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21,750 kilos of coriander unfit for consumption detected

Mar 12 (Island) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) yesterday took into custody 21,750 kilos of coriander unfit for human consumption at a spice packing warehouse on Shivananda Road, Kotahena and if the stock had got into the market it would have been sold for over Rs. 3.5 million. Co-operative and Internal Trade Ministry Media Secretary, Nipun Ekanayake said that the raid had been conducted on a tip-off and the owner of the packing centre would be prosecuted in due course. more..

TNA meets British and US diplomats

Mar 12 (DM) A TNA delegation led by R. Sampanthan met US and British envoys in Colombo on Monday and discussed the US-led resolution to be submitted at the ongoing UNHRC sessions in Geneva. The resolution calls for an international inquiry into alleged war crime allegations against Sri Lanka. TNA delegation comprising MPs Mavai Senathiraja and M.A Sumanthiran on two separate occasions met more..

'Sri Lanka must uphold democratic values'

Mar 12 (Hindu) Sri Lanka should uphold democratic values in order to protect itself from international interference, the former President, Chandrika Kumaratunga said. “If Sri Lanka wants to save itself in Geneva, the Sri Lankan Govt and its people have to conduct themselves in accordance with universally accepted democratic norms and standards. They will save themselves automatically if they do this. That is how we can help them,” she said responding to a query soon after more..

CNNGo in Sri Lanka: Spicy crabs, blue whales and Ceylon tea

Mar 12 (CNN) Starting in Sri Lanka's freshest seafood market and the renovated racecourse in Colombo, this month's CNNGo episode then ventures beyond the capital city to the seaside city of Galle and the tranquil tea farm-filled countryside. Singapore may be famous for its chili crab, but most of those clawed creatures come from Sri Lanka's seas. Mission of the Ministry of Crab is to reclaim the crab crown for Sri Lanka. Here you can get chili crab (spicier than Singapore version), more..

Chandrika seeks support of political parties to forge religious harmony

Mar 12 (Island) Amidst frequent attacks allegedly backed by forces within the govt on Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious places of worship, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has sought the support of all political parties and civil society to end the menace and forge religious harmony. Having discussed the issue with leaders of all religious denominations earlier, Kumaratunga met Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe more..

Patiently we waited, now the remedy

Mar 12 (DM) After some eight years of delays which were deliberate or due to lethargy, excuses or broken promises and a mysterious disappearance of the draft, legislation for the implementation of Prof. Senake Bibile’s national medicinal drugs policy was on Monday personally handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Mr. Sirisena, in a speech at his home-base of Polonnaruwa to mark the 25th anniversary of his election to Parliament, more..

Electoral reforms a dire need in Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (DM) The voters are getting ready to vote at the Western Province and Southern Province elections on 29 March 2014. The two provinces consist of substantial voter strength in the island. Compared to other provinces they too are more important politically and economically earning and spending the highest quotas of national income and expenditure. The two provinces also edge out other provinces in natural resources and in the fields of education. more..

What REALLY happened at the Gampaha Bandaranaike National School?

Mar 12 (DM) “The school ground was a total battlefield last Monday,” Jayantha Navarathne, a parent who was at the Gampaha Bandaranaike National School last Monday says, recalling the series of unfortunate events that occurred within school premises under the alleged influence of the cadet master and several other teachers in the school. The events that expired following the violent entry of the students resulted in damages more..

Many hands but no directing brain in fight against drugs

Mar 12 (ST) Lack of an independent enforcement body to impose laws and direct narcotics trafficking investigators has led to the country being used as a transit point by international drug mafia, a drug expert warns. With 45,000 heroin users in the country and drug use spreading through schools and universities, the narcotics menace has also reached deep into the country, authorities say. Some 297kg of heroin, 166kg of cannabis, more..

Mass Graves raise mass suspicions

Mar 12 (SL) During the recent past there have been numerous occasions where several human skeletal remains have been discovered during excavations and clearing of lands in the North and East, and also the much talked about mass grave in Matale where remains of 154 persons were discovered. The special three-member Presidential Commission appointed to probe the mass grave discovered at Matale expects more..

