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Young lothario offers marriage before an unwitting porn career

Jan 2 (LB) Biyagama police have arrested a 29-year-old youth who had married a woman under false pretences. Claiming to be an architect and businessman, he had first met her via Facebook. Having gott married in spite of her parents’ opposition, they had decided to spend their honeymoon at a popular resort in Biyagama. They had remained there for a period of one month, running up a bill of 90,000 rupees. Not having the finances to pay this amount, more..

SLAF cutting edge spy-craft

Jan 2 (LB) The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has been able to manufacture an aircraft to engage in spying missions which can also fly on autopilot over a distance of 100 kilometres. Autopilot aircraft are costly to purchase and this factor had spurred them on to start manufacturing them locally. SLAF had also manufactured another aircraft which could be sent on short distance spying missions covering a distance between five to 10 kilometres. more..

Political elements push hard for Ranatunga

Jan 2 (Island) Certain political elements seem to be working hard behind closed doors to get controversial former Interim Committee Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga elected as the Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket, The Island learns. These political elements seem to have done all within their reach to get Ranatunga, who is contesting as an independent candidate in Tuesday’s elections, elected to SLC. The Island learns that a powerful govt Minister had initially requested more..

Pera Medical Faculty 50th anniversary celebrations

Jan 2 (Island) Celebrations to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Peradeniya begins on tomorrow. The celebrations ending on Jan 7 include an International Conference with participation of eminent medical specialist. In addition to seminars and lectures by medical experts the celebration includes exhibitions of books authored by the products of the Peradeniya Medical Faculty and also the artistic creations more..

Dr. JJ alleges UPFA ignorant of Indian missive, LLRC recommendations

Jan 2 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene says that minister Keheliya Rambukwelle is obviously ignorant of a recent statement issued by India reiterating its commitment for the implementation of the 13th Amendment and the responsibility on the part of the govt of Sri Lanka to go even beyond that. MP Jayawardena was responding to Minister Rambukwella, who dismissed the UNPer’s unprecedented call for the abolition of the 13th Amendment to more..

Three sentenced to death over killings in 1989

Jan 2 (Island) Three men from Laggala were sentenced to death by the Central Province High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatillake last Friday 30. They were indicted with abduction and causing the murder of three men of the same area in Laggala. The three friends who received the capital punishment were Kapilaratne Banda, Gamini Wijesuriya and Udagedara Ukkubanda. They were indicted with causing the death of Kalubanda, Mudiyanse and Alahakoon by cutting and more..

Govt. to intervene in ‘pension’ benefits for Lankan workers in Korea

Jan 2 (ST) The Foreign Employment and Welfare Ministry is intervening in a dispute over the re-imbursement of pension or provident fund benefits to returning Sri Lankan workers from Korea. The Ministry will act as ‘Power of Attorney’ for 16,000 Sri Lankan returnees from Korea, who completed their employment contract, but either forgot, or were unaware about claiming these benefits before they left Korea, Chairman- Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) more..

LPBOA decides to suspend semi-luxury bus services

Jan 2 (Island) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne and its Board of Directors had unanimously decided to withdraw semi-luxury bus service after LPBOA received numerous complaints from bus commuters that semi-luxury buses were flouting the law by loading as many passengers as possible. The LPBOA had already sent a letter to the Secretary of the Private Transport Ministry with regard to their decisions, more..

PS member’s death: Was it a killing due to an underworld clash?

Jan 2 (ST) Police are probing whether a dispute in the underworld led to the killing of a UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha member in the Divulapitiya Police area. The Pradeshiya Sabha member identified as Indika Dinesh Chandrasiri Silva (28) and believed to have connections with the underworld, was found dead under a bridge in Diyagampola in Kotadeniyawa. The body was made to appear as if the cause of death was a road accident, but police probing the case believe that the man was more..

Hidden in history

Jan 2 (Hindu) By end 2011, more than 8.5 lakh tourists would have passed through the gates of Sri Lanka's gateway, the Bandaranaike International Airport. A majority of them will head south to the popular tourist destinations — Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Galle and Arugam Bay. A few thousands will head north-east to enjoy the still untouched beaches near Batticaloa (Pasikuda) and Trincomalee. But it is highly unlikely that even a handful will see one part of the island's history that more..

