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... More than 130 Sri Lankan sportsmen and officials left for India today to participate in the 19th Commonwealth Games ...



Over 130 Sri Lankan officials and athletes leave for India for Commonwealth games

Common Wealth Games 2010 Sri Lanka Es(cp) More than 130 Sri Lankan sportsmen and officials left for India today to participate in the 19th Commonwealth Games.

However, a controversy erupted as Colombo additional district judge R.M.R. Marikkar issued an injunction preventing the 4X400 meters relay team leaving Sri Lanka.

Commonwealth Games are to be inaugurated in New Delhi on October 03 with the participation of sportsmen of 71 countries. A total of 72 male 20 female athletes in 14 sports will represent Sri Lanka. The contingent will also consist of 45 officials.

Unregistered herbal ‘medicine’: Ban on way

(dn) The Health Ministry yesterday decided to ban all types of unregistered herbal medicines that are available in the market on the directive of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Most of these medicines are advertised in newspapers. The health authorities are not aware of their composition, efficacy and after effects.

He pointed out some organizations are carrying various advertisements of medicinal items specifying the diseases they answer but these medicinal items have not been registered with the Authority. The Minister added that necessary provisions would be added to the Act to deal with traders selling such unregistered herbal medicines soon.

The NCPA is ready to protect the children of mothers going for overseas employment.

(ognp) The National Child Protection Authority of Sri Lanka is making every endeavour to prevent child abuse which has surfaced prominently after the end of the war. Incidents of child abuse prevailed throughout people did not give much attention to such matters during the time of the war. Mrs. Anoma Dissanayake, Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority said that the Authority has taken several steps to prevent child abuse and victimization of children.



Simplified form for M and N grade passport holders of Sri Lanka

(cp) Sri Lanka Department of Immigration and Emigration has decided to simplify the process of renewing the passports of M and N grade.

The Commissioner General of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera says that the new form for the passports will be available from October 01.

The new form asks for the name, date of birth, national identity card number, signature and a fresh photograph. Attestation of a Justice of Peace or a lawyer is not required, the Department says.

Sri Lanka's IT university branch in Jaffna

(cp) Sri Lanka's prime IT university, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) has planned to open a branch in Jaffna in the Northern Province.

The SLIIT already has opened branches in Colombo (Metropolitan Branch), Kandy in Central Province and Matara in Southern Province.

The students can follow preliminary education at these centers before entering the university center at Malabe in the outskirts of Colombo district. SLIIT that has opened up its degree program to Bangladesh students and it expects to provide space to students of other countries in near future.

Sri Lanka to release a directory of Buddhist monks

(cp) Sri Lanka Ministry of Buddhist Affairs has planned to release a directory of Buddhist monks, Prime Minister D.M. Jayarathna who is also the Minister of Buddhist Affairs revealed to media.

The Prime Minister said to media that the directory would stop the moves of some scrupulous elements that manipulate the saffron robe for personal gains.

The directory will comprise the names of Buddhist monks, their residential temples, telephone numbers, date of ordaining, age and other important information.

Sri Lanka- A showcase at Quasimodo Fair 2011

(ognp) The “Quasimodo Fair” held annually in Argentan in the North of France, has invited Sri Lanka to be the Guest-of-Honour at this national trade and fun fair to be held in April 2011.

The organizers of the fair have selected Sri Lanka to be featured at the fair which has been in existence for the past ninety years. Preparations are currently underway to ensure the presence and representation of a vast array of institutions and producers of Sri Lankan products in France.

Ambassador Lionel Fernando thanked the Organizers for having selected Sri Lanka and said it was reflective of the good ties that exist between Sri Lanka and France and would be an excellent opportunity for Sri Lanka to be showcased among the French community in the North of the country.

Ayurveda treatment can do wonders

(dn) Ayurveda physicians performed wonders through their methods of treatments, Southern Provincial Council Chief Minister Shan Wijeyalal de Silva said. He was addressing a ceremony held to vest the Abeyasundara Memorial Ayurveda Park Hospital at Karaputugala, Kamburupitiya to the people.

The Chief Minister said ayurvedic medicine system was close to the people as it was a part and parcel of the environment. Ayurvedic drugs such as decoctions, pastes, spirits etc are made from leaves, peels, flowers and roots of trees found in the environment. Drugs made from these herbs do not affect the human body adversely, he said. The Chief Minister said ayurvedic physicians of the past considered the treatment of a patient as a deed of spiritual value. “Often they did not take any thing from the patient as they had other sources of income,” he said.

1000 schools to be developed as prestigious schools

(ognp) The Education Ministry has earmarked a plan to develop over 1,000 schools in urban, rural, and remote areas throughout the country with all resources.

Among over 9700 schools in the country over 340 national schools are administered by the line ministry of education and all others come under the purview of Provincial administrations.

The Ministry expects to provide these selected schools with laboratory equipment, Computer Centres, Language Skills Development Centres, Sports equipment and other human and physical resources needed to improve overall quality of education.

Attempt to set up Guinness record

(dn) Pradeep Saman Udugamasooriya, a former Army Commando is on a quest to bring fame and fortune to the nation via a Guinness World Record. He is currently undertaking a triathlon which encompasses running, climbing and swimming around the country.

He has received blessings from the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the patronage of the Sports Ministry. Pradeep Saman Udugamasooriya, who started his attempt on September 2 at 6 a.m. Galle Face, and will cover the coastline within 40 days.



Opportunity for Sri Lanka as China's labour costs rise

(dn) Rising labour costs in China present an opportunity for Sri Lanka to attract foreign companies seeking an alternative low-cost manufacturing base, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published on September 22, 2010.

President Rajapaksa, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, told the newspaper that Sri Lanka has enjoyed a 15-month period of peace during which his Government has focused on rebuilding roadways and railroads in the ravaged North and East, expanding the availability of electricity and clean water, and providing homes, among other things.

He said Sri Lanka - with a literate population, relatively low labour costs, and a sizeable corps of trained accountants - is drawing the interest of outsourcing firms, including major Indian business-process outsourcing companies seeking ways to expand outside India, where wages also have been rising.

Sri Lanka to reduce wastage of vegetables during transportation

Vegetable Sri Lanka Es(cp) Sri Lanka Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena says the use of gunny bags and other ad hoc methods to transport vegetables will be banned from the beginning of next year.

The Minister points out that the traditional transport system that uses gunny bags and poly sacks to pack vegetable cause immense wastage. He added that the waste is one of the causes of high price of vegetables.

The Minister says that new methods of packaging will be experimented. The Ministry also hopes to supply 80,000 plastic crates for packing vegetables.



Sri Lanka government to introduce mediatory boards for Northern Province

(cp) Sri Lanka Ministry of Justice has planned to introduce the mediatory boards to the entire Northern Province to benefit people by providing opportunity to settle disputes before going to courts.

