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Doctors file petition against retirement at 60

Mar 7 (ST) Four consultants at Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital filed a fundamental rights petition against the Hospital administration challenging a decision by the authorities to reduce the compulsory age of retirement from 65 years to 60. The petitioners are Dr. (Mrs) C.N. Karunaratne, Consultant Anesthesiologist and an Intensivist, Dr. (Mrs) D. Anula Wijesundera, a Consultant physician, Dr. Gamini C. Goonethilake, a Consultant Surgeon and more..

Three Russians nabbed for digging up archaeological site

Mar 7 (Island) Security officers of the Central Cultural Fund have arrested three Russians for digging up the ancient Abhayagiriya monastery site in Anuradhapura. The suspects had dug up three pits of 2 x 2½ feet at the Archaeological reserve site north of the historic Abhayagiriya stupa, a CCF official on the site said. The CCF officials have been informed by people that the foreigners had surveyed the area by using sophisticated machinery before starting excavations. more..

Youth Parliamentarians join LG polls fray

Mar 7 (Island) In spite of being elected to the Youth Parliament of Sri Lanka, some of its members are contesting the forthcoming LG polls. Minister Dallas Alahapperuma says Youth MPs are on the nomination lists of the UPFA, UNP and JVP. The architect of the Youth Parliament project said that the government would like to encourage youth to take to politics. The Youth Parliament would give an opportunity to those aspiring politicians to realise their dreams. more..

'I have apologised to Mahela, Thilan, Sanga for any pain of mind'

Mar 7 (NF) Mahinda Abeysundera, in the midst of a controversy for his television feature 'Vimasuma' for which he himself had written the script, had expressed regret for the whole episode. He said he had apologised to everyone who had faced embarrassment as a result of his programme. Abeysundera telephoned the Newsfirst and sought an opportunity to tell his side of the story in the controversial episode on cricket and cricketers. more..

Free meals to students in Batticaloa suspended

Mar 7 (TN) School principals and education department officials have expressed serious concern over the suspension of issue of free meals to students in schools in four educational zones in the Batticaloa district since December 2010 without any prior notice. They fear that this would lead to increase of malnutrition among student population. The free meals programme initiated by the WFP in 2005 had been implemented for students from Year 1 to Year 5 below the poverty line more..

Permanent settlement eludes Batticaloa displaced

Mar 7 (TN) Displaced families in Batticaloa district find very difficult to obtain lands to build their dwellings due to reckless attitude and inaction shown by respective Divisional Secretaries, civil sources say. The people of Pullumalai, Koppaave'li villages which come under Ea'raavoor-Chengkaladi DS division of Batticaloa, had been displaced at least six times due to atrocities committed by the armed forces since 1983 and sought accommodation in refugee camps and more..

Satyagraha receives Baptism of fire – 3

Mar 7 (DBS) The batch of volunteers from the Kankesanthurai(KKS) electorate led by ITAK leader Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam commenced their Satyagraha campaign opposite the Jaffna Kachcheri premises at 7. 30 am on February 20th 1961. It must be noted that the Jaffna Kachcheri was not housed then in the present building where it is situated now along the Jaffna –Kandy road or A-9 highway in the Chundikkuli area of Jaffna city. more..

Sri Lanka flight caterer expects more business

Mar 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's sole inflight caterer says it is experiencing a surge in demand as the end of a war is drawing more tourists to the country and is also actively chasing and winning new business from airlines which did not buy from Colombo. Though SriLankan Catering, a unit of the national carrier SriLankan Airlines is the monopoly caterer at Sri Lanka's Katunayake international airport, it does not get business on a platter. "Nowadays it is a modern world, they can do double catering to more..

Blind Pakistani Journalist wins hearts of Sri Lanka Team

Mar 7 (PTI) A blind girl from Pakistan has won the hearts and admiration of the Sri Lankan cricket team after travelling to the Pearl Islands to cover the ongoing World Cup matches. According to a report in the "Jang" daily newspaper, Sania Zaidi a big fan of cricket and a lecturer of Mass Communication in the Bahauddin Zakaria university in Multan, has travelled to Sri Lanka as a free lance journalist. Sania, who lost her eyesight at childhood because of a retina disease, more..

