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Lifting of Emergency regulations ?

July 27 (DM) The cabinet may discuss easing emergency regulations or at least the removal of some clauses of the Public Security Ordinance which are not essential under the prevailing situation in the country, a senior government source said yesterday. ‘If the cabinet decides to lift emergency regulations today, the government would not seek an extension of emergency in Parliament next month. more..

SC to hear rights group petition today

July 27 (DM) A fundamental rights petition seeking guidelines with regard to sentencing those accused of rape and child abuse while imposing stringent punishment in suitable cases will be supported before the Supreme Court. The public interest litigation filed by the Lawyers for Human Rights and Development (LHRD), a rights organization will be supported for leave before a bench comprising Chief Justice Dr. S.A. Bandaranayake and justices P.A. Rathnayake and more..

Foreign docs or quacks: probe by health ministry

July 27 (DM) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday appointed a committee headed by Health Director General Dr. Ajith Mendis to probe the qualifications and services of foreign doctors who serve at private medical institutions in the country. This follows complaints to the ministry about the quality of treatment and medical knowledge of these doctors who serve in several parts of the county. more..

Abducted boy released on payment of Rs 280.000

July 27 (Island) The 15-year-old student of Royal College, Colombo, who was abducted from his home at Badowita road a few days ago, had been released by his abductors yesterday after the boy’s father paid a ransom of Rs 280,000. The abductors had originally demanded a ransom of five million rupees. The father of the boy had not complained about the incident to the police and had requested the law enforcement officers not to more..

Govt. ready to purchase paddy from 1.8 mn ton bumper Yala harvest

July 27 (Island) The government is ready to purchase paddy from the bumper yield of 1.8 million metric tons from the Yala harvest through the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) and the Cooperative Societies. Purchasing direct from the farmers will commence from the Akkaraipattu area in the Amparai district from August, said Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Shantha Ametiyagoda. more..

India blamed for rights abuses in Sri Lanka

July 27 (IANS) A group of women activists in India has blamed the Indian government for what they said were widespread human rights violations in Sri Lanka. The "Indian Women's Rights Activists in Solidarity with Women in Sri Lanka" also said it had stopped believing in Colombo's periodic pledges to bring about reconciliation in the country. "We no longer believe the empty promises of the Sri Lankan govt to bring peace and reconciliation, and strongly demand immediate action that more..

Eelam buses run in UK; registered as ‘L77E’

July 27 (Island) In the wake of UK based Channel 4 telecasting ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’, British Tamils are stepping up their propaganda campaign targeting Sri Lanka. The campaign goes parallel to the UK-headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) exploiting its contacts with the British Conservative and Labour parties to push for international war crimes probe. A driver training school, set up by Tamil Diaspora in the UK, had recently launched ‘eelam buses’ to more..

JVP union to make list of missing Tamil youths

July 27 (DM) The JVP-led Socialist Youth Union is to come up with a list of disappeared Tamil Youth in the North and those detained in undisclosed locations. Socialist Youth Union President Bimal Ratnayake said that they were already working on the list and would present it to Parliament through the TNA MPs when it was ready. He said the union decided to come up with a list as repeated requests made to the government to come up with such a list had been ignored. more..

Abimansala: Disabled war heroes rewarded with wellness resort

July 27 (DN) The Abimansala - a wellness resort which would provide lifetime care for totally dependent disabled War Heroes, was opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Anuradhapura yesterday. Abimansala - the first of many of its kind, includes state-of-the-art facilities in all areas and provides all inclusive care for the heroic soldiers who became totally disabled during the noble act of defending their motherland. more..

CEB saddled with enormous headache

July 27 (Island) With the reservoir water levels receding steadily despite slight showers in some catchment areas, the overall hydro capacity is still less than one-fourth. A Power and Energy Ministry spokesman said that the AES Combined Cycle Plant at Kelanitissa was under emergency repairs. According to CEB engineers, this 165 MW plant had been experiencing a recurring problem with its gear mechanism and it had to be shut down last Friday. more..

