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... President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government is likely to receive the support of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to introduce constitutional amendments aimed at devolving powers to the regions ...



May Day: Huge crowds expected

(DN) With peace reigning after the defeat of terrorism the working people will celebrate this year’s May Day on a grand sale.   Read more - Sri Lanka Latest News

Constitutional reforms: TNA ready to support government

(Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government is likely to receive the support of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to introduce constitutional amendments aimed at devolving powers to the regions.

Well-informed sources told The Island that India would pressure the TNA to align with the Rajapaksa administration to pave the way for required constitutional changes.  More



Seminar in Colombo on new U.S. Visa application procedures

(CP) The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, is organizing a seminar on the new procedures for applying for a visa to the United States, a U.S. Embassy press release issued today said.  Read more

Commemorative stamp issued - 125th annivesary of the Buddhist Flag

(OGNP) Yesterday marked the 125th anniversary of the Buddhist Flag in the country. The inaugural ceremony of then Buddhist Flag designed and introduced by Sri Lanka was held on April 28 1885 on a Wesak Full Moon Day on Adhi Wesak Day. The Flag was originally designed in 1885 by the Colombo Committee.

This flag was published in the Sarasavi Sandaresa newspaper of 17 April 1885 and was first hoisted in public on Wesak day, 28 May 1885 at the Dipaduttamarama, Kotahena, by Ven. Migettuwatte Gunananda thera.    Read more - Sri Lanka News

Bridal Fair ’10 takes the centre stage

(DN) Wedding attire, demonstrations, cakes, flower arrangements, cosmetics, hair styles and many more items linked with one of the fastest booming industries in the country, the wedding market, will be brought under one roof with ‘The Bridal Fair ’10’.

Taking over the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) from July 9 to 11, the 15th Bridal Fair sets stage for a budding beauticians to unleash their talent displaying modern and innovative features and brides and grooms-to-be to gather some tips on planning their big day.    Read more



Revival of sweet ORANGE industry in Sri Lanka

(OGNP) Sweet orange cultivation in Sri Lanka is spread over 20 districts. Majority of the areas are rain fed, predominantly in Moneragala, Badulla, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Kandy Districts. In other areas of the country scattered trees are found in the home gardens. It is believed that sweet orange has been grown in Sri Lanka from time immemorial although the exact beginning cannot be traced back.

Unfortunately the sweet orange production in Sri Lanka was kept at a low phase because, the early agricultural policies in the country gave more prominence to the peasant cultivations such as rice and other field crops.   Read more

Sri Lanka celebrates 125th anniversary of hoisting the Buddhist flag today

(Island) Sri Lanka celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Buddhist flag on the Adhi Vesak Poya Day, today.

The Most Ven Wadisinghe Migettuwatte Gunananda thera hoisted the Buddhist flag for the first time in this country on April 28, 1885 at the Deepaduttaramaya Temple, Kotahena.

Religious ceremonies have been organised in temples countrywide to mark the day.

Read more - Sri Lanka News

Sri Lanka capital to receive a complete facelift in preparation of IIFA 2010

(CP) Sri Lanka's commercial hub, the city of Colombo is to receive a full facelift in preparation of the 11th International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) scheduled to be held in Colombo from June 3-5.

The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is planning on spending Rs 75 million to prepare the Colombo City for the awards ceremony which is to be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium.    Read more - Sri Lanka latest News

Jaffna library to be computerized

(OGNP) Measures have been taken to computerize and upgrade the Jaffna public library.

Regarding this purpose a meeting was held yesterday (26) by Mayor of Jaffna Mrs. Yogeswary Patkunarajah and Hon. Governor, Northern Province, GA Chandrasiri at the Auditorium of the library.

Messers SIERRA Information Technologies Ltd. have been entrusted the task of making a survey on this accord. Digital technology would enhance capacity of enhancing the library’s indexing system and such other allied functions.



Lankan dancers thrill Palestinians @ Tourism Road Show

(DN) Sri Lankan dancers thrilled the Palestinians when they performed at Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah on April 22 participating in a Sri Lanka Tourism Road Show organized by Sri Lanka Diplomatic Representative Office in Palestine in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.

A large number of travel agents from all parts of Palestine, hotel owners, media and special guests were present.   Read more - Sri Lankan News

‘Healthy Holidays’ certifies AMAYA

(DN) AMAYA Resorts and Spas were checked and certified by for high quality Ayurvedic treatments and excellent service.

The certificates were awarded to the AMAYA team at the ITB 2010 in Berlin/Germany. The hotels have been checked end of 2009 by a certified Wellness Adviser according to the criteria of by mystery check and inspection.  Read more



An eco paradise in Habarana

(ST) This is the Hurulu Eco Park, part of the Hurulu Forest Reserve which comes under the purview of the Forest Department. Getting the information from a resident at Habarana, we found our way on the Habarana-Trincomalee Road. Coming from Habarana past the railway crossing after 100 metres you can see the Hurulu Eco Park board on your left, between the 116th and 117th km post.    Read more - Sri Lanka News

At Sri Lankan elephant orphanage, dung is in business

(IRISHSUN) Don't call it crap. Dung is actually being turned into profit at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, thanks to a good idea.

At the entrance to the orphanage stands a shop, Pinnawala Elephant Dung Paper, where elephant excrement is used to make products like notebooks, photo frames, gift items, book marks, photo albums and greeting cards.    Read more - Sri Lanka News


Sri Lanka national team departs for T20 tournament

(CP) Sri Lanka national squad for the Twenty20 World Cup left the country Saturday night from Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake with the determination of bringing the cup home.

Sri Lanka is favored to win the T20 cup again in 2010. Last year Sri Lanka remained unbeaten until the final match which they lost to Pakistan.

Read more - Sri Lanka News

Country's hospitality by far the best- Amithab Bachchan:

(SO) Sri Lanka in world cinema spotlight: Sri Lanka is once again on top of the world grabbing the spotlight of universal cinema as the host destination of the 11th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards to be held from June 3 to 5 in Colombo.

Adding grandeur and glitter to the unique achievement of hosting IIFA was the arrival of Indian Bollywood film star and icon Amithab Bachchan as the brand ambassador at the launch of the spectacular event.    Read more - Sri Lanka News

Central Bank to establish retirement fund for Sri Lanka's private sector employees

(CP) Sri Lanka's Central Bank plans to introduce a retirement fund to benefit about eight million employees of the country's private sector.

The employees can contribute any amount they can afford to the fund initially through the state banks. Private sector employees can open an account under their name in the Bank of Ceylon, the People's Bank, and the National Savings Bank initially.

However, the distributions from the account can be taken only when the employee reaches age 55.   Read more - Sri Lanka latest News



Lightening damages Sri Lanka's historic Mihintale Dagoba

(CP) The historic 'chaithya' of Sri Lanka's Mihintale ancient shrine has been damaged by lightening yesterday, says the Chief Incumbent of the temple Walahahengunaweve Dhammarathana Thero.

A 20 X 25 portion of the second 'Pesawalalla' of the top of the dagoba has been broken in the lightening that struck the structure amid torrential rain, the Thero said.

Read more - Sri Lanka News   another related article



Abbassa Village where Oranges and Mangoes grow

(IL) The forgotten communities of Sri Lanka's former border villages. Have you any idea what it is like to be part of them?

The traditional pillars of civilized living - the village temple and the school, were abandoned and dysfunctional, and, in some instances, swallowed up by the jungle. By day, these frightened communities cowered at every unexpected movement and every loud noise, anticipating death at every turn. By night, they sought protection in bunkers built close to their homes, afraid to sleep for fear of being massacred in the dark.

Read more - Sri Lanka Local News

CCF to declare 'Wayamba cultural square'

(DN) The Central Cultural Fund (CCF) will declare an archaeological zone as the Wayamba Cultural Square, said Central Cultural Fund Director General Pro. Sudarshana Seneviratne.

This new archaeological zone will be set up within Panduwasnuwara and Yapahuwa electorates of the Kurunegala District. The aim of the setting up of the archaeological zone is to preserve archaeological sites in Yapahuwa and Kurunegala kingdoms and to maintain existing ancient villages where these archaeological sites are situated. These sites would also be developed as tourist attractions.

Read more - Sri Lanka Local News

Religious events mark Buddhist flag's 125th anniversary

(DN) The Buddhist Theosophical Society has organized several religious events to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Buddhist flag, in collaboration with the Religious Affairs and Moral Uplift Ministry.

The Buddhist flag was first hoisted in Sri Lanka in 1885.

Henry Steele Olcott felt that Buddhists needed a symbol. The Buddhist flag was designed by J.R. De Silva and Henry Steele Olcott to mark the revival of Buddhism in 1880. It was accepted as the international Buddhist flag by the 1952 World Buddhist Congress.

