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Fast-tracked DVP likely after NSB-TFC fiasco

May 21 (FT) The stock market is likely to step up the migration to Delivery Versus Payment (DVP) system in a more robust risk management regime following the fiasco triggered by the default of National Savings Bank (NSB). The DVP as well as a more robust risk management system came up for discussion at a joint meeting between Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and Colombo Stock Brokers Association (CSBA) officials on Friday. more..

Anti-imperialist movement to be launched on the 27th

May 21 (LT) The first media conference of the ‘Anti-imperialist People’s Movement’ was held today (20) to announce the launching of the Movement at Foundation Institute on the 27th at 10.00 a.m. The ‘Anti-imperialist People’s Movement’ is created by the amalgamation of several mass organizations. Among the groups that form the Movement are National Trade Union Center (NTUC), National Bhikku Front, more..

Editorial: Not enough

May 21 (DH) The decks have been cleared for the release from jail of Sri Lanka’s former army chief, Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka. US pressure on the Sri Lankan govt to release Fonseka, whom it describes as a political prisoner, appears to have forced President Mahinda Rajapaksa to free him. Once on the same side in their war against the LTTE, Rajapaksa and Fonseka had a bitter falling out weeks after the military defeat of the LTTE. Fonseka, who led the military campaign against the LTTE claimed more..

School heads to be sued for mosquito breeding

May 21 (Island) The Health Ministry says it will institute legal action against 18 principals for their failure to eliminate mosquito breeding places in their schools in the Gampaha District. The Medical Research Institute (MRI), which conducted an entomology survey of dengue mosquitoes, in 25 private organizations, 27 schools and 100 houses in the Gampaha District, had detected dengue mosquito larvae at 18 popular schools and in 59 houses, the Health Ministry said more..

TNA softens its stance

May 21 (DM) The TNA has softened its stance on its long standing demand for the re-merger of the northern and eastern provinces, and has instead noted that the modalities for such a merged unit could be discussed subject to the interests of the Muslim community. The TNA handed over its proposals for a political solution to the govt last year during its series of talks with the ruling party. The party has asked for the abolition of the concurrent list introduced more..

Vietnamese minister impressed with investment opportunities in SL

May 21 (DN) Vietnamese Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong was pleased with the abundance of opportunities in Sri Lanka for foreign investors with the new peaceful environment created following the elimination of terrorism, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said. He said the Vietnamese Justice Minister, during a discussion, said he would inform investors in his country of the plentiful investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. He said the Vietnamese minister told him that more..

Muzammil dilly-dallies over Badrani’s Defender

May 21 (Island) The Finance Committee of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) at its meeting on Friday unanimously decided that Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil should take over an expensive vehicle currently being used by the Municipal Commissioner Bhadrani Jayawardene and hand over one of his vehicles to Deputy Mayor Titus Perera. Sources close to the UPFA, which controls the CMC Finance Committee, said that the FC wanted the Mayor to take back from the commissioner a Defender vehicle more..

Indian politician acts funny with a Sri Lankan Airlines woman

May 21 (DNA) In yet another instance of what appears to be a politician trying to throw his weight around, a Shiv Sena MLA from Ambernath, Balaji Kinikar allegedly misbehaved with a female ground staff member of Sri Lankan Airlines last week, while he was heading to Colombo for a function. The police insist they have no information, but sources say Kinikar was drunk, and point out that there is a Sahar police station diary entry on more..

Sri Lanka and Bhutan: sovereignty, governance and identity

May 21 (LBO) Hearing I was off to the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, a friend wrote 'come back and tell us what you learned.' This question was on my mind when I heard that Sri Lanka’s Minister of Power and Energy was in Bhutan at the same time. What had we each learned from our separate visits, I wondered. Did our learnings differ? Bhutan is the only power-surplus country in South Asia. And it has so far only exploited six percent of its hydro potential (23,760 MW), with more..

Shortage of essential drugs and medical equipment

May 21 (Island) Essential drugs and medical equipment have been out of stock in 58 government-run hospitals and 500 district, base and peripheral hospitals and central dispensaries under provincial councils. Although the Health Ministry boasted of having allocated additional funds to make more drugs and medical equipment available, the quantities issued by the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) were rather inadequate, All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) General more..

