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Locally refined petroleum fuel for major public enterprises

Aug 20 (FT) Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited, the distribution arm of the State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), has been instructed to provide locally refined fuel to State enterprises that purchase large stocks of fuel from CPC. CPC says this step has been initiated under the instructions of Minister Susil Premajayantha. The Minister has directed the officials to provide enterprises like Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Sri Lanka Railway and Sri Lanka Transport Board more..

Attacks on Indian fishermen: Centre refutes TN charges against SLN

Aug 20 (Island) In an unprecedented move, the Indian government has denied Tamil Nadu allegations that the Sri Lanka Navy carried out attacks on Indian fishermen in Indian waters. Additional Solicitor General M. Ravindran has, on behalf of the Central government, said that there was no way the Sri Lankan Navy could enter the Indian waters as such movement by warships would amount to waging a war, according to more..

Hello! Magazine names Sri Lanka as an exciting destination to visit

Aug 20 (Island) The award-winning UK-based Hello! Magazine has named Sri Lanka as one of the five most exotic, exciting destinations to visit in 2012. Breath-taking scenery of Sri Lanka’s tea plantations is an alluring destination, the magazine says in its online issue. Hello! recommends to "delve no deeper than the spiritual island of Sri Lanka" for an "eclectic mix of exotic wildlife, culture and scenery". It recommends the traveller not to miss the more..

Fonseka tells people not to be misled by cardboard heroes

Aug 20 (Island) Former Army commander and DNA leader Gen Sarath Fonseka yesterday asked people not to be cheated by cardboard heroes who come forward as patriots. He made this request addressing a rally held in Ambalangoda to express his gratitude to all those who supported him at the last presidential election. Fonseka said that he had shed his blood thrice in the war to save the motherland from terrorists. more..

Mass veneration of Relics

Aug 20 (DN) Thousand of devotees with flowers lined the roads eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics from India, considering this the fifth arrival of The Buddha to Sri Lanka. President Mahinda Rajapaksa received the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics at the Katunayake International Airport yesterday. An Exposition of the Sacred Buddha Relics will be held at five places from August 19 to September 5 to enable the more..

Extortion gang busted

Aug 20 (Island) An organised gang that kidnapped wealthy businessmen, tortured them and extorted millions in ransom, after holding them in a house at Mawanella, was busted by the Colombo Crimes Division on Saturday. The police made the breakthrough acting on information provided by a businessman victim of the gang, who had been abducted by them to obtain a ransom of Rs 5,000,000. The arrest of four suspects, including the leader of the gang, identified as one more..

Striking dons to hold rally

Aug 20 (Island) Striking university teachers are planning to hold a public rally this week as part of their campaign to pressure the government to grant their demands. President of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said that the strikers would hold the public rally on August 23 at the Hyde Park with the participation of public sector trade unions. "We have invited all public sector trade unions to join us," the FUTA chief said, adding that all of them would proceed in processions from more..

'It’s a wild wild market…'

Aug 20 (NS) Clamour for credit and indirect pressure exerted to stop investigations have been the main demands of the so called ‘stock market mafia’ existent on the Colombo Bourse, says Tilak Karunaratne, who tendered his resignation as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday. Reluctantly stepping down barely nine months after taking over the position, the former Chairman said that he had tried to fast track investigations into more..

Sri Lanka Vietnam travel has strong potential: officials

Aug 20 (LBO) Tourism between Sri Lanka and Vietnam which is just beginning has a strong potential to grow in the future, officials said during a familiarization tour of the county by travel agents of the Indian Ocean Island. Senior representatives of 15 travel agents from Sri Lanka were on a familiazation tour of Vietnam's capital Hanoi, Halong Bay and Hue ancient city, Da Nang in the centre, My Tho in the Mekong delta and the bustling more..

Over 168 violations of election laws recorded

Aug 20 (Island) The Network for Election Monitoring by the Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEMIHR) yesterday said it had received 168 complaints related to election violence, unlawful propaganda, misuse of State property and the use of State power by the ruling UPFA for its campaign. CEO of NEMIHR Dr. Uditha Gunasekera said the complaints included 52 related to unlawful propaganda, 24 on misuse of State property and resources, 12 on use of State power by the UPFA govt more..

