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Private Medical College issue settled with SLMC?

Feb 11 (Island) South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando said that they met Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) President Prof. Carlo Fonseka a few days ago and came to a settlement. Dr. Fernando said that when Prof. Fonseka was informed about the construction of a teaching hospital for Malabe private medical college students, Prof. Fonseka was extremely happy. "He asked me when the hospital would be ready for clinical training. more..

GMOA tries to justify its opposition to appointment

Feb 11 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that GMOA would never take arbitrary decisions against any person or any organization. The appointment of Dr. Shirley Herath to the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) by Health Minister Maithripal Sirisena was illegal in terms of the Sri Lanka Medical Ordinance, because the Health Minister had been vested power only to appoint four persons to the SLMC and more..

'Military to be soon removed from northern areas'

Feb 11 (PTI) Sri Lanka would soon pull out its remaining troops from areas still under military control in the Tamil-dominated northern province that was once an LTTE bastion, a prominent Tamil minister has said. Douglas Devananda, the leader of the EPDP and a minister in the Cabinet has said that he needed a month's time to take steps to remove military presence from areas in the Northern Province. more..

Welgama to assist police eliminate underworld in Matugama

Feb 11 (Island) Minister Kumara Welgama recently vowed to assist the police to wipe out the underworld in Matugama. He said that if children were to be nurtured as useful citizens, the underworld should be stamped out. He said that due to underworld activities, the minds of children could be deranged and in order to prevent that he would not hesitate to assist police to eliminate the underworld in his area. The Minister was speaking at a ceremony held to distribute more..

Samurdhi will be paid in March says Govt.

Feb 11 (DM) The govt admitted yesterday that Samurdhi recipients had not been paid their allowance this year and gave an assurance that they would pay the Samurdhi allowance for the first quarter of the year in March. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene gave this assurance in response to an oral question raised by UNP MP Sajith Premadasa in Parliament. He said that none of the recipients had made a fuss about it and that all the arrears would be settled in March. more..

My brothers’ keepers

Feb 11 (Economist) The president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, may well feel pleased with himself. On the face of it, more than six years after his first election, his prospects are still remarkably rosy. The economy clips along at about 7% a year. Mr Rajapaksa’s coalition controls over two-thirds of parliament, and opposition parties are so weak that a senior minister chuckles about not being held to account. The chief political threat, Sarath Fonseka, more..

Australia wary of Sri Lanka's Mathews

Feb 11 (AAP) Australian skipper Michael Clarke admits his team needs to come up with a better plan to dismiss in-form Sri Lanka vice-captain Angelo Mathews. Mathews is fast establishing a knack of producing some of his best knocks against Australia. In 2010, Mathews struck an unbeaten 77 and combined with tail-ender Lasith Malinga for a 132-run eighth-wicket partnership to inspire Sri Lanka to an unlikely one-wicket victory over Australia at the MCG. more..

Time for a reality check on the Sri Lankan civil war

Feb 11 (Independent) The UNHRC are expected to consider a motion tabled by the United States over Sri Lankan accountability for war crimes later this month, nearly three years after the end of the island nation’s bloody civil war between the govt and the LTTE, a rebelsecessionist militia. The govt has been accused of multiple atrocities committed during its war effort in 2008 and 2009, including intentionally shelling thousands of civilians in a “no-fire zone” more..

'13 plus or minus, govt. will do what it wants'

Feb 11 (Island) The government would eventually implement the type of devolution it wanted, but was trying to engage the opposition as a time wasting tactic, Senior UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday. He told The Island that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime consulted the Opposition only when it was stuck and was trying to deflect international pressure, especially from India to implement the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution. more..

'China assures Lanka support always'

Feb 11 (DN) The Chinese government will always stand by Sri Lanka even at any international forum, member of the CPC Central Committee and CPC Party Secretary, Shanxi Province, Yuan Chunqing said when he met Prime Minister D M Jayaratne and 13 Chinese delegates at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday. Chunqing said that it is the Chinese government's policy to work hand in hand with the Sri Lankan government on issues concerning Sri Lanka's sovereignty and integrity. more..

