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Woman arrested for injuring B-I-L

June 24 (CT) The Hakmana police arrested a 30-year- old woman, who injured the genitals of her brother-in law with a sharp object in Kirinda, Puhulwella, on Friday. The suspect was ordered to be remanded till 5 July after she was produced yesterday before the Matara Additional Magistrate, Dulani Amarasinghe. Investigations revealed that the incident occurred over a personal dispute and the woman and the victim were both involved in an illicit relationship. more..

Raffles Hotels and Resorts out?

June 24 (Island) Ambitious plans to use global expertise to refurbish and manage Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH) – an iconic heritage property in the metropolis – under a multi-million dollar deal have been abruptly shelved, officials said last week. Eight bidders were short-listed, including the world famous Raffles Hotels & Resorts, for the specialized job but the whole process seems to have suddenly lost its sense of direction, they asserted. "Everything is now in a state of flux". more..

Concerns raised over construction of Buddhist centre in Muttur

June 24 (SL) People in the Muttur area have expressed concern over plans to construct a Buddhist centre atop a mountain in Jabal Nagar, Muttur. According to Mohammad Jihad of the Muttur People’s Forum, the mountain is surrounded by four villages, Jabal Nagar, Pachchanoor, Sahayapuram and Vettukadduchenai, which are predominantly Tamil and Muslim villages. He said that hundreds of people from these villages depended on the mountain as a rock quarry, more..

Vege harvest down; prices soar

June 24 (LB) The price of vegetables, island wide, has gone way beyond the reach of the average Sri Lankan, resulting in the masses facing much difficulty in purchasing their daily quota of vegetables. Due to the drought being experienced in various parts of the country – in districts such as Kandy, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Matale and Kurunegala several tanks and rivers have also gone dry leading to many cultivations being parched due to lack of water essential for cultivation. This situation has had a ripple effect with more..

Lal Kantha threatens to bring 10,000 amude-clad farmers to Colombo

June 24 (Island) JVP front liner and its trade union leader K. D. Lal Kantha said that 10,000 farmers are ready to wear the amude (loin cloth) and march to Colombo with him in protest against the losses they incurred as a result of failed crops due to the drying up of Kalawewa, the main source of water to their fields. Lal Kantha demanded that for each acre the govt should pay Rs 100,000 as compensation. more..

Only nine of 45 state institutions act to combat dengue

June 24 (LB) Many ministries are reportedly ignoring the circular issued by president’s secretary Lalith Weeratunga seeking their assistance through respective state departments, corporations and institutes to combat the ongoing menace created by the aedes mosquito that brings on the dengue virus. Only nine of the 45 ministries to which the circular was issued have responded positively while the rest have not taken any action to date in this more..

Sri Lankan held at IGI Airport with fake visa

June 24 (DH) A Sri Lanka national has been arrested from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport for traveling on a forged Schengen visa, police said on Saturday. Kirupakaran Muthulingam, who hails from Colombo, arrived in the city late on Thursday evening and was scheduled to board a connecting Air France flight to Paris on Friday morning. “He was stopped after an immigration officer at Terminal 3’s departure wing suspected that the Schengen visa on his passport’s more..

Nishantha says he got millions, wrist watch as gifts from sons

June 24 (ST) SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe yesterday declared that the foreign currency amounting to Rs. 4 million and the gold watch stolen from his residence were gifts from his two sons in Australia. Mr. Wickremasinghe said the two sons who came on a holiday in April had given him the money as a present to his wife while the diamond-studded gold watch was a birthday gift for him. more..

Athauda says police booked him on ‘higher-ups orders’

June 24 (LB) Senior Minister Athauda Seneviratne who surrendered to the Thulhiriya Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for allegedly damaging a property in Warakapola, was released on personal bail of Rs.1 million. Seneviratne has been accused of being part of an unlawful gathering that is said to have damaged a bottled water plant in Warakapola recently. “He was among the group that attacked a property. If one person in a group that you were with does something illegal, more..