The TESO saga that fizzled out...

Aug 20 (LB) When the inaugural conference of Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization (TESO) was held on May 4, 1985, its stated objective was to unite Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups and their elected representatives of TULF. But two days after the conference, even before the ink dried out in the conference resolution, the LTTE launched a massacre of members of the rival Tamil militant group, TELO led by Sri Sabaratnam. In the subsequent weeks, over 500 members of more..

GMOA docs targeted for harassment?

Aug 20 (Island) A wreath had been placed at the entrance to the residence of Dr. Palitha Rajapaksa, the GOMA branch secretary in Badulla, by some unknown persons. Dr. Rajapaksa told police that he found the wreath when he was about to leave his residence on Saturday. Apart from that Dr. M. D. Ajith, attached to the Badulla hospital and Dr. Rajapaksa had also received anonymous telephone calls threatening them with death, the GMOA said. more..

Malinga says he has none but himself to depend on

Aug 20 (DM) Sri Lanka’s champion fast bowler said after the mistreatment by Sri Lankan Cricket he realised that he had onlyhimself to depend on. Malinga- regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous bowlers said, “The chairman of the committee at the time was Arjuna Ranatunga and I can’t really think why they treated me that way. At that point I knew that at the end of the day I will have to look after myself and no one would be on my side.” more..

Cultural Festival titled Divine Ecstasy held in Jaffna

Aug 20 (GDI) The three day Cultural Festival titled “Divine Ecstasy” (known as Theiveega Suga Anubhavam in Tamil Language) which was held in Jaffna from 16-18 August, coinciding with the Annual Nallur Temple Festival concluded Saturday late in the night with the stellar and outstanding performance by the famous Carnatic Classical singer Shri. P. Unnikrishnan from India. The famous Sankilyan Thoppu, the open venue for the performance, more..

'Education blunders led to terrorism'

Aug 20 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said today education blunders in the North was one of the main reason that led to terrorism in Sri Lanka. He told a news conference the govt should keep in mind that the arms struggle in the North began with students being unable to enter universities. “This happened in 1973, 1974 and 1975. The govt should keep this in mind,” he said. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said the northern students were highly disturbed and more..

The Customs’ special detention unit still operational

Aug 20 (SL) Hot on the heels of a territorial battle between Sri Lanka Customs officers, sources at the Ministry of Finance said there were no plans to disband the Revenue Task Force (RTF). However the President of the Sri Lanka Customs Union T.R. Rathnasiri claims that Ministry is conspiring to disband unit. However, the RTF name has been dropped over a year ago and the workings of the special force is carried out by a unit more..

Water contaminated, typhoid in Colombo

Aug 20 (ST) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday warned residents not to drink water from eating houses and restaurants as cases of typhoid, a water borne disease, had increased during the last fortnight. The municipiality’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pradeep Kariawasam said these eateries were serving contaminated water from tube wells. A Sunday Times team accompanied CMC Public Health Inspectors yesterday on raids on these more..

Maldives president to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (Xinhua) Maldives new President Mohamed Waheed is to visit Sri Lanka on a two-day tour from Thursday. Maldives' govt spokesman Masood Imad said that Waheed is to call on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his visit. "In addition President Waheed is also to sign two bilateral ties with Sri Lanka," Masood said. Sri Lanka and Maldives has close historical, economical, social and cultural ties for a long time. In July the two countries signed a MoU more..

'Women MPs wanted a lesser quota than him'

Aug 20 (ST) Senior Minister Tissa Vitharana has revealed that during deliberations at the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms, he had advocated that as much as 30 per cent of seats in elected bodies should be allocated to women, but the women MPs in the committee opted for ten per cent, much to his surprise. Minister Vitharana made this comment when he addressed a ceremony to launch the document “Sri Lanka Women’s more..

India upset over prime plot in Colombo being sold to China

Aug 20 (TOI) As India looks at China's growing involvement in Sri Lanka with unease, a Rs 100 crore plot in the heart of Colombo has turned into the latest bone of contention between the two Asian giants in the island nation. While the plot on the prestigious Galle Road, owned by a private agency, was said to have been promised to the Indian high commission, it turns out that the same plot has been allotted to a Chinese more..

