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Satisfying the new-rich gangs, education and health

Sept 10 (CT) One minister has said that pressure of FUTA to compel the government to allocate 6 % of GDP amounts to a terror action. If similar demands are made by doctors for the maintenance of the free health system and Buddhist monks for the up keeping of pirivena education then, according to the minister, system could shut down. This is said by a govt that spends large sum of money for various uncertain projects and elite entertainment. more..

A unifying force turned divider

Sept 10 (CT) The Munneswaram Kovil in Chilaw is presently at the centre of a controversy over animal sacrifice. Although animal rights activists are among those, who are fighting for the end of this practice, the opposition voiced by the standard bearers of Sinhala-Buddhism like the Janthika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a section of Buddhist monks, and the ebullient Minister of Public Relations, Mervyn Silva, has given the movement an ethno-religious colour. more..

Economic indicators point to weak performance

Sept 10 (ST) The emerging weak economic performance is of serious concern. Three important economic indicators — the trade balance, fiscal balance and debt — are on an unfavourable trend. The failure of the monsoon has added a further setback to the economy. Poor governance has weakened economic prospects for the country for the near future. This year’s slow economic growth and poor governance are likely to damage the high growth trajectory that was expected after the more..

South Africa forays into SL

Sept 10 (Island) South Africa, Sri Lanka’s leading trade partner in Sub-Saharan Africa and the third most competitive economy in the US$ 13.7 trillion BRICS grouping, is making an unprecedented investment foray in to resurgent Sri Lanka-with no less than a US$ 122 million initial investment –and scheduling yet another strong business delegation to SL next," the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. "I am pleased to announce that SAPOA, South African Property Owners’ Association, more..

Budget deficit expands 40%

Sept 10 (Island) The budget deficit for the first six months of this year expanded by almost 40% from a year ago with expenditure growth outpacing revenue growth, latest data showed. The outstanding govt debt stock rose 23.2% to Rs. 5.95 trillion as at end June 2012 from Rs. 4.82 trillion a year earlier. Domestic borrowings grew 14.9% to Rs. 3.15 trillion while foreign borrowings grew twice as fast at 34.3% to Rs. 2.79 trillion, more..

Lovelorn soldier stabs girlfriend, attempts suicide

Sept 10 (SO) Nobody in the village of Thibbotuwawa in the Kekirawa area had any inkling of the love affair that was blossoming between a young schoolgirl and a youth in the same village. Nobody ever dreamt that it would end up in a tragedy so quickly. The girl was only 17 years and was preparing for the GCE A/L exam. Her parents struggled hard to educate her despite their meagre income. She had a dream of entering a university and do further studies and to find a job. more..

Sri Lanka’s ‘dichotomy’ appears to be correcting?

Sept 10 (FT) The dichotomy of Sri Lanka of being among the fastest growing emerging economies and worst performers when it comes to the stock market appears to be correcting, according to broking firm DNH Financial. It said contrary to some market commentators, Sri Lanka does not necessarily share the same economic fragility or uncertainty in the Eurozone or the US, given the country’s robust domestic consumption cycle that underpins its economic growth. more..

Maheepala tops Sabaragamuwa

Sept 10 (Island) Former Chief Minister of the Sabaragamuwa Province Maheepala Herath (UPFA) polled the highest number of preferential votes in the province. Contesting from the Kegalle District, Herath polled 84,223 votes, while his closest from the UPFA was Dushmantha Mithrapala with 36,285 votes. However, second in the preference votes in the Sabaragamuwa Province was Kanchana Jayaratne (UPFA) who contested from the Ratnapura district and obtained more..

‘Afghans play cricket like war’ – late Kadirgamar

Sept 10 (Island) In 2005, long before Afghan cricket had come of age; late Lakshman Kadirgamar was the Chief Guest at a cricket match an Afghan team was playing in Colombo and during the game he commented. "These guys play cricket like war." His knowledge of the game also made him to say, "but I wonder how they will cope with stronger teams." The late Foreign Minister would have been happy to see what Afghanistan has achieved in a short span of time. Their rise in more..

Editorial: Winners and losers

Sept 10 (Island) The ruling UPFA has swept the polls in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces. In the NCP, it has polled 338,552 votes (61.23%) and secured 21 seats. The UNP could obtain only 196,127 votes (35.47%) and 11 seats. In Sabaragamuwa, the UPFA polled 488.174 votes (59.18%) and bagged 28 seats. The UNP obtained 286.857 votes (34.73%) and 14 seats. The CWC has won two seats. The JVP has secured one seat in the NCP. The situation is, however, different in the Eastern Province, more..