CEB targets power pirates in North: collects Rs. 60 million in fines

Feb 11 (Island) The CEB has earned an income of nearly Rs. 60 million within the last three months by nabbing power pirates from the once war-torn northern peninsula. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the CEB has raked in a total of Rs. 9.3 million in fines following recent raids in the Jaffna Peninsula. The latest raid was carried out during the last week of January. During the months of Nov and Dec, the Board earned Rs. 38 million and Rs. 12 million respectively through fines. more..

Norwegians trot out lame excuse

Feb 11 (Island) Regretting the issue of personalized LTTE stamps following an order placed by a customer, Posten Norge has categorized them offensive, while assuring the Sri Lankan govt the controversial set of stamps wouldn’t be released again. Authoritative sources told The Island that the Sri Lankan mission in Oslo had received an assurance from Posten Norge that the customer was told he violated the terms for ordering personalized stamps. more..

Plea on Katchatheevu issue

Feb 11 (Hindu) M.H. Jawahirullah, Member of the Legislative Assembly representing Ramanathapuram constituency, has filed a public interest litigation petition in the Madras High Court Bench here seeking a direction to the Union Law Ministry to institute a dispute against Sri Lanka in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for reclamation of Katchatheevu. The MLA also wanted the island nation to be made accountable in the ICJ for alleged killings and illegal detention of Tamil fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy more..

SL must help toward peaceful settlement in the Maldives: Ranil

Feb 11 (DM) Sri Lanka must do its best for the Maldives to ensure a peaceful settlement to its crisis, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament. “We must do our best to ensure normalcy in the Maldives,” he said making a statement in the House yesterday. He reminded that the SAARC and Commonwealth countries and others that are all there to help defuse the crisis. He stressed that all in Maldives should cooperate with those who are trying to resolve the turmoil. more..

President Rajapaksa arrives in Pakistan entering a new chapter in friendly ties

Feb 11 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Islamabad entering a new chapter in friendly ties with Pakistan today on 10 February. Sri Lankan President embarked on a two-day official tour at the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart President Zardari. Chairman of the Pakistani Senate Sharuk Hameed Naike and Minister of Sports Sorket Ullah warmly greeted President Rajapaksa on his arrival at the Chaklala Air Base in Islamabad. more..

Lorry driver allowed to proceed with FR petition against TID

Feb 11 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation application filed by Kandegedara Priyawansa, a lorry driver from Nuwara Eliya, who had worked in the Intelligence Unit of the Sri Lanka Army. The petitioner had said that the Terrorist Investigation Unit had arrested him on February 27, 2010, to question him about his alleged friendship with Pitchchai Jesudasan, a motor mechanic from Nuwara Eliya. more..

PUCSL boss denies Dy. Power Minister’s claim

Feb 11 (Island) Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) Chairman Dr. Jayatissa de Costa said that the commission had not received any directions, from the Power and Energy Ministry, not to increase the electricity tariffs this year. Costa, a lawyer, told The Island that under the Electricity Act and the PUCSL Act, he had the sole powers to decide on the matter. He stressed that there was no request made by anyone. The Commission was only answerable to more..

India emerges as Lanka’s ‘sole’ mate

Feb 11 (Island) The govt is injecting US$ 2 million to upgrade its booming footwear and leather sector. It has started work on an exclusive industrial zone designated for leather and footwear production and is also launching special human resource training initiatives while enlisting a national university to upgrade the Leather and Footwear sector which netted US$ 36 million in export revenues in 2011, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. more..

'Devolve police powers and face a situation as in Maldives'

Feb 11 (Island) Senior lawyer Gomin Dayasri yesterday warned that the role played by the Maldivian police in ousting democratically elected Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, early this week, had highlighted the danger of giving in to the TNA’s demand for devolution of police powers. "Vesting the Northern and Eastern Provinces with police powers will cause unprecedented chaos and such powers in the hands of more..

To the President and People of Sri Lanka from Britain !

Feb 11 (IL) High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to the UK, Dr Chris Nonis called on Britain to replenish the tremendous reservoir of goodwill it has with Sri Lanka, stemming from the antecedent history between the two countries. He articulated that both our countries have a rich and varied plurality of economic, cultural, and linguistic traditions, and we should draw more deeply on the strength of our shared heritage, harness our collective strengths, more..

