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US$ 20mn invested in Lanka’s first space academy

(dm) Sri Lanka’s first space academy is to be built next year through an investment of US$ 20 million, through a joint venture between Supreme Satellite Private Limited Colombo and Great Wall Industry Corporation of China (CGWIC).

The new space academy is to be set up in a 30 acre land in the Koggala area to train Sri Lankans in space and satellite technology with the aim of promoting space science in the country.

Currently, initial designing stages of this satellite have been completed in Beijing, China. In less than two years, Sri Lanka would join an elite band of 44 countries by owning its first satellite, Manivannan stated.


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Device to track down lost passports

(dn) The Immigration and Emigration Department is introducing a new procedure tomorrow where details of a lost or stolen passport will be shared automatically worldwide through Interpol to prevent them being used in activities related to terrorism or any other misuse, Immigration and Emigration Department Controller General Chulananda Perera said yesterday.

Addressing a press conference in Colombo, he said if someone ever uses a stolen or lost Sri Lankan passport anywhere in the world, an alarm would go off to alert the authorities. Perera said this measure would also increase the confidence in the Sri Lankan national passport.

The Controller General said out of the 4.5 million Sri Lankan national passports, 26,485 have been reported as lost or stolen. He said most commonly stolen or lost passports are used for false identification for illegal migration, cross border transnational crimes, money laundering or terrorism. He said if a passport is stolen or lost, one should immediately report it to the Immigration Department on 0115329501 and then make a complaint at the Police.

It is unity, not ethnic division which will define our success – President

(ognp) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has emphasized that the time has come for everyone to join together as a single nation, and the brotherhood existed between the Sinhala and Tamil population 30 years ago should be re-established.

The President made these comments addressing a large group of rehabilitated former LTTE ex-combatants and their family members at Temple Trees yesterday. The event was organized to grant loan facilities for the rehabilitated former LTTE cadres for engaging in self employment activities. 1,600 former LTTE cadres were granted loans of 250,000 rupees each.

The President pointed out that it cannot be allowed to create divisions among the communities for accomplishing petty political objectives. The government has created the atmosphere for the youth of this country to live in the society as honourable citizens. Speaking further, the President said that it was due to the gun culture that the former LTTE cadres lost their childhood. He also emphasized that it is the government that is responsible for the children and people of this country and not the international community.

First dendro power plant in A’pura

(dn) The construction work of the country's first dendro power plant in the Labunoruwa area in Thirappane Divisional Secretariat in the Anuradhapura district has been completed.

The Project Development Engineer P R Wijewardane told the Daily News that the Dendro (gliricidia plant) based power plant began feeding 500 kw to the national grid since last week. The project is invested by Helios Thirappane Bio Power Project (Pvt) Ltd through Helios Renewable Energy (Pvt) Ltd and EVI, India, under the patronage of Thirappane based Human and Community Development Youth Organization (HCDYO).

Apart from the Thirappane power plant, the HCDYO, Labunoruwa in collaboration with the investors has planned to establish five new dendro based power plants at a cumulative capacity of 15.5 MW in Galenbindunawewa, Maha Wilachchiya, Horowpothana, Kahatagasdigiliya Divisional Secretariat divisions. “The dendro based power plant project is not confined to supplying electricity. It has been planned to establish organic fertilizer processing plant depending on gliricidia leaf with the assistance of Agrarian Service Authorities. At present fertilizer subsidy is offered at an enormous cost such as Rs 40 billion per year.


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Sri Lanka Govt. to develop 1000 Secondary Schools

(ognp) The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval for the implmentation of the Programme of Developing 1000 Secondary Schools with a network of 5000 Primary Schools, with the view to providing better educational facilities to students throughout the country in keeping with the policy of the Government.

Accordingly, as decided upon by the Ministries of Finance and Planning; Economic Development; and Education, a sum of Rs.2500 million was allocated in the 2012 budget.

The programme will commence from the Mulkirigala Maha Vidyalaya in Weeraketiya on the 3rd of next month. Each school will be provided a sum of 500,000 rupees.

Construction of Sri Lanka's port city to begin later this year

(cp) The construction work of Sri Lanka's proposed port city will begin later this year, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said in a statement yesterday.

"Accordingly, approximately 230 hectares, that is nearly 575 acres, of water front sheltered by the new breakwater will be reclaimed at an investment of approximately US$ 900 million by a foreign investor.

The plan has been given approval by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Review Committee (SCARC). At the recently concluded international Seatrade Conference and Exhibition at the Hilton hotel in Colombo, Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama � Chairman of SLPA emphasized that the area will be developed as a port city with roads, water, electricity, communication facilities to set up shopping areas, water sports area, mini golf course, hotels, apartments, recreation areas, marinas and with a lot more additions that would develop the area as a modern city."



Sri Lanka hands over 20 Pakistani prisoners to their home country

(cp) Sri Lanka Controller of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera says that the government has decided to hand over 20 Pakistani nationals who were in Sri Lanka's prisons for a long time for drug related offences.

Two of the 22 Pakistani prisoners have already been deported while the rest are to be deported soon, the official said. The prisoners include two women, he added.

The 22 Pakistanis have been blacklisted denying visa and entry to the country forever.


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Sri Lanka Health Ministry to amend Food Act

(cp) In an effort to improve people's health conditions, the Health Ministry of Sri Lanka is to propose amendments to the Food Act.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has said that the amendments to the Act would come into effect from this November.

He has explained that the amendments have been proposed taking into consideration issues like food security and environmental pollution.

US volunteers for housing project

(so) As Team USA competes in London for the 2012 Olympic Games, another team will be representing the USA for another cause. Three representatives from the Greater Plainfield Habitat for Humanity, USA, will travel to Sri Lanka to build 24 houses with 300 other international volunteers for a week.

Executive Director of Plainfield Habitat, the Rev. Jeremy Montgomery will be joined on this trip by Westfield teacher, Shannon Stone, and Ian Ng, a carpenter. The majority of the other Habitat volunteers will come from New Zealand with the next biggest group from Japan. Volunteers from Australia, Great Britain and India comprise the rest.

During this one-week "Blitz Build," the effect will be made on a community in Pathayamwatte, and on the lives of 24 families. These 24 low-income families, who named themselves the Society of Landless Families, neither own land nor a house. They live in dilapidated and substandard housing with limited sanitation facilities.






Government to submit National Action Plan to UN

(ognp) The government would submit the National Action Plan listing the implementations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to the United Nations within the next two or three days.

This was stated by the Minister of External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris addressing a joint news conference at the External Affairs Ministry auditorium on 26th.

Giving details of work already carried out relating to LLRC recommendations, the Minister said that 98 per cent work connected to Internally Displaced Persons has been completed., they have not only been resettled, but access to livelihood has also been provided. Ninety per cent work related to the ex-combatants has been completed and it is the firm resolve of the government to reintegrate them into society. He said that demining the Nothern and Eastern Provinces has almost been completed while the High Security Zones have been removed, except for one in Palaly. The Minister pointed that Sri Lanka has resettled as many as 297,000 IDPs within a short period of time whereas in other parts of the world similar exercises had taken several decades.

SL Navy and French oil tanker crew rescue Lankan asylum seekers

(st) The Sri Lanka Navy along with the assistance of the crew of a French oil tanker rescued a group of 27 Tamil asylum seekers on Thursday, some 500 miles off the Sri Lankan coast.The group will be brought ashore sometime later today.

The group had sent out a ‘May Day’ call which was first picked up by the Australian authorities who in turn alerted the Navy since the vessel was still in Sri Lankan waters, a senior official said yesterday.

However several attempts by the Navy to reach the distressed vessel failed owing to rough conditions in the deep seas and later a distress message was sent to commercial maritime traffic in the area. The Navy’s message was picked up by the French vessel that was sailing from the Far East towards the west, Navy Spokesperson Kosala Warnakulasuriya said.

No plan for nuclear power plant in Sampur

(so) The Government yesterday categorically denied Indian media reports that Sri Lanka was planning to build a nuclear power station in the Sampur area with Pakistani aid. “The Government has not discussed such a proposal with any country or organisation. We have no intention to go ahead with a nuclear power plant. Any reports to this effect are completely fabricated,” Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka asserted.

The Minister was referring to reports in several Indian newspapers and websites that Sri Lanka had engaged in discussions with Pakistan on setting up a nuclear power plant in Sampur, Trincomalee. It was also mentioned that the Indian Government had called for a report on this matter from its High Commissioner in Sri Lanka and that he had submitted such a report to New Delhi.

Work on this 500 MW project that could potentially link the power grids of the two countries will start in due course. “In this backdrop, it is unfortunate that some sections of the Indian media are painting a wrong picture on the situation,” the Minister told the media in Colombo. He stressed that Sri Lanka, as a sovereign nation, need not seek permission from any quarter to commence power projects or other development projects.



Olympic Profile of Sri Lanka

(london2012) Sri Lanka first competed as Ceylon at the London 1948 Olympic Games where Duncan WHITE claimed their first Olympic medal. He took silver in the 400m Hurdles.

The name Sri Lanka was first used at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games.

Swimmer Dipika CHANMUGAM was their first female representative when she took part at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.

In 2000, Susanthika JAYASINGHE won Sri Lanka's only other medal to date. She crossed the line third in the women's 200m in Sydney but was later awarded the silver medal when race winner Marion JONES (USA) was disqualified for doping offences.

JAYASINGHE carried the Sri Lankan flag at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games where she competed in the 200m.

Sri Lanka's team in Beijing numbered eight in six sports.

Schedule of Sri Lanka Team

Anuradha Cooray Thilini Jayasingha - Niluka Karunaratne - Christine Sonali - Mangala Samarakoon - Reshika Udugampola - Heshan Unamboowe

Fifth highest oral cancer rate in Sri Lanka

(dn) Two deaths occur daily due to oral cancer while between 1,500 and 2,000 new oral cancer patients are diagnosed in Sri Lanka annually, doctors said yesterday.

