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Dispute over foreign medical degrees

Apr 1 (DM) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said yesterday medical officers attached to the GMOA would not serve as examiners at any examination organised by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for foreign medical degree holders. The GMOA said it had arrived at this decision as the UGC had in a haphazard manner called for applications by medical graduates of foreign universities despite a Supreme Court ratified medical council decision to conduct the examination. more..

Bringing learning to low-income communities

Fowzie to head committee on Haj affairs

Apr 1 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had appointed Senior Minister A.H.M. Fowzie to look after Haj Affairs with immediate effect. Senior Minister A.H.M. Fowzie told Daily Mirror yesterday, before leaving for London on an official visit, that immediately after the Cabinet meeting held at the Temple Trees on Wednesday, President Rajapaksa had instructed Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne to bring all the matters dealing with the Haj Pilgrimage under him. more..

TRC to check impact of lightening on communication towers

Apr 1 (DM) The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) said yesterday it would carry out countrywide research to ascertain the impact of lightning on communication towers because of the large number of complaints it had received from people. TRC Networks Deputy Director Dharmasiri De Alwis said the TRC received about 10 complaints a month from residents who claimed that lightning had caused damage to their homes situated close to such towers. more..

Nurses to seek Court order blocking Nursing Council polls

Apr 1 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association warned it would take legal action to halt the Nursing Council elections scheduled for Thursday (April 07) as the Nursing Council Act had been violated. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said the Ministry had violated the Nursing Council Act of 1988 and its amendment of 2005. The Nursing Council is the chief governing body of nurses and is responsible for registering them, more..

Wikileaks: Indians still hoping Geneva talks can resume under broader agenda

Apr 1 (Hindu) According to a local Indian diplomat, his government remains hopeful, despite the April 25 assassination attempt on Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, that the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) can engage the LTTE in a second round of talks. To get the talks back on track, the Indians are encouraging President Mahinda Rajapaksa to elaborate on the ""maximum devolution"" he has said he is willing to offer as part of a political settlement. more..

Rajapaksa wants it for Murali

Apr 1 (Hindu) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa wants his country’s cricket team to win the tenth edition of the ICC World Cup for the world’s highest wicket-taker in test cricket Muttiah Muralitharan. Sri Lanka will meet India in an all-Asian final at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on April 2, to decide on which country takes home the World Cup. This is the first all-Asian final in 10 editions of the World Cup, spread over 36 years of cricket history. more..

Moving globally against the Tigers

Apr 1 (Hindu) Concerted international action to curb fund-raising and weapons procurement by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) started in the first half of 2006, around the time Sri Lanka's fragile ceasefire broke down and an all-out war started. It was the United States that unveiled and initiated the plan to create two international ‘contact groups', one each to move against fund-raising and weapons procurement by the LTTE. more..

Sachin Tendulkar vs Muttiah Muralitharan

Apr 1 (ET) It may not provide the pure thrill of an India-Australia encounter; it may not offer the political drama of an India-Pakistan clash either. Yet, this India-Sri Lanka final has something that makes it even more engrossing. A straight contest between the world's best batsman and best bowler of all time: Sachin Tendulkar versus Muttiah Muralitharan . 18,093 runs against 534 wickets. (And we are only talking one-dayers here.) A maestro and a magician on the game's biggest stage. more..

World Cup final tickets going for Indian Rs 1.25 lakhs

Apr 1 (ET) For the World Cup final, it all boils down to simple economics: demand versus supply. So, cricket fans are willing to shell out Rs 1.25 lakh for a ticket in the West Avenue stand, the actual price of which is Rs 37,500. Blackmarketeers are making huge profits by selling tickets for a seat inside the Wankhede Stadium for Saturday. The selling price is nearly 10 times the actual price. Fans insist that the tickets are worth their weight in gold. more..

