, Regional Manager in the Middle East and Africa, said the need for the direct flight is now essential. “The new direct flight will commence from May 1 to serve our passengers who have been requesting a daily and direct flight to and from Kuwait. more..

Indian MPs' visit set to be a low-key affair

Apr 16 (Hindu) With the two main political parties from Tamil Nadu staying away from a parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka, the visit beginning on Monday is set to be a low-key affair that gives the impression of a goodwill mission and sceptics doubt whether it would consist of an interactive engagement with key stakeholders. Ever since the delegation's visit was announced, there was much scepticism about its usefulness, as a similar tour by a more..

Lanka visit should not become a conducted tour: BJP

Apr 16 (Hindu) The proposed visit by the Indian delegation to Sri Lanka might not bring expected results if the MPs fail to meet the affected Tamils and leaders of Tamil community in Sri Lanka, said Bharatiya Janata Party leader L. Ganesan. He said the visit should not be a “conducted tour” as it would have no use. There were reports that each and every movement of Tamils was being closed followed by security agencies and intelligence personnel in the affected areas of Sri Lanka. more..

Amunugama to lead delegation

Apr 16 (CT) Senior Minister for International Monetary Corporation Dr. Sarath Amunugama will lead the Sri Lankan delegation to the IMF-World Bank Spring meeting to be held in Washington this week. Other members of the delegation include Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabral and Director General of the External Resources Division of the Ministry of Finance and Planning Mapa Pathirana, along with several other senior officials at the Ministry and the Central Bank. more..

Sri Lanka reviews international undertakings

Apr 16 (CT) Sri Lanka will be on the international spotlight again during the month of November this year, at the UNHRC’s second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The deadline for various United Nations bodies and NGOs to submit their reports on Sri Lanka is set for 23 April and Sri Lanka gets time till 23 July to prepare its responses to the submissions. Sri Lanka’s UPR is scheduled for Thursday, 1 Nov during the 20th Session of the UNHRC. more..

Let SL find its own permanent solution says Australian Tamil vet

Apr 16 (Island) "Sri Lanka is a sovereign country and should be allowed to find its own long term and permanent solution to its ethnic problem without outsiders, forcing their will on the country," said Veterinary Surgeon Noel Nadesan of Victoria commenting on the 23 March passage through the UNHRC in Geneva of the resolution on "Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. Nadesan, from Sri Lanka’s ethnic minority Tamil community migrated to more..

How can SL celebrate New Year when SF behind bars?

Apr 16 (Island) Democratic National Alliance (DNA) MP, Arjuna Ranatunga on Saturday said that he wouldn’t celebrate Sinhala and Tamil New Year as long as war hero, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, remained behind bars. Addressing a group of people at his political office at Kalutara, the former National cricket captain lashed out at the Rajapaksas for being vindictive. How could people celebrate the dawn of a New Year when the man, who fearlessly and courageously more..

White Van whodunnit: Impunity the operative word

Apr 16 (LB) The white van is not just a phenomenon; it has now become a Sri Lankan phenomenon. It has become a de facto mechanism of administering justice (to underworld gangsters) and apparently an unofficial extension of the security arm that is tasked with securing peace in post-war Sri Lanka. The utility of the white van was vindicated during the govt’s counter insurgency campaign against the LTTE. more..

Nobody’s child left to die

Apr 16 (ST) Dumped in drains or left in the woods, babies are being abandoned and left to die by their mothers. Only a few fortunate ones survive. According to the latest police statistics, January 2012 recorded 26 incidents of abandoned babies, while in 2011, 206 incidents of abandoned babies were reported. On March 27, a three-day-old baby covered with ants, was discovered in a wooded area behind a tourist hotel in Matara. The infant was rushed to the ICU of more..

Sajith snubbed by Political Affairs Comm

Apr 16 (Island) UNP Political Affairs Committee has ignored Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa’s call for the party to go it alone at the forthcoming May Day, thereby causing further turmoil in the party. He has strongly opposed the move to hold a joint May Day rally in Jaffna with the TNA. The MP alleged that such action was detrimental to the party and wouldn’t strengthen their efforts to revamp the organization. more..

Colombo’s Coffee Culture

Apr 16 (SL) Coffee shops have been mushrooming around Colombo at an alarming rate, but does this mean that coffee is now the city’s favorite beverage? Not necessarily, as The Sunday Leader learnt this week. While a certain number of those who frequent coffee shops do so for the coffee itself, many visit coffee shops for a variety of reasons – including, but not limited to, the other beverages on offer (most involving chocolate), the food, or simply the atmosphere. more..

Canadian Tamil citizen arrested for rape

Apr 16 (CT) The Vavuniya Police has arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil who is a Canadian citizen, for molesting a sixteen year old girl in a lodge in Vavuniya on Saturday. The Vavuniya police acting on a tip off made the arrest and had uncovered large quantities of sex toys and genital stimulants which were used on the girl. The lodge owner had also been arrested for harbouring the girl and is suspected to have used his lodge for the sex trade. more..

Dutch national remanded for stealing endemic fauna species from Sinharaja

Apr 16 (Island) Wijnand Roelos Bavend, a 58-year-old Dutch national, has been remanded in the Ratnapura prison on Saturday for being in the possession of 19 species of grasshoppers, millipedes, rare cockroaches and other endemic species of fauna collected from the Sinharaja reserve. Investigations by the Forest Department authorities have revealed that there had been 109 test tubes, 114 small bottles, more..

