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Heavyweight companies in substandard food racket

Apr 28 (NS) A large shipment of imported food, not suitable for human consumption, was raided by the Health ministry Food Importation Examination Unit. 25,000 metric tons of decayed and unclean lentils, 18,600 kilograms of mango pulp which is used to make cordial and jam, four 40 feet long containers of tomato pulp and 16 tons of milk powder were among these food stocks. “The Customs were ordered not to release these food stocks and to arrange transshipment as soon as possible,” more..

U.S. continues support for Sri Lanka coast guard and Navy

Apr 28 (USE) The United States concluded its second training program for the Sri Lanka Coast Guard at the Trincomalee Naval Base on April 26. The training was funded under the U.S. Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program, which promotes maritime security cooperation. Featuring three U.S. Coast Guard instructors, twenty personnel from the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and four from the Sri Lanka more..

Planned railway strike suspended again

Apr 28 (DM) The islandwide railway strike, which was scheduled from midnight today has been suspended as the authorities agreed to rectify the salary anomalies within two days, Trade unions said. Railways Joint Trade Union Convener Janaka Fernando told Daily Mirror online that they had decided to suspend the strike action till Tuesday following a meeting between eleven trade unions representatives and Transport Ministry Secretary Dhammika Perera. more..

'Sri Lanka’s HR record improved in 2012'

Apr 28 (SO) Commenting on the American State Department’s Human Rights Report 2012 on Sri Lanka, Dean/Faculty of Law, Kotelawala Defence University Dr. Prathibha Mahanama Hewa said far from human rights violations, it is clear that Sri Lanka has improved its human rights. Individual cases such as one Dassanayake who died whilst in police custody are being dealt with according to the provisions of the Penal Code. Preliminary inquiries are being held in regard to two other cases more..

Pawned jewellery behind mystery of woman’s suicide

Apr 28 (ST) Selvaratnam Vijayalakshmi planned her death carefully: She waited until her husband had taken the two younger children to school. Then she locked up her eldest daughter in a room, secured the front door and wedged the fridge against the kitchen door to prevent rescue, and set herself on fire. Vijayalakshmi, 46, died last Monday with her last amount of jewellery pawned for Rs.100,000 more..

Cordial discussion between the President & SLFP Lawyers Association

Apr 28 (GDI) President Rajapaksa speaking at a cordial discussion held with the SLFP Lawyers Association at Temple Trees Friday evening said that it is the duty of all patriotic citizens to safeguard the good image of the country. The President pointed out that withiout representing one community, religion or a party, they should fulfill duties as Sri Lankans on behalf of the motherland. He said that he is distressed about some persons who have no feeling for the country and that more..

Bahraini parliamentary delegation calls on the President

Apr 28 (Island) A parliamentary delegation from Bahrain, headed by the Speaker of the Council of Representatives Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Dhahrani, called on President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees last week. The delegation indicated Bahrain would like to see bilateral ties further strengthened through larger joint projects while strengthening people-to-people interaction and expediting consular relations. Following the opening of a new Sri Lankan embassy in Bahrain earlier this year, more..

Promotion for Appeal Court Judge: BASL voices concern

Apr 28 (ST) Appeal Court Judge Justice Rohini Perera Marasinghe was sworn in as a Judge of the Supreme Court by the President on Friday, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice S.I. Imam. Justice Marasinghe is the third most senior judge of the Court of Appeal, preceded by Justice S. Sriskandarajah (President of the Court of Appeal) and Justice Sisira De Abrew. Meanwhile BASL President Upul Jayasuriya more..

Production to begin on film on ‘Saradiel’

Apr 28 (Island) Production on a film on Utuwankande Saradiel, a bandit who became a legendary figure during British colonial rule in Ceylon, as the country was then known, will begin mid this year. Produced by Jeff Goonawardena and directed by Chandran Ratnam, the lead female role will be played by Anji Perera, a pretty actress with Sri Lankan roots, who lives in Los Angeles, USA. Displaying the script of ‘Saradiel’, Chandran Ratnam, a popular film-maker, said more..

New era for rural schools dawns on May 5

Apr 28 (GDI) Work on developing 6,000 schools selected under Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s combined national campaign to develop 5,000 elementary schools and 1,000 secondary schools is now nearing completion and will be ready for use by May 5. The programme was launched in accordance with the Mahinda Chinthana Vision Punarjeewana programme with the participation of the Education Department, Provincial Education Departments, Ministry of Economic Development and more..

