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30% distrust the Police, 47% keep mum fearing reprisals

Jan 24 (ST) As killings and abductions continue in the Kahawatte area of the Ratnapura district, a sociological survey conducted in the area has prompted the transfer of 31 policemen and officers out of the area on Monday, with more to follow. The survey revealed that 30% of the Kahawatte area residents distrust the police, while 47% more opted to remain silent for fear of criminals interfering with their lives, as they are in more..

Media groups to protest Govt. failure to probe killing of journalists

Jan 24 (Island) Seven media organizations will hold a massive protest at the Lipton Circus on January 29, to highlight the governments failure to conduct proper investigations into the killing of journalists and also create a threat free environment. It would be followed by meeting, at the National Library premises, to discuss the deteriorating law and order situation. A large number of media personnel, lawyers, lecturers, more..

CJ’s soaring call for justice at ceremonial sitting

Jan 24 (DN) Chief Justice Mohan Peiris PC at the ceremonial sitting inducting him to office yesterday said his doors were open to anyone with a cogent need and he was prepared to listen to them. Addressing judges, officials of the judiciary and members of the legal fraternity at the Superior Court complex, he described those engaged in the legal profession as servants of the people and the judiciary as the “judiciary of the people”. more..

Integrity jeopardised at customs department

Jan 24 (SL) Controversy surrounds the arrest, under dubious circumstances, of Kanagasabai Ranjan, Director (Preventive), Prevention Division Directorate, Sri Lanka Customs on bribery charges. The Joint Customs Trade Union Alliance (JCTUA) claims that it is an attempt to get rid of an honest official who has always enhanced custom revenue in billions of rupees. Kanagasabai was to be appointed Additional Director more..

'Skin whitening creams could harm users'

Jan 24 (Island) The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) said yesterday they would write to the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDA) concerning the threat posed by some of the skin whitening creams available in the market. Executive Director CEJ, Hemantha Withanage said that harmful levels of mercury were present in over 20 skin whitening creams of various brands registered with the more..

US, UK scientists here next week to test coloured rain

Jan 24 (Island) Researchers from the US and UK will arrive in Sri Lanka next week to conduct tests on coloured rain, experienced in several parts of the country recently. MRI Director General Dr. Anil Samaranayake said that the scientists would submit their reports after visiting the places where the coloured rains were experienced. "We still have not received the reports on the tests carried out at the Harvard and more..

Jaya Terminal heralds first 11,000 TEU container vessel

Jan 24 (FT) Making a yet another significant landmark in Sri Lanka’s container-handling history, the State-owned Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) on Tuesday received an 11,660 TEU capacity Container Carrier, MV MSC Luciana, operated by the Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). MV MSC Luciana makes history as the largest-ever container vessel that has thus far called over at the Port of Colombo. more..

Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera appointed head of BOI

Jan 24 (NS) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka today confirmed the appointment of Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera, a highly respected and proven business builder from Australia to steer the country's premier investment promotion and facilitation agency during one of its most crucial periods. Dr Jayaweera's appointment as Chairman/ Director General of the BOI by the President succeeding M.C. Ferdinando comes at a more..

'Sri Lanka good example for Turkey in fighting terrorism'

Jan 24 (TZ) The first-ever Turkish ambassador to Sri Lanka, Ýskender Okyay, has stated that Sri Lanka's experience in fighting against terrorism could be a good example for Turkey, adding that the relationship between the countries could be deepened over the terrorism issue. “Both countries have a lot of common issues. First of all is the fight against terrorism. I have to say that Sri Lanka is far ahead in the terrorism more..

Editorial : GL's meeting with Salman Khurshid

Jan 24 (CT) Tuesday's meeting between the foreign ministers of Sri Lanka and India, G.L. Peiris and Salman Khurshid, at the eighth Indo-Lanka Joint Commission meeting in New Delhi, has been given a positive spin with both parties expressing satisfaction that "the discussions had helped to further deepen understanding and friendship between the two countries to work together, to reap full advantage of opportunities that are beneficial to the people of both countries." more..

