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Can't India prevent attacks on fishermen, asks Jayalalithaa
Jan 16 (IANS) Opposition AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa Sunday said the central government was not doing enough to stop attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, as incidents were continuing even after last week's killing. 'Even before calming down of the situation after the killing of a fisherman (Jan 12), the Sri Lankan Navy had confiscated the Indian fishermen's catch, phones and threw their fishing nets into the sea,' Jayalalithaa said in a statement here
Damage figures inaccurate - JVP
Jan 16 (DM) The JVP today alleged that the damage caused by the recent floods is much less than what is perceived by the government and that efforts were made by the state to use the natural disaster to cover up its inability to resolve the impending crisis with regard to price hikes of essential goods.
Seven Tamil parties unite for polls
Jan 16 (ST) Seven Tamil political parties have come together to contest the upcoming local government elections in the north and east under the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) – a constituent party of the TNA. The decision was taken at a Colombo meeting attended by constituent members of the TNA and several other parties. They included the TULF, the PLOTE, the EPRLF (P) and the Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA).
Lanka to acquire two ships for ferry service
Jan 16 (SO) Sri Lanka Shipping Corporation would acquire two passenger ships to be deployed for the Colombo-Tuticorin ferry service which would commence from February. Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways Rohitha Abeygunawardena told Sunday observer that they are currently negotiating with some European operators in this regard.
Flood victims face mine threat
Jan 16 (ST) The Sri Lanka Army and United Nations agencies in Colombo have warned more than one million people affected by the floods to be wary of mines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) when the waters recede. Army Headquarters sent out instructions yesterday to Brigade Commanders in the flood-affected areas to issue warnings to both government officials and flood victims.
Talk at the Cafe Spectator
Jan 16 (ST) The cat-and-mouse games played in the Police Department continue to baffle top leaders of the UPFA. Weeks ago, the entire team of CID officers assigned to the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption were summarily moved out. Orders went from Police Headquarters asking them to take up duties in different police divisions. A UPFA leader who heard this was furious. He ordered that all the transfers be cancelled immediately.
Prince of Wales sends message
Jan 17 (DM) The Prince of Wales in a message to President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed his concern and support to the people of Sri Lanka who have been affected by floods and heavy rain recently. In a message sent to President Mahinda Rajapaksa states: MESSAGE FROM H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES TO H.E. PRESIDENT RAJAPAKSA: "My wife and I have been watching, with mounting concern, the terrible effects of the flooding
Sri Lanka bound South Korean-run ship hi-jacked
Jan 16 (AFP) Suspected Somali pirates hijacked a South Korean-operated cargo ship with 21 crew on board in the Indian Ocean on Saturday, South Korean and European officials said. The chemical tanker was carrying eight South Koreans, two Indonesians, and 11 crew from Myanmar when it was seized in the waters between Oman and India, officials said.
Even I heard of Basmathi rice only recently, says PM
Jan 17 (NF) The first thing some people ask is the price of Samba or Basmathi rice. Even I heard of Basmathi rise only rencently, says the Prime Minister D. M. Jayarathne. The premier made this statement at a function held to declare open the newly constructed building of the Abanganga Korale Pradeshiya Sabha in Rattota in Matale yesterday. “Now chicken has been brought from abroad. Eggs have also been brought. Those who can buy chicken from shops please raise their hands.
EU pushing Sri Lanka toward China
Jan 15 (Diplomat) That old habits die hard is clear from the way in which the European Union has been seeking to corner Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for daring to defeat the LTTE, rather than heeding their advice to call a ceasefire when the army had overrun the last sliver of territory controlled by the LTTE. With each advance the army made in early 2009, the demands for a ceasefire grew more strident.
Over one million flood victims, death toll rises to 27
article_imageJan 15 (Island) The number of people affected by floods caused by torrential rains in the Northern and Eastern Provinces exceeded the one million mark yesterday. According to the latest figures issued by the Disaster Management Centre, 1,055,668 people of 283,781 families have been affected while the death toll has risen to 27. 49 persons have been injured in flood related accidents. 12 people had gone missing in several flood affected districts.
