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Lanka’s First HD Broadcast Launched by Dialog TV

July 12 (DN) Dialog Television (DTV), Sri Lanka’s leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) Digital Satellite TV service recently announced the introduction of the country’s first HD (High Definition) broadcast, leading Sri Lanka into the era of advance digital media. With enhanced picture quality, vivid colours, sharper images and Dolby digital surround sound; the HD service will enable DTV subscribers to enjoy a breathtaking home entertainment experience. more..

Pakistan's Buddhist art comes to Sri Lanka

July 12 (KSEA) For years, Colombo-native Ariyawathi knew of Pakistan only as a Muslim state of little significance to Buddhists. But that was before she visited the new international Buddhist museum at Sri Dalada Maligawa, a sacred temple in Kandy. The collection at the year-old museum features artefacts from 16 different countries-- including Pakistan. What she saw made a profound impression on her. "During my school days, I learnt about Buddha's more..

Lankan minister to inaugurate SAARC CCI seminar

July 12 (PO) The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) in collaboration with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and in partnership with: Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, New Delhi, will organize seminar “ Trade Facilitation in South Asia: Addressing barriers to foster Trade Chain” on July 13, 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister for External Affairs, Sri Lanka, will inaugurate the seminar along with more..

Japan’s ‘Tuna King’ ready for big investments here

July 12 (Island) Japan’s leading fish producer, known as ‘Tuna King’, Kiyomura Corporation Chairman Kiyoshi Kimura, is ready to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Sri Lanka to increase fish production. He said "I hope to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Sri Lanka to increase fish exports and to provide training for Sri Lankans on Sashimi fish production with Japanese technology. I also expect to cultivate vegetables and to start broiler farms here more..

'It's fairly even, but we are slightly ahead'

July 12 (CI) Graham Ford, the Sri Lanka coach, has said that the Pallekele Test is evenly poised and the home team will need to "work hard" on the fifth day. Pakistan finished the day 188 runs ahead with two wickets remaining. "It's fairly even," Ford said. "We are slightly ahead on points at this stage but there is a lot of cricket to be played tomorrow. "First, we have to get them out and that's going to be our No. 1 priority. more..

Revolutionary change in district development work

July 12 (DN) District development work which was progressing at snail’s pace in the past because the then national leadership rarely visited the districts and officials laid out plans from their ivory towers in the city, has now undergone a revolutionary change because the national leadership is contributing towards it by playing an active role. This is because President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself is attending District Development Committee meetings held in the provinces more..

HSTUC defends Dr. Mendis against bribery allegations

July 12 (Island) The Health Services Trade Union Confederation (HSTUC) appealed to the Bribery and Corruption Commission (BCC) to be wary of probing into corruption charges levelled against the Director General Health Services, Dr. Ajith Mendis, claiming that they were biased. Convener of the HSTUC Ravi Kumudesh said yesterday that the Confederation had written to the BCC on Tuesday (10) alleging that some of those charges were biased and manipulative. more..

Rizana’s release in progress

July 12 (CT) The Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry is continuously monitoring the situation of Rizana Nafeek, the Sri Lankan housemaid who sentenced to death by beheading in 2007 in Saudi Arabia, Sri Lankan Diplomatic Sources said. “Our Mission in Riyadh is continuously monitoring her situation and get in touch with local authorities, her sponsors and other relevant officials for her release. A lady official visit Rizana on a more..

‘Implement practical programmes to safeguard consumers’ interests’

July 12 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday directed officials to implement a practical programme to safeguard the interests of the consumers without restricting these programmes to planning only. He issued this directive at a meeting of the Committee on Food Security. A press release said special attention was paid during the discussions towards the failure of duty concessions granted for essential food imports to filter down to the consumers more..

Rains bring high dengue risk

July 12 (DN) There is a possibility of a rise in dengue this month due to rains and other factors, National Dengue Control Programme Director Dr Ranjith Batuwanthudawa said. He said an upward trend in dengue has been noticed in Colombo, Gampaha, Kurunegala, Kegalle and several other districts. "The public is engaged in dengue control activities and it should be continued. The public should continue to be vigilant for all types of mosquito breeding spots within their properties. more..