Mervyn’s son in new scrape: Major and Corporal assaulted

Sept 10 (Island) The Police are looking for Minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka and six others, including a former Kegalle district MP’s son, who are alleged to have assaulted an Army Major and a corporal accompanying him, causing injuries to both, at the car park of Hilton Residencies in the wee hours of yesterday. The Minister’s son had entered into an argument with the army intelligence officer Maj. Chandana Pradeep and after more..

Second LT. killed in clash between two villages

Sept 10 (Island) An second lieutenant in the Army was killed and two others were seriously injured in a long standing dispute between two groups at Ahangama, in the Galle district, on Saturday night. Following the clash between the two groups from Dikkumbura and Atanikitha, the body of Second Lt. Suranga Janaka Sampath (24) was found in a marsh close to Ahangama – Atanakitha road. His motorcycle too was found near by. He was a resident of Imaduwa, Kodagoda. more..

Only 56 of 84 detained at Old Port are known Sri Lankan refugees

Sept 10 (Hindu) Only 56 of the 84 persons who had been detained for attempting to illegally migrate to Australia from Old Mangalore Port on Friday are registered Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. This was brought to light following clarification from two police officials from Tamil Nadu, who came to the city with a list of persons registered in refugee camps there, said IGP C.H. Pratap Reddy. While 48 of the detained — 42 men, five women and boy — were traced to registries more..

No election violence –Police

Sept 10 (CT) 105 election violence incidents have been reported during the 2012 Provincial Council Elections, Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said. He went on to say that two such incidents have been reported following the conclusion of the elections. Hettiarachchi said that one such incident has been reported in the Addalachchenai area in the Ampara District, where the brother of a SLMC contestant had been assaulted. more..

India rout hosts Sri Lanka 5-0 in SAFF meet

Sept 10 (IANS) Defending champions India brightened their chances of making it to the semifinals of the women’s SAFF Championship when they routed hosts Sri Lanka 5-0 in their second match of the football tournament. In a one-sided match, India were clearly the dominant team. They seized the initiative right from the kick-off and surged into the lead in the 16th minute through Suprava Samal in the 16th minute. Reena Roy Devi doubled the score in the 22nd minute as India went into the interval enjoying a two-goal cushion. more..

UNP simply dumbstruck

Sept 10 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa declined to make any statement on last Saturday’s elections, which were all won by the UPFA. He said that until such time he received all the results, he was not prepared to give a half hearted reply. UNP MP Thalatha Athukorale said that she too was unable to make any comment as she did not know what the party stand was on the issue. Former UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya declined to make any comment as he did not hold any office in the UNP. more..

Commonwealth is here!

Sept 10 (FT) The entire Commonwealth is literally here as Sri Lanka plays host to the grouping’s annual gathering of MPs – this week, giving the country an excellent opportunity to be assessed firsthand as well as lift its profile globally. The 58th Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) will be ceremoniously inaugurated tomorrow by President Rajapaksa, who is also the Vice Patron of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). more..

Lowest turnout in Sabaragamuwa Province

Sept 10 (ST) Of the three provinces that went to the polls yesterday, the Sabaragamuwa Province comprising the Ratnapura and Kegalle districts recorded the lowest voter turnout.In Ratnapura, the city of gems, voters showed little enthusiasm for the provincial council election that was held yesterday, with a general sense of apathy noticed from the public. “When we sealed the ballot boxes in the morning around 6.30 not a single party representative or polls observer was present, more..

Industry claims comedy of errors at Sri Lanka Tourism Awards

Sept 10 (ST) Sri Lanka’s tourism industry was abuzz this week on the recently concluded awards night that raised a few eyebrows in the selection of winners, though organizers believe this as purely “judgmental”. Sri Lanka Tourism Awards Grand Jury Chairman Prof. Uditha Liyanage said on Friday the process carried out was “fairly robust.” Changes were made in the members on the panels and the grand jury in addition to certain criteria and more..

Whatever the result is masses will have to take to the streets –JVP

Sept 10 (LT) Whatever the results of the election is and whatever the reason are for voting for the govt, those who voted for the govt and also those who abstained will have to take to the streets soon to defend their rights and win other rights says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said, “The President, the ministers and govt MPs gave bribes of various kinds from boxes of matches, water pumps, to roofing sheets to the public, more..

