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'India should protect Jaffna fishermen'

May 7 (DN) ‘The Indian govt, instead of telling the Sri Lankan govt to bring about a political solution to the long standing ethnic problem in our country should take immediate steps to safeguard the rights and lives of the Jaffna fishermen who are also Sri Lankan Tamils, from some acts committed by some Indian fishermen, Minister Douglas Devananda said. He said protecting the Sri Lankan fishermen is the responsibility of the Indian central govt and the Tamil Nadu state govt. more..

Ambassador Alahapperuma presented his credentials to the President of Lithuania

May 7 (IL) On 23rd April, Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma presented his credentials to the President of Lithuania, H.E. Ms. Dalia Grybauskait, as the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Lithuania, at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius. The President wished the Ambassador every success in discharging the responsible duties of his position. Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma's visit to Lithuania for his Presentation of Credentials more..

Only 40,000 heritage sites protected

May 7 (SL) Only 40,000 of the 250,000 heritage sites in Sri Lanka are protected, National Heritage Minister Dr. Jagath Balasuriya said. He that as a result treasure hunting has seen a steep rise in recent times. He said that the government is now considering tightening laws that will stop treasure-hunting and action that can be taken against the suspects. The Minister said that some organized groups seem to be involved in treasure hunting with several incidents reported over the past few weeks. more..

West Indies clinch series with 3-wicket win

May 7 (CW) The West Indies won a dramatic, rain-reduced low-scoring third Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka by three wickets in Trinidad. After the match was reduced to 16 overs per side, Sri Lanka hit 77 for eight and the West Indies closed on 80 for seven to move into an unassailable 3-0 series lead. Bowlers dominated the game right from the start and in the Sri Lanka innings Shanel Daley, Subrina Munroe and Stafanie Taylor all took two wickets and more..

School admission quota: University dons in row with education ministry

May 7 (Island) University teachers demand that their children be admitted to popular schools in Colombo in keeping with the existing quota system. President of the FUTA, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri said yesterday that popular schools were required to admit a stipulated number of university academics’ children every year, but principals of some schools contemptuously disregarded the quota system. more..

Sri Lanka to help Nepal develop Lumbini

May 7 (HT) Speaker of the Parliament Chamal Jayantha Rajapaksa today said that his govt is always ready to extend help for the development of Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha. Speaking at the programme organised to mark the 2556th Buddha Jayanti and Lumbini Day, Rajapaksa pledged Sri Lankan govt’s continued support for the development of the holy site. “Our govt has contributed for its development in the past too. In fact, Lumbini has played a crucial role in more..

Govt. handling economy in notorious manner: Sajith

May 7 (DM) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday said the time had come for the people to decide whether they were going for a regime change or further tolerating the cost of living shocks that are being continuously aimed at them. “The people should decide soon as it is clear that the present government does not want to mend its ways and the poorest of the poor would have to suffer more in the future, as a result of this non flexibility,” Mr. Premadasa said. more..

Sparks fly in EDB meeting, Janaka walks out

May 7 (ST) Some financial irregularity issues raised on the recent Sri Lanka Expo 2012 mega exhibition sparked a furore at the board meeting of the Export Development Board (EDB) on Thursday prompting its Chairman Janaka Ratnayake to walk out. Board members refused to approve the budget of Rs.140 million spent on the exhibition saying it initially didn’t receive the approval of the board. They requested Mr Ratnayake to give a breakdown of more..

Visitors with bad habits spoil Yala image

May 7 (ST) Patanangala beach is a popular picnic spot for visitors to the Yala Wildlife National Park. It is also one of a few designated places in the park where visitors are permitted to get out of their vehicles. The beach is especially crowded during long weekends, festive seasons, and school vacation time. Most picnicking visitors take their garbage back with them for disposal outside the park, but many leave behind half-eaten rice packets and other leftovers. more..

The monk who left the monastery

May 7 (IE) Hector Kumarasiri is short, with stooped shoulders, and uses a “walker” while stepping outdoors. With pearly white teeth and hair to match, the Sinhalese director speaks with a thick South Asian accent. “Almost 75 per cent of the population in Sri Lanka follows Buddhism, but half of them think Buddhism is some sort of a fashion trend,” he said. The Sri Lankan filmmaker and theatre person was on a visit to India for the world premiere of his first film Abinikmana, more..

