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Who will come to the streets to stop Mahinda betraying the heroic war of Sinhala chauvinism?

May 14 (TC) The leader of the opposition claimed that the Jaffna May Day rally and the protest was a grand success. Over ten thousand participated in the rally in spite of the campaigns of the govt, jacked up by racist campaign of Premadasa. The latter was exposed as the crowd he mobilized, with all such drama was not more than two thousand. His treachery cannot be concealed. Military leaders kept on saying that under the cover of democratic opposition, terrorists are working. more..

SA News: May 8, 2012

Randeniya, Madushani best athletes in Under-20 category

May 14 (Island) Hurdler Supun Viraj Randeniya of Ranabima Royal College, Gannoruwa and high jumper Madushani Siriwardena of Galenbindunuwewa Central who used the four-day championship to earn qualifying standards for the IAAF World Youth Championship were adjudged the best athletes in the Under-20 Boys’ and Girls’ categories respectively as the four-day Junior National Athletics Championship ended at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium more..

Compromising trading rules and investor confidence

May 14 (NS) A stake of 13% of the listed company, The Finance, a member of the Ceylinco Group, which was brought under the supervision of the governmental authorities, was sold in the stock market at a price of Rs.49-50 per share, to the National Savings Bank. The deal was valued at Rs.394 million. Businessmen Raynor Silva and Dinal Wijemanne each is said to have sold 2.9 million shares and several others including Anura Fernando, said to be a Director of The more..

Hirunika murder plot: Bharatha siblings slam Rajapaksa brothers

May 14 (CT) “Should any harm comes to Hirunika’s life and limb as a failure to act on this (as it was in Bharatha’s case) those who are in-charge of defense establishment of Sri Lanka would be held responsible for such tragic eventuality.” Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s siblings said. Sending a statement Bharatha’s siblings further say “We as very concerned siblings of Bharatha, wrote to the President with copies to the defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksha, more..

Disappointing export performance worsens trade balance

May 14 (ST) The inadequate growth in exports in the first two months of this year raises further apprehensions about the trade balance. Hitherto the balance of payments problem had been perceived of as being mainly due to the huge increases in imports that outpaced export growth. Now the modest export growth of only 3.3 percent in the first two months portends a prospect of poor export performance. It increases fears of a further widening of the trade deficit that could aggravate the balance of payments problem more..

President must act to nab and expose fraudsters

May 14 (ST) The National Savings Bank’s (NSB) purchase of shares of The Finance Company (TFC) might have passed off as just yet another unsavoury transaction on the Colombo Stock Exchange. What heightens the “stink” are the high profile identities of the parties concerned, the implications that the transaction could have on the liabilities of the Govt of Sri Lanka and the soundness of the banking system and, with the subsequent executive orders that the transaction should more..

MBSL selling savings bank for a song!

May 14 (FT) Hot on the heels of NSB facing flack over the TFC deal, pioneering merchant bank MBSL is now under fire over its move to sell its savings bank subsidiary and at a low price. Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL) had reached an understanding with a consortium of investors-led by Navara Capital Ltd., to divest 68% stake in MBSL Savings Bank (formerly Ceylinco Savings Bank) for Rs. 562 million. This was despite at least one higher offer quoted more..

Activist to use Y2K court ruling to prevent tea imports

May 14 (Island) An activist is planning to use Supreme Court and Human Rights Commission rulings made in 2000 to hold officials and businesses involved in the import of tea in contempt of court. "I will do this for the good of the country’s tea sector," Ratna Gamage, a former politician and Chairman of the Tea Small Holders Development Authority said. He was the petitioner that went before the Supreme Court and the Human Rights Commission seeking to ban tea imports as more..

CEB forced to spend more on thermal electricity if rains fail

May 14 (Island) With zero rainfall in the catchment areas, water levels in reservoirs were decreasing day by day, forcing the CEB to depend on costly thermal electricity, which would cost an additional Rs. 200 million per day, according to senior officials. An official of the Systems Control Department of the CEB who wished to remain anonymous told The Island last week that if the rainfall trend continued for the next few days, they would be heading for a crisis situation. more..

