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Bring armed gangs under control- CTU

Dec 31 (DM) Officials attached to the education sector employed in Jaffna expressed grave concern for their safety following yet another attack on one of their colleagues on Sunday (26) night. These officials pointed out that several officials from the education sector in the area had been targeted by armed gangs operating in the area and that they were afraid that they also could be assaulted or even worse be killed. more..

As Sri Lanka brags of limits on UN War Crimes Panel, UN stonewalls press

Dec 31 (ICP) The UN has apparently agreed to further limit the scope of its Panel on accountability in Sri Lanka, while ignoring and even prohibiting Press questions for two weeks now. After Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on December 17 bragged that the Panel would travel to Sri Lanka, and praised President Mahinda Rajapaksa for “flexibility,” the country's foreign ministry called the trip into question, saying it was only it a response to a more..

Sri Lanka- Israel Agricultural Cooperation

Dec 31 (LP) The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with Israel. Accordingly Sri Lanka will sign the MoU with Israel for Agricultural Cooperation. The proposal was forwarded by Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. Israel is the country which has achieved a highest agricultural development amidst a non conducive climatic pattern. The MoU will facilitate capacity building and more..

'De-mining efforts on track'

Dec 31 (DM) A total of 306,810 mines had been destroyed by Army Field Engineers in a land area of 1870 square kilometres using both mechanical and manual methods, Military Spokesman, Major General Ubaya Medawala said. The Major General said that these clearing operations were conducted in Jaffna, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Polonnaruwa and Vavuniya districts and that nearly 1300 soldiers were engaged in de-mining efforts in the North and East. more..

Sri Lankan time to be standardized in April

Dec 31 (DN) Sri Lankan time will not be standardized today as decided earlier, Measurement Units Standards and Services Department acting Director Kumara Premasiri said. The time will be standardized from April next year. Earlier, the Government planned to set up Standard Time from Midnight on December 31. The decision has been delayed due to delay of the equipment. "The equipment has not been received yet. We hope to implement it from April 2011," he said. more..

Guilty public servants to pay 25 percent of inquiry cost

Dec 31 (Island) Public servants found guilty of indiscipline, will in future have to bear at least 25 per cent of the cost incurred in holding the inquiry against them. At present the entire cost of disciplinary inquiries, are borne by the State. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Cabinet had accepted the recommendation of the Sub-Committee on Establishment Matters, to recover at least 25 percent of the inquiry cost or Rs 30,000 whichever is less, more..

Postal rates to be revised

Dec 31 (Island) Minister Jeevan Kumratunga said that discussions are under way regarding a possible upward revision of postal rates. "The Government provides this service mainly as a service to the people and it is not profit oriented. Various postal services are conducted by the Postal Department such as ordinary post and commercial post. But we have not taken a policy decision to increase postal rates so far. At present it is under discussion," more..

Matara Mayor resigns

Dec 31 (ST) Matara Mayor Upul Nishantha stepped down from office today. He said that he was being politically victimised and therefore stepping down from office. Mr. Nishantha in January supported Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka and was thereafter removed from his post. However later on a court order he was reappointed to the post. The Matara Municipal Council was elected as the best Council last year. more..

Schols for studying in India

Dec 31 (DN) The High Commission of India, Colombo has announced the offer of 40 scholarships for Sri Lankan Nationals under the Scheme of Scholarship for Nationals of Sri Lanka for undergraduate courses and five scholarships under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship plan for postgraduate course in various Indian Universities, during the 2011 to 2012 session. High Commission of India selects Sri Lankan for these scholarships, in consultation with the Higher Education Ministry to pursue more..

Sri Lanka coconut fertiliser subsidy to cost extra Rs2.3bn

Dec 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka's government will spend an extra 2,280 million rupees annually to give a fertiliser subsidy to coconut growers to boost harvests after nut prices shot up in recent months. Media minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the Cabinet has approved a proposal to give a 50-kilo bag of urea and potash fertilizer at a subsidized price of 1000 rupees to all coconut growers. "The national coconut production is estimated this year to be about 2,750 million nuts and more..

Indian poultry sector eyeing Lanka for egg exports

Dec 31 (Hindu) The poultry industry is now setting its sights on the neighbouring Sri Lanka, after benefiting from high egg prices in the domestic market. Mr P. Selvaraj, Chairman, National Egg Coordination Committee, told Business Line: “We started test supplying eggs and day-old chicks in mid-December. So far we have exported four containers (18 lakh) to Sri Lanka.” “Despite the announcement of lifting of ban on Indian poultry products by more..

Give school bags free to students: UNP

Dec 31 (DM) The UNP yesterday requested the government to make provision to provide the new health hazard-free school bag free just for one year and to reduce taxes charged on paper used to manufacture school books for students. UNP MP Ajith P. Perera told a news conference the hazard-free bag was priced between Rs.750 and Rs.1500. He said because of cost of the bag it was beyond the reach of many parents who were struggling to make ends meet. more..

