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Arrivals stretch resources

June 14 (BT) THE near simultaneous arrival of three asylum-seeker boats across a vast stretch of ocean has stretched Australia's border patrols as the govt concedes more vessels are expected direct from Sri Lanka. Boats have been intercepted in the past two days at Ashmore Islands, Christmas Island and Cocos Island - spanning waters roughly three times the size of the Nullarbor Plain. Sri Lankan police yesterday claimed to have stopped another vessel with 53 people, more..

TNA leader blames it on translation

June 14 (Hindu) A deliberate false translation of its constitution is the reason the ITAK — the main constituent of the TNA — is being portrayed as a party that stood for secession of the Tamil parts from Sri Lanka, said TNA leader and MP M.A. Sumanthiran on Wednesday. In a conversation with The Hindu, he said the sworn affidavit filed in the Supreme Court — the constitution of the party — which is in Tamil, was translated into English wrongly by a certified translator. more..

Gale force winds blow away roofs

June 14 (Island) Gale force winds swept through Matara, Hambantota and Gampaha on Tuesday night and early yesterday morning causing severe damage to 88 buildings Deputy Director of Media at the Disaster Management Centre, Sarath Lal Kumara said that the affected buildings were partially damaged but one house in Ranna was completely destroyed. He said the winds blew away the roofs of most of the houses, hotels and shops rendering entire vicinities roofless in a matter of seconds. more..

London tea company to build cancer hospital here

June 14 (DN) Another cancer hospital will be built soon, affiliated to the existing Maharagama Cancer Institute to cater to the increasing number of cancer patients. The project will be undertaken jointly by the Health Ministry and Ahamad Tea London. A MoU was signed in this connection between the Health Ministry and Ahamad Tea London on Tuesday at the Health Ministry in the presence of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. more..

'LTTE groups posed a threat to President’s life in London'

June 14 (Island) The govt believes that President Mahinda Rajapaksa ran the risk of being physically attacked by the UK-based LTTE activists during his recent visit to London to attend the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and have talks with British government leaders. There could even have been an attempt on the President’s life while he was being driven to the venues where he met the Royal family and other British more..

Maldivian national falls to his death

June 14 (CT) A 37 year old Maldivian National had died subsequent to falling off the 18th floor of a five star hotel in Colombo this morning. Speaking to Ceylon Today police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana stated that a special investigation will be conducted into the death of Mohommed Miswan the Maldivian national. According to the police spokesman the victim had arrived in the country earlier this week, and had been residing at the apartment with several other Maldivians. more..

CTSU calls for Bandula’s resignation

June 14 (SM) The JVP affiliated Ceylon Teacher Services Union (CTSU) has called on Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena to resign due to the many unresolved issues faced by the country’s education sector. CTSU Head, Mahinda Jayasinghe said the Education Minister should resign given the many issues faced by the country’s education sector and his inability to resolve them. He explained that there have been issues in the GCE Advanced Level results, Grade 1 school admissions and more..

‘Flame’ inflames computers

June 14 (LB) Information Technology experts last week warned Sri Lankan users to adopt maximum security measures to prevent infection by the powerful ‘Flame’ malware or computer virus. “We have not had reports yet of any Flame malware infected incidents in Sri Lankan cyber space,” said Amila Bhagya Perera, information security specialist at TechCERT. “While Sri Lanka is relatively safe at the moment, we must keep in mind this is just the initial phase of discovery. more..

Miners say 5% royalty too high

June 14 (SL) The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) has so far failed to introduce a methodology to scrutinize the gold mining process in the Kelani River at Pugoda although it is nearing 14 days since issuing precious metal mining licences to the villagers. Over 250 villagers obtained permits on May 29 at the GSMB mobile service held at the Kumarimulla Mosque. Though the GSMB has set 19 guidelines to be followed by more..

Russia always backed Lanka: ambassador

June 14 (DN) Russia, while stressing that the Sri Lankan govt had no option but to defeat LTTE terrorists militarily, yesterday said Sri Lankan leaders had tried their maximum to minimise casualties in their efforts to eradicate terrorism. Russian ambassador to Sri Lanka Vladimir Mikhaylov said. Russia supported Sri Lanka's effort to eradicate terrorism from the beginning as it believed that protraction of a conflict under any pretext could only increase casualties. more..

