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Stocks fall 1.77 percent on deal probe

May 10 (Reuters) Stock market fell 1.77 percent on Thursday, hitting a new three-month low and falling for an eighth straight session, dragged down by a payment default by the state-owned National Savings Bank. The Indian Ocean island nation's treasury department has ordered an investigation into a deal in which the bank bought a 13 percent stake in The Finance Company PLC. Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a separate investigation. more..

WikiLeaks: T.M.G.Chandrasekera is a key US contact

May 10 (CT) “He is a key contact of the Press Section, always taking the trouble to assign the best in the station for interviews. Our press events in Colombo and outstations have been well taken care of by him.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The Colombo Telegraph found the related cable from WikiLeaks database, which details T.M.G.Chandrasekera’s biographic data and justifies his nomination to “TV BROADCAST JOURNALISM” project. more..

Internet, killer of cultural values - TB

May 10 (DN) The main reason for the decline of cultural and social values is the use of the Internet by the younger generation, Culture and the Arts Minister T B Ekanayake said. “As children, we did not have computers, Internet, Facebook etc. These have added new words to our vocabulary today. Children can watch whatever they want without their parents’ knowledge and permission today. That is why they get addicted to pop music, pornography etc,” the minister said. more..

Wet end to series for West Indies Women, Sri Lanka

May 10 (TE) The West Indies women's home tour against Sri Lanka ended with a damper yesterday as rain washed out play in the final Twenty20 at Queen's Park Oval, forcing the match to be abandoned. The West Indies won the toss and got to 92 for five, with big-hitting Deandra Dottin carting the Sri Lankan bowlers for 52 runs off 34 balls—her first fifty of the tour— before the deluge stopped play for good. more..

Commitment, Dedication, Achievement

May 10 (BT) On May 19, 2012 Sri Lanka celebrates the third year anniversary of the end of the conflict that gripped this country for three decades. The LTTE - the most ruthless terrorist organisation was destroyed by our gallant Armed Forces under the guidance and direction of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the political leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. As we enjoy the peace, stability and freedom, which provided the enabling more..

Interest free vehicle loans for journalists

May 10 (DN) The proposal made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa through budget – 2012 to implement a relief loan scheme for senior journalists, artistes and authors to purchase motor vehicles and to form a fund for their welfare is being implemented, states a Finance and Planning Ministry Press release. Accordingly, senior journalists, artistes and authors are now able to obtain a maximum of Rs. 1,200,000 as an interest free loan from the state banks to purchase cars or vans. more..

Regulatory mechanism to deal with lightning prone construction

May 10 (GDI) The Govt has decided to introduce a regulatory mechanism coupled with a national certification system to reduce lightning related hazards caused by lightning prone constructions. With the rapid development taking place in the country, the use of delicate electrical and electronic equipment too has increased and these are vulnerable to both direct and indirect effects of lightning. In many developed countries steps have been taken to mitigate this vulnerability more..

Arrivals, departures revenue drop at Ratmalana

May 10 (Island) Since the conclusion of the conflict in May, 2009, the domestic airport at Ratmalana has recorded a significant drop in revenue, according to a document submitted to Parliament. The Ratmalana Airport earned over Rs 58.3 million in 2008 and over Rs 41.5 million in 2009, but in 2010 the amount had dropped to around Rs 6.4 million and Rs. 7.3 million in 2011, according to the answer submitted in response to a question more..

‘Jet oil’ racket incurs Rs.100000 million loss to CPC

May 10 (LT) The loss to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation due to the decision taken to use 7500 metric tons of jet oil (fuel used for aircrafts) as kerosene oil is Rs.140 million. This has been calculated by the financial section of the CPC say reports. It is also stated that the demurrage paid for the ship and the difference in exchange rates have added to the loss. CPC has bought the stock of inferior fuel from Singapore British Petroleum Company Limited more..

