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‘Development means 14-storey tourist hotel in Jaffna’

Feb 10 (TN) Keeping genocide-afflicted Eezham Tamils in sheds and shelters, occupying Sri Lanka plans to build massive ‘tourist’ hotels in Jaffna with Sinhala investment and management, eventually to create Sinhala business enclaves and colonies, news sources in Jaffna said. SL presidential sibling Basil Rajapaksa laid foundation for a 14-storey tourist hotel in the heart of Jaffna city on Friday. Mr. Milinda Moragoda, opposition leader, CMC, is said to be closely associated more..

Indo-Chinese tensions and the ‘mutiny’ causing regime change in Maldives

Feb 10 (DBS) There has been a regime change in the Paradisian archipelago of Maldives. Recent events leading to such a change in the Maldives Islands have evoked great interest and concern in the corridors of power in Colombo. Sri Lanka is the closest neighbour to the Maldives and there existed a strong personal equation between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Mohammed Nasheed. Mohammed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic party who more..

Govt. joins the rush for hotels; starts work on Rs. 300 m resort in Rajarata

Feb 10 (FT) In tandem with the private sector rush to harness the post-war tourism rebound, the Government this week joined the trend by kicking off its own Rs. 300 million resort in Anuradhapura, though targeting domestic tourists. Minister Basil Rajapaksa on the sidelines of Deyata Kirula laid the foundation stone for a tourist resort for local tourists to be constructed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority at the Anuradhapura Tourist Board premises. more..

Rs. 99 b in value lost at Bourse

Feb 10 (FT) Economic and equity woes fuelled by rising interest, exchange rates and impact from external shocks weaken locals; foreigners seize opportunities in attractively-priced blue chips. The Colombo stock market finished a shortened week, losing a staggering Rs. 99 billion in value, as local investors produced a kneejerk reaction to what they perceive as a worsening outlook for the economy and equities. The over 2% drop in indices led to Rs. 46 billion in value wiped off on top of the Rs. 43 billion loss on Wednesday. more..

Sri Lankans counter LTTE supporters at the Independence celebrations in Germany

Feb 10 (IL) The 64th Independence Celebrations of Sri Lanka at the Embassy of Sri Lanka, Berlin was attended by a cross section of the domiciled Sri Lankans living in Berlin. Around 250 invitees gathered at the Embassy in Berlin. The official programme started off with the hoisting of the National Flag followed by singing of the National anthem in the in the Embassy grounds in Berlin. Religious observances according to each religion were performed more..

Several charged with passport forgery

Feb 10 (Island) Several persons of a travel agency who are suspects in a case of preparing passports using false documents were produced before Mt. Lavinia Chief Magistrate Nirosha Fernando on (2). The suspects in this case are L. Jayaratne, Somaratne, S. Nagasinghe, P. D. Mahes, P. Nilmini M. Sitha Kumarie, K. Chandani, M. K. Abdul, K. Akul and Nihal Asoka. CID informed court that the haul of passports had earlier been handed over to the Department of Emigration and Immigration. more..

'Mahapola won’t be curtailed'

Feb 10 (Island) The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday said that it had increased the number of Mahapola beneficiaries and the bursaries in universities around the country year by year. UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said that 51,427 undergraduates are beneficiaries at present. The UGC Chairman was responding to UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa’s recent statement that the govt would reduce the Mahapola payments. Addressing a public rally in Lunugamvehera recently, more..

Sri Lanka Embassy in South Korea celebrates Sri Lanka’s independence

Feb 10 (IL) On the 5th of February 2012, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in South Korea organized its first ever large-scale Independence Day Celebration since its establishment in 1987. The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul celebrated this 64th Anniversary in a glamorous manner along with the many Sri Lankans living in the community. The first programme of the celebrations took place at the Embassy on Saturday, 4th Feb more..

Minister Devananda threatens to attack journalists of Jaffna daily

Feb 10 (TN) “I told my [paramilitary] boys to beat up these journalists. But, the boys are not paying attention. It seems I have to go in person and do it to make these journalists behave,” was the newest controversial comment by SL Minister and EPDP paramilitary leader Douglas Devananda on Thursday evening at a meeting held at Jaffna District Secretariat, where he was talking to unemployed graduates who were demanding employment. The spontaneous comment by more..

