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Boat carries them to watery grave

Apr 17 (Island) Two young men drowned when the boat they were travelling in, on the Dhandugam Oya in Seeduwa, capsized on Sunday evening. Three others escaped by swimming to safety. Police Spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said yesterday that five friends had been on an outing on the Dhandugam Oya when their boat capsized around 5.45 p.m. He said that the bodies of the two men who drowned were found yesterday morning. The Seeduwa Police, who are conducting investigations, more..

Lightning claims 6 lives

Apr 17 (CT) Six deaths due to lighting were reported by the Meteorological Department this month due to heavy thundershowers that are currently occurring in the country. The frequently occurring thunderstorms have claimed the lives of 12 people for the past three and a half months. 55 persons were killed due to lightning last year. Every year there is a rise in the number of those who are killed due to lightning during the months of April and May, more..

Municipal markets to be beautified

Apr 17 (CT) Several municipal markets within the CMC area are being renovated with a view to bringing them on par with the City Beautification Scheme undertaken by the UDA. The municipal markets at Grand Pass North (Kos Gas Handiya), Maradana (Baddegama Wimalawansa Mawatha) and Wellawatta (close to Fussels Lane) have been constructed anew. A dark, drab aura that seems to surround the Borella Municipal Market gives a depressing impression to some people visiting it, more..

EP doctors to strike over hello allowance

Apr 17 (Island) Around 1,000 doctors in the Eastern Province will launch a one-day strike on April 24 to protest against the non-payment of their telephone allowance. They accuse the Provincial Health Director of maladministration in the Province and blame him for not effecting their payments. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa yesterday said that doctors serving in the Trincomalee, Ampara and Kalmunai areas would launch a strike on April 24 as an injustice had been meted out to them by more..

Sri Lanka not perturbed over DMK, AIADMK pulling out

Apr 17 (Island) In spite of two major South Indian political parties, the DMK and AIADMK, pulling out of a parliamentary delegation visiting Sri Lanka on a fact-finding mission, senior Sri Lankan officials said that the govt wasn’t worried over the absence of DMK and AIADMK representatives. "The GoSL is confident that the visiting delegation will appreciate what we have achieved since the conclusion of the conflict in May three years ago," more..

Thai women pregnant with cocaine netted

Apr 17 (DM) The police recovered 162 capsules containing cocaine at an estimated value of Rs.20 million from the stomachs of the two Thai women who were admitted to the Negombo Hospital after their arrest at the Katunayake Airport. This is the first instance in Sri Lanka where suspects found to have swallowed cocaine were arrested. The detection was made by the Police Narcotics Bureau. Arrangements were made to remove the cocaine from the stomachs under medical supervision. more..

AIADMK, DMK should have joined MPs' team: CPI(M)

Apr 17 (Hindu) India should ensure that the Parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka succeeds in its mission of finding a political solution to the ethnic problem, CPI (M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said on Monday. He said that instead of keeping away from the delegation, the DMK, an ally of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre, and the AIADMK should have been part of it. “Representatives of the CPI and the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi too should have been included in the team.” more..

Sri Lanka to curtail Iranian oil imports

Apr 17 (Island) Sri Lanka intends to substantially curtail the import of Iranian crude, in line with tough new sanctions imposed by the United States, before the June 28 deadline. "Our efforts to finalize new arrangements ahead of the deadline were on track," Petroleum Minister, Susil Premjayantha said yesterday. "In fact, we have no option, but to act swiftly and decisively to ensure an uninterrupted energy supply," the UPFA General Secretary said more..

She went missing in Saudi Arabia six years ago: Govt. in the dark

Apr 17 (Island) A person from Hingurakgoda has complained to the govt that there has been no news of his daughter who went to Saudi Arabia for employment six years ago. M.G. Jayawardena of Chandana Pokuna, Hingurakkoda says his daughter N.G. Nadawathi has gone missing for the last six years and all his efforts to trace her have been in vain. He first wrote to the Foreign Employment Bureau inquiring about his daughter and since there was no response he more..

Train accident death ‘suspicious’

Apr 17 (Island) A 25-year-old man was run over and killed by a Kalutara bound train while he was sleeping on the rail track at Wellawatte on Sunday morning. Police Spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that the victim had been sleeping on the rail track near the 40th Lane in Wellawatte around 6.10 a.m. according to information gathered, but whether there had been any foul play had not been ascertained yet as the driver of the train had not seen the victim sleeping on the track. more..

