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Veggie vendors stump CAA; tussle continues

Sept 11 (LB) Though it has been made mandatory to use plastic containers to transport vegetables and fruits, farmers and vendors say that in reality, it is difficult to carry out these instructions. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) made it compulsory through a Gazette notification on Jan 1 this year for the use of plastic containers to transport stocks of vegetables and fruits. As per the special Gazette notification, when transporting, storing or putting such stocks out for sale, more..

Auditor General issues damning report on cash strapped CPC

Sept 11 (SL) A damning report by the Auditor General’s Department on the position of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in 2009 has highlighted many irregularities in the cash strapped government institution. The Auditor General’s report has been handed over to the COPE for further inquiries. COPE is currently probing the observations made by the Auditor General on the CPC for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. more..

48-hour detention: Minister to consult Cabinet, all parties

Sept 11 (ST) Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said yesterday he would consult the Cabinet and opposition party leaders over extending the validity of the Criminal Procedure Code Act that empowers the Police to hold suspects arrested without a warrant in detention for 48 hours. A move to get the Act extended was stymied by the Opposition last Thursday. It was deferred after the UNP objected to it on the grounds that the provisions had already lapsed as more..

Int’l school teacher commits suicide: Inquiry put off

Sept 11 (Island) The magisterial inquest into the death of an English teacher working for an international school who was found hanging in his boarding room at Mt. Lavinia was held last week, but the inquiry was put off. On a complaint from the mistress of a boarding house in Sri Gunarante Mawatha at Mt. Lavinia that a nauseating smell was emanating from a room, police forced it open and found the body of the teacher. more..

CB selling dollars to firm rupee

Sept 11 (LB) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has sold a stock of US$ 500 million in the market with a view to keeping the rupee from fluctuating. The latest sale of forex reserves comes as the IMF cautioned the govt against selling forex reserves to defend a dollar peg. Governor of Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that the Central Bank had sold US$500 million of the US$2,000 million they had bought in an attempt to stabilize more..

CEB seeks power from private supplier

Sept 11 (LB) The generation of power at the power plants may come to a standstill due to the lack of rain in the hydro catchment areas, informed sources told this newspaper. This is due to the fact that 40 per cent of power is generated via the reservoirs. However, that situation has changed drastically due to the prevailing drought. 40 per cent of what was normally being generated by the reservoirs has now come down 15 per cent, more..

Vow to curb VIP vehicle mayhem after polls

Sept 11 (LB) Informed sources said that once the October LG polls conclude, the govt is to take stern action against VIP motorcades that flout laws on city roads. As there is no threat of terror in the country, the government has deemed that there needs to be a drastic reduction of VIP motorcades in the city -- and those who flout laws and regulations on the roads are to be severely dealt with, a senior govt aide told this newspaper. more..

Clash over private medical college

Sept 11 (ST) The country’s sole private medical college, the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, was set up two years ago and is already generating heated controversy. On August 31, the Minister of Higher Education, S. B. Dissanayake, issued a gazette giving recognition to the private medical college in Malabe as a legitimate degree-awarding institute. It is entitled to award the degree of Bachelor of Medicine and the Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). more..

U.S. Embassy honours September 11 victims

Sept 12 (DM) U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Patricia A. Butenis today honoured victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001, through an inter-faith memorial service at her residence. Embassy staff gathered with invited guests to hear a speech by Ambassador Butenis followed by prayers for the victims by an Anglican priest, a Buddhist monk, a Hindu priest, a Jewish rabbi, a Muslim imam, and a Roman Catholic priest. Ambassador Butenis spoke of the attacks in more..

35 Lankan fishermen and seven trawlers to return from India

Sept 12 (DM) The Indian authorities have taken steps to hand over 35 Lankan fishermen along with seven trawlers this week, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said. These fishermen were under Indian custody and their fishing trawlers when they crossed into the Economic Zone during the months of April and May. Altogether 41 fishermen were arrested with eight trawlers. They were produced before a court in Andrah Pradesh and each of them were fined Rs.50,000. more..

Day 4: Solid Sangakkara fights for Sri Lanka

Sept 12 (CI) Australia's chances of victory faded with the light around Pallekele on the fourth afternoon, as Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene settled in on a pitch offering little for the bowlers. On a day that began with a pre-play declaration from Michael Clarke, when Australia led by 237, the Sri Lanka batsmen put up their firmest resistance of the series, and went to stumps with a deficit of just 14. more..

