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Harsha says WB must stick to original plan of MCUDP in Kotte

Feb 9 (FT) The UNP yesterday appealed to the World Bank to refrain from deviating from the original objectives of the $ 213 million Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP) loan due to pressure from Government politicians to shift the funds based on political preferences. Party’s Chief Organiser for Kotte Dr. Harsha De Silva urged that the proceeds of the loan were primarily for flood control within the Sri Jayawardenepura-Kotte Municipal Council area. more..

Overflowing Park Road pipeline discharges excreta!

Feb 9 (Island) Residents of Park Road and Fife Road are up in arms over the new drainage line, connecting the main drainage line at Park Road, Colombo 5, overflowing and scattering excreta all over the road. This overflow enters the drain line ending up at the canal, which may be a severe health hazard to residents and others using that section of the road and the under ground drain pipeline ending at the canal is damaged in many sections and reptiles have been observed more..

Mayor Muza unmasks Muslim Ministers!

Feb 9 (FT) Remaining silent in the wake of the massive anti-Muslim campaign that is sweeping across the country is a great betrayal of the innocent Muslim people by Muslim Ministers holding office in the Govt, Mayor of Colombo A.J.M. Muzammil charged yesterday. He said that while the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe had made a special statement in Parliament about the extremists threatening religious and more..

Mahapola schol payment under review

Feb 9 (Island) Minister S. B. Dissanayake yesterday told Parliament that President Rajapaksa had appointed a special committee to look into the possibilities of increasing the amount paid to undergraduates as Mahapola bursaries. He was responding to a question raised by DNA MP Anura Kumar Dissanayake as to why the govt had not increased the monthly amount of Rs. 2,500 given to Mahapola recipients for years. He pointed out that the Mahapola bursary was Rs. 2,000 and more..

Govt allocates over Rs 4,400m for Nawala housing project

Feb 9 (DN) The UDA launched another housing project at Kolambage Mawatha, Nawala yesterday to provide quality houses for low income families living in shanties in the Colombo city. The project with 1,777 housing units is undertaken by Venkateswara Global Construction Private Limited (VGC) of India. The govt will spend Rs 4,444 million for the project. The UDA is implementing a number of such projects to transform Colombo into a city free from shanties and squatters on the more..

65th Independence Day celebration in Sweden

Feb 9 (IL) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Sweden held the 65th Independence Day celebration at the Embassy premises on Monday, 04th February. The official ceremony commenced with the National Flag being hoisted by Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma amidst the beating of ‘Magul Bera’ followed by the recital of the National Anthem. The Traditional Oil Lamp was lit by the Ambassador, staff members and members of the more..

Nip racial and religious hatred in the bud

Feb 9 (Island) Fellow Island columnist Nan wrote that she chose to be away from Colombo last week-end when the capital city observed the anniversary of Sri Lanka re-gaining independence from colonial rule. Like Nan, this columnist was also away, enjoying the hospitality of family and friends in the capital city of our last colonial rulers. While the year 2013 marks the 65th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence, it also marks the 75th anniversary of a horrendous event in world history more..

Sri Lankan Minister dedicates statute

Feb 9 (Hindu) Minister, W.D.J. Seneviratne has said that his country was looking forward to more investment from India. Speaking after dedicating the seven-ft Buddha statue at the Sree Buddha College of Engineering here on Friday, he said that India was Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner globally. The bilateral trade turnover last year crossed 5 billion dollars. India was the leading source country in terms of foreign tourist arrivals and foreign direct investment into Sri Lanka, more..

US trade team gets top briefing on ease of doing biz, future potential in Sri Lanka

Feb 9 (FT) The visiting US multi sector trade delegation yesterday received a comprehensive briefing from a top panel on the ease of doing business in Sri Lanka and future potential. The eight-member mission, first in post-war Sri Lanka, got key insights from KPMG Managing Partner Reyaz Mihular on ‘Doing Business with Sri Lanka’ from a macro, micro and Foreign Direct Investment perspective, whilst CEO for Citibank in more..

SriLankan Airlines to migrate to Amadeus Altea IT Suit

Feb 9 (N360) SriLankan Airlines has decided to modernize its IT process by migrating to Altea suit provided by Amadeus IT group, a leading technology partner for the global travel industry. SriLankan has already signed an agreement with Amadeus to adopt their next generation IT suite in order to manage the airlines reservations, ticketing, inventory and departure control processes. The deal, which is the first of its kind for Amadeus in the Indian subcontinent, will see more..

