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Random checks on face-covered motorcyclists

Apr 27 (DM) A random check on motorists wearing face-covered helmets would be carried out throughout the day. SSP Ajith Rohana said this decision was taken in the wake of several day-time robberies by armed gangsters wearing face-covered helmets. “The helmets have still not been banned from use but we are taking precautions,” he said. “They will be frisked for weapons and questioned.” SSP asked people to be patient and put up with the new measure being adopted for their safety. more..

Stop family planning, go unlimited-Mervyn

Apr 27 (DM) While claiming it was sad to see only the Sinhalese being instructed to limit the number of children in their families, Minister Mervyn Silva said he was ready to help large families which were struggling to feed, clothe and educate their children. He said at the times of kings, no one was asked to restrict the number of children nor taught family planning. Most families consisted of several children; some even a dozen. more..

The ‘common candidate’ of the JVP

Apr 27 (LT) There is an intense dialogue going round the country at present regarding a ‘common candidate’ to contest a future presidential election while various individuals have expressed their intention to come forward as the ‘common candidate’ and several political parties have expressed their support for such a ‘common candidate’. However, the JVP has stated it would not support a ‘common candidate’ but an ‘apolitical common candidate’ and more..

‘Pura Neguma’ project proceedings at snail’s pace

Apr 27 (NS) The residents of Imaduwa Town in Galle complain that development efforts undertaken in the area as part of the ‘Pura Neguma’ project have been proceeding at a snail’s pace for two years, resulting in several serious problems for those in the town. The project was initiated due to Imaduwa, located along the Galle-Akuressa Main Road, becoming one of the interchanges for the Southern Expressway. Residents allege the reason for the project’s appalling slowness is more..

Natural, clean bottled water: No it’s not, raid shows

Apr 27 (ST) This week’s seizure of 37,000 bottles of water contaminated with a chemical similar to kerosene oil has raised concerns over the safety and purity of bottled water. Following complaints of a strong chemical stench similar to kerosene, Consumer Affairs Authority on Tuesday raided the Dalugama, Kelaniya factory of Mount Spring Water Ltd, an associated company of DSI Samson Group. more..

MMI donates mobile library to Jaffna

Apr 28 (SL) MMI Group has contributed US $50,000 towards the setting up of a mobile library to promote reading among youths in Jaffna. Besides the mobile unit, 10,000 books were also donated to the Jaffna National Library. More than 3000 schoolchildren from 38 schools are expected to benefit from this initiative. Headquartered in London, Modern Montessori International (MMI) Group has a global presence spanning across three continents and is currently operating close to 100 pre-schools more..

Beware of the Filipinos; Let the giants be

Apr 28 (SL) IT was perhaps more for morale’s sake and love of country that some rugby officials, in the afterglow of Sri Lanka’s promotion to the top tier of Asian rugby last year, proclaimed lofty new goals for our rugby: to get to the top of the Asian heap and qualify for the 2015 World Cup. The claims, to say the least, are more than a touch over the top, yet pardonable, given the SLRFU officials’ euphoric state of mind at the time these new goals were declared. more..

'Working class should be united to face threats'

Apr 28 (SO) Honesty, integrity and not indulging in petty partisan communal politics are the characteristic features of the long-standing political career of Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana. During his illustrious political career, he played a pivotal role as a true trade unionist within the country's trade union movement to safeguard the rights of the working class. He said working class can win their demands only if more..

SJV Chelvanayakam: The father of the Tamil nation

Apr 28 (CT) Remembering some eventful moments in the life of Thanthai Chelva, of historical significance to Eelam Tamils, looking through both A J Wilson’s book: S J V Chelvanayakam and the Crisis of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism and the late Nadesan Satyendra’s Tamil Nation web portal and from tributes at his death. “Throughout the ages the Sinhalese and Tamils in the country lived as distinct sovereign people till they were brought under foreign domination. more..

This is our President

Apr 28 (CT) President Rajapaksa says no one is above the law. Either President is psychologically challenged, incapable of unravelling reality from imagination; or he is a consummate liar. In the last fortnight, Eraj Fernando, Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara Thero and the BBS broke the law, as blatantly and as publicly as Mervyn Silva ever did. Their criminal conduct was witnessed by innumerable eyes and captured by innumerable cameras. Yet they remain untouched by the law. more..

