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Karunanidhi asks Union govt not to encourage Rajapaksa’s visit

Feb 5 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi urged the Union govt not to encourage Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa’s visit to the country and announced a black-shirt demonstration in Chennai during his visit on February 8. Explaining a resolution adopted in the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) meeting, Mr. Karunanidhi alleged that Mr. Rajapaksa had led the massacre of Tamils and was seen as an more..

Strict controls in the use of chemical fertiliser

Feb 5 (DN) The govt has decided to implement new rules and regulations in the use of insecticides, pesticides and all chemical fertiliser, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. The use of insecticides, pesticides and chemical fertiliser in the agriculture sector has increased considerably, he said. Their indiscriminate use have become a threat to human health. Around 10,000 persons are hospitalised every year due to chemical poisoning. Around 2,000 persons die each year from diseases more..

Colombo Municipal workers to stage protest today

Feb 5 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council staff, up in arms over the proposed changes to the Council’s Cadre positions, will stage a picket at 12 noon today against the drastic changes being introduced. The changes were introduced from the beginning of last month without consulting the council’s members, sources said. The main tussle is between the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) officers and the Council professionals who feel that they were being usurped by SLAS. more..

Moratuwa UPFA Dy. Mayor grilled over monk’s killing

Feb 5 (Island) Moratuwa UPFA Deputy Mayor Sujith Pushpakumara was being grilled by the CCD, from yesterday, over Sunday night’s killing of the Egoda Uyana Sunanda Upananda temple Chief Incumbent Ven Matigahatanne Wimalawansa thera. The deputy mayor had been arrested by the Mount Lavinia police. "A number of police teams had been tasked to arrest the suspects responsible for the killing of the monk," police disclosed. more..

Diplo-mutts put SL on world tightrope

Feb 5 (DM) 65 years after Independence – to what extent we are free is another issue – we need to take a serious new look at our international relationships in a world where the wonders of modern information and communication technology have created a global village. We welcome President Rajapaksa’s assurance at the Independence Day ceremony yesterday in Trincomalee that Sri Lanka would respect the UN Charter and other countries should also more..

A pipe dream? No, let us make it happen

Feb 5 (DM) Today the topic of conversation in most circles in Colombo and elsewhere is “Constitutional Reform’. This has of course been an issue ever since President Premadasa succeeded to the ‘Throne’- to dump the 1978 Constitution and with it the Presidential form of govt. This has been the promise of everyone who succeeded President Premadasa, but after one sits on the ‘Throne’ amnesia sets in, the taste of power takes possession of the mind and body and the more..

'Blockade on Verma’s visit proves Govt. lacks faith in its own impeachment process'

Feb 5 (FT) If the Govt had faith in its own impeachment process, it should have not blocked the entry of an International Bar Association (IBA) delegation to the country, Bar Association of Sri Lanka presidential aspirant, Attorney-at-Law Upul Jayasuriya said. He said that an IBA delegation visited Sri Lanka on a fact-finding mission during the impeachment of CJ Sarath N. Silva in 2001, and the Govt of President Chandrika more..

Religious tension: Issues need to be resolved amicably through talks

Feb 5 (ST) The recent upsurge in tension between the Sinhala and Muslim communities in the country has prompted the Govt to set up an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to study the emerging trend in religious fundamentalism and related issues, and recommend how best to clear misunderstandings between different communities. The Sunday Times spoke with Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi Thera, more..

No additional intake of students to universities on 2012 results

Feb 5 (SL) The UGC has agreed to admit an additional 5,609 students to Sri Lankan universities, based on the GCE (A/L) 2011 results but it would not be able to admit that extra number with the next intake, Secretary to the Higher Education Ministry Dr. Sunil JNavaratne said. He said that the UGC had decided to admit an additional 5,609 students to universities following a Supreme Court order to that effect, but it couldn’t be continued thereafter more..

Mahinda marches for sovereignty, ethnic harmony

Feb 5 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday took a tough stance against Western criticism on human rights and reconciliation aspects within the island, insisting in his Independence Day address that the nation’s sovereignty should be respected. For the first time in history, Sri Lanka’s 65th Independence Day celebrations were held in the scenic seaside town of Trincomalee in the once war-torn Eastern more..