Read more



Sri Lanka yielding the best ever Maha harvest

(CP) Sri Lanka is now reaping the highest harvest that it gained in a 'Maha' season, reports say. 'Maha' is the most favorable season for paddy cultivation in Sri Lanka.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture S. Amarasekara says that the harvest will reach 2.6 million metric tons. This is an increase of 300,000 tons of the anticipated harvest of the Maha season this year. The agricultural authorities expected a harvest of 2.3 million.   Read more - Sri Lanka Local News

Tourists flock to Eastern Province

Sri Lanka Beaches Eastern Province(OGNP) The influx of visitors to the North and East clearly indicates the freedom achieved by the people to travel to any part of the country with the total eradication of terrorism. There are many visitors to historic sacred sites as well as tourist attractive places. It is spring time also for the Pasikudah beach.

Pasikudah in the Batticaloa District is an attractive site. A majority of local and foreign tourists visit the location and enjoy the beach as well as engaging in water sports. Read more - Sri Lanka News

First Police Academy

(OGNP) The first Police Academy in Sri Lanka will be opened at the Old Police College premises at Katana, Thimbirigaskatuwa in Negombo on April 26.

In order to make the police service more professional, Sri Lanka Police Academy was inducted under the patronage of Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Police Spokesman S.P Prishantha Jayakody indicated that the Police Higher Training Institute has been converted to the Sri Lanka Police Academy to strengthen the personnel in the Police Service to continue their studies and become graduands in the field of Police Science.    Read more - Sri Lanka Latest News



Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan in Sri Lanka today

(CP) Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan is to visit Sri Lanka today. He is expected to address a press conference in the evening, meet the Sri Lankan President, and leave for India tonight, sources say.

Mr. Bachchan is in Sri Lanka to participate in a media awareness programme on the IIFA 2010 awards ceremony of the International Indian Film Academy. The festival is to be held in Sri Lanka on June 3, 4 and 5.    Continue reading this Sri Lanka News

Nutritious food competition

(OGNP) The Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition will promote healthy and nutritious short eats among the youths to mark this year’s Nutrition Month which falls in June.

Director of Nutrition Coordination Division of Health Ministry Dr. Shanthi Gunawardena pointed out that the theme of this year’s nutrition month is `Proper youth nutrition – the life of future generation’. "We have taken steps to conduct a short eats recipes competition to mark this year’s Nutrition Month".    Read more



Nearly four million visitors to Jaffna since war end

(DN) There has been nearly four million visitors, both local and foreign to the Jaffna peninsula since the end of the war, Jaffna commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said.

“President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s aim is to provide the freedom enjoyed by the people of the South to those in the North as well,” he said speaking at a Sinhala and Hindu new year festival in Chunnakam Saturday.

He said the people of the North who underwent much hardship during the 30 year war, was today, living in freedom.   Read more this Sri Lanka latest news



Jewel of Muscat arrives in Sri Lanka

(CP) he Jewel of Muscat, a replica of a 9th century Arab trading vessel on an historic voyage sailing from Oman to Singapore arrived in Galle today.

The 18-metre-long vessel left the Kerala port of Cochin in India on April 10th and sailed through a tropical storm to arrive in Galle today.

Tuanie Ismail, a native of Kandy joined the voyage from Cochin for the second leg along with a Brit, Geoffrey Dobbs, who currently lives in Galle.  Continue reading this news

Jaffna International Trade Fair 2010

(OGNPSL) The Jaffna International Trade Fair 2010 will be inaugurated today and it will continue until 20th at the Wembadi Girls’ School in Jaffna. The aim of the exhibition is to strengthen trade links between the North and the rest of Sri Lanka.

“Your Gateway to Yalpanam” is being organised by Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services Ltd, in collaboration with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka. Over 200 companies including 25 from India will participate.

The Fair will display a range of products and services across a wide section of industries. All the major banks in Sri Lanka would make their services available to the participants.   Continue reading this Sri Lanka latest news

Indian visa in Jaffna from May

(DM) The Indian government will open a visa application collection center in Jaffna on 5th May, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha said a short while ago while delivering the address as the chief guest of the Jaffna trade fair.

With the opening of the new office Jaffna residents will be able to collect and handover their visa applications in Jaffna instead of traveling to Colombo. They will only be required to visit Colombo to collect the visa from the Indian High Commission in Colombo.    Read this Sri Lanka news more



Japanese schools for 14 Sri Lankan students

(DN) The Government of Japan has awarded higher education scholarships to 14 Sri Lankan students under its Monbukagakusho Scholarship Scheme 2010.

These scholarships were awarded under the categories of postgraduate, undergraduate and college of technology.

Selection of candidates was done through an examination and interview conducted jointly by the Japanese Embassy and the Higher Education Ministry.    Read more

Some binding Avurudu games

(DN) A New Year has dawned. Next month the trees will bear juicy fruits. The changing climate would be warm and bring about significant changes in the new year.

This would be the time (during and following the new year) to review our Folk Culture. Specially about playing our folk games in our villages.    Read more



Postcard from Jaffna: Where to Buy a Land Mine in Sri Lanka

(TIMES) The civil war in Sri Lanka may be over, but you can buy a land mine on the side of the road in Jaffna — though they're more likely to explode in your mouth than anywhere else. In the main city on Sri Lanka's northernmost peninsula, besieged by 2½ decades of bloody sectarian violence until last May, the spicy samosa sold by street vendors throughout the city is still known by its nom de guerre: midi-vedi, the Tamil word for land mine.   Read more


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BBC programs back on Sri Lanka radio from today

(CP) BBC World Service programming is returning to the state-run radio Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation after the two parties have resolved the row over censorship.

According to an agreement reached by the SLBC with the BBC World Service, programmes of the BBC will be aired on channels of the SLBC.

SLBC said the listeners can tune into BBC World Service programmes in English on the English Commercial Service. The Sinhala language BBC Sandeshaya programme will be aired on the Sinhala National Service From today daily from 9.15 to 9.45 pm. At the same time the Tamil National Service will air the Tamil language BBC programme Thamil Osai.   Read more



Sri Lanka hotels prepare for tourist arrivals

(CP) Colombo: With the end of the three-decades long war in last May Sri Lanka is seeing its tourism industry flourishing once again.

The tourist arrivals have been steadily increasing since the end of the war and recent data from the Tourist Board has shown that Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals jumped by 50.3 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to a year earlier.    Read more



Auspicious times for New Year

(DN) Dawn of New Year - Punyakalaya - Preparation of meals for the New Year

Read more

Sri Lanka Army Women's Corp members for UN peacekeeping operations

(CP) Sri Lanka Army has decided to send Army's Women Corp members for United Nations (UN) overseas peacekeeping operations.

Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya has said for the first time in the history of the Army it would send its Women's Corp members for UN peacekeeping missions.    Read more



More trains for festive season

(OGNPSL) The Railway Department has made special arrangements for the convenience of commuters during the festive season. According to the Railway Department sources, 26 special trains from Fort to Nanu Oya, Bandarawela, Rambukkana, Mahawa and Galle are being operated in addition to the normal train services from Fort and Maradana during the festive season.

Sources added that a special scheme was also implemented with the National Transport Commission and the Transport Ministry to coordinate the train and bus services for the convenience of the commuters.

Pora-pol and kavun and kokis

(DN) There was a rich spread of kavun, kokis and kiribath. The reverberating rhythm of the rabanas filled the air. One feels nostalgic for the charm of the village life of old and the mind naturally wanders to the village playing fields where simple amusements' and games give expression to this festive occasion - the Aluth Avuruddha.

What pleasures we derived in our childhood days from those unsophisticated traditional games that are all part of the New Year celebrations. There was Gudu and Elle - two very popular spun games that provided as much excitement as any game of cricket or rounders would.    Read more

Sri Lankan joins the historic voyage on Jewel of Muscat

(CP) A Sri Lankan has joined the second leg of the Jewel of Muscat, a replica of a 9th century Arab trading vessel on an historic voyage sailing from Oman to Singapore using the 9th century navigation techniques.

Tuanie Ismail, a native of Kandy has joined the voyage form India's port of Cochin along with a Brit, Geoffrey Dobbs, who currently lives in Galle. The 18-metre-long vessel left the Kerala port on Saturday and it is expected to reach Galle within approximately 10 days of sailing on April 18th, depending on the wind.    Read more


(DN) Saiva Siththantham is an ancient branch of Hinduism. This philosophy flowered in Tamil Nadu in India. This is a forceful Bhakthi Movement infused with insights on sidda yoga.

