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Sand mining mafia back in business

June 1 (LB) Incidences of illegal sand mining have risen with the recent relaxation of laws, regarding the transportation of sand. Two weeks back, the government permitted the transportation of sand without a permit between 6 a.m. and 6 pm. Last week the cabinet removed the time restriction too, revitalizing the sand mining mafia. The sand mining and transportation permit system was introduced after the concerted efforts of environmentalists, more..

Boon for Nightingales: US $ 40m state of the art training institute

June 1 (DN) A state-of-the-art, internationally accredited nurses’ training institute is to be constructed in Sri Lanka shortly, at a cost of US $ 40 million. The facility, a first in the country will include a nurses’ training college, a 100 bed hospital, hi- tech laboratories among others and will focus on training nurses for overseas employment. The Saudi Arabian firm, Saudi Health Investment Company will invest in the facility. more..

'Tamil Diaspora exploiting ICT advances'

June 1 (Island) The Tamil Diaspora, sympathetic to the LTTE, has begun to exploit the advances in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), TNA MP and Lawyer M. A. Sumanthiran said. Addressing a panel discussion, organized by the Women and Media Collective, he said that the Diaspora used ICT as a tool to destroy or manipulate information to suit their own purpose. He said that almost every new technology developed had brought great benefits more..

Dr. PB exposes what stifles investments

June 1 (FT) Despite the end of the war three years ago, the full potential for higher investments in the country is yet to be realised and if the usual case is private sector complaining of bottlenecks, then for a change the Finance Ministry has joined the chorus. The recently released 2011 Annual Report of the Ministry of Finance, a portfolio held by President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself, admits that private sector investment is constrained. “Despite policy reforms towards private sector more..

FTZ unions demand special commission to monitor transfer of EPF money

June 1 (Island) The Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union (FTZ & SEU) has demanded that the govt appoint an independent investigative commission responsible to Parliament comprising trade union representatives to conduct a through investigation into all transactions, transfers of EPF funds and submit a report within three months. The Joint Secretary of the FTZ & SEU Anton Marcus more..

Ekneliyagoda disappearance case: Appeal Court rejects AG’s application

June 1 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday refused an application by the Attorney General seeking to set aside an order of the Homagama Magistrate dated May 17, 2012, whereby President’s Counsel Mohan Pieris, Senior Legal Adviser to the Cabinet of Ministers, was summoned to testify at the inquiry into the alleged disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda. The Court of Appeal said that only the President was immune to legal proceedings more..

Deputy Minister ordered to pay Rs.300,000

June 1 (DM) North Central Province Civil Appellate Court yesterday ordered Deputy Minister Duminda Dissanayake to pay Rs.300,000 to the Swarnapali Balika Vidyalaya authorities for the use of the school grounds for a carnival during Poson Poya period. In the case filed by School Development Society Secretary Priyantha Fernando, Judge Sarath Gamini Edirisinghe said this fanfare appeared to be meant solely for money-making purposes, but not to mark Poson Poya. more..

EPF, NSB, Govt. face barrage of criticism

June 1 (DM) Two opposition MPs on Wednesday accused the govt of misusing the hard earned savings of the people in the country by manipulating the share market through Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and the National Savings Bank (NSB). JVP MP Sunil Hadunnetti stated that the average and poor investors in Sri Lanka were suffering because of the adhoc and shady investments by the EPF. “The govt has used the monies of NSB and EPF which the public entrusted them with, to manipulate the share market more..

India extends ban on LTTE

June 1 (DM) The Indian Government on Friday extended the ban on LTTE by another two years following intelligence reports that remnants of the Sri Lankan Tamil terror outfit were trying to re-group in Tamil Nadu. According to a notification issued by the Union Home Ministry, even though LTTE has been "decimated in Sri Lanka, recent reports reveal that remnant LTTE cadres and leaders are regrouping in Tamil Nadu". The LTTE has been banned since 1992 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. more..

Editorial: Drugs policy

June 1 (DM) Amid a continuing shortage of essential drugs in public hospitals and clinics, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday directed hospital committees to act fast and effectively to find a solution to this major problem. Even if they do so, the committees will only be tackling the symptoms because of the long-drawn and mysterious delay in introducing legislation to implement the National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP) to provide quality drugs to all more..