Court grants anticipatory bail to CMC member

Feb 11 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday granted anticipatory bail to the UNP Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) member Kithsiri Rajapaksha in connection with a case filed against him on charges of assaulting and obstructing a CMC officer from carrying out his duties. While granting anticipatory bail to the CMC member, Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne directed the Slave Island police that Mr. Rajapaksha be released on more..

Keheliya undergoes fourth operation

Feb 11 (Island) Media and Information Minister Keheliya Ramubkwella yesterday underwent a fourth operation on his legs at the Albert Hospital in Melbourne, his Media Secretary Sarath Dambawinna disclosed last night. The Minister sustained serious injuries to his legs when he fell from his third floor room balcony of the Como hotel, at South Yarra, Melbourne on Tuesday night and two operations on Wednesday and a third on Thursday. more..

Govt. mulls fuel price hike

Feb 11 (Island) The govt said yesterday that if America enforces economic sanctions on Iran, there could be an increase in fuel prices. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that a "reasonable decision" with regard to fuel prices would have to be taken, if the world’s superpower carried out its "dollar threat" against Iran, which was the fifth largest oil producing country. "If international prices go up, then we would be forced to take a reasonable decision," more..

Rs.61.5 million spent on Deyata Kirula exhibition centre

Feb 11 (DM) A sum of Rs.61.5 million had been spent for the exhibition centre of the ‘Deyata Kirula’ Exhibition 2012 in Anurdhapura while several millions had been spent for the water supply facilities, Parliament was informed yesterday. This was revealed in the report on the supplementary allocation which was presented to the House by the Chief Government Whip Dinseh Gunawardene yesterday. more..

UNPs observations on LLRC

Feb 11 (ST) The UNP says that the devolution of power is a principal factor in reaching a settlement between the ethnic groups and the govt must take the initiative by placing a set of proposals for discussion based on the existing constitutional arrangements. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said this in Parliament today. The UNP Leader earlier attempted to table his Party’s observations on the LLRC report and recommendations in Parliament but more..

Pakistan calls for trade expansion with Sri Lanka

Feb 11 (GDI) Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday called for stepping up efforts to fully realize the potential of a Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka. He called for an increase in bilateral trade between the two countries from $375 million to $2 billion target in the next three years. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is currently on a two day state visit to Pakistan Pakistani President during a more..

Govt. reverses stance on IMF loan

Feb 11 (DM) Despite the Central Bank’s previous announcement that the US$2.6 billion Standby Arrangement with the IMF would be terminated, the govt has said it hoped to sign a new Letter of Intent next month to obtain the balance US$800 million. Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama told Parliament on Thursday the govt, had not terminated this loan facility with the IMF, though Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal had earlier said more..

Old votes to be counted at new elections

Feb 11 (DM) Postal votes cast early last year by voters of Pudukudairuppu and Maritimepattu before the postponement of the polls, will be used at the March 24 mini local govt elections to be held for the two Pradeshiya Sabhas. Additional Elections Commissioner Mr. R.M.A.L. Ratnayake said the 2011 electoral register will be used for the mini poll after updating it with the postal votes cast as postal voting was conducted using the 2009 electoral register. more..

Stone-throwing suspects remanded

Feb 11 (DM) Four youth who attempted to obstruct the Southern Expressway by hurling stones were remanded till February 21, by the Elpitiya Magistrate Sekara Samaradiwakara. The suspects, Walawedurage Chandratillake, Ratnayake Arachichilage Tilakaratne, Ratnayaka Arachchilage Premasiri, and M.Piyaratne are residents of the Elpitiya area. They had attempted to obstruct the expressway near Samayangalakanda at Elikehena close to the Kurundugahahethepma intersection. more..

Sri Lanka is new fake currency transit point

Feb 11 (IBN) The counterfeit currency mafia has been turning to Sri Lanka as a new transit point, revealed the recent investigations carried out by the Crime Branch and the NIA. Tamil Nadu, which has reported a large increase in the number of fake currency cases, of late, has come under the scanner, and it is being unearthed that the fake currencies printed in Pakistan reach Sri Lanka from where they are transported by sea or air to Tamil Nadu and Kerala. more..