Long-term IDPs neither here nor there

Apr 17 (SL) Several families who have faced protracted displacement are caught up in a number of complications, resulting in them returning to lives as IDPs after failing to secure a renewed life at their original homes in the North. A Govt Minister recently drew attention to the plight faced by these long-term IDPs, most of them Northern Muslims who were evicted from the North and East by the LTTE in 1990. more..

At last! A good ole robbery to distract from all these abductions

Apr 17 (LB) State media reported last week that the govt will upgrade security at the Colombo National Museum. One cannot argue with the merits of this move, however spectacularly overdue it might be. But one must object to the prostitution of the word “upgrade”. How the devil do you “upgrade” something that never existed in the first place? The Colombo National Museum was established in 1877. more..

28 CEB trade unions to struggle for salary increase

Apr 17 (LT) More than 15,000 employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) are preparing for a trade union action to win an increase to their salaries. They had to abandon a ‘sick leave’ campaign scheduled to be carried out on 11th April due to the tsunami threat. However, representatives of all trade unions belonging to the United Trade Union Organization of the CEB will meet in Colombo on the 20th to take a decision regarding more..

Military spending: how much does the military cost each country, listed

Apr 17 (Guardian) Is the global arms trade recession-proof? Almost, it appears. While govt spending is being cut across the globe, military spending is staying remarkably steady. The world's countries spent $1.7tn on their militaries last year, according to new figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). It's barely changed from the year before, more..

FR petitioner dies in police custody

Apr 17 (CT) An individual who had filed a fundamental rights petition against the Wadduwa police OIC died on Sunday while in police custody, police spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana said. “He had fainted in the Wadduwa police cell and was thereafter admitted to the Panadura hospital and died upon admission,” SP Rohana said. The individual along with four others had filed a fundamental rights case against the OIC, however the petition was dismissed by more..

'If justice is not delivered people will rise'

Apr 17 (DM) Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of the slain Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra said that the whole country is watching the proceedings of the case and if justice is not delivered the countrymen would rise up against it. Showing pictures of taken at the scene of the crime which showed the former MP lying in a pool of bloody minutes after the shootout, to the media present at courts Hirunika urged authorities to act equitably. more..

Govt. attitude on national question disappointing: TNA

Apr 17 (DM) The lack of interest on the part of the govt to resume talks on finding a lasting solution to the national question was disappointing, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said. He said his party could not go forward without first arriving at a consensus with the govt. “Every time the matter comes up in local or international forums, the govt keeps referring to the Parliamentary Select Committee, which is a non-event. more..

'Mathews must be wary of injury in IPL'

Apr 17 (Island) With criticism mounting against all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who played the second Test against England in Colombo as a specialist batsman, but currently plays the Indian Premier League (IPL) as an all-rounder, Chairman of Selectors Ashantha de Mel says that the selectors have no control over what players do at IPL. Mathews, Sri Lanka’s vice-captain, failed a fitness Test ahead of the first Test against England and played the second Test only as a batsman. more..

Duminda’s location found

Apr 17 (CT) Duminda Silva’s location was revealed to Additional Magistrate Prasanna Alwis at the Colombo Magistrate court today by CID ASP Shani Abeysekera. The Court was informed that Duminda Silva is currently receiving treatment in Mount Elizabeth Hospital Singapore. ASP Shani Abeysekera further submitted that according to the medical reports from the hospital, they have been informed that MP Duminda Silva is to undergo surgery before the end of this month. more..

Indian delegation holds talks in Sri Lanka

Apr 17 (Xinhua) A visiting Indian parliamentary delegation held talks in Colombo on Tuesday to assess the post war situation in the country, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said. The delegation led by the Indian opposition leader Sushma Swaraj met Minister G.L. Peiris as well as Minister Basil Rajapaksa. "The Indian delegation was briefed of the rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the north and east as well as other post war developments," more..

