Daily News Updates Sri Lanka Events Noticias de Sri Lanka
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Es l a t e s t N
E W S ... Sri Lankan government has decided to
slash prices of certain food items from December 01 to provide relief to
consumers ahead of the festive season, the Trade Minister Johnston
Fernando said ...
... Sri Lankan government has decided to slash prices of certain food items from December 01 to provide relief to consumers ahead of the festive season, the Trade Minister Johnston Fernando said ...
(cp) Sri Lankan government has decided to slash prices of certain food items from December 01 to provide relief to consumers ahead of the festive season, the Trade Minister Johnston Fernando said today.
The paddy harvest of the Yala season bought by the government has been converted to rice and issued to 233 Lak Sathosa and Cooperative outlets island wide.
The Minister warned of a price control if the private traders try to sell rice at a high price.
(ognp) The Department of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Moratuwa has won a Merit Award at the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance awards 2010, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia recently. This project has been developed by four final year students of the University.
The award was given to the Software, named 'AMoRA', which reads out Sinhala text in audible form, in a natural and understandable manner. This project also has won the award for the Best Local Language Software in the National Best Quality Software Awards 2010 held in first week of October 2010.
Asia-Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards were initiated to increase ICT awareness in the international community and assist in bridging the digital divide. The APICTA network has 16 member-economies and provides an international awards programme to showcase innovation, creativity and excellence in ICT in the Asia-Pacific region. APICTA's member-economies include Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
(dn) President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for the United Kingdom yesterday evening at the invitation of the Oxford Union and the Sri Lanka Society of Oxford University, an official of the President’s Media Division told the Daily News yesterday. The President will address the Oxford Union on December 2.
(mr) Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) has launched a major promotion at Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo.
Titled ‘The BIA Shopping Festival’, the promotion marks the first time in BIA’s history that all 57 outlets have joined together in a collective manner to promote the airport as a destination, the airport authority said.
Launched on 15 November, it will run until 15 January – making it the first mega promotion in the ‘Visit Sri Lanka 2011’ calendar year.
(dn) The unemployment rate has dropped significantly during the past few years, said Labour and Labour Relations Minister Gamini Lokuge in Parliament yesterday. The Government has implemented an employment creation and promotion program, a rural employment project to promote self-employment and a micro finance program islandwide to minimize the percentage of unemployed persons, the Minister said.
These programs are initiated by the Manpower and Employment Department under the Ministry. Lokuge also noted that Rs 682 million has been spent during the last five years for the work implemented by the Ministry.
According to Workforce Survey Report 2010, the unemployment percentage is 5.1 percent. This does not include Northern Province data.
(dn) There is a good response from the private sector to contribute in the development projects planned by the Government. There will be more public private partnerships that will bring in capital. The country will be looking at over US $ 1.5 to 2 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on yearly basis to accelerate its development process Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said at a panel discussion last week.
“We need to guard against the asset bubble. There will be certain laws to prevent such a situation. However, the possibility of law formation is minimal. The asset value will rise, but at a manageable level,” he said.
It is necessary to set up one-stop-shop to facilitate speedy institutionalization action to attract private public partnerships to progress the development drive. With the relaxation of exchange control regulations it is expected that more foreign investment will flow to the country.
(dn) Facilities at the Hambantota and Nuwara Eliya General hospitals will receive an uplift with the support of the Netherlands government. They will operate as developed hospitals in those regions said, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The work is to commence next year.
The Health Ministry has taken measures for a rapid upgrade of facilities at the Nuwara Eliya General Hospital to improve the health service provided to estate people. He opened seven hostel complexes for nurses and a renovated Children’s Ward at the hospital which were completed spending Rs 70 million. About 50 nurses will be accommodated in these hostel complexes.
He also noted that the doctors and nurses should provide their service to the people with dedication, care and kindness to earn their respect.
(cp) Sri Lankan sprint queen and Olympic silver medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe announced today that she would re-enter competition.
The 35-year-old athlete said that she would commence practicing next month.
She expressed ambition of winning a gold medal for 100 meters at the next Asian Games. Her personal best timing of 11.04 seconds for the event is very close to the best at Asian Games.
Susanthika who won a silver medal at 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, holds the national record for women's 100 meters.
(cp) Sri Lanka's Immigration and Emigration Department says that over 600 foreigners have been deported this year for gaining employment in the country after arriving on tourist visas.
A spokesperson for the Department has told the local media that most of the deported tourists were Indian nationals while others also include people from Pakistan, China, and Bangladesh.
Most of these foreign nationals have gained employment in restaurants and jewelry making businesses amongst others.
(so) Sri Lanka Customs will re-establish its Jaffna and Kankesanthurai offices in January next year, said its spokesperson and Additional Director General of Customs Ajantha Dias.
"We will be setting up parcel post clearance units in Jaffna and Kankesanthurai and a preventive unit in Kankesanthurai," Dias said. The Customs is refurbishing its Trincomalee sub office and hopes to reopen it by the end of the year.
The Sri Lanka Customs offices in Palali, Kankesanthurai, Jaffna, Talaimannar and Trincomalee had parcel post clearance and preventive units and operated anti-smuggling activities.
(so) Plantation companies have been given six months to cultivate their unutilised lands of over 65,000 hectares, according to Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. The Government expects to distribute such lands to smallholders for replanting after six months.
Minister Abeywardena said that unutilised lands under plantation companies have created problems such as decrease of overall tea, rubber and coconut production apart from being a safe haven for wild animals which destroy cultivations in the area, he said. Most of the Colombo based plantation company directors are only interested in reaping profits and other perks which run into millions of rupees a month. Most of the Estate Superintendents are not permitted to invest in replanting or new planting.
(cp) India's External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, who is on a four-day official visit to Sri Lanka opened the Consulate General of India (CGI), in the port city of Hambanthota in the deep South on Sunday. Krishna's Sri Lankan counterpart Prof. G.L. Peiris also attended the inauguration.
Speaking at the inauguration, the visiting Minister said the opening of this Consulate General of India in Hambanthota is reflective of India's desire to strengthen its linkages with a region of Sri Lanka with which India shares deep historical bonds.
The Minister said India is optimistic of the future of the region and the inauguration of the Consulate General in Hambanthota is intended to build on India's linkages with the region in the field of trade and commerce, investments, culture and tourism.
(so) A kids' play area facility (PLAYPORT) was introduced to the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) making another significant achievement in the development of the airport.
This added facility was opened recently by Prassanna Wickramasuriya, Chairman, Airport and Aviation (Sri Lanka) Limited. "Our journey towards attracting 2.5 Million tourists by year 2016" into Sri Lanka will be enhanced by this type of passenger, friendly facilities and thank Alpha Orient Lanka for their innovative idea and the generous donation in funding this project," Wickramasuriya, said.
(ognp) The Technical Education and Training Department has called for applications for enrolment of students for day and part time Technical courses in the Colleges of Technology and Vocational Training Institutes throughout the country.
This is a fulfillment of the 2011 budget proposals which said that the government will commit its own resources through the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development to train 300,000 youths in a wide range of new skills. Out of a 3 year commitment of Rs. 16 billion, an allocation of Rs. 5 billion will be provided in this Budget for investment in skills development.
Some of the courses are full time two year courses and some others are part time day and evening courses so that those who are employed can get enrolled for evening courses and get their skills improved. Based on the economic condition of the families of students following full time day courses a payment of Rs. 50.00 per each day of attendance subjected to a maximum of Rs. 1000/- will also be paid. 1000 students are also to be given an annual student allowance of Rs. 2,500/- each.
(st) Indian External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna declared open a new Consulate at Kandarmadam in Jaffna a short while ago, official said. Later the visiting Minister handed over 100 tractors to northern farmers at Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna town, they said.
Also participating at the event was External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and India’s High Commissioner in Colombo, Nirupuma Rao.
(dm) Sri Lanka’s New Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith will be given a grand welcome when he arrives at the Bandaranaike International Airport at 8.15 am today a week after Pope Benedict elevated him to the rank of a Prince of the Church.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith will be welcomed at the airport by bishops, high-ranking priests of the Colombo Archdiocese, rectors of colleges and seminaries, politicians and members of his immediate family before proceeding in a motorcade to the National Basilica at Tewatta in Ragama.
The 63-year-old Cardinal was born in Polgahawela and was ordained a priest in 1975 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by Pope Paul VI. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo in 1991 and the same year was appointed the Bishop of Ratnapura. He was appointed the Archbishop of Colombo in June last year.
(dn) Ashok Kumar with three winners was the most successful jockey at the Nuwara Eliya race meet which was conducted last Sunday in Nuwara Eliya. The Meet organized by Sri Lanka Turf Club saw around fifty horses in action on this day.
Ahok Kumar rode all three winners for Isira Dissanayake stable which also brought the Leading Owners Cup, Hambantota Cup And the Welimada Cup for Dissanayake stable.
