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'IT vital for administration of Justice'

Jan 11 (DN) Information Technology (IT) has gained unprecedented importance both at national and international level and is one of the vital factors for sustainable growth, good governance and administration of Justice, said Supreme Court Judge, Justice Suresh Chandra at the retired Judges Association AGM held at the Continental Hotel Colombo recently. Justice Suresh Chandra speaking on the theme “Use of technology in judicial system,” said that automation more..

'I will miss the MI dressing room'

Jan 11 (TOI) Its all but over for Sanath Jayasuriya. After being denied a spot in the World Cup probables list, the Matara mauler went unsold in the IPL auctions in Bangalore which virtually brought the shutters down on his career. "These things are part and parcel of a cricketers life and I have been experiencing all these for a long time. I am a professional cricketer and am quite capable of handling such situations. more..

Estate hospital not properly repaired; people demand a probe

Jan 11 (Island) The Maliboda estate hospital was renovated at a cost of Rs. 5,000,000 recently. However, its roof is already leaking. But the authorities are turning a blind eye to the problem. People of the area demand to know what the contractor has done with the money. With the allocated funds, he has only tiled part of the building, built six toilets, and a water tank, they complain. "The roof of the kitchen is without tiles and part of it has given way. more..

Transfer of GNs suspended until census conducted

Jan 11 (Island) The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry has postponed the transfer of Grama Niladaris, island wide, within the respective Provincial Secretariat areas. The transfers were intended to be effective from January 2011. This was in response to a request made by the Sri Lanka Eksath Grama Niladari Sangamaya to the Ministry, said Deputy Secretary of the Association G. Sarath Padmalal. more..

'You need to lead, not find political surrogates'

Jan 11 (SL) In a frank discourse on the leadership issue at the UNP, Sajith Premadasa said that “a clean break and a new start was imperative”. Taking a break of just under 60 minutes, in which time Premadasa answered questions it was fortuitous that he placed his mobile on “silent” mode: it rang incessantly. As the interest in the UNP leadership issue gathers momentum Premadasa continues to receive around 400 calls daily. more..

Taxes and visa fees may trouble tourism

Jan 11 (eTBB) The Sri Lankan government has imposed a new ‘nation building tax’ and will implement a new online visa, despite heavy protest from hoteliers and tourist operators. The introduced tax will be 2 percent of the turnover for any hotel with 4 stars or more. Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and hoteliers of Sri Lanka will share the burden of the tax until 31 January 2011, after which Sri Lankan tour operators will encumber the costs. more..

‘EPDP will not contest under TPPF’

Jan 11 (DM) The Ealam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) would not contest under the Tamil Political Parties Forum (TPPF) in the forthcoming Local Government elections though it is a constituent party of the Forum. Minister of Small Industries and the General Secretary of EPDP, Mr. Devananda told the Daily Mirror yesterday this would be possible as the TPPF was not an electoral alliance, but a Forum to find solutions to the Tamil people’s problems. more..

Criminals’ Eelam Now

Handsome rewards from tourism for all

Jan 11 (DN) The ultimate aim of every economic development program should be the improvement of the people’s living conditions. Therefore, I have planned to develop tourism as a source of income which leads to economic and social welfare, said Minister Basil Rajapaksa addressing a meeting held at the Sri Jayewardenepura Parliamentary Complex last week. It was decided to declare 2011 as the Tourism Year beginning from January 6 at this meeting. more..

New Board of Directors for Waters Edge complex

Jan 11 (DM) The Attorney General submitted motion to the Supreme Court to have the new Board of the Waters Edge comprising Chiefs of three Armed Forces, Sri Lanka Port Authority Chairman, former as well as the incumbent Chairmen of Hilton and two others. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justices Shirani Tilakawardane and P. A. Ratnayake yesterday (10) ordered that the motion should be submitted to the Chief Justice and more..