Sri Lanka shares end down 0.4-pct

Apr 17 (LBO) Shares closed weaker Tuesday with turnover beginning to pick up from low levels after a long holiday with interest still mainly on 'penny stocks', brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.39 percent to 5,413.58, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.36 percent to close at 4,911.83. Turnover rose to 442 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures. Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed at 209.40 rupees, down 30 cents, more..

Editorial: Turn around before it's too late

Apr 17 (DM) In the afterglow of the National New Year, the government needs to act fast and effectively on a series of crises confronting it. They range from the International fallout from the diplomatic debacle in Geneva on alleged war crimes and human rights issues to national reconciliation, democracy and media freedom, accountability and transparency, the breakdown of the rule of law and worst of all the possible breakdown of the economy with more price hikes likely soon. more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 21-pct in March

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 21.3 percent to 91,102 in March from a year earlier with arrival in the first three months up 21.1 percent to 260,525, the state tourist promotion agency said. Arrivals from Western Europe rose 35.6 percent to 40,686 with UK arrivals surging 35.9 percent to 12,032 reversing a contraction in previous months. In December a local politician was arrested after a British tourist was shot and killed and more..

Wadduwa OIC, 2 PCs transferred following suspect’s death

Apr 17 (SM) The OIC of Wadduwa Police and two other policemen have been transferred following the death of a man while in their custody. The OIC has been given a posting to Mt. Lavinia Police, while the two constables have been transferred elsewhere. A 42-year-old father of three, arrested by Wadduwa Police on April 15 on a charge of ganja possession, has died at the police station. Relatives suspect foul play, since Chandrasiri Dassanayake was the main witness in a more..

Sri Lanka Cricket congratulates Sangakkara

Apr 17 (PTI) Sri Lanka Cricket on Tuesday congratulated senior player Kumar Sangakkara on being named the International Cricketer of the Year 2012 by the Wisden Almanack. "Kumar joins a special brand of past greats dating back to 1889, and the award he receives by Wisden is not only a global recognition but a national achievement by a true son of our soil," SLC said in a release. Sangakkara, 34, was picked by the Wisden as one of its five cricketers of 2011. more..

Sri Lanka to get first pharmaceutical factory from GSK

Apr 17 (Xinhua) Multinational pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) is investing in the first ever tablet manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka, a statement by the Industry and Commerce Ministry said here on Tuesday. The new factory will have the capacity to produce 2.5 billion paracetamol tablets annually and will be the first investment in a govt investment zone exclusively earmarked for pharmaceuticals, the statement said. more..

Sandya Ekneligoda harassed

Apr 17 (AHRC) Mrs. Sandya Ekneligoda was one of the speakers during a side event held on 19th March 2012 during the 19th sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva. The side event was titled “Rule of Law and human rights violations in Sri Lanka: Perspectives from women, minorities and families of disappeared”. She was invited to share her perspectives as the wife of a disappeared journalist / cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda and as woman human rights defender who had been engaging more..

Sri Lanka's national museum to be opened after theft

Apr 17 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's national museum which was robbed a month ago is to be opened soon under tight security, a spokesman said on Tuesday. A senior official of the National Heritage Ministry said that all sections of the museum will be opened to the public from April 25. The Colombo National Museum was broken into on March 17 and some historic items belonging to country's last kings were stolen. Among the items stolen included several gold-embedded swords, gold rings, more..

Many extreme crimes to be shelved

Apr 17 (LT) It is revealed that a situation has arisen where police investigations into 86 extrebme crimes are to be shelved. According to CID sources the crimes to be shelved involve extortion, murder and drug peddling. It is revealed that among them are several crimes that sparked outrage in the country. It is also revealed that the crimes are to be shelved due to various levels of political connections the perpetrators have with the govt. more..

I do not seek Police assistance: Wimal

Apr 17 (DM) Politicians engaged in clean politics do not seek Police assistance, but those who do politics with the assistance of the underworld and drug barons always expect the help of corrupt policemen for their political survival, Minister Wimal Weerawansa has said. Addressing a ceremony held to hand over a house to an extremely destitute family at Samudra Mawatha, Galpottagama, Athurugiriya, he went onto say that there were certain state institutions where a public work more..