Fonseka refused treatment

May 7 (CT) In a new turn of events, former army Chief Sarath Fonseka’s physician has refused to treat Fonseka after a court order to transfer him to the national hospital. Prison Authorities obtained a High Court order on 4 May to transfer Sarath Fonseka from Nawaloka Hospital to the Colombo National Hospital. But the former General’s personal physician has refused to treat the former Army Commander at the National Hospital. Wife of former Army Commander more..

Dubai drainage acid victim fights on bravely

May 7 (E24|7) It’s been nearly two weeks since Sri Lankan Nilakshi Priyadarshana’s life came to a grinding halt. The 22-year-old suffered third-degree burns when a drain acid bottle that was placed on top of the fridge accidentally fell on her. She has already undergone two skin grafting surgeries and is scheduled for one more this week. Her husband is unsure of how many more surgeries she will require for complete recovery. However, she is determined to fight it out more..

Soft loans for artistes and journalists

May 7 (Island) The Ministry of Finance and Planning says that the proposal made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his budget 2012 to grant vehicle loans for senior journalists and artistes is being implemented. It said in a media statement that media personnel, writers and artistes could avail themselves of this loan facility upto 1.2 million rupees to purchase cars or vans from state banks at concessionary interest rates. Instructions for setting up a fund more..

Sri Lanka to protest against Pillay

May 7 (DM) Sri Lanka has decided to officially register its protest with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, over the role she and her staff played in adopting a resolution against the country in March last year, informed sources said yesterday. The Daily Mirror learns that Sri Lanka’s Permanent Secretary in Geneva Ms. Tamara Kunanayakam is working on the matter. Informed sources said that Ms. Pillay had violated the mandate more..

Hilton Colombo to undergo US$45 mln facelift

May 7 (ST) Hilton Colombo with a $45 million renovation plan is the latest among Sri Lanka's five star properties preparing to cater to 2.5 million visitors by 2016. Among these plans is creating five new suites and 10 new dining rooms. Removal of bathtubs, an old tradition in hotel rooms, is also on the cards. Thiru Nadesan, Chairman of the state-owned Hotel Developers Ltd, said local and international bids were called on Sunday for refurbishment of the 362-room property, more..

Sri Lanka body suggests banning T20 at school level

May 7 (IE) Sri Lanka Sports Medical Unit has recommended that the 20-over format of the sport is inappropriate to be played at school level and should be banned. Chief of Sri Lanka Sports Medical Unit Arjuna de Silva said that the Twenty20 cricket format impels technical adjustments and it was important for young cricketers to develop their game before jumping into the format. The body has suggested to the minister of education Bandula Gunawardena and more..

Mixed reactions over hoisting national flag

May 7 (DM) The hoisting of the national flag at the UNP/TNA May Day rally in Jaffna has created uproar with some Tamil politicians being critical of the move while some others hailing it as a gesture of goodwill. Democratic People’s Front Leader Mano Ganeshan said TNA leader Sampanthan had shown his political will for an undivided Sri Lanka by holding the national flag in Jaffna which he cited as the cultural capital of Tamils. more..

TRC seeks suspension of new broadcasting licenses

May 7 (SL) The Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) has urged the Media Ministry not to issue new licenses for radio or television stations. TRC Director General Anusha Pelpita said that the TRC was now unable to provide new frequencies as all the frequencies were in use. He said that at present there are 23 free-to-air television stations and 45 radio stations operating in the country. Pelpita said that in his opinion there were too many television and radio stations more..

JHU to submit feedback on LLRC

May 7 (CT) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) is expected to submit to the government its feedback on the report of the LLRC tomorro. The Legal consultant of the JHU and Provincial Council Minister Udaya Gammanpila told Ceylon Today the feedback is now being compiled. Given the enormous length of the report running into 785 pages the JHU according to Gammanpila has not been able to meet the dead line. “We are 10 days behind schedule,” he said. more..

Don’t bring planes down, UNP tells govt.

May 7 (Island) The UNP and the JVP lashed out at the govt for the import of low quality aviation fuel for aircraft at the BIA. They said the fuel imports were riddled with corruption and the govt was playing with the lives of innocent civilians. The two parties said they were surprised that no one had been held responsible for the fraudulent oil deal. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, pointing out that the govt had earlier imported substandard fuel for more..

