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SLBFE warns against foreign employment using tourist visa

Mar 11 (AD) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) today requested the public to refrain from going for employment in the Middle East or elsewhere using tourist visa, as the bureau will not take any responsibility for those who do so. SLBFE says that information has been uncovered regarding an illegal racket which deploys women for employment in countries such as Saudi Arabia, through Dubai and India using tourist visas. These profiteers have sent Sri Lankans more..

CPC cuts off supplies of fuel to Kerawalapitiya CEB plant

Mar 11 (Island) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has once again cut off supplies of diesel to the West Coast Power Plant, forcing the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to pay an additional 10 million rupees a day to obtain fuel for plants like AES Kelanitissa and the very expensive gas turbine plant in Kelanitissa. Desite requests from the management of West Coast Power Pvt. Ltd., the CPC has failed to provide fresh stocks of fuel to its 300MW Kerawalapitiya plant. more..

Sri Lanka looks for new hangman after sight of gallows prompts recruit to quit

Mar 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is searching for a new hangman after the latest recruit got upset on seeing the gallows for the first time and quit. Prisons Department appointed the new hangman, the third most qualified from 176 applicants, last week, months after two hangmen chosen late last year failed to show up for work. "We gave him one week's training, but he resigned after seeing the gallows, saying that he didn't want the job," more..

UNP’s manifesto tomorrow

Mar 11 (DM) UNP will launch its manifesto for the provincial council election at its headquarters Sirikotha tomorrow. The manifesto named ‘Bala Peraliyata Kola Eliya’ (Green light for a change of regime) and is in line with the party’s policy of firing the first shot towards defeating the present regime. To achieve this party’s national leader and some members of the leadership council had already requested all UNP voters to go and cast their votes without refraining. more..

UN, World blind to UNP sins - Premajayantha

Mar 11 (Island) The country was being targeted by the West at the UNHRC all because the Rajapaksa govt had defeated LTTE terrorism in 2009, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said that Sri Lankan security forces had not committed any human rights violations contrary to claims by the US. They had only rescued civilians from the LTTE, he added. "If they probe human rights violations the UN must take action against the then UNP govt for its acts during the 1987 – 89 period," minister said, more..

'Army & police will have to take the side of the people soon'

Mar 11 (LT) The programme to deploy the Army and police to suppress people’s agitations would not be effective now. The Army and the police will have to take the side of the people soon says the leader of the group of JVP candidates from Gampaha District for the Western Provincial election Mahinda Jayasinghe. He said, “Today a change is necessary not only for the Western Province but to the whole country. more..

Ganeshan prepares for opposition rule in WP after March 29 poll

Mar 11 (Island) Leader of the Democratic People’s Front (DPF) Mano Ganeshan said that he was looking forward to an Opposition-run administration in the Western Provincial Council (WPC) after the elections on March 29. Addressing election meetings over the weekend in the Colombo and Gampaha Districts for which the DPF is fielding candidates, Ganeshan said that he hoped for a post election alliance among all the Opposition parties to teach a good lesson to the UPFA govt. more..

Govt declares tough penalties to Lankan poachers

Mar 11 (Island) Govt warned all Sri Lankan owned fishing craft boat skippers and crew that they would face fines not exceeding Rupees 1.5 million and prison sentences not above two years with immediate effect if they were caught hereafter fishing in territorial waters of other countries, Media Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries Narendra Rajapaksa said. These laws came into operation from yesterday under the provisions of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act of 2013. more..

Minister Lokuge complains of overzealous election officials

Mar 11 (Island) SLFP Kesbewa organiser, Minister Gamini Lokuge claimed the officials of the Elections Department unnecessarily removed legal propaganda offices in his electorate and candidates of the WPC election were in a very difficult situating as they could not inform the voters of their preferential vote numbers. He said that several offices set up with approval from the Elections Department as well as the Police had been more..

'My intention is to serve the country'

Mar 12 (NS) UPFA Minister Dulles Alahapperuma speaking to the media two weeks back said the finalized list of candidates for the provincial council elections included teachers, lawyers, engineers, etc and the list had the name of a scientist too. The Nation looked for this scientist which the UPFA is going to enlist for the Colombo district. He is Thushara Perera, a product of Ananda College, Colombo. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from more..

