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Maid found with nails in her body

Nov 28 (AN) A Sri Lankan housemaid who was found with seven nails in her body following surgery at Dammam Central Hospital refused on Saturday to name who was responsible for inserting them. According to sources, 22-year-old Balsubramaniam Shashikala was admitted to Dammam Central Hospital by her Saudi sponsor with complaints of body pains on Tuesday. The doctors at the hospital performed surgery on her and found seven nails in her body. more..

Human Resources Development Policy

Nov 28 (GDI) The govt is to introduce a policy on human resources development. Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said the policy document is currently being finalized and it will be presented to the Cabinet by the end of the year. He said the policy is expected to help develop the country’s human resources, which could also be a great foreign exchange earner for the country. He said that a group of 25 persons including intellectuals, officials representing the business chambers, more..

Editorial: Dangerous dormancy of Met vigils

Nov 28 (DM) Who would have thought that Sri Lankans would have to depend on the weather forecast of the Chennai Meteorological Centre when the country has a fully-fledged Meteorological Department in the heart of the capital city? The gale that swept over the southern coastal belt that caused 17 deaths, more than 30 disappearances and colossal damages to both state and private properties, came without a warning. Yet, the question remains as to why the officials of the Met. Department more..

'JVP not allowed to visit A’pura prisoners'

Nov 28 (DM) The attempts by JVP dissidents to visit LTTE inmates in the Anuradhapura prison were thwarted by the prison authorities yesterday, a dissident member said today. Dissident member Udul Premaratne who is the former Convener of the IUSF said that he, along with a group of lawyers wanted to enter the prison premises to see these inmates who were allegedly assaulted by some other prisoners after they tried to celebrate Maveera Day in more..

Taxi service at BIA to be upgraded

Nov 28 (PRIU) The taxi service at the Bandaranaike International Airport would be upgraded in order to provide a superior and safe service to local and foreign visitors. Aviation Minister Piyankara Jayaratne said that the new taxi service would operate under one emblem and the taxi cars would be of one color driven by drivers in uniforms. He has observed that the vehicles used in the taxi service would be upgraded with the help of the 50 percent tax relief provided more..

Sri Lanka stocks end up 3.6-pct

Nov 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares closed sharply higher Monday with the main index jumping back over 6,000 points on optimism a meeting between stockbrokers and President Mahinda Rajapaksa could yield a relaxation of credit rules and price restrictions. The main All Share Price Index rose 3.62 percent to 6,015.67, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 3.24 percent to close at 5,216.57, according to stock exchange figures. Turnover was 1.2 billion rupees. more..

Minister in un-parliamentary tirade

Nov 28 (DM) In what appeared to be another instance of the use of un-parliamentary words, Minister Lakshman Seneviratne today slandered UNP MP Harin Fernando with abusive references to his father and lineage. Minister Seneviaratne started his tirade against Mr. Fernando during the debate on the 2012 budget. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva rose on a point of order and asked Deputy Chairman of Committees Murugesu Chandrakumar to expunge all such more..

Govt. to take action against councilors who voted against the council budgets

Nov 28 (LT) Disciplinary action is to be taken against 6 UPFA Members of Pradeshiya Sabhas who have voted against the budget for 2012 for their relevant councils states the Secretary General of UPFA Minister Susil Premajayanth. Accordingly, Minister Premajayanthe has informed in writing to the 4 councilors of Bope-Poddala and 2 councilors of Dodangoda Pradeshiya Sabhas who voted against the budget of the councils that disciplinary action would be taken against them. more..

Sri Lanka, Malaysia partners to promote Islamic finance

Nov 28 (CPI) "We find Sri Lanka as an emerging market for Islamic finance with immense future growth potential," Al Tayseer Advisory Services chief executive and partner Fahd Hashim, told reporters. "Sri Lanka is the second fastest growing economy in Asia right now and growth is linked to public sector investment with imports of cement steel." Mangala Boyagoda, head of Wealth Lanka Management, said, "You cannot develop Shari’ah banking without an interbank market. more..

'Sri Lanka has the second highest unresolved cases of disappearances'

Nov 28 (CT) “Sri Lanka has the second highest unresolved cases of disappearances registered with the Working Group on Disappearances. This means 1 ,000s of unclarified cases, 1,000s of families without closure.” Yolanda Foster said. Amnesty International’s Sri Lanka expert Yolanda Foster made above remarks at an interactive meeting organised by the Freedom from Torture’s Sri Lanka event at Loading Bay Gallery, London on Friday (25). more..