Sanctuary or ceremony for Sri Lanka's elephants?

June 14 (BBC) In a river near the town of Kegalle, Raja the elephant takes his bath. The huge 50-year-old beast lies languidly in the coolness while two keepers scrub him hard. His tail twitches as his trunk explores the riverbed and sprays jets of water on his body. Most impressive are his long tusks. Many Asian elephants do not grow tusks at all: those that do are prized and much used in religious ceremonies. more..

Youthful partygoers thwart bank robbery

June 14 (Island) One person was killed when police opened fire on an armed gang that attempted to rob the Battaramulla branch of the Bank of Ceylon yesterday. One member of the gang had been nabbed while another had fled, police said. The deceased has been identified as R. S. Mahesh, a soldier attached to the Chundikulam Army Camp. The 22-year-old soldier was on leave at the time of the incident. more..

Eelam call post-TESO meet: MK

June 14 (ENS) DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Wednesday said he would start pressuring the Centre for a referendum on a separate country for Sri Lankan Tamils soon after the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) meet at Villupuram scheduled on August 5. Addressing a public meeting here, he sought the support of Tamils across the world for TESO’s efforts to attain a separate country for Lankan Tamils. more..

EPF Act to be amended to bail out bankrupt Govt?

June 14 (Island) Having failed to hijack the funds of the National Savings Bank and Employees Trust Fund, the govt was planning to amend the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), so that it could use the workers’ savings to cushion State institution losses, which have exceed Rs. 2,500 million, an opposition charged yesterday. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that the proposed amendment to the EPF Act had been discussed by more..

Govt. silent over WB, IMF funds: UNP

June 14 (DM) The WB and the IMF have agreed to consider a UNP proposal that the Sri Lankan govt should be prevailed upon to enact Financial and Right to Information legislation to ensure transparency in the disbursement of funds, the UNP said yesterday. The World Bank and the IMF invited the main opposition in April to make its observations about the economic activities of Sri Lanka. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake who visited Washington on behalf of the party, more..

'President, British PM meeting fruitful'

June 14 (Island) The govt expressed confidence that bilateral talks in Washington in May and the recently concluded presidential visit to London, where President Rajapaksa had the opportunity to meet UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, would help improve diplomatic ties with both countries. Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga and External Affairs Ministry’s monitoring MP, Sajin Vass Gunawardena said that the country was moving forward in spite of more..

Indian imports cut; SAFTA to be amended

June 14 (DM) The govt stressed the need to further restrict imports from India by amending the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), in order to boost the development of local industries. President Rajapaksa, at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, instructed the Industry and Commerce Ministry to amend SAFTA and do away with the sensitive list. The govt has sought to remove 208 varieties of goods being imported into the country from the countries in the SAARC region. more..

Sri Lankan shares rise 1.61 percent

June 14 (LBO) Sri Lankan share prices firmed up, closing 1.61 percent higher, lifted by a one-off deal in Ascot Holdings PLC, brokers said. Colombo’s All Share Price Index gained 78.23 to 4,923.03, while the liquid Milanka Price Index rose 1.80 percent or 77.68 points to close at 4,381.57, according to Colombo Stock Exchange figures. Turnover was 428.06 million rupees, of which foreign buying accounting for 52.67 million rupees over foreign sales of 56.90 million rupees. more..

Editorial: Legend of Karunatilake’s Chinaman

June 14 (DM) Perhaps that is why Shahan Karunatilake’s feat of winning the Commonwealth Writer’s Award is a true reason to rejoice over as a nation. In a country where English is a second language and the readership of English Literature is not very many, Karunatilke’s achievement has set new standards for those who are willing to follow his footsteps. Up until now, the highest feat ever reached by a Sri Lankan in the field of literature was the award of the Booker prize won by Michael Ondajee for more..

China's top legislator vows further ties with Sri Lankan parliament

June 14 (Xinhua) China's top legislator Wu Bangguo on Wednesday pledged to boost exchanges and cooperation with the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the pledge during a meeting with Chamal Rajapaksa, speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Wu hailed the traditional friendship between China and the South Asian state more..

