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JVP asks masses in Libya to fight against dictatorship, imperialism and Zionism

Mar 21 (LT) The JVP asks the people of Libya to fight totalitarianism, imperialism that breaks into their country and Zionism until they win their final victory. The JVP issuing a statement condemning the air strikes carried out by imperialist countries lead by the USA against Libya, points out that NATO forces have been deployed against Libya not to emancipate masses from the dictatorship of its rulers but to plunder the oil resources in Libya. more..

Using Elections to Disable Democracy

Mar 21 (LG) Thursday’s local government election marks a key milestone in the Rajapaksa project of establishing total familial control over the state, the army and the SLFP. The election took place in a context totally advantageous to the regime. The 18th Amendment had tilted the electoral-field firmly in its favour. The opposition is in unprecedented disarray. Polling took place mostly in rural/suburban areas where the Rajapaksas enjoy considerable popularity. more..

Quantity surveyors contribute second highest forex to Lanka

Mar 21 (BL) While quantity surveyors, a relatively unknown breed, inconspicuously contribute the second highest foreign exchange to the country amounting to Rs.1.8 billion annually next to the expatriate housemaids, a sorry plight relating to the local industry is that there is an acute shortage of their kind which has seen engineers and architects doing the job of quantity surveyors in the government sector. more..

Sri Lanka -The Wonder of Asia enchants Beijing

Mar 21 (MoD) Sri Lanka's First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa speaking at the 'Sri Lanka - the Wonder of Asia' cultural evening organized in Beijing said that the cultural interactions provide a perfect setting to develop peace, harmony and friendship between countries and through this concert, it is Sri Lanka's intention to present to the people of Beijing a glimpse of the rich and diverse cultural traditions of Sri Lanka. more..

Police step up efforts to combat human smugglers

Mar 21 (SO) Human smuggling has once more shed more light on the nature and scope of the sordid operation conducted by racketeers who fleece ignorant people, especially those in the North and the East by promising them, a Shangrila in Western countries. Lured by what they hear from human smugglers, about prospects of re-building their lives in twice countries most people fall victim to ploys adopted by human smugglers. Exorbitant sums of money are charged from them to smuggle more..

Sri Lanka earmarks five mega knowledge cities

Mar 21 (BL) In a bid to make Sri Lanka’s Higher Education sector a major foreign exchange earner with the capacity to net in nearly Rs.100bn by 2020, govt will facilitate the setting up of five UAE-styled mega Knowledge Parks in the country. The process of finalising a US $ one billion knowledge park in the Puttlam District has already reached a very mature stage. “A UAE-based investor had agreed to set up a Knowledge Park in Karuwalagaswewa in Puttlam more..

Attack at Tissa shows true nature of white attired govt that preaches compassion & democracy – JVP

Mar 21 (LT) The thug attack on Mr. W. Premadasa, the JVP candidate for Tissamaharama PS at the local government elections shows the true nature of the government that preaches democracy in front of masses and dresses in white clothes states the JVP. The JVP issuing a communiqué condemning the attack on Mr. Premadasa by an armed gang calls upon the government to immediately arrest the perpetrators and bring them before the law. more..

Kuchchaveli hotel project nosedives – no more promised land

Mar 21 (ST) Looks like the govt has a penchant for 'troubling' investors interested in tourism projects. The Business Times learns that this time around the issues are with the Kuchchaveli Tourism (KTZ) Zone in Trincomalee, a stretch of land 8 km-long with an extent of approximately 600 acres, which has been identified for tourism development. Prospective investors who were promised land in this area have joined forces to battle the unfair treatment meted out to more..

Special train for Buddhist pilgrims coming soon

Mar 21 (Hindu) Indian Railways would launch a special Buddhist train, “Damba Diwa Vandana,” later this year from Chennai to cater to Sri Lankan pilgrims, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha said. A large number of Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka visited India and the train would be a cheaper mode of transportation for them. This was among the initiatives that reflected India's desire to strengthen her cultural and people-to-people linkage more..

