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No hike in Highland milk powder prices, but production lags

Feb 4 (Island) Highland milk powder prices have not increased unlike those of the other brands approved by the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade from midnight February (1), but it is not in a position to meet the demand despite its Digana and Polonaruwa factories working at full capacity. Chairman of Milco (Pvt) Limited Sunil Wickramasinghe said that his company produced 60,000 litres of fresh milk a day while the country needed two million litres a day. more..

Sri Lanka to get black mark by hastily allowing export of Wallapatta

Feb 4 (Island) Sri Lanka would have to face further international criticism for illegal wildlife trade if it legalised the export of Wallapatta at this juncture, senior environmental lawyer Jagath Gunawardane said. He explained that the Wallapatta tree was internationally protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) listed under Appendix II and, therefore, more..

International award for Amantha Perera

Feb 4 (SM) A Sri Lankan journalist has been awarded a coveted award for climate change reporting. Subhra Priyadarshini of India and Amantha Perera pf Sri Lanka were presented with the South Asia Climate Change Award (SACCA) recently in recognition of their contribution to climate change reporting in their respective countries. Last year, Panos South Asia announced South Asia Climate Change Award (SACCA) Fellows, 2013 after twenty four awardees were selected by more..

Drugs bound for Lanka seized

Feb 4 (CG) Delhi Police have busted an international narco-terrorism racket arresting three people including a Jammu and Kashmir police constable, allegedly handled by a Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen militant, along with 10kg of heroine worth around Rs35 crore which was bound for Sri Lanka and other locations. The consignment was on its way to customers in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and countries including, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the DNA news agency reported. more..

CMEC top guns reiterate commitment to restore Norochcholai

Feb 4 (Island) The China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) was ready to pump in any amount of money to replace inferior quality material at the Chinese built first coal-fired power plant at Norochcholai, a senior CMEC official said. He said that if there was any problem with the plant in connection with its operational side, the CEB should be held responsible. However, he stressed that China would go all out to support SL more..

GMOA urges SLMC not grant RMOs the same status as graduate doctors

Feb 4 (Island) All the medical associations and registered trade unions of doctors will withdraw from the membership of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), if the SLMC compromised on its rules and regulations to grant the Registered Medical Officers (RMOs) the Bachelor of Medicine–Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). The GMOA General Committee member Dr. Navin de Soysa told The Island that around 17,000 doctors attached to the GMOA had launched a signature campaign among more..

30 more TN fishermen arrested by SL Navy

Feb 4 (PTI) Sri Lankan Naval personnel have arrested 30 Tamil Nadu fishermen in separate incidents when they were fishing in the Palk strait early this morning, officials said. With this, a total of 69 fishermen arrested have been arrested in the last three days. Officials said the Lankan naval personnel arrested the fishermen for "using banned fishing nets" and fishing in their exclusive zone. They also seized eight boats, three from Mandapam, one from Nagapattinam, more..

Licence for Lankan Gypsies and their pets

Feb 4 (CT) Gypsies, the nomads of Sri Lanka, are to be finally recognized and given a special licence from the State enabling them to hold onto their exotic, performing pets that are instrumental in assisting them to earn a regular income. Sources said that once the licence is issued, the conflict that has been ongoing over a long period of time, between the Ahikuntaka (as they are referred to by Sri Lankans) and more..

The ministry of poison

Feb 5 (NS) The Agriculture Ministry has given the green light to import a highly poisonous, however relatively cheap, pesticide, the importation of which has been prohibited since July 1995 in Sri Lanka. Ironically, the pesticide monocrotophos is to be imported from India, a country that is considering banning it. Indian monocrotophos manufacturers lobbied hard against banning it in India. Sri Lanka Coconut Research Institute had to find a new manufacturer to supply monocroptophos more..

Who rules the world?

Feb 5 (Island) We celebrated sixty six years of independence yesterday with threats from some TNA members to hoist black flags in Jaffna. It is not known whether they succeeded in their attempt but if they were they would get publicity courtesy American State Department (ASD). It is because the TNA members would have accomplished what the ASD wanted. The black flags would have been a symbol against the Sri Lankan govt and the Sinhala people and the ASD would have gone to more..

