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Editorial: Why flay the messenger?

June 12 (Island) We have a govt of morons. A cantankerous minister notorious for putting both his feet in his extra-large orifice has audaciously claimed that a family of three could survive on a meagre income of Rs. 7,500 a month. Another ministerial nitwit wants a licenced liquor bar opened in every village to send shebeens in the rural sector out of business. Yet another minister with bats in his belfry, instead of calling for the rehabilitation of tanks or wewas whose capacity has been greatly reduced by silt, more..

Pakistan unbeaten at R. Premadasa for eight years

June 12 (Island) Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq says the tourists’ excellent record at the R. Premadasa Stadium in recent times is due to the fact that conditions at the country’s best cricket ground suits Pakistan better. Pakistan have an enviable record at the R. Premadasa having not lost a game at the venue for the last eight years. Pakistan have won eight of their last nine games at the R. Premadasa Stadium, while the other game ended in a no result, more..

A dream come true, says UL Chief Nishantha

June 12 (FT) SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe yesterday described the breakthrough partnership with oneworld as a “dream come true”. “With the world airline industry increasingly focused on alliances, SriLankan has carried out in-depth analysis of the options open to the airline as we enter this latest phase of our development. oneworld is very clearly the best option for us,” more..

‘Criminals have a field day in Jaffna’

June 12 (Island) The army yesterday claimed that a sharp reduction in its strength in the Jaffna Peninsula had given rise to an increase in the crime rate. Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said that the poor people had been affected as a result of the army reducing its presence to 40 per cent. Senior DIG Jaffna Gamini de Silva could not be contacted for comment. Police Media spokesperson Superintendent Ajith Rohana said that the Police would more..

Mother attempts suicide with children: Alert municipal worker rescues them

June 12 (Island) Twenty- eight-year old Gintota Vidanage Samanthi (28) of Devinuwara last week attempted to take her life along with her three children by jumping into the Nilvala river but timely action by a labourer attached to the Matara Municipality saved their lives. The good Samaritan N.H. Jayantha said that he heard the cries of children calling for help and he spotted a woman with three children getting close to the river. "I rushed to the scene and held them and more..

Connections | June 11, 2012

Forbidden fruit brings death to businessman

June 12 (Island) A 37-year-old businessman was hacked to death by a married man from Awariyawatta area over a dispute related to the latter’s wife on Sunday. Police Spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that the businessman had been having an illicit affair with the suspect’s wife and the suspect had attacked him with a sword at a boarding house on Temple Road around 7.30 p.m. The victim was identified as Katupitige Ranjith Upul Kumara, a resident of Madawala, Minuwangoda. more..

Zoo shocked by remanding of female vet

June 12 (Island) Senior officials of the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela yesterday expressed shock over the arrest and remanding of a female veterinary surgeon. An official said that she had a very clean track record as a doctor and as a person serving for nearly two decades at the Zoo. "Even the labourer, who was arrested first, was a multi-talented person. We couldn’t imagine why he was arrested," he said. The official also said that when the labourer had taken more..

Sexual molestation incident at the BMICH

June 12 (CT) The suspect, who was involved in sexually molesting a 15-year-old girl at the BMICH premises, is to be remanded till 18 June. The order for the suspect, a resident of Ahungalla, to be further remanded was issued when the Cinnamon Garden Police produced him before the Colombo Additional Magistrate. The suspect who is a cashier for the canteen at the BMICH, had allegedly sexually molested the girl last Saturday on two separate occasions. more..

Top-level changes at Lanka IOC

June 12 (Hindu) Lanka Indian Oil Corporation is poised to enter its most difficult era of operation in Sri Lanka even as its parent company, Indian Oil Corporation, re-jigged the management team. In early May, Subodh Dakwale, a 28-year-old veteran with IOC, who last sold petroleum products in Madhya Pradesh, replaced K.R. Suresh Kumar as Managing Director of Lanka IOC. Mr. Dakwale has “worked in different divisions of Indian Oil such as Engineering, LPG, Lubes and Sales & Marketing. more..