Editorial: Don’t play with the students’ future

Aug 20 (DM) For some reason, the GCE A/L exam has become a death trap for students who build their future around it. It is no more the hurdle that could be overcome with some effort, nor does it guarantee a place in the academia for those who get through with flying colours. When students who sat the exam last year continue to speak up against the Z-score injustice, which has obviously delayed university entrance of many, this year’s the A/L students were compelled to answer questions which more..

Why Sri Lanka does not trust India?

Aug 20 (DM) We cannot expect either gratitude or apology from India but it is our right to set the story straight as far as India’s role is concerned in establishing terrorism in Sri Lanka. We now need the world especially the Indian people to understand how its Government had launched the separatist struggle in Sri Lanka making a friendly nation a guinea pig to govts and illegal arms industries that turned Sri Lanka into a theatre of war. It is to the credit of the Sri Lankan more..

SEC must be brought under parliament: UNP

Aug 20 (DM) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should be brought under the control of Parliament after amending the existing laws, the main opposition UNP said yesterday. UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne said his party was of the view that laws should be amended to make the SEC more independent and parliament should be authorized to appoint the SEC Chairman and the members. “Its independence could then be ensured more effectively,” he said. more..

'Sri Lanka's GDP to reach US$ 100 b soon'

Aug 20 (DN) “The Sri Lankan economy will reach a GDP value of US$100 billion up sharply from the slow paced economy of about US$ 24 billion GDP in 2004,” said Governor Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Speaking at the 24th Annual Convention of the Association of Professional Bankers, he said that Sri Lanka had been able to achieve its best ever period of economic growth and best ever set of macro-fundamentals, when compared to its past. “The country has already seen Sri Lanka’s GDP being distributed better than the more..

Implement 13A to solve land problems – TNA

Aug 20 (Island) The TNA called upon the govet to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution fully, claiming that it contained solutions to problems as regards land allocation in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces. Asked to explain the TNA’s position on the the govt’s decision to establish a Land Commission in consultation with all political parties to solve the issues relating to land in the North and the East, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said yesterday: more..

Academics won’t mark answer scripts

Aug 20 (DM) The education sector is heading towards yet another crisis with the Department of Examinations being unable to start evaluating the G.C.E. A/L Exam answer scripts of due to a decision by university academics not to participate in it as part of their trade union action, officials said. Every year, initial work on the marking is begun a few days after the commencement of the examination. However, the Department of Examinations more..

Malaysian govt’s US$1mil contribution to Sri Lankan Tamils is for relief work

Aug 20 (TS) The Malaysian Govt's contribution of US$ 1mil to the children and war widows of Sri Lankan Tamils is meant for relief work and improving their livelihood. Tamil Forum Malaysia (TFM) president Dr N. Iyngkaran said no cash handout would be given to any individual, NGO or Sri Lankan Tamil temporarily taking shelter in Malaysia. He said the govt had positively responded to the forum's appeal for funds to carry out relief work in Sri Lanka. more..

Environmental pollution: GL says unfair to blame developing countries

Aug 20 (Island) It was unfair to impose limitations on developing countries for green house gas emissions, as they were not responsible for the present environment crisis, Minister Prof G.L. Peiris said. He said that developing countries had a long way to go in eradicating poverty and providing the benefits of development to their people, for which they would have to burn fossil fuels. Addressing the Eco Revolution- 2012 International Conference on Environment and Humanity. more..

Move to stop attacks on fishermen: Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi

Aug 20 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and DMK president M. Karunanidhi have asked the central govt to take steps to stop the attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka. While Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said the Sri Lankan govt had been "emboldened" by the "soft handling of the issue", Karunanidhi also condemned the attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy more..

Sri Lanka: Water conservation 'desperately' needed

Aug 20 (IRIN) Rising temperatures, a late monsoon and dwindling rivers in parts of Sri Lanka are straining the energy sector and threatening crop yields. Local experts say water conservation has become an urgent necessity. In Moneragala District, in the east of the island, a man who gave his name as Somadasa said he has farmed for most of his 50 years and cannot remember when the nearby river was this low during a monsoon season. He usually starts planting when the govt releases more..