Automated NICs from this month

Feb 5 (SO) One of the state offices that was hardly affected over a period of time and new technology was the Registration of Persons Department (RPD). Popularly known as the NIC office, RPD is doing one of the most important and crucial tasks in the country that deals with its citizens' identity. Since its establishment in 1972 to the present day the operations of the department have only been done manually such as more..

Tear up the National Flag and dump it !

Feb 5 (CT) I call upon all Sri Lankans to tear up the national flag & dump it & demand a new one to be designed so as to create a state of unity, equality & justice and to ward off the curse that has engulfed us all, all along! Reasons for my conclusion; 1. SL never had lions nor was a bone ever found. We don’t have a national animal (we have a bird though) and the lion supposedly is to show bravery of the Sinhala race. The country was in existence thousands of years before the advent of more..

The judicial mind in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (CT) When multiethnic and multi-religious societies are confronted with challenges that test the limits of coexistence, govts may be tempted to resort to populism or political expediency. Sri Lanka’s relatively short post-independence history is unfortunately riddled with examples of such compromises. Minorities have been victimised throughout this country’s history. They have had nowhere to turn, except perhaps towards the only institution that is tasked with checking power: more..

'Geetha is no challenge to me'

Feb 5 (CT) Former Chief Minister of the Southern Province, Shan Wijeyalal de Silva, says Geetha Kumarasinghe has not caused even a minute damage to his image and she is not a challenge to him. Q: Geetha Kumarasinghe is saying that she will be the next Chief Minister of the SPC. What is your opinion regarding this proclamation? A: I don't usually like to speak about this. Chief Minister is selected by President, more..

Minister trying to keep Ranil in the game

Feb 5 (CT) Cabinet Minister, who is in the shade of the President, is playing a double game these days. Minister was in Ranil’s inner circle before he crossed over to the govt. Now he has got close to the President’s family and putting various opinions into their minds. He always highlights the importance of keeping Ranil at the helm of the UNP. His intention is to secure a position in the Cabinet, if Ranil returns to power. Therefore, he is chanting a spell to make it difficult for Sajith to come to power. more..

Third Resolution: Failure of governance

Feb 5 (CT) The threat of a third resolution is haunting the govt as the United States reiterates its determination to bring yet another resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva this March, that will call for an international investigation into the alleged war crimes. However, the UN resolutions passed so far have not been a victory or a defeat for any party. The anti-Lankan rhetoric from the West continues to cloud the contents of the past resolutions and as well as of any new ones that they intend to more..

Norochcholai renders China naked

Feb 5 (CT) The Rajapaksa Govt seems to think that China is its saviour. It presents China as a constituent party of the govt for the consumption of gullible people on whom the govt depends very much to continue to be in power. When one sees the antics of the govt while it is trying to take off to paradise on the tail of the Chinese elephant, it reminds him of what had happened in the very identical folk tale of a more..

Editorial: Bass did it!

Feb 5 (Island) A cliché commonly associated with mystery fiction is: ‘Butler did it.’ Its origin has been traced to Rinehart’s novel, The Door (1930). Opinion is, however, divided on its figurative meaning. That kind of generalisation is not fair in the opinion of some people but others are of the view that butlers are a haughty breed given to scheming and, therefore, the portrayal of them as bad guys is not unreasonable. The Sri Lankan equivalent for this threadbare phrase is: more..

International Cancer Day Feb. 4: Killing loved ones with passive smoking

Feb 5 (NS) ‘Passive smoke’, ‘Secondhand smoke’,‘involuntary smoke’, are some of the terms used to describe the smoke generated by the burning end of tobacco products and the smoke puffed out by a smoker and inhaled by a non-smoker. Puffed out smoke contains many toxins and is a threat, especially where ventilation is poor. Chronic illnesses from passive smoking, which are ever increasing, are linked with, strokes, Sudden Infant deaths and infants born with low birth more..

No one came forward to give freedom to people of North - President

Feb 5 (Island) If we had not eradicated terrorism in 2009, children in the North would not have been able to attend school or enter universities as freely as they do today. President Rajapaksa warned yesterday of the sinister designs of foreign forces, who were again attempting to use people of the North as human shields. "The invaders always came to our country shedding oceans of crocodile tears. more..

