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SLFP reorganisation begins on May 12 from A’pura

May 11 (DN) The reorganisation of the SLFP will get underway on May12 from Anuradhapura, party General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday. Addressing the media at the Mahaweli Centre, he said President Mahinda Rajapaksa starts all his political and development activities from Anuradhapura with the blessings of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodiya. “Because of this, the SLFP has decided to start its reorganisation process from Anuradhapura,” more..

Embilipitiya Paper Mill loss in 2011 over Rs. 100 mn

May 11 (Island) The Embiliptiya Paper Mill had incurred a loss of Rs 100,327,897.56 last year alone, according to a document tabled in Parliament yesterday. The document tabled by Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena on behalf of the Minister of State Resources and Enterprises Development, said the mill had not been able to earn profit since 2005. The document was tabled in response of a question raised by UNP Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. more..

Jaffna Mayor cracks the whip on tutories

May 11 (Island) The Jaffna Municipal Council Mayoress Mrs Yogeswari Patkunarajah has laid down guidelines for all heads of tutories being conducted within the Municipal limits. They would to Register and follow regulations formulated by the council, for the well being of the students who attend them. The prompt action taken by the Jaffna Mayoress was welcomed by both parents and children who had complained earlier about the lack of hygiene, especially the lack of sanitary facilities and more..

Court again orders arrest of Sudarman Radaliyagoda

May 11 (SM) Kaduwela magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today (10) ordered the immediate arrest of ITN’s deputy general manager Sudarman Radaliyagoda over a charge of producing a fake document to obtain a scrap iron consignment from Sri Lanka Telecom, and that he be produced before the court. The court previously issued orders for the suspect’s arrest, but he is yet to be apprehended. Police told the magistrate that he had gone missing from his home. more..

LLRC Report, 13th Amendment panacea

May 11 (CT) The problems faced by the country, from deprivation of human rights to bribery, can be solved entirely with the implementation of LLRC recommendations and the 13th Amendment, claimed UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa. “We believe that for a united Sri Lanka to become a reality, the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is a necessity. Only then will we find the answers to the problems faced by the country. The LLRC report is the govt’s child. The report is a product of the govt and refusing to implement it to the letter, more..

Gem stolen from Srisena Cooray’s house

May 11 (DM) The house of former UNP strongman Sirisena Cooray was burgled and a valuable gem and foreign currency stolen allegedly by a domestic aide. Army deserter Amila Nuwan alias Army Wasantha was produced before Colombo Additional Magistrate Prasanna De Alwis on charges of having forcibly opened the iron safe at Mr. Cooray’s residence Salmal Uyana and had stolen a yellow coloured gem and a large amount of foreign currency belonging to Mr. Cooray’s son Prasanna. more..

Rienzie lashes out at culture of bad governance

May 11 (Island) Retired senior banker and a former Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Rienzie T. Wijetilleke yesterday highlighted several damning outcomes of the controversial deal where the National Savings Bank purchased a 13.2 percent stake of The Finance Company at an inflated price. "The deal cancelled by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the Finance Minister and the low, unethical statement by the bank, which now rejects the purchase due to more..

Devotees and well wishers donate blood at Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Malaysia

May 11 (TS) In 1989, a Malay couple needed life-saving pints of blood for their young daughter. Friends rallied to ask people to donate blood via short message service (SMS). A Theravada Buddhist monk received such a call for help and rushed to the KL General Hospital. “The parents had brought someone to donate blood. When I turned up as a blood donor, the parents were totally surprised. “They never expected a monk to come forward to help. I could see tears welling more..

UNP to propose Govt appoint ICs, ensure media freedom

May 11 (Island) The UNP plans to bring in an adjournment motion, in Parliament today, proposing that the govt appointment the independent commissions and to amend the laws to ensure the right to information, as recommended by the LLRC. The motion is scheduled to be moved by UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella. The motion demands that those two items be included in the proposed Action Plan the govt was preparing for the implementation of the LLRC report’s recommendations. more..

Malinga signs for Middlesex

May 11 (CI) Middlesex have signed Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lanka fast bowler, as their second overseas player for this season's Friends Life t20. The move, which was first reported by ESPNcricinfo, means one of the world's premier Twenty20 bowlers will be performing in England's domestic competition. Malinga, 28, currently has the second-highest wickets tally in the 2012 IPL, with 20 from nine appearances for Mumbai Indians. He is due to join up with Middlesex after more..