Competitive bidding turned on head

Mar 12 (ST) In the past–before it began bluffing that Australian gambling tycoon James Packer’s proposed resort in Sri Lanka would not have a casino–the Govt cited Singapore’s successful foray into gaming as good reason to expand the industry here. But Singapore’s decision to allow casinos for the first time was preceded by research and a firm policy decision backed by regulations that are routinely more..

'Sri Lanka needs near term moderate growth for stability'

Mar 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka has a potential gross domestic product growth of about 6.75% a year after the end of a civil war and near term moderate growth may help keep the economy stable, an IMF Study has suggested. Proponents of the so-called 'output gap' believe that an economy has an inherent potential growth rate and if actual growth rate is higher (positive output gap or demand outpacing supply) it leads to inflation. more..

Rajapaksas attempting to make country’s tragedy their fountain of power – Vijitha

Mar 12 (LT) The government is now attempting to get a sympathy vote of the people after the vote in Geneva on the 28th by talking about their woes. Rajapaksas are attempting to make the disaster the country would be confronted with a fountain of power for them. The pseudo patriots, licking bones thrown at them, are beating the ‘Geneva’ drum hanging on to the shawl said, JVP MP Vijitha Herath. more..

5 ways to experience the best of Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (CNN) Home to a gorgeous coastline, ancient cities and lush countryside, Sri Lanka is also slowly healing from the wounds of war. But with a steadily improving infrastructure, this tiny emerald shaped island is on the rise. Here are five essential experiences and destinations to consider. 1. Ride the rails: One of the easiest ways to get around the country -- not to mention the cheapest -- is on Sri Lanka's rail network. more..

Glyphosate to be banned in Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (DM) The use of the weedicide Glyphosate has been banned on a directive from President Rajapaksa, Deputy Minister S.M. Chandrasena said. He said this weedicide is known to be linked to the rapidly spreading kidney disease in Sri Lanka. “An investigation carried out by medical specialists and scientists have revealed that kidney disease was mainly caused by Glysophate. President has ordered immediate removal more..

Hours after Tamil Nadu CM’s warning, Sri Lanka releases 42 Indian fishermen

Mar 12 (ST) Few hours after the TN Chief Minister’s warning 42 Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka custody along with 8 boats caught early January this year by the navy were released today by the Kayts magistrate Lenin Kumar. The Tamil Nadu State govt has categorically told the Centre that the second round of talks between TN and Sri Lankan fishermen could take place in Colombo on Thursday, only after the release of 177 TN fishermen more..

Australia's cooperation with Sri Lanka risks safety of asylum seekers - report

Mar 12 (HRLC) A new report has found that Australia’s cooperation with Sri Lanka to prevent would-be-refugees from seeking protection is riddled with human rights risks and should be stopped immediately. The report, Can’t flee, can’t stay: Australia’s interception and return of Sri Lankan asylum seekers, which is based on interviews with govt officials, information obtained through freedom of information requests more..

Hands off Ukraine – JVP

Mar 12 (LT) The JVP has issued a statement condemning the actions of US, EU and NATO against the people of Ukraine and also intervention of Russia in the issue. The statement by the Political Bureau of the JVP states the people of Ukraine alone have the inalienable right to elect their leaders in free and fair elections and outside forces have no right whatsoever to violate sovereignty of Ukraine or any other nation in the world. Statement in full: Condemn Imperialist Intervention In Ukraine! more..

The rhetoric and the reality

Mar 12 (CT) International Women's Day 2014 was celebrated in Sri Lanka with clichéd boasts and pithy slogans that superficially placed women atop a wobbly pedestal, lauding their contribution to the economy and nation building, but failed to take cognizance of their physical safety, security and wellbeing. The country specific theme, 'Her strength is the nation's strength' may beautifully mirror the UN's theme, 'Equality for women is progress for all', but in the absence of any real attempt to more..

Anarkali Unplugged

Mar 12 (FT) Anarkali Akarsha who will be contesting the SPC election from Matara District says she can handle mudslinging and face rumours and it does not hurt or hit her anymore. “If I think about my image and fight against these accusations, I will not have time carry out my work.” Politician turned actress noted: “It is not easy for a woman to be in politics. Whether you are an actress, beautician or a housewife, when you get into politics, more..

