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Two strikes and you’re out

Feb 16 (DM) The Cabinet of Ministers decided yesterday that it should be compulsory for students to obtain a pass in Mathematics within two consecutive attempts at the G.C.E. (O/L) Examination to qualify for Advanced Level studies in any stream, government sources said. It had also been decided that students who want to do A/L studies in the Science, Math or Commerce streams should obtain a pass in Mathematics at one sitting. more..

'Parliament plays a vital role in development'

Feb 16 (PRIU) In pursuit of the development plans placed before the people through the Mahinda Chinthana, Sri Lanka's Parliamentary plays the most vital and crucial role despite an Executive presidential system, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said welcoming the participants of the Asia Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at the Banquet hosted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 13 Feb. more..

Would CoL, floods be main issues at LG polls?

Feb 16 (Island) The SLFP General Secretary says the then Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government had suffered a debilitating defeat, at the April 2004 parliamentary elections, due to rising cost-of- living and the Oslo-arranged Ceasefire agreement with the LTTE. Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that unlike the UNP, the SLFP-led UPFA had provided relief to the electorate and launched a sustained development programme. more..

COPE uncovers big mess in JEDB

Feb 16 (DM) Inquiries have revealed that the state owned plantation management entity – the Janatha Estate Development Board (JEDB) had recorded the largest financial loss and management breakdown within the state ventures accumulating debts with a huge creditors portfolio in the past 10 years. Billions of rupees, the high powered parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) sources said yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka’s seventh Medical faculty gets the Clinical Wards Complex

Feb 16 (GDI) Sri Lanka gets the latest fully equipped medical faculty to the University of Rajarata University. The Faculty of Medicine & Allied Science in Saliyapura of the Rajarata University was inaugurated in 2006 and the first batch of students of this new Medical Faculty will commence their final year in March this year. This Medical Faculty has to conform to the strict criteria laid down by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) which more..

ICC demands changes after Sri Lanka chaos

Feb 17 (AFP) International cricket chiefs Wednesday demanded that stadium bosses in Colombo make changes to ensure there is no repeat of chaotic scenes during a World Cup warm-up match. Sri Lanka Cricket came under fire after fans struggled to get hold of tickets and officials and reporters were blocked from entering the R. Premadasa Stadium for Tuesday's match between the home side and the West Indies. The ICC said changes to the stadium, more..

2,000 DMK members, including Kanimozhi held during anti-Lanka protest

Feb 17 (IANS) More than 2,000 DMK members, including MPs and legislators, protesting the arrest of 106 Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka were arrested here on Wednesday to prevent a march to the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission. Among those arrested were Rajya Sabha MP Kanimohzi, also daughter of DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, and Lok Sabha MP TKS Elangovan. more..

Upeksha hospitalised

Feb 16 (NN) Former UNP MP Upeksha Swarnamali has been hospitalized after being assaulted early this morning, the police said today. The actress better known as ‘Pabha’ had been allegedly assaulted by her husband over a domestic issue. According to police sources, the MSD officers assigned to her had called 119 today morning at 1 a.m. saying the parliamentarian had been assaulted and needed immediate assistance. more..

Sri Lanka plans first census of elephants

Feb 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka is planning its first ever census of elephants as the animals increasingly come into conflict with villagers. Government wildlife director Chandrawansa Pathiraja said a head count would start in August to aid better planning of conservation and minimise clashes between elephants and humans. "We will carry out the census within a 48-hour period," Pathiraja told AFP. "We expect dry weather at this time." more..

Sri Lanka north gets Japan, ADB grant for water

Feb 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's former war zones in the north of the island will get a two million dollar grant from Japan and the Asian Development Bank to provide safe water and sanitation for rural people. ADB says nearly 60 percent of the northern rural population lacks access to safe drinking water and sanitation. "In the 1,400 villages on the Jaffna Peninsula, just 13 water supply schemes exist, providing only around one hour of water a day," the ADB said. more..

