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Lanka's aged population on the rise

Sept 27 (DN) The trends observed in Sri Lanka over the past 40 years show that in 25 years, it will have a percentage of aged population the same as in Europe, but with much lower income levels, Minister Felix Perera said. "Therefore although the government has implemented policies for the benefit of its aged population, the requirement to review and revise them to better fit the current scope of issues, especially for the elderly and disabled, is essential," more..

Total overhaul of power plant to cost CEB Rs. 745 mn

Sept 27 (Island) Power and Energy Ministry has given the green light to the CEB to repair the 115 MW open cycle gas turbine, known as the Fiat Avio plant GT7, at the Kelanitissa power station. The repair will cost around Rs. 745 million. CEB engineers yesterday said that Power and Energy Ministry took the correct decision by taking minimum work out of it due to the shortage of water in the reservoirs. The Fiat Plant was run for almost 24 hours daily. more..

Court orders Tamalini’s counsel to consult AG

Sept 27 (DM) The Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday directed the counsel for the LTTE Women’s Division Leader Subramaniam Sivagami alias Tamalini to talk with the Attorney General about Tamalini in order to send her for rehabilitation to enable her to get back to society. The Magistrate Rashmi Singapulli made this direction on the suspects Counsel Manjula Pathiraja appearing with Namal Rajapaksa on considering the submissions submitted by more..

Private jets to fly to Ratmalana Airport

Sept 27 (DM) The Ratmalana airport is to be converted into a city airport which would provide services to foreign private jets and small aircraft, Airport and Aviation Service Chairman Prasanna Wickremesuriya said yesterday. He said with this development the aviation services provided by the country would receive a boost bringing in further revenue and foreign exchange. He said the number of private jets coming to the country had increased by 30 percent and more..

'Only fools will consider armed struggle an option

Sept 27 (Island) Pubudu Jagoda, better known as Lasith among JVP members, is the first to speak to a newspaper on behalf of the dissident group which demands that the top leaders of the party be expelled for committing serious violations of the party constitution. Jagoda joined the party in 1995 and started working in its student wing. He went on to become the Secretary of the Students’ Union of the Mortuwa University. more..

'Housing schemes only for illegal squatters'

Sept 27 (DN) Housing schemes will be built for only shanty dwellers occupying land illegally and no household or businessman in possession of legitimate documents for their buildings or structures will be affected, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. He expressed these views at a meeting to raise awareness among small and medium businessmen in the Borella electorate. He said nobody will be evicted from their homes or businesses in the Colombo district, more..

Two powerful committees appointed to handle Deyata Kirula -2012

Sept 28 (GDI) The cabinet of ministers has appointed two committees for the administration and operation of the activities pertaining to Deyata Kirula National Development Programme to be held in Oyamaduwa area of the District of Anuradhapura in the year 2012. A committee has been appointed under the patronage of Mr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, the Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology for the organizing activities of the exhibition and more..

Sri Lanka to probe explosion in ammunition store

Sept 28 (PTI) Sri Lankan military has ordered probe into explosion at an ammunition store that killed a soldier and caused injuries to two others, officials said here Tuesday. Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi, the military spokesman said the body of the soldier was discovered this morning during a search. A five member committee has been appointed to probe the matter. The explosion rocked the military dump at Weerawila in the southern town of Tissamaharama yesterday. more..

Dabur to spend USD15m on new beverage venture in Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (PTI) FMCG firm Dabur on Tuesday said it will invest around Rs. 125 crore in three years in Sri Lanka as it enters the island nation by forming a new subsidiary and setting a manufacturing facility there. The company said its new overseas subsidiary -- Dabur Lanka -- has signed an agreement with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to establish the venture in the country. “We will invest around Rs. 125 crore in the next three years in Sri Lanka. more..

SEC takes action against insider trading

Sept 28 (Reuters) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday said it would act against five employees of financial firm SMB Leasing it said were guilty of profiting from non-public information. In its second action against trading offences this month, the SEC said the employees bought shares in SMB before the company informed the bourse on Aug. 17, 2010, that it would make a rights issue with warrants. In August 2010, SMB Leasing voting shares jumped 59.5 percent, more..

