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NGOs cash in on kidney disease misery

Apr 9 (Island) A large-scale racket of some NGOs had surfaced in the North-Central Province where they have despatched 10 to 15 teams to collect specimen from kidney patients promising test reports and help, but they had rendered no assistance. In future no person or team would be allowed to collect the specimen of the kidney patients without the approvals of the provincial Health Director or the Regional Health Director, the Health Ministry said yesterday. more..

CWC hits out at South Indian film stars

Apr 9 (CT) The Ceylon Workers' Congress has warned film stars in South India, if they launch any campaigns against Sri Lanka, a campaign to ban screening Tamil films produced in Tamil Nadu will commence in the up-country estate sector. Adviser, Ceylon Workers' Congress, T.V. Sennan, said if Tamil Nadu film stars who have been honoured by the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, launch a campaign against Sri Lanka, inciting racial hatred, they will compel the Sri Lankan Govt to more..

'Spreading communal violence is a govt move'

Apr 9 (LT) The wave of thuggery of 'balasena' unleashed in public recently and thuggery of similar gangs of thugs have been let loose on the society with the knowledge and patronage of the govt for its political requirement states the Coordinating Committee of Trade Unions. "The govt has reckoned that unleashing gangs of thugs with Buddhist priests to create hatred towards Muslims would get some sort of an acceptance more..

Buddhist fundamentalists attack (also) Christians

Apr 9 (AN) The Christians of Sri Lanka are now also being targeted by radical Buddhist groups: several evangelical organizations have denounced the increase in attacks against different communities in the month of March. An anomaly for the Buddhist-majority country, where the tensions of ethnic origin - between Tamils ​​and Sinhalese - are much more widespread than are those related to religions. The warning was launched by the Protestant Barnabas Fund that deals with finance projects to more..

'Be cautious when celebrating New Year'

Apr 9 (Island) While people are getting ready to celebrate the Sinhala and Hindu New Year this weekend, a medical expert has requested them to take precautionary measures to prevent possible accidents during the festive season. Director of the National Hospital Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that there were five main causes for injuries during the festive seasons in April and December every year. Domestic accidents, fire cracker injuries, sports injuries, road traffic accidents and violence more..

Basil opens SLFPA Night food market

Apr 9 (MEA) Minister Basil Rajapaksa opened Sri Lanka Food Processors Association the night food market (Hawker Street) at Diyatha Uyana, Battaramulla on April 8. Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa also attended the event as a guest of honour. The food market conducted by the Sri Lanka Food Processors Association (SLFPA) provided the stage for the manufacturers more..

Sajith lambastes govt. for stopping farmer pension scheme

Apr 9 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa slammed the govt for having brought the Farmer Pension Scheme, which the UNP govt initiated in 1987, to an abrupt halt since April 2011. A staggering Rs. 2,325 million remained unpaid. He said: "This is an absurd state of affairs. There are 2.7 million farmers and one million farmer families in the country but the govt has stalled the granting of pensions to them. This is the govt which does not bat an eyelid to cater to the social and economic elites and also more..

Rehabilitated Padeniya-Anuradhapura road vested in the people

Apr 9 (GDI) The gateway linking the North and South - the rehabilitated Padeniya -Anuradhapura Road was vested in the people on Monday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President addressing a gathering after opening the road called on all to join hands to carry forward development work protecting the Sri Lankan identity. He pointed out that certain elements were trying to disrupt the country’s development by spreading various rumours because they are jealous of more..

Sri Lankans in Korea being registered

Apr 9 (CG) The Sri Lankan Embassy in South Korea has sought details of all Sri Lankans in that country as a result of the recent tensions prevailing between North and South Korea. External Affairs Ministry spokesman Rodney Perera said that the Sri Lankan Embassy in South Korea has urged Sri Lankans to register with the Embassy so that the Embassy can keep track of them in the event there is a situation. However he said that so far more..

Audit report highlights malpractices at Galle MC

Apr 9 (CT) The Opposition Leader of the Galle Municipal Council (MC), Fayas Lathif (UNP), said the Galle MC has rented 21 stalls at the Central Bus Stand in Galle, overlooking the instructions issued by the Commissioner of Local Govt in this regard. Even though a laid down procedure has to be followed in selecting lessees, the selection had been carried out while the MC had been dissolved, and lease agreements had also been signed, which goes against the laid down stipulations, more..

