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Promised flyover limited to a promise

Apr 24 (Island) Already six years have lapsed since the 2005 rail-bus accident at Yangalmodera in Alawwa which left 40 dead and 36 seriously injured. However, the authorities have not found a solution to it and even today vehicles cross the railway line while the rail gate is being closed with the warning red light on. Soon after the tragedy, the authorities pledged to build a fly over at the place as the number of fatal accidents that had taken place there had been many. more..

Wave of panic as fears of another 2004 loomed large

Apr 24 (ST) Fear and panic reigned in many parts of the country on April 11 (last Wednesday) following a powerful earthquake off Indonesia bringing back a flood of frightening memories of the 2004 December 24 tsunami that ravaged the coastal areas of the country killing tens of thousands. The 8.6 magnitude earthquake followed by several aftershocks was felt in many parts of Sri Lanka creating panic especially among those in high-rise buildings. more..

Madhu plundered contract obligations ignored

Apr 24 (LB) Heavy excavating machinery rumbles relentlessly inside the Madu forest sanctuary -- digging into the earth and felling trees -- while truckloads of tipper lorries driven by drivers halfway drunk by 11am, packed to the brim with soil dug up, race through the road which runs through the sanctuary. Both the road and the excavation sites are new additions to this landscape which was declared an environmentally protected area in 1968. more..

Court orders the Priests and the others in the photos be arrested and produced in Court

Apr 24 (Island) Nugegoda Magistrate Ajith Masinghe yesterday ordered the police to arrest the suspects, shown in the photographs, who assaulted Attorney-at-law Sumith Silva and produce them in Court. At the identification parade held at the Nugegoda Magistrate Court yesterday, the victim, Sumith Silva and the other witness, a journalist, failed to identify the suspects who had allegedly assaulted, after he appeared for the suspects in a murder case. more..

Sri Lanka gas find seen to have commercial potential

Apr 24 (LBO) Cairn India which struck gas in two offshore wells in Sri Lankan waters last year has indicated that at least one may have commercial potential so far. The company found natural gas in two of three test wells drilled in the Mannar Basin, off the island's north-west coast, called the CLPL Dorado- 91H/1z well and the CLPL-Barracuda-1G/1 well. The third well, CLPL-Dorado North 1- 82K/1 was plugged and abandoned as a dry hole on 14 December, 2011. more..

Sri Lanka still top priority for Lasith Malinga

Apr 24 (IC) Lasith Malinga said today that he will be available for all national commitments, even though he may choose not to sign a contract with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Malinga is likely be offered a contract that is 60-percent less than what players in the same top-level category earn, as he no longer plays Test cricket. Although unlikely, if he does accept, Sri Lanka’s number-one fast bowler will be tied to a SLC contract for US$ 40,000. Non-contracted players earn an extra 25-percent in match fees and daily allowances. more..

Korea, Sri Lanka agree to deepen economic cooperation

Apr 24 (KT) Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed Tuesday to strengthen economic and trade relations between the two countries, the presidential office said. On the sidelines of the summit, the two sides also signed three memoranda of understanding that call for bolstering cooperation in electricity and energy, development, and Sri Lanka's project to set up an electronic govt, more..

'No solution to national question'

Apr 24 (CT) The JVP will not be a part of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) as it does not provide a solution to the national question, the JVP said yesterday. In order for the national question to be resolved properly, the government should present their own solutions, opinions, and policies regarding what immediate steps they are going to take about the problem, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said. “The govt should have a basic plan of what they are going to do. more..

All illegal structures around the Dambulla temple must go

Apr 24 (CT) A committee comprising Buddhist priests, Divisional Secretary, the District Secretary and several other officials yesterday decided to remove all illegal constructions where a controversial mosque is located in the Dambulla area within the next six months, sources said. “There are around 72 illegal constructions around the Dambulla temple. A decision was made to remove all constructions around the temple more..

Sri Lanka to cut Iran oil imports to comply with US sanctions

Apr 24 (Platts) Sri Lankan Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha said Tuesday that Sri Lanka planned to cut imports of Iranian crude oil by three cargoes, each of 135,000 mt, before the end of its current contract with the National Iranian Oil Company in September. Sri Lanka's only refinery at Sapugaskanda receives 14 tankers annually, of which Iran supplies 13 and Saudi Arabia one. more..

