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City facelift for the World Cup

Jan 28 (NN) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has given an undertaking to the ICC to give a facelift to the city of Colombo in time for the cricket world cup scheduled to begin next month. CMC Chief Administrator Omar Kamil said that among the measures to be taken to beautify the city of Colombo is to colour wash all homes and building located in the vicinity of the Kettarama Cricket Stadium and also develop the roads in Colombo city. more..

Demand for Sri Lankan professional emigrants high

Jan 28 (E24/7) With the onset of peace generating a steady economic turnaround in Sri Lanka, there is an increasing demand for highly qualified professionals in various sectors, providing a great opportunity for top Sri Lankan executives employed abroad to return home, according to head hunting guru Fayaz Saleem. As Managing Director and Principal Consultant of Colombo-based Appointments of International Management Specialists (AIMS) and more..

Two Injured in a Politicos’ clash

Jan 28 (DM) Two persons were injured including an independent candidate and gun shots were exchanged in Endaana in Kahawatta when a clash broke out between a UPFA team led by Deputy Minister of Power and Energy Premalal Jayasekara and a group led by an independent candidate contesting from Kahawatta for the upcoming local Government Elections. The injured were admitted to the Ratnapura General Hospital. The UPFA team was decorating the area at the time of the incident. more..

Gang targeted London communities in £10m Ponzi fraud

Jan 28 (BBC) A gang conned innocent investors out of £10m in a Ponzi fraud, it has emerged. Southwark Crown Court was told the six men targeted Sri Lankan communities in London and promised plentiful profits for joining the scheme. A Metropolitan Police inquiry began in 2005 after victims reported being duped out of large sums of money. The six were earlier convicted of various charges including deception and money laundering. more..

Tamil Nadu fishermen protest against killings by Lankan navy

Jan 28 (ANI) Thousands of fishermen staged a demonstration here on Thursday to protest against the recent killing of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy. The activists of the fishermen community sat on the roads and blocked the traffic for several hours. Ramakrishnan, a leader of Tamil Nadu Fishermen Battle Organization told reporters that the Central Government has constantly failed in providing security to their community. more..

'Vaiko not aggrieved person to challenge ban on LTTE'

Jan 28 (PTI) The Union Home Ministry today told the Madras High Court that MDMK general secretary Vaiko is not an aggrieved person to challenge a tribunal's order confirming a central government's notification extending ban on the LTTE. In its counter to his petition, the Centre said Vaiko had no locus standi to appear before the tribunal or to seek intervention. Unless the petitioner proved with supporting evidence to demonstrate that more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.01.2011

Sri Lanka stick with World Cup squad for Windies series

Jan 28 (PTI) Sri Lanka have named their World Cup squad of 15 players to meet the West Indies in a one-day international series originally scheduled for November but abandoned due to bad weather. The three-match series will start on Monday with the remaining games on Feb. 3 and 6 before the World Cup gets underway on Feb 19. Originally scheduled for the two World Cup venues at Hambantota and the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, the matches have been switched to more..

More nomination lists rejected

Jan 28 (DM) A large number of nomination lists from the main political parties including the ruling UPFA and the main opposition UNP were rejected due to several errors. In the Embilipitiya UC in the Ratnapura district the nomination lists of both the UPFA and the UNP had been rejected. In the Colombo district the UNP nomination list for the Homagama PS had been rejected. In the Galle District the UPFA nomination list for Akmeemana PS, and more..

Bank of Ceylon to enter India’s Financial Hub

Jan 28 (N360) Bank of Ceylon is planning to open up a branch in Mumbai to capture a slice out of the cities growing financial market. A Senior Official of the Bank said “Mumbai is the financial hub of India and we want to be there”. He added having a presence in the City of Mumbai which has a population of 14 million and a sound banking system with the presence of Global financial firms is vital for the BOC. more..

