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'Stop abuse of State media, demoralising cricket team'

Mar 4 (Island) The Deputy Leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya yesterday called for an end to the abuse of the state media to hurl allegations against Sri Lanka cricketers Mahela Jayewardene and Thilan Samaraweera. He said that the abuse of the State media by the present regime, for political gain disregarding accepted norms, was not a new phenomenon and has been highlighted on many occasions before. more..

Sri Lanka coast guard to deploy craft against Indian poachers

Mar 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's coast guard is to deploy it's growing fleet of craft against Indian fishermen poaching in the island's northern waters, an official said. The coast guard this week took delivery of a patrol boat built by the navy and is to get more craft, including four fast patrol boats also from the navy and later two surveillance vessels, Daya Dharmapriya, director-general of Sri Lanka's coast guard said. more..

Fortis Global buys 28.6% of Lanka Hospital Corp

Mar 4 (WSJ) Fortis Global Healthcare HoldingsPte Ltd., owned by the founders of India's Fortis Healthcare Ltd., said Friday it has bought a minority stake in Sri Lanka's Lanka Hospital Corp. The Singapore-based and privately held company of Indian billionaire brothers Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh said it bought a 28.6% in Lanka Hospitals, but didn't give any financial terms. more..

Govt. dismisses charges

Mar 4 (DM) The government yesterday said it had full confidence in the Sri Lankan cricket team and dismissed allegations made by a state owned TV station against two Sri Lankan cricket stars of alleged match fixing during the Sri Lanka – Pakistan World Cup cricket encounter last Saturday. Stressing that the allegations were unwarranted and uncalled for, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha told the media that more..

Ponting heaps pressure on Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (AFP) Ricky Ponting fired off a series of volleys at Sri Lanka on the eve of Saturday's World Cup clash, saying the pressure on the home side to win the Group A match is huge. Australia's unbeaten streak of 31 World Cup matches, dating back to May 23, 1999, goes on the line in a big way at Premadasa Stadium, but the relaxed Australian skipper is keen to exploit what he sees as a few cracks in Sri Lanka's line-up. more..

Govt. spends Rs.6000 million of public money for pageants during last 4 months

Mar 4 (LT) The govt has spent Rs.6000 million of public money for various pageants held during the last four months. The installation ceremony and birthday celebrations of President Mahinda Rajapakse cost the public Rs.1000 million while ‘Dayata Kirula’ exhibition cost Rs.4000 million, 60th Anniversary celebrations of the SL Navy cost Rs.700 million and the opening ceremony of Hambantota Harbour cost Rs.36 million more..

Tourism zone in Colombo

Mar 5 (DM) The government has identified a block of land near the former Gamini Hall along D. R. Wijewardene Mawatha in Colombo to set up a tourism zone. The extent of this land is said to be nearly 15 hectares. According to a cabinet paper submitted on January 31 these lands and buildings are to be acquired by the UDA. These include the Gamini Hall Land, Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre, Ceynor Restaurant, Air Force Lodges and some land belonging to more..

Piegoen Island open to fish

Mar 5 (NN) Piegoen Island has been opened for fishing 25 years after restrictions was imposed owing to the conflict in the north and east. The Fisheries Ministry said that fishermen can now catch fish from Pigeon Island which is also a popular tourist destination with effect from yesterday. Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, in Trincomalee. more..

Sri Lankan ambassador discusses China's development challenge

Mar 5 (CO) In an exclusive interview on March 3, Sri Lankan Ambassador to China Karunatilaka Amunugama discussed his travels within the country and his expectations in attending the annual sessions of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the National People's Congress. One of the most important issues to be discussed at this year's sessions was regional imbalances, Amunugama said. more..

Range Bandara case to SC

Mar 5 (NN) UNP Puttalam district MP Palitha Range Bandara is to file a case at the Supreme Court challenging an Appeal Court decision to reject his petition against the UPFA nomination list for Chilaw. UNP MP said that a candidate, Salidu Dinuda Silva, who was included in the UPFA nomination list for Chilaw does not meet the requirements under a circular issued by the Elections Commissioner. Palitha Range Bandara has filed a case at the Appeal Court against more..