EARTH cracks open in Batti

Mar 21 (DM) People in Batticloa were alarmed with the cracks that appeared on the earth near the station on Saturday. It was reported that water seeped out of the cracks. The Disaster Management center (DMC) said it may be due to the increase of water level below the surface. A spokesman from the DMC said the content of water below the surface could be increased because of the impact of the full moon. This, the DMC said was a usual phenomenon on a full moon day. more..

Conman robs losing candidate

Mar 21 (NS) A former UPFA Habaraduwa Pradeshiya Sabha member and a losing candidate at Thursday’s election U. K. Kaluarachchi ended up being a loser even in the run up to the election when a conman walked off with Rs. 348,000 worth of valuables from his home at Meepe, Habaraduwa. The stuff had been removed by the trickster after winning the confidence of the candidate. The man had come in the guise of hunting for a job and was taken in by the candidate to help him win the election. more..

Champika unplugs private sector

Mar 21 (FT) Electricity concessions to the private sector will be few and far between says the Power and Energy Minister insisting that only export oriented companies listed in the industrial category will even be considered for relief. Minister Champika Ranawaka took the hard stance that the electricity costs in Sri Lanka were low compared with other countries in the South Asian region and that there was little reason for companies to be given concessions. more..

Double line rail track from K’gannawa to Peradeniya

Mar 21 (Island) The railway track between Kadugannawa and Peradeniya will be developed as a double line track, Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa said. This improvement would be implemented under the "Kandy Town Plan". A new railway station had been already built at Henawala between Kadugannawa and Peradeniya, Governor Kobbekaduwa said. Steps had been already taken by the Railway Department to improve the track between Peradeniya and Kandy. more..

Strict conditions for hotel licenses

Mar 21 (Island) The Public Health Department revealed that of the food samples taken from hotels and eating houses in the city, eighteen percent had been contaminated but the cooking water had not been contaminated. Chief of the Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that the germs had to be either in cooking utensils, the raw materials used for cooking, or due to the unhygienic practices of kitchen staff. Once the germ is identified, more..

Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri

Angry residents stone police, set vehicles afire

Mar 21 (ST) Three police vehicles were set ablaze by angry villagers last week in two separate incidents. Villagers accused the police of failing to act in an impartial manner and attempting to cover-up the misdeeds of the culprits. In the first incident the Kotahena OIC Traffic, sub-inspector Sanjeewa Herath is alleged to have been involved in a fatal accident in the Kirillawela area killing three persons. The accused SI who is said to have been driving a van, more..

WC 2011: India beat West Indies by 60 runs

Mar 21 (CI) Oh West Indies, they have done it again. For the second match in a row they had a chase all wrapped up but some desperate inspiration from Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh and some mindless cricket from the batsmen who followed Devon Smith ensured that West Indies remained without a win over a Test side other than Bangladesh since June 2009. With Smith playing as well as he has ever played, West Indies almost mocked India for the first 27 overs, more..

Conference to mark 2600th Buddha Jayanthi

Mar 21 (DM) The International Buddhist Conference jointly sponsored by Sri Lanka and India was opened at Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy (SIBA) in Pallekele, Kandy yesterday. The three day conference organized by the Indian Council for Cultural relations, in partnership with Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Ministry, International Buddhist Academy and the Peradeniya University was graced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

ITAK wins 12 local body elections in NorthEast

Mar 21 (TN) The TNA, contesting under the symbol of ITAK, captured the administration of twelve local authorities including two Urban Councils (UC) and Predesiya Sabas (PS) in the North and East in the elections held Thursday. The TNA failed to capture power of the Moothoor PS in Trincomalee district but was able secure three seats out of 11. Elections to local bodies in Jaffna district and to some in the districts of Trincomalee, Ampaarai and Mullaithivu were not held Thursday. more..

Karunanidhi pledges to resolve fishermen killing issue with Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (ANI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has pledged to find a solution to the alleged killing of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. Releasing the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (DMK's) manifesto for the upcoming assembly polls in the state on Saturday, Karunanidhi said his party would urge the UPA Government at the centre to bring back the Katchatheevu Island that was ceded to Sri Lanka in the 1970s. more..

