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Heedless dumping of hospital waste poses health hazard

Dec 8 (DM) The blood-stained gauze, soiled cotton swabs and other discards from the operating theatres of the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital had been dumped in the Keerikulama area instead of being incinerated, sources said. This had created several health hazards for residents in the vicinity. Though it is mandatory that As this highly infectious such hospital material had been dumped refuse be incinerated within close to the Yoda Ela, more..

Sri Lanka stocks flat

Dec 8 (LBO) Stocks closed slightly weakener Thursday, staying just above the 6,000 point mark in thin trade, with prices of two firms which revealed fraud falling sharply, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.03 percent to 6,027.19, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.02 percent to close at 5,248.97. Turnover fell to 517 million rupees. First Capital Holdings and Dunamis Capital, the most actively traded share, were among the top losers of the day more..

Sri Lanka port agency building stop gap berth

Dec 8 (LBO) State-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is building a 125 million US dollar berth in an expanded harbor in Colombo to fill a capacity gap until a Sino-Lanka joint venture comes on stream in 2014. Colombo International Container Terminal a joint venture between China Merchant Holdings and Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence will begin construction of a new terminal which will take 24 months to complete. SLPA chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrema said the agency is more..

Lanka says no 'indecent hurry' to make war report public

Dec 8 (PTI) Responding to criticism that the govt was deliberately delaying making public the report of the LLRC, the Sri Lankan govt today said there was no indecent hurry to do so. "We do not agree with the view that there should be an indecent hurry to make it public", minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters. He said president Mahinda Rajapaksa was studying it closely and it would be presented in parliament at the appropriate time. more..

Is Sri Lanka's tourism industry on the right path?

Dec 8 (ANN) The Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane recently said that Sri Lanka targets 950,000 tourists in 2012. And our target for 2016 is an ambitious 2.5 million tourists. It is positive thinking and good vision. But the Minister has not explained how we could reach this target without a proper marketing strategy and aggressiove promotions. One should remember that tourists would not simply fly to this country and the tour operators will go the extra mile to more..

Vigil held for murdered Merseyside shop assistant

Dec 8 (LE) colleagues of a Merseyside shop assistant stabbed to death at work told how he lost his life in just 10 seconds. Two co-workers of Sri Lankan Mahesh Wickramasingha and the owner of the Huyton store were among saddened friends who congregated at the murder scene today for a “religious observation” in memory of the 30-year-old dad-of-two. They were joined by two Buddhist monks who travelled up from Birmingham and the vicar of the local church, Reverend Tim Gill, more..

Parliament sessions end early

Dec 8 (DM) Parliamentary proceedings came to an abrupt end at 2.35pm today because some UNP MPs listed to speak during the committee stage debate on the Petroleum Ministry were absent. Earlier, it had been agreed that 160 minutes were to be allocated for the opposition speakers and 135 minutes to the government members. On behalf of the opposition, MPs Sujeewa Senasinghe and Dayasiri Jayasekara used 60 minutes during their speeches. more..

Sri Lanka’s Ranjanas diversifies beyond sarees

Dec 8 (F2F) Sri Lanka based Ranjanas (Pvt) Ltd has diversified beyond its specialization in sarees and bridal wear by opening a mega outlet 7 Stories in Wellawatte, a suburb of Colombo. The company has invested LKR 600 million for its new 7 Stories outlet. Going beyond the company’s traditional value family store concept, the new outlet would serve as a destination that provides complete family solution, with collection to lure all members of a family. more..

11 monks expelled for ragging new comers in Sri Lankan university

Dec 8 (Xinhua) Eleven undergraduate Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka's Buddhist University have been expelled after they were found guilty for ragging fresher monks, university official said on Thursday. Vice Chancellor of the University Ven. Thumbulle Seelakandha Thera told Xinhua that the Buddhist monks were found guilty of an inquiry conducted by a disciplinary committee. "The senior student monks including the president of students union were found guilty of creating more..

UNP to petition for UN intervention to free jailed former army chief

Dec 8 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition is planning to launch a campaign to collect one million signatures asking to free jailed former army chief Sarath Fonseka and present it to the United Nations. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told media that the campaign will begin on 10 December, which is also World Human Rights Day. "The Working Committee of the UNP has approved the plan to launch a petition to more..