World Cup cricket final pits India vs Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (AP) The World Cup cricket final pits India vs. Sri Lanka and features the best batsman against the most prolific bowler. Sachin Tendulkar is on home ground in India, bidding for his first title in six trips to the World Cup. He'll take on Muttiah Muralitharan, who is aiming to win it again in his last international match. Tendulkar will be under enormous pressure, with India desperate to end a 28-year wait for its second World Cup title and more..

Rajapaksa to worship at Tirupati shrine ahead of India-Lanka final

Apr 1 (AA) Ahead of the World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at Mumbai, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will offer prayers for the success of his team at the Lord Venkateswara hill shrine near here. The Lankan President will visit the temple tonight or in the early hours of Saturday. An ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara, Rajapaksa after an overnight stay on the hills, will fly to Mumbai to watch the final at the Wankhede stadium on Saturday, the sources said. more..

JVP union wants pension scheme details

Apr 1 (DM) JVP affiliated Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) yesterday urged the govt to provide details of the recently proposed private sector pension scheme as the union was unaware as to how it was going to be implemented. The ICEU said it was only after studying the pension scheme in detail at a tri-party meeting that the union would be in a position to make its stand known. Private sector trade unions said they would attend the discussions by govt representatives, employers and trade unions. more..

Air-strikes on Libya: Govt. hits out at NATO

Apr 1 (DM) The government yesterday expressed its displeasure over NATO air-strikes on Libya and said the indiscriminate killing of people was not acceptable to any govt. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told a news briefing that NATO forces had acted beyond the United Nations mandate, which was to protect the civilians in Libya. “The UN sanctions were meant only to protect civilians from the attack of pro government forces in Libya. more..

IPU sending observers for Fonseka cases

Apr 1 (DM) The Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) has assured the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) that it would send a delegation to Sri Lanka as soon as possible to witness court proceedings against DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka, MP Jayantha Ketagoda said yesterday. He said DNA national list MP Tiran Alles was now in Britain to discuss with the IPU various issues confronting former Army Commander Fonseka. more..

Pakistani players refuse to predict World Cup 2011 winners

Apr 1 (ET) Pakistan may be out of the World Cup but the cricketers are in no mood to make any prediction about the outcome of tomorrow's final between India and Sri Lanka with captain Shahid Afridi saying the strength of both the teams are too close to make a call. "Both India and Sri Lanka are equally matched and to me both have equal chances of winning the final," Afridi said after returning home following more..

DPF seeks New Year amnesty for 3,000 Tamil youth

Apr 1 (DM) The Democratic People’s Front (DPF) yesterday urged the govt to grant an amnesty during the National New Year to the Tamil Youth being held in remand. DPF General Secretary A.N. Kumar Guruparan said some 3,000 Tamil prisoners were languishing in remand for several years without any charges being brought against them and added that there was no barrier in releasing them during the National New Year. more..

Sri Lanka mulls airport mono-rail, multi-storey car park

Apr 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka is looking for investors to build a multi-storey car park and a hotel close to the international airport to which a mono-rail link is also envisaged, an official said. Johanne Jayaratne, executive director of Airports and Aviation Services, a state agency which operates airports, said the infrastructure developments were part of the planned expansion of the Katunayake airport, north of Colombo. more..

India and Sri Lanka are relatives, not just friends says Indian HC

Apr 1 (IL) The High Commissioner of India for Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha said that India and Sri Lanka are not just friends but relatives and underscored that India has always believed in sharing her achievements with neighboring countries specially Sri Lanka. He made these remarks at the reception held at Hotel Taj Samudra to celebrate the International Students’ Day on 30 March. more..

Sangakkara desperate for Murali to play in final

Apr 1 (AP) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara doesn't know for sure that Muttiah Muralitharan will be fit enough to play in Saturday's World Cup final, but he's banking on fate to step in. The world's most prolific wicket-taker has sustained hamstring, knee, groin and side injuries in Sri Lanka's run to the final, and isn't a certainty to take his place in the team for what would be his 350th and last ODI for Sri Lanka. more..