Parents of private medical college students threaten fast

Apr 16 (Island) The parents of the medical students of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (private medical college) have decided to urge the GMOA to drop its opposition to it and to show any shortcomings still existing in it for correction. The gazette notification recognizing it issued on August 30, 2011 has recognized student batches enrolled from that date, but students in one to four batches who more..

Palestinian Leader meets President Rajapaksa

Apr 16 (GDI) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held one to one talks on matters and issues relating to the countries this morning. In addition to this bilateral talks were also held between the delegations of the two countries with the Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister G.L. Peiris and the Palestinian delegation led by the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nour Al Maliki. more..

Gota challenges Kiriella

Apr 16 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has challenged UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella to give the name of the mother who, according to Kiriella, had claimed to have seen the person who abducted her son at the Police Station went she went to make a complaint about the abduction. “He says that a female came up to him and said that when she went to the Police to complain about the abduction of her son, she found the very person more..

Police say no proof of abductions

Apr 16 (DM) Police are yet to establish proof of the alleged abductions of FSP activists Kumar Gunaratnam and Dimuthu Attygalle. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said that investigations were underway into the alleged abductions “According to our investigations carried out regarding the incident so far, it has not been proved that there was an abduction” SP Rohana said. He said the police had visited two houses and recorded statements from more..

Sri Lanka shares end up 0.2-pct

Apr 16 (LBO) Shares closed firmer Monday after a long weekend owing to traditional new year holidays last week with trading still at low levels and focussed on 'penny stocks', brokers said. The main All Share Price Index rose 0.15 percent to 5,434.00, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.51 percent to close at 4,934.14. Turnover was a low 206 million rupees, only slightly higher than the previous Monday when it sank to the lowest since May 2009. Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed at 209.50 rupees, up 10 cents. more..

Editorial: Vanishing Act

Apr 16 (DM) Throughout history, those who disappeared never emerged alive. They were abducted in white vans, burnt to death on tyre-pyres or simply erased from memory and day-to-day life. Thus was the common fate of those who went missing and no amount of tears or placard holding by bereaved family members helped get them back. In such a scenario, the vanishing act of Dimuthu Attygala and Premkumar Gunaratnam was not the first episode of a mega series nor will it be the last. more..

Sri Lanka policy uncertainty deterring investment: ADB

Apr 16 (LBO) Private investment in post-war Sri Lanka has not risen as anticipated because it still lacks a "predictable policy environment" which creates uncertainties for businesses, the Asian Development bank has said. The outlook is for moderate but still strong growth in Sri Lanka in 2012, the bank forecast in its Asian Development Outlook report released last week. While the govt has been trying to reduce bottlenecks to growth not enough more..

B’desh pushing for more trade with SL

Apr 16 (Island) The current $46 Mn bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will improve further after two recent important events-the SL-B’desh Joint Economic Commission (JEC) talks and the Sri Lanka’s Expo 2012. "We are pleased to see so many products from diverse sectors in this Expo. We believe we can order more from Sri Lanka" said a satisfied Dilip Barua, Bangladesh Minister for Industries who was in Colombo at end March. Minister Barua expressed more..

'Sri Lanka IMF disbursement credit positive'

Apr 16 (LBO) The resumption of a loan program with the IMF is positive for Sri Lanka's 'B1' credit rating, as it will help boost investor confidence, Moody's Investors Service said. "The disbursement is credit positive because it will help restore investor confidence and shore up foreign exchange reserves, which had been drained owing largely to an ineffective exchange rate policy in the second half of 2011," Cynthia Mar, an associate analyst at at Moody's more..

Saturday’s expressway income exceeds Rs 5 mil: Highest single day revenue

Apr 16 (GDI) The Southern Expressway gained the highest revenue in a single day on Saturday by collecting Rs. 5.1 million. The Expressway was put into maximum use during the New Year season with a large number of people making use of the benefit. Meanwhile, the adverse weather the country experienced during the festive days has also contributed to increased number of accidents on the Southern Expressway, more..

Rugby: Sri Lanka makes winning start drubbing Taipei

Apr 16 (DM) Sri Lanka had a dream start at the HSBC Asian Five Nations Tournament Division I in Philippines yesterday. The Lankans went past a helpless Chinese Taipei outfit by 36-08 after leading 29-3 at the breather. Sri Lanka Centre Dhanushka Chathuranga scored with the kick off with R Meepage missing the kick at goal. Soon afterwards Taipei hit back through a full back Chu Chin Wei penalty. Thereafter Taiepi missed a golden opportunity when Wei the full back missed a more..

Sri Lankan opposition demand debate on disappearance, abduction

Apr 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition on Monday said it was demanding for a debate on increasing number of disappearances and abductions in the country. The Chief Opposition Whip, UNP MP John Amaratunga said the party hopes to table this adjournment motion at the parliamentary session starting on May 8. "We want to bring this serious problem before the parliament as the incidents of abductions and disappearance have gone up rapidly over the recent past," more..

WikiLeaks: Gota softens tone on war crimes

Apr 16 (CT) “Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa seemed to soften his tone on calls for accountability over possible violations of international human rights. In an earlier interview with the BBC, the Defense Secretary had vigorously opposed any international investigation into possible violations. In a Feb 8 interview with the Island newspaper, however, Rajapaksa said “no one would oppose a genuine investigation initiated by the international community” more..