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Severe shortage of drugs in the country

Apr 17 (DM) A severe shortage of medicinal drugs in the country has put millions of patients in the lurch as the Treasury has failed to release funds to the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) to import and purchase drugs. SPC Chairman Prof. S.D. Jayaratne said he would meet President Rajapaksa who was also the Finance Minister to discuss this highly sensitive problem as he required at least Rs.10 billion more..

Editorial : US is tightening the screws

Apr 17 (CT) It is no secret that the US Govt is not impressed with the performance of the Sri Lankan Govt. If one was disillusioned into thinking otherwise, news reports of the proposal by the new Secretary of State, John Kerry, to cut down American aid to Sri Lanka by 20%, would have put paid to that. The proposal is akin to a sanction of sorts, and reflects the discomfort in the US-Sri Lanka relations over issues associated with human rights, reconstruction and political integration more..

PCCSL receives 30 complaints

Apr 17 (CG) The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 30 complaints during the first quarter of this year, the PCCSL said. Of the complaints, 16 were against Sinhala newspapers, 8 against Tamil newspapers and 2 against English newspapers. The PCCSL said it had also received 4 complaints which were not concerning newspapers. The PCCSL had received the most number of complaints during the first quarter of this year in the month of February which was 15. more..

UK men jailed for attacking Sinhalese man

Apr 17 (CG) Two Tamil men in Britain have been jailed for a brutal unprovoked attack on a man in Wembley who was targeted because he was Sinhalese, the Kilburn Times reported. Angelo Lazarus, 30, of Northwick Road, and Sathulinga Sinneveham, 32, of Pasture Road, punched, kicked and beat their victim with a broken bottle on February 12 last year. Harrow Crown Court heard the victim was approached by the pair more..

Factors making for governmental victory at any cost

Apr 17 (CT) The Sri Lankan govt continues to be unyielding in its approach to governance and reconciliation issues. Having fought against the United States for two successive years in the diplomatic arena at the UNHRC in Geneva and failed to win against it, the govt now appears to have changed its strategy. It has hired not one but two US companies that it believes are adept at public relations campaigning and are paying them to get the govt’s message across. more..

Newspaper society condemns attack on Uthayan

Apr 17 (Island) The Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka has strongly condemned the arson attack on the office of the Uthayan Newspaper in Jaffna, during the early hours of April 13. The following is the text of a statement issued by the the Newspaper Society: "The Uthayan Office in Jaffna houses both the printing press of the newspaper as well as the Editorial Office. This is the third attack on Uthayan, its office and personnel in the past four months of this year. Reports from Jaffna indicate that more..

Vehicle manufacturing and assembling plant in Hambantota

Apr 17 (GDI) Micro Cars Limited, Pioneer in the Sri Lankan automobile industry for Designing, Manufacturing and Assembling Automobiles, whilst catering to the rapidly growing local market and significantly expanding its presence and recognition internationally during the last decade are now taking another significant step to develop the local automobile industry by signing with the Board of Investment to set up a more..

Adhere to proper accounting practices before giving patients bills — SLSMLS

Apr 17 (Island) The Sri Lanka Society for Medical Laboratory Science (SLSMLS) urged the Health Ministry to adhere to a proper management accounting practice before issuing bills to patients. President of the SLSMLS, Ravi Kumudesh said that the sudden decision taken by the Ministry to issue a bill to patients taking treatment from govt hospitals did not give an actual picture of the total cost of the free health service. Kumudesh said that the free health service was still unable to meet the more..

China donates Rs.250 M. worth Generators

Apr 17 (MEA) Electricity generators from China for use in carpeting provincial roads under the direction of the Economic Development Ministry were distributed among the relevant organizations yesterday. Minister Basil Rajapaksa presided over the ceremony held at the Defence Ministry premises. The total value of the 10 generators (with a capacity of 600 KW each) is around Rs. 250 million. They were given to the Road Development Authority (RDA), Central engineering consultancy more..

Sri Lanka banks on British Airways return

Apr 17 (Telegraph) Prospective visitors to Sri Lanka may be perturbed by recent revelations that the country’s hotels are being asked to provide police with the passport numbers and visa details of foreign guests. The move might sound Orwellian, but should be seen as a – perhaps overcautious – response to crimes targeting travellers. Khuram Shaikh, a British national, was fatally attacked at the resort of Tangalle more..

