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Shiv Shankar Menon arrives in Colombo

June 29 (Hindu) Indian National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon arrived here late on Thursday night to discuss issues arising out of Sri Lanka’s reluctance to fulfill its promises, more than three years after the crushing defeat of the Tamil Tigers. He will meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and others on Friday, ahead of heading back in one of the shortest visits by a visiting Indian official in recent times. Mr Menon, who arrived in a more..

JVP, UNP attempting to gain mileage from water shortage – govt

June 29 (Island) The JVP and the UNPwere trying to gain political mileage out of the water shortage experienced by farmers in the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday. "The JVP can carry out a protest campaign only if they have a sufficient number of members, but the farmers will not fall for such tactics because they are aware that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, within 24 hours of returning home from an overseas journey, more..

Petition against UDA, Def. Secy. dismissed

June 29 (Island) The Court of Appeal on Wednesday, upheld the preliminary objections taken by the Urban Development Authority, its Chairman and Director General and the Secretary Defence and dismissed a petition filed by Nimal R. Perera, a UNP member of the Western Provincial Council. The petitioner had asked for a writ to quash a decision of the aforesaid respondents, conveyed to him by letter dated June 6, 2012, which said that the petitioner could not have any constructions done on the low lying land, more..

UNP in push for independent probe in to retirement fund

June 29 (LBO) The UNP will push for an independent investigation into stock purchases by a state managed fund of private citizens' retirement money and officials would be also summoned to parliament. UNP MP Harsha de Silva said the EPF had bought stock in companies that even did not qualify to be listed on CSE's main board. The six second board stocks alone had made 2.7 billion rupee loss of 22.5 percent so far, more..

Vice Chancellors tell FUTA why it shouldn’t strike

June 29 (Island) The Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Directors has said that because academics have received substantial increase in remuneration and other benefits they shouldn’t disrupt universities. The Committee was responding to Federation of University Teachers’ (FUTA) threat to launch an indefinite strike on July 4, 2012 demanding a salary increase and allocation of 6 per cent of the GDP to education. Chairman of the Committee Prof. Susirith Mendis has more..

Forces, police to hunt for mosquito breeders

June 29 (Island) The police along with the security forces and health officials, will launch a house-to-house campaign to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds in Colombo from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Sunday. Senior DIG Anura Senanayake said that houses, offices and commercial establishments in Grandpass, Borella, Kirulapone, Wellawatte, Cinnamon Gardens, Narahenpita, Maradana, Dematagoda and Kotahena would be examined for possible mosquito breeding more..

'Mahinda Rajapaksa era crowned the farmers'

June 29 (GDI) Since the time of the late Prime Minister D.S.Senanayake, all the govts made efforts to upgrade the status of the farmers, but it is only during the Mahinda Rajapaksa era the crowning of the farmers has been made a reality for the first time in 65 years of post-independence history of this country. This was stated by the Minister Keheliya Rambukwella at the Cabinet Decisions announcing more..

'Mosquito knelt at my feet'

June 29 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva said yesterday that he had fallen ill recently and added that even a deadly mosquito had knelt at his feet. “I fell ill recently and had a fever. Some had gone to town saying that I had become lifeless, but it was not so. There was some change in my blood but the dengue fever just came to my body and just left. The deadly mosquito finally knelt at my feet,” he said more..

Three asylum seeker boats arrive at Christmas Island

June 29 (NC) THREE more asylum boats have arrived at Christmas Island in the hours following federal parliament's failure to agree on a way of halting the flow of boatpeople to Australia. One boat carrying 44 asylum-seekers, believed to be from Sri Lanka, was intercepted by officials from Border Protection Command late last night and was escorted into Christmas Island's Flying Fish Cove. Within hours another boat arrived off the island and was this morning escorted by more..

'Govt. must intervene in telecast rights'

June 29 (DM) If tbe unprofessional handling of the tender procedure to sell TV telecast rights of international cricket matches played in Sri Lanka has deprived millions of cricket lovers from watching Sri Lanka – Pakistan cricket matches, the govt must intervene to correct that, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. When the media personnel raised the question on the alleged arbitrary decision of the SLC management to give three year telecast rights for a mere Rs. 125 million to CSN, more..

