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Sapugaskanda oil refinery to start production by Wednesday

Sept 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) plans to restart production at its sole 50,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Sapugaskanda refinery by Wednesday after an unplanned shutdown earlier this month, a company source said on Monday. The refinery which is on the outskirts of the capital Colombo was shut on Sept. 1 after damage to a floating pipeline at the Colombo port, which compelled a ship carrying crude oil to wait at the port. more..

New knife for efficient rubber tapping

Sept 11 (DN) The Sri Lanka Rubber Research Institute introduced a technically improved tapping knife which can tap latex without damaging trees and also help extract the maximum quantity of latex from the tree. Rubber industrialists can reap a good harvest of latex if tapping is done properly. Those who have no training in tapping, cannot use the normal tapping knife without damaging the tree. A good training and experience is a must to use the knife correctly, sources said. more..

4,000 Lankans take their own lives every year

Sept 11 (Island) More Adolescents between 15 and 30 years of age are found to be committing suicide in Sri Lanka than any other group and at least 11 suicides take place in the country each day. Although the rate of suicide had shown a downward trend a few decades ago, it had now shown an upward trend in from recent times. On average around 4,000 persons had been committing suicide annually in the country, Consultant Psychiatrist, National Institute of more..

CPA for vibrant Parliamentary democracy - Haselhurst

Sept 11 (DN) The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is supportive to uphold vibrant Parliamentary democracy in Commonwealth countries and Sri Lanka’s coming forward to host the 58th conference is viewed as a progressive step, said chairperson of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Executive Committee and Parliamentarian of House of Commons, UK Alan Haselhurst. Haselhurst said the CPA was grateful that Sri Lanka showed its willingness to host the annual more..

Dengue continues to gallop

Sept 11 (Island) The number of dengue cases from January to the beginning of the second week of September topped 28,950, whereas, during the whole of last year there had been only 28,473 cases. Sources said that the highest number of cases were reported from the Western province (48.9%) and 51.1 percent was reported from remaining parts of the country. The number dengue cases in the Colombo District, from the beginning of the year to date, was over 6,770, while more..

Norochcholai still limping

Sept 11 (Island) The problems which caused the breakdown of the Norochcholai coal power plant, the main transformer, has been rectified. However, the CEB was not in a position to confirm when it would be reconnected to the national grid. Deputy Chairman of the CEB Anura Wijepala said that test runs were still being carried out and that although the operations were commenced at the malfunctioned Lak Wijaya plant, the generated power has not been added to the national grid. more..

Court of Appeal awards compensation in long running matrimonial dispute

Sept 11 (Island) A majority decision of the Court of Appeal on August 30, 2012 set aside a judgment of the Colombo District Court and granted compensation in two million rupees to the plaintiff appellant, Mrs Manel Abeysundera. The compensation is payable by the respondent, Kanthika Edirisinghe, who had broken the consortium Manel had with her legally married husband Abeysundera. The appeal, filed by Manel Abeysundere, said that the marriage between plaintiff more..

Power cuts depend on water levels

Sept 11 (CT) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said says the water level at the reservoirs generating hydro-power have not reached a satisfactory level and imposing future power cuts will depend on water levels. The reservoirs have recorded only 24% water level at present and it should increase at least increase up to 80% level, Vice-Chairman CEB, Anura Wijepala indicated. He added that subsequent to the completion of maintenance work at the Norochcholai power plant, more..

Fraying brotherhood over troubled waters

Sept 11 (Hindu) When Tamil Nadu politicians raise the pitch against the Sri Lankan govt’s perceived atrocities on the Tamils in that country, they invoke popular sentiment in Tamil Nadu, saying Tamils here are hurt and angry at the way their brethren across the Palk Straits are being treated. But that sympathy is nowhere evident on an issue that truly hits the Sri Lankan Tamils where it matters — their livelihoods. In fact, it is an issue on which more..

'Dilscoop will keep my name alive'

Sept 11 (TOI) Tillakaratne Dilshan redefined the art of batting in Twenty20 cricket with dazzling strokeplay in the 2009 World T20 in England. His innovative and attacking shots rattled bowlers and often left them confused against the patented scoop shot over the 'keeper's head. In an exclusive chat with TOI, the destructive Sri Lankan opener spoke on 'Dilscoop', his preparations for the forthcoming World T20 in Sri Lanka and the reason behind the attacking batsman that he is. more..

