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New Provincial Directors for NPC soon

Apr 29 (SO) Plans are afoot to appoint new Provincial Directors to the National Police Commission (NPC) to investigate public complaints against police officers who contravene the law. This was hitherto handled by the Police Department, a NPC Spokesman told the Sunday Observer. The newly appointed Secretary to the National Police Commission T.M.K.B. Tennakoon said the NPC will hold interviews next week to recruit candidates for posts of Provincial Directors. more..

Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital’s controversial Deputy Director resigns

Apr 29 (Island) The controversial deputy director of the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH), Dr. (Mrs) Chamila Ariyananda resigned last week amidst joint trade union action demanding her ouster over assertions that she "lacked even the basic qualifications for this top slot". "Yes, she has stepped down", says Nimal Bandara, Chairman of this key semi-government medical facility. "The board of directors accepted her resignation on Friday". more..

‘This is a tragedy’ Dambulla residents

Apr 29 (SL) Muslims in Dambulla are still reeling from last week’s events, which could mean the demolition and relocation of a 65 year old mosque. ‘We were there until the last minute… people were throwing rocks and stones, so we had to leave at around 1:30 pm,” said Hariff M Yasir, a trustee to the mosque, describing the chaotic scene. ‘We left without our slippers, like beggars. We were afraid they would do something to hurt us,’ he said. more..

Bakers to decide on pricing

Apr 29 (SL) President of the All Ceylon Bakery Owner’s Association (ACBOA) N. K. Jayawardena said that there would be a meeting to decide how much the price of bread would increase by. Jayawardena said the prices of bread looked likely to increase from between LKR 3 to LKR 5, depending on the outcome of the discussion. The price of bread looks set to increase following the decision of wheat flour companies to hike up their prices. Chief financial officer of Serendib Flour mills, more..

Four Sri Lankan allies out of UNHRC

Apr 29 (SL) Four countries that voted against the US backed resolution on Sri Lanka at the 19th UNHRC sessions in Geneva are to move out of the Council in June this year. Two of Sri Lanka’s key allies, China and Russia are among those who will be leaving the Council at the next UNHRC session in June. The other two countries that would be leaving the Council in June are Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh. However, the support of China and Russia has played a crucial role on more..

US tells Lanka; Unveil action plan in Colombo

Apr 29 (CT) In a clear-cut checkmate, the Obama Administration is attempting to make Colombo commit to implement the LLRC recommendations to its own people, before presenting it to officials in Washington DC. The US Govt wants Sri Lanka to unveil its ‘action plan on the implementation of the LLRC proposals in Colombo, one week before the Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister G.L. Pieris arrives in Washington DC, more..

Hambantota not totally free

Apr 29 (SL) The Hambantota port will not be completely free of charge as handling charges will be levied from ships calling in at the port, a port official said. Hambantota Port Chief Engineer Agil Hewageegana said that a handling fee varying from 12 percent to 20 percent less than the charges levied at the Colombo Port will be charged from ships at the Hambantota port. He however said that ships which call in at the port, unload their goods and reload them to another more..

Govt. to take over CDS’ Knuckles bungalow

Apr 29 (ST) A holiday bungalow built by the Chief of Defence Staff Roshan Gunathilaka when he was the Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force in the Knuckles Forest Range will be taken over by the govt, Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. In response to a question raised by a journalist on Air Vice Marshal Gunathilaka’s property, Minister Yapa said that a decision had been taken to dismantle this bungalow and several other buildings from the environmentally more..

Officials meet UN advisor on `cluster bomb’ story

Apr 29 (Island) In the wake of the senior UN official in charge of mine clearing operations carried out by NGOs alleging that unexploded cluster munitions had been found in the Vanni east recently, the GoSL has challenged the agency to furnish evidence to support the latest allegation directed at Sri Lanka. Army Chief Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya yesterday said that a delegation of officials in charge of the ongoing mine clearing efforts had met more..

CID going after illegal occupants of state property

Apr 29 (ST) The CID has been directed by the Defence Ministry to initiate action against those illegally occupying state land, buildings and warehouses. A senior CID officer said the order had been given by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa following disclosures that there were a number of instances of illegal occupation of state land and buildings. “We have also been told to initiate action against those who have failed to pay required taxes for more..

