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Allegations relating to cluster munitions

May 2 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy assisted an Indian salvage team for the salvage of Indian fishing trawler bearing the Registration Number TN/06/MFB/714 in the seas off Delft in Northern Sri Lanka. The assistance was rendered on humanitarian grounds in response to a request made by the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka. The Indian salvage team consisting of 04 boats and 10 crew members escorted by Indian Coast Guard Ship Rajshree was received by Sri Lanka Naval Vessel Ranawickrama on 28thApril 2012. more..

Rupee up 3.3 pct after treasury secretary's warning

May 2 (Reuters) The rupee rose more than 3 percent on Wednesday as exporters sold dollars following the treasury secretary's threat to resume market interventions if the currency dropped beyond "tolerable" levels. Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera told reporters on Monday that the currency should stabilise below 125 rupees and there was no fundamental reason for it to weaken beyond that level. "The rupee is firmer on exporter conversions and more..

UNP protests to ITN’s ‘LTTE flag waver’ in Jaffna

May 2 (SM) UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake has sent a letter of protest to ITN chairman Rosmand Senaratne over a news item it had telecast last night which showed a person waving an LTTE flag to the ITN camera while marching in the combined opposition’s May Day rally in Jaffna. The letter notes that only the ITN camera has seen and captured the so-called LTTE flag waving man despite the presence of more than more..

Tissa report on May Day boycott

May 2 (CG) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake says he is compiling a report on the UNP May Day rally held in Jaffna yesterday which will include the names of UNP members who boycotted the event. He said that the report will be submitted to the UNP working committee to decide on the course of action to be taken on those members. Attanayake says the UNP had given permission to a select few to attend the R. Premadasa commemorative ceremony in Colombo instead of more..

U.S. deputy assistant secretary Givhan visits Sri Lanka to assist demining

May 2 (USE) Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) of State for Plans, Programs and Operations Walter D. Givhan visited Sri Lanka from April 26 to May 2. DAS Givhan serves in the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and is responsible for providing executive leadership, management, and guidance for U.S. govt global security assistance programs and policies. While in Sri Lanka, DAS Givhan held meetings in Colombo and visited Kilinochchi and Vavuniya. more..

SF to be permitted to stay hospitalised until verdict is given?

May 2 (AD) The Supreme Court ordered the Attorney General to inform the court before May 9 of her decision on whether former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka will be permitted to remain at the Nawaloka Hospital until the verdict on Fonseka’s bail petition is given. The order was given when the bail petition compiled by Sarath Fonseka was taken up at the Supreme Court today. The attorney who appeared for Fonseka told the court that the former Army commander more..

505 acres of Nilgala forest for human settlement

May 2 (SM) The Environmental Conservation Trust alleges a plan to settle people in a 505 acre area of Nilgala forest in Moneragala. The forest, located adjacent to Galoya national park at Bibile, is maintained by the wildlife conservation department. In a statement, the ECT alleges around 400 families presently living at Maldamabe, Pitakumbura, Bulupitiya, Serava and Perana are to be settled inside this forest. Also, the Boella tank is to be renovated by World Vision to more..

Dairy farmers protest as companies refuse to purchase their milk

May 2 (AD) The dairy farmers of Hatton took to the streets today (May 2) in protest, throwing away gallons of their own milk stocks claiming that private milk companies had stopped purchasing their stocks for the last three weeks. Farmers stated that a host of private milk companies to whom they sold their stocks usually had refused to purchase anymore milk from the farmers over the last three weeks claiming that the companies had purchased sufficient stocks. more..

සබැඳියාව | Connections – May 01, 2012

Reward good service or aid beggary?

Apr 3 (NS) Somewhere in 1997, I remember a classmate saying the standard tip for a waiter at a wayside eatery, the likes of a Dosai ‘kade’ is Rs.2. This was after he, myself and another friend of ours had a soft drink while on the way to visit the Colombo Museum. After nearly 15 years, inflation has not affected the ‘Dosai kade’ tip rate in a colossal way. Rs.2 could still be an accepted tip befitting the wayside eatery staffer. I have noticed Rs.5 is seen more..

