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ICC defends World T20's monsoon dates

Sept 23 (AFP) The ICC defended the scheduling of the World Twenty20 as monsoon rains threatened to ruin the tournament in Sri Lanka. "This was the only period available in the Future Tours Programme this year to conduct the tournament," an ICC spokesman said. "All the teams were aware of it." The two-yearly tournament, being held in Sri Lanka for the first time, coincides with the traditional start of the monsoon season in the region. more..

No action against Major, says Army

Sept 23 (SL) No action can be taken against the Major of the Army Intelligence Unit, who is alleged to have been assaulted by Malaka Silva and Rehan wijeratne, said Army spokesman Ruwan Wanigasuriya. “The main reason for this development is the Major’s willingness to come to an amicable settlement through courts,” said the spokesman. However, a committee of inquiry had been appointed under the Army regulations, as done in similar incidents involving Army personnel, more..

'AgroTech 2012' - promoting business between Sri Lanka and Israel

Sept 23 (SO) Due to the necessity and high demand unforeseen in the agriculture and livestock sector, the Israel Business Development Office in Sri Lanka organised a series of sessions titled "AgroTech 2012". The AgroTech 2012 combined with technical sessions followed by business-to-business meetings which facilitated them to have a proper understanding of the technical as well as trade support that can be taken from the IBDO. "In order to help promote business and trade more..

Alleged misuse of EPF monies ‘the largest crime ever reported’ to Bribery Commission

Sept 23 (ST) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) illegally invested Employees Provident Fund (EPF) monies in the stock market in order to manipulate the market, resulting in a loss of Rs. 12 billion to more than three million fund members, alleges UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe. In a complaint filed on Thursday with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Mr. Senasinghe urged the Commission to more..

Govt expends Rs. 36,894m on roads

Sept 23 (SO) The Govt’s investment on national roads was around Rs.36,894 million from January - May this year. This includes the Rs.11,363 million on expressway development and Rs.17,526 million on development of highways islandwide. According to the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2012, the Govt has expended Rs.6,943 million on widening and improving national roads, Rs.294 million on bridges and flyovers and Rs.768 million on tsunami affected road rehabilitation. more..

Sailors of doomed ship demand Rs. 220m wages

Sept 23 (SL) The forty-odd sailors of the ill-fated MV Thermopylae Sierra of Thesarco Shipping Company have decided to file action in Colombo High Court against the Director Merchant Shipping demanding back wages amounting to over Rs. 220 million. The Lankan crew of the ship, which sank off Angulana, includes the Captain, engineers, welders and ordinary seamen. The owning company of the ship had not made any efforts to pay their more..

Sri Lanka to ban anti-Islam movie

Sept 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is set to ban a controversial anti-Islam film from being aired in the country, the Ministry of Religious affairs said on Sunday. Deputy Minister M.K.D.S Gunawardena said that a newspaper advertisement will be published this week in the local media saying the movie should not be aired in the country. Hundreds of Muslims took to street in Colombo last week to protest against the movie produced in the United States. more..

'Sri Lankans' return calls asylum applications into question'

Sept 23 (AAP) A decision by a group of Sri Lankan men to return home rather than enter a detention centre in Nauru raises questions about past claims for asylum from the war-torn nation, deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop says. Eighteen Sri Lankan men left Christmas Island for Colombo on Saturday after asking to return home instead of being sent to the Pacific island for the processing of their asylum seeker claims. They were the first group to opt for a return more..

I don’t know, says Dr. Ruberu

Sept 23 (SL) Aviation Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu says he is completely unaware of any move to change the name of the Ratmalana Airport to Colombo City Airport. However, according to Sarath de Silva, Manager of the airport, arrangements had been made to land international small aircraft at the Ratmalana Airport and to change the name to Colombo City Airport. It has also been recorded that 35 days after it had been named an international airport for small aircraft, an aircraft from more..

Sri Lanka's top Tamil Minister confident of political solution

Sept 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's topmost Tamil minority Minister in the northern town of Jaffna expressed confidence that the govt will be able to finalize a political solution for the Tamils in the country. Minister Douglas Devananda said that the solution should be based on 13 Amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution which was part of an accord reached between India and Sri Lanka in 1987. more..

