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TISL receives 165 complaints

Sep 18 (CT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has up to now received 165 complaints of election malpractices relating to public property being used for propaganda work in the Central and North-Western Provinces, ahead of the elections. Of these, TISL investigation teams have confirmed 112 to be valid. The TISL said in a communiqué: The misuse of govt vehicles from lorries and double cabs to helicopters by UPFA candidates as well as the physical use of public buildings more..

Test for DCD in milk powder to continue

Sep 18 (DN) Health Ministry officials will continue to test all imported milk powder for DCD before releasing consignments from the Port. Imported milk powder will be released only after ascertaining there is no DCD, a ministry spokesman said. The health authorities will also continue to check if the milk powder in the local market contains DCD (if there are unchecked milk powder). “They will also inspect if banned DCD contaminated milk powder are available in the local market. more..

Canada to announce decision on CHOGM soon, says Minister

Sep 18 (LR) Senior Canadian Minister Jason Kenney says Foreign Minister John Baird or even Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to make a final decision soon on the country’s participation at the CHOGM in Colombo, in November. The current Sri Lankan govt is falling short on democratic values, Minister Kenney said during a press meeting yesterday in Toronto. Kenney was the longest serving more..

Dipped products select BoI land for Rathupaswala factory

Sep 18 (Island) Dipped products has chosen a 6.5-acre plot of land offered by the Board of Investment (BOI) to relocate its factory from Ratupaswala accused of contaminating the ground water in the area. President Rajapaksa ordered the relocation of the factory following a military crackdown on a protest against ground water contamination. Three persons were killed in that incident. The BOI has identified and submitted two plots of land, of 4.5 acres and 6.5 acres, more..

Lankan soldier accused in Haiti

Sep 18 (CG) A Sri Lankan soldier in Haiti, part of a UN peacekeeping mission, has been accused of rape. An 18 year old woman, pulled over while traveling on Route National 2, in the town of Leogane last Saturday, was raped by the soldier. According to reports the soldier was part of a road check and signaled the victim to pull over into a side area. He then took the victim into a part of a structure not occupied by anyone where he choked and raped her. more..

Video: CAA makes its biggest raid ever

Sep 18 (DM) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) made the biggest raid in its history when officers recovered a huge consignment of expired food items which could be worth nearly Rs 100 million from a large storage in Kotahena yesterday. The value of the consignment of goods was well over Rs. 100 million. The consignment comprised cheese, margarine, vegetable cooking oil, dry yeast, milk powder, vinegar, baking soda, an expensive more..

Well said! But…..

Sep 18 (DM) TNA chief ministerial candidate C.V. Wigneswaran’s recent comment to ‘The Hindu’ that Tamil Nadu politicians used the Sri Lankan Tamil issue for their own gains, much to the detriment of the Tamils in Sri Lanka was indeed a rare show of courage as it came from a Tamil politician whose is not an ally of the govt. It was courageous as it has all the potential to invite the wrath of not only Tamil Nadu politicians but also that of the Tamil diaspora which still has some degree of influence in shaping more..

The life and works of a patriotic leader

Sep 18 (DM) Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala’s 149th Birth Anniversary falls on September 17th 2013. Although he passed away 80 years ago, his benevolent thoughts, words and deeds still remain evergreen and tend to carry a strong impact on present and future Sri Lankans. Many a great man has lived and passed away in this sacred land, but during the past one and a half centuries no other patriotic leader existed, to match Anagarika Dharmapala’s remarkable personality. more..

Cigarettes Kill Over 200,000 Sri Lankan annually

Sep 18 (DM) Hot on the heels of a pending Supreme Court decision regarding the display of images on cigarette packets sold in Sri Lanka, a campaign to ensure that such is included in all packets of cigarettes currently being sold in the country has intensified. The call by many quarters including the country’s Venerable Mahanayake Theras to ensure that health warnings in the form of images are depicted, covering at least 80% more..

BOI aiding and abetting Burltext Lanka fraud?

