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Price rises stretch ‘our budget’

Dec 15 (NS) This is the festive season; a time of joyous celebration. Yet, how many among us are able to freely enjoy the season without having to constantly worry about the prices of essential food items. Prices of rice, sugar, coconut, dhal and vegetables have shot up to the sky and a visit to the market can only make any consumer’s blood pressure increase. When the wheat flour prices increased a couple of months ago, the authorities boldly instructed the consumers to turn to rice, and more..

Rape of 16-year-old: Notice issued on PC member, others

Dec 15 (NF) Notice has been issued on five suspects including a provincial councillor on a charge of raping a 16-year-old girl. The suspects have been ordered to appear before the Mawanella magistrate's court tomorrow. The suspects have been charged with taking the girl to a rest house in the Uthuwankanda area in Mawanella, holding her against her will for several days and repeatedly raping her. more..

Sri Lanka tourism prepares for more arrivals

Dec 15 (ST) Bids for 10 islands at Kalpitiya as tourist resorts are being evaluated, a weekly meeting brings all state agencies together to speed up tourism-related project approvals and major changes soon to the Tourism Act 2005 to revert back to a single state tourism agency are gradually putting Sri Lanka back on the global travel map. “We are bringing the three institutions (dealing with development, marketing and conference promotion) under more..

Editorial: Reaping the whirlwind

Dec 15 (Island) It was not many years ago that terrorism was considered a phenomenon endemic to the developing world. The West apparently derived some perverse pleasure from the plight of the victim nations suffering at the hands of terrorists who found a safe haven in the West. Osama bin Laden changed it all. His 9/11 attacks demonstrated the vulnerability of even the most powerful country on earth to terrorism. The 7/7 attacks became an eloquent reconfirmation of that fact. more..

Editorial: sports played out: more poachers than game

Dec 15 (DM) If the battle of Mullaivaikal was won on the playing fields of Ananda, Dharmasoka, S.Thomas’ or other schools, then the battle of mega development to make Sri Lanka one of the foremost countries in the world will also be won only on the highest principles of the game – be it sports or politics. Sports started off with a blazing track record that when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name he will not write whether you won or lost but how you played the game. more..

Fisheries Corporation profits increase - minister

Dec 15 (Island) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that during the last 6 months, the Fisheries Corporation earned Rs. 137 million, but when he assumed duties the annual revenue of the Corporation was Rs. 68 million. The annual fish sales of the Corporation earlier was 185 metric tons, but the Corporation was capable of selling 370 metric tons of fish within the last 6 months, more..

A road less travelled

Dec 15 (ST) Whoever thought that road rules and codes belonged only to roads, thought wrong. Anyone who decides to take a bold step and venture off well known trails will find that learning and practicing the “Off-road Code” is an important area of focus in the Taprobana 4×4 Challenge organized by the Four Wheel Drive Club of Sri Lanka, the point being the adventure traveler is penalized for unsafe driving and environmental negligence, more..

‘Learn from President’s leadership style’ HNB Chairman tells UNP

Dec 15 (BL) Two of Sri Lanka’s veteran corporate leaders, who are currently heading two listed private conglomerates, shared some valuable insights on leadership and management with some young MPs from Sri Lanka’s main opposition party. Hatton National Bank chairman Rienzie T Wijetilleka said last week that the UNP leader has much to learn from the President’s leadership style which involves keeping everyone together at difficult times, critically reviewing past performance, more..

Agriculture sector to benefit from post-war collaboration with Israel

Dec 15 (Island) Sri Lanka intends to secure Israeli assistance to strengthen the country’s agriculture sector, particularly in the dry zone. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says Sri Lanka can benefit immensely from Israeli expertise. Matara District MP Abeywardena told The Island that the External Affairs Ministry had arranged for an Israeli delegation headed by Shalom Simhon (Labour Party) to visit Sri Lanka. more..

The British High Commission says…

Dec 15 (DM) The questions posed by Daily Mirror journalist and replies from the British High Commission regarding the treatment meted out to President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his visit to the UK are published below. Email replies to questions posed by Daily Mirror journalist: (1) How come the Thames Valley Police succumbed to the pressure exerted by some odd 400 – 500 Tamils who openly support a militant movement listed as a terrorist movement and banned in the UK? more..

