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Express train kills two baby elephants

Sept 22 (DM) Two baby elephants were knocked down by a Galoya bound express train from Tincomalee on Tuesday night (20). Wildlife Range Asst. J.A.V. Wijekumara said the two baby elephants were in a herd that crossed the railway line when the train was approaching. However, other elephants had escaped unhurt. He said the two calves were about four years of age and males. He said the wild animals in the Somawathie forest reserve were making a long trek across the railway line to more..

Boys between the age of 8 and 13 arrested for burglary

Sept 22 (DM) A group of four schoolboys were taken into custody for their alleged involvement in a series of burglaries in several areas during a raid by the Ingiriya Crime Investigation Unit. During the inquiries police recovered a large stock of stationery, consumer goods, readymade garments, cloth, mobile phones, a stock of ginger and several other articles stolen by the suspects. They were between 8 and 13 years of age and residents of the Ingiriya area. Inquiries revealed that they were more..

British High Commission celebrates the International Day of Peace

Sept 22 (BHC) The High Commissioner, John Rankin, hosted an Art Festival in Colombo involving over 50 school children and the Deputy High Commissioner, Robbie Bulloch, visited a number of religious sites in the Puttalam and Mannar districts. The British High Commissioner said, “I am delighted to be celebrating World Peace Day with these children – they are Sri Lanka’s future. On Peace Day, I think it is important to reflect both on the importance of peace and the more..

LRC to give 100 low-income families deeds to land

Sept 22 (Island) The Land Reforms Commission (LRC) has taken steps to hand over 100 deeds to low income families as a mark of respect for the late Minister of Agriculture and Lands Hector Kobbekaduwa. The deeds would be presented at the LRC today, Executive Director of the LRC, Hariguptha Rohanadeera said. "Low income families countrywide who had applied for deeds will receive them today," he said. The programme has been launched under the title ‘Ranbima Deed Presentation’ and more..

KIA Motors to invest Rs 1bn on service facilities

Sept 22 (Island) KIA Motors (Lanka) Limited has announced plans to invest an estimated Rs 1 billion over the next three years to expand service infrastructure in Sri Lanka, following phenomenal sales and the growing demand for and popularity of its vehicles. Sales of KIA SUVs ‘Sorento’ and ‘Sportage’ exceeded 1,500 units in the first six months of the year, the company said, making the design-driven Korean brand one of the most popular in the new vehicle segment. more..

Central Bank removes Foreign Expert

Sept 22 (DM) Controversy surrounds the removal of an American national from the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank after he raised concerns over the transactions done by certain govt higher ups with Ukraine a few years ago, the UNP said in Parliament yesterday. Making remarks during the debate on the Finance Business Bill that was passed in the House with amendments, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that the Unit normally hired foreign experts to deal with more..

Valuables lost by the lure of a quickie

Sept 22 (ST) More than 30 people, including prostitutes, who allegedly operated a ring in relieving people of their valuables, in the Pettah area, have been rounded up by the Police. Inspector A.G.T.B. Wijeratne said that the women allegedly lured young males waiting for outstation buses at the Central Bus Stand, and relieved them of their valuables. He said that, in certain instances, the unsuspecting victims had been taken to lodges and relieved of their valuables by suddenly shouting that the police had arrived. more..

Warrior bees are back on Sigiriya Rock

Sept 22 (ST) Last year, there were reports that the giant bee hives of Sigiriya had been removed by authorities using various chemicals or local exorcism rites, or shanthi karma. A series of bee attacks on visitors to this world heritage site last year gave rise to these speculations, but the Sigiriya bees are back again this year re-colonizing the rock. As many as 20 large bee hives can be seen hanging on the rock above the giant ‘sinha padaya’ (Lion’s paw). The bees started re-colonizing more..

New laws to curb LTTE fund-raising

Sept 22 (DM) The govt enacted new laws in parliament yesterday to deal with LTTE overseas fund raising activities and money laundering. The Prevention of Money Laundering Bill and the Convention of the Suppression of Terrorist Financing Bill were passed in the House. Minister Bandula Gunawardene said the two bills enacted on recommendations by the United Nations would permit action against anyone aiding and abetting a terrorist or an act of terrorism here or abroad. more..