From victim to suspect

Feb 5 (SL) In a bizarre turn of events, the victim has become a suspect in the Wijerama rape case. Police said that the four suspects who were initially arrested had made the claim that the 47-year-old woman was a prostitute. The men claimed that they had had many assignations with this woman for moneyd. The police in turn had become suspicious, as the woman was not a resident of Ahangama as had previously more..

SL confident of increased ties with Indonesia

Feb 5 (JP) As his country celebrates 60 years of diplomatic ties with Indonesia, Sri Lankan Ambassador to Indonesia, Maj. Gen. Nanda Mallawaarachchi underlined a sense of confidence in reaching a more productive relationship with Indonesia. He said the relationship went beyond contemporary history. Without mentioning the year, he noted that an Indonesian king had visited SL many years ago, bringing a baby elephant more..

Colombo among cheapest cities in the world

Feb 5 (DM) Sri Lanka’s Colombo is one of the least expensive cities in the world, according to an annual survey released on Monday. Mumbai in India and Karachi in Pakistan were the joint cheapest locations in the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) worldwide cost of living index survey followed by New Delhi, the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu and Algerian capital of Algiers, reuters reported. While Asia and Australasia is more..

President to visit India despite protests

Feb 5 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will leave for India later this week for what is expected to be a tension filled visit as Tamil parties gather to protest the tour, the govt's media unit said. Rajapaksa will leave on Friday to visit Bodh Gaya in Bihar and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh on Feb. 8, and is expected to meet the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during his visit to Bodh Gaya. In the lead up to the visit, more..

Luxurious Mv. Queen Mary 2 sails in with 2,300 tourists on board

Feb 5 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, welcomed the vessel “Mv Queen Mary 2” yesterday, at a brief ceremony held in the Colombo harbour. This luxury carrier, owned by the UK based company, had more than 2300 tourists on board, consisted of the USA, British, Australia, New Zealand,South Africa and Canadian nationals. The local excursion tour operator Gemini Tours and Travels was thereafter busy with more..

Sri Lanka not asked by U.S. to send troops to Afghanistan

Feb 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has not been requested to send troops to add to coalition forces in Afghanistan, the president's spokesman said, contravening earlier information that Sri Lanka had rejected a U.S. request. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa "has neither received nor rejected a request by the U.S. to send Sri Lankan troops to Afghanistan," Presidential Spokesman Mohan Samaranayake told more..

Cutting off the nose to spite the face

Feb 5 (CT) In what is becoming a habitual 'look up and spit in your face' gesture, the govt last week blocked entry of a group of lawyers from the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute, who had planned on assessing SL's rule of law and the independence of the Judiciary. The group, led by retired Chief Justice of India, J.S. Varma, was due to visit Colombo for 10 days starting last Friday. The revoking of the visas saw the govt's paranoia reaching another more..

Who burnt the Jaffna Library?

Feb 5 (CT) The striking front cover of the Memoirs of Edward Gunawardena proclaims that among the “tidbits” of his memorable, eventful life of some 78 years, is the story of the Jaffna Library Fire. To call the story of the Jaffna Library Fire a “tidbit” is a bit like calling Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II “Liz”, but let that go. The Jaffna Library Fire is surely the major public event documented in this book. EG was our man on the spot and he was an eye-witness to the event. Chapter XI titled: Who burnt more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News: 05 02 2013

Romeo arrested for conning women with marriage promises

Feb 5 (E24|7) After befriending women through marriage proposals, a man who promised to marry women, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly taking Rs157,000 from a woman promising to marry her. After the Warakapola police received a complaint from the woman, the culprit was arrested. The suspect had deceived women in Habaraduwa, Balangoda and Mirigama in this manner, according to the police, and he had obtained Rs15,000, Rs300,000 and Rs200,000 respectively. more..

Hospital backbones complain of discrimination

Feb 5 (Island) Around 10,000 Senior House Officers, who occupy official quarters in hospital premises to work and be available round the clock, are on the warpath against the Health Ministry’s failure to maintain their quarters. The doctors said that they had to pay domestic rates for electricity and water and they would request the Health Ministry to introduce subsidised rates on utility bills since house officers and nurses were exempted from paying for water and electricity. more..