Navy apprehends 3 Persons smuggling 92 Kilograms of Cannabis

June 1 (SLN) Alert naval troops attached to SLNS Vijaya of the North-western Naval Command apprehended three persons attempting to smuggle in 92 kilograms of “Kerala Ganja” in a raid carried out close to midnight on 31st May 2012 at Uchchimuni in Kalpitiya. A Fiber Glass Dinghy fitted with a 25 Horse Power OBM used for the criminal act was also taken into naval custody. The arrested persons along with the cannabis and the FGD were handed over to Kalpitiya Police for further more..

WikiLeaks: Ranil had no trouble controlling Fonseka

June 1 (CT) “UNP leaders were generally upbeat and positive about their prospects in the upcoming election. Party leaders, however, downplayed many of the significant hurdles to a UNF victory, including winning the support of Tamils and Muslims, unveiling a former military leader as the UNF’s presidential candidate, maintaining alliance unity, and mobilizing its supporters during a relatively short campaign season.” more..

Sri Lanka's martial art angampora still in vogue

June 1 (IANS) Sri Lanka's oldest martial art, Angampora, is still being practised in traditional schools across the country. The art involves unarmed combat where only 'anga' or body parts are used to fight. The exact period when the art first came into being is not clear, but clans that have carried on the tradition place it anywhere from 3,000 to 30,000 years old. It is the oldest form of martial arts in the country. Ajantha Mohoththara, who teaches angampora at more..

Cops arrest 17 from brothel

June 1 (CG) The police raided a brothel in Fort late last night and arrested 17 people, the police media unit said today. According to the police the brothel was operating at a club along D.R. Wijeywardena Mawatha in Fort. The police said that the manager of the club and nine others who had assisted in operating the brothel were arrested. The police also said that eight prostitutes were also arrested during the raid. All the suspects are to be produced in court today. more..

Sri Lanka fuel consumption doubled in three years: official

June 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's consumption of petroleum products has doubled in the three years since the end of a war an official said, as economic activity picked up requiring more energy to run the economy. Demand for petroleum products is going up despite higher prices, said R H S Samaratunga, secretary, Petroleum Industries Ministry. "Almost a quarter of the import bill is spent on petroleum alone which is huge for any country," more..

Fixing claims bogus

June 1 (DM) A media report from India proves that the alleged match fixing incident involving a Sri Lankan player had happened only six years ago in 2006 and not during the recent IPL tournament as it was widely publicized. Some local websites and other media were quick even to name the Sri Lankan player, but it has now proven only to be madeup. The young Sri Lankan star named as the culprit was just an 18year old playing school cricket at the time when the alleged bribing more..

Sri Lanka shares rebound on bargain hunting; rupee up

June 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock market rose more than 1 percent on Friday with retail and foreign investors buying shares in thin volumes in an overall skittish market concerned about a weak Sri Lankan rupee and the outlook for interest rates. The main index gained 1.1 percent, or 53.03 points, to 4,885.18, its highest since May 28. "There was bargain hunting and we saw buying creeping in with the start of the fresh month," more..

Sri Lankans deported from UK arrive home

June 1 (Xinhua) A group of Sri Lankans who were deported from Britain returned to their home country on Friday and were questioned by officials at the airport. The Sri Lankan Immigration and Emigration department said that 36 Sri Lankans including 28 minority Tamils arrived in the island on a special chartered flight. They were deported from Britain after their asylum requests were rejected by the British government. more..

Flame virus: No impact on SL yet

June 1 (DM) The deadly virus that has the ability to copy high level information from state agencies and other parties has not had any impact in Sri Lanka as yet, The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) confirmed. The Flame computer virus that smoldered undetected for years in Middle Eastern energy facilities confirmed fears that the world has entered a new age of cyber espionage and sabotage. Internet defenders on Wednesday were more..

