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Bread prices to increase by Rs.3 - 6

Feb 17 (CT) The unprecedented fuel hike has compelled bakery owners to consider jacking up bread price by Rs.3 - 6, Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association (ACBOA) President, N.K. Jayawardena said. He said his organization requested a discussion with the Minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade to discuss this matter. According to Jayawardena, ministry secretary S. Sirisena had responded favorably and had agreed to a meeting between the ACBOA and the Minister. more..

Opposition Leader’s Hippocratic role condemned

Feb 17 (GDI) Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said that the statement made by the Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe expressing the UNP’s reaction to the LLRC report raises the doubt whether Wickremasinghe is a person with a Sri Lankan origin. He said that in matters concerning the country Wickremasinghe should express opinion as the leader of a responsible party, and if he is acting as a leader planning to assume the leadership of the country in the future he should more..

Sri Lanka seen needing big investments to lift estate living standards

Feb 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's plantations still need huge investments to upgrade the living standards of workers, some of which would have to come from buyers through higher prices, an official said. Dan Seevaratnam, chief executive of Watawala Plantations, said investments made so far had led to significant improvements in living standards, resulting in markedly better social indicators. The plantations sector has long had some of the worst social indicators more..

Resurgent Sri Lanka seal thumping win

Feb 17 (CI) A rejuvenated Sri Lanka excelled with the ball and in the field to cut down Australia's batting and then raced impudently to their rain-reduced target for an eight-wicket victory and a bonus point in a lopsided encounter at the SCG. Despite the best efforts of David Hussey, the hosts were rumbled out for 158, their lowest at the ground since 1997 and fourth-lowest in all ODIs in Sydney, in a match reduced to 41 overs-per-side more..

Fuel subsidy for three wheelers

Feb 17 (SM) The govt has decided on a fuel subsidy for three wheelers. Accordingly, a three wheeler will receive three litres of petrol a day with a subsidy of Rs. 10.00 per litre, for 25 days of a month, said minister Maithripala Sirisena. Meanwhile, the three wheeler drivers association says there should be a mechanism to regulate the three wheelers on hire. A meter should be made mandatory for every three wheeler, said the association’s president Lalith Dharmasekara. more..

Sri Lanka seen gaining from shift in Asian manufacturing

Feb 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's plans to become a logistics hub stand to gain from the shift in Asian manufacturing from China to countries like Vietnam that could yield more cargo for ports like Colombo, a logistics expert said. Kieran Ring, chief executive of the Global Institute of Logistics, USA, said that global cargo flows would still grow despite the economic crisis as growing numbers of people, especially in Asia, become more affluent. Products are also becoming more..

Sri Lanka orders bank to pay player wages

Feb 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s sports minister has ordered the state-run Bank of Ceylon to settle the wages of national cricketers who have not been paid for over a year, a statement said on Friday. After several rounds of discussions between minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, the bank and the cricket board, the Bank of Ceylon has agreed to release 600 million rupees ($5 million) to pay the dues. “Minister Aluthgamage also instructed the more..

Spain clothes chain Mango expands to Sri Lanka

Feb 17 (AO) Spanish high-street clothing chain Mango has opened its first store in Sri Lanka, expanding its worldwide presence to a total of 106 countries, it said on Friday. "Mango is pursuing its international expansion and staying true to its aim of being present in each of the main cities in the world with the opening of its first store in Sri Lanka," in the capital Colombo, it said in a statement. The low-price fashion chain launched in the Barcelona area in 1984 and more..

Brutal crackdown by the Police:Harin

Feb 17 (DM) UNP MP Harin Fernando said that the attack on todays protest was brutal and the govt would not be able to continue to suppress the voice of the people. “This was a very peaceful protest that was brutally cracked down. I don’t think the govt can continue this for long. You can see how motivated the people are and how much they disagree with this govt, so obviously protest like this would continue,” he said. The MP also stated that todays protest was just the beginning. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 17.02.2012

Jayalath Jayawardena, injured during protest, hospitalized

Feb 17 (SM) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena and three others have been hospitalized following the police crackdown on an opposition protest in Colombo this afternoon, the party’s communication unit head Mangala Samaraweera said. Dr. Jayawardena was hit on the head by a teargas canister thrown by police at the protestors, led by the UNP, who had been agitating against mainly the recent fuel price increase. The injured were admitted to Colombo National Hospital, more..

