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'Vehicle permits can be resold'

July 22 (SL) Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena says vehicle permits issued to govt Ministers and MPs can be re-sold. She said that some MPs often sell the permits to raise funds for election campaigning as they don’t have any other means of funding. The Minister however insisted that selling the vehicle permits given for MPs to an outsider is not a crime. MPs Sarath Weerasekera and Dr.Sudarshani Fernandopulle were recently given Rs. 40 million vehicle permits each, more..

State banks reduce gold pawning business

July 22 (ST) State banks are following a new directive to cut down gold pawning activities owing to gold price volatility in the world market, making it unattractive to those seeking to pawn their gold assets using a combination of high interest rates and lower loans. The Central Bank has issued a directive to all commercial banks to curtail the expansion of their pawning loan port folio, a senior Finance Ministry official said. more..

Wimal stresses merits of Ward System

July 22 (NS) Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Wimal Weeawansa said that it was a pity that local government elections were still not being held under ward system though a motion presented in this regard was approved by Parliament. He stated so when he was speaking at the ceremony held to mark the opening of the main office of the Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra Punaruda Padanama in Kolonnawa on Friday (20). more..

No party to receive absolute majority in East- Hakeem

July 22 (NS) The three main contenders in the Eastern Provincial Council elections to be held on September 8 were adopting a wait and see tactics without jumping into conclusions who would be the ultimate winner in the 35-seats assembly. SLMC leader Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem told journalists at the party’s headquarters Darussalam on Friday that he expected no party to have an absolute majority to form an administration. more..

Pay or be evicted ultimatum 36 institutions owe CMC Rs. 40m.

July 22 (NS) The CMC has initiated the recovery or eviction action relating to over 36 institutions including sports and business houses situated in highly residential city limits for default of payment of a staggering total amount of Rs.40 million. Outstanding payments of these premises under the 99-year lease agreements dating back to 1980’s include more..

Philippines-Sri Lankan Partnership

July 22 (MB) Although smaller than the Philippines in population, Sri Lanka parallels the Philippines in its highly educated and skilled manpower. Its literacy rate is 94% compared to our 95%. English is also widely spoken, thanks to the British colonization era. Among developing nations, it has one of the lowest poverty incidences at 7%, having given emphasis to rural and agricultural development. This focus on rural development has resulted also in the lowest urbanization more..

Sri Lankan karate fighters sent home after protests by pro-Tamil groups

July 22 (PTI) Three Sri Lankan karate fighters could not participate in an international Karate championship at Pollachi town, about 43 km from Coimbatore, as organisers asked them to return to their country after protests by some pro-Eelam outfits, police said. The Sri Lankan participants were supposed to participate in the tourney which began last night. But some activists of Periyar Dravida Kazhakam and like-minded organisations lodged a protest with organisers more..

Sri Lanka in talks with IMF for longer term program

July 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to begin talks with the IMF for an 'Extended Fund Facility' which could result in citizens getting long term economic liberties and the implementation of prudent measures to prevent economic shocks that hurt people. A 2.5 billion US dollar 'Stand by Arrangement' has just ended with a fair degree of success, rescuing the country from two standard balance of payments crises driven by sterilized foreign exchange more..

Python Panic

July 22 (DM) A youth in Walallawita who was riding his motorcycle with a friend got the shock of his life when he realized that a 15-foot long python had encircled the moving motorcycle. The python had apparently reached the bike when the rider stopped his motor cycle by the side of a road leading to a jungle area and resumed journey with a friend of his. While riding back he had found some difficulty in placing his foot on the foot rest and then seen the python had encircled the bike. more..

'Govt. not officially told about Rishad'

July 22 (LB) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the govt had ‘not been officially informed’ about the alleged misbehaviour on the part of the Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, who is accused of threatening a judge and instigating his supporters to attack the Court complex in Mannar. “The govt has not received an official complaint over the Mannar incident, but certainly we are ‘concerned.’ We will continue to probe the whole incident before taking action,” he told LAKBIMAnEWS. more..

