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‘Pot of gold’ dream ends for maid

Oct 3 (DN) A Sri Lankan housemaid who returned from Jordan with dashed hopes after seeking the Middle East pot of gold, said yesterday she had ended with fractured legs and a spine because a 26-year-old man at the household she was employed, lashed her with a belt and pushed her from the second floor of the house as a punishment for complaining to the Sri Lankan embassy about ill - treatment meted out by the household. Interviewed at the BIA yesterday more..

Govt. to take on broken promises of broadband service providers

Oct 3 (Island) The govt is taking steps to prevent broadband service providers from failing to deliver promised internet speeds, which they heavily advertised but often failed to deliver. The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) is expected to submit policy papers on broadband to the Cabinet very shortly to provide better services to the local communities. more..

Sri Lankan rapper DeLon still suffering consequences of speaking out against M.I.A.

Oct 3 (BV) Back in 2008 we posted a diss video by DeLon, aimed at fellow Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A.. He mixed gruesome images with her popular song "Paper Planes" to get the point across that she was not a "freedom fighter", but in fact showing support for alleged terrorist group called the Tamil Tigers. M.I.A. responded, denying his accusations and claiming DeLon was just looking for publicity at her expense. M.I.A. has continued to have an more..

Ven. Samitha denies any hand in Galle turmoil

Oct 3 (Island) Baddegama Samitha Thera, who has been identified by the newly appointed Principal as one of the persons who allegedly instigated students to go on rampage hurling stones at him, his car and the policemen who escorted him to safety, told The Island last night that he had not been involved in the incident. Samitha Thera, a former MP representing the LSSP, said, "I went for a religious ceremony held for elderly persons in the town and more..

No arrests so far over attack on principal

Oct 3 (Island) Galle Police who are investigating the violent attack on the newly appointed Principal of Vidyaloka Vidyalaya, Galle on Monday had not been able to arrest the persons connected to the incident so far, police spokesman said. Asked why the police had failed to make any arrests, SSP Ajith Rohana said that the police were scrutinising the video footage of the incident to identify those responsible for the incident. more..

PMB purchases over 11,000 MTs of Yala harvest

Oct 3 (DN) The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) has purchased over 11,000 metric tons of paddy from the Yala harvest so far, at a cost of Rs 300 million. Minister Johnston Fernando said that the highest paddy harvest of 7,154 metric tons for the Yala season has been obtained from the Ampara district. The quantity of paddy purchased from the Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts was 65 metric tonnes, 1,302 metric tones more..

Lanka backs statehood for Palestine at UN session

Oct 3 (KT) The Sri Lankan govt called on the international community to usher in a new Palestine before it is too late at the 67th Session of UN General Assembly that ended on Monday. In the govt’s address to the UN community, Sri Lanka urged world leaders to reinstate Palestinian statehood and help end the struggle of the Palestinian people. “It is time for action rather than more desultory discussion,” said Dr Palitha Kohona Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to more..

Second phase of India’s largest aid project launched

Oct 3 (Hindu) When Santhirakumar Vanitha, an internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamil, received a laminated A-4 size certificate that described her as a recipient of an Indian grant to build a house at Eluthumadduval village on Tuesday, it marked a new beginning for her. A beginning that would translate into a new life without displacement and anxieties, she said. Standing near her was 65-year-old Balakrishnan, also from the same village, more..

Fuel subsidy to private bus owners

Oct 3 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) urged the govt to grant a fuel subsidy to private bus owners, in order to cover the increased fuel cost. LPBOA Chairman, Gamunu Wijeratne, said owners of private buses, which use the fuel distributed by the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC), will be affected by the price increase. “The price of a litre of diesel, distributed at LIOC fuel stations, has been increased to Rs 121 from Rs 117. Most fuel stations in rural areas belong to the LIOC. more..

CTU condemns Govt.’s decision

Oct 3 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) expressed strong condemnation over the govt’s decision to make acting principals permanent. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin, said some 4,000 principals have been appointed to fill the vacancies and alleged that among them there are 37 acting principals, who are unqualified for permanent placements. “These so-called acting principals were given extra marks in the interviews following the Principal Placement Exams. more..

