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Sri Lanka to build world’s 5th tallest tower at Peliyagoda

Sept 22 (AT) Sri Lanka is constructing the world’s 5th tallest tower at Peliyagoda, a few kilometers from the Colombo city centre. The height of this tower will be 350 meters. It has a portion in the form of a Lotus Flower encompassing seven floors. This eleven stories tower will have a revolving restaurant on the fourth floor of the Lotus Flower segment which crop up from the fifth floor. The fifth and sixth levels of the Lotus Flower segment are more..

Indian nabbed with Rs.9mn at BIA

Sept 22 (DM) The airport customs arrested an Indian who attempted to smuggle foreign currency worth around Rs.9 million to Singapore last morning. They found 60,000 Euros which was hidden in his checked luggage. Customs believe that many such incidents have been reported throughout the last two to three years. He was taken into custody in transit after the officers detected his suspicious behaviour. Customs made the biggest detection in the history of the BIA when a local was arrested with more..

Chief of Defence staff on tour to Wanni

Sept 22 (MoD) Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunathilaka with a view to receiving an update on Wanni security arrangements in place made a trip down to Vavuniya on Monday (19). Major General A.K.S Perera, Security Forces Headquarters, Wanni received the visiting Chief of Defence Staff on arrival at the Wanni Security Forces Headquarters premises. A discussion that ensued with the participation of Commander, Security Forces- Wanni, Commander, North Central Province, more..

Samaraweera dropped for Pakistan Tests

Sept 22 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal has been recalled to Sri Lanka's Test squad for the series against Pakistan in the UAE and is one of four wicketkeeper-batsmen in the 16-man party. Middle-order batsman Thilan Samaraweera, 34, and spinner Ajantha Mendis are the major omissions from the squad that lost 1-0 to Australia at home, while legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna was also left out. "Thilan will not come into the reckoning in our long term plans," more..

Train tragedy: French victim’s family to be compensated

Sept 22 (AD) The Railway Department has decided to pay Rs. 150,000 to the relatives of the French National who was killed in the Alawwa train collision on September 17. The General Manager of the Railway Department B.B.P. Ariyarathne said that the compensation would be delivered through the French Embassy in Colombo. He also added that Rs. 20,000 each were provided to the families of the train operator and assistant who succumbed to their injuries after the accident. more..

Srtocks end down 0.5-pct

Sept 22 (LBO) Stocks slumped again Wednesday with the benchmark index slipping below the 6,800 point mark amid heavy trade in a newly listed firm and several off-market private deals. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.53 percent to 6,792.31, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.51 percent to close at 6,137.80. Turnover was two billion rupees. Softlogic Capital, which started trading Wednesday at 40 rupees, hit a high of 75 before closing at 46.50 rupees more..

Seat belts compulsory from Oct.1

Sept 22 (DM) The police is to strictly impose the law against every person travelling in the driving seat or the front passenger seat in motor vehicles with English number plates who fails to wear their seat belts with effect from October 1. The penalty for not wearing the seat belt would be a first conviction fine not less than Rs.1,000 and not more than Rs.2,000, a second conviction fine of not less that Rs.2,000 and not more than Rs.3,000 and more..

Navy intercepts Sea Cucumber Smugglers

Sept 22 (SLN) A Sri Lanka Navy patrol craft attached to the Northern Naval Command intercepted a suspicious fishing craft in the Northern seas off Kovilam on 21st September 2011 and apprehended 04 persons who had attempted to smuggle dried sea cucumber. The apprehended persons had 996 kilograms of dried sea cucumber in their possession packed in 20 poly sack bags. The apprehended sea cucumbers are suspected to have been transferred on to the fishing craft in deep seas more..

2 women commence a strike on top of the National Hospital roof

Sept 22 (HN) 2 junior employees of the Colombo National Hospital have commenced a protest on top of the roof on the Bandaranaike Building at the National Hospital. The 2 junior employees had commenced this protest today with the objective of drawing the attention of the hospital authorities to the quality of the mid day meal that is provided by the hospital. A junior employee of the Out Patient Department of the Hospital stated that meals that were prepared in more..

Sri Lanka faces homosexuals increase

Sept 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan authorities said that there has been an increase in the number of homosexuals in the country despite its strong Buddhist culture and traditions. A survey conducted by the Sri Lankan Health Authorities have revealed that there are over 30,000 homosexuals and over 40,000 prostitutes in the island amongst its estimated 20 million population. Out of these figures, more than 8,000 prostitutes are found in Colombo more..