Women police officers humiliate a man before torturing him

Jan 28 (LG) Mr. Selema Lebbe Mohammed Amir Sultan was illegally arrested by police officers attached to the Katupotha Police Station in the district of Kurunegalle. He was illegally detained and subjected to degrading treatment and torture on 9 October 2010. Amir was forcefully stripped of his clothes and beaten in order to make him stand on the table where the assembled police officers, both men and women, taunted him in front of influential parties to more..

Several steps needed for public service efficiency

Jan 28 (LG) The state of the public service in this country has throughout been a matter of much public interest and concern. A widespread public discontent and disenchantment with our public service, as it operates today, is clearly evident. The good work done by a section of public officers is submerged by such misdemeanours as lethargy, incompetence, corruption and abuse of power that others are accused of. Adverse comments and admonitions from concerned more..

Romance and the Protection Racketeers

Jan 28 (LG) While I was in Vavuniya last week at the Rehabilitation Centre where the Entrepreneurship Training Programme for Ex-Combatants was taking place, I was shown a video of the mass weddings of former combatants that had taken place a few months earlier. Vivek Oberoi had signed the register, and I had been told the occasion was one of great rejoicing. However, when we had a meeting with Civil Society regarding the Human Rights Action Plan, more..

Increasing Violence with Impunity in Jaffna

Jan 28 (DM) The above heading was not one we expected to witness post the war victory in May 2009. Prior to that as the LTTE operated in the Wanni, spill over violence in Jaffna was a fact of life and while contained could not really be eliminated. However one and a half years after the end of the war, Jaffna suddenly sees a spurt in the level of violence and tension in that society. Late last week the issue was debated in the Parliament of Sri Lanka. more..

Declaring prices of goods in advertising- the good and the bad

Jan 28 (DM) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) through a gazette notification issued in January 2011 made the declaration of specific prices of an article/ articles that are promoted or advertised through television, print, radio, internet or any other media compulsory as of February 1, 2011. Although on the outset it appears to be a positive measure which benefits the customers, certain others involved in the fields linked to advertising and more..

Jaffna: the triumphs and fears in a post conflict scenario

Jan 28 (DM) The lines of time any area riddled with three decades of war and impunity takes to settle in to a peaceful atmosphere are always blurred. Yet, the present rumours of impunity that are reportedly resurfacing after two years of the end of the war are disturbing. It is a worrisome thought because of the potential for de-stability such a situation allowed to increase can leave room for. more..

Massive unchecked election propaganda campaign will lead to election law violations and violence

Jan 28 (LG) Massive election propaganda campaigns have begun in 44 Local Government bodies around the country even before elections laws come into action today. Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) stresses the importance of unbiased implementation of election laws to create a level playing field which is a fundamental necessity in having a free and fair election and to minimize election law violations. more..

The Galle Literary Festival – Myopia or Ignorance?

Jan 28 (LG) In a country with two official languages how should a literary festival promote literature? This is not a usual rant on the boycott of the festival by Noam Chomsky and Arundhathi Roy. This is about the failure of GLF from its first launch to recognize that there are two more languages in Sri Lanka and there are people who do write in these languages. Why does politics seep into every aspect of our lives? Even a literary event is not spared. more..

Reality Star or Magey Star?

Jan 28 (LB) A highly controversial a reality TV contest organised by a certain privately-owned television station is continuing to hoodwink gullible aspirants amidst serious allegations of lewd interests in females, bias and favouritism towards members of the opposite sex, while those with genuine talent are shown the door and dismissed without even a word of encouragement from the judges. more..

Editorial: Prisons as volcanoes

Jan 28 (Island) Another inmate injured in a riot at the Anuradhapura Prison on Monday has died in hospital, bringing the death toll to two. The incident occurred when a protest by a group of prisoners turned violent provoking prisons officers to open fire. Of late, there have been quite a few incidents in prisons. A police team conducting a raid came under a brutal attack by a violent mob inside the Welikada Prison a few weeks ago and several of them including more..

