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SL-Thailand BC strengthens tourist sector investments

Apr 20 (Island) The Sri Lanka-Thailand Business Council (SLTBC) has embarked on a mission to strengthen economic ties in various sectors including tourism,food processing and construction. President of the SLTBC,Rizan Nazeer said that Lankan companies had invested more than 1.2 billion baht in over 15 projects in Thailand,in recent years.These included Carbokarn, Multiplas Furnishing, Infant World, Dipped Products, Trans Ceylon Gems & Jewellery, Touchwood Asia more..

Refugees warned against sneaking into Australia

Apr 20 (Hindu) The Coastal Security Group has begun an awareness campaign in the Sri Lankan refugee camps across the State to sensitise them of the lurking danger in making stealthy attempts to reach Australia. The Additional Director-General of Police, Sylendra Babu, addressed the first meeting at the Anaiyur Sri Lankan refugees camp here on Friday. He advised the Sri Lankan nationals against falling prey to the lure of more..

New electricity bills from May 20

Apr 20 (DM) While assuring that strict measures have been taken to prevent any erroneous calculation of the monthly electricity bill from today, CEB Chairman W.B. Ganegala said the monthly bill based on the new rates would be issued only after May 20. He said electricity users could complain to the area engineer or the revenue accountant of the respective provinces in case of any doubt about the monthly bill. Mr. Ganegala said CEB had given time until May 20 because meter readers need to more..

Woman’s treetop protest bears fruit

Apr 20 (Island) A treetop protest by a mother of two yesterday bore fruit as she won her demand to be reinstated and confirmed in service. The 38-year-old woman, a casual worker at the Katuwana Pradeshiya Sabha, sporting a pair of trousers, climbed a 30-foot coconut tree in front of the PS, making her demands. She staged that protest as she had been interdicted by the PS for not reporting for work on the two days following the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, police said. more..

Controlled the use of alcohol, smoking: Bibile policy - Brave move coming

Apr 20 (DN) We took brave decisions on behalf of the people in connection with alcohol and smoking. We will likewise, implement the Prof. Senaka Bibile Drug Policy which was delayed for years, President Rajapaksa said. Addressing the gathering at the opening of the third medical ward complex at the Colombo National Hospital yesterday, President said that people wish 220 years of long life for 120 years by more..

MDMK members go on fast over Sri Lankan Tamils issue

Apr 20 (Hindu) A large number of members of the women’s wing of the MDMK observed a fast at Chinthamani here on Friday demanding an independent international investigation into war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa. They demanded that the Tamils in Sri Lanka should be allowed a referendum to decide their fate and urged the United Nations to initiate action against him. Girija Subramanian, Joint Secretary, district women’s wing of the party, more..

Nearly 15,000 new cancer patients detected every year; e-waste considered main cause

Apr 20 (DN) Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilleke issued a circular to all state hospitals and other health institutions under the purview of the Health Ministry in connection with disposing e-waste. The circular clearly states that all state hospitals and other health institutions should dispose e-waste in a environmental friendly way. They should name the e-waste as S-Sell and not as D-Discarded. The spokesman said that the institutions should call tenders from more..

DEW sounds alarm bells on woeful tax collection, waste crippling the country

Apr 20 (Island) Communist Party General Secretary and Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera called on the govt to wake up to the grave crisis facing the country due its failure to increase the tax revenue as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the statistics, govt revenue had come down to 11 to 12% of the GDP, the minister said, noting that it was the worst post-Independence scenario. more..

Editorial: Electricity hikes

Apr 20 (DM) In the afterglow of the National New Year or the festival of the sun the country was plunged into darkness with a shocking blackout blow to millions of people who were officially informed that their electricity bills would soar by about 60%. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella justified the move by claiming that a responsible govt could not go on subsidising essential services and commodities for short-term gains or to win the popularity and the votes of the people. more..

Miscued Geneva

Apr 20 (DM) Naive live in bliss: after acting silly at Geneva 2013. Mileage gained by LLRC report abbreviated into an Action Plan, was placed on a mock timetable and fawningly delivered to Hillary Clinton, needlessly. Now Americans complain of a failure to deliver. Without prattling gibberish nonsense: attend to the priorities; provide potent results, as when overcoming terrorists. Clip the lip and do the homework. Show results and walk upright. Instead we wobble blindly on bluff. more..

