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Enervating the language through verbicide

Dec 24 (Island) In reality, as well known, there is no language that is ‘pure’ in every respect, especially in its word stock. The most widely used world language today, English, which is estimated to have the largest ever vocabulary among languages, of over one million words, has borrowed heavily from many other languages. Words of foreign origin, properly used, are in fact a source of enrichment. Our own language has a word stock enlarged by borrowings from other languages. more..

The “Flying Pigeon” Rider who sang “Una Paloma Blanca”

Dec 24 (DBS) Gaining acceptance for military training by the LTTE organization and being inducted into the movement after a one to one meeting with tiger leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran was a great achievement for the author of “Tamil Tigress” at that juncture in her life. The seventeen year old girl whose nom de guerre was going to be “Shenuka” in the tigers had realized her long cherished goal at last. more..

Truth and reconciliation commission needed to go deeply into entire tragedy of war

Dec 24 (TC) The final report of the LLRC appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has drawn a mixed reaction. The 388 page report has been criticized by the main Tamil political party, the TNA, and by international human rights organizations. They have referred to the report as being in the nature of a white wash and failing to deal with the issue of accountability of the govt for alleged war crimes. In addition, there is extreme disappointment expressed by victims of more..

Editorial: UNP - Stoning and being stoned

Dec 24 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe seems to think attack is the best form of defence. Monday's stone throwing at Sirikotha has galvanised him into taking on the UNP rebels and a section of the media supportive of them. He is apparently all out to do to UNP troublemakers (mutineers?) politically what President Mahinda Rajapaksa did to the Tigers militarily in May 2009! One need not be surprised even if the present crisis leads to a purge of the UNP sooner or later. more..

Celebrating Christmas and Promoting Life

Dec 24 (Island) Christmas is about celebrating the birth of a child of poor and humble beginnings but at the same time one who was noble and extraordinary because eventually as a religious founder, he would bring a radical message to the civilization and cultures of mankind which would launch a revolutionary change in the life of humanity. The birth of Jesus of Nazareth has been hailed as a decisive event for the last twenty centuries and at every Christmas more..

Aitken Spence supports national education and skills development

Dec 24 (Island) As an organization committed towards uplifting the society they operate within, Aitken Spence has always steered a clear strategy towards social development. As part of an integrated sustainability plan, which spreads across the entire Group, the Company’s HR Division has included supporting the national education system, in their sustainability strategy. Aitken Spence HR recently conducted two programmes for students and teachers in the Kaluthara and more..

Postal Services official under investigation by Bribery Commission

Dec 24 (LB) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABC) recently received a complaint regarding an official from the Ministry of Postal Services who is alleged to have been involved in mass-scale corruption and malpractices connected to a tender for a data centre affiliated to the ministry. It is alleged that if this tender is allowed to proceed it will lead to an unprecedented loss of revenue to the Ministry of Postal Services and by more..

Dilshan overawed by Chandimal

Dec 24 (Island) Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan believes the prodigious talent of Dinesh Chandimal is ready for Test Match cricket and predicted a bright future for the 22-year-old, who will make his Test debut in Durban on Boxing Day. Chandimal, who hails from Ambalangoda, is one of the brightest prospects to have come through the school cricket structure in recent years and has done extremely well for both NCC and Sri Lanka ‘A’. more..

The Crate Debate

Dec 24 (SL) Manning Market was deserted on Tuesday (13). There were a few people plying their wares, but the air was filled with a kind of quiet tension. A few people squabbled loudly in a corner, UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena showed up and there were shouts of “Jayawewa!” And everywhere were the gunny bags. A few sellers had swapped to plastic crates, but they were not happy about it. To examine the issue closer, though, it is necessary to examine the why. more..

Iftar facilities for Muslim undergrads

Dec 24 (CT) Universities will provide separate canteen facilities for Muslim undergraduates during the month of Ramadhan, an official attached to the Higher Education Ministry said. Separate canteen facilities will be granted for Muslim students to break fast during the 30 day fasting period. “The Vice Chancellors of all the Universities will be advised by the Minister to look into this matter immediately. We are hoping to make fasting convenient for the students at University,” more..

