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Jaffna Teaching Hospital renovated with Japanese grant

Feb 13 (DN) The Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH) has been renovated and it's central functions improved through an outright grant amounting to Japanese Yen 2,298 million (Rs 1,793 million at the time of grant agreement, March, 2010) donated by the JICA. The new building and facilities will be ceremonially inaugurated by President Rajapaksa today, February 13. JICA, the executing agency of Japan's Bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) is the world's biggest bilateral aid more..

Panel, poll and politics: Whither Lanka’s cricket?

Feb 13 (ST) There are times when you feel utterly lost and hopeless and even the horizon looks a parched desert, void of any oasis. At a time like this, if you do not stop for a while and pull your thoughts together, you may be chasing a mirage forever. Thank heavens, our cricketing pundits have seen the ominous signs that are hovering overhead like a pack of hungry vultures and are putting the runaway train back on track in a bid to go ahead with more..

Independence is process-II

Feb 13 (Island) After the so called second world war western Christian colonialism had to take a different path. The westerners who have become creators of knowledge used that knowledge following Bacon who said that knowledge is power. WWII saw the emergence of Stalinism in Eastern Europe and it was clear that at least in that part of the world there was an attempt to go back to the Catholic Chinthanaya after the defeat of Fascism in Western Europe, which was also based on more..

The contentious carpeting

Feb 13 (CT) Environmentalists have criticized the Director, Department of Wildlife and Conservation (DWLC), for failing to take action against Road Development Authority (RDA) officials for illegally carpeting a road through the Maduru Oya National Park. Recently, Ceylon Today highlighted the illegal carpeting of the 35 km long road from Maha Oya to Aralaganvilla, as well as the letter issued by the DWLC Director, H.D. Ratnayake, on 14 December 2012, to the RDA, to stop this operation. more..

Eleven Indian companies to participate in Sri Lanka yarn & fabric show

Feb 13 (HCI) Eleven Indian companies under the banner of the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council, Mumbai (TEXPROCI), a premier organization in the Indian textile sector, would participating at the forthcoming “4th Colombo International Yarn & Fabric Show” being held from 28th February to 2nd March 2013 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition & Convention Center (SLECC), Colombo. The Indian companies participating in the more..

UNP says Hambantota Port is ‘world’s most expensive fishing pond’

Feb 13 (FT) The Hambantota Port built at a cost of US$ 500 million is fast becoming a white elephant, the UNP charged yesterday. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the Hambantota Port was nothing more than an oversized fishing pond for underutilised port employees. He said visuals had appeared in the media of port workers fishing in the waters of the harbour. Attanayake said that despite the multimillion rupee opening ceremonies and launches, the port had thus far not attracted more..

First Sri Lankan trade, food festival opens in Oman

Feb 13 (OO) Coinciding with the celebrations marking 25-years of Oman-Sri Lankan diplomatic relations, the first 3-day Sri Lankan Trade Exhibition and Food Festival hosted by the Sri Lankan Embassy Musca was inaugurated under the auspices of Mohsin bin Khamis al Balushi, Adviser at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, at the Al Falaj Hotel’s Grand Hall in Ruwi yesterday. The exhibition and food fest features over 30 Sri Lankan business firms and companies, exhibiting a more..

Sri Lanka Cricket takes Dialog’s call for mega Rs. 1 b+ worth 3-year sponsorship deal

Feb 13 (FT) The coveted sponsorship deal for Sri Lanka Cricket team has been clinched by Dialog Axiata, following a record $ 9 million worth successful bid amidst stiff competition. The sponsorship is for three years and sports marketing analysts said Dialog’s overall spend would be higher than its official bid. Among others who submitted bids were an Indian party on behalf of one of its clients and the Sri Lanka Tea Board. more..

Cey-Nor vessel exported to Somalia

Feb 13 (DN) A dual power fishing vessel named Sashimi produced by Cey-Nor Foundation was exported to Somalia on Monday. Cey-Nor produced this vessel which has all modern techniques and technologies. The vessel can be either operated by engine or wind power. It also helps reduce fuel costs as well. This vessel has facilities for fishing, sources said. Nedsome Foundation, an institution in Somalia are the buyers of the fishing vessel. Another four orders have been made by a private more..