SLC EX-CO unanimously endorse domestic changes

July 12 (DM) Despite media reports on alleged resistance from leading cricket clubs for the proposed new structure of the domestic competitions, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga revealed that the SLC Executive Committee which is made up of representatives from leading cricket clubs has unanimously agreed to the planned changes. “Ex co has said unanimously they are more..

Regulator plans capital market hub

July 12 (DM) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is planning to shift its office to a new location, as the regulator is planning to set up a capital market hub with the support of the other capital market stakeholders. The SEC is in search of a suitable land of the size of 50 perches in Colombo 1, 2, 3, 4 or 7 for outright purchase to construct a new building that will accommodate the SEC and the other market stakeholders, who have been already invited to move in. more..

Rumble in Hajj Committee

July 12 (Island) Deputy Minister of Environment A.R.M. Abdul Cader, who is one of the three co-chairmen of the Hajj Committee, together with Minister A.H.M. Fowzie and Governor of the Western Province Alavi Moulana, had, through attorney-at-law J.J. Rajakaruna, written to the Director of Muslim Religious Affairs, Y.L.A. Navavi, of the Ministry of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs, accusing Navavi of refusing to work with him (Deputy Minister) on Hajj related activities more..

'No one can challenge the right of the army'

July 12 (DM) Sri Lanka Army today said that no one can challenge or dispute the right of the Sri Lanka army to be serving anywhere in the country. “No one can challenge or dispute the right of the Army to be serving anywhere in the country. It is their prerogative and area of responsibility. The public in Jaffna overwhelmingly support the Army presence and they know very well it is the Army who will come to their help in the event of any emergency. more..

Sri Lanka ship management prospects highlighted

July 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka can get into maritime businesses like ship management as it improves its position as a shipping hub in south Asia with the construction of two big deep-water ports, an official said. The island has a lot of potential in supply chain management and logistics from a ship management perspective, said Ruanthi De Silva, director of supply chain management at Bernhard Schulte Ship-Management Group. "We can make it happen even for ship management," more..

GMOA locks horns with Provincial Health Director who refuses to go

July 12 (Island) Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalin Ariyaratne yesterday said that the GMOA Executive Committee had recognized the newly made appointment of Dr. S. Subasinghe as the Provincial Health Director (PHD) of the Central Province. The former PHD of the province had refused to accept her transfer to the North-Central Province because a high ranking politician wanted her to be in the province. more..

TNA laughs off President’s claim Says ready even now

July 12 (Island) The TNA yesterday laughed off President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement of having elections to the Northern Province in September 2013, claiming that they will never be held at all!! The TNA’s comments came in the wake of President Mahinda Rajapaksa telling the Hindu newspaper that he hoped to hold the elections to the Northern Provincial Council in September 2013 but the stumbling block to holding more..

Sri Lanka needs more trained personnel to become maritime hub

July 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shipping industry will need more trained workers specializing in key areas of the shipping business as the island treads a path to become a regional logistics hub, an industry official said. Many of those working in the logistics have had no formal training but had acquired the skills over time. "We don’t have enough skilled staff and our people have a general understanding of what to do in shipping through experience but not through an academic background," more..

Julampitiye Amare’s bail cancelled

July 12 (Island) Geeganagamage Amarasiri, alias ‘Julampitiye Amare’, had his bail cancelled yesterday when he was produced before the Tangalle High Court over three cases of attempted murder in 1997 or on a date close to it, in the Middeniya and Weeraketiya police areas. High Court Judge Lalith Wijesekera also remanded him till August 02. ‘Julampitiye Amare’ is also the chief suspect in the recent attack on a JVP meeting at Katuwana, where two people were shot dead. more..

UNP rejects alliance with ‘ball playing’ SLMC

July 12 (Island) The UNP has decided not to have any truck with the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), since it had done nothing to protect Muslim rights nor prevent the religious extremism being practiced by forces within the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. UNP MP Kabeer Hashim said that the SLMC was paying "pooja" to the Rajapaksa’s and "playing ball" having completely forgotten their duty to the community, whom they claimed to represent. more..

