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Bidding alone costing millions!

Feb 22 (SL) It is essential to raise awareness that Sri Lanka is no longer a war ravaged country.” So sayeth Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage (MA) to explain away Rs. 336 million and Rs. 500 million spent on ‘preparation of the bid’ to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games in this fair Isle of Sri Lanker. Not one but two firms have been engaged in this endeavour – Bell Pottinger to boost the country’s post war image and Pmp Legacy to prepare the actual bid. more..

Shh! Shh! Name changes and their significance

Feb 22 (SL) I am really puzzled by the predilection of all and sundry to replace the “s” sound in both the Sinhala and English alphabets, with the (slurred) “sh” sound in the spelling and pronunciation of their names. It seems like it began in the belief that it bestowed some kind of “respectability” or “nobility” on those who were the beneficiaries of such substitution. The first evidence of this appears to be in the case of the current President, followed quite swiftly by his family. more..

The dark side of Facebook

Feb 22 (SL) Facebook, we all use it. Even your tuk-tuk driver is probably on it. It’s such a popular, useful social networking platform that it has attracted millions of users globally as well as in Sri Lanka. There are more than half a billion Facebook users globally and an estimated 2 million of them are Sri Lankans. That is, one in every ten Sri Lankans is on Facebook. But just like anything else, Facebook is also easily abused. more..

Editorial: Being robbed by 'messiahs'

Feb 22 (Island) Tamil Nadu politicians wept buckets for northern Sri Lankans during the Vanni war and staged massive protests in Chennai against Colombo demanding that the war be stopped and its victims be looked after. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi went so far as to launch a fast, giving the Centre a scare, albeit in vain. But, since the end of the war, those political worthies have done virtually nothing for the war affected; they have not even donated a single roofing sheet from their personal funds. more..

Editorial: Home sweet home garden

Feb 22 (DM) In the deluge after devastating deluge, one of the worst ever in Sri Lanka, some 1.7 million were affected and about 500,000 forced to flee to temporary camps. Besides the human suffering some 500,000 thousand acres of paddy land and tens of thousands of tonnes of vegetables were reportedly destroyed. As a result we see a situation where tables have been turned in our kitchens with vegetable prices soaring to their highest ever levels. more..

10200 American scholarships on distant English learning for Univ. students

Feb 22 (GDI) Sri Lanka will receive 10200 scholarships from the US for the development of English language skills of the University students in the country. The Higher Education minister S.B. Dissanayake has drawn up a plan to enhance the English skills of the university students prior to introduction of English medium education in the universities. Many programmes are being implemented by the Higher Education Ministry more..

Maya Avenue to be re-named as Herbert Sri Nissanka Mawatha

Feb 22 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa would re name Maya Avenue as Herbert Sri Nissanka Mawatha on 26th of February on the death anniversary of Herbert Sri Nissanka KC. Sri Nissanka residence ‘Yamuna’ has been donated to The Buddhist Aramaya. He is remembered for his contribution to the Legal system, the formation of the SLFP, the development of Buddhism, the development of charity, the contribution to the country, the nation and society and most of all to humanity. more..

Standard Chartered Bank says Hambantota next major city

Feb 22 (Island) A leading international bank operating in the country believes there are too many banks servicing Sri Lanka’s small US$ 48.25 billion economy but with plenty of scope to improve financial inclusiveness, it believes it has much to gain by looking outside the country’s financial capital, Colombo with Hambantota expected to be the next big city. CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka, Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar said too many banks were concentrated in the western province and more..

Sri Lanka Airforce launch a model RC school

Feb 22 (GDI) Recognizing the global trend for Radio Controlled (RC) flying of airplanes and helicopters, Sri Lanka Air Force declared open its very own Radio Controlled Model Flying, Sailing and Driving School at SLAF Station Ekala on 19 February, 2011. The school was established on the instructions of Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Air Force, Air Chief Marshal WDRMJ Goonetileke who was also the Chief Guest at the inauguration. more..

Get temporary identity papers to vote

Feb 22 (Island) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has requests all voters, who do not possess any identification papers, to obtain temporary identifications before March 5 in order to cast their votes at the forthcoming Local Government elections. No one would be allowed to cast his or her vote without valid identification, he said. Applications are currently being processed to issue temporary identification papers to eligible voters. more..

