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'CB has moral responsibility to be more transparent'

Apr 23 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva yesterday clarified that whilst GDP per capita calculation in 2011 was technically correct, the Central Bank has a moral and ethical responsibility to be more transparent. “The per capita GDP computation based on average exchange rate is technically correct but it is morally and ethically inappropriate,” said Dr. De Silva exposing the fact that exchange rate had completely changed between end 2011 more..

Rajapaksa assures MPs of air connectivity

Apr 23 (TOI) Air connectivity from Madurai to Sri Lanka appears to be materialising as Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured the visiting Tamil MPs about increasing connectivity between the two regions. Virudhunagar MP Manick Tagore, who shared his experience of the trip to Sri Lanka with media persons here on Sunday, said the Tamil MPs in the parliamentary team insisted that there should be more connectivity between Tamil Nadu and the northern and eastern more..

More stormy weather

Apr 23 (Island) The Meteorological Department yesterday predicted more stormy weather as some fresh disturbances in the atmosphere have developed near the country. Duty Meteorologist Chaminda de Silva told The Island that the situation might prevail until the next monsoon sets during the second week of May. "There is a high possibility for heavy rains with lightning activities," he said, adding that showers or thundershowers would develop over most parts of the country particularly during more..

India to rehabilitate Tamil war widows

Apr 23 (DH) Beyond regional and linguistic barriers, a tender side to the rehabilitation process of the IDP in Sri Lanka has come to light, with Karnataka being among three Indian states to train a significant number of Tamil war widows in new job-skills. Sri Lanka’s war against the separatist Tamil Tigers that ended three years ago had eventually caused “35,000 war widows”, mostly Tamils and concentrated now in the Island’s Eastern Batticaloa area. more..

Police spot checks

Apr 23 (CT) Police have begun spot checks, including checking of identity documents and bags, in Colombo and Kandy areas, witnesses say. Police Spokesperson, SP Ajith Rohana, said only “snap roadblocks” are being carried out, and denied the resumption of war-time roadblocks along the main roads. “These are being carried out to apprehend wanted criminals,” Rohana said. The checks, which were stopped since the end of the war in 2009, are carried under the country’s more..

Lanka’s tea shipments to Iran struck by two tornadoes

Apr 23 (Island) Sri Lanka’s tea exports to Iran, the second largest market after the Russian Confederation, suffered a debilitating blow with the Govt of Iran deciding to take Ceylon Teas off the essential list of imports last Thursday. "This has caused us quite a bit of concern," Jayantha Keragala, Chairman of the 114 – year old Colombo Tea Traders Association (CTTA) told The Island late Saturday night, quite euphemistically, obviously not wanting to trigger more..

'Lankan Tamil leaders not for separate Eelam'

Apr 23 (Hindu) Tamil leaders wanted a political solution to the ethnic problem within the framework of united Sri Lanka and no one raised the issue of a separate Tamil Eelam, said CPI(M) MP T.K. Rangarajan, who was part of the Indian Parliamentary delegation that toured Sri Lanka last week. When asked about DMK president M. Karunanidhi's demand for United Nations intervention and referendum for formation of Tamil Eelam on the lines of more..

Defeat attempts to divide masses on religious lines :JVP

Apr 23 (LT) The Political Bureau of eh JVP has issued a statement regarding the tense situation that occurred at Dambulla. The JVP appeals to the people not to be deceived by attempts of the government and certain groups aiming to divide masses on religious lines to get their petty objectives fulfilled. The full text of the statement: Defeat attempts of certain groups aiming to divide masses on religious lines to get their petty objectives fulfilled. more..

Deyata Kirula site made taboo for journalists

Apr 23 (Island) The place where recent Deyata Kirula exhibition was held at Oyamaduwa in Anuradhapura has been declared out of bounds for journalists. The main entrance to the exhibition site is guarded by the police and security forces in their numbers. Only the drivers and cleaners of the lorries transporting paddy to a storage complex inside the exhibition premises and the residents living near the place were allowed to enter, security officers told journalists who sought permission to visit the site. more..

Muslim ministers and theologians under flak

Apr 23 (CT) Senior Muslim ministers and theologians came under flak during a meeting they had together in Colombo to discuss the Dambulla Mosque issue on Saturday. The All-Ceylon Jammiyathul Ulema (ACJU) convened a conference to represent matters to the govt at their Headquarters at Orabi Pasha Mawatha, Maradana on Saturday. During this time an unidentified group stormed the room in which the members were congregated and started hurling insults on more..

