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No bacterial threat at Castle Street, Kalubowila Hospitals

Mar 13 (DN) There is no bacterial or any other threat at the Castle Street Maternity Hospital or Colombo South Teaching Hospital (Kalubowila Hospital). Reports on the incidents at Mahamodara Hospital and De Soysa Maternity Hospital will be released today, a Health Ministry spokesman said. The special baby care unit of the Castle Street Maternity Hospital was temporarily shifted to the ground floor to renovate and extend the building’s oxygen and gas supply lines. more..

Bocuse d’Or world champion chef Geir Skeie in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (GDI) Signifying the unbreakable link between the industry of tourism and culinary arts, the Bocuse d’Or World Champion 2009 Chef Geir Skeie showed up in Sri Lanka today at Sri Lanka Institute of Tourist Hotel Management whereby he shared his cooking expertise with the local Hotel School Students. He arrived to Sri Lanka on the 5th of March, on the invitation of Rohan Fernandopulle, the Executive Chef of Hilton Hotel, more..

Mentor brushes aside concern over Malinga

Mar 13 (CI) Sri Lanka's bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake has brushed aside any concerns about Lasith Malinga's form, saying that with the number of games Sri Lanka have been involved in Malinga was bound to have a poor game or two. Malinga comes in to the Asia Cup after an inconsistent performance in the Commonwealth Bank series in Australia, in which he was the leading wicket-taker with 18 scalps in 11 games but went at 6.21 runs per over. Ramanayake discovered Malinga when more..

Bogawantalawa Estates bogged down in trade union action

Mar 13 (FT) Due to trade union ‘go slow,’ 15,000 kilograms of tea valued at Rs. 50 million have been held back at the Bogawantalawa Tea Estates Plc despite authorities saying the situation is under control. Sources from Bogawantalawa Tea Estate however deny the assertion that the situation is under control, claiming that the delay is causing apprehension among exporters who have already purchased the tea at the Colombo tea auction. With a four-week delay already, more..

3D - විකල්ප අධ්žයාපන හා රැකියා අවස්ථා

Politician threatens doctor

Mar 13 (CT) Doctors attached to the Moneragala hospital are to take trade union action today if the police fails to provide security to a doctor threatened by a local politician at the hospital last week. The GMOA media committee member Dr. Naveen De Soyza said that no security has been provided to the doctor after being threatened. “The politician had entered the Primary Care Unit of the hospital last week and had begun threatening the doctor and all staff present at the unit. more..

Relief, renewal and growth in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (MW) From the floor of the stock exchange to the former security checkpoints now plastered with advertising posters to the bustling energy of this South Asian capital’s streets, the signs of renewal are plain. Sri Lanka’s economic recovery from its long and brutal civil war has been astonishingly fast, though perhaps not so swift as the sudden, blood-soaked final chapter of that 25-year-old conflict in early 2009. Nor has it been so decisively concluded. more..

‘SL must speak with one voice to repulse hostile forces’

Mar 13 (DN) To combat external forces working against her, Sri Lanka must speak with one voice, instead of being weakened and divided by petty considerations, expert speakers pointed out during an awareness seminar on the international influences and challenges to Sri Lanka, held yesterday. The innaugural event in a series of public seminars was held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute auditorium with, more..

Govt. to take back underdeveloped estates from regional plantation companies

Mar 13 (Island) The Land Reform Commission has set the machinery in motion to take back nearly 4,500 acres of underdeveloped state lands given for small and medium regional plantation companies and other developers by May this year. Ellepola and Hangarankanda estates of Matale district, Pedro and Scrub Estates of Nuwara Eliya district, Pannilawatte Estate of Kurunegala district and Dombagahakumburawatte of Ratnapura district are among those that would be acquired. more..

Murder conviction set aside; accused acquitted and discharged

Mar 13 (Island) The Court of Appeal set aside the conviction and the sentence of death passed on an accused by the Kalmunai High Court and acquitted and discharged the accused. The bench comprised Justice Ranjith Silva and Justice Nalin J. Perera. In this case the accused appellant is Mohamed Abubaker Lebbe. In summing up the trial, the bench observed that the High Court Judge had compared the evidence of the accused given from a dock statement with evidence of more..

