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'Sri Lanka FDI to pick up with hotels and port'

Mar 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's foreign direct investments will pick up with planned projects in ports and hotels valued at 500 million dollars each, finance ministry secretary P B Jayasundera said. He said a concession agreement has been signed in the Colombo port for a new terminal that will need 500 million US dollars to build. "That is a 500 million dollar private foreign investment. A private foreign investment," more..

'Hold remaining polls on same day'

Mar 24 (DM) A leading election monitoring group told the Local Government and Provincial Council Ministry yesterday to hold the remaining local council elections on the same day so as to ensure free and fair elections. “Our experience has shown that if elections to the postponed local councils are held on a staggered basis, there is bound to be wastage of resources and external influence on the elections,” People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) more..

New Elections chief

Mar 24 (NN) Mahinda Deshapriya will take over as the new Elections Commissioner from tomorrow, the President’s office said this evening. Deshapriya, who is currently serving as the Assistant Elections Commissioner, will replace Dayananda Dissanayake who held the post for several years. Speaking to reporters following the Presidential Elections last year outgoing Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake had more..

Parliamentarian breaks silence on domestic violence

Mar 24 (IPS) She became famous playing the role of ‘Pabha’, a poor young girl in love with a rich man in a long running hit television series here. But these days, Upeksha Suwarnamali is better known for her real-life role: A victim of domestic violence turned champion of abused women. The actress made headlines recently when she was hospitalised after being assaulted by her husband of less than two years, businessman Mahesh Walawegamuwa. more..

LG polls: SLFP takes lion’s share, Left Party Alliance second among partners

Mar 24 (Island) The Left Party Alliance in the SLFP-led UPFA has won 71 seats at the March 17 LG polls. The UPFA secured 1,839 seats at the polls with the SLFP winning at least 1,600 slots. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha told The Island that the SLFP had obtained as much as 80 per cent of the total number of seats secured by the ruling coalition. Minister Premjayantha said that there was absolutely no basis for the UNP’s claim that it more..

Govt to set up a Metropolitan Corporation for the Greater Colombo core area

Mar 24 (GDI) The Cabinet of Ministers today decided to establish an organization under the name of Colombo Metropolitan City Corporation with a view to assist the five Local Bodies in the city region namely the Colombo Municipal Council, Dehiwela- Mt Lavinia Municipal Council, Sri-Jayawardenapura- Kotte Municipal Council, Kolonnawa Urban Council and Kotikawatta- Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha. more..

Govt supporters protest over Libya near UN's Sri Lanka office

Mar 24 (DPA) Government supporters protested outside the United Nations office in Sri Lanka's capital Thursday, condemning the UN's stance on the Libyan conflict and airstrikes carried out there. An estimated 500 pro-government supporters chanted slogans and displayed placards against the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon and the organization. 'We are against the biased behaviour of the UN on Libya in favour of the US and Britain,' more..

Priority for China

Mar 25 (NN) The Sri Lankan government and its leaders have always given top priority to developing ties with China, outgoing Sri Lankan Ambassador to China Karunatilaka Amunugama has said. He said this during a meeting with Chinese vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said today. Zhang spoke highly of Amunugama’s contributions to the development of China-Sri Lanka relations, saying that bilateral ties have been developing rapidly in recent years with more..

Can’t criticize Ranil

Mar 25 (NN) Stern action will be taken against any UNP members who criticizes the party leadership, the UNP announced today. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said that the decision was arrived at after yesterday’s UNP working committee meeting where Ranil Wickramasinghe was endorsed as the party leader. Samaraweera said that the party will now look at working without any divisions with the goal of ruling the country once again. Ranil Wickramasinghe was yesterday more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 24.03.2011

Honour the needs of all peoples

Mar 25 (DM) The results of the recently concluded round of local government elections demonstrated one indisputable fact. The percentage of the popular vote for the UPFA declined in a brief period of eleven months from 60% at the general elections of April 2010 to 55% in March 2011. The real situation for the government is worse. The 60% in April 2010 was achieved in a genuine all island election. The 55% was achieved without polling in the Colombo, Jaffna and Killinochchi districts, more..