Ban says Panel Finalizing Sri Lanka dates
Jan 15 (ICP) For the four weeks since UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on December 17 announced his Panel of Experts would visit Sri Lanka and praised the “flexibility” of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his Spokesperson's office has refused to answer questions about Rajapaksa officials' statements that they were unable of any trip, that Ban's Panel would get only “conditional visas,” not to investigate
President rules out police powers for north
Jan 15 (Hindu) Reaffirming his commitment to the “13-plus” (13th amendment with additional powers) formula to bring about an amicable political solution to the Tamil question, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa insisted that “the plus” be a product of the hope and aspirations of the people of Sri Lanka. Asked if police powers would be part of the formula, he categorically said, “No… It's not practical.”
Sirisena admits his Ministry a den of corruption
Jan 15 (Island) Healthcare Minister Maithripala Sirisena recently admitted that his Ministry was a bottomless pit of corruption and vowed to clean it up before relinquishing his portfolio. He said corruption, malpractice and irregularities were the order of the day at the Ministry and a drug could not be registered without a bribe being given. Nothing could be done at the Ministry without bribing some official or another
Ranil takes a break, delegates LG polls organising to senior members
Jan 15 (Island) UNP and OppositionLeader Ranil Wickremesinghe has delegated all functions pertaining to the UNP’s campaign and selection of candidates for the forthcoming local government elections to a committee comprising senior party members. Informed sources said that Wickremesinghe had decided to oversee the polls campaign but would not get involved with it, especially, in the finalisation of the list of candidates.
Canada contributes to relief efforts
Jan 15 (DM) The Canadian High Commission yesterday announced an immediate contribution to the supplement efforts made by the Government, UN and other agencies in assisting those affected by severe floods in Sri Lanka. "We wanted to help get assistance to people quickly,” Canada's High Commissioner Bruce Levy said, assuring that the High Commission would also give careful consideration to any further appeals that may come
Thou shalt not wear sweaters - Principal
Jan 15 (DM) The Director of National Schools Douglas Ranasinghe instructed principals of Colombo girls schools not to prevent students from wearing sweaters following complaints made by parents that certain leading girls school authorities had allegedly asked students to remove sweaters before entering the school. The health authorities, advised the public to keep the body warm at all times to prevent various ailments including respiratory problems and influenza
Mervyn bans sale of four vegetables in Kelaniya
Jan 16 (AD) Green Chillies, Tomatoes, Gourd and Lady Fingers will not be sold in the Kelaniya area during the New Year as residents of the area will be pushed to growing these vegetables in their home gardens, Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs Mervyn Silva stated. He further added that this campaign will be enforced strictly in order to encourage people to be self-sufficient as vegetable prices increase due to bad weather conditions
More than 1 million cut off in Sri Lanka's deluge
Jan 14 (Time) When the rains began on Dec. 26 along the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, they brought with them a foreboding sense of unease. The day after Christmas still gives the chills to those living here since the day six years ago when the Asian tsunami pulverized communities living along the beach. This year, the nightmare has returned, raining almost continuously now for over fifteen days over an area of about 4000 square miles.
Composer of the Sri Lanka National Anthem Ananda Samarakoon’s birth centenary commemorates
By Janaka Alahapperuma
The composer of the Sri Lankan National Anthem, artiste and late musician Ananda Samarakoon’s 100th birth anniversary was commemorated at Temple Trees on 13 January. President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and said that the best honour can be awarded to the creator of the National anthem is to build up the future generation loyal to the motherland.
