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Sirisoma National Billiards Champion for 21st time

Jan 21 (Island) K.H. Sirisoma of SLPA continued his dominance in Billiards as he won his 21st National title when he defeated S.H.M. Aslam of Moors Sports Club six sets to three in the final of the 90th Annual Billiards Championship conducted by Billiards and Snooker Association of Sri Lanka at the Sugathadasa Sports Complex yesterday. The game was evenly poised with both Sirisoma and Aslam competing well, but Sirisoma won the fifth, sixth and seventh sets in row to get into more..

Jumbo income at Pinnawala Orphanage last year

Jan 21 (DN) The Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala earned an income of over Rs 490 million last year, National Zoological Gardens Director General Anura de Silva said. The Orphanage earned a Rs 13.3 million revenue during the first seven days of this year as well, he said. Sources said Rs 12.9 million out of this year’s income was earned from foreign visitors and Rs 459,030 from locals. Nearly 7,527 foreigners and 5,179 locals visited the Elephant Orphanage during the first week, they said. more..

Inland Revenue Dept. to provide free tax advisory

Jan 21 (FT) The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will offer free tax advisory services at provincial level for citizens and enterprises in a bid to encourage voluntary compliance as well as promote savings and investments by highlighting various Budget proposals. IRD will use its network of around 15 provincial offices for this purpose. The move depending on how IRD officials carry out the advisory service is likely to draw more people more..

Dutch aid for ultra modern hospital in N’Eliya

Jan 21 (Island) The Netherlands govt will provide 85 per cent of the cost of the construction of an ultra modern six-storey hospital complex in Nuwara Eliya, for which President Rajapaksa laid the foundation stone yesterday. The total cost of the 30,000 square metre complex has been estimated at Rs. 6,686 million and the People’s Bank will provide 15% of it. After laying the foundation stone, President Rajapaksa said that under the Health Ministry’s five-year health development plan this would more..

Lankans bid for Asian5Nations

Jan 21 (ST) Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) is negotiating with Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) in a bid to host the HSBC Asian5Nations Division I tournament to be played during late March or early April according to information. The HSBC A5N Division I tournament will feature Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei and Thailand besides Sri Lanka who are vying to host the event. According to Lasitha Gunaratne, the vice president of SLRFU, who is also a more..

Nishantha Ranatunga to quit CSN?

Jan 21 (ST) The secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Nishantha Ranatunga will have to resign from his position of CEO of CSN to stay in cricket administration. This was stated by Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage while revealing the changes to the Sports Law which have been gazetted. According to the amended Sports Law which will come into effect from the end of this month no person who is engaged in more..

'The country’s backbone is the journalist'

Jan 21 (CT) “Journalists can voice their opinion on issues and policies alike, and they have expressed opinion against the pressures and injustices that took place not only in Trincomalee, but in other parts of the country. The country’s backbone is a journalist,” the Eastern Province Chief Minister, Abdul Majeed Abdul Najeeb said. He expressed these views at a special meeting held at the Trincomalee Town Hall to mark the 10th anniversary of the Trincomalee District Journalists’ more..

Cops who arrested Madawala’s killers to be rewarded

Jan 21 (Island) IGP N. K. Illangakoon yesterday said that the CID team responsible for the arrest of the key suspects, in the killing of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha member Hasitha Madawala, within 24 hours of the incident, would be rewarded. He said the arrest of several others wanted for their involvement in the crime was imminent. He said that the public had utmost confidence in the police and many had provided vital information. "The officers utilised the latest technology and the techniques to more..

President Rajapaksa declares open new NIBM Branch in Kandy

Jan 21 (IL) President Rajapaksa declared open the new Kandy branch of the National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) at Asgiriya Road, Kandy today (20). This fully air conditioned, newly constructed centre which is equipped with a modern computer labs, libraries, study rooms and comfortable class room facilities will to cater to more than 300 students at a time. The Kandy Centre offers IT and Management more..

CJ pays homage to sacred tooth relic

Jan 21 (Island) Following traditions and customs, Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, PC, after assuming duties last Tuesday, yesterday morning paid homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic at the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The Chief Justice paid homage to the Relic, enshrined in the golden casket, by placing a tray of white flowers on ‘Mal Asane’ in the Inner chamber of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. On arrival at the Maligawa he was received by Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela. more..

