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HIV prevention in prisons

May 10 (DN) The Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry and the Health Ministry have jointly started the 'Jeevithayata Nawa Eliyak' prison HIV and AIDS prevention programme according to a World Health Organization plan to improve health facilities and save lives of the prison community by preventing HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, said National Sexually Transmitted Diseases STD and AIDS Control Programme Consultant Community Physician Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana. more..

Bishop makes war evacuee appeal

May 10 (UCAN) A Catholic bishop has urged the government to do more to help people evacuated 15 years ago during the civil war to return home to their villages. Many villagers still do not know when they will be able to return home to rebuild their lives, Bishop Thomas Savundranayagam of Jaffna said. Some 2,000 families, most of them Catholics, have been staying in refugee camps since 1995. Luckier families have been with relatives or living in rented accommodation. more..

Sri Lanka falls behind in Mothers' ranking

May 10 (BBC) Sri Lanka has fallen three ranks below in the 2011 Mother’s index compiled by Save the Children (STC). However, Sri Lanka which ranks 43rd among the less developed countries in 'the world to be a mother', is ahead of India and Pakistan in the region. Cuba remained at the top of the eighty less developed countries. European countries along with Australia and New Zealand dominate the top positions in the twelfth annual Mother’s Index of more..

The struggle for justice goes on

May 10 (UCAN) As Kithudana Pubuduwa (the movement for renewal of the Christian people) in Sri Lanka is completing forty years, I’m happy to note that over the years we have helped many Catholics develop a strong commitment to the cause of social justice and the change of sinful structures. Basically we are a prayer movement but we have been in the forefront of the people’s struggle for justice and protection of the environment in Sri Lanka. more..

Tamils ignored in Administrative Service examinations

May 10 (TN) Tamils are ignored in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) competitive examination conducted by the Sri Lanka’s Department of Education. Not a single Tamil public servant has been selected from the SLAS competitive examination conducted in 2010, sources in the Department of Education said. Applications were called in for the said examination in 2009. More than thousand Tamils sat for the examination held in Colombo and Jaffna. more..

Development Diaries

Occupying SL military threatens TNA politicians in Jaffna

May 10 (TN) While building up democratic politics in the north and east is reiterated as a prerequisite for ‘reconciliation,’ the genocidal SL Army occupying Jaffna under the command of ‘Asian Nobel Peace Laureate’ Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe is engaged in intimidating politicians of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the most favoured political formation in the north and east, and the people who come into contact with it, news sources in Jaffna said. more..

Govt. prepared to give Hashan security

May 10 (Island) Following Western Provincial Council member and former Sri Lankan Cricket Captain Hashan Thilakaratne’s revelation that since 1992 match fixing had been taking place in Sri Lanka, Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has said that if Thilakaratne named the persons involved, he would be given security. On the instructions of the IGP, the CID was called in to investigate the allegations made by the former captain. more..

'Govt, TNA talks progress without policy differences'

May 10 (DN) Five rounds of talks which took place between the government and the TNA have progressed without any policy differences so far. The talks were based on the unitary system of government. These remarks were made by Parliamentarian Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena given the responsibility of monitoring the External Affairs Ministry. Gunawardena also functions as the secretary in charge of the talks between government leaders and the TNA leadership. more..

No military training: IUSF urge parents

May 10 (DM) The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) urged the parents to abstain from making their children participate in the leadership training programmes which are to be carried out in military camps and added that the Higher Education Ministry has no right to force students to enroll in the programme. The Higher Education Ministry announced few weeks ago that leadership training programmes would be held for new entrants of all universities with effect from May 23. more..

Sambuddhatva Jayanthi: Seventy five pc off on temples’ water bills

May 10 (DN) The Water Supply and Drainage Ministry on a directive from Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardana has decided to slash water bills of every temple which has been supplied water by the Water Board by 75 percent, to mark the 2600th Sambuddhathva Jayanthi during May. The ministry will also supply water free for every temple which does not have water connections of the NSW & DB which are close to water lines. more..

Appoint officials to SLC within 2 months: SC

May 10 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday suggested to the relevant parties to look towards the holding of elections for the appointment of officials to Sri Lanka Cricket within two months in the interest of cricket and the country. The Bench made this suggestion when the fundamental rights petition filed by United Southern Cricket Club President M.S.Asoka Mendis came up before the Court for support. more..

Bradman report next week

May 10 (DM) The UNP committee set up to study the report of the experts’ panel appointed by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will submit its observations to party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe this week, officials said yesterday. Mr. Wickremesinghe recently assigned a former eminent civil servant Bradman Weerakoon to study the report and make recommendations on the course of action to be taken by the UNP. Mr. Weerakoon said the study was a joint effort and more..

'No location shift for Colombo University'

May 10 (DM) While completely dismissing media reports with speculations of a possible location shift for the Colombo University, the Higher Education Ministry assured there would be absolutely no such location shift in the university premises. The Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne who rejected speculations of the location shift said that there was no need to be concerned of such a possibility as no such plan has been discussed until now. more..