A few saints successfully defended Saivaism against the threats of Jaiuisum during 7th to 9th centuries. Thirugnana Sampanthar, Maanicavasagar (Appar) and Sundaramoorthy went on pilgrimage from temple to temple and elucidated the quintessence of Saivaism through beautiful devotional songs which were sheer poetry.    Read more



“Tharunayata Hetak” launches TV channel

(OGNPSL) “TH TV” is a new Channel which is being launched to raise awareness on the local culture among the youth. The “Tharunayata Hetak” organization has introduced the new TV Channel. The purpose is to release conceptual images of the organization through the media.

The launching of the TV Channel took place in Colombo under the patronage of the Vice President of the Organisation Yoshitha Rajapaksa. TH TV is transmitted over satellite technology. Telecasting of educational, environmental, religious and entertainment programmes are on the cards.    Read more

Bountiful betel

(ST) With just a few days for the Avurudu, in the darkness of pre-dawn, betel growers and buyers wend their way to the ‘Bulath Pola’ in Alawwa town. By 4 a.m., the growers are ready with their produce awaiting the buyers who come from far and near to purchase the betel. Heads covered with towels to protect against the early morning chill, the vendors wait patiently beside their baskets of betel. The majority are older men, while there is a scattering of female vendors.

The use of betel leaf goes back a long way and it is said that it is mentioned in the ‘Mahavamsa’, the chronicle of Sri Lankan history. It plays an important part in local traditions and on auspicious occasions, such as the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

Read more

Jayasuriya opens new innings at 40

(B24-7) Sri Lanka's Master Blaster Sanath Teran Jayasuriya is poised to begin a new innings at the age of 40 – albeit as a member of parliament – after being elected from the ruling party at the general elections.

Jayasuriya was a popular winner in Thursday's polls garnering 74,352 votes from the southern district of Matara after throwing his hat in the political ring in support of President Mahinda Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance, which cruised to victory.   Read more



New Year festival in Jaffna

(DN) A Sinhala/Hindu New Year festival has been organized jointly by the 51 Brigade, Sri Lanka Army and the business community of the Jaffna District at Maradanamavaddi town grounds Jaffna on April 17.

Army officers said the event would strengthen the amity between the Army and the people of the North and were expecting large crowds to join the event that will feature traditional New Year customs and games as well as entertainment items.   Read more

India to train 100 Sri Lankan student Navy officers

(CP) Indian Navy will train 100 student officers of Sri Lanka Navy on an Indian Navy ship, Indian daily Hindustan Times reported today.

The move is aimed at strengthening the bilateral defence ties between the two countries, the report said.

According to the Indian Navy officer, the training would be conducted on the tank landing ship INS Magar and the Sri Lankan student officers would embark on the ship at Trincomalee in eastern Sri Lanka on Monday.    Read more

Re-poll for Nawalapitiya and Trincomalee

(DM) The re-poll of the General Elections in the Nawalapitiya and Trincomalee electorates is to be held on April 20 and the Gazette notification to this effect is expected to be issued by the Department of Elections this evening, election officials told Daily Mirror online.

Counting at the Nawalapitiya and Trincomalee electorates were suspended yesterday following several incidents and the Department of Elections withheld announcing the final results of the 2010 General Elections until a re-poll was held in those areas.

Read more



Sri Lanka votes for first post-war parliamentary election

(CP) Polls for the first post-war parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka opened this morning at 7:00 a.m. amid heavy security. The polls will close at 4:00 p.m.

This is the first parliamentary election held after winning the war against LTTE terrorism. Over 14 million registered voters are eligible to cast their ballots at 11,098 polling centers throughout the country including the former rebel controlled Northern and Eastern provinces.

Voters are to elect 196 candidates to the 225-member parliament. A total of 7,620 candidates representing 36 parties and 301 independent groups are vying for a slot.

Meanwhile, one of the accredited election monitoring groups, People's Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) says they have deployed 11,000 local poll observers in addition to the 16 international observers who arrived in the country last week.

Read more

Bee keeping village program in eight districts

(DN) The Sri Lanka Upcountry Development Authority is implementing a bee keeping village program in eight districts to raise the living standards of villagers who are among the underprivileged sector of society, SLUDA Director General, D.J. Abeysekara told Daily News yesterday.

The bee keeping program targets housewives and women who could attend to the bee hives at home. They could earn about Rs. 20,000-30,000 monthly by selling bee honey.

Read more



Sri Lanka Tamil party to support government

(CP) Sri Lanka's Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has said that it was ready to support the government in implementing a solution to the national issue if it is genuinely interested in resolving it.

TNA legislator R. M. Imam in his speech during the debate to extend Emergency Regulations in parliament yesterday (6) charged that the government was continuously putting off resolving the issues faced by the Tamil people.

"The TNA is ready to support the government if it comes out with a genuine effort to resolve the national issue," Imam noted.    Read more

Friday holiday

(DN) The Government has declared Friday, April 9, the day after the election as a Public and Bank Holiday, a senior official of the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry told the Daily News yesterday. Labour Minister Athauda Seneviratne has requested Heads of all State Corporations, Statutory Boards and all other employers to grant leave to all their employees on April 9.



Avurudu holidays begin tomorrow

(OGNPSL) The school holiday begins tomorrow as the first term school session ends today (06). According to the Education Ministry, all the islandwide schools will be closed this afternoon.

Following a period of a two week holiday for the first term which begins on April 06, all the non-Muslim Schools will be re-opened for the second term on the April 22. All the Muslim schools will be re-opened on April 19 for the second term.    Read more



Internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan film director turns 91

(CP) Sri Lanka's internationally acclaimed legendary movie director Dr. Lester James Peiris turns 91 today.

The prolific filmmaker who was born on April 5th 1919 in Dehiwela was active as a director, screenwriter, and a producer since 1949 and received critical acclaim for his movies.    Read more



Foreign poll observers commence pre-poll monitoring in Sri Lanka

(CP) Local monitoring groups in Sri Lanka said that international poll monitors have commenced their pre-poll monitoring activities for the April 8 general elections.

People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) Executive Director, Rohana Hettiarachchi told the media that 16 foreign elections observers have already commenced pre- polls monitoring in selected districts including Jaffna in the North.

The foreign monitors are to operate in eight districts.   Read more



Navam Perahera

(STAR) From the main road to the inner street where Gangaramaya Temple is situated, we saw fire dancers, flag bearers, elephants in richly-designed attire, drummers, flautists and participants cracking whips marching in to show off their skills and colourful costumes.

The elephants came extravagantly dressed and heavily accessorised, their hind legs chained to keep them under control. Following in the gentle giants’ footsteps were artistes who mesmerised the audience with dances, masks and costumes.    Read more

Podi Menike gets observation cars

(OGNPSL) New observation cars have been added giving a facelift to the Podi Menike train that runs between Colombo Fort and Badulla.

The new observation cars were added to the No. 5 Podi Menike train under the patronage of Minister Dallas Alahapperuma. The observation cars were manufactured at the Ratmalana workshop of the CGR.    Read more

Outdoor Environmental Education Program open for sign-up

(OGNPSL) The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society's Outdoor Environmental Education (OEE) Program offers schools a full-service experiential learning program.

The main field-study areas for the terrestrial studies will include the Himbiliyakade Forest Reserve, Wasgmauwa National Park and the Knuckles Mountain Range. The classes and activities will be lead by trained instructors and facilitators.

The programmes scheduled for April 10th to 12th (3 days, 2 nights) plus April 17th to 20th and 26th to 29th (4 days, 3 nights) are open now for individual sign up.

Read more



Revamping the lost identity of Batik

(F2F) In order to promote the conventional batik art and to establish it as cottage industry, Senaka De Silva, a veteran designer is conducting workshops.

Batik is recognized as an art of imprinting images on a cloth by making use of wax and dyes. The prominent feature that discerns the work is the bold colour and the clear white lines that separate the designs. The antique art form finds its base in Egypt.

According to Senaka, in all probability, the technique was launched in Sri Lanka through the silk route. He also informed that, during that period, royals from Indonesia and Java used to wear batiks and also noted that originally the batik designs used to be small and complex to a certain extent, but now, the designs that they imprint are bigger and bolder.

Read more

All parties must come together to face the country's future challenges...

(CP) All political parties in the country must neglect all their differences and come together to overcome the nation's future challenges and make the country a better place to live, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday.    Read more

Manx clothes parcels sent to Sri Lankan orphanage

(BBC) Parcels of clothes, donated by people on the Isle of Man, have been sent to an orphanage in Sri Lanka.

