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Over 2,500 vehicles transshipped from Magampura Port

July 27 (DN) Over 2,500 vehicles have been transshipped from the Hambantota Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port up to now, Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardene said. Addressing a media conference in Colombo yesterday, he said eight car carriers have already called at the Hambantota port and unloaded 5,000 vehicles. "It has now been proved that the Hambantota Port is the ideal port for the transshipment of vehicles when compared to the Colombo Port," he said. more..

Job-seekers from Sri Lanka expected in Qatar

July 27 (GN) Job-seekers from Sri Lanka are expected to move to Qatar, as the National Recruitment Committee in Saudi Arabia has announced it will no longer employ Sri Lankans. It is expected that many will turn to Doha, a capital with huge employment potential, instead. "We believe job-seekers might turn to Doha if the doors to Saudi Arabia are closed. There are many jobs available here," said a Sri Lankan recruitment agency in Doha. "We have no problems with recruitment procedures." more..

'Govt. to submit LLRC implementation report to UN soon'

July 27 (Island) The govt would submit the report which had listed the implementations of the LLRC to the United Nations within the next two or three days, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris told a joint news conference yesterday. He was addressing the joint news conference with Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga to announce the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC, more..

Z-score report in two weeks

July 27 (CT) A report regarding the irregularities between the old and new Z-scores will be completed within two weeks, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He said it was disgraceful how many opposition parties were exploiting the students’ confusion with regard to their Z-scores and getting the students involved in protests. He said the Z-score muddle was nothing to protest about as it was not calculated by the President, ministers or by any other politician, but by highly qualified professionals. “The Z-scores were calculated by more..

Laggala OIC interdicted

July 27 (Island) The Officer in Charge of the Laggala police station was interdicted yesterday over delays in handing over postal vote applications to the Elections Department, in the run-up to the last general election in April 2010, according to police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana. He said OIC Nishantha Kumara had been interdicted after a lengthy investigation sparked by numerous complaints. The OIC had been called upon to give his explanations prior to the decision being taken to interdict him. more..

'Sri Lanka apparel exports cause concern'

July 27 (LBO) A contraction in Sri Lanka's apparel exports, especially to the European Union could have been compounded by tariff preferences to Europe withdrawn due to bad governance. Sri Lanka's apparel exports fell 13.5 percent to 278.2 million US dollars in May with exports up to May down 4.9 percent to 1,601.2 million US dollars. UNP MP Harsha de Silva said the withdrawal of GSP+ by the EU is now being felt amid economic troubles in the region. more..

Special unit to track fake VIP’s

July 27 (DM) Police today said a special unit had been established under the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to nab people who swindled people and abusing property posing off as VIP’s in the govt. Police Headquarters said a least 15 such suspects were arrested this year for using the name of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Minister Basil Rajapaksa and MP Namal Rajapaksa. Some of them had deceived people by promising them jobs in ports, airports and Highways Ministry. more..

Cairn Lanka will go into the next stage of exploration

July 27 (DN) Potential Commercial Interest Notification given for second wellCairn Lanka will go into the next stage of exploration in mid-2013.This comes after acquiring an additional 600 sq km of 3D seismic data which they say “will firm up several promising leads”. To date the potential commercial interest notification has been submitted for the two Discoveries i.e. the Dorado and Barracuda wells, as per the terms of the Petroleum Resource Agreement (PRA) Thus, Cairn Lanka’s more..

Maligawatte Housing Scheme renovated after 39 years

July 27 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday inspected renovation activities of the Maligawatte Housing Scheme. This is the first time that the housing scheme is being renovated after a lapse of 39 years under the Janasevana and Nagamu Puravara programme of the Mahinda Chinthana policy framework to ensure better living standards of the people. This project includes renovation of housing units and more..

NTC Director General interdicted

July 27 (Island) National Transport Commission (NTC) Director General S. Ganepola was interdicted last Friday on the grounds of ‘inefficiency’. He was the principal witness in the probe into the alleged issue of illegal route permits to bus owners, conducted by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne said the Bribery Commission had been conducting investigations more..