Namal geared up to divide Sinharaja forest

July 28 (LT) The sinharaja forest which is considered as a world heritage will be divided by a road initiated by Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa today, said ecologist Mr Ravindra Kariyawasam. He said a road leading from Rakwana Pothupitiya upto Imbulakanda village is to be built when there is another road to access Imbulakanda. Hence repairing the existing road should be done instead of damaging Sinharaja forest, he said. Mr Kariyawasam added that a number of more..

'Sri Lanka first express way fee likely Rs300'

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's first expressway is likely to charge a toll of 300 rupees for the full journey from the capital Colombo to the southern town of Galle, deputy highways minister Nirmala Kothelwawala said. The highway can cut down the journey to Galle from Colombo from the current three hours to around one and a half hours, with the journey on the expressway itself taking about 45 minutes, giving big savings in time and fuel. more..

Sri Lankan fishermen in cop net

July 28 (TT) The coast guard personnel today took 13 Sri Lankan fishermen into custody for unlawful intrusion into India’s territorial waters. Three motorised vessels, with the foreign nationals on board, were intercepted about 160 nautical miles off Paradip coast. The people arrested were taken into custody, as they were not carrying mandatory permits to venture into India’s coastal territory. “Sarang, the coast guard ship on sea patrol, spotted movement of more..

Sri Lanka invites more Chinese investors

July 28 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has invited more Chinese to capitalize on the emerging investment opportunities in the island, a minister said Wednesday. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said the govt has introduced attractive concessions for foreign investors and Chinese. "With the end of a long drawn conflict just two years back, Sri Lanka is the new, emerging and promising frontier for cross border investors," Bathiudeen said. "Among the key advantages for international investors are more..

Free milk to students at Public Library, Colombo

July 28 (DM) Free packets of milk will be provided to all students who come to study at the Colombo Public Library from 10 August onwards, the Colombo Municipal Council said. CMC Special Commissioner Omar Kamil said come to the library every day to study and refer up books from places as far away as Gampaha and Horana. “We have invited 12 large scale milk product manufactures to join hands with us to provide the packets of milk more..

Sri Lanka told to stop tourism land grabs

July 28 (TM) The Sri Lankan govt and large tourism developers must stop forcibly displacing communities, destroying livelihoods, threatening food security, and wreaking havoc on the environment in the name of tourism, say Sri Lankan and international campaigning groups. The groups, including participants of a recent International Fact Finding Mission, are calling for an immediate halt to the Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Resort Project on Sri Lanka’s western coast– more..

Ministry takes steps to release 13 fishermen

July 28 (DM) The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said that it has taken steps to release the 13 Lankan fishermen who were arrested by the Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday in seas off Orissa. According to the Ministry together with the Lankan fishermen there are two trawlers in the Indian custody and steps have already been taken to release them and already the Sri Lankan High Commission had been briefed about the incident and the steps taken by the Ministry. more..

Wildlife Reservation Director General removed

July 28 (LT) It is reported that the Director General of Wildlife Reservation, Mr Chandrawansa Pathiraja has been removed from his post. This has been informed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Agricultural Services today (27). It is believed his objections to constructing a road through Sinharaja forest and expulsion of wild elephants to Wilpattu has lead for his sudden removal. more..

Internal cliques led to UNP’s defeat-Mangala

July 28 (DM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said the certain internal activities within the party led to its defeat at Saturday’s local govt election. Mr. Samaraweera said that those who formed cliques within the UNP should reflect and see whether they organized the party in the grassroot level to face the election. “They who criticized the party should not have done it publicly and should have resolved issues within the party itself in stead,” he said. more..

'No free bus rides for A/L students'

July 28 (AD) The Private Bus Owner’s Association (PBOA) denied any decision to provide free bus transport to students sitting for the GCE Advanced Level examinations despite an announcement made today (July 27) by the Education Minister. Minister Bandula Gunawardena stated earlier today that students sitting for the A/L examinations would be able to use private buses free of charge by showing their admission card from August 8 – September 3. more..

Sri Lanka may imports up on aircraft, cars

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports rose 34 percent in May 2011, to 832 million US dollars and imports rose at a faster 67 percent to 1.76 billion dollars partly due to strong imports of cars and a aircraft. Agricultural exports rose 19 percent to 182 million US dollars, with tea rising 10 percent to 116 million dollars. Industrial exports rose 39 percent to 638 million US dollars with textiles and apparel rising 22 percent to 321 million US dollars. more..

