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Karu Jayasuriya to challenge Ranil Wickremasinghe for UNP leadership

Dec 5 (DBS) Colombo district MP and senior co-deputy leader of the UNP Karunaratna (Karu) Jayasuriya has decided to throw his hat in the ring for leadership of the party. In a statement released by him Karu Jayasuriya has stated that he would be contesting for the post of UNP leader in order to save and unite the party. He has said that he is doing so because of many requests made to him by party members to contest for party leadership. more..

Editorial: Culprits of stigmatization

Dec 5 (DM) Throughout history, the differently-abled persons were considered a burden. They were often abandoned, were considered ill-omens and called many derogatory names. This would have been our story had not the country faced a bloody war that left many in hospital beds with amputated arms and legs; a few in physiotherapy units, learning to walk with their artificial limbs. Yet, the story has many chapters to go, if one seeks a happy ending. more..

Upa Pradhana Adhikarana Sanghanayaka of Siyane Aluthkuru Dekoralaya

Dec 5 (GDI) Venerable Parakandeniye Arya Sri Manoratha Nayaka Thera, Chief Incumbent of the Kadawatha Sri Sudharmarama Sri Nagarjuna Piriven Viharaya has been appointed Upa Pradhana Adhikarana Sanghanayaka of the Siyane Aluthkuru Dekoralaya by the Sangha Council of the Malwatta Chapter of the Shyamopali Vanshika Maha Nikaya. A special ceremony to welcome venerable Parakandeniye Arya Sri Manoratha Nayaka Thera was held at the Kadawatha Sri Sudharmarama more..

'Amend constitution for SF to contest top post in UNP'

Dec 5 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera requested party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in writing to amend section 8-1 of the party constitution to enable former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to vie for a top post in the party. Mr. Jayasekera, in his letter, said it would not be possible to appoint the former army commander to a top post in the party as, according to the party constitution, only members of the executive committee were entitled to such posts. more..

Stocks close 1.5-pct lower

Dec 5 (LBO) Stocks closed 1.5 percent lower Monday amid foreign selling in some large cap stocks brokers said, as staff at the securities watchdog bid farewell to its chairperson. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index fell 91.9 points to 5,995.9 breaching a psychological 6,000 point barrier and the Milanka Index fell 1.73 percent to end at 5,155.95 points. Turnover was 1.57 billion rupees. Last week stocks rallied after brokers went to President Mahinda Rajapaksa over to more..

Where was JJ all these years: Keheliya

Dec 5 (DM) UNP as a habit continues to disrupt government efforts for reconciliation and Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena who kept silent about Interpol’s failure to arrest KP for twenty odd years is now urging it to take custody of him, Minister Keheliiya Rambukwella told the Daily Mirror today. Minister Rambukwella made this remark in response to a statement by Dr. Jayawardena urging the Police Chief and the Attorney General to hand over KP to Interpol. more..

WikiLeaks: 'Ranil is a Yankee, like his uncle' US cable implies

Dec 5 (CT) “Since coming to power in late 2001, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken steps to steer Sri Lankan foreign policy closer to the U.S. Wickremesinghe’s pro-U.S. views have been long-standing and are in part a function of family connections. His uncle, J.R. Jayewardene, for example, was Sri Lanka’s president from the late 1970s through the late 1980s, and maintained very close links with the U.S. (Note: In fact, Jayewardene was called more..

SL ‘Safe House’ racket uncovered: Lankans return home

Dec 5 (LP) 100 Sri Lankan domestic workers, who were at a Safe House operated by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait, have returned to the country, this morning. The group of Sri Lankan domestic workers who have gone there in search of Employment had undergone many hardships of their employers. The majority of the group were females. There were 78 female domestic workers. Meanwhile the Sri Lankan Embassy officials in Kuwait were able to uncover a racket of selling female more..

Court orders under graduate to be produced before court

Dec 5 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Court ordered the Prison Superintendent to produce an under graduate who allegedly assaulted a lecturer of the Colombo University on Friday during an altercation, before court tomorrow. Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli made this order considering the submissions made by the counsel. The suspect Kalupahana Amila Tharanga a third year student of the Arts Faculty was remanded on Saturday by the Colombo Additional magistrate till more..

