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Tamil foundation in Canada loses charity status

Dec 13 (TS) The federal govt revoked a Toronto-area Tamil foundation’s charitable status over the weekend, saying it provided financial support for groups that are part of the support network for the Tamil Tigers. According to a Canada Revenue Agency audit, the Canadian Foundation for Tamil Refugee Rehabilitation provided more than $700,000 to organizations outside Canada that were “non-qualified donees.” The CRA served notice of the revocation, effective Dec. 10, last month. more..

Foreign job agents to get star grading

Dec 13 (Island) The govt was planning to grade the man power agencies, which sent workers abroad, so that they too would be given stars like the tourist hotels, Minister Dilan Perera told Parliament. Just like in soccer, whenever a man power agency violated rules they would get red and yellow cards depending on the severity of the breach of regulations, the minister said. If an agency was found guilty of handling employees and committing mistakes that would be issued a more..

Karu begins leadership campaign, to meet chief prelates

Dec 13 (DM) The UNP leadership struggle has intensified with the party reformists launching a campaign to woo the support of the party’s trade union sector, the Mahanayake Theras and other religious dignitaries for a leadership change. UNP reformist Ranjith Madduma Bandara said today that a UNP delegation led by leadership aspirant Co-Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya would call on the Chief Prelates of more..

Top Chinese military delegation in Lanka

Dec 13 (DM) A high-level Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) delegation headed by General Ma Hixiaotian the Deputy Chief of General Staff arrived in Sri Lanka to discuss professional training, exercises and further promotion of military assistance to Sri Lanka. The members of the delegation will meet Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya today in a move to strengthen bilateral relationship between the two armies and provide increased opportunities to the Sri Lankan Army. more..

'Detained ex-LTTE fighters to be released next yr'

Dec 13 (PTI) All the former LTTE fighters, who were detained following the end of a three-decade civil war in 2009, will be released next year. The last remaining group of 700 former LTTE cadres will be released by mid-2012 after providing them the mandatory 12 months training, said A. Dissanayaka, the Secretary for the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms. The former combatants are being given training in vocational skills under the supervision of the Sri Lankan military so that more..

Rajitha-Sarath fish brawl in House leaves government red-faced

Dec 13 (Island) Deputy Minister, Sarath Kumara Gunaratne yesterday accused Fisheries Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne of depriving consumers of an opportunity to buy fresh fish. The unexpected attack from the Gampaha District MP, during the third reading debate on budget proposals, under the votes of the Fisheries Ministry, triggered a heated argument between the two UPFA MPs, while their colleagues looked on. more..

Defence Services Staff College opens its doors to more countries

Dec 13 (Island) It will be a significant day tomorrow for the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) at Sapugaskanda when 83 officers, including a sprinkling of international participants, who have gone through a gruelling regimen of ‘education and training’ pass out with a post graduate diploma, which will allow them to proudly have the title of ‘psc’ after their names. What is significant about 2011 DCSCS graduation is that this year’s graduates will more..

NWP docs to strike on Wednesday

Dec 13 (Island) Doctors attached to hospitals in the North-Western Province will go on a one-day token strike on Wednesday, December 14, to protest against the Wayamba Health Director Dr. R.M.S.K. Ratnayaka’s failure to pay them their telephone allowance. Around 700 doctors would keep away from work from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., but all emergency cases would be attended on, the GMOA said. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa accused the North-Western Province Health Director more..

Lawyer takes law into his own hands against fellow lawyer

Dec 13 (LB) Minister of Media Keheliya Rambukwella said on Friday in Parliament that though everyone is entitled to form their own opinion, every pressman in the country should have the freedom to conduct their activities sans any threat to life or limb. The minister made this comment when MP Taranath Basnayaka inquired before sittings were suspended for the day in parliament on December 9, as to what measures the govt would more..

Ranil’s lack of honour

Dec 13 (SL) Political parties are like a restaurant. You do not have to get up and pay, but everybody does. It is an honor system. Ranil Wickremesinghe, however, is a politician without honour. Honour and its cousin shame are what cause most political transitions. They have no relation to Ranil. In Italy and Greece, Prime Ministers stepped down when their positions became untenable. In the UK, Gordon Brown stepped down after losing an election. more..