Tourist guide book on Lanka in Russian language

Apr 17 (NS) In a bid to promote Sri Lanka as the preferred tourism destination among the Russians, the Sri Lanka’s embassy in Russia has completed a Tourist Guide Book on Sri Lanka in the Russian language and two audio CDs containing details of 21 places to visit in Sri Lanka. The first copies of the Guide Book and CDs were handed over to the Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa; Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), Rumy Jauffer and more..

Rs 1 Billion gloves fraud detected at health ministry

Apr 17 (DM) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara had ordered a probe to ascertain how a certain medical equipment supplier to the Health Ministry was able to sell a huge stock of surgical gloves to hospitals while violating tender procedures. Ministry spokesman said that the Treasury probe had been initiated on the instructions of Minister Maithripala Sirisena after he came to know about the deal which he said had resulted in a Rs. 1 billion loss more..

Schools told to clean up mosquito breeding places

Apr 17 (Island) The Health Ministry yesterday advised school authorities and parents to clean up schools of mosquito breeding places before the beginning of the new term. Ministry sources said that the weather conditions coupled with the school vacations would lead to increase in the number of mosquito breeding places. The total number of dengue cases from the beginning of January till the end of March had been over 9,600. The statistics showed that at least 3,000 cases more..

Bus set on fire in Mathurata

Apr 17 (DM) A bus estimated at Rs.4 million belonging to the brother-in-law of Private Bus Industries Minister C.B. Ratnayake was set on fire in Mathurata, Kandy by a group of men, police said. No suspects have been arrested so far but the police stated it was widely believed that a personal dispute may have led to the incident. A complaint was lodged by the owner soon after the incident as the bus had sustained extensive damages. In mid-march, two buses estimated at Rs.8.4 million more..

Indian Parliamentary delegation appreciates North development

Apr 17 (GDI) The visiting Indian joint Parliamentary delegation led by Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj met Minister Basil Rajapaksa this morning. While welcoming the delegation Minister stated that IDP crisis is not a new thing in Sri Lanka and it was there for the last 30 years. However, he said that the govt was able to resettle 95% of the IDPs displaced after 2005 with better facilities than they enjoyed before the crisis. more..

Sri Lanka’s youth employment challenge

Apr 18 (DM) The educational system seems not be enhancing the skills that are valued by the employers particularly of those in the private sector, and in turn fail to be hired by their prospective employers. At the same time, youth are either not interested in the available jobs or have no job satisfaction. Statistics on career outcomes of Sri Lankan university graduates show that unemployment among young adults (aged 25-29) and among ‘educated individuals’ have been high as 18 percent more..

Civic action promoting governance in South Asia

Apr 18 (DM) Sri Lanka was going through its own agony with sudden stoppages to working days imposed by the JVP. In this working environment, an erudite Editor in the form of Aziz Siddiui, former editor of Frontier Post and subsequently the Pakistan Times was invited over to Colombo to prepare a briefing paper via HRCP. Being what he was, he would take pencil and paper, and the words would flow and stop without error once the text was fully delivered in one sitting. more..

National Council for Deaf, a formative home for children

Apr 18 (SO) A mother of three, 42-year old Nalani Ranawaka said her four-year old daughter Nirmali is deaf by birth. Nalani had consulted specialist doctors to seek treatment for Nirmali’s hearing impairment but could not get it cured completely. Some doctors have said that it cannot be cured completely, but to a certain extent with proper treatment. This is a very pathetic story of a mother whose youngest daughter, four-year old is deaf from birth. more..

The futility that is Omanthai: Post-war Sri Lanka’s reconciliation shortfalls

Apr 18 (GV) Omanthai Checkpoint, 12.30am: As the conductor switches on the bright florescent lights inside the bus, the bus comes to an abrupt halt, jolting awake blurry-eyed passengers travelling from Jaffna to Colombo, who, in response to the instruction “okkomala bag arung eliyata bahinna…” (“Everyone, take all your bags and get off the bus…”), scramble around in search of their respective bags, still half asleep. Once having located their individual items of more..

A vision for our nation

Apr 18 (GV) There is a vision of our land that has persisted over three millennia and is ingrained in the heart and soul of every citizen. A vision of a land, resplendent, beautiful, safe from violence, disease and famine and a land where the tolerant and compassionate philosophy of the Buddha guides human interaction. But today, the ecomomic and political winds from without and within, seek to blow us further and further from this course. The future for our children develops into the proportions of a nightmare. more..