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Sri Lanka Debrief News - 18.02.2013

Foreign currency hidden in underpants...

Feb 18 (E24|7) Customs officials foiled a bid to smuggle currency out of the country to Dubai and Sharjah by two businessmen from Dehiwala, hidden inside their underpants, and they were arrested while passing through Customs entry at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, Customs media spokesman Customs Director of Preventive Division Lesley Gamini said. There was Euro 32,400, Swiss Franc 3,200, Canadian $ 2,950 and Hong Kong $ 2,900 taken into custody more..

Editorial : We are in fact a Wonder of Asia

Feb 18 (CT) Is the govt trying to brainwash the people of this country by constantly referring to Sri Lanka as an emerging Wonder of Asia on its way to becoming a Five Mega Hub? Are these pronouncements meant purely to divert the attention of the people from the devastating high cost of living and the countless other problems they are faced with, or are these statements made in all seriousness? The Central Bank Governor speaking at a seminar titled ‘Economic Road Map of more..

S’pore looks forward to participate in Sri Lanka CHOGM

Feb 18 (DN) Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said the Singaporean govt was looking forward to participating in the CHOGM and the Commonwealth Business Forum in Colombo in November. Shanmugam said so during a meeting with Minister G L Peiris in Singapore on Friday. Sri Lanka’s achievement of peace and stability has made it possible for a whole range of benefits not only for the people of the country more..

Uva Chief Minister gets crime busting DIG transferred

Feb 18 (LT) DIG Monaragala M.R. Latheef who had been subjected to political fury due to carrying out his duties impartially and against illegal activities has been transferred to Badulla District with immediate effect. Recently the Chief Minister of Uva PC Shashindra Rajapaksa had said to a daily newspaper that he had asked the IGP to take action regarding Latheef. It is reported that certain local politicians who had been jubilant regarding the transfer of Mr. Lataheef had gathered with more..

'Photograph of arrest at Tellipalai, is fabricated'

Feb 18 (OU) Police Media Spokesperson Prasantha Jayakody said, out of those created disorder at the Jaffna Tellipalai hunger protest, the photograph published of a policeman holding the hand of one person may have got fabricated. Sophisticated technology is currently expanding, and photographs are in different manner elaborated. At the Tellipalai incident the said photographs may have got exaggerated against the police was mentioned by him. Last Friday a hunger protest was held at more..

'Indian, Lankan fishermen talks should resolve issue'

Feb 18 (Hindu) G. Ramakrishnan suggested that the Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen should hold talks to find an amicable solution to the ‘fishermen issue’. He said as the issue involved fishermen of two countries, they should sit across the table and iron out the differences. Seeking the intervention of the Centre, he said prior to the fishermen level talks, the Indian and Sri Lankan govts should hold talks and lay a platform more..

Bad weather hits Lanka’s premium teas

Feb 18 (DM) The buyers of premium Dimbula teas may be disappointed, as the much awaited seasonal teas have run into bad weather which could hinder the production, a Colombo based tea broker said. A brief report by the tea broking arm of the John Keells noted that cold dry spells which herald the Dimbula quality season has been replaced with wet and overcast conditions. Rainfall has been falling on the Western slopes, since beginning of last week. “The North East monsoon has been extremely more..

Wimal acting in a Govt. directed play: UNP

Feb 18 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa is acting in a play written by the Rajapaksa family and attempting to cover up their misdeeds, UNP Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. “He is accusing Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundere of messing up Sri Lanka’s economy without blaming President Rajapaksa, who as the Minister of Finance and Planning is the person responsible for economic crisis in the country”. “Till the recent Cabinet reshuffle the Ministry of Economic more..

Mathews mobbed as clergyman stumped

Feb 18 (CT) Even before he could get down to on-field business as Sri Lanka’s new cricket captain, Angelo Mathews stumped his native Catholic parish priest and had crowds swarming all over him when he attended a Sunday church service yesterday. Although dressed in a dull grey suit Mathews had enough charisma to be the centre of attraction and told schoolboys and girls to believe in what they do but Fr. Basil Wickremasinghe, more..

