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Sri Lanka starts taxi service with Tata Nano

June 10 (LBO) A city taxi service using Tata Nano cars has started in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, but the firm cannot cope with demand for hires and is awaiting shipments from India to expand the fleet, an official said. "We started with 25 cars and another shipment is expected in July," co-founder of NanoCabs, Jayantha Dharmadasa told LBO. "We hope to increase the fleet to 100 by the end of the year." Tata claims the car is the world's cheapest car at around 3,000 US dollars, more..

Water washes away some conflict

June 10 (IPS) It was the second anniversary of Sri Lanka’s bloody war that ended on May 19, 2009, but for 23-year-old Fathima Imsana, there were more pressing things to do than celebrate two years of peace. Early the next morning, she clutched a gray cardboard file and made her way quickly to the regional office of the Water Board in Kattankudi, a predominantly Muslim town in eastern Sri Lanka. She wanted to submit her application for a new water connection well and early. more..

Jayasuriya to retire this month

June 10 (Reuters) Sanath Jayasuriya will retire from all forms of international cricket after the first one-day match of their England tour later this month, he said on Thursday. The 41-year-old all-rounder, who quit test cricket in 2007, made the announcement after Sri Lanka Cricket recalled him for the T20 and one-day squads to face England. "I called you here to inform (you of) my retirement from all forms of (international) cricket after 20 years of play," more..

Over 600 unprotected level crossings

June 10 (NN) There are over 600 unprotected level crossings in Sri Lanka, a cabinet paper presented by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama revealed. The existing Railway Network in Sri Lanka has about 915 level crossings. However only 303 level crossings have been installed with a protection system while 612 level crossings are not protected. The Cabinet, on a proposal made by Minister Welgama has now decided to allocate Rs. 1000 million to provide protection systems to 200 unprotected railway level crossings. more..

Tamil Nadu moves resolution to implead itself in Katchatheevu case

June 10 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday passed a unanimous resolution seeking the state revenue department to implead itself in a case filed by Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa for retrieval of Katchatheevu island, ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974 by way of an agreement. Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa moved the resolution even as the DMK was absent during the debate. The resolution said the case filed by Ms. Jayalalithaa as AIADMK chief in the Supreme Court in 2008 argued that more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 09.06.2011

Administrative bungling costs lives

June 10 (LG) The imbroglio over the proposed pension scheme for the private sector that resulted in a tragic incident at Katunayake, among other things, demonstrated the depths of degradation that the country’s political culture has descended to. The sequence of events leading to the death of an innocent young man showed the inept and injudicious manner in which a matter of national importance had been handled by the authorities and the inappropriate and unwise reaction to more..

Well done Mr. Harper, but take care

June 10 (LG) The Canadian federal election was held on Monday, May 2, 2011, to elect members to the House of Commons of the 41st Canadian Parliament. The Conservative Party, led by Stephen Harper, made it to his third consecutive Conservative election win. This is the first majority government for the Conservatives since 1988. Well done, Mr. Harper. You have fulfilled your goal until the next election in October 2015. The New Democratic Party (NDP), which was merely a more..

New ambassadors on study tour to Jaffna meet Jaffna commander

June 10 (Cimic) A team of diplomats assigned to take over duties as Sri Lankan Ambassadors and High Commissioners to seven countries with their staff assistants arrived in Jaffna Tuesday (7) to learn new developments taking place in the peninsula as a part of their induction tour before the departure. Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, after receiving the ambassadorial delegation, enlightened them more..

JVP: An enemies of the peace loving citizens!

June 10 (LG) Those who express their views, opinions and accusations are too quick to judge the tragic incident of killing the FTZ worker but leaves out the assigned law enforcement role of the Police! It is also scornful that an ambassador of nation that “cleansed” an entire Jewish minority several decades ago while dragging the entire world into war. Where as in Sri Lanka, roughly 23 centuries ago, King Dutu Gemunu (161-137 BC) challenged his opponent to a ‘duel’ to more..


