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Four Nigerians without valid visas under arrest

June 12 (NF) Four Nigerians and a young girl who were in the country without a valid visa, have been arrested in the Ethukala area in Negombo. Police said that 300 grammes of Heroin and Cocaine found in the possession of the suspects have been seized. Police added that the suspects are being interrogated under detention orders. Meanwhile, a Pakistan national who had more than Rs.1.7 million rupees worth of foreign currency in his possession has been arrested at the BIA. more..

SL rupee hits record low

June 12 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee fell to a record low of 133.60 against the dollar on Tuesday on importer demand for the U.S. currency as an IMF delegation went into a sixth day of discussions on the last tranche of a $2.6 billion loan. "The highest trade was done at 133.60 to the dollar, though we saw only thin volume," a currency dealer said. "We didn't see intervention from the state banks or the central bank. Probably, their hands are tied due to more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals grow by 17.5 pct in May

June 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals grew 17.5 percent in May to 57, 506 from a year earlier, latest report released by the Tourism Development Authority said here on Tuesday. The latest arrival rates were nearly twice that of April, which only recorded a 9 percent increase when compared with the same period of last year. So far total tourist arrivals for 2012 stand at 387, 622, which is an 18.2 percent increase over last year's numbers up to May. more..

Commander of Sri Lanka Navy visiting Pakistan

June 12 (FP) The Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral DWAS Dissanayake along with a delegation of four members is currently on an official visit to Pakistan. The visit of the Sri Lankan Navy Commander will extend from 11 to 16 June 2012 and has been undertaken on the invitation extended by Chief of Naval Staff Pakistan Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila.During his visit he will be visiting various Naval Establishments in Karachi including the ship and small crafts more..

Lanka makes biggest leap in Global Peace Index

June 12 (CG) The end of the civil war saw Sri Lanka make the biggest rise in the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) released today. Sri Lanka leaped nearly 30 places to be ranked at number 103 out of 158 countries with a score of 2,145 on the index. The Asia Pacific region’s overall score improved by the largest extent from last year and included three of the top five risers. The 2012 GPI is the sixth edition of the world’s leading more..

Randeniya, Jayamini win bronze for Lanka

June 12 (DM) The Third day of the 15th Asian Junior Athletic Championship saw Sri Lankans bag two more medals to increase their tally to 5 medals (2 Golds, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze) to take the fifth slot in the medal table. It was the hurdler from Ranabima Rajakeeya Vidyalaya K. D. S. Viraj Randeniya who in a final burst crossed the line to finish with a time of 13.94 seconds grabbing the 100m hurdle event. The winner in this event was Chung Yun Yin from Taipei who crossed the tape clocking 12.87 seconds. more..

Evangelicals in Sri Lanka seek religious equality

June 12 (CT) A group of religious liberty organisations is calling upon Sri Lanka to officially recognise the country's evangelical community. Evangelicals in Sri Lanka are represented by the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka. The organisation is a member of the World Evangelical Alliance and celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The Religious Liberty Partnership has issued a statement calling upon the Sri Lankan govt to guarantee more..

'VIP charter flights triggering UL nosedive'

June 12 (DM) The UNP today charged that the govt has to be held responsible for the huge losses incurred by Sri Lankan Airlines amounting to Rs. 24 billion – largely triggered due to charter flights by VIPs. Speaking to journalists, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said the govt top brass used the national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines to visit more than 20 countries since mid-2010 and most of these flights had been chartered. more..

President join the spectators at the 15th AJAC

June 12 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa also joined the spectators at the 15th Asian Junior Athletic Championship being held at the Sugathadasa Stadium last afternoon. The Sri Lankan athlete Viraj Randeniya won a bronze medal from the Hurdles event yesterday. He finished the event in 13.9 seconds. This is the first time a Sri Lankan athlete has been able to finish this event in less than 14 seconds. Viraj Randeniya is a student of the Ranabima Royal College in more..

