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Investigation report sent to AG

Apr 19 (CT) Investigation extracts in connection with the murder of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member (UPFA), Hasitha Madawala, have been submitted to the Attorney General, the CID informed the Mahara Magistrate, yesterday. The observation was made by CID Inspector, Madhava Gunawardena, when the Court inquiry into the murder case was taken up for hearing before Acting Magistrate, K. Viranga. more..

Women at the forefront in post-war Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (Haveeru) It's been said that good things happen when you least expect it, and today it was proven right. My Sri Lankan friend, who is accompanying me here in Jaffna, and I were walking down the road trying to find a trishaw when we came across a 'tuktuk' being driven by a middle-aged woman. Awestruck by this rare sight, I told my friend to ask her in Tamil whether she would be willing to give me an interview. The lady immediately agreed. Mohana, as I would later come to know her, more..

End of the era of unemployed graduates - SB

Apr 19 (DN) The era when graduates suffered due to unemployment has come to an end, Minister S B Dissanayake said. Addressing a ceremony at Dawulagalato grant permanent appointment letters to newly recruited graduate trainees to the public service in Udu Nuwara Divisional Secretariat Division recently, the minister said public servants account for 14% of the total number of workers in Sri Lanka. He said this percentage in developed countries is only about one or two percent. more..

'The govt began the New Year by giving an electric shock to the masses'

Apr 19 (LT) The govt that was marking time making up various stories regarding increasing the electricity tariff, finally increased the electricity tariff with effect from the 12th. The govt continued to say that electricity tariff would be increased in a manner that would not burden the masses. The President wished masses for the new year. Everything was done according to auspicious times and the govt commenced work for the more..

Leave no room for fanning communal and religious hatred: Faiszer

Apr 19 (FT) Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha in a statement emphasised that there should be no room left for fanning communal and religious hatred. Following is the full text of his statement: Firstly, as a representative of the Muslim community in this country and secondly as a responsible member of the Govt, I wish to commend the Minister of National Languages and Social Integration Vasudeva Nanayakkara, for initiatives taken by him and his Ministry for addressing the more..

President to open third ward complex at CNH

Apr 19 (DN) President Rajapaksa will open the newly built third Medical Ward Complex at the Colombo National Hospital today. The third Medical Ward Complex built at the Colombo National Hospital at a cost of Rs. 420 million will ease the congestion at the hospital. The bed capacity of the hospital will increase from 3,100 to 3,500 with the opening of the new complex. “The third Medical Ward Complex built at the Colombo National Hospital has all modern facilities and more..

Secondary education quality drive in SL

Apr 19 (LBO) A drive to improve the quality of Sri Lanka's state-run secondary education system is receiving 200 million US dollars in Asian Development Bank support from its results based lending program. The govt is to spend 4,800 million US dollars from 2013 to 2017 under its medium term expenditure program on education and the ADB will give 4% of the funds, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. more..

Court extends remand of 30 Indian fishermen

Apr 19 (TOI) A Sri Lankan court on Thursday extended the imprisonment of 30 fishermen from Rameswaram who were arrested by the island nation's navy on April 6. The Mannar court, which heard their case on Thursday, extended the remand till April 26 and the fishermen were locked up again in Anuradhapuram prison. While the fishers expected that the court may order their release on Thursday, sources from Sri Lanka expressed their apprehensions stating there is enormous more..

Kahatagaha Graphite miners end strike

Apr 19 (Island) The graphite mine, located at Dodangaslanda and operated by the Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka (KGLL), of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, is back in operation after two days’ of disruption to production due to worker unrest. "Subsequent to President Rajapaksa’s intervention, my Ministry officials met the more than 120 KGLL employee cadre and successfully and amicably came to a satisfactory settlement yesterday afternoon," Minister Bathiudeen announced more..

Susil plans to use garbage in road construction

Apr 19 (Island) Following a series of agitations against the garbage dump in Meethotamulla, Environment and Renewable Energy Ministry expects to introduce a new technology to use solid waste in the construction of highways and expressways. Minister Susil Premajayantha said that the country would adopt pollution free technology to construct highways by using a specially produced variety of gravel through recycling of solid waste as more..

