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Tusker electrocuted

Dec 17 (CT) A tusker roaming in the Buddhangala Natural Reserve was electrocuted in the Walakapitiya-Ampara area on Sunday, area residents said. According to the Veterinary Officer of the Ampara Veterinary Conservation Unit, Dr. Nihal Pushpakumara, the age of the tusker was between 35 and 40 years, and its tusks are around two feet in length. The post-mortem had established the cause of death as electrocution by a high tension wire pulled across a paddy field in Walakapitiya, more..

Prisoners sleep while standing

Dec 17 (CT) Prisoners are said to be sleeping while in a standing posiiton, in most prisons islandwide, due to the severe shortage of prisons cells, it has been reported. The prisoner count at jails which are generally able to house between to 6,000 to 7,000 inmates, has increased to around 24,000 at present, leading towards the fermenting of unrest amongst inmates at local prisons. Severe space constraints at the 32 prisons located islandwide, have topped their detention capacity.

'Bureaucracy must respect people’s verdict in the North'

Dec 17 (FT) As the rift widens between the Governor of the Northern Province and the recently elected NPC, the TNA has urged the central Govt and the provincial bureaucracy to respect the verdict of the Tamil people at the September poll. The TNA provincial administration is claiming it is being blockaded by the Northern Governor and ex Major General G.A. Chandrasiri who has the backing of the public servants more..

Minister praises South Korea for sharing exepertise with Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (DN) South Korea has shared the country's vast experience and expertise in the solid waste management sector with Sri Lanka, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said Korea introduced a sanitary land fill method to Sri Lanka to solve the issue of solid waste disposal while a mega solid waste management project is in progress with Korean assistance. There will be three similar projects with Korean assistance soon. He was speaking at the annual reception of more..

'Some trying to assassinate my character'

Dec 17 (DN) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said on Saturday that certain people were trying to assassinate his character by making various accusations against him. Prime Minister Jayaratne speaking at a ceremony said: "Hurling accusations of this nature to a person who totally disapproves narcotics, at a time when 95% of the society are against it, has made it wondrously popular." "False propaganda has always had its way around popular characters in the past. more..

SL says president's Kenya visit successful

Dec 17 (Xinhua) President Rajapaksa returned home after what his office termed as a successful visit to Kenya, the first by a SL head of state to that country. President's Office said that in addition to attending Kenya's 50th Independence Day celebrations, visit was aimed to enhance bilateral relations and open up new economic cooperation opportunities for the two countries and their business communities. more..

Isn’t corruption evil any more?

Dec 17 (DM) Going by the barrage of criticism levelled against PM D.M. Jayaratne and his Coordinating Secretary Keerthi Sri Weerasinghe for the past week or so over their alleged involvement with the largest ever heroin haul detected by the Customs, one has to conclude that no wrong would have been committed by the veteran politician or his Coordinating Secretary had the container in question not contained drugs. Involvement of cronyism in the incident is vividly clear due to more..

Towards a Buddhist Theory of Mental Illness

Dec 17 (DM) The Buddha’s philosophy and religion is mainly concerned about the well-being of human beings. His main sermon is on the Four Noble Truths. Here the Buddha deals with the problem of human sufferings and how they could be eliminated. His entire effort was directed towards finding a way out of suffering. To the Buddha life in its various aspects means conditions such as sickness, worry, death, happiness, gain, ecstasy, joy etc. His diagnosis was - that every aspects of more..

‘I have attained Nibbana’ Able to stand aloof on any attack

Dec 17 (DM) Ven. Pitiduwe Siridhamma Thera turned Siri Samantha Bhadra has been the focal point in society and his recent statements and his life style as a Buddhist monk have created many a controversy. He has been accused of attempting to ruin the Buddha Sasana. Ven. Thera has been subject to slashing criticism that he is not a sensible person. What is the Ven. Thera’s response to the allegations leveled against him? more..

