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Drug addicts, peddlers highest in correctional centres

Feb 26 (DN) A sizable number of offenders in correctional centres are there for substance related offenses. They constitute 65% of all offenders in correctional facilities throughout the country, said Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies Executive Director Jeevan Thiyagarajah who is also associated with the Institute for Human Rights. "These offenders could be addicts or peddlers. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa should be commended for taking serious note of more..

Electricity charges cannot be revised without public approval - PUCSL

Feb 26 (Island) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said that it wouldn’t be in a position to revise electricity charges without obtaining the consent of the public, at a hearing, as it was a key stakeholder under the PUCSL Act, a senior official said. He said that the Commission would strictly follow the Act as it had done in the past. He also said that neither the CEB nor the Power and Energy Ministry had submitted more..

Sri Lanka – EU trade reinforced in France

Feb 26 (AT) Several new initiatives were launched and trade between Sri Lanka and France boosted on the occasion of the visit of a Trade Delegation from Sri Lanka which was facilitated by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL), in association with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in France and the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka. The delegation visited France and held several rounds of discussions, which commenced with a Breakfast meeting at the Embassy in Paris. more..

Trade unions to form common alliance

Feb 26 (Island) Trade unions attached to political parties and professionals plan to launch a common trade union alliance as individual agitations have failed over the past few years. Trade union sources said that leading TUs had already held a discussion on the matter. President of the National Trade Union Centre K. D. Lalkantha, President of the Inter Company Employees’ Union Wasantha Samarasinghe, General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union Mahinda more..

Minister Sirisena’s son, blamed for attacking DIG’s son

Feb 26 (Island) The police are investigating an alleged attack on Batticaloa DIG Ravi Waidyalankara’s son by a group of youth led by Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s son, at the Passekudah beach. Both groups had been staying at the Malu Malu Resort & Spa, Passekudah late Sunday afternoon. The victim has alleged that a gang led by Minister’s son assaulted him when he objected to his wife being photographed more..

Sethu project: Indian govt scraps panel report

Feb 26 (TOI) The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that it intends to go ahead with the Rs 25,000 crore Sethusamudram shipping channel project, which had raised a political storm after it was revealed that the mythical Ram Sethu would face dredging. After the controversy over the Centre's affidavit in 2007 doubting the existence of Ramayana and Ram, a statement which was quickly withdrawn following waves of protest, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had had appointed more..

'Our best chance in Sri Lanka' - Mushfiqur

Feb 26 (CI) Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has said he wants to correct Bangladesh's woefully poor record in Sri Lanka. They have lost all eight Tests played there since 2001, but he believes the current team is capable of making a difference this time. "The tour is a big opportunity if we can play to our potential," Mushfiqur said. "We don't have a good record in Sri Lanka. So to do well we have to continue playing the way we have in the last 12 months." Mushfiqur hoped to more..

SL opposes UN screening of critical film

Feb 26 (AP) Sri Lankan diplomats are working to block a British-made documentary about the Asian country's civil war from being shown on the sidelines of a UNHRC meeting this week, arguing that it is part of a concerted campaign by the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels to destabilize the peace. In a letter the island nation's ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva said the film contained a narrative that was "discredited, more..

Road-ready North: 90% road network rebuilt

Feb 26 (DN) The Ports and Highways Ministry has completed construction and reconstruction of 90 percent of highways and roads in the North and Eastern provinces since the end of the war, Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said. Meanwhile, Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama said the govt has set apart US $ 1,350 million for infrastructure development in the Northern Province to build railways and for electricity, highways, water supply and sanitation projects. more..

Lankan tourists forced to return after protest

Feb 26 (TOI) Around 70 Sri Lankan citizens, who were visiting the Velankanni church in Nagappattinam on Sunday, had to return on police advice after they met with some opposition on the way. At least seven monks were in the group. They were heading towards Velankanni church in two buses on Sunday morning when local pro-Eelam groups stopped them at Needamangalam in Tiruvarur district. The visitors had all the requisite papers from immigration officials, but more..