June 10 (LG) It is now established that Arsenic is present in at least some of the agrochemicals imported to Sri Lanka. Several tests by the research group at the University of Kelaniya headed by me, studying various aspects of the Rajarata Chronic Kidney Disease Unidentified Etiology (RCKD un et) has come across this finding, and at least one other group has confirmed these results. As the name indicates the cause of this disease is not identified in western medicine though more..

Breaking barriers for an eco-friendly land

June 10 (NS) Colombo, the ‘Garden City’ of yesteryear, is slowly but surely regaining its original reputation, thanks to a massive greening programme aimed at making the city both Eco- Friendly and People Friendly. Clearing the city’s huge collections of garbage piles, dredging years of accumulated silt from canals and other waterways to facilitate transport of goods, and widening the picturesque lakes that dot the city to more..

Emerging Trends - Perspective from Tamil Nadu

June 10 (LG) Sri Lanka watchers in Tamil Nadu were hoping that the Governor’s address to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on June 3, 2011 will be in conformity with the poignant statement made by Jayalalitha to the media soon after her spectacular electoral victory. In that statement Jayalalitha solemnly assured the people of Tamil Nadu that she will exercise pressure on the Central Government to revise its Sri Lanka policy not only to expose the heinous crimes committed by more..

Editorial : The reality and the rhetoric

June 10 (ST) The Ministry of Defence this week held an international symposium, which was largely to portray Sri Lanka's success story in defeating the scourge of terrorism. Though the intricacies of global politics ensured that some Western countries steered clear of sending representatives, their Defence Attaches nevertheless participated in the conference about, what was for most Sri Lankans, a success story indeed. The defeat of the military machine of the LTTE is not something more..

Dangerous signs: Overpricing of hotel rooms

June 10 (ST) Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says that the government has to take stock of the current “dangerous” situation where hoteliers have taken to overpricing the product. In this respect, he pointed out to the Business Times that while overpricing could be to some extent controlled within the five star hotels, it would not be possible if boutique hotels also increased their price. more..

Much blood spilt on 13th Amendment but India still wants it?

June 10 (DM) They say 13 is an unlucky number. Irrespective of numerology, 13th amendment [13th] to the Constitution was never rosy. Indo Sri Lanka Accord conceived the 13th- an Indian lasso to loop Sri Lanka off the saddle. Genie of the 13th was released deceptively by an eerie spirit of India, at a ceremony the Defence Minister Lalit Athulathmudali declined to attend and in protest Mahinda Rajapaksa took to the streets. The President learnt lessons on India and the 13th while more..

Going green for a day

June 10 (DM) When the earth weeps with every natural disaster, she makes us join her in the weeping, of course for entirely different reasons. When we mourn the losses of our loved ones and homes, she mourns her loss of purity. Celebrating yet another World Environment Day when the country is being attacked by the now-seasonal dengue epidemic, one wonders whether we are as eco-friendly as the ‘Go green campaigns’ and green investments shout at us to be. Preserving the environment is not more..

It’s truly a dog’s life in there

June 10 (ST) Puppies in small cages; parrots, sparrows, rabbits, ducks, and pigeons forcibly removed from their natural habitat and crammed into tiny cages, inside which they fight and injure one another. They languish in unhygienic conditions, often exposed to the hot sun just so that they can catch the attention of passers-by. Often the animals are kept without adequate food or water. On a tour around the city, The Sunday Times caught many glimpses of more..

Whereby does public dissent begin?

June 10 (DM) Sri Lanka is never without some crisis or dull moment and last week’s demonstration by the FTZ workers against the private sector pension scheme which was being imposed without any reference to the people, the shooting of a youth who had just been four months in employment and any sensible person would have known that such a new worker would not have had even a proper inkling of what such a pension scheme would entail. He apparently had not really been involved in more..

Why SL and Pakistan vulnerable to Int. pressure?

June 10 (DM) Pakistan was the principal country that raised protests on behalf of Sri Lanka (SL) against the UN panel report at the UN human rights Council (UNHRC) . Pakistan had always been a country on the side of SL in trials and triumphs. Pakistan confirmed this again at the UNHRC: ‘the International community must support national efforts to win peace in Sri Lanka , ‘said Pakistans Ambassador Zamir Akram speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic conference. more..

