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BOI Board in limbo

June 8 (FT) Adding to the confusion and controversies, the Board of Directors of the BOI is in limbo with subject Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera giving it a month’s extension. The move follows the tenure of the members of the Board ending recently and until the latest extension indicated this week, work at Board of Investment (BOI) had been at a standstill. The temporary extension of the Board appears to be until the BOI Board is reconstituted, a move originally announced by the more..

Editorial: The London rumpus

June 8 (Island) Prabhakaran won many battles––some very spectacularly––but lost the war in the end because he made one fundamental mistake. He thought he could achieve his separatist goal by stepping up terror attacks on civilians and frightening the Sri Lankan leaders and public into submission. But, in so doing, he only helped them adapt to terrorism and later resist it with might and main. Prabhakaran's followers overseas are making the same mistake, we reckon. They succeeded in staging massive protest rallies and more..

Behind Enemy Lines: War on terror revisited

June 8 (Island) midst a furore over the UNP’ allegation that the army was conspiring to assassinate Wickremesinghe, operatives blew up a truck killing five LTTE cadres on Dec 11, 2001. Then again, they destroyed an LTTE bunker, at the entrance to a base used by Karuna in the Kokkadicholai area on Dec 21, 2001. Although the army had conducted a successful small group operation in the Batticaloa District targeting a key LTTE operative identified as David way back in 1992, there was no attempt on the part the military to develop the capability further. more..

Boston Lanka News: June 07, 2012

Harry says rest of Asia reaping benefits of rapid private sector-led investments

June 8 (FT) Whilst acknowledging progress, business tycoon Harry Jayawardena has renewed his call for a more enabling environment to boost private sector investments to a desired level, warning that rest of Asia was fast reaping benefits of such strategy. “The region offers many examples of how enabling environments have thrust their private sectors to the forefront of international business: the many world-leading Indian entrepreneurs are a case in point. more..

Lanka must avoid complacency, needs IMF

June 8 (Island) Sri Lanka must guard against complacency as the ‘courageous’ policy reversals introduced to address a balance of payments crisis would take time to bring about the desired results, a think tank has warned, saying a pragmatic and not dogmatic approach was necessary when deciding the fate of the country’s relationship with the IMF. The US$ 2.6 billion standby facility arrangement with the IMF comes to a close this year and talks are ongoing to resume a US$ 500 million Security Agreement. more..

Strict enforcement of crate law from June 11

June 8 (Island) The transport and storage of eleven varieties of vegetables and some fruits in plastic crates will be strictly enforced from June 11, the govt has announced. Secretary to the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Sunil Sirisena said that the law was to enforced from January 13 this year, but in view of protests throughout the country, the implementation of the law had been postponed. He said that representatives of farmers, transporters and traders had discussed the issue with more..

About 11,000 ex-LTTE cadres rehabilitated

June 8 (DN) The rehabilitation of ex-LTTE cadres is being carried out successfully. About 11,000 ex-LTTE cadres are already back with their families after completing the rehabilitation programmes conducted by the Army. There are only 698 cadres still under rehabilitation, Brigadier Darshana Hettiarachchi said. The govt has allocated Rs 300 million to grant loans for ex- LTTE cadres to start self-employment projects with a maximum of Rs 250,000 at only four percent interest, he added. more..

Adopt Sri Lanka’s green ways

June 8 (DH) Environment issues are taking centre stage and adopting green lifestyle is the need of the hour to save the earth and subsequently humanity. A small step to be a part of this larger cause can be taken by choosing green kitchen and other household products and accessories. An exhibition of Sri Lankan eco-friendly products is being presented by The Delhi Design Store in Chattarpur. Kithul is a tree found in Sri Lanka. It is very similar to coconut trees of India. more..

'Only SWC could undo salary anomalies'

June 8 (DN) Minister S.B. Dissanayake, yesterday said that no discussion would take place with the non academic staff of universities, unless their protest was called off. He said that he as minister has no power to determine the salaries of govt institutions. He added that the salaries of govt servants were determined by the Salaries and Cadre Commission. "The salaries of Universities' non-academic staff are already higher than the salaries of the miner-staff of other govt institutions more..