Protesters surround CP Health minister’s vehicle

Feb 9 (Island) A group of junior staff members attached to hospitals under the Central Province Health Ministry, during a protest campaign, surrounded the vehicle of CP Health Minister Sunil Kithsiri Amaratunga, while he was leaving the Governor’s Secretariat yesterday 08. The protesters strongly objected to the provincial Health Minister’s selection of junior staff for promotion as attendants. They accused the Provincial Health Minister of ignoring those who were more..

Sri Lanka soars to No. 3 in South Asia’s leather and footwear industry

Feb 9 (FT) With Sri Lankan leather and footwear industry giants lauding the Govt for “continuous and ongoing support” to the sector, Sri Lanka has climbed to the rank of third largest exporter of leather and footwear to the surging South Asian market. “When it comes to South Asian intra-regional footwear and leather exports, I am pleased to say that we claim the third place with 16% of the region’s total exports, closely following more..

Kalubowila nurses strike over attack on colleague; suspects arrested

Feb 9 (Island) Nurses at the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital (KTH) struck work yesterday morning demanding the arrest of three persons who had allegedly assaulted a member of the hospital nursing staff and her husband within the hospital premises on Thursday night. They called off the strike after the police arrested the suspects. The Kalubowila police had arrested one of the attackers on the night of the incident while the remaining three had been arrested yesterday morning. more..

Fourth season of CIC’s best farmers programme underway

Feb 9 (ST) The fourth season of CIC’s “Shoora Goviya” programme is currently underway and all preparations are in place to recognize the best young farmers in the country. The company said the competition is an initiative by CIC to further encourage the younger generation to commit to farming and ensure the future development and progress of Sri Lankan agriculture. In addition to the sponsorship of CIC Agri businesses, the Dept of Agriculture, the Agriculture Faculty of the more..

No electricity price revision this month

Feb 9 (Island) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the regulatory body, will decide against permitting an electricity tariff hike when its executive members sit on Feb 21. This was revealed by a senior PUCSL official. The Island learns that despite requests from the CEB, last month, for a price revision, the CEB failed to follow it up by submitting a proposal to the PUCSL. The official said that PUCSL would not take up more..

Govt to amend contempt of Court laws soon

Feb 9 (Island) Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem yesterday told Parliament that the govt had found that the existing laws dealing with contempt of court needed to be amended and had planned to present new regulations in Parliament soon. Minister said that new regulations dealing with contempt of court were being drafted and when it was completed they would be presented to the Cabinet of ministers for their approval. "Once these regulations get the approval of the Cabinet, it will be presented more..

Join Divineguma without criticising, SM tells opposition

Feb 9 (DN) Economic Development Deputy Minister S M Chandrasena requested the opposition to join the Divineguma progamme without criticising it. Addressing the media at his office yesterday, Minister Chandrasena said some members of the opposition who do not have even a little knowledge about pulses, say green gram and black gram seeds distributed among Divineguma beneficiaries are of low quality. Green gram and Black gram seeds have not been included in Divineguma seed packs. more..

Rajpaksha offers prayers at Mahabodhi temple

Feb 9 (TOI) Protestors carrying black flags and raising 'go back' slogans against president Mahinda Rajpaksha and demanding his trial for 'mass butchery/genocide', were on Friday chased out shortly before his arrival on the Mahabodhi Temple premises for a long prayer session at the seat of Buddha's enlightenment. Altogether 10 protestors were detained by the police, said Gaya SSP Vinay Kumar. more..

Editorial: Structural c hanges necessary

Feb 9 (DM) Largely due to arrogance instead of magnanimity in the afterglow or aftermath of the May 2009 victory in the war, the Rajapaksa regime appears to have plunged into one hell of an international, political and economic mess. Cabinet changes or even a change of administration apparently won’t provide a solution. Sri Lanka needs major structural changes in the Constitution and the economy to put the country back on the road of genuine democracy and social justice more..