Failing to reform CEB, govt. passes entire burden on to consumers

Apr 19 (Island) Over the years the Ceylon Electricity Board has sustained massive losses, reaching almost 1 percent of GDP in 2012. Losses at the CEB grew 217% to Rs. 61.2 billion in 2012 from Rs. 19.3 billion a year earlier. CEB’s short-term borrowings from banks, other outstanding liabilities to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) amounted to Rs. 137 billion while long-term outstanding liabilities stood at Rs. 296 billion as at end 2012. more..

'Easing monetary policy will not bring sustainable growth'

Apr 19 (Island) A respected senior economist said that easing monetary policy and bringing down interest rates would not help the country sustain high economic growth unless measures were taken to address long-standing structural deficiencies in the economy. "The euphoria of the war victory and commencement of the US$ 2.6 billion IMF standby facility arrangement prompted a relaxation of fiscal and monetary policy to stimulate economic growth which saw economic growth average 8% more..

Dassis award-winning Lankan inventor grabs Gold, Silver in Geneva

Apr 19 (FT) Manju Gunawardene, the winner of the prestigious Dassis Award at the National Innovations exhibition in 2012, was able to win Gold and Silver prizes for his two inventions at the 41st ‘Inventions Geneva’ exhibition, held from 10 to 14 April, the largest marketplace for inventors in the world. He brought honour to the country for his two inventions developed using nanotechnology. The Gold award was presented for his more..

Massive consignment of refuse tea seized

Apr 19 (DN) A massive consignment of refuse tea that was prepared for export has been seized by the Police Special Task Force in an attempt to prevent export of refuse tea, that is mostly responsible for the drop in Sri Lankan tea's ranking as the world's best tea. The STF seized the refuse tea weighing 20,000 kgs at Ambatale road, Mulleriyawa when it was in the process of being readied for export to Congo and Ghana on Wednesday. The STF also took into custody two persons in connection more..

UN-ESCAP tips 6.5% growth for Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (FT) The United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) is forecasting Sri Lanka’s economy to grow by 6.5% this year, marginally up from 6.2% in 2012 but lower in comparison to the Central Bank estimate of 7.5%. The UNESCAP’s 2013 Annual Report released yesterday stated that in 2013 GDP growth is expected to improve due to the easing of both monetary and fiscal policies and improved performance in all major sectors, mainly more..

'Every need cannot be subsidized'

Apr 19 (CT) The country cannot move forward by implementing relief systems in place of true development, Minister Keheliya Rabukwella said yesterday. He said the constant supply of relief to the people by the govt has resulted in the present state of the country. The govt, while providing relief to the people, should 'not go overboard in this regard,' he added. Giving examples of costs borne by the govt, he said, more..

Oil exploration in North to continue

Apr 19 (Island) Oil exploration in the North would continue, the govt said amidst a decision to pool all petroleum resources under one institution. The announcement came following Cabinet approval to replace the Petroleum Resources Act No.26 of 2003, with a new Act suited to effective management of crude resources in keeping with global industry standards. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that based on expert and legal advice, it had been decided to bring all more..

UGC to complete all Uni. admissions before April 30

Apr 19 (Island) The UGC would call applications for university admissions, based on the 2012 GCE (A/L) exam, during next month. UGC Additional Secretary (Admissions) Dr. Priyantha Premakumara told The Island that the admissions based on 2011 examination would be completed by end of this month. "A delay in enrolling the previous intake due to a Court case was the cause of this year’s delay," he said, adding but the UGC would work do its utmost to minimize the delay. more..

US-CEB powwow likely on electricity price hike

Apr 19 (Island) In the wake an unprecedented electricity tariff hike from April 20, the US Embassy is expected to request a meeting with CEB Chairman W.B. Ganegala and CEB General Manager Nihal Wickremesuriya to discuss the impact of the massive price hike on consumers. The PUCSL, the regulatory body, on Wednesday gave the green light to the CEB to go for an electricity tariff hike though the govt intervened later more..

Editorial : Govt. hitting world headlines for wrong reasons

Apr 19 (DM) During the National New Year when the Sinhala and Tamil communities came together for festivities of deep unity in diversity it was sad to hear of yet another attack on the Jaffna-based Tamil newspaper ‘Uthayan’. This attack, the 16th since 2006, on the leading Tamil newspaper in the North was a clear sign of the lawlessness or total breakdown of the rule of law in the country and the govt’s failure to turn the LTTE defeat into lasting peace, reconciliation and justice for more..

