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Did the love triangle lead to hanging?

Dec 20 (SO) It was a bright morning with sunlight filtering through the foliage of tall trees in Kadigawa in the Eppawela area. The leaves on trees rustled gently in the breeze as farmers went about their business during the dawn break. Strangely some people who gathered below a tall Margosa tree, were gazing upwards towards the sky in an awkward manner. The men and women were looking at an eerie sight where a man and two young girls were found hanging from the Margosa tree more..

Sri Lanka’s pathetic record in South Africa continues

Dec 20 (Island) Successive Sri Lankan teams have struggled to compete in the alien conditions of South Africa and all their three previous tours to the country (1998, 2000, 2002) have been disastrous ones. Sri Lanka have so far played eight Tests in South Africa losing seven of them and four of them have been by an innings with the innings and 229 run loss in Cape Town under Sanath Jaysuriya ten years ago being Sri Lanka’s heaviest defeat in Test cricket. Their struggles are confirmed by more..

Warm welcome for record-breaking 800,000th tourist arrival in 2011

Dec 20 (FT) Achieving another remarkable milestone in the country’s booming tourism industry, Sri Lanka Tourism welcomed the arrival of the record 800,000th tourist in 2011 at the BIA last evening. Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa and Managing Director Rumy Jauffeur warmly welcomed John and Nadia Chambi from UK who were the savoured 800,000th tourists to visit Sri Lanka yesterday arriving via UL 501 Sri Lankan Airlines flight from London. more..

Biscuits from vegetables, fruits

Dec 20 (DN) A resident of Kataragama has invented a method of producing biscuits using only vegetables and fruits without flour. He had been conducting experiments since 1995, to find a method to produce biscuits using only vegetables and fruits. He said that nowhere in the world have biscuits been produced without flour and he was determined to make a biscuit without using flour. Today out of his arduous experiments he has been able to produce biscuits using Varaka (ripe jak fruit), Dhel (Bread fruit), beans, pumpkins and carrots. more..

Commercial Bank declared Sri Lanka’s ‘Bank of the Year’

Dec 20 (Island) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has been adjudged Sri Lanka’s ‘Bank of the Year’ by the prestigious UK-based ‘The Banker’ Magazine, in yet another international affirmation of its status as Sri Lanka’s best bank.This latest accolade caps a remarkable year for the Commercial Bank during which it made a spectacular entry to the world’s top 1,000 banks, received its 13th ‘Best Bank’ award from Global Finance and Best Bank awards from ‘FinanceAsia,’ ‘Euromoney’ and more..

Colombo Night Races: The feeling of Supersonic

Dec 20 (Island) There’s a catch you need to grasp when you attend racing events. That’s to fine tune your ears and then the whole physique to the sound of the brisk and express machines which flits pass you. The capacity or the width of the enjoyment will range from how successful you are. I feel privileged that my motor racing thirsty eyes-which to this day only had the luxury of being enchanted from the voodoos of cable television-finally had more..

Tension prevails in House

Dec 20 (Island) A tense situation prevailed in Parliament yesterday after Galle District DNA MP Ajith Kumara walked into the well of the House displaying a huge poster demanding the release of two youth members of the Movement for People’s Struggle, Lalith Kumar and Kugan Murugan, alleged to have gone missing in Jaffna. When Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella rose to make his speech during the third reading debate on the budget proposals under the votes of the Defence Ministry, more..

Scrapping tax officer posts may affect Govt. revenue

Dec 20 (ST) Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is to scrap the post of tax officer, a category which has some 400 officers, and absorb them to higher-level positions, officials said. There are some 2,000 officers in the entire Department. This is in line with major changes being effected following the introduction of the new Service Minutes. The Department’s administration and cadre will be restructured to implement tax reforms in a more streamlined manner in accordance with more..

Remembering the APRC expert panel ‘majority’ report

Dec 20 (DBS) The on going dialogue between Govt and TNA delegations has seen agreement on a number of issues although areas of disagreement receive wider publicity in the media. Among points agreed upon was the decision to utilize certain documents and reports of the past also as a basis for discussions. One such report is the now forgotten “majority” report of the APRC expert panel. It was handed over to President Rajapaksa five years ago more..

