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BCC to shift from Panchikawatte to Watupitiwela

Feb 16 (Island) The Ministry of State Resources and Enterprise Development says that plans are afoot to shift BCC Lanka Limited to Watupitiwala in the Gampaha district due to its Colombo premises being acquired by the Urban Development Authority for city improvements. A 12-acre land, belonging to the BCC Lanka Limited, located in Colombo 13, would be acquired by the UDA. Four acres of the premises, which would be initially acquired, had been valued at Rs.1,120 million. more..

Forum for Women’s Issues wants govt. to reduce CoL

Feb 16 (Island) Amidst the increase in fuel prices and surcharge on electricity tariff by upto 40 percent, women in public life yesterday expressed their concern for mothers finding it difficult to keep the home fires burning. Addressing a press conference in Colombo, which was organised by the War Widow’s Association, they called on the government to reduce the cost of living as a matter of priority. Visakha Dharmadasa, President of the War Widows more..

‘Kudu FM’ gets it wrong, he says

Feb 16 (LB) In an interview with Minister Dr.Rajitha Senarathna said that a particular media outlet has begun to carry out a personal mud-slinging campaign against him, day in and day out. “I have not entered politics to earn money. I cannot be brought down. If they are attacking the very person who is ganging up against the twin threats of drugs and the underworld, then the people will give their reply at the right time to such persons” he said. more..

Vijaya assassination: Politics kills police professionalism

Feb 16 (ST) In an earlier article I outlined how high-profile interference frustrates police professionalism. In this context the Vijaya Kumaratunga assassination case is another that deserves elaboration. Vijaya Kumaratunga was a film idol who started politics in the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP). He married Chandrika Bandaranaike in 1978 and joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) under the leadership of Sirimavo Bandaranaike. more..

'US believes war crimes should be probed'

Feb 16 (Island) Visiting United States Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said Monday that he believed there should be an investigation by the Sri Lankan govt into war crimes in the final phases of the conflict in 2009. We think that a very important part of this whole process of reconciliation will be accountability and investigating what happened throughout the course of the war, but particularly at the end of the war, he said. more..

'Development is the need of the hour, not devolution'

Feb 16 (FT) Q: 13 Plus has become the most discussed topic in the political scene. What do you think about 13 Plus? A: Before looking at the 13th Amendment or the 13 Plus, first let us give a chance to the present mechanism. I strongly believe the present mechanism can address the majority of our issues. The mechanism presently in place is capable of giving economic prosperity to the people in the north and east. more..

Police fired at protesters, victim’s brother-in-law says

Feb 16 (DM) The police fired at protesters in Chilaw when they were preparing for the second day of protests, the brother-in-law of the deceased in the incident that took place in Chilaw, Vijaya Warnakulasuriya, said today. “The police shot at us with no warning," Mr. Warnakulasuriya said speaking of the incident. The villagers were proceeding to the town for a second day of protests when the police stopped them short near their fishing villages, he said. more..

UDA work underway for greener-cleaner Colombo metropolis

Feb 16 (MoD) The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is a multi disciplinary organization engaged in urban planning and sustainable urban development in Sri Lanka. The main activities of the UDA are Carrying out integrated planning and physical development of declared urban areas. Formulating and submitting development plans including capital investment plans. Undertaking the execution of development project and schemes. more..

Pvt. bus operators demand fuel subsidy instead of fare hike

Feb 16 (Island) Private bus owners are demanding that the govt grant them a fuel subsidy. Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association President Gemunu Wijeratne yesterday asked the government to introduce a proper mechanism to grant bus owners diesel at a subsidised rate of Rs.76 per litre. He said that if the subsidy was granted the LPBOA would subsequently take action to reduce bus fares. more..

CPA conference in Colombo this year

Feb 16 (DM) The Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference which is to be held in Colombo this year will be an opportunity for Sri Lanka to display to the world whatever progress it had made in reconciliation and reconstruction after the war, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Chairman Executive Committee Sir Alan Haselthurst said yesterday. Sir Hasethurst said the visiting delegates would be able to disseminate what they gather on Sri Lanka to more..