Vegetable traders and truckers riot in streets

Dec 13 (Island) The country’s premier vegetable and fruit wholesale market, in the Pettah, was yesterday without fresh supplies as lorries kept away in protest when the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) began enforcing the law which has made mandatory the use of plastic crates for the transport and storage of several types of perishable items. The CAA, which began to enforce the law from midnight Sunday had detained over 40 lorries for more..

Australian High Court halts Tamil deportation

Dec 13 (WA) A Tamil asylum seeker has been granted a temporary reprieve from being deported home to Sri Lanka after the High Court yesterday stopped him being removed from Australia. And a second Sri Lankan, due to be deported today, is expected to have an injunction granted this morning, with refugee advocates due to lodge an urgent application to stop his removal. Refugee advocates protested outside the Perth Immigration Detention Centre yesterday to more..

Sri Lanka initiates steps to reduce brain drain

Dec 13 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is aiming to turn back the brain drain tide and attract foreign workers back to the country by encouraging technologically advanced industries. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said that the govt was conscious of the need to improve employment opportunities in the country and widen the scope of technologically advanced industries so that professionals would return to the country. "We have already decided to only allow investments exceeding 300 million U.S. dollars to more..

Ill-advised Treasury Act deals kidney punch to BOI

Dec 13 (Island) Acting Chairman of Sri Lanka’s premier investment promotion agency, BOI, M.M.C. Ferdinando alleges that the security situation at Export Processing Zones (EPZs) has deteriorated due to unilateral action by the administration to implement a controversial private sector pension scheme. Ferdinando asserted that the Katunayake EPZ, where a young garment factory worker was killed last June due to police action, was the worst affected. more..

'We’ll struggle to win rights of all women who are being oppressed'

Dec 13 (LT) All women in the country including about 89,000 widows in the North, 1.5 million women in foreign employment, women workers in the estate and garments sectors as well as all the children are being pressurized and have been made vulnerable due to the present economic, social and political environment in the country states ‘Women for Rights’ organization. This was stated when a media conference was held by the organization at more..

Sri Lanka relaxes foreign investment in company debt

Dec 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank said it had lifted a foreign borrowing limit by companies to 50 million US dollars from 20 million, lifted a rate cap on debentures and also slashed the tenor to two years from five. "These new procedures are expected to support the currently expanding economic activities which require alternative financing sources at a competitive cost," the Central Bank's exchange control unit said more..

Vehicles stoned on expressway

Dec 13 (DM) Police said yesterday some people are reported to have pelted stones at vehicles using the southern expressway on Sunday night near the 63 kilometre post. The complainants said their vehicles had been damaged by the miscreants who had stood atop a hilly area from where they had pelted the stones. Police said the windscreens of several vehicles had been badly damaged but none of the occupants were injured. more..

Chinese Army general arrives bolstering existing military relations further

Dec 13 (MoD) General Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), who has arrived here together with a seven-member military delegation on a goodwill visit, called on the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya Tuesday (13) morning at the Army Headquarters. A Guard of Honour, accorded by Sri Lanka Armoured Corps troops of the Sri Lanka Army on arrival at more..

Editorial: Let the concience be our guide

Dec 13 (DM) An interesting topic for dialogue, would be to ask how we have been programmed to want not to live a crooked life, but to make our lives straight. Some may live crooked, dishonest or bad lives, and yet precaution is taken to hide it from others. We may even justify certain practices or behaviour as being an excepted custom or way of life in a particular culture or society. Yet, as society evolves, those same practices are found to be, not right. more..

Dublin's Kadupul brings Sri Lankan cuisine to the Bay

Dec 13 (IBA) An Indian friend who came to visit me once marveled that you could lose yourself in any number of curry joints in the Bay Area. And although many local diners may be familiar with a range of regional Indian cuisine, most are not acquainted with Sri Lankan food. Enter Kadupul Sri Lankan restaurant in Dublin, which opened in April 2010 with the mission of introducing this marvelous cuisine to the East Bay. Sri Lankan food is related to south Indian food, but more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Civic activists seek justice for disappeared

Dec 13 (UCAN) Christians and human rights groups joined families of missing people and political prisoners in a protest in Colombo yesterday to demand the release of their loved ones, to learn their whereabouts and against crackdowns on political activists. According to United Nations figures, more than 12,000 people went missing during the country’s civil war and rights groups believe there are more than 8,000 political prisoners languishing in prison. more..