Valuable eco-sytems go -- Casinos come

June 10 (LB) There is a plan to open a new access way to the Wilpattu National Park from Pomparippu allowing travellers to enter it through the controversial Mannar-Puttalam road. Several reliable sources claim that there is a plan to re-draw the boundaries of the national park so that the coastal area southwest of the road will be allocated for tourism projects including a casino zone targeting South Indians. “Right now the entrance is at Hunuwilgama and more..

Editorial : Goebbels is guffawing

June 10 (Island) The western bloc effects regime changes in hostile countries in two ways to further its political, economic and military interests––from within and from without. Propaganda or more accurately misinformation constitutes one main prong of its regime-change strategy, which demonises a target regime with the help of the international media. Its effective use of the WMD lie to justify the invasion of Iraq is a case in point. Thanks to former Head of the more..

Editorial : Beyond self glory, a higher way of life

June 10 (DM) In this era of capitalist market forces, self centeredness and a desire for personal gain or glory especially among the political leadership of the world we need to urgently reflect on a higher and liberative way of life. We need to be aware again that matter is evolving and our very body that decomposes rejuvenates and gives life to things that are called into existence. Do we not see the perishable becoming imperishable? Death has no power over life. more..

Mihin Lanka loses mount, assets negative

June 10 (LBO) State-run Mihin Lanka, a budget carrier, has lost 5.8 billion rupees since it was started in 2007 and it had a 5.6 billion rupee gap in the balance sheet despite capital injections from people's tax money. Mihin Lanka was started by the state despite the country's full service airline, SriLankan Airlines making losses throughout most of its life on airline operations, though its bottomline has been helped by ground handling and catering monopolies. more..

Govt. will consider compensation on BOI recommendation

June 10 (FT) The Govt stated that it would consider paying compensation to the manufacturers that were disrupted due to the strikes against the Pension Bill provided it is recommended by the Board of Investment (BOI). Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Government would be open to the idea of paying some form of compensation to companies that had their business affected in the week-long disruption that spread from the Katunayake Free Trade Zone into more..

IFC supports renewable energy in Sri Lanka through wind-power projects

June 10 (FT) IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $3.8 million in Sri Lanka’s SENOK Group to help the company diversify its portfolio to include wind-power projects that will boost the generation of renewable energy and increase the country’s power sources. IFC’s investment will help develop SENOK’s capacity in renewable energy and support the company’s plans to adopt global environmental and social practices. more..

Saudi envoy presents 500 tsunami housing keys to President Rajapaksa

June 10 (IL) Abdul Azeez Al-Jamaz, Saudi Envoy for Sri Lanka and Maldives handed over the symbolic key to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the 500 tsunami houses which the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia built in the eastern province in Sri Lanka. The Saudi govt handed over the ownership of those houses through its Ambassador in Colombo at Temple Trees today on 09 June. Governments of Saudi and Sri Lanka signed a MOU in 2006 to build 1000 houses for more..

Govt MP at UNP protest

June 10 (NN) Govt MP Nishantha Muttuhetigama turned up at the opposition UNP protest in Maradana this evening by mistake. The Galle district MP was on his way for the govt supported protest in Fort but was given the impression the protest was in Maradana. When he reached Maradana nad disembarked from his vehicle he realized he was at the wrong protest and got back into his car. UNP supporters at the protest who witnessed what had taken place jeered at the MP who later left in his convoy. more..

Kochi police detain 16 illegal Sri Lankan immigrants

June 10 (Hindu) The City police team, which detained 16 Sri Lankans attempting to illegally migrate to Australia, took custody of the boat they were to leave in. The 58-ft. fishing boat, named Sea Queen, was berthed at Murukumpadam, Njarakkal. Police sources said it would have taken 15 to 20 days to reach the destination in this sea-faring fishing boat, with a capacity of 50 people and 8,000 litre diesel. The police also produced four of those detained as accused on charges of more..