Sep 18 (SL) The Board of Investment (BOI) – the authority responsible for promoting foreign investments in the country and empowered to take action against the investors who violate BOI agreements – is accused of aiding and abetting a BOI venture to cheat the govt. BOI is accused of allowing an investor, Karl Seneviratne of Burltex Lanka, to violate the BOI agreement they entered into in 2008. Hence, Burltex was allowed to more..

"Govt has to take the responsibility for consequences of NPC election'

Sep 18 (Island) JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath yesterday that the Govt had used its two thirds majority to strengthen the President’s powers through the 18th Amendment, but they did not touch the 13th Amendment with those powers. So, the Govt would have to take the responsibility for the bad consequences of elections. "This elections is held under the influence of the Indian Govt," he told the media at the JVP headquarters more..

Rs 2 b refurbishment of BMICH nears completion for CHOGM 2013

Sep 18 (ST) The more than Rs 2 billion refurbishment project of the BMICH initiated in 2010, is nearing completion, BMICH Director General Bandula Ekanayake said. “This is first time the BMICH is going through a major refurbishment, since its construction in 1973. Basically, we are renovating everything from floors to ceilings,” he added. Work was undertaken following a request made by Mr. Ekanayake to govt of China more..

Kelaniya U’grads march to UGC

Sep 18 (Island) Hundreds of undergraduates marched to the Higher Education Ministry, from the Kelaniya University, yesterday demanding a males’ hostel inside the main campus in Dalugama. After the march, they held a demonstration, demanding a meeting with Minister S. B. Dissanayake, opposite the Higher Education Ministry and the UGC, which are located in the same premises at Ward Place, Colombo 7. more..

Sri Lanka ideal tourist destination for Saudis

Sep 18 (AN) Sri Lanka is an ideal destination for Saudi families to spend their holidays, a senior official from SriLankan Airlines said at a presentation held in Colombo recently. Lal Perera, head of worldwide sales at SriLankan Airlines, made the statement while addressing local and international delegates at the “SriLankan Holidays and SriLankan MICE Conference 2013” held at the Jetwing Blue resort in Negombo. more..

Wife of Kolonnawa PS Chairman gives evidence

Sep 18 (CT) Thiwanka Pathirana, while giving evidence before the Colombo Additional Magistrate, Priyantha Liyanage, said MP Duminda Silva had attacked a person during the polls, asking who he had cast his vote for. She made this statement when the trial regarding the killings of four people including former MP, Bharatha Lakshman Premachanda, was taken up for hearing at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka among 14 global worst for policing arms imports

Sep 18 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has been placed among 14 countries that have the lowest accountability for arms imports, a study by Transparency International said. The study, a spin-off from the Govt Defence Anti- Corruption Index 2013 (GI) which analyzed what 82 countries do to reduce corruption risks in the sector, places countries in corruption risk bands according to detailed assessments across seven areas in more..

Police intimidate Rathupaswala witnesses

Sep 18 (CT) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday charged that officers attached to the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) are intimidating the witnesses who have given evidence on the Rathupaswala incident. The BASL charged that witnesses giving evidence at the magisterial inquiry, held in connection with the three persons who died during the demonstration by the residents of Rathupaswala demanding clean more..

Poster clearing ops to cost public Rs. 10 mn

Sep 18 (Island) The Elections Department has been compelled to allocate Rs. 9.8 million for the ongoing police operations to remove illegal campaign material ahead of PC polls. In addition to the funds released to the police to hire private workers, the Elections Department was spending extra funds for the same purpose. The Election Secretariat had no option but to use taxpayers’ money for a clearing operation more..

Obama’s real war

Sep 18 (Island) US bashers must be deriving some perverse pleasure from President Barack Obama’s predicament. His attempt to do a Rambo by pounding Syria with missiles came a cropper. Outfoxed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, he has had to bite the bullet (or missile?) and agree to a compromise formula. Moreover, he has come up against a brick wall in his efforts to muster Congressional support for his military campaign. But, that is the least of his problems. more..

Govt accuses TNA of cheating northern people again

Sep 18 (Island) The govt yesterday said that the Tamil people in the Northern Province were once again being cheated by the TNA, which was igniting a racist ideology in the run up to the September 21 provincial council elections. Addressing a media briefing, Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that TNA’s entire election campaign was based on racism and separatism. "We expect to win respectable elections in all three provinces," he said more..