Asylum-seeker boat arrives at busy WA port

Apr 9 (AAP) A ramshackle fishing boat carrying suspected asylum seekers from Sri Lanka has made an astonishing arrival at the busy West Australian port of Geraldton, just 400km north of Perth. Stunned locals enjoying a lunchtime coffee at a harbourside eatery spotted the blue and white fishing vessel floating near the shore around noon on Tuesday. Despite Geraldton Port being one of Australia's busiest regional ports, the boat with 66 people aboard made it to within metres of more..

Bodu Bala Sena goes International

Apr 9 (DM) Bodu Bala Sena is all set to go international, Executive Committee Member Dilantha Vithanage said. “There is a high demand from abroad for our organisation. It has become essential to extend our organisation and our contribution internationally so as to raise awareness among the international community about our mission,” he said. “We see this as a great opportunity to clear any doubts about the more..

DIG’s son’s FR case postponed

Apr 9 (Island) The fundamental rights violation complaint, filed with the Human Rights Commission, by DIG Ravi Waidyalankara’s son Asela, against the police officers who inquired into the Passikudah assault incident was postponed yesterday as the complainant’s lawyer was not available, SLHRC chief Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said yesterday. Asked when the case would be taken up, he said a date had not been set as the complainant’s attorney had not been able to say when exactly more..

Govt radiologists to commence strike

Apr 9 (NF) Govt Radiologists will commence a strike today based on several demands. Chairman of the Govt Radiologists' Association, Chanaka Darmawickrama says that radiologists will be on sick leave from 8 a.m. Tuesday to 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. He said that the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, the Soysa Hospital, Castle Street Hospital and Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children's hospital in Peradeniya will not be affected by the strike. The strike is carried out based on five main more..

'Sri Lanka aiming for low inflation, 7.5% growth in 2013'

Apr 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's interest rates and inflation would fall in the coming months in a virtuous cycle, helped also by market pricing energy which will lower credit pressure, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. Sri Lanka's inflation rose 7.5% in the 12 months to March 2013 but eased from 9.2% in December, as the exchange rate fell from 110 to 134 to the US dollar in the first half of 2012 under pressure from sterilized more..

UNP urges fuel price reduction in line with world market

Apr 9 (Island) The UNP called upon the govt to bring down fuel prices on par with the decreased prices in the world market. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathilake said that the prices of a barrel of crude oil in the world market had come down to US $ 85 and the govt which jacked up fuel prices when the world market prices had been on the rise should bring them down accordingly. With the latest price decreases in the international market, the Petroleum Corporation could sell at a profit a litre more..

Govt. ready to go for carbon dating of Matale grave finds

Apr 9 (Island) The govt was ready to go for carbon dating, after the CID handed over its report on the Matale mass grave, Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle said yesterday. There were only three countries capable of conducting carbon tests and they were the US, Russia and India, he said, noting that it was a very costly affair. President Mahinda Rajapaksa would appoint an independent commission to inquire into the matter, he said. more..

LTTE spokesman’s family gets asylum in Sweden

Apr 9 (DM) The wife and children of Rasiah Ilanthiraiyan, who had been an LTTE spokesman have been given asylum in Sweden, a former LTTE reader Lohini Rathimohan said. She said that she also sailed in a refugee boat with them. Lohini is also among the refugees, who are now staying in Dubai under UNHCR care. When the boat they were sailing had broken down at sea, they contacted UN Refugees unit and were more..

Public’s understanding, support vital to overcome intl. challenges - GL

Apr 9 (Island) The need of the hour is for the public to understand clearly the challenges facing the nation at international level and to stand in solidarity with the govt to protect the hard won victory which has enabled the nation to realise its full potential, Minister G.L. Peiris said while addressing a series of public meetings in the Tissamaharama and Tangalle areas over the weekend. The meetings were held with the intention of forming SLFP branch organisations. more..

Police arrest ‘cobra girl’ after return from Thailand

Apr 9 (E24|7) Nirosha Wimlarathna, known as the ‘cobra girl’, was arrested by Kollupitiya Police on Tuesday at a hotel in Bambalapitiya, police said. It is reported that she returned from Thailand in the early hours of Tuesday. She was produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate Prasanna Alwis, who ordered to release the suspect on Rs50,000 personal bail. Two days ago, the Colombo Fort Magistrate turned down a police request to direct the Controller of Immigration and Emigration more..

