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Presidential unit to investigate shortcomings in Kandy Hospital clinical treatment

Jan 25 (Island) The Presidential Investigation Unit is conducting an inquiry into the existing shortcomings in the clinical treatment at the Kandy General Hospital. The investigation is a sequel to certain complaints addressed to the President regarding the hardship the patients as well as the doctors, had to undergo due mainly to the lack of adequate space. Dr. Susil Siriwardane, Deputy Director of the Kandy General Hospital said as many as 32 clinics were conducted in a single building. more..

Private bus operators to file legal action against Minister

Jan 25 (Island) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne yesterday announced that LPBOA had taken a unanimous decision to file legal action against Private Transport Minister C. B.Ratnayaka for sending a letter dated (January 5 of 2012) to the National Transport Commission (NTC) to issue 39 new route permits between Jaffna–Colombo to his favourites without tender procedure. This was a serious violation of the Transport Act. more..

Mattala airport expressway disturbs the way of life

Jan 25 (SL) Who benefits, from the development work of the Mahinda Chintanaya?” the villagers in Pahala Andara Wewa from the Hambantota District, and Kandhasurindugama, from Monaragala District, ask. Sadly enough the people; who brought the Rajapaksas to power, have not benefitted, rather, the nearest and dearest of the First Family are enjoying all the fruits of State beneficence. The construction of the Mattala Airport Expressway has destroyed more..

Nuwara Eliya torn between extreme weather patterns

Jan 25 (ST) The unusual drop in temperature in Nuwara Eliya has had widespread repercussions, with people finding it difficult to cope with the extreme weather, damage to crops and drop in water levels. Last Monday (16), the temperature in Nuwara Eliya dropped to 2.7 Celsius accompanied by ground frost. In 2009, the temperature dropped to 2.6 Celsius. Similar temperatures were experienced in 1929 and 1953. more..

Special beach nourishment project introduced

Jan 25 (DN) A special beach nourishment project to recreate the coastline has been introduced by the Coast Conservation Department (CCD) for the first time in Sri Lanka to combat coastal erosion, CCD Deputy Director (Planning) Gamini Hewage told the Daily News. He noted that a one km coastal stretch from Palliyawatte to Uswetakeyyawa had initially been selected to carry out this project. Under this project, sand pumped from more..

SB caught telling a "terminological inexactitude"

Jan 25 (Island) A preeminent expert in the education field denied the Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s recent claim that Prof. R.O. Thattil of the Peradeniya University was not involved in introducing the Z–score system. Former Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education Prof. R.P. Gunawardane confirmed Prof. Thattil’s involvement in formulating the Z–score system in 2000/2001. Minister told Parliament last week that the Z-score formula was only a mathematical formula and more..

We will fight to release SF: Karu

Jan 25 (DM) “We will fight to release General Sarath Fonseka. They have taken revenge from him and he has lost everything. We will fight for his right to be free,” Karu Jayasuriya says at the press conference which was held at the Bodhi Ranasinghe Foundation. Jayasuriya also stated that the civilized world agrees that former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka is a political prisoner. “We are able to walk freely today with no fear of terror due to the efforts of General Sarath Fonseka and his team. more..

Sri Lanka Nov 2011 exports up 12-pct

Jan 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's export earnings in November 2011 rose 11.6 percent to 879.3 million US dollars from a year ago, driven mainly by industrial and machinery exports, the central bank said. Imports in the import-dependent island shot up 78 percent in November 2011 to 1,980.5 million dollars from the previous year mainly because of higher spending on petroleum and investment goods. The trade gap ballooned 239 percent to 1.1 billion dollars in November 2011 more..

Cairn Lanka enters phase 2 of oil exploration activity

Jan 25 (Island) Cairn Lanka, a fully owned subsidiary of Cairn India, says it has notified the govt that it would soon enter phase 2 of its oil exploratory activities in Sri Lanka’s side of the Mannar Basin. Our successive discoveries in Sri Lanka have established a working hydrocarbon system in the frontier Mannar Basin. This success demonstrates Cairn India’s strong skill set, which we will continue to leverage for future opportunities. more..