JVP declares war on govt attemps to restrict A/L students

May 14 (Island) JVP’s teachers’ union and the National Movement to Protect Schools have expressed their opposition against bringing in new rules to restrict students from changing schools to do their A/L in popular colleges. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teacher Service Union Mahinda Jayasinghe said the Education Minister last week announced the plan to prohibit O/L Exam passed students moving to enroll for more..

Squatters on either side of rail track removed in Kandy

May 14 (Island) The Railway Department on Wednesday cleared 151 unauthorised structures bordering the Kandy-Peradeniya railway track at Mulgampola, along with their occupants. The Department officials with the assistance of the police demolished the structures after obtaining a court order since the occupants of the structures failed to respond to the call by the Railway Department to vacate the state land. As the occupants of the houses raised objections and attempted more..

Sri Lanka has the opportunity to grow fast

May 14 (ET) I first visited Sri Lanka in 1997, shortly after a rebel bombing of the central bank headquarters had thrown the financial system into chaos. Military checkpoints made travelling around Colombo rather punishing, but the overwhelming impression was of a charming island and talented people trapped inside a seemingly endless civil war. When I returned in 2011, the civil war had ended with surprising finality, and I took an extra day to see the country, including the huge territory that had been more..

Now LTTE, C4 eye British television academy award

May 14 (Island) Those pushing for an international war crimes inquiry against Sri Lanka over accountability issues are campaigning for a top award for ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished’ at the British Academy Television Awards (Bafta). The documentary is the squeal to ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ first aired on June 14, last year. The documentary, produced by ITN and telecast by Channel 4, both UK outfits, is facing stiff challenge from more..

15- year-old pleads guilty to dangerous driving

May 14 (CT) A 15-year-old boy was released on police bail, after he pleaded guilty before the Colombo Magistrate for driving a car dangerously and injuring two people, yesterday. According to the police, the boy has driven the motor car on the Pamankada road and collided with a trishaw seriously injuring one man and a woman. The accident occurred on Saturday at around 11.30 a.m. and the Wellawatta Police have taken an immediate action to arrest the suspect. more..

Ministry ready to help Lankan stranded in Caracas

May 14 (SO) The External Affairs Ministry said it could intervene to get down the Sri Lankan man who is reportedly stranded at the Caracas airport, had the next of kin or the authorities there have informed this case to the Sri Lankan missions in Cuba or Brazil. A senior official said they could not pay travelexpenses but if it was notified the Ministry certainly could havesought help from organizations such as the International Organisation for the Migrants (IOM) more..

Sri Lankan military behind slaying of Montrealer: Reports

May 14 (TS) The Sri Lankan military is thought to be involved in the murder of a Canadian citizen of Tamil origin, according to journalists in Sri Lanka. The founding editor of a nationalist Tamil news organization said that his journalists on the ground in northern Sri Lanka reported that the Montreal man was murdered after trying to reclaim property seized by the military. Andrew Mahendrarajah Antonipillai, 53, was found dead in northern more..

Wattala OIC remanded on a charge of criminal breach of trust

May 14 (Island) OIC of the Wattala police, Chief Inspector Nimal Ratnayake and four others were yesterday remanded till May 15 after being produced before the area magistrate at his bungalow over the alleged switching of some cattle earlier ordered by the court to be sent to a govt farm. 13 cattle were detected in the Wattala police area recently while they were being transported illegally. The lorry owner and another who were in the vehicle were fined Rs 5,000 and the animals were ordered to be more..

Elders homes to be registered, tighter controls imposed

May 14 (ST) The Ministry of Social Services will seek Parliamentary approval next week for regulations made under the Protection of the Rights of Elders Act to register institutions and persons providing resident care for more than five elders. Institutions applying for registration of an elders’ home will need to fulfil several requirements to obtain a certificate of registration which would include a report from the Heath Directors of the relevant administrative areas, more..

Controversy over Mattala airport oil storage facility tender

May 14 (Island) Controversy surrounds a Petroleum Ministry decision to award a tender for the construction of an oil storage facility at the proposed Mattala International Airport, where the winning bid is Rs 1.4 bn higher than the lowest bid. The four bidders for the project include the China Harbour Engineering Company of China, which has submitted the highest bid of USD 36.9 mn followed by the the successful bidder, more..