Srilankan attempts suicide in Kuwait: Lover married another in his native Sri Lanka

June 12 (KT) A man was hospitalized in a critical condition following a suicide attempt. He committed the act after learning that his lover married another in his native Sri Lanka. Paramedics and police reached a location in Salmiya where the incident was reported by the man’s roommates. The man’s condition stabilized after an emergency surgery was performed on him to stop bleeding from an abdominal stab wound. A case was filed, reported Al-Watan.

Jaffna court denies bail to 5 Indian fishermen

June 12 (Hindu) Five Indian fishermen arrested on charges of drug peddling late in November, were denied bail by a Jaffna court on Monday. The Indian High Commission had been in touch with the Attorney General's department and all the authorities concerned. With no instruction on the bail application being passed on from Colombo despite repeated Indian requests, the judge turned down the plea. The judge said that if the charges were proved, more..

Forests Conservator given month to file objections

June 12 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday gave time, till July 12, 2012, to the Conservator General of Forests and nine other respondents, to file objections to the Writ Application filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice, against the impending deforestation of 628 acres of land in the Soragone Natural Forest, in the Uva Province. The petitioner had said that the forest was to be cleared to build a tourist hotel and golf links, more..

New tectonic plate in the region

June 12 (CT) Professor of Geology at the Peradeniya University, Athula Senaratne, says they are investigating the reason as to why the May 26 quakes felt in several parts of the country had not been registered on the measuring instruments in both Sri Lanka and India. He says now the time is ripe for extensive research and mapping of quake prone areas in the country. Professor Senaratne further explained it is shown in recent quake patterns that a new tectonic plate more..

Tourism confronted with professionalism and marketing issues: BT poll

June 12 (ST) While the Ministry of Economic Development this week stoutly defended recent management changes in the state tourism sector, a poll by the Business Times (BT) this week reveals that tourism is in the throes of a crisis with two critical issues: the sector is too influenced, politically and lacks an international promotion and marketing plan. In fact, Harry Jayawardene, Chairman of Aitken Spence Holdings, running the biggest more..

Batticaloa University protests political capture of its council

June 12 (TN) The Eastern University in Batticaloa is helpless to political appointments made to its governing council by Colombo, said the Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University, Professor K. Gobindarajah, following a recent appointment to the council backed by SL Deputy Minister V. Muralitharan alias Karuna causing the students to boycott classes for the third day on Saturday. The appointment of Dr Jaffer, director of the Kalmunai Base Hospital, to the council membership more..

Pelwatte Sugar battles to regain expropriated land

June 12 (ST) The Distilleries Corp of Sri Lanka (DSCL), owners of Pelwatte Sugar Ltd before the govt-takeover in Nov 2011, is battling to regain its right to the property. Pelwatte was among 37 state-leased assets which were expropriated by the govt on the grounds of 'underperforming or underutilized' organisations. In its 2011 annual report released last week, DCSL said the Expropriation Act empowers the vesting of land leased during a period of 20 years before more..

'CSN owned by president Rajapaksa's sons'

June 12 (IC) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has admitted that Carlton Sports Network (CSN), who it awarded television rights to for three years, is owned by president Mahinda Rajapaksa's sons. However, president of SLC Upali Dharmadasa told BBC the cricket board did not award CSN local television rights to broadcast cricket matches because the channel was owned by the president's sons. "Are we supposed to reject a company because it is an organisation more..

'Change Govt. debt management'

June 12 (FT) UNP MP Harsha de Silva in a statement released yesterday called for a change in the way the Govt debt is being managed with Sri Lanka’s first sovereign bond of US$ 500 million coming in for settlement in October in an unprecedented single instalment. Recalling that he had made a strong plea in Parliament last week, de Silva said that traditionally the annual Appropriation Bill only refers to a debt ceiling in one sentence and relies on officials to determine the best terms and conditions for its debt. more..

Indian gaming company buys land to build hotel-resort complex near BIA

June 12 (PTI) Listed gaming company Delta Corp has acquired 11 acre land parcel near Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. The company led by Jaydev Mody is planning to develop a 4/5 star fully integrated entertainment hotel/resort in Sri Lanka, the company informed Bombay Stock Exchange. The hotel/resort will be developed through Delta's wholly own subsidiary, Delta Hotels Lanka Pvt. Ltd. "Sri Lanka, post the end of the three-decade more..

