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Joint time table for NWP buses

Mar 3 (Island) In a bid to eliminate passenger congestion and extortion rackets in the North Western Province, a joint timetable to operate private and SLTB buses was implemented as a pilot project yesterday. The implementation of joint timetable had been a long-felt need and it had been implemented in the Kurunegala and Puttalam districts, Private Transport Minister C.B. Ratnayaka said. He said that Lanka Private Bus Operators’ Association had been criticizing the more..

On President’s orders: Fishing community fuel subsidy increased

Mar 3 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday ordered the authorities to increase the fuel subsidy for the fishing community affected by the fuel hike, following a meeting with representatives of fishing organizations at Temple Trees. The fuel subsidy for multi-day fishing trawlers will be increased from 2,500 litres to 2,600 litres while the kerosene subsidy will be increased from 250 litres to 350 litres a month. more..

China-Lanka MoU to develop Buddhist activities

Mar 3 (DN) China will enter into a memorandum of understanding with Sri Lanka to develop and extend activities related to Buddhism. A wide ranging plan will be drawn up under this agreement to develop Buddhist temples and Dagobas in Sri Lanka. An agreement was reached in this connection when visiting Chinese Religious Affairs Deputy Minister Zhang Lebin called on Prime Minister D M Jayaratne at Visumpaya and held wide ranging discussions yesterday morning. more..

Ex-LTTE cadres doing well

Mar 3 (Island) Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms says that the ex- LTTE cadres who had been provided with loan facilities by the rehabilitation authorities were successfully carrying out their own self employments ventures. "Two hundred and fifty such ex- combatants had been provided with loan facilities and their progress in business is constantly monitored by the rehabilitation authorities," Secretary to the ministry, A. Dissanayake said. more..

‘War Crimes Unpunished’ to be launched in support of US resolution

Mar 3 (Island) Those responsible for ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ will telecast another documentary, ‘War Crimes Unpunished’ on Mar. 14 to coincide with UNHRC sessions now in progress. The sessions go till March 23. The propaganda documentary directed by Callum Macrae is produced by London-based ITN productions, which produced ‘Sri Lanka Killing Fields’ first telecast in last June. more..

Sri Lankan films screened at Asian Film Fest

Mar 3 (SG) Two Sri Lankan films were screened on Feb. 24 during the recently concluded 5th Asian Film Festival, which was organized by the Asian Consuls General Club (ACGC) and ran from Feb. 19-29 here. Sri Lanka Night fell on the festival’s 6th day and was held at the premises of the Sri Lankan Consulate General. The documentary “The Grand Pageant of Asia” showed a cultural event celebrated annually in Kandy, Sri Lanka, while the feature film “Arumosam Wehi” had a more..

'Lankan children enjoy numerous facilities'

Mar 3 (DN) Sri Lankan children are blessed with many facilities including health and education, Senior Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama said yesterday. The minister said that Sri Lanka is in the process of ushering a better standard for children as the nation considers them wealth. Dr Amunugama was addressing the launch of the UNICEF report on State of the World's Children 2012 at the Presidential Secretariat, Colombo. The report was jointly launched by UNICEF and the Sri Lankan govt. more..

Baalu calls on PM over US resolution

Mar 3 (AA) DMK, a key ally of the Congress led UPA at the Centre, on Friday insisted that India should support the US-sponsored resolution demanding an international investigation against Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes in UNHRC and said it would “not compromise on anything less than a full support”. DMK Parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to prevail upon him to support the resolution moved by more..

CMC challenges Ministry’s city dengue figures

Mar 3 (Island) Challenging the veracity of the number of dengue patients from Colombo seeking treatment from govt hospitals, published by the Health Ministry, the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council said that out of the total number of dengue patients island wide, Colombo did not produce fifty percent of them as claimed by the Health Ministry. PHD Chief Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said he would write to the Health Ministry asking for details more..

Ministry to initiate action to arrest abuse of women and children

Mar 3 (Island) A national programme to eradicate the escalating crimes committed against Women and Children will be initiated by the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs during the Womens’s Day celebrations next Thursday. The Spokesman for the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs, Vijitha Ratnasena said on Wednesday that the sudden increase in numbers of rape, sexual abuse and murder of women during the past few months had caused a great more..