Rienzie reiterates blame despite CSE denial

May 14 (FT) Former Chairman and veteran banker Rienzie T. Wijetilleke yesterday reiterated his position that the Colombo Stock Exchange by its inaction and non-intervention in a timely manner over the NSB-TFC deal had failed in its moral and ethical obligations. He re-emphasised that the CSE failure had caused immense damage to the market’s credibility and reputation. “The public will be watching with much interest the outcome of their belated investigations,” more..

President recalls his days in prison

May 14 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday said that he had not enjoyed the luxury of hot water showers while he was in prison. Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the SLFP reorganization ceremony in Anuradhapura, the President said: "I did not have an electric fan or a good cell while I was in prison. I was given only a two by six cell infested with bugs. We served the time swatting mosquitoes. I suffered for three months at Magazine going through hell. more..

Z-score criteria to be amended

May 14 (DM) Amid concerns by students, teachers and parents about the Z score marks, the Higher Education Ministry has decided to once again amend the criteria for the calculation of Z-score marks of candidates who sat for the G.C.E. A/L Exam last time under two different syllabi. The situation is likely to delay the admission of students to universities for the next academic year. The UGC worked out a common methodology for the admission of students under both the syllabi. more..

Convenience at a price as credit card fees rise

May 14 (ST) Following last week’s interest rate hikes on credit cards by leading players in the market, more commercial banks revised their interest rates this week and service charges. The Nations Trust Bank this week raised its credit card financial fees by Rs. 100, Account Maintenance fees by Rs. 100, Penalty fees by Rs. 150 and service fees for the SMS service by Rs. 250, which will take effect from May 15, 2012. The Commercial Bank said its new interest rates on credit cards and more..

Elections to 3 PCs on Sept. 8

May 14 (Island) Govt will hold elections to three provincial councils, the North Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa on Sept. 08, 2012. Ministerial sources told The Island that those three provincial councils would be dissolved in the first week of June and the SLFP had already commenced the party reorganization campaign. The campaign for the North Central Province commenced with the participation of the President, Prime Minister, ministers and local govt politicians at an SLFP reorganization drive at Anuradhapura more..

Fonseka will be freed after Tiran’s return

May 14 (Island) Gen. Sarath Fonseka will be released soon, as a result of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s one-on-one talks with DNA MP Tiran Alles, according to authoritative govt sources. Asked whether former Army Commander’s release would coincide with the third anniversary celebrations of Sri Lanka’s victory over the LTTE on May 19, sources said Gen. Fonseka could leave Nawaloka hospital, where he was receiving treatment for a lung condition, more..

Electricity consumption down this Vesak season - Ranawaka

May 14 (DN) Electricity use this Vesak season had decreased compared to the last 15 years. This can be pointed out as one of the greatest achievements of the power conservation programme Heta Wenuwen Ada launched by the Minister Champika Ranawaka said. “The daily electricity consumption during the Vesak season was between 1,800 to 2,200 megawatts in the last 15 years This year, it was between 1,750 to 2,100 megawatts,” he said. The minister was addressing a more..

Anti-dengue war begins today

May 14 (DN) A Dengue Control Week will be held from today to May 20. A Health Ministry spokesman said this is the fifth Dengue Control Week to be launched by the Anti-Dengue Presidential Task Force. The inauguration ceremony will be held today under the patronage of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Over 200 Police, Air Force, Navy and Army personnel, Medical Officers of Health and officials are scheduled to participate in today’s dengue eradication activities. Teams are scheduled to inspect gardens and institutions from today. more..

Not only the chairman husband; chief justice wife must also resign!

May 14 (SL) Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and her husband National Savings Bank (NSB) Chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam are at the center of a scandal again. When Justice Bandaranayake was appointed as the Chief Justice, I raised the serious conflict of interest issues relating to her. Within the Asian region, the sixth Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific held in Beijing in August 1995 adopted the Statement of Principles on more..

Ministry’s refinery upgrade and other oil plans a joke, say experts

May 14 (LB) An oil expert says it would be futile to spend US$500 to upgrade the Sapugaskanda oil refinery so as to increase the proportion of gasoline and gas oil/ADO – as the need of the hour is to add severe secondary units. Al Troner, president, Asia Pacific Energy Consulting, a Houston-based consultancy specializing in the region, said, “To meet more stringent product specs, you have to add intermediate units such as hydrotreaters and desulfurization units. more..