At UN, countries use & pay journalists, Sri Lanka to screen Lies Agreed To

Sept 22 (ICP) At the UN some countries and state-funded media try to use access and even "ethics" as a club, with Sri Lanka the most recent example. Earlier this month a Sri Lankan government video was shown inside the UN in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, described as a rebuttal the UK Channel 4 documentary "Killing Fields," which despite a request was not shown inside the UN. At the front after the September 6 screening sat Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona and more..

Ports Authority seeks Cabinet approval to give VRS to 921 employees

Sept 22 (FT) In an effort to become more efficient, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is seeking Cabinet approval to provide a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for 921 employees as part of a larger plan that will see the workforce trimmed by 2,380 people. The first batch of 550 employees was sent on the VRS at a cost of Rs. 891 million in May 2011. The SLPA acknowledged that a total of Rs. 2.6 billion was used to retire 1,459 employees by end August. more..

Veteran actor Joe dies

Sept 22 (DN) Veteran and award winning actor, Joe Abeywickrama passed away at the age of 78 yesterday evening following a brief illness. Gammana Patabendige Don John “Joe” Abeywickrama was born on June 13, 1933. He began acting in 1957 and continued until recently. Many in the industry consider him as the best character depictor in Sinhala cinema. He won a gamut of awards for his acting prowess on the silver screen, including several Sarasavi Awards. more..

End of the road for Thilan?

Sept 22 (Island) The first casualty after th e series defeat to Australia in the just concluded three match series is middle order batsman Thilan Samaraweera, who was axed from the 16 member squad named to take on Pakistan in a three match Test series in the Middle East. The axing would have been the last thing the number five batsman would have wanted to hear today on his 35th birthday. Apart from Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Samaraweera has been the best batsman for the country in the longer format more..

Protest against liquor shop in Wadduwa

Sept 22 (DM) Women in the Wadduwa area staged a Satyagraha campaign against the opening of a liquor shop in close proximity to a place of religious worship in the heart of the Wadduwa town. It was organised by the “ Lakmawage Diyaniyo“ (The Daughters of Mother Lanka) organization. The Kalutara District Organiser of “ Lakmawage Diyaniyo” Harshani Silva said the government was boasting about its “ Mathata Thitha” concept to eliminate liquor and tobacco while permitting liqour shops in every more..

'Malabe faculty will cripple free education'

Sept 22 (DM) Medical students who staged countrywide demonstrations in protest of the govt’s decision to give legal recognition to the Malabe Private Medical Faculty said such recognition would cripple the medical faculties of local universities. Medical students at the Peradeniya, Colombo, Jayawardenapura and Ruhuna universities took part in the protests. The Medical Faculty Students Action Committee which comprises members of all eight medical faculties at more..

Lanka’s Northern Province to get full cancer treatment facility through Lions

Sept 22 (AT) A fully fledged cancer treatment facility for the Northern Province is on the cards. “An MoU between the Northern Provincial Council and Dehiwela Metro Lions Club for this first ever treatment facility for the Northern Province is now approved by the Vavuniya District Coordinating Committee (DCC). This will enormously help more than 700000 northerners” announced Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on 19 Sept. The decision by Minister Bathiudeen more..

Interest rates, rupee under pressure

Sept 22 (Island) Interest rates are under pressure to increase while the rupee is being pressurised to weaken against the dollar and dealers said this was not because the country’s economic fundamentals were under stress but rather, were manifestations of the global economy being in a ‘dangerous place’. "Interest rates are expected to increase and the rupee to depreciate, but this has nothing to do with the fundamentals of the economy, which are still strong. It’s just that the global economy is taking a turn for the worst," more..

We will rise –Tilvin

Sept 22 (DM) General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said the crisis in the party was yet another conspiracy it had to face but assured the party would re-emerge stronger and would never waver from its objective of creating a socialist and democratic Sri Lanka. Silva said there were similar attempts to weaken the JVP under previous regimes but none of them were successful. “We will come out of this crisis stronger than ever and will commit ourselves to filfil the aspirations of more..

Mom stages kidnap drama of Lankan refugee

Sept 22 (ENS) Suspense over the alleged kidnap of a 13-year-old boy from a Sri Lankan refugee camp in Thammampatti ended on Wednesday with his mother admitting to having enacted a drama to put creditors in the dock. The boy’s father Nathan (32) was arrested a few ago when he tried to go return to Sri Lanka in an illegal ferry and was lodged in the Madurai prison. His wife Zareen went to Madurai with Vikneen, the ‘kidnapped’ boy, to get him out on bail. more..

