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Rail gates for 775 unprotected level crossings

May 12 (SO) A comprehensive program is now under way to install rail gates at 775 unprotected level crossings which have become a virtual death trap for many motorists and pedestrians, General Manager of Railways B.A.P. Ariyaratne said. The 149 level crossings fitted with bamboo gates and manned by people have also been treated as unprotected level crossings as the safety of those gates depends on the person handling it. "We have to treat them also as unprotected level more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

May 12 (ST) The news of the release of Azath Sally was broken by President Rajapaksa on Friday. He told SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, “I have just made the order today to release Sally.” Near the Minister of Justice were AG Palitha Fernando and IGP N.K. Illangakoon. The occasion was the opening of a new building of the Govt Analyst’s Department in Battaramulla. Soon after his release, Sally entered a private nursing more..

No action on non-returnee lecturers - FUTA

May 12 (NS) The FUTA has accused the UGC for its lethargy to act on lecturers who have failed to return to the country having completed their doctorate studies. Responding to reports that over 500 university lecturers who have gone abroad to pursue their doctorate studies have not returned to the island, FUTA Head, Dr Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri lamented that the UGC could do more to resolve the issue but alleged more..

Duminda regains his post

May 12 (SL) MP Duminda Silva has been reappointed as the organizer for the SLFP in the Kolonnawa electorate. Minister Basil Rajapaksa was appointed as the SLFP organizer in the Kolonnawa electorate after the Mulleriyawa shooting incident in October 2011 in which Silva was seriously injured. However now that Silva has recovered and is out on bail he has been given back the SLFP Kolonnawa organizer’s post. more..

CMC to launch new waste management system from June

May 12 (LB) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has planned to start a new waste recycling process from June this year. Municipal Commissioner Badrani Jayawardana said that the CMC waste management division will collect waste as sorted and unsorted from June 1. Solid waste management is a burning issue in Colombo and a huge mountain of garbage is piling up in the north of the city. The Chairman of the Central more..

BBS not divided insists its Gen Sec

May 12 (LB) The general secretary of the Buddhist hardline organization Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera has said that their organization was not divided as some said and wanted. Recent media reports has said that there was a conflict within the BBS and the radical Sinhala Buddhist movement was near split. Addressing the annual general meeting of the BBS Saturday after his return more..

Live Parliament show on giant screen

May 12 (ST) The people will be able to watch parliamentary proceedings live on a giant screen to be installed at Jayanthipura in Kotte – as a prelude to live telecasts. The giant screen will be set up at the parliament car park, official said. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa who has spoken in support of the live telecast of Parliament proceedings visited the Jayanthipura site this week to see where the giant screen could be installed. more..

Influenza alert?

May 12 (CT) The recent death of two pregnant women at the Castle Street Women’s Hospital has given rise to concerns that an influenza epidemic is spreading in the country. Giving credence to the concern,The Ministry of Health revealed that 87 blood samples tested for the presence of the influenza virus returned with positive results, with 24 positive samples belonging to pregnant women. The samples belong to a batch collected between more..

'Bus fare rise would be the last straw'

May 12 (ST) A bus fare hike due by July, soon after the electricity price hike, has left commuters angry and frustrated. Buddhika Attapattu, 40, a govt sector employee from Gampaha and father of two, said a bus fare hike would be very difficult to accommodate after the string of other recent price hikes. “The fare hikes will hit those of us who travel long distances the hardest. It is unfair to increase the bus fares right after the electricity tariff more..

TNA demands voting rights for refugees

May 12 (CT) The TNA has demanded that voting rights be granted to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in camps in Tamil Nadu and facilities be set up to enable them to vote in the upcoming Northern Provincial Council election. An estimated 100,000 Sri Lankan Tamils are living as refugees in Tamil Nadu. The TNA has noted that facilities should be set up for the former residents of the Northern Province, in order to enable them to vote, more..

Sri Lanka sexes up image of Ceylon tea

May 12 (AFP) A hot cup of Ceylon tea is better known as being soothing and relaxing, but Sri Lanka is now marketing its most profitable export as a luxury boost for the libido. The tea industry is increasingly plugging Ceylon's supposed aphrodisiac qualities in a bid to radically change perceptions of the brew, which manufacturers say can sell for less than water in some markets. "We are highlighting the properties of tea that can more..

