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'Govt focussing on alternative energy sources'

May 12 (DN) The govt has paid attention to alternative energy sources such as solar power, sea waves, wind and nano technology related energy, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. The minister who warned that no country would be able to control the rise in the price of fuel in the face of a future energy crisis, said fossil fuel deposits in the world faced extinction by 2050. He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the national programme to educate state officials on energy more..

Docs bring misery to patients for a few hours

May 12 (Island) As 15,000 doctors, in the govt service, struck work country-wide yesterday, many OPD and clinic patients were greatly affected. Some patients had reached hospitals from far off places, but they had to return home without getting treatment. Emergency Treatment Units, Special Baby Care Units and emergency cases were attended to by doctors. Deputy Director Colombo National Hospital OPD Dr. Cyril Silva said that the strike, more..

Govt says no officials punished in contaminated jet fuel fiasco

May 12 (FT) No officials will be penalised for the purchase of 7,500 tons of contaminated jet fuel by State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), a Govt spokesman said, but a decision on the company is yet to be taken. Cabinet Spokesman Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana told media that the report on the contaminated jet fuel, which was handed over to the Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha, shows no losses were incurred as a result of the purchase. more..

Bomb found before Ranil’s arrival at Batticaloa meeting

May 12 (Island) A hand grenade had been recovered from a hotel in Batticaloa yesterday, before UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s arrival to address a Lions Club meeting. The UNP leader’s security personnel, on doing a last minute check of Cope Inn, down Trinco Road, Batticaloa the venue for the event, had found the grenade concealed behind a window sun screen. The search was carried out about an hour before Wickremesinghe was scheduled to arrive for the more..

'Results of the 2011 AL exams were incorrect'

May 12 (CT) The Supreme Court yesterday declared that results of the 2011 A/L exam were incorrect based on the two sets of question papers submitted to the Court. Supreme Court Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga said the inquiry relating to the Fundamental Right Case filed by 16 students and Ceylon Teachers Union challenging the validity of 2011 AL results, has revealed that the results were incorrect. The Court had examined the two sets of question papers more..

Lotus Tower disrupts postal service

May 12 (CT) Around 100,000 letters have piled up at the Colombo Central Postal Exchange as a result of the trade union action launched by postal workers due to a dispute over shifting their work station to a different place. President of the Ceylon Postal Services Union, Jayantha Wijesinghe said, “Trade union action will continue until our demands are met. The problems we are facing are immense and we have written about them to the Post Master General”. “We were shifted from one place to another to build the Lotus Tower more..

NSB crisis: Finger pointed at CB and CSE

May 12 (NS) The inactivity of leading State institutions like the Central Bank and Colombo Stock Exchange in not monitoring the Rs.393 million fraudulent share deal involving the National Savings Bank (NSB) and The Finance Company (TFC) has heightened public concern. It raised eyebrows as to a can of worms where several top officials from the NSB, Stock Exchange and the TFC were linked to the scam The Nation reliably understands. The growing clamour is that more..

Rs.125 billion written off as bad debts

May 12 (DM) A massive Rs.125 billion has been written off as bad debts by the two state banks during the past ten years, Parliament was informed yesterday. This was much higher than the govt’s allocation for health, education and economic development sectors. The govt usually allocates amounts ranging from Rs.40 billion to Rs.75 billion for each of those sectors every year. The Bank of Ceylon has written off Rs.116.5 billion while more..

Liquor licence suspended due to opposition from MPs in area

May 12 (Island) Protests by two UPFA Matale District Parliamentarians, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon and Lakshman Wasantha Perera, against the granting of a liquor licence on May 8 by the Excise Department to a Tourist Board approved hotel, owned by a businessman near the Dambulla market, have led to its suspension two days later. Superintendent of Excise Prabath Jayawickreme said that the licence had been issued as it had met all legal requirements after calling for reports from the Divisional Secretary, Police, more..

Now, JCPSM threatens health sector with strike

May 12 (Island) The Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM) yesterday warned it would resort to trade union action as the Government had failed to treat all professional health trade unions alike by increasing their overtime (OT) allowance relative to that of doctors. JCPSM Secretary Saman Jayasekara warned that they would observe the health Ministry’s response to their three main demands throughout next week and resort to trade union action more..

