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HNB steps in to assist road development

June 7 (DN) The Hatton National Bank (HNB) will assist the govt to develop the national road network with an allocation of around Rs 3,900 million for road development and rehabilitation projects this year. The rehabilitation of the Meepe-Ingiriya road (18.1kms), the section from Naulla to Hettipola on the Matale-Badulla road will be undertaken with Rs.1,802 million and Rs 2,053 million funding from the HNB. The construction work relating to these roads will be carried out by local road more..

China’s foreign ports

June 7 (Economist) From the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much. Those entering it are greeted by wire fences, walls dating back to colonial times and security posts. For mariners leaving the port after lonely nights on the high seas, the delights of the B52 Night Club and Stallion Pub lie a stumble away. But viewed from high up in one of the growing number of skyscrapers in Sri Lanka’s capital, it is clear that more..

First ever National Youth Policy draft ready for discussion

June 7 (Island) The first ever Sri Lankan National Youth Policy draft had been completed and was now open for final public consultation, the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry announced yesterday. The National Youth Policy was a national policy document that would serve as a guiding framework for convergent and coordinated action for youth development in Sri Lanka in harmony with the National Development Agenda and its International Commitments, the Minister said. more..

India beat South Africa in Champions Trophy opener

June 7 (CI) India's new-look ODI team got off to a bumper start, negotiating short-pitched bowling to post 331 and then fielding superbly to pull South Africa back every time they threatened to break away. MS Dhoni squeezed the life out of South Africa's chase with his shrewd employment of spinners - combined figures of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina read 25-1-114-2 - as if this was subcontinent. Overhead, at least, this was far from overhead. more..

Tough action on quack doctors

June 7 (CT) The Health Ministry, in collaboration with the GMOA, is taking appropriate steps to strengthen the existing law on meting out punishment to quack doctors. A law to this effect will be passed in Parliament soon. According to the President of the GMOA, Dr. Nihal de Souza, unqualified doctors who operate under the guise of being registered and qualified doctors, by putting up false name boards and initials more..

Teacher caught kissing lady teacher

June 7 (DM) A teacher in charge of sports at a leading boys school in Colombo was charged before Colombo Fort Magistrate of having forcibly kissed the lady music teacher of the same school. The prosecution and defence witnesses today concluded their evidence in connection with the case filed against the teacher who was charged with sexual harassment after he kissed the lady teacher without her consent. The lady music teacher in her complaint to police said she was sexually more..

Upali Dharmadasa appointed Chairman SLIC

June 7 (Island) Veteran businessman Upali Dharmadasa assumed office as the Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd (SLIC) yesterday. Dharamadasa, a high profile industrialist who has made his mark among the country’s top business community brings with him many decades of business management experience and expertise. Dharamadasa currently holds the positions of Managing Director of Nawaloka Group of Companies which consists of Nawaloka more..

Thai lab confirms: No DCD in milk powder

June 7 (DN) SGS Laboratory in Thailand has confirmed that no Dicyandiamide (DCD) is contained in the milk powder used in Sri Lanka. The Health Ministry sent several samples of milk powder available in the Sri Lankan market to the SGS Laboratory, Thailand on May 31 to test them for DCD. The report that arrived on June 5 states there is no DCD in the six milk powder samples received from Sri Lanka, more..

Special time slot for school cleaning

June 7 (DN) A specific time slot will be allocated from next week, to clean schools to protect schoolchildren from dengue. The daily cleaning process will take place in all schools next week and a weekly cleaning effort will take place in all schools thereafter. Education Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Jayaratne will issue the circular responding to a request by Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilleke in connection with school cleaning campaign. Under the new rules and more..

'Code of ethics not to control media'

June 7 (DN) The proposed code of media ethics for the print and electronic media is not a piece of legislation, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He said the code of media ethics is before the Parliamentary Advisory Council for discussion. "Some elements in the media are trying to say that the code of media ethics is a piece of legislation. But it is not," he said. Minister Rambukwella said the proposed code of media ethics is never intended to control the media. more..