Sri Lankan takes flight in Fayetteville, USA

Dec 31 (NWA) “Shavi” Samaranayake has a unique view of Northwest Arkansas. He’s only seen most of the region from above, in the left seat of a Piper Arrow. Flying is a family affair for Samaranayake, whose grandfather was an aeronautical engineer for Air Ceylon. His mother works for the national airline in his hometown of Columbo, Sri Lanka. With only a few single-engine airplanes in Sri Lanka, Samaranayake had to travel to the United States to train as a pilot. more..

Karuna deplores ‘US embassy lies’

Dec 31 (Island) Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan aka Karuna strongly denies former US Ambassador in Colombo Robert Blake’s claim that he fled Sri Lanka and secured refuge in Tamil Nadu in early 2004 with the help of the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga. "Ambassador Blake’s accusation is absurd," the National List MP said. According to him, the US mission in Colombo, on the basis of unsubstantiated information received more..

LLRC is only a facade - Shiral

Dec 31 (AD) The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is only a time consuming and attention diverting effort by the government, UNP Western Provincial Council member Shiral Lakthilaka told Ada Derana in an exclusive interview. He further stated that the government should share their side of the story with the UN Panel appointed by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and that Sarath Fonseka should also be allowed to share his experiences. more..

AH1N1 vaccination: not for school children

Dec 31 (DM) Ministry of Health said yesterday that there was no need for school children to be vaccinated against AH1N1as there was no risk of their being infected with the disease. “We have clearly stated that only persons potentially at high risk of severe illness and complications from AH1N1 should obtain the vaccination. Therefore, there is absolutely no need to create hype about the vaccination and it is not compulsory for everyone to get the vaccination,” more..

'Sacrifices will have to be made'

Dec 31 (Island) The major challenge before us is to raise the position of our country in the world, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksha in his New Year Message to the nation. What follows is the full text of President Rajapaksa’s message: "We look towards the future at the dawn of this New Year with renewed determination, firm commitment and many positive expectations. more..

2010: Year in review

Dec 31 (Island) APRIL: * The police on April 5 removed four Buddhist monks who launched a fast unto death opposite the Fort Railway Station demanding the release of General Fonseka and refused to disperse. The monks were bodily carried into a waiting bus and taken to the Fort Police station. * UNP Matara District candidate Buddika Pathirana caused a major political controversy on April 7 more..

Sri Lanka plantations mull loans for replanting

Dec 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka's plantations are considering concessionary loans with interest subsidies from the government to improve replanting of tea, which has fallen behind targets, the Tea Board said. The plantations ministry wants to increase the re- plantation rate of regional plantations corporation estates to three percent a year from the current 0.5 percent. An interest subsidy is being considered by the ministry for the RPCs more..

Change in two weeks

Dec 31 (NN) The UNP will decide on the key posts and appointments of the party including the post of the leader and deputy leader within the next two weeks, well before the 120 day deadline agreed upon during the recent UNP convention, highly placed UNP sources said. According to the sources, current UNP Leader Ranil Wickramasingha and UNP MP Sajith Premadasa have been having frequent negotiations during the past few days and more..

Sri Lanka to arrest more military deserters

Dec 31 (Xinhua) Over 45,000 military deserters remain to be arrested in a campaign beginning mid November, a spokesman said Friday. "We have already arrested 3,000 of them including seven officers", said Major General Ubhaya Madawela, the military spokesman. The general said the 3,000 arrests came from an estimated total of 50,000 deserters who had absented without leave from the military. more..

Now weather terror in Kilinochchi

Dec 31 (DM) A Kilinochchi resident was killed while two others were injured and more than 10,000 acres of paddy fields affected by the floods from the torrential rains continued to lash the war-ravaged district in the past few days. The Meteorology Department said the weather pattern was an extension of the rainy weather in the rest of the Asian region. The disturbance in the lower atmosphere had caused heavy rains more..

Fourteen Sri Jayewardenepura students temporarily suspended

Dec 31 (DN) Fourteen Sri Jayewardenepura University students have been suspended by University authorities for their alleged involvement in the assault on three security officers. Three security officers of the University were injured following a clash between security officers and students on December 13. A student monk and a female student were among those involved. more..

President rejects SB’s proposal

Dec 31 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has turned down a Cabinet paper, presented by Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake, who sought approval to admit children of university teachers to popular schools. The President told Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting that high ranking officials at other public sector institutions would also ask for similar privileges in case such approval was granted. more..

Spending money wisely: Aiming to greet a world record…

Dec 31 (AD) New Year greeting card designed by artist Saman Hettiarachchi and eight school students was constructed in front of Temple Trees and presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. The greeting card which is a Guinness World Record attempt is 33 feet 06 inches in height and 92 feet 10 inches in width. The greeting card was created with the guidance of Uva Chief Minister, Shashindra Rajapaksa. more..

'Wrong treatment increased deaths'

Dec 31 (DM) Improper methods of treatment had led to an increase in the death rate of dengue patients in Sri Lanka last year, said two medical experts from the Epidemiological Unit of the Health Ministry. Dr. Kolitha Sellaheva and Dr. Jayantha Weeraman said that the transfusion of blood platelets to dengue patients and keeping them in intensive care were improper treatments which could even result in death. more..