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Govt. ready to implement ‘crate law’ on Jan. 15

Jan 6 (Island) It will be compulsory to use plastic containers in transporting vegetables and fruits to market from Jan. 15. Legal action would be instituted against traders who fail to carry out the order given by ministry, Minister Johnston Fernando said. Addressing the awareness programme on using plastic crates, he said, "We will educate the farmers about the importance of implementing the law. But we will not force them to use plastic crates." more..

No problems at Peradeniya - VC

Jan 6 (DN) 'There are no major problems at the Peradeniya University campus although certain sections of the media tried to portray a different picture to the public, said university Vice Chancellor S B Abeykoon at a press briefing held at his office on Wednesday morning. The Vice Chancellor said publication of false information about the university by certain sections of the media had created public mistrust against the university system and the university senate was greatly more..

'Elderly pensioners should not be alienated'

Jan 6 (DN) "The evening in life could only be spent serenely by those who have fulfilled their duties to the public devotedly and disinterestedly. The period of life after retirement from active duties could be utilized beneficially to render some service to humanity, especially by those who have failed to give their best due to some reason or other," President's Parliamentary Affairs Secretary Kumarasiri Hettige said. He was speaking as chief guest at a ceremony at more..

GMOA worries about future of SLMC

Jan 6 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) expressed its concern over the future of the Sri Lanka Medical Council under its newly appointed head, Prof. Carlo Fonseka. GMOA Additional Secretary Dr. Upul Gunasekera said yesterday they would meet all stakeholders – a second meeting within two months - to discuss the present situation and request a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss the issue. more..

Chinese company confirms: Electricity from Gliricidia

Jan 6 (DN) A Chinese company yesterday made an official announcement that their research on the production of electricity by using Gliricidia in Sri Lanka was successful. A group of officials of Hena Power Company together with its Managing Director Zniqiang Zhou informed the outcome of their research when they met Prime Minister D M Jayaratna on Wednesday. They also handed over a comprehensive report to the Prime Minister on electricity generation by using Gliricidia. more..

H'tota Botanical Garden first of its kind in 130 years

Jan 6 (DN) The proposed botanical garden in Hambantota will be the first new botanical garden in Sri Lanka after 130 years to be built in the 21st century. Royal Botanical Gardens Director General Dr Cyril Wijesundara said. The garden which will be unique in many respects will also feature Dry Zone planting. It will be unique where no comparison can be made with other botanical gardens in Sri Lanka or elsewhere. The few, specialist dry zone botanical gardens in the world more..

Soiled currency notes to be withdrawn

Jan 6 (DM) Central Bank officials will withdraw from circulation soiled currency notes of small denominations directly from people at places such as public markets and economic centres this year, officials said yesterday. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said for a start notes in the denomination of Rs.10, 20 and 50 will be withdrawn and exchanged with new notes. He said notes in small denominations do not reach the banking system and more..

Sri Lanka: A further report on abductions

Jan 6 (AHRC) Dinesh Buddhika Charitanda (25), was abducted on the 3rd January at night and on the morning of the 4th his body was found near the Keleni river close to Grand Pass and his mother identified the body. He had injuries to his head. This is one more of the abductions followed by murder that had been happening throughout the country. A week earlier, the body of a fish vender who had been abducted by an unknown group was found dead in the same manner at Mutuwal Colombo. more..

TNA MPs urge Ampaa'rai GA to allow resettlement of war-displaced Tamils

Jan 6 (TN) TNA MPs Maavai Senathairaja, P. Ariyanethran and P Selvarasa, who visited Naavithan-ve'li, Kaarai-theevu, Aalaiyadi-vempu and Thirukkoayil Piratheasa Chapai (PS) in Ampaa'rai this week have urged the newly appointed Govt Agent of Ampaa'rai district Neil de Alwis to allow speedy resettlement of uprooted Tamil civilians in the district. Hundreds of civilians, uprooted from Kagnchi-kudichchaa'ru, Thangka-vealauthapuram, Chaakamam, more..

