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Man arrested over multiple abuse

Apr 29 (CG) A man has been arrested in Inginiyagala over multiple child abuse related incidents, the police media unit said today. The police said that the man had pretended to be mentally unstable and had physically abused young girls over a period of time. He had in 2010 sexually abused a 14 year old school girl and on Saturday he had sexually abused a 16 year old girl, the police said. The suspect had also sexually abused two other young girls, both sisters, and more..

Mine clearing in North almost complete

Apr 29 (MEA) 95% of the Confirmed Hazarders area has been cleared of mines, according to the National Mine Action Center which was established in the Economic Development Ministry after the war. The remaining confirmed hazard area (CHA) is only 96 square kilometers as at the end of March 2013. Most of this area is covered with shrubs and jungle. The massive pace of demining has helped the Govt to resettle within a three-year period all persons the conflict displaced. more..

SriLankan Airlines to boost cargo, cut costs with new Airbus aircraft

Apr 29 (LBO) State-run SriLankan Airlines expects to boost freight volumes especially on long haul flights as well as cut running costs, with the acquisition of 13 wide-body Airbus aircraft, chief executive Kapila Chandrasena said. SriLankan will replace six A340 aircraft which are up to 18 years old and seven A330-200 aircraft with six A330-300 aircraft and seven A350-900 aircraft. Four will be acquired from Airbus and three from a more..

Sri Lankans should support President to steer the country forward - Lokuge

Apr 29 (GDI) All Sri Lankans, including the working class should stand together and support the President to steer the country forward and defeat the negative views and beliefs of the Opposition as President Rajapaksa’s leadership is the only leadership which treats the working class of the country in a humane way, said Gamini Lokuge, Labour Minister. He expressed these views, Sunday while addressing a special press briefing organized by the UPFA at the Mahaweli Centre with more..

Oil mafia calling the shots

Apr 29 (CT) The govt is avoiding setting up another oil refinery as it's unable to deal with the 'oil mafia' that is defrauding public funds, General Secretary of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Branch, Ananda Palitha, alleged. He said in the event another oil refinery is set-up, the cost of a barrel of refined oil would be approximately US$ 20-25 lower than an imported barrel of refined oil. "At present there is only one oil refinery at Sapugaskanda that more..

Pirates kidnap five crew from ship off Nigeria

Apr 29 (Reuters) Pirates have kidnapped five crew members from a cargo ship off Nigeria, a piracy watchdog and a security source said on Monday, part of a growing trend of attacks that are pushing up maritime insurance costs in the Gulf of Guinea. The Antigua and Barbuda-flagged MV City of Xiamen container ship was attacked late on April 25 off the coast of oil-producing Bayelsa state. The crew were mostly Sri Lankans but included more..

He who laughs last…….

Apr 30 (NS) Duminda Silva, MP (UPFA) is something else. First he was accused of murdering ex-UPFA MP Baratha Lakshman Premachandra. He was supposed to have sustained severe gunshot injuries and was said to have been fighting for his life while the funeral rites were being administered on Premachandra. Then he was whisked out of the country, purportedly for treatment. Then he returned – straight to hospital. Stories were circulated to the effect that he was recovering – slowly. more..

View from Ritigala

Apr 30 (NS) Duminda Silva, who was gravely injured in the shootout in Mulleriyawa two and a half years ago has now been miraculously cured, his big brother’s media network says. The moment the news broke out many were seen questioning as to what exactly was the miracle that cured Duminda, who was even undergoing treatments for years at the Mount Elizabeth hotel (oops! hospital) in Singapore. Speaking of miracles, we can vaguely guess some of the miracles that might have more..

Access to electricity: Lanka on par with developed nations

Apr 30 (SO) At a time the electricity tariff revision in Sri Lanka has come into sharp focus, it is important to take a closer look at the energy crisis that has affected all other countries in South Asia. The Govt’s heavy investments on power generation projects such as the Norochcholai coal power station, Kerawalapitiya thermal power station and Upper Kotmale Hydropower Station has enabled Sri Lanka to stand tall at a time all its South more..

Fact finding report on the recent tensions between Muslims and Tamils in Mulliyawalai

Apr 30 (DBS) Muslims and Tamils have returned to the North having experienced immense loss and struggles over the last 30 years. Post-2009 Muslims and Tamils have begun returning to Mullaiteevu and resettlement has been taking place slowly. However the numbers that are attempting to and have returned is much higher than the number displaced 30 years ago. Therefore the land allocated has been insufficient for these communities to resettle. The situation is further complicated by the loss of more..