Sri Lanka gets US$2.5bn dollars in China financing

June 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka has notched up 2.53 billion US dollars in funding from China, since 2007 and 1,205 billion US dollars already disbursed into roads, power, ports and airports. In 2011 China has committed 785 million US dollars in new financing, up from 635 million US dollars in 2010. China has committed about 2.1 billion US dollars in loans and 24 million dollars in grants. The Export Import Bank of China was the top lender followed by China Development Bank andt more..

GL’s promises to Clinton revealed

June 24 (SL) A two page plan that was presented to US Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton five weeks ago by Minister G. L. Peiris details short, medium and long term measures to be adopted by the government to implement recommendations made by the LLRC. The document with the heading ‘The way forward in regard to the report of the LLRC’ was the basis for the talks between a three-member delegation led by Peiris and American officials more..

Suspect not a BMICH employee

June 24 (SL) The management of the BMICH has said that the suspect who was arrested for raping an underage girl on the BMICH premises is not an employee of the BMICH. The suspect who raped the school girl on June 9 was further remanded till June 25 by the Fort Magistrate last week. Police Spokesperson S.P. Ajith Rohana said that a 19 year old suspect has been taken into custody for raping a 15 year old girl at the BMICH and investigations found that the girl was having an affair with the boy. more..

Dengue epidemic should be considered a medical emergency – Dr. JJ

June 24 (Island) All the hospitals are full of patients with dengue fever and this is a very, very unfortunate situation, which should be considered as a medical emergency and all steps should be taken to prevent the further spread of the dengue fever, says UNP MP Dr Jayalath Jayawardena. I am writing to you as an Opposition Parliamentarian as well as a Medical Practitioner. As you are aware, there is severe dengue epidemic covering the entire country which more..

Talk at the Cafe

June 24 (ST) When the meeting of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) was held this week, UNP members raised the issue of the high cost of living. However of the 20 UPFA members, only eleven were present and they also chose to keep mum. There were some blunders in the Sinhala version of the Finance Ministry’s much-hyped 2011 annual report released recently at a ceremony chaired by the President. On page 457, Table 1.15 the caption is abou tpaddy and wheat production but in the table its quantities are given in nuts more..

Illegal buildings on state land to go, says UDA

June 24 (ST) The Urban Development Authority (UDA) is to demolish unauthorized constructions built on State owned land within the Colombo city and its suburbs, a senior official of the Authority told the Sunday Times. He said that some of the buildings constructed on unauthorized land have been in existence for more than 10 years and cover over an acre in extent. At least six such locations have been identified, he said. more..

Witnesses to Katuwana murders threatened against giving evidence

June 24 (LB) Some persons who witnessed the Katuwana double murder last week have been threatened with death if they proceed to give evidence against Gigana Gamage Amarasiri alias Julampitiye Amare. Attorney at Law Sunil Watagala who is appearing on behalf of the two victims following the shooting that took place at Katuwana recently charged that witnesses have been issued with death threats, allegedly by Amarasiri’s goons. more..

CIC stresses need to grow exportable rice varieties

June 24 (Island) CIC Holdings PLC, one of Sri Lanka’s largest agri-business companies with extensive operations across the gamut of agriculture, has stressed the need to access export markets for surplus paddy and vegetables produced here. CIC Chairman B.R.L. Fernando said in the company’s annual report that Sri Lanka was no longer looking to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production. "A surplus is now available making it mandatory to access exports markets," more..

Tourism losing growth momentum

June 24 (NS) Although Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals continue to reflect an increase, the rate of growth appears to be slowing down, partly due to the crisis in the traditional markets, a top industry leader has warned. The visitor arrivals in the calendar year 2011 showed an increase of 30.8% when compared with 2010 whilst the cumulative increase up to April 2012 is 18.3% when compared with 2011. According to the Chairman of Dolphin Hotels PLC, A.N. Esufally for the industry to take off exponentially, more..

'FUTA to continue union action despite threats'

June 24 (ST) Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) President Dr. Nirmal Dewasiri vowed that the academics would continue their trade union action to win their demands despite continued threats allegedly by those connected to the defence authorities. Dr.Dewasiri who faced threats not only to his personal security but also that of his family said he would continue to give leadership to the Association till the Higher Education Ministry more..

