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10 per cent of vehicles entering Kandy guilty of pollution

Aug 11 (Island) Nearly 10 per cent of the vehicles entering the city of Kandy are polluting the town due to technical reason and other engine issues, Air Resource Management Centre of the Environment Ministry said. The Ministry of Environment (AirMac) and the Department of Motor Traffic are conducting a three-day random emission testing programme in the Kandy city to minimize old vehicles and vehicles with technical problems entering and polluting the city. The three day programme commenced yesterday in more..

Aug. 15 deadline for SLFP LG polls candidates’ applications

Aug 11 (Island) General Secretary of the SLFP, Minister Maithripala Sirisena, has requested candidates wanting to contest the forthcoming elections, on the SLFP ticket, to 23 local bodies, to obtain their applications from the Party Headquarters at Darley Road and hand in the filled forms the latest before 6 a.m. on August 15. Senior Vice President of the SLFP Alavi Mowlana said that the SLFP was scheduled to celebrate its 60th anniversary on a grand scale this year on September 2. more..

TNA awaits Govt. response

Aug 11 (DM) The TNA said it would participate in the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) deliberations to present the TNA’s point of view if the govt responded positively to its ‘discussion paper’. TNA spokesman Suresh Premchandra said the TNA handed over a discussion paper at last week’s talks with the government. “We are awaiting a report on the composition and the PSC’s Terms of Reference. We are expecting for a positive response to the three demands more..

Saudi, Lanka MoU to facilitate expat jobs

Aug 11 (DN) Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka decided on Tuesday to sign a memorandum of understanding to restructure the recruitment process between the two countries. Explaining the proposal, Sri Lankan ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ahmed A Jawad said the two countries are interested in following a government-to-government scheme. The decision was taken during a meeting between Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera and Saudi Deputy Labour Minister for Planning and more..

Minister Gunawardena sues Sirasa for Rs 100 million

Aug 11 (DN) Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday filed legal action against the Sirasa Television and the Sirasa News Director for defamation demanding a sum of Rs 100 million as compensation. Gunawardena demands this sum as compensation for the damage caused to his reputation by transmitting a false news item maliciously over its Sirasa Vimarshana news programme. The complaint further says that the Sirasa Television network unlawfully and unethically telecast false news causing more..

Laws to enforce foreign judgements

Aug 11 (DM) New laws will be introduced for the reciprocal enforcement of foreign judgments and to deal with cases related to contempt of court, the Justice Ministry said. According to the ministry’s 2010 Performance Report tabled in parliament, these two Bills were being drafted and would be presented soon. However, it did not elaborate on the contents of the two Bills. The report said the Ministry had also taken steps to amend the Penal Code so that it provide for more..

Reduction of Jaffna MPs 'erodes Tamil sovereignty'

Aug 11 (BBC) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has objected the decision to reduce the number of parliamentary representatives from Jaffna district. The leader of the TNA described the decision by the elections commissioner as an "erosion of sovereignty" of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. But the govt said the Commissioner has made the decision in line with regulations. "The seat allocation is done annually by the commissioner of elections according to the constitution," more..

Sri Lanka US$400mn lakefront mall by India group

Aug 11 (LBO) Indocean Developers (Pvt) Ltd, a firm backed by an Indian property group, will build a 400 million US dollar shopping and residential complex in a prime lakefront in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, officials said. Janaka Kurukulasuriya, chairman of Sri Lanka's Urban Development Authority said the Indian promoters had paid 32 million US dollars (2,560 million rupees) for a 99-year lease of two acres of land in front of Colombo's Beira Lake on Sri James Peiris Mawatha. more..

‘PSC final report to President in six months’

Aug 11 (DN) The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) which will study the proposals for finding a solution to the ethnic issue is expected to give its final report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa within six months through the Speaker of Parliament, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said when he met the Chief Editors of Tamil newspapers last morning at his ministry. He further said that the government has no intention of playing for time or to delay the solution to the ethnic issue. more..

STF on the look out for ‘grease devils’

Aug 11 (DM) The STF had been asked to track down the people who were posing as ‘grease devils’ and frightening women and robbing their belongings. Police Chief N.K Illangakoon yesterday deployed the STF in Hatton as the police had failed to arrest the suspects who the police believed were residents of the area. Police said the grease-devil rumour was being spread by people with the intention of robbing the poor villagers. “There are no ‘grease devils’. If you have even the slightest suspicion, more..