Post Office business analyst Lee Bridge and his wife Janet organised the donations after visiting The Princess Grace orphanage in Sri Lanka last year.    Read more



Sri Lanka to introduce Child Protection Transit Villages

(CP) Sri Lanka's National Child Protection Authority has decided to introduce Child Protection Transit Villages for the benefit of the children who are in trouble due to family disputes and other problems.    Read more

Biggest mugger crocodile population worldwide found in Yala

(OGNPSL) A survey, conducted by herpetologist Anslem De Silva, the current Regional Vice Chairman South Asia and Iran of the Crocodile Specialists Group IUCN/SSC in collaboration with the Wild Life Department officials reveals that the biggest population of mugger crocodiles in the world is believed to be found in the Yala Block of the Ruhuna National Park.

According to the survey it has been revealed that there are over 500 mugger crocodiles in Yala. De Silva also said that crocodiles are the largest living reptiles in Sri Lanka.

Read more

First road lane for cyclists opened

(OGNPSL) The first ever road lane for cyclists was declared open on the Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Kotte by the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday (31).

Meanwhile two famous cyclists of Nepal, Rajendra Sapkota and Rupak Khadka, participated in the eco-friendly cycle race organized with concurrent to the event which began form Battaramulla to Jaffna.    Read more


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16 election monitors arrive in SL tomorrow

(OGNPSL) A team of sixteen election monitoring officers from Asian Network for Free Election will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow according to the request of the PAFFREL Organization.

This group will be divided into eight groups and they will start the process of observation from April 04. Particularly, this group will be deployed in districts in the North and East where some violence is likely to occur.



Mattala will see the landing of first aircraft in 2012

(OGNPSL) Authorities expect the first aircraft to land in the Mattala international airport in the year 2012, Ranjith de Silva, Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Civil Aviation told today.

The new airport will be geared to support both international and domestic travel, air-sea cargo transshipment in conjunction with the Hambanthota sea port and will be the alternative to BIA. It will be ready for operations in 2012.    Read more

Government plans boat service from Pooneryn to Jaffna

(CP) Sri Lankan government is taking measures to launch a boat service from Pooneryn to Jaffna peninsula across the Jaffna lagoon, for the benefit of the travelers to the peninsula. Initial reconnaissance activities have been carried out to plan the boat service.

With a boat service across the lagoon the traveling time will be short and less tiresome to the travelers, especially to the public officials who need to visit the localities for official work.    Read more

Taj Group of Hotels gears for the tourism boom in Sri Lanka

(DM) With the ceremonial inauguration of the Skills Certification Centre (SCC) - a training hub located at the Taj Samudra, Colombo and catering for the 5 Taj Hotels in Sri Lanka and the Maldive islands, the chain becomes the first Group in Sri Lanka to offer such sophisticated hotel-specific training services.    Read more 

President to inaugurate Sri Lanka's first ever Tele-Cinema Village in South

(CP) Sri Lanka President will declare open the first phase of the country's first ever fully-equipped television and film production studio built at Ranmihitenna in Tissamaharama of the Southern Province.   Read more



Japan to assist Sri Lanka police in reconciliation efforts

(CP) A Japanese delegation including a high-ranking police official is to visit Sri Lanka today to assess how to help the Sri Lankan police to overcome ethnic differences and support reconciliation efforts.

According to the Asahi Shimbun report, retired Japanese police officers will likely be tasked with helping Sri Lanka police to create organizational structures that deal with cases fairly and create closer ties with local neighborhoods.

The Japanese government in the past has provided similar assistance to police in the Philippines and Indonesia.



Ambassadors of cricket: Bat replaces guns

(SO) At a five-day training session at a major playground in Colombo, this child victim of war has turned into a good batsman.

The 17-year-old knows he fought a meaningless battle to divide the country as they have been given the feeling of equality by providing food, clothes and facilities that a teenager of a prominent Colombo school enjoys.    Read more

Cod liver oil a new elixir to reduce ageing

(SO) Seven Seas UK, manufacturer of cod liver oil celebrated 75 years in business at a ceremony in Colombo on Thursday. The company had more reasons to rejoice as research confirmed that Omega 3 in cod liver oil contains anti-ageing properties.    Read more

Hambantota & Pallekelle included in 2011 World Cup venues

(OGNPSL) Hambantota and Pallekelle will construct brand new stadiums right on time for next year's Cricket World Cup. These two new venues will host world cup fixtures in Sri Lanka along with the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup will take place from 12 February (start of warm-up matches) to 2 April (final).

ICC official website says that the selected venues are 13 in total. India's eight includes Mumbai, Mohali, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Nagpur, and Chennai. Sri Lanka's 3 includes Colombo Premadasa, Hambantota and Pallekelle. Finally, Bangladesh's 2 would include Dhaka Mirpur and Chittagong.    Read more



Sri Lanka's domestic flight service becoming popular

(CP) Helitours, Sri Lanka's premier domestic flight service operated by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is becoming a popular mode of transportation between the North and the South.

Helitours which resumed its operations on the 21st of July last year after the successful conclusion of the war completed its 200th flight last Wednesday (24). It has flown 2,669 passengers since it resumed the service.    Read more

Earth Hour to be observed in SL today

(OGNPSL) The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawaka has requested all Government Institutions to switch off their lights from 8.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. to observe the Earth Hour (EH) today.

The Minister pointed out that a ceremony will be held at the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry to mark the Earth Hour using moonlight and non electrical lamps.    Read more

School cadetting resumes in the North

(OGNPSL) Cadetting was a very popular extra-curricular activity in leading Jaffna schools during good old days but after '80s cadetting just faded away with the escalation of violence and forcible recruitment of school children as child soldiers by the terrorists.   Read more

Mullaitivu hospital reopens

(OGNPSL) The District General Hospital(DGH), Mullaitivu was ceremonially re-opened by the Hon. Governor Northern Province, G.A. Chandrasri as Chief Guest on 25th March 2010.

DGH, Mullaitivu is the major hospital in Mullaitivu district and now is functioning with OPD, Male ward, Female ward, Maternity ward and Pediatric ward with the bed strength of 60 nos. At present Medical Superintendent, 01 Medical Officer, 01 MLT, 04 Nursing Officers, 01 Dispenser, 05 Midwives & 26 minor employees are working there.



Jaffna University in Northern Sri Lanka holds first post-war convocation after three years.

(CP) The Jaffna University in Northern Sri Lanka held its first post-war graduation ceremony on Friday (26) after a lapse of three years.

The convocation ceremony, presided by the Chancellor of Jaffna University, Prof. M. Sivasuriya will confer degrees on 3,972 graduating students. Post Graduate degrees will also be conferred simultaneously.    Read more

Tele-Cinema Village, Ranmihithenne, opening on 30 March.

(OGNPSL) The opening of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Tele-Cinema Village, Ranmihithenne, will take place on 30 March.

The ceremony also marks the completion of the first phase of the tele-cinema village which began work on October 30, 2008, in a 235 acre land in Tissamaharama. The construction process is funded by the revenue from the taxes imposed on foreign teledramas, films and advertisements imported by local television channels.    Read more

SL Bird Wing becomes the National Butterfly

(OGNPSL) Sri Lanka Bird Wing is the country’s national Butterfly. It is one of the largest and most attractive of its kind. An endemic species, Sri Lanka Bird Wing or “Troides Darsius” frequents all parts of the island.

The Ministry of Environment announced that this particular species has been declared as the National utterfly of the country. Sri Lanka Bird Wing is adorned with bright golden-yellow markings on the hind wings and has velvety black fore wings and interjecting black veins.



Magnetic survey to locate mineral deposits

(DM) Sri Lanka is to conduct a sophisticated aerial magnetic survey to locate mineral deposits in the country using special surveillance aircraft equipped with the latest radar technology, Environment Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday.

The minister said the survey would be conducted by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau with the aim of managing our mineral resources more efficiently and accurately tracing the type of minerals available for mining and the mined minerals could thus contribute to Sri Lanka’s GDP.    Read more



Foreign employment revenue rapidly increased in Sri Lanka

(CP) Sri Lankan expatriate workers sent home US $ 3.3 billion in 2009 making the remittances the nation's main foreign exchange earner.

This is a sharp increase from the figure of remittances of US $ 2.9 billion in 2008.    Read more

Ancient city wall of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka damaged by earth moving machines

(CP) The ancient city wall of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka has been damaged by development activities in the historic city. Reportedly the construction machinery deployed in laying water supply tubes had caused the damages to the city.

The foundation and the brick layers of the ancient city wall have been damaged by the earth moving machines, said Dr. Senarath Dissanayake, the Director General of the Archaeological Department.    Read more



New concessionary credit scheme for SME sector launched

(OGNPSL) The Central Bank has launched a new concessionary credit scheme ‘Saubhagya’ for the Small and Medium Enterprise sector.