Dhanapala’s gloomier assessment is more accurate than Rajapaksa’s

Feb 5 (CT) “The different assessments offered by the Prime Minister and Dhanapala are colored by their different areas of expertise. Rajapakse generally has good insights into the domestic political front, while Dhanapala is better informed on the peace process. We are inclined to view Dhanapala’s gloomier assessment as, unfortunately, the more accurate.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. A Leaked ‘Confidential’ more..

'Doubling cess on tea jeopardizes trade & industry'

Feb 5 (LT) The increase of cess on export of tea by 100% has threatened the export trade and tea industry drastically points out the JVP and demands the govt to withdraw it immediately. JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi in a statement states the decision by the govt to increase cess through the gazette notification issued on 23rd January jeopardizes the tea trade and the industry. He points out the Rs.10 cess imposed on a kilo of tea would increase to Rs.22 due to the new scheme. more..

Sri Lanka hydro generation recovers in November, demand flat

Feb 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's hydro power generation has doubled in November 2012 on improving rains allowing the utility to cut thermal generation by 25%, while demand remained flat. Sri Lanka has generated 959 million units of electricity (GigaWatt hours) in November 2012 barely changed from 958 GWh a year earlier, data from CEB shows. Hydro power generation in the month rose 114 percent to 396GWh from a year earlier while thermal generation fell 25.2% to 184 GWh. more..

Guaranteed price for paddy increased

Feb 5 (Island) The govt announced that it had increased the guaranteed buying price of two types of paddy. From today, the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) will purchase Nadu from the farmers at Rs. 32 per kilo and Samba at Rs. 35, an increase of Rs. 4 and Rs. 5 respectively over the previous prices. The new prices will be paid for the 2012-13 Maha harvest beginning from the Ampara District today. Minister Johnston Fernando said more..

Indo-Lanka workshop gets underway

Feb 5 (Hindu) Sanjeev K. Varshney of the International Bilateral Cooperation Division, Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India, on Monday threw light on how bilateral cooperation between Indian Govt and several other countries are operated. Addressing the inaugural session of a three-day India-Sri Lanka workshop on “Transdermal Drug Delivery Systems – Regulatory Requirements in Asian Scenario” organised by the city-based KVSR Siddhartha College of more..

Few Sri Lankans make use of UAE amnesty

Feb 5 (CT) Only 650 Sri Lankans have made use of the amnesty period offered by the UAE for illegal residents to either renew their travel documents or return home. The UAE Amnesty Programme ended yesterday and diplomatic missions reported a low turnout of amnesty seekers from their respective communities of expatriates and illegal residents in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. The Sri Lanka Consulate-General in the UAE said 650 illegal workers and residents made use of the more..

'Politics, a cancer plaguing society'

Feb 5 (CT) DNA MP Arjuna Ranatunga, made a comparison between the ancient Sinhalese monarchs and the present political leaders during a meeting in Aluthgama. "Even ancient monarchs who ruled the country paid attention to the advise given by the Sangha and changed their behavioural patterns, as advised. But present day rulers do not listen to any advice. They work towards achieving their personal ambitions," more..

UNP demands details of GL’s India visit

Feb 5 (AD) The UNP today called on the govt to reveal information regarding the discussions held between minister GL Peiris and the Indian Prime Minister, during the former’s recent visit to the neighboring nation. The Minister of External had met Manmohan Singh on Jan 23 in New Delhi on the sidelines of the 8th Session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission. A joint press release issued by the foreign ministries of India and Sri Lanka had said that both nations had agreed to more..

Elahera DS in hot water

Feb 5 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena says he will be making an official complaint to Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne against the Elahera Divisional Secretary for providing false information on flood victims whose houses were damaged due to recent torrential rains and floods in the Polonnaruwa District. Minister Sirisena said that during a recent tour to meet the people affected by floods in the Polonnaruwa District, he had found that about 29 houses were destroyed. more..