Lessons in porn

May 7 (DN) A young man who had in his possession a stock of pornographic videos featuring schoolgirls, with some in their school uniforms, was taken into custody by Ingiriya police on Friday evening. Police carried out the raid on a tip-off that the suspect was secretly selling and lending CDs at his shop in Ingiriya town. Police also seized 101 pornographic CDs, six pen drives and two computers with pornographic videos. Police also arrested another suspect more..

Health Minister promises tough action against quacks

May 7 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena is expected to submit a Cabinet paper to amend the existing laws so that quacks will have to serve a five year jail term, if found guilty. There were over 40,000 quacks in the country and the current punishment was only a fine of Rs 3,000, a spokesman for the ministry said. The Ministry had already formulated a plan with the help of the police and the Attorney General’s Department to nab quacks who pose a danger to the public more..

Jaffna calling - MayDay! MayDay!

May 7 (LB) It was the first time that a mainstream national political party from the South was able to hold a May Day rally in the Jaffna district in the post independence history of Sri Lanka. Though there had been previous May Day rallies held in the Peninsula, this was the first time such a rally from a national perspective of importance was held in that part of the country. UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe who arrived a few days ahead of more..

Cheap or cheats: All’s not smooth on a metered three-wheeler ride

May 7 (ST) Metered three-wheelers are a preferred mode of transport among commuters now, but the lack of a monitoring body or institution to keep a check on more than 600,000 metered and un-metered vehicles and to pull the brakes when necessary, is steering some people away, the Sunday Times learns. Many opt for metered three-wheelers not only because the rates are cheaper but also to avoid the hassle of bargaining. more..

‘Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel’

May 7 (SL) The SLMC has become the focus of attention over the recent dispute over a Muslim mosque located within the Dambulla sacred area and the onus is on party leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem to ensure a peaceful settlement of the issue. Meeting The Sunday Leader at his office, Hakeem took some time out of his busy schedule to respond to queries on the latest situation with regard to the Dambulla more..

Visit to Sri Lanka canceled following resignation of Jordan's premier

May 7 (Xinhua) The scheduled visit and bilateral talks between the Jordanian govt and Sri Lanka was canceled due to resignation of Jordan's prime minister. Sisira Wijesinghe, Coordinating Secretary to Sri Lankan Prime Minister, D.M. Jayaratne said the scheduled visit and bilateral talks were canceled due to the ongoing political turmoil in the Middle Eastern country. Jordan's premier and Defense Minister Awn Khasawneh more..

SL authorities arrest one, hunts more Maldivian scam artists

May 7 (Haveeru) Sri Lankan authorities are on the hunt for Maldivian nationals connected to a lottery racket involving text messages which has duped several people in Colombo and its suburbs. An officer attached to the Maharagama Police precinct who is currently conducting the investigation told Haveeru that the text message lottery scam had been going on for nearly a year which had resulted to several people being victimized by more..

Stranded Sri Lankans return

May 7 (NF) Twelve Sri Lankan women out of 29 who had gone for employment purposes to Jordan and had been stranded have returned to the country. The Sri Lankan Ambassador in Jordan Gamini Rajapaksa said that steps were taken to send five women out of the affected group to the country yesterday. He pointed out that steps have been taken to send the rest of them to the country as soon as possible. Newsfirst reported on the 28th of last month about 29 Sri Lankan women more..

Clips came from Defence Ministry: ITN

May 7 (DM) ITN Chairman Rosmand Senaratne has informed UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake that the video clips telecast on his TV channel showing a group of men waving LTTE flags were provided by the Defence Ministry, party sources said. In a letter addressed to UNP General Secretary Mr. Senaratne had said no one from the ITN had covered the event. Responding to a question raised on the matter by more..

No final decision on Tourism Zones: BOI

May 7 (CT) Although Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities have designated four areas throughout the country as special resort development zones, no final decision has been taken so far impeding the growth of the growing hotel and leisure industry. Dilip Samarasinghe, Director of Media and Public Relations for the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka said there had been “some talk” about such specifications, as well as casinos, but more..

