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Indo-Lanka fishermen meet ends in stalemate

Mar 23 (HT) A meeting between a delegation of Tamil Nadu fishermen and their counterparts from Sri Lanka on Tuesday ended here without making headway into resolving the festering issue of poaching in international waters. During the meeting, the first of its kind to be held in recent months, the Indian fisherm en asked for more time to stop fishing in Lankan waters as they were undergoing training to carry out deepwater fishing. The Indian fishermen were from the more..

Yashoda tops O/L results

Mar 23 (Island) Maduri Yashoda of Visakha Vidyalaya Colombo obtained the best results at the GCE (O/L) exam, while Rizan Atifm of Maliyadeva College Kurunegala and Tathsarani Amaya of Eheliyagoda Vidyalaya were placed second and third respectively. Over 500,000 candidates sat the examination. Dileepa Madushan Tilakeratne of Ananda College Colombo and Kavindi Hansika of Southlands College Galle had secured equal marks to take the fourth place. more..

Two ex-LTTE cadres die in army rehabilitation centres

Mar 23 (TN) Two former cadres of the LTTE have died in two separate incidents while under detention in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) supervised rehabilitation centres. The first death was reported from Vavuniyaa-Nelukulam rehabilitation centre Monday and the second from Welikanda-Thirukoanamadu rehabilitation centre in the Polonnaruwa district Tuesday morning. The deaths have created tension among parents of ex-LTTE detainees who are currently under rehabilitation, more..

England 'do not fear Sri Lanka'

Mar 23 (BBC) England batting coach Graham Gooch says Andrew Strauss's team will not fear playing Sri Lanka in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday. England reached the knockout stages after a series of stuttering performances while Sri Lanka will be playing at home in Colombo. "Sri Lanka in their own country are a top team with world-class players and lots of experience," said Gooch. "But England won't fear them, they'll look forward to competing with them." more..

President addresses Parliament: New Pensions Bill next month

Mar 23 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday stated that a Bill will be moved in Parliament next month to establish a Contributory Pension Fund for the working class in this country as pledged in the budget proposals. President Rajapaksa made this observation yesterday in Parliament joining the second reading debate on nine Bills related to tax regulations in line with the 2011 budget proposals. more..

Eco-friendly boat service in Mahaweli reservoirs

Mar 23 (DN) The Mahaweli Authority will commence an eco-friendly boat service in all twelve Mahaweli reservoirs by the end of this month, Mahaweli Authority Business Development Director A Munasinghe told the Daily News yesterday. This initiative is taken to promote eco-tourism among local and foreign tourists. He said that the boat service has already commenced in Kandy. This step is taken considering the increasing tourist influx to the country after the dawn of peace. more..

Batting for Poya Day ban on liquor: Carlo showers praise on Russel

Mar 23 (Island) Chairman of National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) Prof. Carlo Fonseka has commended former Sri Lankan cricketer and current cricket commentator Russel Arnold for defending, during the recent ICC World Cup encounter between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, Sri Lanka’s ban on liquor sales on Poya Days, on the grounds of religious and cultural ethos. Prof. Fonseka, in his letter of commendation titled ‘In praise of Russel Arnold: World Class more..

Police team apologize to JVP

Mar 23 (DM) Police personnel attached to the Dummalasooriya Police Station tendered an apology in open court yesterday for the purported arrest and detention of two JVP activists who pasted posters referring to the Court Martial against main opposition candidate of the last Presidential Election Sarath Fonseka. The Attorney General too informed the Supreme Court that the proceedings in the Magistrate’s Court against the said JVPers more..

Sri Lanka recovers seven years after its tsunami

Mar 23 (BBC) As the people of Japan live through the triple nightmare of earthquake, tsunami and the threat of nuclear disaster, those affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami feel deep sympathy. The second-worst hit country at that time was Sri Lanka, where 40,000 people were killed. Six years on, in many of the affected places, there is a mixture of grief and optimism. Gazing out across the road at a blue-green sea in the hamlet of Peraliya is a giant Buddha statue. more..