Sinhala & Tamil New Year celebrations in Cuba

Apr 17 (GDI) The Sinhala & Tamil New Year celebrations were held on a grand scale at the Ambassador’s Official Residence in Cuba on 13th April amid a large gathering of Sri Lankan students and well wishers. The festivities began with the lighting of the ceremonial oil lamp followed by beating of raban to the tune of magul bera heralding the dawn of Avurudu. Welcoming the guests, Ambassador Sarath Dissanayake spoke of the significance of the Sinhala & Tamil New Year more..

Law Society supports call for suspension of Sri Lanka from Commonwealth

Apr 17 (LS) The Law Society of England and Wales today added its voice to those calling for the suspension of Sri Lanka from the Councils of the Commonwealth, following reports of serious breaches of the rule of law and judicial independence. It announced its support for the high-level international resolution at the 18th Commonwealth Law Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. The resolution, which was ratified at the conference by the Commonwealth more..

‘Over 500 TN fishermen arrested by Lankan navy since May 2011’

Apr 17 (PTI) Tamil Nadu govt said that due to its consistent efforts Sri Lanka had released over 500 fishermen arrested by its navy since May, 2011 and re-affirmed that retrieval of ‘katchatheevu,’ an islet ceded by India to the neighbouring nation in 1974, was its “topmost agenda.” TN Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had written 17 letters to the Centre on the issue of arrests of Indian fishermen by SL Navy more..

Assistance for victims of Lankan Navy attacks

Apr 17 (ENS) Chief minister N Rangasamy on Tuesday announced financial assistance for the families of 33 Karaikal fishermen who were assaulted by Sri Lankan Navy personnel. As per the announcement made by the Chief Minister, the families of seven fishermen injured in attack by the Sri Lankan Navy on April 12 while fishing in Kodiakarai area, who were hospitalised, would be given `15,000 each from Chief Minister’s relief fund. Moreover, each of the families of 26 more..

Shares near 3 months high

Apr 17 (Reuters) Shares hit a near three-month high on Wednesday, as investors bought banks a day after the central bank said there would be room for further monetary policy easing, though it froze the key policy rates for April. The central bank on Tuesday kept key monetary policy rates unchanged for a fourth straight month, as expected, but left the door open for easing later as inflation is expected to slow further. The main stock index gained 0.27%, or 15.85 points, to 5,868.53, more..

State Vesak Festival in Buttala

Apr 17 (GDI) The state Vesak Festival this year will be held at Yudaganawa Raja Maha Vihara premises in Buttala in the Moneragala district. A discussion in this connection was held at the Prime Minister’s office. The festival will be held on the directive of President Rajapaksa and the guidance of Prime Minister D M Jayaratne. At the meeting, getting 1,000 schoolchildren and 2,000 adults to participate in the sil observation more..

Indian Naval ships welcomed in Colombo

Apr 17 (PTI) Three Indian Naval ships today berthed at the Colombo port as part of efforts to enhance the mutual cooperation between the navies of Sri Lanka and India. 'INS Sujata, 'INS Tarangini' and the coast guard ship 'ICGS Varuna' were welcomed in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. They are on a training visit, the Sri Lanka Navy said. INS Sujata is an offshore patrol vessel with a Chetak helicopter and 192 naval personnel onboard. INS Tarangini, a sail training ship, more..

Cricket match ends in loss of life

Apr 17 (NF) A youth was killed in a clash that broke out between two groups following a cricket match in the Watagoda area in Talawakele Tuesday evening. An argument over the result of a cricket match that took place in the Madakumbura area in Watagoda led to a clash between two groups. Police say that an individual died when he was attacked with a wicket. The victim has been identified as eighteen-year-old Sukumara Paartheevan a resident of the Madakumbura upper division area. more..

Sri Lanka power tariffs raised

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's power regulator has approved a tariff request by state-run Ceylon Electricity Board denying a request to reduce tariffs of large domestic users, after earlier cutting of 40 billion rupees in estimated costs. Under the new tariffs a proposal to charge domestic users by the highest rated block instead of differently priced slabs, which ran into stiff opposition at a public hearing had also been approved. more..