Govt appoints police commission

Feb 16 (SL) The government has decided to constitute the National Police commission under the 18th amendment to the constitution, the government information department said. The Parliamentary council has given its recommendations to the names proposed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. An official of the Parliament said that the Parliamentary council which met yesterday gave its recommendation for the members to be appointed. more..

'Army Inquiry a Delaying Tactic'

Feb 16 (HRW) The Sri Lankan army’s announcement that it had appointed a five-member court of inquiry to investigate allegations that its forces committed serious violations of the laws of war appears to be another government delaying tactic in the face of mounting international pressure, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva is expected to discuss at its next session a resolution on the lack of accountability for violations of more..

If govt. can afford Deyata Kirula it can do without fuel price hike: IUSF

Feb 16 (DM) "A govt that spent Rs.21,000 million on Deyata Kirula can afford to reduce the fuel prices," Inter University Students Union convener Sanjeewa Bandara said. He charged that if the Govt was committed to ease the burden of the people it would curtail the fancy life styles of the Ministers' and crack down on corruption. The transport and electricity charges increased by a large percentage and soon water and telecom charges will also increase, Mr. Bandara said. more..

Sri Lanka may remove stock trading limits, exchange chief says

Feb 16 (BN) Sri Lanka may remove a 10 percent price trading limit on some stocks listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, according to its chief executive officer. The bourse planned to introduce a “transparent, Sri Lanka- centric” volatility management mechanism, CEO Surekha Sellahewa said, without giving a timeframe. Stocks identified using a formula designed by the exchange are restricted from rising or falling more than 10 percent from their previous closing levels. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 16.02.2012

World Cup trophy safe, not damaged - SLC

Feb 16 (AD) The 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy together with 30 other Champions trophies Won by our National team over the years is safe in their respective shelves at SLC headquarters, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a release. SLC rubbished rumours that the 1996 World Cup Trophy had been damaged while transporting same to the Dayata Kirulla exhibition, thereby misleading the public. Full release; Sri Lanka Cricket hereby informs the Public and the Media, that the 1996 World Cup Trophy more..

Sri Lanka shares end up five percent

Feb 16 (LBO) Shares ended firmer for the second day Thursday, after a nine-day slide, with the main index shooting up five percent with steep gains in illiquid stocks, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed up 5.08 percent at 5,278.95, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 4.10 percent to close at 4,552.94. Turnover was 1.2 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures. Brokers said companies which had reported lower earnings and illiquid stocks shot up. more..

Sri Lanka still searching for first win

Feb 16 (CI) Sri Lanka might view their tie with India as a missed opportunity, but it at least put them on the board in the Commonwealth Bank Series. All the same, they need a win soon or risk leaving their run for the finals too late. And to have the best chance of success, they need runs out of their senior batsmen; none of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga have scored a half-century more..

‘India needs to review its Sri Lanka policy’

Feb 16 (WL) Even as the United States has announced its decision to support a resolution against Sri Lanka at the upcoming UNHRC session on the issue of human rights violations, speculations are rife on the possible stand that the govt of India would take on this matter. At the 11th session of the UNHRC in May 2009, India played a vital role in lobbying for Sri Lanka when 17 countries put forward a resolution that deplored abuses by both the Sri Lankan govt forces and the Tamil Tigers, more..

Trishaw prices increase from tomorrow

Feb 16 (CT) All Island Three Wheeler Drivers Union (AITWDU) decided to increase their fares by two rupees per kilometer from tomorrow, AITWDU President Lalith Dharmasekara told Ceylon Today. The hike which will operate from midnight today was decided due to the recent fuel price hikes. The earlier charge which was Rs. 30 per Km will be revised as Rs.32 per Km. The set charge for the first kilometer which is Rs. 50 has not been revised. President Lalith Dharmasekara noted that they more..

President lauds Queen's leadership

Feb 16 (GDI) During your reign of sixty years, the second longest for the British monarch,Your Majesty has given admirable leadership both to your country and the Commonwealth, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a felicitation message on the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne of the United Kingdom. "Your record of service to the country and people from the time you undertook public duties serving in the more..