Reputed and respected persons will be appointed on voluntary basis to the mediatory board to settle the disputes of the people. Police will be instructed to direct minor disputes to mediatory boards prior to taking them to courts.

Tree planting in Jaffna

(dn) Ten million trees will be planted in the Jaffna district to mark President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s birthday, Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda said at a meeting at the Jaffna Secretariat.

He said that saplings will be distributed among schools, temples, parks and homes. They will be also distributed among societies and community centres to plant them along public highways



New and old at Thihariya mosque

(st) One of the oldest mosques in the Gampaha district, the Thihariya Al-Masjidul Rawla Jummah Grand Mosque, built in 1916 is being restored and rebuilt.

Several of is distinctive architectural features and antiques will be incorporated in the new three-storey building including its carved door frames, window panes with colourful glass, antique almirahs, a casket that weighs around 25 kg and other items used during earlier times.

Al-Haj M.T.M Munas, who has lived in the village of Godella in Thihariya for six decades says the mosque was built between 1914 to1916 and opened on February 16, 1916 with the help of wealthy families and villagers.

“Only 1000 persons can pray in the old mosque during Friday prayers but after the construction 5000 could accommodated. A women’s prayer area and student learning centre (madrasa) will be constructed as well.

The projected cost is Rs 61 million and as the villagers struggle to make ends meet, they are hoping well wishers and kind donors will come forward to assist them.

President meets Sri Lankan community in Houston

(cp) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was in the United States to attend the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York visited city of Houston in Texas state on Saturday (25).

The Sri Lankan community in Houston held a reception at Westin Oak Hotel to welcome the President Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa. Democratic Congresswoman of Houston, Sheila Jackson Lee presented  a souvenir to President Rajapaksa to mark his visit to the city.

Top US Businessmen meet President in NY

(adaderana) While on his official visit to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly, President Mahinda Rajapaksa met with leading American business leaders at a luncheon to outline emerging opportunities for investment in Sri Lanka.

Business executives from a variety of industries, including the aerospace and defense community, the hospitality and tourism industry, and beverage industry attended the luncheon held at New York City’s Helmsley Hotel. Executives from the Coca Cola Co., the Boeing Co., Google, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts were among the nearly 100 Business Leaders, Analysts, representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industry present at the occasion.

The US Business Leaders were also able to interact with the 15 member Sri Lankan Business Delegation that was also present in New York.

Simple Tamil

Simple Tamil Sri Lanka Es(st) Simple Tamil, by Prof. J. B. Disanayaka, is a very useful and attractive learning tool for both Sinhala and Tamil children. The colourful booklet was launched amidst a large gathering at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on September 13.

The aim of this booklet is threefold. It aims to help Tamil children to write what they speak correctly, Sinhalese and foreign children to speak, read and write Tamil, and Tamil children to speak, read and write Sinhala.

Simple Tamil’ introduces all the Tamil letters used today by contemporary writers in books and newspapers. Simple letters are introduced first, followed by the more difficult ones. However, the traditional order of the letters is also given in order to be able to find words in dictionaries.

15 foreign varsities to set up branches here

(so) Fifteen Foreign Universities in USA, Canada, UK, India, China, Australia, Russia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia have expressed their willingness to setup their branches in Sri Lanka, according to Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratna. Tax concessions and land have to be provided to the investors who are interested in setting up of universities in Sri Lanka, the Secretary said.

He said that the setting up of such universities will help upgrade the quality of local education to reach international standards.

One 5 Star hotel fails ‘Crowns’ test for food hygiene

(st) It was “crowning” glory when three giants in the hotel industry and three in the fast food service in the city of Colombo were recognized for their food hygiene last Wednesday.

Five gold crowns were awarded to each of the five-star Cinnamon Grand, Hilton and Galadari hotels and also Dinemore Restaurants (Pvt) Ltd., Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. (Pizza Hut) and Abans Restaurant System Ltd (McDonalds) at a ceremony held at the Cinnamon Grand.

“The crowns awarded under a public-private partnership are not forever,” stresses CMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, explaining that the certification has to be renewed every year.

This is a pilot project in which 15 organizations took part, says Dr. Kariyawasam pointing out that five crowns denote ‘excellence’, four ‘very good’, three ‘good’, two ‘normal’ and one ‘poor’. One five-star hotel didn’t make the grade to get five crowns and has been asked to meet the CMC’s criteria,


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Sri Lanka rail metro option for single corridor

(lbo) A rail-based metro system may be an option in part of Sri Lanka's capital city Colombo when passenger flows rise to levels that make it financially viable, an official said.

D S Jayaweera, Director General at the finance ministry's Department of Development Finance, said only one transport corridor, from Dematagoda, in the city centre, to Peliyagoda, a northern suburb, has enough traffic to support a metro.

A Colombo metropolitan authority also needs to be set up for integrated planning of transport and land use, he told a forum organized by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

e-village project in 500 new schools

(dn) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said in Parliament yesterday that the e-village project will be implemented in 500 new schools.

The Government plans to establish connections between villages, schools, Government and private sector institutions, different voluntary organizations and over 500 Nenasala Centres under ICTA. It has also been aimed to streamline the using of all communication methods and multimedia in schools.

Among the objectives of the e-village project is to contribute directly to the enhancement of knowledge about English language, ensuring maximum benefits for rural population, creating employment and business opportunities based on information and communication technology. Initially, the project was launched among 50 schools in nine provinces covering the North and the East.

Sri Lanka President meets world leaders, participates in religious activities

(cp) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is in New York attending the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly summit had a busy schedule Friday.

President Rajapaksa met several world leaders of friendly nations and held bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the General Assembly sessions on Friday. President of Hungary Pal Schmitt and the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak were among those leaders.

Later the President visited the New York Buddhist Temple and participated in a religious ceremony. The President offered the Ata Pirikara to the resident monks of the Temple Ven. Pandit Kurunegoda Piyatissa Nayaka thero and Walpola Piyananda thero and other maha sanga.

Give preference to first timers, Haj Committee tells tour operators

(dn) The Haj Committee appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa requested tour operators to give preference to persons performing Haj for the first time.

All operators were individually interviewed and allocations of Haj pilgrim quota was done in keeping with the ratings given by the committee. Standard charges have been fixed at a maximum of Rs. 325,000 per pilgrim.

Those needing to avail of special arrangements could do so under written agreement with tour operators, which would have to be approved by the Haj committee.



Tamil language disserves due recognition

(bbc) A leading Buddhist monk has claimed that Tamils have had to face numerous difficulties as they have not been able to use their mother tongue as desired.

The Ven. Dr.Bellanwila Wimalaratana Nayaka thera said that it is high time that the Tamil language be given due recognition.

The Venerable Dr Bellanwila Wimalaratana thera, the Viharadhipathi of the Bellanwila Raja MahaVihara who is also the Vice chancellor of the Sri Jayawardanapura University was giving evidence at the Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation.