Industry not ready for 2.5 m tourists by 2015

June 8 (FT) Putting a dampener on optimism over the country being ready to receive 2.5 million tourists by 2015, Galadari Hotel General Manager Sampath Siriwardena yesterday announced that the industry was not ready to host the desired number. “The industry as a whole is not ready to achieve this target. There are many areas that need intervention and focus. Besides, at the present level, there is a possibility of the country out-pricing itself from the market as well.” The key challenge is the lack of efficient manpower in the industry. more..

Sinhala militarisation expanded in Jaffna contrary to claims: Jaffna Paper

June 8 (TN) Contrary to news reports released by Colombo that it has drastically reduced the number of troops in the North, the occupying Sinhala military in Jaffna peninsula has been stepping up land grab for military purposes in recent days even outside of the so-called High Security Zone and former Forward Defence Lines in the Jaffna peninsula. Uthayan Tamil daily, published in Jaffna, broke a front-page story that SL military has begun to appropriate 61 acres more..

Foreigners won’t come if investments not safe -UNP

June 8 (Island) Will there be any foreign investor coming to Sri Lanka if the govt cannot guarantee their investments are safe and protected? the UNP queried in Parliament. "We do not think any foreign investor would come and invest monies here under the present condition of financial instability," UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said. He said that the govt’s economic mismanagement was very well evident in the recent deals which were more..

NWP Councillor in railway land grab

June 8 (Island) A provincial councillor has forcibly acquired about one acre of land belonging to the Palavi railway station facing the Kalpitiya highway. Railway workers said he had chased away a team of Railway Security officers when they went to inquire into the construction of illegal structures there in the presence of the personnel of the Puttalam police. A complaint has been lodged with the Puttalam Police Station (CIB – 03 register No. 68/25 on 13.06.2012). But, no action has been taken yet regarding the incident, more..

Deputy minister vehemently rejects false reports

June 8 (DN) Technology and Research Deputy minister Faiszer Musthapha in a statement yesterday vehemently rejected reports alleging that the Criminal Investigation Department was engaged in preparing a list of mosques and Madrasas. The deputy minister said he inquired about the veracity of the news from Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa after several Muslim community leaders and organisations made representations to him voicing concerns on the matter. more..

Jaffna HSZ shrinks 40%, land released to owners, US told

June 8 (Island) The largest High Security Zone (HSZ) in the Jaffna peninsula has been reduced by 40 per cent since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. The gradual reduction has been part of the post-war re-deployment strategy in line with the national reconciliation process. Asked whether the GoSL was concerned about ongoing protests against HSZ as well as heavy military presence in the Jaffna peninsula, more..

SL to choose lead managers for bond sale

June 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka has received proposals from eight investment banks for a sovereign bond planned for the second half of 2012, which are being evaluated, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan and HSBC are among the respondents. Governor Cabraal said the timing of the deal and its tenure would be decided after seeking the views of the joint lead managers, but in the recent past Sri Lanka has raised 10-year bonds. more..

SL's first ever sanitary landfill site comes up in Dompe

June 8 (DN) Sri Lanka's first ever sanitary landfill site being constructed in Maligawatte, Dompe has completed the first phase. It will be the first integrated solution to the solid waste management in Sri Lanka using advanced state of the art sanitary landfill technology. The govt formally handed over the landfill site to the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) yesterday to commence the second phase. more..

Govt. wants to hide LLRC content - UNP

June 8 (CT) The govt is acting as if they do not want the public to learn the contents of the report of the LLRC, UNP MP Eran Wickramaratna charged. He said the delay in translating the report to Sinhala gives the impression that the govt wants to keep the people in the dark. When an adjournment motion was moved on govt supplementary estimates, Wickramaratna said one cannot expect to read the universal declaration against bribery in Sinhala when more..

Former army chief to be tried for mutiny

June 8 (IANS) Former Sri Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka, who was released from jail a few weeks ago, and his personal assistant will be tried for harbouring army deserters and mutiny during the 2010 presidential election. The trial for the country’s first four-star general and Senaka Haripriya de Silva will begin June 21, the former army official’s attorney told Xinhua. Fonseka entered politics as President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s main opponent after leading the country’s three-decade-long civil war to victory in 2009 more..