The land of miracles

Apr 30 (DBS) Last week, the lawyers representing Parliamentarian Duminda Silva – on the basis of multiple diagnoses by eminent physicians – assured a court of law that their client was a grievously sick man. The judge was told that Mr. Silva’s left side was paralysed, his brain function down by 40% and his recovery contingent on immediate quite retirement into the bosom of his loving family. The AG’s Department – as much of a Presidential appendage as the post-Impeachment more..

Sort out your garbage at home!

Apr 30 (CT) Sri Lanka is probably one of the few countries in the world where people do not compost their garbage. Recently it was reported that the US Ambassador was seen collecting and separating garbage at the Galle Face Green, an example to Sri Lankans without a semblance of doubt. On a daily basis, thousands of tons of leaves are picked up from the roads of Colombo and then burned. What a colossal waste of fertilizer more..

Editiorial: Farmers in a paddy

Apr 30 (Island) There seems to be no end to farmers’ woes. Having spent long days and sleepless nights on their fields for months, raising and protecting their crops under trying conditions, they finally have to destroy their produce. More than 50,000 MT of unsold vegetables have been dumped by the wayside during the last few weeks at Dambulla, according to media reports. This is a common occurrence. It is possible that the powerful wholesalers’ cartel starve the market by more..

The rally for unity and the reluctant infidels

Apr 30 (CT) I was delighted to see the story item in the Colombo Telegraph (27 April 2013) last night about the ‘Rally for Unity’ organized by some ‘unknowns’ on the general slogan “Hate has No Place in Sri Lanka” to be held at Green Path (in few hours’ time from now) and then saw this commendable movie “The Reluctant Infidel” on SBS One at 9.30pm, Sydney time. The connection was too obvious. The organizers of the ‘Rally for Unity’ declared that the purpose is “to show that more..

Boston Lanka With Chandrarathna Bandara

The Commonwealth’s appalling impotence on Sri Lanka

Apr 30 (CT) Secretary General of the Commonwealth, K.S. Sharma’s pleas this week at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) press conference that he is constantly engaged with Sri Lanka to uphold the shared values of the Commonwealth that are ‘so dear’ to him, can only invoke guffaws of ribald laughter from many within this country. Pressed by abrasive if not belligerent interlocutors to explain exactly what he meant by this phrase, Mr Sharma responded more..

CKDu: Scientific evidence and anti-science zealotry - I

Apr 30 (Island) The much awaited WHO Final Report is now out. Although officially not in the public domain, the media and many other sources obviously have had access to it! However, it is not without contradictions and questionable data. For example, it states that of the 15.2% of the people affected, the majority are women, whereas the previous WHO releases and other research groups claimed a preponderance of males in the age group of 30 to 60 years, largely of rice farming more..

Returning to original sin: Whither Lanka’s Test Cricket?

Apr 30 (ST) The good book says the first reference to cricket played as an adult sport was in 1611, when two men in Sussex were prosecuted for playing cricket on Sunday instead of going to church. Then later it developed to become a game that was played between parishes in English villages. So the game we revere so much and have become an inherent part of us began with sacrilege. So the game has never been able to move more..

U-19 Cricket: Sri Lanka take series with 62-run win

Apr 30 (CI) Sri Lanka completed a series victory over Bangladesh by beating them by 62 runs in the fifth and final game of the series in Mirpur. It was an impressive turnaround for the young visitors, after they were down 2-1 after the third game. Once again it was Ramesh Mendis who was instrumental in Sri Lanka's victory. The offspinner took three wickets, including that of Bangladesh captain Mosaddek Hossain for 18. He later removed the last two batsmen, and also inflicted a run-out more..

Sports Ministry to probe alleged financial fraud at the Football Federation

Apr 30 (Island) The Sports Ministry has appointed a special committee headed by Chairman of the Sugathadasa National Sports Complex Authority, Brigadier Priyantha Samarathunga to probe into alleged financial frauds at the Sri Lanka Football Federation. A press release from the Ministry of Sports said that the Secretary of the Sports Ministry has appointed a special committee under the instructions of Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage. more..

Central Bank mopping up money printed for govt.