Sri Lanka's batting finally comes good

Sept 12 (CI) This might easily have been the day that ended the series. When Michael Clarke declared Australia's innings closed at the overnight tally of 411 for 7, all he required for an innings victory and an unbeatable 2-0 series lead was a Sri Lankan top-order display consistent with their prior performances in this series. What he received instead was a far spikier batting performance from a team that was on its very last chance to gain a foothold against the visitors, and more..

Sangakkara calls for extended runs for players

Sept 12 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has called for stability in the team after they gave themselves a chance of staving off a Test match and series defeat by Australia in Pallekele. While he acknowledged the team's poor performances with the bat so far in the series, he said the batsmen needed to be given extended runs without the constant fear of being dropped. Only that, he said, could bring positive results - Sri Lanka have not won a Test match since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan. more..

Sri Lanka intercepts asylum boat headed for Australia

Sept 12 (AFP) The Sri Lankan navy has intercepted a boat carrying 40 people headed for Australia, as authorities in Colombo crack down on illegal migration rackets. People smugglers in Sri Lanka charge about $5,000 for a risky, one-way journey to Australia, but the navy has stepped up patrols to stop migrants illegally leaving the island's shores. "Those arrested are all Sri Lankans, who had set off on their journey in a fishing vessel from Negambo town" more..

Sri Lanka goes back on its assurances

Sept 12 (SAAG) When the Fourth Eelam War began in early 2006, the main objective of the Sri Lankan Govt was to find a military solution to the ethnic problem. The armed forces were given a free hand, they were well armed and well equipped with latest weapons acquired from different parts of the world; and they were not constrained by likely human rights violations. The war against the LTTE was projected as an integral part of the global war against terrorism and, as a result, Sri Lanka was able to mobilize international support in the pursuit of its goals. more..

Daya Apparel to open factories in east

Sept 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Daya Apparel Export is setting up three factories in eastern Amparai district, part of the former war zone, with 20 production lines capable of exporting over 2.4 million pieces of apparel a year. The project, being done in partnership with the USAID, will provide direct employment to 1,000 men and women in the area, and contribute to ethnic harmony, a US embassy statement said. The first factory was inaugurated on September 9, employing 80 workers. more..

Undergraduates training in 'brainwash' controversy

Sept 12 (BBC) The Sri Lankan authorities are accused of trying to brainwash university students through 'leadership training' instead of trying to find solutions to students' burning issues. Rejecting the accusation, the ministry of higher education says the new three-week 'leadership training' programme is the first step of a wider reforms initiative. The ministry this year introduced a three-week 'leadership training' in military camps for more..

Beauty and diversity meet in Sri Lanka

Sept 12 (National) Sri Lanka has the same population as Australia in an area smaller than the state of Tasmania. So visitors should expect a huge amount of hustle and bustle when they land on the island, which is steeped in history, intrigue and beauty. The end of the country's civil war, which lasted more than 25 years, opened the floodgates to tourism in 2009 and the Sri Lankan people are now benefiting from a thriving trade. The population is a melting pot of more..

Mannar fishermen prevented from fishing

Sept 12 (BBC) Fisher folk in northern district of Mannar told journalists that the Sri Lanka govt of allowing fishermen from the south while preventing local fishermen fishing in northern waters. Although multi day vessels from Puttalam and Kalpitiya are allowed by the defence ministry for fishing in Mannar, they say, the locals are required to obtain permits from the ministry to engage in their traditional job. They urged the govt to compensate to ease the plight of over 31,000 more..

'Voters given to eat, drink at Temple Trees'

Sept 12 (AD) It has now become a custom of the govt, after dates for the election are fixed, to bring voters as various groups to Temple Trees and treat them to food and beverages, accuses UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. At this instance where the Local Govt election has reached it third phase that custom is being “grandly” exercised, he states. In a letter addressed to the Commissioner of Elections, highlighting alleged violations of election laws more..