Dayasiri won’t defect but wants three demands met by UNP

July 27 (Island) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera yesterday denied that he had any intention of crossing over to the govt. He said he had put forth three demands to the UNP. The first is that the Working Committee proposal to hold elections for the main posts once in six years must be dropped and elections conducted annually. The other demands are Kurunegala District MP Asoka Abeysinghe must be reappointed as more..

Death threats against Erik Solheim in 2000

July 27 (Aftenposten) Information about the murder plans shed new light on the peace efforts in the country. It is well known that both the presence and sometimes even Solheim was very unpopular in Sri Lanka. In the capital Colombo has been able to see posters of the Solheim with the text "wanted." But death threats against him have never been featured. Erik Solheim travelled to Sri Lanka on 22 May, 2000 with then-Undersecretary of State Raymond Johansen, more..

Crime-packing SLFP men sacked

July 27 (NF) The SLFP announced on Thursday that four of its provincial council representatives against whom there were several charges, had been stripped off their party membership and positions. A communique issued by the SLFP stated that this measure had been a taken by Secretary Susil Premajayantha. The four party members against whom action was taken are the Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Chandrapushpa, Tangalle Urban Councilor Anjana Kusum Ruwan, more..

Admit all qualified to enter universities – FUTA

July 27 (Island) The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) yesterday requested the government to enroll all students who had qualified to enter universities, according to previous and present Z-score lists. Addressing a media conference, former General Secretary of FUTA Dr. Rohan Fernando said that they would be ready to teach a double batch if the government admitted all those students to universities except the Uva Wellassa University. more..

'Uni admissions to be increased'

July 27 (DN) The university admissions will be increased to provide relief for students affected by the Z score issue stemming from last year’s A/L exam, Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake said. He said about 2,000 to 3,000 more students would be offered university admission this year. He said the ministry is discussing with Vice Chancellors to find out the availability of rooms and facilities to expand this year’s intake. more..

Lanka to more than double its marine catch

July 27 (Island) Sri Lanka expects to further expand its offshore and deep sea fisheries in the ensuing years, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. Sri Lanka’s off shore and deep sea fish haul had grown significantly over the last three decades from a mere 2,150 tonnes in 1980 to 130,000 tonnes in 2010, Dr. Senaratne said. He added that Sri Lanka had exported around 9,000 tonnes of seafood, worth about US$ 190 million, mainly tuna and shrimp to the EU, Japan and USA. more..

'Those who fled Sri Lanka during war can come back now'

July 27 (Island) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said that those who migrated to other countries during the civil strife, via illegal and other means, would be welcome to return to Sri Lanka and the same would apply to Sri Lankans who attempted to flee to Australia through illegal means, but the latter would first have to face the law of the country. He was addressing the post-Cabinet media briefing at the Govt Information Dept auditorium. more..

Sri Lanka citizen activist calls for more budget transparency

July 27 (LBO) A Sri Lankan citizen and former top business executive, has called for greater transparency in disclosing budget numbers including present values of future liabilities and an overall public deficit figure. Chandra Jayaratne, a former head of Sri Lanka's Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said better disclosures should be made by the finance ministry under the country's fiscal responsibility law. "It is essential that the Fiscal Gap disclosures more..

Sri Lanka’s endemic fish peddled around the world with little monitoring

July 27 (ST) Freshwater fish, some that have been named only in the recent past are under threat due to over fishing for export, an official warned. Among these fish the stone sucker is the most threatened. While beautiful fish such as bulath hapaya, le tittaya are in high demand in the aquarium trade, the Stone Suckers have become the most widely exported freshwater fish, Samantha Gunasekara of Sri Lanka Customs’ more..

Contempt of Court: Bathiudeen issued with a Rule to show cause

July 27 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued a rule on Minister Rishad Buthiudeen to show cause as to why he should not be dealt with and punished for contempt of Court for having abused the Magistrate of Mannar Anthony Pillai Judeson over a judicial order. President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva reserved the right to get Buthiudeen remanded, if he attempted to threaten any petitioner, any witness or any person more..