Wimal on collision course with C’bo flat dwellers

Jan 2 (Island) Housing Minister, Wimal Weerawana is on a collision course with tenants of housing projects established by the govt in the city and its suburbs over a controversial declaration that public funds wouldn’t be spent to maintain housing schemes in the future. He was addressing a public gathering at Serpentine housing scheme at Borella on Saturday. The govt had to spend Rs. 25 mn to renovate the scheme, which was in a dilapidated state due to more..

British-SL Chamber woos UK Tamil Diaspora

Jan 2 (DN) The newly formed British-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce (BSLCC) is wooing the Diaspora based in the UK to invest in the North and the East. BSLCC chairman Jayampathi Perera said that there is a large number of Sri Lanka Tamils based in the UK and they are looking for opportunities outside Europe to invest, since there is a recession in those countries. “The UK will face the biggest recession in 36 years this year,’ he said. “This has prompted investors to look at more..

CAA yet to act on gas price revision

Jan 2 (DM) The authorities have not yet taken a decision to increase domestic gas prices, despite such a request from the Laugfs Gas Company. According to the price revision formula, the prices should have been revised yesterday, as the last price change took place in November last year. The Laugfs Gas company had submitted an application last month seeking permission to increase the price of a 12.5kg domestic cylinder by about Rs. 200, but no decision had been taken about it so far. more..

Carlo given letter of appointment as SLMC chairman

Jan 2 (Island) In a defiant move the govt has appointed Prof. Carlo Fonseka as chairman of the Sri Lanka Medical Council amidst vehement opposition from the powerful doctors’ union, the GMOA. The mild mannered Prof. Fonseka while confirming that he had been issued with a letter of appointment as the new Chairman of the SLMC effective from yesterday, however said he had not assumed duties. more..

Fisheries Corp to open first canned fish plant

Jan 2 (DN) ‘The first state owned canned fish factory which is to be maintained by the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation (CFC) in collaboration with a private company will open in the Galle district this year. The plant will manufacture around 15,000 tins of canned fish per day after its commissioning’, said Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. ‘The corporation will purchase 90 fishing vessels to increase the fish harvest and will also increase the number of CFC mobile vans to distribute fresh fish islandwide’, he added. more..

Thousands of ex-LTTE soldiers still unemployed

Jan 2 (LB) Unaccounted numbers of rehabilitated Tamil LTTE soldiers --- both male and female go unemployed in Sri Lanka’s north and east, Sinhalese, Human Rights Activist and Trainer, Marini de Livera said. Most of these young men and women had received weapons training. All they now want is a source of livelihood. If another armed Tamil movement begins, the hungry, rehabilitated Tamil youth will have no option but to join in militancy, De Livera, who since 2003 is involved in more..

JVP heading for legal showdown

Jan 2 (Island) The JVP yesterday expelled its dissidents at a special party convention held at Debarawewa in Tissamaharama. In this move nine dissidents of the 23 member Central Committee had been replaced by newcomers through unanimous vote and the CC membership too had been increased up to 25. The new Central Committee comprises Somawansa Amarasinghe, Tilvin Silva, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Vijitha Herath, K.D. Lalkantha, Bimal Ratnayake, more..

Grade 1 entrants in Akmeemana left in the lurch

Jan 2 (LB) It is alleged that around 510 children have not been admitted to Grade 1 in the Akmeemana electorate in the Galle district. Families of around 2000 persons in the Akmeemana electorate that were displaced due to the Dec 26, 2004 tsunami were provided with houses in 2007. At the time around five villages had been catered to. But most of the parents of the children in these five villages told LAKBIMAnEWS that due to various criteria the officials more..

FAO implements dairy cattle and buffalo improvement project

Jan 2 (Island) Sri Lanka receives help from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations to establish a ‘Pedigree and Performance Recording Scheme (PPRS)’. The Department of Animal Production and Health recently concluded a 22-month long FAO funded pilot project in the Kurunegala and Nuwara Eliya Districts. A spokesperson for the FAO told The Island that they had a one-day workshop in Kandy to discuss what she called the ongoing dairy cattle more..

Three D’s score from GCE A’ Level fiasco – dilemma, disillusionment, depression!

