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Korea-Sri Lanka Friendship evening on April 25 and 26

Apr 18 (DN) The Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Culture and the Arts Ministry will co-organise the Korea – Sri Lanka Friendship Evening at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre on April 25 and 26. The event celebrates the first anniversary of the state visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Korean tele-drama, Janggumi, Jewel in the Palace (Sujatha Diyani) became extremely popular in Sri Lanka and the growing popularity of K pop among Sri Lankan youth more..

Cement Corporation to recommence operations

Apr 18 (DN) All arrangements are in place to recommence operations at the Sri Lanka Cement Corporation and manufacturing at the Kankesanthurai Cement Factory which was damaged during the war period. Steps are also being taken to start a cement factory in Hambantota, Minister Dayasritha Tissera said. “The govt has decided to develop the Kankesanthurai Cement Factory and establish a new cement factory to provide quality cement to the public at a more..

Gampaha Mayor goes berserk

Apr 18 (CT) Gampaha Mayor, Erange Senanayake, who was arrested on the charge of forcing the Gampaha Police to release a suspect drunk driver from police custody, was released on two surety bails of Rs 150,000 and a cash bail of Rs 15,000 by the Gampaha Courts, yesterday. Mayor Senanayake was also charged for trying to run over a PC and later assaulting him. Mayor was asked to appear before Courts on 22 April. more..

Door-to-door salesmen arrested for cheating

Apr 18 (Island) The Kobeigane police took into custody three door-to -salesman for cheating the buyers by obtaining their gold jewellery when they were short of money to pay the full amount. The trio were moving from town to town and village to village in a van selling inferior quality electrical appliances. Their modus operandi was to obtain gold jewellery from a buyer when there was a shortfall, promising to return with the jewellery to collect balance money later. But they never returned, more..

Death trap poses threat to children

Apr 18 (Island) Residents of Lathpandura, Molkawa, Udumulla and adjacent villages in the Palindanuwara Divisional Secretariat area undergo severe hardships as the bridge joining Molkawa and Lathpandura and Lathpandura –Ilukpotha across the Udumulla Oya is dilapidated. Residents said that the bridge had been constructed by villagers themselves with their money. "We have been telling the govt to repair the bridge for several years, but to no avail," residents said. more..

French Agency ready to fund new projects

Apr 18 (Island) The French embassy said that the French Development Agency (FDA) was ready to fund new projects in Sri Lanka. An embassy spokesperson told The Island that having financed reconstruction of infrastructure in the Trincomalee district in the aftermath of tsunami in Dec 2004, the FDA would undertake projects aimed at helping those who had experienced difficulties during the conflict. more..

Editorial : Abusing music as a battering ram

Apr 18 (Island) That in the Cold War era, the US spared no effort in its campaign to engineer the downfall of the Soviet Union is only too well known. But, a diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks has disclosed that it even toyed with the idea of using pop idols of the day to destroy the Soviet version of communism in the 1970s. Among the music legends whose names were mentioned by the then US Ambassador in Moscow as having the potential to help achieve that end was Bob Dylan, more..

New Year celebrations in Tokyo

Apr 18 (FT) The Sri Lankan New Year celebrations were held in Tokyo’s Chofu city on recently, with a large gathering of over 5,000 Sri Lankan and Japanese community members from all parts of Japan who participated at the occasion, which was held for the 24th consecutive occasion. The Chief Guest at the opening ceremony was Mayor of Chofu City Yoshiki Nagatamo. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda stressed the importance of national events more..

UNP deplores unjust electricity tariff hike

Apr 18 (FT) The UNP deplored the electricity tariff hike on households as “unjust”. “This is a heartless tariff increase that will hit the low income households hard, with medium to long term negative development consequences,” UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said yesterday. “While it is true that the CEB losses must be reduced to ease the pressure on the Treasury and slow down the massive build-up of debt to maintain macro stability, more..

Ethanol suspect further remanded

Apr 18 (FT) The businessman who was alleged to have imported two containers of contraband ethanol by labelling them as rosin resin and sulphate turpentine was ordered to be further remanded till 30 April by a Colombo Court yesterday. When the suspect, Ranga Dharshana Samaranayake of Padukka, was produced before Colombo Additional Magistrate Sandun Vithana, the Customs officers filed a further investigation report in Court. The Customs officers told Court that though more..

