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'Captain did not lose control of flight'

Jan 3 (AD) SriLankan Airlines today issued a media release clarifying a recent media report on a SriLankan flight allegedly making a nosedive. In the release SriLankan Airlines states that at no point did the captain of the flight lose control of the flight or it experienced a nosedive. Excerpt of statement; On 1st of Jan at 1435hrs SriLankan flight UL 503 departed Colombo, for London Heathrow Airport. Approximately 45 minutes after the take-off, more..

More festive season casualties

Jan 3 (Island) National Hospital revealed that the number of casualties treated by it from Dec 30 to Jan 1 had seen an increase compared to the previous corresponding period. Director of the NHSL, Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that within the three days of the dawn of the New Year the hospital had treated 907 cases where as last year the number had been 869. Dr. Jasinghe said, that 390 of the 907 had been admitted to the hospital. 195 of them were road traffic accident victims. more..

Remand of 30 fishermen extended to Jan 17

Jan 3 (PTI) A court in Sri Lanka on Friday extended till January 17, the remand of 30 fishermen, who were arrested by naval personnel of the island nation on November 5 last year. S. Emerite, Rameswaram Fishermen’s Organization president told reporters that the fishermen were produced in the court at Mallagam, which extended their remand. The fishermen were arrested by Sri lankan Navy personnel on November 5, 2013, off the islet of Katchathivu. They were later lodged in prison more..

Day 4: Mathews ton hands SL advantage

Jan 3 (CI) Angelo Mathews scored a career-best 116 to fashion a remarkable turnaround for Sri Lanka in the Abu Dhabi Test after they had conceded a 179-run lead to Pakistan in the first innings. He added 138 for the 5th wicket with Dinesh Chandimal, who missed out on his third Test century, and a further unbeaten 96 with Prasanna Jayawardene to transform a delicate situation on the fourth morning into, possibly, more..

More food past shelf life detected

Jan 3 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (PHD CMC) yesterday destroyed Rs. 2.2 million worth of black pepper past shelf life seized from several retail shops on Old Moor Street. Chief of the Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that the shops had been adjacent to a four storey warehouse raided by inspection teams early this week. The pepper was past the date of expiry. He said that 2,100 kg of black pepper had been destroyed. more..

Inflation data doctored!

Jan 3 (LT) It is reported that data forwarded by Census and Statistics Department regarding inflation in the country cannot be trusted. The reports further state a low figure is presented when inflation figures calculated by the prices and wages division of the department are officially announced and point out that the speed in which inflation is reduced is at an unbelievable level. According to Colombo Consumers Price Index (CCPI) the inflation rate for January, 2013 was 8.1. more..

PM must apologise to the Sangha: BBS

Jan 3 (DM) The verbal exchange between PM D.M. Jayaratne and JHU Leader the Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera about the heroin detection must come to an end, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) said today. It said PM should tender a public apology to the Sangha for making derogatory remarks about Ven. Omaple Sobhitha Thera. “The PM said he regretted making caustic remarks on Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera. But he must publically apologise more..

Prisoners fast for freedom

Jan 3 (DM) Six prisoners are carrying out a fast on top of a building at the Bogamabara prison demanding that they be released or their jail term reduced. The prisoners, who include those on death row, have held discussions with the Prison Department Secretary but no compromise had been reached yet. Meanwhile a tense situation also prevailed in the Mahara prison this morning when two groups of prisoners fought over a “Heroin ball” which was thrown into the prison premises. more..

Sathosa records higher sales

Jan 3 (Island) Lanka Sathosa had sales amounting to more than Rs. 25,140 million last year (2013) up from Rs. 20,548 million recorded in 2012. From Rs. 13,182 million in 2010 it has been gradually increasing since Johnston Fernando was appointed Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade. Minister said that 290 Lanka Sathosa outlets had been opened countrywide to serve the consumers and prices of goods were much cheaper at its outlets than in the open market. more..

Electrocutions hurt CEB conscience

Jan 3 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) yesterday expressed concern over the growing number of deaths due to electrocution. However, the CEB Additional General Manager (Corporate Strategy) D. K. B. S. Tilakasena said that the recent electrocutions had occurred due to the construction of buildings near high tension lines. He said no one should construct buildings without permission from relevant local authorities. more..