Teams face 'altitude' problem in Lanka

Mar 7 (TOI) This World Cup could now have an 'altitude' problem. From Tuesday, four teams, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe will battle it out for points and a spot in the quarterfinals at the newly-built Pallekele International Stadium, which is located in a hill resort 20 kilometers off Kandy. Situated at a much higher level above the sea than any ground in the tournament, this venue is likely to sap the energies of the cricketers at a quicker rate. more..

Strokes, Killer No. 2 in Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (Island) Strokes account for the second highest number of deaths in Sri Lanka, Consultant Neurologist Dr. Padma Gunaratne says. Dr Gunaratne, who was elected President of the Sri Lanka Neurologists’ Association at the Annual General Meeting of the association, at the Cinnamon Grand recently, delivering her acceptance speech, said what was termed stroke had previously been known medically as a cerebrovascular accident. more..

Pallekele, another feather in Lanka's cap

Mar 7 (TOI) This World Cup has provided Sri Lanka with superb opportunity to showcase their latest cricket infrastructure. While Hambantota on February 20 revealed the Mahinda Rajapakse Stadium, Tuesday's Pakistan-New Zealand game will provide ODI cricket with it's latest venue-the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, which is situated in a hilly region close to Kandy. Like the stadium in Hambantota, this one too pops out of nowhere amidst a green, hilly stretch. more..

'Hosts should play at home'

Mar 7 (GN) "Why should we play in India against New Zealand when we are the hosts?" asked Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara after playing Zimbabwe here. Sri Lanka take on New Zealand at Mumbai's Wankhede stadium in the last league match, and this has irritated the skipper. "We were surprised when we learnt that we will have to travel to Mumbai to play the game against New Zealand. I was under the impression that as hosts we play all our matches at home." more..

Loan issue gets diplomatic

Mar 7 (DM) Non-repayment of loans taken from the State Bank of India by teachers and principals would be brought to the notice of the President unless settled by March 15, Assistant Indian High Commissioner R.K. Misra had warned the Central Province Chief Minister. Teachers said that this was an overstepping of diplomatic mandate by Indian authorities. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers Services Union Mahinda Jayasignhe said that more..

Tamil migrant accused of Tiger ties not a security threat: refugee board

Mar 7 (CP) The Immigration and Refugee Board has ruled there's no merit to accusations of terrorism links against a Tamil migrant and he is not a security threat to this country. The federal government has lost its defence case against the man who arrived on B.C. shores with 492 others last summer from Sri Lanka. Board member Marc Tessler ruled that mere association with the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam isn't enough to prove membership in the group. more..

Development Diaries - 28.02.2011

Govt launches police witch-hunt to break garment workers’ strike

Mar 7 (wsws) In another act of police-state repression, President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government has mobilised hundreds of armed police to break a courageous strike by mostly female textile workers in one of the government’s free trade zones near Colombo. Several striking workers have been arrested, and nearly 40 sacked, at Bratex, a Hong Kong-based undergarment producer, in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ). The government and the company have been able to mount more..

105 complaints; 125 arrested

Mar 7 (DM) Police had arrested 125 individuals for violating election laws while campaigning for the upcoming Local Government elections, Police Elections Desk said. The Police Elections Desk had received 105 complaints related to election violence. Most of the complaints were based on incidents reported where supporters of major political parties engage in removing or tearing down cut outs, banners and other election propaganda material, while minor incidents had more..

'Warm reception JVP receives in North has scared govt.'

Mar 7 (Island) The JVP was carrying out a political campaign against separatism in the North in spite of the government’s repressive methods to stop it, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva told the media yesterday. Addressing a press conference at the Party Head Office in Pelawatte, Silva said the fact that the northern people welcomed the JVP with open arms had given the government a scare. more..

'I defended people’s rights'

Mar 7 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that although the aim of certain persons is to take him to the international court and place him on the electric chair, nobody would be able to put an end to his heart beat for the people of the country. The President said that he always spoke for the rights of the people. President Rajapaksa said when he went to the Geneva conference by foot, Tiger terrorists came to the conference in Benz vehicles. more..