Lankan- Indian Fishermen renew ties at Kachchathivu feast

Mar 25 (DM) The St. Anthony’s Festival was held in the Kachchathivu Island recently giving the opportunity to locals as well as Indian devotees to put aside decades of mistrust between the two communities. The Sri Lankan Navy; accused time and again of arresting Indian fishermen for violating ocean boundary regulations succeeded in restoring the relationship with India, particularly with the Southern Indian fishing community through the grand festival. more..

‘Our political stability and security have proven perfect for investment’

Mar 25 (DM) Ajith Nivard Cabraal is the 12th Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and chairs the Monetary Board. He also serves as a Member of the Finance Commission, the National Economic Council and as the Chairman of the Inter Regulatory Council. He is an Alternate Governor of the International Monetary Fund, and the current Chairman of the SEACEN Board of Governors. Prior to his appointment as the Governor, Mr Cabraal was the Adviser to the President more..

Sociological aspects of crime

Mar 25 (LG) This paper discusses sociological aspects of crime and its impact on the society. The definition of crime is presented and conversed in depth. Several sociological theories on crime and criminal behavior are highlighted with numerous case examples. The perspectives of crime are discussed in functional, conflict, interactionism, feminism and postmodern models. A crime is an offence against the public law. It is an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or more..

Suren Surendran’s effort to meet Sonia Gandhi praised

Mar 25 (LG) British Tamil Forum (BTF)/Global Tamil Forum(GTF) office bearer Suren Surendran’s brief meeting with the President of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi at the Commonwealth Forum has received the support of the cross section of the Tamil Diaspora community. In a rare meeting at the Commonwealth Forum that came about with the help of Keith Vass MP, Suren Surendran for the first time was able to get Sonia Gandhi’s views on Sri Lankan Tamils. She had said: more..

Construction of new building at Navalar G.T.M.S. to be finished Soon

Mar 25 (Cimic) More than half the construction work of new two-storied building at Kopay Navalar Government Tamil Mixed School (G.T.M.S.) has been completed by the 5th Engineer Services Regiment (ESR) of the Sri Lanka Army. Masonry work of the classrooms in the ground floor is almost complete and need only final touches including carpentry and painting. Classrooms upstairs are now coming up with labour of skilled soldiers. As a gesture of goodwill and more..

The Role of Human Rights Commissions

Mar 25 (LG) I read with sadness the article ‘Innocent man illegally arrested and tortured by Panadura Police’ published yesterday in Sri Lanka Guardian. As per the article, the victim, Mr. Sugath Chandima, reported the matter to the Human Rights Commission but nothing happened. I also complained to the Australian Human Rights Commission many times and almost all of the times something did happen. That something was largely Due Process within the Commission and a procedural acknowledgment to me. more..

Competitive sports: parents’ expectations Vs. child’s capabilities

Mar 25 (DM) Competitive sport is a vital topic for debate and deliberation. Sports are ideally a recreational activity that is for the enjoyment and benefit of the students carrying out their studies. The bottom line is that it is expected to take the pressure off te kids who are burdened by their studies. Today I spoke to professionals, principals, students and the Minister of sports on what they think about the intrinsic relationship between age and competition. more..

Foreign Service: Time to recruit the best

Mar 25 (ST) A veritable can of worms was opened when news items appeared critical of the Cabinet Memorandum submitted by the Minister of External Affairs with the intention of admitting a group of young men and women directly to the Foreign Service, without going though the established recruitment process stipulated in the Foreign Service Minute. An English language newspaper reported on Tuesday that president Rajapaksa in his characteristic aplomb more..

The air’s blue and the world’s my oyster!

Mar 25 (ST) Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what do you think of the contest?” “I think it is progressing reasonably well,” Bindu’s father Percy said, “we have made the quarter finals now, haven’t we?” “What quarter finals are you referring to?” Bindu was puzzled. “Why, Bindu, the cricket World Cup of course,” Percy said, “we haven’t come that far in any other sport, have we?” “I’m not thinking about that contest, thaaththa,” Bindu protested. more..

Do we want law breakers as law makers?