'Stop dallying, make up your mind'

Apr 24 (CT) UNP MP Harin Fernando called for the govt to make up its mind on implementing the LLRC recommendations and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. He said “While many of us were hoping for a prosperous New Year, it seems that most of us only barely managed to scrape through. The most pressing issue these days is the rising cost of living and all the difficulties faced by the common man. The govt has yet to address these issues in an appropriate manner.” more..

Editorial: The Pearl of great price

Apr 24 (DM) Last week we had with us an Indian parliamentary delegation to monitor the ground realities in the North and East. The need is felt to resolve national issues by seeking a lasting and durable political solution. From the time of our being granted independence, certain politicians have been responsible for sowing seeds of division, for expediency and selfinterest. This has caused immeasurable destruction and loss of lives. One of Tagore’s songs is more more..

Sri Lanka's March tea output falls on bad weather

Apr 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tea production fell 22.6 percent year-on-year in March, the state-run tea board said on Tuesday, with industry experts attributing the drop to adverse weather. Sri Lanka's March tea output was 27.21 million kg compared to 35.13 million kg in March 2011. Production in the first quarter dropped 6.7 percent to 73.18 million kg from 78.40 million in the same period last year. "Poor rain and a long dry period at higher elevations are more..

SLMC wants full powers for PCS

Apr 24 (DM) Amid India calling for power devolution based on the 13th Amendment, the SLMC, a govt ally, had at its meeting with the visiting Indian delegation last week stressed the need to abolish the Concurrent List of the 13th Amendment and the embedded powers fully devolved to the provinces. The SLMC said it stood for a separate provincial administration for Muslims in the East similar to what’s in India’s Pondicherry, which was an administrative union more..

Sri Lanka state water board makes operational profit

Apr 24 (LBO) State-run National Water Supply and Drainage Board has made a 1.9 billion rupees operational profit with higher revenues and a slight decline in non-revenue distribution. Water Board has given 95,728 new connections in 2011 growing total connections 7.1 percent to 1.4 million. Revenues had increase 11 percent to 13.8 billion rupees while operational and maintenance cost had declined 9 percent to 11.9 billion resulting in a 1.9 billion rupee operational profit. more..

Sri Lanka state workers increase in 2011

Apr 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state workers rose 1.1 percent to 1.232 million after falling 7.2 percent a year earlier, with central and local govt employees climbing 16,812 to 986,386 though state agency workers fell, official data showed. Workers in state agencies, so-called 'semi-govt' corporations, statutory boards and authorities fell to 246,091 from 250,017 in 2010. Central and local govt workers rose despite 23,447 people going on pension, as new hires outpaced retirees. more..

S. Korea to provide US$200 mln in development loans to Sri Lanka

Apr 24 (Yonhap) South Korea will provide Sri Lanka with US$200 million in development loans that can be used for future infrastructure building by the South Asian country, the finance ministry said Tuesday. Under the MoU, the money to come from South Korea's Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) will be used in various agricultural and public work projects as well as education and health-related programs, it said. more..

All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama Council condemned Hisbullah’s claims

Apr 24 (CT) The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama council has condemned Deputy Minister M.L.A. Hisbullah’s claims that the Dumbulla Khairiya Jumma Mosque was not damaged by the mob led by some Buddhist monks which has received wide publicity in the local media. We below reproduce ACJU statement; The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU – Council of the Muslim Theologians) and the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) notes with deep concern the misinformed more..

Sri Lanka shares end down 0.2-pct

Apr 24 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares closed weaker Tuesday in lacklustre trading with turnover remaining low and interest mainly on low value speculative stocks, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.24 percent to 5,441.78, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.35 percent to close at 4,888.85. Turnover fell to 289 million rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures. Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed flat at 206 rupees. more..