Sri Lanka stocks end down 0.2%

Mar 12 (LBO) Stocks close 0.19% lower Wednesday with leading food and beverage company losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 11.05 points lower at 5,933.52 down 0.19%. S&P SL20 closed 3.83 points lower at 3,236.29, down 0.12%. Turnover was 408.01 million rupees, down from 804.56 million rupees a day earlier with 84 stocks close positive against 72 negative. Commercial Bank closed 10 cents higher at 115.10 rupees with two off market transactions of more..

Buddhists challenged to respect their Buddhist religion

Mar 12 (CT) The third resolution on Sri Lanka to be taken up for vote at the 25th Sessions of the UNHRC now in progress, saw even Galaboda Gnanissara Thera, the “Gangarama podi hamuduruwo” as some call him, getting on the street in ugly protests. Gangarama Podi Hamuduruwo was not considered the type to have behaved as such. Before the protest, he is reported to have told his lay committee that President and MoD Secretary wish to see him lead the protest. more..

Take a moment before you cast your vote – Lal Kantha to state employees

Mar 12 (LT) State employees have got the opportunity to cast their postal votes for the PC elections. As the JVP we would like to make a request form state employees. It is the JVP that has struggled on behalf of state employees. By casting your votes for the candidates of the JVP instead of those who have never struggled on behalf of state employees, the opportunity to struggle for your rights and grievances in the PCs more..

Sri Lanka rupee edges down on importer dollar demand

Mar 12 (Reuters) Rupee ended a tad weaker on Wednesday on importer dollar demand from the two state banks in the absence of any central bank intervention, dealers said. The spot rupee ended at 130.60/65 per dollar, weaker from Tuesday's close of 130.55/57. "Two state banks bought dollars, I don't think it's an intervention from the central bank," a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity. The currency has gained 0.33% in the last 10 sessions through Wednesday, more..

Waqar, Murali take on coaching roles with Bengal

Mar 12 (CI) Waqar Younis and Muttiah Muralitharan have been appointed pace and spin bowling consultants respectively for Bengal, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) confirmed after its working committee meeting on Monday. The two have signed three-year contracts with the CAB and will begin working with the players in a four-day camp starting March 15. Waqar and Murali were recommended by the former India captain Sourav Ganguly. more..

‘Govt. introduced policy of sharing the budget with the people’

Mar 12 (Island) It is the present govt that introduced in 2010 the tradition of sharing the country’s income with the people, according to Minister Basil Rajapaksa. He made this observation when he addressed meetings at the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Playground and Wills Park, Badulla on March 11 to brief the public on the National Budget 2014 for the Rata Neguma National Development under the theme, more..

Four dengue deaths in two months

Mar 12 (CT) Parents with children under five years are advised by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), to keep their premises and compounds clean to prevent the dengue mosquito from breeding. Chief Medical Officer, CMC, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, said with four deaths of children below five years being reported within a span of two months, it was important that residents keep their premises very clean to protect the children from being stung by the aedes mosquito. more..

TID calls for public help to locate fugitive

Mar 12 (DM) Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) called for public support to identify and locate a suspect by the name of Kajiban Ponnaiah Selvanayagam alias ‘Kobi’ alias ‘Kasiyen’, police sources said. SSP Ajith Rohana said the wanted man was 31 years old, six feet tall with a tan complexion and had a scar above the left part of his upper lip. The people are requested to be vigilant as to his whereabouts and inform the police if information regarding him could be obtained, more..

Govt says attacks isolated

Mar 12 (CG) Govt insisted today that attacks on some places of worship are isolated incidents and are not a sign of religious hatred or intolerance. In a statement at the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom or Religion or Belief, Heiner Beilefeldt at the 25th session of the UNHRC, the Sri Lankan delegation said that the Govt does not condone attacks of places of religious worship. more..

Our candidates are human beings, they violate regulations – Premajayantha

Mar 12 (LT) Our candidates and supporters don’t violate election regulations but they are human beings and may be violations take place without known to them says the Secretary General of the UPFA Minister Susil Premajayantha. Minister said despite candidates and supporters have been made aware regarding election regulations and they have been asked not to violate them, there may be instances elections regulations are violated as they are human beings. more..

