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Sri Lanka's last tsunami orphans

Dec 27 (BBC) "I was living with my father when police came to my house and handed me over to the orphanage," says Dhanushka Dilhan. Dhanushka, now 14, lost his mother in the devastating Asian tsunami in 2004. His father, a fisherman in Kalutara in southern Sri Lanka, was too busy working to look after his three sons following the disaster. The tsunami killed more than 35,000 people in Sri Lanka alone. About 200,000 others died around the Indian Ocean. more..

Minister orders use of disinfectants to curb swine flu

Dec 27 (Island) The Healthcare Ministry will inform the owners of supermarkets, trade complexes, transport services, communication centres, agency post offices and other public places to clean their environs several times a week using disinfectants to prevent the spread of swine flu. The owners must use disinfectants to clean stair cases, telephones and chairs in their shops and business places as they could help the spread of the A/H1N1 influenza virus. more..

Revoke ban on LTTE, says VCK

Dec 27 (DC) The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) has called upon the Centre and the US to revoke the ban on the LTTE. A resolution adopted at the party’s Tamils’ sovereignty conference (Tami-zhar Iraiyaanmai Maanadu) at suburban Maraimalainagar here Sunday evening with its chief Thol Thirumavalavan in chair, urged the Centre to take steps to ensure non-governmental organisations are involved in the rehabilitation and resettlement of lakhs of internally displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka. more..

PM at National safety day: Nation achieved great success

Dec 27 (DN) Prime Minister DM Jayaratne said that the responsibility rests upon us to create a nation rising from the ashes instead of being melancholic with a disaster mentality. He said as the Government worked with proper understanding and responsibility, we as a nation have achieved great success during the last six years since the 2004 tsunami disaster. The Prime Minister was speaking while participating as the chief guest at the function held more..

JVP docs worry about Indian chicken

Dec 27 (Island) The ACGMOA, affiliated to the JVP, says that the chicken imported from India shouldn’t be released without a proper quality assessment. President of the ACGMOA, Gisantha Dissanayake said that the consumption of Indian chicken could cause health problems. Director General of the Animal Husbandry Department Dr. Nimal Chandrasiri said that the imported chicken and eggs would be released to the market only after quality control tests were more..

Tharunyata Hetak remembers tsunami dead

Dec 27 (DN) The sixth annual commemoration of the tsunami tragedy organized by the Tharunyata Hetak Organization in association with Dakshina Lanka Bikkhu Organization was held under the patronage of Tharunyata Hetak President Namal Rajapaksa MP yesterday near the tsunami Memorial Monument at Peraliya, Hikkaduwa. The event was conducted as part of the National Safety Day which fell on the same date. more..

Schools in Jaffna ordered to ‘sing’ Sinhala Only Sri Lanka anthem

Dec 27 (TN) Implementing a decision of Rajapaksa, students in Jaffna are ordered to sing the SL anthem in Sinhala only in an event to be attended by him in Jaffna Sunday. Students of Jaffna Hindu College became the first to succumb. The move comes contrary to news in a section of press that Rajapaksa cabinet never took any decision on the anthem-issue as India and USA reportedly opposed it. more..

CDF offers free man power for Dighavapi restoration

Dec 27 (Island) The Civil Defence Force has offered free manpower to renovate and restore the Dighavapi sacred shrine and archaeological site in Digamdulla, the National Heritage Ministry says. The CDF had offered their service during a meeting held at the Bank of Ceylon auditorium, attended by the officials of the Ministry, Department of Archaeology and BoC to commence the Dighavapi Sacred Area Conservation Project, more..

Rain frustrates Sri Lankan selectors

Dec 27 (IC) The Premier League Tier-A Limited Overs Tournament, which is scheduled to get underway on Monday after multiple postponements due to bad weather, is expected to provide some recourse for Sri Lanka’s selectors who are keen on observing Sri Lanka’s World Cup hopefuls before they announce their final ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 squad. But after weeks of clear skies, The Greater Colombo Area is once again experiencing overcast conditions which threaten, more..

