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Mumbai Indians ‘get Sri-Lankan’ed’ in latest tourism campaign

May 20 (FT) The colourful side of the sunny island was conveyed to the population of the fourth largest city in India and the nation’s financial hub, Mumbai over the weekend, with the latest campaign by Sri Lanka Tourism urging the populace to ‘Get Srilankan’ed’ by getting ‘lucky, groovy, stuffed, lazy, pampered, wild, exploring and climbing’. Following in the footsteps of the successful mega campaign in Bangalore in February this year, the Mumbai promotion, part of a series of campaigns more..

Complaints galore following arrest of fraudster

May 20 (CT) Police had received many complaints from the public, following the arrest of the fraudster who had swindled money from businessmen to the tune of more than Rs 150 million through ATM cards. Numerous complaints against the fraudster had been received from areas such as Kuliyapitiya, Gurudeniya, Anamaduwa, Wellawaya, Matara, Ratnapura, Chilaw and Colombo. An official of the FIB said two special teams had been sent to the areas to conduct investigations, more..

CHOGM 2013: Why squander public funds on new super luxury vehicle fleet when…

May 20 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa says instead of acquiring a brand new fleet of super luxury vehicles for the use of the CHOGM 2013, the govt should obtain them from those who owned such vehicles for the duration of the summit. MP Premadasa said that the govt shouldn’t be embarrassed to take every possible measure to limit summit expenditure scheduled to be held from Nov. 15 to 17. more..

Sri Lanka implements 'Blue Sky 2020'

May 20 (GDI) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) of Sri Lanka in a bid to reach the World Health Organization's interim target by managing the ambient air quality of Sri Lanka has implemented an integrated air quality management project, 'Blue Sky 2020', to minimize emission of greenhouse gases and resulting adverse climatic changes. CEA Chairman Charitha Herath said special attention was given to environmetal conservation under the Mahinda Chinthana and improving more..

Mervyn boasts he finishes what he starts

May 20 (CT) "If I start a project, it does not go wrong nor does it stall in the process. I will endeavour to complete the construction of the car park near the Uda Maluwa Sri Maha Bodhiya (East Tower) before the next Poson Poya and offer it to Saasana," Minister Mervyn Silva said, when he met the Chief Incumbent of the Atamasthana in Anuradhapura. Minister Silva went to inspect the site of the construction on the instructions of the President. Work in this regard had commenced more..

President can bring about peace: Salley

May 20 (DM) Former Colombo Deputy Mayor Azath Salley who shot to fame as a result of his arrest, said President Rajapaksa was the ideal person to bring about proper peace and reconciliation. Salley said that President’s own family comprised members of different religions and ethnic groups who lived peacefully. Therefore he said it would be easy for the President to establish peace in the country in the same way he had more..

Minister accused of firing into air to scare protesters

May 20 (Island) Minister Gunaratne Weerakoon had, on Saturday, fired a few gun shots in the air and abused a group of protesters who had launched an agitation at Kerawa junction, Karandeniya against govt’s failure to repair a dilapidated road. The protesters said that they had been compelled to stage a public protest as the govt had failed to attend to the repairs of the badly damaged road despite repeated appeals. UPFA Chief organiser for Bentara-Elpitiya Geetha Kumarasinghe, more..

Govt. attempting to sweep Matale mass grave under carpet

May 20 (CT) The Standing Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on Rule of Law, at its meeting on 10 May, decided to express its concern on the appointment of a commission regarding the unearthing of the mass grave in Matale, when in fact what is necessary is to proceed under the normal law of the country. Commissions of Inquiry have throughout our history been a modus adopted to sweep an issue under the carpet. It is noted that the police has not yet taken even the most more..

SLFP requests working public not to join May 21 strike

May 20 (DN) The strike action planned for the 21st by certain trade unions is also joined by NGOs that have been heavily funded by foreign organizations including those of the Tamil dispora to sabotage the govt on the pretext of cost of living and electricity tariff hike issues, our sources say. The TNA which operates with several well-known NGOs is part of the strike action – and so is the Bar Association of Sri Lanka which was more..