JVP insists on scrapping Provincial Councils

June 7 (Island) The JVP urged the govt to scrap the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and do away with provincial councils without wasting time in making amendments to the existing Provincial Council Act. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that the govt’s draft amendment to the Provincial Council Act had been postponed for two weeks, when it was presented to the Cabinet yesterday. He said that the proposed amendment would more..

Businesses warned on planned media curbs

June 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's businesses had been warned on the future effects on liberty in the island following attempts to impose fresh controls on the media through a 'code of ethics'. Govt officials have said it does not amount to a new law but critics say the island has a history of undermining liberties of the individual which has in turn hurt the economy and business. A free flow of information is essential for businesses to operate and succeeded and especially to have an international reach. more..

Raid uncovers largest stock of heroin at Welikada Prison

June 7 (CT) The Welikada Prisons, Wednesday night, uncovered the biggest ever stock of heroin hidden inside the prison, in a sudden raid conducted by prison officials. Following a tip-off received by the SP of the Colombo Remand Prison, Sumith Ranjan, the sudden raid produced 52 grams of heroin worth over Rs 1 million, concealed in different areas of the complex. "We found them in small polythene packets hidden in the walls, toilet and other nooks and corners of the prison walls," more..

'President’s right to merge provinces to be repealed'

June 7 (Island) The Cabinet has approved a proposal to repeal the President’s right to merge Provinces, which has been provided for under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that constituent members of the ruling UPFA had been given time to study the Bill to amend the Provincial Councils Act. The proposed two amendments pertained to the President’s right to merge provinces and more..

Reduce traffic jam and road pollution

June 7 (DM) At a time when we have water-tight evidence that global warming is increasing and is the main cause of unprecedented thunderstorms, gales, cyclones and floods in most countries including Sri Lanka, the Govt needs to act effectively in implementing eco-friendly measures in all areas. One of these areas is the boom in the number of motor vehicles with carbon dioxide emissions increasing to such levels that not only has the ozone layer being depleted but also millions of more..

The people's right to information et al

June 7 (DM) The govt must empower us, the people, to have the Right to Information, This is a right in keeping with the letter and spirit of ‘Participatory Democracy’. In the first place the fact that only a very few of those who contested elections at all levels in the past declared their assets serves to indicate that unless there is a huge public demand this laudable initiative may be dead in the water. These politicians who are indulging in savage dogs-fights to be of service to us! more..

Lack of ‘Right to Information’ is an indicator of Primitive Democracy

June 7 (DM) In the early era, there was a traditional belief in the world that there should be three pillars namely the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, to retain the golden shrine of democracy. But it is an outdated criterion whereas present day democracy strongly believes there should be a fourth estate which is also known as free media and it is indispensable for the existence of democratic states. As Abraham Lincoln said, more..

Forum attracts UAE investors into Sri Lankan market

June 7 (E24|7) Bloomberg Data Services held an investor forum in association with the Colombo Stock Exchange on Tuesday, at the Ritz Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre. The gathering attracted over 100 institutional, high-net value investors and fund managers to be introduced to the value share for investing in the capital market of Sri Lanka. Many leading companies from Sri Lanka participated in the forum and more..

Catholic radio launched

June 7 (Island) Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that a Catholic online radio station had been a long felt need for Catholics in Sri Lanka as well as Sri Lankans in other countries. "Today, the media is very strong. The truth cannot be hidden from the masses and there is no place for those spreading rumours." The Cardinal was addressing a large gathering at the launch of the Catholic online radio station, at the more..

Port fire a cover up, say unions

June 7 (SL) The fire that ravaged the biggest warehouse in the Colombo Port – CFS No: 1 to ashes is claimed to be an attempt to erase evidence of a massive financial fraud, trade unions allege. The trade unions allege that the Head of Logistics who was interdicted over a massive financial fraud amounting to Rs. 80 to 120 million the day before the warehouse went ablaze would have had a direct hand to the fire. more..

Lankan journalist in UAE still at risk

June 7 (CG) Lohini Rathimohan, a former television journalist from Sri Lanka, faces an unclear future. The 28-year-old is among 15 Tamil refugees still sheltered in a single room of an aluminum factory at Dubai’s Jebel Ali port whose official statuses remain uncertain, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said. Rathimohan (whose name is also spelled Lokini) and others were granted UNHCR refugee status in November more..