Pictorial Warning on Ballot Boxes

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.08%

Sep 18 (LBO) Stocks extended losses Wednesday closing 0.08% lower despite foreign buying, brokers said. The market fell 0.33% on Monday and 0.58% on Tuesday. The Sri Lanka rupee closed flat at 132.40/45 against the US dollar after opening at 132.35/40 in the spot-next market, where settlement is made three days ahead, dealers said. In the spot market, the rupee was at 132.25/35 against the greenback with bank under moral suasion to keep the rate at 132.25 levels, more..

Sri Lanka: Democracy and Terror

Sep 18 (CT) The LTTE was a secular, nationalist terrorist organization active in Sri Lanka from 1976 until May 2009. The LTTE demanded the establishment of an independent Tamil country in the north and north-east of Sri Lanka, following the systematic discrimination perpetrated by the Sinhalese majority (Buddhist), against the Tamil minority (Hindu). Initially, the LTTE acted on a small scale. As the level of violence increased, they formed a military-like command structure, more..

Concerns growing over worsening food security in Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (TRF) Long-term interventions are essential to stem deteriorating food security among victims of frequent extreme weather events in Sri Lanka, experts warn. In the last 20 months, parts of Sri Lanka have been hit by a severe drought and two bouts of floods that experts at the World Food Programme (WFP) and the govt say have worsened the food security of victims. In the last five years, according to UN more..

Sri Lanka rupee ends weaker on dollar demand from importers

Sep 18 (Reuters) The rupee ended down on Wednesday due to mild importer dollar demand, while the central bank defended the currency via moral suasion, dealers said, ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve decision on its ultra-loose monetary policy. Dealers said the three-day forward, or spot-next, was active on Wednesday after the central bank directed some banks not to trade the spot above 132.25 rupees. The spot-next ended at 132.35/45 per dollar, weaker from Tuesday's close more..

SL to purchase B’deshi medicinal drugs

Sep 18 (Island) The governments of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are in the process of working out modalities to streamline the purchase of medicinal drugs by Sri Lanka. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena recently discussed the issue with his Bangladeshi counterpart on the sidelines of the South East Asian Regional Organisation (SEARO) convention. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that special attention had been paid to the possibility of a MoU between more..

Ford to quit Sri Lanka in January

Sep 18 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket will begin its search for a new national coach, after Graham Ford maintained that he will walk away from the job when his contract expires in January. Ford had indicated last week to the board he would not be renewing his contract, but SLC asked him to reconsider that decision on Friday, even suggesting changes to his working conditions, that might make the job more agreeable to him. more..

Exercise - Cormorant Strike IV enters into the final week

Sep 18 (MoD) The Sri Lanka Army-organized, ‘Exercise - Cormorant Strike IV – 2013,’ has entered into the final week which is in progress in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka yesterday. As the exercise is entering into a significant phase, parachute jumps, sea landing training, path finding (tracking), attacks on enemy hideouts, rack sack marches and obstacle breaching demonstrations will be conducted giving more excitement to the participants. more..

GNOA petition challenging quashing of injunction against Fonterra put off

Sep 18 (Island) The Civil Appellate Court of Gampaha yesterday put off, for Sept 24, a petition challenging a District Court order quashing an injunction against Fonterra Milk Food Company, filed by the Govt Nursing Officers’ Association. When the case was taken up before Appellate High Court Judges Ms. Shiromi Perera and Ms. H.A. Thassim, the lawyers appearing for Fonterra asked for an early date as their senior counsel Isuru Balapatabendi, PC, was held up in the more..

Sri Lanka editor flees after armed attack

Sep 18 (AFP) An editor critical of Sri Lanka’s govt has fled the country following death threats and an armed attack on her home which she suspected was intended to find documents, a media rights groups said. The FMM said Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema left for an undisclosed country Tuesday, joining some 80 journalists who have sought refuge abroad since President Rajapakse came to power in 2005. more..

