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Legal action against over 2,200 EPF defaulting institutions

Mar 30 (DN) The Employees Trust Fund (ETF) has initiated legal action against over 2,200 member institutions that had defaulted paying three percent of the gross salary of their employees monthly to the Fund, its Chairman K.M.A. Godawatte said. He said nearly 30% of private and semi govt sector employers that are members of the ETF do not contribute three percent of the gross salary of their employees monthly more..

As Sri Lanka’s economy grows, Commercial disputes heat up

Mar 30 (TD) Despite decades of internal conflict, Sri Lanka now boasts high-income growth and a notable reduction in human development index shortfall, according to the just-released 2013 Human Development Report entitled, “The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World.” Sri Lanka’s economy expanded last quarter faster than analysts estimated. Since the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war in 2009, the govt has clearly been focusing on expansion, more..

Long, long rope for Lanka

Mar 30 (HT) The Commonwealth secretariat recently confirmed that Colombo will be the venue for the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting due to happen at the end of 2013. Earlier this week, the secretariat said that Sri Lanka would also not be on the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) which is due to meet next month. This is a surprising because SL has been violating the Commonwealth's Latimer House rules and usually if a nation breaches the rules, more..

Sri Lankans more into hard liquor

Mar 30 (ST) Sri Lankans, unlike in the other regions of the world, consume more hard liquor than beer and wine, according to a report. In 2011, hard liquor consumption stood at 61% out of the total legitimate liquor industry whilst the remaining 39% was held by beer. “Out of hard liquor, almost 90% is taken up by ‘Arrack’ a distilled alcoholic drink originated from Sri Lanka which is followed by Whisky and Vodka. more..

More Tamil than Lanka's Tamils

Mar 30 (HT) Even as much of the nation took time off to ring in a colourful spring this Wednesday, Tamil Nadu's lawmakers were hard at work. Later that day, the state's assembly passed a resolution that was remarkable because of both its ambit and its timing. The resolution, moved by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, urged that the Centre return to the United Nations with a demand for a referendum in Sri Lanka, which would give the island nation's Tamil population and and diaspora more..

'Most important festival in Christian calendar'

Mar 30 (DN) Easter, the most important festival in the Christian calendar is celebrated the world over tomorrow, states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message. The message adds: "Marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion and death, Easter symbolizes the conquest of death bringing the spirit of renewal, revival and hope to the human race. "The spirit of renewal of Eastern helps bring to the world the Christian teaching of love and understanding, more..

President emphasizes need for holistic education

Mar 30 (DN) President Rajapaksa observed that it was important to ensure that children are provided with an education which is of a holistic nature to prepare them to meet the day to day and academic challenges. He said both teachers and parents had a responsibility to ensure that children are not only confined to academic achievement but given time and space to develop their natural abilities in sports, extra more..

Sri Lanka puts No.1 T20 ranking on stake against Bangladesh

Mar 30 (DM) Sri Lanka will stake its number-one ranking of the Reliance ICC T20I Championship Table when they take on Bangladesh in their one-off Twenty20 International, to be played at the Pallekale International Cricket Stadium, on Sunday. Sri Lanka leads ninth-ranked Bangladesh by 47 ratings points and this gap means Sri Lanka is the hot favourites to win the contest. However, due to the fact that rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, failure to win the match will mean more..

First roadway with bicycle lanes

Mar 30 (DN) Sri Lanka's first roadway with two bicycle lanes from Padeniya to Anuradhapura will be commissioned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on April 8. Ports and Highways Projects Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawela said that the total cost of the project was Rs.7,000 million which the Govt of Korea has provided on concessionary terms. The objective of the project is to improve the existing Padeniya - Anuradhapura road to provide high mobility transport between more..

Girl boy affair caused Pepiliyana attack

Mar 30 (DN) Although rumours abound on the tense situation created by an attack on a textile shop in Pepiliyana by an unruly mob on Thursday night, the root cause of the incident was a personal dispute, said Police Spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena. He said a love affair between a youth and an underage girl had been the reason for the attack on this reputed textile store in Pepiliyana. A violent group attacked and more..

