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Political parties, trade unions rally islandwide to celebrate May Day

Apr 30 (ST) Political parties and Trade Unions have planned processions and meetings to celebrate International Worker’s Day or May Day, which falls on Tuesday. The ruling UPFA will celebrate May Day under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on the theme ‘Rata Ekata’, with several of its constituent partners also joining in. UPFA’s May Day procession will begin at 11 am from Campbell Park, Borella, more..

Welgama lashes out at SLTB drivers

Apr 30 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama recently said that he had received a deluge of complaints against SLTB drivers about them giving their turns to private buses for money. This was a punishable offence committed by SLTB drivers most often and he would not hesitate to take severe disciplinary action against them. Any SLTB employee could join any trade union in the SLTB, but they must ensure that their demands were legitimate and genuine. more..

World Bank arm considers funding Sri Lanka waste-to-energy plant

Apr 30 (BN) The World Bank’s private-sector financing arm is considering $9 million in debt and equity funding for a project in Sri Lanka that will sell electricity produced from burning municipal waste. RenewGen Enviro Ventures India Pvt. won a 25-year contract to build and operate a 10-megawatt plant in Sri Lanka’s Western Province, according to a summary of the proposed funding on the International Finance Corp.’s website. The $29 million project more..

Slumdog hounding: Police get back at T20 watte residents with massive raid

Apr 30 (LB) Investigations into the recent police raid of T20watte in Wanathamulla, Borella, have revealed a sordid story of corruption and brutality. After a fight broke out between a group of inebriated youths and officers attached to the Dematagoda police station on New Year’s day (April 14), residents of T20watte found their houses searched and the men rounded up before 33 arrests were made, more..

Duminda Silva: Rs 18 – 39 million and counting

Apr 30 (SL) MP Duminda Silva has incurred costs of at least LKR 18 Million and could have incurred as much as LKR 39 Million at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. Silva was admitted to the private hospital in November 2011 and has remained there ever since. The end of April will mark the 180th day that Silva has been at the hospital. The Sunday Leader has estimated that Duminda Silva’s expenses at more..

Foreign employment agency to monitor worker contracts

Apr 30 (Island) The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) said yesterday that all job contracts of Lankan workers seeking overseas employment through them had been signed before one of their representatives. General Manager SLFEB, H. Batagoda said that any part of the contract which was not clear to the migrant worker was explained to him/her. Batagoda said that the employees were fully briefed on the job and its details. more..

Oil spill threat: Minister orders preventive measures

Apr 30 (DN) Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has informed the relevant authorities to take urgent measures to prevent possible marine environmental pollution from the foreign cargo ship carrying over 350 metric tons of furnace oil which remains anchored for the past three years off the coast of Panadura. This foreign cargo ship is remaining pending the outcome of a case currently being heard in the Colombo Commercial High Court. more..

Govt has failed to protect the sovereignty of Sri Lanka - JVP

Apr 30 (AD) The Govt has failed to protect sovereignty and dignity of Sri Lanka and has belittled the country before US imperialism and Indian hegemony, the JVP said today. Releasing its May Day statement which is to be commemorated tomorrow the JVP added that imperialists have been given a leeway to interfere in the internal affairs of the country. This has created a risk of Sri Lanka becoming a prey for the imperialists, more..

Mosque dispute: GTF opens new front against Sri Lanka

Apr 30 (Island) The Global Tamil Front (GTF) has opened another front against the govt with a heavy attack on the UPFA over the Dambulla mosque issue, while the ruling coalition struggled to contain the crisis. In a statement issued from London, GTF spokesperson, Suren Surendiran alleged that the move to demolish the mosque at Dambulla highlighted the continuing threats directed at the minorities in post-war Sri Lanka. more..

'Dollar will stabilize at below Rs.125'

Apr 30 (ST) Sri Lankan Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera reiterated on Monday that the rupee will stabilize at below Rs.125 per dollar as the country is maintaining its economic fundamentals correctly. “There is no reason for the currency to depreciate beyond that level,” he said adding that the recent fall of the rupee to Rs 133 last Wednesday before recovering to Rs 130 on Friday was due to speculation. more..

Disney sues Sri Lankan shop for counterfeit soft toys

Apr 30 (Xinhua) U.S. giant Disney is suing a store in the capital city of Sri Lanka for selling counterfeit soft toys of the company's most famous creations, a court filing said here on Monday. The case which was filed before a court by Disney through local lawyers after the Colombo Crime Division raided a popular shopping mall selling large numbers of counterfeit soft toys patented by Disney. more..

