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Traditional Medical Research Institute to be set up in Mihinthale

Apr 10 (DN) The Indigenous Medicine Ministry has taken measures to build a Traditional Medical Research Institute in Mihinthale. The foundation stone laying ceremony was held under the patronage of Deputy Indigenous Medicine Minister Pandu Bandaranayake recently. The govt has allocated Rs 300 million for the construction of the first step of the Traditional Medical Research Institute in Mihinthale. The State Engineering Corporation will carry out construction work more..

Be positive says MR as debts mount to Rs. 6 trilion

Apr 10 (Island) President Rajapaksa invited all to be positive and contribute towards sustainable inclusive economic growth as debt continues to mount. Govt debt, as a percentage of GDP, increased to 79.1% in 2012 compared to 78.5% in the previous year and 77.7% projected in the Medium Term Macro Fiscal Framework, largely due to the depreciation of the rupee. In nominal terms, the outstanding govt debt increased by 16.9% more..

Legal action to be taken against unregistered vehicles

Apr 10 (CT) Police have decided to take legal action against owners of vehicles which are unregistered, as well as against those with tinted (dark) glasses. Police further said, according to the regulations of the Motor Vehicle Ordinance, vehicles should be registered within 10 days. A senior police officer said politicians have been informed as well, through their Security Divisions, on measures being taken against unregistered vehicles. He further said, nearly 50 unregistered vehicles, running more..

Northern enterprises to benefit from FCCISL project

Apr 10 (DN) The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), will implement “Financial Assistance for Repairs of Damaged Business in Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu” which is being fully grant-funded by the Govt of India through High Commission of India. The project is envisioning facilitating 1230 beneficiaries who falls in to two categories namely, Micro and Small Enterprises and Medium and Large Enterprises. The beneficiaries are been referred to more..

Asylum boat's arrival on mainland may force border patrol rethink

Apr 10 (TA) Border protection authorities will review the adequacy of asylum boat patrols after a vessel carrying 66 Sri Lankans made it to the West Australian mainland undetected. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said the boat, which arrived in Geraldton yesterday, is believed to have sailed direct from Sri Lanka. He said it appeared to have taken a much longer and more southerly route than most asylum-seeker vessels, keeping it more..

Estate Trade Unions to stage 'Black Day' protest

Apr 10 (CT) Leading plantation sector trade unions including the Democratic Workers Congress (DWC), National Union of Workers (NUW) and the All Ceylon Estate Workers Union (ACEWU), have expressed their dissatisfaction over the collective agreement signed by the Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC), Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Lanka Jathika Estate Workers Union (LJEWU) and the Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre (JPTUC). To show their displeasure, the DWC and more..

Norochcholai resumes power generation

Apr 10 (Island) The country’s first coal fired power plant at Norochcholai recommenced operations yesterday evening after a nearly 48-hour break down due to a trip off. Due to the painstaking effort of engineers headed by Senior Engineer, Saliya Panditharatne, the 300 MW plant was able to contribute to the national grid from last night. Following the trip off on Sunday, a valve of the plant was badly affected and replacing it was a tedious process, according to technical officials. more..

Ranil asks govt. if it will talk to US

Apr 10 (Island) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday demanded in Parliament that the Govt reveal whether it had any intention of holding negotiations with the US on the progress of the implementation of the LLRC recommendations. Making a special statement, he demanded to know where those anticipated talks would take place, whether it would be in Washington DC, Geneva or Colombo. He also queried more..

Two baby jumbos to be fitted with micro chips

Apr 10 (CT) For the first time in Sri Lanka, two baby elephants at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage will be fitted with micro chips so as to monitor their breeding patterns, intensively. The two male baby elephants aged nine and 13 months, respectively, will be fitted with micro chips donated by the Deputy Director of the Vienna Zoo, Harald Schwammer, at a ceremony to be held at the Elephant Orphanage today. The programme was initiated at the behest of the Vienna Zoo and officials of the more..

Investors gobble-up BOC international dollar bonds

Apr 10 (Island) State banking giant Bank of Ceylon’s (BOC) international debt issue was 6.8 times oversubscribed yesterday with the bank upsizing the US$ 300 million international bond issue to US$ 500 million, at a yield of 5.325%, 150bps lower than the previous issue last year. The bank also made history by raising US$ 1 billion from international capital markets within 12 months. BOC launched its second 5 year US dollar denominated bonds (senior notes due 2018) within a space of 12 months. more..

