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GMOA asks govt. to train security forces personnel in nursing

May 5 (Island) GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the GMOA had decided to request Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to train police, army, air force and navy personnel on nursing to make use of their services in case of any emergency situation. Although the PSUNU had launched a countrywide strike in almost all state-run hospitals, doctors attached to the GMOA had been able to treat patients more..

Mother-of-two, 14-year B.C. resident facing deportation

May 5 (CTV) A mother of two who has lived in Metro Vancouver for 14 years is facing deportation after she was arrested by border guards in April. Ibarra, who moved to Canada from Sri Lanka at age 15, is married to a Canadian man. They have two boys together, ages 7 and 10. “It’s really devastating to think that she could leave us, she could leave me, the family could be split apart,” said husband Eliseo Ibarra. “For the govt to split up a family like this, it’s just unbelievable.” more..

CPC gives fuel oil tender to sanctions-hit Iranian supplier

May 5 (FT) The petroleum industry was buzzing with the development of CPC awarding the latest fuel oil tender for the supply of 35,000 tons to Iranian oil trading firm Horizon. The move was despite warnings that the consignment may include US sanctioned product, prompting industry analysts to warn of possible consequences for Sri Lanka’s failure to comply with US-led Western sanctions against Iran. The tender was for the supply of 35,000 tons of low sulphur fuel oil. more..

James Packer's Sri Lanka casino plans in doubt

May 5 (SMH) Plans to build a casino resort in Sri Lanka were in the balance when James Packer flew home over the weekend. That may no longer be the case after his violent brawl with former best mate and Nine chief executive David Gyngell. According to local reports, Mr Packer was in Sri Lanka last week in a last ditch attempt to salvage the $400 million casino resort. “As stated by Minister Basil Rajapaksa in Parliament, more..

STF nabs smuggled fags worth Rs. 2.5 mn

May 5 (Island) Intelligence Unit members of the Police Special Task Force nabbed three suspects along with a stock of illegally imported cigarettes opposite the former St. John’s Fish Market in Pettah on Saturday. Stock of cigarettes was worth about Rs. 2.5 million, police said. They said the suspects were transporting the contraband comprising 80,000 cigarettes produced in Germany. The van that had been used to transport the smuggled cigarettes, too, was been taken into custody. more..

Knuckles on the way out

May 5 (CT) UNESCO has notified that the Dumbara (Knuckles) forest, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site, could be withdrawn from the world heritage list. The clearing of the forest with the knowledge of the politicians had led to the UNESCO warning. Already the Knuckles mountain range is facing the threat of deforestation, the UNESCO report points out. However, the Ministry of Forest Conservation, when contacted assured that it will take necessary steps to more..

US Lax on Anti-Lanka Terrorism

May 5 (ENS) Despite repeated appeals by the Sri Lankan govt for assistance to tackle terrorist elements among the Tamil Diaspora in the US and other Western countries, the US has chosen to ‘limit’ counter-terrorism cooperation with Lanka. The US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism for 2013, which was released on May 1, stated that counter-terrorism cooperation between the US and Lanka was ‘limited’. more..

Patients groan as nurses strike

May 5 (CT) Thousands of patients were inconvenienced as nurses continued their countrywide strike, for the second day, due to a dispute over their demand for midwifery training. President of the GNOA Saman Ratnapriya, said the Health Ministry had caved in to pressure from the GMOA, and discontinued the midwifery training which was earlier being given to nursing students. Nearly 28,000 nurses, attached to 650 hospitals countrywide, launched a strike on 3 May more..

Prelates condemn holding night races in Kandy

May 5 (CT) Criticizing the move to hold night races in Kandy for the third time come June, the Asgiriya Chapter stated that the plan was unsuitable and cause inconvenience to the public. Maha Nayakes of the Asgiriya Malwatte Chapters, Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera and Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera, respectively, vehemently condemned this move. Committee Member of the Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Thera said, more..

Nurses’ strike continues without biggest union

May 5 (Island) Ongoing strike by the nurses’ unions demanding that the nurses be provided with midwifery training continued for the third consecutive day yesterday paralysing the govt hospitals and severely inconveniencing patients. Three nurses trade unions namely Public Service United Nurses Union, Govt Nursing Officers Association (GNOA), All Ceylon Nurses Association commenced the strike last Thursday more..