Butenis to bid adieu

Mar 3 (CT) US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Patricia Butenis will soon be replaced, highly placed diplomatic sources said. Buetnis will shortly end her diplomatic assignment in Sri Lanka paving the way for Michele J. Sison to take over as the Ambassador in Colombo. Butenis carried out her duties as the US ambassador here at a time when US-Sri Lanka relations were quite strained. The State Department has already sent a memo, and the ministry is now in the process of more..

Midwives’ uniform allowance agitation hots up

Mar 3 (Island) Chief Deputy Secretary of the Government Midwifery Services Association Devika Kodituwakku said on Wednesday that they were disappointed at the discrimination against midwives shown by the government in granting uniform allowances to different sectors of the health service. The association warned that they would resort to trade union action if the government failed to increase their uniform allowance in par with the amounts paid to nurses. more..

LIOC diesel mixed with water

Mar 3 (Island) In a bizarre turn of events, a consignment of diesel which had been transported from the Lanka Indian Oil Corporation’s oil tank farm in Trincomalee and unloaded at a fuel station at Mount Lavinia, had been found to be mixed with water! The bowser, which had 6,700 litres of diesel, was being unloaded at a Mount Lavinia filling station, while testing was being done, when it was found to be mixed with water. The manager of the station had sent the consignment back without accepting it. more..

'UNHRC resolution blown out of proportion'

Mar 3 (Island) The govt was creating a big rumpus about the US resolution calling for the implementation of the LLRC recommendations, to distract the masses from the high cost of living and impending price hikes on essential goods and services during the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Addressing the first in a series of meetings organised by the "Opposition Protest Front" in Panadura, more..

Mattala Airport to be ready by October

Mar 3 (Island) The government had made steady progress in the construction of Sri Lanka’s second international Airport, at Mattala. It was scheduled to be completed by the end of October this year, Airport and Aviation Services Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said. He said that the Exim Bank of China had provided Funding to the tune of US $ 209 million for the project and the contractors were China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd and the contract period was 36 months. more..

Demining complete in Jayapuram north

Mar 3 (DN) The northern parts of Jayapuram, Kilinochchi district were cleared of land mines and handed over to the people for re-settlement recently at a function held in Jayapuram. Ithavil Farm in Jayapuram area, KI-436Band KI-438 divisions which extend to 83,277 kms were demined. The lands were cleared by the Danish Demining Group (DDG). Deputy Chairman of Committees M. Chandrakumar, MP participated as the chief guest for the event. He said 95 percent of re-settlement in Kilinochchi was more..

China, Pakistan endorse GoSL’s domestic reconciliation process

Mar 3 (Island) China and Pakistan on Thursday threw their weight behind Sri Lanka at the 19th sessions of the UNHRC sessions. The two longstanding friends of Sri Lanka stressed that Sri Lanka should be given more time and space to address post-war issues. "China appreciates the efforts made by the Sri Lankan Govt to advance national reconciliation process and we are of the view that more time and space should be given to Sri Lanka for it to bring more..

More protests against UN attempts

Mar 3 (BBC) People from Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority have been demonstrating at the United Nations headquarters in Colombo, urging that the country’s government be shielded from criticism at the current session of the UN Human Rights Council. It’s the latest in a series of government-backed and government-organised demonstrations which have continued throughout this week. But an opposition party has condemned what it says are systematic continuing human rights violations. more..

Minister orders full scale inquiry into mother's death

Mar 3 (DN) A probe is on to find the cause of the death of a woman following a caesarian operation. Minister Maithripala Sirisena has ordered a full scale investigation into the death of the woman aged 27 at the De Soysa Maternity Home, Colombo. The investigation will be conducted to find out the real cause of death and the quality of antibiotics given to her. Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu has instructed Health Services Director General and National more..

SL Ambassador lashes out at Pillay

Mar 3 (CT) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam lashed out at the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay during an interactive session yesterday, saying that Sri Lanka “unreservedly dissents” with the observations made by Pillay. She said that the move to discuss a “domestic process” at the UN human rights body would set a “dangerous precedent.” “The LLRC report represents the emblematic parameters of more..