Sri Lanka bank credit to state, business, up in October

Dec 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's commercial bank credit to the state surged in Oct 2013 following a net payback in Sept, while credit to business also rose. Credit to the central govt rose 36.7 billion rupees in Oct 2013 to 1,329.0 billion rupees, after falling 50.3 billion rupees in Sept to 1,292.3 billion rupees from 1,342.6 billion rupees in Aug. In Oct credit to state enterprises fell 12.5 billion rupees to 326.8 billion more..

Sri Lanka spice exports up 40%

Dec 17 (LBO) Export revenues of spices from Sri Lanka have risen 40% from a year earlier to 274 million US dollars in the first 10 months of 2013, an industry body said. Pepper exports have grown 81 percent to 108 million US dollars, cinnamon was flat at 105.6 million US dollars. Clove revenues have grown 223% to 45 million after falling to 14.09 million US dollars in 2012 from 34 million dollars in 2011. more..

Pettah fire reveals protection racket

Dec 17 (SL) The fire which broke out in Bodhiraja Mawatha on 6th Dec engulfed numerous shops in Pettah and left many vendors helpless. Around 94 shops were completely burnt to ashes even as the vendors were getting ready for the Christmas season. Even though the total loss has not yet been estimated, most of the traders claim that each shop contained at least Rs 30 lakhs worth of goods. The shops were not insured, as more..

Huge heroin haul: Pressure on Govt. to hold impartial inquiry

Dec 17 (ST) Pressure is mounting on the Govt to hold an independent inquiry into the largest heroin haul incident in the country involving the Prime Minister and his coordinating secretary. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the Govt should carry out a proper investigation into the matter. “We understand that the coordinating secretary has resigned after taking responsibility for issuing the letter. more..

Video: UNP to take night races to Bribery Commission

Dec 17 (DM) UNP charged that Colombo night races were conducted in an illegal manner and therefore the UNP would lodge a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. “The tickets issued for the event were illegal because the CMC had not given its approval to sell such tickets. WPC Chief Minister had exempted the organisers of the night races from paying entertainment taxes more..

JHU warns heroin case will haunt UPFA at PC polls

Dec 17 (Island) JHU leader Ven Dr. Omalpe Sobitha thera yesterday warned that the govt’s complicity in the lucrative heroin trade could become a major political issue at the forthcoming polls to the Western, Uva and Southern provinces, unless punitive action was taken against those involved in the abortive bid to smuggle in heroin from Pakistan. The Customs made the detection in late August following a tip off more..

Thousands of newly trained health workers get their letters today

Dec 17 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that President Rajapaksa would hand over letters of appointment to 1,821 newly trained nurses and 4,214 nursing trainees at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium today. In addition about 1,120 paramedics and 300 Allied Health Science workers would be given their letters of appointment. He pointed out that the nursing profession in Sri Lanka had been given more..

Post-war security: STF further strengthened

Dec 17 (Island) The elite Special Task Force (STF) intends to accommodate 300 personnel, at its state of the art training facility at Katukurunda, soon after the current batch of trainees completed the ongoing course. 300 men are undergoing training at the moment. STF Commandant DIG R.W.M.C. Ranawaka said that there was provision for recruitment of a further 600 personnel during the next year. more..

UN learned from Lanka’s war

Dec 17 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon says the UN had learned from the war in Sri Lanka and as a result an action plan has been put in place to ensure a similar situation does not occur in any other country. Speaking at the year end press briefing, he said that a ‘Rights Up Front Action Plan’ which has now been introduced is based on what a UN Panel of Experts learned from the situation in Sri Lanka. more..

Dissecting local Govt. budget defeats: It is all personal

Dec 17 (CT) It is, indeed, interesting that the ruling UPF), which has subjugated every independent institution in the country, has lost the budget in 16 local government bodies under its reign within the last two months. Worse still, the ruling party lost the second reading of the budget in a number of Pradeshiya Sabhas and Urban Councils – the Embilipitiya, Alawwa, Matara, Medawachchiya, Wattala and Mirigama Pradeshiya Sabhas, and the Peliyagoda and Kesbewa Urban Councils. more..