Court grants permission for Ravi to travel abroad

June 12 (AD) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake who is facing allegations of violating financial regulations was granted permission by the Colombo High Court today to travel abroad. MP Karunanayake brought a motion to the court seeking permission to participate in a summit to be held in another country between July 15 and 26 while the govt attorney raised an objection stating that the said summit was not an important one. The attorney also pointed out that the MP had not handed over more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka claims asylum seekers are being paid

June 12 (ABC) TONY EASTLEY: There are plenty of stories about asylum seekers paying big money to people smugglers for a place on a boat heading for Australia. But Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Canberra Thisara Samarasinghe says in his country, the money is flowing the other way and asylum seekers are being paid to make the perilous journey. But he won't be drawn on who is paying the fares. In the past month alone, three boats carring Sri Lankan asylum seekers have arrived more..

Sri Lanka appoints first-ever Ambassador to Turkey

June 12 (TW) Sri Lanka has appointed its first-ever ambassador to Turkey. The country has named Bharthi Wijeratne, who has been serving as Turkey's honorary consul in Colombo for the last 12 years, as its first ambassador in Turkey. Wijeratne's mandate will officially begin on June 12, after the ambassadress presents her letter of credentials to Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Sri Lanka had earlier closed down its embassies in a number of countries including the Netherlands, more..

Task Force proposes complete overhaul of EPF, ETF

June 12 (DM) Amid controversy over the questionable investments by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the Employees Trust Fund (ETF), the government is considering whether to introduce a new law prohibiting such investments in poorly performing business venture. The National Human Resources and Employment Policy framework prepared by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) proposes a complete overhaul of the EPF and the ETF to enhance their effectiveness, more..

Herath rested for ODI series; Weerakoon picked

June 12 (CI) Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has been rested for the remaining three ODIs against Pakistan following a knee operation after the home series against England in March. The national selectors have picked the uncapped left-arm spinner Sajeewa Weerakoon as his replacement. Herath played the first two ODIs in Pallekele, bowling six overs in the first and his full quota in the second. He picked up one wicket but kept his economy rate under four an over in both games. more..

Bollywood plans 2 films about LTTE, to be called ‘Ceylon’ and ‘Jaffna’

June 12 (TOI) Two creators. One mission. Cinematographer-director Santosh Sivan and Vicky Donor's director Shoojit Sircar are all set to make epic dramas set in the heart of the LTTE struggle for separatism. Both the hard-hitting political films seem poised to take off at the same time. Interestingly both Sivan and Sircar claim the subject has been with them for a very long time. Says Sivan, "The subject of my film entitled Ceylon hovered in my subconscious for many years. more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 12.06.2012

Wild Life Minister stung by move to remove Sigiriya wasps

June 12 (Island) Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S.M. Chandrasena has ordered wildlife officials not to allow men of the Central Cultural Fund to remove wasp nests from Sigiriya rock fortress. The removal of wasp nests from an area national park could not be done just because CCF wanted them removed, Minister Chandrasena said. He said that a comprehensive study should be conducted prior to any drastic action disrupting the wild life. more..

'Up to us to challenge ourselves' - Mahela

June 12 (CI) Sri Lanka may not have beaten Pakistan in the last five one-dayers the teams have played at the R Premadasa Stadium, but the hosts' captain, Mahela Jayawardene, is confident of his team doing well in Wednesday's ODI. The way Sri Lanka performed in the second match - winning by 76 runs - following the thumping they received in the first, he said, demonstrated the team's character. "We haven't played that well against Pakistan [at the R Premadasa Stadium]. It's up to us to challenge ourselves," more..

CPC responds to UNP allegations

June 12 (DM) Debunking the UNP’s theory of increasing oil prices the CPC claimed that world oil prices fluctuated on a daily basis but had not decreased as claimed by the opposition. The CPC in a statement yesterday said that the price of crude oil had increased to US $ 98.50 per barrel on June 8 from US $ 95.99 on June 6. The statement said that a price fluctuation was also seen on June 5 as well when the price of a barrel soared to US $ 101.61 from the previous day’s more..