The right to personal security and the safety of the 43rd CJ

Jan 24 (CT) The Friday Forum is gravely concerned about the security and well being of persons who have taken positions regarding the impeachment contrary to that of the govt, and continue to do so. These comprise judges and other state officials, lawyers, various civil society groups and individuals. The right to hold and to peaceably express different opinions, and to act lawfully in furtherance of them, is basic to a free society and must be respected not only by all organs of state but more..

'Preferential voting system should be abolished'

Jan 24 (GDI) Minister Maithreepala Sirisena said that the time has come for changing the preferential voting system. He said that ward system with first past the post voting has now been introduced to the local govt elections and it should be extended to the provincial council elections as well. He said that preferential voting system is a system that tends to buildup personal images and create infight among own party members. more..

NCDs account for 65% of 800 deaths occuring daily

Jan 24 (Island) Of the 800 deaths which occur daily 65% were patients with non-communicable diseases. 36% of NCD deaths were due to heart diseases. 40% were claimed by strokes while 80% of the stroke victims suffered from short term or long term disabilities. Another 35% died of respiratory diseases. The most common NCDs in Sri Lanka were diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, stress related diseases, stroke and heart diseases. Excessive use of sugar, salt and fatty foods, more..

Special committee to look into racial tensions

Jan 24 (CT) If racist elements arise in Sri Lanka, the govt will appoint an inter-religious Parliamentary Committee to investigate into the matter and reach a resolution, Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs M.K.D.S. Gunawardena stated today. Speaking at Parliament today, he claimed that the govt had not received any information regarding a rise in racism across the country. Deputy Minister Gunawardena made the above statement in response to a query put more..

SLA hands over report on LLRC recommendations to Secretary Defence

Jan 24 (MoD) The report on recommendations of the Board of Officers appointed by the commander of the army, on implementation of the recommendations made by the the LLRC was officially handed over to the Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa today at the ministry premises. Taking cognizance of the recommendations made by the LLRC, the commander of the Army more..

Sampath Bank commissions forex changing ATM

Jan 24 (LBO) Sampath Bank, the first domestic bank to operate automated teller machines in the island commissioned an ATM that can change foreign exchange into rupees Thursday. "Sampath Bank is one of the most innovative banks introducing many innovative features to our banking processes in the past," Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said after conducting the first transaction at the ATM. "They are keeping the tradition alive by introducing new concepts and new methodologies to more..

'Querying MPs, answering Minister must be present during question time'

Jan 24 (Island) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said that both, MPs raising questions and ministers answering them, have to be present in the Chamber during the question time, so that the time allocated for questions for oral answers would be meaningful. He made this observation when Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunge raised a point of order and drew the attention of the Chair that most of the ministers, who were supposed to be present in the Chamber, were not to be seen. more..

Sri Lanka sets 25 year minimum age for maids to Saudi

Jan 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka has set a minimum age of 25 years for women seeking to work as maid in Saudi Arabia and 23 years for another seven Middle Eastern countries, inister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. The requirement comes after an under-age Sri Lankan maid was beheaded in Saudi Arabia after being convicted in a court where she had no legal representation, when a child in her care died apparently while drinking milk. more..

Cop, teacher remanded over arson attack

Jan 24 (Island) A police constable, attached to Sewanagala police and his paramour, a teacher of Thanamallwila Maha Vidyala, were arrested on Jan 21 and remanded till Jan 31 for setting fire to a cab and a house following a rift between the cab owner and the teacher. The constable and teacher were produced before the Wellawaya Magistrate on Tuesday. Reliable sources said that the teacher had earlier been having an affair with the cab owner before he got married a few months ago more..

'Positive response from Pres. Secretariat'

Jan 24 (CT) Professional Trade Union Alliance (PTUA) of Railway employees said that they have got positive response from Presidential Secretariat Lalith Weeratunga regarding their salary issues and are due to hold another discussion with President Secretary and other officials on 28 January. Convener of PTUA of railway employees Janaka Fernando said that Presidential Secretariat had instructed the officials of salary commission to take necessary action to increase more..

