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Persons with disabilities the largest marginlaised

Mar 28 (Island) Persons with disabilities are the largest marginalised group in world. Chairman of the Disability Organisations Joint Front (DOJF), Prasanna Kuruppu said that 15 percent of the world population was disabled according to WHO reports. The total number of persons with disabilities, identified in 2001, was over 2 74,711. The numbers would have increased even more by the end of the war, the increase in the number of accidents and due to age-related disabilities. more..

Medawachchiya to Madhu rail line 50 pc complete

Mar 28 (DN) Fifty percent of the construction work of the railway line from Medawachchiya to Madhu has been completed. The construction work on Medawachchiya-Madhu segment is expected to be completed on schedule by the middle of 2013. Attention has been paid to complete its construction expeditiously. Sri Lanka signed a commercial agreement with India last year for Indian assistance to reconstruct the Northern Railway Line from Medawachchiya to Thalaimannar, more..

Wickets and lbws galore

Mar 28 (CI) Seventeen wickets fell for 305 runs on the second day in Galle, which makes this one of the most bowler-dominated days of Test cricket in Sri Lanka. Only twice have more wickets fallen in a day of Test cricket here. The highest was also in a Test involving England, at the SSC in Colombo in 2001 - on the third day of that Test, 22 wickets fell for 229 as England scraped to a four-wicket win. On the second day of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Test in Kandy in 2006, 20 wickets fell more..

Kithulaka Waruna-2012 Exhibition, Trade Fair

Mar 28 (DN) "The Kithulaka Waruna-2012" Exhibition and Trade Fair, will be held on April 5-7 at the "Sudarshi" premises in Colombo 7. Addressing the media Secretary to the Ministry V. Sivagnanasothy said that the exhibition was held annually under the national programme for the development of Kithul products, which was launched by the Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry, with the objective of uplifting the indigenous Kithul products industry. more..

සබැඳියාව | Connections – March 20, 2012

Health check-ups for prisoners

Mar 28 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has decided to submit all prisoners for health check ups before they are imprisoned. A full health screening will be done on all convicted prisoners for both communicable and non communicable diseases before they are imprisoned. This will help safeguard their rights, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman, all prisoners will have to have a ‘Health Report’ and it can be compared when they are released. more..

CMC Commissioner seeks funds for décor

Mar 28 (Island) Colombo Municipal Council Commissioner the Mrs. Bhadrani Jayawardene has written to six establishments requesting for Rs. 1.4 million each to decorate a section of the Galle Road from Galle Face Hotel Junction to Kollupitiya Junction with pots of flowers. Among the six companies she has made the request from are: Seylan Bank, Ceylinco Insurance, Union Bank, Alfa Industries, Galle Face Hotel and Cinnamon Grand. She has also requested for Rs. 49,000 per month for more..

'Some TUs level baseless allegations against govt'

Mar 28 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama recently alleged that, in order to boost their egos and cause harm to the govt, some trade union leaders issued baseless allegations to get their photographs and views published in the print and electronic media. Speaking at a ceremony held to hand over 156 letters of appointment to newly recruited station masters, he said those elements were engaged in anti-govt propaganda activities by more..

Wife killer attempts suicide

Mar 28 (Island) A woman was beaten to death by her husband on Sunday at Madampe in Chilaw, Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana, said yesterday. The 27-year-old man, who was a resident of Madampe, had killed his 21-year-old wife inside the house by assaulting her. He had then also attempted suicide by taking poison, the police said. The police said that the tragedy occurred over a dispute. They confirmed that the couple was childless. more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka’s UN quandary

Mar 28 (KT) They say that everything is fair in love and war. So should be the case with Colombo. That is what Sri Lanka wants the United Nations to believe in, as it rejected a resolution of the world body that called upon it to ensure accountability for alleged violations of international humanitarian laws committed during the last stages of war with the Tamil Tigers. Shrugging it off as an internal issue, Sri Lanka wants the world to help rebuild the island-nation more..