40 mn spent on 1.7 km

Mar 23 (DM) A whopping Rs. 40 million had been spent for the construction of a road stretch of 1.7 kilometres in the Panduwasnuwara Pradeshiya Sabha area in the Kurunegala district, Parliament was informed. Road Development Deputy Minister Nirmala Kotelawale revealed this in Parliament responding to a question by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara. Mr. Jayasekara said he wondered how such a colossal sum of money was spent for the construction of a road stretch which was less than two kilometers in length. more..

'Govt. aims to simplify tax system'

Mar 23 (Island) The Govt was planning to introduce a simple tax system, International Monetary Co-operation Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama told Parliament yesterday. The Minister made this statement while presenting nine tax amendment bills to parliament. He said: "We all know that the tax system in practice is very complex and difficult to process. That’s why the government has proposed in the last budget to simplify the tax system and more..

Two islands leased out near Kalpitiya

Mar 23 (DM) Two islands near Kalpitiya have been leased out at Rs. 18 million to two foreign companies for investment in tourism for 30 years, Parliament was informed yesterday. Of them, Vellai Island has been given on lease at Rs. 3.7 million to be developed as a joint investment among Sri Lanka, Maldives and Switzerland, and Inpativu Island at Rs. 14 million to an Indian company named Cube Leisure Property Private Ltd. The joint venture with Maldives and more..

Indian fishermen seek more time to stop fishing in Sri Lankan waters

Mar 23 (Hindu) A delegation of fishermen from Tamil Nadu pleaded with their counterparts from north Sri Lanka to give them more time to stop fishing in the Sri Lankan territorial waters at a meeting here on Tuesday. The Sri Lankan fishermen, who also speak the same language, said they were in no position to grant such a concession. The meeting ended with both sides holding on to their stated positions. There was no meeting point. The Tamil Nadu fishermen said they more..

Irate dons promise shock therapy unless govt. budges

Mar 23 (Island) The Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) on Tuesday threatened to cripple universities unless the government met its demands immediately. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that since the government had ignored their one-day token strike on March 14, they would be forced to step up action. "We’ll shortly decide on a day to launch our strike," he said adding that FUTA would write to President more..

The risk of nuclear power

Mar 23 (SG) The crisis at Japan’s quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi complex has fuelled anew an impassioned debate about nuclear energy. The world wasn’t completely sold on nuclear power to begin with. Now, proponents of this technology find themselves having to start over, defending their position against powerful lobby groups like Greenpeace who have pledged to continue the fight against nuclear energy. Sri Lanka has no nuclear reactors. Sri Lanka has been talking of more..

Rejected asylum seekers get visas

Mar 24 (Age) Two Sri Lankan men who were among the first planeload of rejected asylum seekers flown to the mainland from Christmas Island by the Rudd government to alleviate crowding have been granted visas after reviewers found them to be at risk if returned to Sri Lanka. Then-prime minister Kevin Rudd had said the 89 men were being processed for return home. Lawyer David Manne said the cases showed it didn't matter whether boats were brought to Christmas Island or more..

Sri Lankan shot dead in US

Mar 23 (Fox) Montgomery County Police are searching for the person who shot and killed an Olney man as he walked home from work. 41-year-old Punyasara Gedara had just left his job at Subway and was heading down North High Street. Neighbors reported hearing gunshots and then found him lying in the street, unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. "How can I believe this?" his uncle Cyril Rajabakse said. more..

Sri Lanka builds a massive Sports City to host 2018 Commonwealth Games

Mar 23 (AT) The Hambantota Sports Zone will accommodate the proposed Sprots City designed for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. A large-scale model of the 'Sports City' was unveiled by the MP Mr. Namal Rajapaksa in the presence of Mike Hooper, CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation. The construction work relating to the City is to be completed in 2016. Sri Lanka is competing with Gold Coast of Australia to host the more..

TNA proposals to govt. next month

Mar 23 (DM) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will submit a set of proposals on power devolution when it meets the government delegation on April 27, Jaffna District Parliamentarian Mavai Senadhirajah said. Mr. Senadhirajah expressed hope that the ongoing discussions between the government and the main Tamil political party would pave the way for a permanent solution to the ethnic issue and address the grievances of the Tamils. more..

Faux pas galore by the Sri Lankan Foreign Service political appointees

Mar 24 (TC) It is no secret that non-career officers or political appointees are usually not versed in diplomacy. Here are some of their goings-on that should raise a smile. - A Third Person Note (TPN) is a standard form of communication with the host country. A recent political appointee to London who is said to have gone there with a ‘revolutionary spirit’ had a problem with the term ‘Third Person Note.’ more..