President urges coaches to be like parents

Feb 10 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the coaches training young sportsmen recruited under the ‘Lowa Dinana Kreeda Shakthi’ programme to treat the trainees like their own children. "The coach should be like a parent, a brother and a friend to his athlete because the athlete has faith in him. The coach also has a responsibility to guide his athlete in the correct path," the president said in his speech at Temple Trees yesterday. Selected sports personnel for the ‘Lowa Dinana Kreeda Shakthi’ programme received more..

Settled hosts meet hesitant visitors

Feb 10 (CI) An Australian side in the pinkest of form meet Sri Lankan opponents with plenty of improve upon following a first-up loss to India in a mediocre match that was also at the WACA ground. While the tourists will benefit from having played a match at the ground, a series of starts with the bat, some middling bowling and hesitance in the field - from the newly-appointed captain Mahela Jayawardene's field placements as much as his men's occasionally more..

Sri Lanka playing important role in interconnected world - UN chief

Feb 10 (DN) “It is my great pleasure to extend to you and to the government and people of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka my warmest congratulations on the occasion of the National Holiday”, states UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a message to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to mark the 64th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence. The message adds: “This is an opportunity to celebrate the proud culture and history of your country. It is also a chance to more..

Monk arrested at airport

Feb 10 (CT) Badi Wewa Diyasena Thera, who once launched a hunger strike for the release of six fishermen stranded in the Andaman Islands, was arrested by the airport police while attempting to leave the country today. The arrest was made by the police at around 8.15 in the morning while he was attempting to board a flight to India. The monk has been wanted by the Polonnaruwa Special Crimes Investigation Bureau for a period of approximately eight years, after a person in the area had more..

Sri Lankan universities in big league

Feb 10 (DN) The government’s efforts to improve higher education has paid off with six universities in the country being ranked among the top 100 universities in South Asia. According to the international grading of universities, six Sri Lankan universities, namely, Colombo, Peradeniya, Sri Jayawardenapura, Jaffna, Rajarata and the Open University have been upgraded, Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne said. more..

Agrarian tribunals in each district for speedy solutions

Feb 10 (Island) Plans are afoot to set up Agrarian Tribunals countrywide in order to provide speedy solutions to a large number of agricultural disputes reported to authorities, Commissioner General of Agrarian Services, Ravindra Hewawitharana said. Currently, about 4,000 such cases have been reported to authorities. Most disputes are over lands used for cultivation. "It had been decided to appoint a retired judge, a lawyer with over 15 years experience or more..

Sharing in Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (CTV) CTV Calgary's Karen Owen went with a team from World Vision to Sri Lanka to meet some of the people who have benefitted from its programs and even more who need our help. In part two of her series, Karen meets a family living in poverty in a home made from palm leaves. After 26 years, the civil war in Sri Lanka ended in 2009 but the healing continues. Up to 100,000 people died and many others were injured. The injured included former soldiers, who once injured, were more..

Sri Lanka exchange rate flexibility welcomed by IMF

Feb 10 (LBO) A decision by the Sri Lanka's central bank to allow the exchange rate to move more in line with its monetary policy has been welcomed by the International Monetary Fund. "We welcome the move toward greater exchange rate flexibility announced today," IMF resident representative Koshy Mathai said. "This step, supported by a firm monetary and fiscal policy stance, should help to reduce the trade deficit and safeguard reserves at the central bank." more..

‘Bell and Light’ warning system for unprotected rail crossings

Feb 10 (CT) The govt today (9) informed Parliament that 61 unprotected railway level crossings along the coastal line will be provided with a ‘bell & light’ security signal system soon. The Transport Minister said this in response to a question raised by UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana. He asked whether the Minister is aware that the lives of the people living along the coastal line from Galle to Matara have been put at risk as a result of not fixing protective gates and more..

Parliamentary consultative committee meetings conducted for years

Feb 10 (DM) The parliamentary consultative committee meetings had not been conducted by the Ministries to discuss issues confronting the country for years though the Standing Orders stipulates the conducting of such meetings at least once a month, Parliament was informed yesterday. The subject ministers are required to convene consultative committee meetings of their respective ministries to discuss matters coming under their purview. The representatives of more..

