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Four arrested for kidnap

Apr 24 (Hindu) The Neelankarai police on Friday arrested four persons, including a Sri Lankan national, for allegedly kidnapping a businessman for ransom. The abductors posed as policemen and took way the victim, also a Sri Lankan national, from his house in Kottivakkam. According to police sources, on Wednesday morning three men posing as officers from the Q branch police took away Jayamohan (35) after informing his wife Sofia that it was part of a routine enquiry. more..

Editorial: Trouble in Paradise

Apr 24 (DM) A too good to be true starter tends to make one ask, ‘is this for real? ’When Sri Lanka won the battle over the LTTE it was ‘too good to be true’ for many, so much so that some even predicted doom after the epic victory. When General Sarath Fonseka fell out with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, challenged him at President elections and ended up in military custody, it confirmed people’s belief that too good to be true things are followed by doom. more..

'Only mini budget for July-December'

Apr 24 (DM) The government is preparing a mini budget for the six months from July to December this year and it will be presented to parliament in July, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said yesterday. He said the period from May to June would be covered with another Vote on Account. Mr. De Silva said the 2011 budget will be presented as usual in November and it would include details of the development programme as outlined in more..

SLFP probes Aluthgamage’s April 8 actions

Apr 24 (Island) Former People’s Bank Chairman W. R. Karunajeewa has been appointed by the SLFP to head the disciplinary committee probing allegations against Former Minister of Power Mahindananda Aluthgamage during the April 8 General Elections. Aluthgamage was accused of creating trouble in Nawalapitiya, which compelled Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake to annul the polls in more..

'Constitutional reforms first priority'

Apr 24 (MoD) The Government's first priority will be to add reforms to the Constitution to accelerate development programs as mentioned in the Mahinda Chinthana Idiri Dekma policy program, SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said. Changes to the proportional representation electoral system will be brought to create opportunities for voters to elect their representative from their own electorates, he added. more..

Angry Kuwaitis disrupt Sri Lankan celebrations

Apr 24 (Gulf) A massive Sri Lankan celebration was interrupted after angry Kuwaitis claimed it violated Islamic rules. More than 5,000 Sri Lankans, including K.S.C. Dissanayake, Sri Lankan ambassador to Kuwait, had to leave the Jahra stadium after Kuwaiti Islamists invaded the field and pressed organisers to suspend the celebration and threatened to escalate the tense situation. more..

'All Cabinet posts equal, essential for development'

Apr 24 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday addressing the new Cabinet and deputy ministers, said all ministerial portfolios were equally precious and each and every one of them was related to the country’s development. He said that it had been difficult to select the Cabinet and all portfolios had been designed to bring about national development. more..

War over, Sri Lanka hails return of diaspora cash

Apr 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government expects more capital inflow as the country's diaspora returns to invest after the end of a 30-year civil war, the central bank governor said on Friday. "With political stability will come investment," Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Reuters. "There will be investment that will come with tourism and infrastructure, but also there will be reinvestment by Sri Lankans themselves. more..

Ranil is being influenced by Ravi - Mano

Apr 24 (Island) Q. Can we say that you brought all this upon yourself by contesting from the Kandy district? You tried to capture more territory in Kandy and now your brother who contested from the Colombo district is in but you are out. You are responsible for your own plight. A: Kandy has not had a Tamil MP since the year 2000. At the 2004 parliamentary election, of the 12 MPs in the Kandy district, three were Muslim and nine were Sinhalese. more..

'GSP+ relief depends on Human Rights'

Apr 24 (BBC) The Head of EU delegation in Sri Lanka ambassador Bernard Savage visited Malwathu and Asgiriya temples to have an audience with the Mahanayakes on Friday. This is the first such visit by a European Union head of mission to Malwathu and Asgiriya temples. Malwathu Mahanayake thero welcomed the ambassador and said that he hoped the visit will encourage the European Union to reinstate the GSP+ more..