Labour pains for health minister

Apr 23 (Island) All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) will hand over a petition to the Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena on May 4 to protest the Health Ministry’s inability to solve several problems affecting the midwives. The petition will contain 5000 signatures of midwives. The handing over of the petition will coincide with the World Midwifery Day, ACHSU General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe said. Kumarasinghe said that since last year the ACHSU had been holding several discussions with the Health Minister more..

UNP accuses govt of attempting to sabotage its May Day rally

Apr 23 (Island) The UNP yesterday accused the govt of plotting to sabotage the common opposition’s May Day rally scheduled to be held in Jaffna. UNP MP John Amaratunga said that his party had received information that the govt had got its men to spread lies about the May Day rally in Jaffna. Many other parties in the opposition including the TNA had pledged their joint participation in the rally. The govt and its friendly forces within the UNP had been working to more..

Police still trying to trace second British suspect

Apr 23 (Island) Actress and one time beauty queen Angela Seneviratne yesterday morning spent about two hours at the Police Narcotic Bureau in Colombo giving a statement "to clear her name" in the case involving the detection of three parcels of magazines containing 356 grammes of hashish sent in her name. The parcels had been addressed to No. 67, Hudson Road, Colombo 03, where Angela had lived for about six years prior to 2002. more..

Fisheries minister under fire after Spanish rescue pirates-held SL fishermen

Apr 23 (Island) Relatives of six Sri Lankan fishermen, who had been recently rescued by the Spanish navy alleged that the govt did absolutely nothing to secure their release from Somali pirates. They alleged the government turned a blind eye to their plight in spite repeated appeals for intervention. Fisheries Minister, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that he was personally involved in efforts to get the fishermen released. Dismissing accusations leveled against him, more..

Parliamentarians' visit to Sri Lanka would not be beneficial: Tirumavalavan

Apr 23 (PTI) Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) Leader Thol Tirumavalavan, Member of Parliament, on Sunday said the recent visit of the MPs' delegation, led by leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj to Sri Lanka, to oversee rehabilitation of Tamils there would not be beneficial in any manner. The team had no powers to decide on matters relating to external affairs and its report would have no impact, he told reporters. The delegation was sent under more..

Singer Sathis Perera passes away

Apr 23 (DM) A popular singer Sathis Perera has passed away this morning at a private hospital, family sources said. The Ananda College old boy, whose father Shelton Perera was also a reputed musician and singer, was 43 at the time of his death. He was also the brother of popular songstress Anuradha Perera. Sathish Perera was a crowd puller at musical shows where he sang a mix of his father's songs and his own creations. Among the hits were Awasan Liyumai Obata Liyanne, more..

Motorists beware! Mobile CCTV is everywhere!

Apr 23 (ST) The latest mobile Closed Circuit TeleVision (CCTV) system introduced by the Police this week could pick up pictures from a distance of 1.5 km, capture images at night and read a number plate at a distance of 200 metres. The mobile CCTV van was on its first operation on the streets this week, a day after it was launched by Police Chief N.K. Illangakoon. The camera mounted on a van parked alongside Galle Face Green, more..

Harry J’s Ambewela Farm is in a nature reserve

Apr 23 (SL) Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve (HSNR) which is one of the most significant protected areas in the country due to its unique and endangered bio-diversity, is under continuous threat due to political interference. Rampant illegal encroachment encouraged by powerful politicians in respective govts over the past three decades is the cause of this environmental degradation according to the Environmental Foundation Limited more..

UPFA MP, Gunaratnam’s party trade accusations over Dambulla dispute

Apr 23 (Island) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has accused govt of causing religious unrest to further its post-war political agenda. The politburo of the FSP, which is yet to seek recognition from the Election Secretariat, alleged that the govt was making a despicable attempt to trigger religious tensions for its advantage. Friday’s disturbances at Dambulla, where a group of people allegedly instigated by more..

Private sector upbeat on exporting fishing, leisure craft to Seychelles

Apr 23 (Island) Sri Lanka’s private sector was upbeat yesterday on the potential of manufacturing and exporting fishing and leisure craft to Seychelles claiming that the scope was enormous and that was a new growth potential area for the development of the "blue Economies" of both island nations. This follows Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris announcing last week at a joint news conference with his Seychelles counterpart more..