No rift says Sampanthan

June 1 (DM) TNA leader R. Sampanthan said that there is no rift within the TNA as portrayed by the media. “ There is no rift within the TNA as certain media are trying to point out” he said. When the Daily Mirror online queried Sampanthan about the remarks made by TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran who was reported to have said that certain remarks made by Sambanthan at the ITAK conference were controversial, Sambanthan said that the TNA is a democratic party. more..

Accident injures Karu

June 1 (DM) UNP front liner Karu Jayasuriya and his wife were admitted to the Hambantota base hospital a short while ago after the vehicle the duo were travelling in met with an accident in Hambantota. Initial reports said their two backup vehicles had also collided with the other vehicle several others including Mr. Jayasuriya’s security personnel were also admitted to the hospital. The accident had occurred on the Suriyawewa Road, more..

Govt. should be ‘ashamed’ of raising fuel price

June 1 (AD) The UNP today said that the govt needs to be ashamed over increasing the price of fuel in Sri Lanka while fuel prices in the global market are declining. The opposition party criticized the govt for authorizing a Rs.2 hike in diesel price by Lanka IOC with effect from midnight yesterday. UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena claimed that the state-owned milk food company increasing the price of milk powder is an invitation for other milk powder companies to raise prices, more..

Sri Lanka aims to become leather items manufacturing hub

June 1 (F2F) The Govt has initiated several steps to establish the country as a production hub for quality shoes and leather items. Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda said that to upgrade these industries in lines with the Mahinda Chinthana vision for the future programme, the Govt has introduced tax concession on import of machinery, equipment and raw materials. Presenting the Minister’s statement at a workshop, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 01.06.2012

Bicycle Tour to mark World Environment Day

June 1 (GDI) A bicycle tour in connection with the World Environment Day was held in Colombo this morning. Deputy Minister Duminda Dissanaya and MP Namal Rajapaksa also participated in this cycle tour along with the officials of the Ministry of Environment and several others. The bicycle tour was held from the Nelumpokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Performance Arts Theatre to the Royal College with the objective of enlightening the masses on the importance of more..

Jayalal of CEB threatened with death

June 1 (LT) The Committee Member of the CEB Joint Trade Union Alliance Ranjan Jayalal has been threatened that he and all his family members would be killed if he didn’t stop all his trade union activities immediately. The threat has been carried out at 8.39 p.m. on the 29th using a mobile phone having the number 0784945856. The half a day’s strike carried out by the CEB employees throughout the island was on this day. Mr. Jayalal says a written complaint was made to the IGP but more..

Chief Sanghanayaka of Great Britain jailed for child abuse

June 1 (CT) Chief Sanghanayaka Thera of Great Britain and chief incumbent of the Thames Buddhist Vihara and also Parivenadhipathi of the Vidyaravinda Pirivena, Pahalagama, Gampaha and Chief Lekakhadhikari of the Sri Kalyani Samagi Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha has been convicted of four counts of indecent assault on a underage, sentenced to 7 years in prison a judge ruled today. He also banned for working with children more..

Rs.150 million to get Indian stars for Rugby show

June 1 (LT) Rs.70 million has been spent to get down Hindi stars to be present at the first stage of Carlton Super Sevens Rugby tournament held in Kandy from 26th to 27th last month. Another Rs.150 million is to be spent to get down Indian stars on the final day of the tournament on the 3rd. Bipasha Basu and Sameera Reddy, two Bellwood stars too would attend the two hour show. It is reported that Rs.60 million has been estimated to get Bipasha and her more..

Poson week commences today

June 1 (GDI) The government has declared a Poson week with effect from today, June 1st. The Poson committee that met recently under the patronage of Chief Incumbent of Atamasthana Venerable Pallegama Siriniwasa Thera has taken this decision. The Chairman of the committee, Anuradhapura district secretary Mahinda Seneviratne said special religious programmes will be held in the Atamasthana Premises during this week. A large number of devotees are expected to observe Sil more..

Perera, Mathews fashion massive win in low-scorer

June 1 (CI) Sri Lanka threw their wickets away through reckless shots, conceded 17 runs through wides and about 10 through misfields, but thanks to the Josephian Mafia - a moniker Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews have earned from the school they shared - still won by a whopping 37 runs. It was an unremarkable night of cricket with most of the wickets owing neither to the bowling nor the pitch, but many will argue it's a trait that can be attributed to more..