Sri Lanka Celebrates International Women’s Day Centenary

Mar 7 (GDI) The International Womens Day celebration in Sri Lanka under the theme "Women's knowledge and strength to uplift the country” will be held on March 8 at the BMICH under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. In 1909 the first National Woman's Day was observed in more..

Drug Quality Regulatory Authority soon

Mar 7 (DN) A National Drug Quality Regulatory Authority will be set up shortly under the National Drug Quality Regulatory Act to assess the quality of imported pharmaceuticals, a Health Ministry spokesman said. He said that 80 percent of the compilation of this new Act is completed. It will be presented to Parliament by July. This move will help provide high quality medicine through a proper quality assurance system, the spokesman said. more..

'Relations are all about people'

Mar 7 (DM) The Sri Lankan Ambassador to China, Karunatilaka Amunugama, spoke enthusiastically about his country's warm relations with China in an exclusive interview. "When talking about my feeling of China-Sri Lanka relations, we feel that China is one of our close Asian neighbors and Chinese people are our brothers and sisters," the ambassador said. The ambassador recalled that Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to recognize the newly-founded People's Republic of China, more..

SL calls for probe into NGO funding

Mar 7 (Island) The Sri Lankan government says the recent revelation that former Secretary General of the London headquartered Amnesty International, Irene Khan and her deputy Kate Gilmore received a staggering 533,000 and 325,244 pounds, pay-off packages, respectively, should prompt a worldwide scrutiny of NGO operations. Khan, a Bangladeshi and the first Asian to head the AI, assumed duties in 2001. more..

‘Lankan Muslims must adopt Arabic'

Mar 7 (IE) Muslims in Sri Lanka have been asked to adopt Arabic as their 'home language' by a leading Sri Lankan Muslim researcher and rights activist and the founder-leader of the Muslim Rights Organisation M I M Mohideen on Saturday. "This will enable them to be more Islamic. It will forge unity among Muslims who are currently divided by language. And it will help Muslims make the best of the economic opportunities in West Asian countries," more..

'Govt. playing anti-Saradiel'

Mar 7 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe charged that the government was playing Saradiel by collecting Rs 38 billion from the poor through slashing of funds spent for welfare activities and giving concession worth Rs 24 billion to the rich in the form of tax concessions. “Saradial robbed the rich and gave the poor but this government is doing the opposite,” he said he said an election rally in Udunuwara at during the week end. more..

'The seat belongs to SF'

Mar 7 (DM) DNA member Jayantha Ketagoda who is expected to take oaths as an MP in Parliament tomorrow will intervene in the court case over the loss of parliamentary seat of his party leader Sarath Fonseka, the party said. Mr. Fonseka has challenged the loss of his parliamentary seat in court. Mr. Ketagoda has decided to notify the court that though he was sworn in as an MP, the seat rightfully belonged to Mr. Fonseka, now serving a jailed term. more..

Brazil welcomes SL's post-conflict progress

Mar 7 (GDI) Brazil acknowledged the significant post-conflict progress made by Sri Lanka on many fronts, and admired President Mahinda Rajapaksa's success in combining economic progress with equity, and human and social development. This was stated by the Minister of External Relations of Brazil Antonio Patriota when he paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Janadhipathi Mandiraya more..

Sri Lanka meet mulls financial risk management options

Mar 8 (LBO) South Asian financial sector professionals should share experiences and build networks to provide support in future in handling financial risks, a central bank official told a meeting in Sri Lanka. "Highly competitive global financial markets have created unprecedented levels of volatility which in turn has highlighted importance of proper risk management," said P D J Fernando, deputy governor of Sri Lanka's central bank. more..

Bus fare hike, if diesel price hike before June 01

Mar 8 (AD) A compulsory bus fare revision has to take place from June 01 this year according to the national policy on bus fares, says the All Island Private Bus Company Federation. However, if diesel prices increase during that period bus fares should be increased before June 01, the Chairman of the Federation Stanley Fernando insisted. Explaining further he stated that bus operators are willing to maintain bus fare level through the use of fuel of the Petroleum Corporation. more..