Ready to reconsider fast

May 21 (CT) Former LTTE cadres who are on a fast-unto-death campaign will reconsider their fast following discussions today, TNA MP Mathiaparanan Sumanthiran said yesterday. He said a total of 234 Tamil prisoners who surrendered during the final phases of the war and who have not yet been charged, went on a hunger strike earlier. “Some of these detainees have been through govt rehabilitations programmes, but none of them have been charged with any crimes,” more..

JVP takes to the streets against govt’s arbitrary moves

May 21 (LT) The first of a series of agitations organized by the JVP to oppose the government for increasing prices of essential commodities and protest against frauds, corruption and wasteful spending carried out by the government was held at Piliyandala today (20) headed by the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. The agitation named ‘Rally against rulers that torment masses’ consisted of a leaflet distribution campaign and a demonstration. more..

LJP backs Tamil Eelam cause

May 21 (Hindu) Strongly supporting the creation of Tamil Eelam, the Lok Janshakthi Party president Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday favoured a referendum under the supervision of international community to determine the future of Sri Lankan Tamils. Participating in a candle light vigil on the Marina in Chennai in remembrance of the lives lost during the final stages of the civil war at Mullivaikkal in May 2009, Mr. Paswan said all those involved in the massacre of Tamils in May 2009 should be punished. more..

President at Doha Economic Forum: ‘SL consolidating peace and prosperity’

May 21 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said Sri Lanka, which was battered by brutal terrorism for 30 years, is now regaining its place as an important hub for trade and commerce in the region. ‘Today, the Sri Lankan people are moving forward and are readying to consolidate peace and reach economic prosperity. That can only be done if the country is united’. President Rajapaksa addressing the 12th Doha Economic Forum more..

Hold PC elections on a single day

May 21 (CT) PAFFREL yesterday said the govt should hold the Provincial Council elections on a single day. PAFFREL chief Rohana Hettiarachchi said his organization was averse to elections being held on a staggered basis. He said the govt should hold PC elections for the entire eight provincial councils on a single day in the year 2013 instead of holding scattered elections now and then. “As a monitoring organization we request the govt to hold PC elections in one day. more..

SLMC urges govt. to strengthen good governance

May 21 (DM) The SLMC has urged the govt to take steps, among others, to strengthen good governance, to restore civil administration and to maintain law and order, party’s General Secretary Hasan Ali said. The party, an ally of the ruling coalition, handed over its proposals to the govt last week on the implementation of the recommendations made by the LLRC. Mr. Ali said that his party noted the positive recommendations made in the report, and particularly more..

We do not subscribe to majority LLRC recommendations – JHU

May 21 (SM) JHU, a constituent party of the ruling coalition, has made a very strong criticism of the recommendations made by the LLRC saying that the commission has given into Tamil nationalist demands forgetting the rights of the Sinhalese majority. Legal adviser to the JHU Udaya Gammanpila says that the party does not support majority recommendations of the LLRC and the report does not contain a single opinion expressed by them at the hearings. more..

India works hard to avoid clashes with SL fishermen

May 21 (CT) Indian Navy and the Coast Guard are working closely to avoid clashes with forces of neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka. The Navy and the CG are working in a very scientific manner to inform the fishing community in Tamil Nadu on where to find richer fishing pockets in the sea, said Union Minister, M.M. Pallam Raju. Availability of such information is vital to avoid clashes with forces of neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, he added. more..

Joint opposition invites SF

May 21 (Island) A joint opposition yesterday invited Sarath Fonseka and his party DNA to join forces with them to fight against corruption and anti democratic rule. It said the government was taking the country and its people into a dark age therefore an action plan had been formulated to defeat its wrongful acts and protect the rights of the people. UNP MP Joseph Michael Perera said that the government should release former army commander with all his civic rights intact. more..