'No one can go above Mervyn in Kelaniya'

Apr 23 (AD) Every SLFP activity in the Kelaniya electorate should be conducted through the electoral organizer, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. This includes all activities including development projects, he said. Only the President has authority to remove or take disciplinary action against an electoral organizer, Minister Rajapaksa said today declaring open the Kelaniya Electoral Coordination Office of Kelaniya SLFP Organizer more..

Kekirawa tense after wild Jumbo attack

Apr 23 (DM) Traffic along the Kekirawa main road came to a standstill for about three hours yesterday when angry villagers took to the roads and protested over an incident where a wild elephant attacked a trishaw seriously injuring a man, his wife and twoyear-old daughter. The incident took place on the Ganewelpola-kekirawa main road when the victims were on their way to a clinic conducted at the Kekirawa Hospital. They were admitted to more..

India, Lanka and Maldives take part in joint naval exercises

Apr 23 (PTI) With international piracy extending its tentacles to Indian Ocean, Coast Guards of India, Sri Lanka and Maldives are taking part in a joint exercise off the coast of Male, aimed at achieving inter-operablity. Six warships are taking part in the five-day exercises code named 'Dosti XI'. Indian Coast Guard ships 'Sankalp' and 'Subhadra' are participating in the war games, while 'Huravee', 'Ghazee' and 'Shaheed Ali' more..

Deadline looming; what are we doing?

Apr 23 (LB) The US economic sanctions on Iran which will take effect June 29. The US will cut off diplomatic relations with any country that continued to conduct transactions in US dollars with Iran. Iran is the world’s third largest producer of oil following Russia and Saudi Arabia. It caters to 12 percent of the world’s oil demand. LAKBIMAnEWS spoke to the people in the know about the effect of the sanctions on Sri Lanka. A regional energy consultant with a lot of experience in more..

Douglas Devananda to lead fishermen in protest against India

Apr 23 (IANS) A Sri Lankan minister has threatened to take some 5,000 fishermen to India to protest against poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters. Govt Minister Douglas Devananda said he will lead the protest to give a message to India that the livelihood of Sri Lanka’s fishermen is affected due to wanton poaching by Indian fishermen. “The Indians enter Sri Lankan waters illegally in large trawlers and engage in large scale fishing. more..

Editorial: Sorry is not the word

Apr 23 (DM) There seems to be no beginning or an end to Washington's repeatedly saying sorry. Washington said sorry after the Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan was detained by the Homeland Agents at the New York Airport for half-an-hour, delaying the lecture he was supposed to deliver at the Yale University. And when the photos of United States soldiers holding the remains of dead Afghan insurgents leaked to media, Washington again said, 'Sorry'. more..

Sri Lanka shares end down

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares closed lower Monday and turnover fell back to low levels despite some enthusiasm seen last week after regulators lifted price restrictions that triggered a knee-jerk rally, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.04 percent to 5,455.06, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.36 percent to close at 4,905.79. Turnover fell to 247 million rupees, according to stock exchange figures. Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed flat at 206 rupees. more..

60% vehicle shipments cleared from port

Apr 23 (DM) Nearly 60 percent of the vehicle consignments that were stuck in the port since the recesnt increase in taxes, have now been cleared by the owners, the Sri Lanka Vehicle Importers Association said yesterday. The association’s President Yoga Perera told the Daily Mirror that most of the importers had cleared their consignments after the assurance given to them by President Mahinda Rajapaksa that laws would be relaxed. more..

IMF to commence next review on June 4th

Apr 23 (SM) The IMF is to commence the next review on Sri Lanka’s economic performance to release the final US$ 400 million tranche in June this year. The IMF has said it would commence the review on June 4th. The Fund is to consider the disbursement of the final US$ 400 million tranche of the US$ 2.6 billion Stand-By Agreement (SBA) after considering the representations by the review board. Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Ajith Nivard Cabraal has said that Deputy Managing more..

President Rajapaksa begins S. Korea visit

Apr 23 (SM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at Seoul Air Base today to begin a four-day official visit in South Korea. He is undertaking the trip on an invitation extended by his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-Bak. At the airport, South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Sung-han welcomed President Rajapaksa and his entourage. The Sri Lankan leader was accorded a guard of honour by the South Korean Army. During his visit President Rajapaksa will hold bilateral discussions more..