'Trains cannot run at 100 KMPH on Southern track'

May 10 (Island) Transport Minister Kumar Welgama yesterday admitted in Parliament that the newly reconstructed southern coastal line will not be able to cater to the 100kmph speed limit despite earlier assumptions. He was responding to an oral question posed by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara on whether the trains were running at the originally expected speed of 100 KMPH. Minister said since there were not enough railway crossings along the belt trains have to stop or more..

Govt. hails hoisting of national flag by TNA

May 10 (DM) The govt yesterday hailed the TNA leadership for hoisting the national flag at its May Day rally with the UNP, and interpreted it as a positive development. Delivering the concluding speech during the debate, Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva said that he was delighted to see TNA leader R.sampanthan hoisting the national flag together with the UNP leadership. “It is indeed a positive sign for the reconciliation which we yearn for. more..

SLPL to be played in Colombo, Pallekele

May 10 (CI) The inaugural edition of the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) will be played from August 10 to 31, Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed. The tournament will feature seven provincial teams, and be played at two venues - the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and the Pallekele International Stadium. Each team will be allowed a maximum of six overseas players in their squads and four in their playing XI, SLC said in a release. Also, it will be necessary for each team to field a more..

EU delegation commends East development

May 10 (GDI) The European Union delegation that visited the country has commended the progress made by the govt in EU funded projects. At the discussion with Minister Basil Rajapaksa at his Ministry recently the delegation has told the Minister that during their visit to the East they observed that tank renovation works are well progressing and the agriculture community can benefit from them. They have told the Minister that a programme to promote SME is a necessity in the Eastern province. more..

Sri Lanka state committee to probe state bank stock deal: minister

May 10 (LBO) A committee is probing a controversial stock purchase more than 60 percent above market price by a state bank, with payment on the deal stopped on Treasury instruction, a minister said. Deputy minister Lakshman Abeywardene said Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera ordered state-run National Savings Bank not pay for the purchase The Finance Company stock because the process was flawed. more..

Kunanayakam elected to UNCTAD

May 10 (SM) Sri Lanka’s former Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, has been elected by acclamation as an Asian Vice-Chair of the Conference and member of the Bureau at the 13th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development in Doha. She was also unanimously re-elected, also by acclamation, and in the presence of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, for a second term as Chairperson/Rapporteur of the UNHRC Working Group on more..

BJP slams UPA, DMK on Lankan Tamils issue

May 10 (PTI) Slamming the Congress-led UPA and its southern ally DMK on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, BJP today said the Centre should take all steps for the rehabilitation of internally displaced Tamils. “The continued attacks on Indian fishermen has made a nuclear power like India become a laughing stock due to such attacks from a small country”, a resolution adopted at the state conference of the party’s state unit here said. It blamed the ruling Congress for more..

'Govt is burdening masses with its frauds, corruption & wasteful spending'

May 10 (LT) Govt departments, banks, financial institutions and all projects have been made into means to extract money for govt politicians and the burden of all these frauds corruption and stealing are being hanged on people’s shoulders states ‘Voice against Fraud’ organization. This was stated at a press conference held in Colombo today by the ‘Voice against Fraud. The Members of its National working committee Member of the more..

President appreciates the work of the World Buddhist Congress

May 10 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday paid special tribute to the great service rendered by bhikkus of the World Buddhist Congress (WBC) who arrived in Sri Lanka to perform an Adhishtana Pooja for universal peace, coexistence and prosperity. The President also offered mementosto 27 foreign Bhikkus representing 30 countries at Temple Trees yesterday. Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga welcoming the Bhikkus who arrived at Temple Trees more..

Champika blames fuel price hike

May 10 (CG) Minister Champika Ranawake today blamed the fuel price hike on the increase in electricity tariffs. Speaking at a seminar today the Minister also rejected claims that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) was providing fuel to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) on concessionary rates. He said that fuel from the CPC is purchased at the normal rate. He said that failure by some govt institutions to pay their electricity bills on time had led to the CEB incurring losses. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 10.05.2012

Second leadership training programme for newcomer university students to begin this month

May 10 (SLBC) The leadership and positive attitude enhancement course designed for students who were selected for university admission will commence on the 27th of this month. 10 thousand students are included in the first batch of the training programme. The participants are required to report to their respective training centres before 6.00 pm on the 27th. The courses will commence according to the scheduled timetable on the 28th. more..

