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Ministry Secretaries should not be confined to their seats - President

July 13 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said new ministry Secretaries must manage institutions under the ministries in an efficient and exemplary manner to promote productivity. The President said ministry Secretaries should have a thorough knowledge of the institutions under their purview, visit the institutions and look into their activities personally. Addressing the newly appointed Secretaries after presenting appointment letters, President Rajapaksa said more..

Student rape victim raped again by Sgt. in charge of police emergency

July 13 (Island) The police are investigating a shocking case of a rape victim being raped again by a law enforcement officer and a three wheeler driver. The police have arrested Sergeant Ajith Vithana of the Nawalapitiya police for allegedly raping a 15-year-old school girl last week. The police also arrested a three wheeler driver Samiwel Ragunathan for raping the fatherless child. The son of a wealthy person and a three wheeler more..

Sri Lanka dockyard delivers oilfield support vessel

July 13 (LBO) Colombo Dockyard has delivered the first of a series three vessels to support offshore oil and gas fields for Greatship Global Offshore Services of Singapore. The Multipurpose Platform Supply Vessel (MPSV), delivered Wednesday, is designed by Seatech Solutions International of Singapore, and is the latest new build by the yard which is focussing on the growing offshore petroleum industry. "Designed for operation worldwide and with a speed of 13.8 knots, more..

Politicians should use assets for development with proper plan - President

July 13 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said politicians should utilise assets for development according to a proper plan designed in consultation with the authorities, without squandering public money by implementing them arbitrarily. President Rajapaksa was speaking at a Kalutara District Special Development Committee meeting at the Eden Grand Hotel in Aluthgama. The progress and the flaws of the development projects implemented in the Kalutara district more..

Young political guns speak up for economy

July 13 (FT) Opposition politicians joined the private sector yesterday in calling for the Govt to work on law and order and consistent policies to position Sri Lanka on a growth trajectory, despite demurring statements by ruling party members. Participating in the final panel discussion titled ‘Positioning Sri Lanka in the Global Economy’ of the three-day Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2012, a host of politicians from all leading parties agreed that the country needs to more..

Pharmaceutical chamber reaffirms support for Nat. drug policy

July 13 (Island) The Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry reaffirmed their support to the Govt and the Ministry of Health for the implementation of the new National Drug Policy at their recently held Annual General meeting. President of the SLCPI Vish Govindasamy, who was elected for a 2nd term, said that the SLCPI was aware that the new Drug policy, would set standards, controls and guidelines for the importation and marketing of pharmaceuticals. more..

500 TATA Steel becomes bullish on Sri Lanka

July 13 (DN) Buoyed by Sri Lanka's new growth, Tata Steel, the $ 83 Bn Indian conglomerate Tata Group's victorious Fortune 500 entrant this year, wants to expand its presence in the country. "Now we are very comfortable about our long term commitment in Sri Lanka. We want to invest more here" said a buoyant Sunil Baskaran, Executive in Charge - Global Wires of India's TATA Steel Ltd. Baskaran, the top TATA executive, was aspiring Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka on July 10 more..

Now, nurses demand duty free vehicle permits, loans

July 13 (Island) President of the Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU), Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda Thero has demanded duty free vehicle permits and vehicle loans for nurses. In a letter to Minister Maithripala Sirisena, he has made 15 demands, warning that the PSUNU would resort to a continuous country-wide strike by August 3 if their demands were not met by the end of July. The Ven. Ananda alleged yesterday that the more..

Sri Lankan’s plea in airport blast case dismissed

July 13 (AA) The Madras high court on Thursday dismissed a petition from a 50-year-old Sri Lankan national, who was an accused in the Chennai airport bomb blast case in 1984, seeking the removal of adverse remarks in the records of the Chennai airport and the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka and the lookout circular issued against him in India. “Considering that the petitioner is a foreigner, his right, if any, is subject to restrictions imposed by the central govt,” said Justice K. Chandru, more..

