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Regatta organized to mark the call by the Jewel of Muscat

Apr 23 (LP) As part of the events to mark the call by the ‘Jewel of Muscat’, a 9th Century reconstructed Omani ship, which called at the Port of Galle on 19th April 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Sri Lanka Navy and the Ruhunu Sailing Association, organized a regatta with the participation of five crew members of the ‘Jewel of Muscat’, four sailors from the Sri Lanka Navy and more..

'2010 elections was the greatest victory for the UPFA'

Apr 23 (LP) Addressing the media briefing of the UPFA, MP Dullas Alahapperuma remarked that historically speaking, the greatest victory UPFA achieved was at this election. In comparing with the 2/3 majority and 48%, the Government won in 1970 and the 5/6 victory of the UNP in 1978 which was 50.09%, the percentage of the latest elections was 60% for the Government making the percentage considerably higher. more..

Seventy five schools for Singer Rugby League

Apr 23 (LNP) Singer Sri Lanka Ltd has come forward once again to sponsor the Under-20 School Rugby League Tournament 2010. The Singer Under-20 School League Rugby Tournament showcases the talents and proficient of the 1st XV players from 75 schools and will feature a total of nearly 300 matches in the Division I, II and III. This tournament is being conducted in association with the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Association. more..

Black Paintings and Other Works

Sri Lankan businessman jailed for groping three Hong Kong flight attendants

Apr 23 (DPA) A Sri Lankan businessman who molested three flight attendants on a single flight was beginning a jail sentence in Hong Kong Friday. Halpita Acharige Wijith Thalis, 47, admitted to indecently assaulting three Cathay Pacific flight attendants on the four-hour flight from Singapore to Hong Kong on Tuesday. Thalis, on a business trip, touched a flight attendant's backside as she served passengers in the row in front, more..

Wife and son of missing Prageeth braving security cordons beg MPs to find him

Apr 23 (LeN) Sandya Ekneliyagoda, wife of Prageeth Ekneliyagoda, the journalist who went missing , and her elder son , Sanjaya Ekneliyagoda still a student distributed leaflets this morning (22), to Parliamentary members to compel the authorities to search and find her husband Prageeth. This distribution of leaflets were done when the MPs were arriving for the inaugural sessions of the 7th Parliament. more..

Rukman vows to oust Ranil

Apr 23 (Island) A dejected former Kegalle district MP Rukman Senanayake says he first got to know about his omission from the NL through an SMS. He says he was flabbergasted. UNP Assistant Leader Rukman Senanayake yesterday vowed to push for an immediate change in the party leadership in an effort to revive the demoralised party machinery in the wake of its latest electoral debacle. more..

Those who are worthy of salutation and those who are not

Apr 23 (DN) Someone once said that 99 percent of the Opposition can be purchased and that the remaining 1 percent must be eliminated, meaning killed. I don’t know how correct these numbers are, but in general it seems that a lot of people are easily bought. Everyone has a price, but some sell themselves cheap. And it is not about money either. Some choose to throw in the towel out of sheer laziness, some out of fear and some because they are intimidated by the associated challenges. more..

Solid waste, money spinner now: Invest in waste management

Apr 23 (DN) The Waste Management Authority (WMA) wants the private sector to invest in mass scale waste related business ventures in the Western Province under Public Private Partnership programs (PPPs). Western Province Director Priyantha Samarakkody told Daily News Business that any facility which has a capacity of composting more than 25 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste per day is defined as a mass scale composting facility in the Western Province. more..

Health Ministry says: Dial your complaints

Apr 23 (DN) Beginning today the Health Ministry will receive public complaints relating to the health sector. The public have been requested to make all their complaints to a special desk opened for the purpose on 0112686393. The complaints can also be faxed to the same number. The number is available on all working days from 8.30 am to 4. 30 pm. This number will be replaced with a 24 hour three digit hotline (similar to 119) shortly, more..

Strong winds and heavy rains damage 50 houses at Morawaththa

Apr 23 (DN) About 350 people were displaced and 50 homes damaged due to strong winds and heavy rains lashing Morawaththa, a coastal hamlet in Moratuwa Wednesday night. One person who was injured has been admitted to hospital, police said. Meteorological Department spokesperson Gayana Hendawitharana said inter monsoon showers could be expected in evenings or nights in south western regions of the country. more..

Tiger foreign network intact, says ambassador

Apr 23 (DM) Sri Lanka has said that, although the top LTTE leadership had been eliminated during the military campaign last year, the international network of the Tigers was intact and very active. The Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Brazil, A.M.J. Sadiq, said that a number of vessels belonging to the LTTE’s shipping fleet, which had been hitherto been involved in drug trafficking and gun running, were now engaged in the lucrative business of human trafficking. more..

PM says did not wear his 'special suit'

Apr 23 (DM) Newly sworn in Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne yesterday said he would be officially assuming duties on Wednesday. "I have a three point action plan that I want to carry out once I assume duties. That is aimed to improve the quality of society, carryout a viable solution to the ethnic grievances and support the President in his Mahinda Chinthana manifesto," Jayaratne said. more..