First meeting of Presidential Task Force on a Trilingual Sri Lanka

May 10 (PRIU) The Presidential Task Force for a Trilingual Sri Lanka headed by the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga held its preliminary discussion at BMICH today. The seven-member Task Force discussed various issues and practicalities about learning a second language. The Task Force included Secretary to the President Mr. Weeratunga, Sunimal Fernando, Advisor to the President, Prof. J. B. Dissanayake, Kumar Nadesan, Earle Fernando, Ms. Marina Mohommed more..

Lanka seeks compensation from club

May 10 (CG) Sri Lanka is to seek compensation from a South Korean club where three Sri Lankans were killed following a fire recently. The Ministry of Foreign Employment said that the bodies of the three victims will be flown back to Sri Lankan tomorrow. The govt is to compensate the families of the three victims who were employed in South Korea at the time of the incident. At the same time the Ministry of Foreign Employment said that compensation will also be sought from more..

Does Sri Lanka need India to run Sri Lanka?

May 11 (NS) To be called sovereign is not enough as a country must be steered by elected natives of that sovereign country and not those remote controlling from overseas. Nevertheless, to our horror we are discovering daily that our sovereignty is being compromised and our hard won victory over terrorism and the sacrifices made towards that achievement is being overtaken by “intervention” of a kind we now need to voice loud enough for elected leaders to start putting their act together. more..

Great jewellery robbery

May 11 (NS) The local CID with the help of the Interpol nabbed a Sri Lankan who stole millions of rupees worth diamonds and gold jewellery from a jewellery stores in Athens, Greece where he was holding a responsible position. The valuables in the stores were under his charge. The CID identified the suspect as 37-year-old Janaka Weerasinghe of No.229 of Madurawela, Anguruwatotta, Horana. He had migrated to Greece from Lebanon using a forged passport using the name Upul Ranga Perera. more..

Impetus for handlooms industry

May 11 (SO) Maruthamunai is a beautiful village situated along the Eastern coastal belt of Sri Lanka. Since 1932 the people in this village produce handloom for the local community. Maruthamunai sarongs were famous in Sri Lanka prior to the advent of Indian sarongs. The tsunami severely affected the handloom industry in Maruthamunai and Kalmunai. A large number of looms was destroyed killing thousands of people including experienced more..

Let the unity among Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims be victorious

May 11 (TC) (Translation of the address made by Dr. Nimalka Fernando on 1st May 2012, in Jaffna, at the UNP/TNA May Day event representing the Platform for Freedom) We fully endorse the resolution passed on this May Day affirming the rights of migrant workers. As a woman, I am proud to state that the economy of this country is heavily dependent on female labour. Women toil hard in the tea estates, free trade zones and in the gulf countries to bring in the much needed more..

Sri Lanka: In need of a SRI LANKAN identity

May 11 (TC) Since the defeat of the LTTE Sri Lanka as a whole has been looking forward to marching forward. Slowly but swiftly things have started to fall into place. During the ceremonial opening of Parliament on May 19, 2009, President Mahinda Rajapakse declared that the LTTE had been militarily defeated. He further went in to say that “There are only two peoples in this country. One is the people that love this country. The other comprises the small groups that have no love for more..

Bodybuilding, a discipline

May 11 (CT) From an injured in battle soldier to winning the National Body Building Championship—for six consecutive years, Sisilasiri Somapala is an inspiration, who can make you believe in the turnaround that can be achieved through the toil of sweat and grit—proving that an arduous journey is worth all that it takes to get there. A soldier by profession, Somapala—who was injured during war—was undergoing physiotherapy when he realized that more..

D E W acting as Minister of External Affairs ?

May 11 (DM) One of the heartening aspects of the aftermath of the vote was continuation of good relations between India and Sri Lanka. Personally I believe India did the wrong thing in voting against us, and I think we must engage in private with Delhi and show the possible unfortunate consequences of that vote for India and the region as well as for us. But it was and is essential to avoid recrimination. In addition, while deploring the result, we must look at the reasons that led India to take this fateful step, more..

