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Plans to takeover Royal Golf course to Borella cemetery

Jan 22 (SM) Plans to takeover a portion or the entire area of the Royal Colombo Golf course to the Borella cemetery is underway, reports say. Internal reports of the Colombo Municipal Council say that this takeover is planned due to the lack of space in the Borella cemetery. The takeover of the golf course has been planned as a municipal medical authority holds the opinion that the golf course, which has been constructed by the white men, does not need to be preserved, reports say. more..

Murder accused’s safe house belongs to politico’s advisor

Jan 22 (Island) The CID managed to arrest one of the key accused in the murder of British national Khuram Shaikh and the rape of his Russian girlfriend at a Tangalle holiday resort on Christmas eve 2011 after he had failed to appear in court, just hours before the trial resumed yesterday. One of the CID teams had arrested the Tangalle PS chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana, the wanted accused in the murder of the British national more..

Bulathsinhala and Hingurakgoda PS Chairmen challenge their ouster in SC

Jan 22 (Island) The Chairman of the Bulathsinhala Pradeshiya Sabha, Thusitha Kularatne has moved the Supreme Court against the decision of the Secretary to the Pradeshiya Sabha, the Commissioner of Local Govt, the Returning Officer for Kalutara, the Elections Commissioner and connected respondent over a declaration that the petitioner had ceased to be the Chairman subsequent to the defeat of the council’s budget for 2014. The petitioner said that he had not more..

'Some monks’ activities used as part of anti-SL propaganda'

Jan 22 (Island) Moves were underway to use some Buddhist monks’ activities as part of an anti-Sri Lankan propaganda drive in Geneva, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. He said that adverse publicity for activities of Buddhist monks here had been given by several parties through Internet and it was being disseminated the world over by certain social media networks. He was speaking at a function to present 250 new teaching appointments to countrywide Pirivenas at more..

Four power stations grind to a halt

Jan 22 (CT) Four main power stations in the country came to a standstill yesterday, leading to fears of imminent blackouts in the country, in the immediate future. The Kelanitissa, Norochcholai, Randenigala and Rantambe Power Plants were shut down due to various reasons, almost simultaneously yesterday, thus scrapping their contribution to the national grid. However, the General Manager of the CEB, more..

New Public Audit Service

Jan 22 (Island) The govt was planning to establish a new service called the of Public Audit Service by combining the employees coming under Sri Lanka Audit Service and Auditing Inspectors’ Service of the Auditor General’s Department, Parliament was told on Tuesday. Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said the Service Minute relating to the officers of the Auditor General’s Department had not been amended so far, though the service minutes of other islandwide services had been amended. more..

Sri Lanka, TN govt release fishermens' boats

Jan 22 (PTI) As part of mutual agreement between India and Sri Lanka ahead of next week meeting of fishermen's associations from both countries, Colombo has released 30 mechanised boats of Indian fishermen, Tamil Nadu Govt said today. This includes a local court there today ordering the release of 15 such boats held by Lankan authorities, an official release here said. "Similarly, Tamil Nadu government has ordered release of 11 boats of Sri Lankan fishermen today," it said. more..

Census attempts to clear the air on stats

Jan 22 (FT) The Department of Census & Statistics (DCS) yesterday attempted to set the record straight, insisting that its credibility was unfairly undermined by one disgruntled employee and denied any inaccuracy in the inflation and growth numbers previously released. DCS Director General D.C.A. Gunawardena teamed up with Central Bank Deputy Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe to more..

Looking for the falling crumbs

Jan 22 (DM) Despite talk of social justice and claims of growth by govt leaders and top officials, the economic factors in Sri Lanka are similar to world statistics as we are directly linked to the globalised capitalist market economic system. In this light ,we need to reflect on some shocking figures disclosed on the eve of the world economic summit on the mountain resort of Davos in Switzerland. The humanitarian organisation Oxfam International revealed that the 85 super billionaires more..

Where are the Colombians?

Jan 22 (DM) Colombians, it is alleged, are becoming Mahindians? -Those in a hurry for the curry; the fickle, the worms of Colombo, in the vision of authentic Colombians. Is it a divided caste within a class? Let’s dwell deep. Exodus is not in hordes since most are made of sterner stuff –with an abundance of true grit. If not for their strength of survival how is it to remain a lifetime loser, living on eternal hope alone? Understandable, the promised regime change is like the revolution of more..