Stocks steady in thin trade; credit woes weigh

Sept 28 (Reuters) Stock market inched up on Tuesday in thin trading volumes led by financials, but a liquidity shortage due to a lack of credit weighed on the market. The main share index closed 0.02 percent or 1.66 points firmer at 6,737.68. It is still Asia's best performer with a return of 1.53 percent on the year. Analysts said despite global markets gained on Tuesday, investors were mostly on the sideline due to credit concerns though some retail investors were bargain-hunting. more..

'Maldives supports Sri Lanka’s stance on human rights issue'

Sept 28 (MN) Madivian Vice President Dr Mohammed Waheed Hassan has told President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the Maldives will continue to support its neighbor amidst allegations of war crimes and human rights violations from the UN. The leaders reportedly discussed trade during the 66th session of the UN’s General Assembly in New York last weekend. Waheed told the President that the Maldives remained supportive of Sri Lanka’s stance on the more..

Democratic Sri Lanka includes militarization of the country

Sept 28 (AN) "Despite being a democratic state, Sri Lanka is becoming a militarized country and people are afraid to talk." This was revealed by the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM) in a special seminar to raise awareness, stressing that the Church must act for the betterment of the human being, but without getting involved in party politics, because "as Christians we must protect our brothers and sisters ". The meeting, entitled "Current strategies for development more..

Sri Lankan natives saved from human traffickers

Sept 28 (ENS) Ernakulam Rural district police chief Harshita Attaluri in a press release stated that the police saved 32 Sri Lankan nationals. They were trying to leave for Australia without proper documents. Nine people who made arrangements to escape were nabbed by police led by Moovattupuzha DySP Tomy Sebastian and Kothamangalam CI K P Jose on Sunday. The police arrested five Sri Lankans for cheating the refugees and four people of Kothamangalam for arranging houses for the refugees. more..

Sri Lanka says war general has diplomatic immunity

Sept 28 (AFP) A Sri Lankan general serving as a UN diplomat in New York has diplomatic immunity, the government in Colombo said Tuesday, after a US court issued him with a summons over the island's bloody ethnic war. A civil case has been filed against Major General Shavendra Silva on behalf of two people whose relatives were killed in the final days of the conflict, which ended in a military onslaught against Tamil separatists in 2009. more..

NTUC to take action if the govt does not increase salaries

Sept 28 (DM) The National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) will conduct a series of district level seminars starting tomorrow, September 28 to inform people of the NTUC’s decision to take trade union action if the government does not increase public and private sector salaries. NTUC’s Spokesman Samantha Koralearachchi said the union will continue to demand for an salary increase of Rs.10,000 for public sector workersand a 40% increase for private sector employees. more..

Body found at explosion site

Sept 28 (DM) A charred body of a soldier was found by the army this morning from the explosion site inside the Weerawila Army Camp where an ammunition dump exploded on Monday, Military Spokesman Brigadier Nihal Hapuarchchi said. He said that the solider had gone to the ammunition dump to collect several ammunition rounds as a firing exercise was held in the camp last evening when the explosion had taken place. “We could not go to the site because the explosions continued,” more..

Sri Lanka marriages legalised

Sept 28 (BBC) The authorities in Sri Lanka are helping large numbers of couples in the former war area to get legally married – in some cases years after they settled down together and started a family. Although it’s a socially conservative country, in the past many have undergone religious marriage ceremonies without getting legal backing. Officials said that in one camp for displaced people in eastern Sri Lanka there’s an especially high number of more..

Court punishes Edna Chocolates and Coca-Cola in Anuradhapura

Sept 28 (LP) As Health Minister, Maithripala Sirisena ordered a crackdown on substandard food products and soft drinks, Anuradhapura Additional Magistrate, Chandima Edirimanne and Kebithigollawa Magistrate,Thilina Gamage punished the two products-Edna Chocolates and Coca Cola- on sale at outlets in Anuradhapura on Monday. The Magistrate ordered that all Edna chocolate slabs at sales outlets in the area be forthwith removed after Public Health Ministers who had more..

Sri Lanka July 2011 export earnings up 9.4%, tea down

Sept 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports rose 9.4 percent to 958 million US dollars in July 2011 from a year ago although earnings from tea, its main agricultural export fell, the central bank said. Spending on imports shot up 58 percent to 1.78 billion US dollars in July from the year before, with investments goods up sharply. The trade gap in July 2011 widened to 819.5 million dollars, up 230 percent compared with last year. During the first seven months of 2011, the cumulative earnings more..