Jan 2 (LB) After weeks of delay the Department of Examinations released the 2011 GCE Advanced Level results last week on a directive by President Mahinda Rajapaksa -- only to temporarily suspend the National and District Ranks as complaints poured in that there were many issues pertaining to the results. However many including this writer were expecting a drama of sorts anyway on hearing that the results will be delayed -- more..

History and Sarath Fonseka

Jan 2 (SL) If what is reported in some newspapers is correct, it seems that the career of one time presidential hopeful and former army commander Sarath Fonseka would be erased off army records as well as historical records, as represented by the local chronicle the Mahawansa. Of course, we are not certain of the veracity of these newspaper reports. Generally, an institution like the Army may have the discretion to more..

Catholic priest lashes out at govt over GCE (A/L) exam results mess-up

Jan 2 (Island) Rev. Father Camillus Perera yesterday launched a scathing attack on those responsible for the recent mess-up in the GCE (A/L) exam results. Delivering his Sunday sermon to coincide with the Jan. 1 mass at newly built church at Walanagoda, Katunayake, the priest alleged that those holding education portfolios and the Examination Department should be ashamed of the failure on their part to meet the aspirations of the student community. more..

Ministries appointed to oversee CAs of institutions taken over by Govt.

Jan 2 (ST) The Defence and Urban Development Ministry has been assigned with the task of monitoring and supervising of activities carried out by the Competent Authorities (CA) appointed to five institutions taken over under the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act. These include Chalmers Granaries (Pettah) Lanka Tractors Ltd (Pettah and Narahanpita), the former Cashew Corporation and Ceylinco Leisure Properties Ltd, more..

Kumara Mahattaya’s wife, children arrested

Jan 2 (SM) Authorities have arrested the wife and children of Premakumar Gunaratnam alias Kumara Mahattaya, the JVP dissident group’s exiled leader. Defence authorities apprehended them at the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake around 1.00 am today. They are presently under interrogation. Kumara Mahattaya’s wife Champa Somaratne is a medical doctor and a citizen of citizen of Australia, where she has a practice. more..

JVP dissidents shun convention; vow to go independent

Jan 2 (DM) The JVP dissidents who boycotted the party's special convention yesterday said they would sever political links with the party henceforth, and pursue their new political journey based on leftist principles. The party held its special convention yesterday to appoint a new set of office bearers expelling the dissidents who had now formed a new organization called the "Movement for People's Struggle (MPS)'. more..

Sri Lanka IT industry faces skilled staff, office space shortages

Jan 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's fast-growing information communications technology (ICT) industry faces difficulties in hiring skilled staff, finding good office space and accessing fast Internet links, a survey has found. Although the IT export industry will continue to grow fast, the industry is confronted with various concerns that could become a hindrance to its future progress, according to a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers. more..

NTPC and Power Grid viability reports soon

Jan 2 (BS) Sri Lanka may set the stage for a new power play between the two Asian powers, China and India. Two Indian state-run companies, NTPC and Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), have planned to come out with feasibility reports on two projects in the power sector in Sri Lanka by January. The final agreement on both projects are expected to be signed soon after the detailed reports are out. more..

'Major improvement expected after implementing National Sports Policy'

Jan 2 (Island) The Sports Ministry expects to reap maximum benefits after the implementation of the National Sports Policy in 2012, Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage said. The plan is aimed at gaining many international victories for Sri Lanka while developing the local sports field, Minister said. The National Sports Policy was designed to resolve crises that are faced by many sports in the country. more..

‘Alavi Moulana, dedicated servant of working class’

Jan 2 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Alavi Moulana has been rendering yeoman service for the betterment of working people. President Rajapaksa was addressing Jana Prasadini, a felicitation ceremony to mark the 80th birthday of Western Province Governor and senior vice president of the SLFP Alavi Moulana at Temple Trees yesterday. Alavi Moulana was conferred the Jana Prasadini title, at this felicitation ceremony held under more..

Sri Lanka stocks up slightly

Jan 2 (LBO) Stocks were barely changed Monday with a deal in a bank in which foreigners have been selling out propping up turnover, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index was up 0.01 percent to 6,074.87, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.21 percent to 5,239.92. Turnover was 420 million rupees. Commercial Bank once again topped the turnover with 601, 200 shares traded, including a crossing or off-market private deal of 550,000 shares at 100 rupees each. more..