Eastern Provincial Council:SLMC decision today

Sept 11 (Island) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will meet this morning to decide which political party to back to form the Eastern Provincial Council. The SLMC has not taken a decision as of now but Party Leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem has summoned the seven Councilors of the party, who were successful at the polls, for a meeting at his Colombo residence for an important discussion, Media Coordinator Dr. Hafeez told The Island last night. The Leader had told Hassan Ali that more..

Dhammika appointed Deputy DG at SEC

Sept 11 (DM) Director, Investigations, Dhammika Perera has been appointed as the Deputy Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) with effect from today. This was announced to the SEC employees by the newly appointed SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godaheva in a special staff meeting held today morning. The appointment of Perera was decided at the first Commission meeting headed by Nalaka Godahewa, which was held last Friday. more..

Sacred Relics at historic Kelaniya before departure

Sept 11 (DN) The Sacred Kapilavasthu Relics will be taken from Gangaramaya today to the Kelani Rajamaha Viharaya, where there will be an Exposition till 7am tomorrow before the Relics are taken back to India the same day. The Relics will arrive at the historic Kelani Rajamaha Viharaya at 8.30am today, Buddhist Affairs Commissioner General Chandra Prema Gamage said. The Exposition of the Sacred Relics at Hunupitiya Gangaramaya ended at 6pm yesterday. more..

Diamond gulping Chinese re-remanded

Sept 11 (Island) The Chinese national, Chou Cheng, who stole a diamond, valued at Rs. 1.8 million from a stall at the 22nd International Gem and Jewellery exhibition held at the BMICH last week, was produced before Colombo Magistrate’s Court yesterday along with the alleged diamond, and re-remanded till September 17. The suspect, who had been arrested by the Cinnamon Gardens police, told the court that he swallowed a fake one which was in his possession. more..

FUTA takes on SB: Says, the Minister used ‘strong an unacceptable’ language

Sept 11 (CT) The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) vehemently condemned Higher Education Minister, S.B. Dissanayake’s responses to the lecturers’ demands. FUTA Spokesperson, Dr. Mahim Mendis, said the Minister of Higher Education used strong and unacceptable language when addressing the academics. “Even in public, he calls us conspirators and people who run after dollars. He has also threatened to make us return to work. more..

CPA summit opens today

Sept 11 (CT) The 58th summit of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is scheduled to be opened at 9:00 a.m. today by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in Colombo. All the Sri Lankan parliamentarians have been invited to participate in this summit at which parliamentarians and their family member of 58 countries are due to be present. Chamal Rajapaksa Speaker and the Chairman of Inter Parliamentary Union of Commonwealth countries said that this summit is important to us, more..

Two abandoned children sent to orphanage

Sept 11 (Island) Devika, who heard the voice of a child pleading, "Aunty, please, find Amma, we can’t live without Amma, we want our Amma" came out of her house and found two children in tears. Devika Swarna took the children in, fed and consoled them. The five-year-old boy and his two-year-old sister had been abandoned by their father, a drug addict and their wayward mother, who had been living in a rented house. For two days Devika fed and washed them and waited for their parents to come. more..

Finance, agricultural assistance for drought - hit farmers

Sept 11 (DN) Agrarian Services Ministry Secretary Udeni Wickremasinghe yesterday said the govt is taking steps to provide finance and agricultural assistance to farmers in drought-hit villages in Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Ampara and other agricultural districts, for increasing their crop yields in the next crop season. "Moves are underway to supply seed paddy to farmers free of charge under a special benefit scheme for seed farmers, more..

UNP reformists pooh-pooh Attanayake’s claim

Sept 11 (Island) The Secretary of the Movement to Protect the UNP and its Trade Unions, Lal Perera, is of the opinion that party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and his cronies in the working committee should resign immediately over the party’s humiliating 23rd defeat at Saturday’s polls to three Provincial Councils. Addressing a media briefing at Rajagiriya yesterday, Perera said that the outcome showed clearly that the UPFA was in command and apathy had set in among UNP supporters. more..