UNP, Bodu Bala Sena in pow-wow

Feb 13 (FT) Charging that Muslim representatives in the Govt were doing nothing to defuse tensions rising against the Muslim community, the UNP yesterday held lengthy discussions with the Bodu Bala Sena, a monk-led extremist Buddhist organisation that has been at the forefront of recent anti-Muslim protests in the island. A delegation of the UNP’s Muslim Professionals Group led by MP Kabir Hashim held discussions with four monk representatives of the Bodu Bala Sena, more..

Sri Lankans expelled from UK allege torture after deportation to Colombo

Feb 13 (Guardian) 15 Sri Lankan nationals have claimed they were tortured and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment after they were forcibly removed to the country by the UK Border Agency. In a freedom of information (FoI) request, the Home Office revealed that between the end of the island's civil war in 2009 and September 2012, 15 failed asylum seekers managed to escape back to Britain after being removed by the more..

World’s Construction Power ready to enter SL in large scale: Ministry

Feb 13 (Island) As its bilateral trade with Sri Lanka topped $ 191 Mn with strong signs of renewed trade, Turkey, globally renowned for its construction dominance and predicted to be the fast grower in it by 2020, is readying to partner in Sri Lankan construction sector in a big way, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a press communiqué earlier this week. "Turkey has one of the largest construction industries in the world. It is also ranked second after China in terms of more..

Sri Lanka to host UN based World Summit Award

Feb 13 (Island) Sri Lanka will be the venue of the world-renowned e-content awards, WSA this year, WSA Chairman Dr. Peter Bruck announced in Abu Dhabi. "The Winners’ events and experts’ conference will be hosted by Sri Lanka in October 2013 and I want to thank the Government of Sri Lanka and particularly ICTA the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka for hosting us in Colombo. WSA has a network of 164 UN member States and is clearly one of the more..

Peace guru declares war, demands Rs 94 mn from Norway

Feb 13 (Island) The govt has intervened in a simmering legal battle between Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe and the Norwegian govt over alleged non-payment of funds amounting to nearly Rs. 94 million owed to the NGO guru, in accordance with a tripartite agreement signed at the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo in June 2008. The Solicitor General on Monday told the District Court of Colombo that those cited as the first to more..

Twenty two SSPs, SPs transferred

Feb 13 (Island) 22 police officers, in the ranks of Senior Superintendent of Police and Superintendent of Police have been transferred with immediate effect by IGP N. K. Illangakoon. Police spokesman Prishanta Jayakody said last night that the police officers were transferred to divisions where vacancies occured due to the promotion of ten SSPs to Deputy Inspectors General of Police. He said that of the 22 officers transferred, eight were SSPs and the rest SPs. The transferred SSPs are more..

Stand by me and I will deliver, Ranil tells JSS

Feb 13 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called on his party rank and file to unreservedly support him and he would in turn fulfill their aspirations. "I will look after all of you, but you need to stand by me and provide the support needed to install the UNP in power," he told a Working Committee meeting of the party trade union, Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya. Pledging to revive the economy and re-establish the rule of law, he said that unity was the key to capturing more..

No referendum, polls on schedule - Govt.

Feb 13 (Island) The govt had no plans to hold a referendum ahead of the 2015 Parliamentary elections, Minister Keheliya Rambuwella said. He was responding to a question as to what the govt’s official position was on the referendum, in the aftermath of a statement reportedly made by Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena that the govt was opting for a referendum instead of the Parliamentary polls. more..

Dananjaya in Sri Lanka's emerging squad

Feb 13 (CI) Sri Lanka's new selection panel has chosen Angelo Perera, Tharindu Kaushal and Akila Dananjaya along with 21 other young players in an emerging squad from which the team for the warm-up match against Bangladesh in Matara will be chosen. Perera, a 22-year-old middle order batsman, has been in stunning form in the Premier League tournament, having made two aggressive hundreds and an 87 in his three innings so far. Offspinner Tharindu Kaushal, 19, has also more..

LIOC to call for fresh tenders after last imported stock failed quality test

Feb 13 (Island) Following last week’s rejection of a stock of diesel, which had been found to be of inferior quality, when it reached the Port of Colombo, the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) has decided to call fresh tenders for the importation of 7,562 metric tonnes of the fuel. The stock of diesel which reached Colombo last week was rejected at the port following tests finding it inferior in two of the 19 stipulated parameters. LIOC Managing Director Subodh Dakwale said that they had sufficient more..