WikiLeaks: Gota is the abductor – Lakshman Seneviratne

Apr 23 (CT) “UNP legislator Lakshman Seneviratne, speaking in Parliament, accused Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, Colombo Deputy-Inspector General of Police Rohan Abeywardena and former Air Force Squadron Leader Nishantha Gajanayake of orchestrating abductions. Ambassador raised U.S. concerns about the new trend of Muslim abductions with Foreign Minister Bogollogama on June 13 .” more..

Sri Lanka Railways enhances fuel transportation

Apr 23 (GDI) The Department of Railways has imported 15 Oil Tank carriages from Pakistan to expand transportation of fuel through the railways. These oil tank carriages have been imported under the Pakistani Aid Programme. Each tank has the capacity of storing eleven thousand gallons. The General Manager of Railways B A P Ariyarathna said that transport of fuel to Galle and Matara by railway will commence today. He said that in addition to the Southern Province, more..

Patient hangs himself in hospital toilet

Apr 23 (CT) An individual who was receiving treatment in the Colombo National Hospital committed suicide by hanging himself early this morning, police said. He had hung himself in the toilet in ward no. 72 of the hospital at around 1.45 a.m. today. Speaking to Ceylon Today director of the Accident Ward in the Colombo National Hospital Dr. Prasad Ariyawansa said that the individual was transferred from the Ragama hospital last morning after he sustained head injuries. more..

IDPs to be forced on new land

Apr 23 (CG) The JVP claims the govt is attempting to relocate the remaining war displaced people in Vavuniya on some 40 perch land in Thimbili, Mullaitivu in order to meet an assurance given to an Indian delegation that the remaining displaced people will be resettled by June this year. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that when the Indian delegation led by Indian opposition leader Sushma Suwaraj visited the IDP camp in Vavuniya last week some 6000 people more..

Lindula power plant to be removed

Apr 23 (CT) Lindula Urban Council (UC) President Asoka Sepala has issued instructions for the removal of a power plant that is being constructed by the “Watawala” plantation project. Speaking to Ceylon Today Sepala said that the Lindula UC has not issued any license for the construction of this plant. “This power plant is illegal, if a company wants to build such a project they should first inform us and receive a development license from the urban council, but they haven’t, so as the officer responsible I have more..

Deputy Minister under probe

Apr 23 (DM) Police are investigating an alleged attempt by a deputy minister to extort Rs. 25 million from a businessman who had bought some land in Minuwangoda, said Police Spokesman Ajith Rohana. A entry had been lodged at the Minuwangoda police station on February 27 by a businessman named P. K. Chinthaka Mohan Perera who had bought a plot of land in Horanpella, Minuwangoda. He had complained that a deputy minister had called him on his (the businessman’s) mobile phone on Feb 26 more..

Sri Lanka to gain from China’s high cost of garment output

Apr 23 (F2F) China may lose out on approximately US$ 8.5 billion worth of garment exports during the current year due to the rising cost for production of apparels in that country, according to a report released by Capital Alliance, a Colombo-based investment bank. The report states that a growing number of buyers will shift to lower-cost suppliers like Sri Lanka, owing to increasing costs of garment production in China. more..

Sri Lanka must remain cautious

Apr 23 (CT) Despite momentous development expected for the economy, the government must take precautions and remain cautious not to fall into the same abyss of spiralling debt levels it was plunged into pre-2009. “...the expenditure component of the government budget cannot be discussed independent of the funding component. The governments must always be aware that the expected revenue collection acts as a natural ‘cap’ on expenditure with the shortfall having to be met by more..

Sri Lanka rupee at near record low

Apr 23 (Reuters) Rupee closed 1 percent weaker at near an all-time low on Monday on importer dollar demand, shrugging off central bank's expectations of $574 million inflows within a month. The rupee ended at 131.40/60 against the dollar, just firmer than the record low of 131.60 set on March 19, and weaker than Friday's close of 130.20/30. The lowest intraday trade was done at 130.50. "Everybody will wait proper inflows coming into the market as rupee depreciation pressure is still there," more..

Jehan Mubarak released on bail after fatal accident

Apr 23 (CI) Sri Lanka player Jehan Mubarak was taken in custody by police and later released on bail after the car he was driving was involved in a fatal accident that killed one person and injured another at Maikkulan on the Chilaw-Colombo main road on Sunday. Mubarak was driving back to Colombo at around 1.00 pm when his car hit two youths who were heading to Chilaw on a motorbike. more..