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Sri Lanka 'trishaw' tour draws adventure tourists

Aug 22 (LBO) Adventurous travelers from Australia to Austria have set off on a three-wheeler drive from the airport to the far corners of he country, braving unknown challenges. Travelling on a 'tuk tuk' or a trishaw, as the popular three-wheeled taxis are known in Sri Lanka, is an adventure even on city roads as their daring drivers weave in and out of traffic and squeezes through large trucks and buses with inches to spare. But these adventurers have to drive their own tuk-tuks. more..

Market volatility may continue

Aug 22 (BL) Although Sri Lanka’s brokering community last week commended the move by the capital markets regulator, the SEC on relaxing rules relating to the extension of brokerage credit to investors, they opine that market volatility is likely to still continue as some ten brokers fail in the new criteria imposed by the SEC. If the SEC instead of linking the extension of credit with liquid assets had linked it to net assets, the Bourse would have been further boosted. more..

CID probes big frauds in house and property deals

Aug 22 (ST) The CID has assigned a team to track down racketeers behind illegal house or land transactions, a senior officer said. The probe comes on a directive from Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa amidst an increasing number of complaints, some of which he had received personally. The CID will probe cases of persons illegally acquiring houses on forged documents, cases of driving out the owners by force, extorting money from owners of houses and more..

Teachers/Ministry of Education on collision course

Aug 22 (LB) Several teachers associations have warned the govt that if they fail to provide swift answers to several of their pressing professional concerns before August 30, they will be forced to withdraw from the task of assessing the answer scripts of the A/L students. The marking of answer scripts of Advanced Level students is set to start on August 30, island wide, and the president of the Lanka Teachers Union (LTU) Joseph Stalin warned that more..

New act for homeopathy – Eliyanthe to get registration?

Aug 22 (LT) The government has decided to abolish homeopathy act No.07 of 1970 that is implemented for homeopathy system of medicine and introduce a new act. The aim of the new act is to inaugurate a homeopathy medical college with the approval of the UGC, forming a homeopathy medical council, register homeopathy institutions and practitioners. New regulations would be introduced through this act regarding homeopathy research, development, production and import of homeopathic drugs. more..

'Vested interests resorting to remove our Base'

Aug 22 (ST) Commander (H) SLN Kosala Warnakulasuriya, Media Co-ordinator of the Sri Lanka Navy has sent the following response to an article published in the Sunday Times on August 14, 2011. It was suggested in the Sunday Times article titled “Gange wadiya facing eviction”, citing villagers, that the Navy had imposed restrictions on residents, disrupting their livelihood and indirectly influencing them to evacuate the area. more..

Body exhumed of woman who died in Bahrain

Aug 22 (DM) The body of a woman who were allegedly burned to death in Bahrain was exhumed on Saturday, one month after burial for a postmortem, following an order issued by the Gampaha Chief Magistrate Mohammed Mackie. The body had been brought to the country by her husband who was also in Bahrain at the time and buried at the Amunugama Cemetery in the Ganemulla Police Division. The body was exhumed in the presence of Gampaha Acting Magistrate Nimal Ranasinghe. more..

Several irregularities reported at Year 5 exam centres

Aug 22 (DN) Several irregularities were reported yesterday at a few Year 5 scholarship examination centres countrywide. Among them were eight students sitting the exam without having applied, the absence of police security at answer script collecting centres and the attempted use of a loudspeaker that could have disrupted the concentration of the students sitting the exam. Examinations Commissioner Anura Edirisinghe has called for a special inquiry against more..

Sri Lanka v Australia, 5th ODI: Middle-order woes for hosts in dead rubber

Aug 22 (CI) It's dead-rubber time. Australia have won the series, but Sri Lanka could still make the scoreline a more respectable 3-2 with victory in the final match in Colombo. But they need to score runs for that to happen. Sangakkara, Mahela and Dilshan have chipped in at times during the series without ever changing a match. The middle order has been woeful, from Angelo Mathews throwing his wicket away to a serious lack of more..

Sri Lankan athletes bag four medals in Singapore

Aug 22 (DN) Sri Lankan athletes performed well to clinch four medals out of five events the country was represented including one Gold, a Silver and two Bronze medals at the 73rd Singapore Open Track and Field Championship which was worked off on August 20 and 21. K. M. Rathnakumari earned the highest honours for the country by winning the gold medal in the women’s 400m event with a timing of 54.71 secs. The Papua New Guinean runner Burne Betty who finished the race one second behind more..