TNA urges govt. to ensure protection for all communities

Apr 10 (Island) The TNA yesterday urged the govt to refrain from acts of partisanship and discharge its constitutional duty to ensure that equal protection of the law was afforded to all people in the country including Muslims. Making a special statement in Parliamet yesterday, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said that his party wished to emphasize that the enforcement of law and order and ensuring the safety and more..

No halt to Sri Lankan workers going to South Korea

Apr 10 (Island) Amidst soaring tensions in the Korean peninsula, fuelled by North Korea’s anger over the imposition of UN sanctions and joint US-South Korean military exercises, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said that there were no moves to prevent Sri Lankan workers from going to South Korea. SLBFE Deputy General Manager Mangala Randeniya said that the South Korean Human Resource Ministry had not made any request to stop sending workers to that more..

‘China has no self interest in Sri Lanka’

Apr 10 (DN) China and Sri Lanka are true friends, and cooperative partners. More Chinese tourists are to visit this beautiful island of Sri Lanka, Deputy Head of Mission and Political Counselor of Chinese Embassy in Colombo Ren Faqiang said. China has no self interest in Sri Lanka. What China pursues is common development and mutual cooperation. Sri Lankan friends will see more Chinese state-owned and private enterprises make investments in Sri Lanka, he said. He was delivering the more..

Garbage protestors thrown out

Apr 10 (CT) The continuous satyagraha campaign launched by the residents of Meethotamulla, Kolonnawa, protesting against the Meethotamulla garbage dump, was forcibly dispersed by the police and riot squad yesterday, and 5 persons arrested for causing public unrest. Over 300 police officers and a number of army and riot squad personnel dispersed the agitators, who were demanding the 16-acre garbage dump more..

Court dismisses DIG's request

Apr 10 (CT) The Colombo Magistrate's Court yesterday dismissed an appeal by a Senior DIG to issue a court order to disperse a crowd involved in an indefinite satyagraha in Meethotamulla, Kolonnawa, demanding the immediate removal of the 16-acre garbage dump site in the area. Senior DIG, Anura Senanayake, informed Court the crowd has been involved in the satyagraha campaign at the garbage dump site, since last Saturday, causing disturbances to the area residents. more..

'Ban Tamil Films in Sri Lanka'

Apr 10 (OI) A Buddhist nationalist group today staged a protest here for halting screening of Kollywood movies in Sri Lanka. Members of Ravana Balaya gathered outside the office of the cinema regulator Public Performance Board and theatres to press for a ban on Tamil movies coming from South India. "We want to see the end of Tamil Nadu movies into our country. Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Sarath Kumar movies must never be shown here again", Ven Saddhatissa of the Ravana more..

Fiscal deficit 6.4% of GDP in 2012, slightly off target

Apr 10 (Island) Amidst a challenging environment the govt fiscal deficit reached 6.4% of GDP in 2012, slightly overshooting the 6.2% target, as expected, as revenue fell significantly, falling short of the budgeted target, while both recurrent and capital expenditure stayed below target. "The budget deficit for 2012 was expected to be reduced to 6.2% of GDP from 6.9% of GDP recorded in 2011. To achieve that target, more..

With CPC, CEB reforms, interest rates to dip by June – Dr. PB

Apr 10 (FT) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera yesterday expressed confidence that interest rates would come down by June, enabling the banking sector to resume the empowering role of the economy via productive investments by the private sector. “Several public enterprises face key risks and in the interest of the future generations, reforms are critical. Given the ongoing measures to improve the viability of CPC and CEB, interest rates should come down from May or June, more..

Police after the pastor and his pigsty

Apr 10 (CT) Police investigations have revealed that a pastor who was running a home for children, orphaned following the devastating tsunami of 2005, at Bogaspelessa in Tissamaharama, had surreptitiously used the services of his haplessly innocent wards to slaughter pigs and fowl. The pastor had been charged for cruelty to children and following extensive police investigations, it was also exposed that the particular pigsty was illegally maintained within the premises of the more..

'Govt. won’t comply with UNHRC resolution'

Apr 10 (DM) The Govt yesterday reaffirmed in Parliament that it did not concur with the US-sponsored resolution adopted at the UNHRC sessions on March 22. Responding to a statement by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister G.L. Peiris said therefore the Govt would not hold talks with anyone on the matters contained in the resolution. “Sri Lanka cannot acquiesce with the resolution adopted. more..