'No employment permit cuts in Korea'

Mar 30 (Island) Sri Lanka did not face any reduction in Employment permits from South Korea, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), Chairman, Amal Senalankadhikara said. He requested all Korean job seekers not to be misled by rumors that were being spread by certain groups regarding employment opportunities in South Korea. The SLBFE chairman further said that the people who obtained the highest marks in 2012 Korean language proficiency test and who applied for more..

Govt. exploiting graduate trainees

Mar 30 (CT) The Graduate Employees' Union (GEU) said the govt should stop using trainee graduates for political activities of the UPFA. General Secretary of the GEU, Chandana Sooriyaarachchi, alleged the govt has taken a group of trainee graduates by force, to support a Nil Rella organized by the UPFA. "The GEU condemn this blatant misuse of graduate trainees. We should stand against the govt. The graduates are those with the highest educational qualifications in the country. more..

Ninety Rolls Royce cars to be imported for CHOGM

Mar 30 (Island) Ninety Rolls Royce cars are to be imported at enormous cost, for the November CHOGM to be held in Colombo, but many countries were expected to boycott the confab, the UNP said yesterday. UNP MP Harin Fernando said that the CHOGM should be called off, since the delegates would end up talking about human rights violations under the Rajapaksa regime. The guest list of 4,000 included 90 heads of govt. more..

CDDA orders closure of stalls selling surgical items

Mar 30 (Island) In a bid to prevent the public being duped into purchasing surgical items sold near hospitals, the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Authority (CDDA) has ordered the immediate closure of stalls where they are available. In raids conducted on such stalls had revealed that low-quality and sub-standard surgical gloves, bandages, gauze and some types of over the counter medications were being sold to patients at those stalls situated near hospitals, the Health Ministry said. more..

Colombo Museum temporarily closed

Mar 30 (CT) The Colombo National Museum is closed for public viewing, until its collapsed staircase is repaired Minister of National Heritage, Dr. Jagath Balasuriya, said. He also said the circumstances of the accident will be investigated and anyone found guilty will be punished. When questioned about further action he proposed to take, the minister said he would appoint a committee comprising engineers and architects to look into it and take appropriate steps to remedy any shortcomings. more..

IBAHRI tells SL to reinstate impeached CJ

Mar 30 (Island) The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has called on Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to reverse the impeachment and replacement of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. Issued ahead of its full report on Sri Lanka, the Executive Summary of ‘A Crisis of Legitimacy: The Impeachment of Chief Justice Bandaranayake and the Erosion of the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka’, IBAHRI claims it finds more..

Tamil Nadu set to erupt in Delhi’s face

Mar 30 (DM) While it is arguable that India was genuinely concerned about human rights issues in Sri Lanka and factored these concerns into its decision on the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka in Geneva a few weeks ago, it is also arguable that Delhi’s position was also influenced by domestic realities. The run up to the vote saw Tamil Nadu politicians snapping incessantly at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s feet, to put it mildly. In India, like in any other country, more..

Silence of the lambs…..

Mar 30 (DM) National Child Protection Authority officials and the Police, on Monday raided an orphanage allegedly run by a person calling himself 'Pastor' in the wake of allegations that children were being employed to slaughter animals. While the act of getting children to engage in animal slaughter is despicable, what is more disturbing is the manner in which the children were used for this task. It is reported that this orphanage was a home to almost 90 children, some orphaned by the tsunami more..

Southern Expressway a boon to motorists and State coffers

Mar 30 (ST) Fifteen months after the opening of Sri Lanka’s first toll road- the Southern Expressway (E1), motorists continue to be confused about speed limits and road rules to be followed leading to six deaths and 659 accidents to date. E1 officials say most of these accidents could have been avoided, if the drivers had been cautious. One such accident took place last Saturday and claimed two lives. “When using the E1, motorists should always more..

It’s all about LLRC, 13-A and northern polls, still

Mar 30 (SL) Independent of the voting pattern, the much-hyped UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka has left it almost where it had begun. There is thus the underlying admission that for ethnic peace in the island-nation to prevail, the whole-hearted support and involvement of the Government in Colombo is still the prime requisite. In a way, the Diaspora Tamils and their advocates have won the battle for now. more..

