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'Base laid for Northern industrial development'

June 5 (DN) The govt is developing infrastructure in the Northern Province to set up massive Industrial Zones within an year, which will see the creation of hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities and bring development to the region on an unprecedented scale, Northern Governor Major General G A Chandrasiri said. “The Paranthan saltern will also be recommenced to produce salt within a short period saving the outflow of valuable foreign exchange to import salt,” more..

SL Army of Buddhisication destroys statues at historic Saiva temple in Batticaloa

June 5 (TN) The occupying Sinhala soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army have destroyed several tradtional stone-statues at the historic Thaanthaamalai Murukan temple, situated in Paddippazhai DS division of Batticaloa district. The temple, revered by Saivaites in the East as ‘Chinna Kathirkaamam’ and the land in the extent of 25 acres was declared in 13 March 1959 as Saiva Sacred Area according to the decree entered by the Court of Law in Ceylon. more..

President arrives in London to attend Queen’s jubilee celebrations

June 5 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa Arrived in London yesterday to attend the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II. Two Sri Lankan children and Sri Lankan High Commissioner in UK, Dr. Chris Nonis along with his staff welcomed President and the First Lady at the Heathrow International Airport in London. During his visit to London, President Rajapaksa and more..

Is the Police spokesperson living on the moon?

June 5 (AHRC) Today, June 4, in the Daily Mirror on line edition the police spokesperson, SP Ajith Rohana is quoted as saying "Generally as a practice torture never takes place in Lankan Police stations." This police spokesperson, who is also said to be an Attorney-at-Law, is further quoted as saying, "Torture is often misconstrued by the Media and the public. When the Police go to apprehend a suspect if there is resistance the Police will use force in order to arrest him. more..

Ragging continues despite all effort to control it - UGC

June 5 (Island) Although the Higher Education Ministry has strictly implemented the anti–ragging law, ragging continued in Sri Lankan universities, except in the Uva Wellassa University, according to the UGC. UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said that ragging activities in the Colombo and Moratuwa universities had been reduced to a minimum level. Unfortunately, the JVP rebels-led students continued to harass more..

Asian Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship: Mr. Sri Lanka bags gold

June 5 (DN) Mr Sri Lanka 2011, W A Sanjeewa Ruwan Kumara of Navy won the gold medal in the Kg 65 category at the Asian Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship which concluded in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The championship was held for 20 events in different age categories from June 1 to 4. Sanjeewa entered the final round on Sunday. There were 21 competitors in his event and Sanjeewa was talented enough to beat all of them to grab the gold medal. more..

Human trafficking: 27 Lanka Tamil refugees held

June 5 (IE) The Kerala Police on Monday busted a racket involved in trafficking of Sri Lankan Tamils living in refugee camps. As many as 149 people had been brought to the southern coast on the promise to be ferried to Australia. Of them, 27 were from Sri Lanka who had reached India on tourist visa and were remanded in judicial custody. Police sources said the Lankan Tamils were brought to Kollam by agents in Tamil Nadu and their Kerala associates. more..

The Sri-Lanka-China relationship: A print media analysis

June 5 (EAR) China’s deepening relationship with Sri Lanka is becoming increasingly conspicuous as the emerging super power extends relations beyond its sphere of influence. This paper brings out the Sri Lankan perceptions of the unconditional and timely help of China for Sri Lanka’s overall development. Some of prominent Sri Lankan newspapers have been referred to gauge the general Sri Lankan outlook. The relevant questions in this context are the factors more..

JHU takes on Wijedasa Rajapakse

June 5 (CT) The JHU, one of the constituent parties of the Govt, yesterday vowed to defeat the Private Member’s Bill presented by UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakse to prevent priests of any religion from engaging in active politics. Nishantha Warnasinghe, the Media Spokesman of JHU, said that his party will act strongly against the bill presented by Rajapakse. “Wijedasa Rajapakse is attempting to curb the civic rights of Buddhist monks. more..

Reduced Iranian crude oil imports raise hopes

June 5 (DN) The govt is hopeful that the US will grant Sri Lanka a concession to import crude oil from Iran as the country has succeeded in slashing Iranian oil imports by 24 percent this year. Sri Lanka has reduced the number of crude oil despatches to be delivered this year from Iran to 10 from 13 by switching to fuel from Oman and Saudi Arabia. The govt will purchase one cargo despatch of crude oil weighing 135,000Mt from Oman and another two from Saudi Arabia slashing more..

