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Killer roads claim 498 lives

Apr 23 (DM) Nearly 498 people were killed in 470 fatal road tragedies reported in the first three months of this year while the total number of accidents reported up to March is 2,218, police headquarters said. Most of the deaths were reported from motorbike and trishaw accidents. A large number of pedestrians had also been killed. Police said a large number of accidents were reported in April particularly during the National New Year festival period. Recklessness, exhaustion, drunk more..

Geetha aspires to being a Chief Minister

Apr 23 (DM) Bentara-Elpitiya SLFP Organiser Geetha Kumarasinghe said she could also be appointed Chief Minister if a former actress like J. Jayalalithaa could be the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. She was responding to a statement made by Southern UNP provincial councillor B. Bandarigoda who said she was becoming a Jayalalithaa. Ms. Kumarasinghe said the thought of becoming Chief Minister had cropped up only after more..

SLT enables Intelligent Solutions at Mattala

Apr 23 (GDI) Sri Lanka’s second international airport, the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) commenced operations with the landing of a national carrier flight on the airport’s opening date with the President of Sri Lanka on board. Following three decades of strife, the Sri Lankan people as well as the economy are today reaping the benefits of freedom. Sri Lanka has an unprecedented economic growth potential. The Govt’s ambitious vision to reach USD 4,000 more..

Naturally radioactive sources in the East

Apr 23 (CT) Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau (GSMB) has deployed preliminary research teams to the beaches of Batticaloa and Trincomalee in search of naturally occurring radioactive sources, which are being hailed as the future of energy production all over the world. Deputy Director of the GSMB, Dr. Bernard Prem however said such advances in the field of nuclear energy production are still a long way off, and would take time to be discovered. "The main advantage with nuclear power generation more..

JVPer in mystery abduction and release

Apr 23 (Island) The Police have launched an investigation into last week’s abduction of a JVP activist at Urapola, in the Kirindiwela police area and his release the following day at Eravur. According to the complaint lodged by the abducted person’s wife, with the Kirindiwela police, her husband had gone missing from April 17. However, the missing person lodged a complaint with the Eravur police, on April 19, that he was more..

House adjourns over power tariff

Apr 23 (CG) Parliament sittings were adjourned this afternoon after UNP members took to the well and protested over the recent electricity tariff hike. UNP MP John Amaratunga initially asked for a clarification from the govt over the reasons behind the price hike. Minister Pavithra Wanniarachi then explained why the govt was compelled to introduce higher electricity tariffs. However the UNP got involved in a verbal feud with the govt benches while the Minister was speaking. more..

Off peak myth

Apr 23 (Island) Power consumers would not gain anything by using electrical appliances during off peak hours, senior officials of the CEB said. They added that the Board would certainly gain when people use electricity during the off peak hours. "The Country’s electricity meter system is not geared for such functions. Unless a consumer has a two pace tariff meter, like in the industrial sector, he will not gain any additional benefits with the ordinary monitoring meters that are fixed for more..

Bangladesh backs Sri Lanka on human rights issue

Apr 23 (Xinhua) Bangladesh on Tuesday said it will back Sri Lanka on the human rights issue, the President's Office said. Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh Shahidul Haque gave the assurance when he met President Rajapaksa in Colombo. During the meeting, Haque reassured the support of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka in the international fora. "We stand by our Sri Lankan brothers on the issue of human rights. more..

'Do away with fraudulent fuel subsidy, bring down prices of fuel'

Apr 23 (LT) The fuel subsidy for fishermen won as a result of agitations by fishermen when Antony Fernando and Jesumariya Kingsley were shot dead at fisher folks' agitation against the price hike of fuel in February, 2012 has now become a stagnated, pierced and warped subsidy states All Ceylon Fishermen's Federation. This was stated at a media briefing held by the Federation in Galle yesterday. The National Organizer of All Ceylon Fishermen's Federation Ratna Gamage, more..

'Govt. politically bankrupt'

Apr 23 (CT) Several political parties have expressed their displeasure at the ruling coalition party alliance, referring to the UPFA's reported choice of the LTTE's former Spokesman, Velayudam Karunanidhi, alias Daya Master, as the Northern Province Chief Ministerial candidate. JVP MP Vijitha Herath, said: "The govt has become so bankrupt, politically, that even for the Eastern Provincial Council they had to depend on the Pillaiyans and the Karuna Ammans as organizers of the SLFP during elections. more..