Move to dissolve Eastern PC challenged in Court of Appeal

June 14 (Island) A voter from the Eastern Province has filed a Writ Application in the Court of Appeal, seeking to restrain the Chief Minister of the Province from advising the Governor to dissolve the Eastern Provincial Council shortly. The petitioner K.K. Priyanjan Amerasekera, from Damana, has said that the four Ministers of the Provincial Council do not think it necessary necessary to dissolve the Council. Hence, the Chief Minister cannot advise the Governor to dissolve it. more..

Exposition of Sacred Kapilawastu Relics in Sri Lanka

June 14 (GDI) On a request made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh has agreed to bring the Sacred Kapilawastu Relics to Sri Lanka after 33 years to provide an opportunity for the followers of Buddhism in Sri Lanka to pay homage to the sacred relics of Buddha, during the period of commemoration of the 2600th Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi. Accordingly, the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs together with the Presidential Secretariat, more..

FUTA to take TU action

June 14 (CT) University lecturers will launch aggressive trade union action from 4 July, for a number of unresolved issues in the university sector, asserted the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA). FUTA president Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said the FUTA has warned the Higher Education Ministry and the University Grants Commission (UGC) that the lecturers would agitate if the demands they put forward to the govt are not met. more..

Sri Lanka can learn from Malaysia, says envoy

June 14 (Bernama) The Sri Lankan govt intends to emulate Malaysia's steps in advocating the concept of moderation, taking the middle path and promoting it in the republic. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia, K. Godage, opined that the concept is apt for Sri Lanka, which is entering a new chapter after the civil war ended in 2009. He added that moderation is even more crucial for the country now, especially in terms of the govt's efforts to reunite the Sri Lankan people and more..

Sri Lanka expropriations a blow to entrepreneurship: businessman

June 14 (LBO) A new wave of expropriation by Sri Lanka's rulers is a blow to entrepreneurship in the island and a misguided repetition of a grave error that has harmed its people in the past, a Sri Lankan entrepreneur has warned. Sri Lanka last year expropriated a series of businesses owned by local and foreign citizens, despite a constitutional guarantee against the practice. Sri Lankan rulers have in the past violated property rights of citizens several times not only more..

Sri Lanka ex-army chief vows to unseat govt

June 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former army chief Sarath Fonseka, who was released from jail last month, renewed his fight with President Mahinda Rajapakse on Thursday with a call to defeat his "corrupt" government. Fonseka led troops to victory over Tamil rebels in 2009, ending decades of ethnic war on the island, but he then fell out with Rajapakse and made a failed bid to unseat him in 2010 elections. Shortly after his defeat, he was jailed for more than two years more..

Chief prelate against shifting Wasp nests from Sigiriya

June 14 (DM) Following the frequent attacks by the wasps on the visitors to Sigiriya, the chief prelate of the Sigiri Pidurangala Raja Maha Viharaya, Dr. Daniyagama Ananda Thera had advocated to the Central Cultural Fund not to move the wasp nests from that locality as it was not practicable. The Ven. Thera had mentioned these wasps had been protecting Sigiriya from the earliest times. Hence steps should be taken to regulate the number of visitors arriving at the more..

UNP is the main opposition party; Daya

June 14 (DM) While claiming that the UNP is the country’s main opposition party its National Organiser Daya Gamage stressed that the UNP would not go behind any other party to form an alliance. “ We are the country's main opposition party therefore in creating a common alliance we should be the main stakeholder. We would not seek to create a common opposition by going behind newly formed parties as that of Sarath Fonsekas”. He said that he had instructed UNP MP Palitha more..

Stuck Sri Lankan crew head home

June 14 (IOL) A 53-day ordeal of repeated engine failure and food shortages, followed by arrests and weeks of legal battles, has finally ended for the 26-man crew of a Sri Lankan ship. The crew of the cargo vessel Lanka Mahapola would be heading home on Friday. The arrest of the ship was provisionally lifted so they could receive their outstanding wages. On Wednesday, lawyer Nalini Maharaj, representing the vessel’s owner Dr Sanjaya Sedara, more..