SLTB needs to be saved from its drawbacks

June 13 (NS) A recent media report said the Ministry of Transport had asked for Rs. 1,747 million from the Treasury to meet the urgent expenses of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). It is not unusual for most state enterprises to depend on Treasury support for carrying on their activities. Nevertheless, what is unfathomable is that this request for funds comes against the backdrop of a series of statements made by Transport Minister Kumar Welgama from the time more..

The fast that helped defeat P-TOMS

June 13 (NS) In June 2005, Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, then a JHU MP launched a Satyagraha protesting the P-TOMS (the joint mechanism to manage funds and implement projects associated with post-tsunami recovery where the LTTE would have controlling power). The venerable thera ended the fast on June 11, 2005. The JHU is commemorating the 7th anniversary of that historic act which helped defeat the P-TOMS with the launch of a book, ‘Yathivara Aditana’ more..

Beggary Inc.

June 13 (NS) Does charity beget merit to the giver or merely more ‘charity worthy’ cases in today’s Sri Lanka? The amount of rupees doled out to a grieving vagrant on a bus running either within a city or between cities is remarkable if one cares to keep an eye open when they walk down the aisle with outstretched hands appealing to the generosity of the passengers, having delivered a discourse on their present plight and their tale of woe that betided them. more..

Accountability Only God Knows!

June 13 (DM) Statistics are like bikinis. What they expose is revealing what they conceal is suggestive. Accountability is to reach an authenticated number of civilians dead and not act silly with fairy tales of a zero civilian casualty number or become traumatized with horror stories of over 40,000 civilian deaths. In war, civilian casualties are inevitable but it is no war crime, unless civilians are intentionally targeted and fire power utilized is beyond the limits of proportionality. Numbers disclosed in the researched UN Country Team Report (2009) more..

Mission of the Tamil Political Leadership

June 13 (DM) If the mission of the Tamil political leadership is fulfillment of the genuine aspirations of Tamil speaking people in this country as professed by senior Tamil speaking politicians, its actions and strategies should be designed to realise that goal. Hence political leadership has an obligation to conduct itself in a responsible manner to ensure that its role would not be misconstrued by the majority of this country and its political representation, since past experience shows that it was acting as a proxy of more..

Golden memories, silver tears and colonial villas

June 13 (DM) Tucked away in the southwest corner of Sri Lanka’s coastline, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy town of Galle lies the quaint old peninsula that is the Galle Fort. Originally built by the Portuguese and then modified by the Dutch in the 17th century, this little enclave shot to fame after it was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1988. Although the maintenance of this little city is funded by the more..

Untapped potential for unity and joint problem solving

June 13 (CT) The inability of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to deliver his speech at the opening session of the Commonwealth Business Council in London last week was a replay of the scuttling of the President’s intention to address the Oxford Union last year. On that occasion there was strong manifestation of ill feeling and even hatred that apparently intimidated the organizers of the event into cancelling it as the last moment. more..

3 years on, a hurting stalemate in Sri Lanka

June 13 (GV) Last month saw the official marking of three years after the end of the 28 year old war that plagued Sri Lanka, killing thousands and setting the country back in terms of development and prosperity. Yet three years on, it seems that not much has changed. Whilst Sri Lanka has tried to portray that there has been progress made on the ground largely in infrastructural development, critics have been quick to highlight the lack of tangible progress on reconciliation, more..

The brainchild behind Kandy's brilliant designs

June 13 (SO) Relatively little has been written about one of the most brilliant designers and royal artificers produced by the Kandyan Kingdom - Devendra Mulachari. He designed and built some of the most historic monuments in the Kandyan Kingdom, including the Pattirippuwa or Octagon of the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the Cloud Wall or Walakulu Bemma surrounding the Maligawa, the Diyarella Bemma or ornamental wall surrounding the Kandy Lake and the Magul Maduwa or more..

Insulting Lankan VIPs in Tamilnadu amounts to insulting Tamil culture!

June 13 (DBS) Well every thing started with the 11th International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) held in Colombo from June 3 to 5th 2010. In a way it was an Ill conceived – white elephant project that failed drastically to give the desired result as the sponsors had no deep knowledge about Bollywood or Indian politics. It was said Sri Lanka was supposed to spend a staggering US$9 million anticipating a return of bumper US$ 126 million. I am not sure of this figure. more..