South Asia's first baseball ground in Lanka

Feb 10 (DN) The Japanese govt will provide Rs 12 million to the Mahinda Rajapaksa Sports Development Foundation for the construction of a baseball ground for youths receiving training under the Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Projects of the Japanese government, Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo said. "Japan and Sri Lanka are commemorating the 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. more..

Electronic rebate card for private bus travel

Feb 10 (DM) The Private Transport Services Ministry will introduce an electronic ticketing system for inter-provincial private buses from next month, Minister C.B. Ratnayaka said today. “We expect to issue an electronic card similar to the credit or debit cards issued by commercial banks for the use of school children, the clergy, journalists and retired public servants who use inter-provincial private bus services as a pilot project, Minister Ratnayaka told the Daily Mirror. more..

N’cholai expected to resume ops on Sunday

Feb 10 (Island) The Norachcholai coal-fired powered plant is scheduled to resume operations, after a lapse of 22 days, on Sunday. The 22-day shutdown of the plant is said to have cost the debt-ridden Ceylon Electricity Board billions as it had to purchase power from the private sector at a cost of over Rs. 80 million a day to meet the demand. The Plant’s General Manager, Senior Engineer Saliya Panditharatne told The Island yesterday the repairs were coming to an end but more..

Petroleum ministry to diversify

Feb 10 (CT) Ministry of Petroleum Industries will diversify into different areas in an attempt to cut back on losses from fuel sales, officials from the ministry said. The official said that the ministry is exploring venturing into bunkering and sale of lubricants. Ministry of Petroleum Industries is hoping to venture into other petroleum related industries and services such as bunkering and retail sale of lubricants. more..

SL driver admits biting girl, 6, while ‘playing vampires’

Feb 10 (KT) A 21-year-old Sri Lankan driver molested a six-year-old schoolgirl while playing a ‘vampire game’ with her, the Court of First Instance heard on Thursday. The driver allegedly kissed the girl and bit on her cheeks, neck and thighs in July last year. The British girl said during the Public Prosecution investigation that she asked the defendant to play with her. The accused then chose to play the vampire game, during which he bit and kissed her cheeks, neck and thighs. more..

SC dismisses petition seeking review of Acquisition Bill

Feb 10 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed in limine the petition filed by Dr. Nihal Sri Amerasekera, requesting the Court to review and re-examine its determination in respect of the Bill titled ‘An Act to Acquire Unutilized Assets and Underperforming Enterprises’. The Court upheld the objections taken by the respondents and said that the Bench had no jurisdiction to accept the petition. Among the preliminary objections taken by the respondents were that, more..

‘Fuel price hike imminent, but private buses to get diesel subsidy’

Feb 10 (Island) Fuel prices are likely to be increased again, at any moment, but the private bus industry will be given their requirement of diesel at a subsidized price of Rs. 76. This was revealed by LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne. He said that Treasury Chief Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, at a meeting with the LPBOA, had revealed that the government was forced to hike fuel prices as a barrel of crude oil had risen to US $ 117 in the World Market. more..

121 policemen transferred out of Mahiyangana

Feb 10 (Island) Chief Govt Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday said in Parliament that 121 policemen of the Mahiyangana police had been transferred with immediate effect following a complaint against them. The decision was taken with the aim of investigating into the complaint and the policemen were needed to be transferred out from their current workplace to make a proper investigations, the minister said. more..

Govt. decides to set up Expressway Development Authority

Feb 10 (Island) The govt has decided to set up a new authority by the name Expressway Development Authority to control, maintain and to provide services and facilities for the users of the expressways, Deputy Minister Nirmala Kotelawala told Parliament yesterday. He said that the extension of the Southern Expressway from Galle to Matara and the construction of the Colombo outer circular road would be completed in 2013. The Deputy Minister, participating in the debate on more..

Mosquito breeders to feel full sting of the law

Feb 10 (ST) Some of Greater Colombo’s public areas have become veritable mosquito breeding “factories” and havens of pollution. Less than a half-hour’s drive from the Ministry of Health, the nerve centre from which anti-dengue operations are being directed, is the once picturesque Boralesgamuwa Lake. Pollution reigns and man-made mosquito-breeding opportunities increase by the day: once clean and beautiful, Boralesgamuwa lake is now more..