Sri Lanka to pave more roads with bank credit

June 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka will rebuild 332.77 kilometres of roads using domestic contractors with loans taken from commercial banks in the same way more than 600 kilometres of roads were paved earlier, a minister said. Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said the total cost of the project was not specified as yet, but the cabinet of ministers had approved the plan to borrow from local banks. He said the currency of the loan was also not specified as yet. more..

Malinga Test return possible feels Sri Lanka bowling coach

June 29 (CI) Champaka Ramanayake, Sri Lanka's fast-bowling coach, has said he believes Lasith Malinga might return to Test cricket if he feels his fitness is back at optimum levels. Malinga quit Tests in 2011 due to a long-standing knee problem, deciding to focus only on the limited-overs formats. If Malinga returns to Tests, Ramanayake said, he, like the rest of the seamers, would have to be managed very carefully. more..

JHU leader writes to Indian PM

June 29 (CT) Leader of the JHU, Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera has urged Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to prevail upon his government to stop any party from holding any activity on Indian soil that is detrimental to Sri Lanka. The Thera’s plea comes in the wake of plans by former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi, to adopt a resolution for the creation of a separate state for Tamils at a convention scheduled for 2 August 2012. more..

US Ambassasor visits Coca-Cola Plant in Sri Lanka

June 29 (GDI) Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Limited (CCBSL) welcomed Patricia A. Butenis, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives on her visit to the Coca-Cola plant in Biyagama. The Country Manager for Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Limited - Saumindra Bhattarcharya was present. He said, “Coca-Cola is delighted to host Ambassador Butenis and to share with the initiatives by Coca-Cola towards more..

An online paper the Sri Lanka Mirror raided

June 29 (AHRC) According to reports the office of a well-known online daily newspaper based in Colombo, Sri Lanka is currently being raided. The raid is being conducted by dozens of security officers of the Ministry of Defense. According to a source quoted in the Sri Lanka Guardian, the security officers entered the offices showing a search warrant but are preventing people inside the premises from leaving and also preventing anyone outside from entering. more..

Vavuniya prison guards rescued

June 29 (CG) The three prison guards held hostage by inmates of the Vavuniya prison have been freed following a rescue operation launched by the military and the police. Riot police fires teargas inside the prison as the military and police special task force officers moved in and rescued the three hostages. There were no immediate reports of any casualties during the rescue operation and some of the prisoners have now been transferred to Anuradhapura. more..

Editorial: Religious unity vital for lasting peace

June 29 (DM) Racial discrimination and regular attacks on the Tamil-speaking minorities led to the formation of one of the most ruthless terrorist movements in the world and a bloody thirty-year war in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed, injured or displaced while the cost of the devastation is incalculable. The LTTE was militarily eliminated more than three years ago, but the peace we have today is fragile and could explode again at any time because more..

President instructs to expedite construction of Kandy airport

June 29 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday emphasized on the requirement to have a domestic airport in the District of Kandy to achieve the maximum benefits of the country’s booming tourism industry. The President at a meeting held at the Temple Trees yesterday instructed the relevant officials to submit a feasibility report to construct a domestic airport in Kandy, within the areas of Kandasale and Hewaheta as proposed. President Rajapaksa said the more..

WikiLeaks: Gota angry with editors Lalith Allahakkon and Iqbal Athas

June 29 (CT) “Balasuriya and Jayantha said the Defense Secretary had expressed anger at other journalists, including Nation editor Lalith Allahakoon and Defense columnist Iqbal Athas: ‘what he’s doing is very harmful.’ Athas told Pol chief that pressure on him had increased considerably since Noyhar’s abduction. He complained that the private radio station TNL (note: owned by the brother of opposition leader more..

UDA profits up five fold on interest income

June 29 (LBO) State-run Urban Development Authority has reported profits of 336 million rupees for the March 2012 quarter, up 552 percent from a year earlier, helped by higher interest income. The agency has raised 10 billion rupees from a debenture listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. The funds were to develop Colombo city the agency said. The agency said revenues rose to 312 million rupees in the March quarter from 301 million a year earlier, including 96 million rupees of gross profits from Waters Edge, more..