Sri Lanka to assess marine fish stocks

June 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka will conduct a comprehensive marine fisheries stock assessment in 2013 for the first time in nearly four decades with Thai assistance. National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) said technical assistance and funding support is coming from Thailand. "We need to know the current status of the marine fisheries around the island in order to develop the fishery sector further," more..

There’s very little left to plunder

June 7 (ST) Hundreds of archaeological sites, the majority of them Buddhist temple complexes, are plundered every week by organised gangs scouring for ancient treasure. The depredation is so acute that 122 offences were reported to the Archaeological Dept in the first five months of 2013 alone. This amounts to around 25 incidents a month, or six a week. Last year, 370 violations were reported. It was the highest total in five years. more..

'India can’t solve Lanka’s political issues'

June 7 (ENS) A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led team, which is currently on a tour in Sri Lanka, has told the war-ravaged Lankan Tamils that India is ready to provide the “healing touch” but it cannot be expected to solve their political problems. Interacting with a wide cross section of political parties and civil society in Jaffna on Wednesday, the leader of the six member team, Rajya Sabha member Ravi Shankar Prasad, more..

Moves to set up supplementary electoral list underway

June 7 (Island) A supplementary electoral list would be set up to enable IDPs from the North and East to register as voters under the provisions of the Registration of Electors (Special Provisions) Bill, Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem told Parliament yesterday. Minister Hakeem presenting the bill as an urgent Bill to the House said that the Bill had been drafted following consultations with the Commissioner of Elections. more..

Mahinda Vision for the Future an inspiring blueprint for SL – Chinese VP

June 7 (DN) The “Mahinda Vision for the Future” (Mahinda Chinthana), the inspiring blueprint for Sri Lanka designed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has outlined to transform Sri Lanka into “a hub for sea transport, aviation, business, energy and Knowledge”, Vice President of China Li Yuanchao said. He said this delivering the keynote address at the 2013 ICAPP special conference on the theme “Promoting Peaceful Development more..

Regressing to unpleasant times?

June 7 (CT) These are disconcerting times indeed. No sooner the Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs submits a Cabinet Memorandum seeking unrestricted powers to the ministry to rein in public officials, we have another govt MP, promoting the revival of the draconian Criminal Defamation Law, this time to rein in the journalists. All signs point to a govt on a determined drive for absolute control. And draconian laws are a surefire way of keeping troublesome scribes in line and more..

Kalu ganga tragedy : Probe ordered

June 7 (Island) District Secretary Chandana Jayalal has ordered the Disaster Management Centre to submit a report on the fitness of boats, canoes, barges etc currently being used for ferrying people in the area. The District Secretary was prompted to call for such a report in the wake of a mishap where a barge capsized in the Kalu ganga killing several people. He also said that an investigation would be launched to ascertain whether the passengers travelling on these vessels more..

Rameswaram fishermen revise timings to stay out of trouble

June 7 (Hindu) Following the recent arrest of 49 fishermen, including a 13-year-old boy, by the Sri Lankan navy, fishermen in Rameswaram on Thursday decided to reschedule their fishing operations to stay out of trouble. However, the fishermen resolved to set sail to Sri Lanka on June 22 if the arrested fishermen were not released by then. In an emergency meeting chaired by Minority Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association more..

Madras HC dismisses PIL against Narayanasamy

June 7 (PTI) The Madras high court has dismissed a PIL seeking to direct police to register an FIR against union minister V Narayanasamy for his alleged remarks against slain LTTE Chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and 'Naam Tamilar' party president Seeman. A division bench of justices N. Paul Vasantha Kumar and P Devadass dismissed the petition observing that the alleged statement was made in Madurantakam, which fell under the Madras High Court's jurisdiction and not under more..