The Mahavamsa mindset: Re-Visiting political Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Dec 27 (DBS) Compliments of the season to you all. Several readers have been posting comments on this blog about various themes like the antiquity of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the Mahavamsa, Lord Buddhas visits to Sri Lanka. This in turn has generated a heated and healthy discussion in this forum. None of these comments were in any way directly related to the topics of the articles under which they were posted. more..

40,000 prostitutes in the country

Dec 27 (DM) There are around 200,000 prostitute seekers and around 40,000 prostitutes in the country, according to a survey, Dr. Sujatha Samarakoon attached to the AIDS prevention unit of the Health Ministry said. She said that these figures are something that has to be seriously taken into account considering the fact that Sri Lanka is a small country, in spite of spreading of HIV/ AIDS in Sri Lanka being considered to be minimal. more..

Forty marooned in Somawathiya

Dec 27 (DM) Forty two persons including two monks have been marooned due to floods in the historic Somawathiya Chaitya area, Pulasthigama police said. Among the rest of the people marooned are 20 soldiers, 16 civil defence force personnel and six policemen. Vehicle transportation to the Somawathiya area has been stopped since Friday due to floods in the road from Sungawila to Somawathiya. The two monks were conducting religious observances at the Chaitya going there by boat. more..

Sajith throws down the gauntlet

Dec 27 (SL) Hambantota District UNP MP Sajith Premadasa is to meet Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe this week to declare his intention to run for the party leadership, it is learned. Secretary of the UNP Management Committee, Bodhi Ranasinghe confirmed this to The Sunday Leader and added that Wickremesinghe would be given the senior leader’s post if he was willing to accept it. “Premadasa summoned 20 party professionals, more..

Norway's tough letter to Prabha not shown to CBK

Dec 27 (ST) Norway did not wish to give former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga a copy of a confidential letter it wrote to Velupillai Prabhakaran, the late leader of the LTTE, during the ceasefire period. The reason - passing a copy would be like giving it to Sunday papers, Norway's then Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Hans Brattskar had reportedly told the US Charge' d' Affaires in Sri Lanka, James Entwistle. more..

Christmas disasters

Dec 27 (DM) Ignorance, domestic accidents and reckless driving were the leading causes of most of the accidents which took place in the past two days with Christmas Eve, Dr.Pushpa Ramyani Soyza, senior nurse of the National Hospital said. A total number of 551 cases were reported to the Accident Service during the Christmas period from December 24 to December 25. It is a fifty percent decrease comparing with last year which stood up at 904. more..

Killing of dugongs: Stern action against two fishermen

Dec 27 (DN) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna has asked Ministry officials to take stern action against the two fishermen arrested from Mannar on the charges of killing two dugongs. The fishermen have been detained. They have reportedly killed them using dynamite, which is illegal under the Fisheries Act. Meanwhile, a post mortem examination will be held on the two marine mammals on Tuesday by NARA more..

Budget deficit expands

Dec 27 (Island) After contracting for most of the year, the government’s budget deficit for the ten months up to end October 2010 has expanded 41.7 percent from the corresponding period of the previous year. The budget deficit for the first ten months of the year reached Rs. 376.8 billion, a 41.7 percent increase from Rs. 265.9 billion a year ago as expenditure growth outpaced revenue growth. more..

UNP PC member surrenders to police

Dec 27 (DM) UNP Councillor of the North Western Provincial Council Shantha Sisira Kumara who was earlier accused of attacking UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara has come forward to the Chilaw police yesterday after a police complaint was received that he shot and injured several individuals during the previous night. The complaint said that the Provincial Councilor had forcefully entered a house over a personal dispute and attacked the occupants. more..

Indian chicken, eggs in market today

Dec 27 (DN) The first consignment of chicken and eggs imported from India will be released to the market from today, Minister Johnston Fernando told the Daily News. The Minister said 500 metric tonnes of chicken and two million eggs arrived in the country on December 23. They will be ready for distribution from today to meet the shortages in the domestic market for the festive season. more..

CEB’s novel way of increasing revenue

Dec 27 (Island) The debt-ridden CEB has demanded what it calls a security deposit from bulk users with immediate effect. Those in the manufacturing trade, including operating factories in export process zones have been asked to pay an amount equivalent to bills for two months on the basis of their November and December payments. Industrialists told The Island that they had never heard of such an unfair plan to raise money. more..