UNP calls for polls commission

Apr 23 (CG) The UNP has urged the govt to establish the Elections Commission according to the 17th amendment prior to the Northern Provincial Council Elections. UNP MP Kau Jayasuriya said that with the absence of an Independent Elections Commission several incidents reported during elections after 2005 had proved that there is a truth in the allegations that none of the elections conducted since then were free and fair. more..

Sajith blasts Deyata Kirula

Apr 23 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa lashed out at the govt over its ‘Deyata Kirula’ exhibition. He said it was a disaster and like bolt from the blue on the already suffering masses. "The Govt would have done better if it spent the colossal amount of money wasted on the’Deyata Kirula’ to provide an electricity subsidy to the masses who are burdened with all kinds of price hikes," he said. Though the civil strife in the country came to an end on May 19, 2009 people were yet to enjoy the peace dividend more..

Sarath Manamendra arrested

Apr 23 (AD) Nawa Sihala Urumaya leader Sarath Manamendra has been arrested this afternoon by Welikada Police, acting on a warrant issued for his arrest for failing to appear in court. He is currently detained at the Welikada Police Station and will be produced at court. Manamendra was previously arrested by police in May, 2011 for allegedly threatening two persons with a firearm and again in May the same year on a warrant issued in relation to a domestic squabble.

Visting team evaluate the progress of ongoing Indian development projects

Apr 23 (HCI) A high-level Monitoring Committee from the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India, led by P.S. Raghavan, Special Secretary (Development Partnership Administration) and Bimal Julka, Special Secretary and Financial Adviser, visited Sri Lanka from 9-12 April to monitor and evaluate the progress of ongoing development projects implemented by Govt of India in Sri Lanka. The delegation visited the North Sea Fishnet more..

Video: Family planning turns school planning: MR

Apr 23 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that today couples were compelled to plan on their children’s school as they got married. “Today parents are so enthusiastic that, even at their marriage, they are compelled to plan to which school their children would be sent to. They arrange the required documents ever since the marriage. It shows that the parents want to give the best to their children,” he said. He said that the govt was also keen at providing a successful education to more..

'Govt. lax in providing haemodialysis machines'

Apr 23 (CT) UNP MP, Sajith Premadasa today alleged the govt has not provided enough haemodialysis machines to treat kidney disease patients. He said, hospitals in Sri Lanka require 1,500 haemodialysis machines to treat the patients but hospitals only have 170 machines. He pointed out the govt spent millions on useless projects such as Deyata Kirula and Colombo night races and queried why they cannot spend the money to provide Haemodialysis machines to more..

Hamilton Canal boosts tourism and community welfare

Apr 23 (MED) The Hamilton Canal which from which a foul smell was emanating due to polluted water has today become an attractive and environmental friendly water way, thanks to the Hamilton Canal Development project the Economic Development Ministry launched under its tourism promotion programme. This covers a 22-kilometre stretch from Ma Oya to the mouth of the Kelani River. For a long time the natural more..

We can reduce it ourselves!

Apr 23 (NS) The govt authorities have decided to increase the electricity tariff by a staggering percentage, at an average of about 60% which could be among the highest percentage increases of Sri Lanka’s history. When the proposed tariff rate was submitted by the CEB to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) few weeks ago, the commission decided to call for “public consultation” on the issue. According to the reports, more than 250 written comments were received by the deadline and more..

Halal controversy: A blessing in disguise

Apr 23 (NS) Recently, an outgoing diplomat had the temerity to pose questions about the racial and religious tensions in our country, conveniently pretending that no such violence or communal discord is taking place in his own country, far worse and in far greater proportion and frequency than in Sri Lanka. Even after 1983, when the revenge-motivated Tamil Tiger violence savagely went after innocent Sinhalese villagers, we succeeded in keeping our country free of a race riot for more..