UK and US should keep up the pressure on Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (CT) Countries normally compete with one another to host international conferences to polish their image and standing. Olympics is one example. Publicity for such events brings in tourists, investments and trade. The CHOGM also serves the same purpose. The CHOGM held in Colombo last November was preceded by the Commonwealth People’s Forum, the Commonwealth Youth Forum, and the Commonwealth Business Forum. Several hundred delegates attended the more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close 0.2% higher

Nov 17 (LBO) Stocks close higher for the fourth straight day with finance and diversified stocks gaining, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 16.22 points higher at 5,811.88, up 0.28%. The S&P SL20 closed 8.20 points higher at 3,193.87, up 0.26%. Turnover was 1.27 billion rupees, up from 414.66 million rupees last Friday, with stocks of 79 firms closing in the red against 80 gainers. Foreigners bought 483 million rupees worth shares while selling 1.10 billion rupees of shares. more..

Colombo–Puttalam road closed for carpeting

Nov 17 (Island) The Colombo-Puttalam A-003 road will be closed from Peliyagoda to Dandugamoya between 9.00 p.m. and 4.00 a.m. from today until further notice, as the Road Development Authority had planned on laying the carpet along both lanes, SSP Ajith Rohana said. The road users are advised to use alternate roads during the period but they could also use the road before and after the given time, he said. The alternate roads that could be used are as follows, for those who need to travel: more..

ICAO wants facial features visible

Nov 17 (DM) Registrations of Persons Department Chief R.N.S. Sarath Kumara said he had devised the plan for issuing electronic Identity Cards in conformity with the standards set by International Civil Aviation Organisations. He said that representatives from the Muslim community had asked for approval to photographed for such IDs in manner that showed their cultural identity. He said these requests could only be entertained if more..

Lightning transfer for principal

Nov 17 (Island) The principal of a popular school in Kalmunai was transferred with immediate effect, early this month, over his failure to summon a large gathering for a meeting chaired by a provincial councilor at the school. M. Mujeeb, the principal of the Al-Hilal Vidyalaya, in Sainthamaruthu, was transferred with immediate effect and the transfer letter dated Dec 9, was signed by the zonal director of education, Kalmunai. It is said that the principal was transferred on a telephone request more..

Sajith a no show at UNP meet

Nov 17 (CG) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa failed to show up at the UNP Leadership Council (LC) meeting held today. The LC met today under the chairmanship of UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya and Premadasa had been invited to attend today’s meeting. However Premadasa had failed to attend but UNP sources claimed the LC was keen to continue seeking his participation at the next meeting. Attempts were made by the LC to contact Premadasa over the telephone today but more..

Video: Madumadhawa resigns from CMC

Nov 17 (DM) The UNP has invited former Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) UPFA member Madumadawa Aravinda to join the party. The open invitation was extended by Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil after Madumadawa Aravinda announced today that he had resigned from the CMC. In announcing his resignation, Madumadawa Aravinda said he was disgusted with politics nor does he like to bow down to politicians. more..

Gotabhaya goes to the UN

Nov 17 (CT) Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and the Rajapaksa regime’s most powerful official has returned to the United States where he is scheduled to hold meetings with UN officials in New York. The Defence Secretary whose visit to America – where he is a citizen – has remained under wraps, held secret discussions with UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Elisson on Monday. Requests for a briefing about the meeting at UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s end of the year press more..

Karuna says issues are minor

Nov 17 (CG) Deputy Resettlement Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman says minor issues still remain to be addressed on the resettlement of war displaced people. Speaking in Parliament today, the Deputy Minister said the Govt needs time to complete the resettlement process and it hopes to do that by the end of next year. Muralitharan says after 30 years of war it is impossible for one to expect the entire resettlement process to be completed in four years. more..

Grade 5 Scholarship cut-off marks released

Nov 17 (CT) The Department of Examinations released the Grade Five Scholarship cut-off marks last evening, with Royal College and Visakha Vidyalaya topping the lists with a cut-off mark of 186 marks. The top three boys schools with the highest cut off marks in the Sinhala Medium are Royal College (186), Dharmaraja Vidyalaya Kandy (184) and Ananda Vidyalaya (183). Of the girls’ schools, the three with the highest cut-off more..