Editorial: May democracy prevail in the days to come

Jan 2 (DM) Year 2012 dawned amidst loud and sparkling fireworks, bringing with it many aspirations and expectations like a New Year usually does. There is commonness in the wishes that are exchanged back and forth; there is a hope for happiness and good health. There is also a wish for prosperity- an aspiration that needs to be achieved not only individually but also as a nation. A New Year is time one makes resolutions to do things right and learn from the past mistakes. more..

North-East re-merger out of the question: ACMC

Jan 2 (DM) The All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) led by Minister Ishard Bathiutheen has decided to stand strong against any call for a re-merger of the North and East and calls upon the Muslim voters to be wary of the SLMC that continues to advocate the re-merger of the two provinces. One must understand the background in which the late leader M.H.M. Ashraff brought forward the demand for a separate unit of devolution for the Muslims in the northeast, more..

'Sri Lanka expects stronger links with ASEAN'

Jan 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka is looking for stronger economic ties with countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations, foreign minister G.L. Peiris said. "Sri Lanka recognizes the enormous growth potential of the ASEAN," minister Pieris told an ASEAN 'flag raising' ceremony attended by envoys of Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma and other envoys the embassy of Indonesia. "Sri Lanka is convinced that ASEAN is a region with we need to develop and nurture and expand our relations. more..

Registration of new companies in Sri Lanka increases by 4%

Jan 2 (Xinhua) Registration of new companies in Sri Lanka jumped 4 percent in 2011 and the overall economy has expanded into new sectors, the Industry and Commerce Ministry said. Despite financial crisis around the world, Sri Lanka managed reasonable growth ending the third quarter with an impressive 8.4 percent. The ministry points out that there is renewed interest in chemical, petroleum and rubber industries posting the largest expansion in 2011. more..

WikiLeaks: Mahinda Rajapakse did not complete his Advanced Level

Jan 2 (CT) “He did not complete his Advanced Level education, instead leaving his job as a clerk at the library at Sri Jayawarendapura University in the Colombo suburbs in 1970 to run for his late father’s seat representing his native Hambantota in Parliament.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” details biographic details on Sri Lanka’s fifth President Percy Mahendra Rajapakse. more..

471 fined for speeding on Expressway

Jan 2 (DM) The Southern Expressway Traffic Division has fined 471 individuals mainly for exceeding the speed limit (100 kmph). A total of 51 accidents have been reported so far since the first expressway in Sri Lanka was opened on Nov 27. The new division of expressway traffic is administered by a DIG with powers vested similar to the Western Province Traffic DIG. Police officers will be recruited after undergoing a special training to control the expressway traffic. more..

Currency devaluation not comtemplated for 2012 Central Bank

Jan 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank is not contemplating a fresh move to devalue its rupee currency for this year, its Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said on Monday, contrary to market speculation due to a looming balance of payment crisis. "We are not contemplating any depreciation move for this year." Cabraal told Reuters, denying a local media report published on Monday. On Nov. 21, President Mahinda Rajapaksa shocked markets with a 3 percent currency devaluation more..

India cannot dictate terms says Govt

Jan 2 (BBC) The Sri Lanka govt has denied it is under pressure from India to devolve more powers to provinces. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, who heads the govt delegation for talks with TNA said its apparent U turn over land and police powers has nothing to do with India. "No no no no, there was no pressure. Neither India nor other country can dictate how our country is governed," he said in response to a question by BBC Sandesaya. more..

Conditional lifting of student activities ban condemned

Jan 2 (SM) The Students Union has refused to accept the conditional withdrawal of a suspension of student union activities at Peradeniya University. Student union activities were banned at the university on December 21 as a march was organized to Colombo to protest against the proposed private universities act. The university’s Students Union president Mahesh Lanka said the conditions were irrelevant. Vice chancellor S.B.S. Abeykoon said the suspension of student unions was more..

Dayasiri calls for rebellion

Jan 2 (CT) The people should stand up against the dictatorship United National Party MP Dayasiri Jayasekara told the media today. He said that “Sri Lanka need democracy, freedom, law and morality and this is a time that none of these exist. As the opposition party we should defeat the govt and reform a new govt.“ He mentioned that some media organizations had reported that there will be inquiries against him. Yet he hasn’t got any official information on these inquiries. more..