Sri Lanka to expand first post-war cabinet

Apr 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president will expand his new cabinet by five ministers but the government will still have far fewer members than the previous one, an official source said Saturday. President Mahinda Rajapakse, whose ruling UPFA took victory in this month's parliamentary election, will bring in five more cabinet ministers and one deputy minister soon, the official said. more..

Seeman to protest against Amitabh

Apr 25 (BW) With the Bollywood IIFA awards proposed to be held in Sri Lanka this year, Amitabh visited Colombo recently and took part in an event sharing stage with Sri Lankan President Rajapakshe. While rehabilitation of the war affected ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka is still a grey area which is a globally monitored issue, is it appropriate for Bollywood to host the event in the country? more..

'Pancha-Kalli (Gang of Five) led by Ranil is distancing the UNP away from Tamil people'

Apr 25 (TC) UNP leader has distanced himself from Tamil people by not accommodating our party leader and the internationally recognized democratic Tamil voice Mano Ganesan in the national list of the UNF. This is the dirty work of the GANG-of-5 (Pancha Kalliya) of the UNP. Ranil Wickramasinghe, Karu Jayasooriya, Tissa Attanayake, Ravi Karunayake and Malik Samarawickrama are the members of this hopeless Gang-of-5. more..

Sri Lanka Navy participates at the Boat Show Sri Lanka 2010

Apr 25 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy is participating at the Boat Show Sri Lanka 2010 which is being held at the BMICH in Colombo from the 24th to 26th April 2010. Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe attended the opening ceremony held on 24th April 2010 as the Guest of Honour. Visitors to the Navy exhibition stall at the site are highly impressed by the Naval boats and craft on display. more..

Dissatisfaction Galore In The New Cabinet

Apr 25 (SL) A large number of newly appointed cabinet ministers are expressing their dissatisfaction over the portfolios allocated to them. Soon after the swearing in ceremony a senior member of the ruling party Nimal Siripala De Silva was overheard making rude comments about his portfolio. Silva, the former Minister of Health was appointed as Minister for Irrigation. Analysts said that Former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake (Public Management and Reforms), more..

CPC ignores treasury request

Apr 25 (SL) Hot on the heels of The Sunday Leader copy datelined April 11, Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera immediately asked senior mandarins within the Treasury Secretariat to review the insurance arrangements taken out by CPC in the last few weeks. Jayasundera’s attention had been drawn to the article last week, entitled “CPC Gambles with Rs 75 Billion,” where the Treasury Secretary was shocked to learn that more..

Blomendhal’s evil smog

Apr 25 (SL) It is an evil mist that rises over Blomendhal. Every morning it hangs low, moving slowly over the small man made hillocks that ooze out their contents from the side — festered wounds that will never heal. The dumping here had stopped, about a year back due to a court decision. That, however has not reduced the stench. So much has been dumped here, that it will take years for the mounds to disappear. more..

Sampur power plant promised in 2011, but final agreements have not been signed

Apr 25 (SL) The controversial Sampur coal power plant project appears to have suffered a further set back. Officials from the Indian state electricity company NTPC have been quoted as saying that financial disagreements with Ceylon Electricty Board (CEB) have prevented them from coming to a final agreement on the project. Indian news reports quoted a senior official from the National Thermal Power Company (NTPC) as saying that there are “several problems with the project.” more..

There isn’t any longer a 'Left' 'Right' or 'Centre' in Sri Lankan politics

Apr 25 (SL) A recent pre-election statement by D.E.W. Gunasekera to the effect that, after the April 8 election, there will be a significant “leftist element” in the UPFA government got me thinking. In my attempts at analysis of Sri Lankan politics since my return to the land of my birth a few years ago, I kept finding a blank space in the political landscape which I was trying to encompass. more..

'A diabolical lie'

Apr 25 (SL) Johnston Fernando vehemently denied reports that he met with an accident last week when travelling with popular female artist Samitha Mudunkotuwa in his car. “These stories are all false rumours. I was never in any accident and I’m perfectly fine. I will be pressing charges against all the news agencies and media that reported this fictional accident,” Fernando said angrily when asked about the incident. more..

