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Decision to permit Indian professional practise here irks GMOA, OPA

June 13 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association and the Organisation of Professionals’ Associations are (OPA) opposed to the South Asian Trade In-service Exchange as Sri Lanka has authorised doctors from India and South Asian countries to practise medicine here. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa cautioned that under the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India, the Indian govt had requested the more..

Revised electoral register from this month

June 13 (DN) All eligible voters are duty bound to enter their details in the electoral register when a revision of the Electoral Registers 2012 is carried out from June 1 to July 15, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. He said Sri Lanka is a country, where a revision of electoral registers is carried out annually. “Accordingly, a form to furnish details for compiling the electoral register will be distributed to every household by a Grama Niladhari from June 1 to July 15. They will be collected by the Grama Niladhari by calling over at every household more..

STF officers arrest extortionist

June 13 (CT) A team of intelligence unit officers of the Police Special Task Force had arrested a person while he was in the process of extorting money from a businessman from Thalangama on Sunday. The suspect claiming to be the coordinating secretary to a minister had threatened the life of a businessman and demanded Rs One million and had obtained Rs 850,000 of that sum. Since the suspect was harassing the businessman and threatening his life constantly demanding the balance Rs 150,000, he had notified the STF regarding the incident. more..

'Kundasalai Agricultural Institute to be closed'

June 13 (CT) Sri Lanka’s largest agricultural institute is to be demolished in order to make way for a new airport, the IUSF alleged. IUSF convener Sanjeewa Bandara said that plans are underway to close down the Kundasalai Agricultural Institute and build a new airport in its place. “Over 100,000 students are unable to enter university because there are no openings. Instead of shutting down higher educational institutions, they should be developed and expanded, thereby more..

UNP in new internal battle over SF

June 13 (Island) UNP Puttalam District MP Range Bandara yesterday reacted angrily after being advised by the party’s National Organiser Daya Gamage not to keep company of Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader, General Sarath Fonseka. Party sources told The Island that Bandara had retorted that he couldn’t abandon Gen. Fonseka to appease the likes of Gamage. Bandara said that General Fonseka wasn’t an ordinary leader but a true patriot acceptable to all. more..

Injection kills sole breadwinner

June 13 (Island) Shantha Anthony (41) a labourer suffered from a back ache and went for treatment to a private hospital in Kanuwana, Ja-Ela. He was given an injection and sometime later he collapsed and died. After he had collapsed the private hospital had transferred him to the Ragama hospital where he died. His grieving mother Rita Josephin (60) said that he was a father of two and the sole breadwinner of the family and there was no one to support them now. His wife had gone to the Middle East more..

Paddy export orders topping 100,000 met. tons

June 13 (DN) Sri Lanka has received orders for over 100,000 metric tons of rice from several countries in the African and Middle Eastern regions. The orders are from Kenya, South Africa, Dubhai, Somalia and Ethiopia. Rice production in the country has seen a tremendous increase with large tracts of paddy land being brought under the plough after the end of the 30 year conflict. more..

Vavuniya gets business resource centre

June 13 (Island) A large number of small business owners are to benefit from a resource center opened by the Vavuniya District Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. To realize the growth potential of the small and medium enterprises in the Northern Province, the FCCISL has embarked on a wide range of relevant capacity enhancement activities of the district chambers. A significant step in this process is the establishment of a new Business Resource Center more..

Five SIs suspended for posing as IPs

June 13 (Island) Five sub inspectors, attached to the Elpitiya Division, were suspended on Monday for posing off as Inspectors without having the requisite qualifications or authority from Police headquarters. Police Spokesman Superintendent Ajith Rohana said that action was taken against them by Southern Province DIG, Senior DIG Lalith Jayasinghe, following a preliminary investigation. The police spokesman said that in 2010 police headquarters issued a circular to all police stations that more..

TEA awaits govt. response to blending hub proposal

June 13 (DM) The Tea Exporters Association (TEA) is still awaiting a decision from the govt with regards to its proposal on the importation of tea to Sri Lanka for the purposes of blending, according to TEA Chairman, Niraj De Mel. “There needs to be an openminded approach to this issue. But when you consider the mentality of some producers and brand marketers, I see very little chance of the proposal going through.” more..

