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Minister wants CAA to submit report on world milk powder prices

Mar 5 (DN) Minster Johnston Fernando has instructed the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to submit report on the fluctuation of milk powder prices in the world market. 'The Price Evaluation Committee is currently studying the fluctuation of milk powder prices in the world market and a final decision whether to allow a milk powder price revision will be taken only after a careful evaluation of the situation, a CAA spokesman said. He further said that the govt would not more..

Three quarter of Northern population own houses

Mar 5 (DN) Almost 75 percent of the Northern population live in a shelter owned by a member of their household, according to the report on Enumeration of Vital Events (EVE 2011) in the Northern province compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS). The statistics is on par with the rest of the country when it comes to data pertaining to the above matter. The EVE -2011 states that a further 12.5 percent of the households live in units free of any rent payment. more..

Govt. to enact witness protection Bill

Mar 5 (DM) Amid pressure from certain world powers including the United States to address accountability, the govt assured the international community last week that the witness protection Bill would be made a law soon. On the sidelines of the 19th session of the UNHRC Council, a governmental delegation held a side event with representatives of various diplomatic missions in Geneva, international organizations including the Amnesty International more..

‘Opposition Leader trying to mislead farmers’

Mar 5 (DN) Price fluctuation of vegetables is natural during a certain period of the year although the Opposition leader is trying to get political mileage using even the tomato prices, which is regrettable, Matale district Parliamentarian Lakshman Wasantha Perera said. “While the people are enjoying the fruits of the Divi Neguma programme, some parties are launching campaigns to hoodwink vegetable farmers by saying that tomato prices have dropped drastically,” he told more..

Posed off as Pera professor in bio piracy act

Mar 5 (Island) Environmentalists demand that the authorities launch an investigation to trace a person who called himself a professor to collect 40 horn lizards which are red listed as endemic from Riverston area in the Dumbara forest reserve and made his escape. An environmental organization called Dumbara Mithuro said that the person had described himself as a professor attached to the Peradeniya University. He had come with a foreigner to the reserve park and more..

ATIs to get degree awarding status

Mar 5 (Island) Advanced Technological Institutes in the country would be gazetted as degree awarding institutions soon, Minister S. B. Dissanayake said. All the ATI’s would be upgraded with necessary facilities to enable them to function as degree conferring higher education institutes, the minister said adding that initiatives had already been taken to change the medium of instructions in those institutes from Sinhala and Tamil to English. more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka against itself

Mar 5 (Hindu) Sri Lanka is engaged in an all-out effort to stave off a resolution against it at the ongoing session of the UNHRC at Geneva. The United States, the prime backer of the resolution, has circulated a draft among the Council's 47 members calling on Colombo to do nothing more than implement the recommendations of its own LLRC, as well as to initiate credible investigations into violations of international human rights laws not addressed adequately by the LLRC. more..

Pilgrims to Kachchatheevu return to Rameswaram

Mar 5 (Hindu) Even as most of the Indian pilgrims, who went to Kachchatheevu to take part in St. Anthony's Church festival on Saturday, returned to Rameswaram safely, two Sri Lankan Tamil refugees landed in Rameswaram on Sunday along with them. The arrival of refugees, which has not been noticed after the end of civil war in Sri Lankan in 2009, has bemused the Indian security officials, who have camped here to monitor the return of Indian pilgrims from Kachchatheevu. more..

EPDP alleges Swiss complicity in ‘political refuge’ scam

Mar 5 (Island) EPDP leader and Minister Douglas Devananda challenges the Swiss embassy in Colombo to reveal the circumstances in which former News Editor of Uthayan, Gnanasundaram Kuhanathan and one of his reporters, S. Kavitharan, received political asylum following attacks allegedly blamed on the EPDP. Kuhanathan was on his way back home from office on July 29, 20011 when two persons pounced on him. more..

Three priceless gold Buddha statues recovered

Mar 5 (Island) Three stolen priceless gold Buddha statues were recovered by the Galewela police on Saturday when on suspicion a van was searched in the Diggala area. The statues weigh 15, 11 and ten grammes respectively. Among the six suspects who were in the van had been an army officer. Under interrogation they had confessed to stealing the artifacts from a temple at Galewela and that they were taking them to be sold. The van they were travelling in was also taken into custody. more..