Govt spends Rs 50,000 m on fertiliser subsidy

June 5 (DN) Arrangements have been made to release Rs 50,000 million for the fertiliser subsidy this year. The govt last year spent Rs 43,000 million on the fertiliser subsidy. The govt bears 65 percent of the total cost of fertiliser, Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Minister Jagath Pushpakumara said. "The ministry has made arrangements to plant 32 million coconut saplings by 2016. The ministry aims to plant nine million coconut saplings this year. more..

Crucial meeting today to avert major strike in universities

June 5 (Island) A crucial meeting, between Higher Education Ministry officials and university non-academic trade unions, will be held today. University non-academic staff earlier decided to launch an all out strike from tomorrow and today’s discussion will decide the fate of that proposed strike. Chairman of the UGC Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said that the UGC was aware of the impending strike, but the ministry had called for a discussion more..

Lankan elected new Mayor of Harrow, UK

June 5 (FT) Councillor Nizam Ismail, a Sri Lankan Muslim, has been recently elected as the new Mayor of Harrow. Ismail, a long-time member of the London borough of Harrow, representing the Queensbury ward, was elected as the new Mayor of Harrow. He is the first Sri Lankan origin Muslim Mayor in this country. Harrow boasts of being one of the most multicultural boroughs in the country and a few years ago another Councillor of Sri Lankan origin, Mano Dharmarajah, was Mayor of this borough. more..

Mysterious illness closes Mulleriyawa ward

June 5 (DM) Employees and in-house patients of a ward at the Mulleriyawa National Institute of Mental Health have fallen ill mysteriously, forcing the authorities to close down the ward from yesterday, hospital sources said. They said those who had fallen ill complained of respiratory problems. It is also learnt that a female staff member who worked at this ward number nine, had died two weeks ago and doctors had confirmed death was due to a heart problem. more..

Young medical intern dies under mysterious circumstances

June 5 (Island) A 27-year-old lady doctor, attached to the Badulla Provincial hospital, died under mysterious circumstances at the hospital’s ICU on Sunday. The cause of death has not been ascertained. The Badulla Magistrate has asked the police to send specimen of the body to the Govt analyst for further investigation. Dr. Ms. R. M. Priangika Gunasekare was an intern, who worked under a Consultant in two wards. more..

Duty free vehicle racket busted, businessman fined Rs 40 mn

June 5 (Island) A businessman had been fined Rs. 40 million, by the Sri Lanka Customs, for having 40 cars, imported on duty free permits acquired from Buddhist monks, at a car sale. The racket had been going on for months and the 40 cars, which had been found at the car sale, was just a small amount as a number of other cars imported in the same manner, had already been sold. Customs Director General Dr. Neville Gunawardena said that his Department had bared a massive racket more..

Two killed, four hospitalised in Nuwara Eliya estate line brawl

June 5 (Island) Two women were killed and four others injured in a brawl between two groups in an estate line at Lower Mahagastotawatta in Nuwara Eliya on at around 7.30 p.m. on Sunday. The dead have been identified as Shanmugam Krishna Kudamani (50) and Thayagi Sundari (25). The brawl had reached a peak resembling a battlefield which required the Police to be summoned to bring it under control. Police investigations have revealed that the clash was due to a long drawn out more..

Nose-biting MP is a serial basher

June 5 (SL) Dunesh Gankanda, the UNP Member of Parliament from the Ratnapura district walked into the Museum Club at the Galle Face Hotel around 1.30 a.m. on Sunday with a friend Capt. Senaka De Silva, an aide to former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. Present at the night club was a Tamil businessman Diwakaran entertaining a group of foreign clients. Senaka knew Diwakaran and walked up to his table to say ‘hello’ and then introduced Dunesh. more..

Overheated engine caused train to stall – CGR

June 5 (Island) The Railways Department yesterday put the cause of The Kandy bound intercity Express train from Colombo, packing up inside the Balana tunnel, down to overheating of its M-9 engine. General Manager Railways B. A. P. Ariyaratne said that Sunday’s troubled train comprised eight carriages and the observation saloon. Immediate action had been taken to bring an engine from Kandy, he said. more..