TRC to ban unregistered mobile phones

Jan 21 (Island) Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) has decided to ban the imported mobile phones that are not registered with the TRC. TRC says modern equipment will be used to identify the unregistered mobile phones and remove them from use. TRC Director General Anusha Palpita has said that all imported mobile phones should be registered and they are required to meet certain safety regulations. The TRC will block the signals to the unregistered phones, he said. more..

Dire warnings!

Jan 21 (CT) The recent spate of incidents, including the impeachment of CJ, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, has sent a message to the international community that there is a breakdown in the rule of law in the country and that it would have serious repercussions for Sri Lanka at the upcoming sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva, Senior Vice Chairman of the UNP Lakshman Kiriella said. “Last year, in March 2012, one of the bases on more..

Non-academics on warpath again

Jan 21 (Island) University non-academics are back on the warpath as the UGC and the National Salaries and Cadre Commission (NSCC) have failed to issue the circulars rectifying the anomalies in their salaries. Spokesman for the Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee Wijayathilaka Jayasinghe said that their executive committee would meet this week to decide their future course of action. He said that when they struck in May 2012 the university authorities promised to issue the relevant more..

China donates sports gear to children in North

Jan 21 (Island) The Chinese govt has agreed to grant a consignment of sports gear worth Rs. 50 million to the govt to be distributed among the children in North. An official agreement to donate the sports equipment was signed on Saturday with the participation of China’s Ambassador Wu Jianghao and Minister G.L. Peiris at a function held in Temple Trees. The sports equipment is to be distributed among schools and sports clubs within the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts. more..

Justice put to the sword by govt.’s show of force

Jan 21 (ST) The corridors of the Superior Courts building were oddly uncongested on Tuesday, the first day of work for the New Year. There should have been throngs of jovial lawyers, slapping one another on their backs, and asking how the holidays had been. But attendance was markedly low. Attorneys drifted through the passageways looking apprehensive. Some assembled in small clusters, discussed current affairs in muted more..

LfD calls for principled stand

Jan 21 (CT) Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) condemned the move by the govt to pass the Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Bill through Parliament, and called upon all political parties to take a principled stand on this vital issue, deeming it part of a chain of events aimed at suppressing the democratic rights of the people. It also pointed out the Bill is being introduced disregarding the numerous concerns expressed by the legal community, political parties, human rights more..

No more child caring for house maids

Jan 21 (SM) New legislation will be introduced for the benefit of housemaids proceeding to the Middle East countries for employment, by the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare. Accordingly, it has been proposed to rise the minimum age for all housemaids proceeding aboard for employment to 25, according to Mr. Amal Senadilankara, Chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau. In addition, it will be mandatory to have an agreement with the relevant more..

UNP finally meets to decide 2nd tier leaders

Jan 21 (Island) The much delayed UNP Working Committee meeting to pick its second tier leaders for 2013 will go ahead today at the Siri Kotha. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would propose the names to the three posts, Deputy Leader, Assistant leader and National Organiser, to the Working Committee. Wickremesinghe was likely to nominate the names of incumbents in those posts, Sajith Premadasa, Joseph Michael Perera more..

Ambassador to Saudi still serving – Ranjan

Jan 21 (CT) Despite the govt claiming to have recalled Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Aflal Jawad, as an immediate reaction to the execution of Rizana Nafeek on 9 January, he is still serving in Saudi as the Ambassador, UNP MP, Ranjan Ramanayake, charged. “The Sri Lankan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Jawad has not been recalled and is still serving in that post. This is another big lie by Minister Dilan Perera and the official of the Foreign Employment Bureau,” more..

Case closed, Sri Lanka tells misinformed outsiders

Jan 21 (DN) Sri Lanka has sent a strong signal to the international community that the case is closed on what were pending administration of justice issues in Sri Lanka, with the appointment of a new CJ. Minister G.L. Peiris has called the Canadian Premier’s call for the reinstatement of the former CJ almost impertinent’ and others such as minister W.D.J Senevitratne said that the new CJ has been appointed by constitutional process which is the legal and constitutional prerogative of more..