Unlikely trio give Australia scare

Mar 5 (CI) Upul Tharanga was making his comeback after failing at the top of the order. Dhammika Parasad, too, would not have played this game if not for injuries to Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera. Nuwan Kulasekara is a specialist bowler, whose runs are often a bonus. Also Tharanga batted in the middle order, an unfamiliar position. Between the three of them they had no business making a game out of the first final after Sri Lanka were 6 for 144, chasing 322. It is the fight the three showed more..

'Govt is avoiding people's issues by stirring Geneva issue'

Mar 5 (LT) The time has come for the people to defeat the economic-political policies followed by the govt that creates a ‘Geneva terror’ to cover up burning issues of the people, imperialism led by the USA that paves the way for the govt to carry out such a move and the UNP that collaborates says the JVP. This was stated by the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe at a media conference held by the JVP to apprise the media regarding the Geneva summit more..

Sri Lanka factories run on kerosene: Treasury

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Gampaha district in the Western province bordering the capital Colombo was the area with the highest kerosene consumption with most of its going to factories, the island's finance ministry said. Though there was a widespread belief that kerosene is consumed by poor households with no electricity including houses of plantation workers, 40 percent of the kerosene was consumed in Gampaha, a statement on the finance ministry website said. more..

Catholics divided on war crimes

Mar 5 (BBC) Tamil Catholic priests from the north have called for an international investigation into alleged war crimes, contradicting an earlier statement by the head of Sri Lanka's Catholic Church. In a letter sent to UNHRC, the group urges the UN body to urge Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of the govt appointed war panel. It also calls on the UN to urge Sri Lanka to accept an international probe into accountability issues that has not been dealt by the LLRC. more..

Geneva confab: SL’s post war progress hailed in many quarters

Mar 5 (DN) A number of representatives at the 19th session of the UNHRC had praised the progress achieved by Sri Lanka in all sectors, within the two and a half years since the conflict ended, head of the Sri Lankan delegation, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. The minister who returned to the island on Saturday for a short break, told the Daily News that many countries had lauded Sri Lanka’s accomplishments in the post-conflict era and more..

Insurance field agencies seek help from President

Mar 5 (Island) The field officers of the Sri Lanka Insurance who served for years, but presently out of employment are likely to receive a bonanza. The presidential Secretariat following an appeal by an organization of the field officers of the Sri Lanka Insurance has called for a report regarding the contents of the appeal for taking steps to grant any relief to that category of field officers who rendered a service to the state owned insurance company, more..

Five fishermen caught in Gujarat

Mar 5 (DM) For the first time in the ongoing maritime boundary dispute with India five Sri Lankan fishermen have been apprehended in Gujarat yesterday. Another five fishermen have been apprehended in the Andra Pradesh where fishermen have been frequently taken into custody. Speaking to the Daily Mirror Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic resources Dr. Damitha De Zoysa said that the fishermen will have to follow the relevant procedure before they are released. more..

Beachfront property sold and resold with forged deeds for Rs. 160m

Mar 5 (ST) Five persons, including two clerks of the Batticaloa Land Registrar’s office, have been remanded for alleged involvement in an illegal land transaction involving 14 acres of beachfront land. They are charged with using forged deeds to acquire and sell land belonging to two foreigners. Two Swiss nationals, Hans Rudolf Burkhalter and Kurt Stoll, purchased two plots of seven acres each in Pasikudah, more..

UNP internal skulduggery alive and well

Mar 5 (SL) Ranil Wickremesinghe’s hold on power at the helm of the UNP has become tenuous at best. This past week it dawned on him, quite how hard it is to maintain party discipline and retain at least a façade of party unity. Last Wednesday a fund-raising event was held in the Kalutara constituency under the stewardship of the Kalutara Chief Organiser, Lakshman Wijemanne. The event was attended by party leader Wickremesinghe, more..

Garment industry woos women workers

Mar 5 (IPS) Sri Lanka’s garment industry has launched a multi-million rupee campaign to bring in female workers shunning the country’s most profitable sector for better paying jobs. Executives at garment firms believe the industry is merely experiencing a bad image problem, but union officials say women are staying away because they get little respect and income from working long hours in what were once known as “sweatshops”. more..

