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Hambantota: When can one expect returns for massive investment injected?

Sept 12 (TC) An evaluation team from the Commonwealth Games Federation has concluded that holding the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Hambantota presents a medium to high risk. This has given the Gold Coast in Australia, the other contender, a distinct edge. The team’s decision comes as no surprise. Hambantota is today an unnerving and incompatible mix of ambitious, gargantuan infrastructure projects and complete nothingness. To bring the city, more..

'Drink plain tea and stay healthy'

Sept 12 (LB) A recently conducted survey has revealed that drinking tea enables a person to get over many common diseases they may suffer from. In Sri Lanka, people are known to drink tea with milk and sugar added. This style of tea drinking – widely prevalent in Asia, is said to be not the best way in which the benefits of the brew can be derived. In contrast, people in western countries are known to drink tea sans sugar or milk most of the time. Tea apparently contains flavonoids – a substance more..

Court order cancels Puttalam motor races

Sept 12 (ST) Hundreds of competitors who arrived in Puttalam for a motor racing competition organised by the Sri Lanka Motor Racing Association, were yesterday turned away by Police, following a court order restraining the event. Puttalam police had requested a restraining order from Puttalam District Judge on the grounds that holding the event could disrupt peace in the area, as there were persons with political links connected to the event. They pointed out that, after the recent killing of a police officer, more..

Emergency rebranded?

Sept 12 (LB) The Govt Press last week printed four sets of regulations under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and backdated them August 29, presumably to cater to the weeklong period of illegality during which these laws were missing. The regulations have been gazetted by the Defence Minister under Section 27 of the PTA which states that “every regulation made by the Minister shall be published in the Gazette and shall come into operation on the date of such publication or more..

Tooth decay up among Lankans

Sept 12 (DN) At least six teeth of every individual in Sri Lanka are decayed, a recent survey conducted in Sri Lanka has revealed, a Health Ministry spokesman said. It has also been revealed that there are about 120 million dental cavities among the Sri Lankan population. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has directed Oral Health Division Deputy Director General Dr Jayasundara Bandara to conduct countrywide programmes to educate people on oral health to mark World Oral Health Day which falls today. more..

Police hopeful of making breakthrough into triple murder soon

Sept 12 (Island) The Homagama police are hopeful of making a breakthrough within the next few days to arrest those who committed the triple murder at Dolekade, Kottawa, where a former custodian of a "Devalaya", his wife and her brother were done to death with sharp objects in the early hours of Saturday. The deceased were Anura Elwitigala (44) his wife Sudarshini Ratnaweera (38) and her brother Dilantha Ratnaweera (28). The killers had attacked the head and chest of more..

AI charge over LLRC composition countered

Sept 12 (Island) The govt yesterday said those undermining the LLRC on the basis some of its members, including Chairman C.R. de Silva had held govt appointments had forgotten similar appointments made by other UN member states, accused of human rights violations. Responding to a 69 page report captioned WHEN WILL THEY GET JUSTICE? Issued by the London headquartered AI, the External Affairs Ministry sources told The Island that those critical of the composition of the LLRC hadn’t more..

Armed gang robs priceless statue from museum

Sept 12 (Island) An armed gang who stormed the museum in Yatala, Tissamaharamaya on Saturday night had removed a priceless head of a Buddha image after blind folding the watcher and tying his hands and legs. The robbers had entered the museum after breaking the wooden balustrades. Archaeological experts said that the statue was discovered during the excavations done in the premises of the Yatala temple built by King Mahanama who is believed to be the first king of the Ruhuna dynasty. more..

President unveils Gal Viharaya replica at Dehiwela Viharaya

Sept 12 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday unveiled the replica of the Samadhi Buddha statue constructed at the new Polonnaruwa Gal Vihara, at Dehiwela on the same plan and size of the historic Polonnaruwa Gal Viharaya. The construction of all the replicas of the Gal Viharaya in Polonnaruwa at the Dehiwela Viharaya was completed on the instructions of the Chief Incumbent of the Gal Viharaya Dr Kanumuldeniye Sri Dharmasoka Nayaka Thera in view of the 2600th Sambuddhathva Jayanthi. more..