2011 - Year of Progress & Protests

Teacher trade unions protest annual transfer in east

Jan 6 (TN) The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Association, Ceylon Democratic Teachers Union and Ceylon Islamic Teachers Association, leading three teacher trade unions, have jointly requested the Eastern Provincial Minister of Education to postpone the transfer scheme for another month as transfers are not completed according to schedule. The transfer scheme is to come into effect from January 2, 2012 when schools re-open for the new academic year in 2012. more..

Students accuse authorities of bomb attack

Jan 6 (BBC) University students on Thursday held a massive demonstration in Colombo demanding authorities to remove the Vice Chancellor of Sri Jayawardenapura University. They marched towards the Temple Trees to handover a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa but were blocked at Kollupitiya Junction by police. Having failed to meet the President the students vouched to continue their campaign against the vice chancellor. “If we can not have a solution by means of dialogue, more..

Now, Law entrance exam foul-up?

Jan 6 (Island) Hot on the heels of the GCE A/L results fiasco, candidates who sat for the law entrance exam, held in August 2011, are accusing the Examinations Department of messing up their results too. The law entrance exam results, released by the Examinations Department, could not be accepted, the candidates said adding that there were serious doubts about the results. According to the results released, of the 5,511 Sinhala medium candidates, more..

Karaliyadda wants to make Lanka centre of child protection

Jan 6 (Island) Sri Lanka should be made the Centre of Child Protection in Asia. The spokesman for Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs said yesterday that Minister Tissa Karaliyadda had called for the formulation of a national programme to protect children. The main reason for abuse of women and children was due to the attempt made to covet a culture which does not suit Sri Lanka. The spokesman said the launching of the free trade zone (FTZ), more..

Laws eased for transport of building materials to help individuals

Jan 6 (Island) Laws would be eased on transporting building materials such as sand, soil and clay for individual use and non-commercial purposes, Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa disclosed yesterday. Addressing a media conference, he said 200 licences will be issued to Provincial Secretaries for the transportation of sand for individual use, where individuals will be permitted to transport less than one cube without a permit within a 10-kilometre radius. more..

Funds raised via CSE up 65% to record Rs. 47.1 b in 2011

Jan 6 (FT) For the beleaguered Colombo stock market, there is something to cheer as funds raised by corporate Sri Lanka via the Bourse last year hit an unprecedented all time high of Rs. 47.17, up by 65%, whilst the number of new investors almost doubled. As per data released by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday, the amount raised via Rights Issue last year was Rs. 28.01 billion, up from Rs. 24.3 billion in 2010. Money raised via more..

Can implement LLRC recommendations only according to road map: Keheliya

Jan 6 (DM) The govt said yesterday that it could implement the recommendations made by the LLRC only according to a road map as spelled out earlier. Asked for a comment about the remarks made by the religious leaders with regard to the implementation of the key recommendations by the LLRC, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the government could not implement the report in its entirety without having a dialogue with all the stakeholders. more..

'Do not come out with Kekille judgments to defend distorted results'

Jan 6 (LT) A campaign to sign a petition protesting against the distorted A/L results released by the Department of Examinations and demanding the govt to take measures to release correct results commenced at Fort Railway Station today (5). A large number of people gathered to put their signatures on the petition of the campaign organized by the Movement to Protect Schools. Commencing the campaign Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, the committee member of the Movement to more..

Kelaniya PS members want Mervyn out

Jan 6 (Island) The UPFA group of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha yesterday urged the govt to oust Minister Mervyn Silva from the Kelaniya electorate. Addressing the media at Kelaniya PS, its Chairman, Prasanna Ranaweera appealed to the govt to liberate Kelaniya from the clutches of Minister Silva the way it had finished off the LTTE. Out of 14 UPFA councilors, 12 joined yesterday’s hastily called briefing in spite of threats on some of them. more..

Suspect in Rizana’s case tried for child trafficking

Jan 6 (FT) At the onset of the Rizana Nafeek child trafficking case before the Colombo High Court, Senior State Counsel addressing the court, contended that Nafeek, who was sent to Saudi Arabia on forged documents by the accused in the case, is presently on death row and her fate exclusively depends on the action taken against the accused by the Sri Lankan govt. He said the international community is watching us as to what action we take against the accused and more..