'Although LTTE defeated overseas supporters carry on'

Mar 5 (Island) Terrorism expert Prof Rohan Gunaratna said that though the LTTE had been defeated militarily, LTTE supporters overseas continue to agitate to revive the group. Addressing a meeting organized by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Canberra and the Australia-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group titled "A Nation Moves On: Sri Lanka’s journey from conflict to reconciliation", Prof Gunaratna requested that Australia to more..

Gems in Kataragama: A blessing from the Gods or a test of man’s greed?

Mar 5 (LB) Natural resources in third world countries tend to be a curse to its people than a blessing, in many instances. More often than not the attempts to exploit them lead to environmental degradation, conflict and disillusionment among the people. The recent incidents at Lunugamwehera where close to 100 000 people from all parts of the country destroyed the Kataragama-Lunugamwehera road more..

Mystery surrounds Lankan's death in Baharain

Mar 5 (GDN) An investigation is continuing into the mysterious death of a Sri Lankan woman who suffered burns in her Manama apartment on Thursday. The case is being reviewed by the Public Prosecution amid allegations that a man who lived with her had left the country soon after the incident. She was known to her friends as Achala Dilhani, but the name stated in her passport is Kumari Akmeenana Kumaragi and more..

Govt. mismanaging country - UNP

Mar 5 (CT) The increase in the prices of milk powder, gas, electricity and fuel is not a result of trends in the international market, but due to the mismanagement of the govt, according to UNP Spokesperson, Gayantha Karunathilaka. He went on to elaborate that govt enterprises are getting into further debt despite recent price hikes purposed towards alleviating the issue. Karunathilaka made specific mention of the CEB, Mihin Air and Sri Lankan Airlines as more..

UK wants GoSL to take HR advice ‘in the spirit of support and cooperation’

Mar 5 (Island) The British High Commission in Colombo expressed confidence that the Sri Lankan government would acknowledge that it was ‘in the spirit of support and cooperation’ that countries called on them to implement the recommendations made by the LLRC. British HC spokesperson, Sarah Mann said that their position was articulated by Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne in his address to the UNHRC, more..

South Africa, Sri Lanka meet for trade talks

Mar 5 (DFA) International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will host her counterpart from Sri Lanka, Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs for bilateral discussions on, 5 March 2012. Minister Peiris is expected to brief Minister Nkoana-Mashabane on political, economic and social developments in Sri Lanka, especially following the release of the Report of the LLRC. In welcoming the release of the Report, South Africa had earlier commended the Govt of Sri Lanka for more..

President to be asked to implement LLRC recommendations

Mar 5 (CT) Several key senior ministers are advocating the speedy implementation of the LLRC Report’s recommendations, Ceylon Today learns. Ministers D.E.W. Gunasekera, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Prof. Tissa Vitarana have taken the steps of calling for the implementation, breaking stance from the more conservative position that the remainder of the govt has taken. “The left is very keen to ensure that the recommendations are implemented,” more..

Editorial: Between Brisbane and Geneva

Mar 5 (DM) Whatever the outcome of the Sunday’s match between Sri Lanka and Australia, Sri Lankan team has already made its mark with the Friday’s heroics, which sent the world champions home. The victory comes at a time when despairs of Geneva and skyrocketing cost of living haunt the daily lives of the islanders, whose yearning for a dose of comfort could of course be easily appeased with a match victory. Hence, Sri Lankan team did it again! On the other hand, more..

Sri Lanka stocks flat, bond yields higher

Mar 5 (LBO) Stocks closed flat Monday with off-market deals in large cap firms helping turnover with market market participants still to be fully comfortable with a new trading system while bonds yields edged up, brokers said. In forex markets the rupee opened at 121.50 and weakened to 122.10/20 in late morning trade before recovering to 121.90/95 levels in afternoon trade, dealers said. In govt securities markets a bond maturing on March 2014 was quoted around 11.30/40 percent more..

Lankan sentenced for long-distance sex grooming

Mar 5 (TP) A Sri Lankan teenager started sexually grooming two girls over a social networking site before he moved to Christchurch. Rajeeva Suren Pinidiya, 19, was sentenced to three months' home detention at a Christchurch District Court sentencing on charges of meeting the girls after sexual grooming. Pinidiya arrived in Christchurch from Sri Lanka soon after the February 2011 earthquake and started texting the two 14-year-old girls. more..