Sri Lanka? Here we go again

Sept 23 (CI) Flying back to Colombo from Mumbai barely a month after covering India's mandatory annual Sri Lanka pilgrimage in July-August. Got to dislike these late-night flights, or "young man's flights" as Harsha Bhogle, who wisely takes a day connection from Mumbai via Chennai to Colombo, calls them. Run into a serious-looking Dirk Nannes on the plane. He puts on his most grave expression as he says he is going to Sri Lanka as an expert analyst for the BBC. Where? more..

Sri Lanka tyre recycling plant to make wood-like products

Sept 23 (LBO) A Dena Nano Technology Lanka Pvt Ltd, company with British and Indian investment plans to recycle old automobile tyres into wood replacement material for the construction industry, a media report said. Dena Technology of UK has patented technology to make wood-like products for the construction industry from old tyres which are more durable and water resistant wood. UK-based Dena Technology Limited will have a 20% more..

A/L students kept in suspense as deadlock continues

Sept 23 (ST) The marking of A/L answer scripts was to have begun today, according to an assurance given by Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, but the FUTA says no marking of papers will be carried out until the current union action is called off. Educationists and trade union activists say any further delay would have an adverse impact on the academic system. more..

Boat tragedy: Navy help sought for probe

Sept 23 (DM) Police Headquarters said today it had sought the help of the Sri Lanka Navy to carry out an investigation into the capsizing of a boat off Beruwala killing five people and injuring two others on Saturday. The boat with 13 people on board was on an excursion to the Beruwala Lighthouse. Police said they sought Navy assistance in the investigations because of suspicion that the boat might have carried more passengers than it was permitted to do. The victims were residents of more..

BASL condemns interference in Judiciary

Sept 23 (DM) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has unanimously adopted two resolutions condemning the interference in the Judiciary, the BASL President Wijedasa Rajapaksha said today. He said the Bar Council at a meeting on Saturday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the interference in the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and in the judiciary by the executive. Meanwhile BASL Secretary Sanjaya Gamage said that as a first step the BASL would meet more..

'Navy Chief to retire on Wednesday'

Sept 23 (DM) The Defence Ministry officially said that Navy Commander Vice Admiral D.W.A.S. Dissanayake is scheduled to retire on Sept 26. “The outgoing Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral D.W.A.S. Dissanayake Friday paid a courtesy call on the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya at the Army Headquarters,”. It also said, “he (Vice Admirala Dissanayake) is scheduled to retire on Wednesday (26). more..

Ministry condemns anti-Islamic video

Sept 23 (DM) The Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Ministry today condemned the anti-Islamic video that has been shown in some countries. Acting Minister W.M.K.D.S. Gunawardane said religious freedom was guaranteed by the Constitution. He said no individual or group had the license to offend religious sensitivities. “We ask those who produced the video to withdraw it from circulation. We do not approve the defamation of any religion,” more..

Sri Lanka crowned Plate Champions

Sept 23 (AD) Sri Lanka emerged plate champions in the Shanghai 7s Rugby Tournament – the second round of the 2012 HSBC Asian Rugby Sevens Series, beating Thailand 22-7 today. Sri Lanka faced Thailand in the Plate Final today after completely dominating Singapore (41-00) and UAE (43-00) in the group stages. Thailand had scraped through to the Plate Finals after drawing against Chinese Taipei in their previous group stage more..

‘Govt members beholden to multinational firms’

Sept 23 (LB) Buddhist monks led a mass demonstration in Colombo last week urging the govt to take action to control the kidney disease prevalent in the North Central Province, and to stop importing pesticides which contain arsenic and mercury. Ruling UPFA MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera charged that some members of the UPFA regime have become beholden to multinational firms that are into importing pesticides brands of more..

T20: All-round Hafeez downs New Zealand

Sept 23 (CI) Pakistan's batting line-up is their weak link this tournament but its top order dominated New Zealand's bowling, leaving its own superior attack with a relatively easier task of defending a formidable total - one that was achieved successfully, albeit not without a scare. There was consolation for New Zealand: having brought down the margin of defeat to 13 runs, they ensured they reached a net run-rate high enough to take them through to the Super Eights. more..