IMF has rejected govt’s request for further assistance -UNP

Feb 13 (Island) The IMF has rejected the Rajapaksa regime’s request for further loans in the current context, but the govt had falsely claimed that there was no need for assistance, the UNP said yesterday. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the govt was heavily in debt having resorted to commercial borrowing at high interest rates. Considering the current state of the economy, the IMF has refused to grant more..

Cardinal Ranjith off to Vatican

Feb 13 (Island) Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith will leave for the Vatican next week to join Cardinals from around the globe in the election of a new Pope following Tuesday’s shock announcement by the incumbent Pope, Benedict XVI that he would step down on February 28 due to ill health. The election will be monitored by Cardinal Camerlengo. A total of 116 Cardinals will elect the new Pope from one of their lot through a secret ballot. The Cardinals in the running are more..

Sri Lanka wants its own Surajkund fair

Feb 13 (HT) Enchanted with the display of craftsmanship at the ongoing Surajkund International Crafts Mela, Sri Lankan high commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam said he was keen to hold a similar fair in his country. Kariyawasam visited the 15-day annual fair on Tuesday, which was observed as Sri Lanka Day. While addressing the media, the diplomat said that a discussion will be held with the Surajkund Mela authority in this regard. The fair would more..

President in Jaffna

Feb 13 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his visit to Jaffna, instructed officials to make arrangements for the agricultural products of Jaffna farmers to fetch reasonable prices. He also directed the immediate release of the two Jaffna University students, who were arrested in November last year. The official two-day visit of the President to Jaffna commenced yesterday morning, with the opening up of the Chunnakam more..

Venue confirmed, Queen would be coming

Feb 13 (CT) Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, who visited Parliament yesterday, assured Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, the Queen and other Heads of the Member States of the Commonwealth would be attending the CHOGM, scheduled to be held in Colombo later this year, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody, said. He said the venue had been confirmed and the Queen would be coming. On Monday, the Commonwealth Secretariat in London issued a statement, more..

British, French and German Envoys in joint trip to south

Feb 13 (FT) The Ambassadors of Germany and France along with the British High Commissioner are on a two-day visit to Hambantota and are scheduled to visit key development areas during the period. British High Commissioner John Rankin, German Ambassador Dr. Jürgen Morhard, and French Ambassador Christine Robichon will visit the District Secretariat of Hambantota today and will hold meetings with the Hambantota Chamber of Commerce. They are also planning to visit more..

'Forget budget support; what Sri Lanka now need is life support'

Feb 13 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday claimed that what Sri Lanka now needs was neither budget support nor balance of payments support, but “life support”. In a statement, he said the economic lifeblood of the people of Sri Lanka was being sucked dry the political crooks – be it by handing out frontloaded and unviable projects to the Chinese at horrendously unfavourable terms or by using the money of the millions of more..

'Minimum number of hacking cases'

Feb 13 (DM) The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team – Coordination Centre (Sri Lanka CERT—CC) said that they had received “4 to 5 complaints of hacking from state institutions.” Spokesman for the countries cyber protection agency said all reported cases were of minor incidents of hacking. “They were all very minor incidents of hacking. We got around 4 to 5 complaints regarding hacking and we have managed to secure the websites for them. more..

Leave no room for re-emergence of terrorism

Feb 13 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said all countrymen have a responsibility to ensure no room is left for the re-emergence of terrorism which brought suffering to the people of all communities for over three decades. He said that he was well aware of the misery faced by the people due to terrorism and insisted that they all should keep in mind that the country has only one govt. Speaking at the Jaffna District Special Development Committee meeting at Tilco City Hotel more..

Sri Lanka's great elephant migration

Feb 13 (CNN) Poachers have decimated elephant populations across Africa and parts of Asia, killing thousands of animals for their revered ivory. Yet in Sri Lanka, home to some 7,000 wild Asian elephants, a different, more hopeful story is playing out. It's a story that's attracting truckloads of tourists from around the world to witness a stunning wildlife spectacle, simultaneously raising concerns among conservationists about how increasing more..