SL, India to amicably solve fishing issues

May 12 (DN) Fisheries authorities in Sri Lanka and India have agreed to solve the issues of fishermen in the Palk Bay region without taking the fishermen through court processes. Sri Lanka is releasing Indian fishermen who have been in Sri Lankan custody for illegal cross-border fishing, while India is releasing Sri Lankan fishermen in Sri Lankan custody for similar doing after a top level decision taken by Sri Lanka and India to release the fishermen, Fisheries Ministry Maritime Surveillance Unit yesterday told the Daily News. more..

More Korean jobs for Lankan youths

May 12 (DN) South Korea has provided employment opportunities to over 2,000 Sri Lankan job seekers who have passed the selection tests in 2010 and 2011, Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE) sources said. According to SLBFE chairman Amal Senadhilankara, 1,527 Sri Lankans migrated to South Korea during the last four months, whereas the number of Sri Lankans migrating to South Korea during the corresponding period last year was only 1,370. more..

'Kunanayakam is removed to satisfy USA'

May 12 (LT) There has been a discussion at the Political Bureau of the JVP regarding the move to transfer Sri Lanka's permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva Tamara Kunanayakam to Cuba. “When pageants are held in Galle Face on the 18th to celebrate military victories G.L. Peiris will be discussing the secretly compiled ‘action plan’ with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and seeking her advice. This is a clear instance of displaying the duplicity of the govt,” more..

‘Summon Hudson before parliamentary privileges committee’

May 12 (SM) UNP MP Dr. Anoma Gamage today (11) wrote to the speaker of parliament, asking that SLBC chairman Hudson Samarasinghe be summoned before the parliamentary privileges committee. In her letter, the MP says her statement to the House on Feb 08 at the adjournment debate on the import and export (control) act had been distorted and used by the SLBC chairman to maliciously criticize and insult her by using abusive language, more..

Devananda’s planned protest against Indian poaching:Rajitha won’t join campaign

May 12 (Island) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne wouldn’t throw his weight behind EPDP leader Douglas Devananda’s efforts to discourage Tamil Nadu fishing fleet from poaching in Sri Lankan waters. Asked whether he would join Minister Devananda’s bid lead some 1,000 fishing craft to Rameswaram waters in the near future to protest against poaching, Minister Senaratne said: more..

‘The primary responsibility for ensuring the wellbeing of citizens lies with the States’

May 12 (Island) Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris, speaking on behalf of Sri Lanka and also the Asia-Pacific Group of countries, at the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement Coordinating Bureau, in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt stressed the need for NAM to be actively involved in revamping some of the traditional assumptions and approaches of the international system to cater adequately for the vital interests of Member States. more..

Karu threatens to sue prison's commissioner

May 12 (DM) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday that he would take legal action against the Commissioner General of Prisons for denying members of parliament access to visit former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka in hospital. In a letter to the Prisons Commissioner and Secretary of the Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms Ministry, Mr. Jayasuriya said it was unlawful for the prisons department to deny MPs their visitation rights. In the letter Mr. Jayasuriya stated that according to the provisions more..

Cope Approval For SLC’s somerset deal becomes Hazy

May 12 (DM) Parliament’s Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) has not approved Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) agreement with the Singapore-based company Somerset Entertainment Ventures (SEV) for the forthcoming Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) tournament, but has given the go-ahead to sign the deal based on SLC’S plea that they will suffer heavy financial losses unless they do so. “COPE only gave the go ahead to SLC last week, considering the facts they presented. more..

OPA lashes out at India, calls for abolition of 13th A

May 12 (Island) Assuring its fullest support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s efforts to settle the national issue, the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA) of Sri Lanka has called for the abolition of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The Executive Council of the OPA at a recent meeting has decided that the 13th Amendment was an impediment to the post-war national reconciliation process; more..

Sri Lanka expects market stability as imports reduced

May 12 (Xinhua) The Central Bank said on Saturday that it expects stability in the domestic foreign exchange market over the next few weeks following a decision to reduce the volume of imports. Exchange rates have been on shaky ground so far this year after the bank depreciated the value of the Sri Lankan Rupee as against the U.S Dollar. Last month the Sri Lankan rupee fell 0.6 percent to a new record low of 132.20 more..

Editorial: Honey traps and money traps

May 12 (DM) If the cry is that match fixing has become rampant in the recent past, the authorities that operate above the players should also be held responsible for it. In fact, it is their duty to see that the players' discipline is maintained, irrespective of the bad times the local cricket authorities go through financially. Instead of counting their money in the dark, it is high time they open their eyes to the ground realities. No doubt, with the emergence of the IPL (Indian Premier League), more..