Special leave for flood-hit
Jan 14 (DN) Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W D J Seneviratne has decided to grant special leave with payment to all public sector employees who have been unable to report to work due to persisting inclement weather and flood situation. This decision was arrived at a special meeting with Ministry officials at the Ministry premises yesterday. The circular pertaining to this decision would be sent to institutions in the coming few days
India, Sri Lanka spar over fisherman’s killing
Jan 14 (IANS) Sri Lanka yesterday denied its Navy had fired on three Indian fishermen that led to the death of one of them even as the Indian government, under pressure from its political ally in Tamil Nadu, protested strongly against the incident and asked Colombo to avoid the use of force. Conveying concerns over the killing of an Indian fisherman by Sri Lankan Navy personnel, India’s external affairs ministry summoned Sri Lankan High Commissioner
Gota to give evidence in White Flag case
Jan 14 (Island) The Trial-at-Bar, hearing the ‘White Flag’ case, yesterday issued notice, returnable on January 25, on Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and IP Jayasundera of the CID. The latter is the police officer who recorded the statement of former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka. At yesterday’s hearing, several police officers gave evidence, led by Senior State Counsel Dilantha Ratnayake,
Underground water:Threat to Matale
Jan 14 (DM) Underground water levels in several areas in the Matale district had risen in an unusual manner threatening the stability of houses and buildings, the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) said. The emergence of springs , fissures, earth-slips and land-slides have been reported from a large number of villages in Rattota, Ukuwela, Naula, Abanganga Korale, and Yatawatte in the Divisional Secretariat areas, it said.
Editorial: Without inward change, externals are mere rituals
Jan 14 (DM) Is it right that the government is being pressurized to have a dress code in Sri Lanka? Recently it was stated in the media that a commission has been appointed for this task. What is happening? If what we have heard in the media is true then the Government of Sri Lanka is treading on our freedom. We do not think that it is the task of the Government to tell us what to wear and what not to wear.
No one who comes here wants to leave’
Jan 14 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa dismissed claims by the UNP that some prominent SLFPers were planning to break ranks, as baseless rumours. "I am confident that no one from either the SLFP or the UPFA will decamp,’ he said, "however I won’t try to prevent anyone from leaving or joining us." He said his government had a swing door, which opened both ways and anyone was free to either enter or exit.
Queen to visit H’tota in 2013
Jan 13 (DM)
Queen of England along with 53 heads of government would visit Hambanthota in 2013 to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held there, inister G.L. Peiris said. “In 2013, Queen of England along with 53 Heads of State of Commonwealth countries will visit your area. They will attend a Summit called CHOGM which is held every two years. CHOGM is a summit where all the leaders of Commonwealth countries meet for discussion and
Sri Lanka deploys troops for flood relief operations
Jan 13 (CNN)
Thousands of Sri Lankan troops have launched a massive operation to rescue nearly a million people affected by floods in the central, north and eastern provinces. The flooding has killed at least 13 people. More than 28,000 troops, backed by transport helicopters and navy boats, are rescuing flood victims and delivering food. It is the biggest troops operation since the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels
Colombo is shivering
Jan 13 (NN)
Colombo experienced extreme cold weather this morning with the temperature dropping to a record 18.8°C owing to cloudy conditions, the Department of Meteorology said. A spokeswoman at the Department told News Now.lk that it was the first time in 61 years that the temperature in Colombo had dropped to such an extent. On January 4, 1950 Colombo's temperature had dropped to 15°C but has remained above the 21°C mark since then.
President never promised Rs. 2500 pay hike –Minister
Jan 13 (DM) 
President Mahinda Rajapaksa at no time pledged to increase the salaries of public servants by Rs. 2,500 in 2011, said Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister John Seneviratne yesterday. “President Rajapaksa instructed me to tell the media that he had never promised a pay hike of Rs. 2,500 in one go in 2011. This is a misinterpretation by the media.
Garment factory opens in Hambantota
Jan 13 (DN) 
Tourist arrivals and investment opportunity creation have helped strengthen mutual friendship and relations between Sri Lanka and France, said External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris at the opening of the Rangiri Garment Factory at Rangiri Village, Mirijjawila, Hambantota recently. Earlier Minister Prof Peiris and MP Namal Rajapaksa jointly opened the new factory set up under the direction of
Batti and Ampara floods reach dangerous levels
Jan 13 (DM)
The flood situation in Batticaloa and Ampara districts was reaching dangerous levels, the DMC said yesterday. Confirming the situation in Batticaloa Deputy Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbullah cited the situation as ‘extremely bad’ even with the welfare camps being deluged. “We have been compelled to relocate 15 welfare camps. We will shift people to higher grounds. I am also unable to access other areas to look into the needs of the people.