Peradeniya Arts Faculty Teachers condemn state iron fist

Dec 24 (Island) The Peradeniya Arts Faculty Teachers Association (PAFTA) has strongly condemned the excessive use of force by the state to suppress the lawful expression of dissent by the students of the University of Peradeniya on Wednesday. The PAFTA has stated that it also condemned the suspension of the student unions of the university by the Vice Chancellor on the recommendation of an Advisory Committee. more..

The cardinal and the power of boycott

Dec 24 (ST) Last weekend, your favourite Sunday newspaper reported that the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, had announced he would not attend any state event during the Christmas season. This protest on his part, the country's most senior Roman Catholic prelate said, would continue until the Govt or the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) rectified the situation. That situation, for those who came in late, was the arrest a few days before more..

Protest over Habaraduwa OIC’s transfer

Dec 24 (DM) An angry crowd of more than 1,000 today burnt tyres and staged a protest in the Habaraduwa Town over the transfer of Habaraduwa Police OIC A.B. Welagedara, who they said had taken steps to reduce crime and illegal activities in the area. The protesters obstructed traffic on the Galle–Matara main road and shouted slogans against the authorities who they said had victimised an honest police officer who campaigned against illegal activities and arrested the culprits. more..

World's largest greeting card presented to President

Dec 24 (DN) World's largest New Year greeting card, created by prison inmates, was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday. This greeting card created by a team of 15 inmates of the Welikda Prison, is considered to be the largest greeting card prepared by prison inmates in the world. The greeting card has portraits of historical evolution of Sri Lankan history beginning with the Rawana legend. more..

Gold dosa: India discovers gold-plated food

Dec 24 (TC) The humble dosa – a pancake made from rice batter and lentils – may be very popular in southern India, but the country’s newly prosperous middle classes can now relish a gold-plated version of this dish. Dosa come in many varieties, for example plain or with a potato masala filling. And they are not very expensive, costing between 50 and 100 Rupees (94-$1.90, 60p-£1.20). But the Raj Bhog restaurant in Bangalore, now offers dosa covered in a coating of pure gold. more..

No money to renovate 7000 irrigation canals

Dec 24 (Island) The Agrarian Services and Wildlife Ministry says that more than 7,000 irrigation channels in the country need immediate renovation. "During the last year the irrigation engineers were only able to renovate nearly 600 of the total identified 8000 irrigation channels," Agrarian Services Commissioner General Ravindra Hewavitharana said. A large number of farming communities had requested the ministry to renovate the channels, but the total budget more..

Indian drug Cyclosporine withdrawn, fails quality test

Dec 24 (Island) An Indian drug ‘Cyclosporine’, used for treating kidney transplant patients, was withdrawn from all govt and private hospitals due to quality failure. The Health Ministry said yesterday that the drug, which was produced in capsule form, was a product of Alrita Pharma. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that the drug was used during kidney transplant surgeries to prevent rejection of the organ. more..

Japan grants more grassroot assistance

Dec 24 (Island) The Grant Contract for $ 42,055 provided by the Japanese Govt under the Grant Assistance Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP) was signed this week (21), between the Chairperson Peragama Guild, Ms. Dharma Samaranayake, and the Ambassador for Japan Nobuhito Hobo. Speaking after documents were signed, Dharma Samaranayake said those funds would be utilized to uplift villages in the Uhana DS Division in Ampara and would benefit about 170 families more..

Korean donation for improving schools in North and East

Dec 24 (Island) UNICEF, in association with the Ministry of Education, is to roll-out teacher training and improved school management practices in twenty three new schools in former conflict-affected parts of Sri Lanka, thanks to the generosity of a Korean donor. On behalf of the Govt of the Republic of Korea, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is funding the teacher training and the sharing of other school management practices a total cost more..

As Sri Lanka threatens critics of LLRC, Ban awaits cheat sheets of DPA, HRC

Dec 24 (ICP) One week ago about Sri Lanka, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "noted that the report of Sri Lanka's LLRC was tabled in parliament today and welcomed that it has been made public. The United Nations will be studying the report closely." After a week of silence from Ban, even while the Sri Lankan govt announced it would take legal action against NGOs which have joined the criticism for the LLRC report as no leading to accountability more..