Dharmadasa at the helm

Apr 19 (DM) One of Sri Lanka’s most sought-after jobs was handed over to Jayantha Dharmadasa on Tuesday when he was appointed as President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) after weeks of wild speculation and intense backroom lobbying in cricketing and political circles. The appointment was somewhat of an anti-climax. What was expected was a mighty tussle between previous President Upali Dharmadasa-Jayantha’s brother and ruling party parliamentarian Thilanga Sumathipala. more..

De-radicalization of ex-combatants underway

Apr 19 (SL) While Sri Lanka is in the spotlight in Geneva and accused of non compliance with the LLRC recommendations and several other accountability issues by the international community, there is evidence that the govt has undertaken a huge task with regard to the rehabilitation and reintegration of a large number of ex-LTTE combatants. Subsequent to the end of the war in May 2009, there was an urgent more..

Reconciliation not to find culprits

Apr 19 (CG) The govt says its philosophy is that reconciliation is not about finding culprits to punish but undertaking a process of healing. This was said at the UN General Assembly by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Dr. Palitha Kohona. He says excessive external pressure is being piled on Sri Lanka to conclude the process of investigating allegations to the exclusion of all else even though similar more..

World Heritage site in danger with power lines coming up in nature sanctuary

Apr 19 (ST) The Archaeological Department (AD) and the CEB are planning to put up large posts carrying electricity through the sanctuary and sacred city of Buddhist stupas and temples of the country’s medieval capital Polonnaruwa, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, despite much opposition to this venture. The CEB and AD are planning to run a power line inside the Polonnaruwa Nature more..

Visitors to Sri Lanka, the police are watching you. Do you feel safer?

Apr 19 (CNN) As tourism arrivals increase, Sri Lanka is upping security -- perhaps to an uncomfortable degree. A new nationwide security plan will force all hotels in the country to submit information about their foreign guests to the police. Each week, hotels must hand over passport numbers and visa details of foreigners. While this may perturb some tourists, police say the measures are being taken more..

Police arrest 44 people heading to Australia

Apr 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan police on Friday arrested 44 people who were preparing to leave for Australia by boat. Three vans transporting them to a location were checked on suspicion in the southern town of Aluthgama. Among those found in the van were 5 women and 4 children, the police official said adding that they are residents of the war- affected north. On Thursday the navy said it had also intercepted a boat with 61 people more..

Govt awaits TNA participation

Apr 19 (CG) The govt is still awaiting the participation of the TNA in the Parliamentary Select Committee, MP Namal Rajapaksa said. He said this in a tweet in response to a question posed to him on formulating a solution to the Tamil issue. The MP also said that all Sri Lankans have suffered as a result of the war and the govt will not allow it to happen again. He said the main aim of the govt is to ensure all Sri Lankans more..

Mahaweli farmers to get land deeds tomorrow

Apr 19 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will distribute land deeds to 3,000 farmer families in the Mahaweli L Zone in the northeast, Saturday. A ceremony to distribute land deeds under the theme of "Farmland Rights for You who Give Golden Harvest to the Nation", will be held at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow at Sampath Nuwara Mahaweli Esplanade in Weli Oya. The President will also distribute organic fertilizer production kits more..

Sri Lanka state-carrier revisiting feasibility of re-fleeting

Apr 19 (LBO) State-run SriLankan Airlines is revisiting the feasibility of re-fleeting in the wake of developments in the international aviation market, minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. "They are re-visiting the entire feasibility," Rambukwelle told reporters when asked whether the airline was going ahead with a plan to re-fleet the airline with new long haul aircraft. In 2012 SriLankan and Mihin Lanka, a budget carrier that more..

Govt. urges the people to use electricity economically

Apr 19 (GDI) The responsibility of using electricity economically rests solely with the people. Sri Lanka can produce only 20% of its electricity requirements through hydro power plants and the rest is generated by the expensive thermal power plants. Therefore, it is essential to reduce the electricity consumption and thereby save the huge foreign exchange spent on oil imports. This was stated by Minister Keheliya Rambukwella more..