Top scientists brainstorm on ways to propel Lanka into the future

Dec 20 (ST) More than 50 expatriate Sri Lankan scientists were in Sri Lanka last week to attend a forum to discuss ways to boost the country’s economic and social development. The arching theme of the event was “Empowering Sri Lanka through Networking and Sharing Scientific Knowledge.” The three-day event, held at the Galadari Hotel, between Dec 13 and 15, brought together 50 overseas-based Sri Lankan scientists and academics and more..

TRCSL download test shows Lanka Bell WiMAX to be fastest

Dec 20 (FT) Lanka Bell, the only wholly Sri Lankan telecommunications provider, once again brings good news to its customers in the form of a report by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) which recognises Lanka Bell for having fastest fixed broadband speeds. This is according to the TRCSL’s broadband speed test results carried out over the last four months, which showed that users of both Lanka Bell’s 512 Kbps and 2 Mbps WiMAX broadband packages more..

Govt. finds it difficult to bear cost of garbage disposal

Dec 20 (Island) Garbage in the cities and suburbs has caused numerous hardships, not only to the public, but to the government as well, says a senior minister. Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says the government is finding it difficult to bear the massive cost incurred on garbage disposal. Yapa told The Island yesterday that the public may have to even pay to dispose their garbage in future if the current trend continues. more..

The issuing of the LLRC report is a non-event: AHRC

Dec 20 (Scoop) There was no reason to expect much from the report of the LLRC as this commission had no mandate to investigate and to file a report on the basis of investigations. It was a mere commission of gathering some views but even in that the people who were most affected, that is those who are from the north and the east, did not have genuine freedom to give a narrative of what they knew about what had happened to them and those known to them. more..

Sri Lanka tourism surges to record high

Dec 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals hit a record high in November and for the year, with visitor totals climbing every month on a year-on-year basis since a 25-year civil war ended in May 2009. Tourist arrivals in November hit a monthly record of 90,889, up 25.8 per cent from October, surpassing the island nation's previous monthly peak of 84,627 in December. The arrivals in the first 11 months of 2011 jumped 33.1 per cent to 758,458 from a year earlier, more..

'LLRC report - true mirror of humanitarian operation'

Dec 20 (DN) Minister Prof G L Peiris stated in Parliament yesterday that the LLRC Report is prepared with transparency whereas the Darusman Report is not. He also stated that the Darusman Report had many flaws but the LLRC report has been prepared with responsibility. Minister Prof G L Peiris made this observation yesterday joining the committee stage debate on the Appropriation Bill under the finance heads of the Defence and Urban Development Ministry. more..

Bank directors to quit on Central Bank ruling, get interim relief

Dec 20 (ST) Several Directors serving on Boards of commercial banks, who were to quit in accordance with Central Bank (CB) regulations, were granted interim relief by the Appeal Court this week. Appeal Court Judge Rohini Marasinghe on Monday (12) issued an interim injunction granting Directors aged over 70 years, and those completing nine years on Boards of commercial banks, to continue in their service, following a petition filed by Commercial Bank more..

Lanka’s handloom industry holds much promise

Dec 20 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa and minister Rishad Bathiudeen jointly inaugurated the ‘Ransalu 2011’ National Handloom and Textile Exhibition of Sri Lanka, held in Colombo for the 21st successive year. The exhibition, sprinkled with dance troupes and cultural shows, ended yesterday, Monday 19, but handloom outlet sales at the venue will continue till December 24, at the BMICH. "The handloom sector is a strong antidote for unemployment and more..

Fisticuffs in parliament

Dec 20 (Island) A verbal battle between UNP MP Range Bandara and UPFA MP Arundika Fernando inside the Chamber of Parliament ended in fisticuffs outside the Chamber yesterday. Range Bandara spoke for nearly one hour during the third reading stage of the budget under the votes of the Ministry of Defence and criticised the armed forces, the police, the Defence Secretary and demanded justice for former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka in jail. more..

MoU for multilateral agricultural cooperation: Lanka, Korea ink deal

Dec 20 (DN) A MoU for a multilateral agricultural cooperation initiative called Asian Food and Agriculture was signed between the Agriculture Ministry, and the Rural Development Administration in Korea, Colombo yesterday. The MoU was signed by Agriculture Ministry secretary K.E. Karunathilake and Rural Development Administration of Korea Planning and Communication director general Jaeam Lim. more..

