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‘Tamils are a distinct people entitled to certain rights like Self-Determination in International law’

Feb 7 (DBS) Talks between the Sri Lankan Govt’s main constituent the SLFP and the TNA has currently reached an impasse. The Govt which engaged in bi-lateral talks with the TNA has now suspended it unilaterally and instead convened a Parliamentary Select Committee. It now wants the TNA to participate in the PSC and forge a multi-lateral solution. The TNA states that a bi-lateral understanding with the Govt has to be reached as a pre-requisite to more..

Colombo Outer Circular Highway: Work on second phase begins February 18

Feb 7 (DN) The Ports and Highways Ministry said that construction work on the second phase of Colombo Outer Circular Highway will begin on February 18. Construction of the Colombo Outer Circular road will be carried out in three phases and the construction of first stage from Kottawa to Kaduwela has already commenced. Over Rs. 24 billion has been allocated for the construction of a stretch of 11 kilo metres between Kottawa and Kaduwela. more..

No spot fines for not wearing seat belts

Feb 7 (CT) Spot fines for those who do not wear seat belts cannot be implemented as Parliament has not passed the law a high ranking official at the Motor Traffic Department said. Though the Police stated that spot fines are being implemented for those who travel without wearing seat belts, it is not possible as the draft Bill has not been passed by Parliament. “The draft has been sent to the Attorney General for approval. After this, Parliament has to approve more..

Today is Navam Poya

Feb 7 (DN) On a Navam Poya the Buddha preached a discourse now known as Ovada Patimokkha, which established the tradition of the Sangha coming together before the rules of Vinaya. This discourse which is referred to as the basis and the foundation of the Buddha's teachings was delivered on the first Navam full moon day after the enlightenment. It is said to have created a very disciplined and orderly Sangha Samaja to preserve the doctrine. more..

A/C buses to draw public away from cars

Feb 7 (Island) In a bid to reduce traffic and travel time, the Transport Ministry would launch a project to introduce Low-Floor A/C buses on six routes. The Ministry had identified Moratuwa – Pettah, Kesbewa – Pettah, Negombo – Pettah, Gampaha – Pettah, Kaduwela – Fort (via Malabe) and Homagama – Pettah as the main corridors to the Colombo city. The main objective of the project was to attract passengers using individual vehicles to adopt public transport. more..

German woman molested at Dickwella hotel

Feb 7 (Island) Dickwella Police is investigating an incident where a pretty German woman is alleged to have been molested inside a hotel room. The incident is said to have happened at around 3 am on Monday. The victim has complained to the Police. The German tourist and her lover had been partaking alcohol till as late as 2.30 am and had gone to sleep. Then she had been rudely woken up at around 3 am when she realised that she was being molested. Originally she had thought that more..

380,000 children from govt. schools not received school uniforms .

Feb 7 (DM) Some 380,000 school children attending govt schools in the country had still not received their school uniforms and would have to spend their own money on school uniforms if the govt fails to provide them, the Ceylon Teachers Union said. The govt had allocated Rs.1,660 million for school uniforms in the 2012 budget but had still not provided the uniforms, the union’s General Secretary Joseph Stalin said. more..

CID probing double murder in Kahawatta

Feb 7 (DM) The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has taken over the investigation to probe the killing of a mother and daughter in the Opatha area in Kahawatta. Their bodies were found in a forest area in Opatha several days ago after a prolonged search operation which was carried out in the area after several days since they went missing. Sharp injuries were found on their bodies, police media spokesman Ajith Rohana said. Suspects are yet to be identified. more..

India not vulnerable, say Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (SMH) Sri Lanka will be wary of the wounded beast when they take on struggling India in Wednesday's one-day clash at the WACA Ground. India have endured the summer from hell in Australia, losing the Test series 4-0 before being thumped in the opening 50-over encounter. Their only triumph came in the second Twenty20, when Australia's batting line-up misfired for one of the few times this summer. But Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews denied India were vulnerable, more..

Present LLRC report to UNHRC – UNP

Feb 7 (Island) The govt should present the LLRC Report to the forthcoming UNHRC meeting in Geneva, since it had rejected the Darusman Report and asked the international community to be patient until internal investigations were completed, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said. He told The Island that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime since the war ended had failed miserably on the diplomatic front, resulting in unwarranted more..