Recent policy reversals to slow down growth, but IMF says necessary trade off

Mar 13 (Island) Recent policy reversals will slowdown economic growth this year but the IMF is confident that these measures would ensure that growth is much more sustainable and benefit the country in the long run. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal last week downgraded the forecast for economic growth saying it would be lower than 8 percent this year, but not lower than 7 percent. more..

Zoo vet’s cockeyed diagnosis?

Mar 13 (Island) Disciplinary action is to be taken against a veterinary surgeon who had diagnosed a female camel at the Dehiwela zoo as being pregnant but following its death only undigested food particles were found in her stomach. Dehiwela National Zoological Gardens, Director General Bashwara Senanka Gunaratne had expressed concern over the statement of the surgeon, claiming that the animal was pregnant. Gunaratne had questioned zoo officials as to how a world class zoo’s, more..

13th conference of NTCU at Sugathadasa Indoor Statdium on 13th March

Mar 13 (LT) 13th Summit of Representatives of more than 570 Trade Union Branches island-wide will be held on 13th March at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. According to the Senior Asst. Secretary of the Union Mr P. Hettiarachchi no salary increase has been granted to the private sector employees during the Rajapaksa regime which has devalued the rupee and burdening them with several ways. Likewise the Govt is silent in formulating a pension scheme for the more..

Indian surveyors to fill local shortfall

Mar 13 (DN) Authorities will seek the help of Indian surveyors to demarcate 100,000 blocks of Mahaweli land which is to be distributed among the public. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said as his ministry is unable to find adequate surveyors locally from state and private sectors, the ministry had sought the services of Indian surveyors to complete the task. The minister was addressing the 2012 Agriculture Exhibition at Aralaganvila recently. more..

UPFA PS member arrested over death of youth

Mar 13 (Island) Kahawatte police yesterday took into custody a UPFA member of the Weligepola Pradeshiya Sabha for the death of a young man who had succumbed to his injuries following an alleged attack by the PS member. The suspect PS Member is said to have attacked the youth, G. Amila Pradeep using a belt and a bottle on February 28, police said. Amila Pradeep sustained serious injuries and succumbed to his injuries at the Ratnapura hospital in the early hours of Sunday. more..

Shoura chief to visit Sri Lanka this year

Mar 13 (AN) Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris wrapped up a day's visit to the Saudi capital yesterday by holding talks with senior govt officials. Peiris, who arrived late Sunday night, met with Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, Riyadh Gov. Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz and President of the Shoura Council Abdullah Al-Asheikh yesterday. Sri Lankan Ambassador Ahamed A. Jawad was also present during the talks. more..

Central Bank to raise US$ 45 m from Govt. bonds

Mar 13 (CT) The Central Bank said that it is planning on raising US$ 45 million through govt bonds, in order to finance payments due from previous bond issues. US$ 35 million would be raised through bonds which would mature in three years, whilst the remainder would be issued through bonds that mature in four years. The bond issue was planned in order to repay bonds to the same value which are scheduled to mature during more..

Karunanidhi reiterates demand on resolution

Mar 13 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi reiterated his demand that India support the US-sponsored resolution against the Sri Lankan govt at the UNHRC in the wake of media reports on the killing of LTTE leader Prabakharan's son by the Sri Lankan army. “There are many such atrocities. That is why I am consistently urging India to support the resolution against Sri Lanka. All political parties in Tamil Nadu have taken a stand on the issue and the Indian govt should fulfil their aspiration,” Mr. Karunanidhi said when asked about more..

Another drug lord abducted

Mar 13 (Island) An armed gang yesterday abducted a drug kingpin known as Maalu Priyantha of Sahaspura. The police said that he was a the number two in a gang led by underworld leader Dematagoda Kamal, who was shot dead in a clash with the Hanwella police, a few months back. On the pretext of distributing fish, Priyantha had distributed drugs in a lorry with a deep-freezer and he had been responsible for the distribution of large quantities of drugs smuggled in by Dematagoda Kamal to various parts of the country, more..

Western powers, NGOs want GoSL to welcome amended resolution

Mar 13 (Island) In the run-up to possible vote on a US-sponsored resolution targeting Sri Lanka towards the end of current UNHRC sessions in Geneva, the govt is under heavy pressure to accept an amended version of the much talked about US resolution. The 19th sessions of the UNHRC, which commenced on Feb 27 will continue till March 23. Govt sources said that those recipients of foreign funds had launched a fresh campaign to more..