'My private life is not a secret'

Jan 22 (DM) Following the controversy of a theft of a laptop and few bottles of liquor from his house, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera has once again made news. Despite many allegation including a clandestine affair he had, Mangala Samaraweea is firm and says that he had never been a hypocrite and he has the right to privacy of his private life and no one has the right to talk about it. Q: Your plan to level a scathing attack on more..

Politicos destroying Nilgala forest

Jan 22 (SL) Politicians in the Uva Province are accused of causing damage to the Uva grasslands, known as the Nilgala Savana Forest. Environmentalists are up in arms against certain politicians in the Uva Province for the Nilgala forest destruction, and said that while, in the past, it was timber dealers that became politicians, politicians have now become timber dealers. “It is the politicians who destroy the forests, more..

No gain without pain: Gold ‘mules’ bleed for big fees

Jan 22 (ST) Gold smuggling to India has become so lucrative that one operative said his fee had quadrupled for manoeuvring past airport Customs checks with his illegal load concealed inside his body. Last week a 21-year-old Kalmunai woman laden with more than 1kg of gold jewellery worn under her clothes was arrested. She had been bedecked with Rs. 5.3 million worth of gold, including six chains. more..

JVP asks what happened to CHOGM duty free vehicles

Jan 22 (Island) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake demanded, in Parliament, to know what had happened to 54 Mercedes Benz cars of the latest S400 model imported duty free for the CHOGM 2013. He said the luxury S400 Hybrid LWB Sedan RHD cars had been imported from Daimler of Germany through the Colombo-based Metropolis Logistics by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance. The total tax concession given more..

Sri Lanka exports up 6.2% in 2013

Jan 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports rose 6.2% from year earlier to 10,379 million US dollars. Agriculture products grew 10.3% to 2479.94 million US dollars, industrial products grew 4.91% to 7,618 million US dollars with apparels up 13.31% to 4492.20 million. Other export crops surged 42.9% to 521.43 million US dollars. Tea had risen 9.22% to 1526.75 million US dollars and fisheries products rose 19.14% to 244.43 million US dollars. more..

UNP vows to bring back rejected bill

Jan 22 (Island) The UNP vowed yesterday to bring back the rejected Private Member bill introduced by MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe seeking to provide for "fair, independent and impartial trial to judges of the superior courts in case of a resolution for their removal", after six more months. Addressing a press conference soon after the move to present the bill had been defeated by govt with a majority of 38 votes, more..

Sri Lanka and Maldives hold bilateral talks

Jan 22 (IL) The newly elected Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom who is in Sri Lanka on a three-day official visit, met President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (22). The Maldivian President visited Sri Lanka for the first time after his election victory as the president on an invitation made by President Rajapaksa. Young Sri Lankan children welcomed Maldivian President on arrival more..

Packer gets nod for resort, but not casino

Jan 22 (SMH) James Packer has received approval from the Sri Lankan govt to build a resort in Sri Lanka, but without explicit approval for the casino, which underpins the proposed $400 million project. Crown confirmed that the resort had received cabinet approval, but denied reports that it would automatically be able to transplant the casino licence of its Sri Lankan partner into the project. "Crown is still in discussions with govt more..

GL tells leading Americans Sri Lanka unfairly targeted

Jan 22 (Island) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has told a visiting team of leading Americans that Sri Lanka is being unfairly targeted by those pushing for war crimes investigation on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations. The minister has asserted that the ongoing project is detrimental to post-war reconciliation here. Prof. Peiris was addressing the Board of Directors of the Asia Foundation at the Ministry of External Affairs more..

Lalith Weeratunga in US to brief on country's developments

Jan 22 (DM) Ahead of the March session of the UNHRC, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, who is in charge of the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the LLRC, was to leave for the US yesterday to brief the leaders of that country on the developments here. Mr. Weeratunga wrapped up his briefing session for the permanent representatives of the UNHRC member states based in Geneva yesterday. more..

The predatory them and the puerile us

Jan 22 (CT) Six billion rupees of public funds will be spent on building a super-luxury condominium to house Sri Lanka’s abstemious parliamentarians. The fully air-conditioned skyscraper will spread over two-and-a-half acres and consist of “all modern facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, walking paths, restaurants and playgrounds”. The self-denying parliamentarians will pay the princely sum of Rs 1,000 per month for their new rent-free abodes, as refundable deposit. more..