US calls for polls in North

June 12 (DM) The United States stressed the importance of holding elections to the Northern Provincial Council when Sri Lanka’s delegation visited Washington last month. A US embassy spokesman said that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had underlined this when she met External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris. The seriousness on the part of the US on this matter was shown in Ms. Clinton’s letter to the minister in January where she had cited the more..

Powerful International chemical chief to arrive in SL

June 12 (LP) Effective control of trade chemicals is as important as regulation of lethal chemical weapons. “My Ministry is designing a Chemical Emergency First Responders’ Plan for Sri Lanka. The forthcoming visit of H.E. Ahmet Üzümcü, the Director-General of OPCW, will pave way for better understanding of global compliance standards that we intend to achieve as part of this plan” announced minister Rishad Bathiudeen. He was elaborating on the forthcoming visit of more..

No invitation to join UNP: DNA

June 12 (DM) There is no invitation from the UNP to the DNA to join together, DNA president Jayantha Ketagoda said. He said that UNP MPs and committee members are requesting the DNA to have a joint party, but said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had not made any telephone calls after the Fonseka released till now. “There is a false rumour spreading that we will join hands with the present govt. We have no such plans. Even if we wanted to, Sarath Fonseka wouldn’t have been imprisoned for two and a half years. more..

US clears Sri Lanka, 6 others from Iran oil sanctions

June 12 (AFP) The United States said Monday it would exempt seven emerging economies including India from tough new sanctions after they cut back on oil from Iran, but the punishment still loomed for China. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added India, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan to the list of those exempt from the sanctions. In March, she made exemptions for European Union nations and Japan. more..

Pura Neguma to benefit southern towns

June 12 (Island) Under the "Pura Neguma" project, 22 towns in the Southern Province has been ear marked for development and 110 million rupees have been allocated for the purpose said Southern Province Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal Silva. Rs 500 million has been allocated to each of the towns. Under this project Libraries, bus stands, weekly fairs, public toilets, drains, three wheeler parks, playgrounds, roads, etc would be either built or the existing ones would developed. more..

Fickle rain gods give jitters to CEB

June 12 (Island) With reservoir water levels receding and no fresh signs of rain, the CEB seems to be heading towards disaster once again, according to officials of the Systems Control Department. However, CEB Vice Chairman Anura Wijepala said that he had been closely monitoring the international weather forecast, which had predicted rains in the region within the next couple of weeks. He said that the monsoon was expected soon and things would be manageable. more..

From 24 to 48 – lengthening hours and pruning freedom

June 12 (LB) In March, Aruna Roshantha (42), a labourer at a brick factory in Mugunuwatawana, Chilaw, resting near his brick kiln during his lunch break was randomly picked up by a cop and taken to a police van parked nearby. He was asked about a person who the police said was allegedly selling illicit liquor in the area. He said he had no knowledge of the said person. His denial enraged the police. He was beaten up, hauled into the police jeep and more..

Political affiliation sinking Ceylon Shipping Corporation

June 12 (SL) Political affiliations are costing the Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) to incur further significant losses. One of only two ships that the financially-troubled CSC owns, Lanka Mahapola is almost past its sell-by date with the CSC virtually unable to meet the cost of upgrade and repair bills. In this backdrop the CSC entered into a Charter agreement with a little known company ‘Triple S Shipping’. In the latest twist to the sorry saga more..

'Govt. demolishes livelihood of common people but creates ways for the rich to be more rich'

June 12 (LT) Within the next few days the shops at the fair premises at Kanthale would be demolished and the people who made a living in these shops would be chased away to the street. No alternative has been provided for those who would be displaced due to the moves of the govt. In a few days sea planes would take over the tank that provided for thousands in the area for centuries. more..

Foreign aid boost for 6,000 schools

June 12 (DN) The Ministry of Education has signed foreign aid agreements with UNICEF and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to develop 5000 primary schools and 1000 secondary schools throughout the country. UNICEF and AusAID have agreed to give 340 million US dollars as official international aid for Sri Lanka’s school development projects. This is the largest flow of aid that the country has received for school development since the introduction of Free Education. more..