(ognp) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a meeting with the members of the Tamil Parties' Forum (TPF) comprising representatives of a majority of Tamil political parties of the country to discuss aspects of post-conflict reconciliation at Temple Trees yesterday (26 Nov). The meeting was significant as those present comprised Tamil politicians who had strongly opposite views in dealing with the problems of the LTTE and a solution to the ethnic conflict.
Key figures among them were Minister Douglas Devananda, Mr. V Anandasankari, Mr. T Siddarthan and Mr. Chelvanayakam Chandrahasan, son of the former Federal Party and TULF leader, Mr. S J V Chelvanayakam, now active in relief work of Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu.
The President assured them that all these representations would be attended to and thanked them for being united in making these representations. He also assured them them that he would live up to his promises to the Tamil people as he has to all other communities.
(cp) Sri Lanka Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissanayake says that a branch of Manipal University of India will be established in Sri Lanka next year as the first private university in the island.
The Minister said that the dialogue with the Manipal University authorities in this regard has reached to the decision making stage.
The Minister further stated that two more international universities will be established in Deniyaya in the South and Kandy in the central hills.
(dm) Fishing crafts will not be permitted to go out to sea without obtaining a ‘Mechanical Viability and Maintenance Certificate’ (MVMC), which will be issued when the craft is registered, a minister said.
Regulations are to be introduced to make it mandatory for fishermen to obtain an MVMC at the registration of their craft and check the engine to ensure the safety of the lives of the fishing crew and the craft before they leave the shores for fishing.
(dn) The Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (FIU Sri Lanka) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Anti - Money Laundering Department of Central Bank of Bangladesh (FIU Bangladesh) to share financial information to facilitate investigation and prosecution of persons suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing.
The signing ceremony was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 28, 2010 during the Annual Typologies Workshop of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering. Deputy Governor Bangladesh Bank Ziaul Hasan Siddiqui chaired the signing ceremony while Anti- Money Laundering Department of Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Abul Quasem and FIU Central Bank of Sri Lanka Director D M Rupasinghe signed the MoU on behalf of two institutions.
The FIU-Sri Lanka has already entered into MoUs with eleven jurisdictions, in Australia, India, Belgium, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cambodia and Solomon Islands. Arrangements are currently being made to sign similar MoUs with Japan, Canada and South Africa in due course.
(dm) If anybody feels that their photographs or videos are uploaded to pornographic websites without their consent or without their knowledge, they can inform the police and action will be taken against those who upload them, the Children and Women’s Bureau told Court yesterday.
The Bureau told Court that police would conduct investigations to trace the persons who were operating pornographic websites.
(dn) About 17 Vocational Training Centres(VTC)s were established for children in the North area who have lost their parents and who do not attend school.
Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that "Fit person" and "CFCD" aid are provided for these children with Australian financial assistance.
School uniforms, shoes and other ready made clothes were also distributed among them. Evening classes have been introduced and necessary equipment for training and to improve the literacy of the schoolchildren and self employed children have been provided.
(dn) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that all citizens of the country should have access to free health service. He added that all citizens irrespective of the provinces where they live are entitled to receive the benefits of free health service.
The President was speaking at the presentation of appointments to 51 dental surgeons and 78 pharmacists at the Temple Trees. Enrolment of 1,655 student nurses for training also took place on the occasion.
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said country's health sector will undergo revolutionary changes next year.
(ognp) Surrounding areas of Galle Face is to be developed with Luxury Hotels,High-rise residential commercial buildings and other amenities.The first project estimated to cost around U.S.$ 500 Million under this programme will be launched next week.
This was stated by the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Dr.P.B.Jayasundera when he addressed a post-Budget Seminar organised by the Chartered Accountants Institute of Sri Lanka He said that investment proposals from the private sector for these development activities are being received and steps have been taken to find suitable land for this construction work.
Meanwhile, the seven member Committee tasked with approving investment proposals is reported to have given the green light for the proposal submitted by the Hong Kong based Shangri-La Conglomerate to build a luxury hotel, a commercial complex and a residential complex in Colombo.
(island) A state-of-the-art lithotripter machine, capable of removing 95 per cent of kidney stones, has been installed at the Colombo National Hospital at a cost of Rs. 50 million. It is able to dissolve kidney stones by means of X-ray.
The sophisticated machine, the latest in the world, is more quicker and safer, Healthcare Minister Maithripala Sirisena said, at the installation ceremony held at the Colombo National Hospital on November 23.
Sirisena added that the lithotripter would be able to treat around 3,000 patients per year. A patient, he said would have to spend Rs. 35,000 for this treatment at a private hospital, while the Colombo National Hospital would provide it free of charge.
(island) Archbishop Rt Rev Malcolm Ranjith elevated to Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church last week by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, will be accorded State honours on Saturday, December 04, by the congregation of St Lucia’s Cathedral in Kotahena, where a special service will be held, said Rev Fr Cyril Gamini Fernando.
The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka requests all Catholics to hoist the Catholic flag in their homes to mark the event.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, religious dignitaries of all faiths, a host of Cabinet Ministers and key politicians are to attend the ceremony.
(dn) Carlton Sevens Sri Lanka 2010 has the potential to become one of the best rugby tournaments in the world. Sports lovers in Sri Lanka are craving for a top class sport event and this tournament will fulfill their aspirations, said Tournament Director George Simpkin during a press briefing at Cinnamon Grand hotel yesterday.
The tournament will be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium on November 27 and 28.
Representatives of the IRB will be present at the tournament and it could develop into one of the best tournaments in the world on par with Hong Kong Sevens and Dubai Sevens. Eight teams from Asia and eight other top rugby playing nations will vie for honours in this tournament. Defending champions Digital Fiji Barbarians will be the favorites for the title but will face a strong challenge from Samoa Barbarians and Kenya Shajun.
(dn) All Mahaweli reservoirs and suburb areas will be named as tourism zones and is to be developed as tourist destinations with all facilities, a Irrigation and Water Resources Management Ministry spokesman said.
According to the spokesman Irrigation and Water Resources Development Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has taken a decision to develop the Mahaweli region as a place of tourist attraction. Under this project all Mahaweli reservoirs will be developed. Boat riding facilities will be made available for tourists in Victoria, Randenigala, Ulhitiya, Maduru Oya, Bowathenna, Udawalawa, Iranamadu, Kandalama and Chandrika wewa reservoirs.
Holiday resorts will be constructed in the region to promote tourism. Tenders have already been called from the private sector to commence services for tourists. Boats with less than 15 horse power will be allowed according to the same guide lines.
(island) UNP lawmaker Harin Fernando wants the ruling UPFA coalition to review, what he called, a high-flying project to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018 at Hambantota.
Responding to criticism, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told The Island, that there were innovative ways of raising funds required for the project. Cabraal emphasized that the government was confident that a public-private sector partnership could take on the challenge.
(dn) Cheers and applause greeted President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he arrived in the Parliamentary Chamber at 1.42 pm yesterday to present the first complete budget he presented after the liberating the country from three decades of terrorism. Presenting the relief and development oriented budget for the financial year 2011, President Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Financial Minister continued his Budget speech until 3.57 p.m.
While delivering the budget speech, the President assured that he remains firmly committed to give an uncompromising leadership to fulfill the people’s aspirations for a decent living, a clean environment and a better life for their children. He added that it was with that commitment he presented the budget yesterday.
(dm) The Arugam Bay Tourism Association (ABTA) was established in 1999, and was formally registered in 2005. The association, which began merely with 15 members, now serves as an umbrella organisation for tourism in Arugam Bay. As of today, the Association consists of 400 community members and 16 societies working hand in hand under the Pottuvil DS Division. A significant aspect of the organisation is that it brings together Sinhalese, Muslims, and Tamils, and lays emphasis on working closely with all ethnic groups of the community.
The Association organised a four-day Handicraft Programme for women and youth of Arugam Bay. The aim of the programme was twofold. While empowering community members and encouraging participants to engage in income generating activities and develop new skills, it also sought to address the issue of the lack of souvenirs for tourists visiting this popular beach town. "Souvenirs, such as ornaments and other gift items on Arugam Bay, were a long-felt need. With tourist arrivals expected to increase in the coming months, we believe that items will be an added boost to the industry and the people," explained M. H. A. Raheem, Chairman of ABTA.
(dn) Parents of Sri Lankan Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) students graduating from UK’s Sheffield Hallam University, (SHU) now no longer have to worry about missing their children’s graduation.For the first time, Sheffield Hallam will be showing the convocation ceremony live from Sheffield via a video link to SLIIT.
Parents who have been unable to travel to the UK will be able to watch their children graduate from the other side of the world.
(dn) If one googled brand Sri Lanka, the reports one sees is not that encouraging.