‘Cinepuwath’ re-launched after ten years

(ognp) On the instruction of Professor Ariyararthna Athugala the Director General of Government Information, the Government Film Unit has re-launched the production of ‘Cinepuwath’ a short film of the duration of 3-5 minutes to be screened at cinema Halls Island wide.

In the past the government film unit produced this news reel on government development activities to enlighten the masses on development activities.



Sign language recognized in Sri Lanka

(cp) Sri Lanka has accepted sign language as a recognized language in the country. A Cabinet paper submitted in this regard by Minister of Social Services had received the unanimous approval of the Sri Lanka Cabinet.

The recognition of sign language will guarantee the hearing impaired in the country access to information and equal opportunity in the society.



Nuclear energy for Sri Lanka

(dn) Sri Lanka has moved towards incorporating nuclear power to the country's energy mix. The Atomic Energy Authority of Sri Lanka has moved to enhance human resource development in the field of nuclear energy, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

He was addressing the 54th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) being held in Vienna. "In meeting these development priorities and plans, Sri Lanka has therefore taken a decision to look into incorporating Nuclear Power into its energy mix. The Government of Sri Lanka recently approved the Atomic Energy Authority of Sri Lanka to conduct a pre-feasibility study of using nuclear energy as a viable option beyond 2020 for power generation with the technical cooperation of the Agency," Minister Ranawaka said.

Over 1.1 m trees to be planted

(dn) Under "Pivituru Lanka- Soba Lanka" national tree planting campaign to celebrate the 65th birthday of President Mahinda Rajapaksa 1.1million plants are to be planted covering the whole island, said Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.

Ekanayake believes this program would create a Guinness record. This program will also pave way for carbon trade within the next ten years.

Green cities in NWPC soon

(dn) The North Western Provincial Council has drawn a special plan to convert all cities and sub-cities in the Province into “green cities” under Chief Minister Athula Wijesinghe’s instructions.

Kuliyapitiya town has been selected as the pilot project under this plan and is expected to complete work under the key plan by 2011.



SAARC Cultural Centre to be set up in Sri Lanka's Southern city of Matara

(cp) Sri Lanka has set measures in motion to establish the South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Cultural Centre in Nawimana, Matara in the Southern Province.

Samarasinghe said the Centre will hold a seminar on rituals, ethics, and societal stability as its first programme at Ceylon Continental Hotel from September 23 - 25. The seminar will be the 1st programme of the summit. He said that all member countries are invited for the seminar.

President holds bilateral talks with heads of friendly nations

(ognp) President holds bilateral talks with Heads of States attending the UN GA summit. These bilateral discussions with heads of friendly nations held in the side line of the special UN Summit on Millennium Development Goals convened by the UN Secretary General.

Later, in the evening President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to meet several other heads of States where he will apprise them of the post conflict development and peace situation in the country


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Sri Lanka to build 1-GW nuclear power plant by 2030

(reuters) Sri Lanka is to have its first nuclear power plant within the next 20 years to generate cheap electricity to draw large investments and boost its post-war economy, a top government official said on Monday.

"We have received government clearance to set up a nuclear power plant of 1,000 MW," M.M.C. Ferdinando, the secretary of the Ministry of Power and Energy told an investor forum in Colombo.

Ferdinando said the government would begin feasibility studies soon for nuclear power in addition to coal, and hoped to get safety approval from the World Atomic Energy Authority.

Sri Lanka plans to cut its diesel power dependence to 20 percent of total electricity generation by 2017 once both coal power plants have started full operation.



Sri Lanka's wildlife parks attract more tourists

(pdo) The percentage of foreign tourists visiting Sri Lanka's national parks has doubled this year with the conclusion of the island's long civil war, a senior government official said on Saturday.

Chandrawansa Pathiraja, director general of Botanical Gardens and Wildlife Conservation Department said normally 10 percent of foreign tourists who come to Sri Lanka visit wildlife parks, but it has increased to 20 percent since January.

"During the last three decades several wildlife parks in the country were closed for tourists due to the war," said Pathiraja, adding that at present all parks are open for visitors without any restriction. 

Making Kandy an eco-friendly city

(so) Making the Kandy City eco-friendly has become a national issue of this Government for which the President Mahinda Rajapaksa has shown a keen interest. This Government has plans to make it an eco-friendly and allocated Rs. 4,000 million for the purpose.

Within three years the proposed development projects such as the development of Katugastota_Kandy road, widening of William Gopallawa Mawatha, sub-roads from the Bogambara Prison area Buwelika, together with a flyover bridge to Dalada Maligawa from the Kandy Railway Station. There will be restrictions on parking. No vehicles will be allowed to park on the stretch from Girls High School, upto the Clock Tower from 7 to 8 a.m.

Dr. White and his miracle cure

(hindu) Eliyantha Lindsay White may not be a name widely known in India but virtually every contemporary Indian cricketer who has played any form of international cricket may be familiar with his name and his reputation for treating sports injuries and pain.

Dr. White, ‘the miracle doctor from Sri Lanka', as he is known, came into the limelight when a group of Sri Lankan and Indian cricketers, including Lasith Malinga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra, reported that he had successfully treated them.

The treatment, they said, was over a period of days for sports injuries and associated pain, which had prevented them from taking the field.

Sea plane domestic air service soon

(so) The sea plane domestic air service will be launched shortly, said State Resources and Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratna. He said, the sea plane domestic air service will benefit local and foreign air travellers immensely.

"It will be set up at the Madabokke lagoon close to the Katunayake Airport," he said. The Deputy Minister said that the feasibility study has revealed that it will not cause water pollution or damage to fishery resources.

Sun shines on Botanical Gardens

(so) The number of foreigners visiting the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens has increased by 76 percent since the beginning of this year, according to Dr. Siril Wijesundara, Director General of the Department of National Botanical Gardens.

"We have observed a marked increase in the number of visitors to the park and up to August 31 the park has earned Rs.115 million. In 2009 the income was Rs.128 million," Dr. Wijesundara said. The infrastructure facilities have been upgraded in the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens which presently comes under the purview of the Economic Development Ministry.

The Department of National Botanical Gardens plans to complete phase one of the Mirijjawila Botanical Gardens by the end of this year."It has 300 acres of land, twice as large as the Peradeniya Gardens. The technology and expertise is entirely from Sri Lankan scientists and technicians," said Dr. Wijesundara.



No censorship on media covering public sessions in North

(cp) Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) said today that their public sessions in the North being held in Kilinochchi today and tomorrow are open to any media organization and there is no media censorship over the proceedings.

The Commission made this statement in response to some media reports alleging that they were barred from covering the public sessions of the LLRC in the former LTTE stronghold.

The BBC alleged today that it has been blocked from covering the sessions quoting a senior defence ministry official as saying that he could not allow the BBC to attend this weekend's sittings.

Electric trains in Lanka soon

(dn) The Government will obtain Chinese technical assistance to introduce electric trains to Sri Lanka.