LIOC is not here to provide relief

June 8 (CT) The Indian Oil Company is selling fuel at higher prices because they are not here to provide relief for the public, said Minister of Petroleum, Susil Premjayantha in Parliament yesterday. Premjayantha said that the private companies are profit-oriented, but the state sector’s Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has to issue fuel to people bearing a loss as CPC is geared to provide relief to the public. Meanwhile, participating in the debate of the adjournment motion, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella inquired more..

UK under fire for deporting Sri Lankan asylum seekers

June 8 (PTV) It was supposed to be a celebratory lunch; the Sri Lankan President flanked by leaders from other Commonwealth countries dining in sumptuous style with the queen to celebrate 60 years on the British throne. Instead the Sri Lankan president was forced to cancel a planned speech due to protests at his presence in London. They claim the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa is responsible for the mistreatment more..

UNP motion shot down

June 8 (Island) A move by the UNP to bring an adjournment motion in Parliament on Friday on the cancellation of an event organised by the Commonwealth Economic Forum in London, which was to be addressed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was shot down by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. The Speaker said the "matter was of national importance." The UNP had handed over the motion to the Speaker yesterday but he did not grant approval for it to be taken up today as requested by the UNP. more..

SJGH to perform heart surgeries on underprivileged children

June 8 (Island) Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital is scheduled to sign an agreement with Gift of Life International to perform heart surgeries on children of low income families. The programme would be implemented in collaboration with the Gift of Life Sri Lanka (GoLSL) and the Rotary Club. The children below the age of 15 facing difficulties in financing such surgeries would benefit from the programme. The President of GoLSL, Doulat Kundanmal, more..

Did Navi Pillai’s office work for UN resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva?

June 8 (DBS) Given below is the complete text of a letter sent by the Permanent Representative of the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, regarding an email communication circulated by the Chief of the Asia Pacific Dvision of her Office, Mr. Rory Mungoven, soon after the adoption of the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka at more..

Expression of disappointment, not an act of Sabotage or boycott – KDCA

June 8 (DM) It was the decision of the executive committee not to get involved in the match arrangements for the upcoming two limited over cricket matches due to played at the Pallekele Cricket Stadium today (7). This was disclosed by the President of the Kandy District Cricket Association Tilina Tennakoon when he addressed the members at the emergency meeting held at the Region Cricket Office in Kandy last evening. He said that this is not an act of sabotage or boycott more..

Govt. admits Monetary Board amended EPF investment policy in 2009

June 8 (FT) The Govt has dropped a bombshell admitting that the EPF’s Investment Policy was amended in 2009 enabling the biggest fund to take up equity stakes in commercial banks. “The investment policy statement and standards of professional conduct of EPF issued in 2002, which stated that the EPF could not invest in stocks of the banking and financial sectors, is now updated and the EPF has invested in the banking sector since 2009, following the decision taken by the monetary board,” more..

Human rights: Commonwealth ready to help Sri Lanka

June 8 (PTI) A day after President Mahinda Rajapaksa was forced to cancel his speech here in the face of protests by Tamil groups, the Commonwealth today said it had offered support to the country to promote reconciliation in the trouble-torn country. Rajapaksa’s scheduled speech at the Commonwealth Business Council was cancelled, while he was jeered by Tamil groups protesting against human rights violations when he arrived at a lunch hosted by more..

Colombo-Katunayake expressway ready next year

June 8 (Island) Construction work on the long awaited Colombo-Katunayake Expressway would be completed by the next year, Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said. Nearly 45 percent of the work has been completed. The rest of the work was progressing expeditiously, he said. The length of the expressway was around 25.8 km starting from the New Kelani Bridge and ending at the Airport Access Road at Katunayake. The total estimated cost of the project was US$ 292 million, more..

He stabs wife, daughter then himself!

June 8 (Island) An individual in the Tissamaharama area, who stabbed his wife and daughter to death, had stabbed himself and was admitted to the Hambantota Base Hospital. The deceased were J. A. P. Nalini ( 42) and K. M. Shehara Nethmini (6). The life of the son had been luckily spared as he was in school at the time of the tragedy. The suspect had been admitted to the Tissamaharama Hospital and later transferred to the Hambantota Base hospital. more..