Sri Lanka Belgium trade associations cement link

July 28 (LBO) Trade associations representing businesses in Sri Lanka and Belgium and inked a deal to expand economic links between the two countries, the island's embassy in Brussels said. The MoU was signed in Brussels between signed between BelgoLux Sri Lanka Business Council and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce's Benelux Business Council. Sri Lanka's ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and European Union Ravinatha Ariyasinha was quoted as saying that the link builds on a more..

War could’ve been finished earlier, Maj. Gen. Dias

July 28 (DM) Deputy Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Berlin, Major General Jagath Dias said the war could have been finished earlier but due to external and internal pressures, it could not be achieved till 2009. Former General Officer Commanding of the 57th Division of the Sri Lanka Army Major General addressing a gathering during his visit to the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris on July 22 said that the strong leadership and commitment of the President enabled the country to more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.07.2011

Hikkaduwa sea –a special tourist protected area

July 28 (GDI) Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said steps have been taken to name the sea area in Hikkaduwa, with popular coral reef, a special protected area. The Minister said the reef would be divided into two areas and one area will be reserved for diving while the other area will be made available for boat riders to view the coral reef. He said that the government will take steps to register all the boats that take the tourists to view the corals. more..

Sri Lanka makes first Renminbi payment

July 28 (LBO) A Sri Lankan apparel maker had made the country's first ever payment in Renminbi to a supplier in China after the Chinese currency was allowed for cross border trade, HSBC Bank which settled the deal said. On June 29 Sri Lanka's central bank allowed the use of Renminbi for cross border trade. HSBC said MAS Intimates, a unit of Sri Lanka's MAS group had paid for knitted fabric imported from China with Renminbi. The MAS group makes lingerie for brands like Victoria's Secret and more..

Sri Lanka: Picking up the Tamil Tigers’ scent

July 28 (RNW) The TNA, formerly controlled by the LTTE, won control of three quarters of the councils in the Tamil majority region. The government’s optimism may be premature though. RNW visited Sri Lanka to interview former Tamil Tigers fighters - “Yes, if life doesn’t improve here then I would fight again”, says Madu. “I don’t want war again but we need basic rights.” RNW interviewed nine former Tiger fighters in the walled compound of an NGO which is more..

DPF: Tamil people need political power

July 28 (SL) The Democratic People’s Front (DPF) says that the results of the recently concluded local government elections in the North indicated that the Tamil people needed political power to make their own decisions to develop their regions. DPF Leader Mano Ganeshan said in a statement that the Tamil people have rejected the development decisions made in Colombo. He said that the government played the development slogan explicitly in its campaign in the North and more..

Swearing in of TNA LG members in Kilinochchi

July 28 (SL) The recently elected members of the TNA at the recently concluded local government elections in the North are to be sworn in shortly in the former rebel stronghold, Kilinochchi shortly. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran has told the media that the candidates who polled the highest preferential votes would be appointed as chairmen of the local govt bodies won by the party in the North. The TNA secured the victory of 18 local government bodies in the North. more..

'Withdrawal of funds' from north

July 28 (BBC) The major Tamil political party in Sri Lanka warns that the govt is planning to withdraw funds to a majority of local governing bodies in the North. Tamil MP MA Sumanthiran said that the challenge by Minister Champika Ranawaka to the TNA to develop the north on its own is clear evidence of that plan. Minister Ranawaka commenting on the TNA landslide victory in the north said that it is the responsibility of the winners themselves to rebuild the area. more..

Stocks gain on speculation over easing credit rules

July 28 (Reuters) Stock market edged up on Wednesday mainly on retail buying of banking shares in an oversold bourse, fuelled by speculation the SEC may relax an order to end margin trading. Share index gained 0.2 percent or 11.98 points to 6,505.56. It hit a more-than seven-month low on Monday after negative comments on insider trading. Retail investors were snapping up beaten shares on a rumour the SEC may relax a directive to eliminate margin trading by the year's end, more..