South Asia’s best animal nursery, forensic lab opens on Friday at Dehiwela

June 5 (Island) South Asia’s best Animal Nursery and a Forensic Laboratory will be opened on Friday at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela. Zoo’s Chief Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Jagath Jayasekera said that the three-storeyed building on the 15-perch block of land would provide all necessary requirements to the fauna and flora, both local and foreign. The five rooms were designed to suit different kinds of animals like more..

Sri Lanka: A hub for the movement and distribution of banned drugs

June 5 (LB) The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) has received information that Sri Lanka, since 2010, has been used as a hub for the distribution of one of the most expensive artificial varieties of drugs in the world known as methamphetamine. Consequent to investigations conducted by PNB officials it has been revealed that those who are involved in this shady business that is also highly lucrative, more..

State fertilizer imports tainted by tender manipulations say suppliers

June 5 (ST) Sri Lanka’s fertilizer imports have been tainted with tender manipulations by top officials of the Ceylon Fertilizer Corporation(CFC) and the Colombo Commercial Fertilizer (CCF), both State-owned institutions conducting regular tenders for purchase of Urea, local agents representing overseas suppliers alleged. They revealed that Urea fertilizer stocks are being purchased without following more..

Hydro power reaches new peak thanks to rains

June 5 (Island) Continuing inter-monsoon rains, especially over catchment areas, has helped the CEB to increase hydro electricity generation to over 30 per cent, the highest level in recent times. According to officials of the Systems Control Division of the CEB, in recent years, it usually averaged between 75 per cent thermal and 25 per cent hydro. "Going by the present day standards, anything more than that is a bonus," more..

Diaspora not doing enough for NE

June 5 (DM) The TNA leadership had ignored a request by some party members and parliamentarians to form an NGO to raise funds from the Tamil Diaspora to help war affected people in the North and East, former MP M.K. Sivajilingam said. Now the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) political leader, he said this request was made soon after the war ended in 2009 but the TNA leadership had not responded positively. more..

Inquiry into Baratha's case concluded; CID

June 5 (DM) The CID today submitted a report to the Colombo Magistrates court stating that they have concluded investigations in to the murder of former MP Baratha Lakshman and three others when the case was taken up today. The CID told the court that the govt analysts department had also submitted its report. The CID further went on to tell court that they are now awaiting the Attorney Generals Department’s advice on how to proceed on the matter. more..

Two Hindu temples in Canada fined for funding LTTE

June 5 (NP) The Canada Revenue Agency has fined two Hindu temples in the Toronto area for sending money to a suspected front organization for Sri Lankan rebels following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The Richmond Hill Hindu Temple and the Hindu Mission of Mississauga, both registered charities, have been hit with $140,000 and $300,000 fines over money they sent to “non-qualified donees,” the CRA said. more..

Channel-4 journalist deported

June 5 (DM) Shirani Sabaratnam, who works at the London-based Channel-4 TV Station as an editor and a presenter, arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday. On arrival she was detained at the airport by Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities and later deported to Britain. The sources alleged that Ms. Sabaratnam, a former LTTE member, had arrived with her British husband from Britain via Dubai on Sunday. Her detention and subsequent deportation was the result of her being blacklisted. more..

Editorial: Taking a break with family

June 5 (DM) Most people are going through life on the fast tract. The rush seems to start from the time we wake up in the morning to even late at night. We need to become aware that our bodies are not programmed to go at the hectic pace they are going at. The consequences would be a breakdown caused by stress, in trying to cope with the pressure of daily living. Is that not why people take a vacation? It is a proven fact the anxieties of life cause psychological damage that even affects the body. more..

Sri Lankan stocks fall 2.8-pct

June 5 (LBO) Sri Lankan share prices fell nearly three-percent on Tuesday, as the new trading restrictions for large blocks of shares came into effect, brokers said. The benchmark All Share Price Index dropped 2.79 percent or 136.58 points to end at 4,748.60, while the liquid Milanka Price Index fell 3.12 percent or 135.68 points to close at 4,207.80. Tuesday’s turnover was a modest 286.74 million rupees, largely driven by trades in a few selected blue chip stocks. more..

Sri Lanka signs prisoner exchange agreements with four countries

June 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has recently signed prisoner exchange agreements with four countries and will commence implementation by returning 22 Pakistani detainees to their country of origin, an official said here Tuesday. Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera told media that Sri Lanka had inked Memorandums of Understanding with Pakistan, India, the Maldives and the United Kingdom. more..