India told Tamils are still suffering

Apr 20 (SL) A visiting Indian parliamentary delegation was told by Tamil political parties about the suffering faced by war displaced people resettled in the North, contrary to the impression given by the govt that all is well. The Indian parliamentary delegation arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday and flew to Jaffna to see firsthand the ground situation in the war-affected areas. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that he and more..

Who is messing with Norochcholai?

Apr 20 (Island) Following yet another breakdown, that lasted for about 24 hours, the first coal powered plant at Norochcholai resumed operations last night, informed sources said. Senior engineers said that it was the 20th time that the 300 MW plant, in Norochcholai, had broken down since it was commissioned in 2011. However, they said that latest breakdown was clearly due to sheer bad management policies. The plant, which more..

SL to host high level regional port forum

Apr 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka will host a regional port conference and exhibition in May, showcasing the island's rapid advancement as South Asia's emerging maritime hub and growing commercial opportunities, organizers said. Lanka Port Authority chief Priyath Wickrama told prospective participants in a statement that the event will allow high level domestic and international executives to interact and build more..

'Sri Lanka rulers only paid Rs2000 for power'

Apr 20 (LBO) Ministers in Sri Lanka paid only 2,000 rupees for power a month regardless of the volume of use, former minister Mangala Samaraweera told reporters in a shock revelation. "I am aware of the situation, as I myself paid only 2000 rupees when I was a minister," he said. He said ministers consumed large amounts of power and had floodlit gardens. In contrast, a consumer using 91 units will have to pay 2,226 rupees more..

Teen pregnancies in the country hit 384,000 last year

Apr 20 (Island) Over 384,000 teenage pregnancies were reported in Sri Lanka during the last year, according to the Family Health Bureau (FHB). FHB Director Dr. Deepthi Perera said that there was a declining trend in the prevalence of teenage pregnancies. The current percentage of teen pregnancies was about 06 to 07 percent and Sri Lanka’s hospital recorded teenage pregnancy rate was low compared to other countries, more..

Nurses, docs play games while kidney patients die

Apr 20 (Island) The failure of the Health Ministry to resolve the conflict between nurses and doctors, attached to the Maligawatte kidney transplant centre, has jeopardised the lives of more than 200 patients, who were scheduled to undergo emergency kidney transplant surgery there. The Chief Matron of the transplant centre however claimed yesterday that the nurses were occupying the rooms allocated for the provision of more..

Huge shell-creatures dragged out live to satisfy foreign demand

Apr 20 (ST) Foot-long helmet shells were among rare and protected species found being smuggled out of Sri Lanka as worries grow that demand for perfect shells is leading to a disturbing practice of wresting the molluscs live from the seabed for big money from buyers. A Chinese male nabbed at Katunayake airport on April 2 had nine shells a foot in diameter, among them some of the most highly-valued and rare species, more..

Czech help to modernise S’kanda Oil Refinery

Apr 20 (DM) The Czech Republic has committed itself to a massive US$2.2 billion by way of a project loan for the modernisation of the technological facilities at the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery. However, negotiations are underway to use only US$592 million of the loan to renovate the existing facility and restore its original production capacity. The oil refinery was commissioned in Aug 1969 to process Iranian crude oil. more..

Sri Lanka mine clearing to end soon

Apr 20 (PTI) Sri Lanka has said that its intense mine clearing operation in the war-torn northern province is coming to an end, with less than 100 sq km of mine-infested area left. The National Mine Action Center said that confirmed hazard area left to be cleared of anti-personnel mines was just 96 sq-kms. In other words, 95% of the estimated 2064 sq-kms has been cleared by March end. The remaining area is shrubs and thick jungle, more..

Refugees demand Indian citizenship

Apr 20 (hindu) Sri Lankan refugees at the Anaiyur camp here demanded Indian citizenship as they did not want to be addressed as refugees even after staying in India for more than two decades. "Our children are abused in schools as refugees, when they make minor mistakes," said a young mother, eyes filling with tears. She was among a group of refugees who interacted with the media shortly after Additional Director more..