Ruhunu senior undergrad suspended

Dec 24 (Island) The Ruhuna University administration has suspended a senior female undergraduate of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences for admitting a junior colleague, injured in a ragging incident, to a hospital without informing the authorities, university sources said. The junior female student, belonging to the first year batch, had been ragged by seniors and her spinal cord had been damaged, hospital sources said adding that the injured had been transported to more..

More bad weather

Dec 24 (Island) The Meteorological Department yesterday predicted more rains in the Northern, Eastern, North Central, Uva, Central and Southern Provinces in the next two days as a low pressure area developed in the atmosphere with the Northeast monsoonal conditions setting in. Showers and thundershowers would occur in those provinces during the day and especially in the evening. "The atmospheric disturbance in the vicinity of Sri Lanka has intensified into a low pressure area and more..

CPC to open 37 filling stations

Dec 24 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation plans to open 37 new filling stations in eight provinces within the first half of 2012. Minister Susil Premajayantha said that 20 filling stations would be opened in the Northern and Eastern Provinces under the Uthuru Wasanthaya programme. He said that he had directed the CPC to open these sheds as soon as possible especially to cater to the mega development projects in the war affected area. more..

‘Youth Parliament, nursery for role model politicians’

Dec 24 (DN) Youth Parliament which began under a concept of Minister Dullas Alahapperuma is an excellent place to study politics. A number of role model were found among youth parliamentarians, said film director Jayantha Chandrasiri addressing the fourth session of the Youth Parliament. The event was held on December 19, 20 and 21 where the constitutional amendments to the Youth Summit were taken up for discussion. Chandrasiri said the work experience we gain in life is important. more..

President informed of closure of 50 privatised tea, rubber factories

Dec 24 (FT) The Ceylon Estate Services Association has in writing informed President Mahinda Rajapaksa that over 50 tea and rubber factories that were privatised in the last 18 years have been shut down. The letter signed by the President of the Association Dhammika Jayawardena and Secretary Nath Amarasinghe has explained the issues faced by the estate administration. The letter has noted that among the problems faced by the estate staff are the salary anomalies, lack of more..

Advisory council and guidelines for sentencing

Dec 24 (DM) The Justice Ministry will set up a Sentencing Advisory Council and introduce Sentencing Guidelines for Sri Lanka’s judicial system and thus prevent anomalies in the sentencing procedure. Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamalth said studies conducted by the ministry had revealed there were instances where judges at different courts had sentenced convicts to varying jail terms for similar offences and this reflected badly on the judiciary. more..

Govt. ignores the CMC

Dec 24 (SM) The govt is to carry out its development agenda in the Colombo City ignoring the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). The Cabinet of Minister has passed development plans for the city without consulting the CMC led by the main opposition UNP. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Cabinet had decided it was “unnecessary” to consult the CMC as the govt was a “higher authority.” The govt has arrived at this decision although the proposed development plans centred on more..

Heavy rains, but not enough for hydro power

Dec 24 (Island) Incessant rains in many parts of the country, have improved the water levels of reservoirs, particularly those of Kotmale, Victoria and Randenigala, which experienced more than 50 mm during the past few days. However, the CEB officials said that heavy showers were yet to be experienced in other catchments. An official of the Systems Control Department of the CEB said that despite rains in most parts of the country, hydro power generation remained at more..

Missing activist’s wife lodged complaint at ICRC

Dec 24 (CT) Wife of missing activist Kugan lodged a complaint at the ICRC today regarding the disappearance of her husband and the other missing activist - Lalith. The complaint was lodged by Kugan's wife Muruganandan Janadha. Kugan's eight year old daughter and missing activist Lalith's father was also present to lodge the complaint. Janadha speaking to Ceylon Today outside the ICRC premises upon lodging the complaint said her husband more..