Workers Union leaves UNF

Apr 23 (DM) National Union of Workers led by V. Digambaram, had decided to leave the UNF following the denial of a national list slot. Mr. Digambaram told a news conference yesterday that the party decided to leave as UNF went back on its word to give a national list slot to them. However he said the party had not decided any future course of action. He said it was not possible to crossover now as the government had got huge number of seats. more..

Govt asked to tackle unemployment in Jaffna

Apr 23 (Island) Around 200,000 young persons in Jaffna are unemployed and the government needs to take urgent remedial action to resolve the problem, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries Yarlpanam K. Poornachandran said. He told The Island on the sidelines of the inaugural Jaffna International Trade Fair, that unemployment and issues such as the high cost of living, have to be speedily addressed, if the end of the war was to be meaningful. more..

'UPFA national list nominations based on agreement'

Apr 23 (LNP) The UPFA had handed over a National list of candidates containing 29 names to the Elections Commissioner when the nominations were handed over for the recent general election. The UPFA decided to nominate 17 among that list as National List members of Parliament according to an agreement reached by the constituent parties of the UPFA after holding discussions, more..

Freed author tells of jail misery

Apr 23 (GDN) A Bharain-based author spoke of her relief yesterday after being released from a Sri Lankan prison, where she had been held for a month. Sarah Malanie Perera was detained in Colombo on March 20 under emergency laws, after being accused of "anti-state" activities and having links to Islamic militants. She said she had been repeatedly questioned about her life and her decision to convert to Islam after she moved to Bahrain. more..

'DNA will support good initiatives of Govt.'

Apr 23 (Island) Leader of the DNA and MP Gen. General Sarath Fonseka told Parliament that his party would support the good initiatives of the government. Making use of the time allocated for party leaders to congratulate the newly elected Speaker of the House, Chamal Rajapaksa, Gen. Fonseka said that as a person arrested on false charges, it was grief that he made his inaugural address. more..

Former battle zone getting used to peace

Apr 23 (IPS) In the yard of the Javiz Arulanandam’s church here lies the top portion of a statue of Jesus Christ. Only the head remains of the statue, which would have been at least 20 feet tall. No one knows how it got to the church compound but Arulanandam, the priest in charge of the church, thinks that Sri Lankan soldiers may have brought it over. The torso-less Christ is a constant reminder of over two and half decades of bloodshed, he says. more..

Nalini made calls to London, Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (IANS) As possession of a mobile phone by a convict is a criminal offence, she could be shifted from the Vellore prison to another jail and her prisoner status could be downgraded from 'A' class to 'B' class. "We haven't got any report on the issue. Only after the receipt of the report we can take appropriate action," K.R. Shyamsundar, the assistant director general of police and inspector general of prisons, said. more..

Historic Twenty20 series between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in USA

Apr 23 (SLC) The New Zeland and Sri Lanka will play a three match Twenty20 series in Florida next month to launch a new strategic partnership between USA Cricket and New Zealand Cricket. Indian property development company, Pearls Infrastructure, is the naming rights sponsor for the matches and the teams will be competing for the Pearls Cup. more..

GSP plus in Lanka’s hands

Apr 23 (DM) The European Union (EU) is of the opinion that the GSP plus issue is now in the hands of the Sri Lankan government and that Sri Lanka should implement all the conventions it is signatory to in order to regain the trade benefits. The EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka Bernard Savage made these observations while speaking to a group of provincial journalists in Kandy this afternoon. more..

List of Portfolios of the new cabinet, 37 Ministers and 39 Deputy Ministers sworn in

Apr 23 (LP) Thirty Seven Ministers of the UPFA Government took oaths as the Cabinet Ministers in their respective portfolios today (23) before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s Secretariat. Accordingly the Cabinet Ministers are as follows: 1.Prime Minister D M Jayarathne – Buddasasana and Religious Affairs 2.Rathnasiri Wickramanayake – State Management and Reforms more..

Kandy MPs overlooked

Apr 24 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapakse, in his new cabinet, has overlooked candidates from the UPFA who were selected to parliament at the recent elections from the Kandy District pending investigations over the alleged incidents which led to a re-poll in Nawalapitiya. Former Minister and UPFA MP from the Kandy District Keheliya Rambukwella said that President Mahinda Rajapakse had called for a full scale inquiry into the Nawalapitiya election re-poll and more..

Stop insulting others, President tells new Cabinet

Apr 24 (AD) Stop insulting or demeaning others, from within and outside Parliament, was the clear message President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave to the newly appointed 37 Ministers of the Cabinet and the 30 Deputy Ministers after they took oaths this afternoon at the Presidential Secretariat. Addressing the Ministers and Deputies, President Rajapaksa said that all members should together work for the welfare of the masses who had given an overwhelming mandate to the UPFA and more..