TNA seeks Mannar Bishop’s help to unify the party

Apr 9 (DM) The constituent parties of the TNA have sought the assistance of Mannar Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph to prevail upon the party leadership to have the party registered as a separate political entity, ahead of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC)election, informed sources said. The TNA is made up of five parties; ITKAK headed by MP R. Sampanthan; EPRLF headed by MP Suresh Premachandran; more..

Robberies of tourists in Sri Lanka hit 6-year high in 2012

Apr 9 (E24|7) More foreigners were robbed in Sri Lanka during the year 2012 compared to the previous six years, Sri Lanka Tourist Police statistics revealed. Some 79 complaints of robbery were recorded last year while 59 foreigners were robbed in 2011, reports Ceylon Today. Twenty cases of robbery were reported in 2007, 14 in 2008, 26 in 2009 and 26 in 2010. Meanwhile, 243 and 146 complaints from tourists were received in 2010 and 2012 respectively. more..

No leadership change - JVP

Apr 9 (DM) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said today the party had not taken any decision to change the leadership anytime soon. “Even though Party Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said he won’t be in the leadership forever, we are in no hurry to change the leadership today or in the near future,” party media secretary Vijitha Herath said. Mr. Herath told Daily Mirror that if a change had to be happen, it would happen at the right time.

Indian parliamentarians in Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (Hindu) Five parliamentarians from India, who arrived here Monday night, met Speaker of the Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa and External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka G.L. Peiris on Tuesday, it is reliably learnt. However, sources with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) — which organized the trip — refused to divulge details of the agenda or the outcome of the meetings. more..

The LLRC and devolution: politics of skipping the caveats

Apr 10 (NS) When the Govt proposed setting up a LLRC, there were howls of protests from the likes of Jehan Perera and Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu. Many of these I/NGO operators didn’t even appear before the LLRC perhaps fearing that the commissioners would ask them to submit in full their various comments to the media, in the form of statement or political commentary. When the LLRC finally came out with a ‘Report’, they changed their tune. They said ‘Implement the LLRC more..

Despite hostile environment Jaffna remains powerful media hub in the country

Apr 10 (DBS) The Jaffna Peninsula is unique as far as regional media activities are concerned. Away from Colombo, this is the only region in the country where the ‘fourth estate’ thrives. Remarkably, not only four regional newspapers are published here, the country’s first regional television station, Dish Asia Network (DAN), which caters to the region as well as abroad via satellite, also has its main operations here. The first blow to a Jaffna newspaper was struck on the very night more..

Kamalawathi’s search for missing sons

Apr 10 (CT) The two teenage sons of K.G. Kamalawathi were snatched by the soldiers who arrived at her residence during a notorious ‘military round up’ of local youth on 13 December 1989. The two teenagers, Susantha Janaka (18) and Rohana Nishantha (17), were GCE A/L students at Science College and Vijaya Vidyalaya, Matale. The two boys were having their lunch when the military unceremoniously entered their home at more..

A piece of Lords in Negombo

Apr 10 (NS) Although the green billboard outside the restaurant reads ‘Lords’ in bold white font; the gallery cum eatery has barely anything to do with Cricket, apart from the fact that the six sections of the restaurant, the six venues within the venue, namely The Batsman, LBW Cocktail and Wine Bar, The Bowlers Bistro and Bar, Oval Seafood Restaurant, The Umpires Lounge Bar and The Boundaries, had been named reflecting on the different aspects of the ‘Gentleman’s game’ more..

Who is responsible – II?

Apr 10 (Island) India has never been our friend since the English purportedly left that country leaving the legacy of a middle class that could be called McCauley’s Children. In addition there is a Brahmin class that is against Buddhism that has an axe to grind against the Sinhala Buddhists for protecting Theravada Buddhism. The Brahmin class can be found not only among prominent politicians such as the Nehru - Gandhi family and Jeyalalitha but also in the Indian Civil Service and the RAW. more..

Beira Lake, from backyard to a showpiece

Apr 10 (SO) 'Beira Lake' or the Colombo Lake as it was called during the colonial era would have been the most glamorous attraction in the city of Colombo as history reveals that the lake has been covering about 165 hectares of land in the city when it was originally created by the Portuguese in 1521 as a lake that protected their Fort from the locals. The 'Beira Lake' that heralds such a rich history driven towards more..