EU satisfied with resettlement process

Feb 16 (SL) The European Union (EU) today said that it is satisfied with the resettlement process in Sri Lanka despite a few more families still remaining in camps even three years after the war ended. The EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Bernard Savage said that the Sri Lankan govt should be commended for the efforts it took to resettle most of the war displaced people. The govt came under severe criticism for the conditions of the displacement camps in which more..

Chilaw protesters compensated

Feb 16 (CT) A sum of Rs. 500,000 had been awarded as compensation from the Police fund to the family of the Chilaw fisherman who was killed during a protest on Wednesday against the recent fuel hike, police sources said. Warnakulasuriya Anton Fernando a 34 year old fisherman from Chilaw was killed after being shot during a protest against the recent price hike by the govt. Meanwhile the economic Affairs Ministry has awarded Rs.100,000 to those who were injured during the clash, more..

We will defeat the government that burdens the masses - JVP

Feb 16 (LT) The govt that promised to establish economic development after ending the war has not done anything for the development of the country despite three years has passed since the end of the war. It has merely maintained a few projects that have become white elephants for the masses of this country. It has increased fuel prices, bus fares and electricity tariff severely inconveniencing masses. They will carry out agitations protesting against more..

Lightening injures 21 persons in Kamburupitiya

Feb 16 (CT) 17 army soldiers were hospitalized at the Anadapana Hospital after being hit by a bolt of lightning today. Speaking to Ceylon Today Army spokesman Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi said that the seventeen soldiers were suffering from shock after a bolt of lightning struck the area in which they were constructing a building for the Army in Vilpitawatte in Kamburupitiya. The spokesperson further added that none of the soldiers’ lives were in danger, and more..

Filipino woman nabbed at airport with cocaine

Feb 16 (SM) A Philippine woman has been arrested at the Katunayake airport for trying to smuggle cocaine into the country. The cocaine haul is said to be worth Rs. 45 million. The woman had arrived on board a flight from Brazil this morning. The haul had been concealed in a laptop bag. Meanwhile, Colombo high court judge Padman Surasena passed the death sentence on a Sri Lanka Transport Board driver, who was arrested in colombo Pettah for possessing 813 g of heroin. more..

Committee for Deyata Kirula funds

Feb 16 (CT) The Committee appointed to look into the profits and loses made at the Deyata Kirula exhibition are to finish the necessary calculations by Saturday. Out of the Rs 630 million allocated for the Deyata Kirula exhibition, only Rs 250 million was used, especially due to the construction of a few large scale granaries in Anuradhapura. According to Minister Ranjith Siyabalaptiya the remainder of the money is to be handed over to more..

Arbitrary Detention in Sri Lanka

Feb 17 (GV) The first type of detention I looked at was the internment of IDPs from May 2009 to December 2009, immediately following the war. This form of detention has received a fair amount of international coverage, but beginning in Dec 2009 most of the IDPs were allowed to move about more freely and attention to this issue receded. An argument could be made, however, that the IDPs are entitled to some type of compensation for the time they were detained if more..

Can Sri Lanka propose a New Growth Paradigm?

Feb 17 (GV) The discussion on ‘Economic Development’ as a national goal, must demonstrate a perspective strongly rooted in modern science. However, the goals of today suggest that our appreciation of the scientific method of evaluation is a little short. Nevertheless, it is hoped that Sri Lanka’s contribution at the Rio + 20 and at other international conventions thatdiscuss the common future of mankind can propose something innovative rather than the mediocre more..

Are Chinese Telecoms acting as the ears for the Sri Lankan govt?

Feb 17 (GV) The title is inspired by the article Are Chinese Telecoms Acting as the Ears for Central Asian Authoritarians? published in, examining the probable role of Chinese telecoms firms, notably Huawei and ZTE, in espionage and surveillance. The article notes that both ZTE and Huawei have signed contracts worth tens of millions of US dollars with governments in Central Asia, not known for their democratic credentials. more..