Mar 25 (ST) The UPFA’s predictable victory in the local government electioan, while it represents a decisive result, needs to be weighed against many negatives that have come to light throughout the campaigning period up to and including Election Day. Most obvious was the violence. Less obvious are the qualitative aspects of that violence, the profile of its perpetrators and the changing picture that emerges, of the electoral struggle. When election monitors describe more..

UPFA honeymoon goes on though less glossy

Mar 25 (LB) The outcome of the Local Government polls was a foregone conclusion - it was a one horse race from the beginning. Plagued by internal fighting, the main opposition UNP was in disarray; the Marxist JVP has been relegated to relative obscurity. And the ruling UPFA romped home, clinching 205 out of a total of 234 Local Government bodies that went to polls on Thursday. The UNP bagged only nine Local Government bodies. more..

Editorial: Act now, Mr. President!

Mar 25 (Island) Ancient kings of Lanka, according to legend, travelled in disguise to see for themselves how their subjects lived and to gauge public opinion about their reign. They traversed the backwaters of their kingdoms, mingled with commoners freely, learnt of their problems and returned to their castles after days or weeks, cursing their cunning ministers and advisors who had kept them in the dark and painted a rosy picture of the conditions obtaining in their lands. more..

Editorial: Earth Day: Let us be good stewards

Mar 25 (DM) In the aftermath of Japan’s worst ever catastrophe where more than 22,000 people died or are reported missing after the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear radiation which contaminated even the tap water supply in greater Tokyo, the world tomorrow will plant a good seed or deed to mark Earth Day. Western Provincial Minister Udaya Gammanpila, a former Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority said this week the apocalyptic disaster in Japan was more..

Fix export decline: IMF

Mar 25 (FT) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday urged an increase of exports by focusing on Asian markets and joining more bilateral agreements with powerhouses China and India. IMF Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Dr. Koshi Mathai while addressing a ‘Key Persons Forum’ organised by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCISL) told the gathering that Sri Lanka’s exports had declined. more..

Aussies out of WC Finals

Mar 25 (CI) An awe-inspiring Ricky Ponting dazzled and Sachin Tendulkar hit a delightful fifty but it was the imperious Yuvraj Singh who stole the show to lead India to an exciting semi-final encounter against Pakistan. On a dry pitch, aiding turn, India couldn't remove a wonderfully solid Ponting, but found a way around him to hold Australia to a competitive 260. Tendulkar set the base and the middle order threatened to choke, but Yuvraj played a blinder to charge India to a famous win. more..

Sri Lanka rubber prices rebound

Mar 25 (LBO) Sri Lankan rubber prices have recovered after a temporary fall triggered by overseas demand and supply factors, and look set to stay strong on rising global tire demand, trade officials said. Natural rubber prices at the Colombo auctions hit record highs in February and then slumped sharply after increased supply from key East Asian producing nations and fears Japan's disaster could disrupt automobile manufacture. "The market came down for one week," said Upali B more..

Fmr. CJ case dismissed

Mar 25 (DM) A civil suit filed against former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva alleging that he misused his power and avenged personal animosities in his capacity as the CJ was dismissed by the Colombo District Court with costs today. Dismissing the civil suit filed by Pathmasiri Balasuriya of Bahirawakanda in Kandy, the District Court ordered that the former CJ be paid five times the tax costs of the case, considering the frivolous and vexatious nature of the action. more..

Music at cricket is no distraction – Mahela

Mar 25 (Island) The International Cricket Council banned music instruments from the last World Cup in the Caribbean while the local authorities imposed restrictions ahead of the current tournament before easing those restrictions. However, Sri Lanka vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene believes that music is part of the local cricket culture and that the players don’t mind the music. Sri Lanka’s quarter-final against England at R. Premadasa Stadium on Saturday is sold out and more..

Sri Lankan migrant workers duped

Mar 25 (NF) A group that had traveled to Malaysia to take up employment, returned to the island recently as they were not provided the promised salaries and facilities. They charge that they had left the country through the Foreign Employment Bureau. This group had been selected for employment at interviews conducted by the FEB. They pointed out that after just three months there they were forced to return to the country. They urge the authorities to at least provide them with the money they more..