'Our mission is to educate the masses'

Mar 12 (NS) Samanmalee Gunasinghe, a council member of the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council for last one and half decades is contesting for the PC elections this time representing her party - JVP which she joined several years back as a university student. She says her party or she herself doesn’t work for the votes at the election and their only target is educating the general public over “this pathetically destroyed social and economic system by the regimes of two main political parties more..

Major RMV registration scam exposed

Mar 12 (SO) The Department of Motor Traffic or popularly known as the Registrar of Motor Vehicles is one of the oldest govt departments that is notorious for various fraudulent practices and scams by shady characters in the past. Being one of the busiest offices in town and visited by a large crowd everyday, supported by various unauthorised brokers there is ample room for malpractice. Yet again proving this notion, a major scam of more..

Does USA or India want regime change?

Mar 12 (CT) The short answer is “no” in the case of India, but America I believe is keeping its options open; it will not get so deeply involved in this pandemonium without strategy and game plan. The resolution has taken centre stage; briefings and lobbying overshadow everything else in the Geneva corridors. The crucial issue is no longer the wording, though stake holders tear each others hair out re “strengthening” or “watering down”. The dynamics of the next stage depend entirely on whether more..

Sexist Jokes: What Namal and Anarkali fail to grasp

Mar 12 (CT) In Canada, the University of Ottawa’s men’s hockey team and its coaches stand suspended, while an investigation into a sexual assault complaint is completed. Just days before the alleged assault was made public, a female student of the university accused five male student leaders of the university of conducting sexually explicit conversations about her on Facebook. Even as four of those men attempted to silence the female student by threatening legal action, more..

Malaysian plane search revives Sri Lankan tycoon’s missing jet mystery

Mar 12 (LR) As authorities move westward towards the Strait of Malacca in search of missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 carrying 239 persons, it revives memories of the extensive and unsuccessful search carried out by seven countries in the same area for a Lear Jet carrying Sri Lankan business tycoon Upali Wijewardene and five others in 1983. The richest man in Sri Lanka and his Learjet 35A more..

CBK rants about another Bandaranaike era

Mar 12 (CT) Recently, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga attended a wedding in Beruwala. She saw a former close associate, who is now a right-hand man of President Rajapaksa. Now he also attacks Chandrika. Former President called a friend of the minister and voiced a litany of blames and asked him to report all she said to the minister. "I introduced that minister to politics. Ask him to refrain from going after them too much because SLFP may sometimes see another Bandaranaike era. more..

War crime allegation and role of Opposition

Mar 12 (CT) As expected, the USA has tabled a resolution before the UNHRC with war crime allegations against Sri Lanka. The entire world wonders why the USA has been so keen to harass Sri Lanka, for the last five years. It is a question worth further exploration. In my view, there are three compelling reasons for USA's behaviour. Firstly, the shame brought to the USA by Sri Lanka's military victory over the LTTE. The US led coalition invaded Afghanistan with the latest technology, more..

If not for Lanka’s suffering women …

Mar 12 (ST) If not for Sri Lanka’s hard working women, where would the country’s economy be? Where would the foreign exchange needed to pay for our imports, for the rich and famous to run in BMWs and Mercs come from? Where would foreign exchange to send Sri Lankan students abroad come from? Consider these numbers. Country’s economy is, without any doubt, driven by 3 sectors: migrant workers, garment and tea more..

Editorial: Fast-moving dregs

Mar 12 (Island) In Sri Lanka sovereignty is said to be in the people. Isn’t this a big lie? This is the question people ask themselves when they use public roads where they are treated like common criminals or even terrorists. Time was when they were made to freeze on roads facing wayside walls till motorcades of VIPs whizzed past. That was when Prabhakaran was around. About five years have elapsed since the conclusion of the war and the govt boasts that terrorism is a thing of the past. more..

LTTE portrayed as relatively weaker force, army losses downplayed

Mar 12 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields was meant to pave the way for Western powers to intervene in Sri Lanka. Last week, The Island dealt with some of the issues highlighted by the documentary produced by the British media outfit, Channel 4 News and the failure on the part of the govt to counter them. Although the documentary was first shown to UK audiences on Channel 4 in June 2011, Channel 4 News made its initial allegations in August 2010. Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields is often mentioned as more..

