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'Jaffna Higher Education at its zenith for years'

July 4 (GDI) Sri Lanka Government has taken the initiative to transform Sri Lanka into a country which export computer software and related equipment instead of house maids, highly qualified professionals and unskilled labour said Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. He said this while participating as the Chief Guest at the ceremony held at Jaffna Vembaddy Girls High School to distribute 1070 computers and pianos to secondary schools in Jaffna. more..

Harsha sounds some timely warnings

July 4 (Island) UNP’s economics pokesman and probably the only holder of a doctorate in economics in our parliament Dr Harsha de Silva expresses concern over military type of administering and decision taking process being practiced by the Rajapaksa govt in the country, but he was evasive about many other issues like the main opposition making dire predictions for the country about a debt crisis or over the loss of GSP plus none of which came to trouble the country. more..

Dilshan disapproves of century go-slow

July 4 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan admitted he was 'disappointed' with how his team crossed the winning line at Lord's, as Angelo Mathews blocked out overs and declined singles to allow Dinesh Chandimal to reach his second one-day international hundred. However, he added, the value of that innings to a young batsman would bring huge benefits for the team. England's captain Alastair Cook, on the other hand, was less fulsome in his praise of the slightly farcical scenes. more..

Sri Lanka to push Pakistan for tariff cuts on agricultural exports

July 4 (Island) Sri Lanka is planning to convince Pakistan to reduce tariffs imposed on agricultural products when the South Asian neighbours meet in Islamabad today (Monday, July 4) to review the implementation of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. The two day 10th session of the Sri Lanka - Pakistan Joint Economic Commission in Islamabad is attended by a high level delegation comprising Tilak Collure, more..

Jigsaw puzzle in Shangri-La and CATIC land deals

July 4 (ST) Discrepancy in facts and figures publicly announced by the govt in the Colombo land deal involving Hong Kong based Shangri-La hotels and state-run CATIC from time to time has created confusion as the total sales proceeds cannot be traced in Treasury’s general account number 6000. Although a deputy minister has announced that a sum of US$ 261.5 million had been received from the two deals, there was no record to prove it in Treasury accounts, more..

Male suspects remanded, female suspects granted bail

July 4 (ST) Two persons, alleged to have abducted and assaulted two 17-year-old girls in Kattankudy, for, reportedly, viewing a pornographic movie, were remanded till July 5, after attempts to punish the two girls under Sharia law failed. Another two female suspects, who were charged with aiding and abetting the two men in assaulting the girls, were each granted bail in Rs. 100,000. “The two female suspects were identified by the two victims at an identification more..

PSC’s observations on selected NGOs

July 4 (Island) It is reported that the National Peace Council too is a Non Governmental Organization operating to propagate federalism. An Organizer of the National Peace Council once attended a protest in Geneva and also made a speech at a rally held later which ended with the singing of the song of emancipation of the LTTE together. This organization which questions the need for sovereignty has spoken about a sovereignty divided into two and of two very close countries. more..

Saudi maid not paid for 15 years

July 4 (BBC) A Sri Lankan housemaid says she was not paid for over 15 years by employers in Saudi Arabia. GD Kusuma Nandani was speaking to BBC Sandeshaya from the Olaya detention centre where she is currently held by Sri Lankan authorities. "I was paid for few months, then they suddenly stopped paying me accusing me of forgetting to give pocket money for the children I looked after before they went to the school," she said. more..

Lanka given 150 tons of dates for Ramadan

July 4 (AN) The Kingdom donated 150 metric tons of dates to Sri Lanka last week for distribution at mosques during the coming holy month of Ramadan. Ministry of Finance official Mansour Al-Yousef handed the consignment at a simple ceremony at the Saudi Embassy in Colombo on Friday to Abdul Hameed Mohammed Fowzie, Sri Lankan senior minister for urban affairs, in the presence of Farouk Mohamed Wazeer Ali, charge d’affaires of the mission. Others present included Abdul Hameed more..

Another MP’s vehicle in mishap

July 4 (DM) Tamil Congress Jaffna District MP E. Saravanabawan met with an accident last (03) morning at about 3.45 a.m in Sangilikanadarawa area on A9 main road, Medawachchiya Police said. Although MP and the driver escaped with minor injuries due to the air bags while, another officer sitting on the rear seat sustained injuries. He was first admitted to the Rambewa Hospital and then has been transferred to the Anuradhapura Hospital for further treatment. more..