Mohan Peiris' remarks on expropriation raises eyebrows

Feb 17 (SM) Questions have been raised in the business circles regarding a claim made by former attorney general Mohan Peiris in support of the Expropriation Act, under which many entities were brought under state control on the pretext that they were underperforming and underutilized. At a business forum at Cinnamon Grand today, chairman of Daya Group of Companies Daya Gamage pointed out that the act has been a blow to the investor community. more..

Police clash with protestors as anti-gov't demonstrations continue

Feb 17 (Xinhua) Police tear-gassed an anti-govt protest and used water cannons to disperse crowds here on Friday for continued dissent over the highest ever fuel price increase, an official said. The protest, which was organized by the UNP gathered thousands disgruntled over the govt's latest fuel hike that has seen bus fares and other costs increased overnight. "We want to ask why the govt is taking such anti-poor steps when it can minimize more..

Remembering the man of the eon: Senaka Bibile

Feb 18 (CT) On the 13th of February falls the birth anniversary of one of the greatest humanitarians ever produced by mother Lanka. He is a man who was earnestly concerned, and therefore had justly sacrificed many an ordeal along with obstacles to make certain that the mundane individual (in this case, the deprived “patient”) obtained their medicinal goods at a price within their means. He is a man not only dearly remembered and cherished locally by those hitherto more..

Emerging scenarios, possible outcomes and the tasks of the people

Feb 18 (CT) As you know, the Geneva sessions will open on the 27th February. A possible, and most probable outcome would be a resolution calling for an independent international mechanism to investigate war crimes. (Appointing a Court of Inquiry under the Army Commander will provide more ammunition for the foreign powers to denounce the credibility of the Regime. It is a joke anyway! It will not hold!). While I have steadfastly stood for accountability, I have also more..

‘What happens when fish try to fly?’

Feb 18 (CT) A lone man and a woman walking on opposite sides of a rail track in a greenish paddy field with golden crops dancing in the wind. The sun shines brightly. The man and the woman are bridged by a gun. They cling to the gun, from opposite sides: the woman with one of her hands up in the air, her waist and body bending in the form of the letter L shape, while her left hand holds the handle of the gun; the man holds the barrel while walking opposite her. more..

Live ammunition and citizen enemies

Feb 18 (GV) If the time ever does come for a comprehensive evaluation of security policies and legislation adopted during the privation and emergencies of war and the peacetime ‘stability’ of a post-war context, it would only be fair to conclude that the unpleasantness of the former far exceeds the unpleasantness of the latter, but it is still just that – unpleasant. It has not been that long since we read about the callous disregard for human life in a number shootings, more..

Editorial: Jayalalithaa’s fish theory

Feb 18 (Island) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha seems to have taken a leaf out of the former British imperialists’ book. She wants to ‘rule the waves and waive the rules’ in the Palk Bay. Her insatiable desire to establish hegemony over Sri Lanka is monumental. The Jayalalithaa govt has recently said, in a counter affidavit in reply to a public interest litigation petition seeking a direction to the Centre to protect the fishermen, that the poor fishermen of Tamil Nadu more..

Colombo 4: Where the Kadju-Puhulan trees grew

Feb 18 (CT) Bambalapitiya of early colonial times was a far cry from what it is today. For the purpose of postal services Bambalapitiya has been assigned as Colombo 4 and spans about one and a half kilometres of the Galle Road beginning at the Bambalapitiya junction and ending at the Wellawatte Canal which separates it from the next town of Wellawatte. To the west of the city is the Indian Ocean, and to the east, Havelock town and Kirulapone. more..

Doramadalawa's bid to become an exemplary village

Feb 18 (SO) For many Sri Lankans the name 'Doramadalawa' has a significant value whether it is due to their knowledge of history or due to the frequent use of this name in a popular TV program, but for more than 200 families living in the village Doramadalawa in the Anuradhapura district, the name of their village had no significance. They are aware that they live in a historic village, that provided protection to King Pandukabhaya in his childhood from his uncles who wanted to more..

