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Youth killed in Col-7 club clash

Feb 15 (DM) A 22-year-old resident of Barnes Watta, Barnes Place, Colombo 7 has been killed at a club in Cinnamon Gardens early today following a clash between two groups, police said. The murder had occurred between 2.30 am and 4 am, in Thummulla. The victim was identified 22 year old Jeyakumar Suren. The Police said the victim together with his friends had got into an argument with another group at a Karaoke club in Thummulla which led to the rival gang mercilessly more..

Shippers visit Hambantota port & airport

Feb 15 (N360) A 170 member strong delegation of Colombo based Shippers, which comprised exporters, importers, freight forwarders, logistic providers, courier and shipping line executives, recently have visited the Hambantota port and the airport. A statement issued by the Shippers Council says the participants were amazed to see the development that has taken place in both the Hambantota International Airport and the Magampura New port. more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 15.02.2012

SLC spends Rs. 41 million on players’ family travel

Feb 15 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has spent a total of Rs. 4,149,000 to finance the business-class air travel of the spouses of ten Sri Lanka players during the recent Australia tour. SLC has spent Rs. 414,900 on each spouse out of which Rs. 393,000 was for the air fare via Singapore while the balance had been the visa fee. Players will however reimburse the visa fee to SLC. Under the current contract agreement with players, SLC has to provide every Sri Lanka player’s wife one business more..

33 homes, offices face legal action

Feb 15 (CT) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has taken several homes and business establishments to task for not keeping their premises tidy, during the dengue eradication campaign carried out last week. This follows the CMC conducting house-to-house inspection during the period 6-13 February on premises in and around Colombo, during the island wide Mosquito Eradication Week declared by the Ministry of Health. CMC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, more..

'Norochcholai will not be given to Chinese'

Feb 15 (CT) The Ministry of Power and Energy dismissed allegations that the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant (NCPP) will be transferred to the Chinese CMCR Company, the company that constructed the plant. Ministry Secretary, M.M.C. Ferdinando claimed there is no truth whatsoever that the govt would transfer the NCPP to the Chinese company, because Norochcholai is well operated and managed by local engineers, and more..

An interview with Sunila Abeysekara

Feb 16 (GV) Q: Sunila, how do you look at Sri Lanka today? There are different interpretations ranging from a constitutional dictatorship to clan- run ‘deep state’? And you have decades of human rights activism behind you; you have been to the Geneva Human Rights council for nearly a decade to campaign for rights in Sri Lanka, but today Geneva has become the “f word” in dominant political discourse in Sri Lanka? Why? A: Indeed it is true to say that President Rajapaksa, more..

Populist politics and anti-popular economics

Feb 16 (DBS) First they came for the pavement-traders. Pavement-trading is not a bar to development. On the contrary; pavement-trading provides the enterprising poor with an affordable means of commercial upward-mobility. Many a rags-to-riches tale, globally and nationally, began on the pavement. And for many Lankans, pavement-stalls were a source of cheaper goods. The minor inconveniences caused by pavement-stalls could have been resolved without wiping-out more..

How to fight crime when it grabs media attention?

Feb 16 (NS) ‘Boy kills parents and sister by poisoning’, ‘Jilted lover stabs ex-girlfriend to death’, ‘Kahawatte in shock as murders continue,’ ‘Murder of a British National in Sri Lanka’, husband kills wife and four-year-old son by strangulation and sets fire in the process also killing infant son. These were some of the horrifying headlines and descriptions the country was exposed to during the past year. more..

Presidential powers and the fate of Sri Lankan Tamils

Feb 16 (CT) President Rajapaksa just returned to Colombo from yet another 'trip' to the Northern peninsula, this time at the invitation of Kathiravelu Nithyananda Devananda, commonly known as Douglas Devananda, the Minister and the Leader of the EPDP. While on this 'trip', President Rajapaksa, following an appeal from mothers of the two Jaffna Uni students, who were arrested during a protest in December 2012, instructed the IGP to make arrangements for the release of the students. more..

