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Mangala’s case against MTV/MBC dismissed

Dec 11 (AD) Mangala Samaraweera’s personal case filed against MTV/MBC dismissed by the Matara additional judge. On Dec 5 the Matara Magistrate Court stated that the Chairman of Capital Maharaja is not required to be present at court on Dec 11 while the Court is to decide on that date whether or not notice should be issued on him. On Nov 25, notice was issued on the Chairman of MTV R. Rajamahendran to appear before more..

Customs ease gold restrictions

Dec 11 (Island) The Customs Department lifted restrictions recently imposed on the amount of gold jewellery Sri Lankan going overseas could carry for non commercial purposes. Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said that Sri Lankan men and women could wear as much gold as they wanted but those violating the law would be dealt with under the provisions of customs, Gamini said. The decision to ease gold restrictions had been taken as there were genuine cases, where the travelers migrating more..

JVP wants Matale mass grave case shifted

Dec 11 (CT) The JVP is planning to file an application in the Court of Appeal, requesting the transfer of the Matale mass grave case to Kandy. JVP Counsel for the Aggrieved, Sunil Wattegala, said the application is being drafted and will be ready within two weeks. "Matale Magistrate, Sampath Gamage, had treated the case very lightly when it was taken up at the Court last November," he alleged. It is learnt the judge had not granted leave for the Counsel to argue the case, more..

Audio: House erupts over MPs bill

Dec 11 (CG) Parliament erupted into a heated debate today when UNP MP Wijeydasa Rajapaksa attempted to present a private member’s bill. The govt raised strong objections to the bill being presented resulting in an exchange of words between opposition and Govt members. Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that the bill subverts the standing orders of Parliament and the constitution and so it cannot be presented. more..

MP makes claims on Eknaligoda

Dec 11 (CG) UPFA MP Arundika Fernando today claimed in Parliament that journalist and cartoonist Pradeep Eknaligoda had gone overseas using a passport of a person in Kalutara. The MP, who had on an earlier occasion said Eknaligoda was in France, today said that Eknaligoda had gone to Singapore and was very much alive. He dismissed claims that Eknaligoda was “missing” and that there were reports he was now in Belgium. Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist more..

Heroin container: Ministry Secretary resigns

Dec 11 (DM) The Coordinating Secretary to the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, who had allegedly intervened to release a heroin container from the Customs, had tendered his resignation to Prime Minister and the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs D.M. Jayaratne from Dec 9. However, Secretary Keerthi Sri Weerasinghe, had said in his resignation letter that he had no connection whatsoever with the alleged incident of importing heroin or more..

SLC asks ICC for US$ 8 mn. lifeline

Dec 11 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) for an interest-free loan of eight million US Dollars (Rs. 1.06 billion) to settle an outstanding of 10.1 US Dollars which is the remaining part of a crippling loan SLC had obtained from Bank of Ceylon. The ICC had rejected this request but SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga had re-negotiated with the ICC to reconsider the decision. more..

Kusum Sevena a haven for the less privileged children of Bloemendhal

Dec 12 (NS) The Montessori “Kusum Sevana” as the name says is a shelter for many budding flowers. It is a Montessori and a Daycare Centre maintained by the Bloemendhal Development Society under the guidance of the Order of The Good Shepherd Sisters as a service of charity. With a vision as stated being “In limitless mercy, we envision the total development of the child” they render numerous services to the children from poor families. History“Kusum Sevana” Montessori and more..

Sri Lanka on world map of biodiversity hotspots

Dec 12 (NS) Sri Lanka is the home for a rich biodiversity, which is a part of its natural wealth. The country has a high endemism - 30% of its vertebrate animals and 28% of its flowering plants are found only in Sri Lanka. This diversity and the multiple threats faced included the country’s southwestern region among the ‘biodiversity hotspots’ designated about two and half decades ago. Biodiversity hotspot concept emerged as an effort to identify conservation priorities and more..

DMT sets up vehicle emission testing raids

Dec 12 (SO) Environmental pollution has become a serious concern world over an d now Sri Lanka has entered the fray because of the vast number of vehicles entering and exiting the city. Sri Lanka has about 5.1million registered vehicles running on the roads at present. Out of this at least one million vehicles enter and exit Colombo daily which is a staggering amount compared to the compact routes and the proportion of the city. more..