Editorial : Heading for isolation

Apr 20 (CT) Could any sane person in this country imagine what the future holds? We had a protracted war which ended in bloodshed, and yes, some do call it a bloodbath. We have come to be branded as the second killing fields of Asia, we sacked a chief justice for the first time, we lost a vital resolution at the UNHRC over human rights issues and now the Commonwealth nations of which Sri Lanka is a member of, are threatening to boycott a Heads of State meeting in the island. more..

Gangs exhorting money

Apr 20 (CT) Devotees complain that thugs in the Munneswaram Kovil sacred area are exhorting money from the visitors. During the 1988 Gam Udawa in Anamaduwa, under the patronage of then President, R. Premadasa, the Munneswaram kovil sacred area was developed by adding temples for Hindu Gods and goddesses such as Shiva, Ganesh, and Kali, who are heavily patronized by the devotees from all over the country. It is now reported by temple trustees that a gang of thugs is more..

President assures polls in September

Apr 20 (CG) President Rajapaksa today assured that provincial council elections will be held in the north in September. Speaking at an event in Welioya today, the President said that the people of the north had suffered immensely as a result of the 30 year war. He said that those people will now have a chance to have provincial council elections and he hopes to have those elections in September. Some govt members and allied more..

Building an anti-Islamic bridge to America

Apr 20 (CT) The malignant police response to the peaceful vigil organised by the Facebook group, ‘Buddhists Questioning Bodu Bala Sena’ proved one fact beyond doubt – the BBS is a protected species, protected by the Rajapaksas. According to video footage, the police acted as if they were the private army of the BBS, threatening and harassing the participants of the vigil. Clearly the police were under orders to display a zero-tolerance towards these non-violent protestors more..

On Dayan’s ‘Logic’, Mildly

Apr 20 (CT) This refers to Dayan Jayatilleka’s response (Anti-BBS Vigil: A critique of the critique) to something I wrote on the subject of a candle light vigil organized by a group that named the event ‘Buddhists Question Bodu Bala Sena’. I called my comment ‘The “Vigil” I saw’. Colombo Telegraph re-posted with what I consider to be a mischievous re-titling, “The BBS ‘Buddhists’, ‘Nightclub Buddhists’ and The ‘Vigil’ that I saw”. Dayan, sadly, seems to have let that title guide his rant and more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

The need for a broader multilateral diplomacy for Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (CT) When fighting in the international arena, one should know that the only way to survive is to constantly build new coalitions while strengthening and maintaining the existing ones. Due to its belonging to the Non Aligned Movement and to the various “Gs” (G77, G15), but also due to its long standing friendships with key countries such as Russia, China and India, Sri Lanka was so far able to keep close ties with the predominant coalitions present within international organizations; more..

Sri Lanka: Short Cuts

Apr 20 (CT) Four years after the killing of between eight and ten thousand Tamils by the Sri Lankan army, which brought to an end a civil war that had lasted for 26 years, there is trouble on the island again. This time the army isn’t directly responsible: instead it’s the Buddhist monks from Bodu Bala Sena, the most active of the fundamentalist groups that have sprouted in Sinhalese strongholds. Three-quarters of Sri Lankans are Sinhalese; most of them are Buddhists. The monks’ target this time more..

Police reject US allegations

Apr 20 (CG) The police have rejected allegations of torture of detainees raised in a US human rights report released by the State Department. Acting police spokesman Priyashantha Jayakody said that the police undergo training in maintaining human rights when carrying out their duties. “There have not been such reports in recent times,” he said. He said that if such alleged incidents of torture or abuse of detainees does more..

‘Navy cadets of India, Sri Lanka speak the same language’

Apr 20 (Hindu) Even as fishermen of India and Sri Lanka are often being held by each other’s navy for illegal fishing activity, crew members of three Indian naval ships – INS Sujatha and INS Tarangini and ICGS Varuna of the Indian Coast Guard – have been interacting with their counterparts in Colombo over the last few days. On Saturday, as many as 250 trainees with the Sri Lankan Navy were on board the Indian ships for ‘sea experience’, in navy parlance. While two vessels are scheduled to more..