UNP says ready for elections

Jan 3 (CG) The main opposition United National Party (UNP) says preparation by the party have almost been finalised to contest the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the UNP working committee will meet next week and decide on the members to be named to the board. He said that the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections are likely to take place before the Sinhala and Tamil new year this year. more..

WPC polls: Hirunika yet to decide

Jan 3 (DM) Discussions are underway between several political parties regarding the candidature for the Western Provincial Council elections of Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of slain Presidential Advisor Baratha Lakshman Premachandra, sources said. Several rounds of discussions had been held between govt MPs and Ms. Premachandra where she has been urged to contest on the UPFA ticket. Sources close to Ms. Premachandra however said that no decision had been made yet more..

Much foreign aid for road construction

Jan 3 (Island) Sri Lanka had received much foreign aid to construct new roads and bridges in the country in the New Year, Minister Nirmala Kotalawala said. Sri Lanka had received 46 bridges from France, 37 bridges from Japan, 25 bridges from Kuwait and Rs. 2.6 billion from Britain to construct new iron bridges. For the construction of new roads in the country, it had received USD 60 million from Saudi funds, USD 40 million more..

'No nomination if name is changed'

Jan 3 (LT) Lists of nominations where team leaders have deceptively changed their names to get preferential numbers they prefer would be rejected says Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya. Speaking at a discussion with secretaries of political parties the Commissioner of Elections said candidates would be asked to attach a copy of the national identity card to the nomination papers to prevent candidates changing their names to get preferred preferential numbers. more..

Sri Lanka's navy detain 25 Indian fishermen amid escalating tensions

Jan 3 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's navy has detained 25 Indian fishermen an official said here on Friday adding to their haul of 180 arrests in December amidst escalating tension between the two neighbors. Five boats were also apprehended and handed over to police, navy spokesman said. This brings the tally of Indian fishermen arrested while fishing in Sri Lankan waters to 205 with a similar number of Sri Lankan fishermen being detained by the Indian coast guard. more..

Sri Lanka offers to host Asia Cup, World Twenty20

Jan 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka is ready to step in and host the Asia Cup one-day tournament and the World Twenty20 if the two events are pulled out of violence-plagued Bangladesh, a top official told AFP on Friday. The Asia Cup had been scheduled to be held between February 24 and March 7 in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, which has been hit by violent protests and strikes in the build-up to Sunday's general election. more..

Scam of the year

Jan 4 (NS) It is our contention that a sizable proportion of the most creative writers (and artists of course) in the country are in the advertising industry. Makes sense. There’s more money in that business. This doesn’t mean, however, that writers in advertising have compromised their art. They do their own writing and the smarter ones squeeze their hearts into copy, getting past client servicing personnel and clients themselves. Their best work, however, tend to be discarded. more..

Needed prosperity to offset austerity

Jan 4 (NS) What a difference a year makes. It would be fair to drink a cup of kindness yet to Auld Lang Syne as we usher in the New Year. The past year and the three previous ones, more than anything else had been for Sri Lanka a deserving decades-long holiday from its tumultuous history. The country has been experiencing a year of newsworthy events, not all of them agreeable by any measure. Nonetheless some of them have been downright sensational. more..

Divi Neguma Dept to support five million people

Jan 4 (SO) The newly established Divi Neguma Department will commence operations by January 3, 2014. The Department is to take the responsibility of upgrading the living standards of 1.8 million families, thus benefiting nearly five million people. The department will be empowered simultaneously with the issuing of the relevant gazette notice January 3. As stated, the department will be established amalgamating the more..

Why Sitsabaiesan and the Diaspora score a propaganda coup against the govt?

Jan 4 (CT) The incumbent govt in Colombo suffers from a severe image problem. The apologists of the regime would blame foreign conspiracies for its misfortune; however, the govt's infamy is largely its own making. The accumulated fallout of its unsavoury tactics, ranging from white van abductions to harassing dissenting voices, which were once part and parcel of its unofficial policy, has now come back to haunt it. Once a reputation is acquired, shedding it is hard. more..