Sri Lanka beverage giants unite

Sept 10 (NS) Leading beverage companies in Sri Lanka have come together for the first time in the history of the sector to form The Beverage Association of Sri Lanka (BAOSL) last week. The association has been formed with the aim of providing a vital platform for the sector, whilst championing the contribution of its members towards the country’s economic sustainability. The BAOSL currently consists of Ceylon Cold Stores PLC (manufacturer and marketer of Elephant House Beverages), Coca-Cola Beverages more..

Jaffna Schools stun Trinity in Murali Harmony Cup

Sept 10 (DN) Jaffna Combined Schools defeated Trinity College, Kandy yesterday in one of the opening matches of Murali Harmony Cup 2012. Jaffna youths in an action packed Twenty20 stunned favourites Trinity College which was the highlight of the opening day where 10 matches were played in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mankulam, Oddusuddan and Vavuniya. An unbeaten 37 from man of the match Edward Edin brought victory to Jaffna Combined with two overs to spare in reply to Trinity’s more..

Hakeem says SLMC kingmaker in the East

Sept 10 (Island) Having won all four predominately Muslim electorates in the Eastern Province, SLMC leader Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem yesterday said that the party would be the kingmaker in the Eastern Provincial Council. UPFA constituent SLMC polled 132,917 votes in the Eastern Province comprising the Digamadulla, Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts to secure seven seats. The UPFA secured 14 seats, including two bonus seats, the ITAK 11 and the NFF one. more..

Illegal human cargo forced to make emergency landing near Yala

Sept 10 (Island) A boat that left Negombo 10 days ago, with 32 illegal migrants, bound to Australia, made an emergency landing at Yala, close to Tissahamaharama on Saturday, after it had sprung a leak. Panicked area fishermen tipped off the police about the landing of an unknown boat with a large number of people. The police immediately managed to round up 16 of them, including 2 children, from jungle terrain by about 9.00p.m. more..

NEM-IHR records 162 Polls day incidents

Sept 10 (Island) 162 incidents of polls law violations on elections day were reported to the Network for Election Monitoring/ Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM-IHR). Among those 62 violations were 30 cases of propaganda activity near polling stations, 15 of forcing voters to cast their votes to certain candidates, seven cases of assault and threatening voters, two of threatening officers at polling booths, three of voters being chased away before casting their votes, one of transporting voters in more..

UNP’s vote base expands despite govt.’s polls malpractices: Tissa

Sept 10 (Island) The UNP claimed that it had increased its vote base at the just concluded PC polls while the UPFA‘s had decreased despite the poll being deeply flawed and unduly advantageous to the ruling party. The increase had been between the 2010 Parliamentary polls and the just concluded PC polls and the party saw it as a positive sign since it had increased its base in the traditional Sinhala Buddhist grassroots. more..

NFF reveals UPFA sordid operation in Trincomalee

Sept 10 (Island) The National Freedom Front (NFF) yesterday alleged that an influential section within the ruling UPFA had made a shameful attempt to confuse the people of Trincomalee district by announcing that NFF district leader Jayantha Wijesekera had quit the race. A senior spokesman for the UPFA constituent party said that UPFA had put up posters in predominately Sinhala areas in the district announcing Wijesekera’s ‘decision.’ The official said that the UPFA also sent letters more..

UNP lays down conditions for forming coalition in EPC

Sept 10 (Island) The UNP has laid down several conditions, for forming a coalition in the Eastern Provincial Council, as there had bben no clear cut winner, with over 50% of the votes, to form a provincial govt, the party said. "It is patently clear that there is no party which has a clear working majority in the Eastern Provincial Council, so there is the necessity to form a coalition and we have decided on the criteria if any party wants to form a coalition with the UNP, more..

UPFA bags NCP, SGP: confident of running East

Sept 10 (Island) The ruling UPFA has comfortably bagged the Sabaragamuwa and North-Central Provinces and secured the highest number of seats in the Eastern Province at Saturday's PC polls. It obtained 488,174 votes (59.2%) and 28 seats in the Sabaragamuwa Province, 338,552 votes (61,2%) and 21 seats in the North Central and 200,004 votes (31.6%) and 14 seats in the Eastern Province. Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said more..