Roadmap to achieve energy security coming soon

July 13 (FT) The Govt is to come up with a roadmap to achieve energy security, for which a Cabinet Sub Committee and an inter-Ministerial officials Committee have been set up. The move follows the Cabinet recently approving a proposal to this effect by Minister Premajayantha. Accordingly short, medium and long term plans towards energy security will be drawn up. Cabinet Sub Committee comprises Ministers Premajayantha, Champika Ranawaka, Nimal Siripala De Silva, more..

President orders postponement of farmer loan recoveries

July 13 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed authorities to temporarily defer the recovery of loans obtained by farmers in drought affected areas, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing at the ministry yesterday, the minister said the government is assessing the situation in drought affected areas, adding it is ready to take firm decisions to control the drought damage. more..

Standardisation of electricity supply services mandated

July 13 (FT) Having identified the various issues faced by electricity consumers, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has mandated the need to standardise the service requirements of CEB and LECO. Accordingly, CEB and LECO have been mandated through the licenses granted to prepare a Supply Service Code. Further the commission expects to facilitate the information requirement of electricity consumers also through the implementation of Supply Service Code. more..

Attacking the media in filth, then cracking down on ‘filthy’ media

July 13 (CT) All too often, this is how the govt play goes. Someone, usually a Rajapaksa, says something ridiculous. In this case, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa called a journalist a ‘pig who eats shit’ and said ‘people will kill you’, all over a puppy story. I know. Then, rather than dialing down on the issue, in this case media freedom, the govt dials up the crazy, this time by imposing an onerous tax on online media. Basically, before the media and ordinary citizens are finished being more..

Huge registration fee slapped on news websites

July 13 (Island) The govt yesterday announced the imposition of a registration fee of Rs.100,000 and Rs. 50,000 annual fee for news websites, which it said was the first step towards preventing filth being disseminated. Minster Keheliya Rambukwella, said that the proposed amendment to the Press Council Law No. 5 of 1973, would make provision for the levy of a Rs.100,000 registration fee and Rs. 50,000 annual fee. more..

Uni. teachers continue strike as talks fail

July 13 (Island) The strike launched by university teachers, on July 04, would continue as the talks with Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) failed last night. The meeting, headed by Weeratunga, was held at the Presidential Secretariat and was attended by FUTA members, Minister S.B. Dissanayake, Secretary to Ministry of Higher Education Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne, UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake and Treasury officials. more..

PHI’s blame police for public’s aggressiveness

July 13 (Island) The Public Health Inspectors alleged that the haphazard way in which Police took legal action against house owners, during mosquito control, had led to their aggressive behaviour towards inspection teams. Secretary of the Public Health Inspectors’ Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) Senarath Bandara said that the manner in which the Police had taken legal action, against the people for merely having perishable bits of garbage in their gardens previously, more..

Our shipping advantage rivals Singapore!

July 13 (LB) Sri Lanka has again become a strategic location for the United States as it is located along the busiest shipping lane in the Indian ocean. Last month, the nominee to be the next United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, Michele Jeanne Sison, in her written testimony to the Senate Committee said, US has broad interests in Sri Lanka as it is located along the busiest shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean, a region emerging as a “strategic arena” for US more..

Secretary Defence graces 190th Anniversary celebrations of Sri Jayawardanapura M V

July 13 (MoD) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the chief guest at the 190th anniversary celebrations of the historic Sri Jayawardanapura Maha Vidyalaya, Kotte today (12). The school was established in 1822 with 8 students and has over the years produced a number of eminent personalities such as Anagarika Dharmapala, John De Silva and Ananda Samarakoon. more..

Fishing industry to get Rs.10 bn Japanese funding

July 13 (DM) A large scale Japanese fishing business entity has plans to invest Rs.10 billion in Sri Lanka’s fishing industry, which will include new technical knowledge related to fishing and other technology relevant to the industry, a Fisheries Ministry release stated. Accordingly the investment will be made by Kiyomura Corporation in Japan and its Chairman Kiyoshi Kimura made this observation at a recent media briefing where he added that he has experienced the potential of more..