State sovereignty and the UNO

Feb 16 (CT) The President in his Independence speech has stated that the UNO is violating the sovereignty of individual states. But the UNO has come a long way since the original Declaration in 1948 and his Advisers don’t seem to have briefed him on the present status of the UN. Then the emphasis was on preventing wars between States. The UNO is committed to maintaining peace between States. One of its earliest attempts was to have a UN mission to monitor the line of more..

RRI: The driving force of the rubber industry

Feb 16 (SO) Many products made of rubber are available for safety, comfort, protection and pleasure. Teats, balloons, balls, bathing caps, condoms, tyres, toys, erasers, inner tubes, cast products, slippers and shoes are some of the products manufactured using rubber. The rubber industry is the second largest industry in the world after iron and steel. In England, Joseph Priestley, best known for his discovery of oxygen, more..

Letting another war! Let our collective conscience speak!

Feb 16 (CT) When the War ended in 2009, the people of Sri Lanka irrespective of racial and religious differences heaved a sigh of relief. The reason was obvious. All communities suffered in various degrees when the Tigers wreaked havoc, including their own kind- the Tamils, as the Tigers only tolerated one way traffic. When the Tiger problem was in full swing, Tamils and Muslims equally felt, along with the Sinhalese, a high sense of insecurity over 30 long years, with more..

Feminism bottom-up: Women’s Support Networks in the North and East

Feb 16 (GV) Before, during and after the three decade long conflict, women have played a major role in supporting their families, community support systems, and the economy. This video highlights the stories of women groups that set up successful support networks in the north before the war, through which they addressed various community and livelihood issues, as well as violence against women. During the war these networks disbanded, and many women lost network members more..

Illicitly slaughtered innocents’ blood turns Kalu Ganga red by night

Feb 16 (ST) It happens in the dead of night- pregnant buffaloes and buffalo calves, are dragged towards trees near the Kalu Ganga, and slaughtered. The residents of Wettumakada Handiya in Kalutara are not just saddened; they are appalled and horrified by the scale of man’s absolute cruelty to beasts of burden. ‘There are flies and insects feeding on the heads, entrails and battered feet lying around. The stench is unbearable. more..

Why Sri Lanka should send troops to Afghanistan

Feb 16 (CT) Last Tuesday, the govt’s Information Department announced that, “President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rejected a call by the US to send Lankan troops to Afghanistan,” and within minutes, SMS news alert services swung into action. However, hours later, a dour-faced President’s Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake, refuted the announcement: “President Rajapaksa has neither received nor rejected any requests by the US for Lankan troops to be sent to Afghanistan,” more..

Editorial: Shirkers in trouble

Feb 16 (Island) Employees of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) have put their hearts and souls into something for once. They are protesting against what they call a National Salaries and Cadres Commission proposal that the number of CMC workers be reduced from 12,000 to 8,000. Workers’ concerns need to be appreciated and no one should be laid off. They have hungry mouths to feed at home. What it is like to lose employment is only too well known to merit elaboration. more..

මුස්ලිම් හලාල් අන්žයාගමිකයින්ට හරාම්ද?

Power of people is greater than that of people in power

Feb 16 (Island) A young 13-year-old schoolgirl from Horana has recently created newspaper headlines when the local Police produced her in a Magistrate’s Court and charged her with having stolen eight coconuts from a neighbour’s garden. The newspaper story stated that she stole the coconuts in order to sell them and raise a sum of Rs 800 which all students in her school were asked to contribute towards the cost of repainting the school. As a follow-up to the story which created a more..

Trilingual speaking dictionary by SALA bags award

Feb 16 (Island) The trilingual speaking dictionary that supports all three national languages; Sinhala, Tamil, and English launched by SALA Enterprises was recognized with the national best e-content award in the e-inclusion and participation category of the recently concluded eSwabhimani Awards. According to SALA Enterprises Managing Director Chinthaka Wijewickrama, the great potential in developing and bridging the gap between languages by introducing the trilingual speaking more..

Korea-Sri Lanka economic ties strengthened

Feb 16 (FT) The Republic of Korea expects to commence direct flights between that Korea and Sri Lanka to develop closer ties between the two countries and promote tourism, according to Korean MP Chung Uihwa, member of a Korean Parliamentary delegation. He said this when he met Minister Basil Rajapaksa recently. The MP said that by now a number of Korean-funded projects have been launched in Sri Lanka and Korean more..