Sri Lanka stops repo auctions to stabilize rates

Nov 28 (LBO) Central Bank will stop repo auctions which drained money at rates higher than a 7.00 percent standing facility and also allow banks to swap dollars for cash to stabilize money markets, an official said. "We are stopping the repo auctions," Deputy Governor Dharma Dheerasinghe said. The repo auctions moved the floor of Sri Lanka's policy rate corridor from 7.00 percent to 7.57 percent last week. Overnight rates have been volatile due to liquidity losses more..

JVP Leader meets Secretary of the ruling party in Cyprus

Nov 28 (LT) JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, abroad to participate in ‘IL Heroes’ commemoration to be held in several countries, has met the General Secretary of AKEL (Progressive Party of Working People) the ruling party in Cyprus Andros Kyprianou and the Secretary of International Affairs of the party states the media unit of the JVP. Mr. Amarasinghe has had discussions with the trade union federation of AKEL party as well states the media unit of the JVP. more..

Doctor Mudalalis never had it so good

Nov 28 (DM) When someone is told by a parent, “I want my son to study medicine,’ or when a student says, ‘I am hoping to enter medical college,’ the usual response is, ‘that’s good,’ or ‘that’s a very good choice’ or something that goes on similar lines. But, how many ask the most pertinent question: “Why do you want to be a doctor?” This query is rarely or never posed, if it is, the responses are likely to be coloured towards gains and achievements of more..

Popular vocalist and Musician Arrested for procession of Heroin

Nov 28 (LP) A popular vocalist and a member of a famous music group were apprehended by the Maharagama police for possession of Heroin. The singer nabbed by the police is a son of a renowned yesteryear singer and a brother of a popular singer. He was nabbed while he was on his way to inhale drugs after purchasing from a drug selling spot in Maharagama, Perakum road. Acting on a tip off, the police were able to nab them and police added the suspects have been buying drugs more..

Police Service short of around 10,000 cadres

Nov 28 (DM) The Police Service runs short of around 10,000 cadres required to maintain law and order in the country, Parliament was informed today. In response to a question by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardane said that there are only 83,423 police officers in the service, the actual number required is 92,023 police. Out of those in service, 81,328 are Sinhala police officers, 1,093 Tamil police officers, 952 Muslim officers, more..

Road signs indicate better times

Nov 28 (IPS) The rough road is almost indistinguishable from the mud huts and dilapidated surroundings of this village - still pockmarked by the artillery duels of Sri Lanka’s fierce civil war that ended more than two years ago. Chinese engineers are now overseeing the repair of this 50 km stretch of gravel connecting Nedunkerni village with the A9 highway, the lifeline for Sri Lanka's former northern war zone, popularly known as the Vanni. more..

Southern electricity lines severely damaged

Nov 28 (DM) Electricity lines in South are severely damaged, it will take at least a couple of days to restore them, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. The Minister said that even high tension lines had been damaged in the areas such as Ahangama and Weligama, and a great deal of effort had to be made to provide electricity to these areas. “Unlike what happened during the two bouts of floods that hit the country early this year, a lot of light posts have been damaged this time. more..

No JVP at UNP initiated protest

Nov 28 (SL) The JVP would not attend the massive protest organized by the UNP in Colombo tomorrow. The UNP last week said the JVP would be invited to participate in the protest campaign, which is aimed at building an anti-govt movement. The party added that other opposition political parties, trade unions and civil society organizations have been invited to join the movement. However, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said the party has already commenced a series of protest campaigns against more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 28.11.2011

Colombo commemorates Card. Cardijn, promoter of mission in the world of work

Nov 28 (AN) "Our Lady said, 'Do whatever he tells you.' So in our life we must always try to live according to the teachings of Christ. Only in this way will we improve our mission as Christian workers in this society”, said Fr.. Sixtus Kurukulasuriya marking the 129th anniversary of the birth of Card. Joseph Cardijn, founder of the Young Christian Workers Movement (YCW) and promoter of missionary work among young people in the world of work. more..