UNHRC commences Session: Minister Samarasinghe to address on Wednesday

Feb 26 (IL) Minister Samarasinghe, The President’s Special Envoy on Human Rights and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation, who is due to arrive in Geneva on Tuesday, will deliver Sri Lanka’s National Statement during the High Level segment of the UNHRC, on Wednesday, 27th. The 22nd Session of the UNHRC opened today (25) with statements by Remigiusz Henczel President of the Human Rights Council, more..

Training for Lanka to improve maritime, hydrographic area

Feb 26 (DN) International Hydrographic Organisation chairman Admiral Mustafa Iptes expressed commitment from the International Hydrographic office of Monaco to provide funding and technical support and training to Sri Lanka to further improve the maritime and hydrographic area. He congratulated Sri Lanka for developing rapidly in the region as an important stake holder in the Indian Ocean region. He made this comment at the 13th North Indian Ocean Hydrographic more..

Rajapaksa gives Sumathipala 'blessings' to contest in SLC election

Feb 26 (SM) Former Sri Lanka Cricket Board President and MP Thilanga Sumathipala is expected to handed in nomination papers on Wednesday for the next elections o the Board. President of the cricket board at the board elections next month, sources told the Colombo Gazette. Mr. Sumathipla has the blessing of the President, according to reports. The ‘Hetak’ group of the SLFP brought together by Mr. Namal Rajapaksa, to take forward the SLFP had Mr. Sumathipla’s name more..

UNHRC to be briefed on probe into killings of students, aid workers

Feb 26 (DM) The Attorney General’s Dept will brief anyone interested in knowing about the progress on investigations into the 2006 killing of five students in Trincomalee and 17 aid workers in Mutur. This will be done during UNHRC sessions in Geneva. Sri Lanka had assured the UNHRC last year that investigations into these two incidents would be resumed. International organizations such as the Amnesty International more..

Editorial: Towards religious harmony and social justice

Feb 26 (DM) Religious intolerance is raising its ugly head again, and movements in this direction are gathering momentum. If this is not immediately and effectively stopped, it will spell disaster to the nation recovering from a protracted racially motivated 30 year conflict. Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva recently announced certain measures, including the setting up of committees in different parts of the country, with a view to jointly celebrating all ethno-religious events in the calendar. more..

The War Experience

Feb 26 (DM) Many non-Thamil speaking readers would like to know how some writers in the North and elsewhere writing in Thamil have fictionalised some real experiences they have had in the now ceased bitter war that continued for more than three decades in our country. Gnanam, a monthly literary magazine published in Colombo, has published a big volume of such stories in its 150th issue running to 600 pages. The special issue is Eelaththup Pore Ilakkiyach Chirapithal meaning more..

New Education Act to register, regulate International schools

Feb 26 (ST) A new Education Act will be introduced this year with international schools islandwide, coming under the Education Ministry, in order to maintain proper teaching standards, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. He said that this decision was confirmed by President Rajapaksa at the Ministry of Education this week. “While reviewing the progress, the President also emphasised the need to bring international more..

TN chief minister Jayalalithaa on warpath against Sri Lanka again

Feb 26 (DM) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram who will be celebrating her 65th Birthday tomorrow February 24th is once again on the warpath against Sri Lanka. The actress turned politician has announced that Tamil Nadu would not host the 20th Asian Athletics Championships scheduled to be held in the State in July. Ms. Jayalalithaa said her govt has written to the AAA, seeking the exclusion of more..

Living under murderers in a savage land ?

Feb 26 (SL) Topping this week’s news was the heartrending photograph of 12-year-old Balachandran, showing that he was in army custody before being murdered. The Sinhalese are rightly upset about the CJ’s impeachment and the Matale massacres. Yet the absence of an equally loud protest in the face of mounting evidence of Tamil deaths in Mullivaikal seems proof that we are two divided peoples. more..

PUCSL helpless to stop fuel price hike

Feb 26 (Island) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) had not been in a position to dictate terms to the petroleum sector, when it decided to increase fuel prices last weekend, as that sector had not come under the Commission yet, a senior official said. The Commission’s Director General Damita Kumarasinghe told The Island the PUCSL would shortly get the green light from the legal fraternity to act as a regulator. more..