Upper Kotmale plant 89 pct complete

Sept 22 (LBR) Construction of the upper Kotmale hydro power plant, Sri Lanka’s final large scale hydro power plant is now 89 percent complete. The power plant is scheduled to add 150 megawatts of electricity generation capacity to the national grid in the second half of 2011, with expected annual gross electricity generation at 409 million units. Work on the Kotmale hydro power plant commenced in March 2006 after delays lasting over a decade, with construction taking place in five phases. more..

Sri Lanka lures youth for skills gap in booming tourist trade

Sept 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to launch a campaign to educate youth of opportunities in the booming tourist industry where a skilled labour shortage looms with an influx of visitors after the end of a war. "We want to encourage schools children to join the tourism industry to fill an anticipated skills gap given the rapid growth we are experiencing," said Nalaka Godahewa, chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism. "We intend to conduct awareness campaigns throughout the island to more..

Sri Lanka to Engage with Intl. Community

Sept 22 (NN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a bilateral meeting today (20) with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. President Rajapaksa warmly congratulated President Jonathan on his election and said that, in the situation which has now arisen in Sri Lanka after the eradication of terrorism, there is ample scope to deepen the relationship between Sri Lanka and Nigeria in all sectors. They discussed several areas in more..

Ruhuna win dramatically, left with outside chance

Sept 22 (CI) Leicestershire and Ruhuna jostled, pulled, tugged, stepped on each other's toes to try to make it to the train first, but both might have just missed it. Both teams came in looking for their first win, hoping to make it big enough to spoil the party for Kolkata Knight Riders and Somerset, who won their first games and were due to face each other later in the evening. Leicestershire needed to chase down 161 in 13.2 overs to ensure automatic qualification, more..

Australian High Commissioner on 3 day visit to Jaffna

Sept 22 (MoD) Australian High Commissioner Cathy Clugan who was on a three day visit to Jaffna called on Commander Security Forces - Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe on Monday at his office in Palaly. Having received on her arrival to Headquarters SF-J, Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe explained the visiting High Commissioner about prevailing security situation in Jaffna and multiple development programmes being carried out by the Sri Lankan govt in the peninsula. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 21.09.2011

Singapore's DBS enters Sri Lanka via tie-up with NDB

Sept 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's National Development Bank on Wednesday partnered with Southeast Asia's largest bank, Singapore's DBS Bank, to strengthen investment banking activities in the island nation and boost foreign direct investment. The alliance between the two will see DBS facilitating investments into the $50 billion economy, which is emerging from the end of a 25-year war. "Sri Lanka needs capital for infrastructure development, setting up of large-scale projects and more..

Australia in Sri Lanka 2011: All-round consistency seals triumph

Sept 22 (CI) Like his predecessor Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke started his Test captaincy with a series win in Sri Lanka. Although the end result was not as convincing as the 3-0 win in 2004, a new-look Australia were much more disciplined and aggressive than Sri Lanka throughout the series. Following a terrible run in 2010 when they lost 2-0 in India and 3-1 in the Ashes, Australia entered the first Test in Galle as underdogs considering Sri Lanka's excellent home record. more..

Dates set for 2012 World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka

Sept 22 (CI) The 2012 World Twenty20 will be held between September 18 and October 12, 2012 in Sri Lanka the ICC have confirmed. Colombo, Pallekele and Hambantota will be venues for the men's tournament, while the women's group games will be played in Galle. The format will see four groups of three in a preliminary round. England, the defending champions, and India are in Group A and will be joined by one of the Associate or Affiliate teams that qualify. more..

Sri Lankan woman jailed for insurance scam in Bermuda

Sept 22 (BS) A Sri Lankan woman who scammed an insurance company of $76,297 was today jailed for 16 months. Chandima Arachchige, 36, pleaded guilty earlier this month to submitting insurance claims to BF&M for surgeries she claimed she had in Sri Lanka. But on the dates of the alleged surgeries, Arachchige was in Bermuda. The insurance company issued checks to her which she deposited into her account. She also submitted a claim in a coworker's name. more..

