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Big heroin bust: All network members identified, say police

Dec 30 (ST) Police last week claimed that all members of the network involved in smuggling 261 kilograms of heroin into Sri Lanka have been identified but refused to reveal who they were. Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana also confirmed that investigators were not targeting an official in the Prime Minister’s office who attempted to get the contraband released by the SL Ports Authority. “He is not under investigation,” more..

Alleged move to make CBK common candidate irks UNP rebel faction

Dec 30 (Island) The UNP reformists are of the view that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK) is not a suitable common opposition candidate to contest the incumbent President Rajapaksa at the next Presidential Election. SP Councillor, Maithri Gunaratne said that CBK, during her 10-year tenure had ruined the country. "Her rule was a total disaster and the economy recorded a negative growth on her watch," more..

Prison Dept. transfers 440

Dec 30 (Island) More than 440 officers, attached to all prisons, will be moved out next year, Commissioner General of Prisons C. Pallegama said. He said those transferred were jailers and guards who had served at the same place for over four years and under no circumstances would the transfers be cancelled. Meanwhile, two inmates, one serving a four-year jail term and the other in remand escaped from the Ragama hospital more..

Towards a rational electricity tariff

Dec 30 (SL) High electricity prices have truly become a two-prong hit, affecting not only consumers but also our economy through their impact on business and industry. The CEB has failed in keeping their targets of generating power through alternative sources such as coal power; they keep taxing the poor consumer in order to cover up their failures. The Minister of Power and Energy has repeatedly stated that the second stage of more..

Hot-line to complain against police officers

Dec 30 (DM) National Police Commission Secretary T.M.K.B. Tennakoon said a hotline had been set up for public complaints against police officers found to have neglected their duties. He said the public can lodge their complaints via hot line: 071 0361010. Mr. Tennakoone said nine provincial offices and two offices in Kalutara and Gampaha had been established to look into complaints by the people. more..

Govt., TNA court international community

Dec 30 (DM) Ahead of the UNHRC sessions, Govt and the TNA are slated for a race against time to woo the international community. Already, the Govt has sought to despatch ministerial delegations to the member states of the UNHRC. "We have sought appointments from the respective govts to meet with our ministerial delegations. We have implemented the bulk of the recommendations by the LLRC. more..

Manmohan to contact TN on holding Indo-Sri Lankan fishermen talks

Dec 30 (Hindu) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday told a delegation of fishermen associations from Tamil Nadu that he would contact the TN govt this week for arranging talks between the fishermen representatives of India and Sri Lanka on fishing issues so as to end the incidents of attacks and arrest of Indian fishermen on high seas by the Lankan naval personnel at Indo-Lanka maritime border. more..

Muzammil hits out at opponents as wife seeks nomination to contest WPC polls

Dec 30 (Island) Many an eyebrow was raised when UNP National Organizer Daya Gamage urged Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil’s wife, Ferouza, to contest the forthcoming elections to the Western Provincial Council. Gamage was addressing a gathering at the Campbell Park. Gamage threw his weight behind the Muzammils amidst an influential section of the party strongly opposing Ferouza’s entry into active politics. more..

Police suspect new mass grave used by Tamil Tigers

Dec 30 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan authorities are investigating a new mass grave found in an area in the north of the country which was once under rebel control, the police said. SSP Ajith Rohana said that excavation work was carried out at the mass grave in Mannar in the presence of a Magistrate and other officials. The grave site which was stumbled upon this month had at least 10 human skeletal remains buried inside. more..

India fears terror attacks on its diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka

Dec 30 (Island) In the wake of Bangladesh executing Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Qadir Mullah, for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, India fears Islamic terrorist groups targeting Indian interests in the region, including Sri Lanka. A gravely concerned Indian External Affairs Ministry has urged several SA countries, including SL to provide enhanced security to Indian missions. more..

Organic fertiliser Need of the hour

Dec 30 (DM) The govt spends around Rs. 33 million annually on fertiliser subsidy - no doubt a colossal amount. Recent state endeavours into organic manure usage to save this financial expense is more than a step forward in the right direction. According to Assistant Director Agriculture, Ganewatte AGA’s Divison Kurunegala, M.U.N. Pushpakumara, “it would not only save foreign exchange but also contribute to national health.” For example, the ever-increasing kidney patients more..