Norway’s secret letter to Prabhakaran
Jan 13 (DM) 
The confidential letter sent by the erstwhile Foreign Minister of Norway ,Jan Petersen to former Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran which was exposed by ‘Wikileaks’ had shed light on a hitherto unknown side : firstly, it proves that the accusations levelled by the pro Tamil Tiger Diaspora that Norway and the International community were responsible for the devastation of the Tamil Tigers are false; and secondly, the allegations mounted
Sri Lanka court summons Defence Secretary to testify on 'White Flag' case
Jan 13 (CP)
A Sri Lankan court today ordered the country's Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to appear before the court to testify on the controversial 'white flag' case against former Army Commander and Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader Sarath Fonseka.
Rising water levels threaten tank bunds
Jan 12 (DM) The rising water levels due to continuous rains have caused threats to the stability of many large scale tank bunds in the North Central and Eastern provinces. The bund of the Walathapitiya tank in Ampara had breached from two places and ten families were evacuated. The flood waters had inundated Ninthavur and Karativu areas as well. Most tanks in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampara districts were affected
Record rains increase urgency of climate change adaptation
Jan 12 (IRIN) Ongoing storms have dumped more rain in one eastern district of Sri Lanka than witnessed in a century. Nationwide, storms have hit some two million people in the past seven months and hastened climate adaptation plans already under way, according to the government. National climate scientist WL Sumathipala said recent storm activity had sped up the timetable to help residents cope with changing weather.
Wikileaks : Solheim, Burns misjudged MR et al
Jan 12 (Island) A leaked confidential US diplomatic cable, authored by the then US Ambassador in Colombo Jeffrey Lunstead in the wake of Nov. 2005 presidential election, has revealed how those spearheading the peace initiative misjudged the Sri Lankan leader. Following a meeting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns had with President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on Jan. 23, 2006,
Solheim wanted to coach MR on how to make peace
Jan 12 (Island) A few days before leaving Oslo for Colombo, where he was scheduled to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Jan. 2006, Norwegian peace facilitator Minister Erik Solheim claimed that the President needed to learn how to handle the peace process. Solheim boasted of his expertise in handling the Sri Lankan crisis when he met Ambassador K. Whitney, the newly appointed US Ambassador to Norway on Jan. 19, 2006
Swiss police arrest Tamil Tiger members after raids
Jan 12 (AFP) Swiss police Tuesday raided several properties and arrested ten Tamil Tiger rebels, accusing them of involvement in a criminal group as well as money laundering, the attorney-general's office said. "Today, the Swiss Federal Criminal Police carried out a nationally coordinated operation directed at Tamil individuals and members of the LTTE. "They are accused, amongst other offences, of money laundering and membership of a criminal organisation,"
'We conducted a Humanitarian Operation, with zero civilian casualties'
Jan 12 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday unveiled, a sales complex to market products made by disabled war heroes at 272, Denzil Kobbekaduwa road- Battaramulla. The sales complex was built under the patronage of Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero with cooperation of the Dharnayathana Trust. President Rajapaksa asserted that, Sri Lanka as a whole had to suffer due to a protracted conflict because of betrayals, subjugations and blunders made in the past.