We are not Gota’s or Mahinda’s force: BBS

Feb 16 (FT) Responding to allegations by UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera that the Bodu Bala Sena was being funded by a secret fund of the Defence Ministry, the organisation vehemently denied the charge, claiming that they did not receive funding or human resources support from any Govt institution or NGO. “I place a challenge before Mangala Samaraweera and anyone else: Our organisation is open and transparent, anyone can scrutinise our accounts,” Galaboda Gnanasara Thero said more..

BBS wants public apology to all Buddhists from Mangala

Feb 16 (FT) The Bodu Bala Sena yesterday hit back hard at UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera, saying that he was a bankrupt politician who always “played on the side of separatists” in the country and charged that his political funeral was near at hand. Expressing their regret and strong opposition to statements made by Samaraweera, Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero said it marked the day that Samaraweera had to prepare for his political funeral. more..

Bodu Bala Sena anti-Halal agitation to begin in Maharagama tomorrow

Feb 16 (FT) The Bodu Bala Sena will launch a campaign of agitation for the Halal Certification to be withdrawn completely tomorrow, representatives of the organisation said, adding that if their call goes unanswered, they will go door to door to bring pressure on the certifying body and the Govt to ensure the certification process is halted. Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Galaboda Gnanasara Thera charged that the more..

'New Act to provide loans for higher studies'

Feb 16 (CT) The Ministry of Higher Education is to introduce an Act which would allow students to obtain bank loans to facilitate their studies. Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that he would present the Act to Parliament within one month, as the Human Capital Development Finance Act. “Once this Act is set up, students will be able to get loans from banks under certain conditions, without collateral to guarantee repayment. After students complete their studies and are employed, they can repay more..

'Japan will not reduce development aid to SL'

Feb 16 (DN) The Japanese government will not reduce development aid for growing countries like Sri Lanka despite a slight decline in its economy, Japanese ambassador to Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo said yesterday. He said discussions were held on reducing financial aid for developing countries back home but the authorities decided against it. The ambassador said Japan also gets aid from other countries and remembered the assistance it received from Sri Lanka during more..

Hacker says Sri Lankan govt corrupted

Feb 16 (DM) A website hacker, known as Davy Jones, who hacked several Sri Lankan govt websites in the recent past said ‘he is attacking Sri Lankan websites because he believes the country’s govt is corrupted,’ the said. It also said that the official website of the Sri Lankan High Commission of Maldives has been breached by the hacker Davy Jones. “The website’s entire database, which includes administrator and user more..

A/L Star gets house

Feb 16 (DN) A female student who obtained three A passes at the 2012 A/L exam undergoing immense hardship, will be provided a house by the Housing Ministry. Sanjeewani Piyadarshani qualified for university entrance after obtaining three A passes in the commerce stream. She lives near Kelani Bridge at Sedawatte. She will be given a new house under the Jana Sewana Housing Project. The house gets flooded during rain. Piyadarshani's mother is receiving treatment for burn injuries and more..

'RISGO' International Scout Jamboree in Kandy

Feb 16 (DN) President and Chief Scout of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the chief guest at the Rajans International Scout Gathering of Centennial 2013 (RISGO), the largest ever scout jamboree in Sri Lanka, to be held from Feb 18 to 22, at the Lake View Park International Scout Centre in Kandy. President will grace the occasion at the main rally on Feb 22. There will be representatives from all 161 countries of the region with over 6,000 scouts and girl guides including Sri Lankan participants more..

Dengue death toll erased from Health Ministry website

Feb 16 (Island) The highest number of mosquito breeding places found during the mosquito control week which commenced last Wednesday were in the Western Province, Ratnapura and Kurunegala districts. Secretary of the Public Health Inspectors Union (PHIUSL), Senarath Bandara said that legal action had been taken against 611 persons countrywide for having mosquito breeding places in their premises. More than 5,300 places more..