Hundreds of fishermen silently agitate before Indian mission in Jaffna

Feb 22 (TN) Around 400 fishermen and their families from Maathakal in Jaffna, led by parish priest S.M.P Anandakumar, silently agitated in front of the Indian consulate at Kantharmadam in Jaffna, Monday, demanding security for them and assurance against poaching by Indian fishermen. Their mouths tied in black cloth they carried placards, damaged fishing nets and empty pots. There was a heavy presence of occupying SL military to provide security to the Indian mission. more..

Coconut planters anguished over the manner trees are cut down!

Feb 22 (NF) An incident has been reported from Matara where coconut trees have been felled for no reason at all, at a time when the price of coconuts is escalating. The Coconut Research Institute in Lunuwila took a decision to cut down several coconut trees in the Matara district due to a disease which was spreading in the area. Accordingly, several coconut trees were cut down but some cultivators say that officials have earmarked some trees for more..

Colombo among 10 worst cities in the world

Feb 22 (Island) Colombo, Sri Lanka’s financial capital, is among the ten worst livable cities in the world, according to a recent survey carried out by the reputed The Economist Intelligence Unit. According to latest livability index compiled by The Economist, the worst city to live in the world is Harare, Zimbabwe, followed by Dhaka, Bangladesh, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Lagos, Nigeria, Algiers, Algeria, Karachi, Pakistan, Douala, Cameroon, Tehran, Iran, Dakar, Senegal, more..

Architect 2011 starts tomorrow

Feb 22 (DN) Architect 2011 exhibition,organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) will be held for the 29th consecutive time at the BMICH. It will be held from February 23 to 27, SLIA sources said. The Architect 2011 exhibition has now developed into a significant event for the past 25 years and has became a mainstay. This exhibition has proved to be invaluable to the construction industry,as it provides important details to the public. more..

Sri Lanka Official Language Language Policy to be implemented

Feb 22 (GDI) Minister Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara has instructed the Department of Official Languages to fully implement the official languages policy of the country. The shortage of translators has adversely affected the implementation of the policy, and as a remedial measure, training of reserves will start within the next two weeks. The Minister has also ordered to commence language courses for students pursuing higher education and more..

Rs.4 billion for renovation of 2000 damaged tanks

Feb 22 (DM) The government is planning to complete the renovation of 2000 tanks that were damaged in the recent floods, the Ministry of Economic Development said. “We are carrying out the project from district to district and hope to complete it in an year’s time,” Ministry’s Additional Secretary for Regional Development Nihal Somaweera said. He said that the authorities were currently in the process of identifying the level of damage and the necessary measures to be taken for renovation. more..

Health Minister to blacklist two building contractors

Feb 22 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has decided to blacklist two major building contractors for their failure to complete construction work at the Colombo South and Kandy Teaching Hospitals, Ministry on time, sources said. The contractors were expected to complete both projects in January 2009, but they had failed to do so and thereby had caused disruption to the services in the two hospitals, sources said. more..

Dismayed over Thamilchelvam statue

Feb 22 (NN) While expressing dismay at a bust of former LTTE political head S.P Thamilchelvam being erected once again in France, the Sri Lankan government says the statue is too insignificant to the strong relations between Sri Lanka and France. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France Dr Dayan Jayatilleka said that the re-erection of the statue of S.P Thamilchelvam in La Courneuve, France has been raised with the French Foreign Ministry. more..

‘51% of Colombo’s drinking water supplied free’

Feb 22 (DN) There is no income from 51 percent of the drinking water supplied to the city of Colombo. Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardana has requested officers of the Water Supply and Drainage Board to take immediate action to remedy this situation. The Minister has also pointed out that, 26 percent of drinking water used in Colombo city is obtained illegally. He also directed his officers to take action to collect money which is lawfully the Ministry’s. more..

President’s biography written in Tamil

Feb 22 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s biography titled Mahinda written in Tamil for the first time was launched yesterday by Thinakaran Chief Editor S Thileinadhan. Mahinda is a tribute by all Tamils in the country in appreciation of the services rendered by the President to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. The elimination of the three decade war was a great relief for the Tamils and it ushered peace, harmony and happiness to the country which all communities are enjoying. more..