SL denied opportunity to counter Ratner

Jan 25 (Island) Sri Lanka was not invited to a recent roundtable conference held under the auspices of the UN in Geneva, where a key member of UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka, Prof. Steven Ratner reiterated the demand for an international investigation. Responding to Monday’s The Island headlined ‘Ground being prepared for int’l war crimes probe’, External Affairs Ministry said that the Sri Lankan mission hadn’t received an invitation hence more..

More than 70 recently passed out docs have left the country

Jan 25 (Island) Over 70 doctors who were given appointments last month have already left the country without informing the Health Ministry. Ministry spokesman said yesterday that many leave Sri Lanka after obtaining the five year MBBS medical degree at the tax payers expense. The spokesman said foreign countries benefited from their expertise and service while the government and people who paid for their education were the losers. more..

Mahela compelled to accept captaincy: UNP

Jan 25 (DM) Opposition parties charged that Mahela Jayawardene’s appointment as the Sri Lanka cricket captain was politically motivated. UNP western provincial councillor Niroshan Padukka told a news conference that for mer captain T.M. Dilshan had been pressured to resign and make way for Mahela. Mr. Padukka said it had never been the practice to appoint a cricketer who was approaching the retirement stage as captain of a team. He asked whether India had re-appointed Sachin Tendulkar as the captain of their side. more..

Editorial: Social Justice vital for a new Lanka

Jan 25 (DM) The ongoing crisis in Nigeria where the country was crippled by general strikes over the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy and violent religious clashes has some important lessons for Sri Lanka. Nigeria earns more than 200 million dollars a day on fuel exports but tragically more than forty per cent of its people are known to be earning less than two dollars a day and thus languishing below the poverty line in different degrees of degradation and destitution. more..

Media Minister warns against dollar funded conspirators

Jan 25 (GDI) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that certain groups calling themselves as free media are making problems in the country to justify the dollar payments they are receiving from international elements. He pointed out that during the time of the war certain groups attempted to discredit the country in the international arena. These groups were also behind the allegations of war crimes. The Minister made these comments at a special media conference held in Colombo more..

Sri Lanka's foreign reserves down 23.4-pct in Nov

Jan 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's foreign exchange reserves fell 23.4 percent to 6,201 million US dollars in November 2011 or 1,897.8 million US dollars from an end July peak, official data showed. Sri Lanka's foreign reserves rose to 8,098.8 million US dollars in July 2011, but strong credit demand has put pressure on the currency. The central bank has injected liquidity (printed rupees) to prevent rates from going up, driving up credit, consumption and imports. more..

Cairn India misses Sri Lanka trifecta

Jan 25 (USO) The company has reported previously that the initial wells in Block SL-2007-01-001 - Dorado and Barracuda - were gas and condensate discoveries. In its latest quarterly, Cairn India said the third probe - Dorado North - was plugged and abandoned as a dry hole on 14 December 2011. "Cairn Lanka’s successful drilling programme - the first in Sri Lanka in 30 years – has established a working petroleum system in the frontier Mannar basin," said the operator. more..

Sri Lankan CG for joint efforts to promote construction industry

Jan 25 (PO) The builders and developers of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with the joint efforts and sharing each others’ expertise, can play a pivotal role in promoting the construction industry of both the countries. These views were expressed by Consul General of Sri Lanka D.W. Jinadasa, at an interactive meeting here at ABAD House, said a statement issued here Tuesday. He said that there has been a considerable increase in the trade between the two countries. more..

Sri Lanka hosts international tea meeting

Jan 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka will host a key meeting of officials from major tea producing and consuming nations in a United Nations body next week, helping boost its image as it starts a global marketing campaign. The 20th Session of Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Inter-Governmental Group on Tea will meet in Colombo from January 30 to February 01, a statement from the Sri Lanka Tea Board said. more..

Sri Lanka high rise to be managed by Hyatt

Jan 25 (LBO) State-run Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation will lead a consortium to invest and finish a half built high rise which the leisure group Hyatt has agreed to manage, economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa said. The tower, styled 'Celestial Residencies' was initiated by the collapsed Ceylinco group of companies and was expropriated by the state last year through a controversial law. Hyatt was expected to manage a hotel inside more..

Sri Lankan navy arrests 43 Indian fishermen

Jan 25 (PTI) At least 43 Indian fishermen have been arrested by Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly violating the international maritime boundary. The Navy spokesperson Kosala Warnakulasuriya said some 43 fishermen on board six trawlers were arrested last night off the coast of Pulmoddai in the east. They were currently being brought to the eastern port of Trincomalee and would be handed over to police for further investigations, he said. Sri Lankan Navy has been more..