The googled information that surfaced in March 2009 were the bombings in the Vanni and the alleged civilian casualties, the human shields that were been used by the LTTE, political instability in the country, the downturn of business in the private sector, the continuous fall of the stock market, the ballooning budget deficit that was at double digit and the fear psychosis that was gripping the city that resulted in the low tourist arrival into the country. Things were pretty negative at that time.
Today in November 2010, if one googled Sri Lanka, the data we see on our computer screen is different. The ratification of the Free Trade Agreement with Asia Pacific, a bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Indian star Vivek Oberoi doing a film in Sri Lanka, The stock market ranked as the best in the world, American business delegation discussing business, weekly conferences by almost all Chartered Associations attracting the cream of talent like the great Sally Darwie of the British Olympic bid team, Over subscribed bond issue of the Central Bank, Many companies wanting to launch IPOs and to cap it private sector profits growing by 284 percent whilst tourism arrivals booming to an all time high.
(cp) Sri Lanka's National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) is to issue a special license to vehicles transporting school children in order to prevent the abuse of children in school vans.
NCPA Chairperson Anoma Dissanayake said today that incidents of child abuse in school vans were on the rise and that the NCPA had recently arrested and produced before court a school van driver who had sexually abused a three-year old preschooler.
In the event that school girls are being transported, a female adult is expected to be present in the van at all times along with the driver.
(so) Power and Energy Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka has assured that a unit of electricity could be sold to the public at Rs. 8.04 from next year with the commissioning of the Norochcholai coal power plant.
The Minister told the opening ceremony of the first phase of Sri Lanka’s first coal power plant at Norochcholai in the Puttalam district that, even at present the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is incurring a heavy loss of Rs. 4.50 on every unit which is sold at Rs. 13.00 to 4.3 million consumers in the country.
He said that the reduction in electricity costs could be granted due to the government opening several coal power plants in selected areas within the next two years. According to CEB sources, the first phase of the US $ 455 million Norochcholai coal power plant which was opened last week will add 300 MW to the national grid from January next year.
(dn) People take trivial and unnecessary things seriously. It creates problems in the mind. According to the Buddha's teachings the people can always hope for reconciliation, Ven Ajahn Brahmawanso Thera said.
He was addressing the World Fellowship of Buddhists Conference organized by the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress. The conference was held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.
Reconciliation is an essential team work where argument has no place. A genuine Buddhist can forgive anything, he said. Addressing the WFB conference Senior Vice President Dr Ananda Guruge said this subject is a process of maintaining a friendly relationship with the enemy in the event of conflicts.
(dn) A Hindu Religious function was held at the New Sri Kadiravelayutha Swami Kovil, Bambalapitiya yesterday at 6.45 a.m. in accordance with Hindu Religious traditions, headed by Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda to bless President Mahinda Rajapaksa on assuming of second term of office and his birthday.
The religions function was conducted by the Chief Hindu Priest, Nagaraja Kurukkal of the Kovil. At the end of the function, the Hon. Minister issuing a statement to the media said that the religious function held, was solely to bless the President on assuming of second term of office. And that the blessings of all the Hindu people were always with the President.
The Minister wishesd the President to get the opportunity to serve the people to a greater extent on his second term of office and that he had the confident that the President had the strength and courage to do so.
(ognp) The second term of office of President Mahinda Rajapaksa started at the auspicious time of 10.16 am when he was sworn in today – Friday 19 November before the Chief Justice Asoka De Silva at the Presidential Secretariat. Following the swearing in the President will address the nation from the Presidential Secretariat where this historic even took place.
Among them are Bhutanese Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley together with a 18 member delegation, Special Envoy of the Chinese President, Sang Giuowei and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Hu Zhengyue, a delegation led by Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed with special envoy to the President Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, Maldives Democratic Party Chairperson Mariya Ahamed Didi (MP) and Minority Leader of the People’s Majlis Moosa Maruku, and Chairman of the Pakistani Senate Farook Hamid Naek and State Minister Saleem Mandviwalla.
(bbc) Some 12,000kg of white rice, 1,500 coconuts and 300kg of cashew nuts are some of the ingredients for a very special Sri Lankan recipe.
It's the world's biggest ever kiribath, or milk rice cake, a dish being cooked up by a top chef for the public.
Other revelries are under way at a special exhibition in the capital. The city is lit up and pasted with posters of the man at the centre of it all, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is being re-inaugurated as president on Friday.
(island) A two-member American medical team, on November 2 and 3 performed the first ever weight loss surgery on four patients.
Consultant, Dr. Anthony Don Michael, a Sri Lankan domiciled in Los Angeles, is a Cardiologist and Bariatrician. Consultant Dr. Scott Cuneen is a Bariatric Surgeon from Los Angles, USA. They along with a local multi-disciplinary medical group comprising doctors Maiya Gunasekera, Theja Wijeratne and S. Siribaddana performed the surgeries at a Colombo Hospital.
The transfer of new surgical technology was concluded successfully. The procedure involves a band put around the abdomen called Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB) through an incision the size of a key hole entailing reconnections of the intestine.
(ognp) Turning a new chapter in the country’s development, the first stage of the Magampura Port will be commissioned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa today with the arrival of a vessel “Jetliner” followed by a sailing ship and a cargo ship, amidst chanting of Pirith by 254 members of the Maha Sangha who will be on board the vessel the “Jetliner”,
The Jetliner will enter the Magampura Port at an auspicious time with 254 members of the Maha Sangha on board chanting Seth Pirith to bless the Port and the country. According to Ports Authority officials, arrangements have been made for the public to witness the arrival of ships at the port which will generate more than 25,000 direct and indirect Jobs.
The project is funded by the Government of China and the total cost for phase I was US$ 372 million.
(dn) Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne announced yesterday that his Ministry has signed agreements on joint ventures with two foreign companies to introduce 1,000 fishing vessels by the end of 2011. The vessels will be placed with the Corporation. The fishermen using them should carry the national flag and the emblem of the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation, he said.
Once they start operations, the Corporation will get enough fish to influence the fish market in a big way. Thus we can bring fish prices down, he explained. The Ministry has prepared an action plan to alleviate malnutrition in the country in which the Ministry will promote fish as a main source of nutrient in everyone's meal.
The Ministry will also set up 250 fish retail outlets throughout the island to ensure the availability of fish sold by the Corporation by the end of 2011.
(lbo) Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka will be able to get the qualifications of its sister body in the UK following a deal signed this month, an official said.
"Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Institute of England and Wales you will not have to travel to the UK anymore," ICASL chief Sujeewa Mudalige said.
"In six to nine months you can qualify as a UK chartered accountant." The UK institute will recognize the training done in Colombo and out of 16 subjects Sri Lanka qualified accountants will only have to do three.
(cp) Sri Lanka's first ever Norochcholai Coal Power Plant began preliminary operations this morning under the auspices of the Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka.
The power plant situated in Norochcholai in the Northwestern Province of Sri Lanka commenced operations today by activating a furnace successfully with diesel as fuel instead of coal.
The plant will add 300 megawatts of power to the national grid when it begins full operations in January 2011.
The construction of the three phases of the US$ 1.35 billion plant is being carried out by a Chinese company.
Spirit of unity embodied in Haj pilgrimage -President
Haj based on unity, determination - PM
Lanka free to breathe air of tranquility - Fowzie
Great feast in Islamic calendar - MICH
(dn) The Kandy Municipal Council designated 15 sites where cutouts, banners, posters and advertisements could be displayed in the city of Kandy. Displaying them in other places was deemed a punishable offence with effect from yesterday(16). Accordingly the police has granted permission to display cutouts, banners, posters and advertisements only in the following locations.
(dm) 'Compost manufacturing villages' will be set across the country up next year at a cost of Rs. 350 million, the Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Organic Fertilizer Unit Chief Hemantha Wijeywardena said the Ministry expected the participation of at least 2,000 manufacturers representing all the districts.
The participants in the programme would be provided with the knowledge to manufacture fertilizer and necessary equipment in the production process.
(dn) Laugfs Holdings Limited will start construction work of the 100 rooms four-star hotel in Bangadeniya Chilaw in December. The hotel will be ideal for tourists since it is only one hour from the Bandaranaike International airport and can be used as a transit point for tourist travelling to the East coast of the country, Laugfs Holdings Limited Chairman W K H Wegapitiya told Daily News Business.
Under the first phase of the hotel, 74 rooms will be constructed within 18 months and under the second phase there will be 26 cabana model rooms. The hotel will target high end spending customers and Laugfs also expects to get the Small Luxury Hotel Association membership.
"The hotel will be managed by Laugfs Holdings which is currently managing Temple Tree Resort and Spa and Emerald Bay Hotel in Induruwa." The Laugfs IPO will fund the construction of this hotel and a serviced apartment in Maya Avenue, Colombo.