No honors for undergraduates - IUSF

June 12 (CT) The Rajarata University has cancelled awarding classes for Arts and Management faculty undergraduates as they launched a protest last year, the IUSF alleged. IUSF convener Sanjeewa Bandara said, awarding classes for approximately 300-400 undergraduates have been cancelled as they participated in a protest last year. The students had protested as the university administration had suspended five undergraduates for four years, more..

SL's foreign reserves at US$5.8bn by April

June 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves rose to 5,835 million US dollars in April from 5,730 million US dollars in March, which was equal to about 3.3 months of imports, the Central Bank said. Though reserves are measured in months of imports, when a central bank sells foreign exchange to defend an exchange rate target, and sterilizes the sales with printed money to prevent interest rates going up, a rapid downward spiral starts in the economy. more..

Sri Lanka could face UN pressure over corruption issues

June 12 (Island) With the UN country review on corruption due next year, Sri Lanka, which is a signatory to the Convention against Corruption, could be subjected to international pressure, since its Bribery and Corruption Commission was not independent of the Executive. Eran Wickremeratne, MP said yesterday that the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which has been ratified by 140 countries, more..

Universities paralysed for sixth day

June 12 (Island) Academic activities and all examinations in universities countrywide were disrupted for the sixth consecutive day yesterday due to the all-out strike launched by the university non-academic staff last Wednesday. Universities, including the Open University of Sri Lanka, had to postpone the examinations due to the absence of non-academic staff who demand immediate rectification of their salary anomalies. Media spokesman of the Inter University more..

Dengue strikes Foreign Bureau

June 12 (DM) One female administrative officer at the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau’s (SLFEB’s) head office at Battaramulla had died of dengue, and 30 other members of the staff had been hospitalised during the last two weeks due to dengue, official sources said. The deceased, Manjula Padmaperuma (39), was the mother of two children and an administrative officer in the Planning Division. Her husband is also an administrative officer in the same section. more..

Sri Lanka removed from 'list of shame'

June 12 (CG) Sri Lanka has been removed from a “list of shame” in UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s annual report on children and armed conflict during 2011. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N. special representative for children and armed conflict, said that Sri Lanka was de-listed after its successful completion of Security Council-mandated action plans to end the recruitment and use of children. The TMVP Karuna group and the LTTE were placed on the “list of shame” for more..

Sri Lanka shares dip 0.08 percent

June 12 (LBO) Sri Lankan share prices slipped marginally, on thin volumes, as investors picked through selected stocks, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index slipped 0.08 percent or 3.89 points to close at 4,807.55, while the liquid Milanka Price Index nudged up 0.11 percent or 4.87 points to end at 4,269.25, according to Colombo Stock Exchange figures. Tuesday’s turnover was 242.42 million rupees, largely driven by investor interest in Central Finance Plc, brokers said. more..

Editorial: Don’t play with the lives of people

June 12 (DM) The Senior State Counsel -- apparently not properly briefed on the vested interests involved in the issue – had time and again told the Supreme Court the Bill to implement the National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP) would be presented soon. But the ‘soon’ dragged on and last Wednesday the Supreme Court banged its gavel and directed the Health Minister to act fast and present the Bill which has provisions to provide quality drugs to all people at affordable prices. more..

'Setup independent Commissions'

June 12 (CT) The UNP urged the govt to setup the independent commissions mentioned in the LLRC report before going in for an election. UNP media spokesman Gayantha Karunathilaka said at a press conference held yesterday, “if the govt is hoping to have an election we are ready to accept it without any fear”. As a country we are undergoing numerable problems. The problems that the people in the country are facing are immense. more..

Eleven would-be asylum seekers arrested

June 12 (CG) The police said that they had arrested 11 people in Puttalam today as they were preparing to travel to Australia illegally. The 11 would-be illegal asylum seekers were brought to Puttalam yesterday and kept at a lodge behind the Puttalam hospital. Of those arrested nine were from Batticaloa and two from Mullaitivu, the police media unit said this afternoon. The police also said that the human traffickers involved in the racket had been identified more..