Nearly 2500 infants born with heart ailments annually

Nov 17 (Island) The Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children said that approximately 2,500 children were born with heart diseases annually. Dr. Hewage said that 2,000 of them needed lifesaving cardiac surgery almost immediately after birth. The remaining 500 were those who could afford to be on the waiting list as the heart condition did not impair their growth. Some of them were cured without surgery while others were able to live a normal life till they were taken in for surgery. more..

Nurses threaten to kick out midwives from hospitals

Nov 17 (Island) The largest nurses’ union in the country has threatened to push out the midwifery service from state hospitals, over an alleged irresponsible statement. Public Services United Nurses’ Union (PSUNU) General Secretary D. Boralessa challenged the Govt Midwifery Union (GMU) President Devika Kodituwakku to an open-debate over the alleged baseless statement issued by her union. He pointed out that the GMU had made a statement that the services more..

SL offers harbors to foreign fishing vessels

Nov 17 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan govt is offering the island's fisheries harbors to foreign vessels from Asian countries, including China, in a bid to prevent European countries from exploiting fishing resources in the Indian Ocean. Under the plan, fishing vessels from China, Dubai, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam will be invited to engage in fishing in the international waters in the Indian Ocean and export their products via more..

Chinese arrivals to increase by 200%

Nov 17 (DN) Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka will become the third biggest by next year said, Dr. D.S Jayaweera, Director General of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority. Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony with 'The Travel Channel', and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau to promote Sri Lanka Tourism in China, at the Mount Lavinia Hotel, he said they will surpass the German arrivals next year and will target around 60, 000 travellers. "This will be an over 200% increase," he said. more..

SL court extends remand of Indian fishermen

Nov 17 (PTI) A court in Sri Lanka today extended till December 30 the remand of 50 fishermen of Pudukottai and Jegathapattinam, arrested near Kodiyakarai on two different dates by the island nation's navy. While 20 of the fishermen with five boats were arrested by the navy personnel on Nov 20, the others with their eight boats were arrested on Dec 11 for allegedly fishing in Lankan waters, officials said. The court in Mallagam extended their remand till Dec 30, officials said.

Another hiccup at Norochcholai

Nov 17 (Island) The country’s first coal-fired power plant, at Norochcholai, which has been notorious for its frequent breakdowns, is expected to be connected to the national grid today after another hiccup on Friday. Last Friday night engineers decided to shut down the plant to attend to a repair. CEB Deputy General Manager Senajith Dassanayake said that the 300MW plant was shut down due to more..

Land acquired for Colombo Outer Circular H’way Project

Nov 17 (CT) A document tabled in Parliament by the Project Minister Nirmala Kotelawala, revealed that the extent of land that had been acquired by the govt for the Colombo Outer Circular Highway Development Project was valued at around Rs 9,950 million. According to the document, around 100.35 hectares had been acquired from Kottawa to Kaduwela, and its gross assessed value was Rs 2,200 million. Around 82 hectares had been acquired from Kaduwela to Kadawatha, more..

Nurses union blames authorities for shutting down ICUs

Nov 17 (Island) Lives of patients scheduled to undergo emergency surgeries, at the neuro-trauma unit of the Colombo National Hospital, are at stake due to the closure of three Intensive Care Units due to a shortage of trained nurses. Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) president Saman Rathnapriya blamed the Health Authorities for the closure. He pointed out that some patients, who had been recommended to undergo brain operations were being transferred to more..

'Sri Lanka an emerging heroin transit hub'

Nov 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka has recorded a sharp rise in drug busts, suggesting the island is becoming a transhipment hub for heroin in Asia. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said record hauls of illegal drugs seized by police and customs pointed to a new smuggling operation using Colombo as a transhipment location. "The quantities of illegal narcotics clearly suggests that this is not for consumption in the country, but to be more..

'Madhumadhawa resigns on a party decision'

Nov 17 (DM) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said Madhumadhawa Aravinda, who represents the JHU in the Colombo Municipal Council, resigned from the CMC today on a party decision that he should contest the upcoming elections to the Western Provincial Council (WPC) from the Gampaha district. When contacted JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinha on Mr. Aravinda’s resignation, he said it came in the wake of the party deciding that he contests the elections to the WPC. more..