Jacqueline to Coach Sri Lankan Beauty Contestants

Aug 11 (IW) Jacqueline Fernandez, currently seen in the hit “Murder 2,” aims to do for Sri Lanka what another ex-pageant winner, Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, has done in India, reports the Hindustan Times. Fernandez has helped to launch a modeling school in Sri Lanka with Image Bay, an event and management company there. She was inspired by Sen’s “I Am She” project, a platform to train Indian pageant contestants for the Miss Universe pageant. Fernandez was crowned Miss Sri Lanka Universe in 2006 and more..

CPC gets cracking on petrol, diesel adulterers

Aug 11 (Island) Notwithstanding attempts by politicians to interfere with the CPC’s attempts to crackdown on fuel dealers who adulterate petrol and diesel by mixing cheap subsidised kerosene, the CPC officials have been given the green light by its Chairman Harry Jayawardena to continue with the drive. According to some Corporation insiders, the bulk of the adulteration was taking place in the Colombo region as they find the highest volume of kerosene being sold in more..

Sri Lanka defeats LTTE insurgency, returns on path of 8% growth rate

Aug 11 (ET) Not only did the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) comprehensively defeat the LTTE insurgency - the first such victory in the 21 century, but it also returned the country to a high growth rate path of 8%. That's the judgment Central Bank of Ceylon governor Ajith Cabraal made during the international conference last month at Colombo. He considers the Sri Lankan military very productive, winning the war on the cheap: for $5.5 billion between 2006 and 2009, which is 4% of the GDP. more..

Hawk-Eye in, Hot Spot out for Sri Lanka series

Aug 11 (CI) Technology's place in reviewing the decisions of umpires became murkier still as it was confirmed Sri Lanka's limited-overs and Test series against Australia will employ a version of the DRS that utilises Hawk-Eye technology but not Hot Spot. This arrangement, brought about by a combination of the two boards' acceptance of ball-tracking technology and the unavailability of Hot Spot cameras for the series in Sri Lanka, is almost completely the inverse of the configuration used by more..

SLSI cries foul over cement

Aug 11 (DM) The drama over the cement shortage took another turn yesterday with the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) saying the cement imported from Pakistan and being distributed by the Trade Ministry’s National Cooperative Council (NCC) was being done without the Sri Lanka Standards (SLS) certification. Despite the SLSI refusing to issue the SLS certificate the questionable stock of cement was released by the customs on Tuesday. more..

English and IT study programmes at a standstill: IUSF

Aug 11 (DM) The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) said yesterday the three-month English and Information Technology study programme for new university entrants was not functioning in certain districts as a result of flaws in planning. IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara told a media briefing that though the programme was to be worked out at 250 centres countrywide, the work has come to a standstill at several centres due to the lack of proper facilities and coordinators. more..

‘Construct’ mega expo next week

Aug 11 (Island) Sri Lanka’s largest exhibition catering to the construction industry is set to be held for the 11th consecutive year from August 19 to 21, 2011 at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre. Since the events inception it has grown by leaps and bounds showcasing the most innovative technology and services around the world under a common platform. LECS has cut a distinct and unique brand image around the exhibition and conference industry by organizing and owning more..

Life work of Lankan shopkeeper wrecked

Aug 11 (Reuters) "Everything is gone. My life is gone," said shopkeeper Sivaharan Kandrah as he surveyed the wreckage of his convenience store on Tuesday, looted and gutted by a rampaging mob in a vicious night of violence in London. From northern Sri Lanka, Kandrah had made the Clarence Convenience Store on the edge of a public housing estate in Hackney, east London, his life, working 90-hour weeks at the counter for 11 years, never taking a holiday. more..

Sri Lanka urban agency plans JV development

Aug 11 (LBO) UDA will call proposals for a joint venture commercial development in a nine acre state land in Colombo, chairman Janaka Kurukulasuriya said. The land, called 'Chalmers Granary' in Colombo's Fort and Pettah area is now used as a parking lot. "In another two or three weeks, we are going to advertise," he said. "At Chalmers Granary we have an idea to go for a joint venture rather than lease out." The UDA is also planning to relocate small shops around more..

Kandy City Tour in a double decker

Aug 11 (GDI) The open deck double decker city tour bus ride started off yesterday (10) adding excitement and thrill to the picturesque city of Kandy this Perehera season for the very first time. The open deck city tour will operate in Kandy with sightseeing in the city and in Peradeniya with visits to the Sri Dalada Maligawa complex and its unique Museum. This is the first time an experience like this is made available for tourists and for Sri Lankans alike who are visiting the hill capital more..