Why is it so hard to locate Duminda Silva?

Feb 17 (Island) Locating and arresting MP Duminda Silva appears to be one heck of a task for law enforcement agencies. Duminda Silva is one of the main suspects involved in the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, who was an Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka. During or after the shoot-out, he (dumind Silva), was spirited away to the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital. Subsequently, he was flown out of the country. Meanwhile, a local court issued a warrant for his arrest. more..

Thuhashini (TUI) Selvaratnam: Uncrowned Queen of Arizona Women’s Golf

Feb 17 (TC) One of the most accomplished women’s golfers Sri Lanka has ever produced, Thuhashini Selvaratnam, has achieved a feat that no other player in the Arizona Women’s Golf Association (AWGA) has ever attained in its history. For the 11th consecutive year, Tui, as she is popularly known, has earned the title ‘Player of the Year’. With a total of 1610 points, she again topped the leader-board as Arizona’s premiere women’s amateur golfer. She continues to glitter in more..

One Killed and eight critically injured in crackdown on fisherfolk

Feb 17 (DBS) 38 year old Anthony Fernand, a father of two children, was killed and eight others critically injured in Chilaw on February 15th when Security personnel opened fire on fisherfolk stridently protesting the sharp rise in fuel prices announced by the Govt. The gunfire was preceded by the widespread use of tear gas to disperse large crowds of affected fisherfolk comprising men, women and children demonstrating against the fuel price increase. more..

Even if St. Valentine turns up ….

Feb 17 (DM) However, St Valentine would definitely regret his name being used in certain manoeuvres. Roman emperor Claudius II had banned youths from getting married so that he could strengthen his army. His invention was that a married man could never be a good soldier. As St. Valentine clandestinely created opportunities for these youths to get married he was assassinated. According to fables this happened on a 14th February. His mediation in good faith has been so commercialized and more..

Editorial: Playing with fire

Feb 17 (Island) It looks as if President Mahinda Rajapaksa were going hell for leather to break his former foreign minister’s junket record, so to speak. The latter became notorious for expensive overseas trips at our expense and cynics used to say that he was going abroad at such a rate that he, while returning from foreign trips via the BIA, would bump into himself going out of the country! A president once unflinchingly flew out over an oil storage facility in more..

Women in Mannar perturbed over setting up of new Army camp in Tharavankottai

Feb 17 (DBS) Women from nine villages and housing schemes in Mannar are perturbed over plans to set up a new Army camp in Tharavankottai. Representatives of Women’s rural development societies from the nine concerned villages met recently and drafted a petition in Tamil protesting the allocation of land along Tharavanlottai road for the purpose of constructiong a new Army camp. It is learnt that the Mannar District secretary allocated the land on a more..

FUTA and the IUSF: The need to revise tactics and stick to

Feb 17 (LB) The “struggle” of the national university, today, has taken a three-fold face: (with the motivation of numerous issues) it has today mustered the collective energies of the academic, non-academic and student establishments. The past year or so witnessed the eruption of several protests by student bodies representing different universities. Their cries were oiled by what some felt were the “same old” slogans – dissent in issues related to facilities, more..

Eye Clinic for Atchchuvely civilians

Feb 17 (MoD) As a welfare measure conducted by the Army for Jaffna civilians, 511 Brigade organized an eye clinic at J/Atchuvely Central College on Sunday. With sponsorship of Atchvely Lions Club, vision of a large crowd was checked and spectacles were given free to more than 400 civilians with defects in their vision. Two eye specialists assisted by six doctors and six opticians conducted the eye clinic since Sunday morning and patients who needed further treatments were referred to more..

Issues plaguing the education system

School vans in WP to be registered

Feb 17 (DN) The Western Province Road Passenger Transport Authority (WPRPTA) will implement a programme to register all school vans and other vehicles transporting school children in the Western Province from February 15 to 25. WPRPTA chairman Piyasena Dissanayake said that ensuring the safety of schoolchildren who use private school vans to attend school is now a top priority of the govt and the Authority is set to regularize the system in the Western Province with the help of the Police. more..