Interest rates enter double digit range

Dec 20 (Island) Interbank borrowing rates spiked early on Monday as rupee liquidity continued to be tightened with the Central Bank selling dollars to keep the exchange rate stable, dealer said. Interest rates are under pressure and indicative lending rates to top customers of the banking system have now entered double-digit figures. The average weighted prime lending rate (AWPR) of the banking system was 10.55 percent last week, the Central Bank said. more..

US voices concern on Sri Lanka war report

Dec 20 (AFP) The United States on Monday voiced concern over a Sri Lankan commission's report on the end of the island's civil war and urged the government to address human rights allegations more fully. In a 400-page report released last week, the government-created commission cleared the military of charges that it deliberately targeted civilians as it wiped out the Tamil Tiger leadership in 2009, ending decades of war. more..

Electronic card for migrant employees

Dec 20 (DN) All Sri Lankans migrating for employment are to be issued with an electronic card for financial transactions plus personal identification. The electronic debit card for migrants was launched Sunday - International Migrants' Day. The card will include identification and contact details plus an account which can be accessed by Lankan workers while working abroad," Minister Dilan Perera said. He said that it could also be used as an official identity more..

UNP mulls scrapping annual elections, Co-Dy. Leader post

Dec 20 (Island) Now that Ranil Wickremesinghe has retained the UNP leadership, the stage is set for amending the party Constitution to do away with the provision for annual election to the UNP’s top post, according to highly placed sources. In the aftermath of Monday’s unruly scenes at Sirikotha after Wickremesinghe’s was declared the winner, those supportive of the incumbent leader discussed the urgent need to amend the Constitution. Responding to a query by The Island, more..

Ranil floors Karu, mobs run amok

Dec 20 (Island) Ranil Wickremsinghe, who has the distinction of being the most maligned politician in the country, virtually rose from the ashes to deliver a crushing defeat to Karu Jayasuriya,his rival at yesterday’s election for the leadership. Sources said that the verdict of 72 to 24 votes in favour of Wickremesinghe, had disproved the contention by both Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa, that under the new party constitution they had a majority backing more..

Insurance for fishermen mandatory

Dec 20 (SL) The govt has decided to make it mandatory for fishermen to have insurance in order to obtain a license to fish at sea. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that several fishermen were killed during the recent storm which lashed parts of the south but yet the families of the victims could not claim insurance. He said that although an insurance scheme is available for fishermen very few have made use of it and as a result the government is to make it mandatory from more..

Ranil apologizes over UNP headquarters attack

Dec 20 (SM) Leader of the opposition and the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe has apologized from party supporters and the entire nation for failing to protect the party headquarters Sirikotha from attackers. Speaking in parliament today, he asked the govt to conduct an impartial and proper investigation into the attack on Sirikotha. He also said that western provincial councillor of the party Shiral Lakthilake should be investigated as to how he obtains foreign funding. more..

Has the Govt. forgotten a rs 400 million asset?

Dec 20 (SL) A Rs 400 Million govt-owned asset is at the centre of growing concern that the asset has all but been “forgotten” by the authorities. The matter has come into focus after the recently passed and commonly known ‘Expropriation Bill’ came into force. Amongst the more controversial takeovers announced included the Sevanagala Sugar Company, Pelwatta Sugar, Hotel Developers Plc, and Lanka Tractors. more..

Doctors’ abducted for ransom

Dec 20 (LB) Police have busted an abduction racket in which some persons posing as police officers had taken doctors purportedly for questioning on their activities in their clinics, and thereafter demanded a ransom for their release. The group has been ‘raiding’ medical clinics saying they have been tipped off that the doctors’ concerned were running abortion clinics. The police finally solved the crime after they were alerted about more..

LLRC pushes Govt. on National Land Commission

Dec 20 (Island) 9.142 The Commission appreciates the fact that the two HSZs in Palaly and Trincomalee-Sampoor respectively have been reduced and that an estimated 21,491 persons have been returned to land. However, in the two reduced HSZ areas an estimated 26,755 persons are still displaced. The Commission recommends that the two existing HSZs in Palaly and Trincomalee-Sampoor, as well as small extents of private land more..

Sri Lanka: Report fails to advance accountability

Dec 20 (HRW) The report of the Sri Lankan govt’s LLRC disregards the worst abuses by govt forces, rehashes longstanding recommendations, and fails to advance accountability for victims of Sri Lanka’s civil armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. The serious shortcomings of the 388-page report, which was posted on a govt website on December 16, highlight the need for an international investigative mechanism into more..

