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Lanka not exploiting trade pact with access to China

Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) under-utilized. Sri Lanka had used less than five percent of preferential tariff lines granted by China.

Addressing the Sri Lanka China Society, senior economist, Dr. Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies said, "Sri Lanka and China both are members of APTA. This is a potential avenue to expand trade significantly."

However he said that the facility has been under-utilized. Usage of tariff concessions by Sri Lankan exporters were very low, the country has used less than five percent of the preferential tariff lines granted.


Karadiyanaru blast: IGP rejects conspiracy theories

Ruling out sabotage or terrorist activity, IGP Mahinda Balasuriya says a Chinese engineer was responsible for the Karadiyanaru blast. He had mishandled detonators, the police chief said.

The IGP called last Friday’s blast nothing but an industrial mishap.

Balasuriya rejected a recent JVP claim that a rivalry between two countries, engaged in major construction projects in the northern and eastern provinces, may have led to the blast.

The blast killed two Chinese workers, 12 policemen and seven civilians. Of the civilians, five worked with the Chinese on a major road construction project in the East.

Responding to a media query last Monday (Sept 20), JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that a particular country had been opposed to investment by another country in Sri Lanka’s North and East. Dissanayake said that the government had made contradictory statements regarding the blast, the first major explosion since the end of war in May last year.


Batticaloa mourns for the blast victim: Probes continue

‘Dynamite and gelignite may have been kept together’

The people of Batticaloa who are still trying to recover from the crippling impact of a devastating accidental blast at the Karadiyanaru Police Station on Friday, which left over about 25 people dead and scores of others critically injured, observed a day of mourning yesterday.

IGP Mahinda Balasuriya said that the normal functions of the Karadiyanaru police division would be temporarily handled by the Aithyamale police till a new station was set up.

Ballistic and forensic analysts are continuing their probes into the blast which occurred in two container trucks parked with dynamite and gelignite belonging to a Chinese construction company engaged in road construction. A senior police official said that most probable cause of the explosion could have been negligence on the part of the police and those responsible for handling the explosives.


Industrial accident kills over 20 people - Karadiyanaru, Batticaloa

Three containers carrying industrial explosives of a Chinese construction company have accidentally blew up killing over 20 people at Karadiyanaru, Batticaloa this afternoon. According to the police sources, two Chinese nationals of the company also among the dead.

The incident has reportedly occurred when the two Chinese nationals arrived at the location by a double cab to unload the explosives from the containers. One container has blown itself up due to an unknown reason and the rest have exploded due to the sympathetic detonation.

The Company is engaged in construction of a highway in the Eastern Province and the explosives were brought for industrial purposes. According to the sources, the containers were parked at the Karadiyanaru Police station premises for security reasons.

The injured were rushed to the Batticaloa hospital and some of them are in critical condition, sources further added.

Police sources confirmed that the blast to be an industrial accident that has no relation any criminal activity.


We have to solve our internal problems first - Talatha Atukorale

Amidst threats by certain UNP parliamentarians to sit as a separate group in parliament until the leadership issue in the UNP is resolved, C.A.Chandraprema speaks to one of the key UNP agitators for reform parliamentarian Talatha Atukorale about the situation in the party.


Sri Lanka is on the move, says Anand Mahindra Below 10% growth in 2011 unacceptable

*Top Indian group says it needs to integrate, align itself with Lanka

India’s Mahindra Group Vice Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra, a Harvard graduate, told journalists in Colombo that he did not have breaking news for them. "The breaking news in my view is Sri Lanka’s economic potential today. This is the breaking news."

Mahindra was in the island for a two day visit where he met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama and other top officials of the government to explore possibilities of investing in the post war economy.


Gota before Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission:Measures to protect civilians caused losses to military

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the huge losses suffered by the Army during eelam war IV revealed the true extent of the LTTE fighting capability. The LTTE, he says, had weapons used by the army and the amount of artillery and mortar rounds fired by the outfit was a testament to its fire power.

In his presentation before the Lessons Learnt Commission headed by former Attorney General C. R. de Silva, the war veteran said that the campaign had claimed the lives of about 6,000 officers and men and wounded about 30,000.

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