Sri Lanka donates tea to flood-hit Australia

Jan 11 (BBC) With no respite for the victims of floods in north-eastern Australia, the Sri Lankan government has sent an aid donation to people suffering there. It consists of Sri Lanka’s most famous export – tea. Sri Lanka is itself suffering from flooding on a very large scale at the moment; several people have died. The Sri Lankan foreign secretary, Romesh Jayasinghe, said this donation of local tea was to thank Australians for having helped this country, more..

Canadian HC meets Douglas Devananda

Jan 11 (Island) The High Commissioner of Canada, Bruce Levy, called on the Minister Douglas Devananda, to discuss issues of mutual interest including the political reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. The role of the Diaspora in the rebuilding and development of the country took prominence during the exchanges with the High Commissioner making the point that Canadians of Sri Lankan origin could be a valuable resource. more..

Sri Lankan team visits Quaid's mazar

Jan 11 (BR) The Speaker of Parliament of Sri Lanka, Camal Rajapaksa, along with the 11-member delegation visited the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, on Monday. He laid a floral wreath at the Mazar and paid respect and rich tributes to the Father of the Nation. Speaking on behalf of Speaker, Mohammad Fouzie Abdul Hameed, MP, said that we are visiting Pakistan on the special invitation of the Chairman of Senate of Pakistan and were very happy to be present here. more..

Prof Gamini Samaranayake

Land grab in Kalpitiya

Jan 11 (SL) Several steps have been taken by the government and private investors to capitalise on the benefits that Kalpitiya has to offer. The emerging appeal of the area as a luxury tourist destination has increased its potential so much that blatant land grabbing has begun to occur in greedy attempts to make money at public expense. Kalpitiya, a long standing tourist destination known to be among the more ‘exotic’ places in the country is just beginning to more..

Ireland could face Sri Lanka in Scotland tri-series

Jan 11 (CI) Sri Lanka are in discussions with Cricket Scotland over the possibility of a tri-series with Ireland to be held after Sri Lanka's England tour in July. It would be welcome news for both Associate nations because Scotland are facing financial difficulties and Ireland have just a single home fixture confirmed for next season - the ODI against England at Clontarf on August 25. A game against Sri Lanka, who Ireland last played in Grenada at more..

'Something Tamils can accept with dignity and self-respect should be given'

Jan 11 (TC) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, after a long period of silence, expressed herself in an exclusive interview. She discussed about her currents activities and future plans in retirement, and also lashed out at the government. Here are excerpts of her interview. Q: What are your present activities in retirement? A: After I retired, I decided that I would never be involved in politics directly because more..

JVP to lead agitation demanding pay hike

Jan 11 (Island) The JVP affiliated trade union organization, National Trade Union Centre, which comprises over 200 trade union member organizations, will stage an islandwide agitation demanding the salaries of public, private and estate sector workers be increased, NTUC President and former MP K. D. Lalkantha said. "We will mobilize all trade unions and have commenced discussions with many unions attached to the two main parties, the SLFP and the UNP. more..

Govt. to extend MCs’ term by one year

Jan 11 (ST) The government will allow Municipal Councils to continue to function for another year, a senior cabinet minister said yesterday, though all other local councils were dissolved on Thursday. Minister Susil Premajayantha, who is also General Secretary of the ruling UPFA told the Sunday Times, initially, the plan was not to hold elections to the MCs because of World Cup cricket matches in February and March. more..

Rains wreak havoc

Jan 11 (DM) Rain continued to wreak havoc yesterday breaching the bunds of 200 irrigation tanks and destroying 100,000 paddy acres, while 832,447 persons have been displaced, 937 houses fully damaged and 4001 houses partly damaged, according the latest updates by the Disaster Management Centre. Meanwhile schools in the North Central province had been closed until further notice, officials said. more..