10% levy proposed on agro-chemical imports

Mar 30 (DM) An expert panel appointed by the Agriculture Ministry has proposed a ten per cent levy on agro-chemical imports with the income being used for the welfare of people suffering from chronic renal failure. The panel made up of medical and agricultural experts was asked to recommend measures to curb the spread of this disease that had taken a heavy toll on people in the dry zone. After years of research and more..

'PM to take final call on boycott of Commonwealth meet in Sri Lanka'

Mar 30 (PTI) With Union Shipping Minister GK Vasan joining the chorus for boycott of Commonwealth meeting in Colombo over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) V. Narayanasamy said Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will take a final call on it after holding discussions with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. "As far as the Commonwealth meetings is concerned, more..

This is just not cricket – Thilanga

Mar 30 (DM) While completely rejecting and condemning the findings of the report submitted to the Sports Minister by a committee appointed to look into the eligibility of his nomination for Presidency of Sri Lanka (SLC), MP Thilanga Sumapthipala said that he would not give up his fight for justice until the “Dharmadasa brothers are chased away from cricket.” He lashed out at the finding of the report, saying that the inquiry more..

Secretary Defence visits Eastern Province

Mar 30 (MoD) During a special visit made to the several areas in Eastern Province yesterday (29), Secretary of Defence and Urban Development, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the special monument setup in Aranthalawa where 31 Buddhist Bikkhus were brutally killed by the LTTE 26 years ago. Chairperson of the MOD Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa also accompanied with the Secretary at the visit. more..

Butchery in the middle of the road

Mar 30 (OU) A slaughter was executed in the afternoon similar to a scene from a movie yesterday. Reports states, a gang chased a person splashed acid and have slashed one of his arm. This carnage incident stunned the entire Jaffna town yesterday. The severely wounded person from this incident was immediately rushed to the Jaffna Teaching hospital and died yesterday as treatment did not turn successful. more..

Four arrested over Pepiliyana attack

Mar 30 (CG) Four suspects have been arrested over the attack on the Fashion Bug warehouse at Pepiliyana, the govt information department said. Well over 500 people were involved in the attack, initially on a care sales center and then on the Fashion Bug warehouse next door at Pepiliyana, on Thursday night. Army, STF members and riot police were deployed to the area to bring the situation under control. more..

Chennai IPL matches may face protests even if Lankans are kept out

Mar 30 (PTI) A section of students in Tamil Nadu, agitating against alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, said they would protest against conducting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches here, even if players of that country were not part of teams. The protests by students began in the first half of March, following the circulation of photographs of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran's 12-year-old son, Balachandran, supposed to more..

Jayasuriya defends selection of minister's son

Mar 30 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, has justified the selection of a minister's son in the national squad for the one-off Twenty20 against Bangladesh, after his panel attracted sharp criticism in some parts of the local media. Allrounder Ramith Rambukwella, is the son of media and information minister Keheliya Rambukwella. "Ramith is a left-hand batsman who bowls right arm offspin, more..

Editorial: The politics of CKDu

Mar 30 (CT) Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown Aetiology or CKDu, as it is better known, is fast morphing into a political issue, following the release of the World Health Organization (WHO) report, which identifies pesticides and fertilizer as the main culprits. Kidney failure was deemed a critical health issue until recently, primarily because the causes were not known. The gravity of the issue is reflected in the numbers – close to 400,000, between the ages 15 and 70 in the North Central and Uva more..

Rule of law or law of the jungle

Mar 30 (CT) Law is the essential foundation of stability and order both within societies and in international relations. There can be no democracy in a country unless the Rule of Law prevails at every level from the humblest to the most exalted citizen. “Now this is the Law of the Jungle – as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the law runneth forward and back more..

Mob attack on TNA meeting

Mar 30 (CG) A mob attacked a TNA meeting in Killinochchi today, TNA MP E. Sarawanabavan said. The MP said that over 50 people with stones and poles in their hands attacked the premises while several leading TNA MPs were present. He said that TNA MPs S. Sridaran, M.A. Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathirajah were among those present at the time of the attack. The mob initially staged a demonstration outside the more..