Robiul's axing highlights defensive approach

Feb 5 (CI) On many occasions, the short-term in a five-day game is given more priority. Presented with a situation where his bowling attack hemorrhaged 730 runs in the Mirpur Test, the Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim cut down on attacking options in the Chittagong game, thereby underselling his team's ability. Even on the opening day, it was apparent that wickets were going to be hard to come by. Al-Amin Hossain was the only pace bowler in the attack, the first time Bangladesh more..

Mosque and church attacks harm Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (Ekklesia) Sri Lankan govt minister GL Peiris has tried to justify a wave of attacks on churches and mosques, claiming that these were simply community reactions to unauthorised facilities. The state’s refusal to protect religious minorities further undermines human rights in Sri Lanka overall. For instance, two churches in Hikkaduwa were attacked during Sunday worship on 12 Jan. It was claimed that they were violating a 2008 circular by the Ministry of Religious Affairs requiring all new more..

Encountering 'Death Counts' in the Final Phase of the Eelam War

Feb 5 (Island) Almost all recent media reports in the west on the impending US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC 'Periodic Review' scheduled for next March state as a firmly established fact that 40,000 civilians were killed in the course of the final phase of the Eelam War. Most of these reports also imply that, in sponsoring such a resolution, US govt is impelled by its conviction that govt of SL is accountable for that crime. more..

Microsoft names Indian Nadella as new CEO; Gates steps down as Chairman

Feb 5 (Reuters) Microsoft Corp is betting a mix of old and young blood will revive the aging technology pioneer, but new CEO Satya Nadella may find it tough to push change with co-founder Bill Gates and former CEO Steve Ballmer breathing down his neck. The 46-year-old India native and former enterprise business chief takes on the monumental task of exploring new directions - but with Gates as his consigliere, and on a strategy that Ballmer orchestrated with the board. more..

119 ordeal for Gunasekera family

Feb 5 (FT) Whilst the Police may have expeditiously napped the suspect of the murder of former journalist Mel Gunasekera, the family had a bitter ordeal in seeking the assistance from 119 on the day of the crime. Sources close to the family said the Gunasekeras had been calling Emergency hotline 119 ceaselessly for 45 minutes without a response. The helpless family eventually managed to get through to the IGP via a VVIP. “Emergency is for emergency and what’s the point of more..

Remembering Mel Gunasekera

Feb 5 (GV) Mel would have been deeply fascinated by the circumstances of her murder. She would have, even more than Nalaka Gunawardene, taken pains to explore why an ordinary man, a father, husband and day wage labourer was driven to kill her. She would have crunched the statistics, and soon discovered that neither the Police nor the Govt’s official open data portal had crime statistics after early 2012. more..

Jupiter Capital Partners to launch $75 mln SL Country fund

Feb 5 (ST) Jupiter Capital Partners (JCP), a South Asian focussed private equity firm is to set up a US$ 75 million country fund for Sri Lanka, officials said. “We’re going to call it Jupiter Sri Lanka Investment Fund,” Indika Hettiarachchi, Managing Director JCP said. This unit aims to fund Small and Medium sized firms (SMEs). Currently many SMEs and high growth companies are faced with funding constraints. Although there are various loan schemes targeting SMEs, more..

'Higgledy- piggledy policies trigger investor confusion'

Feb 5 (Island) Tax policies, scattered industries, foreign land ownership, personnel training, and human resource approaches were debilitating influences that stultified investor confidence that could, otherwise, help jump- start the economy. These were collective views expressed at the PathFinder Foundation seminar last week. The seminar was initially chaired by Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy and later by former chairman BOI, Thilan Wijesinghe. more..

Sri Lanka’s imported coal stock piles up amid Norochcholai power plant breakdowns

Feb 5 (ST) Sri Lanka’s imported coal stock piles up in huge quantities amid frequent breakdowns of Norochcholai power plant and the country stands to lose millions of rupees if the massive stock becomes unusable, CEB engineers warned. 300MW coal fired power plant is not operating since Jan 10 due to technical defects and coal stocks are piling up as coal imports continue to beat the onset of monsoon, they said. more..

The green ethos driving Colombo’s flagship hotel

Feb 5 (FIR) The Cinnamon Grand Colombo goes beyond product and service excellence. This flagship property is on a journey towards becoming the most sustainable five-star city hotel by 2015, and recently earned Green Globe re-certification. “The Green Globe recognition reiterates the hotel`s commitment to infuse the triple bottom line philosophy into our daily operations, taking sustainability to the next level,” said General Manager Rohan Karr. more..