It has been planned to initiate work on the project's first phase next year. In the initial stage, the electric train will ply between Panadura and Veyangoda. "We will not construct new railway lines to operate electric trains but plans have been drawn to develop the existing railway lines for electric trains," the Minister said.

Farmers protest proposed tourist park

(dn) The Irrigation Department has taken steps to set up a tourist park near Tiththawella Wewa, Kurunegala. The tank was built during the Kurunegala Kingdom. More than 100 tanks along Kurunegala-Anuradhapura road have been destroyed in 1815 under British rule.

Nearly 500 acres of paddy lands come under this 20-acre irrigation tank. The farmers of the area have protested the authorities against turning it to a tourist park. Irrigation Department is planning to convert the temple near the tank into a meditation clinic for the tourists.



Sri Lanka to revamp aviation laws

(cp) A new Civil Aviation Bill is in the making to effectively facilitate and regulate the Civil Aviation Industry of the country, in keeping with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Sri Lankan government said today.

The government says under the present context the Act has almost become obsolete and it needs revamping to comply with the modern day legal requirements and advances made over the last 60 years.

Accordingly the government will draft a new bill to address and remedy the deficiencies in the present regulations and update the legal framework.

SMS Campaign to lure local tourists

(ognp) The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has launched a SMS campaign to lure the domestic traveller to explore the country. Local service providers Dialog, Mobitel, Airtel, Etisalat and Hutch will jointly run the campaign which encompasses six questions. Each question will record the highest polled attraction amongst the categories of Beaches, Heritage, Wildlife, Festival, Adventure Sport and Waterfall.

This competition would serve a two-fold purpose. Firstly it educates the public on all the different attractions in Sri Lanka. Secondly it informs the Tourism Authorities of any new tourist attractions that may not have been previously promoted in its programs.

Military Rules out any sabotage over Karadiyanaru blast

(ognp) The container blast at the Karadiyanaru, Batticaloa has killed 60, including two Chinese nationals and injured several others, Military spokesman Major General Ubhaya Medawala said.

The container full of explosives got blasted while it was shifted. The explosives were to be used to blast a rock for construction work. The container belonged to a Chinese company which had undertaken development work in the East.

Meanwhile military ruled out any sabotage over Karadiyanaru blast and sources said that a special probe is underway on the incident. The injured have been admitted to the Batticaloa hospital.

20 Maternal and Child Clinic Centres for North Central

(ognp) 20 Clinic Centres are to be established in the North Central Province to serve the people in the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Districts who undergo much difficulty in getting their medical requirements attended especially in relation to maternal and child health problems.

Since the maternal and child health problems have become a burning issue being faced by the people of these two districts, the government has decided to establish these Clinic Centres expeditiously in the existing government buildings in the two districts that remain vacant or that are under-utilized, as this has become a matter that cannot be delayed until the construction of buildings exclusively for this purpose.

Concessions for private universities : More opportunities for local students

(DN) The Government will take measures to provide more tax concessions and free land for investors willing to set up private universities in the country.

Higher Education Minister S.B.Dissanayake said giving more opportunities for local and foreign investors to set up universities in the country will enhance the current education level to reach international standards. It would also help to attract more foreign students to Sri Lanka and give them opportunities to pursue their education in Sri Lankan universities. It will also be a main source of generating more foreign income to the country. 

Smile as an expression in Buddhism and business

(DN) A telephone operator in an organization is advised to smile before answering a call, because the operator cannot see the caller and the smile is said to be influencing the manner in which the call is answered as desired by the company.

How many of us follow this. Smile is just a word probably not taken so seriously in day to day affairs in religious or general terms as a crucial feature without the apprehension of the power it has to turn individuals and, organizations around, provided of course the Smile comes from the heart.

In Buddhism, smile represents the Brahma Viharas, again, if it originates from the heart. It is great Buddhist practice to maintain regular smile in all what one does. With a half smile when you get up, when you walk, when you encounter a new situation and the time when you get frustrated, the outcome would be something to experience.

Cinnamon processing centres to be set up

(DN) Two cinnamon processing centres and eight pepper processing centres will be set up by the Export Agriculture Department at a cost of Rs 27.5 million under the export crops post harvest technology program. They would be located at identified places in the Southern Province and Nuwara Eliya, Matale and Moneragala districts, Export Agriculture Department Director General W D L Gunaratne said.

President to address the UN General Assembly

(DN) President leaves for 65th UNGA sessions

President Mahinda Rajapaksa left the country Wednesday to attend the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, US, Government sources said. The President is scheduled to address the General Assembly sessions next week. He is expected to hold bi-lateral discussions with several Heads of States on the sidelines of the General Assembly sessions.



Jaffna University Indigenous medicine unit gets face lift

(OGNP) The government today approved the reconstruction of the damaged building of the Siddha medicine Unit of the Jaffna University at a cost of Rs 109.5 million. This building was severely damaged during the war situation in Jaffna.

The objective of this five storied building project is to develop learning environment of the unit by improving its library, laboratory, pharmacy and classroom facilities.

First parachute competition in South Asia

(MoD) The first Parachute Competition in South Asia commenced concurrently to the 6th Defense Services Games at the Air Force Grounds in Uhana- Ampara on 06th Sept. 2010.

Nearly 40 competitors representing Tri Forces, both males and females participated in the Parachute competition which proceeded till 14th Sept. at the same venue. The final competition was held on 13th Sept. and the SL Air Force became the champions winning 13 Medals in the competition. The SL Army and the Navy who won 07 and 04 medals respectively achieved 2nd and 3rd places in the competition.

Rare fern species found in Sinharaja

(DN) A new rare and endemic Sri Lankan tree fern species has been found in the Sinharaja forest reserve during a recent field work. This field work was conducted by a group of local and foreign researchers. The new species is named Cyathea srilankansis Ranil.

“The tree fern family Cyatheaceae consists of about 700 species worldwide with diversity centers in tropical wet mountain regions. In Sri Lanka, this tree fern family is represented by a single genus which include five species,” Peradeniya University Agriculture Faculty Crop Science Department Assistant Lecturer Ranil Rajapaksa.

He said this species was first identified in 2007, but about three years were spent to confirm whether it was a new species. Sinharaja Forest Reserve is expected to be the one and only locale of this new species as found out by the investigations up to now.

Simple Tamil launched

(DN) The aim of developing the text, Simple Tamil was for two reasons, to support poor children in the North and the East by making them acquainted with knowledge all three languages and to establish harmony between the Sinhalese and Tamil community, said Professor J B Dissanayake, Sri Lanka Ambassador to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, addressing the gathering at the launching ceremony of his book titled, Simple Tamil, held this week in Colombo.

Prof Dissanayake strongly believes that learning Tamil language is the best way to build bridges of understanding among the three ethnic communities who have been living in Sri Lanka for generations. Professor Dissanayake has written many books on language, modern linguistics and culture in Sinhala and English. The first book that he wrote in all three languages was 'Sinhala Tamil English Trilingual Writing'. It is a book that helps Sri Lankans to read and write their own names easily and quickly.

