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Who let the Malabe Medical College head enter?

June 21 (CT) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera demanded to know who had given the Head of Malambe Private Medical College permission to enter the govt officials’ box in Parliament yesterday. MP Jayasekera participating in a debate on an adjournment motion on the Malabe Private Medical College pointed out only govt officials are allowed inside the box to listen to the proceedings of the House. “Now we see the head of the Malambe Private Medical College is inside the box more..

'Luxembourg committed to support SL'

June 21 (DN) Luxembourg is committed to support Sri Lanka, said Luxembourg Grand Duchy Deputy Prime Minister Jean Asselborn, when Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha paid a farewell call on him recently at his office in Luxembourg. Luxembourg continued to provide assistance to Sri Lanka, mainly for humanitarian purposes. Luxembourg donated Euro 421,825 in 2010 and Euro 41,991 in 2011 for more..

Detained TN fishermen set free by Lankan court

June 21 (PTI) Nine Indian fishermen, detained by Sri Lankan Naval personnel after they allegedly strayed into Lankan waters, were on Wednesday set free by a court in the Island Republic, fisheries department officials in Rameswaram said. Judicial Magistrate Gajapathy Balan of Kankesanturai in northern Sri Lanka ordered the release of the fishermen from Akkarapettai village near Nagapattinam when they were produced before him, more..

Lankan among 4 held with drugs

June 21 (DC) Sleuths of the ‘Q’ branch arrested four persons, one of them a Sri Lankan national, in Vedaranyam for attempting to smuggle 1.5 kg of narcotics to the island nation. On a tip-off, sleuths conducted an intensive check at Vedaranyam and took the four into custody based on suspicion and conducted an enquiry. The four made contradictory statements and the police took them to Thanjavur office to grill them. It came to light that the four — Suriya Gandhi, Muruganandam, more..

Did non-disclosure of accident, cause schoolgirl’s death?

June 21 (Island) Sachini Navoda of Weliwatte, Raddolugama was a year four student at Sangamitta Vidyalaya, Colombo. Sachini returned to Raddoluwa with her father in their vehicle and she had fallen asleep as usual, her father Nandalal Kodagoda said. She usually falls asleep in the vehicle and was put to sleep on a bed, he said. Later she drank a glass of milk and went back to sleep. She complained of a headache and more..

Protests over unhealthy payment to get clean bill of health

June 21 (ST) The foreign employment industry took to the streets this week in noisy protests against the increase in medical fees for Sri Lankans taking up employment overseas. The protest called by the Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (ALFEA) took place on Thursday afternoon at Maradana and Kurunegala. The grouping has accused the Gulf Approved Medical Centre Association (GAMCA) of arbitrarily raising the medical fees from Rs. 4000 to 7,500 more..

Will it be a case of bye, bye blackbird?

June 21 (ST) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is planning to go ahead with a project to remove birds’ nests in the city. While Colombo looks cleaner and brighter, the fate of birds especially the familiar black crow may be sealed as the CMC gears up to take down nests on trees along main roads. The project was mooted following complaints about the sight and foul smell of bird droppings on roads including around Beira Lake in Hunupitiya, the Sunday Times learns. more..

Breastfeeding: SL on top in South Asia

June 21 (DN) Sri Lanka tops South Asia in exclusive breastfeeding (EBF), UNICEF regional office for South Asia nutrition specialist Julia Krasevec said. Delivering a special lecture on infant and young child feeding practices and programmes in South Asia at the South Asia Regional Knowledge Forum on sharing lessons from community experiences on improving infant and young child nutrition held in Kathmandu, Nepal, she said more..

Academics want aptitude test for Fine Arts

June 21 (ST) University academics urged the Higher Education Ministry to overturn the decision to cancel the practical aptitude tests for admission to the Fine Arts University. Chairmen of the Faculty Union of the Fine Arts University Senior Lecturer Chandraguptha Thenuwara said that the practically sound students having enough marks will loose the opportunity to enter the University due to this move. Earlier Minister S.B Dissanayake claimed that he got complaints from parents that more..