'People are prepared to lay the foundation on the 17th for house that would not leak or burn'

Mar 5 (LT) The masses in this country that went from a house that was drenching to a house that was ablaze for 63 years are now preparing to lay a foundation for a new house on the 17th that would not drench them or would not burn said the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at an election rally Mr. Silva said, “The masses want to teach the government a good lesson. The leaders of the government too are aware of this. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief- 04.03.2011

WC 2011: West Indies beat Bangladesh by 9 wickets

Mar 5 (CI) Bangladesh's batsmen froze catastrophically in a performance that was a throwback to their years of ineptitude in the early 2000s, as West Indies sauntered to a nine-wicket victory in a contest that spanned just 31.1 overs. As the mood within a packed and expectant Mirpur stadium turned from excitement to fury, with subsequent reports of an attack on the Windies' team bus, Bangladesh shipped all ten wickets in 18.5 overs to be routed for 58 more..

Sri Lanka's Youth Parliament Complex in Anuradhapura

Mar 5 (GDI) The Government is to build the National Youth Parliament Complex in Thirappane area in Anuradhapura district in the premises of Ethungama Training Center of the National Youth Services Council. A 58-acre land has been chosen for the building site. Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Duminda Dissanayake recently visited the venue that has been selected to build the Youth Parliament complex. more..

Extended school hours planned for next year

Mar 5 (DM) New school times are to come into operation next year starting with a limited number of schools, Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena said. Therefore, these schools which begin sessions at the usual time of 7. 30 a.m would close only at 3.30 p.m and this proposal would be implemented in the 1000 Secondary schools to be established islandwide for a start. The minister revealed this at a meeting held in Kurunegala. more..

Concern over cruel elephant killing

Mar 5 (BBC) An elephant has been killed in Sri Lanka in a manner which wildlife experts say is especially cruel, but which is on the increase. Poachers plant explosive materials among food to lure animals, especially wild boar, and increasing numbers of elephants are falling victim to it as well as the boars. A picture on a local website shows a distressing sight: a young elephant with much of its mouth and trunk destroyed by explosives. more..

Sri Lanka Laugfs to lose exclusive rights to local gas output

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lankan liquid petroleum gas supplier Laugfs Gas is to lose exclusive rights to buy the entire LPG production of the state oil refiner Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, a government statement said. The petroleum ministry said the government had struck a deal with Lithro Gas, a former Shell unit bought by the government, under which Lithro will get 72 percent of CPC gas production and Laugfs 28 percent. more..

Army hands over Subhash Hotel to owners

Mar 5 (NN) The army today handed over the historic Subash hotel back to its owners, over 15 years after it was taken over by the military. Jaffna Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said that the hotel, which was used by the 51st army division in Jaffna was returned to the public today. The 30-room, Subash Hotel, situated in the Jaffna High Security Zone is owned by Mr S. Hariharan of No.57, Church Road, Wattala and it was taken over by the Army on more..

A clash of contrasting bowling philosophies

Mar 5 (CI) How straightforward Group A appears. Big teams beat little ones, jostle with each other for positions and off they go to the quarters. In contrast to Group B, where Ireland, England, Bangladesh and the West Indies have provided major palpitations, this group of non-death has moved along at a steady heartbeat, an occasional mild blip disturbing the quorum. There's only been one real crackerjack game, last weekend's Pakistan-Sri Lanka encounter, and more..

Sri Lanka smokers cough up Rs56bn in taxes: tobacco firm

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's smokers coughed up 56 billion rupees in taxes through the sales of Ceylon Tobacco Company, a British American Tobacco unit that is the sole legal manufacturer of cigarettes in the country, said. In 2010 there were two price increases as the government increased excise taxes on tobacco. The firm itself had a 3.1 billion rupees income tax charge for 2010. Sri Lanka cigarette consumption has been stagnant or shrinking overall amid tougher laws more..

Sri Lanka says its LLRC mandated to inquire any violation of International HR Laws

Mar 5 (GDI) Sri Lankan Government said today that the LLRC of Sri Lanka has a wide rangingmandate which inter alia includes the capacity to consider any evidence indicating violations of international humanitarian or human rights law ; Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry commenting on Resolution S. 84 adopted by the United States Senate calling for Sri Lanka to establish an accountability mechanism emphasized more..