Apr 30 (Island) The Central Bank’s Treasury bill holdings have fallen significantly by 46.32% to Rs. 83.9 billion yesterday from Rs. 156.3 billion at the beginning of the year, the lowest since reaching Rs. 84.3 billion on Nov 7, 2011. This is a very good sign that the economy is undergoing a correction. The Central Bank is attempting to remove the money that was printed to finance the govt. This would diminish demand for credit, more..

NFTH Begins to Create History in the Private Healthcare Industry in Sri Lanka

Apr 30 (DN) Dr. Neville Fernando Sri Lanka Russia Friendship Hospital (NFTH) had its ceremonial opening on 5th April in grand style. The Chief Guest, PM D M Jayaratne and Guest of Honour, Minister S B Dissanayake, Russian Ambassador Alexander A. Karchava and many other distinguished guests including Minister Mervin Silva, Western Province Health Minister Jagath Angage, Mayor G.H. Buddhadasa and Provincial Director of Health Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva graced the occasion. more..

Cosmetic samples taken from market for toxic tests

Apr 30 (Island) The Cosmetic and Drug Devices Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) said that several samples of cosmetics had been taken to be tested for mercury and other toxic chemicals. CDDRA Chief Dr. Hemantha Benaragama said that samples would be sent to foreign laboratories for testing due to the lack of adequate facilities in Sri Lankan labs. The CCDRA had been able to identify several private laboratories which provided the required facilities in India, Thailand and Colombia. more..

Solar powered street lights to lessen drain on grid

Apr 30 (Island) In a bid to cut down the massive drain on the national grid, by street lamps, mainly those under Minicipal Councils, it has been decided to switch to solar power, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said that with sky rocketing world oil prices, his ministry had often considered the option of solar power for street lighting as was done near the Parliament. He said that they were looking into possibilities of installing solar more..

Prawn farmers’ loan interest slashed

Apr 30 (DN) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry and state banks have come to an agreement with the Central Bank to slash the interest on loans taken by prawn farmers during the past 15 years, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. The interest on loans taken by prawn farmers, who face difficulties, is to be slashed, he said. The minister was addressing the media after discussions with Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral and heads of other state banks. more..

Soldier kills girl friend, attempts suicide

Apr 30 (Island) A soldier, who stabbed to death his girlfriend in Kadulupotta, Pannala attempted to commit suicide but was rescued by residents of the area. The soldier, after killing his girl friend, had hanged himself with a rope tied to a branch of a mango tree on Monday. Police said that the incident occurred after the young woman had ditched him following objections from her parents. The deceased was Rasika Witharana (25) a graduate, attached to the Pannala Pradeshiya Sabha as a clerk. more..

Electricity is not Just Arithmetic, Sir

Apr 30 (Island) I read several articles on Electricity appeared in recent newspapers. They were mainly focused upon electricity costs and prices. Most of these articles were authored by experts on electricity. I am not an expert in any sense and only a consumer of electricity. Yet, I am told that the consumer is the king. So, with an elated mood I feel like a king and decided to share my royal feelings and pride. After all survival and/or more..

Pressure Sri Lanka on political reforms

Apr 30 (National) Sri Lanka is gearing up to play host to the CHOGM in November. The privilege represents an important opportunity for the country to boost its prestige and international recognition. But the question in some capitals is this: does Sri Lanka deserve the honour? Last week Canadian foreign minister John Baird, whose nation is one of the 54 members of the Commonwealth, said it was "appalling that Sri Lanka would be taking on a leadership role in the Commonwealth". more..

'Majority of Local drivers are traffic violators'

Apr 30 (DN) According to the Traffic Administration DIG Amarasiri Senaratne 2.9 million of the 3. 8 million drivers in the country have violated the traffic laws and have been charged before a Court of Law. He was speaking at a special traffic media conference in Colombo yesterday. According to statistics from the Commissioner Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV), of the total number of vehicles registered last year, around 600,000 had been registered with forged documents. more..

Fish imported to earn commission – JVP

Apr 30 (Island) Despite claims of increased local fish production last year, the country had imported 71,413 MT of fish and 18,859 MT of canned fish. Fishermen’s associations, affiliated to the JVP, claimed that the Ministry had failed to put in place a proper mechanism to purchase the fish harvest from the local fishermen. Though the country had a big fish harvest, the Ministry had still imported large amounts of fish because they were receiving more..