Hard up fishermen win concessions

Mar 5 (UCAN) Aggrieved fishermen have won several concessions from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to offset hardships resulting from a recent increase in fuel prices. The president promised during a meeting with industry leaders on Friday to increase fuel subsidies, crack down on illegal fishing, and remove tax on imported equipment and restrictions on imported fish. He also asked officials to look into buying catches direct from fishermen to protect them from exploitation more..

Indian Sailor rescued in H'thota

Mar 5 (DM) An Indian sailor who had fallen from a merchant vessel on Sunday morning was rescued by a group of Sri Lankan fishermen off the coast of Little Bases sea in Hambanthota on Sunday night after being drifting in the seas for nearly ten hours. The Indian national had fallen over board the Singapore flagged vessel "Prabhu Daya" in the Trincomalee sea area which was en route to Chennai from Goa. He was rescued by a fishing trawler on late Sunday night. more..

MV Sun Sea claimant fights to stay in Canada

Mar 5 (TS) Federal officials are trying to deport a Sri Lankan man who arrived in Canada with hundreds of other refugee claimants on the MV Sun Sea alleging he’s a threat to national security. Santheesan Alakenthiran, 35, who lives in Toronto, was among 492 Sri Lankan men, women and children who arrived off the coast of B.C. on a rickety vessel in Aug. 2010. Most have resettled in Toronto and B.C. as their refugee claims are being heard. more..

Sri Lankan delegation in Beijing to discuss highway funding

Mar 5 (Xinhua) A top Sri Lankan delegation is in Beijing for talks with the Chinese govt to obtain a 270 million U.S. dollar loan for a new highway, a statement from the Transport Ministry said here on Monday. The team is led by Transport Ministry Secretary Dhammika Perera and will have discussions with China's Exim Bank to obtain the loan for the 27-kilometer highway to be constructed in the southern part of the country. China has become Sri Lanka's largest lender since more..

Protest against Police on Bo tree

Mar 5 (DM) A man held a protest on top of a Bo Tree in the Mathara town against action taken by the Police against him. The man was forced down the tree by the Police after a few hours of protest. He is currently being held in the Thihagoda Police station. The man had climbed on a Bo tree with historical significance in the townThe man had climbed on a Bo tree with historical significance in the town at around 12 this afternoon. The thirty two year old man had stated that more..

CPM voices support for Lankan govt

Mar 5 (IBN) The CPM was against any independent, international enquiry into the allegations of war crimes against the Sri Lankan government during the military offensive against the LTTE, party’s central committee le-ader T K Rangarajan on Sunday said. Favouring an enquiry by the government itself, he said, “A credible enquiry should be conducted into the atrocities. Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and a friend of India.” To a query on the party’s stand on more..

Vietnam, Sri Lanka seek ways to promote cooperation, investment

Mar 5 (Xinhua) The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), in cooperation with the Vietnam-Sri Lanka Business Council and Sri Lanka Embassy in Vietnam, held here on Monday the Vietnam-Sri Lanka Business Forum to seek ways to promote cooperation and investment. Vietnam and Sri Lanka share similarities in history and economic development. Vietnam believes that businessmen from the two countries will take full advantages of their countries' potential in expanding more..

Hosts brace for final Sri Lankan surge

Mar 5 (CI) Australia are a match away from sealing a dramatic and entertaining triangular series, but it is all too apparent that Michael Clarke's team is staggering towards the finish line. To wrap up the finals 2-0 the hosts will have to win two in a row for the first time since games one and two of the series, and do so on an Adelaide surface far more amenable to Sri Lanka than Brisbane's was supposed to have been. Mahela Jayawardene's Sri Lankan team, more..

Battered Sri Lanka up for another fight

Mar 5 (CI) It's 7.30 in the morning. Sri Lanka have finished their third match in six nights only hours ago. They are back up again, in team casuals, grey polos and jeans. They are at the Brisbane airport already, ready to fly to Adelaide to play their fourth game in eight days. If they are to win the tournament, they will have played five in 10, plus three flights. At the airport Sri Lanka are not groggy, but they are walking wounded. more..

Sri Lanka IT park in South to be completed by 2017

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka is building an information technology park in Suriyawewa in Hambantota in the island's south, which is expected to be fully operational by 2016-2017, an official said. Reshan Devapita head of Sri Lanka's state ICT Agency said the IT park is being built on a 200 acre site. The IT businesses will be located on a core 50 acre area and the rest will be used for housing, health and educational facilities. Devapura said good facilities were needed to more..