Tangalle attack: CID briefs slain UK tourist’s brother

Jan 6 (Island) The British High Commission yesterday said that Nasir Shaikh brother of slain British national, Khuram Shaikh, had received an assurance from Sri Lanka’s CID that everything was being done to bring about a successful prosecution of those responsible for the Christmas day killing. Several persons including Chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana are in remand in connection with their alleged involvement in the killing. more..

Govt. trying to steal from EPF: UNP

Jan 6 (DM) The United National Party (UNP) said today the proposed amendments to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Act had several loopholes and would enable the government to obtain monies from the EPF which was worth more than One Trillion Rupees. One of the provisions of the Amendment Bill states that according to certain prescribed terms and conditions EPF money could be utilised for construction work on land belonging to or held by the EPF. more..

Indian fishermen begin indefinite strike

Jan 6 (PTI) Mechanized boat fishermen began an indefinite strike here today,demanding immediate release of 13 fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan naval personnel since November 28 last year. A decision in this regard was taken at an emergency meeting of fishermen's associations which urged the Centre to take steps to release all the fishermen, B Seshuraja, District Secretary of Tamil nadu Coastal Mechanized Boats Fishermen Association and Emerit, leader of more..

Lankan held for smuggling gold biscuits

Jan 6 (TOI) The attempt by a Sri Lankan national to smuggle 14 gold biscuits of 100 gm each by concealing them in his rectum was thwarted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials at the Cochin International Airport here on Thursday. The Sri Lankan national, identified as Altaf Shahul Hameed, 47, of Colombo, was arrested at the airport by a DRI team led by senior officer N S Dev. The person was nabbed based on an intelligence input. more..

The Chinese: Not tourists but a growing labour workforce

Jan 6 (SL) Tens of thousands of Chinese have been in and out of Sri Lanka in the past year, 2011. Highly placed sources at the Ministry of Tourism speaking on conditions of anonymity said that as many as 60,000 Chinese nationals had arrived last year for purposes of work on Chinese funded projects. Of this number a minimum of 9,000 remain in the country. Officially, however, the ministry has been forced to maintain that more..

When elephants fight the grass is crushed

Jan 6 (ST) Many, many years ago, when the SLFP was in the throes of a power struggle, a columnist of the day used the old Swahili proverb above to describe the strife. Variations of this saying are found in other African languages, but the meaning is basically the same- when the big ones are at war, it is the small things around that are damaged or destroyed. This proverb should have been more appropriately used in relation to the UNP, since the elephant is the party symbol, more..

Sri Lanka to streamline adoption laws

Jan 6 (CT) Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs is to introduce laws to streamline the process of adoption of Sri Lankan children by foreign nations. Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs, Tissa Karaliyadda said the government intends to introduce a system through which transactions would occur between governments directly without intermediaries so that transparency can be ensured. more..

Police bust extortion gang operating from Welikada prison

Jan 6 (Island) Thihagoda police has busted an organized gang operating from Welikada prison which had extorted millions of rupees from wealthy businessmen by phoning and threatening to kill them, has been able to arrest three women from Maradana and Orugodawatte who operated the bank accounts to which victims were asked to deposit money. The police had got wind of the gang when they extorted Rs 100,000 from more..

JVP leadership noticed to appear in Court today

Jan 6 (Island) The JVP leadership has been noticed to be present at the District Court of Colombo today and submit facts to convince the Court that the holding of a special party convention, at Tissamaharama on January 1, was legal, party sources said yesterday. A spokesman said that they had not received the notices until yesterday morning, but the party lawyer cum Colombo Municipal Council member Sunil Watagala will appear for the Party. more..

Sri Lankan, Indian navies hold annual meet

Jan 6 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka have held an annual international maritime boundary line meeting, aimed at strengthening naval relationship, as both the countries grapple to to deal with poaching by each other''s fishermen. The 20th International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between the two countries were held yesterday on-board the Indian coast guard ship 'Vajra' at the IMBL off the northern coast of Kankasanthurai, Lankan navy said today. more..

