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Wimal warns traitors

July 15 (NN) Government Minister Wimal Weerawansa warned the public to be cautious of some elements working inside the government to destabilize the country. Speaking at a ceremony in Moratuwa today the Minister also said that officials responsible for the substandard fuel and hedging issues should be held accountable. The Minister noted that while the country was now moving forward after the end of the war, there are attempts by some groups overseas to target the economy. more..

Sri Lanka to decide road toll next week

July 15 (LBO) Fees for Sri Lanka's first toll expressway to the south of the island will be decided next week ahead of its opening scheduled for later this month, head of Sri Lanka's road development authority R W Pemasiri said. Pemasiri said only a small amount of work remained to be done on the Galle expressway and the agency is expecting to open the road before the end of the month. He said tolls would be collected manually through the issue of tickets. more..

UNP expresses suspicion

July 15 (DM) UNP today expressed suspicion that the reason for the postponement of the Sri Lanka Premier League is the disclosures made in the COPE with regard to the corruption at Sri Lanka Cricket. UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva said the broadcasting rights of the SLPL had been given to a company in which a former cricket board official is the CEO. This official he said had failed to name the directors of the company when he appeared before before the COPE recently. more..

Sri Lanka asks Tamil diaspora to invest in Jaffna

July 15 (IANS) Sri Lanka has asked the Tamil diaspora to start investing in the northern region to uplift the living conditions of their community, a minister said Thursday. 'If the Tamil diaspora is serious in helping the Tamil community, now is the time to do so,' Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said in the northern town of Jaffna. Rajapaksa said the government was in the process of providing the infrastructure that was devastated by more..

Viet Nam, Sri Lanka set up agricultural committee

July 15 (VNS) The agriculture ministers of Viet Nam and Sri Lanka have decided to create a Joint Agricultural Co-ordinating Committee, which will meet every two years to propose, plan, and implement programmes. During their meeting in Ha Noi yesterday, Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahianda Yapa Abeywardana reviewed the implementation of a MoU signed in more..

Sri Lankan priest accused of molesting 9-year-old

July 15 (ABS) A Sri Lankan priest was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly molesting a 9-year-old girl in Pasay City. “Marie” (not her real name) said she was with her mother in front of a restaurant in Libertad, Pasay when the priest approached her and touched her genitals. “Nagtataka nga ako kung bakit lumalapit ‘yung lalaki,” said Marie's mother. The mother witnessed the alleged molestation and immediately sought the help of a street sweeper, leading to the arrest of the suspect. more..

Loans for self employed in Jaffna

July 15 (SL) The Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry says that 1,000 self employed persons in the Jaffna District are to be given concessionary loans to improve their livelihood. Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera says that the selected self employed persons would be able to get loans that goes up to a maximum limit of Rs. 250,000 at an annual interest rate of 4% with a pay back period of 10 years. The beneficiaries of this special loan scheme have been selected by the more..

Call To Resettle Northern Muslims

July 15 (SL) ACMC Leader and Industries Minister Rishard Bathiudeen has said the govet has not taken necessary measurers to resettle the Muslim families who were evicted from the North during the period of the conflict. Bathiudeen has said the govt has not yet taken any step to resettle the Northern Muslims who were forcibly evicted by the LTTE two decades ago. Bathiudeen has said that he together with ACMC Wanni District MP Hunais Farook would more..

The different strokes played at Lords

July 15 (DM) Sri Lankans have been ultra keen cricket fans from the time their country achieved international status by qualifying to play ‘Tests’ and also the quick fire version of the game–the ‘ODIs’. TV played a major part in making the game popular. Tommo, the pussycat and Ooty an owl were employed at the Wallside Restaurant and Bar. Their employer, Shelton Perera was a thorough bred Sri Lankan who like many other Sri Lankans was a cricket fanatic–his antics while more..

Brightening economic growth prospects this year

July 15 (NS) As expected the first quarter’s economic growth was impressive at 7.9 percent. The only set back was in agriculture that declined. Both manufacturing and services grew at an impressive rate to offset the setback to agriculture. More significant than the growth in the first three months of the year is that the sources of growth in the first quarter are likely to gain in momentum in the rest of the year. This is particularly so with respect to manufacturing that more..