Editorial: Toward a just and lasting peace

Jan 28 (DM) Many people suffer from the delusion that peace is the absence of war. While being mindful of the end of the military part of the decades long war which began in the North-East, there are those who are of the opinion that there is lasting peace in Sri Lanka today. Is that right? Peace could be defined as good relationships between people and amongst sections of a given society. Based on the definition of peace is it possible to say we have a just and lasting more..

Homeless, jobless and anxious

Jan 28 (ST) On January 11, as Yamuna lay still on the cold floor of her mud hut in Kothiyapola village, 12 kilometres from Batticaloa town, she felt water submerging her slowly. While the 13-year-old girl realised that a flood had broken into her home, she was unable to move because she is physically challenged. As the waters rose in the poor farming village, Yamuna’s neighbour went to her rescue. more..

Unemployed to get unproductive tea plantation land

Jan 28 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that on the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa all unproductive tea land would be distributed to unemployed people if investors failed to use them for cultivation purposes. The investors have been given a deadline up to June 2011, he said. Minister Samarasinghe said that tea small holders produced 291 million kilograms of tea in 2009 and in 2010 the production was 329.38 million kilograms. more..

Price of rubber doubled last year

Jan 28 (DM) The price obtained from rubber production has doubled from year 2009 to 2010, according to the Ministry of Plantation Industries. “The price of one Kg of rubber on average in 2009 was Rs.202.79 but in 2010 it was Rs. 402.75,” Minister of Plantations industries Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said rubber production had also increased from 137,000 metric tonnes in 2009 to 150,000 metric tonnes in 2009. In certain instances the price goes up to Rs. 570 or 580, more..

Staggered elections- cash down the drain

Jan 28 (LB) The government’s decision to hold the upcoming local government election on a staggered basis has increased the election expenditure to unacceptable levels, claim opposition political parties and election monitors. However, the negative effects of staggering of polls in this fashion is not limited to finances but also it would have an impact on fundamental principles of a free and fair election. more..

Jaffna diocese unites Sinhalese, Tamil youths

Jan 28 (UCAN) The National Catholic Youth Federation in Sri Lanka and Jaffna diocese have attempted to use their national meeting to promote friendship between Sinhalese and Tamil youths in the former war-torn region. This 53rd national Catholic youth meeting was held in Jaffna diocese on Jan. 21-23, at the Fatima retreat center, Pandatheruppu. Sinhalese youths travelled from the south and met with northern Tamil youths to share war experiences, tragedies, more..

University students to launch protest against suspensions

Jan 28 (Island) University students, island wide, will launch an all out protest campaign on February 1 demanding the withdrawal of the suspension on 91 students, some of whom have been on suspension for over an year. Convener of the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) Sanjeewa Bandara said students of all 15 State-run universities are opposed to a government move to establisih branches of foreign universities in the country. more..

Upper Kotmale on track

Jan 28 (N360) 79% of the construction work of the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project has been completed, says the Ministry of Power and Energy. Accordingly the 1st phase of the project which will add 150 Mega Watts of electricity to the national grid will be fully completed by end this year. Upper Kotmale which is the last such mega hydro power project to take place in Sri Lanka is located in the Nuwara Eliya district and will be using the water more..

Lankan with fake papers held at airport

Jan 28 (TOI) A 22-year-old Sri Lankan was taken into custody by Sanganer police after the immigration authorities at the airport here caught him with a fake passport and visa documents on Wednesday. Police said the accused was trying to fly to London through Muscat in an Oman Air flight. He was staying as a refugee in Chennai for the past four years. The police, on Thursday, produced him in court which sent him to two-day police remand. more..

Muttiah Muralitharan: The wizard of Sri Lanka

Jan 28 (DNA) On March 13 1996, India played their last World Cup match at home. It was a disaster. Their opponents Sri Lanka were handed the match by default after crowd behaviour made it difficult for play to continue. India kept slipping behind the run rate while their wicket rate increased. It had been a sweltering day, and hugely uncomfortable in the stands; water ran out and so did the official drink. Frustration piled up. more..

Sri Lanka search for missing continues

World Cup or Mama-Bena show?