"Sri Lanka has the world's fifth highest oral cancer rate. Oral cancer is the most common cancer among Sri Lankan males," they said.

Addressing a special seminar on oral cancer at the Health Education Bureau, Colombo, the specialist doctors said leading risk factors for oral cancer are chewing betel, smoking and alcohol and poor oral hygiene. "If a person chews betel more than thrice day, he is at a risk of developing oral cancer. Labourers and bus and three wheeler drivers are among the high risk group," they said.

Differently-abled no longer isolated - minister

(dn) Social Services Ministry has taken measures to build new houses for 95 disabled and low income persons selected from 16 Divisional Secretariats in the Matara district.

Rs. 237 million will be spent on the housing project, Social Services Minister Felix Perera said. The Minister said: "A monthly allowance of Rs.1000 will be distributed among 900 low income persons, above 70 years.

"There was a time when the disabled were isolated from the rest of the society. That era is now over and they have become active partners in society.

The historical background of the origin of the Dalada Perahera

(dn) The Dalada Perahera which is held annually in Kandy, the seat of government of the last monarch of Sinhale, has a long history of 1700 years. The Sacred Tooth Relic (the Dantha Dhatu) was brought to the 'island of Sihala' (Sri Lanka) during the reign of King Sirimeghavanna (301-328 CE), nine years after he ascended the throne.

The Tooth Relic was conveyed here in rather interesting circumstances. Religious discord prevailed at both its source and its destination points, which were respectively Kalinga in South-East India (roughly corresponding to modern Orissa) and Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka; but not the same type of tension was in evidence in the two places.

The Kandy Esala Perahera, today identical with the Dalada Perahera, is thus a continuation of a tradition that started on the very arrival of the Tooth Relic in Sri Lanka 17 centuries ago. King Sirimeghavanna initiated the annual procession that ceremonially carried the Relic from its shrine on the royal palace precincts to the Abhayuttara (i.e. Abhayagiri) Vihara where it was deposited and venerated for three months. The tradition of locating the Dalada shrine near the king's palace also began at the same time.



Sri Lankan government to release Sinhala and Tamil versions of LLRC report next week

(cp) The Sri Lankan government is to release the Sinhala and Tamil versions of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report next week.

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said the LLRC report that was initially released in English last December has now been translated into Sinhala and Tamil and the Sinhala and Tamil versions would be released next week.

He attributed the delay in releasing the report was to the delay in the Government Printer's Department.

Sri Lankan Youth deported from Australia unfold his story

(ognp) A Sri Lankan youth named Dayan Antony who returned to Sri Lanka last morning from Australia after he was refused asylum and deported to Sri Lanka, told the media at a media briefing arranged by the Government Information Department in Colombo that he was not a member of LTTE, but had pretended to be in order to get to Australia.

“I am not a member of the LTTE; but the agent who sent me to Australia on a forged visa told me to pretend that I was one and to tell everyone so,” he said, hours before his release from the custody of the Sri Lanka Police. Soon after his arrival in Sri Lanka the police had detained him for few hours and recorded his statement and then released him late last evening.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka government is working on forming a national committee to ensure readmission of illegal migrants living abroad in the wake of increased number of asylum seekers illegally leaving the island’s shores. With over 200 failed asylum seekers apprehended by the police and navy in the past 10 days alone, the government has sanctioned the National Coordinating Committee on Re-admission (NCCR) proposed by the External Affairs Minister, G. L. Peiris.

Cabinet approves National Action Plan to implement LLRC recommendations

(ognp) The report of the LLRC contained 285 short term, medium term and long term recommendations and they have been classified into four main groups as follows: - Recommendations relating to National Policy; - Recommendations pertaining to the final phase of the conflict; - Recommendations related to human rights and National security concerns; and - Recommendations related to resettlement and development.

Over 60 percent of the short term recommendations have been implemented by the government. The recommendations include rehabilitation of the former LTTE Cadres, demining, resettlement, improvement of living standards of the people, provision of employment opportunities etc.

Responding to questions raised by the media personnel the Minister said that the Sri Lankan asylum seekers who are repatriated must undergo due legal process, and the government ensures it will neither hamper their future nor harass them. The asylum seekers commit an offense by attempting illegal migration and they must be dealt with according to the law of the country. He emphasized that the asylum seekers cannot be allowed to damage the image of the country by making false statements and hence their statements should be investigated.





Sri Lanka to grant permission for foreign tourists to view sunken ships

(cp) Sri Lanka's Southern Provincial Council Minister of Tourism P.D. Ariyathilaka says that the government has decided to grant permission for the foreign tourists to dive to view the sunken ships close to the southern coast.

Southern Provincial Council in its moves to promote tourism has sought permission of the Department of Archaeology in this regard.

Accordingly, the permission will be granted from October for tourists to dive to view the sunken ships. Several private companies are to provide the services to the aspirant tourists.

New stamps to mark Nallur festival

(dn) New stamps were issued to mark the renowned Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil Annual Festival 2012 on July 24 at the kovil premises. Under the guidance of Northern Province Governor G A Chandrasiri, the Postal Department issued the stamps.

The year of foundation of the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple is 948 CE. According to the Yalpana Vaipava Malai, the temple was developed at the site in the 13th century by Puvenaya Vaku, a minister to the Jaffna King Kalinga Magha. Sapumal Kumaraya (also known as Chempaha Perumal in Tamil), who ruled the Jaffna kingdom on behalf of the Kotte kingdom is credited with either building or renovating the third Nallur Kandaswamy temple.

Nallur served as the capital of the Jaffna kings, with the royal palace situated close to the temple. Nallur was built with four entrances with gates. There were two main roadways and four temples at the four gateways.

Large crowds at Nallur Annual Festival

(ognp) Our correspondent in Jaffna says that the renowned Nallur Kanthaswamy Kovil Annual Festival 2012 flag hoisting was held last Tuesday (24th) on a very grand scale with the participation of several thousand devotees at the kovil premises. The correspondent adds that devotees from all over the North and even from the East participated in this year’s festival. The festival will end on August 17 with the water cutting (theertham) ceremony.

Nallur has an old and rich history. It is considered as a social, religious and cultural place in Jaffna. Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil or Nallur Murugan Kovil is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the Jaffna district. The presiding deity is Lord Muruga in the form of the holy Vel. It is believed that the idol of the Nallur Devi or Goddess was gifted to the temple in the 10th century by the Chola queen Sembiyan Mahadevi, in the style of Sembian bronzes.

Historical records point out that Nallur Kandaswamy Temple was established in 948 CE. According to the Yalpana Vaipava Malai, the temple was developed at the site in the 13th century by Puvenaya Vaku, a minister to the Jaffna King Kalinga Magha. Sapumal Kumaraya (also known as Chempaha Perumal in Tamil), who ruled the Jaffna kingdom on behalf of the Kotte Kingdom is credited with either building or renovating the third Nallur Kandaswamy temple. Records also say that Nallur was built with four gateways. There were two main roadways and four temples at the four gateways.

KOICA projects at technical colleges

(dn) The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Youth Affair and Skills Development Ministry's Technical Education and Training Department (DTET) have undertaken a project to upgrade computer lab facilities in the College of Technology (CoT), Badulla and a project for automobile practice machinery reinforcement at the Embilipitiya Technical College.

The agreement in this regard was signed between KOICA representatives and Badulla-CoT and Embilipitiya-TC at the KOICA office.



Mihin to touch Bahrain direct

(dn) Mihin Lanka would be launching direct flights to Bahrain from September 1. The airline would operate five flights a week.

An official from the airline said that they would be using both the A 320 which could accommodate 180 passengers and their A 321 which could carry 210 passengers for these operations.

There is a growing demand from both Sri Lankan expatriate workers and travellers who were going beyond Colombo and Bahrain. The flights would operate every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday leaving Colombo at 6.20 p.m. and departing from Bahrain at 10.15 p.m.

A facelift to Puttalam Town

(ognp) The Puttalam Urban Council has taken measures to upgrade the Puttalam town as a modern town. These measures have been taken on the initiative of the Chairman of the Puttalam Urban Council, Mayor K.A. Baiz.

Included among the measures is development of the Puttalam Lagoon as a tourism zone. According to local government officials of Puttalam district the Council is planning to develop the Puttalam Lagoon area as a tourism zone similar to the famous Galle Face Green in downtown Colombo. The zone will be named as 'Colombo Face'.

The proposed tourism zone will spread northwards from the Puttalam UC area since there are plans to establish an airport and a harbor in close proximity to this area.

Kreeda Shakthi to develop sports at village level

(dn) A programme called Kreeda Shakthi was launched to develop sports at village level. Under this programme, students with sports talent selected from school level will be granted a monthly allowance of Rs 2,500 each and avenues for overseas training to help boost their talents to international standard, said Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

Minister Aluthgamage said steps have also been taken to develop 10 categories of sports locally in association with state banks and institutions. Under this programme the People's Bank, Bank of Ceylon and the National Savings Bank have signed a five year contract with the ministry to support the development of netball, athletics and badminton.

Steps have also been taken to set up international stadiums and sports grounds at regional, district and provincial level by 2016 and provide sports training to sportsmen and women with the help of new technology and qualified coaches.



Police to strictly implement pedestrian laws

(dm) Police are to strictly implement the pedestrian laws and will take legal action against jaywalkers in Colombo from today, police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said.

‘People who do not use pedestrian crossings, subways and fly-overs to cross roads in Colombo will be produced in court from today’, the spokesman said.

Several measures have been taken to curb crimes – Defense Secretary

(ognp) The government has taken special measures to curb crimes, disarm armed gangs in the north and east, ensure law and order, establish new police stations, prevent illegal land filling, prevented illegal land grabbing/misappropriation of land and houses by illegal means.