Present UGC Chairman got appointed due to serving President in election campaign

June 13 (DBS) The University Grants Commission (UGC) never ceases to amaze me by its ability to posture through high principles which it never practices. Indika Sri Aravinda reports (Leader, 3 June) that the UGC will henceforth fine illegal doctorates and that according to the UGC Chairman, issuing doctorates for a payment is illegal. In Sri Lanka the Universities Act purports to regulate the issuance of degrees but it really cannot regulate foreign degrees. more..

Surrendering airwaves & liberty to nepotism

June 13 (GV) Understanding the State capture by Kleptocrats does not require a dedicated study; it is easily recognizable. For the benefit of keen students of governance, let me begin this article with the definition of Kleptocracy: “A form of political and govt corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its ruling class at the expense of the wider population”. Kleptocracies are mostly associated with authoritarian or nepotistic regimes. more..

Editorial: SF's security woes

June 13 (Island) Security given to some self-important govt politicians is such that the ordinary people have to get into wayside drains to make way for them on public roads. Besides, they have private armies consisting of trigger-happy, heavily armed underworld criminals. But, former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka laments that he does not have adequate security in spite of threats to his life, which, he says, is in danger. This is a very sad state of affairs. The govt claims to have detailed some security personnel to protect more..

On Sri Lanka threats, UN tells press "Call NYPD," but SLC sees Silva

June 13 (ICP) Amid the UN's ambiguous relationship with the Sri Lankan government accused of killing 40,000 civilians in 2009, with the involvement of both its UN Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona and his Deputy, general Shavendra Silva, Inner City Press on June 11 asked the UN about a threat that I’ve received from it seems to be a Sinhalese or Sri Lankan extremist, saying I should "swim like a brick," and the reason I am asking you about it is because it was more..

සබැඳියාව | Connections – June 12, 2012

MoU to build Chinese Cultural Centre

June 13 (DN) Culture and Arts Minister T B Ekanayake and his Chinese counterpart Cai Wu, signed a MoU on the establishment of a Chinese Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka during the minister's visit to China. The minister was touring China on the invitation of its Cultural Minister Cai Wu, to participate in the ninth Cultural Ministers' Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The MoU will strengthen the friendly relationship and understanding between the peoples and govts of the two countries. more..

Sri Lanka, a growth prone nation in Asia: Hungarian FM

June 13 (DN) A significant strengthening of economic relations between Sri Lanka and Hungary can be confidently anticipated as Sri Lanka enters a new phase in its development, Hungarian Foreign Minister Dr Janos Martonyi said at bilateral discussions with External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Budapest on Monday. He described the MoU on political consultations and co-operation signed between the two ministers more..

Vehicle importers honk for fair deal

June 13 (FT) Alarm bells are ringing for Sri Lanka’s vehicle importers after numbers plummeted by 20.8 per cent in April, motivating the industry to demand talks with the Govt. Ceylon Motor Traders Association Chairman Thilak Karunaratne said that the industry was worried over the increasingly lower demand driven by high taxes, interest rates, expenses and a credit crunch. The association has requested a meeting to discuss issues with Treasury Secretary but more..

Sri Lanka overnight rates at new high amid forex pressure

June 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's overnight interest rates rose to a high of 10.50 percent Tuesday, the highest since a balance of payments crisis began in the middle of 2011, as the rupee sank to a new low against the US dollar. Excess liquidity (the aggregate clearing balance of the banking system) remained below a billion rupees for the third day and some banks borrowed up to 1.5 billion rupees from the Central Bank's 9.75 percent reverse repurchase widow. more..

Fish harvest increased due to illegal fishing gear ban

June 13 (Island) Protecting aquatic resources in the country’s seas had become a challenge due to the intense exploitation of fish resources, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratna said. "Fishermen and the other supportive employees who use illegal fishing gear, including tractors to haul ‘Madel’ nets, hurt our fish resources, and our economy," he said. The minister said by prohibiting use of unlawful equipment and methods for fishing, the country managed to collect a harvest of 100,000 metric tons more..