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National level research on IT skills of the working class

Nov 5 (LP) A National level research on Information Technology (IT) skills of the working class will be conducted by the Information and Communication Technology Agency in Sri Lanka (ICTA). A similar research was last conducted two years ago. Accordingly both state and private sector, Non Governmental organizations, companies engaged on IT- BPO will be subjected to the research. more..

SLAF museum open to public from today

Nov 5 (LP) The reconstructed museum at the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Base in Ratmalana is now on. Accordingly the museum which shows the 58 years gallantry of the SLAF will be open to the public from 09.00 am to 05.00 pm. The museum will exhibit aircrafts, other war items used by the SLAF, video footages and photos. Among the other exhibit items at the museum, LTTE's Zlin 143 light air craft shot down by SLAF during the suicide air raid on Colombo and more..

'Vote on account democratic and fair'

Nov 5 (GDI) Opposition and UNP MP, President's Counsel K.N.Choksy making a statement on the Vote of Account described the UPFA government's move to present it as being fair and democratic leaving the opportunity open for the next parliament elected after a general election to present a fresh budget to formulate its' own financial programme of revenue making. "Following is the full text of UNP MP KN Choksy's statement; more..

'Govt. pilfers from the public through milk powder'

Nov 5 (LT) When milk powder enters the open market an extra amount is added other than relevant taxes which also include the import tax of Milk powder reveals JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He said this in response to an answer Non-Cabinet Minister of State Revenue and Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya gave to a question asked by Parliamentarian Premasiri Manage. more..

President to be honored by peoples friendship University of Russia

Nov 5 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Peoples' Friendship University of the Russian Federation, especially considering his outstanding contribution towards fostering world peace and his success against terrorism. This will be awarded during the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Peoples' Friendship University of the Russian Federation that will be held in February 2010. more..

Microsoft Sri Lanka launches Windows 7

Nov 5 (DN) Microsoft Sri Lanka last week launched Windows 7, the latest version of its desktop operating system. The local launch event was presided over by Asia Pacific Microsoft Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Ken Wye Saw and New Emerging Markets Microsoft South East Asia President Akther Ahmed. Windows 7 has already enjoyed worldwide success following its international launch last week, more..

Did Gota give into the US?

Nov 5 (LT) There is a dialogue going on in the society regarding Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s visit to the USA and the attempt made by US authorities to question him. The international media had reported that the USA was preparing to question Gen. Fonseka regarding alleged ‘war crimes’ during Sri Lanka’s war against tiger terrorists. As soon as this information was published in the media Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohithe Bogollagama, more..

New IT system causes delay in issuing visas at British High Commission in Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (LP) Due to the installation of a new IT system at the British High Commission in Colombo, visa applications for the period Thursday 19 November to Monday 23 November 2009 will not be accepted by the UK Border Agency, the British High Commission in Colombo announced. The last day on which VFS will accept new applications will be Wednesday 18 November. A full service will resume on Tuesday 24 November, more..

Peace and the end of war: Public Views

Pension for Prabhakaran's father suspended

Nov 5 (CT) Authorities have suspended the payment of pension for the father of slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. The measure has been taken as whereabouts were unknown of Tiruvenkadam Velupillai, who is presently being detained by the military for questioning, said head of Pensions Department K.A. Tilakaratne. He was speaking to the media in Colombo yesterday (Nov. 05). more..

UNP warns SL Govt to keep hands off Fonseka

Nov 5 (LNP) General Secretary of the United National Party, Parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake requested that the government leave General Sarath Fonseka alone. Addressing a meeting recently at Agalawatta, he pointed out that General Fonseka was a highly decorated military official of unmatched class, who had fought for the freedom of the country and that the people would not tolerate any injustice being meted out to him. more..

JVP wants Basil, Gota to give up US citizenship

Nov 5 (LNP) The JVP yesterday warned Presidential Advisor MP Basil Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that they would not be able to avoid being prosecuted by the United States unless they gave up US citizenship. JVP Kurunegala MP Bimal Ratnayake yesterday told Parliament that the United States could not prosecute any Sri Lankan official or Statesman or any citizen. more..

Sri Lanka targets more electronic exports by 2020

Nov 5 (LNP) Sri Lanka could capture 0.1 percent of the global electronic market by 2020 by venturing into electronic components and product manufacture said Prof Kapila Jayasinghe of the Moratuwa University making a presentation on the National Action Plan for the Development of value chain in the electronic sector at the Galle Face Hotel organized by FCCISL (SMED) on Friday. He said that the electronics industry is growing in the world with more..

The problem of being UNA

Nov 5 (LNP) The Opposition has cobbled together an electoral alliance aimed at dislodging the Rajapaksa government. There are no new faces in it and all its allies have been co-habiting for years. The formation of the United National Alliance (UNA) is, therefore, tantamount to tying the nuptial knot after a protracted living together. The inauguration of the UNA may have boosted the sagging morale of the UNP to some extent but whether it can reach out to more..