And Finally, Noblesse Oblige

June 8 (SL) Whatever the merits may or may not be the release of Sri Lanka’s war-winning former Army Commander – General Sarath Fonseka is to be roundly welcomed when viewed in the context of taking forward unity. Indeed whatever the General’s faults may be – the list is long as it is comprehensive – the Tamil Tigers feared him and with a single-minded purpose of mind he set in motion a series of strategies that ensured the comprehensive defeat of the LTTE. more..

Buddhist temples to get blood ivory decoration. How Buddhist is that?

June 8 (LB) Astatement by a Sri Lankan customs official stating that the 359 ivory tusks from Kenya confiscated last week will be distributed among Buddhist temples around the country has raised international ire as well as criticism from local environmentalists. Speaking to a leading English daily last week, customs director Ranjan Canagasabai made this statement and so far no one has denied this claim. more..

Commonwealth Games bid money being audited

June 8 (ST) The monies spent to bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Sri Lanka are being audited and would be made available once the audit is completed, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told Parliament today. He said the government had allocated Rs100 million for the bid but of this amount Rs 39 million was spent on the Hambantota beach games while the rest of the money came from the private sector. more..

North and East docs to strike

June 8 (Island) Around 2,000 doctors attached to Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), in the Northern and Eastern provinces and in difficult areas, will launch a one-day strike on June 12 in protest against the Health Ministry’s failure to give appointments to 820 post-interns. Although the post-interns had completed their internship four months ago, no action had been taken by the Health Ministry to appoint them to the Northern, Eastern and and hospitals in difficult areas, more..

'SL’s electricity tariff lowest in Asia'

June 8 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka claimed that Sri Lanka had the lowest electricity tariff in Asia and the UNP’s contention that it was the highest was false. He said that Sri Lanka was also the only country in Asia that provided power to 92 percent of its population round the clock. "We are better off than countries that use nuclear power and those that have oil reserves," the Minister claimed, adding that due to the recent drought almost 77 per cent of power requirement was more..

Sri Lanka's 2012 foreign investment target to dip to $1.7 bn: report

June 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s main investment promotion board is targeting 1.7 billion dollars of investments this year, lower than 2.0 billion dollars projected by the central bank, a report showed.The Indian Ocean Island attracted a record 1.0 billion dollars in investments last year, mainly from new hotel constructions, Board of Investment’s acting chairman, MM C Ferdinando told a UK-based newspaper. more..

Thoppigala open to public in July

June 8 (DN) Thoppigala will be opened to the public as a tourist destination by the end of July this year, Security Forces Eastern Commander Major General Lal Perera said yesterday. He said the historic and scenic rocky attraction in the Batticaloa district will be an educational, sightseeing, heritage and monumental sight for local and foreign visitors. "The place will be a monument of friendship among all Sri Lankans," Major General Perera said more..

Killing of Trinco cricketer: Police seek extradition of victim’s wife in UK

June 8 (Island) The govt is seeking the extradition of a Sri Lankan permanent resident in the UK, wanted in connection with the killing of her 28-year-old husband, Iswaradasan Kedeshwaran aka ‘Kathee’, in Trincomalee on the night of April 18. A senior police official said that the woman had received the status of permanent resident after producing the death certificate of her husband. more..

Supreme Court orders Health Minister: Formulate drug policy without delay

June 8 (Island) The Supreme Court on June 6, directed the Minister of Health and the Secretary to the Ministry to formulate without delay, the national policy on drug/devices and to take necessary steps to enact the relevant laws. The People’s Movement for Patients’ Rights had complained to the Court that the Health Minister had delayed the tabling of the relevant Bill in Parliament. The petition had said that Sri Lanka could save billions of rupees currently spent on more..

Malinga named event ambassador for Twenty20 World Cup

June 8 (PTI) The International Cricket Council has chosen Sri Lanka's star pacer Lasith Malinga as the official event ambassador for the World Twenty20 Championships to be held in the island nation from September 18 to October 7. "Malinga, was selected as the Event Ambassador in recognition of his skills as a role model both on and off the field of play," the ICC said in a statement. His "explosive bowling action" propelled Malinga to global fame and his distinct, more..