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UNP requests CID probe

May 8 (CT) The United National Party has decided to request the Criminal Investigation Department to probe into the incident where a man displayed an LTTE flag during the UNP May Day rally in Jaffna, UNP MP Harin Fernando told Ceylon Today. He also said the UNP has no connection with the incident and it is merely a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the party. The party has already requested relevant authorities to probe into it and ascertain the truth, Fernando said. more..

EPC big guns invited to Temple Trees powwow

May 8 (Island) The govt last week decided to test its popularity by going for early provincial council elections. It has decided to dissolve the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and the Eastern Provincial Councils next month although their terms of office expire in early 2013. Sources said that the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, the three Eastern Provincial Ministers Dr. Thurairajah Navaratnaraja, M. S. Uduma Lebe and Wimalaweera Dissanayake more..

Rivalries between Tamil factions abroad escalate

May 8 (CT) The rivalries between two pro-LTTE factions led by V Rudrakumaran in the USA and Perinpanayagam Sivaparan have escalated in recent months according to informed sources. The supporters of the faction called Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam led by Viswanathan Rudrakumaran and the other faction of Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyawan are on the lookout for each other’s supporters in the USA and in Europe. more..

CEB non-executive staff begin agitation tomorrow

May 8 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board non-executives will begin their agitation, for an additional increment of 20 per cent on top of the 25 per cent pay hike they had already got early this year, from tomorrow. CEB Joint Trade Union Front’s Committee Member, Ranjan Jayalal, of the JVP, said that 28 trade unions of the CEB, affiliated to different political parties, would join hands to win their demands. "We would start our awareness campaign tomorrow in Galle. more..

Establishment of Israel Embassy opposed by the SLMC

May 8 (CT) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said it will oppose any moves to establish an Israeli Embassy in Sri Lanka. According to media reports, SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali stated that the SLMC will be against the establishment of an Israeli Embassy in Sri Lanka, and that they will even conduct discussions with the President to express their intense disapproval. Currently, the Israeli Embassy is functioning from New Delhi, in India. However, speaking to Ceylon Today, more..

Only three passengers in a trishaw

May 8 (DM) The police department will from today strictly implement the law which only allows three passengers to travel on the rear seat of a three-wheeler. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said this would help minimise road accidents. He said between April 1 and May 7 there had been 27 accidents involving three-wheelers leaving 34 people killed. SP Rohana said legal action would be taken against the three-wheeler owner and the driver if an accident more..

TNA to meet

May 8 (CT) The TNA Parliamentary group meeting will take place today to discuss the stalemate in talks between the Govt and the TNA along with several other key issues with regard to the outcome of the recent joint opposition May Day rally in Jaffna, TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran said. He also said that certain members of the Tamil Arasu Katchi, the prime constituent party were angry over TNA leader R. Sampanthan carrying the National flag along with the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe more..

UNP to work for North-South reconciliation with TNA

May 8 (DM) The relationship built up with the TNA will not be confined to the May Day rally but have as its main objective the bringing about of national reconciliation, the main opposition UNP said today. UNP MP Gayantha Karunatileke told journalists that with the new impetus his party would work towards a permanent reconciliation between the North now South. “We have been able to send a positive message to the world as we have shown that the Tamil parties more..

GL writes to Indian CMs ahead of his US visit

May 8 (Island) In the wake of an Indian parliamentary delegation visiting Sri Lanka on a fact-finding mission, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has written to Chief Ministers of all Indian States on the progress made in the post-war national reconciliation process. Prof. Peiris said that the GoSL felt that it would be useful to brief Chief Ministers as part of the overall efforts to keep all stakeholders up to date. He said that GoSL was confident that they would appreciate more..

Mahindananda told he is not sports minister for only Nawalapitiya

May 8 (Island) The Socialist Youth Union, affiliated to the JVP, has called for immediate govt intervention to prevent the Sports Ministry from squandering public funds on the pretext of developing the Jayatilleke playground, situated in the Nawalapitiya electorate, currently represented by incumbent sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Former JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake alleged that for want of scrutiny on the part of the govt, members of the UPFA and officials more..