Ministry expects to reach target : With solar and dendro power

(DN) The Power and Energy Ministry is set to reach its ‘Electricity for All by 2012’ target with solar and dendro power stations to be constructed in remote villages that have not been served by the national grid.

Ceylon Electricity Board sources said some 4,593 rural electrification schemes will be constructed during the next two years.

Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday said all rural households that cannot be economically connected to the National Grid, will be provided with alternative electrical energy sources under the Ceylon Electricity Board’s Rural Energy Program. 

According to the Minister, Sri Lanka has met 87 per cent of its electricity demand by now.

Ensure Haj pilgrims’ safety, PM tells travel agencies

(DN) Prime Minister D M Jayaratne said travel agencies have an immense responsibility to ensure the safety and needs of Haj pilgrims. The Prime Minister said agencies which exploit Haj pilgrims will be penalized.

Premier Jayaratne also said the Saudi Arabian Government has agreed to provide facilities for 5,800 Sri Lankan Muslims to perform Haj this year. He also said the government has taken steps to provide protection and infrastructure facilities to Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims.


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Another 100 identified Porn Websites to be banned

(OGNP) The government is to submit details to the Children’s Tribunal in Battaramula details about another 100 identified Porn Website which can be accessed through mobile phones.

Already actio has been taken through the Courts to ban 188 porn websites. It has been found that in more than 160 of these websites Sri Lankan youth have posed for pornographic pictures.

Ensuring safe food for people : CMC puts kitchens under microscope

(DN) Over 500 Kgs of Kottu Roti not fit for human consumption was destroyed, four restaurants which used tube well water to prepare food were also closed down yesterday, as raids by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) health officials revealed more shocking hotel kitchens in the city.

Using water from tube wells to prepare food in the Colombo area is illegal as underground water in Colombo is polluted, he added. According to him, the CMC has initiated legal action against 212 hotels and restaurants so far which had served unhygienic food. Food and water samples obtained from another 300 are under the microscope, at present.



SL sending fact finding mission to Iraq

(Island) Sri Lanka is sending a fact finding mission to Iraq to explore the possibility of obtaining employment for skilled workers.

External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris recently called a meeting of relevant officials from his ministry and the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, in parliament in the wake of our front-page news item on Sept. 03, under the headline, Post-war Iraq construction: Controversy over delay in pact with Iraq. Sources said that the delegation would be accompanied by Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Lebanon.

The Average Income Levels in 9 Districts exceeded National Poverty Line last month

(OGNP) The average income levels in nine districts of six provinces exceeded the national poverty line of 3111 rupees last month. According to the Department of Census and Statistics, the poverty line at national level is determined based on the minimum expenditure required per person per month to fulfill basic needs.

Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha districts in the Western Province ranked highest above the poverty line with personal incomes of 3466 rupees, 3380 rupees and 3296 rupees respectively last month. The other districts which were above the national poverty line of 3111, were Nuwara Eliya with 3333 rupees, Galle with 3199 rupees, Kandy with 3188 rupees, Kegalle with 3185 rupees, Badulla with 3183 rupees, and Puttalam with 3131 rupees.

The average income levels of 8 other districts too have shown an increase over the average income levels of July. These were Matara with 3048 rupees, Hambantota with 2998 rupees, Anuradhapura with 2950 rupees, Polonnarua with 3072 rupees, Moneragala with 2946 rupees, Ratnapura with 3105, Kurunegala with 3038 rupees, and Matale with 3080 rupees.



Iced tea demand hots up

Sri Lanka Tea(Island) Youngsters are guzzling up Ceylon Teas in the form of iced tea and the demand was growing, Asia Siyaka said in its Tea Market Report last week.

"Competition in the Russian iced Tea market is expected to get tougher with Lipton and Nestea, facing competition from the US based brand Arizona Iced Tea," the report said.

Asia Siyaka, Chairman Anil Cooke said Tea, Coffee, and Cocoa the main competing beverages need to hold their market share and improve demand to be ahead of the soft drinks corporates, including bottled water. "The impact on Ceylon Tea is undoubtedly positive. Ceylons are leading the hot beverage market in Russia and will hold that position in to the immediate future," Cooke said.

Sri Lanka scientists re-introduce extinct microbes to soil

(CP) A research team of the Institute of Fundamental Studies of Kandy has successfully completed an experiment to add extinct microbes to the earth.

Prof. Gamini Senevirathna who led the research team says that the micro organisms were lost due to use of chemical fertilizer. He points out that the issue is widely seen in areas under paddy, rubber, and sugar cane cultivations.

These fertilizers are to be first used in tea cultivations.

New Traffic Control System in Colombo

(OGNP) A new traffic control system with a countdown has been implemented in several junctions in Colombo. The purpose is to reduce traffic and accidents. Special Commissioner for the Colombo Municipal Council Omar Kamil said that more will be set up in the City according to their necessity.

He opined that the new traffic control system was put in place after identifying junctions which were prone to more accidents. He said that the new efficient traffic control system will be implemented in Colombo first and then probably be extended to other areas accordingly.

Caritas lays foundation for new houses

(ICAN) The long wait for a permanent place to live is set to end for several displaced Sri Lankan families after Caritas Chilaw laid the foundations for new homes in the northern coastal village of Kalpitiya.

The catch however, is that they will have to build them themselves. Having fled fighting in the far north during the civil war in the 1990s, many Tamil families moved southward to seek safety.

But after integrating with the local population over the intervening years, many of the families decided to stay after the end of the fighting. Caritas allocated approximately 400,000 rupees (US$ 3,600) towards materials for the homes, but it will be up to the new villagers to construct them.



World Buddhist Federation Conference for the first time in Sri Lanka

World Buddhist Federation Buddhist Flag Sri Lanka(LP) For the first time a World Buddhist Federation Conference is held in Sri Lanka after 26 years commemorating the 60th anniversary and the 25th conference of the World Buddhist Federation from November 14-17.

About 600 delegates will participate in this event representing around 164 regional centers of 41 countries. 3000 Local delegates will also participate in the conference. This year’s theme of the World Buddhist Federation Conference is “Reconciliation through Buddhism”.

Tourism entrepreneurs cry foul over shoddy treatment by authorities

(ST) Visit Sri Lanka 2011 tourism year looms closer but small players like SME’s are in dire straits. Though the ‘Mahinda Chintanaya’ has stated that the SME will be helped up to now nothing has been forthcoming. Authorities such as the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Ministry of Tourism and the Treasury Secretary have up to now not provided any of the promised assistance to the SME sector, a leading SME entrepreneur told the Business Times last week.

During a discussion with Treasury Secretary, the SMEs were led to believe that loans will be given at between 10 to 12 % interest against the present prevailing rate of 18 %. The ‘Saubagya’ scheme which is expected to give loans at 12 % interest have informed the SMEs that only Rs. 500,000 would be given when the requirement is Rs. 5 million and above.