Thousands of vehicles jammed in Colombo port

Apr 29 (ST) Four ships carrying more than 2,000 vehicles including cars have been anchored in the outer harbour of the Colombo Port for more than two weeks due to lack of space to unload the cargo, officials said. The situation has been aggravated as car importers have delayed clearing the cars which have already been unloaded in the Colombo port due to the huge increase of vehicle prices after a tax increase enforced from April 01. more..

Crucial challenges for MR in victory month

Apr 29 (ST) Some of the bitter truths delivered to UPFA leaders by the visiting Indian parliamentary delegation just two weeks ago have now begun to unravel. This was after the delegation head and India's opposition leader Sushma Swaraj met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on her return to New Delhi to brief him on the visit. Unbelievable but true. This was the most unusual meeting for Ms. Swaraj, who heads the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha. more..

'Public should be educated on intellectual property laws'

Apr 29 (Island) The biggest stumblingblock on probing cases of intellectual property violations is the inability to secure substantial material as evidence, says CID’s DIG Mahesh Perera. "Most of the intellectual property matters, especially copyrights, which come up before us for investigation are with negligible or no substantial material by the complainant", he noted. The complainant should bring the fake as well as the original materials of a copyright more..

Pakistan set for full tour of Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (CI) Pakistan are set to tour Sri Lanka for a full series comprising three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals between May 29 and July 13, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has confirmed. Pakistan are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on May 29 and will play the first of two Twenty20s in Hambantota on June 1. The one-day series begins in Pallekele on June 7. The first two ODIs will be played in Pallekele and the remaining three at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 29 (ST) A couple who say they had had parked their vehicle close to the Parliamentary grounds last week and were having a chat were interrupted when a police constable in uniform tapped on the driver's side shutter. The constable was accompanied by two other policemen in uniform. When the driver lowered the shutter he was told that they wanted to take action against the couple for 'indecent behaviour.' The policemen claimed they were making love. more..

Sound regulations to control noise levels of vehicle horns

Apr 29 (ST) New regulations will come into effect shortly to ensure that motor vehicles comply with the permissible noise levels specified for vehicle horns in the country. The regulations will enable the Commissioner-General of Motor Traffic to authorise officers of the Department carry out tests to ensure that motor vehicles are maintained to comply with the permissible noise levels. The Motor Traffic (Vehicular Horn) Regulations have been made by more..

India's intervention sought in empowerment of minority Tamils

Apr 29 (PTI) Congress MPs, who were part of the delegation that visited Sri Lanka recently, have demanded India's intervention in ensuring political empowerment of minority Tamils by implementing the historic 13th Amendment, holding talks with various political parties there. Four Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu also asked India to demand urgent steps from Sri Lanka to implement recommendations of the LLRC with a more..

Rupee plunge: CB warns banks, may intervene again

Apr 29 (ST) The Central Bank (CB) has warned commercial banks against speculation and threatened action against some after the rupee hit an all-time high of Rs. 133 per US dollar on Wednesday. The rate, however, settled down to Rs 130 on Friday, dealers said. There were reports that CB officials had visited at least two banks to check their books and ascertain whether speculative trading had taken place to more..

HC wants AG to report whether directors violated bail conditions

Apr 29 (Island) A judicial order was made last week directing the Attorney General to submit a report on whether Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala and five other Golden Key (GK) directors had violated the conditions under which they were released on bail by the Supreme Court. Colombo High Court Judge Sunil Rajapaksa gave this directive at the resumed hearing of the case where seven GK directors, Kavan Michael Perera, more..

Ranil goes North, meets public and traders

Apr 29 (ST) Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe began a four day visit to Jaffna yesterday morning. He visited Pooneryn where a special pooja was held and he also met with the people in the area. In the Jaffna peninsula he visited Nallur and met with Southern traders doing business in Jaffna. Today he will visit Delft Island and Nagadeepa. At each venue he will hold five pocket meetings. He will also visit the Nagadeepa Vihara and the Naga Pooshani Amman Kovil. more..