Jayasuriya leads Asian team in Toronto T20

May 12 (LR) Former Sri Lankan cricket all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya will lead an Asian team following the withdrawal of all Pakistani players from T20 cricket match at the Rogers Center in Toronto later today. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) refused to release the players which included Shahid Afridi who was the initial candidate for Asian skipper. Former West Indian great Brian Lara will lead the World team. Organizers say they spent the last few days trying to convince more..

Sri Lanka won't host Pakistan-Australia series

May 12 (CI) Pakistan are searching for alternate venues for their limited-overs series against Australia later this year after Sri Lanka backed out of hosting it. The Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) is scheduled to be held in August, clashing with the dates of the proposed Pakistan-Australia series. "We are looking for other venues to host Australia," Subhan Ahmed, the PCB's chief operating officer, told ESPNcricinfo. more..

Charity givens ten fishing boats to Sri Lankan village

May 12 (TJ) TEN boats bearing the names of the Island’s parishes have been donated to poverty-stricken fishermen in Sri Lanka whose lives were shattered by the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 and civil war. Over £24,000 was raised in the Island by Jersey-based charity JETSURE (Jersey Tsunami Relief for North East Sri Lanka) after the tsunami killed up to 40,000 people in Sri Lanka. The fund-raising was organised by the charity’s committee led by Dr Saravana Pavan, more..

Sri Lanka to host junior Asian athletics championships

May 12 (Xinhua) A total of 850 athletes from 43 countries and regions will participate in the 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Sri Lanka next month, the Sports Ministry said on Saturday. "Since Sri Lanka is hosting this event for the first time, measures are underway to hold the championships successfully and to achieve more medals," said the ministry's spokesman Harsha B. Abeykoonthe. Sri Lankan authorities have upgraded facilities at its premier more..

Greek businessman to identify jewellery

May 12 (DM) Interpol has informed the Greek businessman to come to Sri Lanka and identify the diamonds and other precious stones worth millions of dollars seized from a Sri Lankan couple who had shipped the jewellery from Greece to Sri Lanka. A Sri Lanka couple was arrested after the millions of dollars worth precious stones consigned to them were detected at the Colombo Port. The CID had informed Interpol Headquarters to contact its more..

Lanka origin man among 5 held; Rs 10 cr heroin seized

May 12 (PTI) Five persons, including a person of Sri Lankan origin, were arrested and 6.6 kg heroin worth Rs 10 crore in the international market seized from them here, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials said today. The seizure was made when DRI officials checked the bags of four persons, including two women from Bhopal, who arrived at the Central railway station by the Tamil Nadu Express yesterday. "Each bag had a false bottom in which about more..

'Raise sarong diplomacy' affects country says Mangala

May 12 (SM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera says the country has lost credibility among the international community due to the current administration’s “Medamulane raise-sarong diplomacy.” Samaraweera has told parliament that the present govt is facing a crisis of credibility in the international arena today. He made these comments during the debate on an adjournment motion moved by the UNP to include the establishment of the independent commissions as well as more..

Rs.80 million worth vehicles for Cabraal

May 12 (LT) The Governor of Central Bank Ajith Nivad Cabraal has been allocated 7 vehicles worth Rs.80 million says Member of ‘Voice against Corruption’ Wasanthe Samarasinghe. Speaking at a press conference he said 3 vehicles have been allocated for Mr. Cabraal’s personal use, 2 for his security, one for his wife and one for the use for household needs. Among the vehicles allocated for Mr. Cabraal are KM 9681, KP 4806, PC0119, KC 8084, KS 4653 and KC 5144. more..

'Govt. hunting for hidden treasure is not a crime'

May 12 (LT) The hidden treasure is a natural resource like gems, gold and fuel and the government’s involvement in hunting for hidden treasure and adding it to government coffers is not wrong says President’s adviser Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera. Thera, an expert on archeology, states plundering of hidden treasure has been carried out even in the past and accusing the government for carrying out such acts is horrendous. He said police officers are not experts to more..