Probe on NGOs: No witch hunt says Hulugalle

Mar 25 (Island) Director General of the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Lakshman Hulugalle says only a handful of NGOs would be subject to an investigation by the CID with regard to funds received by them from foreign governments and overseas NGOs over the years. Hulugalle was responding to a statement issued by the Governing Council of the National Peace Council (NPC) in response to Executive Director of the NPC Dr. Jehan Perera being questioned by more..

Weliamuna challenges AG’s decision

Mar 25 (Island) Attorney-at-law J. C. Weliamuna, on Thursday, challenged in Colombo High Court a move by the Attorney General Mohan Peiris to withdraw murder charges levelled against former PA MP Chandana Kattriarachchi for killing 34-year-old D. C. Chandrasena and injuring his brother at a cooperative election at Nampamunuwa on Aug. 24, 1996. Weliamuna, who had appeared for a number of human rights cases over the years, in his submissions before Colombo HC Judge Kumudini Wickremesinghe, more..

First Mahaweli Trade Centre opens : Essentials at reduced prices

Mar 25 (DN) The Irrigation and Water Resources Management Ministry has launched a program to establish Mahaweli Production Trade Centres throughout the country. As the first stage the first Mahaweli Production Trade Centre was opened opposite the Ministry premises at TB Jayah Mawatha, Colombo yesterday. The Ministry hopes this will help reduce the prices of essential food items such as rice, milk, vegetables and fruits. The Ministry has also made arrangements to establish four more more..

New port city planned between Galle Face, Kollupitiya

Mar 25 (DN) A feasibility study has been undertaken to reclaim 300 to 400 acres of land from the sea between Galle Face to Kollupitiya, stated Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena in an answer tabled in Parliament. The answer also stated that the new Port City will be planned and developed as a modern city to establish an economic centre in Colombo addressing the constraints related to the haphazard development of buildings and road network in the existing Colombo city. more..

DEW regrets absence of JVP in Govt.

Mar 25 (DM) The government could have implemented its economic policies in a vigorous manner had the JVP been its alliance partner, Senior Human Resources Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara told parliament yesterday. The Minister made these comments during the debate on several tax bills in the House. He said even with the change of government in 1994, it was not possible to reverse the neo-liberal economic policies that were in place at the time and added that the global factor changed in the 21st century with more..

UNP appoints officials to head 9 local bodies

Mar 25 (DM) The UNP yesterday named the heads of nine local bodies which they won at the March 17 Local Government elections. Susil Premalal Pinto had been appointed as the chairman of the Seethawakapura Urban Council in the Colombo District while Sandun Arsakularatne had been appointed his deputy. Mohamed Jaufer had been appointed as the chairman of the Kalutara Urban Council while M. N. M. Amar was named his deputy. Gamini Hettiarachchi, and A. M. Minhaj had been appointed chairman and more..

Safe houses for abused children

Mar 25 (DM) In a bid to provide safety and care for abused children, safe houses and foster homes are to be set up in each province, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said yesterday. It said the safe houses will be established in collaboration with provincial probation officers and the first would be opened in the North Central Province, where necessary infrastructure facilities were already in place. “We are hoping these houses will provide a s more..

Work commences on underground sewerage system, pumping stations

Mar 25 (Island) The long awaited multi-million rupee project to renovate and improve the of the underground sewerage network, pumping stations and outfalls has commenced. The project is being handled by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). The Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils, in collaboration with the CMC and financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has undertaken to improve the city wastewater system under this project and also more..

Negombo Madhu festival on May 22 March 24

Mar 25 (Island) The inaugural Negombo Madhu Festival will be held at the Shrine of our Lady of Madhu on Sunday May 22. Prior to the festival mass, the novinas and vespers will be conducted on 19th, 20th and 21st May. The Negombo Madhu Festival organizing committee presided over by Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena met at the Jubilee Hall of St. Mary’s church at Grand Street, Negombo to discuss the arrangements of the festival. A sub committee comprising nine members were appointed to look after the welfare of the pilgrims. more..

Development Diaries