Under the scheme, SMEs can obtain credit up to Rs.20 million from any registered commercial bank or registered specialised bank at nine percent and 10 percent interest.    Read more

Sri Lanka Celebrates World Water Day

(CP) Sri Lanka has organized several programs to celebrate the World Water Day today. The United Nations has designated 22 March of each year as the World Day for Water by adopting a resolution.

The main national event to mark the day under the theme 'Clean Water For Healthy World' will be held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo under the patronage of Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.   Read more



Unlimited possibilities for Sevanagala with Microsoft’s Gamata IT

(Derana) Taking technology to every part of Sri Lanka has been the cornerstone of Microsoft Sri Lanka’s five year history. The largest and the most recent of the many diverse projects initiated in this regard is the Gamata IT concept, which covers a broad spectrum of elements ensuring that the initiative is not simply a one day event that is forgotten when the Microsoft team returns to Colombo, but an event that will spark a lifetime of development and a brighter future for the entire community.

Over 400 primary school kids introduced to technology in their own classrooms, the youth of an entire province empowered with the ability to broaden their horizons and take their lives beyond the limits of their villages, parents who can now provide their children with the promise of a brighter future through the use of technology, businesses that will now benefit from innovations that were thus far out of their grasp and an entire community that can now access the latest technology on offer right at their local Nanasala – these are the possibilities the village of Sevanagala in the District of Monaragala possesses, in the wake of the third town storming session of the Microsoft Gamata IT campaign.   Read more



Export boat building industry earning tops 4.5 billion

(OGNPSL) The boat building industry has become a major money spinner for the country. The export value contributed by the boat building industry has doubled in 2009 to Rs 4.5 billion. It was Rs 2.24 billion in 2008.

Sri Lanka needs to participate in reputed international boat shows and build buyer-seller linkages and business relationships.    Read more

Tamil Catholic students travel south, bear witness to “love and unity” for Sri Lanka

(Spero) A group of 150 children from Arippu, a town in Mannar District, in northwestern Sri Lanka were able to travel south on an educational trip that gave them the opportunity to admire the region’s natural wonders. They also visited the capital and saw its architectural marvels. Above all, they felt the love and solidarity of people who want to put decades of war behind them in order to rebuild and reunite the country. All this was made possible by the personal involvement of Jesuit fathers.    Read more

Sri Lanka hopes cricket will heal child soldiers

(Reuters) Sri Lanka is hoping its love of cricket, the country's most popular game, will help rehabilitate children caught up in the island's bloody civil war with Tamil Tiger separatists.

Sri Lankan authorities, backed by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the game's governing body, hope cricket will be able to help some of those children.   Read more



Temple visited by Ravana's wife restored in Mannar

(HT) A centuries-old temple, believed to have been visited by King Ravana's wife Mandodari, in Sri Lanka's north-east has been restored to its past glory by the Army.

The historic Thirukeshwaram (Mahathithamanthottam) Hindu Kovil (temple) in Mannar, which was neglected during the LTTE days, received a new facelift after de-mining and was handed over by Army Engineers to religious authorities, a statement from the Army said.

"The temple is said to have been venerated by King Ravana's wife Princess Mandodari as the first one to make offerings to this sacred place," the statement said.    Read more



Police statements in Tamil

(BBC) Police stations in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, have for the first time opened special units to take down statements in the country’s main minority language, Tamil.

Tamil-language facilities up to now have been ad-hoc and unpredictable. That’s changing. Four police stations in the city’s suburbs will now have units to cater to the needs of Tamil-speakers, and there are plans for more. Some are staffed by an expanding number of Tamil policemen and women, others by Sinhalese who’ve been trained in the language.    Read more

Unemployment rate declines in Sri Lanka

(CP) According to the Sri Lankan government the unemployment rate in the country has continued to decline from 8.8 percent in 2002 to its lowest level of 5.2 percent in 2008.

Although a gradual decline in unemployment has been observed during the 2002-2009 period, it slightly increased to a 5.8 percent in 2009.   Read more

The government expects the unemployment rate for 2010 to be lower than the rate in 2009 with the revival of economic activity of the North and East coupled with the improvements in external demand.

President to open Mannar bridge, causeway tomorrow

(OGNPSL) The new Mannar bridge and the causeway connecting the Mannar Island with the mainland constructed at a cost of Rs 2,460 million will be opened to the public by President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow.

Around 41,000 people in Mannar Island will directly benefit from this project which will improve market approachability and facilitate transportation at a low cost.   Read more



U.S. supports English Language Teaching at Ruhuna

(OGNPSL) The U.S. Embassy, together with the University of Ruhuna, launched a two-week training program for staff of the English Teaching Unit of the University of Ruhana in Matara.

The program aims to introduce American TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) standards which would help improve the new Bachelor of Arts Special Degree syllabus at the University of Ruhuna.   Read more

Navy launches environment-friendly Canal Boat Service

(OGNPSL) With a view to provide a hassle-free, environment-friendly mode of transport and to ease the congestion in road traffic, Sri Lanka Navy launched a canal boat service between Wellawatte and Nawala yesterday (15 March).

Four (04) boats with safety-equipment have been deployed between 7.45 to 9.00 in the morning and 4.00 to 6.00 in the evening daily. As the initial step, they transport students and staff of the Open University free of charge assisting them to attend to their academic activities on time.    Read more

Kalutara gets the second Open University of Sri Lanka

(OGNPSL) The second Open University of Sri Lanka will be opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kalutara today.

The project cost is Rs. 2.38 million and it is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The University includes a library, an auditorium with state-of-the-art audio visual facilities, an information technology unit, computer and internet facilities.

Northern households to get 40,000 coconut saplings

(OGNPSL) Coconut cultivation will be promoted in the North at the cost of 20 million rupees.

The Coconut Cultivation Board will provide coconut saplings to every household under this programme.

The Coconut Cultivation Board has informed that coconut cultivation has been initiated in 2000 acres. It said that 1 hundred 40,000 saplings will be provided for this programme while 60,000 saplings will be provided for home gardens. The Coconut Cultivation Board said that the required saplings can be obtained from the nurseries in Achchuweli and Kilinochchi.


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6.0 earthquake strikes 710 miles off CMB 02:30 hrs but no cause for alarm

(OGNPSL) The official web site of the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program has reported that an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 occurred in the SOUTH INDIAN OCEAN on Monday (today) early morning at 02:33:10 am at its epicentre.

The location of the earthquake was 2.763°S, 83.678°E and it had a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). The earthquake occurred at 1155 km (710 miles) SSE of COLOMBO, 1155 km (720 miles) SSE of Kandy, 1185 km (730 miles) SSE of Negombo and 1365 km (850 miles) SE of MALE, Maldives.

So far, the Government of Sri Lanka has not issued any warnings including Tsunami alerts related to this earthquake.

Tourist information centre opens in Jaffna town

(OGNPSL) Tourism promotion in the Northern Province has got off the ground.

After the A-9 Road was reopened, around 300,000 local and foreign tourists arrived in the Northern Province improving the income of farmers, businessmen and the self-employed. The demand for vegetables,fruits, handicrafts and ornamental goods has also increased. The Minister of Tourism has instructed his Ministry Secretary to formulate a scheme to conserve sites of archaeological and religious importance in the North to minimise the damage caused to the environment.    Read more



International trade fair in Jaffna

(SO) With the intention of strengthening trade links between the North and the rest of Sri Lanka, 'Your gateway to Yalpanam', the Jaffna International Trade Fair 2010 (JITF) will be held form April 18 to 20 at the Jaffna Central College, Jaffna.    Read more

Indian artistes perform at Mahasivarathri

(SO) Artistes from India performed yesterday for the first time in three decades at the historical Thiruke-theeswaram Sivan Temple in Mannar on Sivarathri night.    Read more

Mahasivarathri observed with great religious fervour

(SO) Lord Siva is called Iswara the great God in the Vedas. The most auspicious religious observance among the devotees of Lord Siva and which marks the high point of Saivaism is Mahasivarathri. According to the Hindu calendar Mahasivarathri Virata is observed annually on the 14th Lunar Day (tithi) during the dark half of the month of Panguni.   Read more



Bringing North and South closer together with reconstruction of railway line

(OGNPSL) The 03 decade long brutal barbaric terrorism in the country destroyed the livelihoods of many people; it completely stopped the transportation of goods and people from the North to the south and south to north via railroads.

Since the dedication of the troops of SL Army engineers the expected task would be completed before time.   Read more

Maha Shivarathri today

(Island) ‘May every lamp lit today lead to stronger unity among all our peoples’

Hindus around the world celebrate Maha Shivarathri today by fasting, nightlong vigils at kovils and making offerings to Lord Shiva. They also light lamps and sing hymns in praise of Lord Shiva.