National Dengue Control Week from May 14

May 12 (GDI) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena declared the National Dengue Control Week from May 14 to 20. The week is aimed at accelerating and improving the effectiveness of mosquito breeding site eradication activities. The Health Ministry has sent a circular on the instructions of the Minister Maithreepala Sirisena in this regard to all Medical Officers of Health (MOHs) throughout the island. The MOHs in dengue afflicted districts are required to hold a Dengue Control Week from Monday and to inspect more..

Premachandran set to address Norway’s Parliament

May 12 (AD) TNA Spokesman and Jaffna District MP Suresh Premachandran says he is prepared to speak on post-war Sri Lanka at a seminar to be held at the Norwegian Parliament complex next week. The seminar is to be held on May 15 on the topic ‘Contemporary issues in post-war Sri Lanka,’ Premachandran told Ada Derana. Organized by Norway’s Labour party, the event is expected to be presided over by Deputy Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament. more..

Jumbos on the rampage

May 12 (CT) A woman was trampled to death by an elephant in Aralaganwila, Polonnaruwa this morning. The Polonnaruwa police have identified the victim as K.G. Sagarika (30), a mother of a one month old infant. According to the police, the tragedy occurred as she went out of the house for her morning bath. It was also reported that the victim was a resident of Embilipitiya and she had moved to her mother’s place in Polonnaruwa after the delivery of her child. The victim according to the police had died instantly following the jumbo attack and more..

Sri Lanka ready for providing optimum service via mobile phone

May 12 (CT) “With mobile phones becoming integrated into our lives their use for providing public service is becoming more and more pervasive”, says ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) CEO Reshan Dewapura. He said so while participating at the internationally renowned World Summit Awards (WSA) ICT conference held in Cairo, recently. ICTA CEO shared the success of the e-Development programme in Sri Lanka with the world ICT leaders. He asserted that the Govt was ready to more..

'Feel very hurt by the manner in which public money is being wasted'

May 12 (NF) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya says that the govt has imposed an additional tax burden on the public to overcome the losses that are being incurred by state institutions. He pointed out that five state institutions, including the CEB, the CPC and the SLTB have incurred a collective loss of Rs. 65,000 million rupees last year. "We feel very hurt by the manner in which public money is being wasted. It is the people‘s money that is being wasted. more..

S. Sivanandan, a veteran of Sinhala cinema

May 12 (LR) For over five decades S. Sivanandan has been associated with the Sri Lankan Cinema. This veteran of Sinhala film industry has dedicated his entire career to the industry from his early days. No other person in the industry with the wealth of talent Sivanandan possesses has worked in various capacities in the Sinhala Cinema. He directed movies and held senior administrative positions in the government and private sector of the Sri Lankan film industry. His final assignment was as Assistant General Manager of State Film Corporation more..

First talks then PSC says TNA

May 12 (CG) The TNA has refused to take part in a parliamentary process to formulate a political solution until direct talks are held with the govt. The TNA has been boycotting the Parliament select Committee (PSC) on a political solution resulting in the PSC failing to get off the ground. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that his party has decided it will continue to demand for direct talks with the govt and will not name a representative to the PSC. “We are not boycotting the PSC but we feel that first there should be bilateral talks with the govt more..

Over 13,500 forces personnel prepare for 3rd Victory Day parade

May 12 (DM) The Victory Day parade marking the third anniversary of the end of the war will be celebrated on 19 May at Galle Face Green under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This year’s parade will consist of 852 officers and 12,828 other rankers from the three armed forces, the police and the Civil Defence Force, Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said. The parade will be commanded by Maj. Gen. Jagath Rambukpotha, more..

Ready to help draw TNA to PSC if govt’s ‘honest’ - UNP

May 12 (AD) The UNP today said it was willing to assist the govt in convincing the TNA to join Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) discussions. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake called on the govt, if its working directly with honest intentions, to commence an appropriate process for the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC report, together with the opposition. If that is done, the UNP is prepared to assist in guiding the TNA towards participating in Parliamentary Select Committee discussions, more..

Indian players in SLPL a possibility - BCCI

May 12 (CI) BCCI president N Srinivasan has said that Indian players could participate in the newly launched Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), if the hosts make such a proposal. The tournament will be held between August 10 and 31 this year at Colombo and Pallekele. Each of the seven provincial teams will be allowed a maximum of six overseas players in their squads and four in their playing XI. "Last time around, there were specific reasons why the BCCI could not support," Srinivasan said. "And we informed the Sri Lankan board at that time. more..