Vishvaroopam screening suspended

Jan 24 (CT) The Sri Lankan Govt has decided to suspend the screening of “Vishvaroopam”, the upcoming Indian spy thriller film written, directed and co-produced by Indian Actor Kamal Haasan, sighting it would lead to tension among communities. Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday banned the screening of Kamal Hassan's "Vishwaroopam" following strong protests from various Muslim organisations more..

Gulf Air pulling out of Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (ST) Gulf Air, the Bahrain Government-owned airline, is pulling out of Sri Lanka from February 10 under a restructuring plan to improve the viability of the airline. Earlier this month, the airline announced that it was ending flights to Colombo, Kathmandu and Dhaka under the reorganisation process to strengthen its Middle East operations and move out of other routes. Mack Air Pvt Ltd, part of John Keells Holdings (JKH), is the local General Sales Agent for Gulf Air. more..

UK Minister meets Lankan envoy

Jan 24 (CG) British Foreign office Minister Alistair Burt met the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London Chris Nonis and discussed his scheduled visit to Sri Lanka. Burt, who is due in the country next week, said that following his Sri Lanka visit he will be having a live discussion on Twitter regarding Sri Lanka. He also tweeted saying that the UK is looking towards the SL govt to uphold the values o the Commonwealth as host of the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Govt meeting. more..

Sri Lanka bishop laments loss of democracy

Jan 24 (Ekklesia) The Anglican Bishop of Colombo has called for a Time of Lament, after Sri Lanka’s chief justice was unlawfully removed by the ruling regime. Others in the country and abroad have protested after she was impeached, in a process ruled illegal by the supreme court. There is growing concern that the rule of law and democracy are being undermined by President Rajapakse and his brothers, who hold key positions, and more..

'Graduates called to Colombo not for permanent appointment'

Jan 24 (OU) Graduates were called recently to Colombo to felicitate President by the Graduates Federation. It is false to make allegations that govt has deceived the graduates on that day by stating that they were invited to give permanent appointment, was stated by Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister John Senaviratne. A media conference was held at the State Information Department yesterday and Minister made this statement when he was queried by a more..

Sri Lanka bourse down from 3 month high on foreign, retail selling

Jan 24 (Reuters) Stock market closed marginally down from a three-month high on Thursday in thin trade on retail profit taking and foreign outflow ahead of a long weekend, while the rupee ended steady. The main share index closed 0.09%, or 5.47 points weaker, at 5,878.19, from its highest close since Oct 3. "Retail profit taking brought down the market," a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity. "But still we see a bullish market due to lower interest rates." Analysts said a US-based foreign fund had more..

Canada sommons Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner

Jan 24 (CG) Canada had summoned Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to discuss Canada’s “deep concern” with the country, a Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesperson has said. The meeting between Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to Canada Chitranganee Wagiswara had taken place recently. Baird later said in a press release that he would be pushing the issue during the next more..

Lankan navalmen greet TN fishermen with tea

Jan 24 (PTI) In a goodwill gesture, Sri Lankan Naval personnel, often accused of using strongarm tactics, on Thursday offered refreshments to a group of Indian fishermen from here when they were fishing near Katchatheevu. The fishermen numbering around 50 were in a for a pleasant surprise as the Sri Lankan navalmen surrounded them only to offer biscuits and tea near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India to the island Republic in the 1970s under an agreement. The Lankan personnel, more..

India assures its help to SL in all sectors

Jan 24 (DM) Indian PM Manmohan Singh assured Sri Lanka that India’s cooperation with Sri Lanka in all sectors will be given highest priority. The Indian Premier made this remark during meeting with visiting Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister GL Peiris in New Delhi, the Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. Prof. Peiris who is currently in New Delhi in connection with the 8th Session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission called on the Indian PM yesterday. more..

Mattala airport to open in March

Jan 24 (CG) The Mattala International Airport will be declared open in March this year, the Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayaratne told Parliament today. He said that phase one of the work on the Chinese funded airport is almost complete and the airport will open for air traffic on March 18. The first test flight on the new air strip at the second international airport at Mattala in Hambantota landed in October last year. more..