Ye desparados, there is crime, but no wave!

July 27 (LB) There is no denial that Sri Lanka recently went through the agony of hearing a sequence of particularly objectionable sexual crimes against the under-aged, including some cases allegedly perpetrated by politicians at the regional level. Such shocking news should give the nation reason to think about the possible social, economic and cultural factors that may be acting to ‘normalize’ such behaviour among sections of society. more..

'Sri Lanka could borrow more abroad; has to manage risk'

July 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka could borrow abroad more on the back of strong interest for sovereign bonds and active encouragement by authorities but the government and companies have to manage risks, Fitch, a rating agency has said. "There is a cost benefit in sourcing external debt for most issuers, but risks need to be addressed - particularly in the absence of a deep domestic swap market," the rating agency said. more..

Julampitiye Amare ordered by court to observe Sil in April

July 27 (SL) Julampitiye Amare in April this year has come under scrutiny by members of the legal fraternity. While giving due respect to the court, the order issued by the judge in relation to Amare on an attempted murder case in the Middeniya Police Division in Weeraketiya is atrocious and would not help the development of the law. High Court Judge Chandrasena Rajapaksha on April 23, 2012 has released Amare on more..

‘Immense economic potential between Pakistan, Sri Lanka’

July 27 (DT) Trade volume between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is at present $4 billion and there was need to enhance it. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf while talking to High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Air Chief Marshal (retd) Jayalath Weerakkody on Thursday said both countries have the potential for more trade. Prime Minister assured the High Commissioner of Pakistan’s continuous support to Sri Lanka in its development pursuits. more..

Lanka Mirror employees granted leave to proceed with rights case

July 27 (Island) Supreme Court granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation application filed by six employees of the Lanka Mirror Web. Leave was granted on the alleged illegal arrest, alleged denial of engaging in lawful occupation of choice and the alleged denial of freedom of expression. The petitioners had said that the CID, on June 29, arrested them at their Kotte office though there was no basis for such more..

TNA unable to comment on Action Plan

July 27 (DM) The TNA said yesterday it had no information about the National Action Plan to implement the recommendations of the LLRC. The action plan is to be presented at the Universal Periodic Review in October. TNA Leader R. Sampathan said they were under the impression that there were several other matters that needed to be resolved before implementing the LLRC recommendations. “I am unable to make any comments regarding the recommendations more..

'23 TN Fishermen released by Lankan Navy'

July 27 (PTI) 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen, arrested by Sri Lankan Navy on July 22 when they were fishing near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits, have been released, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said today. The Indian High Commission was making all arrangements for their return, he said. Their release today came a day after India appealed to Sri Lanka to immediately set free the fishermen, who were also accused of ramming their boats into Lankan naval ships, more..

Editorial: The people’s right to know

July 27 (DM) With staggered power cuts being imposed in different areas and the country surviving on billions of dollars in debts, we need to stress again the urgent need for a Right to Information Bill. Some years ago UPFA leaders were boasting about so many new power plants which would make it possible to supply electricity even to India. Now we see it as a case of lies, powerful lies and deceptive statistics. Until recently the Power and Energy Ministry and more..

Sri Lanka stocks up 1.17 pct

July 27 (LBO) Stocks closed 1.17 percent Friday, Aviva NDB Insurance gaining on take-over speculation, while the rupee weakened in intra-day trading brokers and dealers said. The spot US dollar topped 132.0 rupees after the proceeds of a billion US dollar bond by passed the market and rupee liquidity was created instead. Market participants had earlier expected at least some of the dollars to be sold in the market. The Colombo All Share Price rose 56.90 points to 4,933.09 and more..

Sri Lanka media group challenges websites blocking

July 27 (AP) A media rights group has filed a court challenge over the Sri Lankan govt's blocking of five news websites for content that was deemed insulting. The local Free Media Movement filed a fundamental rights application in the Supreme Court on Monday on the basis that the blockade breaches the people's right to information and freedom of expression, the group's convener, Sunil Jayasekara, said. more..