TMVP to contest with UPFA

May 14 (SL) The TMVP says it will contest the provincial council elections in the east with the govt. TMVP spokesman Azad Maulana said that even if the council is dissolved before the due date and elections are held in September the TMVP will contest with the government. Elections for the Eastern Provincial Council is due to be held in March 2013, but there are moves to dissolve the Council this year and hold elections in September. more..

TNA teams up with Solheim in Oslo

May 14 (Island) One-time Norwegian peace envoy, ex-minister Erik Solheim and TNA MP Suresh Premachandran are teaming up in Oslo tomorrow, for a fresh attack on Sri Lanka. External Affairs Ministry sources told The Island that the LTTE rump and some of its supporters among various political parties abroad had been working overtime to undermine ongoing efforts to resume negotiations between the government and the TNA. more..

Supplementary estimates galore to meet recurrent expenditure, buy vehicles

May 14 (ST) The Treasury had allocated Rs. 350 million as a supplementary estimate to the Ministry of Productivity Promotion to meet the recurrent expenses for the Pelwatta and Sevenagala sugar industries which were taken over by the Govt under the controversial Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act last November. The amount has been allocated from the Budgetary Support Services and Contingency Liabilities project of the Department of more..

Sri Lanka hopes narrow current account gap, despite strong capital flows

May 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank is expecting to increase foreign reserves in 2012 and narrow the current accounts deficit in the balance of payments, despite strong capital inflows, which will increase domestic spending power. In addition to exports, which were slightly down up to March 2012 compared to a year earlier, strong capital inflows are projected. Foreign direct investments are expected to almost double to 2.0 billion US dollars. more..

Sri Lankans uniting against division’

May 14 (DN) National unity is being cemented in Sri Lanka and its communities are for resolving their issues within the country on the basis of their collective efforts.Separatist and divisive politics have received a resounding slap in the face. These are some of the views which emerged when the Daily News sought the opinions of some ministers on Opposition Leader of the Indian Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj’s recent criticism of some Tamil Nadu political parties’ demand that a state of ‘Tamil Eelam’ be created in more..

Controversy sprouts at the Delkanda Fair again

May 14 (NF) Traders of the Delkanda fair staged a demonstration yesterday requesting a permanent market place to be provided to them. Traders at the Delkanda fair staged the protest on the Highlevel Road Sunday morning. The one hundred and two year old Delkanda Sunday Fair was held throughout the years at number 571, Highlevel Road, Delkanda. The fair which was held in a private land was closed on the 29th upon a decision made by more..

Cardinal says the need of the hour is peace and friendship

May 14 (Island) What was essentially important at this moment for Sri Lanka was peace and harmony at a time when conspiracies were taking place against the country, observed his eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith at a reception held in Kandy in his honour. The reception in recognition of the honour his appointment as Cardinal also brought to Sri Lanka was held at St. Anthony’s Church premises yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan police bust biggest-ever secret LTTE arms dump

May 14 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan police have found a massive haul of C4 explosives hidden in a bunker by Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the country. The explosives weighing over 6,000 kg is the largest haul of C4 explosives to have been recovered following the end of the 30-year war between the military and the rebels. The explosives were found in Pudukuduirippu by a police team on Sunday night. more..

Editorial: Samitha’s success story

May 14 (DM) Anyone who sees Dr. Samitha Samanmalee manoeuvering around hospital beds today, would find it hard to believe that at one point of her life, she was lying almost lifeless on a bed, with minimal chances of becoming normal again. Yet, unlike the majority who took everything to be a creation of fate or bad karma, she swam against it. In today's context where real heroes are extinct and zeros have taken their places, what makes Dr. Samitha a heroine is her unstinted courage to see the light at the end of the tunnel. more..

Share prices edge up 0.15 percent

May 14 (LBO) Share prices on Monday edged up after nine straight days in the red, largely driven by buying interests in oil palm stocks, brokers said. Colombo’s broader All Share Price Index crept up 0.15 percent or 7.75 points to close at 5,116.31 while the liquid Milanka Price Index edged down 0.04 percent or 2.00 points to end at 4,608.86. Monday’s turnover was a low 286.6 million rupees compared to last week’s average of 400.0 million rupees. The Carson’s group managed The Bukit Darah PLC, more..