New houses for the families of Tamil Women Soldiers

Feb 5 (MoD) A housing project was launched in Kilinochchi for the families of the newly enlisted Tamil women soldiers on par with the 65th independence day celebrations yesterday. Under this project 100 housing units are planned to be built to uplift the living standards of the families of the Tamil women soldiers. The foundation stone laying ceremony for the first phase of the project was held yesterday. Under the first phase of the project more..

Achala on the mend

Feb 5 (CT) Many have come forward to assist Achala Priyadarshini, the final year law student who lost her left arm due to an alleged medical mishap. Her friends came forward to collect funds for an electronic arm and the govt has promised to assist them in their endeavour, by providing the arms and to bear all expenses pertaining to her medical treatment. An electronic arm costs around Rs 5 million, and the Minister G.L. Peiris, is reportedly working to ensure she gets an arm that more..

Heavy rainfalls in Vanni again; Crops harvested ruined

Feb 5 (OU) Due to the sudden heavy rainfalls in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitheevu district yesterday evening, the people who were resettled were severely affected. In view of the sudden rainfalls, the crops harvested in Vanni paddy fields, were ruined. During the previous massive rainfalls and floods, seeds cultivations and the crops were washed away. Meanwhile due to yesterday's showers, the farmers are facing severe hardships once again. For the past days, the harvesting of crops more..

Kaushalya's parents weep over phone after seeing daughter for the first time on TV

Feb 5 (MD) Yesterday (1) proved to be a momentous day for Sri Lanka’s women’s cricket team when they beat defending champions England for the first time ever in all formats of the game at the ICC World Cup. The celebrations after Dilani Manodara hit a six off the last ball for a historic one-wicket win at Brabourne Stadium was as if they had clinched the World Cup itself. The team pounced on the last pair as soon as the winning run more..

'Seems like Duminda will be free'- Hirunika

Feb 5 (DM) Hirunika Premachandra, daughter of slain presidential Advisor Baratha Lakshman Premachandra, said that “it seems like Duminda Silva would be set free”. Speaking to the media at the conclusion of a hearing at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, Ms. Premachandra said she doesn’t understand why it took a year for her driver to recant his statement. “I don’t get how he got reminded of this one year later – even psychologically it’s the statement given in more..

'Education Ministry bungles again'

Feb 5 (CT) Irregularities in the 2012 GCE A/L results, Z-scores, and island and district rankings have re-emerged, resulting in overall results being questionable, the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) charged yesterday. Addressing a media briefing, FSP Politburo member Duminda Nagamuwa said, the results released this year are incorrect, and the Department of Examinations has failed once again in carrying out marking the examination papers in a responsible manner. more..

‘Asylum seekers looking for economic refuge’

Feb 5 (ABC) Australia’s opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said SL asylum seekers attempting to enter Australia are doing so because of Australia’s thriving economy and lifestyle. “…the choice to actually go to Australia is represented as economic and lifestyle. And that's not surprising when there is a safe haven just 30 km away where 100,000 Tamils are said to have migrated to in the past 30 years or so,” more..

3 Indian fishermen rescued after trawler capsize

Feb 5 (PTI) Three Indian fishermen were rescued by a Lankan fishing boat after their trawler capsized about 200 nautical miles away from Negombo in the west coast of Sri Lanka. Officials from the Indian High Commission here rushed to Negombo and arranged for their hospitalisation as soon as the fishermen reached there today, officials said. "They are now receiving medical attention. The High Commission of India will provide emergency certificates and make arrangements more..

UK urges Govt. - TNA to make serious progress

Feb 5 (DM) Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt said his country will continue to urge the TNA and the Sri Lankan Govt to make ‘serious progress’, towards a political settlement in the country. Answering questions today on social networking site, Twitter Mr. Burt said, “Details of a political settlement must be for Sri Lankans themselves to work out. And the political settlement is fundamental.” Commenting on the forthcoming Commonwealth Meeting more..

Women's Cricket World Cup: Sri Lanka in Super Six after another historic win

Feb 5 (CI) Less than a week ago, few Sri Lankans apart from the players' families and board officials knew the country had a women's cricket team, according to the captain Shashikala Siriwardene. On February 1, a shock last-ball win against England, for the first time ever, led to the team manager Mr Aroos being besieged by phone calls from Sri Lankan media until midnight. If Aroos manages to get any sleep tonight, he'll be more..