Thousands of abandoned vehicles to be auctioned if not claimed soon

July 12 (Island) If the owners of thousands of vehicles, found abandoned in the Kilinochchi district, do not claim their vehicles soon, the govt would be compelled to auction them, District Secretary Mrs. Rupawathi Ketheeswaran said yesterday. The vehicles had been abandoned by their owners, fleeing the final stages of the war on terror in 2009. Mrs. Ketheeswaran said that the govt had relaxed the rules to allow the rightful owners, who did not more..

Grero gets additional responsibilities

July 12 (Island) Education Monitoring MP Dr. Mohan Lal Grero will assume additional duties today as the monitoring MP of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development today. Dr. Grero will take up duties in his new office at the ‘Nipunatha Piyasa’ in Narahenpita. The Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma will attend the event as the chief guest.

Culture of Kyoto exhibition to mark 60 years friendship with Japan

July 12 (Island) This year being the diamond jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Sri Lanka, Japanese First Secretary, (Information and Culture), Kiyohiko Hamada, announced the holding of an exhibition, in Colombo, of Japanese artifacts titled ‘Culture of Kyoto’, to celebrate the 60 years of friendship. ‘Culture of Kyoto’, an exhibition on ‘Wisdom of the Japanese’, more..

Govt. trying to introduce water management laws through PCs

July 12 (SL) The govt’s attempt to introduce through the North Western Provincial Council the controversial water management policy has come under fire from environmentalists and opposition politicians. The move to surreptitiously introduce water management regulations under the guise of regulating small irrigation systems in the North Western Province is expected to serve as a test before introducing more..

The Queen’s Englishman says ‘Sri Lankan English’ doesn’t mean NO standards

July 12 (LB) In the learning of English in Sri Lanka, the divide between the haves and the have-nots is growing, warned Michael Meyler, author of A Dictionary of Sri Lankan English. In June, Meyler was awarded the title of a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services he provided to the English language. Now, seated in a noisy Colombo restaurant, I strained to hear the soft-spoken Brit more..

Foreign job seekers caught in crossfire, left in the lurch

July 12 (ST) A simmering stand-off between licensed foreign job recruiting agencies and the medical sector in the industry has led to severe hardships for overseas job seekers while officialdom remains silent. Faizer Mackeen, Secretary of the Association for Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies charged that the medical sector in the industry entrusted with the responsibility of providing medical clearance certificates for these workers were more..

'Opp. should first win PC polls before toppling Govt.'

July 12 (Island) NFF leader, Wimal Weerawansa, MP, said that those wanting to topple the Rajapaksa govt should try to win the forthcoming polls for the Eastern, Sabaragamuwa and North-Central Provincial Councils. The impending polls could give the Opposition an opportunity to fire the first salvo at the govt,Minister Weerawansa said. He said that those pushing for Arab Spring-style revolution in Sri Lanka had conveniently failed to realize that more..

Peoples' power can remove Mervyn: UNP

July 12 (DM) The UNP said today regardless of Minister Mervyin Silva claiming that he could not be removed from his portfolio, the people had the power to do so. UNP MP Harin Fernando told a news conference the people had the power to get rid of ministers and the forthcoming elections would show the people’s power to do so. “After period of silence we saw Mr. Silva making a statement that sending petitions against him is of use. This is true. more..

Crate law not properly implemented

July 12 (Island) The law to enforce compulsory use of plastic crates, for transportation of vegetables and fruit, which came with several deadlines, is yet observed more in the breach, but Minister Johnston Fernando vows to enforce the law to the letter. "The previous gazette notification stipulated 31 items to be compulsorily transported with some suitable packing material, subsequently another rule was brought, in consultation with all stakeholders and President more..

News websites to pay registration fee and Rs.50,000 annually

July 12 (CG) The government has decided that news websites to be registered with the Media Ministry must pay a registration fee and an annual fee. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the weekly cabinet press briefing today that accordingly news websites must pay Rs. 100,000 to register and also Rs. 50,000 annually. He said that the payments will be made mandatory under the amended Press Council Act which will regulate websites apart from newspapers. more..