Don’t go for gold in cricket

Feb 18 (Island) Dear Mahela, I read your pre-match comments on the ODI with the Aussies. You being an experienced captain, I can well understand your interest in Sri Lanka securing a berth in the tri-series final later this month, with all hopes of bringing the trophy here. You have demanded a turn around by the team, and even said that "what’s in our control is to try and win matches". Even though the chances of winning seem remote just now, cricket being a game full of more..

Bypass TNA, win over Tamils - Dr. Swamy

Feb 18 (SO) The Leader of India's Janatha Party Dr. Subramanian Swamy who visited Sri Lanka on a two day religious pilgrimage last week says Sri Lanka should not follow the Indian model in devolving power to theperipheries and finding a political solution to the problems of the North East Tamils. Calling the defeat of LTTE a 'great victory over terrorism', Dr. Swamy says President Rajapaksa deserves the highest honour of India for exterminating more..

Must Professionals dance to politicians' tune ?

Feb 18 (Island) Vivimarie VanderPoorten, who teaches English at the Open University of Sri Lanka, is a sensitive poet who was awarded the Gratiaen Prize five years ago. Written in the aftermath of the Central Bank bombing, this last stanza of her poem captures the utter incongruity of the advertiser’s jingle on the radio extolling insurance protection amidst the mayhem and carnage around. It also perhaps epitomises the kind of warped values that prevail in our society. more..

Clean up cricket

Feb 18 (FT) Sri Lanka’s cricketing fortunes seem to be changing of late. The team’s better performance has raised hopes among many fans, while the Sports Ministry’s decision to finally pay the cricketers through a Rs. 600 million loan from the Bank of Ceylon will raise moral still higher. The financial fallout that resulted from the co-hosting of the World Cup early last year is still being felt and no clear indication has been, given beyond the payment of the salaries, on how more..

Cultural Nationalism to Society: Unlikely boon and unavoidable bane

Feb 18 (DBS) W.A. Wijewardena is a former deputy governor of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank. He now writes a regular column on economic matters for the “Financial Times”. In a welcome deviation from his usual writings ,Wijewardena wrote an article recently on the rise of Cultural nationalism and about whether it was a boon or bane to society. He drew on the works of Amartya Sen and David Mclelland to substantiate his point of view more..

Sumanthiran comes forward to save Rajapaksa from international investigations

Feb 18 (TN) A few days left to the UNHRC sessions in Geneva, TNA MP, Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran, has come out with a statement to BBC Sinhala Service on Tuesday, bailing out the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. “TNA backs a domestic process to implement the LLRC recommendations. We should ask for an international probe only after a failure of that,” Sumanthiran said. “It is a step-by-step process. It will take time. They took 30 years in Cambodia,” the BBC further cited the MP more..

Tariffs removal alone insufficient to increase intra-SAARC trade: Rishad

Feb 18 (FT) Reducing or elimination of tariffs alone is not sufficient to increase intra-SAARC trade and several other measures need to be taken to improve the situation, said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Noting that Sri Lanka was keen on promoting the interests of the region through the full potential of the SAFTA and SATIS, he noted that in addition to removal of tariffs, removal of non-tariff barriers and effective trade facilitation measures were quite vital more..

Indian education fair opens in BMICH

Feb 18 (HCI) The “Indian Education Fair” was inaugurated today by Chief Guest Prof. Tissa Vitarana, Senior Minister of Scientific Affairs in the presence of Ashok K.Kantha, High Commissioner of India. The 3-day Fair is being held at BMICH from February 17-19, 2012. This Education Fair, supported by the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka, is organized by Educational Consultants India Limited (EdCIL), which is a Govt of India Enterprise more..

Some criticizing for the sake of criticizing - ministers

Feb 18 (DN) Certain Opposition politicians who are talking against the fuel price hike are not experienced persons. They did not hold any ministerial portfolio even when their party was in power, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday. "They are only talking against the fuel price hike. They are unable to provide an alternative to this issue," he said. The minister was addressing a special press briefing at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday. more..