(dn) The grand awards ceremony of the Most Favourite Sri Lankan Website Competition 2010 (bestweb.lk 2010) took place on November 12 at the Galle Face Hotel.
BestWeb.lk 2010 is a unique and an innovative web-based competition organized by the LK Domain Registry for the second time this year. Its objective is to promote and popularize excellent Sri Lankan websites and to showcase the Sri Lankan web identity online, not only in English, but also in Sinhala and Tamil.
The competition also recognizes the best Sri Lankan web developers and promotes.lk domains. It has also been successful in increasing public awareness of local websites, especially in Sinhala and Tamil.
(dn) Sri Lanka will host the first ever South Asian Beach Games in Hambantota next year, President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Sri Lanka Hemasiri Fernando said today.
Addressing a media conference at the Main Press Centre (MPC) here this morning, Fernando said all South Asian nations have given their concent for Sri Lanka's eleventh hour bid to host the inaugural South Asian Beach Games in the Southern Sri Lanka.
Fernando said Sri Lanka will try to host the Asian Beach Games in a highly successful manner and prove its organizational skills before the deadline to present the formal bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in May next year. "Hambantota will be hosting the World Cup cricket and then the South Asian Beach Games. That would add more weight to Hambantota's bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games," he said.
(dn) Touchwood, the only agro forestation company in Sri Lanka was the biggest contributor from the private sector at yesterday’s massive tree planting campaign the Government embarked on to mark the beginning of the second term of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Touchwood General Manager Channa Abeygunawardena told Daily News Business the total value of these trees in 15 years will be Rs 100 billion. The company has planted 200,000 high value species such as Mahogani, Sandalwood, Jatropha and coconut in five districts including a 300 acre land in Girandurukotte.
One thousand five hundred people completed planting 100,000 plants in this land within 11 minutes.
(cp) Sri Lanka's Central Bank has decided to maintain the current policy interest rates following its monthly monetary review meeting held Monday.
Accordingly, the Repurchase rate and the Reverse Repurchase rate of the Central Bank would remain at 7.25 percent and 9.00 percent, respectively.
Announcing its decision today in the Monetary Policy Review for November, the Central Bank said Sri Lanka's recent domestic macroeconomic trends have been encouraging.
(dn) Bringing polythene into botanical gardens will be prohibited from January 1 next year. It is revealed that three tractor loads of polythene is being removed from the Peradeniya Botanical gardens alone each day posing a huge environmental problem.
Accordingly visitors to Peradeniya, Haggala, Henarathgoda Gampaha Botanical Gardens will be subjected to checks for any polythene wrappers. Steps have also been taken to provide alternate meal wrappers at the venues for visitors. Visitors have also been requested to use plantain leaf wrapping for their meals by the Botanical Gardens Department.
(ognp) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, inaugurating the countrywide 1.1 million tree planting campaign, stated that Global warming, today had become the greatest challenge in the history of the world and Sri Lanka has shown its commitment to environmental protection.
“This was a man-made catastrophe. We are aware that developed countries released a large quantity of carbondioxide to the environment. We in Sri Lanka emits only a negligible quantity of carbondioxide which was a few decimal points. This showed that we in Sri Lanka are ahead in environmental protection than most developed nations,” he said.
(cp) Sri Lanka Ministry of Economic Development has decided to open the island's first ever zoological museum for public view.
The museum is located at the Wildlife Department's Wildlife Training Center in Girithale in Polonnaruwa district.
The museum has replicas of around over 70 local and foreign animals including the endemic animals such as the black leopard recently found dead in a trap displayed in the museum. They are made of restored authentic parts of the animals.
(ognp) Sri Lanka has extended a sum of US$ 40,000/- to strengthen Primary Education Teachers of Palestine. At a simple ceremony held recently at the Representative Office of Sri Lanka to inaugurate the second stage of the project, Mr. Jihad Draidi, Director General for the Projects and Ms. Aisha Bekir, Director of Special Education from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of Palestine participated at the ceremony.
Palestinians have a very high esteem for President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and a Highway in Palestine has been named as President Mahinda Rajapaksa Highway in honour of our President.
Ms. Aisha Bekir Director of Special Education from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of Palestine has extended her thanks and gratitude to the Sri Lankan government and the people for contributing to this project.
(cp) Sri Lankan media reported today that the Commonwealth boxing gold medalist Manju Wanniarachchi had failed the 'B' sample urine test as well.
Wanniarachchi, 30, had tested positive for the steroid nandrolone, at the last month's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
He is likely to face a two-year ban and lose his medal after his 'B' urine sample too tested positive for banned anabolic steroids.
(ognp) The government has decided to extend the clinical time at Out Patient Department of all main hospitals in the country till 8.00pm from Monday (15).Accordingly, OPD services at the Colombo National Hospital and other main hospitals in the provinces will be be kept open till 8.00.
Once this initial project becomes a success OPD services in other district, rural and peripheral hospitals will also be kept open round the clock said deputy minister Mr. Amaraweera.
(so) The first ever schools cricket match by the children of the Wanniyela Aththo was played last week when Hennanigala Vidyalaya played Kandakapupotha Vidyalaya and lost the match by the narrow margin 14 runs in their schools under 13 cricket tournament match played at the Dehiattakandiya Vidyalaya grounds, Dehiattakandiya.
The Hennanigala Vidyalaya had no less than nine cricketers from the Wannila Aththo Community and they were put through their basics just two months when Sri Lanka Cricket under the direction of its Chairman D.S. de Silva took a decision that cricket should be introduced to the Veddah community living in Hennanigala, Bintenna and Dehiattakandiya in the outskirts of Mahiyangana.
This function was attended by no less than a personality than the Veddah Chief Uruwarige Wanniyela Aththo who said that there is no hard in playing this game of cricket as long as the children value their culture and do not lose their identity.
(so) The government has decided to close all government offices and schools in Colombo 1,2,3 and 4 to mark President Mahinda Rajapaksa's swearing-in ceremony on November 19, at the Presidential Secretariat premises.
(st) An unusually large mushroom weighing around 75 kilograms was found in the Pothuwilluwa area in Puttalam. Residents say this is the first time they have seen such a mushroom of this size.
(so) Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa awarded certificates to 107 tourists from France, appreciating the contribution they had made to conserve Sri Lankan rainforests during their tour in Sri Lanka. The event was held recently at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo.
This new project, initiated by a travel agency and environment organisation, promotes tourists to plant saplings and restore the essential buffer zones and forest patches in the area between Sinharaja and Kanneliya rainforest reserves.
(ognp) On a directive by the President a national programme to restore Yoda Ela built more than 1500 years ago by King Dhatusena to channel water from Kala Wewa reservoir to Thisa Wewa reservoir, will be inaugurated on 16th November at Ihala Siyambala Wewa village of Eppawala in Anuradhapura district.
The 54 mile canal feeding more than 120 small tanks in its way to Kala Wewa , is considered an engineering wonder of ancient irrigation technology of our countrymen.
(cp) The United Nations Friday said that its agencies in Sri Lanka have begun a joint assessment mission with the Sri Lankan government after record rains inundated parts of the capital, Colombo, and suburbs.
The flash floods, caused by the highest rainfall in 18 years with 400 millimeters of rain during a period of 12 hours, submerged the Colombo and suburban areas Thursday (11) affecting over 260,000 people according to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC).
The UN said the DMC is carrying out a rapid assessment together with the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
(dn) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed officials to take stern action against those involved in animal torture. President Mahinda Rajapaksa The President gave these instructions when representatives of an anti animal torture organization met him recently.
In addition to these initiatives, the Government presented regulations for Number 29 of the 1958 Animals’ Act in Parliament recently. The prime objective of the new regulations is to provide legal provisions to control the slaughter, transporting, branding and upgrading of animal breed.
According to law, animals should be transported with least harassment. Besides, the new regulation will provide legal provisions for claiming animal ownership use of easy methods of identification such as ear tagging in place of branding for identification of cattle, establishing animal care and monitoring centres and so on.
(dn) An Agricultural Development program is being implemented to uplift livelihood of the internally displaced community in the northern province by the agriculture ministry.
Under this, the solar powered drip irrigation mechanism will be promoted. It is a major component of the ministry's Sustainable Agricultural Water Management Project (SAWMP).
This solar powered drip irrigation system is in progress among resettled farmer families in Mannar, Vavuniya, Mulathivu, Kilinochchi, Nedunkerny, Oddhusudan, Forsight Engineers Ltd Zonal Manager Padmawarna Kumarage said. One unit of the system consists of a solar power panel, a water motor and a network of sophisticated pipes. One unit valued at Rs 350,000 is quite capable of irrigating half an acre. The solar powered drip irrigation mechanism is provided by the Australian Government on a loan scheme amounting to US$ 32 million.
(cp) Sri Lanka's major Muslim party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) announced that it had decided to join the government.