Court issues notice on the Cabinet

Apr 18 (CT) The Court of Appeal sent notices to the Members of the Cabinet to appear before Court on 15 May, after considering a petition filed by the Lanka Guru Sangamaya comprising 54 members, over the decision made by the Cabinet to recruit 410 'outsiders,' who are not officials of the Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service, in a move deemed to be illegal. The petitioners have stated an exam was held recently to fill the vacancies and 12,000 of the 37,000 candidates qualified more..

LPBOA rejects 7% fare hike

Apr 18 (CT) The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) today refused the proposed 7% bus fare hike and demanded 15% bus fare hike in July. President of the LPBOA, Gemunu Wijeratne pointed out, as electricity tariff will be increasing from May, it will directly impact the cost of maintenance of buses. “When the annual bus fare hike is calculated according to the national bus fare policy, 10 factors are considered. more..

Trains up to Madhu next month, to Killinochchi in September

Apr 18 (Island) The northern railway lines destroyed by the LTTE would be fully restored by May 2014 with trains being able to once again ply up to Talaimannar and Kankesanturai, the Railway Department said yesterday. A senior official of the Department said that the construction of the Railway line from Medawachchiya to Madhu Road Junction would be completed by next month while the Northern track section from Omanthai to Kilinochchi would be completed by September. more..

Lawyers’ group wants life term of four prisoners held in Sri Lanka commuted

Apr 18 (Hindu) A team of lawyers under the banner Social Action Team has called for the intervention of the State and Union governments in commuting the life sentences of Indian prisoners transferred from Sri Lankan prisons and currently lodged in the Tiruchi Central prison. Members of the Mayiladuthurai-based organisation had called for commuting the sentence of four prisoners Marivel, Murugavel, Kannan, and Subramanian, who along with 10 other prisoners were transferred from more..

New chief vows to take Sri Lanka No. 1

Apr 18 (CI) SLC new president Jayantha Dharmadasa has vowed to make Sri Lanka the best cricket team in the world in all three formats during his two-year tenure. His plans are to start at the grassroots level, specifically with the 'A' and Under-19 teams, where he hopes to form a strong contingent. Dharmadasa also hoped to have the support of the executive committee that handles SLC affairs. Furthermore, he wanted to send more..

Vietnam help for SL’s development

Apr 18 (DN) The cordial ties between Sri Lanka and Vietnam will be further strengthened and Vietnam will continue to support Sri Lanka’s development drive in all sectors, especially health, Vietnam Communist Party Vice President Nguyen Huy Tang said. Nguyen Huy Tang and a delegation representing his party met SLFP General Secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo recently. The Vice President said Vietnam was glad to observe that the SLFP is still keeping to more..

'Muslims will never believe Sampanthan'

Apr 18 (DN) TULF Leader R. Sampanthan has mastered the art of gingerly politics. He can cleverly hide his feelings of the atrocities committed on Muslims by the LTTE and pose as a champion of Muslim rights. But the Muslims of this country are not so naďve to believe him, MP A.H.M. Azwer said. Azwer was addressing a meeting of Nil Bala Rella at Angunuwila, Tarakudivillu in the Puttalam District. Azwer said he has told Sampanthan in Parliament first to ask forgiveness from the Muslims for more..

Dr. Shirani to be barred from leaving country

Apr 18 (DN) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption impounded the passport of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to prevent her from escaping to a foreign country until the probe into the allegations of bribery and corruption against her is concluded. The Commission has taken this decision in keeping with the legal powers vested in it and had communicated it to Controller General of more..

Anti-hate campaigners at risk

Apr 18 (CT) Attendees of a vigil held on the evening of 12 April, have been identified and threatened on Facebook. The vigil, which was disrupted by the Bambalapitya Police, was organized to call for communal harmony. It was held outside the Buddhist Cultural Centre (BBC) in Thummulla. In the following days, several Facebook pages emerged with photographs of those who participated in the vigil. Administrators of the pages requested the people be identified, and personal more..