Winds cause 'unusual cold' in Sri Lanka

Jan 11 (BBC) The change in the heavy weather situations has caused an unusual weather pattern in Sri Lanka, officials say. GB Samarasinghe, director general of meteorological department said that affect of global warming resulted by greenhouse gases might be one of the reasons for the relative cold experienced by the Sri Lankan during the last few days. “When you get the radiation the earth gets heated and the radiation is emitted back,” he told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

Price rises deepen discontent in Sri Lanka

Jan 11 (wsws) Working people in Sri Lanka have been hit hard by a wave of price increases, especially for food and other essential items. While food prices are rising internationally, the impact has been compounded by the government’s austerity measures, including a wage freeze and cutbacks to price subsidies. The official inflation rate rose from 4.3 percent last July to 7 percent and 6.9 percent in November and December respectively, more..

Police awaiting forensic report in Sri Lankan maid’s death

Jan 11 (AN) The sponsor of a 36-year-old Sri Lankan maid who died in mysterious circumstances in Hofuf, the Eastern Province, in November has been arrested by police who are now waiting for a forensic report from Riyadh to complete investigations. The maid, Pospawalli Selladurai, died on Nov. 5, 2010, in circumstances that her relatives describe as suspicious. Her sister, Saroja, who works as a housemaid in Beirut, more..

UNP faced with dilemma over implementing new party constitution

Jan 11 (Island) A decision on whether the UNP’s new constitution should be implemented before or after the forthcoming local government polls, would be taken on Thursday, the party’s Media spokesman Gayantha Karunathillake said yesterday. He said that the UNP’s first Working Committee meeting since the recent annual convention adopted amendments to the party constitution, more..

Mahaweli Authority to generate 10,000 jobs for graduates

Jan 11 (Island) The Mahaweli Authority is planning to provide 10,000 employment opportunities to graduates within the next three years, Director General of the Mahaweli Authority D.M.C. Dissanayake said. "Under the projects, the graduates will be encouraged to start ornamental fish breeding, dairy farming and agriculture," he said. The Mahaweli authority has already allocated lands for more..

Sri lanka gears for Beach games

Jan 11 (DM) Eleven sports are set to be held at the first ever Beach Games among South Asian Federation countries to be held in Hambantota in August this year. The likely sports are volleyball, netball, basketball, soccer, body building, kabaddi, swimming, sailing, cricket, triathlon and handball. They could be reduced depending on the sports practised by the countries involved. more..

Govt. unsettled by secret report

Jan 11 (LT) Government internal sources reveal that the government is in a quandary regarding the outcome of the forthcoming local government elections. A secret research carried out regarding the election has revealed that the government would not gain an easy victory at the elections and its popularity, specially in urban areas, has drastically dwindled. The sources say top men had held several rounds of discussions regarding the result of the research. more..

Graduates in street protest demanding employment

Jan 11 (LT) An agitation to protest against government’s failure to have any programme to provide employment to graduates as ‘Janasabha Secretaries and in the aesthetic sector, as had been promised, was held by the Southern Province Graduates Alliance opposite Galle Railway Station yesterday. The convener of Unemployed Graduates Union Saman Hennayake says an exam was held in 2007 to fill more..

Media freedom still distant

Jan 11 (IPS) January is indelibly linked to the tumultuous recent history of the media in Sri Lanka. Two years ago, on Jan. 8 Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge, editor of the The Sunday Leader newspaper, was murdered while on his way to work. The two-year murder investigation has not yielded any credible indications or pointers to the identity of the assassins, who fled after waylaying Wickrematunge’s car on a public road in broad daylight. more..

Tamils likely safe from persecution in Sri Lanka, Canadian Refugee Board says

Jan 11 (G&M) Your life is not in danger just because you’re a Tamil who has been sent back to Sri Lanka, says a new policy introduced by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. The “persuasive decision,” a note aimed at maintaining consistency in IRB rulings, said meaningful changes in Sri Lanka suggest Tamils – particularly young males – won’t be persecuted because of their social group or political opinions. more..