Positive forward movement in Govt-TNA dialogue

Mar 21 (DBS) The on–going political dialogue between the Govt of Sri Lanka and the TNA has registered some positive forward movement at the third round of talks held on Friday in Colombo. The essence of the dialogue was succinctly revealed in the following excerpt from the joint communiqué released to the press after the talks. “The two sides proceeded to discuss appropriate constitutional arrangements to meet the aspirations of all the people of Sri Lanka. more..

Some progress at Japan reactors as disaster toll rises

Mar 21 (Reuters) Japan hoped power lines restored to its stricken nuclear plant will help solve the world's worst atomic crisis in 25 years, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami that also left more than 21,000 people dead or missing. Japan is still in shock at both the battle to avert deadly radiation at the six-reactor Fukushima plant and a rising death toll from the March 11 natural disaster. The world's third-largest economy has suffered an estimated $250 billion of damage, more..

Western powers strike Libya; Arab League has doubts

Mar 21 (Reuters) Western powers pressed ahead on Sunday with a campaign of air attacks in Libya, promising more strikes despite criticism by the Arab League. U.S. military officials said Saturday's strikes had halted an advance by Muammar Gaddafi's forces on the eastern rebel stronghold Benghazi and hit his air defenses, allowing western powers to send in planes to impose a no-fly zone. But the day-old U.N.-mandated military intervention to force Gaddafi's troops to more..

England face Sri Lanka quarter-final

Mar 21 (PA) Andrew Strauss' team were kept waiting until late Sunday evening, tracking events on television from their Delhi hotel, before tournament favourites India completed their anticipated victory over the West Indies in Chennai to confirm where and when England will begin their campaign in the knockout stages. Had the Windies upset the odds, England would instead be on their way to Dhaka to face Group A winners Pakistan. more..

Sri Lanka coal plant to cut oil imports

Mar 21 (LBO) The commissioning of a coal power plant this week can reduce oil imports to Sri Lanka while also helping strengthen the finances of Ceylon Electricity Board, the state power utility. Though oil prices have been rising, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said earlier this month that most Asian countries could manage with oil prices of around 100 dollars barrel. In 2010 Sri Lanka spent 3.0 billion rupees on oil imports, more..

A ‘top man’ in Defense Ministry involved in mass scale timber racket in Madhu

Mar 21 (LT) Suspects and equipment of a large scale timber racket apprehended in a raid conducted in Madhu Road Sanctuary by officials of the Forest Department have been released due to the mediation of a top man in the Ministry of Defense say reports. When the sections of the Forest Department at Wayamba conducted a raid in Madhu Road Sanctuary on the 18th 200 trees of ‘Palu’ and ‘Satinwood’ cut down for timber, more..

Human activities and natural phenomena cause for pollution: Water testing underway

Mar 21 (DN) Ground water resources in seven areas in the country which have been identified as hazardous due to pollution would be monitored continuously, Dam Safety and Water Resources Planning Project Director D C S Elakanda told the Daily News. These pilot areas are located in six provinces covering 30 Divisional Secretariat Divisions (DSDs). more..

Lots drawn for PS slot

Mar 21 (DM) In a strange turn of events one UNP member elected to the Palagala Pradeshiya Sabha in the Anuradhapura District had to be selected yesterday by drawing lots, as two candidates had received the same number of preference votes. The UPFA won the nine-member Palagala Pradeshiya Sabha and received seven seats. The UNP received two seats. Of these, one went to the UNP group leader more..

Andrew Flintoff - My mate Muttiah Muralitharan

Mar 21 (BBC) "I'd say 'if you get three wickets, I'll buy you a crispy duck' - and he'd say to me 'if you get 50, I'll buy you two packs of Guinness!" That was one of several anecdotes Andrew Flintoff had to offer when talking exclusively to the BBC about his friendship with Muttiah Muralitharan, the Sri Lanka spinner who is preparing to retire from Test cricket. Known to millions as 'Murali', he was born in Kandy more..