Ministry to launch 'Let us protect our Harbours'

Feb 7 (DN) All arrangements are in place to initiate the project - "Let us protect our Harbours" - from the last week of this month to maintain the 18 fisheries harbours in clean and attractive conditions, Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne said. At present there are 18 fisheries harbours and the Fisheries Ministry will launch this project along with the Ceylon Fishery Harbour Corporation (CFHC). The ministry has planned to maintain these harbours to meet international more..

Health Ministry sees sharp turn around

Feb 7 (DN) The Health Ministry, one of the state ministries which handles the largest amount of funds, has achieved the best financial discipline in 2011. This has been done under the guidance of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena who implemented directives of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a ministry spokesman said. "Minister Sirisena had consulted President Rajapaksa and obtained his advice on how to achieve this result. "The minister implemented a strict financial more..

Deyata Kirula brings mega-development to Anuradhapura

Feb 7 (DN) Anuradhapura has seen unprecedented development through the Deyata Kirula national development exhibition, said North Central Province chairman Tennakoon Mudiyanselage Siripala yesterday. “Development in Anuradhapura has moved decisively. I have been a member of the North Central Provincial Council for over 20 years. ‘This is the first time that we have seen “such massive” development in Anuradhapura under any programme,” more..

IMF dodges on Sri Lanka as defense spending climbs 30%

Feb 7 (ICP) When the IMF establishing a lending program with Sri Lanka in 2009, the year in which according even to a UN report the government killed tens of thousands of civilians, the IMF stated that "This, together with savings on military spending ... should help finance the considerable reconstruction spending needs... Cuts in military and other expenditures will help make room for post-conflict reconstruction and relief spending." more..

Private sector prefers non-graduates

Feb 7 (Island) The country’s private sector favours non-graduates with skills and certain experience or technical qualifications over degree holders, a recent survey reveals. This preference could be highly noticeable in the recruitment of non-graduates to the emerging sectors of the economy especially in the fields of IT, Marketing and related service industries, says the survey titled ‘Determinants of Unemployment among Sri Lankan University Graduates. more..

JVP calls for release of Fonseka

Feb 7 (ST) The JVP today called for the release of former Army commander Sarath Fonseka and all other political prisoners. JVP Vijitha Herath told a media conference that Mr. Fonseka was being detained as political revenge after he contested the Presidential elections against President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “All Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim masses in this country have a right to engage in politics. It is a fundamental right of the people. more..

Prison hospitals directed to maintain sufficient stocks of drugs

Feb 7 (Island) In the aftermath of remand prisoners getting high on anti-depressant drugs prior to launching the recent prison riot at Welikada, orders have gone out to prison hospitals not to maintain excess stocks of certain drugs. It had been revealed that certain drugs had contributed to the unrest of inmates, which caused chaos at the New Magazine Prison recently, Secretary to the Ministry of Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation, A. Dissanayake said. more..

Srilankans express solidarity with Kashmiris

Feb 7 (SANA) Srilankans Expressed Solidarity with Kashmiris on Kashmir Solidarity Day. Lasting peace in the world especially in the South Asian Region cannot be guaranteed unless Kashmir Issue is resolved in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiri people and the United Nations resolutions of 1948 and 1949. This was the central theme of the speeches delivered by a number of speakers, who addressed a meeting convened here in Colombo on Sunday to mark more..

North on rapid growth track - President

Feb 7 (DN) The Northern Province which had suffered a great setback for a period of 30 years is now rapidly marching towards development under the Uthuru Vasanthaya programme as the govt has apportioned the largest slice of funds for Northern development, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he opened new buildings at the Chavakachcheri hospital yesterday. The President who said that he considered it a pleasure to visit the North and more..

US confirms Blakes visit

Feb 7 (SL) The US State department has confirmed that US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake, Jr. will travel to Sri Lanka next week. Earlier the US Embassy in Colombo and the External Affairs remained tight lipped over his visit to Colombo despite details being leaked to the media. However in a press statement on Monday the State Department confirmed that Blake will visit Sri Lanka between February 12-14. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, more..