Sri Lanka stocks end up 0.5-pct

Dec 13 (LBO) Stocks closed firmer Tuesday in thin trading with turnover falling to one of the lowest in recent times, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index rose 0.50 percent to 5,994.66, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.75 percent to close at 5,267.74. Turnover fell to 462 million rupees. Index heavyweight John Keells Holdings rose 5.10 rupees to close at 182.10 rupees and was the third most actively traded stock, accounting for the biggest turnover. more..

'Socialism will be established to solve all issues of the masses'

Dec 13 (LT) 20% of the population that earns the highest income in the country enjoy 54.4% of the national income and the 20% that gets the lowest income in the country is left with only 4.1% of the national income which indicates the discrepancy in the distribution of national income among the population says JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. In other words the daily income of 42% of the population is less than US$2 (Rs.228) pointed out Mr. Dissanayake. more..

'This is a govt that fines Rs.8000 for 8 papaws'

Dec 13 (LT) The govt, as if it has seen a bad dream, has made transporting vegetables and fruit in plastic containers compulsory from midnight yesterday. Rs.8000 has been fined for bringing 8 papaws in a lorry. We ask the govt to find other means to earn money. We demand the govt not to harass farmers, transporters, traders as well as consumers said JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi. He said this to the media when he met lorry drivers who have been severely inconvenienced more..

'Consumers and traders will be hurt'

Dec 13 (DM) The UNP and JVP in Parliament, yesterday, criticised the govt’s new rule that vegetables and fruits must be transported in plastic crates, and said it would hurt both consumers and traders. The UNP said this rule would cause the prices of vegetables to rise and place more burdens on farmers and consumers. UNP MP Gayantha Karunaratne said that despite the government’s assurance that it would reach its economic objectives in the 2012 budget, there was another more..

Namal says too much publicity for 'Rajapaksa's' in state media

Dec 13 (ST) MP Namal Rajapaksa told Parliament today that the overkill in the state media in giving publicity to members of the Rajapaksa family in their news bulletins only leads to negative feelings among people towards them. Speaking during the committee stage debate on the Media Ministry, Mr.Rajapaksa said that he agreed with the comments made earlier by UNP MP Gayantha Karunatillake who referred to a state run more..

President to amend vehicle loan scheme for journalists

Dec 13 (ST) The Govt decision to give an interest free vehicle loan of Rs1.2 million to media personnel who have more than 25 years of working experience is likely to be revised to due to requests that have been made to reduce the years for eligibility to gain facility, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Parliament. The Minister said President who will attend Parliament on Dec 21 when the final vote on the Budget will be taken up announce the new terms for granting more..

Trade ministry ready to intervene in the wholesale vegetable trade if…

Dec 13 (GDI) Minister Johnston Fernando said that if the traders in the Pettah manning Market do not resume their whole sale trading of vegetables his ministry would distribute vegetables in Co-op Lorries from the Narahenpita special economic centre. Vegetable Traders Association members of the Pettah manning market held a discussion with the Minister as he was adamant in implementing the law that requires the use of plastic crates for transporting fruits and vegetables. more..

Online petition for the release of Sarath Fonseka: US to make representations if 25,000 sign

Dec 13 (DM) The US govt has given an assurance that it would make representations to the Sri Lankan Govt to release Mr. Sarath Fonseka from prison if there were over 25,000 signatures on the online petition, which is currently available on the official website of the US White House. Kumara Alagiyawanna, the convener of the People’s Movement to Free General Sarath Fonseka, said that, more..