Floods ground Sri Lanka President
Jan 12 (BBC) Weather conditions have forced Sri Lanka's president to abandon a visit to areas affected by severe flooding which has displaced nearly 200,000 people and killed 18 others. Mahinida Rajapaksa had to cancel his helicopter trip from Polonnaruwa in the east to the badly affected coastal city of Batticaloa. The downpour is continuing after two weeks of rain in the centre and east. The floods have inundated farmland and destroyed rice fields
Sri Lanka bourse nears peak amid foreign outflows
Jan 12(Reuters) Sri Lanka's bourse gained on Wednesday on heavy retail buying, a day after the central bank slashed interest rates to over six-year lows, pushing it further deep into overbought territory. But foreign investors were net sellers for the 10th session in a row with 511 million rupees on Tuesday, extending the net outflow to 1.9 billion rupees this year. They sold 26.4 billion rupees last year. Share index .CSE gained 0.32 percent
Govt. appeals for public assistance to help flood victims
Jan 11 (RW) The Government has appealed to the general public to assist over 800,000 flood victims as they are in need of drinking water, mats, bed sheets, other clothing and milk food for children. "The unexpected climatic change has made the people displaced in thousands. Sri Lankan people are well known for their generous help and hospitality in times of crises situation
TMVP slams ex-envoy
Jan 11 (NN) The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) has expressed outrage over the Wikileaks exposure quoting former US Ambassador Robert Blake who had stated that paramilitary groups including the TMVP ran prostitution rings for Sri Lankan troops in government-controlled parts of the Northeast, and child sex trafficking rings using their networks in India and Malaysia. Denying the alleged statement exposed through the Wikileaks cable
Sri Lanka cuts interest rates to spur growth
Jan 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's central bank on Tuesday cut key interest rates in a bid to encourage more investment in the island's economy as it recovers from decades of ethnic warfare. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka lowered its benchmark repurchase rate by 25 basis points to 7.0 percent, while the reverse repurchase rate was cut by 50 basis points to 8.0 percent. The bank said it was able to lower interest rates

 

Sri Lanka tries to buy top Kiwis for T20 comp
Jan 17 (Stuff) Several of New Zealand's biggest-hitting cricketers have been given yet another opportunity to line their pockets with wads of dollars after receiving approaches to take part in the Sri Lankan domestic Twenty20 competition midway through the year. Ross Taylor, who last Saturday became an overnight millionaire after selling for a whopping $1.3 million in the Indian Premier League's glamour auction, is one of those offered the chance to ply his trade in Sri Lanka.
2,000 years ago when the big wave hit Sri Lanka
Jan 14 (ST) The sea rolled into the land in the morning of December 26, 2004, spreading death and destruction of a massive scale, never heard or experienced before in Sri Lanka. An estimated 31,000 were killed, 8,000 went missing and nearly one million persons were rendered destitute or were displaced. The damage to property ran into billions of rupees. Over 2,000 years ago, according to recorded history, similar tidal waves appear to have hit
Lanka welcomes Swiss swoop on LTTE rump
Jan 13 (Island)
Sri Lanka on Wednesday welcomed Switzerland taking tough action against the LTTE rump. An External Affairs Ministry official told The Island that tangible action was needed to stop those making money on the pretext of fighting for the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils. He said the government was confident that operations would continue until the total eradication of criminal gangs targeting the Tamil Diaspora not only in Switzerland but
Witness says two pages of Frederica’s note book were torn out
Jan 13 (Island)
Testifying before the Trial-at-Bar, hearing the ‘White Flag case’, on Wednesday, former Colombo Chief Magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne said that two pages of the note book belonging to prosecution witness and Editor of The Sunday Leader Frederica Jansz, which had been produced in the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, in connection with the investigation, were torn out and its last pages remained blank
Evacuate high risk population’
Jan 13 (DN)
In the backdrop of escalating landslides in the country, the Government yesterday said an approval from the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has been made compulsory for building houses in landslide prone areas in the country. A circular comprising the list of landslide prone areas in each Divisional Secretariat division would be issued to the relevant Local Government institutions within a few days and construction in these areas cannot
A new Commander for the Navy
Jan 13 (LT)
It is reported that Rear Admiral S. Dissanayake, Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy has been appointed as the Navy Commander with effect from 15th January by the Secretary of Defense Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Earlier it was reported that current Navy Commander Thisara Samarasinghe had been promoted to the rank of Admiral with effect from today. He will retire on 15th January after completing a period of a year and half as the Commander.
Navy Commander promoted to Admiral
altJan 12 (NN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has promoted Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe to the rank of Admiral with effect from today, the Navy said in a statement this morning. The short statement said “His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has been pleased to promote Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy
Tiger buddy with nuisance value takes on Karunanidhi
Jan 12 (TI) Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu may be five months away but at least one person has announced his candidature against the electoral might of Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi. Tamil film director-turned-actor Sebastian Seeman, a fiery supporter of the LTTE and the Tamil Eelam cause, has declared that he was ready to be the common candidate to challenge Karunanidhi at whichever constituency he contests, and sought the support of all Opposition parties.