Govt. thanks friends among int’l community amidst further destabilization efforts

Mar 28 (Island) In the wake of continuing Western efforts to isolate Sri Lanka, the govt has thanked those countries which threw their weight behind Sri Lanka at the recently concluded UNHRC sessions in Geneva. A senior official said that External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris, on behalf of the GoSL, had written to foreign ministers of all countries, which either voted against the resolution captioned ‘promoting reconciliation and more..

Forcing India out of the democratic closet

Mar 28 (WSJ) India found it wrenching last week to vote against neighboring Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. Three years ago, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa won a bloody 26-year long civil war against the Tamil Tigers, New Delhi backed him. It still considers Colombo a friend, so it's with hesitation that it supported a U.S.-backed resolution demanding Sri Lankan accountability for alleged war crimes committed in the dying stages of the war. This marks a sharp break from the traditional Indian practice of more..

Black Prados of Pakistan vs the white vans of Sri Lanka

Mar 28 (ITN) When it comes to harassment of journalists, two South Asian friends, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, appear to exchange matching experiences and at both places the intelligence agencies are accused of these dirty tricks. If the black Prado is a sign of fear for Pakistani journalists for its frequent use in state-sponsored abduction, the word ‘white van’ is nightmarish for Sri Lankan journalists as they are used by intelligence agencies for abducting more..

Geneva overshadowed as Colombo hosts SL-US TIFA talks

Mar 28 (FT) In a progressive move, Sri Lanka and the US yesterday successfully concluded the 10th round of talks under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Analysts described the talks and successful conclusion as a positive development as it was amidst continued political apprehension locally over the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka seeing successful passage at the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva last week. more..

Indians look at Sri Lanka to invest in vacation homes

Mar 28 (ET) Sri Lanka's property market is witnessing a strong revival following the end of the civil strife. The Lankan govt has been clearing huge parcels of land in Colombo, Jaffna, Mullativu, Kilinochchi, Trincomalee, Hambantota, Galle, Kandy, Batticaloa and Hill Country regions like Nuwara Eliya for residential, hospitality and other commercial projects. The country's UDA, a single-window clearance agency, has been given a mandate to identify, clear and allocate more..

Extortion gang arrested

Mar 28 (Island) A special team from the Trincomalee Police arrested an LTTE armed gang which was allegedly responsible for extortions and crimes in the Northeast. The gang had been led by a doctor who too was an LTTE member. The suspects had in their possession forged rubber stamps and seals of police officers. They had printed and circulated forged documents earning large sums of money. Police also took into custody live bullets and ammunitions, rifles, binoculars, documents more..

Sri Lanka forex reserves down 39-pct

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's forex reserves fell 39 percent to 5,806 million dollars in January 2012, from a peak of 8,098 million US dollars reached in July 2011, around the time a balance of payments crisis started. Measured in terms of months of imports, Sri Lanka had reserves of 3.4 months, Sri Lanka's Central Bank said. But analysts say measuring reserves in terms of months of imports has no meaning, as a balance of payments crisis is triggered when more..

Narita added to Sri Lanka open skies

Mar 28 (JT) Japan and Sri Lanka have agreed to add Narita International Airport to their open skies agreement, according to the transport ministry. The addition of Narita will take effect in summer 2013, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said. Signatory countries to open skies agreement are basically obliged to authorize each other's airlines to set the number of flights to the other's airports and open new routes to them without being bound by any curbs. more..

FUTA to launch TU action

Mar 28 (CT) The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) has issued a warning to launch a trade union action from April, in protest against the govt’s failure to fulfill the pledges made to them. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said that the lecturers will engage in an island-wide token strike on 26 April, and will simultaneously launch a public protest campaign in Colombo. Following the suspension of intense trade union action last year, the Ministry and the FUTA had numerous discussions between themselves, more..

Kotmale power plant commissioning delayed

Mar 28 (CT) The commissioning of the hydro power electricity plant at Kotmale will be further delayed, according to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) sources. The Project Manager, Senior Engineer, Shavindra Fernando earlier said that the commissioning of the Upper Kotmale hydro electricity plant would commence yesterday. The Island reported that the plant would not be commissioned on March 27. Power and Energy Ministry officials blamed more..