Removal of State property from SJGH detected

Sept 22 (Island) A racket involving the removal of State property, worth over Rs. 03 million, from the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH) was detected by an alert member of the Board of Management on Tuesday. Informed sources said that parts from the old air handling unit catering to the main operating theatre, ICU, labour room, X’ray unit and CSSD unit, had been removed. He said that items, including glass wool panels, box and pre-filters, GI pipes, blower fans, more..

Govt fails to promote first step towards reconciliation

Sept 22 (SL) Though the government claims to be on a path to reconciliation following the end of a three-decade long war, it has failed to promote social cohesion and peace education among the most important group in the country – school children. Attempts made in 2007 to implement a National Policy for Education for Social Cohesion and Peace has failed to make any proper progress. The school curriculum that was proposed under more..

A voyage doomed to fail

Sept 22 (ST) 44 Sri Lankans- almost all from the north and east, last Saturday (10) boarded a multi-day vessel, “Nethra Duwa”, off the shores of Kalmunai. Their objective to reach Australia in the next three weeks. They had each paid an advance of Rs 200,000 upwards for their journey that had been organised in the past two months. 7-year-old Yogendra Kumar Nidushan, his brother Dinujan and their parents were among those on board. They were residents of Vavuniya, more..

GNOA to file FR petition today

Sept 22 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association said it would file a fundamental rights petition with the Human Rights Commission against recruiting nurses, for hospitals in the North and East, qualified in the Arts and Commerce streams. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday that this would only serve to deter future development in the profession. He said it affected the standard of the nursing profession. more..

National Drug Policy likely to be introduced this year

Sept 22 (Island) The introduction of the long-awaited National Drug Policy, in line with the Mahinda Chinthana election manifesto, was likely to be finalized this year, said Upasena Jayarathne, a leading campaigner of the Prof. Senaka Bibile drug policy movement. The State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) which was founded in 1971, in keeping with the National Drug Policy introduced by Prof. Bibile, celebrates its 40th anniversary today (22). more..

Rauff lauds Money Laundering Bill as timely

Sept 22 (DM) Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem said in Parliament yesterday that the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill which was passed yesterday would help the country in its fight against money laundering by Sri Lankans living abroad. Speaking during the debate on the Bill in the House yesterday, Mr. Hakeem said that Sri Lanka would now be able to stop money laundering (which is essentially the act of exchanging money gotten from more..

Teaching appointments for 3,000 graduates

Sept 22 (GDI) 3,000 graduates are to be recruited to teach IT, English, Science and Maths. The Examinations Department will hold a competitive examination to recruit these graduates on September 24 at 90 examination centers in the Colombo district. Around 14,500 graduates are taking the exam to fill the 3,000 teacher vacancies in the provincial council and national schools. This is the first time in the history of Sri Lanka, graduates have been recruited as IT Teachers, and more..

Courier made 37 trips to Singapore since March

Sept 22 (Island) A person recently arrested at the BIA, while trying to smuggle out Rs. 81,768,000 in foreign currency to Singapore, had been to the same destination on 37 occasions since March this year, a senior Customs investigator said. The middle-aged suspect had admitted to having smuggled foreign currency on four occasions, though investigators believe he carried money on many more occasions. more..

President meets Blake

Sept 22 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa held talks yesterday with the Assistant State Secretary of America on South and Central Asia, Robert O Blake in New York on the sidelines of the 66th sessions of the United Nations General Assembly. President Rajapaksa who is in New York to participate in the 66th sessions of the United Nations General Assembly also held bilateral talks on Tuesday (20) with the Heads of States of Slovenia, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria. more..

Sri Lanka's survivors tormented by horrors of war

Sept 22 (Reuters) Ranjini wakes up screaming. Her mother's body is on fire, her teenage sister is covered in blood and the mutilated, charred corpses of her relatives lie scattered everywhere. It's a recurring nightmare. "I see my mother's burning face ... she is calling me to help her, but I can't or I will be killed from the shelling also," says the 23-year-old, petite Sri Lankan woman, wiping the tears from her face a blue and white chequered handkerchief. more..

JVP dissidents to take A’singhe faction to Court

Sept 22 (Island) JVP dissidents have decided to institute legal action against the current party leadership for remaining in office in contravention of the party constitution and its refusal to hold a national convention to elect new leaders. A former Central Committee Member of the JVP said that the dissidents were planning to send the party leaders a letter of demand today. He said that JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, General Secretary Tilvin Silva, more..