Uni. non academics report sick today

Sept 12 (Island) University non academics including administrative officers will stage a one day sick note campaign today demanding that the anomalies in their salaries be rectified. They also threaten to stage a token strike within 14 days if the govt does not give an assurance to sort out their outstanding salary issues. President of the Inter University Trade Union Federation R.M. Chandrapala said that they decided to stage this primary trade union action today more..

Fill vacancies in medical service immediately: GMOA to Govt.

Sept 12 (DM) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) had requested the Health Ministry to stop delaying appointments to Director Posts of the 6 major hospitals in the country. Hospitals at which the director posts remain vacant were said to be- The National Hospital, Lady Ridgeway Childrens’ Hospital, Castle Street Hospital for Women, Maternity Hospital in Mahamodera, Karapitiya General Hospital and the Badulla General Hospital, said the chief secretary of the GMOA Dr. Dhammika Pathirana. more..

Colombo to be made city of haves - Wimal

Sept 12 (DN) There is no truth in UNP claims, of low income families who are living in underprivileged settlements in Colombo being driven away from the city. Colombo is to be transformed into a city of haves, Minister Wimal Weerawansa told the Daily News. He said that Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people who are living in underprivileged settlements will be moved to quality apartments within the city itself. The govt has no intention of driving these innocent people out, Weerawansa said. more..

Laws to prevent dons joining private universities

Sept 12 (DN) New laws will be introduced to discourage government university lecturers joining private universities, Minister S B Dissanayake said. The minister said laws will be introduced to prevent government lecturers joining as full time staff of private universities within three years after resigning from state universities. “However, government university teachers will not be prevented from functioning as visiting lecturers of private universities,” he added. more..

Agricultural exhibition in North

Sept 12 (DM) An agricultural exhibition in the Northern Province for the year 2011 was held at the District Agriculture Training Centre complex, Thirunelveli, Jaffna on Saturday. Minister Basil Rajapaksa participated as the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony. Northern Provincial Ministry of Agriculture had organized this exhibition under the theme of “Way forward for sustainable eco-friendly agriculture”. Minister Basil Rajapaksa and guests visited several stalls organized by various more..

Leading criminal lawyer to run for BASL presidency

Sept 12 (ST) Thirantha Walaliyadde, President’s Counsel announced this week his candidacy for the Presidency of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). In a statement issued on his candidacy, Mr. Walaliyadde said there have been comments that the Bar Association was rather lackadaisical in its interests in the outside world. “But this seems to be the clarion call for the Association to take notice and get into alert mode, for the sake of the future of the Bar Association as well as the community. more..

No eviction of tenement dwellers - President

Sept 12 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday said that the government had no intention of evicting tenement dwellers from Colombo city but was focused on providing them with better living conditions. He emphasised that the govt was intent on providing a more livable environment for the permanent city residents within their communities in the form of residential units with all infrastructure and other facilities.He noted that canards spread by the UNP to the contrary, more..

35 freed Sri Lankan fishermen await repatriation orders

Sept 12 (PTI) 35 Sri Lankan fishermen, arrested on charges of illegal fishing in Indian waters off Andhra Pradesh coast and released after their cases were disposed off, are awaiting repatriation orders so that they can embark on a journey back home. "The Sri Lankan fishermen were apprehended over a period of time by the Coast Guard under different cases and produced before courts in Visakhapatnam and other cities. They were convicted and asked to pay fines which they did and were later released," more..

Canvassing by proxy

Sept 12 (DM) In what appeared to be a deceptive attempt to get votes, an employee of the National Transport Commission had put up banners, cut-outs and posters in Badulla with his picture canvassing votes although, in reality, it was his son who was contesting the election to the Badulla Municipal Council. The PAFFREL said that this person was holding a managerial post at the NTC in Badulla. “This person’s son has tendered nominations to contest the election under the UPFA’s betel symbol. more..

SB determined to approve four more private medical colleges

Sept 12 (Island) While the GMOA and undergraduates of state universities have taken up cudgels against UGC granting degree awarding status to the Private Medical College (PMC) at Malabe, Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake says that he is determined to give his nod to four more requests to start private medical colleges in the country. The Minister said he would stick to the govt policy to allow non state universities here and explore more educational opportunities. more..

Agra Hara to 480,000 pensioners

Sept 12 (DN) The National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) will shortly extend the Agra Hara Health Insurance Policy to 480,000 plus retirees till the end of their lifetime. The scheme which was hitherto in operation was, that the terms of the policy ended on retirement at 60 years. A joint Cabinet memorandum will be submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Finance Minister and John Seneviratne as Public Administration Minister, seeking approval for the extension of the policy to more..