Ex Aitken Spence employee arrested

Feb 18 (CG) A former employee of the Aitken Spence Group has been arrested for illegally accessing company data on the company computer server and altering some of it. The police media unit said that a complaint regarding the incident had been lodged last October and the CID had launched investigations. The Aitken Spence Group is involved in the travel trade and operates a website through which the traveler can make reservations and bookings online. more..

'CISM Day Run' held in Colombo

Feb 18 (GDI) Si Lanka's second joint tri-service Marathon Run, organized under the auspices of Brussels-based International Military Sports Council, more widely known as 'CISM Day Run,' commenced early t Sunday morning at Colombo Light House Galley, with the participation of about 275 tri-service personnel, headed by respective service Commanders. Last year's inaugural 'CISM Day Run,' was introduced and organized by the Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka Navy more..

'Forces’ presence in Jaffna diminished'

Feb 18 (Island) Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe said that since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the army had considerably reduced its presence in the Jaffna peninsula. Responding to criticism of an overbearing military presence, he said that the entire army deployment there comprised 13,100 officers and men, whereas at the height of the conflict the army maintained a 43,000 more..

Govt. seeks to extend Resettlement Authority’s term by three years

Feb 18 (Island) The govt will present an amendment bill in parliament seeking to extend the term of the authority responsible for resettlement of displaced people. The govt received approval from the Cabinet of ministers on Thursday to present the draft bill prepared by the Legal Draftsman to extend the period of the Resettlement Authority Act of 2007 for another three years after April 10, 2013. The Resettlement Authority, under the Ministry of Resettlement, had a fixed term of more..

Nimal blames tuition mafia for commercialisation of education

Feb 18 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva claimed that the tuition mafia had totally commercialised the present educational system. Some teachers in govt schools run off to tuition centres without attending to their school responsibilities, he said. When a student passed an exam with distinction, the credit went to the teachers who taught the student. But there was no dispute over the fact that private tuition was necessary for a student who was weak in studies. more..

Intelligence unit involved in attack on Jaffna hunger strike - UNP

Feb 18 (AD) The UNP today claimed that the military intelligence unit was involved in the recent attempt to disrupt the peaceful hunger strike organized by opposition parties in Jaffna. A group of around 12 men had stormed in and attempted to attack those participating in the protest, however two of the intruders were caught by the protesters. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, several TNA MPs and other more..

Stocks at 1-month low on Dialog after earnings

Feb 18 (Reuters) Stocks fell to a one-month low on Monday, dragged by top mobile phone operator, Dialog Axiata, after it reported a 30% fall in its December quarter profit. The main share index fell 0.95%, or 55.67 points, to end at 5,774.59, its lowest since January 15 as concerns over the broader economy also weighed. The IMF warned last week of slower growth, high inflation and lower tax revenue risks, prompting speculation the govt may turn to expensive commercial borrowing to more..

Sri Lanka central hill city to get mixed development

Feb 18 (LBO) A twin tower property project made up of apartments, hotel and restaurant will be built in the central hill city of Kandy by a firm promoted by expatriate Sri Lankans from the area, the island's investment promotion office said. Sri Lanka's Board of Investment said the project by GVR Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a firm promoted by Mahasen Samaravijaya and Mohan Chandramohan, both Kandy-born businessmen from the US, will overlook Mahaweli River. "We want to be an integral part of more..

US draft resolution sees shortcomings in National Action Plan

Feb 18 (CG) The draft resolution of the United States on Sri Lanka which is to be submitted to the UNHRC next month, has noted with concern that the National Action Plan does not adequately address all of the findings and constructive recommendations of the LLRC. Titled Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka, the first draft of the resolution to be submitted by the US reaffirmed that it is the responsibility of more..

'Malabe degree shop has become a boutique selling certificates'

Feb 18 (LT) Five years have gone by since students were admitted to Malabe private medical school but they have not received any clinical training yet and today it has not turned into a degree shop but a shop that sells certificates says Dr. Asanga Wickremesinghe. He said this at a media meeting held by ‘Doctors against private medical schools’ at Punchi Borella yesterday (17). He said initially students were admitted to the private medical school at the end of the year 2009 but more..