Wildlife officers abduct cops, 2 others

Jan 24 (CG) Wildlife officers have abducted two policemen and two others who were involved in a raid on a ganja plantation in the Udawalawe national park today, the police media unit said this evening. The police said that the policemen were part of a 22 member police team involved in the raid at the park. After locating one ganja plantation two policemen were stationed at that location with weapons while the others proceeded to another location in the park to look for more ganja plantations. more..

'Corruption rampant in Education sector'

Jan 24 (CT) Uniform material, poor in quality and short in length have been distributed among schools, the treasurer of the Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU), Nishantha Deshapriya, charged yesterday, claiming that children have been given sub-standard, transparent material to stitch uniforms. "Uniform materials should be given to children before the new term starts, but they were given to students only recently. Two and a half metres are not enough for some children and more..

Sri Lanka protests US ban on military officer

Jan 24 (AFP) The US has refused training for a Sri Lankan general in a move that undermined military cooperation and prompted Colombo to turn to China and other nations for help, a top defence official said on Thursday. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said US authorities had refused to enrol Major-General Sudantha Ranasinghe and Colombo was concerned that the decision was based on “wrong information”. more..

President congratulates Obama

Aug 24 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent a message to US President Barack Obama, congratulating him on assuming office for a second term, president's media said. In his message, President Rajapaksa pointed to the “roubust partnership” shared between the two countries in multiple spheres, including political, economic, social and cultural.“I am confident that under your stewardship, relations between our two countries will continue to further flourish and expand more..

Sri Lanka regulator starts power price revision process

Aug 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's power regulator has kicked off a process to revise tariffs saying it has received cost estimates from the main state-run transmission and distribution licensee. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said in a statement Thursday the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board had filed estimated cost of 268 billion rupees. "The Commission is in the process of assessing these estimates," the PUCSL said in a statement. "The Commission will study whether these more..

Sri Lanka Army wants local rules for Civil War

Aug 24 (AP) Sri Lanka's military on Thursday asked the govt to introduce its own rules to deal with civil wars, saying existing international humanitarian laws cover only state actors and not terrorist organizations. The country's armed forces face numerous human rights allegations and possible war crimes for their conduct during a decades-long civil war with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels that ended in 2009. more..

Southern tourism freed from criminals now

Jan 25 (NS) The government is taking all measures to encourage the tourism industry that received an impetus after the terrorist war ended and peace established three years back. Last year we had one million tourist arrivals in the country bringing in one billion dollar income to the country from this sector. One of the most attractive regions for tourists is Hikkaduwa in the southern coast with other areas like Beruwala and Bentota also attracting a lot of foreigners who like to bask in the sun on more..

Sri Lanka Navy vs. the people of Mullikulam

Jan 25 (GV) “The Cardinal never even visited our church or spoke to our children. He came directly to the Navy Head Quarters for the meeting and left soon after. On my way to the meeting, it was pouring with rain. As I was exhausted when passing my old home, I asked a Navy officer there if I could take shelter from the rain there as it was where I used to live. He refused and told me that I’d better continue on my way,” said a village elder in desolation. “Whatever they (the Govt) are offering more..

Life savers rescues 50th civilian in Nilaweli

Jan 25 (SO) Life Savers of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) achieved a major milestone in their life saving activities when they rescued the 50th civilian in the Nilaweli sea area on Jan 14, after initiating their life saving activities in 2009. The Sri Lanka Coast Guard which was established in July 2009 after the eradication of terrorism in the country, fulfils the task of ensuring the security, safety and serenity of the more..

Where to be born: To be or not to be

Jan 25 (CT) In the aftermath of the impeachment of the CJ, with the nation’s psyche still defiled with the ugly debris of the political/legal battle of a wrenching saga which gripped us for nearly two months, one could have easily by-passed the “where to be born index 2013”. Evaluating various socio-economic measurements is not a luxury a nation perpetually in crisis can indulge in. Given the drab realities of our existence, wishfully thinking of the “the best cities to live in, the top 10 tourist destinations more..