Jaffna poised for take off

Apr 25 (SO) A few years ago, Sri Lanka, with begging bowl in hand, had to plead with the Western world to raise the funds to run the country. Today, with the end of the war and a strong Government in place, the tides have turned and investors are now pursuing Sri Lanka. Areas which have stimulated international investor interest are the possible availability of oil, opening of the Hambantota harbour and the opening of the North and the East for business once again. more..

Giant TV screens a hazard to motorists - CMC Commissioner

Apr 25 (SO) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has expressed concern over the installation of giant television screens in the city of Colombo and called upon those responsible to remove them forthwith, as they cause accidents. According to the CMC, there are two giant TV screens in the heart of Town Hall in Colombo and several drivers and environmentalists have made several complaints in this regard. more..

O/L results: 53 percent of candidates qualify for A/Ls

Apr 25 (SO) Of the 272,640 school candidates who faced the GCE O/L examination in 2009, 143,000 (53 percent) candidates have qualified to follow studies for the Advanced Levels. However, 129,640 (47 percent) candidates have failed to qualify for the A/Ls. The achievement standards in 2009 show a three percent drop in the number of candidates who qualified for Advanced Level education compared to 2008. more..

English as a life skill

Apr 25 (SO) The inauguration of the Sri Lanka India Centre for English Language Training marks a very important landmark in teaching and learning English in Sri Lanka. We should be grateful to the Government for initiating this action which was a greatly felt need in this country for the last several decades. This is also a very opportune moment for us to reflect on the great benefits of making English a life skill without confining one's knowledge of more..

Shantha Sevena brings sunshine into people's lives

Apr 25 (SO) The priceless, but silent service, rendered by the Sri Lanka Cancer Society (SLCS) for the benefit of cancer patients in the country during the past several decades was highlighted at the Society's 62nd annual general meeting held in Colombo recently. The AGM was attended by over 100 members of the society and the Attorney General Mohan Peris was the guest speaker. Inaugurated in 1948, more..

'Unity: Ideal catalyst for development'

Apr 25 (SO) President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed Plantation Minister D.M. Jayaratne as the 14th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Premier who possessed to a distinguished political career as the most senior member of the SLFP joined the SLFP as its 13th member in 1950. He first entered Parliament in 1970 by contesting from Gampola electorate. During his nearly four decades political experience in Parliament, more..

Lanka switches from Foreign to External Affairs

Apr 25 (EB) Following the practice in India since the time of independence, Sri Lanka has renamed its Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Ministry of External Affairs. Though no official announcement has been made, the list of new cabinet ministers of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had described Prof.G.L.Periris as the “Minister of External Affairs”, rather than “Foreign Affairs” as in the case of his predecessors. more..

Rajapakse to attend Bhutan SAARC summit

Apr 25 (TN) Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse is to leave for Thimpu, capital of Bhutan Monday to attend the sixteenth South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit. The SL delegation includes the new Foreign Minister G.L.Peiris and Foreign Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe, according to political sources in Colombo. The SAARC summit is scheduled to be held from April 28 and 29. more..

'Spinners key to Sri Lanka's success'

Apr 25 (CI) Having narrowly missed out on winning a second world title for Sri Lanka in England last year, Kumar Sangakkara's team left for the Caribbean with the hope of winning the trophy in the third World Twenty20. "This team has the potential to go all the way in the tournament," Sangakkara said prior to the team's departure on Saturday. "Even last year we had a very similar team with a couple of new faces as in this one." more..

Displaced students get help for higher studies

Apr 25 (UCAN) Church, government and civic organizations are giving scholarships, donating mobile libraries and raising funds to help war-affected young people get an education. On April 21, Caritas Jaffna-HUDEC (Human Development Center) handed over 300 scholarships to students from the University of Jaffna who have lost both parents or their fathers, or who have many siblings. “Every student gets 2,000 rupees (US$20) per month for one year. more..