Election of Council chairman: Opposition trumps ruling UPFA in NCP

Oct 3 (Island) The UPFA’s proposition for the post of Chairman of the North-Central Provincial Council was shot down by the Opposition at the inaugural meeting of the Council held yesterday. The Opposition’s nominee, also from the UPFA ran out a clear winner by a majority of 11 votes, over the UPFA’s nominee. The ruling UPFA proposed the name of Amarakeerthi Athukorla while the Opposition proposed the name of more..

Mother suspects foul play over death of daughter

Oct 3 (Island) The mother of undergraduate whose body was found in a well near her home at Horawala, Ellamulla on Sunday has complained to police that she had strong suspicions about the death of her daughter. J. M. Sryalatha has requested the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of her 26-year-old daughter Irosha Harshani. ‘You kill yourself and I will have another girl’, Harshani’s husband had told her according to Sriyalatha’s complaint to the more..

Govt. calls for report on sectarian violence in Bangladesh

Oct 3 (DN) External Affairs Ministry has called on the Sri Lankan High Commission in Bangladesh to submit a full report on violence triggered on Buddhist temples by some sectarian mobs in Bangladesh. External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama yesterday said he has called for an urgent report on the incidents involving attacks on Buddhist temples in Bangladesh. "The attacks had taken place on Saturday near the Myanmar border, in Buddhist localities in Ramu and more..

Sri Lanka urges telecom regulators to stop technology being used to sow hatred

Oct 3 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Tuesday urged telecommunications regulators from around the world to prevent technology from being used to sow hated. President Rajapaksa said that the regulators must examine how to avoid the advances of instant communication being the source and cause of violence against faiths, cultures and traditions that need respect and protection. He was speaking at the opening of Global Symposium for more..

Sri Lanka's uniform makers moving up the value chain

Oct 3 (DN) As Sri Lankan textiles sector now stands bolstered by the recent offer of support from the Govt of India, the domestic manufacturers who were struggling a few years back, are successfully moving for a bigger slice in domestic demand. The 15 manufacturing firms would entirely fulfill the needs of the country's armed forces, the police, and the prisons (excepting the Navy) as well as the school uniforms. Minister Bathiudeen has now successfully moved the manufacturers to more..

Keith Vaz's half-a-million pounds under scrutiny

Oct 3 (DM) Is Keith Vaz, a British MP of Goan origin, being investigated for making illegal earnings of half-a-million pounds? While Britain's leading mainline newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, said as much, sources in the Scotland Yard told Times of India (TOI) that £500,000 of "suspicious nature" were paid into various bank accounts held by Vaz over the last six years, the Times of India reported. Keith Vaz has been constantly accusing Sri Lanka, vociferously repeating LTTE slogans in the parliament and more..

US likely to allow import of crude oil from Iran

Oct 3 (DM) Despite the US embargo, the US govt has tentatively agreed to allow Sri Lanka continue importing crude oil from Iran because of Sri Lanka’s satisfactory performance in the wake of trade sanctions, a senior CPC official said. He said he was joined by External Affairs Ministry officials at talks with a US State Department representative Miss Alison in Washington with the intention of easing the sanctions on SL. more..

England fans held after brawl at NZ team hotel

Oct 3 (AFP) Sri Lankan police arrested two England fans who were involved in a brawl after heckling New Zealand's defeated cricketers in their hotel at the World Twenty20 tournament, officials said Tuesday. The two fans were taken into custody on Monday night after the bust-up at the luxury Earl's Regency Hotel in the central hill resort of Kandy where the New Zealand players were also staying, a local police official said. "The team was in the hotel lobby when some British fans heckled them more..

CPC won’t increase diesel price

Oct 3 (Island) In the wake of Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) increasing the price of diesel, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation yesterday announced that it would not match the LIOC increase. CPC Managing Director Susantha de Silva said that LIOC’s diesel price hike would not affect people as 95 per cent of oil market in Sri Lanka was supplied by the CPC. He said that the CPC had sufficient stocks to meet the market demand. CPC currently sells a litre of auto diesel at Rs. 115 and super diesel at Rs. 142. more..