Doctors communication allowance delayed

Mar 3 (Island) Government Medical Officers’ Association General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa yesterday alleged that some high ranking officials in the public health sector deliberately neglected to implement the payment of the communication allowance for doctors. The GMOA General Committee Meeting, which was held on January 26, had discussed the problem and decided to request the government to implement it with"out delay, Dr. Epitakaduwa told "The Island" . more..

Four new power sets for KV line

Mar 3 (DN) The Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) has deployed four new power sets on the Kelani Valley line and main line. One new power set will operate on the Kelani Valley line from Colombo Fort to Homagama while the other three power sets are for the main line from Colombo Fort to Veyangoda and Mahawa. The power sets operating on the Kelani Valley line up to Homagama will commence at 7pm from Colombo Fort while the other power set operating up to Veyangoda will commence at 3.20pm from more..

The SriLankan Problem

Mar 3 (SL) SriLankan Airline has weathered its fair share of financial storms. The problems began in 2009, when in their annual report auditors Ernst and Young expressed their doubts about the viability of the firm. At that stage, the national carrier’s liabilities exceeded their assets by Rs. 8,159 million. The company’s losses have dropped, but they are still losses. Part of the reason for this is the less than welcoming economic climate, particularly more..

Price hikes and a nation fighting for survival

Mar 3 (SL) The recent wave of price hikes propelled by the increase of fuel prices has further added to the woes of the consumers who have been on a constant battle against the spiraling cost of living. The people’s purchasing power that has been on a steady decline in the past few years has now plummeted to greater depths. The Census and Statistics Department has calculated that the increase in the prices of fuel, more..

Are yachts fighting shy of Galle port?

Mar 3 (DM) The authorized agents who supply services to cruise ships and also yachts that arrive in the Galle Port find themselves in a predicament due to the sharp decline in their arrivals due to the threat of Somali pirates and also the poor facilities on offer at the Galle Port. The chandlers pointed out that the arrival of yachts during the tourist season had declined to a great degree this year when compared to previous years. more..

Alarming increase in Asthma cases

Mar 3 (Island) The number of people affected by asthma has shown an alarming increase in Sri Lanka due to increased air pollution in the cities. This was revealed by Dr. Thalatha Liyanage, Director of the Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Unit of the Health Education Bureau. She said that climate change might lead to more asthma-related health problems among Sri Lankans. "Asthma is caused by smoking, dust, toxins in the fur of animals and pollen. more..

Sri Lanka’s deep seas being tested for radioactive contamination

Mar 3 (DN) A special programme to monitor radioactive substances in the seas off Sri Lanka has been commenced by the Atomic Energy Authority with the aid of International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) and local stakeholders. The intention of this programme is to analyze the impact on Sri Lankan seas from the radioactive leakage of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan last year. more..

Govt. wants TNA to unite for solution

Mar 3 (DM) The Sri Lankan govt has requested the PRO-LTTE Tamil Diaspora to prevail upon the TNA to work for a political solution casting aside its differences. During an interactive session with Tamil Diaspora activists, the NGO representatives and heads of missions of various countries here in Geneva, MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardene said there appeared to be differences within the TNA about evolving a political solution. more..

'More young people doing drugs'

Mar 3 (DM) The incidence of young people falling victim to drug abuse is on the rise and the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) has recorded a total of 29,796 drug-related arrests in 2010 and 40 per cent of those arrested were in their 20s. The NDDCB 'Handbook of Drug Abuse Information of 2011' was released yesterday. The male to female ratio of the arrests was 97:1 with 32 per cent were related to heroin while 68 per cent to cannabis. more..

Military denies presence of US troops

Mar 3 (DM) The Military denied reports about the presence of US Special Forces in Sri Lanka. Military spokesman Nihal Hapuarachchi said there was no American or any foreign force in the island at the moment. A top Pentagon Commander has said that US Special Forces teams are stationed in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives as part of counter-terrorism cooperation. However the Army has invited four countries to come with eight-man teams comprising of more..