These devotions are aimed at dispelling ignorance and search for knowledge, overcoming the evil tendencies of lust, anger, greed infatuation, jealousy and hatred, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his Maha Shivarathri day message.   Read President´s message

Over 7200 Jaffna Youth Join Marathon

(OGNPSL) Jaffna town and its suburbs sprang into life during the weekend when the biggest ever Nestle sponsored Marathon Race, competed by record 7200 runners of all areas in the peninsula took place amidst a huge gathering of enthusiastic Jaffna civilians of all ages.    Read more



Income of Polonnaruwa farmers who cultivated 150,000 acres increase

(OGNPSL) The purchase of paddy in the Polonnaruwa District is being successfully undertaken. The paddy is being purchased jointly by the Paddy Marketing Board and Cooperatives, the Paddy Marketing Board revealed.

According to the Paddy Marketing Board sources, 80 purchasing centres have been set up in the Mahaveli B area. A kilo of Samba is being purchased at 30 rupees while a kilo of Nadu at 28 rupees. Marketing Representatives have been appointed for farmers Associations and the purchasing centres.

Read more

Jaffna & Pooneryn get furnaces to prepare dry fish

(OGNPSL) People in Jaffna and Pooneryn have been provided with firewood furnaces and solar furnaces to prepare dry fish, the Solar Power Authority sources said.

According to the Solar Power Authority sources, these furnaces were provided under the Uthuru Wasanthaya Programme. Thirty such furnaces were offered under the patronage of Chairman of Solar Power Authority Dr. Krishan Deheragoda



Footwear industry has great potential

(DN) The Sri Lankan footwear industry can reach higher, similar to the apparel industry with more recognition for young industrialists.

Sri Lanka has been considered a place for healthy labour relations and high efficient labour which can be utilized in the footwear industry, Leather Footwear Advisory Council Chairman Ranjith Hettiarachchy told Daily News Business.

Sri Lanka’s footwear exports was US$ 17 million whereas leather and leather products exports was US$ 13 million last year.    Read more



Land data of Sri Lanka being computerized

(CP) Sri Lanka Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) says that the first stage of the computerizing the data of the lands of the Western Province has been completed.

Accordingly, the software has been installed and data entry process has been commenced. The data regarding the lands in Kaduwela Divisional Secretary area of Colombo district are now being entered, says the ICTA.    Read more

Sri Lanka Army sets up office in Jaffna to address public concerns

(CP) Jaffna: Sri Lanka Army, in a move to expand the relations between the security forces and the people of Jaffna, will set up a civil coordinating and public relation office in Jaffna today.

According to the Commander of Jaffna Security Forces Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe the new office will be established following a directive from the Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya.   Read more



Fair Pharma offers reliable health solutions in Ayurveda

(DM) Fair Pharma (Pvt) Ltd. has kept an immaculate reliability over decades & remains steady in front of difficult barriers & obstructions since they offer 100% natural herbal medicines without any side effects for many critical illnesses & have proven records with them.

People who become helpless because of cancer, heart patients who are advised for bypass surgeries, students who find difficulties with their higher studies due to unbearable Migraine and elders suffering from severe pains with ageing, obtain the medicine and acquire great relief and total satisfaction through the herbal medicines of Fair Pharma (Pvt) Ltd.

Fair Pharma (Pvt) Ltd., BOI of Sri Lanka and Department of Ayurveda approved and ISO 9001:2000 awarded organization runs their operations from the head office located at World Trade Centre, Colombo - level 05, East Tower, 1C.   Read more



A programe to trace all archaeological sites in Sri Lanka

(CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Cultural Affairs and national heritage has launched a programme to trace the island wide archaeological sites.

This long term project aims to inventory all ancient sites and monuments in Sri Lanka. Currently sites and monuments in the North Western Province are being inventoried.    Read more

Gem mines to be mapped after data collection

(OGNPSL) Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute had taken steps to launch a programme to collect data on gem mines in Sri Lanka.

According to the Institute sources, all gem mines in the country will be mapped after the completion of the project. This would facilitate those who are engaged in the industry to locate the gem mines. Many environmental issues have been created as scientific methods are not being used in mining.    Read more



Religious leaders push for free and fair poll

(DM) Expressing fears that the upcoming general elections would not be a free and fair one, the Congress of Religions comprising leaders of major religions in the country yesterday called on all political party leaders not to allow its candidates to engage in violence and character assassination.

The Ven. Thera said the Congress of Religions was not in favour of the clergy coming into politics and using places of religious worship for political purposes. “Do not use religious places for political purposes,” he told all political parties.    Read more



Second Ayurveda Research Hospital now open

(OGNPSL) The second Ayurveda Research Hospital in Sri Lanka has opened under the patronage of the Minister of Indigenous Medicines Tissa Karaliyadda at Siribopura, Hambantota recently.

The Ayurveda system of medicine received second-class treatment from successive governments in the past. It was the UPFA regime that focused its attention on the Ayurveda medicine and gave it its due place. This research hospital will be developed in three stages.

First, a fully fledged Ayurveda Research Hospital is to be established. Secondly, nurses will be enrolled for the Ayurvedic Research Hospital. The trainee nurses will be given appointments after being trained for a period of three years. 3500 applications have been already received from trainee nurses but only 50 will be selected for training at the initial stage.

White tigers arrive at Dehiwala Zoo

(OGNPSL) The newest arrivals at the Dehiwala National Zoological Gardens, a pair of White Tigers from China’s Ziang Jiang Safari Park will be on display from today, Assistant Director Research and Aquarium Renuka Bandaranayake told today (02).

She pointed out that the two animals arrived in Sri Lanka on February 24 under an Animal Exchange Programme.   Read more

SLAF is 59 today

(OGNPSL) The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) celebrates its 59th anniversary today (02). The SLAF which had its origins as the Royal Ceylon Air Force (RCyAF) with a fleet of a dozen Chipmunk aircraft is now a formidable force with over 100 different types of aircraft and helicopters, ranging from Y 12, a light aircraft built in China to the sophisticated F7 GS, also a Chinese product.

SLAF is progressing under the able leadership of Air Marshal W. D. R. M. J. Goonetilike, who received the appointment as the first serving Air Chief Marshal after the successful completion of the war against terror in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka digitalizes immigration and emigration data

(CP) Sri Lanka Department of Immigration and Emigration has opened an electronic data base for the passport documents.

A statement released by the Prime Minister's office says that eight million documents will be entered in to the data base to enable fast access in future. The documents of past 12 years are to be made digital.

Department of Immigration and Emigration handled 1,529,619 arrivals and 1,565,341 departures in 2007 according to available statistics in the National Centre for Migration Statistics.    Read more


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Today is Medin Full Moon Poya Day: The Buddha's first visit to His relatives

(SO) The significance of Medin Full Moon Poya is mainly due to the fact that it was on this important day, after the Buddha's Enlightenment, seven years after he left the Royal Palace as Prince Siddhartha, that he visited his relations in Kimbulwathpura, the kingdom of his beloved father King Suddhodana. It was a moving tale.    Read more

First International Industrial Exhibition in Jaffna

(Island) The first International Industrial Exhibition in Jaffna, scheduled to be held from April 18-20 was launched at the Jaffna Public Library yesterday.

"The response by the Indian government and private sector was tremendous. This is a welcome boost for development plans that are being unveiled in war-ravaged Jaffna."   Read more

How Robert Knox viewed King Rajasingha of Kandy

(SO) "His name is Rajasingha. Though the literal meaning is 'The King of Lions' the King is not descended from the genuine royalty. This King's queen is said to have a Malabar origin and strangely enough, within the twenty years that I spent in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) I have not had the least visual proof which made me believe that the king lived with her...    Read more

Navy assists local and Indian pilgrims in Kachchativu

(OGNPSL) Sri Lanka Navy has made arrangements to assist five-thousand Sri Lankans and Indian pilgrims who participate for St.Anthony's feast at the Kachchativu Island in the Northern waters, Navy spokesman Capt Athula Senarath said.    Read more



Nawam Maha Perahera begins today in Colombo.

(CP) The annual Nawam Maha Perahera Buddhist religious pageant began Saturday (27) with about 50 elephants parading the streets of Colombo in grand style together with thousands of traditional dancers and drummers.    Read more

Marine Archaeological Museum to be opened in Sri Lanka

(CP) Sri Lanka is making final preparations to open a new Marine Archaeological Museum in the Southern port city of Galle next week.