Ambassador Aryasinha calls on the EU to remain vigilant of LTTE rump

June 14 (AD) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU, Ravinatha Aryasinha has called on the EU to further engage in Sri Lanka’s development process, saying it will serve as an important confidence building measure in strengthening EU-Sri Lanka relations. He made these observations when he paid a farewell call on the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, in Brussels on Wednesday (13), states the Embassy of Sri Lanka in in Brussels. more..

Divi Neguma chicks to feed malnutrition

June 14 (DM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa says that malnutrition and anaemia among children and mothers in low income families could be prevented if poultry and dairy farming under Divi Neguma Programme could be broad-based and expanded covering the entire low income families and estate sector. The Divi Neguma programme has initiated another project to supply a glass of fresh milk to school children. Under the Divi Neguma National programme a special project will be launched by more..

Hambantota to host Asian Youth Games

June 14 (PTI) Sri Lanka's southern port town of Hambantota has been chosen as the host city of the third Asian Youth Games in 2017. This was announced on Thursday by Sheikh Fahad Al-Sabah, the president of the Olympic Council of Asia. Hambantota, the newly developed port city, failed to win the bid for hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games after it was defeated by Australia's Gold Coast last year. The district, which is the home base of President Rajapaksa, more..

BOI signs highest valued FDI project ever of US $4 billion

June 14 (NS) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka has signed an agreement with Sri Lanka Gateway Industries, to spearhead Sri Lanka’s highest value ever Foreign Direct Investment project, for the development, operation and management of a special industrial zone for heavy industries, in the Trincomalee District. As per the agreement this project will come under the Strategic Development Act. The project master plan includes the development of a more..

When Bob Rae worked for peace in Sri Lanka

June 14 (Rabble) It was weird hearing Conservative MPs, during the debate on C-38, attacking Bob Rae for the so-called social contract of his 1990s NDP government. That was the measure by which the Rae government tried to reduce its spending on the public service without lay-offs. Instead of the kind of massive downsizing of the current Harper and the Chrétien-Martin governments, Rae imposed unpaid days off on public sector workers - Rae Days - rather than engaging in lay-offs. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 14.06.2012

Stray dogs to be vaccinated

June 14 (NF) commence an island wide programme to vaccinate the stray dogs. A senior member of the committee Dr. Chamith Nanayakkara said that the 1st step of the programme will get underway on the 17th of this month from Ratnapura, Kurunegala and Trincomalee districts. Senior member of the National Rabies Prevention Committee Dr. Chamith Nanayakkara stated that this initiative was launched in line with the programme to eradicate rabies by 2016. He went on to say that accordingly the committee decided to assist the more..

Reserve day for remaining Sri Lanka-Pak games

June 14 (Hindu) The washout of the third one day international has prompted a re-think in the playing conditions of the Sri Lanka Pakistan series. Now there will be a reserve day for the remaining two games. “There will be no change of venue. We have decided on reserve days for the remaining matches. For Saturday’s match, Sunday will be the reserve day, while for Monday’s match, Tuesday will be the reserve day,” Sri Lanka Cricket President Upali Dharmadasa more..

'No restrictions on imports from India'

June 14 (GDI) Sri Lanka says there is no move on its part to impose any restrictions on the import of Indian goods under the already arranged South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA). Minister Keheliya Rambukwella today clarified the factual situation on the news report in a section of media "on the need to further restrict imports from India by amending the SAFTA”. He said that Sri Lanka has already signed several bilateral agreements with more..

Ban tells Lanka to cooperate with OHCHR

June 14 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged Sri Lanka to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on implementing the recommendations of the LLRC. The UN Chief has said this in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. On Sri Lanka, Ban Ki-moon said he welcomed the recent decision of the UN Human Rights Council to call upon Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations more..

Ceylon Today Editor-in-Chief sacked

June 14 (CG) Veteran journalist and Editor in Chief of the Ceylon Today (CT) newspaper Lalith Alahakoon was removed from his post today, just around seven months after the newspaper was launched. Alahakoon was reportedly removed from his position over allegations he failed to tow the line of the newspaper which was to be pro Sarath Fonseka. Also removed from the newspaper was the head of the graphics department Wasantha Siriwardena. Sources said that the top management of more..