Millions lost now the teller machine tells all
Jan 12 (ST) In the first week of December, a leading private bank received complaints from three clients that money from their accounts had been withdrawn without their knowledge. The bank manager found out that around Rs 300,000 had been withdrawn from the three accounts and the place of withdrawal was traced to Italy. As an immediate measure, the bank blocked ATM transactions in Italy on its credit or debit cards
‘Even President cannot send me on retirement’
Jan 12 (DM) Senior Minister on Good Governance and Infrastructure, Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said even the President could not send him on retirement unless he retired on his own will as he is an elected Member of Parliament
Anti-Lanka film banned
Jan 11 (NN) The Chennai Regional Censor board has banned the release of Sengadal, a film based on Sri Lankan war and problems faced by Tamil fishermen in Indian Ocean. The film, according to sources, speaks elaborately on the atrocities of Sri Lankan army against the Eelam and Indian Tamils, the Indian media reported. After watching the preview of the film, the Board officials rejected to certify the movie, says a source.
'No outsiders from UNP ticket'
Jan 11 (DM) The UNP has decided not to accommodate members of other parties such as the SLMC under its elephant symbol at the upcoming local government election unless they obtain the party membership first, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. He that the UNP would contest the polls for all 303 local bodies, and the second round of interviews for the selection of candidates would be conducted from January 16 to 17 at district levels.
UNP set to create foundation to establish a government : Karu .
Jan 11 (ST) UNP is united now and will face the Local Authority elections to create the foundation to establish a government, UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said. He made the comment speaking to the media during the first Grama Charika of 2011 which was held on Saturday at Kotte. “The government took a decision to hold the Local Authority elections all over the island on the same day but within 60 hours they changed their decision”, he said
'We will not sell off state assets'
Jan 10 (DM) This government did not have trust in privatization and it wouldn’t sell state property, President Mahinda Rajapakse said over the weekend. Speaking at the ceremony to award ISO Certificates to District Secretariats and Divisional Secretariats on Saturday President Rajapaksa said that there was a time when the policy was to sell state property and later to limit it thereby weakening the public sector
Mahavamsa Mentality: Can the charge of Racism leveled against the chronicle be sustained?
Jan 10 (DBSJ) Hello Friends; The article by JL Devananda titled “The Mahavamsa Mentality: Re-visiting Sinhala Buddhism in Sri Lanka” was posted on my blog last mont. As expected the controversial viewpoint expressed continues to elicit diverse and very often passionate responses. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an article written in response to Devananda’s article from Former Sri Lankan Foreign service officer Bandu de Silva a few days ago
More showers predicted
Jan 10 (DN) The Meteorology Department yesterday predicted more showers in several areas in the North, North East, North Central, Sabaragamuwa, Uva and Central provinces during the next several days. Batticaloa had received the highest rainfall of 300 mm by yesterday. The adverse weather experienced over a long time was due to the changing climatic conditions in the region. The spill gates of several reservoirs and tanks in the north central province have been opened
Rudra writes to Ban
Jan 10 (NN) Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, the so called “Prime Minister” of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has written to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon saying TGTE is taking steps to brief leaders of different countries to highlight the latest escalation of violence in Sri Lanka. In the letter made public today Rudrakumaran urged the UN Chief to broaden the mandate of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka to cover the abuses
'Police powers should remain with Central govt.'
Jan 9 (SO) Deputy Minister of Resettlement Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan said that police powers need not be vested with the Provincial Councils but remain with the Central Government to ensure national security. The LTTE's former Military Leader of the Eastern region, Minister Muralitharan said that the best solution to solve the problems of Tamils was the 13th Amendment
Sri Lanka ship fuel vendors eye new port prospects
Jan 9 (LBO) Sri Lankan bunker firms want the government to open up to the private sector ship fuel supplies at a new port on the south coast close to the main shipping route, officials said. The market for ship fuel can be expanded as hundreds of vessels daily sail past the new Hambantota port which was opened last November, they said. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has announced it plans to start bunkering operations at Hambantota in May
Murali, Mahela get 1m
Jan 9 (NN) Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and batsman Mehela Jayawardena fetched over US$ 1 million each at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction held in India today. Muttiah Muralitharan was sold to the Kotchi team for US$ 1.1 Million at the auction a short while ago while earlier in the day Kotchi also purchased Mahela Jayawardene for US $1.5 million. Pune got Angelo Mathews for US$ 950,000 while Kumar Sangakkara was sold for US$ 700,000
Mervyn’s phone buzzing
Jan 7 (NN) The hotline of Minister Mervyn Silva has been buzzing with complaints since it was launched last month and has received over 50 complaints so far, an official from the Minister’s office said. The official told News Now.lk that most of the complaints were related to domestic issues where assistance was sought from the Minister to solve the problem in order to maintain peace in the domestic front.