Rail tracks upgraded but no rail gates

May 8 (Island) Although many politicians have boasted about introducing rail gates at all 270 unprotected crossings around the country they have not fulfilled their promises so far and accidents continue, the residents living in these areas said. Two persons were recently killed close to the Ratgama railway station and the residents have still not recovered from shock. The victims Dhammika Priyankara (31) and Chamith Jayaweera had participated at more..

Central Bank to detail Lanka’s progress on 2012 Roadmap

May 8 (ST) The Central Bank (CB) is to give a detailed explanation on Tuesday on Sri Lanka's economic development so far this year and progress of the2012 CB Roadmap, officials said. CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said the media will be provided with details about developments in the foreign exchange market, recent bond issues (by the Bank of Ceylon) and other issues and progress on targets set in the Roadmap for this year. more..

'We have a debt to pay to our fans'

May 8 (GN) It's not for nothing that Kumar Sangakkara is often regarded as one of the best ambassadors of contemporary cricket. While he and Mahela Jayawardene have been two of the pillars around which the Sri Lankan batting has revolved over the last decade, the wicketkeeper-batsman's eloquence in holding forth on the game as well as its administration and world view has earned him many admirers. A qualified lawyer, Sanga's tirade against corrupt practices more..

Beggars’ from all walks ... some refuse kola kanda

May 8 (LB) A female beggar on a wheel chair and her male accomplice laughed when a lady who sells kola kanda (herbal porridge) near the Colombo Kelanitissa Power Station refused to accept their money. The female beggar said that they owned two houses, collected the rent and even lent money on interest. The Ministry of Social Services is to carry out a survey on beggars in and around Colombo. more..

Jumbo Workers

May 8 (SL) Startling revelations have come to the fore as to how certain Buddhist monks make money from leasing out the elephants they have obtained from the Pinnawala Elephants Orphanage. Eyebrows have been raised as to how these elephants have been leased out for rigorous labour work by the Buddhist monks although it is strictly prohibited according to the agreement they have with the Zoological Department. It is a known fact that Buddhist temples obtain elephants more..

GTF invited to South African state funeral

May 8 (Island) The UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) will be represented at the funeral of top South African politician, Roy Padayachie (62) at the Cricket Stadium in Durban tomorrow. The GTF is scheduled to be represented by Suren Surendiran, its UK based chief spokesman. Surendiran would address the state funeral of the veteran ANC member on behalf of the Sri Lankan Tamil community. Surendiran has been involved in talks with UN and US officials more..

Gayantha challenges Weerawansa to reveal UPFA ‘conspirators’

May 8 (Island) The UNP challenged the UPFA govt to reveal who the ‘conspirators’ and ‘landmines’ within its ranks were, as stated by Minister Wimal Weerawansa during the UPFA’s May Day rally last week. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake said that accusing govt ministers and MPs of hatching ‘Kumanthranyas’ (conspiracies) and there being among them "Bimbomba" (landmines), without naming them was tantamount to cowardice. more..

Sri Lanka to export maize for the first time

May 8 (DN) Maize is to be exported for the first time in Sri Lanka. The government has taken measures to export maize within the next two weeks, said Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane. “Sri Lanka is already self-sufficient in maize. The surplus will be exported to Canada, Taiwan, etc. The annual local requirement of maize is 180,000 MTs. Presently, 200,000 MTs is produced in the country. About 10,000MTs from the surplus will be exported,” he said. more..

Tiger flag: ITN accuses Ravi of making false claim

May 8 (DM) ITN Chairman Rosmand Senaratne yesterday rejected claims made by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake at a Sunday news conference that the ITN had said the video clip containing images of people displaying LTTE flags at the UNP May Day rally in Jaffna was sent by the Defence Ministry. In a letter sent to UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, Mr. Senaratne had said. that the video clips had been handed over to the Defence Ministry but more..

India says no ban on Indian drugs in Sri Lanka

May 8 (AD) The Indian govt denied media reports in Sri Lanka alleging supply of inferior drugs by Indian exporters and suspension of Indian companies by Sri Lanka for violation of tender terms, saying it has not been informed of such incidents. “No report on banning of any Indian drug manufacturer has come to the notice of Govt of India,” Press Information Bureau of India reported, citing a reply by more..