This was stated by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa delivering the keynote address of a media seminar held at the auditorium of the Information Deprtment on Monday (23). The seminar was held under the theme of Crime, Corruption and National Security.

He said that a special police unit has been established with a dedicated hotline for repoting such cases and also to prevent underworld activities.

Reconstructed Jaffna Fort to boost tourism

(dn) The reconstruction of Jaffna Dutch Fort is nearing completion. The colonial-era fort has been restored to its former glory by the government to become a major tourist attraction in Jaffna.

The government has spent Rs 104.5 million for the work concerned. The Netherlands has granted Rs 55 million for this purpose, said Economic Development Ministry sources. The X-shaped Dutch Church, which was destroyed by the LTTE during the war is currently being restored under the Jaffna Fort Restoration Project of the government. The Presidential House within the fort’s four acre extent is also under renovation as part of project’s final phase, sources said.

The Fort was first built as a small garrison in Jaffna by the Portuguese after they invaded the north in 1618. The Dutch captured in in 1658 and expanded it further. The British took it over in 1795. The Fort’s ramparts were severely damaged by the LTTE during the war. With the government defeating LTTE in 2009, the Jaffna Fort sparkled a boom in tourism.



President opens world’s first wooden sculpture Buddha Statue Museum

(dn) President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened the world’s first wooden sculpture Buddha Statue Museum at Sri Vijayarama Maha Viharaya in Kaluwadumulla, Ambalangoda on Saturday.

The additions to the temple include the main image house, encircling wall with a decorative gate way, 28 Buddha image house in sandalwood, exhibition hall of wooden Buddha images, golden bowl bodhigara, open preaching hall and Maitriya Buddha Mandiraya.

The historic and world renowned creations housed in the temple include the largest wooden Maitriya Bodhisattva statue in Sri Lanka, large-size, half-raised terra-cotta creations, monastic paintings in oil on wooden plaques, wall paintings depicting Buddhist political philosophy executed in wooden plaques and artistic moonstone executed in granite. Ven Wilegoda Ariyadeva Thera said he with the help of others succeeded in turning the desolate temple (some time back) into a monastic art gallery replete with beautiful sculptured wooden Buddha statues, terra cotta castings and magnificent architectural features that have won acclaim, admiration and aesthetic appreciation of all art connoisseurs, both local and foreign.

High level Sri Lankan government delegation to visit India next month

(cp) A high level Sri Lankan government delegation is scheduled to visit India next month for discussions with Indian government officials. The Sri Lankan delegation led by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa is to visit India on August 24th.

A senior government minister said that Minister Rajapaksa would be accompanied by Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

"The visit is aimed at strengthening Indo-Lanka ties and to discuss the current situation in Sri Lanka and the progress made since the end of the war in every aspect including reconciliation," the senior minister said.

Clearance certificate only from police

(dn) The clearance certificate, issued by the Police to go abroad for studies, seeking of citizenship in a foreign country or foreign tours can be obtained only from Police Clearance Unit, 331, Olocot Mawatha, Colombo 11, said Police Media spokesman SP Ajith Rohana.

The public are requested not to fall prey to individuals or groups posing as agents or brokers to issue police clearance certificate, he added. The police clearance certificate is issued to an applicant by the Police Clearance Unit after they complete the application issued by the Police Clearance Unit.

Applications can also be down loaded from the Police website,





Underaged children debarred from entering guest houses

(so) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has called upon owners of hotels, lodges, guest houses and seaside tourist resorts to debar underaged males and females entering their premises unless they are accompanied by their parents or guardians.

This is a sequel to many unlawful activities including child abuse being reported from these places. The NCPA has also focused attention on school children, boys and girls going to cinemas for matinee shows and visiting other places of entertainment in school uniform.

It has been observed that despite the law, certain lodge and seaside resort owenrs still provide accommodation to underaged children to earn a fast buck. A senior NCPA official said that steps would also be taken to nab trishaw drivers who permit child abuse in their vehicles. The NCPA chairperson has also called upon parents to send children only in school vans accompanied by elderly women for children’s protection.

Calls mount to investigate secret Swiss accounts

(st) Opposition politicians and civil society activists are calling for a full investigation into secretive Swiss bank accounts worth more than US$ 85 million (Rs. 11.2 b) held by wealthy Sri Lankans and institutions.

UNP Parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella, who revealed in Parliament on Tuesday that some 400 prominent members of the government had such accounts, told the Sunday Times later that there were many more. “But there are also some legitimate (non-government) investors holding these accounts,” he said, declining to reveal the�source of his information.

“Everyone wants to ascertain who has money in the secret accounts and it’s the government’s obligation to respond.” More than $180 million was recorded in 2005 belonging to Sri Lankan account holders, the highest amount in a single year for the 10 years (2002-2011) disclosed by the Swiss National Bank.

Mattala airport to be ready by end 2012

(so) Sri Lanka's dream of a second international airport is now nearing completion with over 70 percent of the construction work on the Mattala airport being completed.

The concept of a second international airport for Sri Lanka originated in 1938. Chairman, Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Limited (AASL) Prasanna Wickramasuriya said that air cargo handling services will also be increased in parallel with the increase of the passenger handling capacity. He said the second international airport will be opened in Mattala at the end of this year, and will handle 60 percent of air cargo services and 40 percent of passenger services.

He said Mattala will be one of the most eco-friendly airports in the world. An internal air terminal will be set up at the Bandaranaike International Airport on par with internal aviation service developments. He said tenders will be called for in April for the development of the second phase of the Katunayake airport. Rs. 350 million will be spent on this project.



More policemen on duty for Kataragama Perahera

(dn) Over 1,500 police officers and an extra contingent of traffic police officers have been deployed for special duties at the annual Esala Maha Perahera of Kataragama Devala, Police Media Spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said. The traditional religious pageant which commenced on Thursday in Kataragama will conclude on August 2 with the water cutting ceremony.

“Over 500 police personnel in civvies have been deployed to nab possible pick pockets and chain snatchers and provide more security to the massive crowds of devotees that throng Kataragama during the festive season, “SP Rohana said.

The Police Public Relations Unit requests public to use only the following designated parks to station their vehicles. Raum Kadaya near Presidents College, Illanaga Area near Ranjith Madduma Bandara Grounds, opposite Water Supply Board at Raja Mawatha, Gam Udawa Bangala Handiya, New road near Detagamuwa tank, opposite the Gangarama and opposite Muslim Pilgrims’ rest. Police also request the public to bathe in tanks only where there are Police or Navy life savers on duty.

Navy launches full-scale op to nab illegal migrants

(dn) The Navy has curtailed illegal migration of 537 persons so far this year. The Navy yesterday said they have strengthened operations in the seas off Eastern and Northern Provinces and it will not be easy for human smugglers to penetrate the security at sea.

Navy Spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya yesterday said they intercepted over 14 boats carrying hundreds of people, including women and children, to Australia, in a series of detections. “Most were arrested for attempting to flee to Australia illegally under the guise of asylum seekers,” he said.

The Navy warned those trying to illegally migrate to Australia with the help of human traffickers, to refrain from such activities, stating such attempts would be futile as the Navy is keeping a close vigil. “We are fully aware of their smuggling network,” Warnakulasuriya said. “The victims give huge of amounts of money to smugglers to take them illegally to another country, but what they do is risking their lives,” he said. “Human traffickers transport victims in multi-day fishing trawlers designed for fishing and not for passenger transport. The journey can take a long time. Adverse weather conditions could affect the journey. Sometimes there is not enough food in the vessel,” he said.

New communication model based on Kalama Sutta theory developed

(dn) A new communication model has been developed by Colombo University Journalism Unit Head Prof Ajantha Hapuarachchi based on the theory of Kalama Sutta in Anguttra Nikaya in the Thripitaka.

This communication model named "Communication Model of Epistemology Theory" becomes the first oriental communication model in the world.

It was presented at the 21st Annual Conference of Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) held in Malaysia from July 11 to 14. The conference was attended by 300 delegates from about 11 countries. Speaking to the Daily News Prof Hapuarachchi said that the new model is entirely based on the Buddhist Philosophy, and it explains how one can grasp a message by scrutinizing it epistemologically. The ultimate consequence or result is the acceptance or the rejection after examining it critically. 

Nuclear Early Warning System at naval bases

(dn) The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) which is under the purview of the Power and Energy Ministry has taken measures to instal the Nuclear Disaster Early Warning System (NEWS) at naval bases.

Two technical experts from the manufacturing Company SAPHYMO of Germany are already in Sri Lanka for assembling, testing, installation of the equipment and to train the operating staff.

An agreement was signed by the AEA, Sri Lanka Navy and Disaster Management Ministry recently. According to this agreement, the first four out of the eight Remote Director Stations (RDS) are to be installed at Kalpitiya, Thalaimannar, Delft Island and Kankasanthurai Naval bases. Other four RDS will be installed at Colombo, Trincomalee, Galle and Kandy districts. The network Central Monitoring Station (CMS) will be installed at the Radiological Emergency Operation Centre located at the AEA premises.



Special train, bus services for perahera

(dn) Sri Lanka Railways will launch special train services from Colombo to Matara and Colombo to Kandy while SLCTB will launch a special service from Matara to Kataragama and Bandarawela to Kataragama from today to August 2 for people leaving for Kandy and Kataragama to participate in the Esala and Kataragama Peraheras, a Transport Ministry official said.

Apart from railway tickets, special receipts including up and down bus tickets of Matara-Kataragama and Bandarawela-Kataragma will be issued at stations at main railway lines. The return ticket will be valid until August 2.