Token strike by labour officers

Sept 12 (DM) The officers attached to the Government Service Labour Officers’ Association has decided to launch a token strike on September 28, demanding the authorities to resolve their salary anomalies. The Vice Chairman of the Association, I.C. Gamage warned the authorities that they would resort to a strike from October 14 until their demands were met. “Though the authorities had accepted the fact that there is an issue regarding the salary anomalies, they have failed to correct it. more..

'New Delhi, the West has ulterior motives concerning lanka'

Sept 12 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has lashed out at western countries and India for what he termed as politically promoting separatism in Sri Lanka and pushing for a solution going beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. He said that western countries and Delhi wish to attain two targets -first the flourishing of separatism which was militarily defeated and the second to push the Sri Lankan government towards a more..

More authority for Govt. over PC funds

Sept 12 (DM) The Finance Commission has recommended greater control by the Central Govt over Provincial Councils in a bid to frame strategies for the development of Provinces which are congruent with key National initiatives. The Finance Commission report on recommendations on apportionment of funds to the provinces, has called for a greater influence by the central govt in the development work carried out by the provincial councils. According to the proposals the financial commission has a greater say in capital expenditure of the provincial councils. more..

SC upholds judgement of Court of Appeal

Sept 12 (DM) The Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal which issued a Writ of Certiorari quashing the order of the Customs seeking Customs Duty and other levies on royalty/licence fees from the Nestles Lanka. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Shirani A. Bandaranayake, Justices K. Sripavan and P.A. Ratnayake dismissed without costs the application filed by the Director General of Customs for special leave to appeal against the judgment of Court of Appeal. more..

School admissions: Bribery Commission, Education Ministry officials meet

Sept 12 (DN) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption will meet Education Ministry officials to discuss circulars on school admission criteria issued by the Education Ministry to curb illegal charges levied on children's admissions and bribes taken from their parents. Bribery Commission sources said of the complaints of bribery and corruption it receives, over 60 percent are school-related. “In most cases they have been committed in the guise of more..

After war, Hindu Gods travel to Sri Lanka

Sept 12 (DC) With several Hindu temples having been destroyed during the war in Sri Lanka the demand for sculptures of Hindu Gods has increased. The experts of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) evaluated about 101 statues of Hindu Gods, which were headed to Colombo next Wednesday. As per Antiquities Art Treasures Act 1972, artifacts for exports need to be certified as non-antique objects. “After the war ended, the demand for statues of more..

Arts and Commerce students cannot become nurses – Unions

Sept 12 (Island) The Nursing trade unions are protesting against the Health Ministry’s decision to recruit A/L students of the commerce and arts streams to the Nursing Schools in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. "This move will only produce unqualified nurses and lower the quality of the nursing service," Saman Ratnapriya, President of the Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) told The Island yesterday. more..

SL’s first female AG to take oaths today

Sept 12 (DM) The first female Attorney General of Sri Lanka Eva Wanasundera will take oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa today. Wanasudera took over as the acting Attorney General of the country from September 1, 2011 subsequent to former Attorney General Mohan Peiris’ retirement on August 31, 2011. The new Attorney General is scheduled to address members of the department at around 3pm today at the department’s auditorium. more..

HRC sessions: Lanka wants issue taken up in Oct. 2012

Sept 12 (Island) Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris, said that that ongoing moves to take up Sri Lanka’s issue at the UN Human Rights Council sessions, scheduled to begin in Geneva today, were not acceptable. Minister Peiris, who was in London last week, said that the Human Rights Council is governed by certain procedures, and that the proper procedure for visiting Human Rights Issues in any country was the Universal Periodical Review (UPR). more..

US envoy in Sri Lanka as UN rights meet starts

Sept 12 (AFP) US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake arrived in Colombo Monday for talks that coincide with a UN meeting in Geneva that is set to discuss alleged war crimes during Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict. Blake, the top US diplomat for South and Central Asia, would raise the allegations with all sides after the decades-long civil war that ended in 2009 with the govt’s defeat of the separatist Tamil Tigers, sources told AFP. more..