Police Hospital yet to get approval for mortuary

May 12 (NS) Controversy surrounds plans to set up a mortuary at the Police Hospital in Narahenpita costing a colossal sum of Rs.35 million. While legal experts hold that there is no legal provision to set up a mortuary in any hospital except in state hospitals, the DIG in charge of Police Administration, Gamini Navaratne speaking to The Nation said the authorities would go ahead with the proposal. “Yes, we intend setting up a mortuary at the Police Hospital. I believe that any hospital should more..

Pandankarayas: Is critical mass building at last?

May 12 (CT) When one begins to step back and try to analyse the issues and problems faced by Sudu Banda, Rasalingam or Cader Mohideen in this country, after a while the penny drops and one is left with a whole bunch of uncomfortable “realities,” the primary one being the massive corruption and violence that permeates every aspect of life in Sri Lanka and is going completely and absolutely unchecked. While all of this continues to accelerate rapidly, their roots seemed to have really more..

‘Safe limit’ for arsenic

May 12 (NS) Senior officials at the Office of the Registrar of Pesticides continue to be heavily influenced by pesticides companies, President of the GMOA, Dr Anuruddha Padeniya alleged. Dr Padeniya was responding to a query raised by The Nation, regarding an incident that allegedly occurred at a Presentation and Q & A Session titled ‘Arsenic CKDu, and Agriculture’, organized by the Organization of Professional Associations of more..

Editorial : PTA is a badge of disgrace…

May 12 (CT) The saga of Azath Salley’s arrest and detention and very much subsequently, his release on Friday, has once again brought the reviled Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) under critical scrutiny, renewing the clamour for its abrogation. The Act, which saw passage in Parliament in 1979 as the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979, and subsequently amended by Act Nos. 10 of 1982 and 22 of 1988, has since its inception, been used and more..

Prabhakaran’s classmate reveals more information on LTTE

May 12 (N360) Gunasunderam Jeyasunderam, a suspected LTTE member who was taken into custody by the Terrorist Investigation Division of Sri Lanka during the year 2007 has revealed that he was a classmate of LTTE Leader V. Prabhakaran and supported the outfit through various means. Jeyasunderam making a statement in the courts on the 10th of May 2013 has revealed that he helped the LTTE actively while basing himself in Singapore and Malaysia. Among the activities he has more..

Nadeeka, Nimali and Manjula win gold in Asian Grand Prix

May 12 (AD) Nadeeka Lakmali of Sri Lanka has gained first place in the Javelin Throw event in Stage 3 of the Asian Athletics Grand Prix and thus maintaining position in all three stages. Lakmali cleared 56.83 meters to win the only gold medal for Sri Lanka at Thamasat University Ground at the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix Athletic Championships on May 4. She then cleared a distance of 55.99 meters in the second stage to win another more..

Accident kills radio producer

May 12 (CG) An accident at Colpetty has killed a producer at a popular Sinhalese radio station, the police said. Anushka Indrajith, a producer attached to the Ran FM radio station was killed when a three-wheeler collided with his motorbike last night. The police said that the accident took place when the three-wheeler had turned onto the main road from Carlwill Place at Colpetty. The three-wheeler collided with the motorbike on which 27 year old Indrajith was travelling. more..

Lankan jailed for fatal crash in Singapore

May 12 (SS) A jet-lagged driver killed a 64-year-old grandmother and injured two others when his car mounted a pavement at Woodlands Drive 14, after he apparently dozed off at the wheel. Engineer Singarayar Cleetruse Geethan, 32, was driving home from work at about 5.45pm on June 20 last year when his car mounted the pavement and hit four pedestrians. The Sri Lankan national, a permanent resident, had admitted to driving negligently and causing the death of more..

PSC rules out former Customs preventive chief’s reinstatement

May 12 (Island) Amidst mounting speculation that former Customs preventive director Ranjan Canagasabey is to be reinstated pending indictment on bribery charges – a process that could take considerable time – a senior Public Service Commission (PSC) official dismissed such a possibility saying "suspects in bribery cases are not reabsorbed into service until the dispensation of the legal course". Customs circles are abuzz with more..