As the large companies are able to upgrade their facilities without government assistance this leaves the SME’s in a severely handicapped position.

Presently there are around 350 to 375 wayside restaurants, 500 Guest Houses with 5200 rooms, 110 Classified Hotels with 9300 rooms and 140 unclassified hotels with 5350 rooms in operation, he said. Further he added that the present cost of a liquor license is Rs. 200,000 which many SMEs are finding difficult to afford. Over and above this an addition 15% tax on liquor is also levied while the electricity tariffs have increased by 30 %.

Uncultivated paddy lands under the plough soon

(SO) The Government has decided to acquire uncultivated paddy lands and make them available for prospective cultivators.

The Agrarian Development Department had identified over 20,000 uncultivated lands especially in Colombo, Gampaha and the Kalutara districts.

The owners were keen to fill those paddy lands and sell them at higher prices, the Commissioner General said. The Department has also identified uncultivated lands in other districts too, he said.


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Qazi courts to be established in Sri Lanka

(CP) Sri Lanka's Ministry of Justice has taken measures to establish 58 Qazi courts in the country's Muslim dominated areas.

Eight Qazi courts will be setup in Beruwela in Western Province and Akkaraipaththu, Batticaloa, Ampara, Potuwil and Sammanthurai in Eastern Province where a major population of Muslims live, state-run TV, ITN reported.

The courts headed by judges known as Qazis will render their verdicts according to the Sharia Law, mostly to settle family disputes of Muslim people. They serve as means to settle disputes without going to the civil courts and save the poor Muslims from paying heavy fees to the lawyers.

First copy of "Handbook of Simple Tamil" presented to President

(CP) Prof. J B Dissanayake the first copy of the "Handbook of Simple Tamil" authored by him to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa Wednesday at the Temple Trees. The book is intended to promote the Tamil language proficiency among the Sinhalese public.

Muslims celebrate Eid Ramazan Festival

(OGNP) Sri Lankan Muslims today celebrate the Eid Festival at the end of a month long Ramazan fasting. Colombo Grand Mosque announced that new moon was sighted in the eastern coastal area of Muttur in the Trincomalee district.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an Eid-ul-Fitr message states Sri Lanka’s Muslim community has contributed much to the progress of the Motherland, Sri Lankan Muslims have lived in harmony with people of other religions and ethnicities.



Poverty down

(ISLAND) Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said Sri Lanka’s poverty rate has declined to around 9 to 10 percent.

"The poverty rate was estimated at 15 percent in 2007 and our recent estimates suggested that the poverty rate could be lower now, somewhere between 9 to 10 percent, but we are still testing the numbers," Cabraal said speaking to top corporate heads at Temple Trees yesterday morning.

The government plans to double the per capita income to US$ 4,000 by 2016, but investments would have to grow substantially.

ICRC announces decision to close office in Mannar in November

(CP) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has announced today (9) that it will close its office in the Mannar District at the end of November 2010.

The ICRC in a press statement has informed the media that it will continue to support communities that are being resettled in the area from its office in Vavuniya. The ICRC Vavuniya office is also to assist beneficiaries of the organization's Family Visits Assistance (FVA) programme.

Government to expand Mannar salterns in the northwest

(CP) Sri Lanka's Cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal submitted by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiyutheen to expand the salterns at Mannar in the northwest region of the country.

Nearly 60% of the current annual salt requirement of the country is produced locally and the remaining 40 % is imported at a cost of nearly Rs.380 million, the government says.

Information of Buddhist temples on computer

(DN) Information including names of all Buddhist temples in the country has been updated and computerized said Buddhist Affairs Department Commissioner General Chandraprema Gamage. Accordingly the total number of temples registered up to January 31 are 10, 343.

Feeding information on new temples will be done via the respective District Secretariat and the regional Sasanarakshaka Balamandalaya. Updating the data on temples will be conducted next year.

Lanka’s sea area fully opened for fishing

(DN) All the territorial waters around the island is now free and open to fishing, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has announced.

Fishing activities now take place around the country except in a few areas where people cannot go fishing due to land mines being removed from these areas, The Defence Secretary had told the Minister.

The fishermen in the North and East are permitted to use fishing boats with 30 HP engines at present.

Int’l Buddhist Film Festival next year: Forty one countries to participate

(DN) An international film festival will be held in 2011 to mark the 2600 Sri Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Anniversary, National Film Corporation Chairman Kumar Abesinghe said.

This International Film Festival will be organized by Sri Lanka National Film Corporation, Light of Asia Foundation and Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).

Program organizers have planned to screen around 200 local and foreign films for this event. Forty one countries with significant Buddhist populations would participate in the International Film Festival.



Most Colombo churches now hold Tamil Masses

(UCAN) The decision by some Catholic churches in Colombo to celebrate Masses in Tamil, in addition to Sinhalese and English, has been welcomed by Tamil Catholics.

The 194-year-old St. John’s Church at the harbor front held its first Tamil Mass on Sept. 5, an event celebrated by both Sinhalese and Tamil parishioners. “After many years, things are beginning to change,” parish priest Father Suran Attidiya told the crowd, who took part in a procession to mark the event.



Sri Lanka Postal Service promotes country's tourism

(CP) Sri Lanka Post has stepped into boost the tourism industry in the country by issuing seven new stamps and a first day cover that promote Sri Lanka's attractions.

Minister of Post and Telecommunication Jeewan Kumaratunga presented the first stamp and the first day cover to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees today.

High-tech guards for Sigiriya damsels

(DN) The National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Ministry will soon introduce micro-climatic monitoring equipment, electro-optic holographic machinery and infra-red thermography techniques at Sigiriya rock fortress to ensure long-term preservation of its historic frescoes and mirror wall.

The Committee appointed by President Rajapaksa to identify ways to preserve the Sigiriya frescoes after his recent inspection visit to assess the current state of the frescoes, has recommended the need to import modern equipment and machinery to prevent the rock paintings from being damaged by air pollutants and biological agents.

The Ministry will not bring foreign experts to restore Sigiriya frescoes. Minister Wanniarachchi said, “we have all the expertise we need in the country to preserve the frescoes.”

Marriage, death certificates within minutes

(DN) The marriage and death certificate of persons could be obtained in 10 minutes at any Divisional Secretariat in the island, Public Administration Minister W D J Seneviratne said addressing the All Ceylon Government Agents' convention at the Jaffna Secretariat yesterday.

That was the third District Secretaries convention and attended by Deputy Minister Dilan Perera, over 150 senior government officials, 11 Divisional Secretaries in the Jaffna district and 25 District Secretaries from other parts of the country.



Locally produced BTI will save millions

(DN) The locally produced BTI bacteria to eradicate dengue menace has proved successful. The Health Ministry will not need to import BTI bacteria in the future. This will enable the Government to save millions of rupees, Health Ministry sources said.