Junket Johnny’s Geneva offer

Jan 22 (CT) Last week’s newsmaker was no doubt UNP MP John Amaratunga. His inclusion in the entourage accompanying President Rajapaksa on the Middle-Eastern tour provided plenty of fodder for the media, which gave no quarters to the beleaguered MP who has now come to be known as ‘Junket Johnny.’ Speculations were rife that Amaratunga was going to cross over to the govt, and would probably take over the Speakership of Parliament or a Deputy slot in the more..

Nine UNP MPs petition Karu seeking nominations for Maithri and Shiral

Jan 22 (Island) Nine UNP MPs handed over a letter on Tuesday to the Chairman of the party’s Leadership Council (LC) Karu Jayasuriya to reconsider the party decision and give nominations to two reformists and former Provincial Councillors Maithri Gunaratne (Southern) and Shiral Lakthilaka (Western) to contest the SPC and WPC elections. Heading the list of those who had signed this letter was Sajith Premadasa. more..

Mervyn extends olive branch to his opponents

Jan 22 (Island) Minister Mervyn Silva, who is scheduled to assume duties as the SLFP Organiser for the Kelanya electorate today (23), said that he as a Cabinet Minister he was only answerable to President Rajapaksa who reappointed him and the voters and his supporters of the electorate. He said that although a minority of party members were opposed to his reappointment, he was willing to forgive and forget and they could at any time join hands and work with him. more..

Rupee recovers on exporter dollar sales

Jan 22 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee ended a tad firmer on Thursday, edging up from the previous session's five-week low, as late exporter dollar conversions helped offset the early importer demand for the greenback, dealers said. The spot rupee ended at 130.73/76 per dollar, firmer from Wednesday's close of 130.84/88, its lowest level since Dec. 13. However, dealers said the rupee is expected to fall in the absence of any intervention by the central bank after it said on Monday more..

Ajantha Mendis returns to SL's Test squad

Jan 22 (CI) Ajantha Mendis has been named in Sri Lanka's Test squad to Bangladesh, after he had been directed to return from the Big Bash League at short notice this week. Batsman Kithuruwan Vithanage has also been named in the 15-man squad, which leaves for Bangladesh on Thursday morning. Mendis replaces offspinner Sachithra Senanayake from the squad that toured the UAE, while Vithanage is in the team more..

UNP Ex-WPC Councillor, driver remanded

Jan 22 (Island) The Negombo Magistrate remanded former UNP Western Provincial Councillor, Shirantha Amarasekara and his driver till January 29 for assaulting a constable attached to Kandana police station yesterday morning. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the constable attached to Kanadna police environmental unit had been removing banners and posters at Weligampitiya with the urban council workers at the time of the incident. OIC of the Kandana Police station, more..

Skeletal remains not identified

Jan 22 (CG) The skeletal remains of those found buried in the Mannar mass grave have not yet been identified, SSP Ajith Rohana said. He said that so far 42 human remains had been found from the grave at Thiruketheeswaram and excavation was still continuing. The CID is investigating the discovery of the mass grave in the area which was once under LTTE control. Construction workers in the area stumbled on at least 10 skeletal remains buried at the location last month where they were more..

'Let's build administration that imprisons those who steal public money'

Jan 22 (LT) A people’s administration that releases all those who have been imprisoned for stealing due to hunger but imprison those who stole public money for their own benefits is necessary for the country today says the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP K.D. Lal Kantha. He said time has come for all civil and mass organizations together with the general public to rally round a center of struggle putting forward several more..

Australian kayakers unable to circumnavigate SL due to weather woes

Jan 22 (ABC) Two Australian kayakers have returned from an unsuccessful attempt to circumnavigate Sri Lanka, after strong winds forced them to cut short their expedition. Ian Pexton and David Rowlands, from Western Australia, are kayaking enthusiasts with more than three decades of experience between them. The duo set out from southern Sri Lanka in January hoping to cover 1,200 kilometres in their kayaks within a month. They were forced to change plans when more..