Sri Lanka's worker remittances rise by 23.6%

Mar 8 (PTI) Sri Lankans employed abroad sent home a record $4.11 billion in 2010, up by nearly a quarter from the previous year, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said Monday. Over 1.5 million Sri Lankans are employed abroad, mainly as labourers or housemaids in Gulf states. They are the biggest single source of foreign exchange for the South Asian nation, which has a population of 20 million. more..

UNP candidates have crossed over - Dulles

Mar 8 (DM) The UNP’s local government poll campaign has come to the level that 21 of its candidates who had tendered nominations for the March 17 election have crossed over to the UPFA camp by today, Minister Dulles Alahapperuma said. He said UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was continuously changing the slogans of the election campaign and his ‘Media Bubbles’ are so ineffective that they get blown out even before their gloss become visible. more..

UN told of 'deteriorating' HR situation

Mar 8 (BBC) Rights watchdogs have complained to the United Nations that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka has deteriorated. Several human rights groups have submitted written statements on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The 16 session of the Human Rights Council is meeting in Geneva until the 25th of March. International Movement Against All Forms of Racism (IMADR) in its statement accuses the Sri Lankan government of failing to fulfil more..

Military HQ in LTTE graveyard

Mar 8 (BBC) It has emerged that a new military divisional headquarters in northern Sri Lanka has been built on the site of a Tamil Tiger graveyard that was earlier flattened by the army. The construction has come in for sharp criticism from a Tamil politician. But the army says it was building on government land having vacated private land on official instructions. The army website has a full illustrated account of more..

Sivaram murder probe re-initiated

Mar 8 (BBC) A court in Sri Lanka has ordered to re-initiate the investigation of the murder of senior Tamil journalist, Dharmaratnam Sivaram. The case is to be heard for the first time after about five years. The Colombo High Court decided to hear the case in front of a Sinhala-speaking jury, after a plea by the suspect, Arumugam Sri Skandharajah also known as Peter. Police said the suspect was identified as a member of the armed wing of the Tamil militant group turned political party, PLOTE. more..

Caritas-Sri Lanka helping refugees and flood victims

Mat 8 (AN) Refugees and flood victims remain the focus of attention for Caritas Sri Lanka-SEDEC, especially families and children living in the northern and eastern districts of the country, which have been the most affected by flooding and war. Caritas Sri Lanka has a strategic programme for “integral human development, peace building, healing and reconciliation,” Fr George Sigamony, national director of Caritas-Sri Lanka, told AsiaNews. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 07.03.2011

Cranberry – A super fruit

Mar 8 (LG) Cranberry is not a popular part of the Sri Lankan diet either as a drink or dessert. The main reason is that is not a tropically grown fruit and is not available locally. Due to its recognition as one of the superfruit around the globe, it would be appropriate to investigate some of its important characters. Cranberry is an evergreen dwarf shrub or trailing vines in the genus Vaccinium. They found in acidic wet soil conditions throughout the cooler parts of more..

Migrant Problems & Opportunities

Mar 8 (LG) Truth as per my discovery is a Universal power. The more global we become the more we need Truth to realize Peace and Happiness, especially when we are living in mental environments of conflicting cultures. When there is Peace in the mind, we are ‘at home’ in all physical environments – however otherwise they may ‘seem’. The areas with proportionately more people per unit of land– for example Sri Lanka, compared to Australia – the greater the more..

Remains of late Shanmuganathan Kurukkal cremated at Keeramalai

Mar 8 (Cimic) Funeral of Head Priest of Mavadipuram Skandha Swamy Temple, Maharajeshwari Duraiappa Shanmuganathan Kurukkal took place at Keeramalai on Sunday amidst Hindu rituals. Before leaving for last rites at Keeramalai, some formalities such as delivering eulogies were fulfilled by family members and speakers. Condolence message by the Commander Security Forces - Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe was read out by a representative. more..