Democracy Deficit and Citizens’ Initiatives

June 2 (Island) Democracy in a country can be simply understood, as a writer has put it, as a procedure for making decisions whereby all adult citizens have an equal right to have a say and make their opinions count. It is for this reason that we welcomed the introduction of universal suffrage in our country in 1931 when every adult, male and female, earned the right to vote at elections and to elect their representative to the legislature. But that was not more..

Gota’s War - Review

June 2 (Island) CA Chandraprema (CAC)’s book even if he has got much to learn about SL’s military if not its history, has been called the "finest and most comprehensive …….. of the … conflict" (Sarath Amunugama) and also the most ‘definitive’ (Rajpal Abeynayake). Sadly, though there are riveting descriptions of military operations and background lore, it lacks authenticity, balance, sensitivity and is subtly laced with malice and bias. Yet it does not lack humour. more..

Now, a human- monkey conflict!

June 2 (Island) Reams of newsprint have been devoted year-on-year encapsulating the human elephant conflict, but, hot on those heels, now comes a similar conflict where the humans have with monkeys! Granted that monkeys do not cause losses of life to humans, in contrast to wild elephants who do! However, the damage has been extensive where it is crop damage in terms of paddy fields and coconut plantations, damage to private property more..

Sampanthan’s Batticaloa speech, an utter confusion

June 2 (DM) “Our acceptance of this position does not mean ……that, in the event our right to internal self-determination is continuously denied, we will not claim our right under international law to external self-determination.” “We must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka.” These are two separate sentences excerpted from the speech made by R. Sampanthan, the Leader of the ITAK more..

From Here……..Where?

June 2 (DM) Hillary Clinton lavished praise on the action plan verbally presented by Minister G.L.Peiris. Bless ed him on that futuristic plan that has pleased Uncle Sam in our feeble endeavours of been an obliging nephew. Therein lie an uneasy feeling: notwithstanding whatever accomplishment, West will never let us off the hook on human rights without castigating, for winning a war over terrorism without their blessings. We are wasting precious time. more..

Liquid milk to be popularised

June 2 (SO) The public sector marketing network such as Sathosa and the cooperatives should be expanded to provide a better service to consumers said Cooperative Development and Internal Trade Ministry Secretary Sunil Sirisena. Fish and vegetable prices at the Peliyagoda fish market, Dedicated Economic Centres and manning market were comparatively low compared to those in the open market during past few weeks. more..

Chaos at Sri Lanka Tourism

June 2 (ST) The controversial tussle within Sri Lanka Tourism has gone overboard with the key issue being promotions or in fact the lack of it, causing clashes at the top. This led to its Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa submitting his resignation on Thursday from three of the four institutions headed by him at the time, informed sources said. Sri Lanka Tourism was faced with a number of issues that evolved even prior to Dr. Godahewa's appointment in 2010 to head the four more..

Raffles chain coming to Sri Lanka

June 2 (ST) Legendary Singapore-based Raffles Hotels is currently in negotiations with the Cargills Group to set up the Raffles at the old Cargills building in Fort which dates back to 1844, industry sources said. Officials from Cargills declined to comment on the project in which negotiations have been on for the past several months. But officials at the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) confirmed that such negotiations are underway. They said initially the BOC was in discussions more..

New breeding pattern alarms public

June 2 (SO) With the onset of the Monsoon season, fear of a looming dengue threat is in the air of inevitable deaths, suffering and grieving of departed loved ones.Dengue and rain shares a fatal bond. Recent newspaper reports indicate that the dengue mosquito has altered its breeding patterns to lay eggs in domestic wells and other new receptacles which has heightened the fear double fold, especially parents with young kids. more..

Singapore delegation explore H’tota business opportunities

June 2 (Island) A high-powered delegation from the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has been exploring investment opportunities in Hambantota. One of the key aims of their visit on 28th May 2012 was for delegates to establish mutually beneficial relationships with key government officials, as well as with the local business community. The Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) organised a meeting with business people and Government officials in the district, more..