'SF will be released with civic rights intact'

May 21 (Island) Attorney General Eva Wanasundera yesterday said that as far as she was aware President Rajapaksa had signed an unconditional pardon for Gen. Sarath Fonseka and therefore his civic and other rights were in no way affected by his imprisonment. Ms. Wanasundera said that since the President had signed documents to pardon Gen. Fonseka under Section 34(1) of the Constitution from cases in which he had been convicted in order to more..

Former GMR off the bribery hook as indictment ruled bad in law

May 21 (Island) Former General Manager of Railways P.W.A.K. Silva on Tuesday succeeded in his challenge of the bribery indictment against him in the High Court when an Appeals Court bench comprising Justices Rohini Marasinghe and Sarath de Abrew discharged him from further proceedings on the basis that the indictment was bad in law as it had not complied with Section 23A (4) of the Bribery Act. Justice Sarath de Abrew in writing the judgment observed that more..

JVP rules out talks with UNP over national issue

May 21 (Island) The JVP yesterday denied reports of an impending meeting between the Marxist party and the UNP regarding its participation at the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to deal with the national issue. A section of the media also suggested that the UNP had already sent a letter to the JVP regarding the proposed talks. A spokesman for the JVP politburo yesterday accused the UNP of propagating lies in a bid to involve the JVP in an ongoing project to more..

Staying alive with expired, ‘overpriced’ goods

May 21 (ST) In addition to the recent price hikes, consumers have to experience further problems when they are cheated by supermarkets and grocery stores into buying expired food items and goods priced above the maximum retail price. M.Y.M. Razzack from Silmiyapura, Welimada, said that he recently saw most of his neighbours taken ill after consuming expired food items. “There have been instances when we have bought food items due to expire within a month’s time, more..

Condemned! – Rejected human beings

May 21 (SL) Q: Who are condemned prisoners? A: Well, do you know what condemned vehicles are? Q: They are vehicles unsuitable for use. A: That’s right. Condemned prisoners are those unsuitable to enter civil society, expelled from society and simply totally rejected human beings. These responses come from Asoka Hapuaarachchi, Deputy Commissioner of Prisons, sitting in his cozy office inside the Welikada Prison Complex. However, on the outer side of the high walls, large bold letters declare: more..

A/ L Re-correction results?

May 21 (CT) GCE A/L re-correction results are yet to be released, though five months have elapsed since students had applied for reevaluation, the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) charged today. CTU general secretary Joseph Stalin said that approximately 140,000 students have applied for re-correction results, following the bungled up results that were released last December. Out of 294,000 students who had sat for their A/Ls, most of the students did not believe more..

Legacy of war: Unemployment and homelessness

May 21 (IRIN) Life is slowly returning to normal in northern Sri Lanka, but three years after a decades-long conflict was officially declared over, jobs and housing are the prevailing concerns of returnees. Most of the estimated 448,000 people displaced before or during 2008 by fighting between government forces and rebels wanting an independent Tamil state have returned to the Northern Province, according to the latest figures more..

Victory day Victory

May 21 (LB) As you read this on May 20th, the answer to whether former army commander Sarath Fonseka was granted a presidential pardon on Victory Day (19) would have been given. Fonseka’s controversial arrest and imprisonment after the 2010 presidential election had a devastating effect on the govt’s international reputation and has probably always been viewed negatively by an overwhelming majority of the people, more..

Two Saudi nationals arrested for sexually abusing teenager

May 21 (CG) Two Saudi Arabian nationals have been arrested in Hikkaduwa for operating a brothel, the police said today. According to the police a Sri Lankan woman, a resident of Maradana, was also arrested with the two Saudi nationals. The police also said that a 17 year old girl had been sexually abused by the foreigners. They had also supplied other women top their clients. more..

Over 200 Tamil prisoners stage protest in Sri Lanka

May 21 (Xinhua) Over 200 minority Tamil prisoners in Sri Lanka, most of them former Tamil Tiger rebels, continued a hunger strike for the fifth day on Monday, officials said. The inmates of three prisons located in the capital Colombo, the southern town of Kalutara and in the northern town of Vavuniya are demanding that they be charged for their crimes or be released. The fast began last week with the participation of 80 inmates of the Colombo prison but more..