‘Patriotic row’ brings Samarasinghe home

Mar 3 (LT) The agitations of the govt launched stating western countries led by the USA are preparing to bring a resolution aiming war crimes against President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 19th session of the summit of the UNHRC being held in Geneva have been completely deterred due to internal rifts in the govt. Minister and Presidential Special Envoy on Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe who led the Sri Lankan delegation to the summit of the UNHRC in Geneva returned to the island more..

You need to fight Australia for every run

Mar 3 (CI) It would mean a lot for us to beat Australia in the finals over the coming week. We have not won a tri-series here before, although we did beat Australia 2-1 last time we toured, in 2010. You come into these tournaments wanting to win and it is brilliant to have achieved our first goal of reaching the finals, but the hard work is yet to come. Australia are a tough opponent. They will come hard at us in the first final so it's important we keep calm and play our natural game. more..

US clarifies “Spec Ops” reports

Mar 3 (CT) The United States embassy in Colombo today in a statement clarified media reports of US Special Forces station in Sri Lanka. “References in the press to U.S. Special Forces being stationed in Sri Lanka are misleading,” the statement said, adding that members of the U.S. military are assigned to work in the U.S. Embassy in Colombo as part of the bilateral engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka. more..

Medicare 2012 Exhibition launched

Mar 3 (GDI) Medicare 2012 Exhibition which was launched at the BMICH yesterday for the third consecutive year, will be held until March 04. The healthcare exhibition is organized by the Western Province Department of Health under the patronage of the Ministry of Health. The Sri Lankan Govt aims to foster a healthier nation that contributes to its economic, social, mental and spiritual well being, and also plans to achieve this objective by working in close coordination and more..

Haul of golds for SriLankan Airlines

Mar 3 (GDI) SriLankan Airlines’ sportsmen and women have made a top level re-entry into the sports arena, with a huge haul of medals, at the recent Mercantile Athletics Championship. The SriLankan team had a haul of 27 gold, 19 silver and 19 bronze medals at the Championship, making them clear winners. Earlier this month, the airline’s men’s badminton team won the 16th Travel Trade Badminton Championships. This winning streak will act as a confidence booster for more..

At last, let the finals begin

Mar 3 (CI) Finally, the finals. Nearly a month after the tournament began, Australia and Sri Lanka have been confirmed as the top two sides and India, the World Cup champions, are on their way home. Now it is down to the World Cup runners-up, a Sri Lankan side that looks strong under the leadership of their restored captain Mahela Jayawardene, and the No.1-ranked ODI side, an Australian outfit that disappointed at the World Cup but has made some positive more..

Navi Pillay urges Sri Lanka to engage and in discussion of LLRC report with UNHRC

Mar 3 (TC) I welcome the publication by the govt of Sri lanka last December of its Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission. While the report falls short of the comprehensive accountability process recommended by the Secretary- General’s Panel of Experts, it does make important recommendations. I encourage the Govt to engage with the Special Procedures and with my Office on follow up to the report. I also hope the Council will discuss these important reports. more..

The captain Sri Lanka have needed

Mar 3 (CI) "Every country needs to have the best captain, and the best captain in Sri Lanka is Mahela Jayawardene, and I think everybody knows that," Geoff Marsh said at the end of his brief stint as head coach. In March 2009, Jayawardene's first captaincy stint hit an abrupt blockade, figuratively and literally, when Sri Lanka's bus came under attack in Lahore. Three years of a different sort of tumult later, he is back at the helm. As the nine-run win in Melbourne and more..

Only two qualified nutritionists for SL

Mar 3 (CT) In a startling revelation the GMOA has said that there are only two qualified Human Nutritionists for a population of 20 million in Sri Lanka. GMOA Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said though there is a population of over 20 million in Sri Lanka, there are only two doctors who are specialized in human nutrition for the entire country. “Nutrition plays a very important role in the development of a nation. There are many persons who suffer from more..

Sri Lanka drop Herath for Asia Cup cricket

Mar 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Saturday left out left-arm spinner Rangana Herath for the upcoming four-nation Asia Cup tournament in Bangladesh. Herath, part of the Sri Lankan squad for the ongoing triangular one-day series in Australia, was replaced by leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna, who played his last one-day international in November. The 14-man squad will be led by Mahela Jayawardene, with all-rounder Angelo Mathews as his deputy. more..