Will he or won’t he?

Aug 22 (Island) With Attorney General Mohan Peiris reaching the retirement age of sixty on August 29 it is yet not clear whether he would be given an extension as has been previously speculated in order for him to be part of the country’s official delegation to the annual sessions of the UN General Assembly next month. A top govt official said that so far no decision had been taken in this regard. Another official said President Rajapaksa was unlikely to do anything irregular. more..

'Basil has no right to give dowries from national resources'

Aug 22 (LT) The country, by a gazette notification presented to Parliament recently, has lost 28% income that it could have earned from oil exploration and this type of national crime should not be allowed emphasizes the JVP. JVP MP Anura Dissanayake said the agreement with ‘Cairn India’ for the exploration of oil in Mannar Basin is highly corrupt. He pointed out there was a large scale commission racket in the deal and added that it is more..

NTPC to sign joint venture deal with CEB

Aug 22 (LM) Indian power utility NTPC Ltd’s first overseas project, a 500MW plant to be built in Sri Lanka, may finally see the light of the day with all pending issues being resolved. The joint venture agreement between India’s largest power generation utility and Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is set to be signed during the upcoming visit of an Indian delegation headed by power secretary P. Uma Shankar. The draft implementation agreement was signed about two weeks ago. more..

Litmus test for Colombo security

Aug 22 (Hindu) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa took a stroll in a local open space, the Independence Avenue Park, on Sunday — his first without a locality being sanitised ahead of his appearance. In a city with many Army sentry posts and barricades, this marked another first: that of a President stepping out in an open, fairly crowded space and signalling an end to the siege mentality that has been the defining feature of Sri Lanka for many decades. more..

Unrest continues: Angry mob kills PC

Aug 22 (DM) The growing unrest between civilians and the security forces spread to Puttalam town yesterday when an angry mob hacked to death a police constable last evening. The slain constable has been identified as Bandara. Eyewitnesses said the 23-year-old constable was on his way back to the station after traffic duty when he was severely assaulted by the angry mob in front of the Sathosa retail outlet. The area turned in to a mini battle field with more..

Calling All Seamers! This Is Cricket's Bowling Crisis

Aug 22 (WSJ) When Sri Lanka host Australia in a three-match Test series starting next week, one thing is for sure: there won't be any low-scoring games. Sri Lankan pitches are notoriously low and slow. But more important in this series is an issue that affects nearly all the Test-playing nations at the moment: they bat better than they bowl. Global bowling stocks are at a low ebb. In Tests, only England, and arguably South Africa, bowl as well as they bat. more..

Rs 1000m for housing renovation

Aug 22 (DN) The Ministry of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities announced Rs 1000 million in funding to renovate national housing schemes in the country. The Ministry’s Condominium Management Authority chairman Kapila Gamage said they have stepped up action to start renovation of projects in Maligawatta, Soyzapura and Serpentine flats on the directions of Construction, Engineering Services Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa. more..

No problem visiting India: Devananda

Aug 22 (DM) EPDP leader and Minister Douglas Devananda said there were no restrictions on him to visit India and said he was prepared to appear before the Chennai High Court at any time, if the Indian Central Govt and the Tamil Nadu State Govt assured his security. He was responding to Indian media reports that the Tamil Nadu police had found fault with the Indian Central Govt authorities for allowing Mr. Devananada to leave the country when he visited India recently. more..

LLRC to include Channel 4 probes in report

Aug 22 (DM) The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) will include in its final report, details of its investigation of the two video documentaries telecast by the British Channel 4 TV accusing armed forces of war crimes. LLRC spokesman Lakshman Wickramasinghe said the findings on the two videos would be incorporated in the final report that is scheduled to be handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by November 15. more..

JVP lashes out at UPFA over ‘runaway cost-of-living’

Aug 22 (Island) In the wake of Rs. 156 increase in the price of a 12.5 kgs domestic LP gas cylinder and the hike in import tax on big onions, potatoes and garlic by Rs. 10, Rs. 5 and Rs. 15 per kilo, respectively, the JVP alleged that those struggling to make ends meet were further burdened, while the Rajapaksas, their friends and associates enjoyed luxurious life. In spite of the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the people hadn’t received more..

