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Sri Lanka News Debrief - 14.03.2011

Ireland and Sri Lanka join tri-series in Scotland

Mar 15 (CI) Ireland will have another chance to showcase their international credentials after being invited along with Sri Lanka to join hosts Scotland for a short triangular series in Edinburgh during July. The three matches will be staged on July 11, 12 and 13 at the Grange following Sri Lanka's Test and one-day tour of England which concludes with the final ODI at Old Trafford on July 9. Ireland caught the imagination of the cricket world when more..

Protest over death

Mar 15 (NN) Family members, relatives and villagers took the body of a road accident victim and placed it across the Chilaw-Anamaduwa road in a coffin and staged a protest late this evening resulting in a tense situation between police and the protestors. The victim, 42 year old Upali Hemantha, was killed when a car crashed into his three wheeler along the Chilaw-Anamaduwa road last week. His final rites were conducted today and the coffin was taken to the road in order to more..

Forcible registration continues; TNA

Mar 15 (DM) TNA Parliamentarians today complained to the Supreme Court that the forcible registration of the residents in the North by the Security Forces is continuing despite the undertaking given to the Court to suspend it immediately. Attorney General on March 3 gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court to suspend immediately the impugned forced registration of residents of Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts by the Security Forces. more..

Sri Lanka cheap skills lure for finance outsourcing

Mar 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka is becoming an attractive location for 'Finance and Accounting Outsourcing' (FAO) with the world’s second largest pool of management accountants and wages lower than India, a report said. "The availability of a large pool of skilled finance and accounting professionals makes FAO one of the most logical niche competences to continue to build capacity," said Dinesh Saparamadu, chairman of SLASSCOM. more..

Sri Lanka, Hamburg ports in collaboration talks

Mar 15 (LBO) A German delegation headed by a Sri Lankan-born official from the port of Hamburg held talks with Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) on assistance and collaboration between the two harbours, a statement said. The visiting teams also inspected a new port under construction next to the existing Colombo harbour which is meant to expand container handling capacity and is expected to start operations by early 2013, it said. more..

Lanka imports record number of 3-wheelers from India

Mar 15 (PTI) Sri Lanka's vehicle imports hit a new record with the number of three-wheel vehicles bought mainly from India crossing the 85,000 mark, official figures today showed. The total vehicle imports jumped 359,243 in 2010, up 75.9 percent compared to the previous year, Sri Lanka import figures showed. It showed that the number of three wheelers, used mainly as the common man's taxi, jumped 120 percent to 85,648 units in calendar 2010. more..

Local government elections in Kalutara

Mar 15 (DM) Rohitha Abeygunawardena - UPFA MP Kalutara: I strongly believe that we will win the local government elections. There is no doubt about it. The UPFA has shown far more strength as a party in the Kalutara district. There have been no cases of violence reported in the area and so far election propaganda has been carried out quite peacefully. Election propaganda has been stopped to a great extent, except for certain villages where posters are still visible to an extent. more..

Local government elections in Kurunegala

Mar 15 (DM) Mixed ideas, responses and the certainty that is Kurunegala, Daily Mirror took the streets of the district between Colombo and the hill Capital to better understand its occupants response and ideas to the upcoming local government elections. Ajith Priyalal Warnasooriya- UNP candidate: Initially when we started campaigning for the elections we faced a lot of challenges competing with the UPFA, but this has now changed. When we were more..

Swiss ambassador pledges support for Jaffna development work

Mar 15 (DM) A three-member diplomatic team from Swiss Embassy in Sri Lanka headed by Ambassador Thomas Litscher met Commander Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe Monday morning to exchange views on present development activities taking place in Jaffna. Having being welcomed at the Headquarters SF-J by the Commander SF-J, Ambassador His Excellency Thomas Litscher, Programme Manager more..

A savvy question and answer session indeed!