Ceylon Today Cartoon

J.R.P Suriyapperuma appointed as S.L.F.P Organizer for Dedigama

Apr 24 (GDI) J.R.P. Suriyapperuma, a national list MP of the UPFA was appointed as the Chief Organizer of the Dedigama electorate in the Kegalle District for the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, handed over the appointment letter to Mr. J.R.P Suriyapperuma yesterday. SLFP Secretary, Minister Maithreepala Sirisena, Senior Minister Athauda Senevirathna, Chief Minister of the Sabaragamuwa Province Maheepala Herath were present on the occasion. more..

‘Police could arrest Udul, if behaved provocatively’

Apr 24 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Ms. Praharsha Ranasinghe today said that Police could arrest the former Inter-University Convener and presently a lawyer, Udul Premaratne, if he had behaved provocatively during the protest at Wanathamulla, against the arrest of some suspects few days ago. The magistrate made this observation following a request made by the Borella Police to the Magistrate to issue notice on Udul Premaratne to appear before court to face charges. more..

Sri Lanka rupee hits new record low

Apr 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee fell to a record 132.20 against the dollar on Tuesday as importers bought the U.S. currency on expectations of further weakening after the central bank decided to stop supplying dollars to meet oil bills from May. "The highest trade was done at 132.20 a dollar though there is only thin volume of importer dollar demand," a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity. "Many importers are trying to buy dollars before it depreciates further. more..

Harin accuses Sajith’s ‘so-called’ advisors

Apr 24 (SM) UNP MP Harin Fernando alleges that some of the ‘so-called’ advisors of deputy leader Sajith Premadasa are acting to the wants of the govt and trying to divide the party. It is unfortunate that contrary to Mr. Premadasa’s clear statement that the party will hold its only May Day rally in Jaffna, these advisors are saying there will be another, the MP said. While the UNP holds its May Day rally in Jaffna, the commemoration of the late president Ranasinghe Premadasa will more..

Britisher further remanded

Apr 24 (DM) A Britisher, who visited the Colombo Central Mail Exchange to collect three parcels addressed to film actress Angela Seneviratne and alleged to have contained hashish was produced before court and remanded till May 8, by the Colombo Fort Magistrate today. The British citizen Brutton Saul was detained under Police Narcotic Bureau custody for further questioning and produced before the Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne. The Police Narcotic Bureau alleged the suspect had more..

There is a conspiracy within the govt. against the govt. - JHU

Apr 24 (DM) There is a conspiracy against the govt within the govt itself, JHU leader Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero stated. He said that although the country had been liberated and that the people were enjoying peace after 30 years, Sri Lanka was still victim to international conspiracies. Sobith Thero stated that several internal conspiracies within the govt were paving the way for the efforts of foreign powers against the country, more..

'Rupee depreciation unwarranted'

Apr 24 (Reuters) The recent slide in Sri Lanka's rupee is unwarranted as importer dollar demand has dropped significantly since the central bank took policy measures to curb imports, the bank's deputy governor said on Tuesday. The rupee fell 0.6 percent to a new record low of 132.20 to the U.S. dollar earlier in the day, surpassing its previous all-time low of 131.60 on March 19, and market dealers attributing the drop to importers' demand for dollars. "This depreciation is unwarranted," more..

Eleven buffalos killed in an accident

Apr 24 (DM) Eleven buffaloes were killed on the spot this morning when they were knocked down by a speeding container truck at the Dematapitiya junction in Bangadeniya, the Chillaw police said. The said two other buffalos were severely injured with their legs broken. The herd of buffalos from the Rajakadaluwa Palugaswewa Estate in Chillaw had for some reason stampeded on to the road. The estate management said the buffalo carcasses were removed with the help of backhoes. more..

'Dambulla attack videos fake'

Apr 24 (BBC) A senior Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka who led the protest in Dambulla against a mosque and a Hindu Kovil charged the video footage reporting the attack was fake. Over a thousand people waving Buddhist flags forcibly stopped Friday prayers in the Masjidul Kairiya mosque in Dambulla and destroyed the contents of the mosque. The Mahanayaka of the Rangiri Dambulu chapter Inamaluwe Sumangala thero said that he only led a 'peaceful and democratic more..