Netball: Namibia beat Sri Lanka

Dec 8 (NS) Namibia won their second match at the Nations Cup Netball Tournament currently underway in Singapore when they beat Sri Lanka 77-49 on Thursday. The Namibians were in control of the match from the beginning and were leading 22-12 after the first quarter. Namibia were already comfortably ahead at halftime (45-24) thanks to some consistent shooting from youngest team member Nelandre Mostert and the defence working well to block out the 209cm shooter and Sri Lankan Captain more..

Sri Lanka airline ups business class with flatbeds

Dec 8 (LBO) State-run SriLankan Airlines has started a 15 million US dollar upgrade of its long-haul business class product with flatbeds and personalized entertainment system. "We are modernizing the fleet and are also upgrading the product," SriLankan Airlines chief executive Kapila Chandrasena said. "We feel we can attract more and more people to travel on Sri Lankan." A 30-year war ended in 2009 resulting in a tourism boom and Sri Lanka is chasing upmarket tourists. more..

Sri Lanka court issues warrant for former LTTE member

Dec 8 (Xinhua) A Sri Lankan court has issued a warrant for the arrest of an assistant employed under a top former Tamil Tiger leader for collecting funds used by the terrorist group. Sri Lanka's High Court has issued a warrant for the arrest of aide Ananda Rajah alias Aiya for allegedly collecting funds for the LTTE, that were engaged in a wa with the govt. Rajah is suspected to have been the aide of LTTE Leader Kumaran Padmanthan better known as KP who more..

Huyton shop worker killing: Teenager questioned

Dec 8 (BBC) A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of murder over the death of a shop assistant on Merseyside. Mahesh Wickramasingha, 30, died after being stabbed in the neck while working at Stanley News in Kingsway, Huyton on 29 November. A police spokesman said a 19-year-old man had been arrested on Wednesday night. He was taken to a police station in Liverpool for questioning. Mr Wickramasingha has been described as "friendly" and "very hardworking". more..

Sri Lanka - Qatar Joint Committee to be established for bilateral cooperation

Dec 8 (GDI) Prime Minister of the state of Qatar will arrive in Sri Lanka on a two day official visit on Dec 12th. Sri Lankan Cabinet has decided to establish a Joint Committee with the Government of the State of Qatar to strengthen bi-lateral relations in the economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, technical, education and information sectors and to develop trade, investment and tourism between the two countries. Accordingly, a MoU will be signed more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief 08 12 2011

Sehwag hits double ton, breaks Sachin’s record

Dec 8 (PTI) Flamboyant Indian batsman Virender Sehwag on Thursday created history by becoming the highest scorer ever in a one-day innings and the second cricketer after team-mate Sachin Tendulkar to score a double century in the fourth ODI against the West Indies here. Sehwag smashed his way into record books with his stupendous 219, surpassing Tendulkar's 200 not out against South Africa in Gwalior on February 24 last year. This remarkable achievement gives more..

Sri Lanka food freedoms under fresh threat: report

Dec 8 (LBO) Prime Minister DM Jayaratne had asked for a complete ban on fruit imports and asked for the price of wheat flour to be increased to a level people "could not afford", a media report said. Sri Lanka's rice autarkists had already taxed wheat flour and potatoes to high levels reducing access to poor people to alternative carbohydrates in a bid to increase incomes of rice farmers. Critics have said food freedoms of the people of Sri Lanka had been steadily robbed more..

Plastic containers for vegetable transportation mandatory

Dec 8 (AD) It will be mandatory to transport vegetables and fruits in plastic containers with effect from midnight Dec 11, Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade, Johnston Fernando stated. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) stated earlier this year that wood or plastic containers have to be used for the transportation of vegetables, adding that proper legal action will be taken against those who do not abide by this rule. more..

Remembering Nigel as Ferociously as he Lived

Dec 9 (GV) Prior to Nigel’s passing everytime I heard a song by ABBA I angrily turned it off, Nigel loved ABBA – if he wasnt singing or dancing along he was playing it at full volume. After Nigel passed, everytime I hear a song by ABBA I crank up the volume and sing with as much gusto as I can muster. This is how I remember him. Charles Nigel De Silva’s life was prematurely ended a year ago at the age of 40. He was a proud Josephian with more extra curricular activities than more..