‘SriLankan losses mount due to negligence’: Airline responds

June 21 (Island) Senior Manager Corporate Communications, of the SriLankan Airlines, Ranjit de Silva, referring to our news report headlined ‘SriLankan losses mount due to negligence’, published in The Island of June 19, states: "The article refers to a Lightning Strike, which apparently caused millions of Rupees in losses to the airline due to negligence. "The airline refutes this claim and would like to reiterate that the building is more..

J’pitiye Amare to face identification parade over Katuwana killings

June 21 (Island) Geeganagamage Amarasiri, alias Julampitiye Amare, who surrendered to the Tangalle High Court on Tuesday in connection with a murder which occurred in 2002 will be produced at an identification parade in the Walasmulla Magistrate’s Court in connection with last Friday’s Katuwana double murder. Tangalle High Court Judge ordered Amarasiri be remanded till July 11 and be produced to face the more..

SB assures FUTA he will fix meeting with President

June 21 (Island) The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) yesterday received an assurance from Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake that a meeting would be arranged with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss their grievances, FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Devasiri said. Dr. Devasiri said that Minister Dissanayake offered to seek a meeting with the President after yesterday’s talks, which also involved Higher Education Secretary, Dr. Sunil Jayantha more..

Tamara in Havana

June 21 (CT) Sri Lanka’s Permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva Tamara Manimekhalai Kunanayakam joined the Sri Lankan delegation, which was present at President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s official meetings in Havana, Cuba; sources at the External Affairs Ministry said. Tamara Kunanayakam’s posting in Geneva, Switzerland was set to end effective 1 July after which she was set to be transferred to Havana on the instructions of the President, which she vehemently opposed. In a letter to the Minister of External Affairs more..

'UNP criticism validated by S&Ps'

June 21 (FT) MP and consultant economist Dr. Harsha De Silva yesterday alleged that THE UNP’s criticism over the mismanagement of the economy and the Central Bank as well as the EPF’s investments in banking stocks have been emphatically validated by global rating agency Standard and Poor’s.“Standard and Poor’s reiterated what we have been saying for the last three years with the announcement it issued on Tuesday,” asserted Dr. De Silva, more..

Lanka: Nationalisation row on agenda

June 21 (ENS) During his two-day visit to Sri Lanka beginning June 29, India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon would convey to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, New Delhi’s deep concerns in regard to some key political and economic developments in the island nation. In the past few weeks, there have been inspired leaks in the Lankan media about the impending nationalisation of the giant oil tanks in more..

Foreign teledramas earn govt Rs. 790 mn.

June 21 (Island) The Govt has earned tax revenue of Rs 790 million from the foreign teledramas, telecast by local TV stations, from 2006 upto April last year, Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament. He said that a tax of Rs 90,000 was levied for the first 30 minutes of each Indian teledrama telecast by local channels. An additional tax of Rs 15,000 was levied for each additional five minutes. A tax of Rs 10,000 was levied for the first 30 minutes of of English teledramas, more..

British HC denies claims of deportee abuse

June 21 (Island) In spite of the UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and several international human rights groups constantly alleging systematic abuse of those who had been deported from the UK, the British High Commission yesterday said it was not aware of a single case of deportee abuse since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. The British High Commission had not received any substantiated allegations of mistreatment on return of those removed from the UK, more..

The ongoing search for missing relatives

June 21 (SL) Shanthi* recalls standing at the Vattuval checkpoint in Mullaitivu, waiting to board a bus with her family, on May 18 2009, when the war was finally drawing to a close. The military had been calling on all those who had been with the LTTE to surrender. Shanthi’s husband was one of them, and surrendered when the military called him away. “He was carrying our child, and they asked him to leave the child and go, so he went. more..

'A surrender to protect both govt & Amare'

June 21 (LT) The surrender of Joolampitiye Amare to the High Court is an exercise carried out by the govt to avoid accusations against it and for the protection of Amare says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. This was said at a press conference held at the JVP head office today. The Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP MP Anura Dissanayake too was present. “The govt doesn’t act in a transparent manner regarding the double murder more..