Jaffna intellectuals admire Army’s contribution to farmers

July 15 (Cimic) Prof. G. Mikunthan, Head of the Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jaffna said that it was amazing to see sandy soil in Champiyanpaththu is utilized by the farmers to grow vegetables successfully with the help of Army soldiers. He delightfully spoke of the good relations being maintained between civilians and soldiers in respective areas of the peninsula. The press briefing was held to educate more..

Col. R. Hariharan: FAQs on Channel 4 Video on War Crimes

July 15 (TC) I have received a number of mails asking for my comments on the Channel 4 video Killing Fields on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan Army, particularly after I participated in a panel discussion on the subject in the Headlines Today TV channel recently. I am giving my views and comments on questions summarised below: Q: Do you think the Sri Lanka armys war crimes depicted graphically on Channel 4 video are true? A: There are two issues related to the allegations war crimes. more..

Trail Sri Lanka: Celebrating the Sri Lankan spirit

July 15 (GV) “Oya kattiyada uthurata awidinne?” (Are you folk walking to the North?) Not exactly the kind of question one is asked at 7.30am on a Friday morning. But it wasn’t your average Friday morning. At that point, a friend and I were making our way towards Ja Ela after starting off at Galle Face Green at 6am, a 26 kilometre journey. On foot. Why would anyone do that, in this day and age? Walk? 26km at 6am? A journey which can be made in 45 minutes or less by vehicle? more..

A potholed road to peace

July 15 (SL) In the ‘neck’ of Jaffna, people are just settling down in their old homes after having spent months and even years in IDP camps. They have returned to villages completely flattened by shells strikes, and a land made almost a desert through the ravages of war and harsh weather. Taking the van south from Point Pedro, parallel to the A9 the land is green at first. We move on past the checkpoint at Nagarkovil and green gradually turns into brown. more..

Editorial: Three cheers and a slap

July 15 (Island) That sovereignty lies in the people is a blatant lie, which constitutes the very basis of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. What really lies with the ordinary people is the responsibility for paying for the sins of their corrupt, wily rulers. The disastrous Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) hedging deal is a case in point. A London court has ordered that a whopping sum of 162 million US dollars be paid to Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). more..

Editorial: What we sow we will reap

July 15 (DM) The Creative force within us wants to use us all to be its medium, for the upliftment and re-creation of family, society and the earth. We may find ourselves living in a tumultuous world of uncertainty. We may even believe, we are caught up in the force of cause and effect; a victim of circumstances. Yet, rising to the realm of hope, we believe freedom is within grasp for ourselves. Our life, wherever we are or find ourselves, is for a purpose. Nobody need say their birth or more..

Lankan veterinarians learn more on treating elephants

July 15 (Island) The National Zoological Gardens Department has arranged for veterinary surgeons to further their knowledge of elephants and administration. Director of the Dehiwela Zoo Bashwara Senanka Gunaratne revealed that a workshop was conducted from June 27 to July 2, by Dr. Harold Stomar of the Vienna Zoological Gardens in Australia, for veterinarians and administrators on how to maintain the enclosures of the animals and the procedure to more..

Rajapaksa's PSC: No market outside shrinking Sinhala constituency

July 15 (SL) Nobody can fool everybody, all the time, unless everyone is Sinhala and the “nobody” is a Rajapaksa. That seems the philosophy of Mahinda Chinthana. The Rajapaksa’s thus try to fool the Sinhala South again, but not the neighbours next door who know how many times the “lie” was taken home to Delhi, for want of diplomatic subtleties and not the Tamil Diaspora either, who are determined to square off with this Rajapaksa regime on war crimes first, before political solutions more..

Another Chinese firm gets contract in Colombo Port expansion

July 15 (ST) The Sri Lankan Government has awarded the bid to construct three terminals under the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) to a Chinese company, Deputy Minister of Ports and Aviation, Rohitha Abeygunawardena revealed. Each terminal consists of 400 metres-long three berths and it can accommodate 2.4 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit’s (TEU’s) per year, he said. The Letter of Intent (LOI) has been issued to the selected developer of the South Container more..