Nigerian couple arrested for smuggling US$70,000

Nov 28 (LS) A Nigerian couple was arrested for illegally smuggling US$70,000 (Rs.8 million) at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) by the airport narcotics bureau yesterday. The police said that the couple who had arrived from a Emirates flight at 8.30 pm last night from Dubai were arrested by officers of the BIA according to information received stating that they had been dealing with narcotics. During the time of investigation it was revealed that this money more..

Church protests arrest of Indian nun

Nov 28 (BBC) The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka says it is deeply concerned over the arrest of a Catholic sister of an Indian origin over child abuse allegations. Sister Mary Eliza who ran a convent in Moratuwa was released on bail under strict condition by a magistrate on Monday. Banning her foreign travels, the court also ordered the Sister not to visit the convent or adjacent areas. In a statement issued on Saturday, the Catholic Church says more..

General public permitted to visit Iranaimadh​u runway

Nov 28 (LS) SriLankan Army permitted the public to visit Iranaimadhu airport runways constructed and used by the members of LTTE on day before yesterday. This runway was located in Killinochchie , about seven kilometers away from Ramanathapuram area and far beyond the old Kandy road in Iranaimadhu. Special cultural programees were also organized on this opening ceremony event. Thousands of civilians took part in the musical programmee organized in the play ground near by more..

Lankan plantations complain to Govt. on enchroachment

Nov 28 (ST) Sri Lankan plantations companies are complaining that villages and workers have encroached on plantation lands following controversial expropriation lawsl, and are meeting Plantations Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe on Tuesday to discuss the crisis. “Encroachers are citing this Bill and encroaching on the lands in the low grown tea plantations, because they want to get a head start as they feel that these lands will be given to them anyway,” more..

First accident on expressway

Nov 28 (DM) An accident occurred on the Southern Expressway at 7.10 this morning, at the 8th mile post in Kahatuduwa. The two individuals who were injured were travelling to Colombo. They were admitted to the Horana Hospital and have now been discharged. The police said that the individuals were identified as a foreigner and a local driver and they had been travelling over the speed limit of 100kmph. The expressway was declared open last morning, more..

Southern Expressway: Rs.01 mn revenue in first 12 hours

Nov 28 (LP) Revenue from the Southern Expressway during the first 12 hours of operations from 6 pm yesterday (27) to 6 am this morning recorded Rs.01 million, Managing Director Southern Expressway, P D K Bandara said. He also said during that period over 4,530 vehicles have traversed on the country’s first Expressway. Some vehicles were not up to required standards faced engine troubles such as boiling issues, he said. The Expressway was declared open last morning,

Country debt burden increased: Wimal Weerawansa

Nov 28 (LS) Minister Wimal Weerawansa a lied of ruling party accuses the government about the greatly increased country debt burden. In the recent budget proposal submitted by the President Rajapaksa do not have any plane to reduce this debt burden from the nation. Even opposition parties over looked or ignored this matter. The total burden of the countries debt as accumulated over Rs. 5000 billion. In 70's it was found the total debt was Rs. 22 billion. more..

Jeena Madam’s women acquitted

Nov 28 (DM) The eight women, who had been arrested on October 24, 2007 along with Rosemary Felicia Perera alias Jeena Madam on charges of having helped operate a brothel under the guise of a night club at the Kollupitiya Liberty Plaza building complex, were acquitted today by a Colombo Court. The main accused Rosemary Felicia Perera has been indicted in the Colombo High Court on charges of procuring women for prostitution and as such she was released from more..

Why delay in oil refinery project, Dayasiri asks

Nov 28 (DM) The financial assistance for the improvement of oil refinery facilities from Iran now hangs in the balance due to political turmoil in the Middle East, Parliament was informed today. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara questioned the govt about the delay in the implementation of the project for the improvement of oil refinery facilities in Sri Lanka with the financial assistance from Iran. He said that the govt laid the foundation stone for the project in 2008 more..

Tamil prisoners on hunger strike

Nov 28 (BBC) At least 65 Tamil prisoners in Anuradhapura prison are on a hunger strike seeking proper protection after an alleged assault. The prisoners have launched a protest after being assaulted by the prison officials on Sunday, former Jaffna district MP MK Sivajilingam told BBC. Most of the prisoners subjected to assault were made disabled during the war, he added. Mr Sivajilingam said jail guards have also destroyed a Hindu Temple built inside the prison with permission. more..