'Palestine, a steadfast friend of Sri Lanka'

Feb 26 (DN) The State of Palestine appreciates the consistent goodwill and support it has received from Sri Lanka throughout its struggle for international recognition, and should always be counted on as a steadfast friend of Sri Lanka, President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine told Minister G L Peiris in Ramallah. Minister Peiris expressed the Sri Lankan govt’s pleasure with the adoption of the historic resolution more..

Floods cause 15% loss in paddy harvest

Feb 26 (Island) Around 15 per cent of the Maha paddy harvest has been lost due to the adverse weather conditions experienced in the latter part of last year. Floods caused by the heavy rains and the spillover from almost all the irrigation reservoirs had submerged most of the rice growing areas in the North-Central and Eastern Provinces, Agriculture Ministry Secretary W. A. Sakalasuriya said yesterday (25). more..

UNP asks where subsidised fertilizer has gone

Feb 26 (Island) The UNP alleged that there was a massive scam involving the fertiliser subsidy. It asked whether the subsidised fertiliser distributed to local farmers had ended up in paddy fields in some other country. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said: "There is a massive scam somewhere. The fertilizer subsidy has risen threefold over the years, but the output has not been increasing proportionately and is almost the same. more..

TEXTEC Sri Lanka 2013: International exhibition for garments and textiles

Feb 26 (DN) CEMS Global USA will host the fourth edition of TEXTEC Sri Lanka 2013 International Expo, an International Exhibition on Textile, Apparel Technology and Machinery from Feb 28 to March 2, 2013 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre in Colombo. On the same dates, concurrent exhibitions, Dye+Chem Sri Lanka 2013 Int’l Expo, an international exhibition on Dye stuff, fine and specialty chemicals for the more..

Sri Lanka describes hacking incident as 'cyber terrorism'

Feb 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka today described hacking of the ministry of media and information's website as an act of "cyber terrorism". "We see this as an act of cyber terrorism," Secretary to the Ministry of Media Charitha Herath said while describing it as the work of the LTTE rump living overseas. The unidentified hackers yesterday on the ministry's website uploaded a link to an Australian Broadcasting Corp report on atrocities during more..

Sri Lanka to offer more oil and gas exploration licences

Feb 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is set to offer a second batch of licences to explore for oil and gas, as it looks to start production in the country and ease its dependence on imported fuel. The govt said on Tuesday that it would invite companies to bid for licences on some of the 13 blocks in the Cauvery and Mannar Basins off the nation's northwest coast. It added that details on the number of blocks would be announced shortly and more..

A tribute to the cordial relations between Muslims and Sinhalese in the past

Feb 26 (CT) A one-time Minister of Foreign affairs A.C.S. Hameed once pointed out that “Historians have traditionally been attracted by wars and rebellions whereas the peaceful co-existence of groups of people over long periods tends to be overlooked”. He went on to say “in the history of Sri Lanka few are aware of the harmonious relationship which had developed between the Sinhalese, its indigenous inhabitants, and the Muslims who initially were foreigners, and that both have more..

Editorial : Media freedom and Fonseka's myopia

Feb 26 (CT) Sarath Fonseka, the war-winning former Army Chief and the defeated presidential candidate has a proclivity to shoot from the hip. That has been self injurious to him, most times. Once, it landed him in the jail, though we have grave reservations over the delivery of justice on that particular case, and later it cost him the erstwhile members in his political coalition. On Sunday, he went on Sirasa TV accusing the newspapers in this country of kowtowing to the govt. more..

Sri Lanka Debrief news 26 02 2013

Attend leadership programme before registration - Higher Edu.Secy

Feb 26 (Island) Students who had received letters asking them to register with universities and those scheduled to participate in the fourth batch of the leadership training programme, on the same day, would have to complete the leadership training first, Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry Dr. Sunil Navaratne said. Students selected for universities, based on GCE (A/L) 2011 results, received letters asking them to be registered on March 4. However, a section of students were more..

‘International community needs to voice against Lanka’

Feb 26 (NIP) Books on Tamil Eelam penned by a journalist were released here on Sunday. The event witnessed the speeches of politicians such as Pazha Nedumaran, R Nallakannu and C Mahendran, poet Kasi Anandhan and film director Pugazhendhi Thangaraj. A K Joseph Kennedy, a journalist, penned four books titled Enjiyulla Neruppu Thundugal, Padai Thalaivan Varuvan, Aindhamkatta Viduthalai Por and Arasa Bayangaravadhamum Makkal Porattamum, of which the first two more..