‘Milco’ feeds pigs with fresh milk

Sept 23 (LT) More than 10,000 liters of consumable milk from the main production unit at Ambewela of ‘Milco’ company have been released to the piggery at Mahaberitanne Animal Farm during eh last few days say very reliable sources. Also, these sources say that Milco Company uses Nitrogen Peroxide (Na2O2) to preserve raw fresh milk and point out it is a crime under the norms of World Health Organization. They ask why milk has to be discarded while such a method is used to more..


Away from the headlines, Slta strides softly, softly

Sept 24 (SL) IF frequent newspaper exposure is metric to sport administrations’ performances, then the first sixmonths of work bythe new SLTA committee has been anything but remarkable. Bar placing on the prize-table, last August, the richest purse ever in the 97-year history of the National Championships, there was little else remarkable achieved by the new committee that might’ve earned it headlines. Ask the head of SLTA, more..

Crime and criminals: hard nuts to crack

Sept 24 (LB) The general public’s reaction to the recent spate of violent and sexual crimes in Sri Lanka was one of exasperation rather than anger or finger pointing. The opposition political parties however, took the line that the ‘collapse’ of the economy, maladministration of the institutions that are to uphold the rule of law and the overall social decline were behind the crime wave. The JVP went so far as to demand a broad ‘political transformation’ as the cure for the dismal situation. more..

'Capital punishment for child rapists soon'

Sept 24 (SO) The National Child Protection Authority Chairperson Anoma Dissanayake says the laws proposing capital punishment for child rapists is expected to come before Parliament shortly. She says the proposal now before Cabinet will be a landmark step towards protecting children in the country. Emphasising the need for urgent legal reforms to address crimes against children she voiced, “Child rape is as serious as a murder, a heroin case or more..

Rehabilitation of Sri Lankan War Victims: Why NGOs should co-ordinate

Sept 24 (GV) Since the war ended in Sri Lanka in May, 2009, the wave of sympathy for the victims of the war resulted in philanthropists, members of the Sri Lankan diaspora, individual well wishers and funding organizations providing prospective INGOs, local NGOs and charities with the resources needed to expeditiously help the war victims to resume their normal life as quickly as possible. The war had resulted in the loss of a large number of breadwinners leaving behind more..

Could we envision a country that is devoid of racial discrimination?

Sept 24 (DBS) Could we envision a country that is devoid of racial discrimination, where each citizen is judged, in the immortal words of Martin Luther King Jr., “not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”? Can we envision a nation that is free of racial prejudice and ‘white vans’ and a country and a people that enjoy the freedom to information, so that those who wield power cannot engage in underhand deals at the expense of the national coffers? more..

Where there is a book for everyone

Sept 24 (Island) Colombo International Book Fair 2012, Sri Lanka’s premier and best attended consumer fair marked its 14th milestone last week, with crowds flocking to BMICH. Spearheaded by Sri Lanka Book Publisher’s Association in 1999, the Fair has grown into a much sought after national event, attracting local and international publishers alike. This year’s Fair comprising over 400 stalls, among them 40 international publishers from India, Japan, more..

NGOs supported by the West do not help agitations by the Left

Sept 24 (CT) Pro-govt media claims that conspiracies are launched by imperialists of the West to destabilize the regime. This seems funny when one considers the loyalty of the govt to IMF rulings and to their advice in relation to the whole programme of development. The Mahinda regime is one of the most loyal among the developing countries to the imperial global system. In the present context, the word ‘imperialism’ is not adequate to classify the global capitalist more..

Handsome Hakeem, Rajavarothayam Sampanthan and the EP horse-trading

Sept 24 (CT) It has been said that man makes his own history but that he does it not under circumstances of his own choosing but conditions given and inherited from the past. The parties and leaders now jostling and positioning themselves in the Eastern Province Provincial Council horse-trade are superficially playing for influence, power and posts. True they think they also have an eye on the future. Deeper however, unknown even to themselves, they are setting more..

Crocs rampage at the Nilwala River

Sept 24 (LB) The human-crocodile conflict has risen alarmingly in and around the Nilwala River in Matara. The latest incident concerning the human-crocodile conflict took place a few weeks ago where a schoolgirl who went to bathe at the river was pounced on by a killer crocodile. However, what is also cause for concern is that despite officials giving regular warnings to the public not to step into the river from unmarked areas the public still more..