Chinese walker hailed for act of sportsmanship at the junior meet

June 13 (Xinhua) Sportsmanship was displayed at the ongoing 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championships when a young Chinese walker presented his new pair of shoes to Sri Lankan runner who walked bare-footed on Tuesday. Zhang Zhi, who took bronze in the 10,000-meter race walking in 45 minutes 05 seconds, gave his shoes to Pradeep Madushanka who was two laps behind him and completed at ninth. "I was so touched by his generous act of giving a new pair of more..

SriLankan goes daily to Beijing, Shanghai from mid-July

June 13 (FT) In a fresh push to woo more Chinese tourists as well as cater to growing two-way traffic, SriLankan Airlines on Tuesday announced the launch of daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai from mid-next month. The announcement was made to Chinese media via a press conference at Kempinski Hotel, Beijing, and separately to travel agents and tour operators. The daily frequency will bring the total number of flights operated by SriLankan to China including Hong Kong to 21. more..

European debt crisis: Sri Lanka most at risk, says Fitch

June 13 (Island) Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating is the most at risk among emerging economies from the fallout caused by the European sovereign debt crisis, Fitch Ratings said. "Europe’s sovereign debt crisis may pressure ratings of Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia by disrupting global funding markets," Fitch Ratings said. "Sri Lanka is most at risk due to its high external-funding needs and weak balance sheet," more..

SL v Pak, 3rd ODI: Tussling teams chase consistency

June 13 (CI) After the Twenty20s in Hambantota and two ODIs in Pallekele, the series now shifts to Sri Lanka's third World Cup venue - the R Premadasa Stadium. It's hard to predict how the third ODI will pan out: almost nothing seemed to go Sri Lanka's way in the first one-dayer when they limped to 135 for 8, but two days later, and on the same pitch, their batting was back to near its best and they piled up a match-winning score. more..

Work commences on Jaffna’s first luxury apartment complex

June 13 (Island) Tulasi MahaL, Jaffna’s first luxury apartment development project has been launched in the prominent northern city recently. The high profile project is scheduled for completion in September 2013. Located in the heart of the city, on the A9 Road in close proximity to the Kachheri, Tulasi Mahal will be a pioneering luxury apartment project in Jaffna, a city that is experiencing rapid economic growth in recent months. The project is being designed and more..

Govt considering fuel price revision

June 13 (DN) The government has turned its attention to provide a fair chunk of benefits to the public from the downward trend of petroleum prices in the international market. Petroleum Industries Ministry sources yesterday said, the government has focused its attention on giving temporary and immediate benefits to the public, given that the present downward trend of international oil prices will continue for a further few weeks. more..

Bizarre Customs decision allows smuggler to go scot free

June 13 (Island) In a bizarre decision taking process, a Pakistani national, who was proceeding to China via Colombo, carrying undeclared currency in US$ 13,200, was arrested at the Departure Lounge of the BIA yesterday morning but was released without any penalty by afternoon by the Customs when he claimed that he had brought the money from Karachi and that they had no jurisdiction over monies carried by transit passengers. But informed BIA sources said more..

NGO charges Women’s Affairs Minister not fit to handle job

June 13 (Island) Sri Lanka Nature Forum Chairman Thilak Kariyawasam yesterday urged the government to review the Cabinet decision, as a matter of urgency and approve the draft legislation to establish a National Commission on Women. "The Cabinet’s refusal clearly indicates the inefficiency of the Minster in charge of Women, he said. If the minister was unable to implement it, what was the use of his holding that post? Kariyawasam asked at a press briefing more..

Ceylon House Makkah compensation expected at US$ 100 million?

June 13 (SL) Ceylon House – a pilgrims rest in the holy city of Makkah (Mecca), in Saudi Arabia – is set to receive compensation in the region of LKR 12 Billion after the Saudi Arabian authorities sought the compulsory purchase of the building. The Authorities have cited the expansion of the Grand Mosque – the focal point for Muslims globally – and have offered to pay compensation. Spearheading the negotiations with the Saudi authorities is Minister A.H.M. Fowzie who more..

Political elites oblivious to impending dangers of nuclear power...

June 13 (LB) Sri Lanka is poised to start discussions with Indian authorities on that country’s nuclear programme but experts urged Colombo to also do its own housekeeping while pursuing discussions with New Delhi. For instance, they advised Sri Lanka to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which, while prohibiting nuclear testing, provides assistance to monitor whether a nuclear test or more..