Ravinatha to replace Tamara?

May 8 (CT) Confusion prevailed at the Ministry of External Affairs as to who should be Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, as the present representative Tamara Kunanayakam refused to step down as requested. The Ministry maintained that there was no official communication asking for her to step down, but it has been reported in diplomatic circles that Minister G.L. Peiris in a telephone conversation has asked her to take up a posting in either more..

Editorial: Is there a vision in our economic policy?

May 8 (DM) Amid reports that the govt has negotiated another multibillion dollar loan from a Chinese Bank at commercial interest rates, mainly to settle the balance of payments crisis, independent economic analysts are raising serious questions as to whether the government regime and its main economic advisers are working with a clear vision and mission. In 1970 then Finance Minister N.M. Perera of the United Front Govt presented a socialist-oriented budget with a more..

SEC considers 10 pct minimum float rule

May 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants listed companies to have a free float of at least 10 percent to increase market liquidity and could make a decision on the matter this month. Foreign investors have long been reluctant to invest in the island nation's 1.97 trillion Sri Lanka rupee ($15.42 billion)stock market, complaining of a lack of free floating shares along with market manipulations and insider trading. more..

'Intervention still possible in rupee'

May 8 (Xinhua) Central Bank may return to intervening in the exchange rate if inflows fluctuate significantly, a top official said here on Tuesday. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal failed to rule out the possibility of intervention in the exchange rate during a press conference insisting that if necessary the monetary organization will intervene to control the rupee. He accused "speculators" of driving down the exchange rate more..

Spinners, fielders give Sri Lanka first win

May 8 (CI) Sri Lanka Women put up a strong performance on the field to win the fourth Twenty20 game against West Indies Women by 14 runs, their first in the five match series which West Indies lead 3-1. Chasing Sri Lanka's total, West Indies opener Juliana Nero built a solid foundation with 32 runs and took West Indies past 50 for the loss of one wicket. However, Sri Lanka turned the tables with aggressive fielding which led to four run-outs and Maduri Samuddika, more..

Japanese PM visits dry fish processing project in Jaffna

May 8 (GDI) The Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada who is on a two day official visit, undertook a tour of the North on Saturday. Minister Basil Rajapaksa accompanied him on this tour. They visited the Dry Fish Processing Project at Velanai in Jaffna., which is being implemented by a Non Governmental Institution of Japan under the sponsorship of JICA. The total expenditure incurred was 26 million rupees. It is being launched centering families headed by women. more..

Sri Lanka wants "endorsement" relationship with IMF to boost foreign investment

May 8 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka hopes to continue its relationship with the IMF to boost foreign investment even after a 2.6 billion U.S. dollar stand-by agreement ends in July, the Central Bank said here on Tuesday. Despite tenuous interaction in the past Central Bank Govenor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal said that discussions with the IMF on a long term "relationship" will take place next month. Sri Lanka will receive the last tranche of 425 million U.S dollars more..

Protest against MR in Chennai

May 8 (DC) A protest by Hindu Munnani activists on TTK Road near Music Academy in the city on Monday evening turned dangerous when a LPG-powered autorickshaw went up in flames after the protesters burnt a effigy of the Lankan President inside the vehicle. The small group of protesters were planning to take out a procession, against the demolition of a temple in Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, from near the Music Academy where they had assembled to the Sri Lankan deputy high commission more..

Accidents galore over Vesak weekend

May 8 (Island) The total number of accident victims seeking treatment from the National Hospital (NHSL) and the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital (KTH) during the Vesak weekend was 228. The Accident Service of the Colombo National Hospital treated over 150 accident victims over the Vesak weekend. Chief of the NH Accident Service, Dr. Prasad Ariyawansa said yesterday that they treated 69 and 94 cases on the two days respectively. He said that one victim had died after admission. more..