Man relieving himself on beach robbed

Apr 17 (DM) A Galle trader who had gone to the beach to relieve himself is reported to have been robbed of Rs.196,000 when he had removed his trouser and placed it on a nearby rock, according to a complaint made to the Galle police. The incident had taken place on April 14th when the small-time trader from Dangedara was on his way to a bank in the Galle town to deposit the cash collected from his New Year sales. While in Galle he felt an urgent need to relieve himself and had gone to more..

Will not give priority to elections over development, says President

Apr 17 (NF) President Rajapaksa says that he will not give priority to elections over development. He made this statement at the opening of the Immigration Resource Centre in Yayawaththa, Tangalle on Tuesday. The centre which was opened, is the first in a series of training and immigration resource centres being constructed across the country by the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Services Bureau. The centre was constructed at a cost of Rs.350 million more..

'At least in the New Year dawn, give us a settlement'

Apr 17 (OU) Sri Lanka govt sector should keep an end to its deceitful activities at least in the Tamil and Sinhala New-year dawn; provide a settlement to the Tamil people with the international mediation said, TNA leader R. Sambanthan. He said, Tamil people should live peacefully and God will not at any time let down the Tamils. Concerning this he notified to "Udayan" press yesterday evening, said, we have forwarded more..

Major programme to renovate abandoned tanks

Apr 17 (GDI) A programme has been launched to renovate 500 abandoned small scale rural tanks with irrigation canal systems. The programme will be carried out by the Ministry of Economic Development in coordination with the North Central Provincial Council. The Ministry of Economic Development will spend Rs. 500 million for this project. The objective of this programme is to revive the tank culture which existed in the past bringing prosperity. A programme to desilt 500 more..

Railway unions concerned over Indain power sets

Apr 17 (DM) The Trade Unions of Sri Lanka Railways raised concern on the safety of the Indian made power sets as the traction motors of majority of them had allegedly become unusable. The Chairman of the Organisation for Protection of Properties and Rights of Railway Employees (OPPRRE) S.P. Withanage said the S-11 power sets imported from India were showing signs of mechanical malfunctioning within two years of running though a new locomotive must run more..

Media organisations urge IGP to ensure safety of journalists attached to MTV/MBC

Apr 17 (NF) Media organisations have urged the Inspector General of Police to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of journalists attached to the MTV/MBC Networks. Issuing a communique, the media organisations, the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, the Free Media Movement, the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance, the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union and the South Asian Free more..

Central Bank retirees given plum jobs in banks

Apr 17 (ST) Last week’s Business Times news headline on ‘Conflicts within a Bank Board’ provoked me to write this letter in utter disgust. As an ex Central Bank staffer I have mixed opinions about the way the Central Bank is currently progressing. To be fair, the governor though he is highly controversial has brought in a private sector flavour into the bank. Much was expected of him as a very charismatic and good- natured chartered accountant and after having functioned as a top administrator. more..

President congratulates new Jordanian PM

Apr 17 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent a message of congratulations to Dr Abdullah Ensour on his election as Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Your appointment is a strong reflection of the confidence placed in your ability emanating from long years of experience in government and in international diplomacy, President said in his message. Full text: The Govt and the people of Sri Lanka join me in conveying to Your Excellency our warm congratulations on more..

President assures Muslim world

Apr 17 (CG) President Rajapaksa has assured diplomats from Muslim countries that the Govt will not tolerate anyone perpetrating acts to create communal or religious disharmony in Sri Lanka, the President’s office said. He had given the assurance when he met a delegation comprising 15 diplomatic heads of Islamic countries based in Sri Lanka. The President’s office said that the meeting took place to discuss various matters of more..

Skeletons in the closet

Apr 18 (CT) The discovery of skeletal remains of what is reported to be more than a hundred people has dominated the press for some time. It is now clear that the mass graves were of victims of summary executions during the second JVP insurrection. It is also clear that the appointment of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe these crimes – which are demonstrable crimes against humanity – is to protect those responsible for these crimes to begin with. more..

MR's opposition to the Indo-Lanka Accord

Apr 18 (DBS) India entertains misgivings about Mahinda Rajapaksa’s promised election to the Northern Provincial Council in Sept this year. At the same time, it is also pinning its hopes on a possible TNA victory, if the elections are held, hopeful that such a victory would garner the crucial Tamil Nadu votes, which in turn would ensure an electoral victory for the Congress Party in the 2014 Indian elections. In such a scenario, India will surely be in the box seat, claiming the allegiance of TN more..

