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US $ 5,400 per capita income level, a reality soon - minister

June 8 (DN) Sri Lanka will achieve a per capita income level of US $ 5,400 in the near future. It will enable us to stop seeking foreign assistance for development projects, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. Participating in the signing of the contract for the construction of the Moragahakanda Reservoir Headworks Project, he said the implementation of the Moragahakanda- Kaluganga Development Project was delayed due to reasons such as environmental issues. more..

First electronic data base on citizens' primary information launched

June 8 (DN) Minister John Seneviratne introduced the country's first electronic data base on citizens' primary information. He marked the opening of the data base at the Colombo Divisional Secretariat, by issuing a computer-printed birth certificate to Colombo District Secretary Kamal Padmasiri. The data base, known as e-population register is envisioned to enhance the efficiency of state-run Kachcheries throughout the island. more..

'Accusations against factory totally baseless'

June 8 (DN) The accusations levelled against "Ceyfish" Fish Canning Factory in Galle that it is importing its entire fish requirement from China is totally baseless and untrue. It is a fabricated story with a vicious intention or owing to ignorance, said Chief Executive of Happy Cook Lanka Food (Pvt.) Ltd Kithsiri Kahaduwa. He made the statement in response to a query regarding the allegations. The "Ceyfish" Fish Canning Factory is the first state cannery in Sri Lanka established as a joint venture between more..

China assures further strengthening of business ties with Sri Lanka

June 8 (DN) Sri Lanka - China Business linkages will be further strengthened in the years to come, said the newly appointed Commercial Counselor Wang Yingqi for China at the interactive session organised by the Sri Lanka - China Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. "The interactive session focused on export opportunities and challenges in the Chinese market for Sri Lankan exporters," said Sri Lanka - China Business Council president Prabath Harshakumar, more..

Central Bank changes governance policy

June 8 (Island) The govt earlier this week exposed how regulations are changed so that the custodian of the Employees’ Provident Fund, the Central Bank, could invest in banking stocks listed on the Colombo bourse, where it was earlier not allowed on ethical and legal grounds. With the Central Bank investing in equities, analysts ask whether or not the Central Bank fell under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). more..

'Treat Indians the way they treated Cooray'

June 8 (Island) Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga told Parliament yesterday that action would have to be taken to treat those coming from India to Sri Lanka in a similar manner similar to way the Indians treated MP Reginold Cooray, who was in India on official business. Minor Export Crops Promotion Minister Regional Cooray, who had visited India recently on SAARC Visa had been deported from India, the MP said adding that this set a wrong precedence. The Indian government was bound by the duty to more..

'Some UNPers still boot-licking LTTE rump'

June 8 (DN) The residues of LTTE terrorists in the UNP have not stopped boot-licking the LTTE rump after the outfit was completely wiped out from the country, Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. He said UNP Parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella should demand a debate from the British Parliament over the cancellation of the addresses by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several Heads of State at the Commonwealth Business Forum. more..

Pakistan awards prestigious Jinnah Scholarship 2012 to 165 Sri Lankan Students

June 8 (HCP) The Govt of Pakistan through its High Commission in Sri Lanka has awarded SL Rs 4 Million worth of educational scholarships today to 165 bright Sri Lankan students of O/L and A/L under Jinnah Scholarship Programme 2012. Under the auspices of High Commission of Pakistan, Colombo, award ceremony of Jinnah Educational Scholarship 2012 was held at Bishop College Auditorium. more..

Customs goes online for import documentation

June 8 (Island) The Sri Lanka Customs yesterday signed an agreement with the Association of Clearing and Forwarding Agents (ACFA) to provide computer facilities for importers and clearing agents to submit their documents online. President of the ACFA, Anton Emmanuel said that this was in keeping with the new Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) requirement for importers and clearing agents to make online document entries for import cargo. He said that customs had made available more..

Army to make Lanka self sufficient in milk

June 8 (Island) The army, with the support of a foreign company, would be able to produce milk for the whole country and thereby make Sri Lanka self sufficient in milk, Colonel A.V. Gunaratne, Director of Agriculture and Livestock said yesterday at the Kandakudah army farm. The Colonel was addressing a group of journalists on a three-day tour of the area. He said that steps were being taken to import 10,000 cows from Australia to the army-run facility. The imported cows would produce 60 litres of milk a day, he said. more..