‘Message of peace on earth has relevance to world today’

Dec 24 (DN) “I am pleased to share the joy of Christmas with all who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a Christmas message. The message: “The story of Christmas has great meaning to all humankind. The birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in a stable in Bethlehem, is a powerful reminder of the message of humility, love and sharing that is spread with the ringing of Christmas bells in this festive season. “The sheep in whose midst the more..

UNOPS gives SL ‘time bound action plan’ on Achchuveli IE

Dec 24 (Island) The United Nations Office for Project Services has sent the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Scale Enterprises a time bound action plan on the development of Achchuveli Industrial Estate in the Jaffna district. The Ministry said it had received the action plan on Tuesday. The Indian govt had chosen UNOPS as their implementing partner in the industrial estate development project. India had recently granted Rs. 174 million to develop the Achchuveli more..

'SL has inner strength to solve its problems'

Dec 24 (DN) Archbishop of Colombo Rev Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on Thursday said that Sri Lanka is capable of solving its own problems and attempts by some to run to the international community to solve problems is not acceptable. “We can solve our own problems because we have religious, spiritual and the moral rectitude necessary in our own cultures to solve our problems by ourselves. We also have the necessary courage to do that because we are a people of courage,” more..

Special Courts of Law to hear cases of Buddhist monks

Dec 24 (Island) The government will shortly bring in new legislation for the creation of a special court of law meant for the hearing of cases in relation to Buddhist monks. These cases which come under the ecclestiastic law which are related to Buddhist monks have staggered over the years numbering over 1200 as of now, according to Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath. Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne in his capacity as Minister of Buddhist Affairs will shortly submit a more..

CMC budget passed

Dec 24 (Island) In the event the Colombo Municipal Council finds that it was unable to manage its assets the govt had the option of acquiring them, member Assad Sally (UPFA) said at the CMC budget debate yesterday. Newly appointed Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil presided alternatively with Commissioner M/S Badrani Jayawardana. Sally pointed out the inordinate delays faced by the rate payers when making efforts to obtain such services as non vesting certificates, street line certificates etc. more..

Karapitiya cardio-thoracic unit to reopen soon

Dec 24 (Island) The theatre complex, in the cardio-thoracic unit of Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, would be re-opened shortly, after a temporary closure of over one month, due to an air leak. Health Ministry sources said yesterday that the Microbiologist report stated that the leak of outside air through the air conditioning could lead to a spread of bacteria within the theatre. more..

Sri Lanka to train new generation of handloom weavers

Dec 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka has begun work to revive its handloom industry, setting up a task force with plans for a national centre to oversee training of a new generation of weavers amid a looming shortage of skilled workers. District Level Handloom Coordinating Centres will also be set up to create a structure for the industry and promote buyer - seller meets, design and development of products, more..

SAITM students’ parents threaten to take legal action

Dec 24 (DM) Parents of seven students of the controversial private medical institution in Malabe said yesterday they would send a letter of demand requesting the institution to reimburse payments made to the institution or else they would resort to taking legal action. The mother of a second-year medical student of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) told the Daily Mirror that more..

Sri Lanka forex reserves down 15-pct in October

Dec 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's forex reserves fell 14.8 percent off a high reached in July to 6,896 million US dollars by October 2011, as the island's soft-dollar peg continued to be pressured, official data showed. Sri Lanka's official reserves rose to 8,099 million US dollars by end-July 2011 but have since fallen 1,203 million US dollars largely due to defence of a dollar peg and state foreign loan settlements. more..

SLTB collides with RDA

Dec 24 (CT) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and the Road Development Authority (RDA) are at loggerheads over a proposed plan to operate semi luxury buses along the southern highway. While SLTB made elaborate plans early this week to operate semi luxury buses along the newly constructed southern highway, the RDA it is learnt has blocked it, saying there is no sanction for such an operation. more..

Bus strike in Western Province called off

Dec 24 (LS) Private bus operators in the Western Province have called of their strike after authorities promised to provide a solution to their issue. The protest strike was launched from midnight yesterday (23) against the irregular issuing of route permits by the Western Province Passenger Transport Authority to several buses, while there is an excess of buses in the province. more..