Australian govt slammed for sending back Sri Lankans

Apr 19 (AAP) The immigration department has been accused of denying 38 failed Sri Lankan asylum seekers access to legal advice before sending them back to their homeland. Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs said she was profoundly concerned that Australia had employed an "enhanced screening process" in recent months for Sri Lankan boat arrivals. The latest group of returnees more..

A golden opportunity for Tamils to present a united front and speak with one voice

Apr 19 (CT) After we heard from the ‘kangaroo court’ of murderers sitting in judgment in their own case, i.e.the Army Court of Inquiry, we heard from the man who wants to short change Tamils, Dayan Jayatilleka. He is ready to give Tamils an unsolicited poisoned chalice of an “Avuruddhu” gift called the “13th amendment” which the Tamil politicians and civil society members have rejected out right “as not an adequate starting point.” The Indian delegation has just come and gone more..

Editorial : Will this be the proverbial straw?

Apr 19 (CT) In the context of just how much this govt cares for the welfare of its people - the voters, Wednesday's announcement of the unprecedented power tariff hike is just another episode of the serial assault on the poor man's pocket, and follows similar episodes like routine increases in the price of fuel, wheat flour, milk powder and other essentials. But the question is, how long will or how long can the hapless voter continue to take the pummelling? We are no doubt a resilient people. more..

Don’t pay bills; take to the streets: JVP tells people

Apr 19 (DM) The JVP yesterday urged the people to refuse to pay the newly introduced electricity rates and instead take to the streets immediately to protest against the hike. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva told a news conference that it was the responsibility of the people to take to the streets against this unfair move by the govt. “There won’t be an end to people’s suffering if they fail to take some action,” he said. more..

Teen sent SMS on Nuwara Eliya

Apr 19 (CG) A 15 year old school boy had sent the SMS warning Muslims not to go to Nuwara Eliya during the festive season, police investigations have found. The police said that the boy from a private school in Colombo had sent out the SMS without knowing the impact it would cause. Investigations revealed that the teenager had sent the SMS to another boy who had in turn sent it out to so many others. Police investigations had found that there was no real threat from the SMS more..

CMC warns unlicensed eateries

Apr 19 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC), yesterday warned that it would take legal action against all restaurants and eateries functioning without trade licenses after April 30. Chief of the Public Health Department Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said there were over 600 eateries which needed registration with the public Health Department prior to applying for the trade licence. Dr. Kariyawasam said the PHD had only been able to more..

Focus on Africans claiming to be sons of ex-President

Apr 19 (DM) The CID told the Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday that they were looking for two Africans who had attempted to deceive a businessman and his wife to the tune of several millions of rupees by promising to invest in a joint venture while claiming they were the exiled sons of a slain President of Congo. This was revealed before Colombo Additional Magistrate Pavithra Pathirana by CID Officer Wijeratne more..

'Forces used traditional military strategies'

Apr 19 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said the Sri Lankan security forces used traditional military strategies to face enemy attacks during the country’s civil war. Addressing the graduation ceremony of the asymmetric warfare course conducted by the Sri Lanka Navy at the Trincomalee Naval Base he said the Sri Lanka Navy without ships equipped with sophisticated equipment or high powered attack craft to sail thousands of miles in the deep more..

Sri Lanka stocks close lower amid uncertainty

Apr 19 (LBO) Stocks closed lower Friday, recouping some losses form a mid-day sell-off, amid uncertainty over the effects of power tariff hike and weaker commodity prices. The Colombo All Share Index Index closed 9.58 points lower at 5,882.25 down 0.16% and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 15.03 points lower at 3,336.12 points down 0.45%. Turnover was one billion rupees. Hatton National Bank closed at 170.20 down 1.30 rupees, Commercial Bank closed at 94.30 down 0.50 more..

Ministers must pay for electricity used at official residence

Apr 19 (DM) Organisers of night races and night cricket tournaments should pay for the electricity used at these events, the joint opposition group, ‘Vipaksaye Virodaya’ said today. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera told a media conference organized by the Vipaksaye Virodaya that the organisers of night races and night cricket had not paid a single cent for the use of electricity at these sports events. He said ministers should more..