Severe punishment for doping-Minister

Dec 5 (LP) The Ministry of Sports is taking stringent measures to eradicate doping from the Sri Lankan sports arena. The Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage stated that severe punishment will be given to those that are charged for doping. This was expressed when the Minister convened a meeting with the officials of the appointed Disciplinary Committee to Eradicate Doping. It is compulsory for all athletes who participate in more..

No more ‘over 60’ officers in North

Dec 5 (DM) The Ceylon Teachers Association has charged that Administration level Education officers over 60 years of age were being employed in the Northern and Eastern provinces violating public administration circulars. CTA President Joseph Stalin told the Daily Mirror that vacancies for Zonal Education Directors in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Jaffna education zones in the Northern province were vacant since the directors had retired. more..

Public petition to free Fonseka:Ranil

Dec 5 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe called for the support of the masses to free former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka through a public petition organized by the UNP that will begin on Human Rights Day on December 10 and which will be handed over to the United Nations General Assembly. “Our country has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which is a part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he said while addressing more..

'Gov't price control may hurt pharmaceutical industry investment'

Dec 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's pharmaceutical industry warns that foreign investors will stay away from an investment zone if proposed price controls are imposed by the government, an official said here on Monday. Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry Chairman V. Govindasamy said that priced control mechanisms to be imposed by the government next month would drive away foreign investors to an investment zone designed to encourage local production more..

CPC searches for leads on Kolonnawa oil leak

Dec 5 (DM) Engineers attached to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had been entrusted with the task of initially finding out what caused the oil leak that occurred at Kolonnawa recently and preventing further leaks from taking place in the future, the Ministry said. It said in a statement that a trench 150 feet long and ten feet deep would initially be dug to reach the point where the leak had started to check what exactly had gone wrong and take steps to put it right. more..

Sri Lanka issues 'Red Alert' as dengue spreads

Dec 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan health authorities issued a "Red Alert" for parts of the country including the capital Colombo as dengue began to spread rapidly. The Sri Lankan Health Ministry said in a statement on Monday that the alert had been issued for Colombo, Gampaha, Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ratnapura, Kandy and Kegalle. The local police together with health officials will carry out checks for dengue breeding grounds on residential and more..

'Don’t make acting principals permanent'

Dec 5 (DM) The UNP urged the govt in Parliament today not to absorb those acting principals who are on a fast, into permanent since most of them were political henchmen. Making remarks during the debate on the vote of the Education Ministry, UNP MP Akhila Viraj Kariyawasam said that his party had learnt about attempts by the govt to make these acting principals permanent due to political reasons. “There are qualified teachers serving at schools. more..

8 years of Christian commitment in the service of the people of Sri Lanka

Dec 5 (AN) “AsiaNews was able to cover the most important events from people’s perspectives. The agency has a mission that it carries out with a Christian commitment. This is its greatest value,” said Herman Kumara, national president of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) and permanent delegate to the World Forum for Fisher People, as he paid tribute to AsiaNews on the eighth anniversary of its English edition, launched on 3 December 2003. more..

Bangladeshi National arrested with foreign currency

Dec 5 (DM) A Bangladeshi national was arrested at the Katunayake International Airport with foreign currency worth Rs.7.5 million when he attempted to smuggle them to Dhaka, the Customs said. According to customs the foreign currency comprised US Dollars and Euros. The currency was hidden inside his checked luggage and covered with clothes. He was taken into custody by a team of airport custom officers at around 10.45 pm last night when he was about to board a more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 05.12.2011

100 dogs imported by Police

Dec 5 (DM) Sri Lanka Police have obtained one hundred dogs for the Canine Kennels situated at Asgiriya, Kandy. The cost of each dog is approximately five lakhs seventy five thousand each and with the transport and other incidental expenditure, it has totalled to around 700 and 75,000 for each dog according to Police sources. The dogs are from four countries, namely Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany. They are to be trained as all round 'Canine Detectives', especially more..