BOI Board on the Colombo Stock Exchange up in 6 months

Mar 12 (ST) A new board on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) for Board of Investment (BoI) companies in an effort to attract foreign investment and enhance the stock market’s liquidity will be a reality within six months, Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman BoI says. “A separate board called the BoI Board will be introduced in addition to the existing Main Board and the Diri Savi Board to facilitate this process,” more..

Who wants Tutu?

Mar 12 (Island) The Bishops are in the news, and I am not referring to the first ever female Bishop in India, if not in South Asia, appointed recently. In this regard it should be recorded that according to Vargapurnikava, of the Yakshas, there had been female Bhikkus or Bhikkunis who had held high positions even before Vijaya came to Sri Lanka. The Bishops who are in the news are the political Bishops who voice their opinions in respect of the Tamil problem in Sri Lanka. more..

GL’s come or go Geneva speech ups the ante

Mar 12 (ST) Invigorated perhaps by the Alpine air, the Sri Lankan External Minister G.L. Peiris this week came out of his endangered corner in Geneva talking tough with both hands pistol packed and, firing at will, rejected outright the entire damning Pillay report as being ‘fundamentally flawed’ and ‘baseless’. In a bravura performance that must have sent shudders through the Geneva conference hall and raised the air conditioned chill, Minister Peiris uncloaked his sheep clothing to reveal more..

Outer Circular Highway: Two days’ toll collection Rs. 1.3 m

Mar 12 (DN) Toll booth collections on the Outer Circular Highway (OCH) from Kottawa to Kaduwela were a whopping Rs 1.3 million within the first two days of its commissioning. The collection was from 7 a.m. on March 9, when the highway was opened for vehicular traffic, to 7 a.m. on Tuesday. More than 4,392 vehicles entered the expressway from the Kottawa entrance within the first two days. more..

SEC suspends trading in Touchwood shares over non submission of interim accounts

Mar 12 (FT) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended the trading in shares of Touchwood Investments (TWOD) with immediate effect until the Company releases pending interim financial statements to the market. TWOD’s release of interim results for quarter ended 30 Sept 2013 and 31 Dec 2013 are pending. Failure on timely release of results usually leads to the transfer of the particular company to the Default Board. more..

No takers for Kuchchaveli tourism zone

Mar 12 (CT) The country's investment promotions agency has failed in its efforts to attract foreign investors participating in the CHOGM 2013 business forum in Colombo for a proposed tourism zone in Kuchchaveli after having inflated land prices for this purpose. Similar to the Kalpitiya project, which offered 10 islets to 10 or more investors at US$ 100 million per 25 hectares, the Kuchchaveli proposals submitted to the Commonwealth Business Forum too failed to attract investors, more..

Tourist injured by elephant at UdaWalawe

Mar 12 (Island) Last week news was received about a foreign tourist, who had been injured by a wild elephant closed to the Uda Walawe National Park. When I heard the news, I immediately felt a wave of apprehension wondering whether this could be Rambo, the elephant who frequents the Tanamallvila Road boundary fence, along the bund of the Uda Walawe reservoir. Rambo has been frequenting this area for many years, but more..

Sri Lanka graphite mine asks for industry consultations on proposed laws

Mar 12 (LBO) Bogala Graphite Lanka, a unit of AMG Mining AG of Germany has asked for the industry to be consulted before new regulations are imposed and capital expenditure has been curtailed. The firm said Sri Lanka's Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, the industry regulator, has informed the mining industry that the related ministry is change regulations. "We trust the relevant authorities will consult with us prior to promulgating new regulations," CEO Amila Jayasinghe said. more..

NHDA purchases private land for housing development

Mar 12 (ST) National Housing Development Authority (NHDA), faced with a scarcity of land and strict land market restrictions, is purchasing developed and undeveloped private land in rural and urban areas, for housing development to meet the shelter needs of middle income families. Authority intends to buy vacant private lands ranging from over 40 perches to over one acre to build houses or sell it at concessionary terms and conditions to middle income earners to construct more..

GMOA calls on Ministry of Health-Conduct audit into Caesarean deliveries

Mar 12 (CT) Responding to allegations that 98% of the babies delivered at private hospitals are through Caesarean sections, are that it is done so on the recommendations of Consultant Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who allegedly receive 51% of the cost of the surgery, GMOA called on the Ministry of Health to conduct urgent audits and regularly monitor 'baby-friendly' accreditations that are given to medical institutions. more..