Orient Green Power exits Sri Lanka subsidiary

July 27 (Hindu) Chennai-based Orient Green Power Company Ltd has sold its stake in its Sri Lankan wind energy project, Powergen Lanka (Private) Ltd, to focus on the domestic market. Over the next one year the company expects to expand its domestic wind energy capacity to over 450 MW from the present 330 MW in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The estimated investment is around Rs 7 crore a MW. The independent wind energy producer, has sold its 90 per cent stake in more..

We've never underestimated Sri Lanka: Gambhir

July 27 (PTI) Opener Gautam Gambhir on Friday said that it would not be fair to suggest that India had taken Sri Lanka "lightly" in the second ODI, which the visitors lost comprehensively by nine wickets in Hambantota. After registering a 21-run win in the series opener, India slumped to a humiliating defeat in the second ODI against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Gambhir said Sri Lanka looked better prepared after the series against Pakistan, while the Indians were a bit rusty more..

Debrief 27 07 2012

Sri Lanka applauds Tamil's return

July 28 (Age) SRI LANKA has turned the forced deportation of a Tamil asylum seeker from Australia into a propaganda triumph to boast the country has never been more safe. The man was held for about 16 hours for questioning by a local security agent after arriving in Colombo, only to emerge and conduct a media conference alleging he was handcuffed and beaten by Australian authorities. Immigration authorities in Australia claim a last-minute United Nations plea to stop his deportation on Wednesday more..

Kalutara PS chairman caught taking Rs.3 million bribe

July 28 (AD) The Kalutara Pradeshiya Sabha chairman and an office assistant have been arrested by the Bribery Commission for accepting a bribe of Rs. 3 million, for developing a property at Nagoda. The suspects were arrested at the PS chairman’s office at around 3.40pm this evening, following a raid carried out under the directive of the Chairman of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, former Supreme Court Judge Jagath Balapatabendi. more..

Returns will stop the boats: Sri Lanka

July 28 (TA) The Sri Lankan navy has called for Australia to send back large numbers of asylum-seekers as a real deterrent to people-smugglers, and warned that its efforts to help the Gillard govt combat the problem were rapidly draining its scarce resources. Senior naval officials have also flagged the possibility of Australia lending the island nation an ocean-going operational vessel so it can conduct patrols in a high-seas choke lane used by asylum-seeker vessels - an area currently beyond more..

'We will listen to the voice of the people'

July 28 (NF) The UNP's Kegalle District election meeting was held at the UNP office in Galigamuwa today. The meeting was presided by Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa. A group of UNP MPs attended the meeting which was held at the party office in Galigamuwa. "...If we are to win this election, we must work to a plan. We must go to the grassroots and talk to the people. The people are asking why this election is being held. more..

'A massive force should be created to defeat this regime and the vile system that nourishes it'

July 28 (LT) A massive force has to be created to defeat the present government and the system that preserves it and the procession of vehicles and ‘Jana Pelagasma,’ that commenced from Dondra Point today would be transformed into an agitation that would create this strength, that awakens masses, give them confidence and rally them against the ‘regime that torments masses said the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. more..

Token strike by LIOC workers in Trinco

July 28 (DM) The distribution of fuel at the Lanka India Oil Company (LIOC) storage tanks in China Bay, Trincomale came to a standstill yesterday due to a token strike by the employees. The employees are demanding an eight per cent salary increase and other benefits similar to those enjoyed by their counterparts at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. They said under the MoU entered into at the time the storage tanks were handed over to the LIOC, more..

Refinery closed for routine maintenance: Govt.

July 28 (DM) Responding to media allegations regarding the major shutdown of the oil refinery in Sapugaskanda, Minister Susil Premajayantha today said the refinery was shut down because it was undergoing maintenance and modernization activities. Addressing the gathering the Minister said, “Some media reports claimed that the reason behind the major shut down of the Sapugaskanda refinery was due to the breakdown of three machines in the premises while more..