Sri Lanka in bid to boost Middle Eastern visitors

May 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka has promoted wildlife and natural assets in the Arabian Travel Mart in Dubai this month as part of a drive to grow Middle Eastern visitors 60% to 90,000 in 2013, the state tourism office said. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and 56 industry members had exhibited at the ATM-2013. The agency said the country stall based on a theme of wildlife and nature had received high visibility. "Its atmosphere, demonstrating the replicas of real elephants in greenery, more..

‘Some troops required for security in Jaffna’

May 12 (DM) While claiming that the number of troops deployed in the Jaffna peninsula had been drastically reduced, the Army emphasised the necessity of maintaining the required number of troops in the peninsula on the grounds of national security. This was revealed by Jaffna Security Forces (SF-J) Commander Major general Mahinda Hathurusinghe during a meeting with the German ambassador in Colombo Dr. Morhard, who was in Jaffna on Friday. The visiting ambassador more..

New Zealand milk is safe, its govt assures

May 12 (ST) The New Zealand (NZ) Govt on Sunday assured the safety of its milk and dairy products, quickly responding to local weekend newspapers reports that imported milk could be unsafe for consumption. “There is no need for consumers in Sri Lanka to be concerned about the safety and quality of New Zealand dairy products. Extensive research has shown no food safety risk at the levels of DCD detected. more..

Gold prices decline spiking demand from abroad as well

May 12 (ST) Price of 22 karat gold yesterday was Rs 49,800 in the local market, which market sources claimed was a decrease, compared with price fluctuations in the last three months. Three months ago 22 karat gold was sold between Rs.55,000 and Rs.53,000. Sri Lanka Jewellers Association President K. Radhakrishnan spoke of a further decline in the price of gold. “We believe that the price of gold may decrease further as most of the powerful countries in the market have more..

Task Force mulls expeditious identification GK directors’ assets

May 12 (Island) Initiating a tangible action plan to expedite the identification of all movable and immovable assets of Lalith Kotelawala, his wife Sicille and the seven other directors of the crisis-hit Golden Key figured at the maiden discussion of the top-level Task Force headed by DIG (CID) Ravi Seneviratne last week. The assets to be identified by this high-powered team will also include those the nine GK directors have alienated, sold, transferred or gifted on or after June 30, 2008 more..

6000 rooms for CHOGM

May 12 (SL) The government is to book 6000 rooms for the CHOGM to be held in Sri Lanka in November. External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama said that hotels in Colombo and greater Colombo area have been identified as host hotels for the delegates of the summit. He said that the main summit will be held in Colombo while side events will be held in Colombo, Hambantota and Dambulla. more..

CEB smarting over amended power tariffs

May 12 (ST) The CEB is not happy with the electricity tariff rates amended on the orders of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It wants more. CEB Chairman W.P.Ganegala said, “We were expecting an overall increase of 28 per cent, but what the PUCSL (Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, the regulatory body) has proposed is a 16 per cent increase. That is not sufficient to overcome our losses,”he said. CEB officials were to have two rounds of discussions with the more..

Draft proposal on Tamil solution

May 12 (CG) A draft proposal to address Tamil issues is to be formulated by a three member Tamil political party committee, it was decided at a meeting between Tamil political parties held in Mannar. The TNA and the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) attended the meeting together with civil society representatives. At that meting it was decided that a three member committee will be appointed to formulate a draft proposal to address some of the Tamil concerns. more..

Teachers & Principals to join strike on 21st

May 12 (LT) The Teacher-Principal Trade Unions Joint Committee stated that teachers and principals will join the strike action organized by the Coordinating Committee for Trade Union Alliance on the 21st to oppose the increase of electricity tariffs. The General Secretary of Lanka Teacher Services Union (LTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe addressing the media said, "Teachers have not received any salary increase since more..

Army to stage massive V-day parade

May 12 (SL) The victory parade celebrating the defeat of the LTTE will be held on May 18. It will consist of around 11,000 troops from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and the Civil Security Department. Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that around 6,350 army personnel will take part in the parade, while the Navy will deploy around 1,300 personnel, Air Force 1,300, police 1,450 and the CSD 676 personnel. In addition the Army mechanised column will parade over 100 more..