Deepika Priyadarshani to perform in Manila

Sept 23 (GDI) The award winning veteran singer Deepika Priyadharshani, will perform for Travelife readers and the public at Travelife Sri Lanka Night on Saturday September 24th. This public service event has been organized by Philippine’s leading travel and lifestyle Magazine “Travelife”. The Magazine says that Deepika is a household name and her songs are almost like a national anthem to Sri Lankans. It appeals to its readers to hear her beautiful voice in person more..

Manufacturers lobby to double raw rubber export tax

Sept 23 (LBO) Rubber products manufacturers are lobbying to double an export cess on raw rubber exports as prices remain high amid strong demand and tight local supply. Manufacturers want the export cess, that had been raised to 12 rupees a kilo only earlier this year, doubled to 24 rupees. The demand for a higher export tax on raw rubber exports would deny cultivators the real market price for their produce and effectively transfer part of the profits to manufacturers. more..

Galle literary festival gears up for 2012

Sept 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Galle literary festival is notching up writers and sponsors for 2012 but it would remain 'intimate' giving audiences an opportunity to engage more closely with writers, organizers said. The festival started in 2007 amidst a three decade old war which ended two years later. The festival has since gained recognition and Sri Lanka itself has become a safer and popular destination for travellers. more..

Sri Lanka aviator, scientist remembered online

Sept 23 (LBO) Ray Wijewardene, a Sri Lankan aviator and tropical agriculture specialist is being remembered online at, led by volunteers who want to preserve his legacy, "It promotes his vision for self-reliance, innovation and sustainable development in Sri Lanka and in the humid tropics," TVE Asia Pacific, a Colombo based media foundation that built the website said in a statement. "The website has a photo gallery that includes many more..

Stocks extend losses, rupee weaker

Sept 23 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.4 percent lower, while the rupee ended at 110.29/30 after an intervention rate was dropped 10 cents. Colombo's benchmark index fell 30.5 points points a day after breaching a psychological 6,800 while its Milanka Index of liquid stocks fell 30.7 points. Turnover was 1.8 billion rupees. Punters pumped up Regnis (Lanka), a refrigerator maker 45.50 rupees to 278.00 rupees. Radiant Gems, an illiquid firm that reported losses in the June quarter more..

'I feel Lancastrian - and want to come back'

Sept 23 (MEN) Farveez Maharoof has been with Lancashire for less than six months but already he is part of Red Rose legend. And the Sri Lankan is hoping to return next year to make more history with the club. The all-rounder is back in his native Colombo following his first season at Lancashire, during which he played a crucial role in the club’s stunning LV County Championship title victory. He made an instant impact, scoring a crucial century on more..

'Confident' Pak team looking ahead to Sri Lanka series in UAE: Misbah

Sept 23 (ANI) Pakistan cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq has said that his team's spirit is high following the whitewash over Zimbabwe in all three formats of the sport. Misbah also reckons that it would motivate the team to achieve good results in the series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates next month. "In cricket it's all about confidence and that only comes by winning. We won each and every match convincingly and the most important aspect is more..

Dayantha Wijesekera first chancellor of UNIVOTEC

Sept 23 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapakse has appointed Professor Dayantha Wijeyesekera as the FIRST CHANCELLOR of the University of Vocational Technology under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Deveopment. Professor Wijeyesekera who is currently the Chairman of the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission has been the first Vice Chancellor to hold the Office in two Universities namely Open University of Sri Lanka and the University of Moratuwa for a total more..

Sri Lankan scheme to help fight medical brain drain

Sept 23 (BBC) Dr Ayodyha Wataliyadda, a paediatric doctor from Sri Lanka, is furthering her medical career with a two-year placement in Yorkshire, England. She has been supported by the Foreign Placement Coordination Centre, a scheme backed by the Sri Lankan government. As part of the scheme, she has signed a bond that for every year spent in the UK, she will work for at least four years back in her home country. more..

Human rights and religious education for peace building

Sept 23 (AN) "Taking care of a wounded nation is our greatest and most immediate duty. In this process the Church can play a significant role", said Sigamoney George, director of Caritas Sri Lanka-Sedec, who opened a training course for 40 operators from Caritas India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Nine days (21-29 September) to prepare participants to play an active role in the peace process in their countries. The course - with the theme more..