Dambulla mosque dispute now in President’s court

Apr 29 (ST) As the dispute over the mosque in Dambulla continues for the second week amid local and international media focus, a solution to it may come in the coming days with the intervention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President returned to the country on Friday after a five-day official visit to South Korea. During his stay in South Korea, Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne tried to solve the dispute. more..

'Jumbo dead due to cruelty, not lightning'

Apr 29 (LB) It was reported that Lanka an elephant handed over to a temple in Kotte by the Pinnawela elephant orphanage in 1994 had died after being struck by a bolt of lightning on April 13, 2001. However, extensive inquiries carried out into the elephant’s death by environmentalists have revealed that the animal had died after having sustained grave injuries due to the continuous hard work that it had to do. more..

Mystery surrounds UNDP allegations

Apr 29 (SL) The mystery surrounding claims made by Allan Poston, the technical advisor for the UN Development Program’s (UNDP) mine action, that unexploded cluster bombs had been discovered in the North, deepened with the UNDP head office in New York saying it has not received an official report on the claims. Sandra Macharia, communications specialist for the Asia and the Pacific region, said that the UNDP had seen the article reported in the Associated Press but more..

No remission of sentence for Fonseka

Apr 29 (ST) The remission given to prisoners for good behaviour would not be applicable to former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka since he was convicted by a military court, Prison Commissioner General P.W. Kodippili said yesterday. The 30-month prison sentence imposed on Mr. Fonseka after the Army Court Martial found him guilty of awarding a tender to a company where his son-in-law had interests began in October 2010 and would end in March 2013, he said. more..

Four arrested with fake currency, printing machine

Apr 29 (AD) Four suspects charged with printing and trading counterfeit money have been arrested in the Kebellawala area in Chilaw, along with 65 forged Rs. 1000 notes and a printing machine. The suspects, arrested in a raid according to information received by the Chilaw Police Intelligence Unit, are to be produced before court today. It is said that the apprehended chief suspect, a 31-year-old father of two, has confessed to printing close to Rs. 500,000 in counterfeit more..

Politicians, officials use 100 health ministry vehicles

Apr 29 (SM) More than 100 vehicles owned by the ministry of health are being used by politicians and officials for their personal use, ‘Divaina’ reports. However, the ministry continues to maintain all these vehicles, while it faces with a severe shortage of vehicles for official purposes. Some ministry officials are forced to use public transport as a result. A woman officer in the minister’s staff uses four vehicles, one of them a luxury vehicle being used by her boyfriend. more..

Keangnam to develop infrastructure in Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (KT) Keangnam Enterprises, a mid-size local construction company, is making a foray into the Sri Lankan market by helping the country develop its infrastructure. The firm said that its Chairman Sung Woan-jong agreed with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to cooperate on infrastructure projects of the Southeast Asian country during their meeting in Seoul last week. Sung asked the President to allow further opportunity to take part more..

NTC to monitor private bus crews

Apr 29 (ST) Private bus drivers who violate traffic laws and conductors who fail to treat commuters politely, will be liable to cancellation of their permits issued, under a new points reduction system to be introduced by the National Transport Commission (NTC). The proposal, already prepared by the NTC, will be submitted to Parliament for approval within a month, Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Ratnayake told the Sunday Times. Under the scheme, the driver and conductor of a private bus are credited more..

'Opposition parties should nominate PSC members'

Apr 29 (SO) The Speaker has appointed the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) and called upon all political parties to nominate members for discussions to evolve a solution to the problems of those in the North and East, but the TNA’s reluctance to do so has caused a stalemate, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. It is the obligation of the TNA and all Opposition political parties represented in Parliament to nominate members to the PSC because this more..

Jayatilleka Meets MR And GL Following Controversy

Apr 29 (SL) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, who returned to Sri Lanka last week for consultation with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris. Dr. Jayatilleka told The Sunday Leader that he had “a cordial and wide-ranging conversation with the President and the Minister.” The ambassador rubbished the suggestion that the Ministry had levelled charges against him under the penal code. more..