Lanka ready to combat bird flu

Apr 18 (CT) Sri Lanka is on constant alert and in preparedness to combat the killer avian flu virus, now threatening to break into pandemic proportions in China. According to Director General of the Department of Animal Production and Health, W.K.S. Silva, the virus H7N9, a mutation of H5N1 virus, has no chance of spreading here, as Sri Lanka is not importing live poultry or meat from mainland China. However, He said Sri Lanka is on alert for the bird flu virus and all tracking systems more..

Bread prices to rise with electricity

Apr 18 (DM) After the announcement of the increase in the electricity tariff rates, the All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association said that there was a ‘huge possibility’ of an increase in the prices of all bakery products. N.K. Jayawardena, the chairmen of the Association told Daily Mirror that the bakers would have no alternative but to increase the prices of bread and other products or to reduce their weight when the cost of electricity goes up. more..

Death fast deep down by Kahatagaha miners

Apr 18 (DM) A group of workers attached to the state owned Kahatagaha Mine in Dodangaslanda have begun a death fast at a shaft which is located some 1132 feet under the ground, making several demands. This shaft is said to be the deepest location inside the mine. It was reported that 70 workers were engaged in the death fast. They are said to have entered the mine at 7.15 am and have not come out since then. The lift which is used to bring workers to and from the mine is also more..

ASIO letter reveals why refugees deemed threat

Apr 18 (ABC) ASIO has told a group of Sri Lankan detainees that it regards them as a threat to national security because some of them have a history of violence in their homeland. In a letter obtained by the ABC, ASIO says the group, held in a Melbourne detention centre, remains ideologically supportive of the Tamil Tigers. The refugees received the letter 10 days ago. Until now its contents have been secret. Since receiving the letters, some of the 50 Sri Lankans have gone on a hunger strike. more..

CB says attacking smear campaign, but nothing more

Apr 18 (Island) The Central Bank said it has embarked on an extensive local and international awareness programme to portray an accurate picture of the Sri Lankan Economy. "In the recent times, the Central Bank has observed an aggressive and well funded misinformation campaign that is being carried out by various groups with dubious agendas, both locally and internationally to tarnish the political image more..

Editorial: Boston bombings: A taste of reality

Apr 18 (DM) It was a comment in our website by a reader, in response to the Boston bombing story the web team had posted, which grabbed our attention. The reader had asked the US not to grumble about the bombing because terrorists have their own problems which compel them to commit acts like this. He or she further reminded the US that terrorists also have human rights and urged the US to settle the matter peacefully! But, despite the very progressive counsel more..

Geneva : “Responsibility to Protect” or sovereignty of the people!

Apr 18 (DM) Reactions to the latest US resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council have varied from lamenting about unjust criticism when significant progress in resettlement, reconstruction and demining has been made, to complacency about minor amendments, although these have left intact its essence, the relentless logic that underpins the “Responsibility to Protect” (RtoP). Despite these differences, there seems to be a consensus that the text is soft, harmless, and more..

Arun sets embarrassing posers for TNA: Sampanthan’s support for SF queried

Apr 18 (Island) SLFP organizer for the Batticaloa electorate Arun Tambimuttu yesterday said that the TNA would never have backed retired Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s candidature at the last presidential poll in January 2010, had it been convinced the army massacred Tamil civilians on the Vanni east front during the final phase of the conflict. Thambimuttu said that the TNA should explain its decision to support the former more..

Future of Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery undecided

Apr 18 (DM) After Sri Lanka cancelled an agreement with Iran for the modernisation and expansion of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, the United States is among the countries that put forward proposals for investment in the project under a loan arrangement, Daily Mirror learns. Following the US sanctions on Iran, the govt had to terminate the agreement with that country for the expansion and modernisation of the oil refinery. more..

Mahaweli Authority turns forestlands into bare lands?

Apr 18 (SL) Director General Mahaweli Authority is accused of ignoring a Supreme Court ruling to obtain 12,900 hectares of forestlands in the Padaviya Forest Reserve. With a letter (Ref LUP/ MPT/ 19) dated March 27, 2013 to Conservator General Forest, Director General, Mahaweli Authority has requested to release 12,900 hectares from the Padaviya Forest Reserve for a resettlement drive and development work. more..