Sri Lanka: ‘Accountable to UN on human rights standards’

May 11 (CT) The resolution on reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka adopted at the UNHRC on March 22 by a vote of 24 to 15 is a legitimate exercise by the international community and not an act of unwarranted external interference in Sri Lanka’s internal Affairs, says Sri Lanka’s Friday Forum in a recent public statement. Demonstrations of public sentiment decrying the UNHRC resolution and the premises on which it is based were widespread in Sri Lanka before more..

SS Worcestershire: A forgotten shipwreck found

May 11 (ST) Recently the world commemorated the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Five years after the Titanic disaster in 1917, a British armed merchant ship met its end in the Indian Ocean near Sri Lanka. The SS Worcestershire was en route from Rangoon to London when it was sunk by sea mines laid by German armed merchant raider SMS Wolf that was hunting British ships in the Indian Ocean at the height of World War 1. more..

Editorial: Gigolos and buffaloes

May 11 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa finds himself in an unenviable position. His is one of the most frustrating jobs. He tries to attain the unattainable––knocking some sense into unruly lawmakers. On Wednesday, he urged parliamentarians for the umpteenth time to behave with decorum, after Minister Mervyn Silva, true to form, had heaped abuse on an Opposition member. However, there are others who deserve severe censure. Two of them, in the course of a verbal battle, stooped to the level of calling each other gigolos. more..

The lessons not learnt: The Geneva debacle of march 2012

May 11 (TC) The outcome in Geneva last year (March 2011) of the voting on Sri Lanka’s conduct of the war and related human rights record was very clearly in favour of the Sri Lankan govt. The line-up in the voting and the scale of the majority were such that it appeared that this year too the outcome would be similar, despite some initial wavering by India. But the conduct of the Sri Lankan govt in the meantime was so counter-productive that it precipitated more..

Making the 18 hairpin bends an easy drive

May 11 (SO) The road that links Kandy and Mahiyanganaya or the famous eighteen hair-pin bend road was feared by many drivers as one of the difficult roads in the country. The famous 18 hair-pin bends made it a difficult road even for many experienced motorists and became one of the roads to test their driving skills. But for more than one and half centuries, this road linking Kandy and Padiyathalawa through Digana, Teldeniya, Medamahanuwara, Hunnasgiriya more..

Challenging year for Asia Pacific: UNESCAP report

May 11 (FT) Asia Pacific faces another year of tough policy changes to stimulate growth, with Sri Lanka in particular having to manage monetary policy, control inflation, provide jobs for youth and reduce high inequality, it was revealed in a report released yesterday. The latest United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) projections released in the ‘Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2012: Pursuing Shared Prosperity more..

US$ 6-8bn FDI required for 8% GDP growth

May 11 (Island) Sri Lanka has to increase the inflow foreign direct investments from the projected US$ two billion this year to US$ six to eight billion in the coming years to sustain eight percent GDP growth. Addressing the launch of the ‘Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific’ Institute of Policy Studies, Executive Director Dr. Saman Kelegama said that to address the challenge of attracting more FDIs required policy consistency, predictability and stability more..

Boston Lanka News: May 10, 2012

Govt. reshuffles GAs

May 11 (Island) The govt has decided to effect several key changes in the North and South of SLAS officials functioning as Govt Agents. Early this year the govt made similar changes, where SLAS officials functioning as GAs in the North were posted to the South and vice versa. Following a Cabinet decision the Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs W.D.J. Seneviratne had requeste the secretary to the Ministry, Bandara P. Abeyakoon, to inform the respective Government Agents of their transfers, which would take effect immediately. more..

Northern Provincial Election once demining is completed

May 11 (Island) The long overdue Northern Provincial Council Election would be held once the demining process in the region was completed. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime was prepared to face national polls at any time, but the same did not apply to the provinces. Demining was continuing, but there was more work to be done, he said adding that no sooner the ground situation in the entire North was safe, the election would be held. more..