'Sustainable peace, most important'

July 15 (SO) Jaffna, despite a few politically motivated incidents, is peaceful. People are busy attending to their day-to-day activities, while Govt officials and soldiers are busy rebuilding Jaffna, which was destroyed by the LTTE. The Army, which knows the value of peace, after fighting for over 30 years with the world’s most ruthless terrorists - the LTTE- has now become the protectors of the Tamils. “The Army is now on a mission to maintain the hard earned peace. more..

First phase of Sigiriya renovation project complete

July 15 (DN) The first phase of Sigiriya renovation project carried out by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) to ensure the safety of visitors while easing the congestion has now been completed, said GSMB chairman Dr N P Wijayananda. He said that the Bureau has been carrying out renovation work for the last one and half years with Rs 52 million in funds received from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). He said that the narrow staircase running from more..

Workers to get full salaries, ministry denies reports

July 15 (DN) The External Affairs Ministry vehemently rejected media reports that a group of Sri Lankan workers in Iraq who launched a fast unto death would be given only US$ 3,000 and flown back to Sri Lanka free. A group of Sri Lankan expatriate workers started a fast unto death demanding their salaries for months after their employer went out of business. The Iraqi government has promised to pay the full salary arrears to these employees when the officials of the Sri Lankan embassy in more..

'Unemployment rate rising rapidly'

July 15 (DM) Although the overall unemployment rate has declined below 5%, the rate of unemployment has increased dramatically in relation to the young people with G.C.E. (O/L) and G.C.E. (A/ L) qualifications, Senior Minister for Human Resources said. Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said unemployment rate among GCE O/L and A/L qualified youth ranged between 15% and 20% and therefore it was imperative to create employment opportunities for them on a priority basis. more..

Fish return to Kandy court

July 15 (DM) Four fish which had gone missing from a pond in the Kandy Courts Complex some time ago, seem to have made their way back into the pond. The fish were of eight carps that had gone missing from the premises together with four gold fish. Following a complaint made by an Attorney to the Kandy Police, investigations were initiated and since then police have recorded statements from the security staff and others involved in the up-keep of the premises. more..

Illegal chicken imports: Investigations hampered due to Poya Day holiday

July 15 (Island) Investigations into the illegal import of a consignment of chicken from India was hampered yesterday due to the Poya Day holiday but will be resumed today. A spokesman for the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade said that when the investigative teams from the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) and Central Intelligence Unit of Customs raided two trading establishments at Sea Street, Pettah on Wednesday (13) the owner more..

Out of 300 ex-child soldiers, 210 pass A-Ls

July 15 (DN) Three hundred former child soldiers sat the Advanced Level Examination last year and 210 passed the exam, Rehabilitation Ministry Secretary A Dissanayake said. "About 140 students among them, got the opportunity to enter a university including two to the medical faculty and three for engineering," Dissanayake said. He also said all former LTTE combatants undergoing rehabilitation will be released by the end of this year. more..

Paediatric Cancer ward at Jaffna Base Hospital to come up soon

July 15 (DM) It had been found that Cancer was increasingly prevalent in the Jaffna Peninsula and had been on the increase since 2005, a doctor attached to the teaching hospital in the area said. Dr. N. Jeyakumar said the number of cancer patients at the hospital had increased from 3121 in 2005 to 4414 last year. According to the statistics available admissions had increased from 3121 in 2005 to 3151 in 2006 while it had been 3011 in 2007. The number of patients had increased to more..

Estate Superintendent arrested in connection with death of Vinu

July 15 (DM) Following an investigation carried out by them into the recent murder of tele-drama actress Vinu Wettimuny, police had taken an estate superintendent into custody on suspicion, the OIC of the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Mount Lavinia Police said. The tele-drama actress was found strangled at her residence. The estate superintendent was suspected to have been romantically involved with the victim evidenced by the fact that she had several land deeds belonging to more..

Boston Lanka News: July 14, 2011

GMOA accuses ministry of failing to fill over 100 administrator vacancies

July 15 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) accuses the Health Ministry of having failed to fill more than 100 medical administrator vacancies in hospitals. Although permanent administrators have retired, the Health Ministry has only appointed acting administrators, but they are not permanent appointments. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said that the GMOA Executive Committee had met Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena last week and more..