The Supreme Council of the SLMC met today and came to the decision, said Hasan Ali, the General Secretary of the party.
The party extended its support to the government in August helping President Mahinda Rajapaksa to secure a two-third majority in the parliament to pass the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.
(dn) The second annual Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2010, conceptualised by the Academy of Design (AOD) - Sri Lanka will be held from November 11 to 16 at Mount Lavinia Hotel.
This year's theme is Design Difference, which will encompass local creative design to attract the global market, bringing recognition to the nuances of unique Sri Lankan design and creative industries and placing focus on the difference created through this sector to alleviate poverty through employment generation and its contribution to the national economy.
This unique venture was facilitated by the EDB in association with SLDF, to promote Sri Lankan crafts. SLDF 2010 will play a pivotal role in showcasing Sri Lanka's design capability while providing much needed business opportunities.
(dn) The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) is to introduce minimum broadband speed limits for the operators shortly to reduce the broadband service cost in the country.
The broadband cost is high and the speed is low in Sri Lanka. This has resulted in low penetration. However, an improvement in the speed of around 25 percent could be seen during the past three months and this is encouraging, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) Director General Anusha Palpita told Daily News Business.
Measures will be taken to reduce the cost of broadband service with the introduction of minimum speed limit for the operators shortly. This is expected to increase the penetration and benefit the customers as well, he said.
(dn) There is not a single country in the world where people of only one race or one religion live. Even in our country there are Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers who follow Buddhism, Hindu, Christian and Muslim religions. The main objective of the President and his Government is to give them the opportunity and freedom to observe their own religious practices and live in amity with others.
Prime Minister D M Jayaratne said this after attending a pooja at Ratnapura Sivan Kovil when he visited Ratnapura recently. This is one of his visits to the outstations with a program to develop religious institutions and create a society with spiritual value.
The Sivan Kovil Committee Chairman S Kanakeswaran said that this kovil is 150 years old and has lot of problems. He hoped under the Prime Minister's religious places development program this temple's problems would be solved.
(cp) All state banks of Sri Lanka have planned to launch a savings week under the direction of the Treasury.
"The savings week that encourages the rising wonder of Asia" will be held from 15 November to 21 November. The Treasury has directed the state banks to achieve a target of raising Rs. 20 billion within this week.
To promote the measure the Treasury has directed the state banks to grant a high interest rate to the depositors who save money during this week.
(ln) The Department of Registration of Persons Jagath Wijeweera has taken measures to compile data regarding all identity card holders in Sri Lanka. According to a spokesperson of the department, they have so far gathered data of over one million locals who have official ID cards.
Meanwhile, the department has also taken steps to introduce a newly designed computerized version of the identity card to all official ID card holders in the future, he further added. The Commissioner of Registration of Persons says that measures have been taken to issue national identity cards to all students sitting the 2010 Ordinary Level (O/L) examination in December, before November 25.
(dn) Renuka Holdings PLC has recorded an impressive turnover and profit after tax for the six months ended September 30, 2010 as per the interim financial statement released. The company's profit after tax grew to Rs 387.1 million compared to Rs 113.3 million in the corresponding period of last year. Group profit after tax rose 168 percent to Rs. 616.5 million of which Rs 473.6 million was attributable to shareholders of Renuka Holdings PLC.
The consolidated turnover for the period under review grew to Rs 1.1 billion, while total assets of the Group increased to Rs 3.5 billion as at September 30, 2010.
Executive Director Shamindra Rajiyah said RHL continued taking advantage of market opportunities investing in listed shares, taking unquoted equity positions and in debt instruments.
(ln) Travel agents warn that they will not promote Sri Lanka tourism any more as new regulations have resulted in imposition of heavy fees on them.
Travel agents are aghast over Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) moves for amending the travel agents code and requesting them to register with SLTDA, where an agency should have a paid up capital of not less than Rs 1,000, 000 (one million) on the date of application for registration while if there is a foreign partner the amount goes upto Rs. 2,000, 000 (two million).
As at present, all travel agents are appointed by the board but the new set of stringent rules that were circulated among all tour agents to pay up the said amount plus bank guarantees, has raised serious issues regarding influx of tourists to Sri Lanka by the year 2016.
(tc) Hobbled by the loss of GSP+ and rising costs, top garment manufacturers are moving north to gain an edge with lower labour costs and fast tracking development in the process.
Brandix Limited, Hidramani Limited, Timex Garments Limited, MAS Holdings and Omega Line Limited are some of the companies keen on investing in the north.
The investors said that they were willing to set up factories in Omanthai, Nelunkulam and Cheddikkulam areas in order to provide employment opportunities for the youth in the Northern Province. Of these companies, Timex and Fergasam are considering establishing a factory in Mannar at an investment of Rs. 1.5 billion next year.
(island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), is planning to launch a child protection fund before end November to promote awareness among the people of the importance of child protection and to guard them from being abused by various anti social forces, Chairman, NCPA, Anoma Dissanayake told The Island.
The fund would enable NCPA to conduct islandwide programmes to increase awareness on child protection and also would be used to build shelters for children exposed to various types of abuses, she said.
A sub-committee would also look forward to amend the National Child Protection Authority Act. No 50 of 1998 and laws regarding children set out in the penal code. It would also formulate a procedure on how to minimize child abuse and create a safer environment for children.
(gb) Lanka Business reports Sri Lanka wants to hire a consultancy firm to advise the government on its bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the southern city of Hambantota.
Central bank governor Nivard Cabraal has been appointed to head an organizing committee.
According to Lanka Business the committee wants to hire a "reputed consultancy firm" to advise and assist in the preparation of its bid document and manage other logistics in relation to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
(dn) The first batch of Sri Lanka’s contingent for the 16th Asian Games is due to leave for China in the early hours of November 11 (tomorrow). The Asian version of the Olympics - the Asian Games, is due to start in the Chinese city of Guangzhou on Friday.
Sri Lanka will be fielding one of its biggest contingents in the Asian Games history with a strength of 104 competitors.
The second batch, which includes the badminton team, is due to leave for China in the early hours of Saturday and the balance will fly to China in three batches from next Monday. Leading the strong Sri Lanka contingent will be golfer Mithun Perera. In fact, Sri Lanka’s main medal hopes at the Games, apart from athletes, will be golfers who have shown good form in Asian amateur circuit.
(dn) We created history by defeating terrorism. The world can best assist us by recognizing this and supporting our moves for reconciliation and strengthening of peace, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an interview with The Times of London published on November 8.
‘The most important is to rebuild trust among all Sri Lankan communities. This will involve the normalization of the North, resettlement of the remaining displaced persons in the next few months, the reconstruction of infrastructure, the provision of housing, roads, railways, bridges, schools and hospitals. Also the provision of basic services for education, healthcare, transport, and livelihood support for the resettled people including new livelihood opportunities’, the President stated.
(cp) The Sri Lankan parliament Wednesday passed a bill that would fully legalize gambling in designated areas of the country.
After presenting the Bill Dr. Amunugama said the piece of legislation would ensure a central control on the licensing of casinos and gambling outlets.
According to a Reuters report, gaming industry investors are already pushing for a position in the proposed $500-million tourism zone in Colombo's Beira Lake area with a $100-million hotel-casino complex.
(dn) Fulfilling a long felt need for another international port for the country, the Magampura harbour will be commissioned on November 18 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Three ships will berth at the port at an auspicious time, Ports and Aviation Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said. The Magampura harbour will be the second international harbour in Sri Lanka while being an alternative to the Colombo port the country's only international harbour.
The ship 'Jetliner' will be the first ship which will enter the Magampura harbour amidst the chanting of Pirith by the Maha Sangha who will be on board the vessel. The Jetliner will be followed by a sailing ship and a Sri Lankan cargo ship.
The sailing ship will symbolise the proud maritime history of the country while the cargo ship will showcase the commencement of industrial and commercial activities of the harbour.
(ognp) The Sri Lanka-German Technical Training Institute, the foremost institute in Sri Lanka for training of skilled technicians in the field of Automobile Engineering and allied trades is to open a branch in Jaffna. The German Parliament delegation which met President Mahinda Rajapaksa has agreed to provide assistance for establishing the Jaffna branch of the Institute.
The institute was originally established in 1959 at the premises of the central workshops of the Ceylon Transport Board of Sri Lanka at Werahera, with 60 trainees.
Presently it has only one outstation branch in Batticaloa.
(cp) Sri Lanka replaced India to claim the number 2 spot on the International Cricket Council Reliance Mobile ODI Rankings for November following their historic series win over Australia.
Australia despite their loss to Sri Lanka is at the top rank with 128 rating and Sri Lanka is placed second with 118 while India is just behind Sri Lanka at the third with 117.