'Sri Lanka ready for emergency evacuation'

Apr 23 (SO) Excerpts of an interview with Sri Lanka Ambassador Tissa Wijeratne in South Korea. Q: The tensions between hostile neighbours North Korea and South Korea seem to be escalating. With the possibility of an all out war, have you made any contingency plans for emergency evacuation of Lankans? A: As you are aware, the Korean Peninsula is in a unique position of divided countries. South and North Koreans operate more..

Coping with Western pressures

Apr 24 (DBS) Once again, following the vote in Geneva, which made clear how influential the United States of America was, and how comparatively friendless we were, there is talk of re-establishing relations with the West. Thankfully this year it has not taken the form of denigration of good relations with others, as happened last year when those elements in the Ministry of External Affairs, which would have been described in the Cold War days as the running dogs of imperialism, more..

Paving the way for US intervention in SL?

Apr 24 (DBS) American website, World Net Daily, came up with this theory even before the Boston bombers were tracked down and caught. The American media pointing its finger at SL in connection with Boston bombing should be considered as a matter of grave concern by the Govt of SL. In another previous instance, when the German bakery bomb explosion took place in Pune, the chief suspect in his confession, had revealed that the final operational plan was drawn up more..

Placements going a-begging

Apr 24 (CT) University education is a gift bestowed on SL students through free education. Sri Lankans who have achieved high positions in innumerable professions as well as in the Diplomatic Corp have graduated from State universities. Unfortunately though, for reasons unknown, Sri Lankan students do not seem to make the maximum use of the facilities and opportunities available to them through free higher education more..

The trouble with Mr Guruparan’s ‘Tamil Civil Society’ view

Apr 24 (CT) Oh dear, oh dear, here we go again. Early in his article Mr Guruparan writes “So much for the argument that LTTE was the only obstacle for the Sinhala polity to positively consider ‘state transformation’.” That is known as setting up a straw man and beating it. Who in the Sinhala polity wanted state transformation as distinct from state reform? Those who did, such as the Sudu Nelum supporters of CBK’s ‘union of regions’ packages of ’95 and ’97 (different from the more modest more..

Long War, Cold Peace: The unfinished story of an unfinished conflict

Apr 24 (CT) Dayan Jayatilleka’s Long War, Cold Peace – Conflict and Crisis in Sri Lanka’ appears at a moment in history when Sri Lanka stands at a crossroads.The war is over but there is yet a crisis of reconciliation and a crisis of state to be resolved, and so a stable peace still eludes us. These are the issues that Jayatilleka primarily worries about in his new book. It runs into several sections and sub sections on the historical record of how we came to be where we are. more..

Boston Lanka: April 24, 2013

Sri Lanka Tourism responds to ‘No tourist arrivals?’

Apr 24 (FT) In response to the article titled ‘No tourist arrivals?’ published in Monday’s Daily FT, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau yesterday issued the following statement, titled ‘Tourist arrivals steady – statistics ready to be released’. Providing an explanatory statement on the concerns raised with regard to the release of tourist arrival statistics, the release noted the delays of releasing arrival statistics for the months of Feb/March 2013 as follows: As the authorised body of issuing more..

Who is responsible? — IV

Apr 24 (Island) Let us assume that the govt has brought discredit to the country as a result of its foreign and internal policy. Now what will be the outcome of discrediting the country? How would the so-called international community consisting of the western countries and India their agent in the region react against the govt? In the eyes of the west and their agent the Sri Lankan govt has violated the human rights of the innocent Tamils during the last week the humanitarian operations more..

Unleashing creativity behind bars

Apr 24 (CT) The right to celebrate the dawning of a new year should not be restricted to anyone. Everyone should have the right to rejoice and make preparations as they wish. This includes getting new clothes, cleaning their homes and making sweetmeats. Plenty of avurudu fairs are held throughout the country and this year, unlike the others, one was also held outside the Welikada Prison down Baseline Road. more..

Double whammy for Lankan hotels

Apr 24 (ST) Sri Lanka’s hotel industry is facing a double whammy this month – a 40 per cent hike in wages and a 20-25 increase in new electricity tariffs. City Hotels Association President K. Shanthikumar pointed out that wages would increase by Rs.400,000 monthly cost for smaller hotels and go upto Rs.2 million for the larger hotels from this month. In this respect, he pointed out that costs of operations were expected to increase by at least 20-22% this year compared to 2012. more..