Sri Lanka stocks end 0.3% higher

Dec 30 (LBO) Stocks close higher Monday with tobacco and diversified stocks gaining amid strong foreign buying on the board. All Share Price Index closed 22.54 points higher at 5,899.20, up 0.38%. The S&P SL20 closed 26.82 points higher at 3,267.45, up 0.83. Turnover was 515.26 million rupees, down from 1.33 billion rupees last Friday, with stocks of 64 firms closing in the red against 97 gainers. JKH topped the turnover list with market transactions of 118 million rupees more..

Apps to alert fishermen about maritime border

Dec 30 (Hindu) Concerned over the rising attack on fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation Centre has developed a mobile application that would alert the fishermen about a few km from the actual point. This application has been developed to safeguard the fishermen from Nagapattinam to Tuticorin when they more..

C.W.W. Kannangara: The father of free education

Dec 30 (DM) Once again Dr. Ananda Guruge has gone back to the past and returned with a priceless pearl – the pearl of free education. His book titled, No Pearl of Greater Price, explores the dying days of the British colonial period in which leading political figures moved heaven and earth to make free education a reality. It stands out as, perhaps, the greatest gift that the state ever gave to Sri Lankans. It strengthened the backbone, the character and the future course of more..

STF raids ganja plantations

Dec 30 (Island) Police commandos, of the Udawalawe STF camp, had raided three ganja plantations at Wetahira Kanda in Thanamalvila and destroyed around 355,000 plants, police said yesterday. The illegal cultivations were about two and half acres in extent. The cultivators had fled the area at the time of the raid, police said. The raid was carried out by a group of commandos under the guidance of Inspector W.L.A.S. de Silva of the Uda Walawe STF camp. more..

Sri Lankan navy arrests 18 more fishermen

Dec 30 (PTI) Sri Lankan Navy on Monday arrested 18 Indian fishermen while fishing between Katchativu and Dhanushkodi. The fishermen from Pamban near here were arrested along with their three country boats for allegedly fishing in that country’s territorial water, sources said. The arrests had come as a shock to the fishermen’s association members here especially after assurance from PM Manmohan more..

Drunken Doctor arrested

Dec 30 (Island) A doctor, attached to the Radiology Unit of the Maharagama Cancer Hospital, was arrested by the police for causing injuries to two persons and damaging three three-wheelers, while driving under the influence of liquor on Saturday. The doctor’s car had crashed into a three-wheeler on the Palatota road in Kalutara causing it to crash into two other parked three wheelers, injuring two persons. Police said that tests proved that doctor was under the influence of liquor. more..

Three kids found abandoned

Dec 30 (CG) The police have found three young children abandoned in a house in Meetiyagoda by their parents, the police media unit said today. According to the police, the children aged 8, 5 and 2, were found following information received by the police in the area. The young girls had been abandoned by their parents following a dispute between the two of them. Investigations had revealed that the parents had left the house following the dispute and in the process more..

Misbah wary of rusty Sri Lanka

Dec 30 (CI) Pakistan's captain Misbah-ul-Haq has said his team will not be complacent even though they are more in touch with the demands of Test cricket than their opponents Sri Lanka have been of late. Pakistan played South Africa in a 1-1 draw in the UAE in October, while Sri Lanka has not had a Test since March. "We are in good shape and we are confident but we aren't going to be complacent," Misbah said more..

Two nabbed with 142 kilos of ganja

Dec 30 (Island) The Wellawaya police arrested two persons, who were in possession of 142 kilos of dried ganja, at the Demaliya area, in the Yala National Park, police said yesterday. One of the suspects was from the 36th Mile Post, Uva-Kuda Oya. He was nabbed on a chena in the Demaliya area and police found 120 kilos of dried ganja in his makeshift hut. The other suspect was from the Thelulla Colony, in Wellawaya and he, too, had a chena cultivation in the Demaliya area. more..