Volkswagen Race Polo will compete at the Colombo Night Races

Dec 13 (OC) Volkswagen Race Polo will make its debut at the Colombo Night Races, which will be run in the Srilankan capital city, Colombo on December 17, 2011. Volkswagen has secured 11 cars for the night street race, seven of which will be driven by the top ten drivers of the Polo R Cup India 2011 season and four slots have been allotted to Srilankan guest drivers. The night street race is a part of the inaugural Colombo Night Races, which is a prelude to the more..

UNP, JVP hail resurgence in fisheries sector

Dec 13 (DM) Both the UNP and JVP yesterday hailed the performance of Minister of Fisheries Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, stating that the minister had fearlessly confronted the mafia in the fisheries sector. UNP Gampaha District MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene, speaking yesterday during the committee stage debate in the House, said that Dr. Senaratne had done a good job in eradicating this menace by working together with other ministries, including the ministry of defene. more..

WikiLeaks: Sri Lankan intelligentsia and print media are anti-US bias

Dec 13 (CT) “It is also the case that much of the intelligentsia in Sri Lanka and much of the press share a general anti-U.S. bias.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” analyses the Sri Lanka’s pro – US foreign policy under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The cable was written on May 29, 2003 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Ashley Wills. more..

Yayasan Sakti to send humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka

Dec 13 (Bernama) Yayasan Sakti, with the cooperation of the Prime Minister's Department, will be sending humanitarian assistance to victims of Sri Lanka's 30-year civil war which ended two years ago. Its director and Makkal Sakthi Malaysia president Datuk R.S. Thanenthiran said 30 people comprising engineers, doctors and volunteers were undergoing training on the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the five-day mission. "We hope to collect RM2 million more..

de Villiers hopes South Africa find killer instinct

Dec 13 (CI) The stereotype that follows sub-continental teams is that they cannot win away from home and South Africa are fast-building an opposite, but fairly accurate pigeon-hole of their own - they cannot win at home. The last time they won a home Test series was in 2008, against Bangladesh. Of greater significance, is that the last time South Africa won a Test series at home against a team ranked in the top five, was in 2007 against Pakistan, who were then at No. 3. more..

Police use tear gas in Dambulla protest

Dec 13 (DM) Police used tear gas to disperse a large number of protesting traders in Dambulla. The protest was against the government regulation to make plastic crates compulsory when transporting vegetables and fruits, a reporter stated. Protesting farmers and traders set fire to a bus, pelted stones at passing vehicles and attacked police officers. The police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters but to no avail. more..

Give Chandrika her due place, Mangala asks president

Dec 13 (SM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera has requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the ‘Lotus Pond’ performing arts theatre, a symbol of Sino-Lanka friendship, be named after his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga. In a letter to the president, the MP says Nomads Grounds was taken over, through the personal mediation of Mrs. Kumaratunga, when she was the president, for the construction of an international level arts theatre. The recommendation for such an more..

Sri Lankan officials praise Indian wildlife conservation efforts

Dec 13 (TOI) A wildlife team from Sri Lanka lauded India's effort in conserving the flora and fauna of Chilika lake. "We are very impressed by India's conservation efforts that includes community participation and protects livelihood," said H D Ratnayake, director general of Sri Lanka's wildlife conservation dept. 25 officials led by Ratnayake visited India for two weeks from November 29 to gain knowledge of wildlife conservation and tackle men-animal conflict in India. more..

Malwatte, Asgiriya chief prelates tell Karu to accept UNP leadership

Dec 13 (SM) The chief prelates of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters today gave their blessings to UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya and told him to accept leadership of the party and take it forward. After declaring his intentions to contest for the position of the UNP leader, Mr. Jayasuriya called on the two prelates this morning. First, he obtained blessings from Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thera, Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter. more..

Court restrains CMC from interfering business premises

Dec 13 (DM) The District Court of Colombo restrained the Colombo Municipal Council from interfering with the possession of the Summer Garden Restaurant at No 86 A, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7 until Dec 23. Colombo District Judge Ranjith Watupola issued this enjoining order on the Colombo Municipal Council considering the submissions made by Counsel Faizer Musthafa instructed by Sanath Wijewardena. The counsel submitted that the plaintiff Summer Gardens more..