(ognp) National E-waste management programme was launched by Minister of Environment Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, and Deputy minister of Environment Faizer Musthafa on the invitation of Chairman CEA Mr.Charitha Herath, on 4th November 2010 at the BMICH.
The E-waste management programme was prepared by the CEA with the active co-operation and assistance of some leading private companies involved in selling and assembling of Electronic equipments in Sri Lanka.
(tn) The gigantic structure that is being built at the former Nomads Grounds, Colombo rarely fails to attract the attention of anyone travelling along Dr C W W Kannangara Mawatha or Ananda Cumaraswamy Mawatha. Its sheer size and shape and the considerable time period over which it was being built made many to wonder as to the purpose of such a structure. The purpose of the building is to fill the long-felt lacuna for a national performing arts theatre that could do justice to the many cultural and arts festivals that are being held in the country every year.
The National Performing Arts Theatre which is now being constructed in Colombo 7 is one example of the Ministry’s attempt to promote culture with quality and class for posterity.
Sri Lanka, though rich with traditions and culture, still does not have a proper stage or theatre to expose and share it with world class quality. Even though the BMICH is used to hold cultural performances, dramatic performances will always need a stage or a theatre to bring the proper effects of a play. Theatres such as John De Silva Theatre, Elphinistone Theatre and Lionel Wendt Theatre can only hold a limited capacity but the National Performing Arts Theater will not only have a larger capacity for the audience will facilitate the performers to bring out the best acts from them as improved stage effects, lighting effects will be available at the National Performing Arts Theater.
(st) Sri Lankan models saw success in an international modelling competition when Anuj Ranasinghe emerged as the first runner-up in the International Best Male and Female Model contest 2010, in Benidorm Spain, organised by Sukier International. The winner was Mr. Curacao and the second runner-up was Mr. Venezuela.
Amanda Silva also known as Amy made it to the final five and won the title of best body at the same contest.
The duo were sent to Spain after the Mister Sri Lanka for Mister International and Best Male and Female Model for International Best Male and Female Model 2010 held at the Galadari hotel on October 5 organised by Brian Kerkoven, the franchise director for the two pageants.
(dm) Veteran Russian filmmaker Alexander Volkor recently said he was stunned by Sri Lanka’s location beauty and insisted he would soon make a film in Sri Lanka.
Speaking to Reel Life in Colombo recently, Alex briefed us about a docu drama he had made recently titled ‘Rama’s Bridge’ referring to the Sethu Samuduram and the historic story behind it. He maintained that in the past people could walk from India to Sri Lanka via this bridge.
“In fact I was in Colombo in April to screen my film at the Russian Cultural Centre where I met Sanath Gunathilaka and later watched his movie. I was stunned by the location beauty and I agree wholeheartedly that it is a movie relevant to any country in any part of the world."
(dm) Sri Lanka is among 30 winners of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) annual SEED award that honours innovative start-up ventures in countries around the world.
The “Rural Enterprise Network (REN)” from Sri Lanka was placed among entries from countries like Burkina Faso, China, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa. The REN aims at linking small-scale farmers to input-output markets through improved product quality, access to market information and the establishment of a common brand.
The SEED Awards recognise inspiring social and environmental entrepreneurs whose businesses can help meet sustainable development challenges.
(tn) The Sri Lankan High Commission in Britain has asked the British government to clarify the war crimes they believe was committed by the Sri Lankan government or President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Diplomatic sources said High Commissioner Nihal Jayasinghe has informed the British government to base their allegations on facts and not to make vague comments about war crimes.
British Prime Minister David Cameron a few days ago made a fresh call for an international investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.
(dn) There is a need for Sri Lankan spices to be branded in the international market and efforts will be made to capture niche markets through this initiative.
Sri Lankan spices have maintained its momentum in the world export demand and were able to sustain the growth in the spice industry. However, Sri Lanka's geographical indication needs to be regularized nationally, regionally and internationally.
The booming global spice market also enables good opportunities to our spices to provide quality spices at competitive prices, Spices and Allied Products Producers' and Traders' Association (SAPPTA) Chairman Christopher Fernando told Daily News Business.
(so) The Airport Aviation Services (AASL) is to build a domestic air terminal at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo.
The main objective of this project is to enable passengers to take connecting flights to several domestic airports which are currently being developed. He said that they have specially identified Ratmalana, Palali, Trincomalee, Ampara and Koggala for rapid development. "With these airports developed domestic flights can take off from Colombo to these destinations and the passengers don't have to travel to Ratmalana for this," he said.
(lakbima) The police have implemented a new programme to absorb law degree holders as ASPs after the AG’s decision to steer clear of police cases.
In the wake of the decision taken by the AG, the responsibility to look into the legal aspect of cases involving murders, heists, robberies, protests, insurgencies and accidents has now been entrusted to the DIGs and other Inspectors at district level by IGP Mahinda Balasuriya.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s department has been spared from involving itself in legal issues related to murders, large-scale heists, rapes, protests, insurgencies, and large-scale accidents involving vehicles with effect from November 1, 2010.
(so) Deepvali the festival of Lights is particularly pertinent at this time in our country’s history representing hope, promise and renewal. These values are symptomatic of the deep hope we Lankans cherish that permanent peace could be had. The conflict of the last several years has led to scarring most of us in this plural society. The oil lamps that are lit in the dark night represents the point that even in the dimmest situation hope and promise remain to steer humanity in its path and that victory of good over bad will prevail even in a difficult situation.
(island) Indian External Affairs Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna will formally open Indian Consulates General (CGs) in Jaffna and Hambantota during his upcoming visit to Sri Lanka, scheduled for 25-28 November 2010.
While V Mahalingam will head the Jaffna consulate, Mohan Kumaran will be in charge of the Hambantota office. The Government of Sri Lanka has given its consent to their being posted in the island-nation. The two officers belong to the prestigious Indian Foreign Service (IFS).
(cp) The entire country from Dondra Head to Point Pedro is now ruled under one single law and no force can influence the independence of the judiciary, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
Addressing the participants at the opening ceremony of newly built High Court complex in Tangalle the President said his sole aim is to establish rule of law in the country where peace and harmony have taken roots following the defeat of terrorism and assured that he will be committed to safeguard the independence of the judiciary.
(ognp) Sri Lanka achieved its first ever victory in a cricket series in Australian when it beat Australia by 29 runs in the rain-hit second ODI for a 2-0 lead in the three-match series last night under D/L rules.
Sri Lanka won the first match of the series by one wicket in Melbourne on Wednesday, and its win on Friday extended to seven matches Australia's losing streak in all forms of cricket. Sri Lanka and Australia have played five one day series so far and with the first ever win in Australia Sri Lanka has won the series four times. Three of them were in Sri Lanka.
(cp) Sri Lanka Army sources say that the Army has decided to conduct a brief educational course to the southerners visiting the recently liberated Northern Province areas.
Army Northern Command office is to conduct this course for the public who go to the North to visit important places and also to meet residents there.
The website reported that the importance of this educating programme was noticed by the Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe due to unsuitable behavior of a handful of visitors due to their ignorance of ethics, cultural values, and administrative procedures of some visiting places.
(ognp) The government has decided to provide essential life saving drugs to all hospitals in the country before the end of November in order to ensure the smooth functioning of those hospitals. Health authorities have identified 499 items of drugs and surgical items needed for all hospitals in the country.
In order to speed up the procurement process, the procurement guide which limits the expenditure by a Ministerial Procurement Committee to Rs 100 million has been increased to Rs 500 million for the purpose.
(island) The government has set its sights on raising the ICT literacy of its citizenry to 75 per cent by 2016, Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President said.
Addressing the Future Gov Forum held in Colombo last week (Oct 28), Weeratunga said ICT literacy in the country has grown from five per cent in 2004 to 30 per cent today, as a result of a series of initiatives spearheaded by a Presidential taskforce to bring ICT to ordinary Sri Lankans, particularly in rural areas, where 77 per cent of the population lives.
The Rural Telecentre Network, known as Nenasala, and a network of PC labs in schools, were lauded as a key government project to narrow the digital divide in rural areas.
(dm) The government is considering the possibility of setting up a separate gambling zone to attract tourists, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday.
He justified this move given the tourism factor. “Even Muslim countries have zones of this nature designated for gambling and the like in order to attract tourists,” he said.
“There are three areas that we talk about with regards to development; the development of our aquatic resources, investment and tourism. If we are to open up to tourism then there needs to be certain facilities in the country,” he said.
(cp) Sri Lanka Customs has earned a significant income last month, the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs Mrs. Sudharma Karunarathne announced today.
The income during the month of October has been recorded as Rs. 3.87 billion Mrs. Sudharma Karunarathne says. In September also the Customs earned Rs. 3.46 billion rupees.
The increase of income via import of motor vehicles has contributed to the rapid increase. Earnings via import of motor vehicles rose from Rs. 180 million in January this year to Rs. 1.47 billion by October.