'Govt. is swindling the public in the open'

May 8 (AD) It is evident through the recent attempt by state-owned National Savings Bank (NSB) to purchased 7,863,362 shares of The Finance Company for nearly Rs. 394 million, without the permission of the Director Board, that the govt is stealing the public’s money “in the open,” the UNP accused. The innocent public, retired employees and children deposit their savings at the National Savings Bank, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake charged that more..

Vitharana blames legal draftsman for drug law delay

May 8 (DM) Senior Minister Tissa Vitharana, who heads the cabinet subcommittee on preparing a medicinal drugs policy, yesterday expressed his displeasure and disappointment over the unusual delay by the Legal Draftsman’s Department to draft the legal framework for a National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP). Responding to the Daily Mirror on the govt’s failure to present the draft proposals for a NMDP despite repeated promises to do so, the senior minister said more..

'Large number immigrated illegally'

May 8 (CT) Over 100 persons have legally migrated to Italy for employment in the past six years. This was said in Parliament when Minister Dilan Perera answered an oral question posed by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara. Jayasekara asked the Minister to reveal the number of persons earning foreign exchange for Sri Lanka by working in Italy. “A large number of persons have immigrated to Italy through illegal means, thus an accurate number of persons employed in Italy is unavailable. more..

Sri Lankan World Heritage site to get first ever green three-wheelers

May 8 (Xinhua) A World Heritage site in Sri Lanka is to have environmentally friendly hydrogen three-wheelers plying its preserved streets as a UN agency launches a pilot project to test green transportation in Sri Lanka. Three-wheelers are banned in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Galle Fort, built in 1588 by the Portuguese who first colonized Sri Lanka known as Ceylon then, more..

Catholic nuns to tackle Sri Lanka's economic crisis

May 8 (AN) The world's economic crisis has not spared Sri Lanka, but a group of nuns want "to make a difference" for people. With flour at 97.5 rupees (US$ 0.75), up by 8.5 rupees (US$ 6 cents) and milk powder, cooking gas and cement all costing more, ordinary Sri Lankans are hard pressed to make ends meet. The govt is instead pushing a plan to turn the island nation into a "Wonder of Asia" with large-scale tourist projects that favour foreign multinationals at the more..

What were the agreements reached with foreign missions that visited SL – Anura asks Govt.

May 8 (LT) During the 4 months and 8 days period since the beginning of this year 10 groups of foreign diplomatic missions or representatives visited Sri Lanka says Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene. He further states the intention of their visits were to study the situation in Sri Lanka and specially to survey the situation in the North and the East. Accordingly, Emir of Qatar Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, foreign Minister of India more..

Enjoining order issued preventing dissolution of North Central PC

May 8 (NF) The North Central Civil Appeals Court issued an enjoining order preventing seven people including the Chief Minister and the Governor of the province from dissolving the North Central Provincial Council before its due date. All the respondents in the petition including the Chief Minister of the North Central Province and the Governor have been ordered to appear before Court on the 16th of this month. more..

Norochcholai coal power plant yields more than expected

May 8 (DM) The Chinese-funded Norochcholai coal power plant has delivered more than the expected budgetary value during the past two months, and adhered to permissible environmental levels, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said yesterday. He said though only 153 megawatt hours were expected, the power plant had produced 177 megawatt hours in March. He said the plant had produced 146 megawatt hours in April exceeding the target 109 megawatt hours. more..

Over 300 displaced as strong winds lash at homes

May 8 (NF) More than two hundred houses have been damaged by strong winds that swept through the North Central, Northern and Eastern provinces. Deputy Director of the Disaster Management Centre, Sarath Lal Kumara said that the strong winds had affected many areas including Mullaitivu, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Matale. More than three hundred persons have been displaced when their houses were damaged by strong winds that blew across several grama seva areas tn Batticaloa. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 08.05.2012

Police chief takes responsibility for sending STF to Vilachchiya

May 8 (SM) IGP N.K. Illangakoon says it is him who had ordered the sending of a STF team to Sivalapitiya tank in Vilachchiya. In a statement, the police chief says he had received information through the police headquarters on May 01 that a backhoe driver renovating the tank had found an invaluable item. The backhoe driver had hidden it at the tank, but a certain group was trying to rob it, said the IGP said. He added that he had sent an STF team to the location more..