SriLankan employees country before self

Dec 15 (N360) SriLankan Airlines and its largest trade union has signed a 3 year collective agreement which will see its employees being paid based on their performance. Accordingly the Management of the SriLankan Airlines and the Nidahas Seveka Sangamaya which is the largest trade union of the Airline has signed this deal. The agreement runs up until the 31st May 2013, starting from June 2010. Nidahas Seveka Sangamaya has around 4,800 members. more..

Mihin Lanka flights to Indonesia soon

Dec 15 (DM) Sri Lanka’s budget airline Mihin Lanka will fly to Indonesia soon, the Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner Jayantha Liyanage told Daily Mirror yesterday. Dr. Liyanage said Indonesia’s Air Transportation Ministry Director General JI Merdeka Barat had sent the approval to the Sri Lankan High Commission permitting Mihin Air to fly to Indonesia. He said approval was granted after negotiations between Indonesian officials and their Sri Lankan counter parts. more..

'Sri Lanka can win the world cup; if no politics in team selection'

Dec 15 (N360) Sri Lanka’s Cricket World Cup winning Captain Arjuna Ranatunga says the country has a golden opportunity to win the upcoming world cup, if it select the “right team”. Ranatunga who spearheaded the Sri Lankan Campaign in the 1996 world cup says the local side is the most favourite to win the world cup in 2011. He noted that Sri Lanka has a good team including a better bowling line up compared to 1996. more..

Catholic Church helps Tamils claim assets

Dec 15 (UCAN) The Catholic Church is helping resettled Tamils in former war-raved parts of Sri Lanka claim back their valuables abandoned during the war. Caritas Jaffna and government officials have started a “civil awareness” program to help villagers in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts prepare new documents to support their claims. During the war, people lost their identity cards, vehicle books, land deeds, bank books and other important documents. more..

Campaign highlights proper view on love

Dec 15 (UCAN) A program for Sri Lankan youths has been launched by the Church to promote awareness on love, sex and marriage in a modern and commercialized society. “As priests we are duty-bound to teach you the correct path in this highly commercialized, technological world,” Father Jude Nicolas told some 2,000 youths gathered at the beach front in Puttalam, northwestern Sri Lanka. “Youth is a period of experimenting,” said the director of the family apostolate of more..

Muslim Aid chairman meets President

Dec 15 (MA) The Chairman of Muslim Aid, Sir Iqbal Sacranie called on the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on 13 December 2010 at the Prime Minister’s House, Temple Trees in Colombo. Among other dignitaries, the meeting was also attended by the Hon. Minister Rishard Badurdeen and Muslim Aid’s Acting Country Director, Faizer Khan. During the meeting the President expressed his deep gratitude “for the excellent work Muslim Aid is carrying out more..

Court orders notice on Vaiko's plea

Dec 15 (Hindu) The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered notice on a petition by MDMK general secretary Vaiko challenging an order of November this year of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal, New Delhi, confirming a Centre's notification declaring the LTTE as an unlawful association. In his petition, Mr. Vaiko had said that as a person interested in the welfare of oppressed Tamils living in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka and as a sympathiser and more..

UK to support Lanka's education hub aim

Dec 15 (DN) The British High Commission in a press release says "The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) (the trade arm of the British High Commission - BHC) the British Council and the UK Border Agency (UKBA) jointly hosted a presentation and soiree on UK-Sri Lanka Education Partnerships' on December 6 Monday, 2010 at the British High Commission. The event was attended by over 50 Sri Lanka's top Higher Education Institutions. more..

Presidential medals for heroes who liberated country

Dec 15 (DN) All heroic servicemen who took part in the humanitarian operation that liberated the country from the clutches of terrorism were yesterday honoured and felicitated for their gallantry and sacrifice by Commander-in-Chief President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony at Temple Trees. Accordingly a total of 197,776 Army, Navy and Air Force personnel together with police and others received the more..