Former Test adjudicator Darrell Hair say umpires believe Murali 'chucks'

Mar 5 (DT) Former Test umpire Darrell Hair has delivered a World Cup bombshell by revealing several current ICC match officials believe Muttiah Muralitharan is a chucker - but refrain from calling him in matches. In a shock development ahead of Sri Lanka's World Cup clash with Australia today, Hair - who first called Muralitharan for throwing in 1995 - said some of world cricket's leading umpires have privately rebuked the spin legend's controversial action. more..

Sri Lanka expands refuelling facility at new airport

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to expand to three million litres storage capacity at an aircraft refuelling facility in a new international airport being built in the south, a petroleum ministry statement said. The state-owned refiner, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, is to design and fund the aircraft hydrant refuelling system at the Maththala airport which is being built by Chinese contractors with a loan from China's Ex-Im Bank. The original plan was to build storage tanks with more..

Sri Lanka v Australia:Title contenders clash in 2007 final replay

Mar 5 (CI) The last time Australia were scheduled to take on Sri Lanka in a World Cup match in Colombo was in 1996, when Australia pulled out citing security concerns leading to plenty of rancour even before the tournament started. The last time the two teams did meet in the World Cup was in the final of 2007, when a farcical ruling over bad light provided an inept end to a much-maligned tournament. more..

Sangakkara hints at spin loaded attack

Mar 5 (ES) Having gone down to Pakistan in their previous match, Sri Lanka will be under pressure to get past defending champions Australia in their all important ICC Cricket World Cup Group A clash. Sangakkara believes packing the side with three spinners on a slow track is one way of putting the defending champions under pressure. "Our team’s composition will depend on what we want to achieve on Saturday. Playing three spinners will give us an advantage. more..

More Sri Lankan Migrant workers to be evacuated from Libya

Mar 5 (HNS) As the turmoil in Libya worsens further, the Sri Lankan government is making arrangements to evacuate the remaining 400 Lankan nationals trapped in Tripoli, Benghazi and Sirt. During the past weeks, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of External Affairs and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) had repatriated around 200 Sri Lankan migrant workers residing in Libya. By next week they hope to repatriate the remaining Sri Lankans who were trapped in Tripoli, Benghazi and Sirt. more..

Gaddafi calls President Rajapaksa

Mar 5 (BBC) The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa received a phone call from Libyan leader Col Gaddafi, officials said. Director General of President’s Media Unit Bandula Jayasekara told BBC Sandeshaya that the Libyan leader was requested by President Rajapaksa “to establish peace in the country as soon as possible.” President also requested Col Gaddafi “to safeguard the lives of the Libyan people,” he added. more..

Somawathi (Suspect Number 333) is now a free woman

Mar 5 (LG) U. A. Somawathi was condemned to live a life of a pre trial detainee for 9 years. On 22 February she was released from the Welikada prison Colombo. She is a 45 years old mother of three children. Her husband abandoned her while she was in the prison. He was a drug addict and also engaged in drug business. Somawathi had no means of supporting herself and her family and took to selling arrack. Once she was arrested and released after paying a fine of Rs.10,000/=. more..

Bogus doctorates

Mar 5 (LG) PhD now stands for ‘Permanent head damage’! If those who are parading around with the prefix of Dr think that they are impressing us that they are Intellectuals, the clowns are only fooling themselves. These clowns do not seem to be having any sense of shame or self respect. Do they really believe that we the people of this country are impressed by the prefix Dr. before their name? That is indeed a laugh. more..

'Australia are a difficult team to beat '

Mar 5 (IC) Angelo Mathews acknowledges that Australia are a tough team to beat, but says that his team is ready and looking forward to the challenge, when Sri Lanka and Australia face off in Colombo tomorrow. The encounter, one of the biggest clashes in the group stages of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, is a sell-out and a capacity crowd of 35,000 is expected. “Australia are an extremely good team and they have been playing some more..