LTTE rehabilitation programme turns political

July 22 (SL) The TNA charged the rehabilitation programme involving former LTTE cadres is being used for political gain. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran accused the govt of providing the former combatants with questionnaires focusing on their political allegiances. “They have provided these people with questionnaires that focus on which political party they will support,” he said. While admitting to not having a questionnaire more..

Monorail coming to Colombo soon, will replace buses, cars, entering the city

July 22 (LB) Sri Lanka’s first monorail, carrying passengers from Fort to Battaramulla through the existing roadways of Maradana, Borella, Rajagiriya and beyond, is expected soon. Prof. Saman Bandara of the University of Moratuwa said it is imperative and long overdue that a mass mode of transportation be introduced to carry millions into and out of Colombo. The demand that traffic was making on the roads of Colombo and its suburbs was increasing every year. more..

'We’ll add vigour to mass struggles'

July 22 (LT) The forthcoming provincial council election would be utilized to strengthen the struggles carried out by masses says the leader of the JVP group of candidates for the North – Central Provincial Council election former MP Wasanthe Samarasinghe. This was stated at a media conference held at Anuradhapura yesterday to introduce the team from the JVP contesting the elections. Speaking further he said no other political party could get all its candidates to one stage more..

Kahawatte serial killer(?) strikes for 14th time

July 22 (LB) The killing of 12 women in Kahawatte (in the Ratnapura district) in the recent past had terrorized the residents in the area, and the killing of two women (a mother and a daughter) last Thursday, has brought-on the fear of more terror for the people of Kahawatte. The police suspect that a relative could be the mastermind behind another double murder at Kotakethana, Kahawatta, where the charred bodies of a widow and her daughter more..

MR saddened over judiciary’s suspicion

July 22 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressing that his govt would not allow anyone to interfere with the country’ judiciary, said he was saddened by the fact that such a suspicion has arisen in the judiciary regarding a Cabinet member of the govt. Addressing an event in Gannoruwa today, the President said it was the government’s duty to protect the independency of the judiciary and his govt respected that independency to the core. “We cannot run a country without a law. more..

Alleged brothel raided in Pasyala

July 22 (DM) At least seven people including four women were arrested today when police raided an alleged brothel in Pasyala on the Colombo-Kandy Road. A top police official said the alleged brothel was operated in a subtle manner with clients coming to obtain the services being screened by two youths before the gates are open. The police team had to jump over the huge parapet walls surrounding the two storied house. Police had obtained a search warrant prior to the raid more..

sri lanka 2012

Blowing the whistle on dubious refereeing

July 23 (SL) IT is as good as a vote of no confidence on the local referees that at least five of the nine A division rugby clubs prefer foreigners officiating their games. An unending stream of controversial refereeing this season compelled members of the SLRFU Council to address the issue at a recent meeting – and in what clearly is a reflection of a deep distrust of local referees, five clubs favoured handing the whistle to foreigners. The five, the Sunday Leader understands, are: Kandy SC, more..

Escalation of violent crime & the need for the depoliticization of the Police

July 23 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of fulfilling the aspirations of Sri Lankan society turns its spotlight on the escalation of violent crime and the need for the immediate depolticization of the Police in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankan society would aspire for the prevention of such violence. During the past few weeks many incidents of horrendous violent crime from many parts of our island paradise were reported in the media. more..

'No challenge for UPFA in Sabaragamuwa'

July 23 (SO) Mahipala Herath, who has represented both national level and provincial level politics, held the Chief Ministerial portfolio of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council for two consecutive terms from 2004. His entry to national level politics took place in 1994 and he later became Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction. In 1999, he was appointed Rural Industries Development Minister. His entry to provincial level politics happened in 2004 after more..

Has Ranil Wickremesinghe been adequately marketed as ‘Mr.Clean’?

July 23 (DBS) The UNP is the single largest political party in Sri Lanka and has had the good fortune of maintaining this position since it was formed in 1946. The founder of UNP was D.S. Senanayake, who was at the forefront of securing independence for Ceylon. The ideals he cherished were carried forward by the successive leaders of UNP up to incumbent Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Never in the history of UNP has it ever played the racist card for narrow political gains and more..