Chandigarh-Sri Lanka peace forum launched

Dec 15 (TOI) Representatives of Chandigarh were part of an initiative to foster better understanding between India and Sri Lanka following the three-decade violence by Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). An MOU to set up a forum was signed between a city-based youth and Gandhian organization Yuvsatta and Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organisation (SUNFO) at Don Bosco Technical Centre at this city, 40 km from Colombo. more..

Arrest in slaying of Toronto student

Dec 15 (CBC) Toronto police have arrested a man and charged him in connection with the death of a 20-year-old university student. Vincent Dang was struck by a vehicle in Toronto's entertainment district and killed at about 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 27. His death was later ruled a homicide. On Tuesday, police said they arrested 26-year-old Naveen Ariaratnam at Pearson Airport as he stepped off a flight from Sri Lanka. He has been charged with second-degree murder. more..

Supporting the safe return and resettlement of IDPs

Dec 15 (MAG) As a result of the conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, many parts of Sri Lanka are highly contaminated by remnants of conflict. The Northern Province was the focal point of the final hostilities and is the area most severely affected. Nearly 300,000 IDPs who fled the area because of the fighting were accommodated in temporary camps around Vavuniya. more..

Appeal judge 'criticised police'

Dec 15 (BBC) The judge in appeal court hearing the case of the disappearance of lankaenews journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda criticised the state counsellor for not filing the objections on behalf of the police. State counsel was pleading for a postponement of proceedings of the case citing that the police officers needed more time for their submissions. Saying that "this is an extremely important case", the judge Ranjith De Silva said that he is reluctant to postpone the more..

Dandeniya says he’s ready to quit

Dec 15 (Island) Under fire Director of the Cricket World Cup, Suraj Dandeniya said he will quit as the Sri Lankan head of the Cricket World Cup Secretariat if the ICC expressed its dissatisfaction over the facilities at any of the three World Cup venues. If the ICC is unhappy with one of the venues, matches on that particular ground could be shifted to any of the other two venues or some of the venues that have been put in as standby in Sri Lanka and in case that happens, he will quit, more..

Legal limbo Tamils beg for mercy or trial

Dec 15 (BBC) Hundreds of Tamils detained for years on charges of helping the Tamil Tigers have asked Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to show mercy or grant them a trial. The detainees were arrested under prevention of terrorism legislation introduced as a temporary law in 1979 and made permanent two years later. Under the act, suspects can be held for up to 18 months without charge or trial. more..

Healthcare delivery: Lanka on top

Dec 15 (DM) Sri Lanka has once again emerged as the most successful country in South Asia in healthcare delivery, recording extremely high indicators in Infant Mortality, Life Expectancy and Maternal Mortality, ‘The State of World Population 2010’ issued by the UNFPA said. According to the Report all other countries in South Asia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives lag much behind Sri Lanka in respect of these important health and social indicators. more..

Indratissa resigns from SLC

Dec 15 (DM) Eminent lawyer Kalinga Indratissa has resigned from the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Interim Committee along with another member Prabath Fonseka. “I have sent the resignation in keeping with the customary practice when a new minister is appointed. It is not because I have any issues with the SLC”, said Indratissa. Another member Fonseka who was appointed by the former Sports Minister C. B. Ratnayake has also sent his resignation to appoint a fresh interim committee with more..

Boston Lanka News: Dec. 14, 2010

Road cleared for Lanka to join Ottawa Treaty

Dec 15 (Island) Now that the war is over, Sri Lanka can comfortably join the Ottawa Convention aka Mine Ban Treaty. Government sources say Canada and the UN had repeatedly urged successive Sri Lankan governments to prohibit the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines in line with the Ottawa Treaty, though the armed forces opposed the move. The Ottawa Treaty came into operation in 1997. more..

Private bus operators threaten to strike

Dec 15 (DM) The Private Bus Operators threatened to go on strike in early January 2011 to protest a decision of the Western Province Passenger Transport Authority to increase the number of bus route permits in the Western Province by 20%. Private Bus Operators Association President Gemunu Wijeyratne said the issue of more bus route permits was illegal and would have an adverse effect on bus operators already operating in the Western Province. more..