Sri Lanka vehicle imports continue to surge

Dec 27 (LBO) The number of vehicles imported by Sri Lanka continues to surge after a sharp import duty reduction, with new registrations up 74 percent to 284,991 in January - October 2010 from a year ago, latest data shows. In October alone, the number of vehicle registrations shot up 61 percent to 34,183 from a year ago, driven mainly by imports of cars which zoomed 914 percent to 3,753, according to central bank data. more..

Maharagama gold robbery thwarted

Dec 27 (DM) A robber gang leader was killed and another arrested while the search is on for one more suspect who escaped following a shoot out in the Maharagama town between the police and a three member robber gang who tried to rob a pawn shop around 9.15 a.m yesterday. The killed person had been identified as Merril Premaratne of Lakshapatiya, Moratuwa who is believed to be the gang leader. more..

Indian Defence Secretary in Lanka to strengthen cooperation

Dec 27 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka will discuss strengthening cooperation in the field of defence in the post- LTTE scenario when Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar holds talks with the country's top leadership during his visit here. Kumar arrived here today for a three-day visit during which he will also pay homage to the Indian peacekeepers who laid their lives during the Sri Lankan civil war. more..

AH1N1 influenza: Priority to prevention

Dec 27 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday instructed relevant officials to conduct a major awareness campaign on preventive measures among risk groups as the deaths due to novel influenza (AH1N1) rose to 23, since the re-emergence of the virus in late September. Health officials yesterday said that the high foot fall of people at locations such as shopping centres, transportation hubs etc. during the festive season, could act as a catalyst for the spread of the disease. more..

Cricket officials get Rs.12m in pocket change

Dec 27 (DM) A whopping figure of nearly Rs. 12 million has been spent by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials by way of allowances on foreign tours during the last year and it stands prominent among other expenses running into millions of rupees now being queried by the Government Auditor General who has to audit SLC accounts for 2009. Most of the queries raised by the Auditor General in the SLC accounts for 2009 nearly two months ago have gone unanswered and more..

Sri Lanka fish prices seen falling when weather improves

Dec 28 (LBO) Fish prices in Sri Lanka should come down when the weather improves and Catholic fishermen put out to sea with the end of Christmas celebrations, the fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Increased sales by the state-owned Ceylon Fisheries Corporation had already brought fish prices down by about 22 percent on average compared with December 2009. The CFC outlets were selling fish at prices below that of private traders in the market, he said. more..

Heavy rains trigger flooding in Sri Lanka

Dec 28 (CNN) More than 200,000 people have been affected by flooding resulting from heavy rains in Sri Lanka, a disaster management official said Monday. Heavy rains lasted from noon Sunday to about noon on Monday, said A.R. Jayarathne, assistant director of the country's Disaster Management Center. Large tanks in the region, set up to irrigate rice paddy fields, overflowed, forcing authorities to open sluice gates, he said. While no one had been forced from their homes, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.12.2010

Action against errant principals

Dec 28 (DM) Minister Bandula Gunawardane charged today that the principals of some leading schools had secured human and physical resources in excess of the required amount to their schools by providing false information to the Ministry. The Minister said that he would appoint a special investigation unit to take action against such errant principals. “These principals have misled the Ministry. They submit timetables asking for more teachers though there is no such need in reality. more..

Sri Lanka refutes BBC Sandeshaya report

Dec 28 (GDI) Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs today refuted a BBC Sandesaya report about the Sri Lankan LLRC Commission. The Ministry said in a statement that the report carried by the ‘BBCSinhala Sandeshaya’ website with the dateline of 24th December 2010 under the caption “Sri Lanka War Panel ‘pro-LTTE’”, is a complete fabrication. "The above mentioned headline of the report is based on a purported conversation between Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and more..

EU seeks Lankan reply

Dec 28 (NN) The Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament has requested Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha to submit Sri Lanka’s response to concerns raised by the EU Parliament recently. A statement by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Brussels said that the EU has upheld the procedural anomaly raised by Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the EU, following the denial of Sri Lanka's 'right of reply' at more..