ADB to provide over 2 Billion US$ for Sri Lanka’s development

June 29 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the govt initiated many development projects during the conflict period and post conflict period, in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to improve the economy and bring normalcy to the conflict affected areas. He said that connecting the country with a good road network, facilitating the passenger and freight movement through new airport and port facilities, generating sufficient energy through sustainable sources, expanding more..

Sri Lanka's inflation accelerates to 9.3-pct in June

June 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's consumer prices rose 9.3 percent in June 2012 from a year earlier, accelerating to a three and a half year high, from 7.0 percent in May, data from the state statistics office showed. The statistics office said Sri Lanka's Colombo Consumer Price Index rose 1.9 percent during the month of June to 165.2 points. Inflation showed up most in food prices which rose 3.8 percent. Non foods rose 0.4 percent. more..

stocks close up 0.20 pct, rupee steady

June 29 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.2 percent on Friday, while the spot US dollar closed at around 133.70/90 in a day of quiet trading. Colombo’s All Share Price Index gained 9.86 points to close at 4965.77, the Milanka index of more liquid stocks shed 2.61 points or 0.06 percent to 4,383.20. The new S&P Sri Lanka 20 index rose 0.21 percent or 5.83 points to close at 2,817.35. The spot dollar opened around 133.90/134.20 rupees and was later quoted at 133.90/134.00 and closed stronger more..

Sri Lanka meets all June-end IMF loan targets

June 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has met all June-end targets set by the IMF for the last tranche of a $2.6 billion loan, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said on Friday. "We have met all the targets. Net domestic financing, net internal reserves, and the reserve money targets have been met," Cabraal told Reuters. After concluding a two-week assessment, an IMF mission on June 15 said Sri Lanka's policy measures including policy rate hikes, flexible exchange rate, more..

Child Protection Centres established in the North

June 29 (DM) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said protection centres had been established in the Northern Province, where single mothers could leave their children while at work. The Centres established in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Mannar are similar to day-care centres but are administered on a voluntary basis by women from within the community in the area. NCPA Chairperson, Anoma Dissanayke said awareness programmes more..

Lankan shuttlers in South Korea hit by food shortage

June 29 (NF) The Sri Lankan shuttlers who are in South Korea to compete at the Asian Junior Bdminton Championships are experiencing a shortage of food, it is reported. The parents of the shuttlers state that the shuttlers do not have enough money for their meals. "The Badminton Association asked us to bring our children in the evening and when we took them they stated that the collected money was not enough and that we should bear the costs for our children’s lunch and dinner." more..

Aung San Suu Kyi's Political Wisdom for Sri Lanka

June 29 (HP) I was very privileged to attend Aung San Suu Kyi's historic speech to both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall last week. Delivered with characteristic dignity, it blended an elegant commentary on recent developments in Burma with some rich reflections on the nature of democracy itself, and concluded with a call for us to work together, combining political wisdom of East and West, "to bring the light of democratic values to all peoples". more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 29.06.2012

UN status can’t help refugees

June 29 (UCAN) The grace period for expelling almost 400 immigrants — despite international refugee status for some — has passed, leaving UN officials wondering what’s next. Letters were sent to 114 UN-registered asylum seekers and 77 UN-recognized refugees on June 8, giving them two weeks to leave Sri Lanka or face deportation. Another 186 people also received the letter. “Most individuals asked to leave are Pakistani and Afghan nationals, and they have arrived in the country on tourist visas,” more..

An election cannot be held due to landmines is a big lie, alleges Ranil

June 29 (NF) Minster Keheliya Rambukwella says that the northern provincial council election will be held as soon as demining activities are concluded. However, opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe points out that elections were previously held in the north without demining taking place. "There is a great deal of enthusiasm, however there are practical problems. We should first complete demining in order to safeguard lives. The electoral lists need to be completed as well. more..