The timetable: Colombo Fort - Kandy (July 28-August 1) Special 1 Departure 9.50am, Arrival 13.11pm; Kandy-Colombo Fort (July 28-August 1) Special 2 Departure 22.10, Arrival 01.50; Kandy-Nawalapitiya (July 28-August 1) Special 3 Departure 23.55, Arrival 1.50; Colombo Fort - Kandy (August 2) Special 4 Departure 7.10, Arrival 10.16; Kandy - Colombo Fort (August 2) Special 5 Departure 18.30, Arrival 21.55; Kandy-Matale (July 28-August 1) Special 6 Departure 13.05, Arrival 14.27; Matale -Kandy (July 28-August 1) Special 7 Departure 15.30, Arrival 16.47; Special 8 Departure 20.45, Arrival 21.35; Kandy-Matale (July 28-August 1) Special 9 Departure 22.00, Arrival 23.09; Special 10 Departure 23.45, Arrival 01.03; Matale-Kandy (August 1) Special 11 Departure 00.30, Arrival 01.50.

Lankan contingent leaves for London on Tuesday

(dn) Sri Lanka contingent for the 2012 Olympic Games will leave for London on Tuesday. Led by national men’s badminton champion Niluka Karunaratne who will join his team in London, Sri Lanka contingent includes four competitors who have directly qualified to compete at the XXXth Olympiad.

Marathon runner Anuradha Indrajith Cooray is the senior most member of the Sri Lanka contingent, having competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He qualified to run at the 2012 Olympic after his superb performance at the 2012 London marathon clocking two hours, 17 minutes and 50 seconds.

Besides Cooray, the only other member in the Lankan contingent to London with previous experience is former women’s national badminton champion Thilini Jayasinghe. In 2008 Beijing Games, she became the first ever Sri Lankan woman shuttler to compete in the Olympics.

Wide consensus in favour of death penalty

(dn) Following lengthy debate and lobbying of ideas, the public, Cabinet and Members of Parliament have reached a common belief that the death penalty should be implemented for child molesters and drug lords, Cabinet Spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.

According to Minister Rambukwella the death penalty has been in existence in Sri Lanka for a long time but the Executive had not signed the death warrant since 1977.

But, there is no evidence anywhere in the world to suggest that the implementation of the death penalty reduce crimes.





Kandy Perahera Kap planting begins

(dn) The Kap planting ceremony of the Kandy Esala Pageant began at the Vishnu Maha Devalaya yesterday under the patronage of Vishnu Maha Devalaya Basnayake Nilame.

The Kap planting ceremony of other four main devalayas will be held today.

The Devala Perahera will be held at the devale premises from July 19 to 22. The first Kumbal Perahera will parade the streets of Kandy on July 23 followed by the daily Kumbal Peraheras till July 27.

The first Randoli Perahera, the most colorful part of the pageant will begin on July 28 and continue daily until the final Randoli Perahera on August 1 night. The Dalanda Perahera will conclude with the water cutting ceremony at the Getambe ferry on August 2 morning and the day perahera.

Tiger Terrorist monuments have become tourist attractions

(ognp) The Asia Edition of Economist has published that a war-scarred pocket of jungle in north-eastern Sri Lanka are the remains of the last strong hold of the rebel group, the Tamil Tigers, before they were wiped out by the armed forces in 2009.

It says that busloads of people now drive through a swelteringly hot landscape of bombed-out houses, emaciated cattle and mangled cars to get there and see the places dominated by the Tiger terrorists. It says that a photograph of 25metres long and seven metres deep swimming poolonce showed VelupillaiPrabhakaran, the pudgy leader of the Tigers, taking a dip and reclining on a lilo. It says that the frogmen of the tiger terrorists’ naval wing, the Sea Tigers, trained in the pool learning to destroy ships by attaching magnetic mines to their hulls. It adds that the army found the pool in 2009, drained it, and then invited tourists in. Now number of visits has gone over thousands.

The article says the pool is one stop on a tour of former war zones in the district of Mullaitivu, one of the worst areas of fighting during the conflict. Another place crammed by the tourists, the article says, is Prabhakaran’s favourite underground bunker in the village of Visuvamadu. It says that when he was alive, the concrete structure, buried four stories underground, was air-conditioned.

Ten domestic airports in the offing

(dn) Plans are afoot to construct 10 domestic airports in Sri Lanka, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said in Parliament yesterday.

He said: "The Bandaranaike International Airport will be expanded to accommodate 12 million passengers by 2016. It is 6.2 million at present. "A 5 year plan has been drawn to convert the SriLankan airline service into a profit making venture.

At present it is managing flights to 34 destinations in 22 countries and would be improved to cover 60 destinations in the future.

Proceeds from Samurdhi Flag sales for development programmes

(dn) Proceeds from the sale of Samurdhi Flags are utilised for community development programmes in divisional zones. Dengue eradication programmes, drug and alcohol prevention, development and shramadana campaigns are some of the programmes, Samurdhi Authority Director General Bandula Thilakasiri said.

"The Samurdhi Flag Day which was implemented under the Divi Neguma, Mathin Thorai, Saradharma Sapiri Deyayi programmes," brought in Rs 123.9 million for the 2012. These funds will be spent for community development activities," he said.

The largest income was collected from the Jaffna, Nuwara Eliya and Gampah Districts respectively. Samurdhi flag days were launched in 1996.

Programme to promote coconut oil production

(dn) The Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Ministry has launched a special programme to promote coconut oil production, said the Coconut Development and Janatha Estate development Minister Jagath Pushpakumara.

He also said scientists have found that coconut oil is a healthy food which has power to cure many diseases. The health benefits of coconut oil ,include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength.

"According to the experts, coconut oil is the best medicine for Alzheimer's disease. The number of Alzheimer's patients is about 0-1 percent in Sri Lanka. Coconut oil consumption is the main reason for that." said the minister. The minister said the ministry has also taken measures to export coconut water. About 50,000 to 60,000 liters of coconut water is wasted daily in Sri Lanka. Presently, about 40,000 litres of coconut water is collected to produce export products. According to private companies who export coconut related food products, there is a huge demand for products made out of coconut water in foreign markets specially, European countries.



Sri Lanka’s second global brand born

(ftlk) Sri Lanka has successfully secured the coveted rights for the Pure Ceylon Cinnamon brand name in the EU market.

“Thanks to the efforts of the Export Development Board, I am pleased to announce that we have successfully secured the Pure Ceylon Cinnamon trade mark in the EU market. I am also happy to see that we now have two global brands after us, the first being the well-known Pure Ceylon Tea,” announced an upbeat Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday.

The cinnamon industry in Sri Lanka brought $ 833 m in exports in 2010 (growing by 8.59% in comparison to 2010 exports) and is billed to play a key role in the country’s ambitious export target of $ 20 b by 2020. Sri Lanka is the largest producer of cinnamon in the world – claiming 70% of world production. Pure Ceylon Cinnamon’s main markets are the USA, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador. Around 31,000 hectares of cinnamon are grown in the country producing 16,000 tons annually, of which 13,000 are exported. The industry employs 16,000 peelers involving 260,000 families, but is in need of many more peelers to sustain it over the long term.

Sri Lanka’s first luxury yacht charter service announced

(to) CeySail Cruises (Pvt.) Ltd. announced the launching of Sri Lanka’s first luxury yacht charter service recently.

The company, which is a joint venture between Netherlands-based Orange Green Eco Pvt. Ltd. and the Sri Lankan CeyLine Group of Companies, now offers luxury catamaran and mono-hull yachts for single and multi-day charters within Sri Lankan waters.

CeySails fleet of three yachts (one catamaran and two Macgregor 26 mono-hulls) can be utilized for fishing trips, diving expeditions and whale and dolphin watching, with clientele being offered the option of fully customizing their trip.

Inauguration of Pakistan Sponsored 3 storied state of the art School in Gampaha, Sri Lanka

(at) The High Commissioner of Pakistan Seema Ilahi Baloch along with Minister of Economic Development Mr . Basil Rajapksa inaugurated yesterday, ‘Babussalam Maha Vidyalaya ‘a Pakistan sponsored three storied school building in Pasyala, Gampaha.

The Government of Pakistan has sponsored the construction of this 3 storied state of the art school building in Gampaha district to support education sector development drive of the Sri Lankan government.

The newly constructed school will be catering to the local population of Pasyala area. Presently, the school has an enrollment of over 500 students (both male and female), with 19 teachers as the instructional staff for the institution. The school building would add 7200 sq.ft .of floor area which will include al the modern facilities including a library, a fully equipped home science laboratory, Computer laboratory and class rooms.



Sri Lanka’s first-ever online designer portal ‘The Fashion Circle’ to launch

(island) Strategic Communication Design firm WeLoveIt will launch Sri Lanka’s first-ever online designer portal The Fashion Circle at a gala fashion show "The Fashion Circle Runaway Show" to be held on the 7th of September this year at Mt. Lavinia Hotel. A blend of experienced and upcoming designers including collections from Prabath Samarasooriya, Krishanthi Fernandopulle, Ramona Oshini, Lesha Hettigama, Lonali Rodrigo and Ayodha Ratnayake.

The portal brings together all fashion professionals - namely fashion designers, hair and makeup artists, models, Retail Brands, choreographers and fashion photographers in one platform. Partners include Dynamic AV – Official Audio Visual Partner, PR Wire – Official Public Relations Partner, Mt. Lavinia Hotel – Official Hospitality partner, and Official Stylist – Capello Salon. The show will be choreographed by Brian Kerkoven.

The portal offers the facility for registered users to showcase their portfolios online ? be it collections of designer ware, portfolios of fashion shoots, images of hair shows/competitions, ramp and glamour shoots. The concept of the Fashion Circle is for fashion professionals to cohesively project their work and capability as Sri Lankans to a global audience. This is done with an easy-to-navigate site structure aesthetics that resonates with vibrancy. The site will also give an opportunity for retail brands to feature and communicate its products and services providing a total solution for one’s fashion needs.