No power to intervene says elections commissioner

July 13 (DM) A loophole in the election laws which allow propaganda before nominations have ended but is being exploited by candidates in the Trincomalee and Kegalle area, election monitors said yesterday. Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday that cut outs and posters displayed now were the responsibility of the civil authorities and urban councils. The Commissioner said he had no power to intervene in election propaganda more..

PB’s intervention sought to settle State banking sector salary dispute

July 13 (Island) The Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBEU) is seeking Treasury Chief Dr. P. B. Jayasundera’s immediate intervention to settle a dispute over a prolonged delay in finalising a salary increase, for the State sector bank employees, due for the 2012-2014 period. The CBEU leadership yesterday alleged that an attempt was being made to sabotage the signing of collective agreements between respective more..

Security alarms for archaeological sites

July 13 (DM) The Department said such sites were in a highly vulnerable state due to the prevailing trend of archaeological sites being vandalizsed by treasure hunters. In a bid to curb the rising threats to archaeological sites, the Archaeology Department is planning to seek Defence Ministry approval to install security alarms and monitoring devices at such sites in the country. A senior official said since the police alone could not counter treasure hunters and vandalism, more..

Gotabhaya must go says UNP

July 13 (Island) The UNP yesterday called for the immediate removal of the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa stating that his conduct was unbecoming of civilized society. Coordinator of the UNP Media Committee Mangala Samaraweera said that it was only about a month ago that they warned the public that the country cannot afford to allow "an inefficient and non-administrative service person, such as Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, to handle a serious and important ministry as its more..

Indian Minister Ramesh calls on President Rajapaksa

July 13 (GDI) The Minister of Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation of the Government of India Jairam Ramesh yesterday (12) called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees. Foreign Affairs Minister Prof.G.L.Peiris, Secretary to President Lalith Weeratunga, Foreign Ministry Secretary K.Amunugama and Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K.Kantha were also present. more..

Editorial: As I am their leader, I follow them

July 13 (DM) Whether political leaders and others acknowledge it or not, the most devastating or self-destructive crisis confronting them is selfishness, greed and the multitude of vices flowing from them. These include the desire for personal gain or glory, power, prestige and popularity, though camouflaged by hypocrisy and deception compounded by self-righteousness. Religions identify these as the root of evil and injustice. Political and other leaders profess to more..

Soldier remanded for molesting a child

July 13 (CG) A soldier attached to the Ambepussa army camp has been remanded over allegations he molested a 6 year old child. The soldier, identified as Athula Kumara, had molested the child near her home in the Kotawehera area last morning. Following a police complaint over the incident the soldier was arrested and produced in court today and remanded by the judge. Investigations had revealed that the soldier had molested another girl in 2010 and there was also more..

WikiLeaks: Rajapaksa, in a harsh tone,told Daniels that MTV would face consequences

July 13 (CT) “After the meeting, according to Daniels, the Director of Information asked him if he would like a private moment with the president to congratulate him on the victory. Daniels then met the president, who was standing with two other assistants. Rajapaksa, in a harsh tone, told Daniels that he knew that MTV was against him and that they would face consequences. more..

Probe on LTTE video

July 13 (CG) The police are investigating an LTTE video clip recovered from the mobile phone of a youth arrested in Muttur yesterday. The army intelligence unit had found the LTTE training video in the possession of two youth in Muttur yesterday, police sources said today. According to the police the 6 minute video was on the mobile phone of one of the youth and both of them were watching it at the time of the arrest. Both 18 year old boys were arrested and more..

It is time to have a national policy on pensions, says Sajith

July 13 (NF) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa says that a need has arisen for the formulation of a national policy on pensions. He expressed this view at a media briefing Thursday. "The salaries of state sector employees were increased through the State Administration Circular 2006/ 6, in the Year 2006. Due to the increase in salaries, there is a serious anomaly between the pensions of those who retired prior to lst January 2006 and those who retired alter." more..

'Sri Lanka still has reconciliation issues in north'

July 13 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka still needs to focus on post-war rehabilitation challenges to affect real reconciliation, British High Commissioner John Rankin said in a statement here on Friday. In the statement released after John Rankin visited the former war zone in the Northern province, he called on the Sri Lankan government to investigate disappearances and resolve land issues that prevent people from leading normal lives. more..