Sri Lanka to invite investments for Trinco port
Jan 7 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) plans to invite investors to make proposals for investments in the eastern port of Trincomalee where large tracts of land are available by March, its chairman Priyath Wickrema said. "We're developing Trincomalee and plan to issue a request for proposals to develop land," Wickrama said, delivering the annual P B Karandwala Memorial Lecture. "We plan to issue the RFP by March."
Sri Lanka Marxists to go alone in the local government elections, coalition not to contest
Jan 6 (CP)
Political sources say that Sri Lanka's Marxist opposition alliance Democratic National Alliance (DNA) will not contest the local government elections.
WHO donates drugs for AH1N1 influenza
Jan 6 (DM)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated a stock of drugs to the Health Ministry to treat those infected with A H1N1 influenza following the exhaustion of highly expensive A H1N1 vaccines, a ministry spokesman said yesterday. The WHO had donated 1.5 million AH1N1 vaccines to the Health Ministry a few months ago to control the fast spreading influenza. The Health Ministry vaccinated some 1.5 million, expectant mothers, armed forces and
Jaffna Commander assures security
Jan 6 (DM)
Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe yesterday rejected the claims made by Minister Douglas Devananda on the security in the Jaffna Peninsula in parliament. He said that the army had begun routine night patrols while assisting the police in maintaining law and order in Jaffna. “The crimes are related to burglaries, killings and other criminal activities by civilians which are almost based on personnel disputes”, he said.
Sri Lanka new port to offer ship fuel in May
Jan 6 (LBO)
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) plans to start bunkering or ship fuel operations at a new port in southern Hambantota in May, its chairman Priyath Wickrama said. A tank farm with a capacity of 80,000 metric tonnes is under construction at the port which was built with Chinese loans and contractors. The tank farm should be ready by April 2011. "We're hoping to start bunkering by May this year,"
The video tape of the white flag case that ‘was missing’ exists!
Jan 6 (LT)
The Deputy Solicitor General Buwaneka Aluvihare informed the Colombo High Court today that the video tape relevant to the white flag case against Gen. Sarath Fonseka which Derana TV had earlier stated they did not possess, is now available with the TV station. The white flag case against Gen. Fonseka was taken up for inquiry today before a panel of three Judges. Ratnapura District reporter for Derana TV Dayan Kanchana Kudagama,
Sri Lanka's influenza A/H1N1 immunization programme to end on January 8
Jan 5 (CP)
Sri Lanka's Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said today that the immunization programme against the influenza A/H1N1 will end on January 8 when the existing stock of vaccine expires.
New MP sworn in to Sri Lankan parliament
Jan 5 (CP)
The vacancy in parliament created by the demise of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) parliamentarian Noordeen Mashoor was today (5) filled by a lawyer from Musali in the Mannar district
'US threatened Lanka with sanctions during final stage of war'
Jan 5 (DM)
The United States had threatened Sri Lanka in 2009 with costly sanctions if weapons deals were carried out with both Iran and North Korea during the final stage of the war, a secret US cable revealed. Oslo newspaper Aftenposten, which continues to churn out stories related to the content of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables that the US had intended to keep secret, stated that “any arms purchase contracts entered into by Sri Lankan
Selectors should pick the best team for World Cup – President
Jan 5 (Island)
Meeting Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials at Temple Trees last morning, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said it was the responsibility of the national cricket selectors to pick the best team for the forthcoming Cricket World Cup. President has also mentioned that everyone in the country expects victory for Sri Lanka in the forthcoming World Cup and therefore it was the responsibility of all to heighten morale of the Lankan players
No Poya holiday for private sector
Jan 5 (LB)
Private sector employees now fear the government would abolish the Poya day as holiday for mercantile sector employees. The apprehension is after a recent comment made by the Minister Gamini Lokuge that the government is considering whether to get rid of the Poya holiday given thus far to those in the mercantile sector. According to Lokuge currently the government is seriously contemplating taking the Poya holiday off from the holiday calendar
AH1N1: 8% of population immunized
Jan 4 (DM) The stock of 1.5 million AH1N1 vaccines donated by the World Health Organization (WHO) has been almost used up in immunizing some 8% of the population. The remaining 50,000 vaccines have to be used before they expire next Friday. “We targeted the members of risk groups such as expectant mothers, patients with chronic diseases, armed forces personnel and health employees for vaccination.