The Bio Power Lanka said they have 10,000 litres of BTI in stocks. They have already provided the Ministry with 5,000 litres of bacteria.

Meanwhile, Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Pradeep Kariyawasam said they are happy to purchase the locally made BTI bacteria if the bacteria is proven successful. Kariyawasam said, the CMC spends about Rs 3 million to import BTI bacteria. And they will also be able to save a million or two with the availability of locally produced BTI bacteria.

Lailathul Qudur program

(DN) The Lailathul Qudur Program has been organized by the Al-Masjidul Badriyeen, Nawala Jumma Mosque, Sri Jayawardanapura, Rajagiriya.

Special arrangements has been made by the Chief Trustee of the mosque Al-haj M H Abu Haniffa. The program will start at 9 p.m. With Isha prayers conducted by Al-Haj Mowlavi A M Mubarak (Falahi). Tharaveeh prayers will be conducted by Hafiz M Nazeem at 9.15 p.m. Thasbeeh prayers will be conducted by Mowlavi M N M Fardhy (Al-Husani and Aroosi) at 11.15 p.m.


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Seven more aircraft for Srilankan

(SO) SriLankan Airlines unveiled extensive expansion plans for the near future, including the induction of seven more aircraft in 2011, launching a floatplane domestic service, adding several new destinations, luxurious flat-bed seating in Business Class, and diversifying into several related areas of activity.

The plans include the acquisition of five Airbus A320s and two Twin Otters. Three of the A320s will be the first brand new aircraft acquired by the Airline since the year 2000, and will be fitted with the latest Audio-Video On Demand (AVOD) entertainment systems. The Airline will also re-launch its SriLankan Air Taxi domestic service as early as this winter, with plans to fly to more than a dozen destinations islandwide including the city of Colombo.

Jaffna students in Kandy

(SO) A group of students from Jaffna schools had a novel experience of seeing beauty of the upcountry when the Security Forces in Jaffna took them to World Heritage City of Kandy on a three-day visit recently. Thirty five students who performed well in their studies at the Kulaimangal Roman Catholic College-Mallakam, Murugarthi College-Uduvil and Memorial College-Manipay joined the excursion which offered them a good exposure which they never experienced before.



43 aggressive foreign flora and fauna species identified in Sri Lanka

(CP) A recent survey carried out by the Secretariat of Bio-diversity of Sri Lanka reveals that a large number of aggressive flora and fauna species have spread in the island.

Out of the 43 species identified, 28 are flora species and 15 are aggressive foreign fauna species. These invasive alien species are a threat to the existence of the indigenous species and damaging the balance of the island's environment biologists say.

Most of these species are believed to have spread to Sri Lanka through ornamental fish and flora imports. With the assistance of Millennium Environment Programme has launched a five year programme at a cost of 2.5 million US dollars to control the spread of these aggressive foreign species.

Fresh water fish for village tanks

(DN) The Fisheries Ministry will breed fresh water fish in all village tanks and large reservoirs in the Kurunegala District during this year.

Accordingly 13.5 m fingerlings will be released into these village tanks, about 15,000 rural fisher families would benefit from this new program and 600,000 tons of fresh water fish harvest is expected during the next six months.

Popularising of fish consumption will minimize the levels of malnutrition among rural pregnant mothers and primary students of rural schools. This program will be expanded to other areas of the North Western Province and subsidies and necessary guidance will be provided to rural masses to carry on fishing profitably, said NWP Assistant Fisheries Director D. M. Dayasiri.

President opens cricket stadium in Badulla

(CP) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was in Badulla of Uva Province today participating in several events opened a new indoor cricket stadium built by Sri Lanka Cricket.

Tamil Filmmaking workshop in the North and East

(ST)` How to make films?’ Workshops for young and aspiring Tamil speaking filmmakers will be conducted in Northern and Eastern parts of the country by award winning filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage and experienced cinematographer, M. D. Mahindapala.

Following the screening of the Tamil version of Prasanna Vithanage’s ‘Akasa Kusum’ (Flowers of the Sky), the project will be started basing Jaffna, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Colombo. The Tamil script tittled ‘Aghaya Pookkal’ translated by Ravi Rathnavel will be screened in Colombo and Jaffna.

Those interested can contact Prasanna Vithanage on his number 0777288984.

Sri Lanka Railways to introduce two luxury trains for special occasions

(CP) Sri Lanka Railway has planned to import two sets of luxury trains from China. The Commercial Superintendent of Sri Lanka Railway Wijaya Samarasinghe says that these two trains will be on the tracks from next year.

The trains which have all luxuries including a stage are to be used as venues for special functions. They also include compartments for resting.

The train can be booked for weddings, parties, and director board meetings etc. Railway Commercial Superintendent's Department can be contacted via phone number 071 4393102 for more details.

Pension scheme for fishermen

(DN) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry will launch a new pension scheme of Rs 7,000 a month for fishermen, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Rajitha Senaratne said after an inspection tour in the Galle District recently.

There are 4,688 fishing families and 6,171 fishing technicians in the Galle district. Accordingly the fishing population in the Galle district is 21,193. There are nine fisheries harbours and anchoring stations in Galle. They are Benthara, Balapitiya, Ambalangoda, Hikkaduwa North, Hikkaduwa South, Dodanduwa, Galle, Unawatuna and Kathaluwa.

There are also six inland fishing reservoirs in Galle while 1,778 fishing boats and 58 fishing nets (Ma-del) are used by fishermen in Galle district. "With all these facilities, the Galle fishermen engage in the fisheries industry successfully. Fish harvest is increasing daily.



Sri Lanka plans to purchase maize and soya harvests from farmers

(CP) While the rice farmers of Sri Lanka still complain over the low demand for their bountiful harvest in Yala season, the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade says that measures are underway to purchase the harvest of the maize farmers.

The Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade says that the plans are underway to purchase the upcoming soya harvest as well. The stocks are to be resold to the Ministry of Health for the production of nutritious food for children and pregnant mothers.

Fishermen happy with new proposal

(Hindu) The consensus reached at the recent negotiation between the fishermen of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu to find a solution to problems over trans-border fishing has been widely acknowledged by the fishermen of Rameswaram.

As per the agreement, which needs to be ratified by the governments of India and Sri Lanka, the Rameswaram fishermen can engage in fishing till three nautical miles from Talaimannar-Mannar in Palk Bay.

Changes of positions in Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau

Sri Lanka Tourism Sri Lanka, Land like no other(CP) Sri Lanka government has appointed Malraj Kiriella as the acting Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau. His assignment is for a three-month period.

Dileep Mudadeniya who held the Managing Director position of the Tourism Promotions Bureau earlier was appointed to a newly created position of the Head of Special Projects. He now operates from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

Government sources say more structural changes are expected in tourism sector of the island which is in a push to thrive in the post-war era. The Tourism Promotion Bureau is responsible for all local as well as overseas marketing and promotional functions.