Postmaster General resigns

Jan 25 (DM) Postmaster General M.K.B. Dissanayaka announced today that he would resign from his job amidst continuous protests by postal unions calling on the authorities to remove him from the Postal Department. He said he had made a request to be transferred to another post as he was a member of the Sri Lanka Administrative Services and was eligible for a transfer. “I will be leaving the Postal Department. I have not received a new position as more..

Prison riots cost Rs.7.5 mil. damages

Jan 25 (CT) The estimated damage as a result of the Welikada Magazine prison riots on Tuesday (24) has amounted to Rs. 7.5 million, Police Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana told Ceylon Today. “These amounts to the destruction caused in the kitchen, record room and library, further, the kitchen equipment need replacement,” he said. “Further investigation on this will be conducted by the Colombo Crimes Division under the instruction of Senior DIG Asoka Wijetileke,” he added. more..

'Education minister misled Parliament'

Jan 25 (SM) The Minister of Education has misled Parliament after disclosing the number of GCE A/L re-correction applications incorrectly, Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers' Union, Joseph Stalin says. On Jan. 17, the Minister had stated in Parliament that 50,724 applications have been submitted for the re-scrutiny of A/L answer scripts. However, media had reported that the Examinations Department had received 140,000 applications, Stalin had said. more..

WikiLeaks: 13 plus is like US Senate - Mahinda Rajapaksa to US

Jan 25 (CT) "The President said the basis of his devolution plan would be the "13th amendment plus 1" meaning implementation of the existing constitutional provisions for provincial councils, but adding an upper house to Parliament, modeled on the U.S. Senate." the US Embassy informed Washington. The cable is classified as CONFIDENTIAL and recounts details of the farewell meeting US Ambassador to Colombo, Robert O. Blake more..

Sri Lanka investments sought by Maldives

Jan 25 (LBO) The Maldives is seeking more investments from Sri Lanka and plans to set up an investment agency similar to Sri Lanka's Board of Investment, officials said. Maldivian Deputy High Commissioner Hussain Niyaz said the foreign policy of the new government elected in 2008 is to attract as many foreign direct investments to the Maldives as possible. "In order to do this the government is ready to provide facilities to attract and facilitate new investments," more..

Pera students protest again

Jan 25 (DM) The Students of the Peradeniya University staged a protest today against summons issued to 24 students of the university. The students of all nine faculties comprising around 3,500, protested at the Galaha Junction today demanding that all charges against the students be dropped forthwith. The students have been issued summons due to a complaint made against them alleging their involvement in ragging. President of the Engineering Students Union, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 25.01.2012

JVP dissidents say 13 Plus won’t solve national issue

Jan 25 (DM) The Movement for People’s Struggle (MPS), a breakaway faction of the JVP, said today that the devolution of land and police powers or the implementation of the 13th Amendment plus would not resolve the national question. PMS member Pubudu Jayagoda, who was in the politburo of the JVP at that time, said that his political movement always accepts the right of Tamil people to demand their rights. “Politically, we do not believe that the devolution of more..

Luxury private buses on E01

Jan 25 (CT) Private luxury buses will be allowed to transport commercial passengers on the Southern Expressway from 27 January, Ministry of Private Transport media spokesperson Sunith Galewela said. Accordingly all the private buses that will be permitted to do transportation must have luxury facilities. “From 27 transportation permits will issued to private bus sector” Galewela told Ceylon Today. Only two private buses will be allowed during the first stages as more..

Sri Lanka journalists demand probes of attacks

Jan 25 (AP) Sri Lankan journalists staged a “Black January” protest Wednesday to demand the govt punish the culprits responsible for killing and attacking journalists and media institutions. Journalists, rights activists and opposition lawmakers gathered in the capital, Colombo, claimed this month over the years has been “disastrous” for attacks on journalists. “January symbolizes how dangerous is the suppression of media in Sri Lanka,” more..

Fishermen in jail on Andaman Islands released

Jan 25 (DM) The six fishermen who were taken into custody and jailed in the Andaman Islands for two years on the charge of encroaching the Indian waters returned to the country last morning after their release. All of them were residents of Kandakuliya, in Kalpitiya and are relatives of one family. They had been arrested in the sea off Tincomalee on March 8, 2010 and jailed. The First Secretary of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai, Dilani Weerakoon more..