Sri Lankan scientists identifies a new genus of fish

Sri Lanka scientists identifies a new genus of fish(ognp) Sri Lankan scientists have identified a new genus of fresh water fish and named it after the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

Lead researcher Rohan Pethiyagoda said the new genus, named Dawkinsia, comprises nine species that are found only in South Asia and are characterised by long filaments that trail from the dorsal fins of males. The fish has previously been classified under the genus Puntius, comprising around 120 species of small tropical fish known as barbs.

Pethiyagoda, an ichthyologist and internationally acclaimed conservationist, said extensive studies in India and Sri Lanka showed that the level of diversity among such fish was "much greater than previously suspected". This was partly the reason that the study group had chosen to name the new genus after the 71-year-old Dawkins.

Future Gov SAARC Summit 2012 begins today

(dn) The first two day Future Gov SAARC Summit will open today at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo beginning at 8.00 am on both days.

Underlining the importance of the Summit, ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura said:“The summit will focus on effective and efficient e-Governance. It will give participants the rare opportunity to share their views with some of the best practitioners in public service and industry experts in the world”. The event is being organised by FutureGov Asia Pacific magazine and the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).

FutureGov Summit SAARC 2012 will bring together an unrivalled international speaker line-up comprising of government thought leaders, experienced practitioners and industry experts, to deliver a balanced mix of real-life best practice case studies, expert presentations and interactive panel discussions.



Sinhala language skills for ex-LTTErs

(ognp) The remaining ex-LTTE combatants in the government’s protective accommodation and rehabilitation centres in the country are to receive Sinhala language training as part of their rehabilitation.

National Language Unit Director General Prasad Herath yesterday said they have started Sinhala language courses for former LTTE combatants at the Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Center in Welikanda. He said 90 ex militants are being given Sinhala language training at the Welikanda rehabilitation camp.” They will be released to society with enhanced communication and vocational skills,”he said.

The aim of this programme is to enable them to get along with the public anywhere in the country, to build confidence in them, paving the way for them to integrate with society on a firm footing, he explained.





Sri Lanka to extend retirement age of public employees to 60

(cp) The Sri Lankan government has taken a decision to allow public sector employees to work without service extensions up to 60 years of age.

Currently the retirement age for public sector employees is 55 years but they are allowed to extend it to 60 years of age on request. However, after 57 years of age the employees are required to request annual extensions.

Under the proposed scheme, the public servants can work until 60 years of age without requesting for extensions, government sources say. The retirement age of the public employees remains unchanged at 55 and they can retire at that age if desired.

Tourist arrivals soar to 855,975 in 2011

(so) The number of tourist arrivals, which increased 46.1 percent to a record 654,476 tourists in 2010 has increased further to 855,975 tourists in 2011, reflecting the positive impact of peace in the country.

According to the Annual Report 2011 of the Finance and Planning Ministry, the number of 110,443 tourists who visited the Cultural Triangle in 2005 had increased to 239,920 in 2011.

The number of 135,006 foreign visitors to the Zoological Gardens in 2005 increased to 284,898 in 2011 while the number of tourists who visited the Botanical gardens had increased from 110,639. Moreover, the number of 57,441 tourists who visited Wild Life Parks in 2005 had increased to 198,536 last year.

Sri Lanka develops airports in East targeting CHOGM 2013

(cp) Sri Lanka government is considering developing domestic airports in the Eastern Province aiming to provide facilities to the visiting Commonwealth heads of states to tour in the East.

Sri Lanka will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2013 that will bring the leaders of 54 member countries of the Commonwealth to the island.

Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayaratne has said that the government plans to develop Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee airports to have the capacity to handle MA 60 airplanes. The runway of the Batticaloa airport is to be extended under the project. Trincomalee airport is to be developed to handle military and civil aircrafts separately.



Sri Lanka's final large scale hydropower plant begins power generation

(cp) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today ceremonially declared open the country's last mass scale power plant, the Upper Kotmale Hydropower Plant with the participation of the Japanese Ambassador Nobihito Hobo.

The US$ 450 million hydropower plant was constructed with the assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The government contributed 8.548 billion rupees to the project. The run of river hydropower project consisting of two units of 75 MW will add 150 MW to the national power grid to produce 409GWh energy per year. The first unit commenced operations in March this year.

A 180-meter long and 355-meter high bund was constructed across the Kothmale Oya to make the Upper Kothmale reservoir. The water, from the 65-acre reservoir with a capacity of 800,000 cubic meters, is carried through a 12.9 kilometers long tunnel to the two underground 75 MW generators to generate power. The water is released back to the Kothmale Oya.

Talented Pakistani Artist exhibits her work in Sri Lanka

(ognp) An Exhibition by a very talented and versatile artist from Pakistan Ms.Noorjehan Bilgrami will take place at Paradise Road Galleries and will be opened on 19 July 2012.

Ms Bilgrami, is an artist, textile designer, researcher and a filmmaker. Her interest in traditional crafts had led to the establishment of KOEL, a workshop that pioneered the revival of block printed fabrics and natural dyes and handloom weaving in Pakistan.

Her paintings have been shown in several group shows at major galleries in Pakistan, and she has had solo shows in the country and abroad. Ms.Bilgrami has travelled extensively and lectured at universities and museums in the United States, Scandinavia and Japan, and has written numerous articles for international journals.

Sri Lanka thanks US for strong support

(at) “We thank you for your cooperation too in bringing this issue to a successful conclusion. The GSP issue is a good example of how we, the two governments, can work together. The review was positive because the Ministry and other stakeholder Ministries of the government of Sri Lanka were willing to work with the US. Now we see the results. Therefore I too want to thank you, and more importantly I see this as a success story.”

Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis was responding to Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka at the Ministry of Industry & Commerce for his words of praise to Ambassador Butenis for US’ decision to continue the GSP benefits to Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Butenis met Minister Bathiudeen in Colombo during her farewell courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen on the morning of 12 July. Previously, on 29 June, the US Trade Representative Mr Ron Kirk announced that the US has decided to not to change GSP benefits to Sri Lanka.



Former Tamil Tiger snipers join Sri Lanka shooting team

(bbc) Former Tamil Tiger snipers have been selected to represent Sri Lanka in shooting sports at national level.

They are among 16 picked at a talent-spotting camp held for ex-fighters last month. Others will represent Sri Lanka in swimming, athletics and cricket.

Some had even been trained as suicide bombers, a sports ministry spokesman said. The top swimmers picked were with the rebel's naval wing, he added.

Those selected are either in government rehabilitation programmes or have completed them. They are now training with the relevant sports bodies.

"It's a good example for other countries. These people were against the Sri Lankan army. Now they're in a good position," spokesman Harasha Abeykoon told the BBC's Charles Haviland in Colombo.

He said that 135 former rebels in rehabilitation expressed interest in taking part in swimming, shooting, tennis and badminton. He said another sports initiative is also under way with a volleyball team of disabled men made up of ex-rebels as well as ex-soldiers.

Amendment to Press Council Law: Website registration fee Rs100,000

(dn) The government has decided to levy a registration fee of Rs 100,000 and an annual renewal fee of Rs 50,000 from each news website.

This will be done through an amendment of the Sri Lanka Press Council Law to make registration of newscasting websites compulsory, Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said at the Cabinet press briefing at the ministry yesterday.

He said Cabinet approval was granted for this on Wednesday. He said the law was effective for newly registering as well as already registered websites with the ministry. The minister observed that the main objective of amending the Press Council law is to ensure the contents of the websites do not harm defenceless individuals.



Sri Lanka Army to hold 'Defence Seminar-2012' next month

(cp) Sri Lanka Army will hold the 'Defence Seminar-2012' with the participation of foreign experts on the post-war 5Rs - Rehabilitation, Re-integration, Re-construction, Resettlement and Reconciliation.

The three-day seminar is scheduled to be held from August 8-10 on the theme 'Towards Lasting Peace and Stability'.

Over 63 countries have been invited to attend the seminar in Colombo and over 100 foreign delegates are expected to participate in the event that will present subject experts from foreign countries on post-war 5Rs spheres.

Six -lane road connectivity from southern highway to Kataragama

(dn) There will be a six lane road connectivity from the Southern Highway to the oil pipeline in Hambantota up to Kataragama, under a project embarked by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. (SLPA), Sri Lanka Port Authority Director Technical, Datta Gunasekera said, at the India Shipping Summit 2012 yesterday.

Giving an analysis on major maritime development projects in Sri Lanka, he said that Sri Lanka Ports Authority has embarked on three key development projects recently to increase the capacity in three ports namely Colombo South, Hambantota and Oluvil, while a sum of Rs. 575 Million had been invested for Colombo South harbour and Rs 368 Million for Hambantota. The Hambantota Port could cater to the import and export business once completed. Four value addition industries too will be set up following this process.

He said the SLPA was trying to capture the true potential of the Asian market through the development of the ports. The Colombo South harbour has space for 3 container terminals and the 5.1 Km long main breakwater was the single largest breakwater undertaken so far by the SLPA. Roads between terminals will be widened with an investment of Rs 15.5 Million.The construction will commence mid next year and will be fully operational by 2016. In order to fulfill certain shortages, the Colombo Port has to commence work on the south container terminal by 2016 and west terminal after 2020.

Politicians responsible for crimes will not be spared. – Defense Secretary

(ognp) Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has assured that legal action will be taken against any politician regardless of his social status if that person is responsible for crimes.

He said that no politician is allowed to grab or encroach state or private lands and to harass the public.

The Defense Secretary has made this assurance at a media conference held in his Ministry on Tueaday. He said that the police have full powers to bring any offending politicians to justice.

Sri Lanka detains five Arab nationals for distributing documents insulting Buddhism

(cp) Sri Lanka police had arrested five Arab nationals for distributing literature insulting Buddhism, reported the state owned Sinhala daily The Dinamina.