Sri Lanka opened a mission in Turkey

May 11 (AT) Sri Lanka and Turkey have opened up a new leaf in the diplomatic and bilateral relationship and Sri Lanka’s new Ambassador designate to Turkey Ms. Bharathi Wijeratne is expected to present her credential to the Turkish President Abdullah Gül in the first week of June 2012. Earlier it was announced that she will be presenting her credential on the 15th of May, but it was postponed to June due to some logistic problems in organizing the new Embassy office, Asian Tribune learnt. more..

Lankan Tamils’ issue high on agenda at TN BJP meet

May 11 (DH) As the fifth state conference of the BJP got off with an impressive start at a sprawling venue in the Temple city of Madurai on Thursday, its spotlight fixed on the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, indicating the party’s plan to woo the Tamil voters. ‘Thamarai Sangamam’ (the grand lotus congregation) seemed like part of the BJP’s nationwide effort to bring back NDA to power in Delhi. As Tamil Nadu is seen as a state which will play a key role in it’s plans, more..

GMOA to take action

May 11 (CT) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) will take countrywide trade union action today after the govt’s failure to provide the promised extra duty allowance to all doctors. According to the GMOA the deadline promised by the govt for granting the special allowance was yesterday. “As an essential service, doctors are obliged to reach and treat their patients within the shortest time possible. Therefore, it is vital for doctors to reside more..

LTTE posters in Vavuniya town

May 11 (CT) Police yesterday launched a probe into the mysterious LTTE posters which had come up in the heart of Vavuniya town. Vavuniya Police said that a special police team has been assigned to probe who is responsible for putting up the posters. The posters were said to have the LTTE insignia as well as messages and quotes from former LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Few posters in the area had stated that the LTTE leader is alive. Currently no suspects have been arrested or more..

Sand transport regulations relaxed

May 11 (Island) Regulations related to the transport of sand had been relaxed with effect from yesterday, Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Making a ministerial statement in Parliament, the Minister said that the Cabinet of Ministers, at their last meeting, on May 9, decided to permit the transport of sand without a licence during the 12-hour period from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. The decision was taken to minimise the irregularities and corruption more..

NSB-TFC deal’s stench spreads!

May 11 (FT) Confirming worst fears as exclusively speculated by the Daily FT on Tuesday in an article titled ‘Reverse and be doomed,’ the ill-fated NSB-TFC deal is now awaiting cancellation following the fallout as well as backtracking by involved parties amidst pressure from the Finance Ministry and criticism from the Opposition and market stakeholders. As most stakeholders didn’t want a reversal since a stock market deal once done is final but urged for more..

National School A-L student transfer stopped

May 11 (DN) The Education Ministry has stopped the transfer of Advanced Level students from National Schools, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. He said A-L student enrollment to a National School from another National School has been prevented by a ministry circular issued recently. "Provincial school students will also not be allowed to transfer if the desired Advanced Level stream is available in the school where the student is studying," he said. more..

Clear plan on reconciliation - Obama Administration

May 11 (CT) The Obama Administration has reiterated that the Sri Lankan govt should come forward with a clear plan on reconciliation when External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Pieris meets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington DC, next week. The US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the US always talks to Sri Lanka about reconciliation issues and the need for them to come forward with a plan. She further added other bilateral issues and more..

Sushma criticises demand for Eelam

May 11 (Hindu) Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Thursday criticised the demand for a separate ‘Tamil Eelam' by some political parties in Tamil Nadu, even though the TNA — the main political force of the Tamils in the island nation — favoured a genuine political solution within a united Sri Lanka. Addressing the fifth State conference of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here, she said the TNA leader, R. Sampanthan, whom she met as more..

Illegal cigarettes, cigars etc galore

May 11 (Island) Two Sri Lankans had been arrested while attempting to smuggle 250 cartons of cigarettes (each containing 240 sticks) into the country at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Wednesday, Deputy Director Customs said yesterday. The suspects, who were residents of Akkaraipattu, had told the customs that they were returning to the country after going on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and were not aware that their luggage contained cigarettes. more..