Hope we get a decent Chinatown out of the deal

Apr 3 (NS) I don’t know about you folks, but Chinese food is got to be pretty close to being the ultimate in comfort foods. Peking duck, wonton soup, crispy egg rolls, Kung Pao chicken and barbecued pork fried rice is almost as good as Green Cabin lump rice, mutton rolls from Nippon, a 2am kotthu from Pilawoos or a pol sambol and marmite sandwich. Chinese cuisine covers just about the whole gamut of culinary experience; from appetizers to soup to entrées to desert. more..

Corroded side of CCTV police van

Apr 3 (NS) The much hyped about introduction of CCTV cameras to the traffic controlling units of the Sri Lankan Police – which are manoeuvred from a mobile van, and which can detect vehicles and happenings from as far as 1.5 km – was the talk of the week. Following the recent launch of the ‘second stage’ of this project, the online edition of The Sunday Times had recorded the following words by T. Gamlath, the officer in more..

High on hope

Apr 3 (FL) Members of Parliament from across the developed world love Sri Lanka. In just under two months, individual members or delegations from Canada, England and the United States have visited the country, lectured to its politicians, holidayed in the sunny beaches, and gone back. There is, of course, also the Blake Lecture tour: Robert O' Blake Jr, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, is a regular. He meets civil society representatives, lectures the govt, more..

Perceptions and realities

Apr 3 (FL) FOR the Members of Parliament from Tamil Nadu in the delegation to Sri Lanka, the visit to the island nation was not an easy one. An earlier delegation had been ridiculed; the main Dravidian parties, the AIADMK and the DMK, had pulled out their delegates this time; and the leaders of both these parties had written off the trip as useless even before the delegation boarded its flight out of New Delhi. Five of the 12 MPs in the delegation were from Tamil Nadu. more..

Sujatha Attanayake and the musical culture of Sri Lanka

Apr 3 (SO) For the past so many decades, Sujatha Attanayake has been a formidable presence in the Sri Lankan musical scene. She is a distinguished singer and a musician; she has studied both North Indian (ragadhari) classical Music and South Indian (Karnatka) classical music. She comes from a musical family that is vitally connected to the Nurthi tradition of music. Sujatha speaks Sinhala, Tamil, English and Hindi fluently. more..

Tea Industry as a whole is said to be profitable while most estate operations report loss

Apr 3 (DBS) As a sector of indisputable importance to the nation, the tea industry draws periodic comments and now seems such a time. The various assessments and comments are naturally, not wholly acceptable. In fact, my long held view is that the assumed profitability of the industry is spurious. There is the peculiar phenomenon that while most of the estate operations report losses, the industry as a whole is said to be profitable. more..

Why asking DEW Gunasekara to act as minister of external affairs was a brilliant idea

Apr 2 (CT) When we were in Geneva in the dark days of March, I was surprised to read that Senior Minister DEW Gunasekara had been appointed Acting Minister of External Affairs. It was only long after I got back to Colombo that I realized it was an excellent choice, and the Acting Minister’s clear vision and determination had avoided what might have contributed to further catastrophe. One of the heartening aspects of the aftermath of the vote was continuation of good relations more..

Moves on to remove Tamara Kunanayakam as UN envoy in Geneva

Apr 2 (DBS) Sri Lanka ’s ministry of External Affairs has initiated moves targeting Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva. Ms. Kunanayakam who returned to Geneva last week after participating at the UNCTAD conference in Doha, has been informed over the telephone that she should move out from Geneva at short notice and take up duties in a Latin American Country by June more..

Editorial: All's well that ends well

May 3 (Island) May Day has come and gone peacefully. It was Hamlet without Prince of Denmark, though. Politicians stole the limelight as usual and eclipsed the working class. However, all's well that ends well. The govt acted with restraint for once and the Opposition had a successful joint rally in Jaffna without any incident. People's rights are like their muscles. Unless they are exercised regularly, disuse atrophy sets in. The northerners had an opportunity for the first time in more..

Is there a role for the private sector in medical education in Sri Lanka ?

May 3 (Island) Axiomatically, the goals of tertiary education should be independent of whether they are pursued in the state sector or in the private sector. For good or ill, the academic model of tertiary education in Sri Lanka including university education, was the British model, in particular the Oxbridge model. The first Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then called) from 1942 to 1955 was the Cambridge scholarship wallah, more..