UNP reformists await Ranil’s reply

Aug 11 (DM) UNP reformists yesterday said that they were waiting for party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to hand over the party leadership to UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya as soon as possible, preferably before the remaining local govt elections were held. UNP MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara, said that an immediate change at the top was necessary for the party to succeed at the upcoming local govt elections. “We have not received a word from Mr. Wickremesinghe who more..

‘If Ranil is gracious he’s historical - if he is not, we are not afraid’

Aug 11 (LB) UNP Southern Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunaratne has been struggling for party reforms for years, mostly in Court. He speaks to LAKBIMAnEWS on the latest attempt to reform the party through Karu Jayasuriya -- and why he believes Jayasuriya will succeed where Sajith Premadasa failed. Q: Nearing two weeks after Karu Jayasuriya’s leadership bid, are you satisfied with the current state of affairs? A: I am extremely happy; it has become increasingly clear more..

'Parliamentary Group can appoint a new UNP leader'

Aug 11 (Island) The Sajith Pemadasa faction claimed that the UNP parliamentary group can appoint a new leader, since the Working Committee was illegally constituted. UNP MP Thalatha Athukorale said that the UNP Working Committee was illegally constituted since appointments had been made prior to the six-member Advisory Council being constituted. Asked if the Parliamentary Group, which was not a decision making body in terms of the party Constitution, more..

Bhikkhu U’grads demand lifting of suspension on 48 students

Aug 11 (Island) Bhikkhu undergraduates, of the Buddhasravaka Bhiksu University, in Anuradhapura, are demanding that the university administration immediately withdraws suspension orders on 48 students. They said if the university administration fails to lift the suspension they would launch a massive protest campaign with students of other universities. Ven. Athgalmulle Rathana thera, said that the university administration had suspended 48 undergraduates without giving proper reasons. more..

Off the Shelf | ‘Geoffrey Bawa: The Complete Works’

Aug 11 (NYT) For our second installment of Off the Shelf, in which we ask tastemakers, designers and entrepreneurs to tell us about the books that are inspiring them now, T talked to George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg of Yabu Pushelberg, the award-winning interior design firm behind the Lane Crawford home store in Hong Kong, the DB Bistro in Miami and the Smyth Hotel in TriBeCa, to name just a few of their most notable projects. more..

Dry weather takes its toll on CEB

Aug 11 (DM) Consequent to the inability to run the hydro power plants to their full capacity due to prevailing dry weather the CEB has incurred a loss of Rs. 3.6 billion from July this year, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Therefore, all consumers must learn to save electricity as a habit for their own benefit and the country at large. He vowed that however, there would be no power cuts and every effort would be taken to minimize the losses through alternative measures and more..

Cairn Lanka exempted from taxes and import duties

Aug 11 (DM) Cairn Lanka Private Ltd will be exempted from all taxes and duties, till 2016, on the importation of equipment, machinery and other materials to be used in their offshore oil exploration work in the Mannar Basin, according to the regulations passed in Parliament yesterday with 58 votes to four. The regulations were introduced by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa under the Strategic Development Project Act. more..

Jayalalithaa slams Sri Lankan defence secretary over remarks on SL Tamils

Aug 11 (PTI) amil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today slammed Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his remarks that those who supported the Sri Lankan Tamil cause in the state were doing so for political mileage. Replying to a calling attention motion moved by the Opposition parties, including DMDK and the two Left parties, she rejected Rajapaksa's remarks the state Assembly's resolution seeking economic sanctions on Sri Lanka for more..

Two men attempt to kill popular Actress Geetha Kumarasinghe

Aug 11 (LP) Popular actress Geetha Kumarasinghe, miraculously escaped death yesterday while attending a funeral at Elpitiya when two men,allegedly drunk attempted to stab the star studded actress, police said. Geetha, the actress turned politician was alighting from her vehicle at a funeral when the two men stormed to attack her, eye witnesses said. The actress too is a native of Bentara-Elpitiya being her hometown where she earlier lived during her childhood. more..

India to hang ex-PM Gandhi’s LTTE killers

Aug 11 (AFP) India's president has rejected the mercy pleas of three men convicted for the 1991 assassination of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, paving the way for their execution. "The rejection (of the clemency petitions) happened last week after the president returned from a foreign tour," presidential spokeswoman Archana Datta told AFP. The appeal sent to President Pratibha Patil by the three - Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, - were their last hope of escaping the hangman's noose. more..