Karunanidhi disapproves of ban on pro-Tamil Eelam meeting

May 20 (PTI) DMK president M Karunanidhi disapproved of govt action of banning a pro-Tamil Eelam public meeting at Cuddalore besides clamping prohibitory orders preventing Dalit-based outfit Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan from attending events in Villupuram district. "I have already issued statement against government rules and orders banning (meetings) and (persons') entry into districts," he said in an apparent reference to his criticism of more..

Narayanasamy welcomes Tamil Nadu bar on pro-LTTE meet

May 20 (Hindu) Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy on Sunday welcomed the Tamil Nadu govt’s denial of permission for a public meeting by the Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam (NTI), which had invited the Kashmir separatist leader Yasin Malik, in Cuddalore on Saturday. The Minister said the NTI chief, Seeman, was openly supporting the banned LTTE, eulogising the LTTE, along with Mr. Malik was unacceptable. more..

Army commander criticizes foreign intervention in military affairs

May 20 (LB) Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya has criticized the foreign representatives expressing different opinions about maintaining army camps in the North. The Army Commander has noted that there are only three Army camps in the Jaffna peninsula at present, although there were sixteen army camps at the end of the war in May 2009. He has said that, as the Army Commander he is well aware of more..

NTC to cancel route permits of private buses supporting strike action

May 20 (DN) The route permits of private buses supporting the strike action scheduled to take place from midnight yesterday will be cancelled, National Transport Commission (NTC) Chairman Roshan Gunawardene said. He said this strike action is a ‘conspiracy created by several elements, political parties and various national and international organizations against the govt trying to topple the govt. He said the strike action will not be a success since all inter provincial long distance more..

Lokuge claims strike will flop

May 20 (Island) Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge yesterday said that the proposed major strike scheduled for May 21 will turnout to be a damp squib. He said that a majority of workers would report to work. "Only those affiliated to the bankrupt JVP would take part in the strike, he said. However, JVP trade union leader K.D. Lal Kantha was confident that the strike would be a success. He said that the majority of the workers would participate in the strike in the face of obstacles more..

UNP TU arm chickens out, JVP to go it alone

May 20 (Island) The Joint Opposition plan for a one-day strike, to pressure the govt to do away with the new electricity pricing formula, has suffered a major setback due to the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS), affiliated to the UNP, not throwing its weight behind the campaign. Well informed sources said that a meeting held at JSS headquarters on May 14, had ended inconclusively, though various options were discussed. more..

Editorial: Eating poison because of a tyrannical world order

May 20 (DM) Amidst confusion, controversy and conflicting reports on the toxic chemicals in milk powder imported from New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has disclosed that a toxic chemical has been found in imported white sugar. The Minister said further tests were being conducted on the sugar imported from Brazil after it was found it contained substantial amount of the toxic chemical cadmium. He assured the people local sugar was safe. more..

'Executive and the Judiciary should respect each other'

May 20 (DM) Addressing the ceremonial sittings, newly appointed Supreme Court judge Justice Rohini Marasinghe said that one of the basic requirements that is necessary to maintain that independence is to evoke a sense of respect from the executive for the judiciary. That sense of respect is often lost once the judiciary becomes beholden to the executive for benefits sought and benefits granted by and from the Executive she said. Here follows full address made by Justice more..

May 21 is the first step, warn TUs

May 20 (SL) The working masses last week drew battle lines with the govt in demanding a withdrawal of the increase in electricity tariffs and are now moving towards a day of protests on Tuesday. The massive protest march organized by trade unions, opposition political parties and the civil society on the 15th in Colombo saw large crowds congregating, shouting slogans against the govt for its failure in addressing the issues faced more..

Purifying the SLFP

May 20 (CT) General Secretary of the SLFP, Maithripala Sirisena said a 'sangayana' should be held to clean up the SLFP, suggesting the party which was founded in 1956 has now been infiltrated by various nefarious elements. He said the SLFP which was founded by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and D.A. Rajapaksa has veered away from its original mandate. "It is important that the SLFP deliberates to evaluate the past, present and future," more..

Beware travelers to Sri Lanka of extortion scam by immigration officers

May 20 (eTN) After a short and pleasant flight on SriLankan Airllines, the national airline for Sri Lanka, from the Maldives, I arrived at Colombo International Airport. Immigration forms were given to passengers on this flight. I had the form filled out and after disembarking approached the immigration counter. The officer looked at my form and passport and asked, “Where is your visa?” No one had explained onboard or at check-in more..