Sagara Senaratne’s abductors wanted Rs. 50 mn

Mar 28 (Island) Former Western Provincial Councillor Sagara Senaratne, who was abducted by an armed gang on Monday evening, near Naga Viharaya in Kotte, while he was driving his van had been dropped at a place in Wattala, the same evening. Senaratne is the brother-in-law of Minister Jeewan Kumaratunga. Senaratne, in an interview with The Island said his abductors demanded 50 million rupees to release him and he had told them that he didn’t have that kind of money. more..

SC gives Dayasiri time to amend, support petition

Mar 28 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday gave petitioner UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, time till April 24, 2012 to amend and support his petition, filed against the recent graduate trainee recruitment done in the Government Agent Division of Hambantota. The petitioner had alleged that the Government Agent had interviewed graduates on February 14, 15, and 16, 2012 and employed them soon after. Applications were called for the vacancies thereafter. more..

UN paid US$ 1.6 million to “Ghost” companies in Sri Lanka

Mar 28 (CT) Documents obtained by The Colombo Telegraph show how United Nations funds were paid to three Sri Lankan companies which were physically not contactable. US$ 1.57 million was paid to supply companies which the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations could not contact. According to FAO Country Representative Patrick T. Evans’ own files, which were obtained by more..

Former war zone produces plenty

Mar 28 (IPS) Most things in Sri Lanka are becoming expensive these days. In early February fuel prices were increased by margins ranging from eight to 49 percent, with the all-important diesel, used widely in commercial transport and power generation, going up by 36 percent. The Sri Lankan rupee that was trading at 107 rupees to the dollar in January surpassed 130 rupees per dollar last week. The Central Bank said recently it was spending more..

Blind student gets 9 As at GCE O/L

Mar 28 (Island) A Blind student, who sat for the 2011 GCE O/L exam last year, has scored ‘A’s in all subjects she had offered. Ridmi Handapangoda, of Werellahena, is a student of the Thakshila College, Horana. She sat for the exam in the Braille system. Speaking to The Island she said that she was happy with her achievement and would continue her education to become a teacher someday. "I could read when I was a child. more..

Sea Plane landing facility at Seeduwa

Mar 28 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Tuesday visited the Seeduwa Daduhan Oya, the site where a sea plane landing facility is being built for the use of inbound tourists to the country. This project jointly carried out by the Tourism authority of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Provincial Road Development Authority will have an access road and terminal facility aimed at providing more..

Land based activities polluting SL’s marine environment - MEPA

Mar 28 (Island) Sri Lanka contradicts worldwide trends as its land-based activity contributes immensely towards polluting the marine environment, Marine Environment Protection Authority Chairman R.S. Ariyapperuma said. He said that pollution of the marine environment worldwide occurs not only from maritime activity such as ship action, oil spills, war, destruction of habitats and harbour activity, but also from land-based activity such as more..

European couple to leave country

Mar 28 (SL) Belgian independent film-maker Guilhem de Crombrugghe and his French girlfriend Marie Ferdinand entered Sri Lanka on January 5. The couple was on holiday, and on tourist visas. However, they were not here to ‘sit on the beaches and enjoy five star hotels’, as they put it. They wanted to experience a different side to Sri Lanka, and research on how tourism development was affecting the country. “It is important when you travel… that you know what is going on in a country,” more..

More Sri Lanka’s Diplomatic Missions to be opened up in Africa

Mar 28 (AT) A spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs told that the Govt has decided to open up a new embassy in Nigeria before the end of this year. He also said that it has also decided to reorganize its diplomatic missions abroad to suit the countries immediate requirements. In 2008 President Mahinda Rajapaksa indicated his Government’s intention of Looking Africa and Latin America. more..

Special ID planned for senior citizens

Mar 28 (DM) A special identity card will be issued to senior citizens to allow them special privileges at various establishments, the National Secretariat for Elders Director, Mrs. J. Krishnamoorthy said. She noted the move will involve immense groundwork and infrastructure and the National Secretariat for Elders has appealed to the govt, the Health Ministry and other relevant authorities to initiate the system. more..