New electronic NIC's in the offing

May 12 (LB) The Department of Registration of Persons is to commence issuing new electronic National Identity Cards (e-NICs) for all citizens, in the coming months, its sources have revealed. The new IDs incorporating a sophisticated devise required for the current and future needs of national security is to be issued through the Department of Registration of Persons. Commissioner General of Registration of Persons R.M.S Sarathkumara has told the state-run radio that the Department more..

Norochcholai woes continue

May 12 (CT) Incompetence, bad planning and sheer misfortune that reduced the efficiency of the Norochcholai coal power plant to near abysmall levels is being compounded by new revelations that not only place the health of the workers at risk, but also impacts on its functionality. 120,000 metric tonnes of substandard coal, shipped to Norochcholai by the Supreme Group, the company that launched the first Satellite more..

Prof. Ranasinghe passes away

May 12 (CT) Prof. Sudatta Ranasinghe, former Senior Professor of Management at the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) as well as the University of Sri Jayewardenepura passed away on 10 May 2013. His remains lie at the Jayaratna Parlour in Borella. Funeral rites will take place at the Borella Cemetery at 3 p.m today. He graduated from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (Vidyodaya University), and later worked as a Senior Lecturer of Management at the OUSL. more..

Ruling coalition seeks candidates for northern Lanka poll

May 12 (PTI) The ruling coalition in Sri Lanka put out advertisements in Tamil newspapers today inviting nominations from those interested to contest the first-ever elections to the northern provincial council in the Tamil-dominated region. The ruling coalition UPFA national organiser and senior minister Basil Rajapaksa was quoted as saying by the weekend press here that Tamil newspapers are carrying the advertisements. Rajapaksa added that the UPFA was looking for academics, professionals and more..

Whopping loan sought to set up new oil refinery

May 12 (ST) The Govt will seek US $ 2.5 billion or Rs.320 billion through another loan to set up a new oil refinery in Sri Lanka, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa declared. “This will help us save monies spent on imported refined fuel,” he said. He said that the only refinery at Sapugaskanda is not suitable to refine some varieties of crude oil. Besides that, its output has dropped since crude procurements from Iran more..

SLTA charting a path to Davis Cup group 1

May 13 (SL) SRI Lanka tennis’s successful defence of itsGroup Two Davis Cup status might be an old story, but the SLTA’s elation yet lingerson. Last week, nearly a month after the success, tennis officials threw a party felicitating the team that overcame hosts Lebanon in early April,so ensuring the country remained on ITF’s Group 2 list for another year. Salutations to the squad, Thursday night, were made at five-star Kingsbury, no less, with Sport Minister Mahindanada more..

Is this the slippery path?

May 13 (SL) Buckingham Palace made an announcement signalling to the British that Her Majesty would be reviewing her long-haul travel plans starting this year. The most high-profile of this review was the announcement made in a typically subtle fashion, that Her Majesty will not, after all, be travelling to Sri Lanka to attend the CHOGM. At the age of 87 this was a gentle reminder to her subjects that the Queen will be taking things ever so slightly easier than she has in the past. more..

'Bilateral relations have expanded manifold'

May 13 (SO) Excerpts of an Interview with outgoing Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha. Q: The time has come to bid farewell to Sri Lanka. What will you be taking back? Any regrets or that you wished you had more time to complete? A: I am leaving Sri Lanka after a tenure of three and a half years. I arrived here in November 2009, which was six months after the end of the armed conflict. It was a historic juncture for Sri Lanka more..

Resisting Rajapaksa Rule

May 13 (DBS) Had Chandrika Kumaratunga removed Presidential term-limits, Mahinda Rajapaksa would not have become the President. If the Rajapaksa dynasty takes root, every non-Rajapaksa SLFP leader will be condemned to a life of servitude. The prospect of such a life-sentence of servility, not just to Mahinda Rajapaksa but to a host of other, major and minor, Rajapaksas, would dismay most SLFP leaders. Their dread of Rajapaksa vengeance would prevent them more..

Looking at Delhi thru Chennai…

May 13 (DBS) Now that the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu is caught up once again after a long gap in the web of local issues like caste-clashes, and continual concerns, including drought, Cauvery water dispute and the Centre’s alleged neglect on both and more, it may be time for Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans to study and understand the dynamics of domestic politics in neighbouring India, for them not to give undue weightage to the ‘Tamil Nadu factor’ in bilateral relations, any more. more..