Faizer urges review of US, Western position on SL

Mar 23 (Island) Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha says US-led western military action directed at Libya highlighted the absurdity in their criticism of Sri Lanka’s war against LTTE terrorism. Mustapha, who holds the Technology and Research portfolio, says those who have been demanding a ‘war crimes’ probe, targeting the Sri Lankan political and military leaders, had unleashed a massive air assault on Libya in support of more..

Sri Lanka power demand hits new peak

Mar 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's night power demand hit a new peak load of 2,000 MegaWatts on Tuesday amid hot seasonal weather and growing usage, in a day that the utility officially commissioned a new 300 MegaWatt coal plant. Power demand hit a peak of 1,999 MegaWatts at 7.30 in the evening not counting power generated by mini-hydro plants which can go up to 200 MegaWatts. State-run CEB cannot immediately count the power generated from more..

Sajith backpedals

Mar 23 (Island) The UNP’s leadership dispute spilled over into a third day with Sajith Premadasa asking for time to consider the powers and responsibilities that would be confered on the post of Co-Deputy leader, that has been offered to him as a compromise solution. After a marathon session of the UNP’s Parliamentary Group and Working Committee, that it had been decided to grant Premadasa’s request for time to consider the more..

House condoles with Japan

Mar 23 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Parliament yesterday extended its sympathies and condolences to Japan following the recent tsunami and quake disaster that killed thousands of people. Minister Prof G.L. Peiris said that Sri Lanka has every confidence that the people of Japan, drawing on their tremendous resources of strength and courage, and showing their indomitable spirit, as they have done on many occasions in their history, will overcome this calamity. more..

Sri Lanka insurers need skills to manage forex risk: rating agency

Mar 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's insurers will need skills and rules to manage foreign exchange risk after the regulators allowed up to 20 percent of their reserves to be invested abroad, a rating agency has said. RAM Ratings Lanka said allowing up to 20 percent of insurers' technical reserves or long term funds to be invested abroad give an opportunity for Sri Lankan firms to tap diverse investments. "On top of that, the regulator has issued fresh solvency regulations in 2011, more..

Chasing woes ease at the Premadasa

Mar 24 (CI) On first look, the R Premadasa stadium doesn't seem to be the ideal venue for the knockout games of a tournament as big as the World Cup. Or any day-night ODI for that matter. Far too often are the odds stacked heavily against sides chasing under the floodlights, when the ball starts doing the kind of crazy things it hadn't in the first half of the game. In the last decade, 29 out of the 38 finished games featuring the top teams here were won by the team winning the toss, more..

Car driven by President Mahinda nearly hit by a VIP vehicle

Mar 24 (AT) The car driven by President Mahinda Rajapakse was nearly hit by a VIP convoy this evening. The Sri Lankan President was driving without security and backup vehicles touring the city of to monitor vehicular conduct of VIPs on the road. Reports said that while the President was proceeding towards the Parliament Road, a government Minister’s security convoy nearly brushed on the President’s vehicle. more..

Clinical Pakistan storm into semi-final

Mar 24 (CI) Pakistan are two games away from repeating the heroics of Imran Khan's 1992 team after a crushing 10-wicket victory against West Indies in the first quarter-final in Dhaka. Mohammad Hafeez starred with bat and ball, beginning West Indies' decline with two early wickets then ending it with a brisk 61, while Shahid Afridi is proving an inspirational force and led from the front again with four more scalps as the spinners produced a ruthless display to dismantle West Indies for 112. more..

England are underdogs against Sri Lanka, says Prior

Mar 24 (AFP) Matt Prior admitted England have not played their best cricket in the World Cup and will be underdogs in their quarter-final against Sri Lanka on Saturday. England, who have never won the tournament, endured a rocky ride in the first round, losing to Ireland and Bangladesh but beating South Africa and battling to a tie against India. They now face the 1996 champions Sri Lanka, and Prior admitted England have yet to hit top gear. "We haven't played our more..