Navy intercepts Australia-bound Multi-day Trawler in Eastern Seas

July 13 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy intercepted a multi-day trawler illegally headed for Australia in the deep seas off Trincomalee today. The intercepted trawler was brought to Trincomalee harbor with 41 persons including 31 men, 05 women and 05 children onboard. Among the children were 02 boys and 03 girls that included an infant. The over-crowded trawler named “Mihiru Putha I” was detected by 02 Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Eastern Naval Command. more..

‘No action for development of sacred Buddhist sites’

July 13 (AD) The Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs has taken no action for the development of Buddhist sacred sites, charged Mahanayaka of the Rangiri Dambulu chapter Inamaluwe Sumangala thero. He accused that following the recent controversial incidents in Dambulla, two discussions were held regarding the development of the sacred zone, however the ministry had not even prepared a report on them. Inamaluwe thero stated that Buddhist more..

Sri Lanka descending toward dictatorship, critics say

July 13 (WP) The defeat of one of the world’s largest and most lethal terrorist organizations — and the end of a three-decade civil war — should have heralded a bright new dawn for the tropical Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka. The economy is one of Asia’s fastest growing, and tourism is booming. But three years after the war ended, human rights groups and opposition leaders warn that the country is descending toward more..

Keppel Land makes foray into Sri Lanka

July 13 (CNA) Singapore-listed Keppel Land is making its first foray into Sri Lanka with the signing of a conditional joint venture agreement with CT Properties, a leading property developer in Sri Lanka. The joint venture will develop a luxury condominium project with about 260 residential units in the affluent Kotahena district in Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Keppel Land said it will hold a 60 per cent interest in the joint venture company, more..

Sri Lanka's June tourist arrivals up 21.6 pct y/y

July 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals in June jumped 21.6 percent from a year earlier, govt data showed on Friday. The number of visitors has risen year-on-year in the past 38 months since a 25-year civil war ended in May 2009. The tourism board expects over one million tourists in 2012, yielding revenue of more than $1 billion, 20 percent higher than last year's record $830.3 million. Revenue from tourism rose 26 percent to $399.3 million in the first five months of 2012 more..

'Govt. cannot hedge anymore'

July 13 (CT) Leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan warned the govt would fall into a serious problem, if it did not fulfil the political aspirations of the Tamils. Any constructive solution to the Tamil issue cannot be rejected in the manner the Banda-Chelva and the Dudley-Chelva pacts were rejected in the past. The TNA Leader made his observations on the forthcoming Eastern Provincial Council polls and on the govt’s stance more..

Sort out your own matters first: Mervyn tells Harin

July 13 (DM) Responding to recent comments made by UNP MP Harin Fernando, Minister Mervyn Silva said that before trying to sort out issues pertaining to neighbours he should first sort out the issues in Mr. Fernando’s house. Mr. Fernando had told a media conference yesterday that the minister would be chased out by those who voted for him. The minister’s media spokesman Rehan Wijeratne quoting the minister said, “As a newcomer to politics, Mr. Fernando should not more..

Mudslinging not on – UNP

July 13 (CT) The UNP doesn’t approve of slinging mud at any person through any website, UNP MP Joseph Micheal Perera said. Addressing a press conference today, he said Mangala Samaraweera had apologized to the UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadada, at the working committee meeting for slinging mud at him via the UNP official website. “Not only the Deputy Leader, even the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been criticized on most of the websites,” Perera said, more..

Sri Lanka Debrief 13 07 2012

A defeat tinged with optimism

July 13 (CI) Any match is merely a stepping stone on the long and winding road to the summit of international cricket. Several teams attempt the climb; some ascend, others stumble, but only one can raise its flag at the pinnacle. A genuine team effort is no guarantee of success although it is essential. There is scope for individual heroics but weak links must be few or non-existent; the journey must offer avenues for development of inexperienced team members and smooth more..