Sri Lanka Expo foreign presence sign of confidence: president

Mar 28 (LBO) The presence of a large delegation of foreign visitors at Sri lanka's Expo2012 international trade fair and exhibition is an expression of confidence placed in the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The fair is meant to show the world the new prospects for investment and trade in Sri Lanka after the end of its 30-year ethnic war in 2009, he said at the opening of Expo2012. "Your presence in large numbers is truly encouraging more..

'No one has to tell us what to do'

Mar 28 (DM) While claiming that the govt is committed to walk an extra mile to establish permanent peace through reconciliation, President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that no one has to tell Sri Lanka what to do. “Sri Lanka is in the midst of peace won at great sacrifice. We are progressing on the path of peace and reconciliation. Our govt is committed to walk that extra mile to establish permanent peace through reconciliation. That is our commitment to our people and no one has to tell us what to do,” more..

Sri Lanka shares end down 0.2-pct

Mar 28 (LBO) Shares closed weaker Wednesday with some interest seen in conglomerates although trading volumes were low, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.15 percent to 5,428.01, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.50 percent to close at 4,888.39. Turnover was 627 million rupees. Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings closed at 205.30 rupes, up 4.30, with 1.2 million shares done. Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings ended at 70.70 rupees, up 70 cents, more..

Editorial: The value and power in our religions

Mar 28 (DM) Amid controversy over the recommendations of the LLRC one wonders whether the LLRC looked into the lessons to be learnt for humanity. Probably, it was not the LLRC mandate to do so. For instance lethal weapons are being produced by the so-called developed nations. It is a flourishing business and one of the most powerful industries on our planet. Needless to mention, the senseless killings that have taken place in every domestic and world wars, more..

England steady in intriguing chase

Mar 28 (CI) Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott earned England an outside chance of a remarkable victory with a resolute partnership against Sri Lanka on the third day of the first Test in Galle. England, set a daunting 340 to win, reached 111 for the loss of both their openers before the close. Bearing in mind that England have been dismissed for under 260 in six of their last seven Test innings and have never successfully chased more than 332 to win a Test, more..

Bandula explains how to survive with Rs. 2,500 a month

Mar 28 (AD) Minister Bandula Gunawardena today reiterated his earlier comment claiming that Rs. 2,500 was enough for a person to survive for a month. He added that he was prepared to debate the fact with anyone who was qualified enough. He elaborated his claim by stating that the government is financing students in hostels spending less than Rs. 2,500 a month. The problem is when you add Housing, Electricity, Gas, Petrol, Water, Transport and Clothing, he claimed. more..

Fishermen protest encroachment

Mar 28 (UCAN) More than 2,000 fishermen from 21 unions staged a protest yesterday, marching to a government office to hand over a petition against illegal entry of Indian fishermen into Sri Lankan waters. The fishermen say they face harassment from encroaching Indians. At their protest in Jaffna, they said want the government to enforce the law. According to the National Fishery Solidarity Movement, some 2,000 Indian trawlers enter Sri Lankan waters every week. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 28.03.2012

Make Rs. 40 the certified price of a kilo of paddy – Agitation in Dambulla

Mar 28 (LT) An agitation demanding the govt to increase the minimum price of a kilogram of paddy to Rs.40 and legalize it and provide kerosene oil subsidy for vegetable farmers was held in Dambulla yesterday. The agitation had been organized by All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation. JVP MP Anura Dissanayake speaking to the large gathering said the struggle to get the price of paddy increased would be continued until a certified price for paddy is established. more..

More kids being abandoned

Mar 28 (SL) The police say more and more children are being abandoned by their parents over various reasons around the country. 206 children below the age of 18 were abandoned by their mothers last year while this year the figure was at 26 for January alone. The police warned that under local laws anyone found guilty of abandoning a child can face up to 20 years in jail. In the latest incident a three day old child was found abandoned behind a hotel in Matara yesterday. more..