Middle income earners to pay a third more for electricity

May 20 (ST) Middle-income earners using between 61 and 300 energy units will see their power bills shoot up by more than a third with the new tariffs, the Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) says. CEB Chairman W.P.Ganegala defended the new price structure, saying the increase over all sectors amounted to 20 per cent and that the Board was compelled to increase rates in order to provide round-the-clock supplies. more..

Tamil refugees sheltering in UAE granted asylum in the USA and Europe

May 20 (National) Four Sri Lankan refugees sheltered in the UAE for seven months have been granted asylum in the United States, Sweden and Finland. They were among 45 Tamils who fled their home last October to seek asylum in Australia. But when their boat ran into trouble they had to be rescued by the Singaporean ship Pinnacle Bliss, which was on its way to Dubai. "We received new updates of additional four persons more..

CPC ready to purchase fuel from Singapore company if fresh proposal is made

May 20 (Island) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday said that if PV Oil Singapore came up with a fresh satisfactory proposal the CPC would purchase gas oil from the same company in the future. He said that at the start, PV Oil Singapore had supplied high quality products and when they recently visited the company, it had expressed that it would like to provide quality products to Sri Lanka again. more..

'Northern PC polls an insult to war heroes'

May 20 (DM) It would be an insult to the war heroes who sacrificed their lives for their motherland if we gave into international pressure and held Provincial Council elections in the North, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Speaking at the 4th anniversary of the Sri Lankan War Heroes’ Commemoration Day organised by the JHU at the Public Library in Colombo on Saturday, he said Indian politicians Karunanidhi and more..

IMF calls for second generation tax reforms

May 20 (DM) With the first generation of tax reforms failing to generate intended revenues, IMF has urged authorities to bring about second generation of tax reforms focused on broadening the tax base through improved administration. “Revenue growth has not responded as envisaged to a first round of tax reforms, undermining capital investment plans; despite recent appropriate price adjustments, state-owned enterprises remain prone to more..

Govt. hospital docs told to cut down on tests

May 20 (Island) Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka said that he had learnt from a reliable source that that the majority of doctors attached to state-owned hospitals were in the habit of ordering unnecessary medical investigations, even for a minor ailments. He had, therefore, requested doctors to refrain from such practice as the Ministry was in the process of rationalising its resources, he said. Dr. Jayathilaka pointed out more..

Sri Lanka: No progress 4 years on

May 20 (HRW) Respect for basic rights and liberties has declined in Sri Lanka in the four years since the govt defeated the LTTE. This week marks the fourth anniversary of the brutal civil war's end. Since the end of the 26-year-long civil war, the Sri Lankan govt has resisted taking meaningful steps to investigate and prosecute alleged war crimes by govt forces and the LTTE, end the crackdown against the independent more..

The Diaspora four years after the war

May 20 (CT) Four years have passed without seeing any progress in the lives of Tamils in our homeland. The International Community marks May 18, 2009, as the end of the war. But the war on Tamils has never ceased, as our people have been subjected to land grabbing, threats against freedom of expression, kidnappings, raping, and political impeachments. During the month of May in 2009, Tamils experienced some of the worst crimes perpetrated against them by the SL govt. more..

Editorial : Training and development of youth

May 20 (CT) Govt moves to invite foreign universities to open up branches in Sri Lanka is to be welcomed and highly commended. It will be a boon to over 100,000 students who have been unable to gain access to university education in Sri Lanka due to the dearth of space in our universities to accommodate them. Of the 130,000 students who pass the GCE A/L exam annually, only about 22,000 are selected for admission to State run universities. Therefore, it is those students who qualify more..

Johnny order crackdown on fake beauty creams, soaps

May 20 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando has directed the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to take immediate steps to prevent traders and trading establishments from selling soaps and facial creams, which do not display any descriptions on the wrappers and containers. Those fake creams and soaps had caused severe skin allergies and some people had been duped into purchasing them at very high prices. more..