Samaraweera Weerawanni acquitted from bribery charges

Feb 18 (FT) The former Chief Minister of Uva Provincial Council Samaraweera Weerawanni and Provincial Councilor Attatitta Marakkalage Buddhadasa were acquitted from a case of bribery by the Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday. The Commission to Investigate into Allegations of Bribery or Corruption indicted the former Uva Provincial Council Chief Minister Samaraweera Weerawanni for causing a monitory loss of Rs. 212,500 by well knowing that this act of his purchasing more..

Rukshan Jayewardene

Vegetable prices tumble despite fuel hike

Feb 18 (Island) Despite the recent fuel price hikes, the Dambulla Economic Centre continues to record a considerable decline in the prices of several up-country and low country vegetables these days. P. H. Tennyson, of the Dambulla Economic Centre, told The Island that there had been no significant change in the prices since the fuel increases last Saturday. He said that traders were reluctant to make purchases from producers due to the low prices of vegetables. more..

Container transporters too raise their charges

Feb 18 (Island) To meet the additional costs incurred by the recent fuel price hike the Association of Container Transporters had decided to increase hire charges by 26 per cent, with immediate effect. The massive 37 per cent diesel price increase had prompted the Association to convene an emergency meeting last week in order to obtain the views of the general membership. The increase when quantified amounted to 37 per cent and in reality, in rupee terms, more..

NGOs call on U.S. to establish international accountability mechanism on Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (AI) We are pleased to hear that the United States has decided to press for action at the March session of the Human Rights Council on accountability for wartime abuses in Sri Lanka. This issue has long been a high priority for us due to the massive scale of abuses committed in the final months of the war and the Sri Lankan govt’s resistance to any serious domestic inquiry. In September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon referred to more..

‘It’s an open jail for Tamils in Lanka’

Feb 18 (TS) “Open your Is on Sri Lanka/In 2009, over 40,000 killed, 1,46,679 Tamils unaccounted for, over 80,000 widowed, over 25,000 children orphaned/We demand an International Independent Investigation NOW!” reads a British Tamils Forum (BTF) poster on the Sri Lankan Tamil situation. The coordinator of the campaign known as International Independent Investigation or “iiicampaign”, Mr Shanmughanathan Kaviraj, was in Tamil Nadu in recently. He spoke about BTF’s plans in India to seek the support of legislators to more..

Buddhist monk on Sinhalicisation project in Batticaloa causes ethnic disharmony

Feb 18 (TN) Venerable Ambitiya Sumanarathna Thera, the head of the Buddhist temple in Batticaloa, who conducted a fast-unto-death campaign in the year 2010 demanding Colombo to post Sinhala officers to all govt departments in the predominantly Tamil-speaking district, has been waging a new fast-unto-death campaign from Tuesday this week. The new campaign is targeted against Tamils, who have been demanding resettlement in their occupied lands by documenting their land deeds. more..

Politicians losing their heads – Welgama

Feb 18 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that some politicians were using the roads as their private property therby causing many problems for the general public. Some Ministers and Deputy Ministers wanted to drive their vehicles at the maximum speed as if no one else existed, he said adding that at a national event held in Matugama, his vehicle was ordered to be removed from the road where it had been parked. more..

US keeps sharp focus on Tiger killings

Feb 18 (WA) In May 2009, hell was a strip of sand on the north-east coast of Sri Lanka where a surrounding govt army was raining shells, bullets and bombs on a cut-off rebel army, the Tamil Tigers, and thousands of trapped civilians. As the end came near, three Tiger leaders tried to save themselves and their families, arranging a surrender in mobile phone calls and text messages involving the govt's foreign secretary in the capital Colombo, Norwegian diplomats, more..

Singapore business delegation to visit Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (DN) A business delegation from Singapore will visit Sri Lanka in the second quarter of this year looking at investment opportunities in several sectors. The Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI) and Singapore Business Federation signed the MOU to promote investment relations between the two countries during President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to Singapore. The business delegation will seek investment opportunities in several areas including infrastructure more..

Train fares too will increase – ACREGU

Feb 18 (Island) Train fares too are likely to be increased because the Railway Department is unable to absorb Saturday’s massive fuel price increase, says the All Ceylon Railway Employees’ General Union. ACREGU Secretary Sumathipala Manawadu said that the govt, by increasing fuel prices sharply, had burdened the public who were already suffering from the high cost of living. "Increase in train fares will now become a continuous process, more..