COPE summons Sri Lanka Cricket

May 10 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was yesterday summoned by the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) following allegations of match fixing and financial misappropriation. COPE Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekara said the summons followed the series of shocking exposures in the media. SLC is alleged to have lost more than Rs.2 billion since the present interim committee headed by D.S. De Silva took over the administration. more..

Ten cricketers leave for England today

May 10 (Island) Ten Sri Lankan cricketers will leave the island this morning for a Test and ODI series in England. A section of the national squad leave without some of the senior players, who are expected to join the team in England ahead of the second warm up game against England ‘A’, starting on May 19. Newly appointed captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, former captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, fast bowler Dilhara Fernando, off-spinner Suraj Randiv and more..

SLPL to add two more provinces later

May 10 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has said two more provinces will be added to the Sri Lanka Premier League after the first few seasons. Seven provinces will be a part of the first tournament, with the Rajarata and Sabaragamuwa provinces the only ones of Sri Lanka's nine not to have a team. Ranatunga said their exclusion would not last long. "We merely wanted to limit the number of teams to ensure competitiveness," he told the Daily Mirror. more..

Speculation swirls about HNB fund utilization

May 10 (DM) There has been widespread speculation about the purpose for which Sri Lanka’s second largest private bank Hatton National Bank (HNB) will utilize the whopping Rs.15 billion worth funds planned to be raised through rights and private placements. According to the disclosure that was filed to the stock exchange by the bank last week, the monies are raised to strengthen the bank’s capital base or the balance sheet, more..

No marriage for Thalassemia couples

May 10 (DM) The Health Ministry will introduce legal provisions to forbid marriages between two Thalassemia carriers to eradicate the disease from Sri Lanka, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. Minister Sirisena said the ministry has taken measures to make blood tests mandatory for every young couple before marriage. “If the blood tests do not bring the desired results, the Health Ministry has no option but more..

UNP to back university teachers’ demand for higher salaries

May 10 (Island) While university lecturers have threatened to resign if their demand for higher salaries is not met forthwith, the UNP is to take up their cause in and outside parliament. Kabir Hashim MP, the Convenor of a UNP Committee appointed to study the developing situation in Universities, said yesterday that they would be meeting the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) to discuss their grievances and demands. more..

Indian railway project in Sri Lanka at full steam

May 10 (Island) With an Indian de-mining team clearing the 107-km stretch of a railway alignment from Medawachchiya to Talaimannar in record time, the Indian Railway Construction Corporation (Ircon) has shifted gears on the construction of a railway line. Ircon is aiming to complete the sections allocated to it in a year-and-a-half. When the ISO-certified de-mining team, Horizon, began its work about eight months ago, it faced a host of obstacles. more..

'Infamous Oil hedging deal: US$ 800 million yet to be paid'

May 10 (Island) With US$ 800 million yet to be paid to several foreign banks, the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime was trying to pass the buck by claiming that the infamous oil hedging deal was decided on by a few, including a past cricketer, the UNP said. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake said that the govt has already paid out US$ 120 million and was yet to settle an outstanding amount of US$ 800 million, more..

Plantation workers not paid gratuity, EPF

May 10 (Island) Allegations have been levelled against the State Plantations Corporation (SPC), Janatha Estates Development Board (JEDB), and the Elkaduwa Plantations Company Ltd. (EPL), over non-payment of EPF and Service gratuity to 27,000 or more plantation workers, for over a decade. The dues are said to run into millions of rupees. The President of the Joint Plantation Trade Union Center (JPCTU) more..

India’s first luxury cruiser to ply Lankan waters

May 10 (Island) India’s first luxury liner will soon commence weekly cruises in Sri Lankan waters calling on Colombo and Trincomalee while the Maldives would be added on to the destinations later on , a top official said. ‘AMET Majesty’, a luxury liner owned and operated by the AMET University of Tamil Nadu to train marine cadets, will commence weekly cruises from Chennai India, stopping over at Colombo and Trincomalee, more..

Dons can’t quit admn. posts: Three months’ notice, a must

May 10 (DN) Dons holding administrative positions in universities cannot resign from such positions without giving three months’ prior notice, according to a new circular issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The new circular stipulates that any lecturer holding an administrative position should give three months’ notice to the UGC through the respective Vice Chancellor before resigning his or her position. more..

Vasu demands accountability in House over sound conference system contract

May 10 (Island) In the wake of allegations of irregularities in a recent tender for the restoration of a ‘sound conference system’ in Committee Room I in the Parliament, Senior Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara has urged Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to initiate an inquiry. Speaker Rajapaksa has accepted Vasu’s suggestion that parliament, too, should be subject to the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), more..

'India's support important to tackle impasse over war crime report'

May 10 (IE) Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that India's support was important in his government's attempt to tackle the current impasse over a report by an UN advisory panel, accusing it of committing war crimes during the last phase of conflict with the LTTE. "India has always acted with co-operation with Sri Lanka. Our relations have been good at all times", Rajapaksa said while addressing the local heads of media institutions more..

PMG had violated policy

May 11 (NN) The Post Master General (PMG) who is now being investigated over several allegations had, in 2009, violated the policy on issuing stamps and printed a stamp despite advice by President Mahinda Rajapaksa not to do so. Post Master General D.M.K. Dissanayake was recently suspended from service after postal unions demanded an investigation into his alleged activities. News has now learnt that the Post Master General had, in 2009, issued a more..