Theft more by the powerful than the poor

May 5 (DM) As to what really plagues the paradise island of SL even after it defeated terrorism and entered the group of middle-income nations, has been a topic discussed at many a fora– both private and public. While mismanagement of the economy and the rise in the crime rate have often been attributed to the country’s economic woes, the ever-intensifying direct link between power and theft, the latter in its broader sense of interpretation, has often been cited as the latest tragedy of the nation. more..

The Roots of Communal Politics

May 5 (DM) The emergence of the Bodu Bala Sena and its continuing militant, anti-Muslim political activism has irritated many liberally-minded people. Some of those who are agitated have responded by proposing simplistic solutions to contain the movement such as banning it. Like many other such groups, BBS also did not emerge from nowhere; it has its social and political roots. It is necessary to understand these roots to find a satisfactory resolution of the deeper issues involved. more..

'We guarantee there will be no youth uprising for next 10 years'

May 5 (DM) World Conference of Youth 2014, one of the major international conferences held in Sri Lanka, will commence at Hambantota International Convention Centre tomorrow. Technical sessions and discussions of the five day conference with the participation of Youth Affairs Minister, youth delegations and official representation from nearly 160 countries will be held from May 7 to May 10 at the BMICH. more..

GTF hiding Behind HR issues to promote terrorism

May 5 (SL) After the defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka, the constituent organizations that funded the LTTE from overseas reorganized themselves very rapidly. These constituent organizations transformed from an operational organization that supported terrorism into lobbying against aid and trade to Sri Lanka. For defeating one of the world’s most brutal terrorist groups, the LTTE remnants wanted Sri Lanka punished. more..

Kidney trade: Raid on private hospitals

May 5 (ST) A top Health Ministry team is to visit several private hospitals this week to check out what is happening at ground level, following allegations of irregular kidney transplants on foreigners. The two-member team from the Directorate of Private Health Sector Development will comprise its Director Dr. Kanthi Ariyaratne and Deputy Director Dr. A.I. Jagoda. Indian media have reported that poor Indians are being more..

'Census Dept. should be independent'

May 5 (NS) Retired Central Bank Assistant Governor and Economist Dr Anila Dias Bandaranaike last week opined that Sri Lanka’s Department of Census and Statistics, which presently comes under the Ministry of Finance and Planning, needed to be independent if the statistics they produced were to be credible. Bandaranaike said that in Sri Lanka the current methodology to compile data is not up to-date while more..

Chinese loans to SL exceed US$ 3,836 Bn

May 5 (SL) Total value of concessionary loans, aid, and the grants offered by China during the past four years have exceeded US$3,836 billion payable between 14 to 20 year period; subjected to different interest rates agreed between 1.53% and 6.5%. According to Govt of Sri Lanka, the Chinese financed the key development programs here including the road construction, port construction, power generation, water supply, more..

SL's foreign reserves US$8.3bn in February

May 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves rose to 8.3 billion US dollars in Feb 2014, from 8.04 billion US dollars in January. During the first two months of the year a 'balance of payments surplus' of 805.7 million US dollars was seen. In January Sri Lanka sold a billion US dollar bond to international investors. When measured in months of imports foreign reserves were equal to 5.5 months of imports by end February. more..

Stage set for Sri Lanka bashing at London meet

May 5 (Island) A global summit on sexual violence scheduled to take place in London early next month is likely to be used against Sri Lanka, senior govt officials said. The UN recently accused Sri Lanka of rape and sexual violence during the post-conflict period. UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Bangura late last month said that she was concerned and worried about more..

BASL takes case of ‘unfair judicial promotions’ to Mahanayakes

May 5 (Island) A delegation of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) led by its President Upul Jayasuriya told the Mahanayaka Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya recently that there were many irregularites in the judicial system. At a meeting the prleate of Asgiriya Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha and the prelate of Malwatte Most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Theras, more..