Sri Lanka micro financier to expand into former war zones

May 20 (LBO) Prime Grameen Micro Finance Limited plans to grow its customers from 125,000 members to 200,000 members in 2013, helped by expansions into former war zones in Sri Lanka's East. "We will open six new branches in the island and two of the branches will be in Eastern area. Prime Grameen chairman B Premalal said at the launch of a minors' savings scheme. "We have enough determined ladies in those areas. One of the challenges we face is reaching grass roots. more..

N’chcholai breakdown costs Rs 210 mn in seven days

May 20 (Island) The CEB had suffered a loss to the tune of nearly Rs. 210 million, within the last seven days, due to a technical problem in the coal fired power plant at Norochcholai. The plant equipped to supply 300 MW to the national grid has been contributing only 200 MW since last weekend. "If the plant fails completely for a day the losses will amount to Rs. 80 million since we have to depend on expensive power purchasing, especially to cover up the peak hours," more..

26 Karaikal fishermen to be released from Lanka Monday

May 20 (ENS) Protests by the fishermen community and political parties have yielded result with the Sri Lankan govt ordering the release of the 26 Karaikal fishermen on Monday. The fishermen who are in the custody of the Sri Lankan govt will be released after being produced before the Lankan court, said Minister V Narayanasamy. “Orders for the release have been issued after the intervention of Minister for External Affairs more..

TU challenge govt, to face strike, not sabotage it

May 20 (Island) Trade unions behind tomorrow’s planned token strike in protest against the recent electricity tariff hike, yesterday challenged the govt to face their trade union action without trying to sabotage it by cancelling the leave of public sector employees. Co–convener of the co–ordination committee for the Trade Union Alliance (CCTUA) Wasantha Samarasinghe said that the govt had declared May 21 as a day of religious observances to mark the Vesak celebrations. more..

Sri Lanka promoted at LA's International Trade Outlook

May 20 (GDI) The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Los Angeles participated at “International Trade Outlook” an annual event jointly organized by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and the World Trade Center Association Los Angeles-Long Beach, at Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, California on 15th May. The program focused the Los Angeles County as America’s international trade capital and gateway to the global economy. More than 500 prominent more..

'The price for round the clock power is high'

May 20 (ST) Sri Lanka is the only country in the SAARC grouping that provides electricity round the clock. Hence the recent upward revision of tariffs is a necessity, says CEB Chairman W.B. Ganegala. “People pay more for mobile phones,” he told the Sunday Times. He also claimed half of Sri Lanka’s population has been given relief following President Rajapaksa’s May Day directive to reduce tariffs to the poorer sections. more..

Weather gods likely to behave

May 20 (Island) The Meteorology Department predicted that the prevailing stormy weather would ease in a few days. Duty forecaster Jeevan Karunaratne told The Island yesterday that showers and thundershowers would decrease gradually within the next few days. However, he said showers or thundershowers would develop at several places in the Uva province and at a few places elsewhere inland during the afternoon or evening. Karunaratne said that a few showers could be expected more..

High level Sri Lankan Buddhist delegation visits Japan

May 20 (GDI) Maha Nayaka of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya, Most Venerable Davuldena Gnanissara Thero and Maha Nayaka of the Ramanna Maha Nikaya Most Venerable Napana Premasiri Thero visited Japan from 9th to 16th May accompanied by a high-level delegation of Buddhist clergy. The Theros visited Japan on the invitation of the Embassy of Sri Lanka to attend a series of events organised by the Embassy in collaboration with Venerable Yalagamuwe Dammissara Thero more..

Diyatha Uyana enhanced facilities under 2nd phase

May 20 (MED) The enhanced facilities constructed under the second phase of the Diyatha Uyana Walking Path and shops in Battaramulla were declared open for the public on last Saturday. Minister Basil Rajapaksa declared open the new facilities that include shops, open area with restaurants and ponds. Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa was also present at the occasion. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 1.3%

May 20 (LBO) Stock closed up 1.35% on Monday, driven by an extended rally in index heavy John Keells Holdings (JKH), though some selling was seen in the broader market. All Share Index closed 85.97 points higher at 6,466.67 and the S&P SL 20 Index closed 60.09 points higher at 3,649.35 up 1.67%. Turnover was 1.2 billion rupees down from 1.4 billion rupees on Friday. JKH which gained 13.10 rupees closed at 298.00 rupees and Nestle Lanka closed at 2090.00 rupees up 188.10 rupees, more..