Mandela: A life that resembled a rainbow

Dec 12 (CT) Casting aside one's many chains do not come easy. Similarly, overcoming deep-seated biases and bitterness are equally difficult. As people mourn the passing away of the human colossus that was Nelson Mandela – the man who lifted the cup of bitterness to turn South Africa into a nation of triumph and reconciliation – there is much to mourn the loss to humanity while there is more to celebrate. It is not unusual for most, despite the glaring differences in the two characters, more..

Basil-Chidambaram spat over Prabhakaran's death

Dec 12 (CT) Sometime before, the President's brother, Basil, had made the foregoing remarks when Chidambaram had commented that if the Government of Sri Lanka had listened to India, Prabhakran's life could have been saved. When Basil had referred to some countries in his remarks, he was clearly pointing his finger at India, causing much embarrassment to Chidambaram in view of the remarks he had made earlier, vis-a-vis Prabhakaran's death. more..

Budget and Opposition under attack as Lalkantha opens fire

Dec 12 (FT) Despite all the hardship and misery people go through, they will vote for Mahinda Rajapaksa if he decides to contest tomorrow, says K.D. Lalkantha, Chief Ministerial Candidate for the Western Province. Lalkantha admits that due to the failure of the Opposition to win over voters, people continue to hail the Rajapaksa administration. While pointing out there is a mismatch between the actual desires of more..

Indo-Lanka relations: Some naďve Lankan expectations

Dec 12 (Island) If some observers in Sri Lanka are expecting a resounding BJP victory at India’s next general election, sometime early next year, they cannot be faulted because recent state level polls in India seem to be bearing out this prediction. In these polls, including those held in New Delhi, the Grand Old Party of India, the Congress Party, has suffered defeat and the expectation that the Congress would be routed at the next Lok Sabha polls seems to be well founded at present. more..

Increasing malnutrition; need to combat immediately

Dec 12 (CT) I am honoured to speak on the votes of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs, which deals with perhaps the most important subject we need to consider. I say this because, while the development programme government has put in place with regard to infrastructure is vital, it will serve no purpose unless we also concentrate on human development. In this regard we need to ensure that our children are in full enjoyment of all their rights, and that we more..

Mandela: Whose hero?

Dec 12 (FT) Sri Lankan Govt is taking some aspects of its role a Chair in Office of the Commonwealth of Nations very seriously. President Rajapaksa for instance, embracing his dual role as President of the Republic and Commonwealth Chair, issued not one but two messages of condolence to SA President on the passing of the world’s most beloved statesman and freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela. more..

Protecting judges: Learning from a ‘hag’

Dec 12 (Island) An attempt by UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to submit a private member’s motion to Parliament calling for the adoption of the Latimar House principles governing the removal of judges, among other things, was thwarted yesterday. Now that President Rajapaksa is the Commonwealth Chairman he cannot refuse to comply with the Latimar guidelines, MP Rajapakshe has told this newspaper. Both of them have the same surname, albeit differently spelt in English, more..

Plight of evicted Muslims at Slave Island

Dec 12 (CT) On 8 May 2010 the UDA, under the Defense Ministry, deployed police and special forces to destroy number of houses at Mews Street in Slave Island in the heart of Colombo. All except one house, owned by a Tamil, are Muslim owned. Those who lived there were forced out of their homes with their belongings thrown into streets. The evicted people said that they have title deeds of ownership of the land, documents to prove the houses are legal and were living there for decades. more..

Afridi leads Pakistan to tense win

Dec 12 (CI) Maturity is an adjective that, at best, can only be sporadically applied to Shahid Afridi, but it was the hallmark of his blitz against Sri Lanka, as he struck an unbeaten 39 from 20 to lift his side to a three-wicket win in Dubai. Arriving at the crease with 50 to get off 35, Afridi was discerning in his attack, even as wickets continued to fall at the other end. The crowd may remember the big blows that carved a chunk from more..

Thirimanne's flying catch

Dec 12 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara's dismissal is often cause for unhinged celebration, but Shahid Afridi was anything but joyous when he caught a mistimed Sangakkara shot at cover. The catch was simple enough, as Afridi snaffled the chance in front of his face, but his apparent irritation suggested that he had lost the ball momentarily in the background, perhaps in the stadium lights. The rest of his team did not share his displeasure though, particularly as it was Ajmal's 400th international scalp. more..