Mar 15 (LG) It is true that questions of coconut prices, the elephant-human conflict and bad sanitation at housing schemes are problems that directly affect segments of the population of Sri Lanka. Whether these are questions that the President of Sri Lanka should directly address in a savvy but transparently motive-full people-to-people question and answer session televised over national media channels as we saw this week is, of course, a different matter altogether. more..

Governance in the markets

Mar 15 (LG) The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday announced new distribution rules for IPOs directing that at least 40% of the subscribed issue should be delegated to small retails investors. This follows a furore, reported extensively in the Business Times, over IPOs being over-subscribed largely based on bank guarantees often used by big investors and institutions. Brokers and small investors have complained that the use of bank guarantees more..

Is degrading Academia way to make SL a knowledge hub?

Mar 15 (TC) The behaviour of the present govt, the statements by its ministers and the actions by its bureaucracy have compelled me to portray this government as the worst govt in post-colonial Sri Lanka as far as its treatment of academia is concerned. Although Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake has been active on many fronts and appears really keen to effect some changes—let me make it clear that I wholeheartedly support his goal of more..

Whither the concept of equality before the law

Mar 15 (LG) Two recent media reports – among several other similar reports of incidents occurring daily – provided two examples of the manner in which the constitutional provision of equality before the law is treated in this country. According to the first report the Government Medical Officer’s Association (GMOA) had requested the Health Ministry to conduct an investigation against Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Mahipala Herath for allegedly forcing himself into more..

Solidarity meeting step in the right direction

Mar 15 (LG) A major solidarity meeting held in London at the Harrow Leisure Centre on 13 2011 in support of the 2,500 kilometres walk from Chennai to Delhi by the ENDLF is claimed to be a landmark event when diverse Tamil opinions were expressed and without any divisions to unilaterally express support to the walk and praise the need and purpose of such effort. The speakers spoke in support of the ENDLF’s walk demanding the full implementation of the Indo-Lanka Accord and more..

'Sri Lanka in a transition between light and shadow'

Mar 15 (TC) Reconstruction after Sri Lanka’s civil war is slower than could be wished, the country’s new ambassador to Paris has told RFI. But Dayan Jayathillaka insists that there has been progress since the defeat of the LTTE. "It's been 30 years of war, massive devastation, be it materially or economically, psychologically, socially: there is a tremendous amount of healing to be done." And "the main problem" in the “healing process” is that results so far, are patchy, he says. more..

Sri Lankan Prime Minister 'revives' the LTTE in India

Mar 15 (TC) Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne told Parliament that the LTTE had three ‘secret camps’ across the Palk Strait, in the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu. Independent of Jayaratne’s subsequent withdrawal, the damage had been done, particularly to the mutual trust between the two nations that was missing in between but was carefully re-built, brick by brick, in recent years. The credit for this on the Sri Lankan side should go to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

The yearning for new thinking and a new Sri Lanka

Mar 15 (LG) The forthcoming local government elections on March 17 are being keenly contested by the government and the opposition. President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself has taken to the campaign trail. There is more at stake at these elections than control over local authorities or the victory of individual candidates. The local government elections have become another opportunity for a referendum on the government’s performance. The government has taken care to ensure that more..

MR to evaluate ministers’ performance

Mar 15 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has reportedly been closely monitoring the activities of all government ministers and is ready to evaluate them based on their performance. A state owned media has reported citing highly placed authoritative sources, that the President is in the process of making a final evaluation of their performances. According to the sources, the President will be deciding the future course of action for more..

Editorial: Why bay for PM's blood?

Mar 15 (Island) The govt and the Opposition keep contradicting themselves on the question of post-war security situation. The UPFA boasts of having eliminated terrorism root and branch and pulls down the perimeter walls of police stations claiming there are no security risks, but in the same breath it argues for the continuation of the draconian Emergency regulations in the name of national security. The UNP and its NGO allies advocated appeasement insisting that terrorism defied military action. more..

Editorial: Lessons for leaders and signs of our times

Mar 15 (DM) Four days after the apocalyptic carnage of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the attention of the world is now focused on the possible catastrophe of radiation leaks from nuclear power plants affected by the disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people have already been evacuated from the areas around the nuclear power plants bringing back horrifying nightmares of what happened after the atom bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 66 years ago. more..