Mohammad Akram backs Pakistan bowlers after tough day

Jan 4 (CI) Mohammad Akram, the Pakistan bowling coach, said he was pleased with the efforts of his bowlers in spite of their performance on the fourth day against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan managed to take just one wicket in the entire day as Sri Lanka scored 420 for 5, stretching their overnight lead of seven runs to 241 by close of play. "The bowlers did well and gave their 100%," Akram told the media. "Both Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal batted so well. more..

The war ended many years ago, but people still live in shacks

Jan 4 (CT) The village of Kannatiti Kallumalaia is located near the border of the Madhu forest reserve in the Chettikulam Divisional Secretariat of the Mannar District. The village, which is 30 km away from the Vavuniya-Mannar road, is occupied by families who resettled there after the end of the war. Thus far, 30 families have returned to the village and more are expected to return but according to one of its residents, more..

On land grabbing in Eastern Province

Jan 4 (CT) For the last three weeks, various opinions are being expressed for and against the budget for the year 2014 within this house and outside and also in the media since it was presented in this house. H.E. the President has given several promises that give hope to the people. No matter the promises given, if they are not kept effectively through a proper mechanism, the promises so given and not kept would only have negative effects on the people. During the past 4 years since more..

Tamil nation awaiting justice in Sri Lanka

Jan 4 (CT) Sri Lanka an Island is presently inhabited by multilingual (Sinhala, Tamil and English) multireligious (Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians) and multiethnic (Sinhala, Tamil, Arab and European descendents) peoples. Brief history of Sinhala and Tamil Nations gives evidence of antiquity of Tamil Nation and both Nations have lived in the Island for a few millennia. Each of the two Nations meets the legal definition of a Nation: “A distinct group or race of people that share more..

Sumanthri Samarawickrama Jayaweera

Editorial: Sharks and a piranha

Jan 4 (Island) The world powers have got their act together in Syria at long last. Initially, some of them tried to further their own interests by effecting a regime change in that country regardless of the human cost while others were protecting the beleaguered dictator in spite of his savagery. Now, they have made common cause to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons which would have been used against the anti-Assad rebels––or even smuggled out of the country if the militants had grabbed more..

Ranatunga shows no emotions over Afridi’s broken World record against Sri Lanka

Jan 4 (PO) Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga does not consider himself to be a “relaxed man” after Shahid Afridi’s World record of fastest century against his Sri Lankan team in Kenya in 1997 was broken by a New Zealander against West Indies on New Year Day. “I was neither worried then and nor relieved now also. My only disappointment then was that we had lost the match”, he said over telephone from Sri Lanka some 24 hours after the new record. more..

Milk powder importers trying to make CAA kneel

Jan 4 (CT) The dawn of the year 2014 has begun, for the Sri Lankan people, with a scarcity of milk powder that has deprived them their favourite brand in their morning cup of tea. It is learnt that the companies which import and distribute milk powder are continuing to create an artificial scarcity in the market in order to bring the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) on its knees. According to CAA, all companies importing milk powder more..

A New Year of rot in Serendip

Jan 4 (Island) There could be many things rotten in the state of Denmark even today, but there are enough signs that this land of serendipity, once described as being only Forty Leagues from Paradise, is taking major strides to be recognized as the Rotten State of Sri Lanka. From the time the last year was fading away, news reports of things rotten and rotting are coming out with such regularity that one wonders where the rot would seep to next, both laterally and vertically. more..

'Electric cars will hit the market in New Year'

Jan 4 (Island) The market for electric motor cars in Sri Lanka will increase in unprecedented proportions this year, forecasted head of Vehicle Importers’ Association of Lanka (VIAL). "Import of fully electric vehicles will become the latest trend in year 2014. This will be a very significant development in the local car market," said Sampath Merenchige, President of VIAL, at a media gathering held at hotel Galadari, Colombo. VIAL, which is said to be the largest vehicle importers organisation in more..

Sri Lanka Ireland tour could weaken IPL

Jan 4 (CI) Ireland play two ODI's against Sri Lanka early next season. The games will serve as a warm-up for Sri Lanka's tour of England and could clip the involvement of Sri Lanka's players in IPL still further. It remains to be seen whether Sri Lanka Cricket will enforce their policy that their players must put internationals ahead of participation in IPL for matches involving an Associate nation. If they do, it will not rest more..