Election Commissioner fires warning shot

July 4 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya told Political Party Secretaries on Friday that he could take action on hear say or their press releases or news reports in the media exposing any instances of interference by the Army in the election campaign for the forthcoming local elections in the North. The Commissioner made the observation when the General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake as well as the General Secretary more..

SLFP office in Jaffna

July 4 (NS) SLFP’s Jaffna branch office will be opened this afternoon at Kovil Street with the participation of Ministers Basil Rajapaksa, Dullas Alahapperuma and several other MPs. All arrangements regarding the opening of the SLFP branch have been undertaken by the branch President E. Angayan. After the opening of the SLFP branch, the ministers and other SLFP MPs were expected to stay back in the peninsula and engage in election campaign in view of the forthcoming local polls more..

Dogs beat horses in police race

July 4 (Island) A shortage of funds has forced the police department to choose dogs over horses in placing orders to import its requirements for 2011. The police stables now have a complement of 35 horses used mainly for ceremonial purposes, but they were in need of importing 15 more to replace ageing animals and to further strengthen its mounted division. But sources said they had to abandon the plan to import horses at a cost of at least Rs 2,000,000 per animal more..

'No politics for now'

July 4 (Island) Former LTTE chief arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan, better known as KP, says he will not discuss politics or think of politics at the moment as his main goal is to help the war affected Tamils in the north through his new humanitarian agency. He also assured security for former supporters of the LTTE who are living overseas if they wish to visit Sri Lanka and see for themselves the plight of the Tamils in the North and the immediate assistance they need. more..

Deduruoya project inauguration in 2013

July 4 (DN) The Deduruoya irrigation project, Sri Lanka’s first modern reservoir built utilizing local engineering technology will be inaugurated in mid 2013. This is the sixth largest irrigation project in the country and the largest irrigation project in the Kurunegala district, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. “50% of the construction of the Deduruoya project has been completed. It would be possible to cultivate around 27,000 acres of paddy under this project,” more..

STF declares war on narcotics producers

July 4 (Island) An STF spokesperson told The Island that police commandos from Udawalawe and Buttala, during a search at Dambakolaara in the Haputale police area had seized 200 kgs of ganja last Thursday (June 30). The official said that theSTF had detected about 50,000 ganja plants in the Haputale police area July 1. At Sooriyawewa in the Hambantota District, the STF took a person into custody along with 6,000 mg of ganja. The STF traced another ganja plantation, more..

Cooperative Movement celebrates its centenary on International Co-op Day

July 4 (IL) The Sri Lanka Cooperative Movement celebrated its centenary and the International Cooperative Day at Welagedera stadium in Kurunegala, the capital of North Western Province on 02 July. President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the function as the chief Guest. Addressing the ceremony President Rajapaksa said the Cooperative Societies have rendered a great service for Sri Lankans on retail marketing especially with the supplying of more..

ATM scams rise; CID steps in

July 4 (DM) Even after the recent arrest of two Romanians for ATM scams in February a number of private banks had lodged complaints to the CID of illegal withdrawal of money from their ATM machines in and around Colombo. Millions of rupees had been withdrawn from ATMs after obtaining customer information using advanced electronic devices fixed on the ATM machines according to the complaints and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) was investigating on hem. more..

Lanka would not join ICC: Hakeem

July 4 (DM) As a member of the Asian – African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO), Sri Lanka would not join the International Criminal Court (ICC), Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said. Speaking at a press conference, Minister Hakeem AALCO new president told that AALCO’s 50th conference did not take any decision on member countries to join ICC. He said that had the organization taken such a decision it would affect the independence of the individual member countries of the organization. more..

England v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI: Chandimal century seals crushing victory

July 4 (CI) As South Africa's former coach, Mickey Arthur, once put it: "Mother cricket has a funny habit of biting you in the bum if you mess with it". Sri Lanka's 21-year-old matchwinner, Dinesh Chandimal, was clearly oblivious to those words of wisdom, as he and his fifth-wicket partner, Angelo Mathews, gave England a brief glimmer of an unexpected reprieve, before completing a crushing victory in the third ODI at Lord's. more..