'Improved roads, pathways to development'

May 7 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday noted that an improved road network has reduced travel time between areas, supplemented development and established closer links between people. “The govt’s emphasis on developing roads has ensured that people spend less time for travel and have more time for work. I feel like the country has become smaller due to improved roads” the President added. He was addressing a large crowd in Ududumbara, more..

Forced labour claims dent image of London 2012

May 7 (Independent) Official Olympic clothing sold by Next is claimed to have been produced in sweatshop conditions in Sri Lanka. The allegation comes days after the high street chain unveiled the formal outfits that Team GB will wear at the opening ceremony. Workers at the company's factory in Sri Lanka allegedly receive poverty wages and are forced to work excessive overtime and to meet unrealistic, ever-increasing targets. more..

Man killed over a jacket

May 7 (DM) One person was killed when he was attacked with a bottle following a quarrel near a ‘Dansala’ in Rathmalana last morning. Police said that the victim was identified as a 40-year-old Darshana Keerthi Kumara from Matara who is temporarily residing at Wellawatte. He died after being admitted to the Kalubowila hospital. Police said that the incident had occurred after an argument over a jacket stolen from the victim’s bike in a previous day, had spiraled out of control. more..

Editorial: Targeting Tamara

May 7 (DM) The latest turn of events to relocate Ms. Kunanayakam to a latin american country, when Sri Lanka is heading for another crucial encounter in the UNHRC in August, signals a portentous threat to the country’s chances of surviving another blow. Quite obviously, there are many reasons as to why Sri Lanka could not obtain the required number of votes to defeat the US sponsored resolution. In fact, it was a muddle created by the Ministry of External Affairs and the govt that brought Sri Lanka to its downfall. more..

Sri Lanka arrests over 36,400 army deserters following war

May 7 (Xinhua) Following the end of three decade civil war, Sri Lanka has arrested over 36,400 soldiers who had deserted the army. Army Spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said during the first three months of 2012, over 2500 ex-soldiers have been arrested and they were dealt with military law. Over the past two decades, around 65,000 soldiers have deserted the army and since the end of war in 2009, over 36,400 of them have been arrested. more..

Sri Lanka removed from Indonesia's immigration red list

May 7 (JP) The Law and Human Rights Ministry will remove Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from Indonesia’s immigration red list later in May, four months later than initially planned, a ministry official says. “Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be taken off [from the red list] soon,” Budi Satria Wibawa, the ministry’s travel documents chief, said on Monday. Budi said that the economy and security of both countries had improved, allowing the govt to relax the visa arrangements for Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi more..

Probe into food poisoning at 18-bend opening ceremony

May 7 (AD) 37 individuals were hospitalized due to food poisoning after consuming food at the opening ceremony of the renovated 18-bend stretch on the Kandy- Mahiyangana road yesterday. They were admitted to Ududumbara District Hospital and Meda Mahanuwara Hospital with symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain, Central Province Health Services Director, Dr. Shanthi Samarasinghe said, however adding that most of them have been discharged by now. more..

Sri Lanka Premier League set for August this year

May 7 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has signed a new deal with Somerset Entertainment Ventures to hold the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) in 2012, ESPNcricinfo has learned. The deal was signed on May 5 and the tournament has been tentatively scheduled to be held between August 10 and August 31, just ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 that will be held in Sri Lanka in September. The SLPL was supposed to kick off last year, with SLC's then interim committee signing more..

Sri Lanka: Flogging The Tamil Eelam Issue

May 7 (EAR) May Day celebrations in Sri Lanka this year saw an unusual sight. R Sampanthan, the septuagenarian leader fighting for Sri Lanka Tamil rights and president of the TNA, standing shoulder to shoulder with the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, waved a Sri Lanka flag to the cheers of a massive crowd in Jaffna celebrating the May Day. A few years back Sampanthan would have paid with his life for this act of “indiscretion” when he had to kowtow Prabhakaran and more..

UNP to hold special meeting, decide on May Day absentees

May 7 (AD) A special gathering of several UNP MPs is scheduled to be held later today, to review the progress of the joint opposition May Day rally and discuss action to be taken against those who did not attend the event in Jaffna, party sources said. While the meeting is to be chaired by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, it is reported that emphasis will be given to action the party is to take against MPs and members of the party who were absent at the May Day rally. more..