The Arab nationals have been arrested in Nuwara Eliya district by Nuwara Eliya police on July 10. They have distributed the offending documents with a stock of dates to the poor families.

They are to be detained in the detention center of the Immigration and Emigration Department. The suspects are likely to be tried before deportation.

SL’s National Blood Transfusion Service best among developing countries

(dn) The National Blood Transfusion Service of Sri Lanka won first place among National Blood Transfusion Services in all developing countries. It won the ISBT Award for transfusion services among developing countries for 2012.

ISBT is the premier international professional society in blood transfusion and transplantation sciences and medicine, a Health Ministry spokesman said. An open announcement was made proclaiming the selection of the best transfusion service among developing countries at the ISBT Congress 2011 at Taipei, Taiwan, the spokesman said.

The award presentation ceremony was held on July 8 at the 23 rd International ISBT Congress in Cancun, Mexico, he said.

Pakistan's Buddhist art comes to Sri Lanka

(ksa) Although Pakistan is a Muslim country, it shares a cultural and historical heritage with predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka.

For years, Colombo-native Ariyawathi knew of Pakistan only as a Muslim state of little significance to Buddhists. But that was before she visited the new international Buddhist museum at Sri Dalada Maligawa, a sacred temple in Kandy. The collection at the year-old museum features artefacts from 16 different countries-- including Pakistan.

The Pakistani and Sri Lankan governments have been increasingly interested in fostering a relationship based on the two countries' shared cultural heritage. Last year, as Sri Lanka commemorated the 2,600th anniversary of the Buddha's enlightenment, the Pakistani government sent a set of sacred relics. They were exhibited in June 2011 before being taken back to Pakistan. Now, the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo is taking steps to send replicas of key artefacts that can be kept permanently at the museum in Kandy.

Mobitel, Sri Lanka Medical Association launch Doc Call

(dn) Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel in partnership with Sri Lanka Medical Association launched a revolutionary advisory service allowing Mobitel customers to obtain initial medical advice from doctors who are members of the Sri Lanka Medical Association over the phone.

Mobitel ‘Doc Call’ enables Mobitel customers to contact doctors through a Mobitel portal and receive immediate initial medical advice when in need. This service by Mobitel, allows customers to contact doctors by dialling 247.

The ‘Doc Call’ Medical Advice service is available 24 hours, seven days a week.



Government Scholarships to study in Sri Lanka

(ognp) The Government of Sri Lanka is awarding scholarships to Russian Citizens to study in Sri Lanka.

An array of specialties covering all areas for Undergraduate and Post Graduate levels in the finest universities of Sri Lanka are being offered by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Courses will begin in October 2012 and the courses will be conducted in English language. During the period of study a monthly allowance of LKR 30 000.00 will be paid as living expenses. Applications together with all the required documents should be submitted on or before 31st July 2012 to the The Secretary of Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka.

Sixty percent of Colombo-Katunayake Expressway complete

(dn) Sixty percent of work on the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway has been completed. The rest of the work is progressing at a rapid pace, Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kotelawala said "This will create a high mobility link between Colombo and the Bandaranaike International Airport enabling motorists to travel to the airport in 20 minutes," Kotelawala said.

He said work is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The Expressway will be commissioned during the first quarter of 2013. The length of the Expressway will be around 25.3 kilometres starting from the New Kelani Bridge and ending at the Airport Access Road at Katunayake.

The length of the Expressway will be around 25.3 kilometres starting from the New Kelani Bridge and ending at the Airport Access Road at Katunayake. The Expressway will have four to six lanes with the width ranging from 26 metres to 33.5 metres. The total estimated cost of the project is US $ 292 million. Exim Bank of China is funding US$ 248. 2 of the total cost. The government has spent US $ 45 million on the project.

Chance for rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres to involve in politics - Defence Secy.

(ognp) Rehabilitated former combatants of LTTE will have the opportunity in the future to get involved in the local politics, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.

He said that youth and rehabilitated ex-cadres in the north and east will be given the opportunity during enlistment to man new police stations which are being established in the region. "They could join hands with the Civil Security force in the development drive while doing a prestigious service and assist in developing their areas," he noted.

The Defence Secretary said that only a part of the Palaly Camp is maintained at present in the North as a national security measure and the government has handed back 17 surrounding grama seva divisions completely to the civilians. The Palaly cantonment is now the only area remaining with some security restrictions, but even within the Cantonment, civilians have free access to the airfield and the Kankasanthurei Harbor, he added.





Ancient Buddha statue unearthed

(dn) A marble Buddha statue was unearthed from Siyabalanduwa Manabarana Raja Maha Viharaya in an excavation carried out on July 10.

It is 4 inches in height and resembles Samadhi statue signs. Archaeologist Dr Raj Somadeva who was involved in excavation work said that it belongs to the 10th century.



Acquire deep understanding of your country - President tells SL Diplomats

(ognp) Since you are appointed to represent your country, it is necessary that you first acquire a deep understanding of your own country its many assets, its short, medium and long term requirements and the problems and challenges it faces, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

“Your representation should be one that is complete in every aspect. You must have a readiness, a willingness and capability to persuade others about the needs of your country, and how your country can contribute to other countries, regions and to the world” President Rajapaksa said addressing a two-day workshop in Diyatalawa yesterday for Sri Lanka's ambassadors, high commissioners and consul generals.

President said the functions of diplomacy are fast changing today and it also leads to significant and far reaching changes to the Role of the Diplomat. “Those who study the new trends in diplomacy will realize that the role of a diplomat is not anymore one of ceremony alone. A diplomat who represents one’s county abroad does not do so as a piece of decoration or ceremonial ornament from the home country”, President said. President asked the diplomats to see how much they represent Sri Lankan culture and tradition. “Face up to your challenges through knowledge of culture”, he said adding that this knowledge help you to take Sri Lanka on The Way Forward.

Internet blackout warning

(dn) The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) warned Internet users in Sri Lanka about a total Internet blackout. According to SLCERT, thousands of Sri Lankan Internet users will be among millions worldwide who will face a total Internet blackout from today, due to a malicious piece of software that may infect their computers without their knowledge. That is the warning from the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team|Coordinating Centre (Sri Lanka CERT|CC), which recently issued a statement appealing to Internet users to check to verify if their computers were infected.

The web blackout from today will be enforced by the FBI, which is shutting down several web servers through which infected users. It is shutting them down because of an investigation into a sophisticated Internet fraud ring that used the servers to manipulate people’s web browsing, Sri Lanka CERT|CC said.

The malware changes a user’s domain name system (DNS) settings, diverting all web requests through servers that the FBI seized in November, but has been temporarily maintaining to ensure Internet services were not disrupted. This maintenance is to finish today, meaning computers still infected will face Internet troubles.

They advice Internet users to check if their computers have been infected by this malicious software and remove it if necessary by visiting the following link;

Dutugemunu era items unearthed

(dn) Several agricultural implements and tools believed to be dating back to the Dutugemunu era were found under the bed of a parched tank in the Pallama area in Anamaduwa.

The items unearthed comprised a mammoty, several axes and iron nails. Villagers were digging the dried up tank for water as a result of the drought when they spotted the items.

The tank is located close to the Nandimithra Nawa Wangu ancient temple. According to folklore, Nandimithra, one of the 10 warriors of King Dutugemu had lived in the area and built the temple and the tank . The items were handed over to the temple.    



Prepared recharge card soon for bus passengers

(tn) Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) plans to go for a new milestone with a prepaid recharge card for its commuters. LPBOA president Gamunu Wijeratne told the Nation that they were to introduce a prepaid recharge card system together with a state bank for bus passengers.

According to LPBOA president, frequent bus passengers would be asked to get a recharge card from the selected bank. They have to use it for their day to day journeys.

“The proposed recharge card will not cost additional charges to the passengers apart from the normal bus fares. They’ll be able to recharge it just like they recharge their mobile or CDMA phones. Every passenger will have to use this recharge card in the future,” he emphasized.

Kandy Esala perahera

(so) The Kandy Esala Perahara will commence on July 19 and conclude on the final night perahara on Aug. 01. The water-cutting ceremony will be held at Gatambe Mahaveli River on Aug. 02. Four Devala peraharas will be held from Aug. 19 to 22, the Kumbal Perehara from 23 to 27 and the Randoli perehara from 28 to August 01.

Boat Registration Mandatory

(sl) The government has made it mandatory for all fishing boats and fishermen to be registered, Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Senaratne said that both fishermen and fishing boats which are registered will also have to renew their registration annually

The Minister said that so far 42,000 fishing boats have been registered with the Ministry and another 5000 remain to be registered. He also said that earlier the registration of fishing boats and fishermen was done at a cost but now it is free of charge.

All fishing boats which are to be registered must also have an insurance policy without which the boats will not be registered.

The Minister said that the new policy will look at the standard of boats used in the fishing industry and under the policy all boats will have to be sea worthy and also gave a Global Positioning System (GPS) and other equipment.

Exclusive website for jobs

(so) The Sunday Observer launched its exclusive website for employment last week.

One of the fastest growing methods is to advertise your vacancy ads - from CEOs to minor staff in the Sunday Observer Employment Section with free exposure in

Diplomats told to go beyond cocktails and play crucial role

(st) The journey in search of a new foreign policy for Sri Lanka appears to have begun on Friday. It was only a fortnight ago that President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, the leader designate of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), on the sidelines of the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil and spoke of the need for a “new international order”.

Heads of Sri Lanka’s overseas diplomatic missions and consul generals set out at 6 a.m. from the Central Bank owned and BMICH run Sovereign Hotel in Kotte on a cross country familiarisation visit — the first phase before sitting down in the cooler climes of the Army Cantonment in Diyatalawa for a two day-brain storming session. It began yesterday and will end today. The group first went to Hambantota, one of the main hubs of development activity under the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration.