Karunanidhi Slams Arrest of 22 Indian Fishermen by Lanka

Dec 30 (PTI) Slamming the arrest of 22 Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy on Sunday and that of a journalist from the country last week in the island nation, DMK president M Karunanidhi said unless Centre took strong steps "problems are not going to end." "The arrest of 22 fishermen from Pudukottai is atrocious," he said in a statement, adding 227 fishermen had been apprehended by the Lankan navy in the last three months and they were now languishing in jails there. more..

Video: ‘Historic injustice’ committed against rural children - Bandula

Dec 30 (AD) Minister Bandula Gunasekara today said that a “historic injustice” has been committed against the children of rural villages and that every previous govt is responsible for neglecting rural schools. He stated that not only one govt is responsible for the establishing of popular schools and the neglecting of schools in rural villages as it has been continuing for several years. He stated that one of the greatest issues more..

Milco strike called off

Dec 30 (DM) The strike action at the Milco Company was temporarily called off after President Rajapaksa gave an assurance that the concerns expressed by the workers would be resolved soon, Sri Lanka Nidahas Sangamaya President Padmasiri Silva said. “We suspended our strike action for one month after Ven. Mureththettuwe Ananda mediated on our behalf with President Rajapaksa who promised to resolve our concerns very soon. Our three demands have been directed to more..

Lankan links in drug syndicate

Dec 30 (CG) Sri Lankan links in a major international drug syndicate has been revealed following the arrest of four suspects in India. Four alleged members of an international drug syndicate spread across five Asian countries have been arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell. The police claimed to have seized around 47 kg of fine quality heroin and 2 kg of crack heroin and cocaine worth approximately Rs.150 crore in the international market. more..

Rathika briefed on north situ

Dec 30 (CG) Opposition Canadian MP, Rathika Sitsabaiesan has been briefed on the situation in the North including human rights related issues. The Sri Lankan born Scarborough Rouge River MP met TNA members in North today to gather information on the current situation. Among those she met was Tamil National Alliance provincial council member and human rights activist Anandi Sasitharan. more..

Sri Lanka to switch to 92-octane from January 2014

Dec 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka will start selling petrol with an Octane count of 92 from January 2014 and will discontinue 90-octane fuel, petroleum minister Anura Yapa said. Minister Yapa said state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the second player Lanka IOC will both sell 92-Octane petrol. There will be no change to retail prices. CPC will have to incur a cost of around 80 cents to one rupee per litre to provide 92-Octane petrol, he said.

President opens Sethsuva Medura

Dec 30 (GDI) President Rajapaksa opens ‘Sethsuwa Medura’ organic food outlet at the Sri Sambodhi Viharaya premises in Colombo on Sunday. Sethsuva Medura is an initiative of Sambodhi Vihare and Go vernment Medial Officers association. Chief Incumbent of the Sambodhi Vihare Ven. Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thera and the observation of the GMOA. After the inauguration, President visited the stalls and exchanged views with the sales personnel. more..

2014 will be a Year of Expressways

Dec 30 (GDI) The year 2014 will be a year of declare opening and launching Expressways in Sri Lanka. This is a major transformation introduced under the leadership of President Rajapaksa to the road network of this country which happened to be full of potholes, impassable, and becoming pools of water on rainy days and during rainy seasons. In the past people used to say that they can do fishing on our roads on more..

Sri Lanka: Moving On – Analysis

Dec 30 (EAR) The peace that was established with the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009 prevailed uninterrupted through 2013. As in 2012, not a single terrorism-related incident was reported from the Island Nation. The last such fatality was recorded on Oct 2, 2009, when an unidentified gunman killed two Army soldiers and injured another at Paranthakadathan in Mannar District. Moreover, while several concerns remain to be addressed, the country made dramatic progress in terms of more..

Homagama PS Budget defeated again

Dec 30 (AD) The 2014 Budget of the UPFA-controlled Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha has been defeated for the second time by a majority of two votes. The Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha, A.D. Kumarasiri presented the budget to the council today and the second reading vote was held. Only 10 members cast their vote in favor while 12 voted against it. Nine members of the ruling UPFA including the Vice Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha voted against the budget. more..