'We want to engage with all our friends'

Sept 12 (DM) Speaking at the UNHRC Sessions in Geneva Head of Delegation for Sri Lanka Mahinda Samarasinghe called on the international community to halt repetition of “unjustified” allegations. “Unjustified repetition of some blatant propaganda by persons or groups with an agenda inimical to that of the new Sri Lanka we are engaged in creating, we will assail with all the energy at our disposal,” he said speaking at the sessions a short while ago. more..

Prisons Inmates Day celebrations today in Matara

Sept 13 (GDI) The Prisons Inmates Day will be celebrated at the Sanath Jayasuriya Stadium in Matara from 12-14 Sept. The function will be inaugurated this morning under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The events will include exhibitions and cultural programmes to be held during all the three days. The exhibition which depicts the skills of prison inmates will be held from 2.00 pm to 10.00 pm. As a concluding event of the 3 day celebrations, the final match of more..

Teachers to strike

Sept 13 (DM) Nine Trade Unions representing the teachers and school principals are to go for joint trade union action against the failure of the education authorities to resolve their salary anomalies and other issues. Trade Unions participating in the trade union action include the Ceylon Teachers Service Union, Independent Ceylon Teachers Union, National Education Services Union, Pirivena Teacher Services Union, Union of Trained Teaching Professionals, more..

CID probing case of 44 Lankans' attempt to flee to Australia

Sept 13 (ST) The CID today took over investigations into the incident of 44 persons trying to escape by boat to Australia. Earlier the Navy thwarted an attempt by the 44 Sri Lankans attempting to illegally migrate to Australia by boat. They were detected off the eastern coast on Sunday, Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. All persons on board the boat were brought to Trincomalee from where their statements were recorded and produced before Courts. more..

Prime Minister spends millions for wedding invitations

Sept 13 (SL) Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne is believed to have spent approximately Rs. 3.6 million for his son’s wedding and homecoming invitations. These invitation cards manufactured using crafted wood and brass that depicts the sun and the moon were purchased from Da Vinci Digital Imaging, a well known up-market personalised wedding stationery designer store. According to sources at Da Vinci, some 700 wedding invitations and 500 homecoming invitations were purchased. more..

Flower exhibitors pig sty

Sept 13 (DM) The Colombo flower exhibitors who were requested by the UDA to move their stall from Vihara Maha Devi Park to Water’s Edge in Battaramulla said today that they were dismayed by their new exhibition location which they said was similar to a pig sty. The Vihara Maha Devi Floral Exhibition Organisers Consortium Convener, Chandana De Silva said that flower exhibitors have found that the area is not suitable for the exhibitions. more..

Australia appreciates work by SL police

Sept 13 (DM) The Australian High Commissioner, Kathy Klugman, has welcomed the Sept 11 interception of a people-smuggling boat carrying 44 Sri Lankans bound for Australia in rough seas off eastern Sri Lanka. Australia appreciates the good work undertaken by Sri Lanka’s Police and Navy to disrupt the dangerous and illegal people-smuggling trade. The effectiveness of Sri Lankan security forces’ coordinated work is demonstrated by the facts: no boat has reached Australia from more..

'Medical Council will be dissolved if not abided by the Govt'

Sept 13 (LT) According to the Minister SB Dissanayake, if the Medical Council takes any decision contrary to the Govt policy with regard to the Graduates from Malabe Private Medical College, then it will be dissolved and a new Medical Council will be appointed. In an interview with a news paper Minister Dissanayake has stated that the Minister of Health has powers to act contrary to the decision of the Medical Council if the MC acts against the Govt decision. more..

2nd Test: Rain helps Sri Lanka salvage a draw

Sept 13 (CI) Australia did many things right in the second Test but in the end they couldn't beat the Pallekele weather, or Sri Lanka, as the match faded away to a gloomy draw on the fifth afternoon. The teams will now head to Colombo for the final match with the series still undecided, a heartening outcome for the Sri Lankans, who were outplayed for most of the first two Tests but fought hard on the final two days in Pallekele. more..

Robert O. Blake calls on Secretary Defence

Sept 13 (MoD) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake on his five-day official visit to Sri Lanka and India paid a courtesy call om Secretary Defence Mr Goatabaya Rajapaksa this evening, 12th September. Assistant Secretary Mr Blake was accompanied by US Ambassador to Sri Lanka H.E. Ms. Patricia Butenis at the meeting. Today morning, Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake met with H.E President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..