Sri Lanka to regulate news websites amid crackdown

July 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Thursday announced new regulations to control websites, defying international criticism of a recent crackdown on opposition news portals. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the govt was amending the 1973 Press Council Act to include news websites, which will now be required to be registered with the authorities. The Press Council has powers to fine and jail journalists who defy its orders. more..

Editorial: And then there is Tamil Nadu

July 12 (DM) The southern Indian state can decide when New Delhi should reprimand Sri Lanka on speeding up reconciliation. It can urge the central govt to send back the group of Sri Lankan airmen undergoing training in India. Whatever crosses the seas with New Delhi’s seal is dictated by the Tamil Nadu high heads, so much so that the predicaments Sri Lanka suffers at the hands of India is a pantomime where the strings of the Central govt are pulled by Jayalaithaa and Co. more..

Sri Lanka stocks steady, rupee weaker

July 12 (LBO) Stocks closed marginally higher Thursday while the rupee closed weaker from opening, brokers and dealers said. The Colombo All Share Price Index closed up 0.08 percent at 4,872.06 points and the S&P SL20 index of large cap stocks closed 0.17 percent higher at 2,780.34. Turnover was 336 million rupees. The closed around 133.80/90 to the US dollar in the spot market after opening around 133.60/90. Aitken Spence closed at 113.60 up 3.20 rupees, more..

Sri Lanka take series after aborted chase

July 12 (CI) A placid track on the fifth day provided Sri Lanka an ideal chance of pushing for victory by chasing down 270 in the allotted 71 overs, a result that looked a strong possibility after an aggressive start led by Dinesh Chandimal. But his dismissal at the stroke of tea slowed down the innings considerably and, despite a fluent Kumar Sangakkara at one end, Sri Lanka's focus turned to securing their 1-0 lead. more..

Another Sakwithi from Dompe arrested

July 12 (DM) A person who had allegedly swindled millions of rupees by promising attractive interests for unsuspecting depositors, was arrested in Dompe. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said preliminary investigations had revealed that the suspect had accepted money from people in the area amounting to more that Rs.57 million. It was also revealed that a woman from the area had made a single deposit of Rs. 30 million. Depositors who had become suspicious when more..

Lanka refutes reports on heavy military presence in north

July 12 (PTI) Sri Lanka has refuted reports that the country's military presence in the Tamil-dominated north represented five soldiers per civilian, with the army claiming that its current strength in Jaffna was about 10,000. "In Jaffna the population is around 500,000 and the current Army strength is about 10,000 soldiers. So the statement that five soldiers per civilian is not correct", Army chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, more..

SLT to improve Country's Broadband experience

July 12 (GDI) Sri Lanka Telecom, the nation’s number one integrated communications service provider and the leading broadband & backbone infrastructure services provider, is proud to announce the successful implementation of the 1st phase of its ultra-high speed Broadband Network under its nation-wide network modernization project “i-Sri Lanka” which has already driven an increase of 40,000 new broadband connections to more..

Court guard’s weapon robbed

July 12 (CT) Two persons on a motorcycle who had sprayed a chemical into the eyes of a guard at the Warakapola Magistrate Court had taken off with the guard’s weapon. The incident had taken place around 11.00 p.m yesterday while the guard and another security assistant were on duty at the Warakapola Court premises. The motorcycle an unregistered one used for the assault had been abandoned in a different area. The guard is currently receiving treatment at the Kegalle hospital. more..

Sri Lanka Ports to issue $1 bln bond in October

July 12 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's state-owned Ports Authority will go to international capital markets in October to sell a $1 billion corporate bond, a source close to the deal said on Thursday. Proceeds from the issue will be used repay part of its yen-dominated loans and to expand port facilities. In May, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Priyath Wickrama told Reuters that the port authority planned to issue two 10-year bonds of $500 million each, with the first one to more..

'Imposing restrictions on Websites is a worldwide phenomenon'

July 12 (GDI) The Press Council Law which was introduced in 1973 had been amended from time to time in accordance with new trends being developed, new technologies coming in and new methodologies being used in the media field. Time has now come for the govt to introduce new revisions to the Act in order to accommodate all new technologies and methodologies. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Mass Media more..