My photograph removed from SLFP headquarters - Chandrika

Sept 28 (SM) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga has alleged a conspiracy to remove the name of the Bandarnaikes from the SLFP. She has alleged that even her photograph had been taken out of the party headquarters. Mrs. Kumaratunga was speaking yesterday (26) at the commemoration of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and Sirimavo Bandaranaike at the Bandaranaike Samadhi, presided by prime minister D.M. Jayaratne. more..

Cases of sexual abuse in Jaffna on the increase: GA

Sept 28 (ST) During the past eight months at least 126 cases of sexual abuse has been reported in the Jaffna district, Government Agent Emelda Sukumar said today. The latest incidents was reported in Jaffna on Monday when a EPDP Municipal council member for Jaffna abused a female employee at the Mayor’s office. The employee had complained to one of his relatives who had taken up the issue with the EPDP member. He was assaulted by the politician. more..

President returns after successful tour

Sept 28 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to the island today (27) after successfully completing his tour to the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, USA. During the visit, President Rajapaksa met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Indian Premier Manmohan Singh, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Iranian President Mohamoud Ahmadinejad, Nepalese Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, more..

Canadian MP Photoshopped: Cleavage too sexy for parliament

Sept 28 (VS) Parker Donham was surprised to attract thousands of readers to his blog after posting a titillating note about rookie New Democrat MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan's re-touched parliamentary headshot that concealed her cleavage. The Nova Scotia consultant, who runs, said he received 15,000 hits in two days after posting the two contrasting photos: one that showed the cleavage and one that did not. more..

'Residents ignore garbage system'

Sept 28 (GPI) Lionel, 43, has been working for more than 11 years in Kotikawatta-Mulleriyawa, a village council in Colombo district. He is a health laborer, otherwise known as someone who collects garbage. He says he does the job so that he can afford to educate his daughters, since he studied up to only grade five in school. “I want to give good education for my three daughters of 13, 7 and 2,” he says. But he says his family is embarrassed by his job as a trash collector. “My wife did not like this job,” he says. more..

UN medal parade in Lebanon honours Sri Lankan troops

Sept 28 (MoD) The customary prestigious military ceremony that awards UN Medals to the 150-strong Sri Lankan Force Protecting Company (SLFP-Coy) serving the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) took place in Lebanon on Monday (26) morning with the participation of the visiting Army Commander as Chief Guest. The much-awaited UN Medal Parade that generally appreciates and recognizes exemplary contribution by any specific contingent in UNIFIL saw its Sri Lankan contingent accord a salute to their visiting more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.09.2011

Ambassador Jayatilleka accredited to UN World Tourism

Sept 28 (LG) The Sri Lankan Ambassador to France and UNESCO, with accreditation to Spain and Portugal, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka presented his Letter of Appointment as the Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UN WTO) to its Secretary General in Spain on 14th Sept. Meeting Secretary General Taleb Rifai, a former Cabinet Minister of Jordan, in Madrid, Ambassador Jayatilleka discussed issues concerning the promotion of tourism in Sri Lanka. more..

Rabies to be wiped out by 2016

Sept 28 (LP) The Health Ministry has directed all the Provincial Medical Directors to launch awareness programmes at Medical Health Officers level to eradicate Rabies from Sri Lanka by 2016. The dog population was estimated at 3 million in Sri Lanka and nearly 2000 dog bits are reported in a day. The govt spent over Rs.500 million annually to treat dog bite victims, the Rabies Eradication programme. 32 deaths have been reported due to rabies over the past six months of this year. more..

Sri Lankan justice plays out in foreign courtrooms

Sept 28 (RNW) Three cases around the world reflect a new trend in international justice – while Sri Lanka shows no intention of properly dealing with accusations its military committed atrocities in the closing months of the civil war in 2009, cases have opened in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.S. against both the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan military. On Monday two ethnic Tamils filed a case in New York against a Sri Lankan general now more..