'Lankans originated in Africa'

Jan 25 (DM) More archaeological research would be conducted this year to verify the origin of the Sri Lankans, who are now believed to have arrived from Africa, said the for mer commissioner general of archaeology Prof. Shiran Deraniyagala. Speaking during the launch of the book ‘Ira Handa Negi Rata,’ by the late Sinhala scholar Arisen Ahubudu, which is about the history of Sri Lanka, he said that Sri Lankans had originated from a group of Africans who had migrated to Asia some 13 million years ago. more..

IMF loan hangs in the balance

Jan 25 (CT) The last tranche of the loan extended by the IMF to Sri Lanka hangs in the balance largely owing to the poor performance of the country’s economy. The IMF loan facility amounting to 2.6 billion US Dollars was negotiated in 2009 and the last tranche is due in April. A delegation of the IMF is now in Colombo to review the position of the country’s economy. The trade deficit of Sri Lanka when the IMF loan facility was made available stood at more..

Fishermen return to freedom with tales of Lankan hospitality

Jan 25 (TOI) There was a pleasant twist to the tale of the nine fishermen who returned to Rameswaram from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka on Tuesday morning. In sharp contrast to the harrowing experience of fishers who have been in the custody of Sri Lankan naval personnel in the past, this lot was treated well by their captors. The fishermen, who arrived in an Indian Coast Guard vessel at Mandapam, told the media that they were treated with dignity and given good food more..

Prisoner records destroyed in Welikada prison riot

Jan 25 (SL) Important records of inmates of the main Sri Lankan prison in Colombo were destroyed during a riot on Tuesday, the government said. The minister in charge of Sri Lankan prisons, Chandrasiri Gajadheera, told reporters on Wednesday that a special investigation had been launched into the prison riot. The police said that the number of people injured in the riots had risen to 31 by Wednesday, most of who were prisoners suffering from gun shot wounds. more..

Bayliss sympathetic to dumped Marsh

Jan 25 (AAP) Sydney Sixers coach Trevor Bayliss has expressed his sympathy for Geoff Marsh who is expected to be dumped as Sri Lankan coach this week. Sri Lankan stalwart Tillakaratne Dilshan has already quit as captain in all three formats, replaced by ex-skipper Mahela Jayawardene for the upcoming limited-overs series involving Australia and India starting on February 5. Marsh's imminent removal and Dilshan's exit as captain were part of an ongoing shake-up more..

Suspect involved in Wilpattu bombing arrested

Jan 25 (SL) The police have arrested an LTTE suspect involved in the bombing of a vehicle inside the Wilpattu national park in 2006, the police media unit said today. The suspect is a resident of Mannar and was involved in LTTE activities during the war. He was arrested by the central province anti terrorism police unit over his involvement in the bombing which killed 7 civilians. The suspect has been handed over to the Kandy police for further investigations. more..

A revolutionary era of development will be created, says Sajith

Jan 25 (NF) Deputy leader of the UNP Sajith Premadasa says that a revolutionary era of development where politicians will fall at the feet of the public will be created. He made a financial donation to the Karuwalagaswewa Sri Vijayarama Viharaya in Puttalam. "You need to inquire from yourself whether you really feel the benefits of the so-called miracle and whether it has filled your wallet. A UNP Govt will be established in the future. Do not have any doubts about that. more..

Poorest still go hungry

Jan 25 (IPS) Experts agree that Sri Lanka's free pre and postnatal clinics across the island nation have helped bring infant mortality down to 15 per 1,000 live births and the under-five mortality rate to 21 per 1,000 live births. But, beneath that general picture of success lie pockets of vulnerability where poverty and lack of awareness are causing high levels of malnutrition in this country, classified as a middle-income country by the IMF in 2010. more..

Police responsibilities reiterated

Jan 26 (NS) Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, while reiterating the urgent need for giving top priority to law enforcement, has referred to a number of important matters relating to the police in his recent speech at the opening ceremony of the new building of the Narahenpita Police Station. Having cited the task of defeating terrorism two and a half years ago as a great success, he spoke on the urgent task of eliminating other illegal activities more..