President Rajapaksa a Buddhist married to a Catholic who worships at Hindu shrines has been a friend of Muslims

May 3 (DBS) Man, living in community will invariably have social and political problems. This applies to a tribal society, a nomadic society, a settled rural society or a highly structured civilization, whether Greek, Roman, European or Asian. Minimizing problems and tensions depends on leadership and how well the leaders are able to keep the population on the path of reason. Wisdom is therefore all important in leadership. more..

Parents concerned over manager’s absence at badminton tour

May 3 (Island) Sri Lanka’s junior badminton players left the island on Monday night for Australia to contest the 2012 Li Ning Australia Junior International, but without the experienced team official Saman Wijesinghe whose visa was rejected. An informed source said that Wijesinghe’s visa was rejected because there was another official in the contingent whose responsibilities were similar. This had led to the Australian Embassy rejecting Wijesinghe’s visa. more..

Boat Show Sri Lanka 2012, launching pad for future industry growth

May 3 (DN) The Boat Show Sri Lanka 2012 will be held for three days from May 18 at the BMICH in Colombo. The show is considered as a vital platform for the local boating industry to grow and build B2B linkages. The show will provide an opportunity for Sri Lanka to showcase capabilities and attract potential investors to the industry, Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute Managing Director Gamini B. Herath told Daily News Business. more..

Rupee seesaws

May 3 (Island) The rupee strengthened against the greenback early Wednesday with exporters seen converting their dollar holdings, but import demand later brought down the rupee to around Rs. 129.50 to a dollar, currency dealers said. As reported last Tuesday, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said there was no basis for the current volatility of the exchange rate and that the rupee should settle well below Rs. 125 to a dollar. Dr. Jayasundera said exporters were more..

Eco-friendly Rs.1.2bn luxury villas in Dambulla

May 3 (Island) The Rs. 1.2 billion Green Paradise Agro Eco Hotel, consisting 67 luxury villas, was declared open in Dambulla recently. Basil Rajpaksa, Minister of Economic Development declared open the newly built hotel. The Green Paradise Resort is located in Dambulla, in the central province of Sri Lanka. Nestled in the jungles of the Cultural Triangle, the resort offers 67 ecologically appointed villas offering ultimate luxury and isolation with access to the nearby historical sites more..

Villagers in standoff with STF

May 3 (CT) Police have allowed treasure-hunting Special Task Force (STF) personnel to vacate an excavation following a standoff with villagers, sources said. STF personnel have allegedly dug around a lake – believed to contain treasure – in the Siyambalagaspitiya archaeological reserve, and villagers have blocked the access roads to the reserve after police failed to act on complaints made by the villagers. When villagers confronted those who were excavating using a mechanised backhoe, more..

Yapa will be 5th member of Lankan delegation

May 3 (CT) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa will be joining in as a fifth member, of the Sri Lankan delegation heading to the United States later this month. Yapa is tipped to be joining a formerly four-member delegation comprising of Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, MPs Namal Rajapaksa and Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena, and Secretary to President Lalith Weerathunge. Yapa said that there has been no confirmation of his travel plans, or whether he is included in more..

Graduates seeking govt. jobs required to reveal political affiliations – Karu

May 3 (Island) Graduates applying for State sector jobs are required to reveal whom they supported at recent elections, UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday. He said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime boasted about its graduate employment scheme, but did not talk about the conditions it has laid down. The application form contained a tricky question which forces the applicant to reveal on which side of the political divide he or she had been during the last few polls more..

High-flying SriLankan to increase flights to Middle East

May 3 (GN) SriLankan Airlines is increasing its flight frequency to the GCC and ordering 30 new planes in efforts to grab a larger share of the growing regional travel market, a top company executive told Gulf News. The national carrier recorded a 42 per cent increase in overall capacity to the Middle East in the year to date for March 2012, said Nishantha Wickremasinghe, chairman of SriLankan Airlines, on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market yesterday. more..

Double murder in Moneragala

May 3 (Island) A youth stormed into a house at Kubukkana, Moneragala on Tuesday night and attacked a family of three with a sword, killing two and critically injuring one. The killer had chopped his uncle and cousin sister to death while seriously injuring his aunt. SP Ajith Rohana said that the suspect had attacked the family between 9.30 p.m. and 10.00 p.m., due to a family dispute and had fled the scene before neighbours went to the rescue of the victims. more..