Swine flu claims 22 lives in Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (AFP) Swine flu in Sri Lanka has killed 22 people and infected more than 300 over the past two months, the island's health ministry said Monday. Official figures showed that 22 people infected with H1N1 -- swine flu -- had died since October 25 while 342 cases were reported during this period. "The strain of influenza affects peoples' lungs and triggers off a strain of viral pneumonia. The heavy rains and the cold weather helped spread the virus," more..

Stern action against those who set “Hakkapatas” traps against elephants

Nov 28 (LP) Elephant population in Sri Lanka is becoming one of the most threatened animal populations. Nearly 173 elephants have been killed from January 2010 to 31st October 2010. Most number of deaths was reported from the Mahaweli areas which is 58 deaths. 45 elephant deaths were reported from the North West (Wayamba) province, 36 from the East, 27 from Southern areas and 1 elephant death was reported from the Central Province. more..

Hambantota to set New Solar power station

Nov 28 (LP) With the intention of overcoming the power crisis, focus is now on regeneration power sources. Accordingly, with Korean and Japanese aid, Sri Lanka is to set up a Solar Power station in Baruthankanda, Hambantota said the ministry of Power and Energy. The power station, which is the biggest solar power generation in Sri Lanka, is expected to produce 737 Kw of energy. The first stage would be opened next August and more..

Spill gates of more than 40 reservoirs in the island opened

Nov 28 (NF) The spill gates of more than 40 reservoirs in the island have been opened, says the Irrigation Department. “These reservoirs include Rajanganaya, Mahakanadarawewa, Mahawilachchiya, Abayawewa, Tissawewa and even Kantale,” said Dr. G. Godaliyadde, Irrigation Director General. “We have 59 main reservoirs. Apart from 10 of the reservoirs, the rest have either reached spill level or the spill gates have been opened. more..

Appeal as new Sama Samajists not strong enough to turn the tide!

Dec 28 (LG) I met many interesting people in my recent trip to England. One of the most interesting was Dr Roger Srivasan, president of the UNP group in the UK. Though this was the first time I met him, we have communicated through e-mail for a long period. I believe he works for a pharmaceutical company as a professional scientist. His wife is a doctor; a very humble person but a giant as a consultant. So, he is quite well off. more..

India would have to do something if Colombo continues to encourage China and Pakistan

Dec 28 (TC) Sri Lanka is going the wrong way in solving its ethnic problem. The Tamils nourish a grievance that they do not get their due in their own country. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, representing the Sinhalese, the majority community of Sri Lanka, should have at least after an overwhelming victory at the polls, looked into what has come to be the Tamil question. more..

Old UNPers mourn their own passing at Voetlights

Dec 28 (LG) Some people asked me why a photograph of the Voetlights lawyers’ dinner, held last week at the Cinnamon Grand, was captioned by this newspaper last Sunday as the ‘Dullest ditchwater last gasp of the old UNP.’ After all, what has UNP politics got to do with what is essentially supposed to be a night in which lawyers belonging to a society named after an ancient Dutch jurist, come together to signify the end of term with some big laughs and guffaws at the expense of each other? more..

Independence of ‘independent’ directors

Dec 28 (LG) Many years ago, when a young banker was invited to the board of a particular company that was led by a doyen in the corporate sector and had mostly ‘older’ businessmen, board decisions were haphazard or taken with just a ‘cursory’ glance at board papers. “There was no discussion on board papers. The chairperson would say ‘lets’ pass this and everyone says ‘aye’,” the young man recalled. Thus when he explained to the chairperson the need for more..

The three stooges of Ban-Ki-moon and temporary diet of Weerawansa

Dec 28 (TC) Conflicting news items about a proposed visit to Sri Lanka, with the blessings of the Government, of the ‘Three Stooges’ of Ban Ki Moon have come virtually simultaneously with a sudden glut of anti-Sri Lanka statements made by various foreign politicians such as William Hague, the former ‘attempted Prime Minister’ of the once ‘Great’ Britain, and currently, the successor to the presumptuous clown David Miliband as Foreign Secretary, and more..