SLFP: LG appointments soon

Mar 21 (DM) Filling the positions including the Chairmen of Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabahas, which are under the UPFA after last week’s local government election would be decided upon after the meeting of the Central Committee of the SLFP on Wednesday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa would chair the CC and accordingly the appointing of officials for these institutions would take place end of this week. more..

About 5,000 Lankans, Indians at Kachchativu feast

Mar 21 (Island) Indian pilgrims at Sunday’s feast of St Anthony’s, Kachchativu praised the Sri Lankan government and the SLN for facilitating their travel to the island. Visiting fisher families from Tamil Nadu told The Island that excellent arrangements had been made by the security authorities to make their journey to the island and enjoy a comfortable stay. more..

Sri Lanka port scans Japanese cargo for radiation

Mar 21 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said it is using scanners installed under an American counter-terrorism initiative to scan cargo from Japan at Colombo port for radiation. "The SLPA along with the Sri Lanka Customs and Atomic Energy Authority have taken immediate precautionary measures against possible radiation threats to the country due to the recent explosions at more..

Lanka likely to raise fuel prices, optimal policy option for govt

Mar 21 (Island) With global oil prices on the upward trend following the Middle East crisis, further exacerbated by uncertainty after the shutdown of Japan’s nuclear power plants, a senior economist said the prudent thing to be done is for the government of Sri Lanka to allow markets determine domestic fuel prices. "It is a hard choice, but it is an optimal policy option," Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan said. more..

Practice what you preach, says Herath

Mar 21 (Island) The JVP yesterday alleged that an SLFP gang had attacked W. Premadasa, who contested on the JVP ticket for the Tissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha at the recently concluded LG polls. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that the gang stormed Premadasa’s residence on Saturday night, fired in the air and severely beat up the JVPer. The MP alleged that the local police had been involved in the attack. more..

Swedish woman missing in Sri Lanka mystery

Mar 21 (Local) A 28-year-old Swedish woman has been reported missing during a trip to Sri Lanka, leaving only a Facebook message to say that she had been robbed and beaten. Marie Jonsson Sillén from Vårgårda in Västergötland in central Sweden went missing in early March while on a holiday to the island of Sri Lanka. She was due to return to Sweden last Monday. Interpol issued a missing persons on March 16th and more..

Tigers, ‘peace support groups’ et al received Rs. 1,800 m from Oslo

Mar 21 (Island) In the wake of Norway’s admission that it had spent NOK 100 million (1,800 million rupees) to support the peace process, it would be pertinent to establish the total amount of funds received by various organizations and individuals to promote peace. According to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) tender document calling for consultancy services to evaluate Norwegian peace process in Sri Lanka (1997-2009), more..

Sri Lanka gets aid to improve women's access to electricity

Mar 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been included in programme to promote greater access to clean energy for poor rural women in South Asia funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Japan. A Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction grant of three million US dollars, administered by ADB, will be used to increase income and livelihood opportunities for women in three ADB-financed clean energy projects in Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. "It will also seek to more..

Swedish girl appears

Mar 22 (NN) A Swedish girl reported missing in Mirissa has reappeared and reported to the Galle police today, the Galle police said. The Galle police told News that the girl, identified as Marie Jonsson Sillén, had reported to the Galle police station today and made a statement and later left. However the police did not give further details on how the girl went missing and what the girl had said in her statement to the police in Galle today. more..

CEB staff to strike

Mar 22 (NN) Workers of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have threatened to stage a strike in the entire Eastern province tomorrow if the authorities fail to nab the suspects involved in an attack on CEB employees in Trincomalee last night. The CEB employees were attacked allegedly by supporters of a politician, when they went to repair the power supply at a house in Trincomalee last night. Atleast two CEB employees were inured and admitted to hospital. more..

Navy may take over the operations of the Ambalangoda Fisheries Harbour

Mar 22 (NN) The Navy has been asked to take over the operations of the Ambalangoda Fisheries Harbour owing to threats faced by a mafia, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that a group of wealthy businessmen have illegally taken control of the harbor to make money and even the police are finding it difficult to intervene. As a result the Defence Ministry approval has been sought to handover operations of the Ambalangoda Fisheries Harbour to the Navy. more..