Sri Lanka president names first post-war cabinet

Apr 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president unveiled a new cabinet Friday, cementing his grip on power by keeping the key defence and finance portfolios for himself and creating a new ministry for his younger brother. The new line-up was announced a day after the opening of parliament, when President Mahinda Rajapakse's elder brother Chamal was unanimously elected as speaker with control of the legislative agenda. more..

Private sector to get pension scheme

Apr 24 (DM) The Central Bank is to introduce a novel pension scheme for the benefit of some 8 million employees in the private sector and farmers, fishermen and those engaged in self employment, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said yesterday. The new pension scheme for the private sector employees will be established initially with the state banks. The Bank of Ceylon, The Peoples Bank and the National Savings Bank will facilitate private sector employees to open a more..

Sri Lanka braced for tourist onslaught

Apr 24 (FT) Tourism is rebounding so quickly in Sri Lanka after the end of the island’s civil war that in one or two years the country will lack the hotel capacity to meet visitor arrivals, according to the head of the country’s biggest listed company. Ajit Gunawardene, chief executive of John Keells, said Sri Lanka’s tourist infrastructure could handle a maximum of 800,000 visitors a year, comfortably meeting expected demand this year of 500,000. more..

Gotabhaya Rajapakse on Al Jazeera

Mervyn gets media

Apr 24 (DM) MP Mervyn Silva who was well know for his anti media stunts including the forceful entry into the state owned Rupavahini was sworn in today as the Deputy Media Minister before President Mahinda Rajapakse. While taking oaths, the Deputy Minister was seen showing his arm to the President and explaining something which had happened to him and when he was about to sign his official document, the pen on the table failed to write and he had to use his own pen. more..

Sri Lanka shares hit new peak on earning hopes

Apr 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares hit a new record high on Friday for a fifth straight day on hopes better earnings and stability under a newly elected government may bring more investment to the island nation. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange hit a new all-time high of 4,131.84 points, surpassing its previous high of 4,099.88 on Thursday. It closed 1.08 percent firmer at 4,121.64. more..

Sri Lanka leader keeps key posts, budget seen delayed

Apr 24 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday appointed his brother to oversee the island nation's post-war economic development in a slightly smaller cabinet but kept other key ministries himself. Rajapaksa retained the defence, finance, ports, aviation and highways portfolios in a cabinet cut to 37 from 51. The total number of ministers in Rajapaksa's new government fell to 76 from 109 in his previous administration. more..

Peace of renewal

Apr 24 (SMH) With verdant rainforests and idyllic white-sand beaches, cloistered temples, ancient ruins, blustery mountains teeming with endangered wildlife, mist-wreathed tea gardens, grand colonial architecture, a vibrant culture, lip-smacking cuisine and warm, generous people, at a glance you might think Sri Lanka has it all. Had it not been for an ongoing civil war between more..

Sri Lanka dairy business prospects seen improving

Apr 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's dairy sector is improving with strong competition among processors expanding demand for milk and helping farmers, the US Agency for International Development said. USAID has boosted the sector by partnering with a private company to increase milk production, it said in a statement. A USAID study showed that there is strong competition among dairy processing companies, which is helping to expand milk collection routes from rural areas. more..

Sri Lanka waiting to be the 'Asian miracle'

Apr 24 (AN) There were some special features that were visible [in these elections]. The percentage of the people who cast their votes was much less than the trends that were seen in general elections in the country on previous occasions. This may be because there was very little that people could expect from the results of these elections. Every one knew that the government was going to win with a very high majority. There were no key issues that were debated at the elections either. more..

Debrief News - 23. 04. 2010

Sri Lanka exporters face higher air freight costs

Apr 24 (LBO) Sri Lankan exporters face higher transport costs with the flight disruptions caused by volcanic ash over Europe sending air freight rates shooting up and causing a space crunch, officials said. Tony de Livera, chairman of the Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders Association, said the flight disruptions have disrupted local businesses relying on air freight, caused uncertainties and sent costs up. more..

Sri Lanka regulator says market supervision has improved

Apr 24 (LBO) Channa De Silva, director general of Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who is quitting at month's end, said supervision of market participants had improved in recent years. "I think the biggest achievement for the SEC was to keep the market clean, not interrupted by scandals and malpractices," De Silva told LBO in an interview, as he prepares to rejoin the private sector. more..

SL Ambassador discusses student exchange programs with Yale University

Apr 24 (IL) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, met recently with Yale University faculty members to discuss student exchange programs and a possible exhibition of Sri Lankan art and artifacts in an American Museum. Ambassador Wickramasuriya was invited to Yale, one of the United States’ most prestigious universities, by faculty members who study Pali and Buddhism in Yale’s more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka in need of statesmanship

Apr 24 (AA) Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse had a resounding election victory over his former military commander, Gen. Sanath Fonseka (Retd), leading the Opposition coalition, in the January 26 election. And now the President’s party and the coalition he led in the just-concluded parliamentary elections has come up with a stunning victory, but falling just short of that two-thirds margin that would have given him unfettered powers to change the Constitution. more..