'I didn't unilaterally declare independence'

Apr 28 (CT) A revolutionary Tamil youth, who co-founded the EPRLF in 1979 and later became the Chief Minister of the merged North-East Provincial Council, Varadaraja Perumal, still believes the two provinces should be merged at a referendum where the voters of the island's Eastern Province makes the political decision, according to constitutional provisions. In a wide-ranging interview, Perumal, who is self-exiled in India, more..

Rathana Thera dodges VVIP call

Apr 28 (CT) Several Gazette Notifications under the Strategic Development Projects Act were taken up in Parliament last week. As the news spread that the JHU MPs were to vote against them, a VVIP phoned the Parliament Chamber to reach MP Athuraliye Rathana Thera on the phone. But Rathana Thera avoided answering the phone, despite the parliament officials conveying the message to him. He said to the persons who were near him that he would have to agree to various commitments more..

Election officers don't know the law

Apr 28 (CT) I started my Provincial Council election campaign making a pledge before the Sacred Tooth Relic at the Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy. I pledged to honour and comply with all election laws. Accordingly, I did not paste posters. Displaying of cutouts was confined to the registered election offices. I never attempted to paste stickers on vehicles, except in the vehicle in which I travelled. I did not distribute any gifts including numbered gifts. I avoided house-to-house canvassing since more..

Let the music come to you

Apr 28 (ST) They simply won’t let him leave. He returns to the stage three times, each time to an audience on its feet chanting his name and giving both him and his orchestra the thunderous applause they had earned that night. Having returned to the piano for his third encore, Yanni takes a moment to drink in the view before him; an audience in the thousands, deafening applause and beaming faces. more..

Learning from a court across the Palk Strait

Apr 28 (ST) These are extraordinary times. Victory in a war that many thought unwinnable, the utter decimation of the traditional political opposition and the formation of an authoritarian family cabal with an unprecedented centralisation of power has grossly subverted Sri Lanka’s political process. The utter degeneration of the judicial system and the authority of the law is one inevitable result. Yet as this column has repeatedly pointed out, the rapid decline in our legal and judicial institutions more..

Buddha tattoo

Apr 28 (Island) I was greatly distressed when I heard about Naomi Coleman, a tourist from the UK, being deported because of the Buddha image tattooed on her upper arm. As everyone knows by now, Naomi was shamefully detained in Negombo for one night and then kept for another two nights at a detention center before being thrown out of Sri Lanka, a pattern that seems to be repeating itself. In an attempt to apologize and make amends the Sri Lankan Tourism Authority sent her off with more..

New law gives space to dodge casino taxes

Apr 28 (CT) Parliament last week passed three Gazette Notifications to set up three 'Integrated Super Luxury Tourist Resorts'– in this particular case, an euphemism for casinos – without a single reference to casinos and worst still, sans any mention of taxing the gaming revenue. The whole exercise that unfolded in the House appeared to be a grand chicanery and Parliament was told that the approval for casinos would not be granted. more..

Editorial: Coalition woes and future polls

Apr 28 (Island) Minister Dinesh Gunawardena is said to have been tasked with preparing a report on the UPFA MPs who absented themselves when three orders of the Strategic Development Projects Act were put to vote as well as those who, in a surprise move, voted against them much to the consternation of the govt. However, it is highly unlikely that the UPFA will go to the extent of taking disciplinary action against them; they were prepared to face the consequences of their defiance. more..

Loan scheme to promote milk production

Apr 28 (GDI) Central Bank launched a special loan scheme to promote the production of liquid milk and develop milk related products such as ice cream, yoghurt and curd. The loan scheme introduced as the large scale milk production loan scheme, will generate loans for grass cultivation related to cattle management, construction of cattle sheds, transport of liquid milk and implements used to obtain milk. Among the special features of this loan scheme are an 8% interest, 5 year repaying period, more..

Lanka’s tour of discovery

Apr 28 (ST) In the aftermath of the T-20 euphoria and the player/management hullabaloo that followed, the Lankan cricketers leave next Friday to take on Ireland in 2 ODIs, followed by their FTP tour of England, where they would play a T-20 international, 5 ODIs and 2 Tests. Generally a tour of this nature – to an Associate member country like Ireland is considered just another courtesy call on a poor relation. more..

Tax breaks to US$220mn sugar refinery

Apr 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka has given a 10-year tax holiday to a 220 million US dollar sugar refinery by the Hambantota port including tax free salaries for 50 expatriate staff. Lanka Sugar Refinery Company will import raw sugar for refining to the local and foreign markets, a notice published under Sri Lanka's Strategic Investments Project Act said. An industrial zone by the Hambantota port has attracted several large investments. The sugar refinery will get a 10 year tax holiday from the first year of more..