Milco chairman dismisses allegations

May 11 (Island) Milco (Pvt.) Limited Chairman Sunil Wickramasinghe yesterday categorically denied allegations leveled at Milco, by trade unions, that it had not been remitting EPF and ETF contributions to the relevant funds. Wickramasinghe said that the EPF and ETF contributions of Milco employees had been deposited every month "on the dot" and he had the documents to prove it. He said that those allegations were baseless and made by disgruntled employees, who had more..

Abductions and impunity, a wild-ass media

May 11 (LB) On Thursday (3), International Press Freedom day was marked in Sri Lanka with two events being held - one in Colombo and the other in Jaffna. At an event held at the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) in Colombo, Mohan Samaranayake, whom the moderator introduced as ‘the reluctant chairman’ of the state owned Rupavahini Corporation, said the world’s prominent media are owned by seven large conglomerates, adding each of them supported more..

Pedophile Buddhist Sanghanayaka of Great Britain and the Sri Lankan media

May 11 (LB) He was “Venerable” Chief Sanghanayaka Thera of Great Britain and chief incumbent of the Thames Buddhist Vihara and also Parivenadhipathi of the Vidyaravinda Pirivena, Pahalagama, Gampaha and Chief Lekakhadhikari of the Sri Kalyani Samagi Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha. From the 1st of May he is just a Somaratna. It is worth to look at what has happened to him. Here is a brief account of the story. more..

More than 70 national schools without permanent heads

May 11 (Island) More than 70 national schools, around the country, were without a permanent principal, the pro–JVP Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union claimed yesterday. CTSU Organising Secretary Dammika Alahapperuma said that the govt had, at the end of last year, called for applications to fill the vacant principal posts in 78 national schools, but those schools were still headed by acting principals. There are 342 national schools countrywide. more..

Hakeem faults Norway for ignoring Muslim factor, proposes remedial action

May 11 (Island) Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem yesterday pointed out the failure on the part of Norway to evaluate the ‘Muslim factor’ even after the collapse of the Oslo-arranged Ceasefire. The LTTE quit the negotiating table in April 2003, during Ranil Wickremesinghe’s tenure as Prime Minister. The Justice Minister and SLMC leader who was a member of the GoSL delegation for talks with the LTTE, said that the Norwegian report: Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian peace more..

War widows turn to sex work in Sri Lanka

May 11 (IPS) On May 18, some 800 women in Sri Lanka’s northern region will hold Hindu religious ceremonies for the welfare of thier husbands who disappeared or surrendered to the military as it moved in to mop up nearly three decades of armed Tamil separatism. "These women continue to live in hope even though many of those Tamil men may have died in the last days of the fighting," says Shreen Abdul Saroor, a prominent rights activist working with conflict-affected women in northern Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka Premier League hit with controversy

May 11 (IC) A 15-year deal between a little-known company in Singapore and Sri Lanka's cricket board for the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) has left opposition lawmakers in Sri Lanka outraged. Apart from handing the tournament to Somerset Entertainment Ventures (SEV) for more than a decade, there has also been criticism for awarding local television rights to Carlton Sports Network (CSN). Last year, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was forced to more..

‘Govt ready for polls at any time’

May 11 (DN) The govt is ready to face an election at any time, Cabinet Spokesman Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. “One of the key components of democracy is holding elections in a country on or before the due date. Any delay in conducting elections at relevant times is a violation of the people’s democratic right to elect their representatives. Therefore, it is surprising that the UNP and the JVP oppose conducting elections, even before the govt takes any measures to conduct an election,” more..

Steep increase in rape cases in Sri Lanka

May 11 (DM) There is a steep rise in rape cases in Sri Lanka, Parliament was informed yesterday. Some 1450 rape cases have been reported this year as against 1,324 reported in 2010. Deputy Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbullah in response to a question by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera said there had been only 1,152 rape cases in 2006, while it had slightly reduced to 1,151 the following year. The number of rape cases has increased to 1,217 in 2008 but had slightly dropped to 1,201 in 2009. more..

US rep for Sri Lankan rebels faces sentencing

May 11 (AP) Nearly six years have passed since U.S. authorities took the unusual step of rounding up a group of Sri Lankan immigrants and charging them with breaking terror financing laws by raising money and trying to get weapons for the Tamil Tigers rebel forces. Since then, 14 defendants charged in New York have been convicted. Some were given 25 years in prison. Back home, the Tamil Tigers were finally vanquished after a bloody civil war. more..