Amăna Bank IPO tops Rs. 1b on opening day

Dec 12 (FT) Amăna Bank’s IPO crossed Rs. 1 billion in subscriptions on the opening day with over 1,700 applications being received by last evening. Speaking on the success of the issue so far, the Bank’s Chairman Osman Kassim said: “I am delighted at the response we have received despite sluggish market conditions that has resulted in this IPO being only the second for the year and also seeing a host of debentures drawing liquidity off the market. This reflects the trust and more..

UGC Chairman rejects claims of interference

Dec 12 (DM) UGC Vice Chancellor, Professor Kshanika Hirimburegama dismissed allegations levelled against her concerning alleged attempts to sabotage the meeting held to shortlist candidates to select a new Vice Chancellor for the Kelaniya University. She said, “The allegations are completely incorrect and they are being circulated by a few top members of the Kelaniya University administration.” more..

Jimmy terms visit to Sri Lanka fruitful

Dec 12 (BR) Renowned Pakistani artist and social worker Jimmy Engineer has returned home after paying a goodwill visit to Sri Lanka and described the trip as very productive, which enabled him to promote people to people contact between the two countries through his art. During his stay in Sri Lanka, Jimmy Engineer held an exhibition of prints of his selected paintings, about 50 in number including his famous Pakistan Movement series and architectural compositions, more..

Belgian companies keen to invest in SL

Dec 12 (ST) Several leading Belgian companies have shown interest in investing in joint ventures with Sri Lanka as there is a vast potential in the island with rapid improvement in infrastructure facilities countrywide especially in Colombo and Hambantota, Belgian oficials said. Trade between Sri Lanka and the Brussels-Capital Region is marginal and there is yet unrealised potential in this regard, said Celine Fremault, the Minister of Economy, Employment, Scientific Research, more..

Motor vehicles registrations flat in Nov

Dec 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's motor vehicle registrations were flat in Nov 2013 at 27,424 units, barely changed from 27,082 a year earlier but there were steep increases in hybrids, large cars and sport utility vehicles. Motor car registrations at 2,226 in November were sharply up from 1,466 a year earlier, with so-called pre-owned and hybrids driving volumes. "The number of hybrids has increased to 1,149, highest monthly figure for the year," more..

CAA seizes adulterated food items

Dec 12 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) seized a large stock of tomato sauce, chillie powder and turmeric powder, found unfit for human consumption, from the place where they were being manufactured in Slave Island yesterday. Also taken in to custody was a type of gum used for the manufacture of tomato sauce and chewing gum. Also seized was a type of fabric dye together with 2,000 litres of tomato sauce meant for distribution to Chinese restaurants and eateries. more..

Prominent gem exporter in hot water

Dec 12 (DN) A prominent gem exporter from Galle who attempted to illegally send out gems and gold valued at Rs.64 million to India, was arrested yesterday. This is considered one of the largest detection's of its kind made by the Customs. "The said businessman presented two metal boxes to the air cargo village to be exported to Chennai, with a declaration saying they contained gems worth Rs.11 million. However, when examined, the boxes contained gems valued at Rs.47 million more..

Karu takes on media terrorists in Parliament

Dec 12 (FT) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya charged that a newspaper (not of the Wijeya Group) owned by a member of Parliament was engaged in carving out targets of politicians to attack and vilify instead of carrying out its responsibilities as the free press to deal with real issues in the country including the threats to democracy and the breakdown of the rule of law. Making a speech during the committee stage debate on more..

Minister’s foot in mouth over Basil ad

Dec 12 (DM) Minister Priyankara Jayaratne was in a spot in Parliament today, when he claimed that the enlarged photograph of Minister Basil Rajapaksa was included in a full page newspaper advertisement as part of the Mattala International Airport’s publicity campaign. Minister Jayaratne, in response to a question, said Airport and Aviation Services Limited had published an advertisement in a Sinhala newspaper at a cost of Rs. 225,000, to publicise and market the new airport more..

Audio: Keheliya, Ranjan in verbal feud

Dec 12 (CG) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake were involved in a verbal feud in Parliament today after Ramanayake made comments regarding the Minister. Initially the UNP MP claimed that Minister had once said that if a journalist is attacked all he can do is visit the journalist in hospital with a thambili in his hand. Minister however insisted his comments were misinterpreted by the UNP MP and told him to come outside of Parliament to hear the true story. more..