JHU first to declare assets of LG candidates

Feb 17 (Island) JHU Western Province Minister Udaya Gammanpila said his party had created political history by being the first to declare the assets of its candidates. He was speaking to the media after the JHU candidates in the LGpolls fray declared their assets to to Assistant Commissioner of Elections for the Colombo District J.A.S.P. Jayasinghe. Gammanpila challenged the UNPers "who blabbered about good governance," to halt their baseless criticisms against more..

Manmohan says fishermen issue will be taken up with Sri Lanka

Feb 17 (PTI) As Sri Lankan Navy apprehended 118 Indian fishermen, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said India takes a “very serious view” of such incidents and would be taking up the matter with the Sri Lankan government. Mr. Singh said the Sri Lankan government had already been told in strong terms that such a behaviour was not acceptable. “I have been told that 118 fishermen have been taken into custody. more..

The Cup’s brimming over in Lanka

Feb 17 (HT) Even before setting a foot on the Sri Lankan soil, one could feel the World Cup fever that has gripped the nation. A large cutout of Stumpy the mascot, welcomes you at the BIA, with a tag line: ‘It’s not over till the last over.’ Every thing here revolves around what’s being billed as ‘The Cup That Counts’. From immigration officers to hotel receptionists, from cops to the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials, everyone’s waiting for the action to begin. more..

Govt undermines public education

Feb 17 (wsws) In a major attack on free education, the Sri Lankan government has launched an island-wide School Development Program (SDP), placing much of the financial burden of running schools on the shoulders of parents. Every school must establish a School Development Committee (SDC), comprised of teachers, parents, former pupils and education department officials. According to a government circular, each SDC must take “considerable responsibility in more..

Sri Lanka look to three-in-one Sangakkara

Feb 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka cannot ask for more of Kumar Sangakkara who performs a triple role - stylish batsman, safe wicket-keeper and shrewd captain. The left-hander also knows that he as well as his side will need to be at their best in all departments in the World Cup if he aims to emulate Arjuna Ranatunga or go one step beyond his predecessor Mahela Jayawardene. Ranatunga sparked wild celebrations in the country when he led Sri Lanka to their only more..

SL foreign policy questioned

Feb 17 (BBC) A senior Sri Lankan diplomat who is also serving on the presidential war commission says the country must stop “hurling abuses” at its foreign critics and must show that it is serious about addressing issues of accountability relating to the final phase of its military operation in 2009. H.M.G.S. Palihakkara was Sri Lankan ambassdador to the UN and is part of the LLRC, which is due to report back to the government in May on its hearings on the war’s causes and final course. more..

Cabinet decisions taken on 15. 02. 2011

Feb 17 (GDI) Long-Term plan for management of maritime wrecks and underwater cultural heritage: Shipwrecks are considered as the heritage of the nation, representing historical, cultural and archeological value and very old wrecks are a major attraction for underwater photographers. Divers and tourists. National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) is the Government Institution responsible for the management, development and more..

'Law twisted from time to time against general Fonseka'

Feb 17 (NF) The law has been twisted from time to time against General Sarath Fonseka, said Sarath N. Silva, former chief justice yesterday. The former chief justice was addressing a felicitation ceremony held in Navala for former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, organised by the 'War Heroes for the General' organisation to felicitate Sarath Fonseka who rendered a yeoman service to liberate the motherland from terrorism, more..

'Govt. unable to provide free education attempts to suppress student movement'

Feb 17 (LT) The government that is unable to provide free education to the students of this country is taking into custody student leaders on false charges to repress the student movement says the convener of the IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara. He said, “At present the government has unleashed a severe repression in universities. It is as a result of this repression I and the President of the Students Council of the Faculty of Agriculture of the more..