I’m not aware whether factories are closed or not – Minister of Industrial Development

Nov 5 (LT) He was not aware whether paper factories at Embilipitiya and Valachchena have been closed down said Minister of Industrial Development Kumara Welgama adding that he could give an answer after finding out. He said this in response to a question asked in Parliament. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella asked the minister whether large scale factories have been built in all divisional secretariat areas as promised by ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya.’ more..

Resettlement of IDPs: Sri Lanka sets world record

Nov 5 (DN) Tiny Sri Lanka had set a world record by resettling a larger number of IDPs within few months while the big countries could not do so in many years. Hurricane Katrina victims are still living in temporary shelters. But most of these countries did not have a problem of land mines or security problems about their IDPs. But after clearing land mines we have now settled nearly 100,000 IDPs, Basil Rajapaksa MP said at more..

Fonseka returns and is driven away under tight security

Nov 5 (DM) Sri Lanka's top military officer returned home Thursday after he was allowed to complete a US visit without being questioned over alleged war crimes against Tamil civilians. General Sarath Fonseka arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport and was immediately driven away under tight security, an airport official said. more..

Sri Lanka port reopens second entrance after end of war

Nov 5 (LBO) Colombo port has re-opened its northern entrance channel which had been closed for years owing to the threat of attacks by Tamil Tiger separatists who were defeated by government forces in May. The move will speed up the movement of ships calling at the port, south Asia's transhipment hub, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama told reporters. more..

Marking the Diamond Jubilee of Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa

Nov 5 (DN) Joseph Vaz College celebrated solemnly her Diamond Jubilee on October 13, 2009 singing a Thanks Giving High Mass concelebrated by Rev. Dr. Valence Mendis, Bishop of Chilaw and the Vazian priests together with the prayerful participation of the Bishops, the clergy, the academic staff, the students, the parents, the past students and the well wishers. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest at this occasion. more..

Muthuhettigama forcibly occupies chair as South PC session suspended

Nov 5 (CT) The newly-elected southern provincial council's inaugural session came to an abrupt halt this morning (Nov. 05) due to controversial UPFA councilor Nishantha Muthuhettigama forcibly occupying the seat of the council chairman. The incident occurred after his name was proposed by the UNP to the chair against the ruling party’s nominee Mohan de Silva. more..

The plot thickens; dual roles and double games

Nov 5 (DM) Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikkum, and best wishes as we enter a crucial period on the political and economic fronts in this post war era amid an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with the superpower United States. Sri Lanka’s relationship with the US and powerful member states of the European Union has been on the decline during the past few years, largely due to alleged human rights violations here, and it reached crisis point in recent months. more..

SLTB unions, Provincial Bus Owners for combined action

Nov 5 (DM) JVP MP and the Leader of the NTUC K.D. Lalkantha yesterday said that the SLTB trade unions were going to sign an agreement with the Provincial Private Bus Owners’ Association in order to pressurize the government to make an islandwide policy on transport. Mr. Lalkantha told the Daily Mirror that the NTUC and the Provincial Bus Owners’ Association had discussed the problems in the transport sector on Monday more..

Sri Lanka’s economic outlook to show improving trend

Nov 5 (DN) Despite the global economy’s slow recovery from the worst economic downturn since the second world war, we expect Sri Lanka’s economic outlook to show an improving trend, with growth picking up to 5.6 percent in 2010 and 6.3 percent in 2011, said RAM Holdings Berhad, Group Economist, Dr. Yeah Kim Leng. He was speaking at a forum on the theme “Sri Lanka’s Economic Prospect and Challenges” at the Galadari Hotel yesterday. more..

Fly Over projects: Huge amount wasted says UNP

Nov 5 (DM) The UNP charged in parliament yesterday that the amount spent for the Dehiwala Fly Over is more than the amount spent for the best fly over in the world, in Dubai. UNP MP Kabir Hashim who was speaking during the debate on ‘Vote On Account’ in the House yesterday said Rs. 112,000 have been spent for one square foot of the Dehiwala Fly Over whereas only Rs. 36,000 was spent for one square foot of the Dubai Fly Over. more..

Opposition parties call for an end to Executive Presidency

Budget deficit expands 30 percent

Nov 5 (Island) The fiscal deficit has expanded a further 30 percent during the first nine months of this year with revenue improving by 12 percent and total government expenditure and net lending increased by 19 percent while capital expenditure declined 2.7 percent. The overall budget deficit for the first nine months of 2009 reached Rs. 322.6 billion or 6.5 percent of GDP increasing 30 percent compared to a deficit of Rs. 246.9 billion for the corresponding more..

'Party in new alliance will join Govt soon'

Nov 5 (Island) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena yesterday said that one of the main constituent parties of the recently formed United National Alliance (UNA) would soon switch its allegiance to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said that this would take place before the next election. Although parliamentary elections were scheduled to take place by April next year, the government would explore other options, he said. more..