Give us more teeth – HRC

Sept 10 (SL) The Human Rights Commission has requested the President to amend the laws governing the body to broaden its powers, Chairman Priyantha Perera said. He said that under the current laws, the HRC did not have powers to hold police officers who do not heed its advice responsible. “We want the HRC to be able to bring high-ranking officers who ignore rights offences to courts,” Perera said. He said that about 95% of the recommendations of the HRC were implemented by the police service, more..

Another insult by Sri Lanka: It’s time India took a stand

Sept 10 (FP) A shockingly vulgar cartoon published by a Sri Lankan newspaper featuring Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and the prime minister Manmohan Singh in extremely bad taste is yet another instance of the proxy-speak of the island nation that should ideally provoke a tough reply from India. On Sunday, Lakbima, a well-circulated Sinhala language daily in Sri Lanka, published a cartoon lampooning both Jayalalithaa and Manmohan Singh, ostensibly peeved at the more..

Sanctuaries threatened by excavations and deforestation

Sept 10 (SL) Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC), Department of Forest Conservation (DFC) and Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) has come under severe criticism for allowing sand and gravel mining in sanctuaries and forest reserves in the country. Questions have been raised as to who has given authority for the GSMB to issue sand and gravel licenses violating the Fauna and Flora more..

Pugoda land fraud main suspect arrested at Colombo airport

Sept 10 (ST) The main suspect in the Pugoda land fraud, Madhu Pushpika (36), was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Friday (6) at 8.45 p.m., consequent to a court order obtained by the Gampaha police for same, to conduct further investigations. The suspect was remanded till September 12. Another suspect whom Pushpika revealed was involved in forging deeds, was also arrested. more..

SLC to adopt new stance for domestic cricket

Sept 10 (NS) One of the core issues that have been the talk in local cricket circles is the new stance Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is going to adapt for the domestic cricket structure. Clubs have expressed concern over the changes SLC is planning to implement. However when The Nation spoke SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga his reaction was that “without the club structure we can’t succeed in cricket”. Ranatunga outlined what SLC more..

SL-India rupture: damage control at high levels

Sept 10 (LB) For the first time ever, Colombo last week issued a travel advisory requesting Sri Lankans not to travel to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu “until further notice.” And across the Palk Strait, the Indians were rather taken aback. “Travel advisory” is a dirty term in Sri Lanka. While some govts take it at face value, here it is viewed as a political tool used predominantly by the West more..

24 hour operations to net drunk drivers

Sept 10 (AD) Police are to strictly implement the law against motorists under the influence of liquor by carrying out 24 hour operations to arrest drunken drivers starting from today. Two fatal accidents which had taken place in Ukwatta and Minnana yesterday and resulted in three deaths were caused due to driving under the influence while an accident in Meerigama last week which claimed two lives had also been caused by a more..

Former LTTE weapons expert among agents

Sept 10 (TOI) 13 agents, 12 of them Sri Lankan Tamilian refugees, who lured 84 gullible of their ilk for a boat ride to Australia for a better life, are now cooling their heels behind bars. The agents include Thavarassa, 46, of Okkaveelbeed, Tulkai in Sri Lanka. A former LTTE soldier, who by very admission of police officials here, has more knowledge about fire arms and rocket launchers than most policemen put together. more..

South Africa to make US$ 122 M initial investment in Sri Lanka

Sept 10 (GDI) South Africa, is to make an initial investment of 122 Million U.S.Dollars. The South African High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Geoff Doidge made this announcement addressing the special dinner event hosted by the Export Development Board of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in honour of the visiting high level South African business delegation to Sri Lanka. 30 Members of Business and more..

Nepal and Sri Lanka join forces to ramp up tourism

Sept 10 (KSA) Nepal and Sri Lanka share certain things in common. Both have beautiful landscapes and areas of great natural and cultural significance. And both want to attract more tourists to see them. "Nepal has the highest mountains in the world whereas Sri Lanka has famous sandy beaches and biodiversity," Sri Lankan Ambassador to Nepal Thosapal Hewage said. Now, the two South Asian nations are joining forces to more..

'We can successfully approach one aim if both winner and loser are united'

Sept 10 (GDI) The concluded Provincial Council election which brought a resounding victory for the UPFA will be written in the annals of Sri Lankan election history as the tenth election which was won by UPFA government under my leadership, President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a press release on the UPFA victory said. “This election was a national referendum which clariified the Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil communities’ standpoint. more..