Estonian delegation visits Sri Lanka to explore trade and investment opportunities

Feb 18 (N360) A delegation from Estonia, who toured Sri Lanka during last week has explored trade and investment opportunities in areas such as, maritime, railways, infrastructure, defense and tourism. The 24 member delegation, which was headed by Vaino Reinart, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia has held meetings with Sri Lanka government officials and with the local business people. Dudley Thambinayagam, who functions as Estonia’s honorary consular in more..

Child died at the SICU: Pediatrician

Feb 18 (DM) A Nawaloka Hospital pediatrician giving evidence at the inquest into the death of five-year-old Buddhini Ratnayake denied claims made by the parents that their daughter had died inside the MRI machine. Pediatrician Dr. Duminda Pathirana said the child had died in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) while being treated for Rett Syndrome. Dr. Pathirana who had been attending on the child since her birth more..

'Where is the law in our country?'

Feb 18 (NF) A public lecture organised by the JVP was held in Thanabaddegama, Elpitiya, on Saturday. Speaking at the occasion JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi, expressed these views. "As soon as we arrived the Elections Commissioner brought out the machine. There is a machine which shows whether the ballot paper is a fake or not. As soon as you put the ballot paper inside it turns blue. The ballot papers found in the garbage outside the technical college near the Eheliyagoda more..

Basil opens at South Asia’s first underwater tunnel aquarium

Feb 18 (MED) Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday opened South Asia’s first underwater tunnel aquarium at Water World, Biyagama. Built on a 47 feet-long concrete platform at a cost of Rs. 60 million, this tunnel is 30 feet long and 37 feet wide. The Japan-manufactured glass covering used for the purpose is three inches thick. Raw material required for the construction was obtained from Canada and Thailand while the US and New Zealand provided technical more..

Sri Lanka mass grave called 'a crime site'

Feb 18 (AJ) The remains of more than 150 people have been excavated in the town of Matale in central Sri Lanka. The skeletal remains were discovered late last year by workers building a facility at a hospital in Matale. Dr Ajith Jayasena, who is in charge of the investigation, said that the site "is a crime scene". Bone samples will be sent abroad to find out when they died and soil analysis of the area is also being done, more..

Mother Lanka bashing unfair

Feb 19 (NS) Chris Alexander, Conservative MP for Ajax-Pickering, Ontario, Canada made some ‘observations’ at an event celebrating Thai Pongal, recently. Asoka Weerasinghe, a long-time opponent of Eelamist myth-mongering and misrepresentation of Sri Lanka’s story by pro-LTTE groups, offers counter-observations in an open letter to Alexander . The follwoing are excerpts. Dear Chris: Wow!...Wow!!…Wow!!!...Chris, hold your horses, I am afraid you just crossed the line where more..

Leave DIG Latheef alone!

Feb 19 (NS) About a year ago, a highly respected police officer, previously attached to the STF, but at the time the Officer in Charge of the Crimes Division of the Wellawaya Police, died under tragic and mysterious circumstances. DIG Dinana was known to have been an uncompromising fighter against cannabis (ganja) growers and traffickers. He led a team of men 20km deep into the Hambegamuwa jungles and while destroying a ganja chena, according to ‘witnesses’ had been taken more..

'Hope to field separate UNP teams for elections'

Feb 19 (NS) Q: You have said that you would name separate candidates from the UNP for future elections, apart from the candidates named by the UNP Leadership. Can you elaborate on this issue? A: Yes. We hope to name an alternate team apart from those appointed by the Leadership to contest future elections. We are pushed to do this in order to get our party on the winning track. The UNP has been facing more..

Destroying the President’s defenders

Feb 19 (DBS) Sri Lanka is full of conspiracy theories. There are many reasons for this, not least the fact that theorising about conspiracies is a universal practice, and we in Sri Lanka are victims of this as well as practitioners. Then there is the fact that conspiracy theories are fun. Since they necessarily assume that evidence must be shadowy, they allow those with vivid imaginations to pursue their pet agendas under the guise of creative thinking. And since the conspiracies more..