An Ambassador of the Truth about SL

Sept 11 (DN) Parliamentarians and state officials representing 54 countries participating at the ongoing 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Colombo could act as ambassadors in telling the world that Sri Lanka, is busy with development, committed to peace and cooperation and is on the path to rapid progress, the CPA General Secretary Dr. William F. Shija said. He said, “We are here as eye witnesses to what is going on in Sri Lanka. So no one in future more..

Australian families reach out to boatpeople

Sept 11 (AFP) After 22 days on a boat fleeing Sri Lanka and more than five months in detention, asylum-seeker Jeevan Nanthakumar recently unpacked his suitcases in the home of an Australian pensioner couple. Nanthakumar - a pseudonym - said he left his homeland and family in January due to "government problems and enemies in my village". "I went to India then was on a boat for 22 days, five days with no food and no water," said the 26-year-old. more..

Is Sri Lanka Preparing For UNHRC’s Head Navi Pillay?

Sept 11 (DM) To most of us the announcement of UNHRC’s Technical Team visit comes as a surprise but nothing that should cause frenzy other than the fact that most UN visits are generally not without bias and not without agenda. There is every possibility that the conclusive report is already drafted. Therefore, Sri Lanka’s Govt is in for a rude shock if it is under the illusion the team to arrive on the 14th of September is to make amends, share a good cup of Ceylon tea and more..

Editorial: Care for others is the measure of greatness

Sept 11 (DM) Destiny has seen to it that everyone who meets another is given the opportunity to influence and enrich that person. Most times however, being wrapped up in our selfish pursuit of seeking self fulfilment, we lose it. A simple and ordinary meeting with, let’s say, a bus conductor, by giving a smile or a friendly greeting, even though he may not deserve it, not only that person, but other passengers who would come into contact with that conductor, who more..

Now, UNP wants C’wealth membership for PCs

Sept 11 (Island) While the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) sessions are going on in Colombo, the UNP has called upon the Provincial Councils set up under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to apply for CPA membership. UNP Deputy General Secretary and parliamentarian Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana yesterday told The Island that the government should allow PCs to join the CPA as the government prepares to host the next more..

GL briefs commonwealth Secretary General about summit arrangements

Sept 11 (Island) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma called on Minister of External Affairs Professor G. L. Peiris on Monday. The Secretary-General is in Sri Lanka to attend the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference currently being held in Colombo. The Secretary-General discussed with Minister Peiris the arrangements for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, which will be held in Sri Lanka in November next year. more..

Agricultural Ministry continues to import toxic pesticides

Sept 11 (LB) The Agricultural Ministry continues to import pesticides containing arsenic, mercury and cyanide although the World Heath Organization (WHO) has revealed that these toxic products in pesticides are directly responsible for the prevalence of the kidney disease in the North Central Province, researchers said. “The lifespan of the people in Padaviya area in the North Central Province has come down to 40 years as a result of more..

Mounting oil bills hit economy; Ministry forced to stop spot purchases

Sept 11 (ST) Mounting fuel bills have forced the government to abandon the practice of spot purchases from tomorrow and revert to tender procedures to obtain the country’s fuel requirements, Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha said yesterday. He said only registered suppliers would be allowed to bid when tenders were called. The move came as the Treasury warned that a staggering US$ 400 million more..

SL seeks transparency in OHCHR funding

Sept 11 (DM) Sri Lanka on Monday referred to the necessity for constructive engagement by states to increase transparency in the funding and staffing of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as a means of enhancing the institution’s credibility, efficiency and independence. Speaking at 21st Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Ravinatha Aryasinha, the permanent representative of Sri Lanka and leader of more..

Women war victims find new hope in Sri Lanka

Sept 11 (KSA) At the height of Sri Lanka's separatist war in 1992, S. Pakiyawari received the most devastating news of her life: her husband was killed while fighting for the LTTE. Pakiyawari, then 32, was left to raise four children amid enormous hardship. Since the war ended in 2009, however, things have begun to improve for her and many others in similar situations. Thanks to several NGOs, war-affected women have more..