IMF: No timing yet for Sri Lanka review prior to next loan disbursal

Sept 22 (Reuters) The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said there has been no timetable set for a review of Sri Lanka's progress under a $2.6 billion loan, the precursor to disbursement of the programme's eighth tranche. "As always, discussions with the government are continuing, but there is not yet any explicit timetable for board consideration of the seventh review," IMF Country Representative Koshy Mathai told Reuters in an e-mailed statement. more..

Railway unions say train collision in Alawwa could have been prevented

Sept 22 (DM) Railway unions today said that if the recommendations made by previous committees on train accidents and derailments were implemented the train collision in Alawwa which killed three people could have been prevented. The All Ceylon Railway Workers Union President S.P. Withanage said there should be an impartial investigation on the collision and recommendations made by the committee that was recently appointed by more..

Blake’s visit resets priorities right?

Sept 22 (DM) As was to be expected, Sri Lankan media had received the Blake visit with skepticism, as usual. Yet, US Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Blake, might have reset the priorities right on the ethnic front in Sri Lanka. By conceding the Govt’s point on rehabilitation and the TNA’s demands on the political issues, he may have also balanced mutual issues and concerns. It may still be something, compared to the heat and dust kicked up by the international community’s increasing interest in more..

Liquidation of the Dictatorships in the World

Sept 22 (DM) A 16 year old Tunisian boy Mohommad Bouazizi ended his life by self-immolation in protest of ill treatment by the local Police authorities. He was a street vendor and his wheelbarrow full of produce was ceased by officials and was beaten him in public. He was not given a chance of presenting his grievances as it was turned down by the police commissioner. His tragic death first sparked protests in his rural hometown and developed it into violence. more..

Call to declare white monkeys as conservation icons

Sept 22 (SO) Following a 'tip off' by villagers, two toddy tappers entered Sri Lanka's virgin forest-Sinharaja with trepidation. Clad in sarong and bare bodied they carefully strode through the gloomy forest cover surrounded by the Watugala village.On the third day in the village, they were able to catch a glimpse of what they were looking for. They saw the two 'snow balls' emerging from the dark green canopy. The images e-mailed to their headquarters in Galle more..

Power Crisis: Myths and the Truth

Sept 22 (DM) The power crisis has become a hot topic these days. The experts and politicians are accusing each other for the crisis situation. As certain issues are highly technical, it is necessary to analyze the data carefully in the proper context to understand the real situation. At present the annual electricity requirement in Sri Lanka is about 11,000 GWh and the installed power plant capacity is about 2700 MW. This installed capacity consists of 1200 MW of hydro power and 1500 MW of thermal power. more..

Colombo too has a dream

Sept 22 (DM) The popular misconception among the Sri Lankan rural population that Colombo is heaven on earth seems far more difficult to shed even with the mounds of garbage reaching the skies and urban poverty hitting rock bottom. The truth is that Colombo is not devoid of the poor. It is a city that still gets flooded. And it has a sad history of being victimized by the seasonal dengue epidemic. These reasons alone could bust the myth that Colombo is everything the village isn’t. more..

The splendour of International Buddhist Museum, Kandy

Sept 22 (NS) The International Buddhist Museum has been given a stately place among the list of Museums. The International Buddhist Museum came to be founded after President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided that the ‘old ‘ Court House premises be handed over to the Sri Dalada Maligawa. Though the building had been taken over by the Archaeological Department, yet there was no concrete suggestion as to what could be done, except that more..

Caring for the neglected and marginalised

Sept 22 (DM) The year 1999 was declared the International Year of the Elderly and in November of that year, Celine Samarasinhe inaugurated her brainchild project -- the SHARE Foundation and it has since established itself as a registered charity both in Britain and in Sri Lanka and is a wholly apolitical and non-religious charity. Ms. Samarasinhe, a district nursing sister, employed by Barnet Community Healthcare NHS Trust in England, has gained extensive experience over a period of three decades. more..

Bombshell hits Sri Lanka at UNHCR sessions

Sept 22 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiyah, Ayubowan, Vanakkam, and Assalamu Alaikkum as Sri Lanka faces a surprise and shattering political bombshell at the ongoing Geneva sessions of the United Nations Human Right’s Council. The govt appeared to be fully confident that allegations of war crimes and accountability issues would not be brought up at the Geneva sessions which began last week. But on the eve of the sessions, United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon suddenly sent the controversial report of more..