Killing of British tourist in Tangalle: No suspects identified

Feb 7 (Island) Witnesses failed to identify a single suspect at the identification parade held at the Tangalle Magistrate’s Court on Friday when the case where a foreigner was killed at a hotel was taken up before the Tangalle Magistrate Suresha de Silva. The British national was killed in a brawl in the wee hours of Christmas day at the Nature Rest Hotel. The suspects were Janaka Chathuranga, Nuwan Chinthaka and Naddera Sharman. They surrendered to the CID on Jan. 18, 2012. more..

N’cholai plant out since Jan. 21; CEB to confront Chinese builder

Feb 7 (Island) Frequent breakdowns at the country’s first coal fired power plant at Norachcholai, forced the CEB yesterday to take up the matter strongly with its builder the China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC). CEB Acting Chairman, Electrical Engineer, Anura Wijepala told The Island that according to his estimation it would take at least ten more days to repair the plant after the latest breakdown which occurred on Jan. 21. more..

Sri Lanka ship supply base for GAC

Feb 7 (LBO) Global ship agency and offshore marine service provider GAC has set up a supply base in Galle to support ship-to-ship (STS) services, a statement said. The move, by GAC's in-house ship-to-ship transfer unit GAC Transfer Services (GTS), was in response to growing demand for LPG (liquid petroleum gas) imports and exports of clean products in the Indian Subcontinent. Ship-to-ship (STS) equipment such as fenders and hoses will be stored at GAC's base in the more..

28 refugees en route to Canada return

Feb 7 (DN) Twenty eight out of 150 Sri Lankan refugees who were detained by the Togo authorities returned to the country yesterday. They were en route to Canada via Togo. "There are 209 Sri Lankans in a playground at the Togo Airport hoping to return Sri Lanka", a resident of Colombo who was under arrest while enroute to Canada illegally said after returning to the country at the Katunayaka International Airport yesterday. Sri Lankan refugees are being detained in Togo. more..

Nurses unions get ready for slow down

Feb 7 (Island) The Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) warned yesterday they would resort to strike action if the Health Ministry failed to give into six of their demands including the recruitment of graduate nurses into government service. President GNOA, Saman Ratnapriya briefing the media said that they would give a final warning to the government by staging a countrywide protest campaign on Thursday (09) at 12 noon. more..

Sri Lanka lagging behind in social media

Feb 7 (SL) It is estimated that over 425 million people use social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter. The use of social media has been described by many activists as the ‘final medium for free speech’. Catherine Jackson, Reporters without Borders, called on media groups to embrace social media networks as they search for new mediums of communications. With media freedom reducing all over the world, more..

Crabby furore over Ministry of Crab

Feb 7 (LB) In London, there is Ministry of Sound, a nightclub ranked among the best clubs in the world. The Westminster is hardly bothered by its appelation. However, Sri Lanka being Sri Lanka, Ministry of Crab, a restaurant launched by the cricketing duo Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara caused quite the ripple in political circles over its name, last week. The Registrar of Companies D.K. Hettiarachchi said that the name of the restaurant is illegal, according to the Company Act more..

Amnesty International gets funds from LTTE lobby ahead of UNHRC summit

Feb 7 (Island) In the wake of Amnesty International receiving 50,000 Canadian dollars from the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), the impartiality of human rights watchdog, one of those organizations campaigning for an international war crimes inquiry on accountability issues in Sri Lanka, was in question, the govt alleged yesterday. CTC was spearheading a campaign in Canada for a resolution against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming UNHRC sessions more..

Dubai maids’ pay doubles even as residents’ salaries stagnate

Feb 7 (E24|7) Despite the financial woes of many residents in Dubai since the economic slowdown began in 2009, salaries of maids in the city have doubled. Residents of the city complain that there have been no hikes in the past few years but the situation is very different in their homes. The asking rates of maids these days are much higher than what is set by their respective consulates. more..

Meeting with representatives of political parties to be held

Feb 7 (DM) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya will have a meeting with the representatives of political parties tomorrow to decide on the elections to the two remaining local govt bodies in the Northern Province. The elections are yet to be conducted for the Puthukuduiruppu and Maritime Pattu Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mullaitivu district. Mr. Deshapriya said that he would discuss the matters pertaining to the election tomorrow with more..