Nat. grid to get 150 mw from Upper Kotmale

Dec 20 (Island) The 150 MW Upper Kotmale hydro power plant, will be connected to the national grid by the middle of next month, according to Minister Champika Ranawaka. Ranawaka yesterday said that when he visited the Upper Kotmale hydro power plant during the weekend, he found that 92 per cent of the construction had been completed. The Upper Kotmale Power plant will be the last and largest hydro power plant in Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka to probe whale deaths, do acoustic monitoring

Dec 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka is launching a probe on whale deaths which are suspected to be due to shipping, and also study the mammals by monitoring their calls underwater, the head of a research agency said. "Too many whales are dying around Sri Lanka," Hiran Jayewardene chairman of Sri Lanka's National Aquatic Research Agency told reporters in Colombo. "Too many whales are getting killed by the ships." more..

'Met. Dept. negligence caused 20 deaths among Southern fishing community'

Dec 20 (Island) In spite of receiving a warning from the NARA about 24 hours before recent gale force winds, which claimed the lives of 20 fishermen, the Meteorology Department hadn’t alerted those vulnerable fishing communities, parliament was told. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne alleged that the Meteorology Department had ignored the warning, thereby it was responsible for the deaths among the fishing community. more..

10 including Shiral and Maithree arrested over Sirikotha clash

Dec 20 (HN) 10 persons have been arrested so far including Provincial Council members with regard to the unruly situation which unfolded at the Sirikotha UNP Headquarters yesterday. Among them are Western Provincial Councillors Shiral Lakthilaka, Maithree Gunarathna, Kotte Municipal Council member Chandima Nayanajith, Horana Electoral organizer Ravi Jayawardana and convenor of the Organization to Protect UNP Lal Perera. more..

Underutilized farmer lands to be acquired

Dec 20 (DM) All underutilized or unproductive land given to farmers for cultivation under State grants, Mahaweli deeds or Swarna Bhoomi deeds would be acquired by the govt if farmers fail to develop the lands, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said yesterday. Addressing a ceremony to give land deeds and financial assistance to colonists who had voluntarily offered their lands to the Rambukkan Oya Lower Valley Development Project, more..

Roaring win for Ranil

Dec 20 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe emerged victorious yesterday with a thumping majority in the party's long drawn leadership tussle by defeating Karu Jayasuriya at a secret ballot at the crucial working committee meeting held at party headquarters Sirikotha. The working committee members and MPS of the party were eligible to cast their ballots at this secret vote meant for the election of new office bearers to the party. more..

Editorial: Towards a muti-religious society

Dec 20 (DM) According to the Constitution, Buddhism is given a special place while people of all other religions are allowed to practise their religion freely. However, certain events in recent months have allowed room for questions whether we are truly committed to a multi-religious society where we practise our own religions but also respect the faith and belief of others. It is only when the truth in all religions is brought together that we will come closer to the fullness of more..

Stocks close down 0.2-pct

Dec 20 (LBO) Stocks ended weaker Tuesday, unable to sustain an opening rally in thin turnover, with sharp losses in illiquid shares, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.15 percent to 5,851.94, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.34 percent to close at 5,088.25. Turnover was a low 382 million rupees, one of the lowest in recent months. E B Creasy & Company fell 200.50 rupees or over 11 percent to 1,500 rupees on just one trade of 100 shares while more..

Yala Electric fence down; wild elephants take over Kataragama

Dec 20 (DM) People living in villages around Kataragama live in constant fear of elephants because the electric fence bordering the Yala Sanctuary has broken down exposing them to wild elephants They blamed the officials of the Wildlife Conservation Department for neglecting the maintenance of the fence and effecting repairs to the electric fence thus exposing the villagers to the threat of wild elephants that also raided more..

Central bank appoints new assistant governors

Dec 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank has promoted four officers to the post of Assistant Governor with effect from January 01, 2012 in line with the succession plan of the banking regulator. The four officers are A Kamalasiri, R Dheerasinghe, S S Ratnayake and K D Ranasinghe, the bank said in a statement. Kamalasiri, former Secretary of the Central Bank, has served the Central Bank for 32 years and has wide experience in the areas of Statistics, more..