BBS, religious fundamentalism, barbarism and democracy

Apr 10 (CT) In Ceylon, in the sixties, democracy was alive and kicking. The pre ’56 era produced an anglicised coterie of pukka sahibs aping the west. After the 1956 revolution, we became non-aligned but were now aping the communist block. Bandaranaike was a true democrat who ignored the venomous press, which was hell bent on destroying him politically. As an Oxonian, he knew the freedom of the press was sine quo non for the sustenance of a democratic society. more..

An “un-common” candidate for presidency and another “Sinhala” constitution

Apr 10 (CT) When will the next presidential elections come? The last was in January, 2010. But President Rajapaksa was not sworn in immediately after elections as in 2005 November. His Excellency had the privilege of swearing in this second time, on the day he thought he should. The interpretation for the date of swearing in, came accordingly. He was sworn in for his Second Term in November, 2010, almost ten months after he was elected. The law of the land says, next presidential more..

Voice of sanity

Apr 10 (Island) When we observe Buddhist monks full of rage and lust for the exercise of physical power going about the country with a creed of hate and a call to arms against Muslims and other ‘non-believers,’ the sight of a sagely monk calmly, serenely, peacefully and intelligently campaigning for a change in the constitution that will benefit all and restore peace, it is much more than a breath of fresh air. It is the very embodiment of hope more..

Stop shifting CMC’s garbage problem

Apr 10 (Island) Colombo’s garbage problem is as old as the city itself. Time was when the people of Colombo depended on some hard-skinned reptiles—not to be confused with politicians—to solve it for them. During the colonial era, they were in the habit of throwing waste into the Beira Lake and a congregation of fat crocodiles would take care of it greedily. This practice apparently got into the genes of their descendants with the passage of time and after the Beira crocs went more..

Two fresh strains of paddy invented

Apr 10 (DN) The Batalagoda Paddy Research Station has invented two fresh strains of paddy. Additional Director (Research) S.W. Abeysekara attached to Batalagoda Paddy Research Station said the two novel varieties of paddy are named BG 369 and BG 3R. BG369 is a white rice variety and through the successful cultivation of this variety in an acre of land, a harvest of 100 to 125 bushels of paddy could easily be yielded. It is highly resistant to pests and insect diseases, Abeysekara said. more..

'Elections will be held on due date'

Apr 10 (ST) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the Sri Lanka Cricket elections, which were postponed from March 31 to April 16, will be held on schedule. “In spite of Thilanga Sumathipala being a MP representing the govt, we were able to get the correct verdict from the courts. No-one can disprove that Thilanga has connections with the gaming industry,” the minister said. Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed more..

The international community's covert moves to oust Gotabhaya

Apr 10 (DBS) “The skeletons in the mass graves in Matale are those of the 60,000 JVP members killed during the UNP regime in 1988-89. We urge the govt to immediately conduct a probe into the findings,” says the JVP. While the media began reporting the issue, the JVP held media briefings and issued communiqués in this regard. However, after a while, the JVP changed its tune, somewhat. They suddenly alleged that during the period in question, it was Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who more..

SC petitioned against educational appointments

Apr 10 (Island) 158 persons have complained to the Supreme Court about a Cabinet memorandum submitted by the Minister of Education, seeking to appoint, to the Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service, a large number of persons, who had only performed cover-up duties. The petitioners have pointed out they sat the limited competitive examinations and obtained high marks in 2011. They had to await for promotion. They have said that if the persons who performed cover-up duties more..

AG to peruse ‘X-files’

Apr 10 (DM) The extracts of the investigation reports in connection with the popular X-files actress Gillian Anderson’s Sri Lankan property case has been forwarded to the Attorney General for his advice, the CID informed Court today. In a case in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court, the Sri Lankan caretaker Anura Weeraratne Bandara was charged with having misappropriated Rs.17.8 million from the Sri Lankan more..

CB Annual Report 2012: Economic outlook

Apr 10 (Island) The Sri Lankan economy grew at a healthy rate of 6.4% in 2012 while inflation was maintained at single digits for a fourth consecutive year, despite several global and domestic challenges. Improved business and consumer confidence, which supported a robust economic growth of 8 per cent in the preceding two consecutive years, was accompanied by high credit and monetary expansion and a widening trade deficit fuelled by high import demand. more..