Projections, prospects and prerequisites for growth

Apr 28 (ST) Central Bank expects the economy to grow by 7.8% this year. The IMF projects a lower growth of 7% and the World Bank 7.3%. The common consensus is that it will grow by at least 7% which is satisfactory. What is more important than the annual growth rate is the impact of the growth process on long-term development of the economy and whether policies that ensure increased investment and improves efficiency are in place. Discussion on economic growth should focus more..

More transparency urged in share market investments

Apr 28 (ST) Several employee-members of the EPF are calling for more transparency in investments made by the Fund in the stock market, a poll this week shows. The widely-responded poll, following media disclosures of the AG’s review of the 2011 EPF annual report which shows a fall in the value of share investments, found 100 per cent of the respondents saying, ‘YES” to the question: Should there be more transparency more..

Sri Lanka firms could gain from cloud computing: SAP

Apr 28 (LBO) Companies in Sri Lanka, especially smaller ones, could avoid capital expenditure by using cloud computing to run anything from accounting to procurement and analyze social media, SAP, an information technology firm said. A company could separately purchase services such as accounting, human resources, marketing and sales and procurement, as needed, Michael Sathasivam business head for Sri Lanka at SAP said. Such firms no longer have to invest in more..

Nestle Lanka’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Kurunegala

Apr 28 (Island) Nestle Lanka has contributed almost Rs.5 billion to the rural economy last year via procurement of fresh milk and coconuts, Ganesan Ampalavanar, MD of the company has told shareholders in the company’s annual report. "We procured 62 million kilograms of local fresh milk from 18,000 Sri Lankan farmers for our dairy based products, marking our highest ever milk collection in Sri Lanka. We also procured 56 million coconuts for our Maggi Coconut Milk Powder," more..

Internet connections top 2 million mark

Apr 28 (FT) Number of internet connections in the country topped the 2 million mark last year thanks to multi stakeholder efforts. There were 2.012 million internet connections as at end 2013, up by 47% from 2012. Year 2013 also marked fourth successive year of high double digit growth in internet connections from a low base though the rate of growth has dipped a bit. In 2012, the growth over 2011 was 61.7% whilst in 2010 it was 109%. more..

Spider Man-2 in Sri Lanka on May 1

Apr 28 (Island) The Spider-Man 2, anticipated to be one of the biggest blockbuster hits of the year will be released in Sri Lanka by Ceylon Theatres on 1 May 2014, the same day as its worldwide release. The highly anticipated Hollywood blockbuster is sure to be an action-packed premiere at the Majestic City Cinema in Colombo and the cinema in Jaffna which was recently opened. Spider-Man fans have the opportunity to spot and photograph the film’s main characters, Spider-Man and Electro as more..

UDA to build modern Rest House in Jaffna

Apr 28 (FT) The UDA has proposed to construct a Rest House consisting of 38 rooms with all other facilities in Jaffna to facilitate the accommodation requirements of those visiting the northern town. The move was approved by Cabinet last week on a proposal made by President Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence and Urban Development. Cabinet approved the vesting of the required block of land with the UDA to implement the construction of the Rest House. more..

TNA criticises ban on diaspora groups

Apr 28 (Hindu) SL govt decided to ban select Tamil diaspora organisations and individuals to thwart a free and transparent international probe into 2009 civil war, Tamil politician R. Sampanthan said. Presiding over a function in memory of Tamil leader S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, he said govt’s current actions sought to intimidate and silence Tamil civilian population who could furnish vital evidence in the investigation. more..

Committee to probe Maths failures at O/L's

Apr 28 (DN) The Ministry of Education appointed a Committee to look into why a large number of students have failed Mathematics at the GCE O/L exam last year. Minister Bandula Gunawardena said, he appointed this committee to delve into the causes of students' maths failures. He also said he will announce the names of the members of the committee tomorrow. According to Education Ministry sources, of the candidates who sat for the exam, 180 000 have failed in Maths. more..

Sri Lanka President leaves for Bahrain today

Apr 28 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be leaving on a three day official visit for Bahrain today, on an invitation extended by the Govt of Bahrain. During his visit President Mahinda Rajapaksa will hold discussions with Bahraini leaders aiming to further strengthen ties between the two countries. The President will hold bilateral talks with the King of Bahrain Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa. President will sign a number of MoUs during the official visit. During his stay in Bahrain, President Rajapaksa will more..