More females than males in households: Govt survey

Feb 22 (LG) The latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2009/10 (HIES), released this month by Sri Lanka’s Department of Census and Statistics, shows that there are more females in a household than males.“The female household population was 52.8 million and the male population was 47.2 million in 2009. There is a no broad change has taken place in male to female population ratio from 2006/07 to 2009. more..

Indian fishermen's meet resolves not to cross IMBL

Feb 22 (Hindu) A day after 136 fishermen, held captive and released by Sri Lanka, arrived here on Indian shores, fisherfolk from Karaikal and Nagapattinam met here on Sunday to evolve a possible rapprochement to the question of recurrent attacks on fisherfolks. Four resolutions were passed and accepted here by all fishing habitations of Nagapattinam and Karaikal. Accordingly, fisherfolk shall henceforth not cross the International Maritime Boundary Line and more..

Roads in bad shape, villagers vow to boycott LG polls

Feb 22 (Island) Roads leading to the villages of Naotunne, Madawala, Beliwatte, Udahagama, and Pathegama in Matara are in a dilapidated condition and about 3,000 people who use them are faced with immense hardships. Villagers who spoke to The Island attributed the condition of roads to a tug of war between the Devinuwara and Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabhas. "They are refusing to take the responsibility for road repairs and we have to suffer as a result," a teacher said. more..

Canadian PM visits Sri Lankan migrant ship

Feb 22 (CBC) The federal government will listen to opposition requests for next month's budget but won't "engage in horse trading or negotiations," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday. "We listen to the views of other parties in Parliament whether we agree with them or not," Harper told reporters in Vancouver. "In the end, after listening to the pitches of the other parties, we will make the decisions we think are in the best interest of Canadians." more..

Land slide victims to remain in camps

Feb 22 (DM) Families affected by land slides in the Central Province are to remain in temporary camps till the National Building Research Bureau (NBRO) gives the green light for them to go back to their houses. The Disaster Management Centre said the NBRO is likely to allow these families to go back to their houses in a few days time. According to the Centre 483 families in the Badulla District still reside in camps. They are in 15 camps. There are 10 camps in Hali-ela while there are three in Passara. more..

Don’t get caught with counterfeit WC tickets

Feb 22 (ST) Amidst the tightest ever security measures, a special police team will be deployed to detect any counterfeit tickets to gain entry to Cricket World Cup venues in Sri Lanka, Police and Cricket officials said yesterday. Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya said there was information of counterfeit tickets being sold for the matches at the Premadasa, Pallekele and Sooriyawewa stadiums. “Along with Sri Lanka Cricket officials we will check every ticket and more..

Indian fishermen worry about poor catch after Lanka deal

Feb 22 (TOI) The fishermen of Nagapattinam have decided not to cross the IMBL and ban those breaching the boundary for a month. The decision, taken during a meeting on Sunday, has drawn mixed response from fellow fishermen and boat owners. While few feel that there was high possibility of their boats being dragged by ocean current or wind into Sri Lankan waters, others say that it was practically impossible to restrict fishing within Indian waters more..

Rat fever after floods

Feb 22 (DM) With floods now receding, the health authorities yesterday warned of a possible rise in cases of leptospirosis widely known as ‘rat fever’ and asked the people to strictly follow medical advice. “We have received reports of a number of cases of leptospirosis from flood affected areas where the disease has not been reported earlier. There has been a sudden increase of such cases in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa -- two flood affected districts. more..

'Resettlement almost completed in Mullaitivu'

Feb 22 (DM) The resettlement process had been completed in 100 out of the 127 Grama Niladhari divisions in the Mullaitivu District where the final war between the security forces and the LTTE was fought, Government Agent Mullaitivu, A. Paththinathan said. The balance 27 G.N. divisions were in the process of being demined and people would be able to settle in those areas only after the receipt of landmine clearance certificates, more..