Tamil Leadership must understand the True Nature of the Sinhala mindset

July 23 (DBS) The present regime, it appears, is not interested in moving beyond the euphoria of the war victory to resolving the real problems of the Tamil community. The evidence is overwhelming. From the time the guns fell silent, thanks mainly to the brilliant and persevering efforts and tactics of the commanders of the three forces – Army, Navy and Air Force – the President and his Cabinet of Ministers are perpetually engaged in triumphalism, an ego-trip beyond the pale. more..

Up went the torch, so did the cheers

July 23 (ST) For Haresh Selvaskandan, the best thing about carrying the Olympic Torch was having his parents and friends there to support him. Perhaps this is a reflection of the life and attitudes of a young man who went into medicine with the aim of helping others and was chosen to be part of the select group carrying the Olympic Torch thanks to his humanitarian work in the field of medicine. The Olympic Torch is perhaps the most famous herald of the Olympic Games. more..

Attacks on the judiciary intensify

July 23 (CT) Intimidation, physical attacks, and undermining of the judiciary and the judicial system in Sri Lanka, is nothing new – more on that later – but it has taken an intensity, under the Mahinda Rajapakse regime, never before seen. If the govt loses the three provincial council elections slated for September, it is so brazen that it will make a grab for dictatorial power to prevent or rig the parliamentary and presidential elections due in the coming years. Here are a few horror stories to give more..

From perceived impunity to apparent insanity

July 23 (CT) Last Friday, the lawyers across the country boycotted court proceedings. The learned judges of the lower courts also did not take their respective benches. And the cases that were to be heard in the superior courts had to be postponed as a result of the lawyers’ absence. So, the 20th of July 2012 made history as a day, on which the justice system of the country shuddered to a halt of its own volition. Well, one might argue that bringing the judiciary to a more..

Cracking Sri Lanka’s human smuggling code

July 23 (NS) The recent rapid increase in the number of Sri Lankan ‘illegal migrants’ attempting to sneak into Western nations has become a talking point both here and abroad. The constant headlines in the international media referring to Sri Lankan ‘boat people’ have embarrassed Sri Lankan authorities. Australia seems the most attractive destination for most illegal migrants. Hundreds of Sri Lankans, attempting to leave the country illegally, were caught recently when more..

Economic summit bares the truth: Good governance key to economic development

July 23 (ST) The economy can grow at a rapid sustained level only by expanding the tradable sector, increasing exports and attracting non-debt creating foreign inflows. And for these to be achieved there should be increased domestic and foreign investment that in turn requires good governance, law and order. This was the message loud and clear from the main speakers at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit on July 12-14 in Colombo which bared the flaws that more..

The high profile crime at Royal Park condominium

July 23 (SO) The murder of Yvonne Jonsson at the Royal Park condominium at Nawala, Rajagiriya on July 1, 2005 hit headlines owing to the propensity of the vicious crime. The murder of a 19-year-old Swedish girl became the talk of the town that shed light on the lifestyles of wealthy young men and women and what they do in pursuit of pleasure. It became clear that young rich men and women led a hedonistic lifestyle, patronising exclusive night clubs, and hob-nobbing with persons addicted to more..

Priyanthi Fernando

Sri Lanka among fastest growing markets for Thai tourism

July 23 (FT) With affluence improving post-war as well as its value for money, Sri Lanka is among the fastest growing markets for tourism in Thailand. Visitors from Sri Lanka grew by 20.85% to 32,878 in the first half of this year. Percentage growth wise it is one of the highest apart from Sri Lanka being a bigger market than for example Brazil. In the first six months of 2012, Thailand had recorded a total of 10.5 million visitor arrivals, up 7.60% over the same period of 2011. more..

Sri Lanka prepares to host 2012 CIMA Global Business Challenge

July 23 (FT) Excitement is building in Sri Lanka as Colombo prepares to host the 2012 CIMA Global Business Challenge (GBC) in partnership with Barclays from 23 to 24 July. Shown on MTV, the GBC final is held in partnership with Barclays. The competition involves teams presenting a business case which is then judged by a panel of industry experts from organisations across the globe including CIMA, Barclays and Unilever. The GBC is an international competition designed to more..