'Arrest of Lanka-e-News editor is a result of government’s phobia'

Apr 1 (LT) The JVP has expressed its vehement protest regarding the arrest of news editor of ‘Lanka-e-News.’ This is stated in a communiqué issued by the party with the signature of its MP Vijithe Herath. Mr. Herath in his communiqué accuses the government of attempting to evade the responsibility of setting fire to the office of the ‘Lanka-e-News’ web site and put the blame on employees of the web site. more..

Pensions for Private sector from May

Apr 1 (Island) A new pension scheme for the employees in the private sector and corporations will come into effect with effect from May. This will be in addition to the Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Trust Fund benefits they currently enjoy. Currently, the employee contributes 8 percent and the employer 12 to the EPF. However, they would now have to contribute 2 per cent each to the pension scheme thus reducing their contributions to more..

Sri Lanka captain says pressure is all on India

Apr 1 (AP) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara deflected all the pressure onto India a day before the World Cup final by saying the host team will carry the "weight of expectation." India hasn't won the World Cup since 1983, and hopes are high in the country of 1.2 billion that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's squad can end that wait on home soil and at Sachin Tendulkar's home ground. Sangakkara's team has played all but one of its matches so far in Sri Lanka, more..

Courts must have notes - CJ

Apr 2 (BBC) Chief Justice Asoka de Silva says that it is a legal requirement for any investigative body – not only the courts -to keep records of an inquiry. “Not only a court, any investigation needs to have its notes,” CJ de Silva said. “If there are no notes, it does not become an investigation.” The Chief Justice made the remarks when the BBC enquired about the recent revelations by a military court that it did not keep records of an investigation against the former army commander, more..

Advantage Sri Lanka in World Cup match-ups

Apr 2 (CI) 1979, league match, Manchester: Sri Lanka's victory by 47 runs in this encounter was a milestone in their cricketing history - their first win in a World Cup game. Sri Lanka ran up a competitive total after a delayed start, with the trio of Sidath Wettimuny, Roy Dias and Duleep Mendis making half-centuries. There was also a cameo from the youngest player in the tournament, Sudath Pasqual, which pushed them to 238. In reply, India's top order got starts but more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 01.04.2011

Randiv replaces injured Mathews in Sri Lanka squad

Apr 2 (CI) Sri Lanka allrounder Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of Saturday's World Cup final, with the team management drafting in offspinner Suraj Randiv to their 15-member squad. Mathews' absence is a huge blow for Sri Lanka, since he was a significant presence in the middle order in addition to being a reliable back-up seamer. Mathews had left the field during the semi-final against New Zealand with a quadriceps muscle injury when Sri Lanka were fielding, and more..

Sri Lanka private airline hit by road re-opening, state competition

Apr 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's scheduled domestic private passenger air services to the north were forced to stop after the re-opening of road travel and competition from the air force. H M C Nimalsiri, director general of the civil aviation authority, said the island's domestic aviation sector was small and had been constrained by the effects of the 30-year ethnic war. The war had cut off the northern Jaffna peninsula when Tamil Tiger separatists took control of more..

Tournament's best at final hurdle

Apr 2 (CI) The defending champions didn't make it, the mercurial outsiders stumbled, the strong contender choked, the Ashes winners ran out of gas, and after six weeks of high drama, we have come to this: the first all-Asian World-Cup final. And they deserve to be there: five of the top six run-getters, two out of top five wicket-takers, the fielder with the most catches and the wicketkeeper with the most dismissals will all be on show. more..

Retirement gift for Murali- Dilshan

Apr 2 (BBC) The team is like a family, we are playing very good cricket and we are determined to win the World Cup on Saturday. If we continue playing like this, I don't see why we can't bring the World Cup back to Sri Lanka for the first time since 1996. All the players are very confident to face India. I think Muttiah Muralitharan is fit for the game - it is Murali's last one-day international and last World Cup game, and I'm sure he'll give us 100% against India. more..

EU, Sri Lanka meet

Apr 2 (NN) A discussion was held between the Heads of Missions of EU member States in Sri Lanka and the External Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the External Affairs Ministry said today. The Ministry said that the Acting Minister of External Affairs Neomal Perera took part in the discussion with the EU delegation which was held yesterday. The discussions centered on strengthening the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the EU and Sri Lanka, more..