As thick as thieves with Libya? What's the fallout?

Mar 15 (LB) In his 2009 visit to Libya, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was pictured inspecting a guard of honour alongside Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s long standing dictator. Gaddafi had his arm resting on the shoulder of the Sri Lankan President in a gesture portraying the rapport that the two men share - one who had already ruled for 40 years and the other who recently expunged a constitutional clause on the presidential term limits. more..

WC 2011: Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 7 wickets

Mar 15 (CI) Pakistan made the most of Elton Chigumbura's generous offer to bat first to secure a seven-wicket victory in a rain-reduced fixture at Pallekele and rubber-stamp their quarter-final place. The dank skies delivered two huge downpours that meant Duckworth-Lewis made its first appearance of the tournament in another one-sided Group A fixture. With the damp pitch and heavy cloud cover Pallekele resembled an early-spring Headingley and Pakistan's more..

Massive US$ 5.2 B trade deficit: Implications for exports

Mar 15 (ST) A massive trade deficit of US$ 5.2 billion characterized last year’s trade performance. The trade deficit expanded by 66.7 per cent to US$ 5,205 million in 2010 from US dollars 3,122 million in 2009. It was the largest trade deficit recorded in the country’s economic history. Although export earnings increased by 17.3 per cent to US$ 8,307 million, it was far below the increase in imports by US$ 13,512 million: nearly twice (32.4 per cent) that of exports. more..

Now a World Cup ticket selling racket

Mar 15 (LB) Though the police recently swooped in on a carefully operated racket of selling tickets to watch the on-going ICC World Cup tournament matches at exorbitant rates, it is reliably learnt that they are currently faced with the challenge of being unable to enforce the law in this regard. According to informed sources the police had faced real setbacks when they attempted to enforce the law regarding such flagrant racketeering. more..

Hospitality training: Student intake to double

Mar 15 (DN) The Govt has decided to increase the intake for hospitality training in the backdrop of the expansion of the tourist industry. The Sri Lanka Institute of Tourist and Hotel Management (SLIHM), has decided to double the intake of student enrollment, SLIHM Director General D A S Silva told the Daily News. The SLIHM will uplift and upgrade the standard of the study programs and subject schemes to meet the requirement of quality human resources in tourism. more..

Quarter-final conundrums and weird bowling strategies...

Mar 15 (Island) Friday, Yahaluweni, is showdown time for more than Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Mumbai. Upset and marginal results litter this year’s World Cup, not just the Ireland and Bangladesh wins over England, the way the Kiwis manhandled Pakistan, India’s bowling being exposed by England in their tied game and South Africa in their outing where they took on the choker phobia and beat it. Yet, the West Indies are the side in contention for a top quarter-final more..

GSP+ too big to miss!

Mar 15 (FT) Despite apparel exports recording a 7% year on year increase to US$ 3.5 billion, industry pundits are uncertain about fortunes in 2011 and point out that growth figures would have doubled if GSP+ was still available. Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters’ Association President Rohan Abayakoon told the Daily FT that the growth rate for this year would have to be between 10%-15% if the industry is to meet its target of US$ 5 billion exports by 2015. more..

Lankan Medical team ready to help tsunami-hit Japanese

Mar 15 (Island) A Medical team from Sri Lanka, comprising doctors, nurses, family health workers, pharmacists and paramedics, is ready leave for Japan to treat displaced people in the wake of the tsunami and earthquake that hit the country. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had instructed him to send a medical team to Japan to treat displaced persons following the biggest calamity. He had instructed Secretary to the Healthcare more..

Nineteen year old charged over suitcase murder

Mar 15 (Island) A Nineteen-year-old Australian of Sri Lankan descent has been charged with raping and murdering of a 24-year-old Indian-origin student. The victim who was murdered after being sexually assaulted, was found stuffed in a suitcase in a park in Sydney, Australian media reports said. Astory published by The Age quoted Police as saying that the "predator" had waited until her housemate was away to sexually assault and kill her. more..