Jan 28 (Island) The biggest challenge to Kumar Sangakkara and the Sri Lankan team, as they try to regain the Cricket World Cup, doesn’t come from either India or Australia; instead it comes from within. It looks as if the Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee and the World Cup Secretariat were the most insurmountable hurdles he will have to clear in his path to victory. Sanga and his boys will have to enter the World Cup fray without having ever played on two World Cup venues more..

7 held for attack on Maha Bodhi Society

Jan 28 (TOI) Seven Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam cadres were arrested on Thursday in connection with the attack on the Maha Bodhi Society on Kennet Lane in Egmore on Monday. The arrested, David Periyar (30) of Kancheepuram, Ravikumar (30) of Siruseri, Baskar (32) of Ponneri, Surender alias Nathigan (25), Appu (30) of Mylapore and Sugumar (37) and Sampath (32) of Royapettah, were later remanded in judicial custody. The police had collected CCTV footage from a few restaurants more..

Five stamps to mark viceroy special's 25th anniversary

Jan 28 (NF) The longest stamp ever in Sri Lanka will be issued on February 2 along with four other stamps at Rambukkana to mark the 25th anniversary of the Viceroy Special steam train that also marks a special day for Sri Lanka tourism. The longest stamp will be 123mm x 30mm valued at Rs. 45 and the other four stamps are Rs. 5 each. Kumara Welgama, Minsiter of Transport and Jeevan Kumaratunga, Minister of Posts will grace the occasion of more..

'No decrease in milk food prices'

Jan 28 (Island) There would be no decrease in the retail price of powdered milk, just because import duty has been reduced. Minister Johnston Fernando said that the duty on the import of a kilogram of milk powder had been brought down, from Rs. 50 to Rs. 28, as a compromise measure following 14 demands made by the industry for a price hike. The compromise solution was arrived at following last weeks meeting with milk food importers which was chaired by President more..

GNs want 670 earth slip prone areas checked out

Jan 28 (Island) Grama Niladhari's of 670 identified landslide prone areas in Kandy have requested the National Building Research Organization to carry out investigations to ascertain the risk factors involved, Senior Geologist, Landslide Studies and Service Division, NBRO, M.I.D.H. Wijewickrama said. There are nearly 1,200 identified landslide prone areas in the Kandy District. About one per cent of those areas require immediate relocation of people more..

'Justice will be served only through a court of the people'

Jan 28 (NF) Anoma Fonseka, wife of Sarath Fonseka says that she does not think justice would be meted out unless through a court of the people. Mrs. Fonseka expressed this view at a media briefing. “It has been one year since the presidential election. There were many incidents during the course of the year. “It was my husband General Fonseka who was most affected by them. Not only our people, the people of the entire world realise this. I know that. more..

Karapitiya Hospital benefited: Hanover, Germany provides ICU

Jan 28 (DN) Hanover Municipal Council, Germany will provide a fully fledged Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to Karapitiya Teaching Hospital at a cost of Rs 150 million. Hikkaduwa Lions Club co-ordinates and assists this project. In addition to funding the ICU, the doctors and nurses attached to the ICU are to be trained in Germany. There are only eight beds in the ICU at present. Recently a German delegation visited Sri Lanka and held discussions with Health Minister more..

Fisheries crisis between Sri Lanka and India: Colombo protests.

Jan 28 (AN) Threats to the survival of fishing communities in Mannar, Kilinochchi and Jaffna (Northern province) by the Indian vessels, which systematically exceed the prescribed territorial limits and encroach in the Sri Lankan waters of Palk Bay. The Indian vessels, equipped with powerful engines practice bottom trawling, a system that damages the ecosystem by destroying coral reefs, seaweed, shrimp, fish and everything caught in nets. more..

President returns

Jan 28 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to the country early yesterday morning after a private visit to the United States. President’s spokesperson Bandula Jayasekera confirmed that the President returned after a week long stay in the US. External Affairs. Minister G.L. Peiris, who accompanied the President to the US, also returned to the country on Wednesday night, according to External Affairs Ministry sources. more..