Devil of a problem

Aug 22 (ST) At 3.00 in the afternoon last Monday, a married woman in Akkaraipattu, who was alone at home with her one-year-old daughter, was heading to the toilet when someone seized her from behind in a powerful grip. A man’s hand closed over her mouth. She tried to struggle and scream, but could not. She tried kicking, when she realised there was another man in the room. “They were in black, the two men, and their eyes were red,” more..

'Govt. in media campaign to split UNP'

Aug 22 (DM) The government is today engaged in a media campaign to encourage divisions in the UNP creating disputes between the leader and the rival faction and thereby disillusioning the party supporters, said Mangala Samaraweera the Matara District leader of the UNP at a media briefing yesterday at the Matara District UNP office. Today, severe media suppression prevails in the country. Media persons use various strategies to evade this threat to the media. more..

Sri Lanka state carrier to double flights to China

Aug 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run SriLankan Airlines is doubling flights to China over the next two years and the booming sector is slated to bring up to 15 percent of the airlines' revenue, an official said. The airline now flies ten times a week to China (including Hong Kong) which will be increased to 13 this year and 21 over the next two years. With growing affluence larger numbers of Chinese are travelling overseas. more..

PMB purchases the Bumper Yala Harvest

Aug 22 (GDI) The Paddy Marketing Board informs that purchase of paddy from the farmers is being carried out successfully, and up to now nearly 3,000 metric tons of paddy has been purchased. It is expected that 2 million metric tons of harvest can be obtained during this Yala Season. Arrangements have been made to purchase 48,000 metric tons from the Northern Province alone. Purchasing of paddy at certified prices during this season started end of last month. more..

Sri Lanka Ducks International Probe

Aug 22 (IPS) Although the Sri Lankan government has evaded calls for an international probe into alleged excesses while militarily defeating Tamil separatism in 2009, it may yet be called to account at the September session of the UNHRC. The United States has asked Sri Lanka to place its own internal investigation under the LLRC before the UNHRC, but Colombo has refused to comply. Foreign minister G.L. Peiris said that discussing Sri Lanka’s internal affairs at the UNHRC would set a dangerous precedent. more..

Rajapaksa wants pro-Lanka campaign to counter negative reports

Aug 22 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa feels an effective pro-Sri Lanka campaign through a strong communication network is needed for his government to counter the adverse publicity generated overseas due to allegations of human rights violations. The country has garnered much negative attention over accusations of rights abuses, which the government terms as Western-backed propaganda. However, Rajapaksa is mindful of the adverse publicity this has generated internationally. more..

SL v Australia, 5th ODI: Sri Lanka field, Lee and Bollinger rested

Aug 22 (CI) Sri Lanka will chase for the first time in the series as they aim for a consolation victory after Tillakaratne Dilshan won the toss and sent Australia in. The Sri Lankans will be hoping for some assistance for the fast men in humid, overcast conditions in Colombo, although they have tweaked their attack towards spin by leaving out Nuwan Kulasekara. Jeevan Mendis has returned to the side in the only change for Sri Lanka more..

Who, in 2005, gave Rs.200 million to LTTE to buy boats? – Gen. Fonseka asks

Aug 23 (LT) The LTTE bought boats for sea tigers from Rs.200 million given to the LTTE by one of the candidates of the presidential election in 2005 states former Commander of the Army Gen. Sarath Fonseka. He revealed this yesterday (21st) when he was brought by prison officers to a private hospital for physiotherapy. Gen. Fonseka is brought to the private hospital on a Court order to get treatment for an ailment in one of his shoulders. more..

India beat Sri Lanka to win Lawyers' World Cup

Aug 23 (PTI) In a repeat of the ICC World Cup victory earlier this year back home, India demolished Sri Lanka by 22 runs to win the Lawyers` World Cup here. Before a modest crowd that included some of legends of Barbados and West Indies cricket including Sir Garfield Sobers, the Indians dismissed the Sri Lankans for 128 in 29.1 overs, successfully defending a target of 151 in the final under the lights at the Three Ws Oval Saturday. A terminal batting collapse that saw eight wickets more..