ASP facing 22 charges asked to retain counsel

July 4 (DM) When the case against ASP Kulasiri Udugampola was taken up before Kandy High Court Judge Ms. M.C. Pushpamalee last week, it was revealed that that Defence Counsel A. Ameen was withdrawing from the case as he was no longer in practice and moved court for the grant of a fresh date. The accused ASP Kulasiri Udugampola undertook to make arrangements to retain another counsel by the next court date. The Accused had been indicted in the Kandy High Court on 22 charges, more..

Express official stand on PSC – Govt.

July 4 (DM) Govt today said the opposition political parties should state their official stand on the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) in Parliament so that a final decision on it could be made. Leader of the House Minister Nimal Siripala said that one cannot go by what the media reported on the statements expressed by the opposition parties with regard to the proposed select committee. “No political party had officially informed the government that more..

Law enforcement 2010: Kelaniya worst, followed by Mt. Lavinia

July 4 (Island) In the post-war era, Batticaloa police division has logged the highest number of incidents among the Northern and Eastern divisions for two consecutive years. In spite of dawn of peace Batticaloa division remained a major trouble spot with a section of ex-LTTE cadres and members of other groups causing problems. The Batticaloa division had logged 767 complaints ranging from abductions to robberies during the first nine months of last year. more..

Visiting Kenyan DPLs ignore stranded countrymen’s plight

July 4 (ST) Two Kenyan diplomats who are presently on a visit to the country yesterday chose to distance themselves from a group of six of their countrymen who are currently begging for food inside the Colombo Port.E. M. Barine, Deputy Head of the Kenyan Mission in New Delhi told the Sunday Times that he had no intention getting involved in the issue since it was before court and the matter should be settled there. At present there is no Kenyan mission in Colombo and more..

No more war, but killers lurk on our roads

July 4 (ST) Every four hours, road accidents kill road users; more than 100 accidents are reported in the country daily, while the Colombo National Hospital alone admits at least 20 victims a day while other hospitals island wide receive a higher number. These are some of the shocking statistics maintained by Police Headquarters. The main reasons for accidents are speeding, reckless driving, negligence of pedestrians and driving under the influence of liquor. more..

If your car goes boom, call CPC hotlines

July 4 (DM) The general public can now lodge complaints to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) if their vehicles stalled on the road or ran into sudden engine failures, Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday requested the general public. Public were asked to call 0115664941, 011566228, 0115665082 to lodge their complaints. Meanwhile the Ceypetco said that the reports of vehicles stalling could not be attributed to the quality of petrol imported by Ceypetco. more..

Tamil group aligned to govt suspected of Batticaloa bank daylight robbery

July 4 (DBS) Tamil para-military group aligned to Sri Lankan Govt is suspected of staging heist at bank at the outskirts of Batticaloa town on June30th. 5 men armed with T-56 guns staged a robbery at the Peoples Bank branch on Dairy farm road at Thimilatheevu on the west of Batticaloa town. The daylight heist by armed robbers resulted in Three million seventy lakh rupees of cash & gold jewellery valued at over 25 miilion rupees. more..

IGP Illangakoon assumes duties today

July 4 (DM) Senior DIG in charge of Administration N.K Illangakoon will assume duties as the 33rd Inspector General of Police (IGP) today. The new IGP Illangakoon is the senior most police officer who has a long service in the department and who is also commended by fellow officers as a loyal officer. Senior DIG Illangakoon was appointed as acting IGP since IGP Mahinda Balasuriya handed over his retirement papers to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in more..

Order to hand over illegal arms in EP

July 4 (DM) Major General Boniface Perera, the Army’s Eastern Commander has ordered that all illegal firearms in the possession of armed groups and individuals be handed over to the govt immediately. The Commander said this step had been taken as certain groups had committed murders, abductions and robberies using these illegal firearms. The Commander made these observations at a special meeting of leaders and more..

Rs. 27 mn worth of hesperin found amidst reported shortage

July 4 (Island) Health ministry investigators recently found a stock of hesperin injections worth Rs. 27 mn worth, at the Maharagama Cancer Hospital amidst media reports of a severe shortage of some medicine needed for the treatment of cancer patients. Investigators had found about 800 injections, each worth Rs. 245,000 in the medical stores. Minister Maithripala Sirisena had ordered a special inquiry. more..