The museum will display exhibits of marine artifacts discovered in explorations made in the ocean floor around Sri Lanka including about 200 artifacts discovered from the remains of ships sunk in the ocean nearly 800 years ago.    Read more



Trincomalee to produce high paddy yield this time

(OGNPSL) The Agricultural Officials say a high paddy harvest is expected during Maha season in the Trincomalee district. Paddy harvesting is already underway in that district.

They said that harvesting has already been completed in several areas.Paddy cultivation was resumed in many areas that were released from the LTTE terrorists. A large extent of fallow land has been brought under paddy cultivation.   Read more



Wilpattu opens in April

(DN) The Wilpattu Sanctuary will open for tourists in April, sources told the Daily News.

The park is controlled at present by Security Forces and Wildlife Conservation Department officials.

Wildlife officers said they are preparing to take up the challenge to protect Wilpattu’s diverse wildlife.

According to the Department sources, infrastructure facilities of this sanctuary covering 131,667 hectares, were being prepared for tourists. Wilpattu, one of the oldest national parks in the country, was first declared as a sanctuary in 1905 and its conservation status was elevated to that of a National Park in 1938.



Gangarama perahera this time on a grand scale

(OGNSL) This year’s perahera (procession) of the Gangarama Temple in Hunupitiya will be organized on a grand scale. The Perahera will be staged on the 27th and 28th of this month.

The Navam Perahera, held annualy in February, displays the rich religious and cultural tradition of Sri Lanka. Hundreds of monks clad in colouful robes solemnly walking in the procession are a unique sight.

Read more ...



Tourism strategy for poverty reduction

(DN) Caroline Ashley, Harold Goodwin and Dilys Roe through their work on Pro-Poor Tourism Strategies (PPT) shed some light on the need to ensure passing of tourism benefits to peripherals and to the masses which obviously is the political interest of any Government of the day.

The research carried out in South Africa, Namibia, Uganda, Nepal, St. Lucia and Ecuador deals with the subject of pro-poor tourism (PPT) that generates net benefits for the poor. PPT is an overall approach, rather than aiming to expand the size of the sector. This approach is to unlock opportunities hitherto not seen and exploited.

Tourism that is on a development path is expected to increase employment and reduce poverty. To achieve this in a true sense, the guidelines would identify the characteristics, one of which is labour intensive scale inclusive of women and the involvement of informal sector tourism thus harnessing tourism for pro-poor growth.    Read more ...



Accelerated program to develop Sri Lanka's capital Colombo

(CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa met senior government officials this morning at the Temple Trees to discuss an accelerated program to develop the country's capital Colombo.

The project aims to replace the slums and dilapidated housing schemes to suitable dwelling places, provide sanitary and common bathing facilities, and to develop adequate waste and drainage facilities, access roads, power, and drinking water facilities.    Read more ...



Passport offices to be set up in Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka

(CP) The Sri Lankan government is to implement a program to issue passports in the North and East for the convenience of the people in those regions.

Controller of Immigration and Emigration P.B. Abeykoon said a program has been implemented through the Post Master General and the district secretaries for the people in the North to obtain their passports by handing over their applications to the relevant divisional secretaries.    Full Story

Lak Sathosa outlets to be increased to 200 by New Year

(Island) The number of Lak Sathosa outlets would be increased to 200 before the Sinhala and Hindu New Year in April to enable consumers all over the country, including the liberated North and East, to purchase essential food items at reasonable prices, Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services, Bandula Gunawardene, told The Island yesterday.    Full Story


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Jaffna University to hold first post-war convocation

(CP) The Jaffna University in Northern Sri Lanka is preparing to hold its first post-war graduation ceremony after a lapse of three years.

The Jaffna University, established in 1974 mainly to provide the opportunities for the minority Tamil students, today has eight faculties with fifty seven academic departments.  

The government recently allocated 90 million rupees to upgrade the Jaffna University and its Vavuniya campus to enhance IT education facilities. Full Story

Sri Lankan government to buy paddy harvest in the East, Jaffna self sufficient with rice

(CP) Sri Lankan government will begin purchasing of paddy from the Maha harvest today, the Ministry of Agriculture announced.

A kilo of Nadu would be purchased at Rs. 28 and a kilo of Samba, at Rs. 30. A sum of four billion rupees has been allocated for the purchases.

The government expects to purchase 35,000 metric tons from the Ampara district and 50,000 metric tons from the Polonnaruwa District. The government expects to purchase about 140,000 metric tons of paddy from the farmers during the Maha season.    Full Story



Airbus A380 to touch down at BIA

(SO) For the first time in Sri Lanka’s aviation history, the world’s largest passenger airliner, Airbus A380 has been granted permission to land at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).

Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, the Air Navigation Service Provider has given the green light for Emirates Airlines Airbus A380 (Super Jumbo) aircraft which operates four flights per day between Dubai and Sydney through the Flight Information Region of Sri Lanka to use the Bandaranaike International Airport as an Emergency/Medical alternative, effective from tomorrow. Aviation analysts said that this is a rare honour for a country such as Sri Lanka which has one international airport.

Full Story



SLNS Samudura returns to Sri Lanka after the Asia Pacific Regional Gathering - Milan 2010

(MOD) The bi-annual friendly gathering of Asian Pacific regional Navies named Milan 2010 organized by the Indian Navy was held from 03rd to 08th February 2010 at Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. SLNS Samudura of the Sri Lanka Navy participated in it and the ship returned to the Trincomalee Harbour recently (10th February 2010).   Full Story



Thousands of faithful pray at Our Lady of Lanka for peace in the country

(Spero) The faithful entrust their lives to Our Lady during the pilgrimage to the Marian shrine, located in an area where the military and Tamil Tiger rebels fought bitterly. She is the symbol of “love and protection”. In order to strengthen the sense of national unity among the country’s various ethnic groups, five masses were celebrated in Sinhala, Tamil and English.  Full Story



See Colombo from an open-deck Double-decker

(GNPSL) An open deck city tour of Colombo was launched recently from the Galle Face Hotel premises. A private public partnership between Ebert Silva Holidays and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority: the ‘City Tour’ will take visitors both local and foreign on a tour of Colombo.

The trip will begin from Galle Face Hotel at 0830hrs and en route collect passengers at boarding points from proximity to leading hotels in Slave Island and Colombo Fort.  Full Story

U.S. Ambassador visits USAID-built vocational training centers in Sri Lanka's East

(CP) Colombo: The United States Ambassador to Colombo, Ms. Patricia Butenis recently visited the students at Sammanthurai Vocational Training Center in Ampara District, an Embassy press release said.

Upon visiting the center and observing the program at the Sammanthurai VTC, Ambassador Butenis said she was pleased to see so many young people engaged in their studies and preparing for their future careers.   Full Story



e-Channelling Services Now Available on Airtel

(DM) Bharti Airtel Lanka, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, Asia's leading integrated telecom services provider announced a tie up with e-Channelling PLC. The service enables all Airtel customers to access online medical channelling services through their Airtel mobile.

With e-Channelling services uniformly available to both Postpaid and Prepaid customers, simply dialing 225 from an Airtel mobile provides direct access to channelling medical specialists.  Full Story

Colombo Fashion Week on February 5 - Today

(SLT) (20 Jan 10) The 2010 sequel of HSBC Colombo Fashion Week will commence on Friday, February 5 with impressive associations and inspiring designers to take Sri Lanka’s fashion industry to escalated heights.

The HSBC Colombo Fashion Week 2010 will be held on February 5,6 and 7 and will be held for the first time at its new Host Hotel, Hilton Colombo.      Full Story



Popular Lankan artistes to perform for I-Day programme.

(Peninsula) DOHA: The Sri Lankan Coordinating Committee (SLCC) Qatar, working under the aegis of the Embassy of Sri Lanka, will hold a variety/cultural programme to mark Sri Lanka’s 62nd Independence Day on February 4.

President of the SLCC told The Peninsula yesterday that Popular Sri Lankan singers, teledrama actresses and actors such as Damitha Abeyratne, Umayangana Wickramasinghe, Himali Sayurangi, Mahendra Perera, Sanath Wimalasiri, Kumara Asela Jayakody and Giriraj Kaushalya will be specially flown in from Sri Lanka for this programme.   Full Story

Independence Day celebrations begin in Sri Lanka.

(CP) Sri Lanka began its 62nd Independence Day celebrations with religious activities yesterday while preparations are being finalized for Thursday's main event in the hill capital of Kandy.

The religious activities to bless the country commenced with an all night Pirith chanting at the Independence Commemoration Hall in Colombo followed by the alms giving to the Maha Sanga at the Hunupitiya Gangarama Temple this morning.

Hindu religious activities will begin with a Pooja at the Sri Selva Vinayagar Kovil in Kandy and Muslim religious observances will take place at the Meeramakkam Mosque in Kandy Thursday (04). Saint Anthony's Church in Kandy will hold a special sermon tomorrow.   Full Story 



Cultural values face threat as tourism grows.