Auctioning moonstone in UK comes under limelight

Jan 21 (DM) The Sri Lankan High Commission in London is preparing a full report to the Sri Lanka’s Archeological Department about a moonstone similar to those found in the ancient city of Anuradhapura that is to be auctioned in London on April 23rd. Director General of the Archaeological Department Dr. Senarath Dissanayake said that he had already informed the Sri Lankan High Commission in London and also the External more..

Editorial: Depoliticizing universities

Jan 21 (DM) Every time the university lecturers and the non-academics, in their weeklong trade union struggles, go to ask for more, the gates of the universities are closed against the faces of the students. The same is true when the student groups within the universities go to show their fist power in order to win their demands. These struggles, though dubbed to be instigated by students, are no means innocent. There are damages to public properties, fatalities and injuries to be counted at more..

Sri Lanka and International ramification

Jan 21 (DM) Some nations turn their tragedies into fortunes while others fall from one tragedy to another. Sri Lanka, which at present is facing the Bergmanian ‘hour of the wolf’, is an apt example of the latter. Instead of steering the post-LTTE phase towards the creation of a united Sri Lankan nation and a much longed for terror free polity, the powers-that-be have thrown the country into an abysmal, unlawful state of egotism, brutishness and nastiness; a veritable ‘war of all against all’. more..

Supermarkets pass VAT burden to suppliers

Jan 21 (DM) In a dramatic turn of events, the non - VAT (Value Added Tax) paying smallscale suppliers are to step up their collective bargaining power against leading supermarket chains in the country, for urging them to absorb the 12% VAT imposed by the Budget 2013. To this effect, for the first time in the country’s history, these suppliers have united as a single association in a bid to make a stronger claim. Last week Mirror Business more..

High-level meeting at Moratuwa Uni over clash

Jan 21 (Island) A high-level meeting will be held at the Moratuwa University today to decide on future action against those responsible for the brutal attack in the Engineering Faculty hostel last Wednesday night. The meeting will be chaired by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Ananda Jayawardena. The university’s Engineering Faculty and Institute of Technology were closed indefinitely on Thursday in the aftermath of the latest incident, which more..

Naked power, suppressed dissent, a new innings

Jan 21 (SL) Reason and wisdom fled the President as he purported to sack the CJ on a finding that has no standing in law. Resistance weakened as the state used thugs and every sinew to taunt, threaten and slander dissidents. Bowing before naked power, the BASL promised to work with the purported CJ. In a sop to its grandiose pronouncements on boycotting an illegal appointee, BASL promised to skip the appointee’s more..

Explosives at TNA office: TNA MP to be questioned, aide arrested at BIA

Jan 21 (Island) The police arrested Ponnambalam Luxmkanthan, a senior aide to TNA Jaffna District MP S. Sridaran, at the Bandaranaike International Airport, as he was about to board a flight for India. The suspect, formerly of the LTTE media unit, was wanted for questioning in connection with the recovery of 500 grammes of ‘low’ impact explosives from the TNA political office in Kilinochchi. more..

Vegetable prices go sky high after torrential rains destroy crops

Jan 21 (ST) Heavy rains and subsequent floods experienced in the recent past resulted in the destruction of many crops and land, leading to increased prices of almost all agricultural produce. Vegetables were the most affected due to crops being destroyed. As a result the prices of vegetables sky rocketed and vendors say that until new crops are harvested there will be no reduction in prices, with stocks priced differently in various parts more..

US Amb inquires about investment opportunities in H’tota

Jan 21 (Island) US Ambassador Ms Michele Sison recently declared their desire to increase investment in Sri Lanka, while indicating Hambantota district could be a major attraction. Having visited Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) as well as harbour and airport projects, Ambassador Sison: "I am looking forward to doing my modest bit to promote and build bilateral relations between USA and Sri Lanka. more..

'One country, one nation and one law, my aim'

Jan 21 (DN) Sri Lanka today is a nation where all communities can live together, enjoying their rights equally, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. He said his sole objective was one country, one nation and one law. President Rajapaksa said the govt has always aimed to provide equal opportunities and facilities for all, irrespective of differences, and efforts in this regard today were paying rich dividends. more..