Sri Lanka appoints first ambassador to Turkey

Apr 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is expanding ties with Turkey and has appointed the first ever ambassador to the country, a statement from the President's Office said here on Tuesday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed Bharthi Wijeratne, the widow of late presidential advisor Mano Wijeratne as the ambassador to Turkey, the statement announced. Wijeratne had previously served as the Sri Lanka's consul general in Turkey. Sri Lanka's political and trade relations more..

Sri Lanka to improve communication to face future disasters

Apr 24 (Xinhua) Following April 11 major tsunami warning and evacuation, Sri Lanka plans to modernize its disaster management system with the coordination of media, a minister said on Tuesday. The government is to prepare a new program to disseminate information to media more promptly, said Mahinda Amaraweera, minister of disaster management. "Our information and warnings at times of disasters would be useless if we cannot issue them to the media expeditiously," more..

Sri Lanka seeks fresh probe on NGO massacre

Apr 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is to launch a fresh investigation into the massacre of 17 aid workers of a French NGO during the war in 2006, a govt official said. The official from the govt legal department, who wished to remain anonymous as he is not authorized to comment on the matter, told Xinhua that the government is awaiting a report from the Attorney General's Department in Sri Lanka before commencing the investigations. more..

Karunanidhi seeks Centre's help on Tamil Eelam issue

Apr 24 (PTI) Claiming that a political solution or devolution of powers to Tamil areas in Sri Lanka remained merely on paper, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday made a fresh demand for a separate 'Eelam' (homeland) for Lankan Tamils and sought the Union Government's help on the issue. "Sri Lankan Tamils will not be satisfied with anything less than Tamil Ealam considering that assurances of political solution or devolution of powers have not come into practice more..

Authorities are blind to hotels at Knuckles forest

Apr 24 (SM) The Wildlife Conservation Department and the Central Environmental Authority are turning a blind eye to the construction of hotel complexes in the Knuckles forest, alleges the Environment Conservation Trust. It alleges that a hotel by a former Air Force chief is nearing construction at Sudugala. Located at the end of a cart track, the hotel had its building started in 2010 in a land ordered to be taken over by the Laggala divisional secretary, says the ECT. more..

Sushma apprises PM of discussions with Sri Lankan leadership

Apr 24 (PTI) Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of discussions with Sri Lankan leadership during the visit of a MPs’ delegation led by her to look into the resettlement and rehabilitation process of displaced Tamils there. Ms. Swaraj called on Dr. Singh last evening to apprise him of the details of the 12-member delegation’s visit to Sri Lanka and meeting with the leaders and officials there. more..

Tamil Nadu lawyer warns Devananda

Apr 24 (CT) A leading lawyer in Tamil Nadu has warned Minister and the EPDP leader Douglas Devananda that he would be arrested if he tries to enter Indian waters protesting against the infiltration of Indian fishermen. A few days ago the EPDP leader and Minister Douglas Devananda announced at a press briefing in Jaffna that he would sail with five thousand Jaffna fishermen into the Indian waters to protest against the infiltrations of the Indian fishermen into the Northern waters. more..

Over 700 vacancies for Tamil teachers in the Western Province

Apr 24 (NF) The Western Province Ministry of Education says that there are 788 vacancies for Tamil teachers in the Western Province. Secretary to the Western Province Ministry of Education, Jayanthi Wijetunga said that an exam to recruit graduates for these vacancies was held recently. She added however that only fifty individuals had achieved the required pass mark. The Western province Ministry of Education noted that due to this another exam will be held to recruit more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 23.04.2012

That great trait of judicial activism

Apr 25 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia turns its spotlight on that great trait of judicial activism as sometimes exhibited by our courts as Sri Lankan society would aspire for such activism in order to obtain just relief for litigants who apply to our courts for redress of their grievances. It was reported in the media (DN 9th April) recently that Hon. Justice Shiranie Thilakawardene said in a recent judgement that the Courts more..

Yes, we CAN learn something from other initiatives elsewhere!

Apr 25 (SL) A recent article by one of the senior journalists at Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, brought back memories of better than three decades of life (and political activism) in that country. I speak here of John Ibbitson’s piece commemorating and celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the introduction and adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Mind you, that journey and the experiences more..