Sri Lanka step into an uncertain future

Feb 7 (CI) Had he not travelled to Brisbane to watch his sons play in a shield game, Geoff Marsh, the recently sacked Sri Lanka coach, might well have put an ironic spin on the legendary line from Casablanca, and said: "Of all the cricket grounds, in all the towns, in all the world, they walk into mine." Had this been a Test match and the badass days of WACA, the crowds might have sold out the ground to boo the Sri Lankan team, to display their displeasure over the shoddy treatment with one of their own. more..

Maldives President resigns amid protests

Feb 7 (PTI) The president of the island nation of Maldives, who became the country’s first democratically elected leader in three decades, resigned on Tuesday following weeks of sometimes violent public protests over his controversial order to arrest a senior judge. President Mohamed Nasheed presented his resignation in a nationally televised address on Tuesday afternoon after police joined the protesters and then clashed with soldiers in the streets. more..

Media Minister recovers after surgeries in Australia

Feb 7 (GDI) Sri Lankan Minister of Mass Media and Information and the Government Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella is recovering well after two surgeries performed on his leg at a Melbourne hospital following an accidental fall. It is reported that the minister has slipped away and fallen off from the balcony of the hotel room in the third floor. "Two surgeries were performed and another is due the day after tomorrow. more..

Ten hand grenades found near Hulftsdorp

Feb 7 (DM) Ten hand grenades have been recovered near the Hulftsdorp Court Complex in Keselwatta today in the wake of the Movement for Democracy organizing a massive protest in front of the Court tomorrow to mark two years of imprisonment of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. The movement is currently engaged in the struggle to get the former Army Commander released. The police have received a tip off at around 6.30am this morning that a parcel with seven hand grenades had been detected in more..

Editorial: Root causes of riots in our society

Feb 7 (DM) We have seen on TV and read in the news of the prison riots and students’ agitation, which reveal frustration in the psyche of our society. This should make us sit up and take note. We could in seeing all that’s happening around, be forewarned that all these are symptoms of something that could be dangerously wrong within us. We could therefore take remedial measures for healing and survival. The students’ agitation could be a direct result of years of excessive more..

DKSH opens office in Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (PB) DKSH’s Business Unit Performance Materials, a leading specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributor, opened its first sales office in Sri Lanka recently. This opening is another milestone in expanding into the Indian subcontinent and enables the Swiss-headquartered Market Expansion Services specialist to extend its service portfolio to Sri Lanka. Through this new sales channel, DKSH offers its existing and new clients a more extensive market coverage in Asia. more..

Children in primary sector required to learn multiplication up to 12

Feb 7 (DM) Primary sector school children will be required to learn the multiplication charts up to 12 by heart once again under the proposed changes in the education curricular, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said today. Minister Gunawardane told the Daily Mirror today that the education authorities had done away with this educational requirement ten years ago under reforms introduced by a foreign organisation. more..

Lankan Naval men 'pelt stones, bottles' at Indian fishermen

Feb 7 (PTI) Indian fishermen in more than 600 fishing boats returned without fishing at Rameswaram after Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly pelted stones and bottles to prevent them from crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line near Katchatheevu, fisheries department officials said on Tuesday. Stones and glass pieces were found strewn in more than 30 boats, and fishermen in more than 600 boats had to return on Monday night without fishing, they said. more..

Lankan Naval men 'pelt stones, bottles' at Indian fishermen

Feb 7 (PTI) Indian fishermen in more than 600 fishing boats returned without fishing at Rameswaram after Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly pelted stones and bottles to prevent them from crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line near Katchatheevu, fisheries department officials said on Tuesday. Stones and glass pieces were found strewn in more than 30 boats, and fishermen in more than 600 boats had to return on Monday night without fishing, they said. more..

''All political prisoners should be released and democracy should be established''

Feb 7 (LT) The govt should release Gen. Sarath Fonseka and all other political prisoners and establish democracy in the country says JVP MP Vijithe Herath. He said, “It will be two years on the 8th since Gen. Fonseka who contested the parliamentary election as the non-party common candidate was arrested. The govt imprisoned Gen. Fonseka who contested the presidential election to abolish executive presidency. more..