President Rajapaksa told the envoys it was time to recognise that the functions of diplomacy were fast changing today. Some highlights of his speech: “This also leads to significant and far reaching changes to the role of the diplomat. Those who study the new trends in diplomacy will realise that the role of a diplomat is not anymore one of ceremony alone. A diplomat who represents one’s country abroad does not do so as a piece of decoration or ceremonial ornament from the home country. “The diplomat today has a much more functional role to play. It goes far beyond the entertainment of other diplomats and attendance at official parties and other routine diplomatic events. There is a far more important purpose for a diplomat than the routine of parties and other ceremonies. I am not asking you not to attend parties or host other diplomats or state guests of importance. That also must be done. But your work must go beyond these photo opportunities.



Politics should be detached from tourism sector decision-making process

(island) Politics should be divorced from the decision-making process in the tourism sector, which they could act as a catalyst and play a huge supportive role for Sri Lanka’s economy, an industry specialist said.

The authorities have decided to increase the minimum hotel room rate above US $ 200 per day, which is far too much compared with other hotels in the region, Sri Lankan Country Manager, JVD SA France/JVD Asia, Asoka Fonseka said.

JVD is the first French manufacturer of hotel accessories and hotel equipment operating in more than 80 countries. "Our high room rates/charges impede the development of the sector, which is a bottleneck to take the sector to the next level. The pricing should be adjusted in comparison with regional rates because countries such as the Maldives, Indonesia and others in the region offer very competitive room rates", Fonseka said.



Sri Lanka to launches Space Academy

(ognp) It has been planned to establish a space academy next year in a 30 acre land in the Koggala area to ttain astronauts. It will be a joint venture between Supreme Satellite Private Limited Colombo and China’s biggest satellite manufacturing institution, Great Wall Corporation (CGWIC).

The Company will invest 20 million US dollars for this BOI project. The company will build a satellite ground station in Koggala and the Company will sell satellite facilities to other countries as well. The establishment of this company will save a large sum of money being spent to obtain foreign satellite services. The company has decided to offer the satellite services free of charge to the Disaster Management Ministry so that they could predict natural disasters in advance.

Established in 1980, CGWIC is the sole commercial organization authorized by the Chinese government to provide satellites, commercial launch services and to carry out international space cooperation. The company has signed nine contracts with international customers for the manufacture and in-orbit delivery of telecommunication satellites, out of which four have been launched into orbit, whilst the other two are set to be launched next year.

Sri Lanka donates medical supplies to DR Congo

(cp) The Sri Lankan government has donated a consignment of medical supplies including equipment and medicines to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, External Affairs Ministry said in a release today.

The consignment worth 3.3 million rupees has been made on a request made by the government of DR Congo.

During a two-day official visit to DR Congo in February this year, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof G.L. Peiris has signed an agreement with the Congolese government to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Indian wines and agro-products on display in 'Pro Food Pro Pack 2012'

(ognp) "Pro Foods/Pro Pack & Agbiz 2012” the most comprehensive Sri Lanka's Agriculture based processed food /packaging exhibition iwill be held from July 5-8 at the BMICH, Colombo under the theme “ From the Farm to the Kitchen”.

As this is Sri Lanka's only agriculture, food & packaging industry event, Pro Foods/Pro Pack & Agbiz attracts all stakeholders from the retail and wholesale food/beverage service sectors generating new connections and new business for everyone involved. The exhibition will have over 150 exhibiting companies from 20 countries showcasing more than 1,000 new products and services.

The Indian companies will be participating participating under the banner of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which is an apex body set up under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India for the development and promotion of export of agricultural products including Floriculture, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Processed Foods, Livestock Products, Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic beverages, cereal products, groundnuts, peanuts and walnuts etc. states a press release issued by the Indian High Commission.

Second Expressway to be completed by year end

(dn) Sixty percent of the construction work on Sri Lanka’s second Expressway from Colombo to Katunayake has been completed and the rest of the work is progressing at a rapid rate, Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kotelawala told the Daily News.

“This would create a high mobility link between Colombo and the Bandaranaike International Airport enabling motorists to travel to the airport in 20 minutes,” Deputy Minister Kotalawala said.

National park and nature reserves in Sri Lanka

(dn) Each generation inherits the earth as trustees. For our part, we are obligated to make certain that our children are heirs to as many forests, orchards, gardens and the like that we have.

Minneriya National Park which lies in the Polonnaruwa District was declared a National Park on August 12, 1997. The Minneriya Reservoir built by King Mahasen, continues to play a pivotal role in the agricultural activities of the district as it did centuries ago.

Horton Plains, the highest plateau in Sri Lanka, was traditionally known as Maha Eliya unit was renamed Horton Plains after Sir Robert Horton, a British Governor. It was gazetted as a Nature Reserve on December 5, 1969 and was upgraded as a National Park on March 16, 1988.





Sri Lanka power users asked to conserve energy

(lbo) Sri Lanka's power users should cut energy use by 10 percent to help avoid power cuts until more rain comes in the inter monsoonal period, power minister Champika Ranawaka said.

"We will keep providing power. But if energy is conserved by another 5 percent, it will make it easier for us to manage," Ranawaka told reporters Thursday. "We want state sector private sector and households to save energy."

A Sri Lanka power ministry handout estimates that about 1.6 GigaWatt hours of energy from a daily demand of 32 GWh had been saved so far. Minister Ranawaka said entities that had large generators would be asked to generate power and provide them to the national grid. Sri Lanka's state-run power utility Ceylon Electricity Board is running on thermal maximum mode at a huge cost, losing 200 million rupees as prices are manipulated by the state. Hydro storage was falling and was now down to 301.6 GWh.

Sri Lankan envoys to learn handling pro-LTTE lobby

(zeenews) Facing flak for failing to counter adverse propaganda against their country by pro-LTTE lobby, Sri Lanka's top diplomats posted overseas have been summoned home to take part in a workshop aimed at helping them better handle the island nation's foreign policy.

The External Affairs Ministry officials said the two-day resident workshop will take place at the hilly resort of Diyatalawa this weekend. It will be attended by senior ministers and top officials of the External Affairs Ministry, apart from Sri Lanka's ambassadors, high commissioners and consul generals.

"The diplomats will be better geared to handle foreign policy and relations in a positive frame of mind. The emphasis would be on getting the maximum from Sri Lanka's missions towards economic development and promoting investment," an official source said. Sri Lanka has generally been on the back foot in the international arena since the conclusion of the conflict with the LTTE three years ago. 

‘A Sri Lankan in space - not the stuff of dreams’

A Sri Lankan in Space(dn) There is a possibility of Sri Lanka sending an astronaut into space in less than four years. This historic task has been undertaken by the Sri Lankan company SupremeSAT and China’s state- owned biggest satellite manufacturing institution, Great Wall Corporation (CGWIC).

The agreement will be signed in Beijing where the Chinese company is based.

SupremeSAT Managing Director R M Manivannan said SupremeSAT has already written a new chapter in Sri Lankan history by becoming the first institution in Sri Lanka to own a satellite. Only 44 countries own a satellite outright or in partnerships of three or fewer.“We have a co-branded satellite with the Chinese company in orbit from last month.

Our next step is the building of our own company satellite at the Great Wall Corporation facility. This would be ready in two years and then it would be the first Sri Lankan owned satellite," he said. The total investment for this would be around US $ 300 million.

Satellites have a typical life time of 15 years. Manivannan said their next aim is to train Sri Lankan youths with space technology and this would be initially done in China. "We will soon call for applications for 'would be astronauts'. After going through their records , we will send them for training to China," he said.

Self employment to Mullaitivu Families under Divi Neguma

(ognp) The government is making concerted efforts towards providing infrastructure and other facilities including self employment opportunities for the people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces battered by the war and remained oppressed under the jackboots of the terrorists until recently.

In order to incentivize the people in self employment, and enlighten them on the benefits that could be achieved through participating in the Divi Neguma programme, the Ministry of Economic Development on the request of the Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development Douglas Devananda is making arrangements to hold the Divi Neguma Industrial Exhibition on 28th and 29th this month, at Vidyananda College, Mullaitivu.

The Minister further said that institutions under the purview of his Ministry, namely, Palmyrah Development Board, North Sea Limited, National Crafts Council, Industrial Development Board and National Design Centre, had a major role to play in making the Divi Neguma programme, a success. He said due to the hard work put in by all, it had been possible to hold 18 Divi Neguma exhibitions island-wide with a satisfactory outcome.

Statue of St Anthony to be unveiled

A statue of St Anthony installed at Wattala Hendala junction opposite the Wattala UC premises will be blessed and unveiled by Most Rev Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on July 7 at 6.30 pm. This statue, 25 feet in height is considered the tallest St Anthony statue in the world.

The statue of St Anthony in Padua, Italy which is 20 feet in height is considered the tallest such statue in the world so far.



Norwegian embassy support libraries

(dn) The Norwegian embassy signed a contract with the Culture and the Arts Ministry to support libraries in cultural centres via the Central Cultural Fund.

The embassy’s grant is to upgrade libraries and provide mobile libraries in the North and East. “We strongly believe in the value of reading and the importance of free access to quality books.

The project also helps and encourages Sri Lankan writers as the Culture and the Arts Ministry purchases their books for the libraries,” Norwegian ambassador Hilde Haraldstad said. The embassy began assisting libraries in the cultural centres in Sri Lanka in 2004. The embassy granted over Rs 19 million for this.



Dr. Nimalka Fernando receives ‘Citizens Peace Award 2011’

(island) The Citizens Peace Award for 2011 of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka has been awarded to Dr Nimalka Fernando, President of the International Movement Against all Forms of Discrimination and Racism.

In making this award to her, the National Peace Council considered the courage, commitment and leadership she has demonstrated in a consistent manner over a long period in working for human rights, people’s empowerment and justice for sustainable peace in Sri Lanka.