JHU wants House disciplinary comm. to investigate Sampanthan’s conduct

June 13 (Island) The JHU yesterday said that a parliamentary disciplinary committee headed by Senior Minister, D.E.W. Gunasekera should investigate TNA leader, R. Sampanthan, MP, for expressing separatist sentiments at the 14th Annual ITAK convention in Batticaloa recently. JHU National Organizer, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that the govt and the parliament should act decisively to discourage those propagating separatism, more..

Fonseka says will not join the govt

June 13 (CG) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has scotched rumors that he might join the govt, his family members said. According to his family there have been rumors circulating over the past few days saying that he might offer support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However Fonseka was quoted as saying there is no truth in such claims and that he will not support anyone who commits injustice to the nation. “Over the past few days, some of you might more..

Uni. non-academics continue strike as talks fail

June 13 (Island) University non-academics yesterday decided to continue with their all–out strike as talks with the Labour Commissioner, officials from the University Grants Commission and Higher Education Ministry had failed. Media spokesman of the Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee (IUTUJC) Wijayathilake Jayasinghe told The Island that the UGC officials were unable to give an answer, at yesterday evening’s meeting, more..

'Politics will bring monks into disrepute'

June 13 (DM) “Buddhist monks of today should shun politics, as involving themselves in politics would bring only insults and abuse. Without entering Parliament they could advise and mould the devotees while remaining in their temples, said the Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thera, the Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter. Delivering an anusasana on the occasion of the 700th. anniversary of the Asgiriya Maha Viharaya, more..

SLC officials are set of puppets, says Arjuna

June 13 (Island) Airing his views at a TV talk show on the recent controversial TV deal between Sri Lanka Cricket and the Carlton Sports Network, MP Arjuna Ranatunga said SLC consisted of a set of puppets who were dancing to the tunes of their political higher-ups, only to ruin the sport. Talking on the SLC - CSN TV contract on the showing of matches of the Sri Lanka cricket team, Ranatunga said the deal has caused heavy losses on the state-owned Rupavahini more..

Sri Lanka police detain migrants heading to Australia

June 13 (AFP) Sri Lankan police said Wednesday they had arrested 53 people, including two Indian nationals, who were trying to leave the island illegally in a boat believed to be heading for Australia. The fishing trawler was stopped by the navy off the island's southeastern coast late Tuesday and the men were handed over to the police who questioned the passengers and arrested another 26 people on shore, more..

Sri Lanka holds rates to sustain growth as Rupee fans prices

June 13 (BN) Sri Lanka kept interest rates unchanged for a second month, opting to shield growth from tumbling exports even as a slump in the rupee fans inflation. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka left the reverse repurchase rate at 9.75 percent and the repurchase rate at 7.75 percent. Seven of eight economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted no change in the reverse repurchase rate, with one expecting a 0.25 percentage- point cut. more..

Govt. selects key recommendations

June 13 (CG) The govt has identified some key recommendations of LLRC which will be implemented this year, President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga said today. He said that of the 285 recommendations listed in the LLRC report 33 recommendations of national interest have been identified. Weeratunga is heading a committee appointed by the govt to look at the recommendations to be implemented. He said that cabinet will be briefed by the end of this month on the recommendations which will be more..

Sri Lankan stocks up 0.77 percent

June 13 (LBO) Share prices firmed up on Wednesday, driven by investor interest in blue chip stocks, brokers said. Colombo’s All Share Price Index was up 37.24 points or 0.77 percent to 4,844.79, the Milanka Price Index gained 34.65 points or 0.81 percent to end at 4,303.89. Turnover was 284.82 million rupees, with foreign buying of 29.24 million rupees over sales of 87.79 million rupees. Commercial Bank, dominated trading, climbing 20 cents to 100.50 rupees on trades of 870,490 shares. more..

Editorial: Don’t fiddle with free education

June 13 (DM) With the gradual and now extensive privatisation of the health sector, the cost of warded treatment in private hospitals is so high that it is beyond the reach of more than 85 per cent of our people. In addition to five-star hotels, we now have five-star hospitals where helpless unsuspecting patients are plundered and their families lose most of their savings. We need to take a lesson from what has happened in the health sector and act fast before some vested more..