‘India to remain engaged with all actors in Sri Lanka’

June 29 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Friday briefed India about steps being taken towards political reconciliation with ethnic Tamils, amid a growing unease over the slow pace of reforms to enable devolution of power to the war ravaged north. National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, who held talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as the leader of TNA, R Sampanthan, said after the meetings that while reconciliation was a "Sri Lankan issue", more..

Sri Lanka to establish early warning system to defect nuclear disasters

June 29 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Atomic Energy Authority is to set up nuclear disaster early warning system in the naval bases around the island in the wake of increasing nuclear power stations in the region, a spokesman said on Friday. Sri Lanka's Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) jointly works with the Disaster Management Center and the navy on taking measures to establish a warning system to alert possible radiation leak, navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. more..

Community leader dies in Sri Lanka

June 29 (GDN) The Sri Lankan community in Bahrain has lost its "godfather" Chandra Liyanarachchi. Mr Liyanarachchi, who worked for the Royal Court as a protocol officer, died of heart attack at his home in Mirigama, Sri Lanka. He lived in Bahrain for almost 30 years before returning home in 2009 to join his family and continue his humanitarian work. His sudden death came as a shock to all Sri Lankans and other nationalities in Bahrain as he was a well-known social activist. more..

'Sri Lanka won't play safe'

June 29 (CI) With Sri Lanka 1-0 up in the three-match series against Pakistan going into the second Test, the captain Mahela Jayawardene said his team will not adopt a defensive outlook as they chase their first Test series win in nearly three years. Jayawardene said it is not his style to play for a draw and that it is important to maintain the momentum gained from a comprehensive 209-run win in Galle. "I don't play cricket like that. I play to win, more..

Chand leads India into Asia Cup final

June 29 (ES) Captain Unmukt Chand (116) slammed a sparkling century as India spanked Sri Lanka by six wickets to storm into the final of the Under-19 Asia Cup. Chand, who opened with Manan Vohra (17), led from the front with a strokeful innings as India chased down the target of 245 with 2.5 overs to spare at the Kinrara Academy Oval. India will now take on Pakistan in the final on Sunday. The bedrock of India's run chase was a steady third-wicket partnership of 105 more..

Travel Eye: The must-see gems of Sri Lanka

June 29 (HP) Far away in the Indian Ocean lies a little teardrop of an island called Sri Lanka. It's situated just 20 miles off the southeast coast of India and is tiny in comparison to some of the big islands out there - being just 268 miles long and 139 miles wide. Although Sri Lanka is thought of as a rather exotic island, it exudes a gritty feel. Arriving in the capital Colombo on the southwest Coast, you can't miss the occasional cow aimlessly wondering down the main road and it's a common sight to pass an old sarong-clad man on a stool outside his shop, more..

Major racket busted at cement corporation

June 29 (DM) A stock of expired Cement, that had been stored at the Maligawatte Stores Complex of the Sri Lanka Cement Corporation, which was to be used as productions in court cases, had been pilfered. Officers of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) yesterday arrested two suspects who were engaged in the act of loading 10 bags of cement from the Maligawatte store house onto a lorry. The stock of cement that had been kept past its validity date that more..

Doing justice by our progeny, a crying need

June 30 (DM) The dismal depths the educational establishment has fallen in to in present day context leave a great deal to be desired. This is the harsh reality. The cases of disgraced heads of leading educational institutions who have practically failed to add any positive value to the institutions they run, at least to justify their salaries are aplenty. Ignominious conduct of these individuals from many parts of the country have gone a long way to tarnish the image of the positions which were more..

Practical fallout from malicious political machinations

June 30 (SL) For a significant time after my return to Sri Lanka, I suffered under the delusion that one could, as a citizen of this country, employ those state agencies, organizations and functionaries that existed specifically to redress illegal and anti-social conduct and thereby right blatant social injustices in the community. How wrong that assumption can be is being driven home on every day that I continue to live in my rural home! One could be more..

International relations is organized hypocrisy!

June 30 (SL) Much ink has by now been spilt over the question of human rights violations by the Sri Lankan govt during the end of the war against the LTTE. There is some confusion among many about what all this means. The knee-jerk reaction among some is that the resolution brought by the UNHRC is an international conspiracy instigated and organized by the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. more..