'Muslims won’t accept TNA as their representative'

Oct 3 (Island) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said that the outcome of the recently concluded election to the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) highlighted the need to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The SLMC leader said that the people of the Eastern Province had strongly endorsed the empowering of Provincial Councils. He was speaking with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, more..

Editorial: Save democracy and save Lanka

Oct 3 (DM) For the past few years, independent analysts, opposition leaders and even international observers have been saying that democracy in Sri Lanka has broken down and we are more like a dictatorship if not one. Evidence of this is seen most clearly in the breakdown of the foundation of democracy, the separation of powers among the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. This separation of powers provides the checks and balances to sustain vital democratic more..

Australia pressures refugees to return to Sri Lanka

Oct 3 (wsws) The Australian Labor government has hailed the so-called voluntary return of 48 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka as a victory for its revival of the “Pacific Solution”, involving the indefinite detention of refugees on remote Pacific islands. Two groups of asylum seekers have been flown back to Sri Lanka in the past week, after reportedly choosing this over incarceration for many years on Nauru or Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island. more..

Over 2000 principals granted ‘entry through backdoor’

Oct 3 (LB) The Ministry of Education plans to make 2118 acting principals, permanent – a move that sources say is akin to granting them entry through the backdoor, without holding a competitive examination to ascertain their suitability, and thereby violating accepted norms of promotion procedure as stipulated in the Cabinet paper, Trade Unions charged. Secretary of the Lanka Teachers Union (LTU), Joseph Stalin in an interview with more..

Most Sri Lankans say judiciary is not independent

Oct 3 (ST) A joint survey cum poll by the Business Times (BT) and the Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB) this week on concerns relating to the judiciary found an overwhelmingly number of respondents saying there is interference in the judiciary. A similar number agreed that Sri Lankan judges are unable to discharge their duties and deliver judgments and orders without fear or favour. The poll, through email and street surveys more..

Sri Lanka getting drier

Oct 3 (SL) Anecdotal evidence and ground-level stories say that Sri Lanka has been experiencing a significant drop in rainfall as the past decades have gone along. For an economy – and a society – which is dependent on the agriculture sector, this is bad news. Research done by scientists from the Colombo University shed new light on how much the amount of rain has dropped during the past forty years, and how Sri Lanka’s climate has changed – for the worse. more..

WP traffic jams costs Rs. 35 bn

Oct 3 (Island) Traffic congestion in the Western Province alone costs the nation a whopping Rs. 35 billion in fuel annually a frontline transport academic says. "Currently, the western province has three million vehicles and the number is expected to rise to 4.8 million according to current projections," Moratuwa University’s Senior Professor of Transport Engineering Prof. Amal Kumarage said. The vehicle growth rate is 6% while the expansion of the highways is only at 2-3% more..

Nestlé Lanka celebrates highest milk intake in history

Oct 3 (FT) Nestlé Lanka, Sri Lanka’s largest private sector collector of fresh milk, is celebrating its highest-ever milk intake of over five million litres from 18,000 Sri Lankan dairy farmers in the month of September. Further, the company also expects to contribute over Rs. 2.6 billion to the rural economy this year. Widely hailed across Sri Lanka as ‘the local multinational,’ 2012 has seen the company accelerate its investments in the more..

President appoints 1200 Mathematics, Science and English Teachers

Oct 3 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 2nd October presented teaching appointments to nearly 1,200 Mathematics, Science and English graduates and further appointments to administrators and principals at a function in the Temple Trees with a view of uplifting the education sector in the country. Accordingly another 2,178 Principals and 150 members for Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service were also presented more..

Over Rs.2,800 m spent annually on Senior Citizens

Oct 3 (DN) The govt spends around Rs.2800 million annually to grant monthly allowance of Rs.1,000 for Senior Citizens aged over 70, who are low income earners in the country, Social Services Minister Felix Perera said. He was addressing a ceremony at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo yesterday to mark International Elders' Day. Minister Perera said plans are afoot to introduce a special health insurance scheme more..

AEA Chief hasn’t read Indian SC strictures, defends Kudankulam nuclear plant

Oct 3 (Island) Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) chief Dr. Ranjith Wijewardena, while confessing that he had not read the strictures passed by the Indian Supreme Court as regards the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, maintained that Sri Lanka had no reason to worry as the plant would have advanced safety features. India’s Supreme Court last Thursday warned the Indian central govt that it would halt the $3-billion Kudankulam more..