Sri Lanka petroleum product pricing, quality to be regulated

Sept 11 (LBO) Petroleum products are expected to be brought under Sri Lanka's multi sector utilities regulator which is already overseeing the power sector, from the beginning of 2013, with enabling legislation now being drawn up, officials said. Changes to the governing act of Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and another law dealing with petroleum products has been drafted and referred to the attorney general more..

Swallowed diamond is a fake - police

Sept 11 (CG) The police have launched investigations to locate another Chinese man after the diamond in the possession of the Chinese national arrested at the BMICH gem exhibition last week was found to be a fake. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the Gem and Jewellery Authority had confirmed that the diamond recovered from the Chinese man in police custody has no value. The Chinese man was arrested last week after more..

Police dragging their feet over assault on major, corporal

Sept 11 (Island) Police, who are conducting investigations into the assaulting of an Army Major and a corporal allegedly by a group led by the son of controversial Minister Mervyn Silva in the early hours of last Sunday are not forthcoming with clear answers. In addition to the assault, the gang numbering seven had removed the official firearm of the major, his cell phone and a gold chain. more..

We think we should act with responsibility at a critical point, says Hakeem

Sept 11 (NF) Leader of the SLMC, Rauff Hakeem says that the views of party members and those who voted for the party will be taken into consideration when deciding as to who the party would support to form an administration in the eastern Provincial Council. Speaking to Newsfirst, Hakeem said that TNA Parliamentary Group Leader, R. Sampanthan had discussed the matter with him over the telephone. more..

Sri Lanka stock rally takes pause

Sept 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed marginally lower Tuesday ending a 10 straight days of gains that followed the replacement of a regulator who was tough on securities fraud, brokers said. The Colombo All Shared Index closed at 5,590.90 down just 1.13 points lower (0.02%) and the S & P SL 20 index closed at 3,034.00 up 7.50 points (0.25%). Turnover was 1.9 billion rupees with a large stake in Serendib Hotels, boosting volumes. The top contributor to the index was Selinsing an more..

Sri Lanka vehicle registrations halve in June

Sept 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's new vehicle registrations have plunged 48 percent in June 2012 from a year earlier in the wake of higher taxes and currency depreciation with three wheelers falling the most, official data showed. Three wheeler registrations in the month of June fell 68.4 percent to 4,300 from 13,753, motor cars fell 56.4 percent to 2,208 from 5,069 and motor cycles fell motor cycles fell 46.3 percent to 12,181 from 22,690, a year earlier, more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 9.7% in August

Sept 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 9.7% in August 2012 to 79,456 from a year earlier with Western Europe and East Asian growing but the top market India falling in absolute terms. During the eight months to August, arrivals rose 15.8% to 622,661. Sri Lanka is expecting a little over a million visitors this year. Arrivals from Western Europe rose 8.7% to 32,656 in August from a year earlier, despite an economic downturn in the region, more..

African NCPBF delegation on visit to Jaffna

Sept 11 (GDI) A delegation representing African National Congress Progressive Business Forum (ANCPBF) during their visit to Jaffna on Saturday met Jaffna’s civil administrative and military officials. Deputy Minister Ms Hlenglwe Buhle Mkize and the team of ANCPBF members first met the Govt Agent Jaffna S. Arumainayakam and visited a few important places in Jaffna including the Nallur Kandaswamy temple, Atchuvely industrial park and Navatkuli Palmyra Research Centre in the morning. more..

South Africa calls for durable and lasting peace in Sri Lanka

Sept 11 (AA) In August 2012, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, accompanied by a civil society delegation, visited Sri Lanka to meet with the leaders of the Sri Lankan government, the Tamil community, NGOs and other stakeholders. The visit formed part of the ongoing efforts aimed at addressing the need for the resolution of the outstanding issues following the end in May 2009 of the bloody civil war in that country. more..

Sri Lanka Debrief 11 09 2012

Sri Lanka, West Indies scrap Tests from tour

Sept 11 (CI) The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have scrapped two Tests from Sri Lanka's tour of the West Indies next May and instead plan to play an ODI tri-series involving India. The decision also means that players from both teams will remain available during the IPL, which runs from April 3 to May 26 next year. The teams were scheduled to play two Tests, three ODIs and two Twenty20s as per the Future Tours Programme. It is unclear if more..