Nimalka Fernando is one of Sri Lanka’s best known human rights advocates both internationally and locally. With a track record of social activism from her school days, and networking with civil society groups throughout the world, she has been a powerful civic voice for human rights, justice and peace. She has addressed countless meetings with small groups throughout the country, as well as appeared on a large number of talk shows on national radio and television. She has shown it is possible for citizens to utilize their own unique strengths to work for their fellow citizens, individually and in association, and change hearts and minds.

Don't lay foundation stones unless projects can be completed -President

(ognp) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it is the responsibility of politicians and state officials to make best use of public funds for numerous development activities. The President was addressing the Matale District Development Committee meeting at the Matale Municipal Council auditorium yesterday. The President said every one is duty bound to make his utmost contribution to society and the country.

"Similarly, public funds should be utilized carefully for the betterment of the country to gain maximum returns and productivity.

The President instructed politicians not to commence development activities or lay foundation stones for projects unless they can be completed. He noted that it is up to politicians and relevant officials to complete development projects on time.

10 Sri Lankan Youth to go to India under Cultural Schols

(at) 10 Sri Lankan youth selected for the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) undergraduate scholarships in fine arts (Music, Dance and Painting) visited the High Commission of India today (2 July 2012) before leaving for India to join their respective Institutes.

Of these 10 youth, two would be learning Kathakali at the Kerala Kala Mandalam in Thrissur District, Kerala; four would be joining Kathak, Tabla and Painting courses at the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata; one would be learning Kathak at Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh; and three would be learning Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music at the Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai.

These schloarships are in addition to the substantially expanded scholarships programme to meritorious Sri Lankan students announced during the visit of Hon’ble Mr. S.M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs of India during his visit to Sri Lanka in January 2012. Under the expanded scholarship programme, the number of scholarships and Self-Finance slots for Undergraduate/Masters/PhD courses have been increased from the earlier 113 slots to 270 per year. In addition, scholarship support to deserving students pursuing their GCE ‘A’ level and University degrees in Sri Lanka has been expanded to cover about 500 students annually.



Growing Ship Traffic Threatens Blue Whales

(nyt) MIRISSA, Sri Lanka — In early April, whale watchers off this country’s southern coast were greeted by a disturbing sight: the lifeless body of a 60-foot-long blue whale floating in the water about 12 miles offshore. This Week: The physics of roller coasters; protecting blue whales; and growing up hungry. RSS Feed Get Science News From The New York Times » Enlarge This Image Mazdak Radjainia A dead blue whale floats off the southern coast of Sri Lanka. The body was swelling rapidly, and suckerfish swarmed across its skin. Even more unsettling was the condition of its tail, which had been nearly severed from the body.

“It was very obviously from a ship’s propeller,” said Mazdak Radjainia, a structural biologist and underwater photographer from the University of Auckland in New Zealand who happened upon the whale. “It must have been a really cruel death, because it was such a massive injury.”

The problem is particularly troublesome here in Sri Lanka, where a largely unstudied population of blue whales, possibly numbering in the thousands, has come under increasing pressure from commercial shipping and from a boom in unregulated whale-watching boats.

Govt. will uplift hidden sports talents of rural youth - President

(ognp) It is the objective of the government to help and uplift standards of sports ofthe rural talented youth to reach national and international arenas, as it is is assured in the Mahinda Chinthana Future Vision.

This was stated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa upon declare opening the refurbished Jayathilake Sports Complex in Nawalapitiya. The Nawalapitiya Jayathilake Sports Complex, which was redeveloped at a cost of Rs 250 million, is the first of the nine well equipped and perfect provincial level sports complexes under the ‘Regional Sports Facilities and Complexes Development Program’ launched by the Sports Ministry.

It includes a main sporting stadium with 400 m track consisting of 8 lanes, with an additional 200 m warm-up track, a well equipped gymnasium and a football/rugby ground, a swimming pool with 8 lanes and an indoor stadium which will facilitate 25 sporting events. A hostel, restaurant, medical centre, VVIP pavilion with 300 seats, VIP pavilion with 500 seats and a pavilion with 20,000 seating capacity are among the other facilities available in this complex.



Qatari charity builds village in Sri Lanka

(gt) The Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF) has completed the construction of a residential village in Sri Lanka as part of the foundation’s projects to address disasters and relocate the displaced.

RAF director-general Ayed bin Dbassan al-Qahtani said that the foundation built 200 houses for the poor Muslim families in Sri Lanka. The total cost of the construction was QR2.6mn and was donated by Qatari women.

On the reasons for choosing this project, al-Qahtani said that Sri Lanka has witnessed over the past months a series of natural disasters making its villages one of the most affected areas, adding that Muslims there are facing terrible human and social conditions which forced them to live in plastic bags.

Rambuttans in abundance

Rambuttan in Sri Lanka(so) The fleshy 'hairy balls' that are in abundance all over Colombo and which are relish grown with love and toil. Will you believe that before these trees are harvested vows are kept for Paththini Deviyo and these vows are fulfilled once the harvest season is over. The fleshy Rambuttans adorning the streets of Colombo are harvested with tender loving care.

When the word `Rambuttan' is mentioned automatically Malwana comes to mind. Malwana is famous for those 'fleshy hairy balls' known as Rambuttan.

Sri Lanka is a tropical country and varieties of sweet fruits are abundant elsewhere in the country, especially during the period commencing from June to December. Like many other traditional Sri Lankan fruits such as mangoes, pineapple, bananas and oranges Rambuttan trees do not grow everywhere in the country. Rambuttans are only grown in the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Southern Province. 

Esala Full Moon marks Buddha's first sermon

(so) It was on the Esala Full Moon Poya Day the Buddha arrived at the deer park of Isipathana to preach Dhamma to Ven. Kondangna, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji, the five ascetics. The Buddha delivered His first discourse 'Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta' to them. At the end, the eldest Kondangna Thera attained the first stage of sainthood.

Esala Full Moon Poya is very important in the Buddhist calendar. According to Buddhist history, many significant events had taken place on the Esala Full Moon Poya Day. Among them, the conception of Prince Siddartha in Queen Mahamaya's womb occurred on the Esala Full Moon Poya Day.

The Prince lived a luxurious life. He realised that the life was impermanent and full of suffering. Therefore, he was always determined to find a path or a way to solve the problems of universal sufferings. At the age of 29, the prince decided to leave the palace, leaving all comforts to find the way out of universal suffering. The great Renunciation also took place on an Esala Full Moon Poya Day, 2,600 years ago.




Few Sri Lanka News Highlights from June 2012


Early warning system to identify nuclear disasters

The Atomic Energy Authority(AEA) functioning under the Power and Energy Ministry will establish an early warning system in a month to respond to nuclear accidents that could increase background radiation levels in Sri Lanka, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

Prophet Not Perfect, Says Sri Lankan Islamic Scholar

A leading adviser on Islam, Ameer Ali, has attacked Muslims who “blindly” follow their faith and fail to question the veracity of the Koran, saying that even Mohammed had “flaws”.

Sri Lanka’s population increased to 20,277,597

The 2012 Census of Population and Housing Preliminary Report was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the Director General of Census and Statistics, Mrs. Suranjana Vidyaratne at Temple Trees yesterday. Accordingly the population has grown by 0.7 percent over the last ten years to a total of 20,277,597.

Sri Lanka's Tamils face identity crisis

Without a national identity card, many Tamils in Sri Lanka cannot avail of basic services and it makes them suspect in the eyes of the police, writes Ponniah Manikavasagam of the BBC's Tamil service.

Human skeleton of 30,000 yrs unearthed

For the first time, a full human skeleton of ancient origin was unearthed in Sri Lanka. It was revealed that the skeleton about 30,000 years old. was of a woman, 18 - 30 years, a press conference at the Archaeological Department yesterday revealed.

Exemption from visa

An agreement on the exemption from visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and official/service passports between the government of Sri Lanka and the government of Chile was signed on June 26 at the Ministry of External Affairs.

Country’s first boatyard in Beruwala

“Sri Lanka's first boatyard will be set up in Beruwala and it will manufacture vessels for the fisheries industry. Vessel training and repairs will be provided through this boatyard which will be a great solution to the unemployment problem in Beruwala, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said.

Age of prehistoric man to be determined in France

The Archaeology Department will send specimens of the human skeleton found at the Fa Hien cave excavation site in Bulathsinhala to a renowned radiocarbon dating laboratory in France to determine the actual time period, said Director General Department of Archaeology, Senarath Dissanayake.

Tourism losing growth momentum

Although Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals continue to reflect an increase, the rate of growth appears to be slowing down, partly due to the crisis in the traditional markets, a top industry leader has warned.

Homage to the Holy Peak

To begin with let me pose a question: "What is the global shrine held specifically sacred by all the four major religions of the world Buddhism, Hinduism, Islamism and Christianity?"

Sri Lanka to cultivate 100 acres of Ayurvedic herbal plants

As a result of numerous appeals made by practitioners of indigenous medicine the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine is to launch a programme to cultivate 100 acres of ayurvedic herbal plants in the country.

Colombo landing clearance for helicopters

The Civil Aviation Authority in consultation with the Ministry of Defense has earmarked eight locations around the city that may be suitable to establish helipads. & more ...





Few Sri Lanka News Highlights from May 2012


Princess of Lanka to re-commence whale watching

Taste of fame for singing Dubai based Sri Lankan schoolgirl

Japan funds Sri Lankan civil servants Masters studies

Govt. slams door on UNHRC team

India, Lanka working closely for release of fishermen

Int'l accolade for Randholee Kandy

TV transmission to Jaffna upgraded

World’s second best Accounting Professionals in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka plans to bid for hosting Asian Youth Games in 2017

Blessing ceremony for world peace

Indonesia quake triggers tsunami alert & more ...




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