Saving environment: not task of developing countries alone: President at Rio+20

June 21 (GDI) Addressing the environmental crisis should not be a burden for the developing countries alone. The developed countries, which largely contribute to the environmental crisis, cannot and should not leave the responsibility of saving the environment to developing countries, at the cost of their economic development,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the United Nations Conference on more..

Eurozone crisis could hit our economy harder

June 21 (LB) Sri Lanka’s shaky economy will get another pummelling as the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis worsens, analysts and industrialists warned last week, while urging policy makers to start steeling the country for it. But Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said he did not anticipate a major negative impact. “We don’t need to take any measures right now,” he asserted. “We are watching the situation very closely. more..

'I will not allow Land grabbing'

June 21 (CT) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran charged the govt is following a pattern where court orders are obtained to prevent peaceful demonstrations. He was speaking in Parliament yesterday when an adjournment motion regarding the Malabe Private Medical College was moved. He said law and order in the country has deteriorated and alleged armed groups have attacked a peaceful demonstration in the North. more..

UN to complete review next month

June 21 (CG) The United Nations (UN) will complete a review on its actions in Sri Lanka during the war by next month. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said that the review started in April 2012 and will be completed by July 2012 or thereabouts. The committee involved in the review is being headed by Charles Petrie after former committee head Thoraya Obaid had to step down for personal reasons. The internal review is part of a recommendation by the panel of experts more..

Sri Lanka plans to issue sovereign bond for up to $1 bln

June 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to sell sovereign eurodollar bonds worth up to $1 billion to add to its dollar reserves and give the central bank more room to defend the weakening rupee currency. The central bank has selected four global investment banks as joint lead managers, bookrunners and underwriters for the proposed issue. The issue will be Sri Lanka's fifth sovereign bond since it first sold a more..

Asylum-seeker boat carrying 200 capsizes off Australia

June 21 (AFP) An asylum-seeker boat from Sri Lanka believed to be carrying 200 people capsized off remote Christmas Island on Thursday with an unknown number of survivors, Australian and Indonesian authorities said. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the ship issued a distress call mid-afternoon and capsized 120 nautical miles north of the Indian Ocean territory, some 2,600 kilometres from the Australian mainland. more..

Judge makes shocking disclosure: Amare visited Tangalle prison last week

June 21 (DM) Tangalle High Court Judge in a disclosure in court said he had come to know that Geeganagamage Amarasiri alias Julampitiye Amare who had more than a 100 arrest warrants against him had visited an inmate at the Tangalle prison last week. He said and it was a prison officer who had opened the gate for him. The judge said this was how prison officers had treated a murder suspect and a man against whom the Courts had issued several arrest warrants. more..

Editorial: Children of violence

June 21 (DM) Apart from many instances where children become subject to extreme violence, very rarely does one hear of children becoming instigators of cruelty. However, the incident reported from Pelwatte where a group of schoolchildren assaulted a few teachers for not allowing ragging in the school premises, goes to show that the rarity of children resorting to violence is wearing thin. Perhaps this also busts the misconception that ragging and the hunger to rag are only inherent to the university students. more..

Banks drag down bourse after S&P report

June 21 (Reuters) Shares fell on Thursday after Standard & Poor's ranked the island nation's banks at "very high risk" in an assessment the central bank said was incorrect and contradictory. The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index lost 0.71 percent, or 35.99 points, to 5,042.07, slipping from its highest since May 22. It had gained 5.6 percent in the six sessions through Wednesday. The finance sector index fell 1.75 percent to a one-week low with top lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon and second largest lender Hatton more..

Sri Lanka seeking info on capsized boat alledgedly carrying Sri Lankans

June 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan authorities were waiting for further information on the fate of the people aboard a boat that capsized off Australia's Christmas Island as reports said most of the 200 people onboard were Sri Lankan illegal asylum seekers. External Affairs Ministry spokesman said that the Sri Lankan embassy in Indonesia and the Sri Lankan High Commission in Australia were monitoring the situation and more..