Kapilavastu relics to be displayed in Sri Lanka

Sept 12 (Hindu) The Kapilavastu relics (fragments of Buddha's bones) will travel to Sri Lanka next January, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha, said here on Saturday. This is the first time in recent history that the relics will travel out of India. All protocol extended to a head of state will be given to the relics. An Indian delegation arrived in Colombo recently to work out of the modalities, he said. The move follows a request by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during more..

Cruise vessel plans special offers

Sept 12 (Hindu) Special offers would be announced in October and November for Scotia Prince, the cruise vessel being operated between Tuticorin and Colombo ports. Since these months usher in the high season, more people were expected to use the vessel, said P.A. Ponnappa, General Manager, Flemingo Liners, which is operating the ship twice a week between India and Sri Lanka. Patronage of passengers had shown an increasing trend since June 13 when the international more..

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Friends in high places

Sept 12 (LG) Bell Pottinger, take a hike. If ever the LTTE wants a public relations team it has none other than the govt. The Rajapakses have taken the vanquished LTTE to a new level of exhortation. It has elevated the LTTE to the top spot with the able leadership of the Island editorial team headed by none other than the veteran journalist Manik de Silva who is pitting a new angle to the Norway shootings that he could have learnt a lesson or two from the LTTE. Perhaps the LTTE had a hand in Delhi courthouse killings? more..

From Libya to Sri Lanka

Sept 12 (LG) I am forwarding to you all the corrected version of my response to the e-mail I received on Libya: Thank you for sending to me the e-mail regarding Libya and hope that you will permit me to make my comments too on Libya in the same good spirit as you have done. Before making my comments I wish to say a few words on my policy regarding politics and world affairs. That is: Politics should be for the welfare of the people and people alone and not for the benefit of an individual, a family, a group or more..

Bullet scarred palms and a people’s agony

Sept 12 (LG) On the A-9 road from Kandy to Jaffna, bullet scarred palmyrah palms that once lined long stretches where intense fighting between govt troops and the LTTE had taken place, are no longer to be seen. Many of these dead or dying trees have been chopped down, accentuating an unforgettably arid landscape that has seen enough death and destruction for decades to come. Erasure of the agonies that ordinary people have had to undergo will not, however be as more..

'Concerted efforts by anti-govt forces to mislead People'

Sept 12 (LG) Minister Douglas Devananda paid a visit on the east 05th to those who had been hospitalized and released on bail consequent to the chaotic situation that erupted in Navanturai area. The Minister having met these people at “(Paraloka Matha)” Church in Navanthurai, said that he was extremely worried of the unfortunate incident that cropped up in the area and would look into the circumstances which led to this chaos and provide the victims with whatever the relief that were needed to be given to them. more..

LG polls should be used to install some checks on Rajapaksa-power

Sept 12 (TC) The Rajapaksa plan to evict almost 70,000 poor families from Colombo and sell/lease their lands to favoured bidders has been put on the backburner – until the Colombo Municipal Council election is over. A protest which took place last week demonstrated that land-grabbing is not the exclusive problem of Colombo’s poor. With actual and potential victims belonging to all ethnic and religious groups, from both urban and rural areas, land-grabbing by the state in the name of more..

Nattamis, a vital cog in Pettah

Sept 12 (SO) The difficult service rendered by `Nattamis’ in the Pettah market to transport goods from one place to another on shoulders or by carts is appreciated by only a few in society. Many people, especially the younger generation have neither heard about `Nattamis’ nor seen them carrying heavy loads of goods at the Pettah vegetable market. They carry mostly vegetable, rice , dried fish, dry foods etc. from the market to lorries, bus stands or one market to another. more..

Living with HIV in Sri Lanka

Sept 12 (GV) We were in Busan, Korea last week, where S, a young man living with HIV, and I were presenting at the International Conference on AIDS in the Asia and Pacific on how the People Living with HIV Stigma Index had helped empower a local community that is marginalized and often forgotten in the response to HIV and AIDS in low prevalence countries like ours. In truth, I have begun to question if people living with HIV in Sri Lanka matter at all. Those who come forward are often poor; from more..

Preparing a people friendly budget: Fundamental issues

Sept 12 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has had a series of discussions with organizations and groups to seek their views on the forthcoming budget. The President has met representatives of different sectors and interest groups recently to obtain their views on the Budget. These have included representatives of farmer associations, small entrepreneurs and trade chambers, chairmen and boards of directors of state banks. No doubt this is very practical and will expose the President to the views of more..