The Military, Minorities and neo-Fascism

Jan 4 (Island) President Rajapaksa will probably go down in history for two achievements: he put down the LTTE rebellion and he has prevented the military coming to power. The first achievement is widely, and correctly, bruited about as the foundation for his enduring popularity with the Sinhala masses. The second achievement – preventing the military coming to power – is not bruited about at all, and perhaps is not even recognized. But it seems to me a major achievement for more..

More houses for city slum dwellers

Jan 4 (FT) The second phase of the ‘Mihindusen Pura’ housing scheme for low income families was launched on Thursday. Making an inspection visit, Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the construction site. Under the first phase of the ‘Mihindusen Pura’ housing scheme, 500 housing units were handed over to slum dwellers in Dematagoda in Colombo. The apartment complexes are built conforming to national standards and each unit costs Rs. 7 million to build. more..

Sri Lanka fans have reasons to smile

Jan 4 (CI) It hasn't been an easy few years for fans of Sri Lanka's cricket. Major finals losses have left four deep gashes on the nation's psyche. Mention the last World Cup or World T20 in Colombo or Kandy, and you begin to discover wounds that are still raw. Some have turned off completely - such is the fickleness of Sri Lanka fans who have largely maintained some perspective on cricket. Others have cooled their passions until more..

Sri Lanka's ODI loss: Whose baby?

Jan 4 (CT) Thanks to the hectic pace the game of cricket unfolds nowadays Sri Lanka's ODI loss to Pakistan in the UAE seems a thing of the distant past, although the last match of the series was played just six days ago. In that game played in Abu Dhabi Sri Lanka managed some damage control by winning it by two wickets and ending the series with two victories as against Pakistan's three. In the series loss what stood like a sore thumb for Sri Lanka was the inability of the bowlers, more..

'We'll be pressing for victory'- Chandimal

Jan 4 (CI) Sri Lanka batsman Dinesh Chandimal has said that the team will be pressing hard for victory on a day-five pitch that is likely to be increasingly receptive to spin bowling. The visitors lost only one wicket for 234 runs on day four, suggesting the surface remained good for batting. Offspinner Saeed Ajmal was unable to prize a wicket in 42 overs in the second innings, but Chandimal said that turn could be gleaned from one end of the Abu Dhabi pitch, and pinned the team's hopes on more..

‘Bogus 92 Octane instead of fuel price reduction’

Jan 4 (Island) UNP trade unionist Ananda Palitha accused Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa of misleading the public by introducing bogus international standard 92 Octane, instead of reducing fuel prices which are low in the international market currently. He questioned, "Why are they introducing 92 Octane to the market now? Does it mean that Sri Lanka has used low standard petrol so far?" more..

'China promises continued support for Sri Lanka in all spheres'

Jan 4 (DN) Chinese govt and the Communist Party of China will continue to support Sri Lanka in all spheres, said Chairman of the Standing Committee of Tianjin Municipal People's Congress Xiao-Huayuan during a recent meeting with Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Xiao-Huayuan was leading a Chinese delegation from the Tianjin Municipal People's Congress on a visit to Sri Lanka recently. He said over 1,000 SL students are presently studying medicine at the Tianjin University more..

Customs rake in Rs. 5.4 M as fines

Jan 4 (CT) The Sri Lanka Customs had raked in Rs 5.4 million as fines in 2013, Customs media spokesperson Lesley Gamini said. He said that there have been 93 incidents of smuggling gold out of the country. Most of those detained by Customs were Sri Lankans travelling from Colombo to India. During the year 2013 Sri Lanka Customs had confiscated gold to the value of over Rs. 150 million, Gamini said. Meanwhile, the first detention for 2014 took place last morning (02) when more..

Container of heroin: PM’s son questioned

Jan 4 (Island) Police Narcotics Bureau yesterday questioned Premier D M Jayaratne’s son Anuradha Jayaratne for two and a half hours with regard to a letter submitted to the Customs with Prime Minister‘s signature seeking the release of a container sans demurrage and other charges. It was later found to be carrying the biggest consignment of heroin packed into tins of grease. However, when contacted for comment more..