Sri Lanka: Unfinished Business

Dec 5 (IBNS) Few countries torn by persistent and bloody ethnic war for decades, have recovered such a semblance of normalcy and equilibrium – albeit not of mutual ethnic understanding or perfect accommodation – as has Sri Lanka since the comprehensive defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. Despite shrill concerns articulated by the 'international community’ on the possibility of the extended internment of displaced Tamils, the Govt of Sri Lanka (GOSL) moved more..

'Charges against the Sisters of Mother Teresa should be withdrawn as soon as possible'

Dec 5 (AN) Card Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, called on all parties to withdraw as soon as possible the “groundless accusations” against the Missionaries of Charity and the Prem Nivasa in Morutwa, adding that he would not attend any official function until the matters is not cleared. After a long wait, the archbishop of Colombo held a press conference to register his protest against the unjust charges made against Sister Mary Eliza, more..

Trincomalee war displaced 'won't go back'

Dec 5 (BBC) Sri Lanka's war displaced from several areas in the eastern district of Trincomalee will not be allowed to resettle in their ancestral lands, the government has confirmed. Trincomalee Government Agent, Maj Gen TTR de Silva, said the resettlement of internally displaced people (IDPs) from Sampur has become "an international issue." "People can not go back nearer to the thermal power plant," he told journalists in Trincomalee on Sunday. more..

Mahipala Herath receives Mahatma Gandhi Award for Peace

Dec 5 (NF) A special event was organized at the Kegalle Town Hall yesterday, to welcome Mahipala Herath, who was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Award for Peace. The Mahatma Gandhi Award for Peace was presented to the Chief Minister of the Western Province this year by the International Federation for Peace Education in India. Speaking at the event that saw the participation of several politicians, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne shared these thoughts. more..

Proposed road in Sinharaja will not be allowed

Dec 5 (DM) The proposed widening and development of a 3.5km road stretch from Ilumbakanda to Suriyakanda on the edge of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve will not be permitted and remain as a ‘Nature Track’ because the development of the road along the natural habitat will affect the fauna and flora of the Sinharaja forest, Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. Addressing the media to announce the recommendations of the 12 member expert more..

Sri Lanka seen needing skills to exploit ocean resources

Dec 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka must develop research institutes and skilled manpower to exploit ocean resources being discovered around the island, a senior academic said. Oil and gas deposits are not confined only to the Mannar or Cauvery basins with new surveys indicating their presence elsewhere around the island as well, said Dhammika Tantrigoda, senior professor of geophysics of the university of Sri Jayewardenepura. Sri Lanka must think of introducing academic disciplines more..

Changing Saddam Hussein village protested

Dec 5 (BBC) People living in a village in Sri Lanka named after the former Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, have staged a demonstration against plans to change its name. Mr Hussein was a major benefactor to the area as part of an Iraqi assistance programme. But a desire for more aid is prompting a possible name change. To some people it may seem odd that there is a Saddam Hussein Village in eastern Sri Lanka. But the former Iraqi leader had close ties with numerous countries, more..

Champion racing driver seeks anticipatory bail

Dec 5 (DM) The well-known Sri Lankan racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa today filed an anticipatory bail application in court to pre-empt the possibility of his arrest on charges of a non-bailable offence. He cited the CID Commercial Crimes Unit OIC as the respondent. In a case before the Colombo Fort Magistrate, the CID alleged that Mr. Malagamuwa had introduced a Sri Lankan businessman Gnanadeepam Sivajothi to a Japanese Yoshiyuki Hayashi more..

UNP WC vacancies to be filled next week

Dec 5 (SL) The existing vacancies of the UNP Working Committee are to be filled next week before the appointment of new office bearers for next year. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told The Sunday Leader that the party’s Advisory Committee that met this morning has decided to fill the existing 20 vacancies in the Working Committee. He explained that there were vacancies for nine local govt representatives, which could not be filled due to the local govt elections more..

Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka 3-1 in SAFF Cupý

Dec 5 (ES) Sanjar Ahmadi of Afghanistan scored twice in the first half to reverse a one-goal deficit after Sri Lanka's Mohamed Zain had given them the lead in the 17th minute. Then in the 78th minute, Mohammad Yamir Ali headed in the third to get all three points for Afghanistan. In the first half, Afghanistan started as the better team and as early as the first minute Afghanistan's Waheed Ahmad attempt went over the crossbar. Then in the fourth minute Sri Lanka quickly more..