Petroleum Ministry to reacquire 99 oil tanks in Trincomalee

June 8 (CT) The Petroleum Ministry is to reacquire the 99 oil tanks in Trincomalee which were leased out to Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC), highly placed sources of the Ministry told Ceylon Today. The Ministry has already sought legal advice to nullify the agreement between the Petroleum Ministry and the LIOC signed in 2002 which authorized the leasing out of the oil tanks. The Ministry handed over 99 oil tanks to the LIOC under a 33-year lease. more..

UNP restrained from holding inquiry against WPC Srikamal Perera

June 8 (Island) The Colombo District Court yesterday restrained the UNP from conducting a disciplinary inquiry, which had been scheduled for June 11, against Western Provincial Councillor Srikamal Perera. The plaintiff, Srikamal Perera, sought an enjoining order restraining the UNP Disciplinary Board, headed by Tilak Marapana, PC and its Secretary Ashendra Siriwardena, from taking any further action against him over an allegation that he had brought the party into disrepute by his public comments about more..

TAA pares Sri Lanka flights

June 8 (BP) Thai AirAsia (TAA), will slash its daily Bangkok-Colombo service to three flights a week beginning next Thursday in line with lower-than-expected traffic demand. Chief executive Tassapon Bijleveld yesterday described the cutback as part of a strategy realignment that will allow the low-cost carrier (LCC) to add more frequencies on other routes with stronger demand. TAA introduced the Bangkok-Colombo service on March 1, making it the first LCC to fly in the sector, more..

Ex-LTTE combatant, lover arrested, murder weapons found

June 8 (Island) In the wake of allegations that the military had killed Andrew Mahendrarajah Anthonipillai, a Canadian of Sri Lankan origin at Kaagncheepuram lane, near Paranthan junction, on May 3, the police have arrested five persons, including an ex-LTTE combatant for their alleged involvement in the killing. All five were produced before the Kilinochchi Magistrate’s Court on May 24 and remanded pending further inquiries. more..

CMC clueless on due revenue from sports event

June 8 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has so far failed to collect over Rs. 10 million in entertainment tax on the sale of tickets at a recent international rugby tournament held in Sri Lanka. UNP Councilor Kasturiarachchi raised the question on the failure of the CMC to collect this tax from the organizers, at a Financial Committee meeting on Thursday. He said that 35,000 tickets were sold and a payment of 10 percent entertainment tax from each ticket was due to the CMC. more..

Fifteen foreign companies exempted from land purchase tax

June 8 (Island) Fifteen foreign companies have been exempted from the rule, which states that foreigners purchasing lands and buildings in Sri Lanka would have to pay a 100 per cent tax, Parliament was told. Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, asked to state the names of those companies to the House, by UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake, said that they were Dimension-Polyant Lanka Pvt. Ltd, Globe Knitting Pvt. Ltd, Serendib Floor Mills Pvt. Ltd, Dabur Lanka Pvt. Ltd, more..

TNA challenges govt. assurances given in Parliament

June 8 (Island) Land grabbing continues unabated in the North despite the repeated assurance given by the govt in Parliament to prevent such acts, TNA MP M Sumanthiran told Parliament yesterday. The MP pointed out that Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva made several such assurances especially while presenting the report of the LLRC. The latter promised to scale down military presence in the North. more..

Another tough test awaits batsmen

June 8 (CI) Weren't the limited-overs formats, especially in the subcontinent, supposed to be a batsman's game? The two Twenty20s in Hambantota and the first ODI in Pallekele have all been about the bowlers though, with the batsmen being tested in seaming conditions reminiscent of cricket in the early English summer. The frequent rain interruptions during Thursday's one-dayer added to that impression. June is not cricket season in Sri Lanka traditionally, mainly due to the wet weather. more..

President attends Vesak celebrations in Rome

June 8 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa attended Vesak celebrations held at the FAO Headquarters in Rome on Thursday as the Special Guest. The event was attended by chief Buddhist monks in Italy, Director General of FAO José Graziano da Silva, members of the diplomatic community and Buddhists living in Rome. Buddhists in Rome extended a warm welcome to President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is a widely accepted Buddhist leader in the world. more..