Con men collecting money arrested with heroin

Apr 20 (Island) The Biyagama police nabbed two men who were collecting money from the public, claiming that money was needed urgently for one of them and the other’s nine-year-old daughter to undergo life saving surgical operations. At the time of their arrest they had 100 milligrams of heroin in their possession, the police said. The police have taken into custody a set of ticket books and forged documents as well. One of them had said that he needed Rs 2.8 million for surgery and the more..

Key political risks to watch in Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (Reuters) President Rajapaksa is under fire from the UNHRC, which has adopted a second US-sponsored resolution demanding that Sri Lanka ensure govt troops who committed war crimes during the final stages of its war against Tamil rebels are brought to justice. Washington and London are trying to exert more pressure on Colombo, expressing concern at continuing attacks on journalists, activists more..

Explore the ancient temples of Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (News) There is something suitably humbling about arriving at Anuradhapura - the first Sinhalese capital, founded 2500 years ago - on a bicycle at the end of a long, hot ride through Sri Lanka's central plains. As I freewheel around the ancient city, from which Sri Lanka was ruled for 1000 years, I'm not merely dwarfed by the physical size of the sprawling metropolis but by the scale of the ambition shown by successive kings in creating it. If the lavish palaces and mountainous stupas more..

Sri Lanka's central bank makes record Rs66bn in profits

Apr 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank made 66 billion rupees in profits in 2012, up 41% from a year earlier, helped by gold trading and inflation, official data showed. The central bank earned 11.5 billion rupees as interest on foreign reserves and another 16.7 billion as capital gains including in gold. "The Bank’s overall reserve management operations generated a foreign income of Rs. 28 billion) during the year 2012,which is over 4% returns on average reserves," the Central Bank said. more..

US report on human rights notes police abuses, disappearances in Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (AD) The US State Department’s report on human rights states that attacks on and harassment of civil society activists, LTTE sympathizers and journalists is creating an environment of fear and self-censorship in Sri Lanka. The U.S. State Department in its “Country Reports On Human Rights Practices” for 2012, highlights “involuntary disappearances” as well as a lack of accountability for thousands more..

Terrorism, no respecter of countries

Apr 21 (SO) Last week's bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon brings into sharp focus again the need for a global effort to eradicate terrorism, the world over. We condemn in no uncertain terms the bomb attacks near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which killed three persons and injured many, and sympathise with the families of the unfortunate victims. Be it the US or any other country, for that matter, terrorism unleashes untold misery on hapless people. more..

Editorial : Stop attacking The Uthayan

Apr 21 (SL) Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father of America and the Third American President is attributed with the saying: Given the choice of a government without newspapers or newspapers without a govt his preference would be the latter. The people of Jaffna appear to have neither the choice of newspapers nor a govt that governs. The denial of newspapers could be attributed to the dawn attack on April 3 of employees at the Kilinochchi distributing office of the Uthayan more..

Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle feels the pain

Apr 21 (SO) MP Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle, wife of former Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle speaks of her husband's assassination five years ago in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing by an LTTE suicide cadre which also took place when a marathon was to be flagged off. Q: News of the Boston Marathon bombing in the US was heard as the fifth anniversary of your husband's death was commemorated. more..

Editorial : A walk in ‘American Shoes’

Apr 21 (NS) Every culture has its own repositories of wisdom, embedded in sacred text or even in folk lore. Every culture has idioms and fables that are prescriptive or at least of a nature that calls for deep reflection. There’s a proverb sourced to the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans, given life by Harper Lee’s celebrated novel ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ that goes like this: ‘Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes’. The world has been ‘globalized’ to such an extent that more..

Editorial : Kiri and Kekiri

Apr 21 (Island) Senior Minister Dew Gunasekera has not said anything new or revealed what the people did not know when he sounded alarm bells yesterday on poor tax collection and the waste and profligacy that have for too long been a matter of routine in this country. But he needs to be applauded for speaking up, something the vast majority of his cabinet colleagues are either unwilling or unable to do. They are content to enjoy the gravy liberally ladled on to their own plates and more..