Towards reducing the fiscal deficit

Sept 24 (ST) The importance of containing the fiscal deficit and progressively decreasing it to a manageable level is an accepted govt policy objective. There is no better expression of this resolve than the Treasury’s reiteration that, despite a fiscal deficit of 4 per cent in the first half of this year, that it would achieve the targeted fiscal deficit of 6.2 per cent of GDP this year. With the slowing down of the economy, reduced tax revenues and expenditure overruns, this would be a daunting task. more..

Did lovelorn soldier commit suicide?

Sept 24 (SO) Many love affairs between young women and married men have ended in disaster sometimes with either party committing suicide. Unfortunately, many victims have been service personnel who have been involved in such tragedies. The latest incident was reported on Tuesday when an army major disgruntled over a love affair which he had cultivated with a young girl committed suicide by detonating a live hand grenade inside the vehicle in which he travelled more..

Rebuilding Lanka’s cricket

Sept 24 (ST) Two Saturdays ago we received a call from a relieved member of the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket thanking us for supporting the cause of developing the game of Cricket in Sri Lanka. He was happy because amidst all obstacles, they had managed to get the restructuring of the club tournament approved in a futuristic manner and this being the first step of the next phase of the game in the country. more..

Editorial: Insulting people's intelligence

Sept 24 (Island) Major Chandana Pradeep Susena's claim that he was too shocked to remember who really beat him the other day at Hilton Residence makes one feel sorry for him and the army. He is a weakling who gets easily shocked and disoriented in a scuffle with a few ruffians. If what he has told the Court is anything to go by, the army must be scraping the bottom of the barrel and it is a pity that the national military has had to depend on information provided by such personnel in making crucial decisions on matters concerning more..

T20 IND v ENG: Sharma and spinners destroy England

Sept 24 (CI) The result may not have great significance in this World Twenty20 but India could take heart, confidence and bragging rights after an overwhelming victory over England in their Group A game in Colombo. England's confidence, meanwhile, must have been crushed after a defeat that can only be described as humiliating. Both teams had already qualified for the Super Eight stage of the tournament and this result made no difference to the opposition they will face more..

Rupee continues to strengthen

Sept 24 (Island) The rupee continued to gain some ground against the US dollar last. "The rupee continued to appreciate against the US dollar in the absence of heavy import demand on light dollar selling by banks. The greenback opened for trading at Rs. 131.45/131.55 on Friday and closed stronger at Rs. 131.35-45.The highest trade for the day was at Rs. 131.50 and lowest was at Rs. 131.45," the Sri Lanka Forex Association said. The Central Bank and Treasury have both said the rupee was more..

Sri Lanka trade exhibition in Oman in Feb.

Sept 24 (DN) The Sri Lankan embassy in Oman will hold the Sri Lankan Trade Exhibition and Food Festival at Alfalaj Hotel, Muscat from February 12-14, 2013 with the aim of propagating Lankan cuisine, cultural heritage and trade. Sri Lankan ambassador Asoka Girihagama said that this would be organized to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between Oman and Sri Lanka. According to the ambassador, the Sri Lankan embassy will shoulder all arrangements. The ambassador said that the event will make an indelible more..

SEC suppressed info, Counsel of Melstacorp tells Court

Sept 24 (FT) The hearing of the alleged breach of the Mergers and Acquisition Code by Melstacorp Ltd., over Lanka Milk Foods (LMF) was taken up at the Magistrate’s Court on Friday 21 September. Defence Counsel C.R. De Silva, President’s Counsel, appearing on behalf of the defendant company, took up objection that the Mergers and Acquisitions code was not triggered as it was not relevant in this case. The Mergers and Acquisition Code came into being in 1995. more..

President to new Provincial Councillors: Turn victory into people’s triumph

Sept 24 (DN) President Rajapaksa yesterday exhorted the newly elected Provincial Councillors to dedicate themselves to convert their electoral victory into a people’s victory instead of treating this as a personal victory for themselves. Meeting the recently elected Provincial Councillors of the Sabaragamuwa and the North Central Provinces at Temple Trees to congratulate them on the UPFA’s victory, the President requested more..