Govt. delays milk powder price hike

Mar 13 (Island) Milk Powder importers are yet awaiting the govt approval for a price increase of Rs. 15 for a 400 gramme packet and Rs. 37.50 for a kilo packet considering the devaluation of the Sri Lanka rupees. A 400 gramme packet costs Rs.264 and a kilo packet Rs. 647 at the moment, while the request for the increases had been made a couple of weeks back, they said. Assistant Vice-President of Nestle Lanka PLC Ruwan Welikala said that they were waiting in hope for more..

Lankan arrested with Rs.10.1mn gold

Mar 13 (DM) A Sri Lankan youth who arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) from Singapore was arrested last night with more than Rs.10.1million worth gold, airport customs said. The suspect was identified as a 21 year old youth from Dematagoda. Custom officials recovered nearly 1.74 Kilograms of gold which contains 216 gold chains, 20 necklaces, six pairs of earrings and 13 gold biscuits inside the suspect’s knee guards. Customs confiscated the gold and more..

Kahawatte tragedy: When friends turn killers

Mar 13 (LB) Police have apprehended the suspects of the recent gruesome murders of a mother and daughter in Kahawatte including the chief suspect Dharshana alias Raju. Raju is the brother of Godakawela Pradeshiya Sabha member L.H. Dharmasiri and is known to have worked as the coordinating secretary of Minister W.D.J. Seneviratna. Dharmasiri himself had been grilled about the horrific murders at Kahawatta and it is likely that he too would be arrested more..

Militarisation of North and East still in the Spotlight

Mar 13 (SL) The concerns arising as a result of military presence in the North and East have been emphasized yet again, this time by a group of women led NGOs who issued a statement last week, in the light of International Women’s Day on March 8. In this statement, titled “Women From The North And East Call For Real Peace, Justice And Accountability”, the North East Women’s Network has reiterated that women in particular, more..

UNP compensates Chilaw fisherman killed in anti-govt protest

Mar 13 (Island) The UNP while accusing the govt of not providing the promised fuel subsidy in the aftermath of the recent killing by the police of 38-year-old fisherman Anthony Fernando of Chilaw, yesterday donated three boats and cash and granted scholarships to the victim’s family and other fisher folk from the area, at a ceremony held in Colombo. Scholarships amounting to Rs.190,000 books, clothing and cash donations were given to the late more..

LPBOA accuses private transport minister of wrong doing

Mar 13 (Island) The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne alleged that Private Transport Minister C. B. Ratnayaka and National Transport Commission (NTC) Chairman Roshan Gunawardena had issued four route permits to a powerful bus magnate to operate buses on the Southern Expressway without following tender procedure. A complaint had been lodged at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. more..

Civil war over, Sri Lanka tourism blossoms

Mar 13 (MW) The 47-year-old Australian chemical engineer was among the few paying passengers on a Sri Lankan Air Force flight from the northern city of Jaffna. The 45-minute hop was comfortable and generally uneventful, he said, save for the high-caliber bullet hole in the propeller plane’s fuselage right next to his seat. “At least I had natural air-conditioning,” Hayes quipped. The military of this island nation has lots of time — not to mention equipment and land more..

Sajith defies Ranil, attacks US resolution

Mar 13 (Island) In the wake of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to remain noncommittal on the current UNHRC sessions in Geneva, where the govt is battling a US-led resolution, UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa says that there is absolutely no basis for Western efforts to confront Sri Lanka over alleged accountability issues. He said that those pursuing Sri Lanka on the human rights front had conveniently forgotten that they could more..

Central Bank governor challenges “Doomsday Pundits”

Mar 13 (GDI) The Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that while fuel prices were increased the prices of many other things have come down, reducing the expenditure of the people. He said that the inflation is considered based on the prices of 360 goods and most of the prices of many items have come down and it has helped to cushion the increased resulted in the fuel prices, and more..

Otters AC owe Govt. Rs.354mn in rent

Mar 13 (DM) The Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretary (DS) has decided to take legal action against the Otters Aquatic Club (OAC), located on a Rs.1.2 billion block of state land in Colombo 7 to collect Rs.354 million in defaulted rent. The rent has accumulated from 1956. Divisional Secretary Priyanai Sandanayaka the valuable prime land had been leased out to the OAC at an annual rental of Rs.222.00 on a 33-year agreement in 1956. more..