IAAF cancels Asian Junior Championship in Sri Lanka

May 21 (DM) The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) has decided not to go ahead with the Asian Junior Athletic Championships to be held in Sri Lanka next month. The most important event for Asian Junior athletes was to be held from 9 to 12 June at Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo. Reliable sources reveal that the current administrators have not answered the IAAF questions, pertaining to the championships, appropriately. more..

Alles optimistic of SF's release

May 21 (CT) DNA MP, Tiran Alles expressed optimism the former Army Commander will be released today, following approval from his doctor and the necessary documents reach the prison authorities through the Ministry of Justice. Alles said in an interview, the conditions for Sarath Fonseka’s release could only be ascertained after proper inspection of the documents pertaining to his release signed by the President. With the approval of Fonseka’s family and the DNA, more..

NSB Chairman resigns over deal

May 21 (CG) National Savings Bank (NSB) Chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam has tendered his resignation in a letter sent to the President and Finance Ministry. His resignation follows a controversial share deal between the National Savings Bank (NSB) and The Finance Company (TFC). The deal involves a 13 per cent stake of The Finance Company (TFC) being bought by the NSB on April 27 at around Rs. 50 a share. more..

Editorial: Freedom!

May 21 (DM) The word says it all. Be it the freedom that was celebrated grandly on Saturday or the one of Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka anticipated by many, it is always a reason for celebration. Tasting and breathing freedom has always been a lost-and-found privilege of the island's citizenry, who were often compelled to surrender to a few foreign invasions and, during the recent times, the terrorism. Larger picture being thus, there have always been individuals, more..

Sri Lanka stocks dip on Monday

May 21 (LBO) Stock market dipped Monday in the absence of buying support, though a crossing in conglomerate John Keells Holdings, brokers said. Colombo’s benchmark All Share Price index lost 0.27 percent or 14.37 points to close at 5,207.72, while the 25-stock liquid Milanka Price Index shed 0.49 percent or 23.09 points to close at4,670.50. Monday’s turnover was a modest 192.0 million rupees. John Keells, the biggest stock in terms of market capitalisation, dominated more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Large stock of heroin seized in Panadura

May 21 (DM) A large stock of heroine valued at more than Rs. 3 million was seized and four suspects were taken into custody by the Pinwatta police post of the Panadura police. The stock comprised 500 grammes of heroin in 1000 sachets and in four grocery bags. Police said it was probably the largest ever stock of heroin seized during a raid in the Kalutara District. The packets had been made of a special paper printed with the picture of a butterfly. During the raid police recovered a more..

Commando involved in double killing dies in hospital

May 21 (Island) An army commando involved in the double killing at Kurundugahamada, Kulugammana in Katugastota Police division succumbed to his injuries at the Kandy General Hospital in the early hours of Sunday. Upul Priyantha (23) was admitted to Kandy General Hospital with injuries allegedly caused by his own T56 assault rifle after shooting dead Ranjani Jayasuriya (46) and her daughter (20) who was his former fiancee at their home at Kurundugalamda on Saturday. more..

Sri Lanka urges U.S. to approve preferential trading plan

May 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has pushed for the early approval of a key preferential trading system with the United States that would increase concessional exports, a statement from the External Affairs Ministry said here on Monday. Minister G.L Peiris, who is currently on an official tour of the United States, met with Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and pressed for the early closure of a review of more..

Lankans not affected in Italy quake

May 21 (CG) The Ministry of External Affairs says there has not been loss of life or casualties reported among Sri Lankans following the earthquake in Italy. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Rome, Italy have been monitoring the situation in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck with a magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale at 4 am on May 20, 2012, affecting parts of the Italian regions of Bolonga and Modena. According to the initial reports at the Embassy of Sri Lanka received from the more..

Supporters celebrates release of Sri Lanka ex-army chief

May 21 (Xinhua) Thousands of people gathered at Sri Lanka's main prison to welcome jailed former Army Commander, Sarath Fonseka who is to be released on a presidential pardon on Monday. Fonseka who earlier underwent treatment at a private hospital after his health was deteriorated while serving three year jail term in prison, was sent to the prison to get his release completed. On Friday President Mahinda Rajapaksa authorized the pardon on Fonseka who was was convicted more..