Direct air links between Kunming and Colombo soon

(DN) Public Management Reforms Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka welcomed the initiative taken by the Yunnan Province Governor in China, Qin Guangron to launch a direct air link between the capital of Yunnan Province, Kunming and Colombo as it would further boost relations between Sri Lanka and China.

The Governor is visiting Sri Lanka with a delegation of over 200 persons from Yunnan Province on the inaugural flight by China Eastern Airlines to Colombo. He called on Minister Wickramanayaka who hosted a lunch in honour of the official delegation led by the Governor.

Increase in fish production

(DN) Marine and inland fish production has increased from January to May this year, according to the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry. Marine fish production increased by 10.9 percent and inland fish production by 7.6 percent. From January to May 2009, off shore fish production was 51,530 MT and coastal fish production was 89,560 MT.

In the same period in 2010, off shore fish production was 58,770 MT and coastal fish production was 97,750 MT. Total marine fish production in Jan-May 2009 was 141,090 MT and inland fish production was 19,159 MT.

Norochcholai power plant to be commissioned on January 1

(DN) The Norochcholai coal power plant will be commissioned on January 1, 2011 adding 300 megawatts to the national power grid in its initial stage.

Six-hundred megawatts and five-hundred megawatts will be added to the national power grid by 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said Sri Lanka is considered as a country in Asia that has successfully managed to provide a qualitative and stable electricity supply with good frequency to the general public throughout the day.

The solar system installation was officially commissioned by the Minister.



Solar Supplement Sri Lanka LOLC cuts grid use with solar power

(LBO) Sri Lanka's LOLC financial group commissioned a 48 kiloWatt solar power array that will supply 15 percent of energy needs at its head office in Colombo, reducing its 'carbon footprint', officials said. "This is the largest such solar power system set up by the corporate sector in Sri Lanka," LOLC group chief executive Kapila Jayawardena said.

"This would reduce our dependence on the national grid by 15 percent and reduce our carbon footprint."

Power minister Patali Ranawaka said Sri Lanka's per capita carbon emissions was comparatively low at 600 kilograms a year, compared to 2,200 for India, 5,600 for China and 24,000 for the United States.

Perception in Buddhism and marketing

(DN) I haven’t seen this subject being discussed at length in spite of the fact that Sri Lanka is primarily a Buddhist country which is said to have preserved its original form of Buddhism, Theravada.

This is also relevant at a time the country yearns for economic development on a fast track where the traditions, norms and lifestyles may govern some actions being contemplated for development. Yes, we all remember Singalovada sutra - a discourse given by the Buddha for laymen as to how a mundane life should be conducted.

The fierce competition in many instances is questioned with the level of credibility.

Transport minister mulls to operate bus services parallel to railway services

(OGNP) The Sri Lanka Transport Board is to provide a service in parallel to the Railways time-tables. Accordingly, if any commuter misses the train, an opportunity would be provided for him to reach his office by bus.

Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama is mulling over the launching of the new programme in the near future. The Minister has decided to travel by train to his office on every Public Day with the intention of deciding on an efficient transport service on behalf of the commuters.

FACETS 2010, International Gem and Jewellery show in Sri Lanka opens today

(CP) FACETS Sri Lanka 2010, the International Gem and Jewellery Show will be open from today till September 5th at the Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre in Colombo.

Producers and wholesalers from the main gemstone producing countries in Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia are being invited to exhibit their gemstone products at the show, the organizers say.

Rajaratnam allegedly funded LTTE: US Judge lets suit proceed

(Adaderana) A lawsuit accusing a Wall Street hedge fund manager and his father of using a charitable foundation to funnel millions of dollars to the LTTE, a Sri Lankan terrorist group, can go forward, a federal judge in New Jersey says.

The suit, filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act, concerns the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), a non-profit that the U.S. Treasury Department shut down in 2007 for allegedly bankrolling the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (aka Tamil Tigers), which the U.S. classified as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997 and as a specially designated global terrorist in 2001. TRO’s assets were frozen and Americans were barred from dealing with it.



Dinamina Colombo-Matale Express bus service

(DN) The Dinamina Express bus service will be inaugurated by Transport Deputy Minister Rohana Dissanayake at a ceremony to be held today at 9.30 a.m. at the Matale Bus Stand.

The bus will daily leave from Lake House, Colombo at 11 p.m. It will leave Matale at 6.10 a.m. the following day and return to Colombo. Seats could be reserved early by contacting the Lake House through telephone 0112-429673.

Sri Lanka Supreme Court to deliver decision on constitutional amendments today

(CP) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court is to deliver its decision on the proposed amendments to the country's Constitution today to the President and the Speaker.

Sri Lanka Cabinet on Monday during a special session approved the amendments to be presented in the parliament as a Draft Bill.

A five-judge bench of Supreme Court took up the Draft Bill Tuesday to decide whether the proposed amendments are consistent with the Constitution.


Recent Sri Lanka Local News Highlights August 2010


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President opens hotel school in Ratnapura

Multi religious centres to strengthen communal harmony

Tourist Complaints Hotline 011-2676161: TIK clocks non-stop

3000-year-old burial ground discovered in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka blocks over 100 porn websites

‘Pure Ceylon Tea’: Rs 5 billion promotion

New TV channel for education soon

2,000-Year-Old wrecked ship located near Hambanthota harbour

Excavation on Fa-Hien cave continues

Government to facilitate Haj pilgrims

Domestic airports to be renovated

Hambantota Harbour: Historic water filling ceremony

Over 400,000 devotees expected for Madhu feast

Sri Lanka is the only country that defeated terrorism on its own

4000-year-old human skeleton found in Sri Lanka

French couple praise Lankan generosity

Obtain wind power for power generation

Jaffna kindness warms hearts of crash victims

Getambe: True heaven is a place in Kandy

Esala Maha Perahera : Kandy expects unprecedented crowds

Sri Lanka’s first Expressway

Fill up your passports with personal details- Controller of Immigration

Sri Lanka to hold World Buddhist Conference

New Southern Sri Lanka port to anchor first vessel in November

Commercial flights from KIA to Palaly by year end & more....


Recent Sri Lanka Local News Highlights July 2010


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Malwatta Prelate tours Jaffna

SLTB motorcycle squad to nab errant drivers

Sri Lanka initiates programs to create awareness on energy saving and sustainable energy

Ayurvedic medicine: Chronic renal diseases can be completely cured

Hambantota Harbour water filling on Aug 15

Over 400 herds of Elephants can be seen at Minneriya National Park

Sri Lanka tops world in breast feeding

Skoool website launched

Colombo readies for Fun & Frolic

Peace filled every heart with new hopes - Nayake Thera

New British visa application centre

Kandyan beat!

Name 'too long' for air ticket

Spices, a unique attraction to the emerald isle

Sri Lanka not to please international community

Report on Buddha Bars

Art promotes peace - Bollywood star & more ...







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