Veteran Chef Publis says cuisine should be part of school curriculum

Sept 22 (Island) Veteran Culinary expert Dr. Publis Silva who is the Director Culinary Affairs and Promotions of Mount Lavinia Hotel said that Sri Lankan cuisine has more value than our gems and the government should open culinary schools in every city of the country and Sri Lankan cuisine should be introduced as a part of home science taught in the school curriculam. It is one way that we can take our food culture to the world and Sri Lankan cuisine could be a more..

Editorial: Reds at a crossroads

Sept 22 (Island) The JVP suffered a debilitating split on Monday. However, it has come as no surprise to the JVP watchers, though it is different from the breakaway of Wimal Weerawansa and others. The Marxist outfit has a history of sloughing off democratic politics from time to time and reasserting itself as a revolutionary force by going underground and taking up arms to prevent its core ideology from being diluted and avoid the fate of the traditional left now reduced to a political hitchhiker or more..

Editorial: Course of corruption should never smooth

Sept 22 (DM) Mostly for reasons that are appalling rather than positive, grade one admissions never fail to make front-page news. Like the Advanced Level hurdle that decides the future of the students, this seems to be the exam the parents are determined to get through. Due to the nature of competition and the demand for popular schools, they are resolved to admit their children to such institutions; as at the mention of their names, jobs can be secured without a hassle. This seems to be the more..

Stage set for heated land debate in Parliament

Sept 22 (FT) Controversy over the US$ 136 million offer from a Chinese company for the Galle Face land deal is set to take centre stage at the special Parliament debate on land allocation tabled in Parliament today. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said that he was “ready to take them on” after the party was informed of the debate. The gauntlet was thrown by Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, with the announcement of the pending debate on all land allocated for more..

Money laundering, a worldwide phenomenon - DEW

Sept 22 (DN) Money laundering is today a worldwide phenomenon operating across the borders of sovereign countries. The task of combating it is extremely difficult which needs in-depth research, monitoring and investigation and exchange of financial intelligence information, Minister DEW Gunasekara stated in Parliament. The speech: The govet has presented three Bills for consideration by the House namely-(i) The Finance Business Bill (ii) Prevention of Money Laundering Bill and more..

Ministry grants Rs 75,000 to each family returning from India

Sept 22 (DN) The Resettlement Ministry is granting Rs 75,000 to each Sri Lankan displaced family in India when returning to the island, said Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan. He said that the government is engaged in encouraging Sri Lankan displaced in India to return to the country through the UNHRC, and said that over 1,000 refugees have come back since the end of war in May 2009. The deputy minister said that Rs 50,000 is deposited in the bank accounts of the displaced more..

Post-war NE housing: EU eases Lanka’s burden

Sept 22 (Island) In spite of Sri Lanka and the EU being on a collision course over the alleged accountability issues, the latter is going ahead with a significant house building project in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The project envisages building and repairing about 20,000 houses by 2016. The EU project is one of the major activities launched in 2008 after the liberation of the Eastern Province in mid 2007. 8,532 houses had been built in the two provinces more..

Jaffna lawyers boycott court sittings

Sept 22 (DM) Lawyers in Jaffna had taken a decision to boycott the sittings of the Courts of Law in the District until such time action was taken to arrest the seven policemen who had allegedly harassed a person who they say was illegally arrested by the police. They made this decision at a meeting held at the Jaffna Library on Thursday. Lawyers in a statement said yesterday that they consider the conduct of the police officers to be an affront to the authority, dignity and the sanctity of of the Courts of Law established under the Constitution more..

'Colombo schemes Sinhalicisation of Batticaloa with foreign funding'

Sept 22 (TN) “Traditional Tamil villages in the North and East are being renamed in Sinhala and streets are named ‘Mawathas’ in Sinhala. When we were students, we learnt that Kantha'laay Tank was built by Tamil King Ku'lak-koaddan. But, today, our children have Tamil text books supplied by the Colombo government saying that Kantha'laay had been built by King Agbo, P.Ariyanethran, TNA MP said while addressing the annual festival of Kokkaddich-choalai thaan-thoan'ri Easvarar koayil more..

Ratwatte to give evidence in bribery case

Sept 22 (DM) Colombo High Court yesterday ordered the defence to lead evidence of former Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte and the other witnesses in the case against Anuruddha Ratwatte, for allegedly failing to declare the mode of the earnings of his assets amounting to Rs. 33 million to the Commission to investigate the Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. Counsel for Anuruddha Ratwatte earlier moved to dismiss the case without calling for witnesses more..