Sri Lanka fund takes 33% stake in Bangladesh power firm

Mar 12 (LBO) Lanka Ventures, a Sri Lanka based investment fund said it had invested 5 million US dollars for a 33% stake in Lakdhanavi Bangla Power Limited, which is building a 52.2 MegaWatt thermal power plant in Bangladesh. The investment was made through its subsidiary Lanka Energy International, on March 11, Lanka Ventures said in a stock exchange filing. Last January the firm had invested 255 million rupees Raj Lanka Power Company to take a 16% stake. more..

Video: Check your land deeds: Police

Mar 12 (DM) Police warned the public today to check their land deeds after it was revealed that the CID arrested a man who cheated a lady engineer of Rs.42 million by selling a plot of land using forged documents. The man was arrested on a complaint made by her realizing that the land was owned by the UDA. She purchased the one-acre block of land close to SLIIT in Malabe to set up a solar power project. more..

‘SL regrets removal of Ukrainian President

Mar 12 (DM) The Sri Lankan govt said that in keeping with country’s consistent policy of recognizing democratically elected Heads of State, the unconstitutional removal of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych from office is regretted, and has aggravated the present political uncertainty in Ukraine. While acknowledging the justifiable concerns of the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka also welcomes attempts at de-escalating the tension, the External Affairs ministry said in a statement. more..

Assault on Asst. Superintendent of Mocha Estate-Planters to demand thorough probe

Mar 12 (CT) Ceylon Planters' Society (CPS) has requested the President to conduct a thorough investigation into the assault perpetrated on the Assistant Superintendent of Mocha Estate, Ravindra Senaratne, by some of the labourers, on Friday, which incident they allege is being covered up by the Secretary of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), and the Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development, Arumugam Thondaman. Mocha Estate is managed by Maskeliya Plantations. more..

Pharmaceuticals categorised as a special commodity

Mar 12 (DM) Pharmaceuticals have been categorized as a special commodity and as such it is compulsory for importers to obtain the approval of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) before increasing prices, the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade said today. Minister Johnston Fernando, who made this announcement at a media conference, said he had issued a gazette notification to this effect on March 4 using more..

Ananthi holds meetings in Geneva

Mar 12 (CG) NPC member Ananthi Sasitharan had meetings in Geneva this week on the sidelines of the UNHRC session. She had similar meetings in Geneva last month before UNHRC began meeting for its 25th session and she spoke to diplomats about the final stages of the war and on issues faced by the Tamils in the North, particularly women. Sasitharan, the wife of former LTTE Trincomalee District political head S. Elilan, had been nominated by the NPC to travel to Geneva more..

Don’t vote for small parties-UNP

Mar 12 (DM) UNP today requested the people not to vote for any other small party if they are fed up with the ruling party as the UNP is the only alternative for it. UNP seniors who were speaking at the launch of its manifesto requested the people not to vote for any small party stressing that it will create a favorable situation for the ruling UPFA. UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said UNP is the only alternative to this govt as it has a good track record of governing this country. more..

'Govt. trying to dilute authority of Mahanayake Theras'

Mar 12 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe alleged that the Govt was making subtle attempts to undermine the hierarchical powers of the Mahanayaka Theras of the four Nikayas. He said all four Nikayas were governed by the Mahanayake Theras and the Karaka Sabhas but the Rajapaksa regime was attempting to change this structure and remove the authority wielded by the Mahanayake Theras for centuries. more..

Rs. 625 mn Grant from Japan for medical equipment and welfare apparatus

Mar 12 (Island) Based on long term economic cooperation between the two countries the government of Japan has agreed to provide grant assistance of Rs. 625 million under Non Project Grant Aid and government of Sri Lanka has decided to utilize this grant to improve the health care facilities in National Hospitals, Teaching Hospitals, provincial hospitals, district hospitals, base hospitals and primary medical care units to uplift the health standards of Sri Lankan citizens. more..

Salley to go to police over school

Mar 12 (CG) MTNA leader Azath Salley is to file a police complaint against the school which forced two children to remove their hijab (head scarf). Salley said that he is gathering information over the incident and will subsequently file a police complaint against the school authorities and groups which are promoting extremism in the country. The school in Rajagiriya had last week banned Muslim students from wearing the hijab to school despite it being permitted under local laws. more..