'PLA will provide any assistance to Sri Lanka'

June 8 (DN) People's Liberation Army (PLA) of the People's Republic of China is prepared to provide Sri Lanka with any assistance whatsoever in case of any emergency, catastrophe or otherwise, said General Lisng Guanglie, Minister of National Defence, PRC during a meeting at the PLA General Headquarters on Thursday with Sri Lanka's Army Chief currently in Beijing. This is the first time in the Sri Lankan military history that an incumbent Commander more..

Non-availability of Consultant anesthetist endangers patients’ lives

June 9 (Island) The non-availability of a consultant anesthetist, at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Embilipitiya district hospital, over the fortnight, is endangering the lives of patients scheduled to undergo emergency surgery. All emergency operations are referred to the Hambantota, Ratnapura and Horana hospitals and even to the Colombo National hospital there by costing the government more expenditure. more..

Non-communicable diseases kill over 1000 Lankans daily

June 9 (Island) Three Non-communicable diseases account for the lives of around 1000, persons daily. This was revealed yesterday by Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr. Palitha Maheepala. He said that 70 per cent of deaths in hospitals were due to NCDs. Globally, around 57 million patients die in hospitals each year. Of that figure, 36 million died due to NCDs, Dr. Maheepala said. Globally, around 57 million patients die in hospitals each year. more..

Environmentalists up in arms over Cabinet move

June 9 (SL) Environmentalists have raised concerns over the Cabinet decision to relax regulations on obtaining a permit to transport sand. Environmentalists also accused the Director General of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) Anil Peiris of violating the Mines and Minerals Act by way of adopting the cabinet decision which does not give any legal binding to those who violate the law. more..

Thilanga laments neglect of sport

June 8 (Island) Despite the fact that legislation for the improvement of sports in the country was passed in Parliament some four decades ago, no meaningful programme had been implemented to achieve results and for the benefit of Sri Lanka’s sports sector so far, UPFA MP Thilanga Sumathipala told Parliament yesterday. The MP, moving a private member motion, titled creating a healthy society through sports, said: "This Parliament resolved that a fair system, more..

Parliament extends Duminda’s leave

June 8 (Island) Parliament yesterday approved three more months of leave of absence for UPFA MP Duminda Silva. A motion moved by Chief Govt Whip, Dinesh Gunawardena, seeking three month leave for the MP, with effect from June 24, 2012, was approved by the House. MP Silva who is undergoing treatment abroad for serious injuries received in a shooting and killing incident, which resulted in the death more..

Self sufficient in milk, but nobody gets to drink it

June 8 (LB) Some of the dairy farmers in Nuwara Eliya have sold their cows for meat. They do not see the milk issue resolving and also the pricing per litre is a problem faced by the dairy farmers of Nuwara Eliya. A dairyman said that some of their friends have already sold their cows for meat as there is no permanent solution to buy the milk either by the govt or the private sector. more..

Pakistani CJ’s transparency is an example to the world, says JVP

June 9 (NF) The Supreme Court of Pakistan has commenced hearing a case filed against the son of the Country's Chief Justice, Ifthikar Chaudhry. The Chief Justice's son Arsalan Ifthikar, stands accused of accepting bribes from a Pakistani business tycoon. Reports were rife in the media recently, that the Pakistani Chief Justice's son had accepted bribes between three and four million US dollars from a prominent business tycoon. more..

Sri Lankan refugees: Tamil Nadu cops turn a blind eye

June 8 (TOI) With Kerala coast becoming a safe haven for Sri Lankan Tamils sailing illegally to Australia and Malaysia, central intelligence agencies are pointing fingers at Tamil Nadu police for abetting movement of refugees to state from camps in Rameswaram and Chennai. "The Tamil Nadu police are turning a blind eye on Lankan Tamils moving from refugee camps to Kerala. more..

Academics also to strike

June 8 (DM) Amid the countrywide strike by university-nonacademics, university academics said yesterday they would also launch a strike from the first week of July. The Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) said it had informed the Higher Education Ministry a few weeks ago that university teachers would keep away from work from July 4 onwards because the Ministry had not taken any initiative to grant their long outstanding demands. more..

‘Pulathup Puligal’ (LTTE) protest against Mahinda in London

June 8 (DBS) Mahinda Rajapaksa was let down badly by the London based Commonwealth Business Council that had invited the Sri Lankan President to deliver the keynote address in a symposium organized by it for the Diamond jubilee of accession to the throne by Queen Elizabeth II of Britain. Intense political pressure mounted by Tiger and pro-tiger elements in Britain and Europe resulted in the C’wealth Business council more..