Reservoirs overflow causing floods

Feb 16 (Island) Main reservoirs are once again overflowing rapidly due to heavy rains experienced during the last few days, according to the Irrigation and Water Resource Management Minister. People who are living in low-lying areas have been warned to be on alert for possible floods when sluice gates are opened to lower water pressure in the reservoirs. The Ministry said that sluice gates of many reservoirs had to be opened as the reservoirs were brimful. more..

Sri Lanka woos Indian tourists

Feb 16 (ET) Sri Lanka would begin a drive to attract tourists from India by launching a three-day initiative, " Get Sri Lanked", from here starting February 21. With the guidance of Ministry of Economic Development, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is organising a three-day Sri Lanka Joint Promotion in the city in a bid to provide the best holiday experience to Indian tourists, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) MD Rumy Jauffer told reporters here. more..

'Corruption costs country dear; public service a huge burden'

Feb 16 (Island) Senior Minister and Chairman of COPE, D.E.W. Gunasekera said that there was unprecedented corruption in the state sector and it had reached alarming proportions. He alleged that there was high level corruption at the Inland Revenue Department and it was one of the three institutions which brought in revenue for state coffers, others being Customs and Excise. "Police cannot tackle corruption more..

63 civil society organisations condemn anti-Muslim rhetoric and attacks

Feb 16 (FT) A host of civil society organisations yesterday issued a statement condemning the growing anti-Muslim rhetoric and attacks. Following is the full statement: In recent months, there has been an increased outpouring of virulent anti-Muslim sentiment by persons claiming to speak for all Sinhala Buddhists. Organised groups led by Buddhist monks have held public meetings, distributed pamphlets, and made press statements. Articles in mainstream newspapers more..

No stranger place than Sri Lanka

Feb 16 (SL) Sri Lanka really does qualify as being one of the strangest places on earth. Since 2000 it has been a privilege to bear witness to the strangeness and the paradox that is Sri Lanka. Take for instance that very strange affinity the average Sri Lankan has for foreigners. It most certainly does not qualify as a form respect. It strikes me as being more subservient than anything else. A foreigner, seems to be able to do just about anything. Try this, a crowded bar, loads of Sri Lankans and more..

'More investment with H'tota development'

Feb 16 (DN) The development of Hambantota into a logistics hub will open up many opportunities for companies to invest and partner with Sri Lanka, three envoys said. French ambassador Christine Robichon, German ambassador Dr Jurgen Morhard and British High Commissioner John Rankin made this comment when they visited Hambantota on Feb 12 and 13 along with trade team representatives. more..

'Another LIOC fuel consignment fails quality test'

Feb 16 (CT) In the latest development of substandard fuel import to the country, 3,586 metric tonnes of Marine Gas Oil (MGO) brought in by the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC), have failed to meet the requirements of the quality inspection test, and reportedly, the consignment had been added to the tanks storing 1,500 metric tonnes of MGO that had passed the quality test. This has resulted in the oil in the tanks being mixed with the substandard fuel at the Colombo Harbour, more..

Colombo Kachcheri torched to cover financial fraud?

Feb 16 (Island) The arson attack on the Colombo Kachcheri at Dam Street on November 26 last year, is believed to have been a malicious attempt to cover up a financial fraud. Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs John Seneviratne said that a deficit of funds had been detected and that had led to the suspicion that someone may have set the building on fire. The fire gutted part of the Kachcheri building and a large number of vital documents were destroyed. more..

Attempt to disrupt Jaffna hunger striker foiled

Feb 16 (Island) An attempt by a group of persons to scuttle an Opposition protest was thwarted and one of the intruders caught by the protesters yesterday. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who took part in the hunger strike, declared in Telippalai that the High Security Zone at Palaly could be dismantled without any harm being caused to the security of the area. The protest had been organised by the TNA, NSSP, more..

EPF used to prop up shares of unlisted companies – Counsel

Feb 16 (CT) The monies of the EPF are being invested in companies other than the blue chip companies listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange, in order to artificially raise the share price of such companies, Counsel J.C. Weliamuna contended before the Supreme Court yesterday. Appearing for 11 trade unions that have filed a Fundamental Rights case, the Counsel said imprudent investments will in turn unnaturally enhance the value of the shares and enable certain more..