Sri Lanka: Rape of Tamil detainees

Feb 26 (HRW) Sri Lankan security forces have been using rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected members or supporters of the LTTE, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. While widespread rape in custody occurred during the armed conflict that ended in May 2009, Human Rights Watch found that politically motivated sexual violence by the military and police continues to the present. more..

President backs Ravinatha in Geneva

Feb 26 (CG) President Rajapaksa has backed Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha, and dismissed allegations raised against him. A statement by the President’s office said that the Presidential Secretariat is greatly disturbed by attempts to sully the reputation and cast aspersions on the professional conduct of Aryasinha who is taking part in the UNHRC session in Geneva. President’s Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said that more..

Soldier on presidential duty nabbed buying heroin

Feb 26 (Island) A soldier was nabbed by the Kandy Police on Friday (22) purchasing heroin, from a drug peddler, while on duty Mahaiyawa. Kandy Police said the soldier had been one of the security personnel posted at a point in Kandy as President Mahinda Rajapaksa was scheduled to attend a Scouts Jamboree at the Bogambara Stadium. The suspect soldier had gone to Mahaiyawa to buy his fix after entrusting his firearm to a colleague, the police said. more..

Sri Lanka to introduce new laws for vehicle assembling

Feb 26 (CT) Sri Lankan motor industry has welcome a recent move by the authorities to introduce new rules and regulations for assembling of motor vehicle. United Motors Lanka CEO and Executive Director, Chanaka Yatawara said, that one of the biggest challenges the automobile industry in Sri Lanka faced was the lack of clear-cut policies for vehicle assembling. "Some companies consider more..

New head of Amarapura Nikaya

Feb 26 (Island) Most Ven. Ahungalle Sri Seelavisuddhi Nayake Thera has been appointed the Maha Nayake of Amarapura Sri Saddhammawansa Nikaya. Ven. Seelavisuddhi Thera is the chief incumbent of ten temples including the Gomarankadawala Rangiri Ulpath Rajamaha Vihara of Trincomalee and Uppuveli Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Centre. Nayaka Theras who gathered at the Mahakappa Seema Malaka at Valithara in Balapitiya on Feb. 19 unanimously decided more..

Lankan navy attacks TN fishermen

Feb 26 (PTI) A group of fishermen from Tamil Nadu were today allegedly attacked by Sri Lankan naval men while they were fishing near Katchatheevu. The fishermen from this coastal area had ventured for fishing in 20 boats, officials said, adding, the Lankan naval men allegedly attacked them with ropes and steel pipes causing extensive damage to their fishing nets and communication equipment. The officials, quoting a boat-owner, said they reportedly even stuffed sugar in the engine of more..

Loss-making Sri Lankan Airlines aims to break even in 2015/16

Feb 26 (Reuters) Loss-making Sri Lankan Airlines hopes a five-year plan to fly to more profitable destinations and invest in a more fuel-efficient fleet will help it break even in 2015/16, its chief executive said. Airlines worldwide have been hit by rising fuel costs which bite into profitability, and state-run Sri Lankan has the extra burden of having to operate unprofitable European routes, because the country's economy, more..

21 Sri Lankan fishermen held in India released

Feb 26 (Xinhua) 21 Sri Lankan fishermen have been released from India and are due to arrive here on Wednesday, a Fisheries Ministry spokesman said here. Along with the fishermen, four fishing boats that were taken into custody by the Indian Coast Guard have also been released. The Indian Coast Guard has taken measures to hand over the fishermen and their vessels to the Sri Lanka Navy at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off Kankasanthurai, said Rajapaksa. more..

Sports medicine units in State hospitals

Feb 26 (Island) The Health Ministry yesterday said it had initiated the opening of special units for ‘Sports Medicine,’ at all government hospitals. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that the first such unit had been opened at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital. The spokesman said the decision had been taken to minimise the number of injuries and traumatic conditions which occurred due to the lack of prior physical exercise and well regulated sports activities. That had led to the death of two more..