FUTA reps to discuss president’s proposals with PBJ

July 15 (Island) Representatives of the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) and Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera are to meet next week to discuss the government’s proposals on increasing the salaries of university teachers. FUTA Chairman Dr. Nirmal Dewasiri told The Island that the decisions taken at the meeting would be put to their members for approval. A meeting between FUTA representatives and President Mahinda Rajapaksa was held more..

JVP complains of military harassment

July 15 (Island) JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva yesterday, once again, complained to the Elections Commissioner that army officials were obstructing the party’s campaign work for the July 23 local government elections in the North. In a letter addressed to Elections Commissioner, Silva says that the JVP local govt contestants and party supporters have raised this issue with the election department officials during a meeting held in Jaffna on Wednesday. more..

Lankan driver with steel wire in his body

July 15 (DM) A Sri Lankan driver serving in Kuwait had arrived at the Sri Lankan Embassy with 14 pieces of steel wire inserted in both his legs, embassy officials said. They said there were seven pieces of steel wire in each leg. As the driver failed to inform the circumstances under which these wires had entered his body he was examined by the Judicial Medical Officer sent by the Ministry of Foreign Employment Development and Welfare. The JMO confirmed that this man had more..

Sri Lanka construction firm eyes foreign jobs

July 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Maga Engineering, which claims to the country's largest domestic construction contractor, is eyeing international projects in the Middle East and Africa, an official said. The firm has seen a 30 percent rise in revenues in the 2010/2011 financial year with north east re-construction also helping, chairman M G Kularatne said. He said in 2009 a global and local economic downturn had slowed business. more..

Sri Lanka expects exports to grow 25-pct in 2011

July 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka exports grew by a better-than-expected 42 percent in the five months to May and full-year revenues are forecasted to grow 25 percent to 10 billion US dollar, the state export promotion agency chief said. Export Development Board chairman Janaka Ratnayaka said Sri Lanka had earned 4.8 billion US dollars in the five months to May, but full year growth is expected to be a lower 25 percent. more..

Indians top tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka

July 15 (IANS) Figures released by Sri Lanka's Tourism Authority showed that 68,830 Indians visited Sri Lanka between January and May this year, up 54.5 per cent over the same period last year, Xinhua reports. British tourists came second with their number growing 7.1 per cent to 41,474 in the first five months of this year. The number of Pakistani tourists jumped an astounding 98.1 per cent to 6,027. It has been attributed mostly to Pakistani nationals visiting to watch more..

Tissue culture pact signed with Sri Lankan firm

July 15 (GT) The Biotechnology Centre under the Ministry of Environment yesterday announced its plans to embark on a one-year half-a-million riyals tissue culturing project to propagate a number of crops and plants in a bid to find lasting solution to problems facing the country’s agricultural sector as well as to encourage mass production of agricultural products for both local consumption and export purposes. However, to assist with the process of propagating the crops, more..

CATIC cover up?

July 15 (FT) Setting the stage for more transparency issues, the UNP yesterday charged that the Government was trying to hide serious financial misappropriation in the 10 acres of Galle Face land sold to China Aviation Technology Import Export Corporation (CATIC). UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva told media that the CATIC transaction contained several serious problems and that the Government was trying to hide them behind the Shangri-La deal. more..

Ministry advises on dengue

July 15 (Island) People having fever, for more than three days, have been urged to consult an experienced doctor or obtain treatment from a government hospital. The Health Ministry spokesman said yesterday that the care provided for possible dengue patients in government hospital wards helped in preventing it developing into dengue hemorrhagic fever. He said that some private healthcare institutions fell short in necessary vigilance to identify the fever - the reason for many of more..

Kidnappers seek ransom to release mother, son

July 15 (DM) An unidentified gang which had allegedly kidnapped a mother and her 10-year-old son from Matugama is demanding a ransom of Rs. 500,000 for their release. The mother from Welmigoda and her son, a student of Matugama C.W.W. Kannangara Vidyalaya had been reportedly kidnapped on Wednesday evening while they were returning home after the son’s tuition classes. Police said the woman had apparently been forced by the gang to call her husband asking him to deposit Rs. 500,000 in her bank account. more..