'Ranil speaking out of jealousy'

Apr 30 (DM) In response to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe's statement that the cost of living missile launched by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal was even more powerful than India's Agni Missile, Mr. Cabraal said yesterday that he was not bothered by such statements. Mr. Cabraal, in a statement, said that the Leader of the Opposition along with other opposition members had been making such statements for the last six years. more..

'Ceylon Petroleum Co shuts refinery unit'

Apr 30 (Reuters) Ceylon Petroleum Co (Ceypetco) has unexpectedly shut a unit at its 50,000 barrels-per-day refinery, reducing its jet fuel production, a company source said on Monday. The shutdown is expected to last a week, said the source who was speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media. The source did not give details about the affected unit or its capacity. The reason for the shutdown is also unclear. more..

Stock prices fall ahead Tuesday's holiday

Apr 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tiny stockmarket continued to fall on Monday, despite few large trades in Kegalle Plantations, Capital Alliance Finance and PC House, brokers said. The benchmark All Share Price Index fell 21.32 points or 0.39 percent to 5,419.20, while the more liquid Milanka Price Index lost 6.16 points or 0.12 percent to close at 4,851.24. Monday's turnover ended at 631.2 million rupees, with conglomerate John Keells Holdings dominating trading. more..

Editorial: Let him act 'Sri Lankan'

Apr 30 (DM) "I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan." -Kumar Sangakkara, MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture. Up to date, the lines uttered by kumar sangakkara in his cowdrey lecture, remain the most quotable ones on reconciliation in Sri Lanka. However, instead of being garlanded on his return home,he was subjected to the wrath of high heads who even went to more..

S&P warns Sri Lanka of credit downgrade

Apr 30 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka, already struggling under high fuel prices, could be in for a credit downgrade along with its neighbor India if prices continue to increase and subsidies are not reduced, a credit agency report said on Monday. "In India and Sri Lanka, we expect fuel and related subsidies to markedly worsen fiscal and external deficits unless subsidy levels fall," Standard and Poor's said in a report, adding "In the absence of offsetting positive more..

Cardinal to be felicitated in Kandy

Apr 30 (Island) His eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith will be felicitated in the Hill Capital of Kandy on May 13. Elaborate arrangements for the reception of the cardinal are now being made by a Committee headed by the Central Province Governor, Tikiri Kobbekaduwa. His Eminence the cardinal will be received and conducted in a typical Kandyan style procession with a Hewisi Band to the venue of the reception at St. Antony’s Cathedral, Kotugodella Veediya. more..

Karunanidhi revives TESO, demands Elam for Lankan Tamils

Apr 30 (PTI) Reviving a pro-Ealam organisation floated nearly three decades ago, DMK President M Karunanidhi today pitched for a UN-sponsored referendum for a separate homeland (Eelam) for Sri Lankan Tamils and asked India to play a role in it. Chairing the first meeting of the Tamil Ealam Supporters Organisation (TESO) headed by him in 1985, Karunanidhi said it would promote the struggle for Tamil Ealam in "democratic and peaceful" means. "For the formation of a more..

U.S. wants 15 years for Toronto man convicted in Tamil Tigers terror plot

Apr 30 (NP) The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking a 15-year prison sentence for a Canadian who pleaded guilty to terrorism conspiracy for his role in a plot to supply separatist rebels in Sri Lanka. In a sentencing report filed in a Brooklyn, N.Y. court, U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch said Ramanan Mylvaganam had committed “a gravely serious offence” by attempting to procure equipment for the Tamil rebels. more..

Several smoke-free laws mooted

Apr 30 (DN) Authorities are making final preparations to introduce several smoke-free laws including pictorial health warnings on tobacco packaging and a 100 per cent smoking ban in public places,National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Chairman Prof.Carlo Fonseka said. Several organizations in the forefront of the anti-tobacco campaign had earlier charged on several occasions that the above smoke free laws were being delayed. In response Prof. Fonseka stated; more..

Lanka a country of concern in UK report

Apr 30 (CG) Sri Lanka has been listed as a country of concern in the Human Rights Report for 2011 released by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office today. The section on Sri Lanka focuses on accountability for alleged war crimes, respect for human rights – freedom of expression, minority rights, women’s rights – a political settlement in a post-conflict era and abductions and disappearances, among other themes. The report says the human rights picture in more..

India's frustration with Sri Lanka over Tamils

Apr 30 (BBC) Indian disappointment with Sri Lanka's refusal to undertake genuine reconciliation with its Tamil population ought to have been apparent to Colombo for some time now. It must have been brought home forcefully with the visit of an all-party delegation of Indian MPs to Sri Lanka last week. Although India supported the war against the LTTE it was wrong to presume that it would turn a blind eye to Colombo's indifference towards resolving more..