Radaan plans wholly owned subsidiary in Sri Lanka

July 28 (ITV) Chennai-based Radaan Mediaworks, which creates content in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Sinhalese, is exiting from its joint venture company in Sri Lanka to flaot an independent entity. The leading Southern language content production company has decided to disinvest in the joint venture. The board has given its approval for the setting up of a wholly owned subsidiary in Sri Lanka after exiting from the JV. Radaan had floated a joint venture company, more..

GNOA to protest against nursing appointments

July 28 (SL) The Govt Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) has warned of a protest campaign over the recruitment of persons with inadequate qualifications as nurses in the North and East. The GNOA has threatened to launch a protest campaign if the recruitment of nurses with A/Level qualifications in Arts and Commerce A/L is not stopped in the North and East. Head of GNOA, Saman Ratnapriya said that it was unacceptable to lower the minimum educational more..

Youth ambitions and aspirations should not be forgotten

July 28 (DM) Well, now once again we have had another election and as expected the UPFA won in the south with the opposition party the UNP under the leadership of one of the longest serving Opposition leaders came as per usual a very poor second and the JVP vote was not worth the count! But now that the Government won these elections should not forget two major realities. One is that people will usually vote a government that is in power because they feel that it is rather more..

TNA back in Focus?

July 28 (DM) The last time it happened, the SLFP had been mauled in the 1977 polls and the TULF became the legitimate Opposition party in Parliament. Decades of war later, the TNA, the party of the Tamils at present, has emerged as the second largest political grouping, pushing the UNP to the third place in the two-stage local government polls. The message is for President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the SLFP leader of the ruling UPFA that he heads. At various stages in the devolution discourse more..

People return to HSZ in Jaffna : Life begins anew

July 28 (SO) Twenty-one years... such a long time, isn't it? Yes.... it took over two decades for him to settle down in his own house, which he built with his hard-earned savings. At an auspicious time, on July 15, he resettled in his 'home sweet home' in the village of Kollankalati, Mawattipuram West in Jaffna. Seventy-year-old Sinnathambi Thanabalasingham had to begin life all over again in the twilight of his life. Tears came to his eyes when told that more..

Foxes, lions, tigers and elephants -- Sri Lanka exports anacondas

July 28 (LG) First we have the story that Liam Fox paid a visit to Mahinda Rajapakse, Sri Lanka's self-styled lion. Fox almost certainly didn't say what Mahinda wanted to hear when he called for freedom of expression, accountability and positive attitudes. Only one of these would have been really welcomed by Mahinda, the call for positive attitudes, because we can all be certain that if Mahinda is positive about anything it's the speed with which he plans to consolidate his more..

Norway and Sri Lanka

July 28 (LG) The Utoya Island massacre and the Oslo blast in Norway this week have triggered a great deal of public comment. Much of it seemed to suggest “damned good for you” by those readers who mistakenly think Norway got involved with Sri Lanka only at the height of LTTE’s ascendancy and with the purpose of securing a separate State of Eelam – that naturally finds popular disfavor here. Nothing is further from the truth. Norway’s visible engagement with the country began as more..

Brandix crowned Asia’s ‘Best Brand’ & ‘Best Employer Brand’

July 28 (FT) Brandix Lanka Limited has been recognised as Asia’s ‘Best Brand’ and ‘Best Employer Brand’ winning dual honours at a prestigious international forum held in Singapore with the representation of 37 countries in Asia, extending from the Middle East to Australia. Sri Lanka’s top apparel exporter was presented with the awards for ‘Asia’s Best Brand’ by the Chief Marketing Officer Council and ‘Asia’s Best Employer Brand’ by more..

NHRC - A Toothless Tiger

July 28 (LG) On 04 August 2008, Upul Samantha Ranjith, a 33 years old trishaw driver was arrested by Maharagama police and was tortured at the police station. He is a father of two children; he complained about this police torture to the National Human Rights Commission on 12 August 2008, and the reference No. given to him by the NHRC is HRC/4195/08. After inquiring the incident, the NHRC found that the fundamental rights of the complainant were violated by the Maharagama police. more..