Court order to suspend strike action by govt medical officers

May 11 (NF) The Colombo District Court has issued an order to suspend the trade union action launched by the Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) requesting for a transport allowance. The restraining order was issued when a petition filed by a heart patient who is receiving treatment at the National Hospital in Colombo was taken up for consideration. The restraining order will be in effect until the 25th of this month. more..

Editorial: Bulls in the talk shop

May 11 (DM) Insolence of parliamentarians has always been a cause of concern. Be it inside the House or out in the open, lack of contextual relevance in their speech, often makes the voters feel ashamed of their wrong choices. The House has had its days when the school children in the gallery have been rushed out when the debates become heated arguments and the debaters themselves lose their sanity in the process. Sometimes, chunks of their speeches are left out from the Hansard for more..

Sustained selling drags down Sri Lankan shares

May 11 (LBO) Sustained selling pressure dragged down Sri Lanka’s tiny stockmarket for the ninth-straight session on Friday, with turnover dominated with trades in John Keells Holdings PLC, Aitken Spence Hotels PLC and Dialog Axiata PLC, brokers said. The main All Share Price index fell 55.38 points or 1.07 percent to 5,108.56, while the more liquid Milanka Price Index dropped 33.58 points or 0.72 percent to 4,610.86. Friday’s turnover was a slim 346.40 million rupees, more..

Govt. ruining education system: FUTA

May 11 (DM) University teachers held a news conference on the road outside the Colombo University yesterday and charged that the Education Ministry was attempting to destroy the education system in the country. They said some lecturers who had visited the Ministry last Friday were forcibly removed from the premises after an argument with the Ministry Secretary. The media conference was held in the blazing sun because the University authorities were more..

Sri Lanka boat builders say duty on imported parts pushing up costs

May 11 (LBO) Sri Lankan boat builders say taxes on imported parts are pushing up production costs while they are losing domestic market share to foreign vessels that are allowed duty free. The boat yards also want more access to harbours and waterways to expand the industry, officials said. "One of the biggest problems we are facing is that boats are now allowed duty free," declared Neil Fernando, chairman of the Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute, more..

Sri Lanka Nestlé unit says milk collection up 45-pct

May 11 (LBO) Nestle Lanka, said its fresh milk collections were up 45 percent in the four months to April from a year earlier, amid claims by some dairy farmers that their milk was not bought by collectors. "Our milk processing facility in Kurunegala is now running at its fullest capacity…and we are continuing to purchase as much milk as we can to support our local dairy farmers," Alois Hofbauer, managing director of Nestlé Lanka Plc said in a statement. more..

WikiLeaks: Suspected LTTE suicide bomber surrenders at US Embassy

May 11 (CT) “On November 7, 2005 an individual claiming to be an LTTE suicide bomber came to AmEmbassy Colombo and requested asylum. After an interview to determine that there was no threat or information involving U.S. facilities or personnel he was given into the custody of the police. The EAC has concluded that no change to Embassy security posture is necessary.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. more..

FSP accuses govt. of undercutting local businesses

May 11 (Island) Local businesses were adversely affected due to the govt increasing tax and interest rates of commercial banks and such a move had only facilitated foreign companies operating in the country, the JVP rebels claimed yesterday. Propaganda Secretary of the Frontline Socialist Party Pubudu Jayagoda told a media conference that the government had increased the interest rates on loans and credit cards and that would directly affect the ordinary people. more..

FSP accuses govt. of undercutting local businesses

May 11 (NF) Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake stated that not informing the 2011 A/L candidates that the exam results would be released based on a new system is a serious offense. The Chief Justice made this statement when the petition challenging the A/L Exam results was taken up in court yesterday. The petition was filed by a group of sixteen students and the Ceylon Teachers' Union. The petition was taken up before a three-judge bench comprising of more..

'Sri Lankans get to earn quite a bit in the IPL'

May 11 (TOI) The nightmare of many a batsman in international cricket, Muttiah Muralitharan is the perfect gentleman in real life. A genius with the ball, he has been playing for different teams almost every IPL season, but he is not one to complain. Says the spinner, "I have played for Chennai for two to three years and then Kochi, which was not a great experience, and now I am with the Bangalore team." more..