SLMC has no right to question PM: Inamaluwe Thera

Apr 29 (NS) The only way to win one’s demands in Sri Lanka right now is to engage in protest campaigns, according to Chief Incumbent of the Rangiri Dambulla Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven. Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Thera. Sumangala thera claimed he and the Buddhist community in Dambulla were compelled to carry out a public protest against the Mosque established inside the Dambulla ‘Pooja Bhoomi’ (Sacred Area) as all appeals to relevant authorities fell on deaf ears. more..

Education needs modernization - CB

Apr 29 (NS) The country’s main monetary body, the Central Bank (CB), has stressed that Sri Lanka’s education system requires modernization to create a human capital base to sustain the growth momentum of the economy. The annual report of the Central Bank 2011 states that the education system is the only avenue to meet requirements of the labor market. It has recommended that the system should move away from an examination-centric content based curriculum to a more competent base more..

Academics, Govt., deadlocked over salary demands

Apr 29 (ST) University academics and the Govt are deadlocked over the salary demands of the former with the Higher Education Ministry refusing to agree to the demands of the academics. The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) staged a protest last Thursday with a protest march from the Colombo University premises at Reid Avenue to the Colombo Public Library premises at Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, more..

Pillayan to decide only after discussion

Apr 29 (SL) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan says that any decision to dissolve the Eastern Provincial Council prematurely this year would have to be done after discussing with him. Chandrakanthan said that any authoritative member in the govt has not yet informed him of moves to prematurely dissolve the provincial council this year. Elections for the Eastern Provincial Council is due to be held in March 2013. more..

Reconstruction of A-9 proceeding as scheduled

Apr 29 (SL) The govt says 50 percent of the renovation and reconstruction of the 321 kilometer Kandy-Jaffna A9 road has been completed. This is the longest road in Sri Lanka which runs through seven districts. The road between Vavuniya and Omanthei was not developed for a long period of time due to terrorist threat. According to the Road Development Authority renovation of the road is expected to be completed by August next year, more..

Colombo under siege when the heavens open up

Apr 29 (ST) Daily, about 800,000 people enter Colombo in about 250,000 vehicles, while there are about 700,000 people living within the city. But during heavy rains, the city’s ugly side raises its head with major roads going under water, causing inconvenience to both motorists and pedestrians. From Thunmulla junction, Reid Avenue and Havelock Road, Robert Gunawardene Mawatha to Armour Street junction, Jethawana Road and Bloemendhal Road, more..

Mahipala suggest new venues for UNP rally

Apr 29 (DM) Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Mahipala Herath said the UNP should hold its May Day rally in Jaffna but in the Donkey Island in close proximity. “If they had taken such a decision they could have found a bigger ordinance and solved the problem of transporting supporters. I would like to propose Puttalam as the alternative venue for the UNP’s May Day rally,” the Chief Minister said addressing an event in Balangoda. He also said the leader of one faction of the UNP more..

Reformists campaigning for Colombo event

Apr 29 (DM) A group of UNP reformists were engaged in a campaign at Hulftsdorp, Fort this morning calling the party members not to betray the party by participating in a May Day rally in Jaffna but to take part in the commemoration celebrations of the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa that is to be held in Colombo on May Day. These reformists’ members led by the UNP Member of the Western Provincial Council, Shiral Laktilleke, Southern Provincial Council Membe, more..

Invest more in north, Indian PM urged

Apr 29 (BBC) The Indian govt should do more to invest and promote investment in order to improve the life standards of Sri Lanka’s Tamils, a group of Indian MPs who recently travelled to Sri Lanka has said. The four members of the delegation that recently visited Sri Lanka on a fact finding missing have submitted a memorandum to the Indian prime minister with their suggestions. The 10-part plan includes how the Indian govt could take part more..

SLFP to go for a massive re-organization

Apr 29 (SL) The SLFP is to go for a massive re-organization of the party from next month with the aim of fortifying the party’s rank and file. SLFP, which is the key coalition partner of the governing UPFA, has decided to carry out a re-organization of the party following continuous requests by party seniors for the need to safeguard the party’s identity and base. Senior members of the SLFP have said it was necessary to strengthen its bases according to the party policies since more..