Some reflections on the outdated notion of parliamentary supremacy

Feb 9 (DM) It must be said that in England, when the supremacy of Parliament was firmly established at the turn of the 17th century through an alliance of the lawyers and the judiciary, this was done to overcome the authority of the Monarch. An inevitable consequence of that was the entrenchment of the Independence of the Judiciary through the concept of the Separation of Powers. Even in regard to laws passed by Parliament thereafter, a convention that had been more..

Rebuild your walls, CMC tells Kollupitiya residents

Feb 9 (ST) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) this week asked residents living in Kollupitiya to rebuild the walls the authorities pulled down last week, admitting they had made a mistake. Angry residents had complained to Colombo Mayor M.J.M. Muzamil after workers broke down the walls in a move to link Galle Road to the Marine Drive, in spite of residents informing them that the walls were on private land and more..

Most only paying lip service to reconciliation - Namal

Feb 9 (AD) MP Namal Rajapaksa stated that India has been a great source of strength and inspiration to Sri Lanka, and that it looks forward to the best relations with the neighboring nation in formulating new thinking and corporate strategies. Looking at the changes that have taken place in India in the past two decades gives us much encouragement for the role of Asia in the future, he said. Similarly, the new trends of thinking more..

Sri Lanka is the friendliest state of Pakistan in South Asia

Feb 9 (PO) ‘The pearl of the Indian Ocean,’ Sri Lanka, is the closest and friendliest country of Pakistan in South Asian region. The growing relations between them, particularly after 1999, have further cemented in the fields of economic, trade and defence. Rich Buddhist culture pastures in Sri Lanka which has strong links in Pakistan. So, culturally and historically, both the states have close proximity. Pakistan has stood by Sri Lanka in their more..

Lankan convicted of practicing black magic in Saudi

Feb 9 (AN) A Sri Lankan domestic worker was sentenced to one in year jail and 100 lashes following a conviction for practicing black magic among his friends in Riyadh. Sri Lankan Embassy sources said the accused was Premanath Pereralage Thungasiri, who was working as a house driver in a Saudi home. An embassy official, who had met Thungasiri in jail, said that Thungasiri had been booked by police in the more..

Japan gives US$ 860,500 grant for demining in North

Feb 9 (DN) The Japanese govt extended an additional Rs 107 million grant aid for humanitarian demining in the North through the HALO Trust to expedite the govt's efforts to achieve a mine-free Sri Lanka. The HALO Trust Programme Manager Bartholomew Digby said the Trust has been conducting mine clearance in the North with govt support since 2002 throughout Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Trincomalee and Mullaitivu more..

No constructions around mass grave, judge orders

Feb 9 (CT) Matale Magistrate issued an order on Thursday, preventing constructions around the mass grave found in the Matale Hospital premises, until the excavation work is finalized. Matale Additional District Judge, Chathurika de Silva, issued the order after considering a request made by the CID. Excavations were conducted till Thursday. The mass grave was found when excavations were carried out to build a more..

Schoolgirl’s plight puts authorities in a spot

Feb 9 (DM) Justice Ministry Secretary Kamalini De Silva yesterday faulted the police and the acting Magistrate with regard to the unfortunate incident where a 13-year-old schoolgirl was produced in court by the Horana Police on charges of having stolen eight coconuts. The teenager was later granted bail on a Rs.50,000 surety. Ms. De Silva said that in the first place the girl should have been referred to the Mediation Board more..

Sack Cabraal and PBJ-UNP

Feb 9 (DM) The UNP urged the govt to sack Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabaral and Treasury Secretary P. B. Jayasundera over allegations that they were responsible for the ‘fraudulent deal’ between the EPF and The Finance Company. UNP MP and Public Accounts Committee Member R. Yogarajan said the govt should take action against Mr. Cabraal and Mr. Jayasundere as they had approved this deal which affected more..

'Parliamentary probe on retirement fund halted mid-way'

Feb 9 (LBO) A probe by a parliamentary committee on investments made by a state controlled retirement fund of private sector workers had been halted mid-way, an opposition legislator has said. Harsha de Silva, an opposition member told parliament that proceedings at a parliamentary committee examining investments by the Employees Provident Fund managed by Sri Lanka's Central Bank this week had come to an "abrupt halt". more..

President Rajapaksa returns to Sri Lanka after praying at Tirupati

Feb 9 (IANS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to Colombo today after praying at the Lord Venkateswara Temple here. A few hours after praying at the temple, Rajapaksa, his family and members of the Sri Lankan delegation flew to Colombo amid tight security. His two-day visit had been marred by protests by Tamil groups who denounced the president for not granting autonomy to Tamil areas and for human rights more..