Editorial: Fuel prices - The Ministry must stop lying!

Apr 10 (DM) Despite the rising cost of living and government claims that the cost of fuel cannot be reduced the reality is that the price of Saudi West Texas Intermediary Crude on Monday had dropped to US$ 93 a barrel. In our Editorial recently we alerted readers to the subterfuge that our govt had perpetrated in deceiving the people into believing that they had no alternative but to increase the cost of fuel by around 15% as, according to it, the cost of crude oil had risen in the world markets more..

Transform religion into a powerful unifying force

Apr 10 (DM) It would not be far from the truth to say that Sinhala and Tamil New Year evokes the variety of jingoism and inflated national pride that can easily be missed a week after the festival. To a large extent, one can attribute this sudden outburst of patriotic fervour to a sort of automated conformism; the desire to be part of a shared experience that is larger than us. It’s human nature to flock together, even instinctively. The feeling of belonging has primal connotations of safety inherent more..

Sri Lanka’s economy to recover in 2013-14: ADB

Apr 10 (FT) ADB’s flagship annual economic publication Asian Development Outlook 2013 (ADO 2013), released yesterday, says Sri Lanka’s economic growth is expected to recover gradually to 6.8% in 2013 and to 7.2% in 2014. Sri Lanka’s performance in 2012 reflected a strong showing in industry, which grew by 10.3%, driven by a doubling of growth in construction. Services sector growth, however, slowed down due to subdued more..

Lack of funds led to students’ injuries from collapsed staircase

Apr 10 (ST) National Heritage Minister Dr. Jagath Balasuriya said on Friday that lack of funds was the cause for the collapse of a stairway at the Colombo National Museum that left 34 students injured, at least four of them with fractures on both legs according to hospital records. Less than two-hundredth of the museum budget of Rs. 201,670,000, just Rs. 900,000, has been allocated to building maintenance for 2013, more..

The Mervyn – Malaka Pestilence

Apr 10 (SL) The acquittal of Malaka Silva in the case of the alleged assault on an Army Intelligence Officer, and the granting of bail to Sarath Edirisinghe alias Singappuru Sarath and Saman Nishaman two of the five main suspects in the murder of Hasitha Madawala (Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member), implies that any suspected criminals connected to Minister Mervyn Silva are released in next to no time. more..

SL Tamil leaders seek an interim self-govt

Apr 10 (LB) The Tamil people in Sri Lanka can find solutions to their grievances only through an interim self-govt, Tamil political leaders have told the visiting Indian joint parliamentary delegation. Demanding an interim administration, Tamil representatives who met the Indian MPs in Jaffna had told the Indian delegation that the Provincial Council system under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution are inadequate to solve their more..

Over 1,700 children, 330 women raped in 2012, Parliament told

Apr 10 (Island) Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament that 1,759 children and 330 women had been raped in Sri Lanka last year. Besides 547 children and 29 women had been sexually harassed during the same period, the minister said, adding that 1,194 complaints, on child abuse had been reported. The minister was responding to a query raised by DNA MP Sunil Handunetti. more..

IOC draws big plans for Sri Lanka but operational issues trouble

Apr 10 (PTI) Despite Sri Lanka announcing that it would partially take back unused World War II time strategic oil storage depot in Trincomalee from Indian Oil Corporation’s local arm, the company is set to go ahead with its expansions plans in Sri Lanka. “We are going ahead with our expansion plans, including the setting up of a $17-million Bitumen handling facility. We are also looking to refurbish about 30 oil tanks more..

President laughs at ‘Mattala joke’

Apr 10 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa commenting on opposition criticism about the govt’s development drive said in lighter vein said that one opposition member had even remarked that three pilots were needed for a plane to take off from MRIA. “One pilot to drive away the birds, the other to drive away the elephants and the third to pilot the plane,” President Rajapaksa said amid loud laughter from the audience. more..

US Commander says Lanka must reconcile

Apr 10 (CG) Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), told US lawmakers during a Congressional hearing yesterday that Sri Lanka must reconcile with the end of the war.He said that Sri Lanka needs to work to move past its recent history and reconcile a nation divided by many years of civil war. The US Commander also said that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which was responsible for the Mumbai more..