Editorial: Heads of religions must speak out

Feb 11 (DM) Not having media freedom is indeed a disturbing factor for any sovereign and sincerely democratic state. The Paris based organization, ‘Reporters without Borders’ has stated that the media freedom index for Sri Lanka, for last year, had fallen to 163 out of 179 countries. In the 164th position is Somalia, widely regarded as a failed state. The United States too, dropped by 27 places as a result of journalists being arrested during the ‘Occupy Wall-street’ protests. more..

Fuel price concessions for private buses

Feb 11 (CT) Fuel concessions are to be given to private bus owners today (12) as a result of the increase in fuel prices, the Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) Secretary told Ceylon Today. PBOA Secretary, Anjana Priyanjith told Ceylon Today s that the decision to provide fuel concessions to the private bus owners was taken by Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Private Transport Services at a discussion held at the Ministry of Finance yesterday (11). more..

Police and political parties most corrupt, survey reveals

Feb 11 (DM) According to a survey by Transparency International (TI) nearly 50% of Sri Lankans believed that the police and political parties in the country were the most corrupt institutions in the country. In April 2011, 1000 people were interviewed from Sri Lanka and other countries in the South Asian including India, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives and Bangladesh to determine the level of corruption in each country. more..

Sri Lanka's The Finance returns to Jaffna roots

Feb 11 (LBO) The Finance, Sri Lanka's pioneer finance company has returned to pre-war premises in the island's northern Jaffna city, where the economy is going resurging after the end of a 30-year war. "Every time I come to Jaffna I see new developments," Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said at the ceremonial opening of the branch in Jaffna. "The northern province is growing at more than 20 percent in nominal terms. To keep this going for the next 10 to 15 years more..

Navy and Coast Guard assists in the Repatriation of 15 Sri Lankan Fisherman

Feb 11 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy and the Coast Guard assisted in the repatriation of 15 Sri Lankan Fisherman who were released from Indian custody. The released Fisherman and 3 fishing boats named “Niranjana”, “Gulf Star Marina” and “Champa 6” were handed over to Coast guard officials by Indian Coast Guard Ship Rani Ambakka in the seas off Kankasanthurai on 10th February 2012. They were safely brought to Kankasanthurai Harbour and arrangements were made more..

'Check credibility of pre-school centres'

Feb 11 (DM) The Children’s Secretariat has advised parents to check on the standards of early-childhood centres such as nurseries, montessories and daycare centers when admitting their children because more than 50 per cent of them have not been registered with the authorities. Secretariat’s Deputy Director Jayantha Peiris said the authorities were unable to take action against the unauthorised institutions because of the absence of laws to do so. more..

Lanka preparing to defeat charges at Geneva sessions: minister

Feb 11 (ST) Sri Lanka is making arrangements to defeat charges made against the country at the Human Rights Council’s 19th session in Geneva, Minister Nimal Siripala said. Minister Siripala said the Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam is making arrangements for us to meet ambassadors of other nations prior to the session that will be held from 27 February to 23 March 2012. “We hope to get the support of more..

Plea on Katchatheevu rejected

Feb 11 (IBN) The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stated that it would not entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the Ministry of Law and Justice to move the International Court of Justice against Sri Lanka to retrieve Katchatheevu. The division bench of the court felt that the PIL, originally filed by MLA Jawahirullah, sought for directions against Sri Lanka for breach of international responsibility by killing Indian fishermen and detaining them illegally. more..

Delay in determining cause of kidney disease in SL

Feb 11 (DM) There had been a delay in determining the exact cause of the kidney disease which is rampant in several areas in the country including the North Central province, the Acting Minister of Healthcare Lalith Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday. He said the govt is however expecting the results of the research conducted by an international body, ‘International Research Laboratories’ in the coming days. more..

Dengue case fixed for March 1

Feb 11 (DM) Court rejected the preliminary objections raised by the Kebitigollewa Divisional Secretary, who was charged with allowing mosquitoes to breed in the vicinity of his official quarters. In his preliminary objection, the Divisional Secretary said the public health inspectors filed action against him under the Penal Code and not under the Prevention of Dengue Act No. 11 of 2007. The health inspectors who filed counter-objections said any person contributing to more..