No Vesak booze, meat

May 11 (NN) The government has decided to ban the sale of liquor and will also close night clubs on May 16, 17 and 18 for Vesak, the government information department said. According to the government information department, liquor shops, race bookies, casinos and night clubs will be closed on May 16, 17 and 18 for Vesak. The government also said that the sale of liquor at Super Markets will also be banned during that period. more..

Private bus fare hike

May 11 (DM) Private bus owners said today that they will increase bus fares by 15% even if they do not get the approval of the National Transport Commission (NTC) adding that bus owners have the legal authority to do so although the NTC has stated otherwise. Bus fare increases are usually decided by the NTC with the agreement of bus owners and other relevant transport authorities. However, Private Bus Owners Association President, Gemunu Wijeyratne said that more..

More rehabilitated ex-combatants to be released

May 11 (GDI) More rehabilitated LTTE cadres will be released to mark the 2600th Sambuddathva Jayanthi anniversary. Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe has said that more LTTE cadres will be reintegrated into the society upon completion of their rehabilitation program to mark the significant religious event that celebrates the 2600th anniversary of Buddha's enlightenment. The rehabilitated cadres have been given vocational training and more..

UNP request LG polls be held on one day

May 11 (AD) The UNP requests the govt to organize the elections for all the postponed Local Govt bodies on the same day. “If the government holds a majority power, why don’t they hold elections for all LG bodies on one day?” Tissa Attanayake questions. Speaking during a press briefing today he stated that even though the verdict on the court cases concerning several Local Government institutions is scheduled to be delivered on May 12, various issues will surface afterwards. more..

Sweeping changes as women sign up for mine-clearing jobs in Sri Lanka

May 11 (SMH) The women are taking back war-torn northern Sri Lanka, one square metre at a time. In some parts of the Tamil-dominated north, women are said to outnumber men by 10 to one. In the aftermath of the brutal civil war that cruelled this part of the country for the best part of three decades, the men are dead, held by the army in isolated internment camps, or have simply disappeared. more..

Sri Lanka wary of English conditions

May 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka will have to adjust quickly to the Test format as well as different wickets if they are to challenge England in their backyard, batting coach Marvan Atapattu said on Tuesday. "The biggest challenge is to adjust to English conditions," Atapattu said as the bulk of Sri Lankan touring party left for England for a two-month tour. Senior players Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, as well as a few others, will join the squad later more..

Embarrassed dad dies

May 11 (NN) A father who could not bear the embarrassment of the actions of his son had committed suicide in Gokarella, Kurunegala, the Gokarella police said today. The police said that the son was caught watching porn on his mobile phone in school by a teacher who had later reported it to the principal. The principal summoned the parents of the young boy to raise the matter and when the parents arrived the principal had shown the porn on their son’s phone. more..

EU supports Panel report

May 11 (NN) Just a day after News reported that the EU was mum on the UN panel report regarding Sri Lanka the High Representative of the EU Catherine Ashton released a statement saying the EU hopes that the government of Sri Lanka will recognize the constructive objectives of the report. In the statement on behalf of the European Union on the Report of the UN Secretary-General Panel of Experts, Ashton said the EU considers that more..

Sri Lanka likely to host England-Pakistan series

May 11 (DM) Sri Lanka are likely to host England's Pakistan tour next year as continuing security concerns may prevent Pakistan from hosting the series on home soil. "We have approached both England and Pakistan cricket authorities to get the opportunity to host the series and the response is positive" said Sri Lanka (SLC) interim committee secretary Nishantha Ranatunga who had canvassed for the series on behalf of the SLC at an ICC meeting a few months back. more..

Stooges providing succor to LTTE remnants -Gotabhaya

May 11 (AT) The Defense Secretary, Mr. Gotabhaya Rasjapaksa has said that the Darusman panel has failed to recognize the immense steps the government has taken to bring peace and reconciliation, matched with development, to the north and north-east of the country that not too long ago was controlled with an armed iron fist by the LTTE. He has said that within the first 12 months of the war ending, we even resettled over 350,000 displaced Tamils, an achievement that more..

Retirement age increased to 57

May 11 (GDI) The retirement age of employees in state enterprises has been increased to 57 years from 55 years. Secretary to the treasury Dr.P.B.Jayasundera has said the directive is effective from the 1st of May this year. He has said that the relevant circular has been released to the Secretaries of Ministries and Chairmen of State Institutions. With the issuance of the new circular, the previous circulars issued regarding the retirement age of more..

'Sri Lanka to sell $1 bln, minimum 10-yr eurobond'

May 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to sell a billion sovereign dollar bond this year with a tenure of 10 years or more to retire expensive debt and fund vital infrastructure projects, the island nation's central bank said on Tuesday. The issue will be Sri Lanka's fourth eurobond offering since it first tapped international capital markets in 2007. "It will be $1 billion and the tenure will be 10 years or even more," Dharma Dheerasinghe, the central bank's deputy governor, more..