Many Mahindodaya Technical Laboratories in Southern Province opened

Mar 12 (GDI) President Rajapaksa Tuesday vested in the children Mahindodaya Technical Laboratories built in several schools in the Southern Province under the Mahindodaya 1000 schools programme, which is transforming the education sector in Sri Lanka. President speaking after opening the Mahindodaya Technical Laboratory at the Richard Pathirana Maha Vidyalaya in Galle said benefits of freedom obtained after eradicating terrorism could be secured only if the future more..

Commander underlines Navy's role in Lanka's Wonder of Asia quest

Mar 12 (DN) Sri Lanka Navy has to play the most significant role in making Sri Lanka a maritime hub which is one of the five components the country should achieve in its endeavour to become the 'Wonder of Asia,' Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage said. He was addressing the Commissioning Parade of the 27th KDU Intake (Technical officers) and the 28th KDU Intake (Executive and Supply officers) at the main parade ground of the Naval and Maritime Academy more..

President, ministers on live political programme on TV

Mar 12 (Island) Now that President Rajapaksa and several ministers had been given an opportunity to address the public live on state and private television networks in support of the UPFA candidates contesting the Western and Southern PC polls on March 29, it would be the responsibility of the Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya to facilitate a similar programme for the opposition political parties, more..

‘Sri Lanka factory output tops $2.6 bn’

Mar 12 (Island) Sri Lanka’s factory output, an important industrial growth driver, continues to rise. "National factory output that recorded $ 2.4 billion in 2011, increased to $ 2.6 billion, in 2012. Since there is a strong contribution by local industries to exports, there is also growth in our overall exports thanks to this engine" said Minister Rishad Bahiudeen on March 8 in Kurunegala. He was addressing the entrepreneur and industrial awards event by North Western Province, more..

'No talks till all fishermen are freed'

Mar 12 (CG) Talks scheduled to take place tomorrow between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen in Colombo hangs in the balance after the TN Govt insisted that Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody are first freed. Tamil Nadu State govt says it had categorically told the Centre that the second round of talks between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan fishermen could take place in Colombo, only after the release of 177 Tamil Nadu fishermen and their 44 boats currently in Sri Lankan custody, more..

Hydropower takes centre stage at intl forum in Colombo

Mar 12 (Island) The Fifth International Conference and Exhibition on Water Resources and Hydropower Development in Asia was ceremonially opened at the BMICH yesterday in which 500 delegates, resource persons and exhibitors from 41 countries take part till Thursday, sharing their insights on the subject in both theoretical and practical engineering aspects. This year the main focus of this forum will be on more..

Eight students end fast at Mullivaikkal Mutram in Thanjavur

Mar 12 (Hindu) Eight students who had been on fast since Saturday on Sri Lanka Tamils issue at Mullivaikkal Mutram here ended their fast on Tuesday, responding to appeals by leaders of various political parties and Tamil outfits. They went on fast, urging the Centre to honour the resolution adopted in the State Assembly and press the United Nations to bring a resolution for conducting a referendum on Eelam among Tamils across the world. more..

Religious leaders lash out against Geneva resolution

Mar 12 (DN) The resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC constitutes unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of an independent and sovereign nation, representatives of the Inter-Religious Alliance for National Unity said. Alliance President Ven. Prof. Kamburugamuwe Vajira Thera said all people should set aside political and other divisions and confront this challenge in unison. Thera said the resolution undermines the hard won freedom and peace of the country. more..

‘President called me four times; I didn’t pick up’ Says JVP Leader

Mar 12 (CT) Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said that while he had received four calls from the President on 3 Feb, presumably to congratulate him on being appointed as the Party Leader the previous day (2 Feb), he had declined to answer any of them. He opined that the President's motive behind the congratulatory calls was not to actually congratulate him but to do so and get media publicity for it. more..

A new 15 storey commercial development to be built in Kollupitiya under BOI

Mar 12 (FT) Lee Hedges Investments, a fully owned subsidiary of Lee Hedges PLC has signed an agreement with the BOI for a project for commercial development which will provide 112,000 sq. feet of super grade office space in its 15 floor complex, with three floors of parking, central air conditioning and provision of two elevators, at an estimated project cost of Rs. 1.2 billion. Design Consortium, the consultants/architects for the project having taken note of more than 100 years history of more..