Treasure hunting goes on unabated in remote areas

Apr 18 (SO) Treasure hunting or the craze for valuable antiques of a bygone era is not uncommon in Sri Lanka. It has been happening for generations. Hundreds of foreign invasions throughout the centuries proved that their intentions were not only to gain power or prosperity for the country but also to gain the wealth of a rich, archaeological history we owned. Possessing various Ola leaves stating details of secret more..

Political machinations: A Prime Minister without any stakes

Apr 18 (CT) Much energy has been expended in recent months in speculation as to whether we will soon have a new Prime Minister, and if so, who it will be. I was confidently told by an opposition Member of Parliament that 7 Ministers had applied in writing for the post, and opposition papers are having a field day in declaring that senior members of the SLFP are disaffected because their claims might be ignored. All this speculation is destructive, not least because those about whom more..

A Tolerant Sri Lanka: Report on online poll

Apr 18 (GV) The past few weeks have seen a rise in incidents and publicly expressed sentiments against the Muslim community by groups who claim to represent the rights of Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Expressing concerns of undue place given to Muslims in Sri Lanka – from entrance to the Law College to issuing Halal certification to even increase in Muslim population and property ownership by Muslims, groups such as the Bodu Bala Sena and Sinhala Ravaya have taken it more..

In defence of the Executive Presidency

Apr 18 (CT) A group of leading Buddhist monks met the Mahanayake Theras last week, to submit a proposal to abolish the Executive Presidency. The campaign for abolishing the executive presidential system has bounced back with this meeting. However, the fact is, this campaign is as old as the Executive Presidency itself. The Executive Presidency is not exclusive to SL. It was introduced to the world in 1789 more..

International Relations and Security: Indian affinities

Apr 18 (DBS) When I was in Delhi last week, I was privileged to meet the Indian Minister of External Affairs who turned out, though he looks old and distinguished, to have been at Oxford while I was there – and to have succeeded Ravi Tennekoon as a Lecturer at Trinity College, before heading back to India to better things. I still recall Ravi telling me that he was giving up the position at Trinity – which seemed to my undergraduate enthusiasms all one could hope for – to get back into real life. more..

Scientific Principles of Death and Rebirth in Buddhism

Apr 18 (Island) The process of birth and death is explained by the Buddha based on the theories of Patticca Samuppada (the conditioned genesis or dependent origination, soullessness (anatta) and kamma. The formula of dependent origination runs as follows: Through ignorance are conditioned the sankhara the rebirth-producing volitions (cetana) or kamma formations. Through kamma formations in past life is conditioned consciousness (in the present life). Through consciousness are conditioned more..

Muslim owned Lucky Emporium in Gampola attacked in broad daylight by Hoodlums

Apr 18 (DBS) Reports from Sri Lanka state that a Muslim Owned Textile store in the Central Province town of Gampola has been attacked in broad daylight on April 16th. A gang of hoodlums numbering about a dozen launched an attack against the “Lucky Emporium”textile store situated on Ambagamuwa road in Gampola in the Kandy district in the afternoon of April 16th. Details of the attack remain scanty at this point of time more..

UN Habitat extends support to Sri Lanka’s housing development in North

Apr 18 (FT) The United Nations Human Settlements Program, UN-Habitat extends its continuous support to the housing development in Sri Lanka’s North and East, the Finance Ministry says. UN-Habitat is extending its partnership with the European Union (EU), Govt of Australia (AusAID) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to implement the second phase of the housing recovery project for conflict affected families. Under the grants provided by the UN-HABITAT more..

NMSJ and Constitutional Reform Proposals

Apr 18 (Island) It is undoubtedly a welcome initiative by the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) to come up with a set of proposals to reform the constitutional framework highlighting the need to abolish the much hated executive presidential system as a key change. The relevance of the proposal/s and the initiative is underscored by the constitutional crisis that the country had to traumatically undergo during the impeachment saga, which is also not yet over, and more..

Northern Provincial Council Elections

Apr 18 (Telegraph) The provincial council system was set up in response to Tamil demands for separation in the face of brazen discrimination by the Sri Lankan state from the very time of independence. It was a compromise mediated by India in 1987 under the Indo-Lanka Accord to give Tamils a say in their own affairs while preserving the state without any breakup. It was for the Tamils. However, although every more..