SAFMA says journalists unsafe

Dec 30 (CG) The South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) feels journalists in Sri Lanka are not completely safe or enjoy freedom of expression. In it’s annual report released today SAFMA recalled that Reporters Without Borders had classified Sri Lanka as a country “under surveillance” because of its violations of freedom of expression and is ranked 162nd out of 179 countries in its 2013 press freedom index. more..

Lankan’s body at David’s resort

Dec 30 (CG) A dead body of a Sri Lankan man has washed up at an exclusive island resort in the Maldives where English football star David Beckham is taking a hideaway Christmas holiday with his family, the AFP news agency quoted the police as saying today. Investigations were underway to establish the cause of death of the man, whose body was found floating near a jetty at the One and Only Reethi Rah resort near the capital island Male, police said. more..

Fishermen issue: Uncertainty over meeting date

Dec 30 (Hindu) An expected meeting between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka on January 20 remains uncertain as the Centre is examining conditions placed by TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for it. Both SL and Indian official sources said a meeting between fishermen on both sides would go a long way in finding a solution to their grievances against each other and prevent arrests. They pointed out that a broad concurrence for a meeting has come about after two years of efforts. more..

Shunting driver and assistant at fault for runaway train engine:Committee report

Dec 30 (ST) Committee appointed to probe the incident of an unmanned train engine travelling from the Railway Yard in Dematagoda through the capital found that the shunting driver and his assistant were negligent in the incident. Runaway train engine, which was docked at the Railway Yard in Dematagoda had automatically in the early hours of Dec 5 proceeded without a driver on the southern railway track. more..

Colombo's performance appraisal time

Dec 31 (CT) Though made into a political buzzword since the war came to an end, 55 months later, reconciliation, for some, means infrastructure development and resettlement of the former war displaced. The govt has recorded several achievements post-war, and its success stories include the resettlement drive, livelihood programmes and rapid infrastructure development in the former war zones. However, in the mêlée, some important aspects of post-war rebuilding more..

Sri Lanka’s strategy questionable

Dec 31 (CT) The much looked forward to ODI series versus Pakistan is now almost done and dusted. The fifth and final game to be played (Sri Lanka won it on Friday) will be of academic interest with Pakistan already well and truly winning the series most comprehensively. The fifth game is bound to be an opening for the untried bench strength of Pakistan whilst it is worth following Sri Lanka’s strategy now that series is gone. Before going that far one has to re-examine the cause for more..

Sencholai Children's care home: A home away from home

Dec 31 (SO) The decades long war in the North and East would have disrupted their tender lives and being in IDP centres would have caused immense trauma to many of these children. Many have lost parents and loved ones during the war on terrorism making their lives miserable even at a time when the entire nation is enjoying peace after the defeat of terrorism in May 2009. They maybe more miserable when children of more..

A Dharmic redefinition of the New Year diary-passing dimension

Dec 31 (NS) Although not as entertaining as hat passing, diary passing is a Sri Lankan tradition that is as old as its independence from the colonizers I’d say. While the bunch of betel leafs are traversing from door-to-door in the Sinhala and Hindu New Year in April, Diaries are functioning as the western replacement in January as the Sri Lankan citizenry refreshes the routines in accordance with the calendar which is yet again a universally recognized western scheduling legacy. more..

Premadasa’s machinations further jeopardize UNP

Dec 31 (NS) As the country prepares to usher in the New Year, the ruling UPFA is gearing itself for an election year: It is possible both presidential and general elections will be held in 2014. Unfortunately, the Opposition UNP has been caught napping. UNP which has ruled the country for almost as long as the SLFP and which was able, unlike the SLFP, to form govts on its own is now a shadow of its previous commanding presence, its leadership battles having dragged the party to unprecedented depths. more..

'I do worry about having descended to provincial politics'

Dec 31 (CT) Chief Minister of the NWPC, Dayasiri Jayasekara, said he worries about his descent from national politics to provincial politics, but then claims he can provide a yeoman service to the people as a Chief Minister. Excerpts: Q: How do you recall the past election campaign? A: My campaign was not associated with assaults, shooting and killing. The politics I practised are the same now as they were before. more..