Endangering Our Leopards

Feb 10 (SL) On January 26, police burst into the Maeliya wildlife reservation to discover Palaniyandi Anandakumara, surrounded by 11 bags. Each bag contained a kilogram of leopard meat, police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said. The coveted leopard skin was nearby. It was reported that Anandakumara had tried to sell the meat for less than Rs. 300 per kilogram, although SP Rohana was unable to confirm this. more..

Sajith wants Karu’s powers as deputy leader

Feb 10 (SM) UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa has asked that he be granted the same powers given to Karu Jayasuriya when he was deputy leader of the party. Mr. Premadasa made the request to the working committee at its meeting at Sirikotha yesterday. At the meeting, Mr. Jayasuriya was appointed Mahara electoral organizer of the UNP, to succeed George U. Perera. Also, Dr. Harsha de Silva has been given more..

External Affairs Ministry pays Rs. 82 mn to CSC for baggage transport

Feb 10 (Island) The Ministry of External Affairs had paid over Rs.82 million to the Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd. last year to handle the baggage of 262 diplomatic and other staff engaged in the country’s diplomatic missions overseas. Deputy Minister Neomal Perera said that the CSC has been handling the baggage services for those going to Sri Lankan missions overseas more..

Largest foreign participation at Colombo's Footwear and Leather Fair 2012

Feb 10 (GDI) The Indian Footwear Components Manufacturers Association (IFCOMA) is participating in the 4th Footwear and Leather Fair 2012 being organized by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board at BMICH, Colombo from February 10 to 12, 2012. During this exhibition, twenty-five exhibitors from IFCOMA will be showcasing their products. This is the largest foreign participation in the fair. more..

Muzammil will not permit anyone to dictate terms to him

Feb 10 (Island) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil is adamant that he will not permit the UNP to fall from grace in the metropolis, as the majority of the city dwellers have faith in the party, as was shown in no uncertain terms at the elections to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). He told The Island that he would not permit anyone to throw their weight around and obstruct his attempt to run a corrupt free administration. more..

President launches Kreeda Shakthi

Feb 10 (GDI) 'Lowa Dinana Kreeda Shakthi' (Winning the World) programme aimed at encouraging participation of Sri Lankan children and youth in sports was launched under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees, yesterday. The President emphasized that restricting the children only to books is an injustice being meted out to the children and emphasized the need to involve the country's youth in more..

Court orders Sudarman Radaliyagoda’s arrest

Feb 10 (SM) Kaduwela magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday ordered the immediate arrest of ITN’s deputy general manager Sudarman Radaliyagoda over a charge of producing a fake document to obtain a scrap iron consignment from Sri Lanka Telecom, and that he be produced before the court. The magistrate ordered police to arrest the suspect irrespective of his social status, after lawyer D.G.P. Karunaratne, who represents more..

Boy dies after boxing blow

Feb 10 (CT) A 17 year old boy has succumbed to a head injury sustained after a sparring practice session in a build-up to the junior boxing nationals. The boxer Buddhi Indeera from a leading school in Pannipitiya was rushed to hospital on February 5 and died in the early hours of this morning. Director of the Accident and Orthopaedic Service Dr. Prasad Ariyawansa said that the boy underwent surgery after a CT scan showed more..

'SL will offer support to the Maldives'

Feb 10 (DM) Acting Minster of External Affairs Neomal Perera said today that if the Maldives requested assistance from Sri Lanka, the govt would offer any support necessary, however the govt was of the view that interference in the internal matters of that country were not called for. “These are democratically elected leaders, therefore we don’t want any country to interfere or pressurise the Maldivians by taking advantage of the present situation,” more..

Editorial: Cricketing points to catch

Feb 10 (DM) With Sri Lankan cricket and cricket management stranded mid field in crisis after crisis there was a significant development when the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the weekend expressed concern that the Guyana government had dissolved the Guyana Cricket Board and replaced it with an interim management committee. So much so the ICC did not even buy the idea after the Guyana authorities had named none other than the most successful Caribbean more..

US$ 200 million from Pakistan

Feb 10 (GDI) The Govt of Pakistan has agreed to extend an Export Credit Facility of US$ 200 million through the State Bank of Pakistan. This was agreed during the visit of Pakistani President to Sri Lanka in November 2010. An amount of US$ 150 million of this credit, is to be utilized for the construction of Housing Units for Shanty Dwellers in Colombo and suburbs and the balance US$ 50 million for the importation of livestock, plant and machinery from Pakistan. more..