Editorial: A question of power

Apr 24 (Island) There is no point in arguing with pigheaded politicians sozzled to the gills with power. For, they consider themselves omniscient. They are not there to listen to or learn from others. Defending the indefensible is their long suit. Look at the way they are trying to justify price hikes. The problem with lying is that one begins to believe in one’s own lies with the passage of time. This is a pathological condition common to all politicians, we reckon. The govt is not ready to accept that the latest more..

SL upbeat about Cairn’s prospects

Apr 24 (Island) Sri Lanka is upbeat about Cairn India’s prospects in its side of the Mannar basin while Cairn India said it was evaluating options to apprise, develop and monetise two gas discoveries in the Mannar Basin while data gathered from the unsuccessful well drilled under phase two would be used to better understand the frontier bloc. "The drilling of the phase-II exploration well has been completed in Feb, 2013. more..

Sri Lanka to meet local saline needs

Apr 24 (DN) Sri Lanka will produce saline required for the entire country soon. Initial steps have already been taken to produce saline locally under the instructions of Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The Health Ministry has called for tenders from private companies to set up a factory in Sri Lanka to produce saline required for the country. Five Indian companies have already expressed interest in this regard. The ministry will offer the tender to the most suitable company soon. more..

Ravi K raises query on Rs. 7.5 b EPF high-rise building

Apr 24 (FT) Captive funds in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), a private citizens’ pension fund were being wasted on the construction of a 35-storey building on which there was little return, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake claimed yesterday. Raising a question in Parliament, he said that the investment of Rs.7.5 billion by the EPF into the building was unwarranted and promised low returns. “An amendment made on 12 January 2012 to the EPF Act of 1958 has enabled the Govt to more..

Harsha says Presidential remark ‘economy would have collapsed' is a bombshell

Apr 24 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva described President’s remark to the effect that economy would have collapsed if the electricity hike wasn’t implemented on Monday during meeting with editors, was an “economic bombshell”. “If the President who is also the Minister of Finance had said the economy would have collapsed if the CEB tariffs weren’t increased and in the process hitting the poor, then it is a serious crisis situation. more..

Police raids reputed garment manufacturer for suspected software piracy

Apr 24 (FT) The Police raided a reputed garment manufacturer suspected of using pirated and unlicensed software recently. The raid took place in Colombo on 11 April. Upon inspection and identification of suspected pirated software, the Police seized over 50 computers installed with suspected pirated business software valued at over Rs. 5 million, all of which were taken into Police custody for further inspection and to be produced in Court. The Police is focused on more..

Railway unions to meet govt. officials

Apr 24 (DM) Railway unions who called off a planned countrywide 48-hour strike that was to commence yesterday would meet govt officials tomorrow to address their grievances and receive their demands. Station masters, train guards, engineers, foremen and railway controllers who were resolved to stop work called off a planned strike after Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunge assured railway trade unions that their demands would be met. more..

UNP demands full-day debate

Apr 24 (CT) The UNP yesterday proposed in Parliament a full-day's debate should be granted to discuss the unprecedented electricity tariff increase. Acting Leader of the Opposition, John Amaratunga, making a special statement in Parliament under Standing Order 23.2 said the recent power tariff hike was bound to affect all aspects of the everyday life of the people as there is hardly any economic activity that is not dependent on electricity. more..

Sri Lanka A to tour Caribbean in June

Apr 24 (TE) The West Indies Cricket Board today announced that the West Indies A Team will face Sri Lanka A when they tour the Caribbean in June this year. The tour will include two ‘Tests’, three 50 over encounters and two T20s. The first ‘Test’ will be played at Warner Park in St Kitts before the second and final is contested at Arnos Vale Cricket Field in St Vincent. The two T20s will also be played at Arnos Vale before the three One Day matches conclude the tour in neighbouring Grenada. more..

Hambantota Port to make Lanka South Asian transshipment hub

Apr 24 (CP) No Investor confidence for the Ruhunu Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port is increasing with several global players and local investors wanting to stamp their footprint there. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has an ambitious task to attract billions of dollars worth of investments to the port and though the Opposition is trying to make a mockery of the situation, the target is very much within reach. Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardana said the US$ 650 million investments by more..