75,000 Indian coconuts destroyed

June 10 (DM) Some 75,000 coconuts imported from India were destroyed while they were still in the port because of legal issues that had cropped up over such imports, Trade Minister Johnston Fernando told parliament yesterday. Responding to a question by Democratic National Alliance (DNA) front-liner Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the minister said the Plant Protection Act restricted the import of agricultural products such as coconuts. more..

Irrigation museum being constructed

June 10 (Island) An irrigation museum is being constructed to display the ancient hydraulic civilization and to educate the public on Sri Lanka’s centuries old irrigation technology and its history, a document tabled in Parliament yesterday said. The museum is being constructed on the ground floor of the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo under the guidance of National Museums Department, the document tabled by the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resource Management said. more..

Oil from tea factory polluting reservoir

June 10 (DM) The CEB and the National Water Board have initiated a joint inquiry into the release of about 3,000 litres of furnace oil from a tea factory into the Castlereagh Reservoir. Nuwara Eliya Govt Agent D.P.G. Kumarasiri said a large area of the Castlereagh Reservoir had been polluted with oil resulting in the death of fish in the Dickoya River and the reservoir. He said the environmental damage caused by the release of oil from tea factories into more..

Boston Lanka News: June 09, 2011

'Despite increased world prices, fertilizer yet Rs. 350'

June 10 (Island) Despite the increase in price of fertilizer in the world market, the Government has decided to provide a fifty-kilo bag of fertilizer at the same price of Rs.350 for all crops. Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife S.M. Chandrasena, addressing a press conference on Wednesday (08) said that the government has decided to continue providing fertilizer at the same price as it did during the last six years – 13 harvesting seasons. more..

House approves royalty payments to artistes

June 10 (DM) Parliament yesterday approved new regulations under the Intellectual Property Act which provide a payment of three rupees in royalties to the singer, composer and lyricist for each song played by a radio channel and ten rupees for a visual shown on any TV channel. Minister of Cultural Affairs T. B. Ekanayake, who presented the amendments to the act, said this new regulation will ensure the right of everyone who works to perfects his or her art. more..

Samadhi Buddha Statues to Sri Lankan missions abroad

June 10 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over 26 Samadhi Buddha Statues to mark 2600 Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi to the External Affairs Ministry to be entrusted to the Sri Lankan missions abroad. This program was jointly organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, the Presidential Secretariat and the Foreign Employment Bureau. Samadhi Buddha Statues were escorted in a colourful motorcade to Colombo from Matara. more..

Tea and oil help to raise trade between UAE and Sri Lanka

June 10 (National) Trade between the UAE and Sri Lanka is expected to exceed last year's total of US$364 million, spurred by rising volumes of tea exports to the Emirates and increasing oil prices. Officials forecast tea exports will rise by about 30 per cent to up to 40 million kilograms by the end of the year, the same level as before the global financial crisis hit in 2008. Tea represents 55 per cent of Sri Lankan exports to the UAE. Rubber and garments are the other main exports. more..

'DMK took the stand that pacts on Katchatheevu were valid'

June 10 (Hindu) The previous Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) regime had taken the stand that the 1974 and 1976 agreements ceding Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka were valid, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly on Thursday. Concluding the debate on a government-sponsored motion on Katchatheevu, she said that a report, prepared in response to the petition filed by her in August 2008 on the issue, had stated that it was for the Union government to clarify more..

C4 tests boundaries of broadcasting with Sri Lanka exposé

June 10 (Independent) Channel 4 has sanctioned the broadcast of the most graphic and disturbing images that the network has ever screened, showing summary executions and the corpses of women who appear to have been sexually abused, to highlight evidence of alleged war crimes by Sri Lankan soldiers. The footage, much of it taken by the troops themselves on their mobile phones as war trophies at the end of the 2009 conflict with Tamil rebels, more..

Slum dwellers fear destruction of houses

June 10 (Island) Over one million slum dwellers in Colombo live in mortal fear of their dwellings being demolished on the orders of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, under a progrmme to turn Colombo into both, a garden city and a commercial hub, former MMC A. J. Mohamed Faiz, now a member of the WPC said. He urged the government to provide alternative accommodation to both low income groups and shanty dwellers before their cadjan houses are demolished under the on going progamme. more..