India’s coconut exports surge on Sri Lanka ban

Feb 22 (Hindu) India’s coconut exports have increased by 30 per cent this year, triggered by the export ban on shipments of the produce by Sri Lanka. The Coconut Development Board (CDB) is expecting an export growth of 30 per cent this year over last year. CDB is a statutory body established under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India for the integrated development of coconut cultivation and industry in the country with more..

Dinesh blames UNP, UPFA

Feb 22 (DM) The rejection of a large number of nomination lists of the UPFA and the UNP could have been averted if the amendments to the Local Authorities (Special Provisions) Bill were passed in parliament, Parliamentary Select Committee Chairman Dinesh Gunawardena said. He said election officials must not be blamed for having rejected the nomination lists as they had acted under the existing regulations. more..

Elections Chief’s meeting today: UNP and JVP to protest against polls postponement

Feb 22 (Island) The UNP and the JVP are expected to register their protest with Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake, when he meets political party representatives today (22) at the Elections Secretariat, against the postponement of elections to 60 local government bodies. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said his party would protest against the Elections Commissioner’s decision to more..

JVP bids farewell to coalition politics

Feb 22 (Island) The JVP has decided against forging political alliances in the future, according to highly placed sources close to the party leadership. "Our experience shows that coalitions do not benefit us and they only help others at our expense," source said citing how the SLFPhad let it down after coming to power. The JVP formed an alliance with the UNP, the TNA, the SLMC and several other parties to back former Army Commander more..

So far no vehicle barred from roads after emission tests

Feb 22 (Island) Despite the conduct of emission tests on motor vehicles during the past two years, so far not a single vehicle has been ordered to be removed from roads, Commissioner of Motor Traffic B.D.L. Dharmapriya said. Under the current procedure, when a motor vehicle fails the emission test, the owner is requested to effect necessary repairs and get another test done. Though the vehicle is not debarred from plying on roads, more..

UNP withdraws petition; Maharagama polls as planned

Feb 22 (DM) The Appeal Court yesterday ruled that the Local Council Election of Maharagama Urban Council could be continued as scheduled on March 17. The court made the direction after UNP withdrew its petition filed against conducting election in the urban council yesterday. The UNP withdrew the petition filed against the UPFA nomination list claiming that the list did not conform to the legal requirements. more..

Solution to city garbage problem: Power from waste

Feb 22 (Island) The Power and Energy Ministry has taken measures to initiate 38 projects to generate electricity using solid waste in Colombo city and suburbs with immediate effect as an initial step to make a considerable contribution to the national grid with non traditional renewable energy sources by 2015. A Ministry spokesman told the Daily News that these projects will add 259 MW to the national grid. more..

Sri Lanka looks for working group to iron out fishery poaching

Feb 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka is looking to begin talks through a joint working group with India to find a long term solution to fishery poaching in Sri Lanka's northern waters, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. "We want to re-activate the mechanism of an India and Sri Lanka joint working group to find a long term solution to the problem," president Rajapaksa told a gathering of editors of media institutions in Colombo. more..

UPFA owes Rupavahini Rs.42 mn for election ads – UNP

Feb 22 (Island) The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises has revealed that the ruling UPFA owes the Rupavahini Corporation Rs.42 million for advertisements it had placed during the Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Council Elections, held between 2004 and 2010. Kandy District UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference, that the COPE report which had been submitted to more..

Thirumavalavan denied entry in Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (Hindu) Viduthalai Chiruthaigal president Thol. Thirumavalavan and two of his associates were sent back from the Colombo airport on arrival from Chennai early on Tuesday. They were here to attend the funeral of Parvathy Ammal, the mother of slain LTTE leader Prabakaran. Mr.Thirumavalavn said that soon after he landed, he and the two others were escorted to the office of the Chief Immigration Officer at the airport. more..

Sri Lanka keeps tabs on market pulse for sovereign bond sale

Feb 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka will study market conditions for a bond sale this year, Treasury secretary P B Jayasundera said. "We have to study the market conditions," he said. "In any case it takes about six months preparation to launch a bond." Last September Sri Lanka raised a billion dollars from international markets at 6.25 percent most of which were used to settle short-term, high-interest loans. In the original pro-forma 2010 budget the govt listed commercial borrowings of 57 billion rupees. more..