Deadly champagne leaves two dead, two in critical condition

Apr 28 (Island) Two of four persons who drank a bottle of champagne during a party at a house in Pallewela, Meerigama on Saturday have died and the other two are in a critical condition at the ICU. The deceased have been identified as Dharmasiri Nihal (54) of the Postal Department and a friend of his Sarath Chandra (50), a businessman. Those at the ICU have been identified as a police sergeant and a constable attached to more..

Three Sri Lankan women held, gold seized at Bangalore airport

Apr 28 (Hindu) Three Sri Lankan women, who allegedly tried to smuggle in gold, were apprehended by the Central Industrial Security Force at Kempegowda International Airport (KIAL) here on Saturday night. Gold weighing 1.169 kg in the form of bullion and jewellery was recovered from them. The arrested women were identified as Nagoor Adumai Fatima (45), Ayub Fatima Roshana (43), and Mohammed Iftikhar Fahmeeda (48), who arrived on a Sri Lankan Airlines flight UL-173 more..

Arthur wins interim injunction restraining Indra Regent Hotel from carrying on biz

Apr 28 (FT) Additional District Judge of Colombo has issued an interim injunction restraining Indra Regent Hotel, its servants, agents and all those who are holding under and through it from any way or manner conducting and/or running any business whatsoever at No. 383, R.A. De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 3. I.W. (Arthur) Senanayake of No.I8/1, Alfred Place, Colombo 3, instituted action against Indra Regent Hotel stating that he is the lawful owner of the property where more..

'Religious conflict: Special police unit won’t succeed without govt. backing'

Apr 28 (Island) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that country would have to pay a very heavy price for the failure on the part of the authorities concerned to rein in BBS. An irate Bathiudeen asserted that the police wouldn’t find it easy to control the situation unless the govt threw its full weight behind law enforcement authorities. He was responding to a presidential directive to set up a special police unit to tackle religious conflicts more..

Indian pilgrims in Sri Lanka during Vesak

Apr 28 (DN) A group of Indian Buddhist pilgrims will visit Sri Lanka during Vesak. They plan to visit Anuradhapura and other important Buddhist sites during Vesak which falls on May 14 and 15. The group’s leader is Ven. Bhadant Shivani Bodhananda Thera, Secretary of the Buddhist Training Institute-Buddha Bhoomi Mahaviharaya Nagpur, Maharashtra. The group will number around 80 pilgrims including Ven. Shivani Bodhananda Thera and Ven. Bodhishree Thera. more..

World's largest kebab chain comes to SL

Apr 28 (DN) Kebab Turki, a fast-food business that is well known in the world, will be opening in May in Colombo 4. "The Sri Lankan food industry is ready to embrace such big franchises like Kebab Turki. We have plans to open more outlets located in luxury department store in Colombo," said Managing Director of Digital Base Holding, Azard Ishak who will be the franchise holder for Kebab in Sri Lanka. He said that due to the tourism boom the Kebab Turki had wanted to operate in Sri Lanka. more..

Kidney transplant racket: The plot thickens

Apr 28 (CT) In a major revelation on the recent controversy over an alleged kidney transplant racket, Senior Professor of Medicine, Uni of Colombo, Prof. Rezvi Sheriff said local nephrologists have been talking to Indian agents, who were offering to supply kidneys for transplant operations conducted in Sri Lanka. Prof. Sheriff acknowledge that Indians purportedly supply kidneys and were doing so in Sri Lanka. more..

Expats guard against coronavirus

Apr 28 (AN) Indian and Sri Lankan missions have launched extensive awareness campaigns and alerts among their nationals about the rapidly spreading Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Sri Lanka has alerted its missions in the Middle East to take precautionary measures among its expatriates in the region. Mangala Randeniya, spokesman of the SLBFE, said that the bureau has alerted all its overseas missions about the deadly virus. more..

Army honours four personnel who rescued drowning children

Apr 28 (Island) Army has decided to promote four soldiers who risked their lives to rescue the lives of two children thrown into the Nilwala Ganga by their father, who was found dead later. A ceremony to felicitate the heroic act of soldiers would take place at the Army Headquarters on April 30 with the participation of Army Commander Daya Ratnayake. Three privates E.H. de Silva, H.K.C. Madushanka, of Third Gemunu Watch and K.M.P.S Pushpakumara of Engineer Service Regiment more..