Objective comments could be more effective

Mar 5 (LG) The recent comments of criticism on the government’s acts of omission and commission, from some ardent supporters of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government, we believe, would have a desirable impact on the present administration. Eminent lawyer Gomin Dayasri has been in the forefront among those who valiantly defended and promoted the policies of the present administration. When the government initiated its move to remove the limitation of more..

Language of Mis-communication - II

Mar 5 (DM) Today, when the Government is talking about a compulsory English test-paper for university admission, it needs to bear in mind the consequences that could flow from denial, attributable instantaneously to inadequate teaching strength, which in turn is readily acknowledged. It could only re-invent the divide, when a majority in all three communities, as the survey cited by Sunimal Fernando has found elsewhere, would want to learn the ‘other language’ as more..

Diplomacy: Consul General Jeff Goonawardena

Mar 5 (LG) We, the members of “The Sri Lankan Patriots”, based in Los Angeles California have been observing the strange twists and turns of the consul General of Sri Lanka to Los Angeles , Mr. Jeff Goonawardena for some time. We note with utter dismay the manner in which he has gone out of his way to bring about embarrassment and disrepute upon the Government of Sri Lanka, its people and the expatriate community living in more..

Making every drop count for regional water security

Mar 5 (DM) The last decade has seen the highest number of natural disasters in recorded history; called the “warmest decade” and marred by catastrophic water related disasters, in the vein of the tsunami (2004), Hurricane Katrina (2005) and the floods in Pakistan (2010). Most recently calamity hit home when the Eastern Province and other parts of the island were pelted with incessant rain. As is common knowledge, these disasters are the manifestation of the greater issue more..

Why is the local government elections campaign so dull?

Mar 5 (DM) The Local Government election this time seems to be very ho-hum; a situation where one would hardly find something to ascribe it to. One may attempt to attribute the dull situation to the World Cup cricket tournament now being played with Sri Lanka being a co-host. However, to the utter dismay of many, the feverishness of the election campaign did not mount to a noticeable level even after people largely lost interest in World Cup cricket following the more..

How veggie market became Choo market due to politics

Mar 5 (LB) Colombo’s Pettah vegetable market along 5th Cross Street provides a location for purchasing vegetables to thousands of consumers who pass by daily. But the public is unaware of the external and internal forces, politics, underworld and market vagaries which play a determining role in their day-to-day life. For instance, nearby, the ‘London Market’ at Gunasinghe Pura was closed down by the authorities -- allegedly due to more..

Kirindi Oya Water Supply Scheme augmented

Mar 5 (GDI) The augmented Kirindi Oya Water Supply Scheme will be jointly inaugurated at 10.00 a.m. tomorrow (5) at Lunugamwehera by the Speaker Mr. Chamal Rajapaksa, and the Austrian Ambassador in Sri Lanka Dr. Ferdinand Maultassen at the invitation of the Minister Mr. Dinesh Gunawardene. The project has been implemented at a cost of Rs. 2.1 Billion. This project will supply 5900 cubic meters of water per day and its pipeline network is spread over an area of 300 kilo meters. more..

More ex-LTTE cadres re-integrated soon

Mar 5 (MoD) The next batch of ex-LTTE combatants to be released will comprise males who are married and have children, said Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe. This group is identified considering their wives and children, living without their husbands and fathers, he said. The government reunited 106 ex-combatants who successfully completed their rehabilitation period with their relatives marking Maha Shivarathri festival (March 3). more..

Grace period for agri produce in crates rule ends; Enforcement remains lenient

Mar 5 (FT) The grace period given to farmers, wholesalers, distributors and traders who have to purchase plastic crates for transporting fresh fruits and vegetables ended this week though implementation of the new rule remains lax. The Treasury has released Rs. 103 million to the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade to acquire these plastic boxes, while more money will be released in the future. more..

Editorial: Cricket and patriotism

Mar 5 (Island) Politicians, big time mudalalis et al who have committed every conceivable crime against this country have now got an opportunity to project themselves as great patriots courtesy of the International Cricket Council. They are backing the national cricket squad to the hilt and wrapping themselves in the flag! Leading a group of Opposition knights in shining armour battling the critics of Sri Lankan cricketers is UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..