Sri Lanka expresses "relief" at U.S. exemption from Iran sanctions

June 13 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government has expressed "relief" over a U.S. decision to exempt it from financial sanctions placed on countries that import oil from Iran, a top official said here on Wednesday. Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga expressed relief over the exemption given to Sri Lanka since around 90 percent of the country's oil is imported from Iran with the remainder coming from Saudi Arabia and Oman. more..

Sri Lanka secures $3.5 mn from Japan for farm equipment

June 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka has inked a 468 million rupee (3.5 million dollar) grant with the Japanese government to buy equipment to secure the island’s food security, a statement said. Under the 380 million Yen programme, Sri Lanka has secured funds to buy 946 tractors that will be distributed among farmers working in the island’s north on two seed farms. “The tractors consist of 896 two-wheel tractors and 50 four-wheel tractors,” the Japanese embassy in Colombo said. more..

Jayalath asks Pope to intervene in threats against Bishop Joseph

June 13 (AD) UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena has written to Pope Benedict at the Vatican and requested his intervention in alleged threats against Bishop of Mannar, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph. In his letter, MP Jayawardena states that the Bishop has been victimized by various comments made by “chauvinistic and communal minded govt Ministers” and the media that is controlled or sympathetic towards the govt. Among those accusations, Jayawardena states that more..

State Ceremony held to mark 700th anniversary of Asgiriya Maha Viharaya

June 13 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday attended the state ceremony which was held to mark the 700th year anniversary of the Asgiriya Maha Viharaya in Kandy. The Viharaya was established by King Parakramabahu IV in the 13th Century and almost all the rulers of the Kandyan Kingdom contributed much towards its development. Records also indicate that it was mainly the monks of this Chapter who more..

More than 1,000 child marriages in A’pura

June 13 (DM) Police have received information that more than 1,200 children in the Anuradhapura district had been married while still attending school. Anuradhapura ASP K.D.K. Senaratne said, only 157 child marriages had been reported to the police last year but had received information on many other such marriages. He told a seminar on preventing schoolchildren from resorting to illegal activities and vices that according to a recent survey about 72 schoolchildren used liquor and tobacco. more..

'Sri Lanka should persist with stabilization measures'

June 13 (LBO) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce says the state should persist with measures efforts to correct balance of payments pressure and learn lessons to make sure that such incidents are not repeated. The 3-month yield rose 9 basis points to 10.95 percent, the 6-month yield rose 17 basis points to 12.29 percent and the 12-month yield rose one basis points to 12.67 percent. The debt office, which is a unit of the Central Bank said 15 billion rupees of bills were offered to more..

President ill-treated in England - Karu

June 13 (CT) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya today said the manner in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa was ill-treated in England during his recent visit was shabby and this brought disrepute to the country. The former UNP deputy leader said President Rajapaksa did not take part in this event as the leader of the SLFP but as the head of state in Sri Lanka. “So whatever mistreatment he had to undergo is an insult to Sri Lanka,” he said. more..

Consular Corps delegation from UK visit Sri Lanka

June 13 (GDI) Creating opportunities to enhance diplomatic ties in promoting the destination, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has received a five member delegation from the "Consular Corps of London” at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Monday for a familiarization tour in Sri Lanka. The executive Committee members delegation will be touring in Sri Lanka from 11th-19th June 2012 to update their knowledge about various new developments taking place in more..

Rs. 2.6 mn extortion: Minister Mervyn Silva’s aide given bail

June 13 (Island) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris yesterday released Ahangamage Donald Ranjith Perera, Coordinating Secretary to Minister Mervyn Silva, on bail with two sureties of Rs. 01 million when he was produced in Court on a charge of running an extortion racket. The Colombo Crime Division arrested the suspect, a resident of Kalpitiya, Wadduwa after receiving a complaint from Prasanna Namal Bandara Kulathunga of Park Road, more..

No move to ban Malinga: Sri Lanka Cricket

June 13 (Hindu) Sri Lanka Cricket has not even thought of banning any player, let alone fast bowler and ICC T20 Ambassador, Lasith Malinga. “I vehemently deny this story which is a figment of imagination of some vested interests,” said Sri Lanka Cricket president Upali Dharmadasa, when asked if there were any moves to ban any player for refusing to sign the contract with Sri Lanka Cricket, citing low payments. Mr. Dharmadasa said that when more..