(dm) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said with peace restored in the country, Hindus can now celebrate the Deepavali festival with freedom and in the spirit of unity that is marked by the increased harmony and understanding among communities irrespective of ethnic, religious and other difference that have kept them apart for a long period.
Hindus can now join with their fellow believers the joyous spirit of Deepavali, sharing the spirit of the festival with other communities and looking forward to living in harmony in the comfort and tranquility of Peace,” the President said in a Deepavali message.
“May the light of goodwill and peace of Deepavali lead our people to the joy of enlighten harmony. I wish all Hindu devotees a happy and peaceful Deepavali.”
(dn) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will open the Upper Kotmale tunnel, which is 12.9km in length today. This is the longest tunnel in Sri Lanka, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
The public can view the tunnel on November 5, 6 and 7 from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. Transport and security will be provided to the public. Access to the tunnel will be limited at a time to prevent congestion, the Minister told a press briefing yesterday.
According to the Minister, water will be filled in to the tunnel next year. Electricity generated by this project (150 MW) will be added to the national grid by December next year. The total cost of the project is Rs 44 billion, Ranawaka said. The Sri Lankan Government provided Rs 10 billion and the Japanese Government provided Rs 34 billion.
This year the country burnt around 9,132 million units of power. It is estimated that this number will go up to 9,554 million next year. The Upper Kotmale Project will provide five percent of this requirement. It annually provides 409 GW hours of electricity, he told the briefing at the Government Information Department yesterday.
(dm) Construction work on the Sangupidi Bridge connecting Pooneryn with the Jaffna peninsula on the A-32 road would be completed by November 20, Deputy Minister of Highways Nirmala Kothelawala said. Work on this bridge started in March this year.
The bridge, which cost over 1 billion to build, was 288 metres in length and had a width of 7.5 metres. The two stretches of road which make up the A-32 main road – from Puttalam to Mannar and from Mannar to Pooneryn, would be the shortest route to Jaffna as was 100 kilometres less in distance than the A-9 road.
(dm) Sri Lanka Design Festival 2010s aim in bringing international models of this calibre is to raise the bar of the sub sectors of fashion in Sri Lanka such as modelling, fashion photography, styling and to help large industries such as apparel catering to a western export market profile their products.
Sri Lanka Design Festival 2010, scheduled to take place from the 11th - 16th of November is organized by the Academy of Design (AOD) in partnership with the Export Development Board (EDB). The Principal Sponsor of the event is MAS Holdings while Sri Lankan Airlines and many others are supporting the event to be held at its Official Venue - Mount Lavinia Hotel.
(dn) A decision will be taken before the next budget by the Public Utility Commission regarding the introduction of a new electricity tariff. Public opinion, proposals from the Treasury, Power and Energy Ministry, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and CEYPETCO, will be considered in taking this decision, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
According to Minister Ranawaka, hydro power is the cheapest and it only cost Rs 5 to generate one unit of electricity. The price of one unit of electricity generated by diesel is Rs 25. The cost of one electricity unit generated using coal is Rs 17.51. Hydro power does not have any bad effect on the environment.
Uma Oya project will be constructed with Iranian assistance and the Broadland electricity project at Kelaniya will commence this year.
(cp) Sri Lanka's Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) has taken measures to introduce new software to prevent children from accessing websites with adult content.
"Steps will be taken to introduce software in the near future to prevent children from accessing such websites," the Director General of the TRC Anusha Palpita told media.
The regulatory authority has reportedly sought the assistance of the computer unit at the University of Colombo to implement the measure.
(dn) Measures are taken to build a trilingual society by 2020, where all communities are capable of communicating in Sinhala, Tamil and English, said National Languages and Social Integration Minister S B Navinne.
He was addressing the inauguration ceremony of ‘Reflections 2010: Managing Diversity, Reconciliation and Development,’ held at the Galle Face hotel last Sunday. He said that the language is a key factor for social capital which is vital to promote reconciliation. He noted that a national policy based on the recommendations of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is being prepared for social integration.
“Diversity is the name of our society. It is impossible to live without it, and we must be taught to understand its beauty and importance. Then only we will be able to amalgamate with the opposite creating a multi coloured society” he observed.
(dn) The possibility of taking action against animal sacrifices at religious festivals will be explored in Sri Lanka soon, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said.
He was addressing Hindu religious leaders of the Gampaha district at the Gampaha District Secretariat yesterday. The Prime Minister was welcomed in traditional Hindu fashion by Kugeswara Kurukkal, the Chief priest of the Siththivinayagar Kovil of the Negombo district .
The Prime Minister said the law that applies to kovils in India will be studied to stop animal sacrifices in Sri Lanka.
(dn) As a unique result of the Biodiversity Conservation, the oldest tree and the oldest sanctuary with documented history in the world were located in Sri Lanka at the ancient capital of Anuradhapura and Mihintale, said MP AHM Azwer to delegates attending the ‘Parliamentarians and Biodiversity Forum’ held at the International Press Conference Hall at the Nagoya Congress Centre in Japan.
Drawing historical facts, Azwer said Biodiversity Conservation, the theme of the Conference, is not entirely new to Sri Lanka. “The island nation has had this tradition ever since King Devanampiyatissa of the 3rd Century BC embraced Buddhism brought to the country by Buddhist missionary, Arahat Mahinda, son of Emperor Asoka, who was concurrently ruling India, this wonder was made possible,” he told World Parliamentarians.
(hindu) Peace has returned to Sri Lanka and with it an increase in traffic between the island-nation and India – and SriLankan Airlines is all set capitalise on the new situation.
The airline currently operates 50 flights a week between Colombo and various Indian cities; now the plan is to raise this number by 7 from December. Besides, it also plans to resume flights to Kochi and Hyderabad, said Mr Samantha Nagahawatte, Regional Manager (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), SriLankan Airlines.
In addition, the airline is looking to promote golf tourism in Sri Lanka and is on the look out to tying up with some clubs here for the purpose.
(dn) Sri Lanka’s emission levels are far below than world average, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
He said that a considerable amount of Sri Lanka’s energy come from renewable sources. There is good potential for expanding wind power in Sri Lanka but issues pertaining to storage and dispatch of solar and wind energy have to be addressed. Sri Lanka is also focusing on Biomass based energy such as Dendro Power, the Minister said.
Speaking as a panelist in the Ministerial Session of the Conference chaired by Minister Abdullah, Minister Ranawaka stressed the need for improving renewable energy as a form of mainstream energy.
(ognp) Pirith Chanting Peraheras are to parade along the main roads islandwide to invoke blessings to the President, to his second term in office and to the people of the country on the 19th of this month in connection with the 2nd swearing-in of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Arrangements have also been made to hold multi-religious activities throughout the country on this day.
(ognp) Sri Lanka has climbed 9 positions from 2009 and is ranked 59 among 110 nations, in the World Prosperity Index released today.
India, Pakistan and Indonesia representing the Asia Pacific region are ranked well below Sri Lanka in the rating for 2010 released by London’s Legatum Institute.
The prosperity index is based on 89 variables over 110 countries,grouped into eight sub-indices, and claims to comprehensively rank the level of prosperity in 110 nations of the world.
It is done by taking into account both economic growth and citizens’ quality of life, drawing on data from various sources, including the Gallup World Poll 2009 and UN Development Report.
India has slipped 10 places to the 88th spot, way below neighbouring China, in the World Prosperity Index. Last year India stood at 78th position, according to London-based Legatum Institute that compiled the index Agencies.
(dn) The Environment Ministry will spearhead the country's first major initiative to maintain air quality levels in all districts. Chemistry students of universities will be incorporated in the program, Environment Ministry Secretary Dr R H S Samaratunga told the Daily News yesterday.
The Environment Ministry will set up at least 10 Air Quality Management Stations in 10 districts from next year, he said.
He said the project is aimed at preventing health hazards due to air pollution. Air quality monitoring has been carried out using a single automated monitoring station at the Colombo Fort Railway Station since 1997. The Environment Ministry will be able to know potential health hazards in advance with the help of new monitoring facilities, he said.
(dn) SriLankan Airlines will be expanding capacity throughout much of its route network starting this month in Europe, the Middle East, the Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and the Far East. The Airline has already begun expanding its fleet with seven more aircraft by the end of 2011.
The first of these, a wide-body Airbus A330, arrived last July.
Three more are planned by February 2011, including two Airbus A320s, plus a De Havilland Twin Otter Floatplane for the re-launch of the domestic service SriLankan Air Taxi.
The Government repurchased the stake in the Airline this year that had been privatized in 1998, bringing its shareholding to 94.68 percent. The remainder shares are held by the Airline’s employees.
A Sri Lankan business delegation now in Norway is exploring the possibility of exporting Sri Lankan products through partnerships between the two countries, Embassy sources in Colombo said.