Hard for Sri Lankan politics to let cricket be

July 4 (National) A week in which the ICC made significant moves to free the game from govt interference will conclude with another political protest at the sport's traditional headquarters on Sunday. The sport in the Asian subcontinent, in particular, has always been closely linked to politics. In Pakistan, the cricket board chairman is appointed by the president of the country, while in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh cricket administrators are govt-appointed. more..

Parties express distrust over PSC

July 4 (DM) The participation of all opposition parties in the Parliamentary Select Committee with regard to the ethnic problem was uncertain as many parties had expressed negative views on it, parliamentary sources said. UNP, TNA and the JVP in the opposition had expressed negative sentiments on the PSC with JVP having decided to boycott it. UNP said it would officially state its stance on the select committee when it is set up. more..

Sri Lanka state revenues up 19.8-pct to May

July 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state revenues rose 19.8 percent to 358.2 billion rupees in the five months to May from a year earlier, a finance ministry report said, with a surge in imports helping pad up revenues. The state extracted 23.8 percent more taxes from the people, totaling 319.7 billion rupees. A duty cut on motor vehicles had resulted in higher imports and a rise in excise tax on cars. more..

TNA says nothing new to discuss in PSC

July 4 (Island) TNA MP Suresh Premachandran yesterday charged that the Tamil people have nothing new to discuss in the Parliamentary Select Committee. "So we the TNA believe strongly that this PSC is a useless exercise by the government to delay presenting a solution to the Tamil people." He said when they look at the actions of the govt the question arose as to whether the govt was genuinely interested in solving the ethnic problem. more..

There are no secrets in SL - President

July 4 (LB) President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week categorically told newspaper editors that a law to protect the people’s right to information was unnecessary. He said instead that he could ensure access to information excluding what was covered by the Official Secrecy Act and national security. If a journalist lodged a request, the president said, he would make the information available. One of the editors pointed out that freedom of information was vital to fight corruption. more..

Sri Lanka to continue tight macro-management after IMF deal: CB Governor

July 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka will manage macro-economic policy prudently on its own after an IMF deal ends in December, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We have reached a maturity where we can manage on our own," Cabraal told an economic forum organized by Sri Lanka's biggest business chamber, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. "We have shown a capacity to deal with our issues. At the same time we have adjusted macro-economic fundamentals where we can manage." more..

Mattala Main Runway completed

July 5 (GDI) Construction work of the runway of the Sri Lanka’s second International Airport at Mattala in the Hambantota District. This airport is being constructed in a rural village which was called as "the village in the wild" in many novels like 'Baddegama' The new airport is being constructed in a plot of land of 2000 hectares at a cost of US$. 209 million. Mattala International Airport is one of the largest projects being carried out by the government. more..

Travel restrictions to north by foreign passport holders lifted

July 5 (GDI) The Ministry of Defence has lifted the travel restrictions on foreign passport holders to visit north from today. This restriction had also affected many former Sri Lankans who have obtained citizenship in other countries when they visit north. According to Military Liaison Officer Officials, foreign passport holders are no longer required to produce a MOD travel approval document at Omanthai entry/exist point more..

LSE in talks with Sri Lanka exchange over share trading

July 5 (Reuters) The London Stock Exchange is in talks with Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission over allowing trading of some of the island nation's shares on the London bourse and vice versa, a regulator official said on Monday. An agreement will help Sri Lanka's selected blue chips to be traded in London, opening up its market to foreign investors. "This is still in an initial stage. We hope to progress after the discussion and if happens, it will be a more..

NI netballers see off Sri Lanka in World Cup Pool A

July 5 (BBC) Northern Ireland's netball team got their World Championship campaign off to a winning start by beating Sri Lanka 65-56 in Pool A in Singapore on Monday. The NI side face a tougher test against Australia on Tuesday, and then play Samoa in their final group game, as they bid for a quarter-final place. The top two teams will qualify for the last eight at the global event which is staged every four years. NI have risen from 19th in the world rankings to an all-time high of 12th. more..