Sri Lanka tourism still booming with arrivals up 32 pct in July

Aug 12 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals gained 32.3 percent in July from a year earlier to the highest level since December's record tally, as the island nation kept attracting more visitors and tourism-related investment since the end of a 25-year civil war. Arrivals have risen every month on a year-on-year basis since the war's end in May 2009, and the govt is targeting annual revenue of $2.5 billion by 2016 from visitors coming to see Sri Lanka's beaches, hills and religious and historic sites. more..

US has failed; Rambukwella

Aug 12 (DM) The Govt said today that it regretted to note that the United States has not taken into account the accountability measures taken by the govt in the past months. “It is unfortunate that the US has not taken note of all the accountability measures we have taken thus far,” Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. “We have proved sufficiently to the international community including the United Nations with evidence of the humanitarian measures we took during the last stages of the war. more..

'Lankan fishing vessels only permitted to pass through Maldivian waters'

Aug 12 (Island) While the Maldives Opposition was up in arms over a purported maritime agreement reached between their govt and Sri Lanka, the Chairman of the ruling MDP and legislator Moosa Manik, said that the situation had been blown out of proportion. He said that the Oppositions contention that Sri Lankan vessels had been permitted to fish in Maldivian waters was incorrect, since approval has been granted for passage through Maldivian waters on their journey to more..

US ultimatum; Opposition parties

Aug 12 (DM) The opposition parties had mixed responses today with regards to the ultimatum issued by the United States State Department. The JVP alleged that the govt had signed a secret agreement with the US and therefore was unable stand up to its intimidation while the UNP thought it unnecessary for the US to interfere on accountability issues and that this was a threat from the western block. “In 2008 the govt signed a contract with the US to provide them with military logistics and more..

Tamil Nadu MPs fume over parliament U-turn on Tamils issue

Aug 12 (ENS) Though the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils was never discussed due to disruptions in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, the text of the issue for the debate underwent a dramatic change, much to the chagrin of MPs from Tamil Nadu. During the day, Speaker Meira Kumar’s office issued a corrigendum — no less — to “correct” the text of the notice that was printed on the morning list of business proceedings in the House. As per the list of business circulated in the morning, more..

Foreign studies university of China grants a honorary doctorate to President Rajapaksa

Aug 12 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is on a 4 day official visit to China, declared open the new Sri Lanka Research Centre at the Foreign Studies University in Beijing this morning. The President was the Chief Guest at this function held at the Foreign Studies University of Beijing which coincides with the 70 years of establishing the University and 50 years of establishing the Sinhala Language Education Unit of the University. more..

Naval Filling Station at Welisara declared open

Aug 12 (SLN) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake ceremonially declared open the Naval Filling Station at Welisara on 11th August 2011. This is another social welfare project of the Navy launched under the theme “an honoured service for an efficient nation”. It aims to provide efficient service to clients ensuring total customer satisfaction. The filling station is a fully-pledged facility manned by a dedicated staff providing 24-hour uninterrupted service. more..

Sri Lanka sells US$166mn floating rate bonds

Aug 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka sold 166 million US dollars of bonds based on 6-month London Interbank Offered rate extending tenors up to 5-years mainly targeting resident investors, the govt's debt office said. The public debt office, which is a unit of the Central Bank said Sri Lanka had issued 55 million dollars of 5-year floating rate bond for the first time priced at 6-month Libor plus 390 basis points. Libor was 0.44 percent today. The bonds have a settlement day of August 18. more..

Rizana allowed to phone parents

Aug 12 (AN) Dawadmi High Court convicted Rizana Nafeek on June 16, 2007, of the murder of her Saudi employers’ baby. She maintains that the newborn choked during bottle-feeding. Nafeek, who is currently in jail in Dawadmi, is still unaware that she could escape the death sentence only if she obtains a pardon from the victim’s family. Nafeek said that she was thankful to the authorities for giving her the opportunity to speak to her family in Sri Lanka. more..

Application for Korean jobs closed

Aug 12 (DM) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) which concluded the issuing of Korean examination application forms for job seekers today said that an estimated 50,000 applications were issued. The issuing of applications began on Monday August 8 up until Thursday August 11. On the first few days of issuing applications a stampede of more than 10,000 people appeared at the Korean application centre in Colombo foregoing food and sleep outside the centre more..