Nandana & Kamal Quit NFF

Nov 5 (SLW) Tourism Minister Nandana Gunatilaka along with Kamal Deshapriya National Organiser one of the founding members of Wimal Weerawansa led National Freedom Front (NFF) resigned from all their posts and responsibilities held in the party a short while ago. Forwarding a letter to inform their resignation Nandana Gunatilake and Kamal Deshapriya said that Party leader Wimal Weerawansa has been issuing pro- Mahinda Rajapaksa statements and more..

LTTE arms moved overland from China to NK for almost a decade

Nov 5 (Island) Chinese arms consignments for the LTTE had been moved overland to North Korea across the China-North Korea border before being transferred to the terrorist group’s ‘floating’ warehouses on the high seas close to Indonesia, for about a decade, The Island learns. The LTTE had obtained its first Chinese arms consignment way back in 1994/1995 during the then People’s Alliance (PA) administration. more..

Mangala slams govt for messing up relations with friendly nations

Nov 5 (Island) Leader of the SLFP (M) Mangala Samaraweera slammed the government today for messing up the country’s relations with friendly nations and aligning itself with dictatorial regimes which are of no use to this country. He said, "By using a heavy handed, thuggish approach towards friendly nations, the government has turned them into foes and undone the high esteem Sri Lanka enjoyed with the international community since its independence in 1948." more..

Sri Lanka steps up return of war-displaced - U.N.

Nov 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has begun allowing tens of thousands of war-displaced Tamils to return home after months of being held in government-run camps, the head of the U.N. office responsible for emergencies said. Almost 300,000 civilians were forced from their homes and moved into the cramped camps in the north of the Indian Ocean island during the final months of Sri Lanka's 25-year-old civil war against separatist Tamil rebels which ended in May. more..

Central bank buying gold to diversify

Nov 5 (Reuters) Central bank has been buying gold for the past five or six months as it diversifies its reserves amid volatile markets, the bank's governor said in an interview on Thursday. "We have been fairly strong accumulators of gold reserves over the past few months," Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Reuters in a telephone interview from the southern Indian city of Chennai. "We haven't stopped yet," he added, declining to quantify how much gold the central bank had bought or more..

US House pressures Sri Lanka on camps

Nov 5 (AFP) The US House of Representatives urged Sri Lanka's government Wednesday to guarantee the safety and quick release of some 300,000 Tamils and other war-displaced people currently held in camps. By an overwhelming 421-1 vote, lawmakers approved a non-binding resolution that calls on the authorities in Colombo to help the populations of widely condemned, tightly guarded camps return to their homes. more..

Tamil refugees seek basic amenities

Nov 6 (Hindu) Basic amenities like drinking water, drainage and toilet facilities, power supply and proper housing instead of temporary thatched dwelling units were some of the major demands conveyed by the Sri Lankan refugees to the Minister for Revenue I. Periasamy who visited the refugee camps in the district on Wednesday. While interacting with the Minister, refugees showed their huts in a dilapidated condition. more..

'Infrastructure at Sri Lankan refugee camps will be improved within a week'

Nov 6 (Hindu) Infrastructure facilities at the eight Sri Lankan refugee camps in Dharmapuri district would be improved within a week, Labour Minister T.M. Anbarasan has said. The Minister visited the camps on Wednesday to study the living condition of the Sri Lankan Tamil families following the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s directive to Ministers to visit the camps. About 2,484 persons from 668 families, more..

Sri Lanka's hopes for children

Nov 6 (BBC) Children from Sri Lanka's various ethnic groups, separated by decades of war, have been brought together for a series of events promoting reconciliation. Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim children gathered in Colombo for the season, the highlight of which was an art competition. Charles Haviland reports from Colombo. more..

Poll, econ woes drag shares to near 2-mo low

Nov 6 (Reuters) Stock index .CSE fell 1.65 percent to its lowest close in nearly 2 months on Thursday, as economic woes and trade union protests ahead of national polls rattled investor confidence. The All-Share Price Index of the Colombo Stock Exchange fell 47.88 points to 2854.82, its fifth straight fall and lowest close since Sept. 15. It has lost 5 percent in the past five sessions. more..

Sri Lanka and Kuwait ink Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement

Nov 6 (IL) Sri Lanka and Kuwait signed the Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement (IPPA) on 05th November 2009 marking Sri Lanka's first such agreement with Gulf countries which includes Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. At a simple ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance of Kuwait. Mr. Khalifa M. Hamada, Undersecretary to the Ministry of Finance signed the agreement on behalf of Kuwait while more..

Foreign Minister assures the completion of IDP resettlement by January 2010

Nov 6 (AT) Sri Lankan Government is smoothly and progressively engaged in the resettlement program of the IDPs and the development process of the war torn Northern and Eastern provinces, Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said while briefing the diplomatic corps in Colombo. Minister Bogollagama said that the number of internally displaced persons stood at 288,000 when the LTTE’s terrorism was defeated more..

Lankan official reviews security ahead of India tour

Nov 6 (ANI) After the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan earlier this year, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board is leaving no stone unturned to ensure their team's safety during their tour to India starting this month. A special Security Consultant, Lorence Fernando, has flown to India and is visiting various States to review the security arrangements in the stadiums where the Sri Lankan team is scheduled to play. more..