Govt. behind attack and threats to doctors, charges FSP

Aug 20 (DM) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has charged that the Govt was behind the threat to Dr. Lalantha Ranasinghe by throwing a hand grenade at his house. Dr. Ranasinghe who is an active member of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) was openly against the privatisation of hospitals and was a critic of the Govt. Issuing a news release on this incident the FSP condemned the Govt stating that the authorities were trying to toy with the education and health sectors in Sri Lanka regardless of more..

Central Bank sees rupee firming helped by inflows

Aug 20 (Reuters) Central bank believes the rupee can strengthen to around 125 per U.S. dollar due to high foreign inflows into the economy, the head of the country's monetary authority said of Monday. Since April, the central bank and finance ministry have repeatedly said the rupee should stabilise around 125 per dollar, given the macroeconomic policy fundamentals after a series of policy reforms this year, including a more..

Sri Lanka’s tea industry in crisis

Aug 20 (CT) As long Sri Lanka exports tea as a commodity, the local industry will continue to battle for survival, former Planters' Association of Ceylon Chairman Mahendra Amarasuriya said recently. Speaking at the association’s AGM on Friday Amarasuriya emphasised on the need of marketing tea as a specialized product instead of a commodity and noted that it is vital that at least three per cent of the plantations are replanted. As the cost of replanting is an impossible more..

Sri Lankan navy arrests 83 Australia-bound asylum seekers

Aug 20 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan navy on Monday arrested 83 people who were heading to Australia illegally on two boats to seek asylum, a navy spokesman said. The two boats were intercepted off the eastern seas of Trincomalee. One trawler had 39 people on board, including 31 minority Tamils and eight Sinhalese while the other boat had 44 people, including 35 Tamils, six Sinhalese and three Muslims, the navy said. more..

Mithun Perera wins Standard Chartered Open

Aug 20 (ISN) The Standard Chartered Open 2012 produced a gripping finish to four days of top class golf at The Royal Colombo Golf Club, with the result in doubt until the very end of the 72 hole event. When the dust had settled and the final putt dropped, it was local star, Mithun Perera who took home the spoils with a stunning two shot ‘come from behind’ victory in the first ever Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) event to be held in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan author launches new book about China

Aug 20 (CD) Sri Lankan well-known author Saman Athaudahetti, released his new book of travel insights into China on Saturday, which is the first publication on China to be written in the Sinhalese language. The book titled "Wandering with Pleasure along the Silk Route", aims to help the Sri Lankan people know more about China. In his new book, Athaudahetti shares his travel stories about many Chinese cities and famous tourist spots. He has been compiling the information for more..

Disciplinary probe against Dayasiri on Aug. 29

Aug 20 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera who had been in the news in recent times over crossover rumours, is to face a disciplinary inquiry on August 29 at party headquarters Sirikotha. Mr. Jayaskera said that he received a letter signed by lawyer Lasantha Perera requesting him to present himself for an inquiry on August 29. They inquiry had been called following a report submitted to the disciplinary committee by UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake on Mr. Jayasekera’s alleged more..

IMF says concerned over resignation of Sri Lanka SEC head

Aug 20 (Reuters) The IMF on Monday raised concerns over the resignation of the head of the SEC, observing that the regulator had been taking the right steps to ensure market participants obeyed the rules. SEC head Tilak Karunaratne resigned on Friday, saying he had come under pressure from stock market players under investigation for stock manipulation making false allegations against him. more..

Sri Lanka receive Japanese grant to revive livelihoods in Vavuniya

Aug 20 (LBO) The Japanese govt handed over a 11.7 million rupee ($90,000) grant to a community development organization to revive agro-based livelihoods in the conflict affected Vavuniya district, in the north of the island. People’s Livelihood Development Foundation (PLDF) Monday received the 11.7 million rupee grant under Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP). The project will benefit 625 resettled families in Vavuniya, more..

Stocks hit 2-week high on foreign buying

Aug 20 (Reuters) Stocks edged higher on Monday as foreign investors bought market heavyweight John Keells Holdings, but the resignation of regulatory chief weighed on sentiment, dealers said. The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index rose 0.45%, or 22.33 points, to 4,949.46, its highest level since Aug. 2. Shares in John Keells Holdings rose 1.44% to 197.90 rupees a share as investors made strategic purchases after a sharp decline in prices across-the-board this year. more..