Indian power sets suspended

Mar 15 (DM) The government suspended the import of 17 power sets (trains) from India, until the completion of the ongoing investigations into the quality of the recently imported power set from India, a minister said. The first three power sets of a fleet of 20 were imported and one of them was put on track last Friday for the Ruhunu Kumari office train. The inaugural journey faced a snag when the power set came to an abrupt halt near Hikkaduwa more..

IRS employees to talk with minister

Mar 15 (DM) The payment of taxes came to halt yesterday when trade unions connected to the Department of Inland Revenue Services conducted a sick note campaign protesting the decisions of the commissioner of the department. The trade unions said that discussions with the minister and the administration of the department had been scheduled for today and that they hoped to come to an amicable settlement. The campaign caused Inland Revenue Department offices more..

Reconstruction of Beira Lake to prevent floods

Mar 15 (DM) In order to prevent floods caused by even the slightest rains, in Colombo City, it has become essential to reconstruct the Beira Lake and the waterways connected to it, says Defence Secretary Gotabha Rajapaksa. He says that it was clearly proved when a study was done by a group of naval officers assigned to do a study. During the study, it had been observed that the Water-Gates Systems that had been in place to control the volume of water of the lake had been more..

One more killed by VIP vehicle

Mar 15 (DM) A vehicle in which Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara’s family members were reportedly travelling, had met with an accident in Avissawella on Sunday night killing one person while injuring three others. The incident had taken place at around 8 p.m. on Sunday night at the Ukwatta junction in Avissawella. However, the Avissawella police denying the presence of a Deputy Minister’s wife in the vehicle stated that the vehicle is state owned and more..

Religious leaders oppose liquor stores

Mar 15 (UCAN) Hundreds of demonstrators from different faiths have staged a protest demanding an alcohol ban in and around the ”cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.” Over 200 Buddhist monks and Hindu priests, as well as a Catholic bishop, took to the streets of Anuradhapura yesterday to express their anger at liquor stores near the Srimath Anagarika Buddhist Center. “As religious leaders, we are against liquor stores in this sacred city,” said Kithulhitiyawe Dhammaratana Thero, more..

Sri Lanka draws on Christians for cricket

Mar 15 (UCAN) Students in Sri Lanka are of course cheering for the home team that has entered a strong batting lineup for the cricket World Cup, now taking place. But for some students from Church-run schools, there is more than just pride in the national team. About half of the team are “old boys” from their schools. Kumar Sangakkara, the captain studied at Trinity College while Muttiah Muralidaran, an artist at bowling fast, is an old boy of St. Anthony’s College. more..

Lanka’s oldest piece of silk found

Mar 15 (Island) The Australian National University has dated a piece of silk cloth, dug up from excavations at the Delivala Stupa in Rambukkana, to be 2,200 years old, Director General of the Department of Archaeology Dr. Senarath Dissnayake said. "This piece of silk, found during an excavation in 2001, belonged to the second century BC and it is the oldest piece of textile found in Sri Lanka, according to the conclusions of the Carbon 14 dating process more..

Korea job bonanza

Mar 15 (DN) The Republic of Korea has agreed to increase the annual intake of Sri Lankan expatriate workers to 15,000 following the personal intervention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister Dilan Perera disclosed this at an awards ceremony organised by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment at the Carlton Auditorium, Tangalle. A batch of 247 foreign job aspirants in the Hambantota District who had successfully completed a Korean Language training course more..

Sri Lanka expressway bus services planned

Mar 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's road development and transport authorities are planning bus services for the public on the island's first expressway part of which is set to open in July, an official said. Express bus services will be allowed on the southern expressway stopping only at the 11 interchanges connecting it to the road network. The first stage of the expressway, from Makumbura in Kottawa to Piniduwa in Galle, will be opened to the public in July. more..

Development Diaries