Sri Lanka is not a property of Medamulana, stop plunder of lands in the North – JVP

Apr 28 (LT) Sri Lanka is not a property of Medamulana and the govt should immediately stop plundering lands in the North says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at a media conference held today Tilvin Silva said, "There are several issues that affect the people in the North and the East at present. As the attention of the media is less to these issues the govt is attempting to trample the issues. more..

Range Bandara’s vehicle attacked; UNP provincial councilor arrested

Apr 28 (AD) Shantha Sisira Kumara, UNP member of the Wayambe Provincial Council, has been arrested by Chilaw Police on charges of unlawful assembly and civil disorder during a protest last night against the hike in electricity tariffs. The protest was organized in the Chilaw Town by UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara. The protestors holding flaming torches were preparing to leave following their protest demonstration, which lasted several minutes, when a group led by more..

Anlene’s Calcium myth

Apr 28 (NS) Medical professionals claim that Fonterra’s Anlene High Calcium Milk Powder was creating a ‘fear psychosis’ among the public and urged the Ministry of Health to take action in this regard. Anlene is being marketed as a high calcium milk powder that can help prevent the onset of the deliberating bone disease, osteoporosis. Prof. Chandrika Wijeratne of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, said the keys to preventing the onset of Osteoporosis was adequate more..

MR ready for talks with TNA

Apr 28 (CG) President Rajapaksa says he is ready to hold talks with the TNA on a political solution, but first they must join the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the National issue. In an interview with the Tamil ‘Suda Oli’ newspaper, the President has said that it is wrong for the TNA to claim that the govt is responsible for the talks on a political solution not progressing. “The doors to talks remain open. Making allegations against more..

TNA fights back against land acquisition

Apr 29 (DBS) Last week saw a hugely dangerous move by the govt. Section 2 notices under the Land Acquisition Act were pasted on trees in Valikamam North in the Jaffna Peninsula indicating that an extent of approximately 6,400 acres of private lands belonging to several thousand Tamil people would be acquired for Military cantonments. Strangley, the notice says that the claimants are not traceable! The owners of these lands live just outside the so called illegal High Security Zone, more..

The English are reverting to Tribalism

Apr 29 (SL) The English are becoming quite tribal. Not that they weren’t before. We recall the patriotic poetry dinned into us at school even in the immediate post Independence years soon after the sun had set on the British Empire: If I should die think only this of me That there is some corner of a foreign land That’s forever England. The English in the past two or more decades, particularly in the company of Sri Lankans did not recall their English heritage. They were British. more..

'Only the Govt can deliver the goods'

Apr 29 (SO) He was not trained at the prestigious Sandhurst, Aldershot or Kakul Military Academies but only a guerrilla fighter. V Muralitharan, popularly known as Karuna Amman joined the LTTE during his teens and was promoted Commander of his outfit. Having realised the futility of war against the State, he gave up fighting and joined the democratic mainstream. Today he is a Deputy Minister and the VP of the SLFP. more..

SLRFU gets early wake up call

Apr 29 (SL) Hardly hasSri Lanka grown accustomed to the idea that its rugby now resides at the top end of the totem in Asian rugby, warning came last week of the daunting prospects before us next year, when we competeat the highest level of the HSBC A5N competition. So commandingly did Sri Lanka conquer the four-nation Division 1 championship of the A5N earlier this month in Colombo that it was forgivable to think the Lankans wouldnot be quite out of their depth competing in the top-five group more..

Moronic new electricity tariffs

Apr 29 (CT) The new tariff structure, introduced with effect from 20 April I believe, has been designed by a bunch of morons. CEB engineers, when asked why the university need embarrass itself by awarding degrees to morons, just pass the buck and say the govt and the IMF forced them to introduce the MTS (Moronic Tariff Scheme). Well, I won’t put it past the govt to make a monumental ass of itself, but even the IMF! I am surprised. Unless the Fund wishes to change its middle name from more..

‘Bring them back home’

Apr 29 (CT) War came to an end in May 2009, but that did not put an end to the suffering of the communities. Even today, numerous Tamil families await justice for their families and friends in Sri Lanka. This tale is similar but also different. Different because it highlights the plight of women – mothers, wives and sisters – who are waiting for the men in their families to return home, post war. That story is so common to more..