13 A, Sinhala Buddhist hegemony, regional autonomy and Sri Lankan politics

June 7 (CT) Once again the country is faced with a debate about the devolution of power to the Northern Provinces, which has a substantial Tamil speaking majority. Various objections have been raised about the means of doing this including the 13th amendment to the Constitution. One main objection, it appears, has been that the establishment of a Provincial Council will eventually lead to secession and the emergence of Eelam. On its face, this may appear to be reasonable more..

'It cannot be a Rajapaksa-Sampanthan agreement'

June 7 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today that all parties must get together for an all-inclusive political solution in the country and ‘it cannot be a Rajapaksa-Sampanthan agreement.’ The President made this comment when he met the visiting Indian delegation headed by the deputy leader of the opposition of the Rajya Sabha, Ravi Shankar Prasad at Temple Trees this afternoon. The President office in a statement said that more..

Daya Master prefers UPFA ticket to UNP’s

June 7 (Island) Velayuthan Dayanithi aka Daya Master, media spokesman of the now decimated LTTE, said that he would contest the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council election on the UPFA ticket, though the UNP had invited him to contest on its list. However, he said, "There were rumors spread by interested parties that I was contesting on the UNP ticket and that, too, even before I had taken a decision." "My objective is to find solutions to the issues faced by the people in the north more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 1.2%

June 7 (LBO) Stocks closed down 1.02% on Friday with profit taking by high net individuals and retail investors and losses continuing in the heavy index companies, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index closed 64.95 points lower at 6,307.43 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 45.87 points lower at 3,550.47 down 1.28%. Turnover was 884 million rupees up from 1.3 billion day earlier. Foreigners brought 411 million rupees worth shares while selling 744 million rupees of shares, more..

NSB's $1 bln global bond likely to be sold by end June

June 7 (Reuters) State-owned National Savings Bank (NSB) is likely to sell up to $1 billion of global bonds by the end of this month, the biggest corporate bond issue so far. The bank's decision to tap the international market comes as the govt itself has decided not to go for an international sovereign bond this year after selling eurobonds for three consecutive years. "We have given the clearance. Our maximum limit is $1 billion. more..

Indian Opposition party delegation Meet Minister Devananda

June 7 (GDI) A six member delegation of the Indian parliament who visited Jaffna on Thursday had discussions with MPs including Minister Douglas Devanavda, clergies, intellectuals and Trade Union representatives at the Tilko Hotel, Jaffna. The Indian delegation led by the deputy leader of Indian opposition Bharatha Janatha Party (BJP) in the Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad arrived in Sri Lanka Wednesday for a five-day visit. The Delegation had talks with EPDP leader more..

Sri Lanka in talks on US$600m Japan loan for coal power plant

June 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is in discussion with Japan about a US$600 million loan to fund the construction of a 600 MW coal power plant, the power ministry secretary told Reuters on Friday, as the island nation aims to lower power generation costs. Sri Lanka raised its electricity tariff sharply in April in as part of efforts to reduce losses at the state-run power company. Extended droughts have cut hydro power generation and forced it to use more expensive oil. more..

Sri Lanka universities get investment analysis program from Amba

June 7 (LBO) Students at Sri Lanka's higher education institutes will get access to investment analysis training through a program developed by Amba Research, a securities research firm catering to global markets. "The training programme will provide users with invaluable global best practices in investment research," Chanakya Dissanayake, country head and director at Amba Research said in a statement. "Given the development of more..

Eastern Province ruling coalition marriage goes sour?

June 7 (Island) The boycott of Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) sessions by the Board of Ministers (BoM) and all ruling Party councilors continued, Council sources said yesterday. The protest was consequent to a row with the Chief Minister and the Governor. Chief Minister of the Province Najeeb A. Majeed, when contacted for comment, said that the President or the government was yet to intervene to settle the matter. He however expressed confidence that he could patch up differences with the more..

'Govt. taking too many unwarranted risks with Yan Oya project'

June 7 (Island) Environmentalists are up in arms against the proposed Yan Oya Irrigation Project, claiming that it is yet another government white elephant like the Mattala International Airport. Addressing the media on Wednesday, prominent Environmental Lawyer Jagath Gunawardane said that according to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report, the project would be the least profitable and most costly project the country had ever undertaken. more..