Launching phase III of the Presidential initiative ‘English as a life skill’

Feb 19 (DBS) The third phase of the Presidential Initiative ‘English as a life skill’ through which the President takes English language skills across the country with a special focus on Spoken English, is being launched by him from Temple Trees today. For the first time in the history of language teaching and learning in our schools, a set of 50 English language learning DVDs for grades 10 and 11 are being launched together with a toolbox of activities for Spoken English, grades 6 – 11, more..

Warm welcome awaits biggest batch of students to Universities

Feb 19 (SO) For many youth who are aspiring higher positions in the society after perusing free education in Sri Lanka, the GCE A/L exam is a turning point in their life as it decide the future of their life. But for the 294,800 students sat for the GCE (A/L) exam in August 2011, had to test their patience as they had to wait for a long time to decide on their future. Though they were waiting to enter the university education with their best more..

Do you know the way to Latimer House?

Feb 19 (CT) Although the way to San Jose could be inquired for more musically, finding the way to Latimer House has apparently become a lot more urgent to those in Sri Lanka. In the past two months we have seen so many, high brow, middling and even those who wouldn’t know the difference between Latimer and a latrine attempting to give guided tours of that evidently significant house in England. Even eminent figures like Ranil Wickramasinghe the leader of the opposition, more..

An unfinished life: My father Ossie and Vijaya

Feb 19 (CT) The 25th death anniversary of Vijaya Kumaratunga falls on 16th Feb. In order to honour this fearless leader, I thought of contributing an appreciation. Vijaya and my father Ossie Abeyagoonasekera were very close friends and I remember him visiting our place almost every day and working together until his death in 1988. My father was always very supportive for his political cause. Even though I was quite young when he died, I remember how people gathered to more..

An indelible imprint

Feb 19 (ST) It was a must-visit for most parents every year, who with their children in tow, clutching long book lists would throng this landmark building, amidst the hurly-burly of the Pettah. For many of those who were students before the educational authorities decided to issue free textbooks, it would be ‘first to Gunasenas and then to school’. By that time M.D. Gunasena & Company was a giant in the arena of book publishing more..

The Expert Village

Feb 19 (NS) I would like to share my thoughts with you today about how I got involved in this concept called the expert village, some are whimsical, some more serious. As a child who traveled to the UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, France, Australia and eventually settled in the USA, I always compared Sri Lanka to the developed countries. I often wondered, “Why is our economy always at a ‘Developing’ status’? Why do we play “catch up” with other countries? In my relentless quest to find more..

Ajantha Mendis takes 11 in innings win for Army

Feb 19 (CI) Army Sports Club strengthened their position atop the Group A ladder, while Tamil Union and Sinhalese Sports Club moved to the top of the Group B table, after the third round of the Premier League Tournament. Army recorded their second innings victory on-the-trot ,against the Lankan Cricket Club, while SSC took first innings points in their clash with NCC. Tamil Union won by eight wickets for the third time, defeating Galle Cricket Club at the Galle International Stadium. more..

සංවර්ධන සටහන් | Development Diaries

ICC picks Kaushalya in World XI

Feb 19 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Eshani Kaushalya was named in the ICC Team of the Tournament announced yesterday, a day after the finals of the competition between Australia and West Indies in Bombay. New Zealand’s Suzie Bates was named as captain of the team. Kaushalya had a good tournament and was chosen to bat at number six. She scored half-centuries against India and England in the games that Sri Lanka won and in the playoff game against South Africa she smashed 43. more..

Removing the scourge of agents from hell

Feb 19 (Island) One of our regular readers yesterday called us to find out more details on the curse called player agents. He had been away from the country and had read our reports only after arriving in Colombo early last morning. He wondered why Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had failed to tame those agents. We informed him that when ‘political cronies’ run the affairs of the SLC it was easier for agents to bring the cricket establishment virtually to their feet by manipulating it. more..

Karu calls for stronger Opposition

Feb 19 (FT) Only a strong and united Opposition can pressurise the present regime to act democratically, stressed Karu Jayasuriya, former Deputy Leader of the UNP. It is vital that all political parties should have trust in each other in order to work as a team he pointed out, adding that failure to do so would only result in this Govt dividing and causing further damage to the Opposition. In the recent past there were opportunities to more..