More than 400 Lankan workers died overseas last year: MEA report

June 24 (ST) Eight Sri Lankans committed suicide, 89 were killed in accidents and 318 died of natural deaths while working overseas last year, according to a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) report submitted to Parliament last Tuesday. The majority of the 417 deaths took place in Saudi Arabia. Some 87 Sri Lankan workers died there while 48 died in Kuwait and 30 in Qatar, the report says. Pointing out that the next of kin of more..

Eating out in Colombo can make you sick, warns CMC

June 24 (ST) This year to- date, a total of 128 restaurants in Colombo have been prosecuted under the Food Act, for being guilty of selling food unsuitable for consumption, and for not adhering to hygienic practices in their preparation. The cases were filed by Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) and Food Inspectors (FIs) following raids conducted by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). more..

Police take u-turn on Wickramasinghe’s house robbery

June 24 (SL) The police last week did a u-turn on the robbery of foreign currency worth over Rs. 4 million from the house of SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe. Despite the police initially saying that among the items stolen from his home two weeks ago was foreign currency to the value of over Rs. 4 million, police spokesman S.P Ajith Rohana now says most of the money stolen from the house was not foreign currency. more..

Sri Lanka prepares for key review of its human rights

June 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has begun preparing for a key review of the human rights situation in the country at the UN in Geneva, officials said on Sunday. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of some countries including Sri Lanka will take place in Geneva between October and November this year. As a prelude to this the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka said it had discussions with govt officials on implementing the recommendations mentioned during the more..

More Sri Lankans seek loans

June 24 (SL) The number of Sri Lankans obtaining loans has risen in recent times with over Rs. 5 million in loans being obtained from various financial institutions to date, the Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka said. General Manager of the bureau Gamini Karunaratne said that loans are being given in Sri Lanka by 92 financial institutions including banks and leasing companies. He said that when obtaining a loan the information of the customer is sent by the financial institution to more..

ICC senior official in news ‘fixing’ scandal

June 24 (SL) Upeka Nell, the Tournament Director of the ICC for the T-20 world cup to be held in Sri Lanka in September this year has been caught blatently trying to ‘fix’ a news story in The Sunday Leader on the controversy surrounding the US $ 12 million promotional campaign. The Sunday Leader contacted her asking for the present status of the agreement. She initially denied any knowledge only to relent and say, “all I can say is that discussions are still underway. more..

JHU question stance of Mahanayakas

June 24 (SL) The JHU questioned the stance taken by some of Mahanayas on the suitability for monks to enter politics. UNP MP Wijeydasa Rajapaksa had recently said he intends on presenting a private bill in parliament prohibiting priests from any religion contesting elections. JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that some Mahanayakas have spoken publicy in support of the bill. He said that the bill will eventually create a rift among more..

Ayurveda department to introduce new laws

June 24 (SL) The Ayurveda Department is to introduce new regulations to control the distribution of herbal, cosmetics and Ayurveda drugs to the market by manufacturers. Ayurveda Commissioner Palitha Weerakoon said that the regulation was a requirement as poor quality Ayurveda products are being sold in the market. He said that a draft document with the new regulation has been sent to the Attorney General’s Department. Companies which import the Ayurveda products send them to more..

If rains fail in next 10 days: Power, water restrictions imminent

June 24 (SO) The government will be constrained to impose restrictions on the use of electricity and the supply of water for irrigation if there are no rains within the next 10 days, said Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. He said that drinking water should not be used to wash cars and water plants. Generally water treatment plants and specially those in the North Central and Eastern Provinces get very limited water due to the prevailing drought, he said. more..

Sri Lanka take big strides towards victory

June 24 (CI) Sri Lanka continued to maintain a vice-like grip on the Galle Test on the third day, but instead of pushing for the kill after bowling out Pakistan for 100, they inexplicably decided to bat again. Even a 372-run first-innings lead, the forecast for rains over the next couple of days and a relatively fresh bowling attack that had bowled for less than two sessions were not enough to convince Mahela Jayawardene to enforce the follow-on. more..