Significant socio-economic changes evident, says son of slain MP

Dec 9 (SO) Twenty two years ago in December, few days before Christmas, LTTE abducts a mother and her teenage son in Batticaloa to threaten their father who was then a Member of Parliament representing the people of the East. It was during this time peace negotiations were going on between the then Ranasinghe Premadasa regime and the LTTE. An abduction of family members of a representative of the Tamil people indeed raised eye brows of the authorities. more..

St. Mary’s Church Mattakkuliya turns 150

Dec 9 (SO) St. Mary’s Church, Mattakkuliya which has stood the ravages of time has been spruced up to celebrate its 150th Jubilee on December 10. The parish priest, Rev. Fr. Calistus Fernando, himself a silver jubilarian who completed 25 years of his priesthood has made elaborate arrangements to celebrate this landmark event in the church’s calendar in a spiritual and fitting manner. The main theme is “Let us step into a meaningful Christian life more..

White vans now dole out justice!

Dec 9 (LB) The infamous white vans are back in circulation, only they’ve switched targets. It’s not LTTE suspects or members of the media anymore but underworld bigwigs and drug traffickers who are now looking over their shoulders. Karate Dhammika, a high profile mafioso type, fell victim to the white van operation but a few weeks ago. He was kidnapped from a house in Rambukkana in which he had been hiding in the early hours of October 22. Five days later, yet another criminal known as more..

An eye for wild beauties

Dec 9 (ST) "Every flower has a story," Arittha Wikramanayake tells me. Each of his histories is a lovely blend of myth and science; recipes for traditional cures and key components in modern medicines. There's even the odd scurrilous rumour thrown in. Sudu Purak (Justician betonica) notes Arittha, is used in Sri Lanka as a poultice for boils and as a cure for snakebites in Kenya. Daluk (Euphorbia antiquorum) is sacred to Mansa, the goddess of serpents. more..

We have marched towards a new Sri Lanka during 2005-2010 via Mahinda Chintana

Dec 9 (TC) I regret there was no constructive criticism at all during the debate on the budget for 2012. Therefore let me conclude the debate by recalling our childhood days. When we had no one to play cricket with, we became the batsman and bowler both rolled into one. We batted and then we ran and picked up the ball. I am facing a similar situation today because the Opposition has failed to make a worthwhile contribution to the debate. more..

Lankan flavours big hit at St. Kitts

Dec 9 (ST) Despite losing the bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Hambantota, the gala dinner hosted by Sri Lanka was praised and enjoyed by foreign delegates. A team of chefs from Cinnamon Grand, Colombo specializing in Sri Lankan cuisine delivered authentic Sri Lankan dishes for about 400 delegates at the Caribbean island St. Kitts on November 8. Spices, clay pots, toddy, curd and treacle, tea and coffee, rice flour and a variety of Sri Lankan sweets were taken to more..

Editorial: Paan and rhetoric

Dec 9 (Island) SLFP-led govts usually do not need Oppositions to bring them down as we keep saying in these columns. They are notorious for launching harebrained schemes which prove to be their undoing with the passage of time. How the United Front govt (1970-77) committed political hara-kiri is a case in point. Its seven-year rule was characterised by a host of draconian policies based on pure idealism. It was driven by an irresistible urge to impose bans whimsically in more..

Namal Perera, Sarath Fonseka and the plight of Sri Lankan media

Dec 9 (DBS) The state of Journalism and plight of Journalists in Sri Lanka is far from satisfactory. Various media and human rights organizations have frequently described the situation in Sri Lanka as not being safe for Journalists. Among the various Sri Lankan journalists who have been victims of violence is Namal Perera. He was savagely attacked a few years ago in Colombo. Namal Perera then left the country in search of safety like many other Journalists. more..

Golden Key repayment process reverts to Central Bank

Dec 9 (ST) On a Supreme Court directive, the Golden Key Credit Card Company (GKCC) repayment process is reverting back to the old process of being under the directions of the Central Bank (CB) and the Committee of Chartered Accountants headed by Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala, a senior CB official said. The Court on Thursday directed the Attorney General to inform the CB Governor to set up a separate secretariat to assist the Watawala Committee to expedite the payment to all more..

FDI likely to go down

Dec 9 (Island) The foreign investment sentiments are likely to go down in Sri Lanka because the authorities are not paying proper attention to the development of the container transport sector at the Colombo Port, a top industry specialists said. Currently the major issue is the delay for container trucks to enter the Colombo Port through Igurukade junction entrance, this is reflected in the high cost of transport of containers, a leading maritime professional Rohan Abeywickrema told more..