(Island)  A survey by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has highlighted the possibilities of a major impact on national cultural values with a large number of tourists visiting the country.

"Although tourism revenues help maximize economic benefits to local communities, a continuous growth in this sector places a great stress on remaining biologically diverse habitats and indigenous cultures," says the study.   Full Story

Special 'Deyata Kirula' bus service.

(OGNP) A special bus service will be in operation for the convenience of those travelling to attend the 'Dayata Kirula' exhibition to be held in Pallekele, Kandy, the Sri Lanka Transport Board revealed.

According to SLTB sources, 600 buses would be deployed for this purpose. This will be complemented by a special train service provided by the Railways Department.  Full Story



Lanka in Surajkund Mela

(TOI) NEW DELHI: Known for its rich cultural value, the Surajkund Crafts Mela has caught the fancy of international artists and governments. For this Twitter Facebook Share Email Print Save Comment year, a team of 25 experts from Sri Lanka will be visiting the 24th edition of the crafts mela to "study it'' so that they could replicate it in their own country.   Full Story


up - subir



New constitution after election

(Nation) The government will convene a Constituent Assembly after the conclusion of the next general election to formulate a new Constitution based on the German Model.

The government after taking into consideration views of all parties, will introduce a modified version of the German Model or the Mixed System. Under it, Members of Parliament would be made answerable to his or her constituency (seat) and majority of MPs would be elected under the first-past-the-post system. The rest would be elected under the Proportional Representation (PR) system, which is effective at present, in order to ensure minority party representation in Parliament.  Full Story

Southern Buddhist pilgrims throng Nagadeepa

(SO) The Jaffna peninsula is attracting a large number of local tourists from Southern areas and the historic Nagadeepa Vihara in the Nagadeepa isle. Jaffna, witnessed a record number of Buddhist pilgrims on Friday, Full Moon Day, informed sources said.

The visitors from the Southern parts of the country are flocking to the Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil, the Holy Keerimalai Tank and the historic Buddhist Holy Shrines in Kankesanthurai and Kantharodai, the sources said.    Full Story



Independence Day celebrations in Kandy

(DN) Sri Lanka’s 62nd Independence Day celebration will be held at the Maha Maluwa of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy on February 4 under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

This year’s celebrations will be held in a grandiose manner since it is the first independence commemoration held in a unified country after liberating it from 30 years of terrorism.

Concurrent to the Independence celebrations an all night pirith ceremony will be held at Independence Square, Colombo on February 2 followed by a Sanghika dana at the Hunupitiya Gangaramaya on February 3 forenoon.

Celebrations on February 4 will begin with all religious ceremonies at the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy, Selva Vinayagar Kovil, Kandy, Meeramakkam Mosque St. Anthony’s Church and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Full Story

Sri Lanka opens wild life parks for tourists.

(CP) The director of the Wildlife Conservation Department said the two sanctuary sites, Kumana National Park and Lahugala National Park, a wildlife nature reserve are now open to the public. Kumana National Park, a renowned bird sanctuary contiguous with the Yala National Park is located 391 km southeast of the capital Colombo. Lahugala National Park, a habitat for wild elephants is located at Heda Oya, in the Eastern Province, 318 km east of Colombo.  Full Story



Today Is Navam Poya.

(DN)  Loving-kindness meditation can be brought in to support the practice of ‘bare attention’ to help keep the mind open and sweet. It provides the essential balance to support your insight meditation practice.

It is a fact of life that many people are troubled by difficult emotional states in the pressured societies we live in, but do little in terms of developing skills to deal with them. Yet even when the mind goes sour it is within most people’s capacity to arouse positive feelings to sweeten it. Loving-kindness is a meditation practice taught by the Buddha to develop the mental habit of selfless or altruistic love. In the Dhammapada can be found the saying: “Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness.”  Full Story



41 Foreign Observers approve the Election

(OGNP) Forty-one observers took part in the election monitoring mission consisting of thirteen member commissions to observe the Presidential Election held on 26th January, 2010 in twenty two electoral districts in Sri Lanka. The observers stated that the Elections Commissioner acted with objectivity and impartiality in holding the Presidential Election. They highlighted that the election was held in a free and fair manner without any irregularities being reported and that it was a successful election.  Full Story



Presidential Election 2010          FINAL RESULTS - All Island

District results     Government   Opposition   Others


Historic kovil to be developed

(DN) The Government has taken measures to develop the historic, sacred Thiruketheeswaram kovil in Mannar for the convenience of a large number of devotees coming from both Sri Lanka and India.

Northern Province Governor Major General G.A.Chandrasiri said a plan has already been drawn up to complete the development of infrastructure facilities under the first phase before Maha Sivarathri day which falls on March 13, 2010.  Full Story



Sri Lanka election ends peacefully

(CP) Colombo: As the polling at the historic presidential elections in Sri Lanka comes to an end this evening, the election monitors say the voting has been peaceful for the most past except for some minor incidents in the North.  Full Story



Sri Lanka, a nation beyond the first world

(DN) We are Sri Lankans, a nation of people of diverse cultures, rich traditions and a long and proud heritage, documented to date back thousands of years, much longer than any comparative Western chronicle found to date. Full Story

Voter guidelines

(DN) Elections Commissioner issuing a set of guidelines to voters states that it is compulsory for all voters who go to a polling station to cast his/her vote to carry with him/her one of the following identity cards.  Full Story

Jan 27 Public & Bank holiday -Government declares day after election a public holiday.

(OGNPSL) The Government has declared January 27, 2010 (Wednesday) as a Public and Bank holiday

Full Story



Sri Lankans Meditate for a Peaceful Election

(Sarvodaya) Nishantha Preethiraj, media spokesman of the organization named Sarvodaya, said Sunday's event will be the main meditation program of its 12-day meditation initiative from Jan. 18 to Jan. 29.

Preethiraj said their campaign which harnesses the spiritual energy of human beings towards a peaceful conduct during the ongoing presidential election period is a novel experience to Sri Lankan people.

Full Story

Puttalam-Mannar Road opens today

(SO) The width of this road is 9 metres. In the early stage only heavy vehicles will be permitted to ply along this road. Accordingly the distance from Puttalam to Mannar via Medhawachchiya route is 185 kilometres. The distance from Puttalam to Mannar via Puttalam-Mannar Road is only 105 kilometres.

Full Story



Sri Lanka Navy’s “JETLINER” embarks on a new journey

(Navy) The Sri Lanka Navy’s largest passenger craft “Jetliner” which served as a life line between the North and East during the Humanitarian Operations set sail on a new journey at the Launching Ceremony of Jetliner Entertainment Cruise Venture yesterday (22 January 2010) at the Port of Colombo.

The Nautical Enterprise under the theme ‘Visit Sri Lanka 2011’ is a joint venture between Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.  Full Story 



Local artist's art exhibition at the American Center in Colombo

(CP) An art exhibition by the local artist Sudarshana Bandara, the head of the Fine Arts Faculty at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy is currently being held in the American Center.  Full Story



Schools close from Jan. 25 – 27

(OGNPSL) All government schools will be closed on January 25 to 27 for the upcoming presidential election. Full Story



Sri Lanka's Northern artists to show their talents in cultural show

(CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka, in an effort to reawaken the cultural identity of the Northern Province, will host a cultural show in Colombo on Wednesday (20th) showcasing Northern artists and performers.   Full Story

Sri Lanka cricket team to participate in 2010 SAF games

(CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minster of Sports and Public Recreation, Gamini Lokuge has given his approval for the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to send a team to the 11th South Asian Games 2010 to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Full Story

President to open Diyagama International Sports Complex

(CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to declare open the Diyagama International Sports Complex on 21st January.   Full Story



CPA Chief arrives to discuss 2012 conference

(DGISL) Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is now in the country to discuss arrangements to hold the 58th session in Sri Lanka in 2012.  Full Story



Sri Lanka witnesses rare solar eclipse today

(CP) Colombo: Sri Lanka will witness a rare solar eclipse today visible all over the country from 11:11 a.m. to 3:12 p.m. with maximum eclipse around 1:25 p.m. Full Story

EDEX 2010 at BMICH  - EDEX 'Think Green' initiative to activate youth

(DN) The environment impact will be embedded in the school curricula as basic principle of sustainable living in a bid to educate students to protect environment. Full Story



Sri Lanka's Hindus - Thai Pongal festival

(DN) Thai Pongal day messages   Full Story



Sri Lanka wins the Tri-Series Cricket Final in Dhaka.

(Cricinfo) Tri-Nation Tournament in Bangladesh - final. Full Story








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