CJ has not resigned
Jan 4 (NN) The government today categorically rejected alleged reports that Chief Justice Asoka De Silva has resigned from his post following a dispute with President Mahinda Rajapakse. Responding to these reports Government Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva told Parliament today that those claims were part of a UNP campaign to mislead the public.
Misguided skyrocket burns down school
Jan 3 (DM) A rocket lit to celebrate the dawn of New Year had caused the fire that damaged properties worth Rs. 5 million at Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said. Minister Gunawardane said that this rocket had fallen into a dormitory of the primary section of the school through a window. Eventually, a mattress kept in the dormitory had caught fire.
Panic after fresh Jaffna violence
Jan 3 (NS) A sudden increase of violence in the Jaffna peninsula has raised alarmed northern parliamentarians and civilians. The escalating violence has also prompted the TNA to call for an adjournment debate in parliament when it reconvenes this month. Jaffna district TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that gun culture prevailed in the north despite the end of war in May 2009.
TNA to meet Government for positive political solution
Jan 3 (DM) The TNA said yesterday they look forward to meeting the government this month to discuss the contours of a political solution. TNA Spokesman MP Suresh Premachandran told the Daily Mirror there are positive signals from the government in this respect. “We hope the government will engage us in this regard. We are looking forward to it,” he said.
High Commissioner in UK: Bogollagama and Dissanayake in the fray?
Jan 2 (Island) Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Nihal Jayasinghe will bid goodbye this week after completing his tenure in London. Although he has been offered the slot as Chairman of the Bribery Commission, the Sunday Island learns that he would not accept the job as he is keen to take up a top position in Cambodia. At present he is one of the judges presiding over the war crimes tribunal in Cambodia.
Expatriates in US told: Make Sri Lanka ‘Wonder of Asia’
Jan 2 (SO) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in the US Jaliya Wickremasuriya has called upon all lankans living in the US to help make the island nation a ‘Wonder of Asia”. He said that terrorism which haunted Sri Lanka has been now defeated and the entire country is enjoying the dividends of peace. Wickremasuriya outlined how Sri Lanka’s numerous major achievements in the area of post-conflict rebuilding and reconciliation over the past year were achieved
Local polls in East: SLMC ‘may go solo’
Jan 2 (NS) A ground survey conducted by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has indicated that a majority of the Muslims in the East are not keen on the party contesting the upcoming local elections in alliance with the UPFA. A delegation headed by SLMC general secretary Hasan Ali undertook a field visit to ascertain for itself the pulse of the party supporters on the forthcoming elections last week.
Rajapaksa greets Lankans on new year through SMS
Jan 1 (PTI) For the second time in a row, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent his new year greetings through SMS to all mobile phone users around the country. The message reads "Wishing you all a prosperous new year-Mahinda Rajapaksa". It has been sent in three languages -- Sinhala, Tamil and English. The Sinhala and Tamil messages have been typed using English letters phonetically.
Join hands to end misery: Ranil
Jan 1 (DM) Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called on all sectors to work towards ending misery and creating a society where good qualities and discipline is preserved. In his New Year message Mr. Wickremesinghe said it was not difficult to overcome this challenge if the strengths and abilities of all sectors are put together.
National Anthem: From Namo Namo to Sri Lanka Matha
Jan 1 (DBSJ) A campaign is being conducted by majoritarian hawks to do away with the practice of singing the national anthem in Tamil. There are however indications that saner counsel is prevailing and that the current National anthem controversy may turn out to be a tempest in a tea cup. Controversy however is nothing new as far as the national anthem of Sri Lanka is concerned.

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