SLN 61st anniversary today: Focus on post-war challenges

Dec 9 (Island) In spite of the conclusion of the conflict in May, 2009, Sri Lanka will have to invest more on its navy. In fact, the navy will need additional assets to meet post-war challenges. The bottom line is that peace shouldn’t prompt a drastic cut in defence expenditure, though it will please the Opposition and may help the government to divert additional funds for development. As Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa pointed out at the more..

Sri Lanka take on South Africa Invitation XI today

Dec 9 (Island) Sri Lanka will take on South Africa Invitation XI at Benoni today in a warm-up game ahead of the three match Test series against South Africa. The three day game is Sri Lanka’s only practice match ahead of a tough Test series. The South African Invitation XI doesn’t feature any big names barring spinner Paul Harris, but a spicy wicket at Benoni is likely to test the Sri Lankans. "Our batting unit is experienced. Mahela and Sanga have played a little bit in more..

Investment Forum in Tokyo woos Japanese investors

Dec 9 (FT) Around 100 Japanese firms and investors today got a thorough update on post-war Sri Lanka’s rebound and unprecedented opportunities at an Investment Forum organised in Tokyo by New World Securities. Held at Tokyo’s popular business venue Belle Salle Roppingi, the well-attended Sri Lanka Investment Forum highlighted the immediate dividends following the end of terrorism as well as vast opportunities for trade, investments and tourism for Japanese companies. more..

Teacher TUs’ duty to maintain exemplary behaviour of members – PM

Dec 9 (Island) The behaviour of a handful of bad sheep brings disrepute to Sri Lanka’s teaching profession. This is a matter the teachers’ trade unions should take up, observed Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne at the national text books presentation to school children. The venue was the Girls High School, Kandy. Addressing the largely attended meeting on Tuesday Jayaratne urged the teachers’ trade unions to maintain the exemplary behaviour of teachers as more..

Authorities detect moves to create artificial drug shortage

Dec 9 (DN) Health authorities recently detected moves by some officials attached to the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) to create an artificial drug shortage in the country by next year, Health Ministry sources said. The authorities recently spotted 2270 unattended files stored in the SPC and inquired about them from the relevant officials. The plan was revealed at that time. The 2270 unattended files were stored at the SPC for six months. more..

Opposition shows flipside of flour argument

Dec 9 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday insisted that the statement by the Prime Minister that wheat flour imports should be banned is an irresponsible statement and must be retracted. “While it may be his choice to consume only rice, or he wishes more people in this country ate rice, he must be made aware that some people in Sri Lanka are totally dependent on wheat flour,” de Silva said in a statement. The statement pointed out that the Household Income and Expenditure more..

Elephant Pass saltern to be developed

Dec 9 (FT) Cabinet has decided that a State-owned company will be incorporated to restore and develop the defunct Elephant Pass Saltern with the assistance of the private sector, a Minister said yesterday. Cabinet Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told media that the Elephant Pass Saltern was in bad condition and that its full scale rehabilitation and reactivation would require a minimum capital investment of around Rs. 450 million. more..

'Invitation side will test Sri Lanka'

Dec 9 (CI) South Africa's Invitation XI will play a vital role in sizing up Sri Lanka ahead of the three-Test series. The teams have not played each other in the longest version of the game since 2006 and Sri Lanka have been strangers to South African shores since 2002, resulting in a degree of unfamiliarity between the two sides. Sri Lanka's obvious strength lies in their batting line-up, headlined by two former captains, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. more..

Govt says 'sorry' for nun's arrest

Dec 9 (BBC) Govt says it apologises for the raid of Missionaries of Charity Convent in Moratuwa and the arrest of its superior nun. "This is a serious and very sensitive issue. The apology by the cabinet minister responsible for the subject is a clear indication of the govt's stand on this matter" Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told media. Police raided the convent last week and arrested Sister Mary Eliza, superior nun of the Missionaries of Charity convent on suspicion of her involvement more..

4th Bali Democracy Forum: President holds bilateral talks with Heads of State

Dec 9 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is in Indonesia to address the 4th Bali Democracy Forum held bilateral talks with three other participating Heads of State at Bali Westin Hotel today (8). Bilateral talks have been conducted with the Indonesian President, Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Qatar Premier, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al – Thani and the King of Brunei, His Majesty Hassan Al-Bolkiah. more..