Failure in delivering funds

Nov 28 (DM) The District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries in certain provinces have failed to delivered funds for the reconstruction of houses damaged in the two bouts of floods that hit the country early this year though the government has made necessary allocations, it was revealed in Parliament today. During the first wave of floods, 42,705 families were affected, and during the second wave 294,596 families were affected. more..

Dishonest dissent

Nov 29 (NS) “… far too often we are pleased with, defend and opt for mediocre, mundane and haphazard activism and advocacy, which in turn supports the governments that seek to censor and harm us. If we aren’t better than them in strategy, expression and content, it is they who gain and we who lose.” It’s the defence of mediocrity that irks me the most. This excerpt from an email I penned earlier this week captures a long-standing frustration with activists who believe that more..

Chaos in parliament

Nov 29 (DM) The nonchalant atmosphere of the House disappeared within a matter of minutes after the UNP MPs rose on their feet displaying placards which said ‘shame’ in all the three languages, and the subsequent angry reaction by the govt’s back benchers. For the first time in recent history, the heads of diplomatic missions based in Colombo, senior public servants and journalists witnessed how intolerance and disrespect for dissent have done a serious assault on the parliamentary democracy here. more..

Towards a more productive public sector

Nov 29 (SO) Productivity of the public sector is just as important to the economic performance of a country as that of the private sector. Three main reasons have been identified as to why public sector productivity is crucial. First, the public sector is a major employer. Second, it is a major provider of services in the economy, particularly business services (affecting cost of inputs) and social services (affecting labour quality). more..

A lesson on Sherlock Holmes for Universities

Nov 29 (LB) There is a Sherlock Holmes story titled The Five Orange Pips. Holmes’ client’s dad gets agitated when he receives by post five dried orange pips with a directive demanding him to leave a particular batch of papers on a sundial of a sort. The man fails to do so, and later on he dies in an “accident.” Then, a few weeks later, the client, too receives fives pips by post. He, too, fails to follow the directive as the papers in question had already been destroyed by more..

Editorial: Expressway drives and politics

Nov 29 (Island) The first ever expressway (E01) in Sri Lanka has been declared open and the first accident on it has already happened. (We are known the world over for living and driving dangerously!) The govt has left no stone unturned in its efforts to market E01. Even a peasant in a far-flung area like Dambana, using dirt tracks, must be knowing the expressway, which he may never be able to use, like the back of his hand thanks to the govt's massive advertising blitz. more..

Tamil Buddhism in Ancient South India and Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (DBS) The Tamil film “7aum Arivu”(the seventh sense) directed by AR Murugadoss is now running in cinemas and is a box office success. The film is based on the story of Bodhidharmar who was supposedly a Tamil Buddhist born In Kanchipuram and a scion of the Pallava dynasty. While relating the tale of Bodhivarmar at the start the film goes on to portray the modern saga of a character purported to more..

Budget reverses exchange rate policy, raises inflationary pressures

Nov 29 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as Minister of Finance, presenting the 2012 Budget made the unexpected announcement that he was devaluing the rupee by 3 percent immediately. He said: "We need to reduce the import cost and increase export revenue. When our currency has strengthened, our trading partners' currencies have depreciated. So I propose to devalue the currency by 3 per cent with effect from today." The devaluation of the currency by 3 per cent increases more..

The multiple ironies of UNP leadership and the IDU

Nov 29 (ST) The commotion in Parliament when UNP MPs brought placards and shouted slogans during the presentation of the 2012 Budget offered yet another example of the shameful depths to which govt MPs could descend in their conduct. It also came off as yet another fiasco in the UNP's pathetic scorecard as the country's main opposition party. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe's 'tactics' just backfired. There is some irony in the fact that that Wickremesinghe had more..

Democratic luxuries that we cannot possess

Nov 29 (ST) Last week, the spectacle of ordinary people battering on the doors of the Colombo High Court and abusing two of the three judges who sat on the Trial-at-Bar in the White Flag case, which case resulted in the piling up of another jail term of three years on Sri Lanka's former Army Commander, was unprecedented by all accounts even in this country's unfortunately chequered history. We may bewail these incidents as much as we may sanctimoniously condemn more..