Dengue deaths reduced

May 3 (DN) The number of dengue deaths has been reduced in Sri Lanka due to the high quality of the health service, said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena addressing media yesterday. "Though the number of dengue patients is increasing the number of deaths has been reduced due to the good health service in the country. According to the statistics of the Health Ministry 50 dengue deaths were reported in 2010 January and only 20 dengue deaths were reported in 2012 January. more..

All-Round Taylor Puts West Indies 2-0 Up

May 3 (CW) Stafanie Taylor scored a half-century and then took three wickets as the West Indies Women beat Sri Lanka Women by seven runs in the second Twenty20 International in Barbados. Taylor's 62 set up the home team's score of 129 for four and she then took three for 23 as Sri Lanka closed on 122 for nine in reply, and a 2-0 series deficit with three matches to play. Taylor faced 49 balls to score her runs and she was supported by Juliana Nero's 29 and more..

Treasury to convene meeting of all motor importers

May 3 (FT) The Finance Ministry will shortly convene a meeting of all motor vehicle importers to discuss a new scheme to improve service standards and reliability. Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera told journalists on Monday that the new meeting was a follow up to a discussion President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also the Finance Minister had with Vehicle Importers Association recently. “We will meet with all importers to discuss more..

Rogue job agent meets Waterloo

May 3 (DN) A rogue foreign employment agent who swindled over Rs 40 million from 56 people, with the promise of lucrative overseas jobs has been arrested by Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) sleuths. The sleuths on the hunt for the suspect for nearly six months after he went into hiding, apprehended him in Negombo. The SLBFE has received complaints from 56 persons that the agent had obtained money from them promising lucrative overseas jobs and had not kept to his promise. more..

Our man in Italy elected FAO Council vice chairperson

May 3 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Italy Asitha Perera was nominated unanimously to serve as vice chairperson of the FAO council at the 144th FAO council session in June 2012. His nomination was proposed by India and seconded by Pakistan. The FAO, IFAD and WFP have so far provided Sri Lanka with more than US $ 900 million in assistance and projects. Mr. Perera was nominated unanimously to be the Vice Chairperson of the FAO Council during the Asia Group session more..

Sri Lanka to firm up private finance for expressway

May 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka is planning to firm up private finance for a 1.5 billion US dollar expressway within two months, as the country seeks to connect the north and east to the capital Colombo, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said. "Inquiries are very much active on the now recognized Northern Expressway from Colombo which will connect Kandy, Kurunegala and taking the traffic to Trincomalee and the North," more..

Failed hashish smuggling attempt: Swiss couple in Sri Lanka

May 3 (Island) A Swiss couple owning the house the address of which was used for smuggling in hashish concealed in parcels of foreign magazines has arrived in Sri Lanka and the Police Narcotics Bureau is expected to record their statements. Two Britishers are in custody over the failed smuggling attempt. Police said that they had asked the Swiss couple to make statements to the PNB. Police investigations have revealed that the suspects were in the habit of renting their house more..

Japanese Deputy PM here tomorrow

May 3 (DN) Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow on a two day state visit. His visit will be with regard to improving bi-lateral ties and witness the progress of several Japanese funded development initiatives. Okada is scheduled to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister D M Jayaratne for bilateral discussions. He will also visit Kandy to pay homage to the Sri Dalada Maligawa. He will also visit the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power project. more..

Diamonds worth millions of dollars seized in CMB

May 3 (DM) Thousands of packets of diamonds, gold rings, bracelets and gold chains worth more than millions of dollars shipped to Colombo from Greece hidden inside electrical equipment by a Sri Lankan couple were seized by the Colombo Customs yesterday after they were informed by the Interpol through the CID. The Sri Lankan couple involved in this massive robbery was also arrested in Colombo by the CID. more..

Athletics AGM: Pressure brought on candidates to withdraw nominations

May 3 (Island) Pressure had been brought on several leading contenders to withdraw their nominations for top posts of Sri Lanka Athletics Association on the eve of the athletics AGM yesterday, while Kiran Atapattu who was contesting for the treasurer’s post had been asked to withdraw due to a protest made by some former athletes, according to athletics sources. A couple of former top officials of the SLAA, who had forwarded their nominations for vital posts are more..