Pope’s visit to Lanka: Decision today

May 5 (DM) A decision regarding the visit of Pope Francis to Sri Lanka could be made today in the Vatican when the Pope meets Sri Lankan Bishops individually, sources from the Roman Catholic Church said yesterday. Spokesman for the Church, Fr. Benedict Joseph said that it is possible that some decision regarding the papal visit would be made today as the pontiff is to meet the bishops and Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith today. more..

All set for World Conference on Youth 2014

May 5 (Island) All arrangements had been finalized for the grand opening ceremony of World Conference on Youth (WCY) scheduled to be take place at the Magampura Ruhunu International Conference Centre (MRICC) in Hambanthota tomorrow under the patronage of President Rajapaksa, Minister Dallus Alahapperuma said. He said that the Myanmar and Fiji Youth Affairs Ministers had arrived in Colombo last night more..

Press freedom promotes good governance

May 5 (CT) Press Freedom Day commemorated worldwide on 3 May 2014 brought into focus the need for an unfettered press to ensure transparency and good governance, which are essential factors that guarantee the rule of law, eliminate corruption and promote good decision making. The lack of these important elements in governance, affect the day to day life of the people and deny them their basic right for a secure life and their right to know how they are being governed. more..

Gearing up for the times ahead

May 5 (CT) I am writing this open letter to you, after months of watching in silence, the many professional bodies, chambers and others organizations with strategic core value commitments to its key stakeholders, failing to duly discharge their accountability with transparency and openly advocate for essential reforms and change, in line with expected best practices. This silence is mainly due to the prevailing external environment. The current authoritarian governance environment more..

Jaffna's information hero

May 5 (CT) Like many a print journalist, he is happiest when writing than being the story. Though used to being interviewed often, this humble and soft-spoken Editor-in-Chief of the Jaffna-based Uthayan newspaper, M.V. Kaanamylnathan, prefers to sit behind his desk than talk about himself. Being Uthayan's editor – a newspaper that had continuously faced various violent attacks and holds the record to date of having lost the most more..

Embattled monk declares his intention to contest Uva PC poll

May 5 (Island) Chairman of the Jathika Bala Sena, Ven. Watareka Vijitha Thera yesterday declared his intention to contest the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council election which is due to be announced before September this year. Vijitha Thera told The Island that he would lead a team, which would include both clergy and lay candidates. "My objective in coming forward to contest is to help solve common problems facing all Sri Lankans", he said. Monk is still virtually in hiding since more..

Harin ready to lead in Uva if all factions in UNP join forces

May 5 (Island) UNP Badulla District MP Harin Fernando said yesterday that he was prepared to sacrifice his parliamentary seat and contest as the UNP Chief Minister candidate in the forthcoming UVA Provincial Council Elections if all UNP factions got together. MP Fernando told The Island that they included all reformists like Maithri Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthilake, who should be brought back into the party’s fold. UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim was negotiating on the issue. more..

Sri Lanka's trade deficit narrows in February

May 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's trade deficit narrowed by 20.7% in February to 504 million U.S. dollars on increased earnings from exports. Earnings from exports in February 2014 increased significantly on a year-on-year basis by 5.4% to 841 million U.S. dollars, while expenditure on imports declined by 6.2% to 1.345 billion U.S. dollars. "Cumulative trade deficit for the first two months of 2014 contracted by 12.5%, more..

Sri Lanka stocks close higher

May 5 (LBO) Stocks close higher Monday with conglomerate Aitken Spence gaining amid strong foreign participation. All Share Price Index closed 0.99 points higher at 6,249.43 up 0.02%. S&P SL20 closed 5.88 points higher at 3,441.69, up 0.17%. Turnover was 1.25 billion rupees, down from 1.31 billion rupees last Friday with 105 stocks close positive against 88 negative. Expolanka closed 30 cents lower at 10.40 rupees with market transactions of 218.00 million rupees more..

Sri Lankan rupee ends steady; seen stable until imports, credit pick up

May 5 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady on Monday as thin importer dollar demand offset exporter dollar sales, while dealers expect the local currency to be stable in the near term until private sector credit demand and imports pick up. The spot rupee ended at 130.60/61 per dollar, little changed from Friday's close of 130.60/65. "We are seeing an appreciation trend. Inflows are steady and we do not see encouraging import demand," said a currency dealer. Dealers said the central bank can more..