Sri Lankan navy threaten fishermen near Lankan waters

June 24 (PTI) Four Indian fishermen were today attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval men off Katchathivu, even as nine others detained by the island Navy arrived at the coastguard camp in Mandapam near here. Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly beat the four fishermen with nylon ropes off Katchathivu, an islet ceded to Lanka in the 1970s, fisheries department officials said. The four were part of about 3,000 fishermen who had put out to the sea last night in 676 boats from Tamil Nadu, more..

Ex-combatants to be groomed for national sports

June 24 (SL) 135 former LTTE combatants, currently undergoing rehabilitation, were brought to Colombo last week, to be tested by national selectors for various sports. Commissioner General for Rehabilitation, Brigadier Dharshana Hettiarachchi, said that these rehabilitation beneficiaries had revealed an interest and talent in different sports, so they were tried out to “ascertain whether they have the potential to be groomed up to national level.” more..

'Fonseka keeps me in politics'

June 24 (NS) DNA Parliamentarian Arjuna Ranatunga said he would have quit politics for good if not for former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. Ranatunga, who is an ardent supporter of Fonseka, said Fonseka’s made him (Arjuna) reconsider his decision to quit politics. “To be honest, I was disgusted with the corruption and type of politics that was prevalent. I was planning to move out, be with my kids and do something related to cricket. more..

Karuna asks Centre to protect TN fishermen

June 24 (PTI) DMK chief M Karunanidhi today demanded that the Centre take steps to safeguard Tamil Nadu fishermen in the wake of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa reportedly hinting that those caught fishing in Katchatheevu could face up to 20 years in jail. Katchatheevu is an islet in the Palk Straits which was ceded to Sri Lanka by India under an agreement in 1974. Referring to the reported remarks made by the President, where he had not named any country but more..

SB hits at Medical Council

June 24 (DM) While claiming that it was not necessary to get permission from the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to establish the Malabe Private Medical College (MPMC), Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said arbitrary action that was being taken by the SLMC brought disgrace to the well experienced veteran specialist doctors. “The SLMC is represented by a few doctors who do not include the reputed and recognised doctors of the country. Arbitrary action being taken by more..

Closed-circuit TV cameras to monitor elephants at Pinnawala

June 24 (ST) Following the death of a young elephant due to the cruelty of four workers at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage authorities are to introduce new measures to ensure the safety of the elephants including the installation of closed-circuit TV cameras that will monitor how elephants are looked after at the orphanage, a world famous tourist attraction. more..

The two sides of Adnan Akmal

June 24 (CI) Pakistan might have been at the wrong end of an umpiring error or two in the morning session, but there was one wicket they couldn't blame on external factors. Adnan Akmal swept to fine leg, ran hard for the first run and then called for the second and set off, but his partner Mohammad Ayub wasn't so sure. Ayub obliged rather late but hesitated and then headed back to his crease. By then it was too late for Akmal to head back as he was already more than halfway down. more..

Looked to tie the batsmen down - Randiv

June 24 (CI) Offspinner Suraj Randiv's four wickets in Pakistan's first innings in Galle have set the match up nicely for Sri Lanka; the plan, Randiv said, was to keep the Pakistan batsmen in check. "We have been trying to bowl a good length and line because, normally, Pakistanis don't like to be tied down," Randiv said at the end of the third day's play. "Especially in the longer games they want to hit boundaries, so we tried to block the boundaries and bowl good line and length. more..

Sri Lanka 2012

Asanga steers clear of Rugby’s under currents

June 25 (SL) Almost imperceptibly, the Asanga Seneviratne rugby committee completes the first half of its first term this month. Elected in early January, the domestic season was on holiday for much of the new committee’s first six months anyway, and so a period of quietness was to be expected. That is how it had been from days of yore, with only the opening week’s matches heralding the arrival of a new season. More recently, though, it were eruptions of controversies that more..

The need for a new constitution for Sri Lanka

June 25 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of fulfilling the aspirations of Sri Lankan society turns its spotlight on the need for a new constitution that will fulfill the aspirations of all Sri Lankans thereby ensuring racial and religious harmony among all our people. The above quotation from Mahinda Chinthana or Mahinda’s Vision stated in 2005 reflects the aspiration of Sri Lankan society to be governed by a Constitution or Supreme Law that will bring happiness to all Sri Lankans and ensure racial and religious harmony more..