Jayawardene warns against complacency at the ICC World Twenty20

Apr 25 (IC) Mahela Jayawardene believes that there are no favourites at this year's World Twenty20 Championships in the West Indies. The former Sri Lankan skipper says that Zimbabwe and New Zealand are tough opposition to beat in their group. "I've always said that Twenty20 cricket is pretty open. I don't think there are any favourites. All the teams who compete in any [Twenty20] tournament have a pretty good chance," more..

President sympathised with Mano

Apr 25 (BBC) The DPF will consider joining hands with the government if invited, says the party leader, Mano Ganeshan. He admitted that he had a conversation with the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday. He said the president was surprised that he was not selected to represent parliament. Mr.Ganeshan contested the general election under Democratic National Party (DNP) in the central province and lost. more..

Mansion built in forest reserve

Apr 25 (LB) Although the Court of Appeal has ordered UNP’s Earl Gunasekara who represents the Polonnaruwa District, to return the land he is alleged to have forcibly acquired at Hingurakgoda, Patapihilikande, he continues to occupy the land and has not given it over to the authorities. The MP is alleged to have built a mansion in forest reserve land, disregarding Forest Department warnings. more..

A Special Prayer

Apr 25 (LB) President Mahinda Rajapaksa likes a laugh. Or he thinks that we jolly well deserve one. Why else would he appoint Mervyn Silva - the champion of media battery and assault - as deputy minister of media? Or perhaps it’s some twisted method of making the naughtiest boy the class monitor. Yes, yes that must be it. The president must finally have seen what a lout Mervyn can be and decided that there was no better way to impose reform than to put him in charge. more..

'New Cabinet has capacity to boost economy'

Apr 25 (LB) Thirty seven new Cabinet ministers and thirty nine Deputy Ministers were sworn in before President Mahinda Rajapksa on Friday. Though the most talked about changes were the appointments to the ministries of Health, Education and Media, there were mixed reactions over the composition of the new Cabinet. UNP’s chief economic advisor Harsha de Silva expressed surprise over the cabinet portfolios. more..

Hassle free travel, no beggars

Apr 25 (LB) The Union of Private Bus Owners in Sri Lanka has decided to prohibit begging inside buses from May 1. In a letter addressed to the IGP, they requested help to facilitate their endeavour. The law says begging is prohibited. However the law is observed in the breach. There are groups who have organized themselves to beg inside buses. Many of them are either pickpockets or drug addicts. Some of them beg for money from the public flashing various injuries. more..

Gung -ho Govt, kept opposition leader

Apr 25 (LB) The usual spills - and some thrills - of the new Cabinet appointments were almost a matter of routine. The second Rajapaksa administration is firmly anchored now, and last week’s love-fest between the president and Ranil Wickremesinghe when they met at Temple Trees was testament, if any was needed, that there would be at least in the initial phase, great cooperation between the giant government and the now emasculated opposition. more..

Mervyn’s illegal liquor ban due to Avurudu dispute with tavern owners

Apr 25 (LB) Deputy Minister of Media Mervyn Silva has implemented law to the letter by banning smoking in enclosed public places in Kelaniya since last week. Sources close to him say if anyone is caught smoking in public, he would be meted out ‘severe punishment’. The minister has also issued another order to the people of Kelaniya; no garbage on the roads, and if anybody breaks that rule, ‘severe punishment’ awaits. more..

Business promotion mission to Singapore

Apr 25 (NF) The Sri Lanka – Singapore Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be organizing a trade and investment promotion mission to Singapore from 17th to 19th May 2010. The mission is organised to coincide with the Sri Lanka Business Forum organized by the IE Singapore (the leading trade promotion institution in Singapore) in association with the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore, scheduled on 18th May, 2010. more..

Attorney at law video-taped at Fort Police: Magistrate orders probe

Apr 25 (NF) The Fort Magistrate ordered the SSP of Colombo to carry out an investigation and submit a report into an incident where attorney at law Nalin Laduwahetti was allegedly video taped when he went to the Fort police station on behalf of one of his clients. Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne issued this order after taking up a motion filed by Nalin Laduwahetti. The Attorney at law informed the court that more..