Sri Lanka cuts interest rates to spur growth

Jan 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's central bank on Tuesday cut key interest rates in a bid to encourage more investment in the island's economy as it recovers from decades of ethnic warfare. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka lowered its benchmark repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 7.0 percent, while the reverse repurchase rate was cut by 50 basis points to 8.0 percent. The bank said it was able to lower interest rates to provide for more..

Pakistan offers credit facility to Sri Lanka

Jan 11 (Dawn) President Asif Ali Zardari has offered soft-term credit facility to Sri Lanka for importing Pakistani sugar and cement plants. The offer was made during a meeting between a parliamentary delegation of Sri Lanka and the president at the Governor’s House. The credit facility was also discussed during President Zardari’s recent visit to Sri Lanka, where he called for setting up joint ventures to more..

Govt. appeals for public assistance to help flood victims

Jan 11 (RW) The Government has appealed to the general public to assist over 800,000 flood victims as they are in need of drinking water, mats, bed sheets, other clothing and milk food for children. "The unexpected climatic change has made the people displaced in thousands. Sri Lankan people are well known for their generous help and hospitality in times of crises situation so more..

'I Should’ve brought Devolution'

Jan 11 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says she regrets not being able to be “a dictator for a six month period” during her presidency to enact the 2000 Constitution that sought to devolve power extensively. Se said that it was her ‘passion project’. Mrs. Kumaratunga said that she had 34 rounds of talks with the main opposition UNP alone to draft this Constitution, but could not muster. more..

Dark days are back in Jaffna

Jan 12 (HT) In January, 2010, Jaffna was thrown open to Lankan citizens after decades of isolation. Passing through the former LTTE capital, Kilinochchi, thousands flocked to the peninsula in rickety buses over the potholed A9 highway. Jaffna residents were beleaguered by the sudden attention from southern tourists and traders but it seemed acceptable in exchange for a post-war sense of normalcy. A year later, that sense of normalcy is dipping. more..

Protest in Jaffna against Indian fishermen

Jan 12 (AD) The fishing community in Eluvativu, Jaffna has begun a protest today (11) morning against Indian fishermen encroaching Jaffna seas. The Eluvativu fishermen say that they have had to face many difficulties due to Indian fishermen unlawfully crossing the maritime borders and engaging in fishing activities. Ada Derana correspondent in the area reported that even the public in the area have closed down shops in the town and joined in the protest. more..

'No outsiders from UNP ticket'

Jan 12 (DM) The UNP has decided not to accommodate members of other parties such as the SLMC under its elephant symbol at the upcoming local government election unless they obtain the party membership first, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. He that the UNP would contest the polls for all 303 local bodies, and the second round of interviews for the selection of candidates would be conducted from January 16 to 17 at district levels. more..

Muslims to go home

Jan 12 (NN) More than 4000 Muslims who were displaced from the Jaffna Peninsula in 1990 will be resettled in their original homes once a study carried out by a government committee is completed, Jaffna Government Agent Imelda Suhumar said. She said that these Muslim families who are now temporarily sheltered in Jaffna, Chavakachecheri and Welani have sought re-settlement in their original homes as soon as possible. The Government Agent however said that before these people are more..

India emerges Sri Lanka's biggest tourist generator

Jan 12 (PTI) Sri Lanka has had the highest number of tourist arrivals last year with Indians topping the list of holiday makers, figures released by the Tourism Ministry said here today. Indian tourists visiting Sri Lanka reached 126,882, taking a bigger lead over Britons who numbered 105,496 last year. In 2009 too, Indians were leading, but marginally with 83,634 compared to 81,594 Britons. The total tourist arrivals of 654.476 in calendar 2010 compared with 447,890 in 2009, more..

Matter with the court

Jan 12 (NN) The police say the incident which occurred in Warakapola and the controversial video which emerged subsequently allegedly countering police claims is a matter for the court to make a determination on and not anyone else. When questioned by News if a police investigation had been launched after the video showed one of the suspects being handed over to police custody but the police later claiming that he had been killed in a cross fire, more..