Sri Lanka to joint 10 countries to lobby for migrant worker's rights

May 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is considering joining 10 other countries to lobby for greater rights for its nearly two million migrant workers. Welfare benefits that the countries would canvass for include better wages, benefits and insurance coverage for local expatriate workers taking up employment in West Asia and other foreign capitals. Additional General Manager of SLFEB Mangala Randeniya said matters more..

‘Children wait at home, unable to gain Grade One admissions’

May 5 (Island) JVP claimed that the govt’s failure to fill the Grade One slots in many schools coming under the purview of Western Provincial Council for the last five months had resulted in hundreds of students having to wait at home without a school. Western Provincial Councilor Lakshman Nipunarachchi said that 33 students per Grade One class were admitted to those schools after interviews. 33 students who obtained highest marks at the interviews were admitted first. more..

Sri Lanka to get New Zealand support for dairy sector

May 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka is looking at ways to improve its dairy sector with New Zealand following a visit by a delegation which met industry officials in the island. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said a delegation with officials from the International Development Group of New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Sri Lankan and New Zealand diplomatic officials had been in the discussions. Training the dairy farmers and officials, helping universities build up their capacities more..

Sri Lanka face danger of losing hosting rights of Asian Youth Games 2017

May 5 (DM) Two years after convincing the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to award the country hosting rights for the 2017 Asian Youth Games, Sri Lanka looks set to give up the job over lack of preparedness and concerns over finances. The govt is unable to foot the bill for the facilities and venues to host the expected 5000 participants representing 45 nations in Asia’s biggest sporting event for budding athletes, more..

Karunanidhi slams Centre for complying with Sri Lanka's ban on 16 Diaspora groups

May 5 (PTI) DMK president M Karunanidhi Monday slammed the Union Govt for complying with Sri Lanka's ban on 16 Tamil diaspora groups and 424 of their supporters on grounds that they were allegedly involved in terror activities. While Canada and the US have already ignored the list, "it is condemnable that India has complied with the inhumane, anti-Tamil" move by Colombo, he said in a statement here. Karunanidhi also pointed out that one of the 424 persons named, more..

Nurses to end island-wide strike tomorrow

May 5 (AD) The Govt Nursing Officers’ Association has decided to call off the island-wide nurses’ strike from 7.00am tomorrow , after considering the hardships faced by patients at hospitals owing to the trade union action. President of the Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) Saman Ratnapriya, addressing press conference in Colombo today, stated that they have decided to call off the strike and give the govt one week’s time to resolve the midwifery training issue. more..

James Packer in ‘mad dog’ brawl

May 5 (TA) James Packer and David Gyngell have said a violent street brawl between them in Bondi was part of the “ups and downs” of a 35-year friendship. Former best mates came to physical blows in a public dispute that was captured by a photographer yesterday. The former best mates came to physical blows in a public dispute that was captured by a photographer yesterday. more..

10 SL asylum seekers arrested in India

May 5 (PTI) Ten Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including five children, who arrived illegally by two boats, were arrested at Arichal Munai off Dhanuskodi coast and brought here today, police said. This is the first time that a batch of refugees are arriving from Sri Lanka after the Lankan forces defeated the LTTE in 2009, officials said. They were arrested for entering Indian territory without passport, police said. In fact they got down from the boats at the Arichal Munai sand dune and more..

US troops treated poorly says army

May 5 (CG) The United States does not take good care of soldiers who fought in battles for the country or those who have retired from service, Sri Lanka army said. Army Commander Daya Ratnayake, speaking at a ceremony at the launch of a new Military Hospital in Narahenpita today, said that Sri Lanka gives far better care to its war heroes when compared to countries like the US. “America spends heavily for war but it is sad to see the condition in what US soldiers who are involved in battles more..

Sri Lanka Buddhist monks in court accused of insulting Koran

May 5 (AFP) Four of Sri Lanka's most senior hardline Buddhist monks appeared in court Monday accused of insulting the Koran, in the first such case following a spate of religious hate attacks. Police accused the monks, from the nationalist BBS, or Buddhist Force, of making disparaging remarks against the Islamic holy book after bursting into a meeting of religious leaders last month. At the meeting, the monks also more..