Tamils slam renovation plans for Dutch fort

Sept 28 (RNW) Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka have slammed proposals by President Mahinda Rajapakse to rebuild the former Dutch military fort in Jaffna in the north of the island, which is Tamil territory. They say the current renovation plans, which are partly paid for by the Dutch government, do not acknowledge the rights of the Tamil people. The Jaffna fort was built in the 17th century by Portuguese merchants and missionaries in the area. A few decades later the Portuguese more..

NTPC, CEB incorporate JV in Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (PTI) NTPC along with CEB has incorporated 'Trincomalee Power Company', a joint venture that would set up a 500 MW coal-based power plant in Sri Lanka. In a regulatory filing, NTPC said the joint venture entity was incorporated on September 26. "The joint venture Company shall set up 2x250 MW coal-based power project in Trincomalee Region in Sri Lanka," it added. Earlier this month, NTPC signed a joint venture pact with CEB to set up a 500 MW coal-based power plant in Sri Lanka. more..

Power sets are of high quality: Railway Dept.

Sept 28 (DM) In the midst of protests by railway engine drivers who have refused to return to work owing to the alleged substandard power sets imported from India, the Railway Department said that it would not do away with the Indian technology insisting that the power sets are of high quality. “The engine drivers say that the power sets are of low quality but that is not the case. No country can make such technology arbitrarily without accepted standards,” more..

JVP: Disciplinary action against dissidents

Sept 28 (SL) The JVP says that disciplinary action should be initiated against any party member regardless of the positions held by them if they have violated party policies and discipline. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, JVP politburo member K.D. Lalkantha said that a few central committee members were acting in violation of the party’s fundamentals in organization. “There is a clear organization system in the party and this fundamental has been clearly violated by a few members,” he said, more..

State Services Labour Officials to launch token strike from tomorrow

Sept 28 (HN) The State Services Labour Officials' Association states that an island wide token strike will be implemented tomorrow due to not receiving any response with regard to the continuous discussions which was carried out in relation to the salary anomaly which was created through the 6/2006 salary circular. The Chairman of the State Services Labour Officials' Association Parakrama Wijewardena stated that measures will be taken to refrain from appearing for cases and more..

Pilgrimage for prisoners?

Sept 28 (DM) The Prisons Department is considering a proposal to send a group of prisoners who have been of good behaviour to India on pilgrimage. The pilgrimage to India will be part of the rehabilitation and correctional process according to the Prisons Department. The idea had been given by one of the members of the Prisoners Welfare Association and it was accepted by Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera, according to prison sources. more..

Battle is over, not the war?

Sept 28 (DM) For a Govt that had extricated Sri Lanka out of decades-old terrorism of ‘Brand LTTE’, the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa can heave a sigh that it may have thwarted yet another double-barrel diplomatic battle over accountability issues at UN headquarters and Geneva. It is only so much. With days still left for the conclusion of the UN Human Rights Council meet in Geneva, already there are talks about hauling Colombo before the March session of the UNHRC, or at least in the more..

Cannabis -a Menace that needs prevention or a ‘herb’ that requires control?

Sept 28 (DM) A growing trend among today’s Lankan youth is the use of Cannabis which has resulted in the emergence of a sub culture within society. The Authorities have been on a head hunt apprehending and destroying acres of Cannabis cultivation in the dry zones of the South, however the prevalence of the drug amongst youth has diminished. According to Police sources the drugs consumed the most in Sri Lanka are Cannabis, Heroin and Opium respectively. more..

Being nobody’s slave

Sept 28 (DM) A recent news item highlighted that a Mullaitivu Neththaliaru Maha Vidyalam student Parameswaran Sethuragavan, who obtained the second highest marks in the Grade 5 scholarship examination had refused to pay respects by touching the feet of Education Minister Bandula Gunawardene. Sethuragavan was among the three students who were honoured for their achievement in the Grade 5 scholarship examination, at the Northern Educational Development Conference chaired by more..

An innocent man detained for three years without being charged

Sept 28 (LG) Mr. Rasaratnam Jegatheeswaran (33) of Thiriketheeshwaram in Mannar District is currently detained in Welikada Prison in Colombo. Presently Rasaratnam is being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital in Colombo due to chronic kidney disease. Doctors have revealed to his wife that her husband is undergoing dialysis treatment. Rasaratnam has been detained in different camps and prisons for three years after being detained by the Terrorist Investigation Division. more..