Another seven asylum seekers decide to return home

Jan 21 (APN) Another group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers has decided to return home rather than have their claims processed in offshore detention centres. The group of seven men brought to 942 the number of Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have returned home since August 13 - 729 involuntarily and 213 voluntarily - when the Federal Government announced it was reopening offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island. more..

Sri Lanka provides anti piracy protection

Jan 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's southern port of Galle has become a hub in the fight against Somali pirates who threaten international merchant shipping, a report in a new magazine said. An increasing number of vessels are embarking and disembarking armed guards used for onboard protection as they sail past Galle. This has opened up opportunities for companies providing supplies and services to shipping from Galle, more..

'India must change its Colombo policy'

Jan 21 (IANS) A prominent Sri Lankan MP wants India to change its Sri Lanka policy, warning that its hands off attitude was encouraging Colombo from meeting the legitimate political aspirations of the island's Tamil minority. Suresh Premachandran said that the govt of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not sincere in having a dialogue with the elected leaders of the Tamil community. "One could understand more..

Editorial : Is anarchy taking over?

Jan 21 (CT) The confusion created by the sacking Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and installing Mohan Peiris as the new Chief Justice without any consideration for the verdicts of the Appeal Court and Supreme Court, is giving rise to a situation that was seen in the country many years ago? The President proudly stated a few days back that he would not allow the country to be run by ‘chits issued with orders’ as it happened in an earlier era. But that era appears to be more..

Probe on pyramid scheme websites

Jan 21 (DN) The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT) received information regarding two websites being used for pyramid schemes. SLCERT information security engineer Roshan Chanrdagupta said they received information yesterday regarding pyramid schemes being carried out over the internet. “Such pyramid schemes have been banned by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. However, a numbers of persons are using the internet to carry out pyramid schemes,” more..

Kiss the hand and bite the hand

Jan 21 (CT) I was at a loss to choose between “kiss the hand that cannot be severed” and “bite the hand that fed” as the title for this comment because both titles are equally appropriate to represent the contents of it. Since the end of the war, quite regularly, Rajapakshas have bitten the hands that fed them. Sarath Fonseka, Dayan Jayathilake and even Shirani Bandaranayaka are a few glowing examples among a plethora of more..

Extortion gang led by cop’s son

Jan 21 (E24|7) A 10-member gang led by the son of a serving policeman attached to the Police Garage was arrested with the help of IGP’s help desk, The Island reported. The Mirihana Special Crime Operation Unit arrested the gang, posing as Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) officers, on Monday. Three men among them were attached to the Panagoda army camp, on the outskirts of Colombo. The extortion racket came to light when a businessman complained to the IGP’s relief desk after more..

‘Navy Suda’ cut to death

Jan 21 (Island) A gangster known as ‘Navy Suda’ was cut to death with a sword yesterday morning at Siyambalagahamula, Pannala. According to the police, Priyantha Susil Premakumara, alias ‘Navy Suda’, of Odikayamulla, Pannala was a problem to people of the area and there had been many complaints against him. There had also been warrants issued against him by Courts. Kuliyapitiya Acting Magistrate Kelum Hettige visited the scene of the killing and recorded evidence. more..

N'Eliya New Hospital construction begins

Jan 21 (GDI) A giant step has been taken towards building a healthy nation under the 5 year Health Development Plan said President Rajapaksa Sunday, after laying the foundation stone for the construction of an ultra modern six-storied hospital complex in Nuwara-Eliya. President Rajapaksa said the govt's aim was to provide equal opportunities and facilities for all citizens, irrespective of their class, caste and religion, more..

Top tea producers’ meet in Colombo today

Jan 21 (DN) The Plantation Industries Ministry and the Sri Lanka Tea Board will host the first ever International Tea Producers’ Forum in Colombo, today at Cinnamon Grand Hotel. Sri Lanka as the current chair of the FAO/IGG on tea and host the proposed ministerial level meeting of tea producing countries for the establishment of the International Tea Producer's Forum (ITPF), a release said. Sri Lanka is the venue for one of the most important events in the global tea industry, more..