Lankan maid attempts suicide in Kuwait

Mar 30 (AT) A Sri Lankan housemaid tried to commit suicide inside her sponsor’s house at Mangaf after taking an unspecified quantity of medicine. The Kuwaiti woman sponsor was surprised when she went to the maid’s room and found her unconscious on the floor. The sponsor notified the Operations Room and a team of rescue men rushed to the scene. The maid was referred to Adan Hospital and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Initial investigations revealed the maid was facing more..

Indo-Lanka heroin smugglers brought to trial

Mar 30 (ST) The trial of nine fishermen including five Indians, for allegedly smuggling drugs into Sri Lanka commenced on Friday before High Court Judge Preethi Surasena. The fishermen were arrested on November 28, 2011, off the Northern coast for allegedly smuggling 955 grm of heroin. Sri Lanka Navy Lt Cmd. Charitha Gunawantha told court that they were on duty at Delft, off Jaffna, when they spotted a suspicious looking Sri Lankan dinghy usually used for fishing close to more..

Young leopard rescued from wild boar trap

Mar 30 (CT) A young male leopard, which had got caught in a trap set for wild boar at the Maussakele Tea Estate range, was rescued by the wildlife officials of Nallanthanni, a few days ago. According to wildlife officials, the leopard is around one and a half years old and weighs 35kg. The young animal was found in the Ravana Kanda area at the Maussakele Tea Estate in the Nuwara Eliya District. It was the Superintendent of the more..

People should not to be misled by religious fanatics

Mar 30 (CT) The Liberal Party is concerned about the ongoing multifaceted campaigns by few self proclaimed organizations in Sri Lanka against religious minorities. A clear sinister campaign is also launched by these organizations to boycott commercial establishments run by Muslims. Liberal Party understands that the demands by these extremist organizations cannot be practically followed by the general public owing to the unpredictable behavior of the market forces. more..

Sri Lanka combined cycles more expensive than diesel engines: data

Mar 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's combined cycle power plants which are supposed to be efficient and cheaper have turned out to be more expensive than internal combustion diesel plants, published data show. According to a consultation document released by the Public Utilities Commission, Sri Lanka's power regulator, private plants running IC engines including Heladanavi and ACE Embilipitiya cost a little over 20 rupees to generate a unit of electricity. more..

Secretary Defence graces Ananda College Colors Nite

Mar 30 (MoD) The Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Gotabaya Rajapaksa graced the Colors Nite - 2012 of Ananda College as the chief guest yesterday (28) evening at college’s Kularathne Hall. The Secretary Defence, who is also a distinguished old Anandian, participated at the event commemorating valiant college war heroes at the college’s monument who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation more..

Vijayamuni Zoysa should withdraw his idiotic statement – ACHSU

Mar 30 (LT) All Ceylon Health Services Unions (ACHSU) has vehemently condemned the statement made by the Minister of Wildlife Resources Conservation Gamini Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa who stated that health service employees come for duties in hospitals only to eat eggs given to patients and consume surgical spirits. The General Secretary of ACHSU Gamini Kumarasinghe says the Minister making the idiotic statement which was published by the media on 27th March has accused more..

Required: A Sri Lanka policy

Mar 30 (CT) In December 2004, I wrote a paper titled “India’s Sri Lanka Policy: Need for A Review” (first published in the website of the South Asian Analysis Group) arguing that that there was a need for New Delhi to review its Sri Lanka Policy. My argument was based on the premise that a country’s national interests are served only when policies are based on ground realities. I pointed out that India’s Sri Lanka policy did not reflect ground realities, which, at that time meant more..

Prof. Sucharitha Gamlath passes away

Mar 30 (NF) Renowned scholar and professor, Sucharitha Gamlath passed away Sunday morning at the Colombo National Hospital at the age of 80. Director of the hospital Anil Jasinghe said that Prof.Gamlath had been hospitalised with lung cancer over the last month. Prof. Sucharitha Gamlath an expert in Sinhala and English Languages did a yeoman service to literature, translating many publications more..