Rs 5000 commemorative coin from Central Bank

Dec 15 (ST) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, to mark its 60th anniversary, is issuing a ‘Frosted Proof’ crown size multi-colour silver commemorative coin in the denomination of Rs 5000. The coin, to be issued in an attractive presentation case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the Royal Mint Ltd, UK, will be ceremonially issued to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral today. more..

Govt. appointing committee to monitor institutions working with children

Dec 15 (Island) The Government will establish a committee to monitor institutions working with the children, Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said. The media conference was held to acknowledge the ‘Early Childhood Development Week’ which is in progress. "This committee will monitor voluntary and non-governmental organizations, he said. The Ministry expects to educate the public on early childhood development in order to ensure a better childhood. more..

BASL blames UK police for allowing LTTE supporters to protest

Dec 15 (DM) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday faulted British law enforcement officers for allowing LTTE supporters to openly protest against President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his recent visit to the UK. The Executive Committee of the BASL expressed its dismay at the conduct of the law enforcement officers of the British Government in allowing the supporters of a banned terrorist organization, the LTTE, to openly hold demonstrations and more..

de Silva non-committal on Jayasuriya, Vaas

Dec 15 (CI) Despite including two former World Cup heroes - Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas - in the provisional 30-member squad for the tournament's 2011 edition, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors Aravinda de Silva gave no indication that they would be in contention for a spot in the final 15. "We felt that, in the 30 we need to have a combination of experience as well as youth," de Silva, also a member of the 1996 World Cup winning side, said. more..

Proposed electricity tariff revision: Majority not affected

Dec 15 (DN) Minister Champika Ranawaka stated that the bills of 78 percent of the consumers would not be increased by the new proposed electricity tariff as they consume lesser than 90 units monthly. The electricity tariff will be increased for those customers whose monthly consumption is above 90 units. He revealing that the annual electricity demand in Sri Lanka is 10,000 million KWs, said the hydro electricity could only meet 4,500 million KWs out of it. more..

MPs using luxury vehicle permits to earn a fast buck?

Dec 15 (Island) A majority of the 60 odd newly elected MPs elected had sold theirduty free car permits, political sources say. Sources said that those elected at the April 8 general election had been granted duty free vehicle permits to the CIF value of US Dollars 50,000 each. Those permits were issued some months ago and most opted for the Toyota Sahara, which they could purchase for Rs. 15 million duty free, more..

Lawmakers or lawbreakers? MPs misuse their Car Permits

Dec 15 (DM) Several MPs have illegally transacted their duty free vehicle permits, at times at prices as high as Rs.16.5 million each, by handing over the possession of vehicles to be imported under this facility to their dealers. Recently, the government decided to issue MPs with permits to import luxury vehicles valued less that US $ 50,000 each under duty concessions. They need to pay only 18 per cent of the total duty value. more..

I’m ready to face any threat, strike - Welgama

Dec 16 (AD) I’m ready to face any threat, any strike as I am very conversant in the subject (transport), Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said. Yesterday the Private Bus Operators threatened to go on strike in January 2011 to protest the decision of the Western Province Passenger Transport Authority to increase the number of bus route permits in the Western Province by 20%. I have busses, a fleet of trains so that no commuter is left on the road; this is why Gemunu Wijerathne is angry with me, more..

At UN on Sri Lanka war crimes panel deadline

Dec 16 (ICP) On Sri Lanka, today is the deadline set by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Panel of Experts for written submissions. The Panel, through an automatic e-mail from its Secretariat who says he is “out of the office” through the end of the year, states that it “has a limited time for its work and has therefore chosen to request contributions in the written form.” Thus it appears that the Panel did not speak to anyone, nor did it ever even ask to travel to Sri Lanka. more..

'Govt should seek answers on London protest'

Dec 16 (AD) Amidst accusations that he was behind the protests against President Mahinda Rajapakse in London, UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena completely condemned the incident and implored the government to seek action against those involved. He said that those involved in the protest were mostly Tamils who were British citizens and were subject to British laws by which they should not have never been able to stage such a protest. more..