EU delegation meets G.L.

Apr 30 (CG) A visiting parliamentary delegation from the European Union (EU) had talks with External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris in Colombo today. The delegation headed by Jean Lambert, who heads the EU Parliament delegation for relations with South Asia, discussed the political developments in the country, the External Affairs Ministry said. A spokesperson at the EU office in Colombo meanwhile said that that the delegation will visit Trincomalee and Batticaloa this week. more..

Sri Lanka's April inflation accelerates to 6.1 percent

Apr 30 (LBO) Consumer prices in Colombo rose 6.1 percent from a year earlier, accelerating from 5.1 percent in March. The index rose 0.6 percent in the month to 159.8. The food and non-alcoholic beverages component rose 1.0 percent and non-food items rose 0.1 percent. Sri Lanka's food prices rose steeply in the first quarter of 2011 and the food component was negative for the past several months. In the past 12 months the food index had climbed 0.2 percent. more..

SLMC refuse alternate land for Dambulla mosque from Govt.

Apr 30 (AD) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) says that if the Dambulla mosque is removed from its current location in the Buddhist sacred zone, it does not expect an alternate land from the govt. SLMC Leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem, speaking at a press conference today (30), urged the government to provide an appropriate solution to the issue, which has spurred controversy recently. more..

Green Paradise Agro Eco Hotel opened in Dambulla

Apr 30 (GDI) The Green Paradise Resort is located in Dambulla , in the central province of Sri Lanka. Nestled in the jungles of the Cultural Triangle, the resort offers 67 ecologically appointed villas offering ultimate luxury and isolation with access to the nearby historical sites like the Dambulla Rock Temple and other cave temples dating back hundreds of years ago, Sigiriya Rock fortress and the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, as well as a more..

Several Tamil youth arrested

Apr 30 (CT) Several young Tamils who were arrested have been taken to undisclosed locations in the last few days, leader of the TNA said in an open letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said that some of these detainees have been informed that they have been taken in for “rehabilitation” purposes, and said that there is no such legal provision in the island’s legal system. “Many of those arrested have been leading normal civilian lives being breadwinners of the young families,” more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 30.04.2012

Police post at National Museum

Apr 30 (CG) A police post has been setup at the National Museum in Colombo, the police media unit said today. The police post will operate under the Kurunduwatte police and was setup on the instruction of the Western Province DIG, the police media unit said. The police post which was opened yesterday (Sunday) has 16 officers on duty. The Colombo National Museum was broken into March 17 and some historic items belonging to country`s last kings were stolen. more..

Wildlife officers on strike

Apr 30 (CG) Wildlife officers have decided to go on strike after some officers were attacked by villagers in the Ambanpola area last evening. The wildlife officers were returning after rescuing an elephant from a ditch yesterday when they were attacked by angry villagers. The villagers had been agitated over the fact that the wildlife officers had freed the elephant in the area close to a village. One wildlife officer was injured and admitted to hospital following the attack while the others had managed to escape to a nearby jungle. more..

SLMC appoints committee to scrutinise LLRC

Apr 30 (DM) The SLMC has appointed a committee to study the recommendations put forward by the LLRC and submit its proposals to the govt on the implementation of them, the party said yesterday. The SLMC, the largest Muslim party, accused the LLRC of failing to address Muslim aspirations. The govt has sought the views of its alliance partners to prepare an action plan on the implementation of recommendations by the LLRC. more..

Ten thousand policemen for May Day security

Apr 30 (DM) Around 10,000 policemen will be deployed throughout the country for security on May Day, police said. Some would be in uniform and others in plainclothes. They will be assigned for traffic control and to ensure the security of participants in rallies and processions. There will be seven May Day processions and six rallies, in various parts of the country, according to police. The May Day rally of the ruling UPFA is to be held at the Town Hall grounds. more..

Police assure security for Hirunika

Apr 30 (CG) The police says it is providing 24hr security for the residence of Hirunika Premachanda after she had lodged a complaint stating there was a threat against her life. In a statement released this evening, the police also requested assistance from Hirunika Premachanda and a weekend newspaper which had initially reported the alleged threat to her life. Hirunika Premachanda, daughter of slain politician Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, had on April 23 lodged a complaint more..

'Rulers spreading hatred instead of harmony between races'

Apr 30 (AD) The UNP says it will utilize this May Day as an opportunity to extend the hand of friendship to the people in the North, who have been badly affected by the decades-long war, and as a symbol of solidifying unity between all races. The UNP is the only political party in Sri Lanka which represents all communities and provides an equal opportunity to all communities, Ranil Wickaramasinghe says in his May Day message. more..