Unruly MPs to be stripped of privileges

Mar 13 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa will take tough action against un-parliamentary behaviour by MPS and those found guilty of doing so may lose parliamentary privileges, perks, foreign trips, state security and vehicles. Parliamentary Committee on Propriety, Discipline and Security (CPDS) Chairman and Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said the CPDS would recommend punitive action like the withdrawal of privileges and perks provided by the govt, foreign trips for official engagements and more..

Uproar in Rajya Sabha over Sri Lankan Tamil issue

Mar 13 (PTI) DMK and AIADMK with support from Left today forced adjournment of Rajya Sabha till noon after creating uproar over the govt’s stand on a resolution against Sri Lanka in UNHRC. As soon as the House met for the day, DMK members were on their feet displaying banners demanding that the govt must support a resolution moved by U.S., France and Norway in the UNHRC against the alleged atrocities committed on Sri Lankan Tamils during more..

Editorial: The new Sri Lanka, a multi religious nation

Mar 13 (DM) Historically Sri Lanka has been the happy home of four of the world’s living religions – Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. All these religions have values which are significantly useful to building a nation on a solid foundation of lasting peace, justice, equality and equitable distribution of wealth and resources. However most of the leaders of our religious communities are sadly not playing a significant role in nation building. more..

Nearly 16,000 motorcycle accidents in 2010

Mar 13 (Island) The National Council for Road Safety (NCRS), Chairman, U.N. Mallawarachchi says he is alarmed by high incidence of road accidents involving motorcycles around the country. "In 2010 nearly 16,000 motorcycles were involved in accidents," He said. "Most of the accidents occur due to the carelessness of drivers, speeding, drunk driving, mechanical defects in vehicles, negligence of pedestrians and motorists, unfavourable road conditions and driver fatigue," more..

Kahawate killings: IGP wants public to come forward with evidence

Mar 13 (Island) The IGP N.K.Illangakon said that there were no eye witnesses to the killing of a mother and a daughter in Kahawatte and urged the public to come forward and give evidence. "So far the police have been dependent only on scientific evidence and are in possession of the blood stained knife used for the killing which will be subjected to a DNA test," the police chief said. more..

Seminar on Alternative Media in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (GDI) A seminar on the theme "Sri Lanka's Alernative Media - The Ravaya 25 years " organized by the Government Information Department commenced today at the Bandaranaike Educational Centre. The Sinhala weekly Ravaya celebrated its silver jubilee on February 28, this year. A few days ago in the presence of distinguished VVIPs, the "Ravaya" Editor Victor Ivan was felicitated for 25 years of publishing the "Ravaya" newspapers. Acting Minister of more..

Envoys of Six Nations present credentials

Mar 13 (GDI) Six foreign envoys including four Ambassadors and two High Commissioners, presented their credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony which was held at the President's Office on Monday (12). The envoys who presented their letters of credence were: 01. H. E. Samuel K Mbambo - High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia. 02. H. E. Mohamad Sharari El- Bakheit El- Fayez - Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan more..

Fresh protests in Sri Lanka ahead of Channel 4 video release

Mar 13 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan people marched to protest a new Channel 4 video and U.S. backed resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka on Tuesday, officials said. A large gathering shouting anti U.S. slogans marched through the capital's streets demanding that the Obama administration withdraw a controversial resolution placed before the UNHRC in Geneva, police said. more..

Eleven remanded on charges of prostitution

Mar 13 (DM) Eleven suspects including nine women from remote areas of the country were arrested and produced in Court by the police, on charges of having run a brothel under the guise of a massage parlour at Galle road, Kollupitiya. Accordingly, the 11 suspects were ordered be remanded till March 14 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate today. The Kollupitiya police informed that the women who come from Moneragala, Lunugala, Badulla, Anuradhapura and Baduraliya areas were among those arrested. more..

Govt. Graduates complain Human Rights Commission on ‘Programme Circular’

Mar 13 (LT) Graduates in Govt service have made a complaint at the Human Rights Commission today against the service circular which deprives several rights including promotion criteria. General Secretary Graduates’ Union Mr Chandana Suriarachchi a Circular has been gazetted on 4th February 2012 which affects nearly 60000 graduates in MN 04 service at present and the future graduate recruits. According to him their requests on more..