Sri lanka navymen attack Indian fishermen

Jan 22 (PTI) About 2,700 fishermen from this coastal town returned without fishing after Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly pelted stones at them and cut the fishing nets of some boats off Katchativu, officials said in Rameswaram on Thursday. They said the fishermen had put out to sea in 683 mechanised boats last night and were fishing off Katchathivu islet when the Naval personnel came in boats, pelted stones at them and cut the nets on six boats. more..

PM says he should be hanged if found guilty

Jan 22 (Island) PM DM Jayaratne told Parliament that even a prime minister of a country should be hanged if found guilty of importing heroin. "Hang me if I am guilty. It is so unfortunate that ethanol and heroin are smuggled into this country. I have not even seen heroin in my life. It is said that one of my secretaries sent a letter seeking demurrage waiver for a heroin container. I do not say that was right. It cannot be approved of. more..

Centre urges AP to release SL fishermen

Jan 22 (Hindu) The Centre has asked the Andhra Pradesh govt to expedite the release of remaining 25 Sri Lankan fishermen detained in the state. The Centre’s directive comes after a decision between India and Sri Lanka to release all fishermen arrested in each other countries for illegal fishing in respective territorial waters. The process of release has begun in both countries. So far, the two countries have released 52 fishermen each. There are still 240 Indians in Sri Lankan custody, more..

Students get scholarships to volunteer in SL

Jan 22 (HN) A pair of intrepid students have been awarded scholarships to travel to the other side of the world to volunteer on psychiatric wards and help children. Final-year psychology students, Imogen Healy, or Stourbridge, and Emily Johnson, of Cinderford in Gloucestershire, will both travel to the Asian country during 2014 to undertake volunteer work alongside psychology professionals. Miss Healy and Miss Johnson have already been using the knowledge from their degrees more..

Q&A: Use and abuse of alcohol in Sri Lanka

Jan 22 (VoA) People drink alcohol for many different reasons, and its consumption and often abuse crosses socio-economic boundaries. In some areas, alcohol consumption can mark specific delineations of society. The subject becomes very interesting in Sri Lanka, where the apparent high level of illegal alcohol consumption relates to distinctions in religion, family structure, and economic status. more..

Raj ton completes India's clean sweep

Jan 23 (CI) Mithali Raj marked her return as captain of the India Women's side with a clean sweep in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka Women. Raj hit an unbeaten century - her fifth in ODIs - in the third ODI in Visakhapatnam to set up a 95-run win. India batted first for the first time in the series and lost their openers before getting to fifty. Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur then stabilised the innings with a 57-run stand for the third wicket. Even though India lost Harmanpreet and Vellaswami Vanitha more..

Sri Lanka seeks 'innocent passage' from Maldives for fishermen

Jan 22 (Haveeru) Sri Lanka requested the Maldives again to grant permission for "innocent passage" for its fishermen sailing to the Arabian Sea. Request was made during the official talks between the Maldives and Sri Lanka, led by Maldives President Abdulla Yameen and Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa, during President Yameen's ongoing state visit to Sri Lanka. In a statement by Sri Lanka president's media unit, both the countries discussed the fishing sector at length. more..

A Sri Lankan Soprano shatters stereotypes about South Asians

Jan 23 (IBT) South Asian immigrants and their descendants in Western countries are usually stereotyped as doctors, software engineers, or accountants (professional classes) or convenience store operators, taxi drivers and gas station owners (blue-collar classes). But some South Asians have entered into fields far removed from the aforementioned vocations and excelled to such a point that they could inspire others to follow more..

'Time has come for professionals to engage in politics'

Jan 23 (LT) The govt that doesn’t have a healthy public opinion in provincial council elections is attempting to win elections by bringing forward film stars and racketeers says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at a series of meetings held in Thelawila area in Moratuwa under the theme ‘Victory for People’s Voice’ on the 21st he said the govt, instead of putting forward persons who have a longing, knowledge and ability to serve the masses, is trying to depend on racketeers more..

Govt. shoots down UNP allegation against Navy, STF

Jan 22 (Island) Govt on Tuesday in Parliament shot down the UNP’s allegation that the Navy and the STF had acquired an extent of 1,220 acres of forest and agricultural lands at Panama, Shasthravela in the Lahugala Divisional Secretariat Division in the Ampara District. UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana alleged that the Navy and STF were engaged in land grabbing in the East and plans were underway to construct a Ranaviru village, a Navy camp and a hotel complex in the aforesaid lands. more..