Whence Sri Lankan Tamils and whither Sri Lankan Tamils

Apr 29 (CT) Recently, I was called upon on different occasions to address different groups of the legal fraternity. The present period, as you know, is the most perilous in the history of our justice system, and to date the crisis remains unresolved. The future of an independent judicial system seems bleak, and despite the immense courage shown by some of its members, the community seems to feel despondent and desolate. Delivering an Oration on the topic of “Whither Sri Lankan Tamils?” more..

No dissension within TNA on any matter pertaining to the future of the Tamil people

Apr 29 (DBS) Mr. SJV Chelvanayagam QC was the founder leader of the Federal Party and the undisputed leader of the Tamil people. We welcome all those who have come here. The Theme of the lecture today is ‘Whither the Sri Lankan Tamils’. The theme would signify the uncertainty that prevails in regard to the future of the Sri Lankan Tamil people. The future is clearly challenging. The lecture will be delivered by Justice C.V.Vigneswaran, Retired Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. more..

The CEB is more than Patali vs Pavithra: The anatomy of the electricity crisis

Apr 29 (Island) The shocks emanating from the recent electricity rates hike have exposed not only the state of affairs in what was once a jewel among the island’s public sector institutions but also the pathetic failure of the State to deal with what is by all accounts is a national crisis. In fairness, the CEB’s financial and supply side crises are not a creation of this govt. But after more than seven years of absolute power, more..

Fiscal imperatives compel electricity tariff increases

Apr 29 (ST) The increase in electricity tariffs is directly related to the large fiscal deficit that needs to be contained. Last year’s losses of public enterprises of an astounding Rs. 185 billion were an important reason for the large fiscal deficit. The CEB recorded a loss of Rs. 61.2 billion last year, an increase from the Rs. 19.3 billion loss in 2011. The loss is mainly attributed to the rise in electricity generation costs due to higher thermal power generation. more..

Twisted infatuation leads to double killing in Pulmudai

Apr 29 (SO) It was a Friday night. The villagers of Mahasenpura in Pulmudai had retired for the day with a lot of expectations for the following day. But they never imagined what was in store for them the next morning. 38-year-old Sooriya Bandara had been attached to the Civil Defence Force. His wife S. Jeevani, 36, was a housewife. 16-year-old Imalka Priyadarshani and 8-year-old Sewwandi Priyadarshani were their two daughters. They were a well-known family among the villagers more..

Electricity, CEB and the AG shocker: Govt. breeds, nurtures crony capitalists

Apr 29 (Island) The govt is blaming a mafia comprising private sector power producers for the CEB’s predicament, but the opposition alleges that the current administration was responsible for breeding and nurturing crony capitalists in this sector. UNP Economic Spokesman Dr. Harsha De Silva charged that poor governance and privatisations by the state had resulted in heavy losses at the CEB, and although a price hike more..

36-storey ‘Crown Colombo’ casino from Packer conglomerate

Apr 29 (ST) Australian Casino kingpin and billionaire James Packer has won the green light from the Sri Lankan govt to build a 36-storeyed casino complex and super luxury resort coupled with a mega hotel in a 500 perch prime block of land at D.R. Wijeyawardene Mawatha in Fort. The blue print to commence the ‘Crown Colombo’ casino club opposite Lake House where a car park is being maintained at present has been approved by the authorities following Mr. Packer's recent visit more..

Rising power prices: Industrialists flock to ministry, want reforms at CEB

Apr 29 (Island) As their energy costs suddenly spiked, Sri Lanka’s Industrialists who flocked to the Industry and Commerce Ministry on the morning of 26 April and urged the supplier CEB to become more efficient and consider alternative sources. Interestingly, they commended the Industry Ministry for the on-going support in getting them connected to the high power grid, the ministry said in a press communiqué. "We shall be starting a series of industrialist-CEB consultations more..

WPC mulls new rules for vehicle parking

Apr 29 (ST) The Western Provincial Council (WPC) is mulling the introduction of a Parking Regulation System (PRS) to streamline the building and maintenance of vehicle parking facilities in Colombo and the suburbs, officials said. The proposed system is a collaboration with the UDA and the CMC. They noted that with the UDA’s programme aimed at changing the landscape of Colombo making it a modern beautiful city more..

Commonwealth Secretariat invites HRCSL

Apr 29 (FT) The Commonwealth Secretariat has invited the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) for a discussion on reconciliation, justice and accountability in Sri Lanka. The Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Prathibha Mahanamahewa has been invited for this roundtable by the Commonwealth Secretariat which is scheduled to be held from 29 April to 3 May in London. “Better understanding of the internationally accepted definitions of transitional justice, more..