Bright monk mowed down by speeding van

June 5 (Island) A bright young monk was mowed down by a speeding van which also caused injuries to six others, as it also crashed into a lorry and a wall near the Kosgoda police station yesterday early morning. The monk was identified as Ven. Mahawewa Suchitta of the Abeysiriwardenarama temple at Thalagahapitiya, Kosgoda. The injured, comprising the driver of the van, four others who were in it and a young woman pedestrian, were admitted to the Balapitiya hospital. more..

Remanded Tiger suspects nabbed with hi tech cell phones

June 5 (Island) A surprise check on Tiger suspects, held at the Welikada remand prison and Anuradhapura jail on Sunday night, had unearthed 41 cellular phones, including several satellite and the latest video phones, Commissioner General of Prisons P. W. Kodippili said. He said that the search had also led to the discovery of a number of SIM cards from the suspects. Some of the SIM cards had contained recordings of the recent fast launched by the LTTE suspects demanding more..

'No plans to ban IUSF'

June 5 (CT) The govt has no plans to impose a ban on the Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF), Higher Education Ministry Secretary said. Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Navarathne denied reports that the Higher Education Ministry was making moves to ban the Marxist Student Union. He said such reports were untrue. However, the Secretary revealed that another student union is currently demanding that the IUSF should be permanently banned. more..

Economic crisis deepens with futher borrowing: AIPM

June 5 (DM) The proposal to borrow a further US $ 500 million in addition to the US $ 2.6 billion standby agreement would put Sri Lanka’s economy into further crisis; the JVP led Anti Imperialist People’s Movement (AIPM) charged yesterday. The AIPM said in a statement that the country was already facing a crisis after the devolution of the rupee following IMF advice as the price of imported goods had gone up in price as a result. The movement said devaluation of more..

Duminda’s lawyer to file contempt of court case against Hirunika

June 5 (SM) The Colombo magistrate’s court has been asked to grant permission to file a contempt of court case against Hirunika Premachandra for making comments to the media regarding a case presently being heard by court. The request by MP Duminda Silva’s lawyer Hemantha Warnakulasuriya came when additional magistrate Prasanna Alwis today took up the case in connection with the killing of presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others. more..

'Fuel price reduction considered'

June 5 (DM) A fuel price reduction will be considered if the present downward trend in fuel prices continues in the world market, Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha told Parliament today. The minister was responding to UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara who asked whether fuel prices would be reduced in the local market because of low prices prevailing in the world market at present. “We will consider it if this situation continues for some time,” more..

200 workers recruited to non-functioning factory

June 5 (DM) Sugarcane farmers in Sevanagala yesterday charged that though the factory was not functioning yet 200 new employees had been recruited to the Sugar factory, which was acquired by the government last year. The farmers asked the authorities to handover the factory to a foreign company if there was no other way of reopening it. A sugarcane farmer said the work at the factory had stopped from the time it was acquired in November last year. He said their livelihood more..

Mohan Peiris says no clue on Eknaligoda

June 5 (CG) Former Attorney General Mohan Peiris told a court today he was not aware of the whereabouts of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda. Peiris had been ordered to testify at the Homagama Magistrate’s Court today about a statement he made at the U.N. Committee Against Torture in Geneva on November 9, 2011, in which he said that Prageeth Eknelygoda was alive and living outside the country. Testifying in the case today, Peiris said that he made that statement more..

WikiLeaks: Diaspora had rejected U.S. calls for them to urge the release of civilians

June 5 (CT) “The Foreign Minister assured Prasad that Sri Lanka is sensitive to Indian and other concerns, but repeated that a pause would only give oxygen to the LTTE. He said Sri Lanka needed the help of the Tamil Diaspora to persuade the LTTE to release its civilians. Ambassador briefed the minister on the results of the meeting Assistant Secretary Boucher had hosted with American Diaspora representatives. more..

'Govt. has locked Sri Lanka in imperialist debt trap'

June 5 (LT) The Anti-imperialist People’s Movement has issued an announcement explaining its stand on the loans the government has already obtained from the IMF and also loans that are to be requested from international monetary institutions. The announcement has been signed by the co-conveners of the Movement Senior Lecturer of the Sri Jayawardenepura University Ven. Dhambara Amila Thera and the President of National Trade Union Centre H.D. Lal Kanthe. more..