'TNA ultra vires the Constitution'

Dec 12 (DN) The TNA has to abide by the country's Constitution and the National Policy as members of the Northern Provincial Council, Northern province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri said. "Acting against the Constitution, the TNA has prepared budget proposals to initiate departments in the Northern Province at their inaugural budget," he charged. The Governor said he has approved the NPC's appropriation budget. more..

'Displaced shanty dwellers to get compensation'

Dec 12 (Island) Five hundred families living in areas coming under the purview of the Colombo, Kolonnawa and Kelaniya Divisional Secretariats will lose their houses, if the proposed new Kelani bridge with six lanes is implemented. The new bridge is to be built to ease severe traffic congestion. Those who will lose their houses are residents of Navagampura, Grandpass, Bloemendhal road, Wadullawatte, Orugodawatte, Sedawatte, Peliyagoda and Gangaboda. more..

FAO responsible for spread of kidney disease

Dec 12 (CT) A civil society organization lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC), on International Human Rights Day (Tuesday), demanding compensatory packages from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the patients suffering from chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu). The Swarna Hansa Foundation (SHF) alleged that the FAO was responsible for the introduction of agro chemicals into the country, causing the deadly disease more..

Special police team to probe Trinco clash

Dec 12 (CT) A special police team has been deployed to investigate Tuesday's clash between two groups at the Trincomalee bus stand, where a group who had gathered to mark the Human Rights Day came under attack by a group of unidentified men. SSP Ajith Rohana, said statements have been recorded from the victims by the Trincomalee Police as well as by the special team. more..

'2014 Budget best boost for farmers'

Dec 12 (FT) Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena identified Budget 2014 as the “best thing that has ever happened to local farmers” under the Mahinda Chinthana political manifesto, which “undertook the difficult task to uplift agriculture and to generate much needed income,” summing-up the 15th allotted day of the Appropriation Bill 2014 – Committee Stage Debate on Tuesday. Among several amendments made, the Minister suggested that “the same allowance proposed for more..

CSE goes live on Android

Dec 12 (LBT) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) had launched an Android mobile Application which offers live stock market information at the swipe of your finger. The application is available on Google Play and can be downloaded free onto all Android devices. The CSE mobile App offers the following essentials, easily accessible on any Android hand held device. Market Summary; ASPI and S&P SL20 graph details; Latest Trades; Announcements; Price List; Gainers and Losers; more..

NZ dairy expertise helps fight poverty in SL

Dec 12 (Stuff) New Zealand farming expertise is helping reduce poverty in Sri Lanka. As part of a programme set-up by charity Tear Fund, more than 8500 Sri Lankan dairy farmers in the east and north of the country now have the infrastructure to keep their families above the poverty line. Tear Fund are working with NZ companies Patton Refrigeration and QPod Systems on the project, utilising their expertise in milk collection refrigeration and more..

PIL plea for termination of defence pacts with Sri Lanka

Dec 12 (Hindu) The Madras High Court Bench here reserved its judgment on a public interest litigation petition filed by an advocate seeking a direction to the Union govt to terminate all bilateral defence agreements between India and Sri Lanka. Petitioner, V. Ramesh, submitted that the Central govt had adopted an “insensitive policy of defence cooperation with Sri Lanka” by offering to train SL naval officials in India. “It is of great dismay that India has offered to more..

BoC extends its gratitude to War Heroes with Abimansala III

Dec 12 (Island) Bank of Ceylon, is paying its gratitude to the nation’s war heroes through the construction of ‘Abimansala III’ - the wellness resort for the permanently disabled soldiers in Pangolla, Kurunegala. Bank contributes towards the construction of an ayurvedic hospital in ‘Abimansala III’ under the "Brave Hearts" project of Sri Lanka Army. Abimansala III is a project initiated by the Seva Vanitha Army Branch (SVAB) with the noble purpose of providing more..

SL, Kenya to sign a number of agreements

Dec 12 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Nairobi, Kenya last evening, beginning a four-day State visit. President was received at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and welcomed with a Guard of Honor. President Rajapaksa will attend Kenya's Independence Day festivities that will take place at the more..