'SL does not approve of US led action against Libya'

Mar 24 (ST) External Affairs Minister G.L.Peiris told Parliament today that Sri Lanka does not approve of the US led air strikes against Libya and said they are contrary to the United Nations resolution that was adopted with the aim of alleviating the suffering of civilians in that country. “These strikes are harming civilians and are also a violation of the territorial integrity of an independent country,” the Minister said more..

Muralitharan set to face England

Mar 24 (BBC) Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss believes spinner Muttiah Muralitharan will be fit to face England in Saturday's World Cup quarter-final in Colombo. The 38-year-old off-spinner pulled his hamstring in the last group match against New Zealand and had a shortened nets session on Wednesday. "We are very confident that he will play and I think he's pretty confident he will play as well," said Bayliss. "He's played through a few niggles in the past and I'm sure he will be fine." more..

Rights for tones

Mar 24 (NN) Music creators in Sri Lanka are seeking copyright payments for their music used as ring tones or ringing tones on mobile phones by telephone operators in Sri Lanka. Leading Sri Lankan musician and member of the Outstanding Song Creators Association(OSCA) Rohana Weerasinghe said that a request has been put forward to the Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) to intervene and ensure that mobile companies pay the musicians for the music used as ring tones or ringing tones. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 23.03.2011

UK overhauls student visa system

Mar 24 (NN) The British government has announced a new student visa system with tougher entry criteria, limits on work entitlements and the closure of the post-study route, the British High Commission in Colombo said. UK Border Agency Regional Director, Chris Dix said the changes announced yesterday will protect the interests of high quality Sri Lankan and Maldivian students wishing to study in the UK. These changes are however bad news for all those students, institutions and more..

Woman poisoned

Mar 24 (NN) A 35 year old lady in Kalpitiya had died from poison given as medicine by a Devalaya (Temple) in the area after she had taken ill. I.M. Padmawathi, a mother of two, was given the medicine by a lady at the Devalaya for a tummy ailment, the police said. However Padmawathi fell very sick and was rushed to the Puttalam hospital for treatment where she later died. An autopsy on the body of the victim was carried out today at the Chilaw hospital where more..

Lake House ordered to pay Rs.500 million compensation

Mar 24 (BBC) The Colombo District Court giving its judgement on a defamation case has ordered Lake House, and editor of Silumina weekly, Karunadasa Suriarachchi to pay Rs. 500 million as compensation to MP Wijedasa Rajapaska. UNP, MP, Wijedasa Rajapaksha filed a defamation case against an article that appeared on November 18, 2007 in the Silumana newspaper. He claimed in his petition that the article published in ‘Silumina’ was defamatory. more..

We have no problem with United Nations says Wimal

Mar 24 (NF) The existing mechanisms for people to construct their houses in the country, should be simplified, says Lalith Weerarunga, President's Secretary. He made this statement while addressing the National Housing Conference held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute yesterday. The National Housing Conference was held with the aim of re-examining the national housing policy bill. Many including experts in the housing sector were present at this conference, more..

Sri Lanka sees interest from Marriot, Hyatt

Mar 24 (LBO) International hotel chains Marriot and Hyatt have shown interest in Sri Lanka's southern Hambantota city, which is bidding for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Sri Lanka's tourist development authority chief Nalaka Godahewa said Marriot and Hyatt have looked for land in Hambantota to build hotels, though no applications have yet been made to authorities. The two chains may build hotels of 200 rooms each in Hambantota which will form part of a 'sports city' if more..

Sajith accepts post of Deputy Leader

Mar 24 (ST) Ranil Wickremasinghe elected leaders of the UNP today without a contest. Sajith Premadasa who was expected to contest withdrew and accepted the post of Deputy Leader. He will also be Deputy to the Leader of the Opposition. Among Sajith's subjetcs would be branch organisations, lakvanitha, trade unions and local government institutions. The functions were decided by the working committee but did not describe the more..

Innocent man illegally arrested and tortured by Panadura Police

Mar 24 (LG) Mr. Sugath Chandima (29) of Hirana, Panadura in the district of Kalutara was illegally arrested and severely tortured by the police officers attached to the Panadura Police Station on 17 February 2011. Sugath was brought to the police station by his employer and handed over the officers. He was forced to confess to stealing a mobile phone which Sugath vehemently denied. Then the employer told the officers that Sugath is innocent and that he had he never engage in more..