Minister explains educational policy

Dec 5 (GDI) The govt is to upgrade 1000 selected schools as fully fledged schools in order to minimize problems in getting admissions for children to schools. The Minister said that the current pattern of studies in the O/L and A/L will be changed to facilitate the students. Minister Bandula Gunawardena made these comments participating at the prize giving ceremony of the D S Senanayaka Vidyalaya in Colombo. more..

Four new diplomats hand in credentials

Dec 5 (ITN) Four new Ambassadors and two new High Commissioners have handed over their credentials to the President. The presentation of credentials took place at the Presidential Secretariat today. Traditionally the diplomats designated were conducted to the Presidential Secretariat in a horse carriage. Thereafter they handed in their credentials to President Rajapaksa. The first to present the credentials was the new Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal to Sri Lanka. more..

Government Economic Policy is village centred

Dec 5 (GDI) The Deputy Minister of Economic Development Mr. Laxman Yapa Abeywardena has told the Parliament that the govt has been able to build a powerful economy centering the villages in the country, that the current economic policy of the government is exemplary to The UNP which destroyed the rural economy. The Deputy Minister made these comments in the winding up debate of the Committee Stage Discussions of the votes on the Ministry of Economic Development. more..

GMOA rallies doctors against SLMC takeover

Dec 5 (DM) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) today warned that the decision to convert the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to a public enterprise would cripple Sri Lanka’s health sector and changes to the SLMC if any should only be made with the approval of the medical profession. GMOA Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa in a letter to all members of the SLMC, Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), Sri Lanka Dental Association (SLDA), more..

Steming the tide of declining of standards

Dec 6 (NS) At a time when most institutions and fields of activity in the country are falling prey to the inexorable march of party politicisation, it is encouraging that Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa has taken a step that would stem the tide of declining standards and ensure the preservation of the dignity and honour of the country’s supreme legislature. The Speaker having announced his finding that Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena was guilty of more..

Useful tips for expressway driving

Dec 6 (NS) The Southern Expressway (E01) served 6,000 vehicles in its first 18 hours, collecting Rs. 1.5 million in tolls and seeing one accident. As the latter shows, for this highway, it’s important to read the manual. The RDA has been running ads in all the papers, I noticed when I wiped my face with one at the lunch kade. Here are some of the relevant instructions republished. Cars, trucks and buses only. “Pedestrians, Three-wheelers, Motorcycles, Tractors and Bicycles are more..

Crackers, a booming business in Kimbulapitiya

Dec 6 (SO) Lighting crackers at functions or any other occasion is common in the present day society. It is seldom that one sees a function without lighting crackers. Deafening crackers are also used to chase away birds, wild elephants, monkeys or other animals who come to destroy cultivations. Millions worth of crackers are usually used by the supporters of politicians at election meetings and rallies during election time. more..

JVP and LTTE heroes

Dec 6 (SL) The LTTE’s Great Heroes Day and the JVP’s November Hereoes Day just passed. Both groups terrorized, tortured and tried to kill their way to political change, and yet both feel that there is something to commemorate. While I support mourning the dead, I think it is a folly to say that they died for something more than sociopaths promoting a corrupted cause. Colombo was plastered with pictures of Rohana Wijeweera, with his Che cap and beard, and an authentic smile. more..

Everything from Soup to Nuts: 'Defenders of the realm' in Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (SL) I have in previous columns made passing reference to those whose well-remunerated task it is to defend the status quo in this country. Let me, on this occasion, make the attempt to differentiate between them and the tasks that they appear to shoulder for a government that sorely needs defenders of various kinds, given the manner of its governance. At the top of this heap are those who write, primarily for the consumption if not delectation of those that more..

A question of systemic abuse rather than a few excesses

Dec 6 (ST) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse's keynote address at the inaugural "National Conference on Reconciliation - the way forward for post conflict Sri Lanka" held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute late last month, is a provocative indication of Sri Lanka's apparent change of heart in regard to the accountability question. Very few would quibble over his opening remarks in regard to the potent value of the late Foreign Affairs Minister more..