The air is foul with disease, despair and deferred solutions

Apr 18 (ST) It was claustrophobic in the small and sparsely furnished room – and we had only been there 10 minutes. A gust of air blew in a foul smell that made us wrinkle our noses in disgust. Inoka Priyangani, 32, who was watching us, smiled humbly. We were in her house in Meethotamulla, where more than 700 tons of garbage taken from Colombo are dumped every day. We apologised when we realised that our reaction had been more..

'Ranaviru Doo Daru' Scholarship for children

Apr 18 (MoD) A total of 48 children were awarded with Ranaviru Doo Daru educational scholarships by Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a function held at the Ministry premises today (17). Chairperson of the MOD Seva Vanitha Unit (SVU) Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa was also present at the occasion. The children received scholarships under three categories. Those studying in grade more..

'It was Shirani B that was the political appointee'

Apr 18 (DN) Mine was not a political appointment, it was that of Shirani Bandaranayake, says former CJ Sarath. N. Silva. “In 1996, I was not appointed as Chief Justice and I held the office of Attorney General. The appointment made in 1996 which was vehemently opposed as having been made on political considerations was that of Shirani Bandaranayake, to the Supreme Court. She was appointed at the age of 39 more..

Top soldier turned diplomat says Lanka comprehends US grief

Apr 18 (Island) Having experienced terrorism for three decades, Sri Lanka could comprehend America’s grief in the wake of crude bomb attacks directed at those watching the Boston marathon, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva, told The Island yesterday. Commenting on initial media reports pertaining to investigations into the blasts, Maj. Gen. Silva more..

Golden Key Credit Card Company to resume operations

Apr 18 (GDI) The Golden Key Credit Card Company will restart operations from the 1st of next month with a new Board of Directors. A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Mr. Priyantha Fernando has been appointed as the Chairman of the Company. The other members of the Director Board include Mrs. Dushyanthi Hapugoda, Attorney at Law V.K. Choksy, Jehan Amarathunga, Aruna Lekamge and more..

UNP sees threats on media ahead of polls

Apr 18 (CG) The opposition United National Party (UNP) says there is a thinly veiled attempt to intimidate the media into silence ahead of crucial elections. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera says a dangerous trend is being set commencing with twin attacks on the Uthayan newspaper publishing in the country’s north in the space of less than a month and followed up with a threat against the Sirasa Media Network. more..

Deming agencies moving out

Apr 18 (CG) The govt says with less than 96 square km remaining to be demined in the war affected areas some of the de-mining organizations have moved out while the rest will also follow. The Economic Affairs Ministry said that demining organizations such as Sarvatra, Horizan and MMIPE have already moved out after completing their tasks while the remaining organizations are still continuing the assigned tasks. more..

Editorial : BASL's burden

Apr 18 (CT) President's Counsel, S.L. Gunasekera, is not known for paying ready accolades to anyone, whether in his profession or any other. But the unwilling crusader has paid uncommon tribute to the newly elected President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). His missive, using some specific words and contexts, would not only stand the test of scrutiny and analysis, but also throws light on a very important element of the current political dynamic. The impeachment of CJ, more..

Video: Ex- CJ faces the same fate, says SF

Apr 18 (DM) Leader of DP Sarath Fonska today said that he and the Former CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake had suffered the same fate. Mr. Fonseka was referring to the order given by the Bribery Commission to the Department of Immigration to impound the passport of the former CJ. He alleged that this decision was taken to stop Dr. Bandaranayake from taking up her case with the international community. He said that he also was prevented from meeting the international more..

'Tracking down tourists a safety measure'

Apr 18 (PTI) A police directive to track down foreign tourists and long-time overseas residents in Sri Lanka is a security measure, the govt said today. "In the guise of tourists, there are certain elements which are adverse to the country. That is why we need to keep a track of them," minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Last week, the police headquarters had told local police stations to gather information on tourists lodged at hotels and more..

Sri Lanka ranked third in Asia

Apr 18 (CG) Sri Lanka is ranked third among Asian countries on the democracy index for 2012 below India and Bangladesh. The Democracy Index 2012 report compiled by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit has declared Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal as “hybrid regimes” saying that elections in these countries have substantial irregularities that often prevent them from being both free and fair, according to the the report. The top five democratic countries in the more..