New Electricity Tariffs: Cost Wise, Price Foolish

Apr 29 (Island) It is frequently assumed that the subject of Economics is chiefly concerned with the movement of money. This is incorrect. The main preoccupation in economics is about how people make choices. The key to understanding and guiding an economy is this distillation and aggregation of individual choices. Here is something flabbergasting that arises from applying an economic understanding, of how choices are made, to the proposed new electricity tariffs in SL more..

Sri Lanka’s first ever safari park opens in H’tota

Apr 29 (DN) Two zones of Sri Lanka’s first ever safari park constructed in Ridiyagama, Hambantota will be opened by the end of October, Botanical Gardens and Public Recreational Affairs Ministry Secretary Dr. Willie Gamage said. He said the Lion Zone and Giraffe Zone are planned to be opened in October. He said that during the initial stage, about 30 animals will be displayed. An African lion from the Seoul Zoo in Korea and two more..

Editiorial: CHOGM won’t go away

Apr 29 (Island) It has now been officially confirmed that the next CHOGM will be held in Colombo later this year in spite of protests from Canada, which has also failed to have Sri Lanka on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) agenda. Canada’s abortive attempt to have the event shifted in protest against Sri Lanka’s human rights situation is being flaunted as a huge diplomatic victory for the Rajapaksa govt which is desperate for some achievements on the diplomatic front more..

UNP prepared to join the Leftists

Apr 29 (CT) UNP MP, P. Harrison, said they are prepared to join not only with the LSSP but even Mahasona in order to topple the current govt. At this juncture, with the electricity tariff hikes, parties within the govt are themselves preparing to desert 'the ship' and when the govt is going to be in tatters, his party will join with any force and campaign against the govt, the MP added. "In the past, the govt went on a 'price increasing spree' with prices of food and drinks escalating, and now they have more..

Crime on the rise; almost a livelihood

Apr 29 (ST) Last Monday, as usual, the two female cashiers at Lanka Electricity Company’s (LECO) Nugegoda office were on duty. Consumers turning up to pay their bills were more than the usual number, due to the just ended New Year holidays. Shortly after noon, the cashiers were preparing to transfer part of the collection to the safe on the upper floor. Just then, two men posing off as customers calling over to pay their bills, more..

Couple die on Southern Expressway accident

Apr 29 (DN) A couple died when the van they were travelling, plunged from a bridge close to the Baddegama interchange on the Southern Expressway yesterday morning. The victims were identified as Piyasena Rubasinghe, 77, elder brother of former Information Director and President’s Media Coordinator Ariya Rubasinghe and his wife Chandra, 60. This is the first twin fatality reported on the Southern Expressway. The victims were residents of Weeraketiya. The ill-fated vehicle had more..

Sri Lankan nabbed at Dabolim with fake visa

Apr 29 (TOI) Maglivam Krithas, a Sri lankan national, was arrested by the bureau of immigration at Dabolim airport for holding a fake Schengen visa while traveling to Paris, France. The accused has been handed over to Vasco police station. Sources at the airport said that the accused was traveling to Paris on a Schengen visa on Thursday. Sources said that initially it appears the Schengen visa was issued by Spain and the visa was valid from April to June 2013. When the accused approached more..

600 TUs poised to strike

Apr 29 (CT) More than 600 trade unions representing public and private sector employees and estate workers, yesterday gave a 20 May ultimatum to President Rajapaksa demanding he cancel or revise the electricity tariff hike, and threatened a countrywide strike on 21 May, if he ignored their demand. In a letter addressed to President Rajapaksa, the Co-ordinating Committee for Trade Union Alliance, representing key trade unions more..

‘War crimes’ wrangle ignores Lankan Tamils’ challenge to India

Apr 29 (AN) Some five weeks after the foreign policy fiasco on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC – which earned the Congress-led UPA govt the hostility of all sections in Sri Lanka and the Tamil political parties in India – New Delhi seems to have gone back to sleep on the issue. The March 21 resolution called upon Sri Lanka to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law more..

'Pathetic to note Uthayan publishing reports arousing communal hatred'

Apr 29 (DN) It is pathetic that the Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna is constantly publishing news and editorials arousing communal hatred while misleading the Tamil people, said Dharmapuram Citizen Committee President Wanni Murugesu. Murugeus, residing in Dharmapuram, Killinochchi said Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered a speech rousing communal hatred in Jaffna and the Uthayan newspaper highlighted it. The Uthayan Editor in his editorial on more..