Gotabhaya reminds former Indian UN rep of his role in Colombo during 80s

Apr 10 (Island) Had the then Indian govt acted with responsibility, Sri Lanka wouldn’t have experienced a 30-year war, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. People of all communities would have been still suffering horrors of war, if not for the eradication of terrorism in May 2009, following a three-year combined security forces campaign, he said, noting that India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for more..

India gave LTTE Rs 50 lakh as compensation for Indo-Lanka pact

Apr 10 (TOI) Did India compensate the LTTE after the 1987 Indo-Lanka pact and the dispatch of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka? The US administration believed so, according to a cable sent by its embassy here and released by Wikileaks. A cable dated April 5, 1988 cites newspaper reports, which quoted J N Dixit, then Indian envoy to Sri Lanka that a stipend was agreed upon and was to be paid to the LTTE more..

'Economic ban will hit efforts to rehabilitate Lankan Tamils'

Apr 10 (Hindu) Imposition of economic ban on Sri Lanka by the Centre, as demanded by political parties of Tamil Nadu, would jeopardise the efforts of India in rehabilitating the Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president B.S. Gnanadesikan said. He recalled that the Centre had made an allocation of Rs. 4,000 crore for the welfare of the Tamils in the island nation. This included construction of 50,000 houses, providing boats for fishermen, and construction of hospitals and more..

Heritage histories: What they are and how they operate through Jaffna

Apr 10 (CT) Heritage histories define who we are and how we think of ourselves. They are about us. They define us and our group attributes – caste, nobility, exclusivity – to strengthen and bind a community. Often they are therefore untidy and incorrect. Doubts are soul wrenching and resisted. Thus when questions about the caste of an ancestor come up many of us are troubled and react strongly. Those speaking of an ancestor who had multiple wives are hushed by the family. more..

The tragedy of so many errors

Apr 10 (Island) The monks of the Bodu Bala Sena have inadvertently done Sri Lanka a favour. Their speeches are so crass and their actions so crude that they have provoked a backlash – the media is full of criticism of their anti-Muslim campaign, much of it coming from Sinhala Buddhists themselves. People have recognised that these groups are a menace. The question is whether their rise has been properly understood and more..

S’gamuwa University students to protest after new year

Apr 10 (Island) Undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa University are planning a protest campaign, after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festival, to highlight shortcomings in the administration and ongoing harassment of those engaged in student activities. Representative of the Sabaragamuwa University Students’ Council told The Island that the university administration had suspended six students, including the President of their union, without any valid reason. more..

Editorial : Police force is not the answer

Apr 10 (CT) When computing the per capita garbage generated in Colombo and the limited land available for its disposal, the more excitable among us no doubt ponder on the portent of being buried under mountains of rubbish one day. Well, that one day has become ‘now’ for the residents of Meethotamulla, who have been protesting since last Saturday, against the growing mountain of garbage, literally at their backdoor. Meethotamulla, almost at the entrance to the Kolonnawa electorate, more..

Move to shift Lotteries Board to H’thota

Apr 10 (DM) The COPE has identified a move to shift the National Lotteries Board (NLB) to Hambantota from its present location in Colombo, Parliament was informed. NLB officials had confirmed this to the COPE at a meeting held recently. UNP MPs Dayasiri Jayasekara, Ravi Karunanayake, Eran Wickramaratne and JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti were present at the meeting. Mr. Jayasekara raised the issue in the House more..

Akuressa posts most suicides

Apr 10 (CT) Over 700 persons in Akuressa, in the Matara District have been diagnosed with various types of mental diseases, according to the Chief Medical Officer, Akuressa District Hospital, Dr. Manaka Vidanapathirana. Addressing the Akuressa Regional Co-ordinating Committee, Dr. Vidanapathirana said, most of them did not even know they had a psychiatric problem. “They do not attend clinics either due to lack of awareness of their illness, or because of poverty. more..

Disclose report on investigations – HSTUA

Apr 10 (CT) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) has urged the Ministry of Health to disclose the outcome of the investigations into the vials of vaccinations that had contained pieces of glass. President of the HSTUA, Saman Ratnapriya, said they had lodged a complaint with the Secretary to the Ministry of Health regarding the vials that had contained pieces of glass, and regretted that to date no action had been taken against any person or body with regard to the incidents. more..