A final that could define Sangakkara's legacy

Apr 2 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has never been shy of attaching a higher significance to cricket. After winning the semi-final against New Zealand, which also ended their hosting involvement in the tournament, he said life in Sri Lanka seems normal when cricket is played. Before the final against India, he said in a similar vein, "It [winning the World Cup] means everything. We have come through a very tough period. more..

World Cup final quotebox - Who will win it?

Apr 2 (Reuters) Cricket fever has gripped the sub-continent on the eve of the World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka on Saturday. Here are the thoughts of some former players on how the first all-Asian final will play out. Imran Khan, captained Pakistan to 1992 World Cup triumph. "The pressure of playing in a semi-final is greater than a final. As India and Pakistan faced off in the semis-finals ... India have gone through the test by fire. more..

The two titans

Apr 2 (CI) Walking in to the freshly rebuilt Wankhede Stadium the day before the World Cup final, the most arresting visuals are the huge hoardings featuring Indian cricketers in body paint and primal scream. There's MS Dhoni looking slightly out of character; there are Harbhajan Singh and Virat Kohli in an extension of their on-field persona; and there is Virender Sehwag looking brooding and intense. One cricketer is significant by his absence. more..

Sri Lanka prepares for Cup final

Apr 2 (BBC) As national team captain Kumar Sangakkara has mentioned, cricket - a religion rather than a sport for the whole of the subcontinent - is arguably the only thing that unites all Sri Lankans. During the peak of the conflict between the government soldiers and the Tamil Tiger separatists, it was said that even the rebels halted fighting to watch Sri Lanka playing in international games. On Saturday, when Sri Lanka meet India in Mumbai, more..

‘International thuggery’

Apr 2 (LG) I read with interest SL Gunesekera’s article international thuggery on Monday the 28th of March. He ends with "fiddlesticks", more a two fingers up to the concept of the allied military operation in Libya being "noble". One could measure the "nobility" of the Allied operation in Libya to the "humanitarianism" of the Sri Lankan military operation in the Vanni. An even better comparison would be Indian aircrafts escorted by more..

LLRC in Ampara ignored by the society at large

Apr 2 (LG) The LLRC visited Ampara on March 25 as a part of their last outstation session. The Commission also visited Buttala, Siyambalanduwa and Kalmunei in the following days. Immediately after their return it was announced that the LLRC had stopped public sittings and will focus on preparing the final report which is to be handed over to the president by May 15th, 2011. 100 oral submissions and 480 written submissions were made during the three days and 80 submissions more..

Lankan Muslims and their Freedom of Choice/Expression

Apr 2 (LG) In this 21st century where people talk of freedom of choice and freedom of expression, it is the individuals’ choice that who you support. For some unknown reasons, a few Muslims in Colombo support the Pakistanis and it had been going on for many decades without anybody’s objection. Of course, unlike Tamil Nadu that supports the Sri Lankan Tamils, Pakistan is not going to support the Sri Lankan Muslims if they have any problem but more..

Truth about Law

Apr 2 (LG) I respond to the article ‘Justice Implies More than a Law‘ published in Sri Lanka Guardian of 31 March. In the article ‘Persecuting of NGOS under the pretext of prosecutions’, the Asian Human Rights Commission stated ‘The importance is that whenever investigations begin they should begin within the framework of a clearly defined crime and that the persons being investigated must be clearly told of the crime for which they are being investigated.’ more..

Diplomatic corps must act to free ailing journalist Bennet Rupasinghe

Apr 2 (TC) The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the international diplomatic community in Colombo to help secure the release of Lanka eNews website News Editor Bennet Rupasinghe. According to colleagues in Colombo and international news reports, Rupasinghe was arrested by police after responding to a summons. He was called to give a statement about allegedly threatening a brother of a suspect who is in custody over the arson attack on the site's office on January 31. more..