Turn of fortunes for Sri Lanka after Muralitharan era

Sept 12 (National) It is a trivia question that might stump even the most knowledgeable cricket fan. What was special about the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Faisalabad in October 2004, a game that the visitors won by 201 runs? Of the 18 successes that Sri Lanka have registered overseas in three decades of Test cricket, it remains the only one not to feature Muttiah Muralitharan on the scorecard. It was Madame de Pompadour, mistress to more..

Editorial: Nobody's children

Sept 12 (Island) This country is home to about four great religions and its inhabitants' religiosity is legendary. They make a public display of their faiths and their vehicles are veritable mobile shrines with religious symbols dangling from vanity mirrors and turning somersaults due to jolts and jerks. Treated to earsplitting loudspeaker sermons ad nauseam day in day out, they are known for their predilection for putting up religious monuments in every nook and corner. Perhaps, they also have more..

Editorial: Why can’t private medical students be doctors?

Sept 12 (DM) Every child at one point in his or her childhood plays the doctor, prescribes medicine and checks the heartbeat of a lifeless pillow from a plastic stethoscope. For some, these little games go a long way. However, the one point they are likely to tumble is entering the university. University entrance is more of a life and death matter, where many children lose sight of their targets and let go of their childhood aspirations due to the limited intake number. Those who have the more..

New white colour monkeys observed in Sinharaja forest reserve

Sept 12 (TC) The primate research team of the Wildlife Conservation Society Galle (WCSG) has carried out research on Southern Purple Face Leaf Langur (purple-faced leaf monkey). The Facebook pages of WCSG are reporting that, Twenty-six troops from rain forests and home gardens around Galle and Matara Districts have been observed during this study. While recording observations, the team found 30 individuals with unusual white colour morph in 14 troops. more..

New entrance to Yala will attract more visitors

Sept 12 (MoD) Minister S.M. Chandrasena told that a system would be set up using pipes to fill tanks with water inside Yala jungle in the drought season so that the wild animals could be prevented from entering villages. The minister expressed this idea on Sunday (4) at the occasion of reopening Katagamuwa entrance after four years. This entrance is situated 12 Kilometres away from Kataragama and it is a big advantage for the pilgrims visiting Yala as this entrance save their time and money. more..

Monetary claims against BOI dismissed

Sept 12 (FT) The Board of Investment (BOI) had some welcome news recently as two monetary claims made against the BOI amounting to a sum of approximately Rs. 47,000,000 and a further sum of US$ 21,000 was dismissed by Court. In another similar case, Bonaventure Textiles Lanka Ltd. too instituted action against the BOI claiming a further sum of Rs. 36,385,186. This claim too has been dismissed. The company, Bonaventure Apparels Lanka (Pvt) Limited had instituted this action originally in the more..

Indian automobile maker mulls plant in Sri Lanka

Sept 12 (Island) Indian automobile manufacturer Mahidra and Mahindra is looking at the possibilities of opening up a production plant in Sri Lanka which would cater to the markets in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Company’s Sri Lanka agent has estimated that sales in the country would reach 10,000 units this year, a phenomenal 700 percent growth from the previous year. Mahindra and Mahindra Vice Chairman Anand Mahindra said that Sri Lanka is the largest market for more..

Uva politico abusing estate managers, say Planters

Sept 12 (NS) The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA), in a press release this week, strongly condemned repeated abusive behaviour towards estate managers in the area by a local politician in the Uva Province. Planters’ Association, the representative body of Sri Lanka’s formal plantation industry, expressed strong disapproval of the repeated use of threatening and abuse language against estate managers in the presence of estate workers by a local politician, and attempts to disrupt estate activities more..

Muzzamil’s manifesto in three weeks

Sept 12 (NS) The election manifesto/programme of the UNP’s mayoral candidate A. J. M. Muzzamil contesting the October municipal elections will be released to the public in about three weeks from now. However, the UPFA mayoral candidate Milinda Moragoda has published his manifesto with a separate 100-day programme of urgent work to be done in the city. The UNP election campaign in the city is led by the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who had made it a point in his speeches in the campaign to more..