Housing for indigenous people

Aug 23 (DM) The Ministry of Construction, Engineering services Housing and Common Amenities is to start construction of special housing schemes for indigenous people in one month’s time, the ministry said yesterday. Minister Wimal Weerawansa gave this assurance when he met the leaders of indigenous people including Uruwarige Wanniyala Attho in Mahiyangana over the weekend to discuss the issues with regard to their housing. more..

Paddy prices decline

Aug 23 (DM) Paddy prices have dropped drastically with the harvesting of the Yala cultivation in paddy producing areas in the country, Hector Kobbekaduwa of the Agrarian Research and Training Institute said today. The price remains as low as Rs.23 a kilo for the Nadu variety, which is much less than the govt’s price guaranteed for farmers last year. Last year the govt assured Rs.28 per kilo. This price is reported to be hardly sufficient to cover the production costs, more..

Increase in Oral Cancer and Diabetes in Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (GDI) The National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCCP) informs that Oral Cancer takes a leading place among male population. It says that smoking, consumption of liquor and chewing betel contribute to Oral Cancer. Going to sleep with betel in the mouth and swallowing betel mixed saliva, contribute to this situation. Similarly, bleeding due to artificial teeth is another cause. The signs of this cancer include wounds that makes impossible to open the mouth for more than two weeks. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 22.08.2011

Sri Lanka Tokyo Cement in power sale deal

Aug 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) has signed a deal with the state power utility, Ceylon Electricity Board, to sell electricity from a six megawatt biomass power plant it plans to build. Net annual electricity generation from the plant would be around 37, 230 mega watt hours which will be supplied to the national grid, it said in a stock exchange filing. The power plant will take 18 months to build and commissioning and test runs are to start by mid-2013. more..

Udul freed of anti-government charges

Aug 23 (LT) Former convener of IUSF Udul Premaratne and another arrested in 2009 for pasting posters against educational reforms and had been charged were ordered to be released by the Colombo Magistrates Court today (22). The two of them arrested by the Cinnamon Gardens Police were charged for pasting anti-govt posters. When the case was called today the police informed Court that Auditor General had directed that there was no sufficient evidence to charge them. more..

Inspectors propose new retirement plan

Aug 23 (DM) The majority of the inspectors are proposing to implement a retirement scheme after completing 22 years of service as presently they have to retire when they reach 55 years of age or resign from service, highly placed police sources said. “Comparing with the armed forces, police lags behind but maintains the same status and conduct a major role in the society to maintain law and order. But the scales are different,” a senior police officer said. more..

Sri Lanka shares at 1-week low on retail selling

Aug 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock market fell to a one-week low on Monday as retail selling pressure continued as investors unwound positions in risky assets amid global fears over another recession. On Monday, world stocks held above a recent 11-month low while oil prices slipped as investors concerned about a global economic downturn stayed away from buying risky assets. The island nation's main share index closed 0.34 percent or 23.61 points down to 6,928.03. more..

Malinga becomes first to take three ODI hat-tricks

Aug 23 (PTI) Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga became the first bowler to chalk up three one-day international hat-tricks on Monday. He dismissed Mitchell Johnson (bowled for one), John Hastings (lbw) and Xavier Doherty (bowled) as Australia collapsed from 210 for five to 211 all out in the fifth and final match of the series. Malinga performed his two previous hat-tricks in World Cups. In 2007 he took four wickets in four balls against South Africa in Guyana and more..

LTTE party to be dissolved

Aug 23 (DM) The People’s Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT), the political party formed by the LTTE in 1989 when it began peace talks with the then govt of late President R. Premadasa, will be removed from the electoral register in terms of the new procedure introduced for the recognition and registration of political parties in Sri Lanka, informed sources said today. The LTTE appointed the organisation’s one time strongman Yogaratnam Yogi as more..

Private sector too to fight for 40% salary increase

Aug 23 (LT) The ICEU has decided to take trade union action demanding a 40% increase to the salaries of private sector employees. The President of ICEU Wasanthe Samarasinghe said the Central Committee of the ICEU has decided to take measures to demand for a 40% increase to the salaries of private sector employees. He pointed out that the minimum wage rate of private sector employees is decided by a wages board and said by now the minimum wage rate is at Rs.7900 limit. more..