Sri Lankan expats celebrate Independence Day in UAE

Feb 5 (KT) Sri Lanka’s 66th Independence Day was celebrated in formal functions at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the consulate in Dubai on Tuesday morning. Despite it being a working day, many Sri Lankans took time out and dressed in formal and festive attire to attend the ceremonies. Two other functions were held at the Royal Meriden Hotel and the Ritz Carlton, organised by Sri Lankan expats. Dr Mahinda Balasuriya, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE, more..

India’s tough stance on Lanka welcome, but must do more: Amnesty

Feb 5 (TOI) As the clamour for international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka gets louder, Amnesty International's secretary general Salil Shetty met the secretary general of the Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma, in London on February 3. The meeting was focused on human rights situation in Sri Lanka and was the first time Sharma had agreed to meet Amnesty to discuss these issues. more..

Three-day holiday for 635 cops

Feb 5 (Island) IGP N. K. Illangakoon, had granted police officers, who worked for about one month to make the 66th Independence Day a success, a three-day holiday from today, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said. He said about 635 police offices would get three days to rest. Five ASPs, including a female ASP, who commanded the five contingents of policemen would also get the same days to rest for their valuable contribution to the ceremony, SSP Rohana said. more..

Asymmetric warfare course commences

Feb 5 (DM) The Special Boat Squadron (SBS) of the Sri Lanka Navy commenced the asymmetric warfare course 2014, at the eastern Navy Headquarters in Trincomalee. 16 foreign military officers from five countries are taking part in the training course. 24 officers and sailors from Pakistan, China, Maldives, Bangladesh, Sudan and Sri Lanka participate in the three- month long course, the navy headquarters said. One officer and 03 sailors from Pakistan and Sudan each and 4 officers from China, more..

World congratulate Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (CG) World leaders today congratulated Sri Lanka as it celebrated 66 years since achieving independence from colonial rule. The PM of Bahrain, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, sent a cable of congratulation to President Rajapaksa on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day, in which the Premier wished him abundant health and happiness and the people of Sri Lanka further progress and prosperity. more..

Anura, first JVP leader to attend Parliament

Feb 5 (Island) For the first time in JVP’s history its leader will attend parliament today (05). From May 14, 1965, Rohana Wijeweera served as the party leader until Nov, 13, 1989, when he was killed in custody. He did not represent the JVP in Parliament. Somawansa Amarasinghe, who served as the party leader until Sunday (02) was also not an MP. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who became the party’s third leader on Feb 02, is the JVP’s parliamentary group leader. more..

Negative impact of fumes on a person's health

Feb 5 (CT) Ministry of Health has decided to check whether the fuel used in Sri Lanka contains any carcinogens which could cause lung cancer and oral cancer. Minister Maithripala Sirisena, is hoping to discuss the issue with the Ministries of Petroleum Industries and Environment, and find out the extent to which exhaust fumes impact negatively on a person's health, and whether such fumes could lead to cancers. Nearly 15,000 cancer patients are reported as having cancers of the lung more..

'Prabhakaran uses British Parliament to accuse SL army of chemical attack'

Feb 5 (Island) An Indian passport holder named Thamil Prabhakaran deported from Sri Lanka last December for violating visa regulations has shown a documentary titled This land belongs to the Army in the House of Commons, alleging that the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) used chemical weapons during the final assault on the Vanni east front in 2009. The presentations were made in the Committee Room 14 of more..

Stress on air links to Buddhist sites

Feb 5 (TOI) Scholars and tour operators at a conference on Buddhism underscored the need for better connectivity to Buddhist sites in Odisha to tap their tourism potential. The three-day international meet, held at Udayagiri in Jajpur district. Director, tourism, Manoranjan Patnaik said, "The tourism department will organize road shows in countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia to attract foreigners to Buddhist sites of Lalitagiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri, known as diamond triangle, more..

Those running cricket have no clue – Arjuna

Feb 5 (Island) World Cup winning former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga says he will not attend a briefing called up by Sri Lanka Cricket this afternoon to discuss proposed changes to the ICC structure. In a media release earlier this week, SLC had called all former Presidents, Secretaries of the board and Past captains to brief on revised position paper forwarded by the ICC. "Cricket board never gives a hearing to what the past captains say. They hardly listen to us. Then why are they all of a sudden more..