Housemaids to be classified as housekeepers

June 8 (Island) Sri Lankan housemaids are soon to be classified as Housekeepers in a bid to enhance their bargaining power when applying for overseas jobs. For this the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has decided to upgrade its training institutes to National Vocational Qualification 3 level/standard, targeting housemaids. Currently, approximately 100,000 women go overseas, more..

We wont accuse Pillay; Govt.

June 8 (DM) The External Affairs Ministry has no intention of levelling accusations at UN Human Rights Commissioner Navaneethan Pillay based on an internal communication circulated within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a highly placed Ministry source said yesterday. The official sources said this was in reference to a report on a March 22 email communication to the staff of the High Commissioner’s Office by more..

Range Bandara, another exchange gun pointing charges

June 9 (Island) UNP MP Range Bandara complained to the police yesterday that he had been threatened at the point of a gun by a drunken party rival when he was on his way to parliament after visiting a funeral house in the area, Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said. He said that soon after MP Bandara’s complaint, former opposition leader of the Anamaduwa Pradeshiya Sabha Nelson Jayaweera made a counter-complaint against Bandara, making a similar allegation. more..

Extensive investigations into alleged killing of mother and daughter

June 9 (NF) Police Media Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana says that suspicions have arisen about the spouse of the woman who was killed along with her daughter after being attacked with sharp object in the Veerahela area in Tissamaharama. He added it is suspected that he may have committed the murder due to a mental imbalance. The bodies of the woman and her six year old daughter were discovered based on information received by the police last evening. more..

Vinayagamoorthy refuses to hoist National Flag

June 9 (CT) The TNA MP Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy was reluctant to hoist the National Flag when he was invited to do so by Minister Felix Perera at a function held in Jaffna yesterday. An event was held at Veerasingam Hall, Jaffna to distribute livelihood assistance for the people living below the poverty line in the North. At the beginning of the event Minister invited the Jaffna District TNA MP to hoist the National flag to start the event. more..

Heads of Lion, Jagua and Cheetah missing from the Zoo

June 9 (DM) Three heads of a Lion, Jaguar and a Cheetah were reported missing from a deep freezer at the national zoological gardens in Dehiwala. The Police said that investigations are being conducted in this regard. Director of the National Zoological Gardens Bashwara Gunaratna confirmed that three skulls were reported missing from the Animal Hospital in the Zoo. “I received a tip about this incident from an employee of the zoo, we acted on it immediately and took all necessary action. more..

Maps bring in revenue

June 9 (CT) The Survey Department earned Rs 15,567,270 in 2011 by selling maps that were required for various purposes. According to the annual progress report of the Department, which was submitted to Parliament, the revenue collected from the sale of maps for the year at the Surveyor General Office is Rs 12,987,661 and the amount collected by District Offices is Rs 2,579,609. A significant field of the departmental role is to produce topographical and various thematic maps more..

Dilshan ton carries Sri Lanka to 280

June 9 (CI) A reshuffled batting order, necessitated by Thursday's batting meltdown, lifted the spirits of a struggling Sri Lanka line-up - Tillakaratne Dilshan was at the forefront of the turnaround, batting through the innings for a century. It was imperative that at least one of the seniors - who were struggling for consistency - batted through, and that coupled with a number of sizeable partnerships helped Sri Lanka to 280, more..

Sri-Lanka eager to have observer status in SCO

June 9 (RBTH) The Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is considering an opportunity of granting Armenia and Sri-Lanka observer status in the grouping. Russia's special president's representative on the SCO Kirill Barsky said that Sri-Lanka presently holding SCO dialogue partner status applied for observer status on the eve of the organisation's summit in Beijing. He added that Armenia also officially applied for observer status. more..

New unit at BIA

June 9 (DM) A special medical unit is to be set up at the Bandaranaike International Airport to monitor non- communicable diseases prevalent among Sri Lankan migrant workers, shortly. Spokesman for the Ministry of health U.G. Wanninayake said that this new unit will be an extension to the already existing special unit at the airport. “ There is unit that monitors communicable diseases that has been set up at the airport. We want to extend this service and are to set up a more..