Head of the Sports Ministry Medical Unit Dr Geethanjana Mendis is confident that disgraced Commonwealth Games boxing gold medallist Manju Wanniarachchi can be proved innocent and that he would be able to retain his medal he won beating Welshman Sean McGoldrick in the bantam weight final at New Delhi.
Muslims in Sri Lanka have been asked to conduct special prayers in mosques seeking Allah’s mercy to rescue Rizana Nafeek, who has been sentenced to death, from the hands of the executioner.
Norochcholai Coal Power Plant project, the first coal power plant in the country will commence its operations on November 17, a Power and Energy Ministry official said.
Sri Lanka has the potential of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production at the end of this year, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said.
The Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau (GSMB) is to prepare for the first time the geological map that contains Sri Lanka’s geo information, which was long overdue, Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a committee charged with winning the bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism & Hotel Management (SLITHM) is taking steps to develop authentic Sri Lankan Cookery and Culinary Arts in Sri Lanka. The inaugural workshop will be held on 1st November 2010 at the auditorium of SLITHM. The workshop is facilitated by the Director Culinary Affairs, Dr.Pubilis Silva of the Mount Lavinia Hotel. The main focus of this workshop is to fulfill the requirement of the tourism and hotel industry highlighting the uniqueness of the Sri Lanka Culinary and Cooking arts in order to boost up tourism.
The public will get the opportunity to view the construction of Sri Lanka's second international airport. Accordingly, the construction site of the Maththala airport in the Hambantota district will be open for public view from November, Ports and Aviation Ministry said.
The Government has taken measures to improve and implement the capacity for coral reef management in the country, A H M Azwer said addressing the Globe Coral Reef Crisis Meeting in Nagoya, Japan recently.
The Digital Broadcasting T2 (DVB T2) system will be introduced to all television channels by the year 2015 said Secretary to the Ministry Mass Media W B Ganegala.
Government has decided to remove all security check points in the city gradually. Military Spokesman Major General Ubaya Medawala told news.lk that since the security situation in Colombo has improved the government has decided to remove all check points in the city.
The Headquarters of 521 Brigade in Nagar Kovil arranged a three-day education trip to Kandy for 53 students and seven teachers of Government Mixed Tamil Maha Vidyalaya last week.
The Immigration and Emigration Department recently upgraded its border control system by introducing a series of modifications to the current system. The full page passport readers at the Bandaranaike International Airport have now been installed. The new readers will enable the capture of full data-page image of the passport during passenger inspection at the time of entry and departure. It will provide the officers an electronic confirmation as to authenticity of the passport, identify possible tampering and forgeries to the passport.
Sri Lanka has received 20 bids from vendors in nine countries for a satellite-based vessel monitoring system tender which will be awarded before the end of the year, fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has approved several air routes and destinations for airlines to touch down at the Hambantota International Airport (HIA) that is scheduled to be open by 2012 end.
A night bazaar is to be opened on Kotugodella Veediya (former Castle Hill Street), Kandy on October 30 to coincide with the National Sports Festival to be held in Kandy. Kotugodella Veediya is to be closed from 6 p.m. till midnight for traffic and the bazaar is to be held in the middle section of the road.
Members of the Armed Forces, their families and civilians who wish to spend holiday in Jaffna will see their dreams come true with the opening of the new “Thal Sevana Holiday Resort” in the Peninsula last week.
Sri Lanka suffered a major humiliation as Commonwealth Games bantam weight boxing champion, Manju Wanniarachchi has been tested positive for banned steroid, nandrolone and is on the verge of losing the country’s first gold medal in 72 years.
A prominent feature of Japanese traditional poetry is the presentation of human nature and the world at large in a concise manner. In the medieval tradition of Haiku poetry, a poem is confined to 17 words. But those few lines offer insights into life. Prof. Ariya Rajakaruna in an introduction to Asaliya Mal says that it has not been a difficult task for the Japanese who have been quite used to a concise form of poetry such as Haiku to adopt short story whose prominent feature is conciseness.
The number of visitors to the Sri Lanka's oldest wild life sactuary, Wilpattu National Wildlife Park has risen steadily after its opening following the end of war.
The Organizing Committee of the European Film Festival 2010 in Sri Lanka has taken action to take the exhibition out of Colombo to Jaffna, Kandy and Galle for the first time. This marks the third consecutive year that this festival would be held in Sri Lanka and this year the organizing committee was being chaired by the British Council in Sri Lanka.
The Agriculture Ministry plans to introduce the solar powered drip irrigation system under the sustainable agricultural water management project to the Jaffna farmer on par with the IDP resettlement scheme.
Sri Lanka Department of Immigration and Emigration has planned to set up a unit to investigate suspicious documents at Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manju Wanniarachchi received a rousing welcome in the hill capital yesterday as people lined up along the route he was taken in a motorcade and cheered him all the way, and gave him a standing ovation.
The reconstructed Sri Murugan Kovil in Kalmadu Unit II was handed over to Hindu devotees in a function held yesterday, 17th October. The Kovil had been destroyed by the LTTE terrorists as it was utilized by the terrorists for their activities for over a decade.
An SLBC announcer Gamini Wijewardena is planning to break the Guiness Record by delivering the longest lecture for over 33 hours. He will begin to deliver his lecture on "Vishmitha Minisa Mihimatha pamini maga" Tuesday at 9.00 am at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation's Ananda Coomaraswamy Studio.
The Sri Lankan government is planning to establish a nuclear power plant here to meet the growing demand for power in the country, a government minister said on Saturday.
Sri Lanka hopes to be a trilingual nation by 2020, said Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga. He was addressing the 10th anniversary of "Room to Read" in Colombo recently.
Construction work on the state-of-the-art fish market at Peliyagoda has been completed and will be opened next month, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Rajitha Senaratne told the Sunday Observer.
Government will hold the Next year’s National Independent Day celebrations at Kataragama in the Uva Region. Deputy Minister of Economic Development Mr.Ranjith Siyambalapitiya addressing a Public rally at Moneragala said that the government has decided to hold the all celebrations in connected with the 2011 Independent day in the Moneragala district.
A Sri Lankan delegation led by Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena recently visited Japan and held discussions with the Senior Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Shuji Ikeguchi.
Sri Lanka donated two baby elephants to Seoul Metropolitan city authority at a grand ceremony held at the Seoul Zoo Wednesday.Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa who is currently on a four-day official visit to the Republic of Korea made this donation.
The fifth part of the explanation Dictionary of Sinhala, the Second Part of the Elliptic Dictionary Sinhala and 27th issue of the Sinhala Dictionary will be launched at the Sinhala Dictionary Office in Colombo today.
Sri Lanka Police Department today introduced an e-mail system for public to lodge compliments.
Around 800 individuals and organizations have responded to the call for public consultation on the forthcoming budget for 2011, says Director of the Budget Department of the Treasury Mahinda Saliya.
The year 2011 was declared as value addition year for the spice industry by Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana. The seventh Annual General Meeting of the Spice Council was held in Colombo, last Friday.
Holy Quran is one of the most significant assets which can serve as a basis for Iran-Sri Lanka interactions, said Iran's head of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization Mehdi Mostafavi.
Map of Sri Lanka is re-shaped a moment ago when the much awaited sea water filling to the Magampura Harbor Basin was completed.
Arrangements are underway to increase the export of tea up to 350 million kilo grammes annually with the support of Tea smallholders.
The Police Department has installed 108 Close circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in High Security areas and at vantage points in the Colombo city to strengthen national security; said Police Media Spokesman SSP Prashantha Jayakody.
The Government plans to extend the luxury train service it had introduced for the IIFA Festival from the Bandaranaike International Airport to Colombo upto the Hikkaduwa Tourist Zone, Parliament was told yesterday.
The Justice Ministry will establish temporary courts in every district for a period of two years to redress stagnancy in giving judgments and to end the backlog running over several years, Justice Minister Athauda Seneviratne said.
Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa laid the foundation stone for the proposed new bus stand at Galle Sunday. This will be the longest bus stand in Sri Lanka.
Vasavilan Central College, a prominent educational institution located in the Palaly High Security Zone and which was used by the LTTE to direct attacks on the Security Forces based in Palaly, was handed back to the Education Department by the Security Forces in Jaffna last week.
Watawala Plantations commenced the packaging and export of Pure Ceylon Tea under the world-renowned brand name Tetley recently.
Ven. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thero said Saturday that the religious authorities have decided to build a natural guard surrounding the historic Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
Sri Lanka Ministry of Power and Energy sources say that the country's first ever coal power plant will commence preliminary operations for power generation this month.
The Immigration and Emigration Department will put into practice a new method for issuing passports from today. Considering the inconvenience faced by applicants when renewing passports, a new simple method will be introduced, an Immigration and Emigration Department official said.