Economist report challenged

Feb 13 (SL) Local politicians and economists are voicing their disagreement at the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest report on the cost of living index, which places Sri Lanka as the 7th cheapest country to live in. The cost of living index works by comparing around 400 retail prices for over a hundred categories of consumer products, including the price of a kilogramme of bread, for instance, and cigarettes, clothing, more..

Law entrants now oppose changed syllabus

Feb 13 (ST) Despite registration of students for admission to the Sri Lanka Law College commencing after a three-week delay, the student union threatens to continue with its protests over the revision of the entrance exam syllabus. On February 1, the Law College decided to open registration of students who scored well at the entrance exams last year. This was about a month after the allegation that the Tamil medium more..

Amputation report handed in

Feb 13 (Island) The committee. appointed to look into the amputation of a Colombo University final year law student’s forearm, handed over its report to Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilake on Monday night. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that Dr. Jayatilake would analyse the report and hand it over to the Health Minister. The four-member committee, comprising Director of Medical Services Dr. Lal Panapitiya, more..

Pillay demands international probe in Sri Lanka

Feb 13 (CG) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has demanded an independent and credible international investigation into alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Sri Lanka, which could also monitor any domestic accountability process. In a report on Sri Lanka to be submitted to the UNHRC February – March session, a draft of which she has also sent to the govt, more..

JHU laments double talk of those needling Lanka

Feb 13 (Island) JHU spokesman Nishantha S. Warnasinghe yesterday said that the Indian parliament attack convict Mohammed Afzal Guru had been hanged in New Delhi, whereas Sri Lanka was under tremendous pressure by a section of the international community to release LTTE terrorists. Warnasinghe alleged that Sri Lanka had been prevented from dealing with those who had been engaged in terrorism, though Western more..

'Sri Lanka wants to maintain good ties with EU'

Feb 13 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt said on Wednesday it still wants to maintain good ties with the European Union (EU) even as the EU is expected to back a resolution against the island nation at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva later this month. Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Belgium P.M. Amza, said that as sovereign nation states, Europe and Sri Lanka may take different paths to achieve the same goals of good governance, social more..

Sri Lanka optimistic new airport will spur economy

Feb 13 (KSA) Ravindra Lasantha, 25, a final-year management student of Sri Jayewardenepura University, has witnessed what he calls "rapid development" in the south of the country. Improved roads have remarkably reduced travel time and increased people's mobility. As a youth born and raised in the southern city of Galle, he is looking forward to the opening of the country's second international airport on March 18th in more..

CB Governor scoffs at baseless allegations

Feb 13 (DN) Sri Lanka has seen a healthy appetite of foreign investments through several sources and the BoI’s estimate of attracting $ 1.8 billion this year is a reality. Governor of Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, said that these sources include Govt securities, Stock Market investments, FDIs, Bank’s Tier 1 & Tier 2 investments, capital investments in varied corporates, and by Sri Lankan expatriates’ investments. more..

Cabraal unplugs PBJ’s route to bliss: Harsha

Feb 13 (DM) The Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal is likely to have pulled the plug from the conditional ‘Nirvana’ the Treasury Secretary, Dr. P.B Jayasundera was hoping to attain by obtaining budget support from IMF, perhaps with limited conditions, according to the economic spokesman of the opposition. The Central Bank yesterday dropped plans to negotiate a fresh facility with IMF—perhaps depriving more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka’s fate in the balance

Feb 13 (DM) Describing the executive presidential system as the root of all evil in Sri Lanka, the National Bhikkhu Front has appointed a team of eminent lawyers to draft a new constitution to restore parliamentary democracy. A spokesperson for the Bhikkhu Front said that once the draft of the new constitution is completed they will take it to the Mahanayake Theras and leaders of the other religions to get their support for this constitution, through which democracy, good governance, more..

Editorial: Dream Ranil, dream...

Feb 13 (CT) It looks like the 'Grand Old Party' is trying to become the 'Grand New Opposition.' Last week, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, after placing his signature to a MoU to form a joint movement comprising nine political parties at the Town Hall, Colombo, roared that there couldn't be any opposition movement other than the UNP-led 'Vipakshaye Virodhaya' (Protest/Resistance of the Opposition). It is interesting that apart from the UNP, the only other party in the new movement more..