Sri Lanka ‘A’ leaves for South Africa today

June 21 (DM) The Sri Lanka ‘A’ squad led by left hand batsman Dimuth Karunaratne is due to leave on a three week tour to South Africa today where they will play two unofficial Test matches and two limited over games against South Africa ‘A’. Dimuth will lead the side in both versions of the game and with Kusal Janith as his deputy. The team comprises six Test players in Chamara Silva, Kaushal Silva, Dhammika Prasad, Kosala Kulasekera, Chamara Kapugedera and and Farveez Maharoof. more..

Sri Lanka looks for IMF support, "not a bailout"

June 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is looking for an extended fund facility from the International Monetary Fund after the current $2.6 billion loan programme ends, the central bank said on Thursday. An IMF mission last week said Sri Lanka had shown interest in further financial support. "It is not a bailout package. The area (we're) looking at is the extended fund facility," Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Reuters in an interview. more..

WikiLeaks: Rajapaksa travels with a teleprompt operator

June 21 (CT) An unclassified US diplomatic cable dated September 13, 2007 shows the President Mahinda Rajapaksa has travelled to US with a Teleprompt Operator. The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database and the cable is signed by the US Ambassador to Colombo Robert Blake. Read the cable below for further information; Embassy Colombo has received by diplomatic note more..

Political mileage from the Katuwana incident, alleges SLFP

June 21 (NF) Issuing a communique the SLFP has stated that certain political parties and individuals are attempting to use the Katuwana incident as a scapegoat in order to gain political mileage through hateful propaganda. The SLFP has issued a communique expressing its displeasure over the shooting incident that was carried out targeting a JVP propaganda rally in the Katuwana area. It also conveys the party’s condolences to to the two individuals who fell victim to the attack. more..

A father commits suicide because he cannot support his family

June 21 (AN) The economic and social crisis now gripping the world, claims victims in Sri Lanka: Jesumaria Kingsly, a Catholic fisherman of 40 with dreams of seeing his four children receive an education, took his own life by hanging himself. The problems started for him last February, when he lost a leg during protests against rising gasoline prices (see 02/14/2012, "Colombo ignores the protests against high gasoline prices by thousands of Catholic fishermen"). more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 21.06.2012

Agri development drive gets into top gear in Mannar

June 21 (GDI) The govt has taken steps towards a massive agricultural development drive in the Mannar district, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has said. He said during a visit to the Mannar district, the agriculture sector in the area was hampered for decades owing to terrorist activities. The govt launched a rapid irrigation system rebuilding programme to ease the problems of the farming community badly affected by the scarcity of water for cultivation and other purposes, more..

Katuwana incident a threat to democracy: Vasu

June 21 (DM) While urging the police to arrest the suspects of the Katuwana double murder as early as possible, the Democratic Left Front (DLF) had re-iterated that the incident holds great danger and was a threat to democracy and the rule of law. In a statement, General Secretary of the DLF, Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, said that the shooting incident which cost two persons their lives, while also causing injuries to several others at the JVP meeting held more..

U.S. embassy supports further development in Batticaloa

June 21 (USE) On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Patricia A. Butenis visited Batticaloa to open projects completed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the development arm of the U.S. Embassy. Ambassador Butenis inaugurated three projects - a bakery in Vakarai, Batticaloa, staff quarters at the Pulipanchakal School, and a children’s park at the lighthouse complex in Batticaloa. more..

Seven prisoners injured in clash

June 21 (CT) Seven prisoners were injured due to the clashes that erupted at the Vavuniya Prison between two groups of LTTE detainees today. Two prisoners are in critical condition, Prisons Commissioner D.P. Kodippili said. However, the Police said the two factions were those in remand custody for robbery and related crimes in the Vavuniya and Mannar areas, and denied any knowledge of them being LTTE detainees. The Prisons Commissioner said the clashes lasted around two hours, more..

Reservouir water levels down by 55%

June 21 (CT) Though intermittent rains are experienced in several parts of the country, the water levels of reservoirs and lakes have gone down by 55%, Irrigation Department Director General G.P.A. Godaliyadda said. However, by means of proper water management, the farmers have managed to cultivate 6,25,000 acres during this Yala season, Godaliyadda said. Unfortunately, the scarcity of water has adversely impacted on the cultivation activities in the Giritale, more..