Arrested for alleged sexually harassment

Apr 30 (DM) A man who was arrested for allegedly sexually harassing a father of two, who had came all the way from Embilipitiya to work as a mason, was ordered to be released on bail by a Colombo Court today. The 22-year-old victim in his complaint to the Slave Island police said he was a resident of Embilipitiya and had come to Colombo seeking a job as a Mason. He said that he was able to find a job at a building construction site in Nawam Mawatha, Colombo 2. The victim told police that more..

Pakistan and Sri Lanka : Meeting agrees to form Joint Working Group

Apr 30 (DT) The 5th Technical Level Meeting on Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (PSFTA) here on Monday agreed to form a Joint Working Group (JWG) to give proposals for expanding the scope of FTA to include bilateral investment and trade in services as well. Meeting that would conclude today (Tuesday) was chaired on Monday by Pakistan Ministry of Commerce Secretary Munir Qureshi and Sri Lanka Ministry of Industry and Commerce Secretary Anura Siriwardena. more..

Australia forcibly evicts 800 Lankan asylum seekers

Apr 30 (Island) In spite of Tamil Diaspora efforts to win political asylum for more of their community on grounds of security in post-war Sri Lanka, the Australian govt has stepped up deportations, with 201 persons sent back to Colombo since February last year. The Australian govt had taken a tough position against those trying to exploit the system with the help of certain professionals based in Australia. more..

GMOA calls for streamlined tackling of dengue

Apr 30 (CT) The spread of dengue can only be controlled efficiently by practicing inter-ministerial cooperation to raise awareness among the people, the Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA), said. GMOA Spokesman, Dr. Naveen de Soyza, emphasizing the lack of a large scale, inter-connected programme in Sri Lanka, to deal with the spread of the disease, said, "We have always said the Health and the Education sector must work in tandem to address the issue. more..

5,000 officers on May Day duty

Apr 30 (CT) A strong police force numbering 5,000 officers will be deployed to prevent any untoward incidents and ensure the safety of those participating in political rallies and processions on May Day, DIG of the Western Province, Anura Senanayake, said. The DIG said special arrangements will be made to ensure mobility of patients to hospitals, and that other essential services will remain intact and uninterrupted when the May Day rallies and parades are in progress. more..

EU to decide on IUU fishing in June

Apr 30 (DM) The European Parliament will decide on June 26 whether to impose sanctions on export of fish from Sri Lanka over the allegation of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU) by Sri Lankan fishermen in international waters. However, Sri Lanka’s Fisheries Ministry which made submissions to the EU representatives last week in Brussels expects a positive outcome on the basis that more..

Rs 70 b hi-tech hospital for Hambantota

Apr 30 (DN) A modern General Hospital will be built in Hambantota at a cost of Rs 70 billion. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena informed Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa about the new project. The new General Hospital will be built with financial assistance from the Netherland Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen Derren Lien Bank. The bank will also help build a hospital in Nuwara Eliya. The hospital at Hambantota will have 850 beds, modern theatres, laboratories, a modern blood bank, more..

PMB incurs Rs 960 M loss

Apr 30 (CT) The Auditor General has revealed the loss incurred by the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) on the sale of rice to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), last year (2012), was Rs 960 million. According to the audit investigation, it was disclosed that the quantity of rice sold to the UAE Government as at December 2012 was 22,950 MT. In addition, 1,750 MT of broken rice had also been exported. The total revenue earned by the PMB from the sale of the two types of rice was Rs 760 million. more..

Sri Lanka: Report exposes the govt’s violent repression of dissent

Apr 30 (AI) The Sri Lankan govt is intensifying its crackdown on critics through threats, harassment, imprisonment and violent attacks, Amnesty International said in a report released today. The document, Assault on Dissent reveals how the govt led by President Rajapaksa is promoting an official attitude that equates criticism with “treason” in a bid to tighten its grip on power. Journalists, the judiciary, human rights activists and more..

China overtakes Japan as Sri Lanka's top tourist market in East Asia

Apr 30 (LBO) China has overtaken Japan as Sri Lanka's top tourist market in East Asia generating more tourists from around Sept 2012. In Feb 2013, arrivals from China rose 57.9% to 6,145 compared to a growth of 12.2% to 4,724 by Japan. Japan has been Sri Lanka's top generating market in East Asia in the past, but from around Sept 2012 China has tended to generate more tourists than Japan. In the six months to Feb 2013 China generated 17,978 arrivals compared to 14,938 from Japan. more..