Sri Lanka plans new roads to ease congestion in Colombo

Jan 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka has started a study to plan new roads to ease congestion in Colombo and provide fast connections to expressways, the head of the Road Development Authority said. RDA chairman R W Pemasiri said heavy congestion is seen on High Level Road, Baseline Road and from Malabe to the Parliament Junction. "The new roads can be elevated on built on the ground," Pemasiri said. "We will have a firm idea after the feasibility study is completed." more..

No IPL matches in Sri Lanka

Jan 6 (AFP) The Indian Premier League released its 2012 tournament schedule on Friday, confirming that no matches will be played in Sri Lanka despite a request from the island's cricket authorities. Upali Dharmadasa, the new president of Sri Lanka Cricket, said earlier this week that he had asked the Indian board to hold some IPL matches on the island to raise money for his financially strapped organisation. But no Sri Lankan city features in the 76-match schedule of this year's Twenty20 event, more..

Sri Lanka 2011, Dec tourist arrivals hit record

Jan 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals hit a record high in December and for 2011 as the island-nation attracted more visitors from across the world, largely high-spending Europe tourists, the govt data showed on Friday. Arrivals have climbed every month on a year-on-year basis since a 25-year civil war ended in May 2009. Tourist arrivals in December hit a monthly record of 97,517, up 15.2 percent from a year earlier, more..

Sri Lanka to introduce legislation to curb sound pollution

Jan 6 (Xinhua) In a landmark move Sri Lanka is to introduce legislation to curb sound pollution for the first time. Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told media that the govt has finalized new legislation that makes it a punishable offense to produce sounds above a certified level. Under this the most prevalent law will be banning vehicles from having horns that produce sound higher than 105 decibels. more..

Editorial: All religious alliance

Jan 6 (DM) Since the end of the war in 2009, government leaders have been proclaiming if not bragging about the rebuilding of a new Sri Lanka which will be the miracle or economic hub of Asia. But what we have seen so far to a large extent has been a series of showpiece extravagant projects, in which there is a lot of waste and even more corruption. If a model Sri Lanka is to be rebuilt as an example to Asia and the world, it must be done on the solid foundation and the twin pillars of more..

Sri Lanka stocks close 0.2-pct weaker

Jan 6 (LBO) Stocks closed weaker Friday for the fourth day running with a private deal in a bank where foreigners have been selling out bolstering the thin turnover, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.16 percent to 5,930.52, while Milanka index fell 0.20 percent to 5,083.15. Turnover was a low of 337 million rupees. Commercial Bank closed at 100 rupees, up 20 cents, with a crossing or off-market private deal of 500,000 shares at 100 rupees each more..

Thirteen witnesses identify suspects in British tourist killing

Jan 6 (NF) Five suspects taken into custody in connection with the killing of a British national at a tourist hotel in the Madilla area in Tangalle last month, were identified by thirteen witnesses at an identification parade yesterday. However, Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna, 23, who sustained injuries following the clash, failed to identify any of the suspects. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Widanapathirana, more..

Sri Lanka's rubber traders face slow start in 2012

Jan 6 (Xinhua) Traders in the world's seventh largest natural rubber exporter Sri Lanka fear that volumes for the first quarter may be low after the first auction in the new year failed to brighten prices, an official said here on Friday. Colombo Rubber Traders Association warns that the prices for 2012 are almost half of what was seen in the previous year creating fears that the first quarter will not meet expectations. "Certain types of crepe rubber were not sold at the more..

'Sri Lanka coir industry must upgrade technology to maintain lead'

Jan 6 (LBR) Sri Lanka's coir fiber industry, with the largest share of the global coir export market, is in urgent need of upgrading its infrastructure to maintain its market leader status, said a senior govt official, Thursday. New technology infusion to our coir sector can greatly enhance our coir appeal in the competitive global marketplaceť said Rishad Bathiudeen, minister of industry and commerce. He made these comments at the signing of a MoU between more..

'Underworld, poverty two sides of same coin'

Jan 6 (DM) Our Police force is capable of tackling the underworld but is not in a position to prevent the creation of it as the underworld is a social problem as well as a moral issue, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. Addressing a ceremony held at Thirappane in Anuradhapura in connection with the launching of the a 'Janasewana Housing Village' for middle income families, Minister Weerawansa went on to say those social maladies cannot be cured as long as more..