Trouble times ahead for Rajapaksa

Feb 9 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has much to worry in 2013. His govt has not earned any brownie point as yet. The mixed bag of results in last year’s Provincial Council elections show he has not passed the accountability test. Like the fate of a film at the box office, the electoral fortunes of a political leader at the ballot box are unpredictable. The days of demagogy winning elections are over. These are the days of anti-incumbency. And Rajapaksa’s policies, planks and actions are creating a more..

Learn lessons and reconcile with failures!

Feb 9 (CT) On the 4th of Feb 2013 marking the 65th Independence Day of Sri Lanka, its President Rajapaksa, shut all doors on the question of greater autonomy to the Tamil areas of the North and East. By this he has virtually told the UN, India and the International Community that he does not care for their views and the Tamils will be subjugated to more humiliations in future. “The U.N. charter gives no powers to interfere in internal affairs of countries,” Mr Rajapaksa said, quoting Article 2 of more..

Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison on SL

Polish mining company in Colombo

Feb 9 (DN) One of the leading Polish mining companies, Linter based in Poland is now in Sri Lanka to explore investment opportunities in the country. Group CEO, Linter, Leszek, speaking to ‘Daily News Business’ said that they are in Sri Lanka to look at trading opportunities as well. “We are here on an invitation extended by Minister/Deputy Chief of Mission, D. S. De Silva of Embassy of Sri Lanka who has given opportunities available in Sri Lanka,” he said. Leszek added that they would also more..

Court orders to arrest officials of Ghandhi home; But none arrested so far

Feb 9 (OU) Kilinochchi District Magistrate court ordered to arrest the suspected persons to conduct immediate investigations connected with the incident of harassing the children cared at the Kilinochchi Ghandhi children home. Destitute children who were identified by the courts that they do not have parents and guardians were given shelter and cared at the Ghandhi center. In this state in last Jan 24th, night, about 13 children from the said children’s home was beaten and harassed by the officials hence, more..

Norway in unprecedented legal wrangle with NGO guru

Feb 9 (Island) One-time peace facilitator Norway and Sri Lanka are on a collision course over NGO guru Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe moving the District Court of Colombo against the Nordic country for refusing to make payments amounting to millions of rupees to the Foundation of Co-Existence, headed by the plaintiff, in accordance with a tripartite agreement signed in June 2008. The British govt is party to the agreement which more..

An open letter to President Rajapaksa

Feb 9 (CT) Dear Mr President, I have read your speech at the 65th Independence Day celebrations in Trincomalee with considerable mixed feelings or rather disagreeing with some of the key pronouncements that you have made particularly on the UN. Even on others, I have serious doubts since your noble pronouncements do not match with the existing realities. Let me begin with the epitaph of ‘freedom of the Kata Kirilli or Gomriththa.’ It is true that whether our village farmers completely more..

Sing the sambol song

Feb 9 (Hindu) Having done with “meals” in Sri Lanka, now I can focus on the more interesting frills: the sambols and the snacks. In Colombo one evening my daughter and I walked along the sea wall, full of lunch and unhurried contentment. We had ambled around the beautiful old Dutch hospital, and apart from craft and clothes shops, checked out restaurants in the interests of research. In one we discovered Brezel, described as salted bread, which turned out to be pretzel in German. more..

Hakeem threatens to quit portfoloio in one month if……

Feb 9 (Island) SLMC Leader and Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem on Tuesday threatened to resign, along with the other SLMC ministers, from all portfolios if the govt fails to fulfill the SLMC’s demands within one month. He made this threat at a meeting, hurriedly convened by the Ampara district group members of the SLMC, when he was present in the district for the first time after the appointment of the new cabinet of ministers. more..

Ansell opens new research and development centre in Sri Lanka

Feb 9 (CNW) Ansell, a global leader in protection solutions, announces that the recently constructed 16,000 square foot state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) facility in the Biyagama Export Zone outside Colombo, Sri Lanka is now fully operational. The Sri Lanka R&D center is the fourth center of excellence Ansell has installed-adding to its existing Malaysia, Mexico and North America-based centers. The investment in additional R&D resources and the decision more..