Malinga and the Indians

July 23 (Island) Lasith Malinga, without doubt is one of the most devastating bowlers in international cricket and receives a high premium wherever he goes. His speed, accuracy and the ability to bowl toe-crushing yorkers to devastating effect, has helped Sri Lanka to stage many a comeback from points of no return. Such has been Malinga’s effect, that during the 2007 ICC World Cup in the Caribbean, Sir Viv Richards stated that Lasith Malinga is the best thing that more..

SAARC Chamber Chief urges Sri Lanka to sign CEPA

July 23 (FT) Sri Lanka should tap into the south Asian region, which is putting trade before politics, said a top official, calling for Sri Lanka to move ahead with the Comprehensive Economic Free Trade Agreement (CEPA). South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce President Vikramjit Singh Sahney speaking to the Daily FT on the sidelines of a seminar last week insisted that the time had come for the region to move beyond politics. more..

Engineers advancing our competitiveness – Rishad

July 23 (FT) Engineers are contributing to develop Sri Lanka’s competitiveness and creativity in many ways. “Engineers remain as one of the professions that do not contribute to Sri Lankan brain drain and migration. Thanks in part to the contribution by our engineers, I am pleased to note that we advanced from rank 68 to 58 in 2012 Global Competitiveness Rankings above Brazil and Mexico while Sri Lanka is at 69 in Global Technology Rankings under the Global Creativity Index, more..

When the rains don’t fall

July 23 (IPS) For many Sri Lankans, the effects of climate change can be summed up in one word: rainfall. “The biggest impact (of climate change) is rainfall or the lack of it,” W L Sumathipala, one of Sri Lanka’s foremost experts in changing climate patterns, told IPS on a scorching hot and humid day in Colombo. “The availability of water can effect multiple things in Sri Lanka from crops to power generation to the currency,” Sumathipala, who formerly headed more..

CCD monitors South West coastal belt erosion

July 23 (DN) The Coast Conservation Department (CCD) is monitoring coastal erosion affecting the South West coastal belt and is ready for any emergency, Director General Dr Anil Premaratne said. He said coastal erosion of the South West belt is a natural phenomenon at this time of the year with the approach of the South West monsoon. Large scale coastal erosion has now been prevented to a greater extent with the implementation of the beach nourishment programme by the Department. more..

Saving ten percent equals another power plant - Minister

July 23 (DN) If we can conserve power by 10 percent, it would be similar to another power plant, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said. The Minister was participating in a ceremony where 50 western province householders were awarded certificates and concessions by the Ceylon Electricity Board CEB) yesterday as an appreciation of power saving methods they adopted in line with the Ministry's directives of the National Power Preservation project 2012 yesterday. more..

Indian, Chinese businesses asked to partner each other here

July 23 (Island) While India and China are competing to stamp their strategic presence in Sri Lanka, the govt is asking private business from the two countries to unite to form joint ventures in the country’s growing maritime industry. Strategic Enterprise Management Agency Chairman Dr. Willie Gamage attempted to lay to rest Indian and Chinese strategic concerns with regard to the other’s involvement in Sri Lanka’s ports sector. more..

SL wins Silver, Bronze and Merit at IBO 2012

July 23 (DN) Four Sri Lankan students won Silver, Bonze and Merit awards at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) 2012 concluded last week in Singapore. Pramith Ruwanpathirana of Royal College, Colombo won a Silver, Prasan Thurul Warnakula of Joseph Vas College, Wennappuwa won a Bronze and Janidu Gunarathna of Royal College, Colombo and Madhushani Rodrigo of Vishaka Vidyalaya, Colombo secured Merit awards, Sri Lankan Biology Olympiad Coordinator, Prof Hiran Amarasekera said. more..

Diplomatic links with 15 African countries: MEP welcomes govt decision

July 23 (DN) The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) yesterday said it supports the government decision to establish diplomatic relations with 15 African countries. The MEP in a release said the party’s central committee which met at the party headquarters on July 17 unanimously agreed to support the government’s decision to establish diplomatic missions in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, more..