Gayle's female guests arrested in West Indies rooms

Oct 3 (AFP) Sri Lankan police arrested three British women who were found socialising in the hotel rooms of West Indies players, including star batsman Chris Gayle, early Wednesday, police and hotel sources said. Police bodyguards protecting players at the ongoing World Twenty20 arrested the three Britons at the deluxe Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo and handed them over to the nearby police station for more..

Sri Lanka to continue to train military personnel in India

Oct 3 (PTI) Notwithstanding stiff opposition from political parties in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka today asserted that it was “very firm” on continuing the training programme of its defence personnel in India and ruled out sending them to countries like China. Sri Lanka’s powerful Minister Basil Rajapaksa, also the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said his country looks at India in a “much bigger way” than China. more..

Eastern PC approves in Divi Neguma Bill

Oct 3 (GDI) The Divi Neguma Bill the Govt introduced was passed with a majority votes in the Eastern Provincial Council yesterday. Only 15 opposed the Bill while 21 voted in favour of the Bill. All 7 SLMC members of the council together with UPFA members voted in favour of the Bill. The NFF too supported the Bill. Members of the TNA and the UNP voted against. The Bill will be presented for approval today to the North-Central, Sabaragamuwa and Southern Provincial Councils today more..

SL Mission in Vienna promotes pure Ceylon tea & Sri Lankan Culture

Oct 3 (GDI) The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Vienna organized a Ladies Tea Morning on Thursday (27) at the Mission premises. The event showcased Sri Lanka’s famed pure Ceylon Tea and provided a glimpse of the rich and diverse culture of the island. Pure Ceylon tea, brought from Sri Lanka especially for this occasion, was served to the guests, who were provided a brief introduction to the history of Ceylon Tea. A buffet of traditional Sri Lankan food accompanied the serving of tea. more..

Former VCs pledge support to striking dons

Oct 3 (Island) Former Vice Chancellors have pledged their support to the ongoing strike launched by the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA). FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that the FUTA members had held a meeting with the former vice chancellors at the NIBM Auditorium. He said that former Peradeniya VC and head of the National Education Commission Prof. Lakshman Jayathilake had chaired the meeting. more..

Sri Lanka Human Development Report to be launched

Oct 3 (Island) The Sri Lanka National Human Development Report 2012, by UNDP Sri Lanka is to be launched in Colombo on Friday. The 2012 report titled "Bridging Regional Disparities for Human Development" is the second National Human Development Report (NHDR) for Sri Lanka, the first report was produced in 1998. A UNDP spokesperson said that at a time when Sri Lanka was progressing towards new development horizons, it was considered very timely and more..

JVP warns of general strike

Oct 3 (Island) The JVP-led National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) yesterday launched a leaflet distribution campaign demanding a 13,000-rupee pay hike for public sector employees. NTUC President K.D. Lalkantha said that they had launched the campaign from the Fort Railway Station. "According to the current cost of living, public servants require at least Rs. 13,442.50 extra immediately," he said. He said that President Rajapaksa had in the run-up to the 2010 presidential election promised a 2,500-rupee pay hike more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 03.10.2012

Sri Lanka Not Interested in Playing the Gracious Host

Oct 3 (NYT) Sri Lanka has already outperformed every previous host nation of the World Twenty20, but its players know that their achievement will be no more than a footnote unless they can sustain their success over the next few days. Sri Lanka is the first tournament host to reach the final four — all three of its predecessors went out at the Super Eight stage — and it will meet Pakistan in Colombo on Thursday to play for a place in the final on Sunday. more..

Malaka to holiday, not study

Oct 3 (DM) Counsel for Malaka Silva, Jayantha Weerasekara filing a motion before the Fort magistrates court a short while ago said that the purpose of Malaka Silvas visit to the United States was not higher education. The counsel said that the lawyers had mistakenly informed court during the last hearing that the purpose of the tour was education. The counsel informed court that the purpose of the tour was in fact a holiday. The court granted approval for Silva to leave the more..