Dengue death rate reducing

Sep 18 (DN) The dengue death rate in Sri Lanka is 0.3% at the moment and it is expected to decrease further to 0.1% by 2016, a Health Ministry spokesperson said. "People have shown a resistance to the first type of dengue virus that exists in Sri Lanka. But the second type of dengue virus is now spreading in other countries posing a threat to Sri Lanka again," the spokesperson added. Immediate medical attention from a state hospital or a qualified doctor for any type of fever is more..

Seven persons killed on Lankan roads daily

Sep 18 (Island) An average of seven persons are killed on Lankan roads each day due to reckless driving. Therefore, the Department of Motor Traffic is pushing hard to introduce a new license, for drivers of vehicles transporting passengers, within the course of the year. Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S.H. Harischandra said that they were awaiting the approval of the Attorney General’s Department to launch the scheme. He said that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa more..

Former Sri Lankan rebel backs president

Sep 18 (Xinhua) A former top Sri Lankan rebel said that he believes President Rajapaksa can resolve the minority Tamil issue. Speaking at a special press briefing in the former rebel town of Kilinochchi in the north of the country, former Tamil Tiger chief arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan said that Rajapaksa has the caliber to address the Tamil issue. Pathmanathan was arrested in Malaysia in 2009 and detained more..

Customs vigil for more drugs containers to continue

Sep 18 (DN) Customs officers will remain on high alert for more drug shipments to the country, although they have not detected any illegal drugs in the two 20-foot containers from Pakistan, detained recently on suspicion of another drug smuggling effort. Following the detection of Sri Lanka's single largest heroin haul of 250 kg recently from a 20-foot container which arrived from Pakistan last month, customs officers seized two more containers also from Pakistan on suspicion of more..

SLBFE rule for women going abroad as domestics upheld

Sep 18 (Island) The govt had made it compulsory for women keen to work abroad, as domestic aides to submit their family background report, so as to minimise any harm that might be caused to their children, Foreign Employment Promotion and welfare Minister Dilan Perera said yesterday. He said that the Supreme Court had, on Monday, issuing its verdict on a petition filed by a resident of Maharagama, challenging the circular, in question, approved the circular, which makes it more..

Court frees former Tamil rebel leader

Sep 18 (PTI) A former LTTE top rung leader was on Wednesday freed by a Sri Lankan court due to poor evidence in a case related to a 2001 attack on a military installation. Sivasubramaniam Varadanathan alias Paduman was being freed due to poor evidence, High Court Judge Amal Ranarajah in Trincomalee said. Paduman was accused of attacking the Army installation at Palampattar in Trincomalee more..

Herath barred from CLT20

Sep 18 (CI) Rangana Herath will not be allowed to participate in the Champions League Twenty20 despite having travelled to India with the Kandurata Maroons, because he was not part of the Kandurata squad in the Super Fours domestic tournament, the Champions League technical committee has ruled. "Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that Rangana Herath's inclusion as a replacement to Injured Dhammika Prasad has been rejected by the Technical Committee of CLT 20, due to more..

Shangri La hotel to start building in October

Sep 18 (LBO) A 450 million US dollar project by Hong Kong based Shangri La in Colombo will begin construction by end October minister Lakshman Abeywardene said. Shangri La is building two hotels, a smaller beach resort at Hambantota in the south of the country and a larger mixed development involving a hotel and other facilities including shopping in Colombo. The project is still in the planning stages with promoters saying soil conditions required design changes. more..

NPC a facade: Karu

Sep 18 (DM) Calling the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections as a façade, UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya today charged that it was held merely as a ploy to satisfy the international community, and not as a genuine attempt to allow the people in the North to democratically elect their own leaders. “The govt considered it a victory to hold NPC elections, but at the same time Minister Basil Rajapaksa said more..

‘Green Channel’ to reduce Customs clearance procedure

Sep 18 (DM) The Customs Department has introduced a new import declaration procedure to expedite the clearance of import cargo, Customs spokesman said. The new procedure will require importers to bring their documents to a single clearance officer after certify them in their office. The new procedure will reduce the turn-around time by some six hours. “The new procedure called the ‘Green Channel’ system was tested with the help of three importers for the first time today. more..