Sri Lanka go in as one of the favourites

Feb 17 (CI) In 2007, excitement ratcheted up in Sri Lanka over six weeks as Mahela Jayawardene's side established themselves as worthy title contenders in the Caribbean. Rain, a rampant Adam Gilchrist and the LTTE attacks on Colombo, though, combined to bring a distressing end to the campaign. Gilchrist's gone and the civil war is over but the core of the Sri Lankan that marched to the final remains intact - Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, more..

Inauspicious start for Lanka's first fast train

Feb 17 (PTI) Sri Lanka's first fast train, built with Indian assistance today had a troubled start with the inaugural run delayed and a local dignitary refusing to deliver his speech due to 'inauspicious' planetary position. The train started over an hour late from the coastal town of Galle as Transport Minister Kumar Welgame was late in arriving at the venue, an official who declined to be named said. more..

Vaiko urge PM to ensure IAF did not participate in SLAF anniversary

Feb 17 (PTI) MDMK leader Vaiko today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure that Indian Air Force (IAF) did not participate in the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) anniversary celebrations, saying it will fuel Tamils' anger against the Centre. The move "would be unjustifiable, fatal wrong decision which would, ultimately fuel the sentiments of Tamils toward anger and opposition against the Government of India," Vaiko said in his letter to the Prime Minister. more..

IOM hosts judicial colloquium on prevention of trafficking in persons

Feb 17 (IL) The Sri Lanka Judges Training Institute, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has organized a two-day residential programme on combating human trafficking for a group of 50 High Court judges and magistrates from across Sri Lanka. The programme, which was funded by the United States Government Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons was designed to sensitize judges on general characteristics of more..

Actress Wettamuni found murdered

Feb 17 (NN) Sri Lankan actress Vinu Wettamuny was found murdered at her home in Ratmalana this morning, the police said. According to the police, the actress had been strangled to death using a wire cord at her Rajasingha Mawatha residence. The police said that three men had allegedly carried out the crime while she was alone at home. Further investigations are underway. Among the films that Vinu acted in was the Sinhala film 'Mamai Priye Adare'

'We are concerned about Sri Lanka's treatment of fishermen'

Feb 17 (PTI) Defence Minister AK Antony today said the govt is concerned over reports about Sri Lankan Navy firing at Indian fishermen and will do "everything possible" to protect the interests of its fisherfolk. "Our govt is very much concerned about the plight of Indian fishermen and we are constantly monitoring the development and we are taking up the issue with the Sri Lankan govt. We will do everything possible to protect the interests of Indian fishermen," more..

'Govt. looking for any reason to impose fines on public'

Feb 17 (AD) The government intends to strike at the people’s pockets through excessive fining for traffic offenses as the Traffic Police are given weekly traffic fine targets that they have to meet while the government is looking for any excuse to impose fines on the people, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva stated. He further added that the objective is no longer for Policemen to make sure that the motorists obey the traffic laws but to jump out from behind trees and more..

Rulers of our country

Unjust criticism of AusAid by UNHRC

Feb 17 (LG) I refer to news report I received today from the United Nations, regarding your report entitled ‘INDEPENDENT UN EXPERT URGES AUSTRALIA TO ADOPT HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH TO FOREIGN AID’. The note at the end of the report says ‘Independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff and are not paid for their work.’ more..

Universities and Post-War reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Feb 17 (LG) With the end of nearly three decades of war some opportunities and challenges for promoting social cohesion among the affected communities have arisen. However fragile and uncertain it may be at present, peace has been finally restored in the country and a large-scale rebuilding of physical infrastructure in the conflict affected regions is currently under way. In the meantime a LLRC has commenced its work towards identifying lessons and possible more..

Colvin R. de Silva: A multi - dimensional personality

Feb 17 (TC) The late Dr. Colvin R. de Silva’s birthday falls on Feb 16. He was born on 16th February 1907 and his demise took place on 27th February 1989 at the age of 82. In February 1993 his bust was unveiled at the Law Library. Those of us who saw the final phase of his career in Hulftsdorp which commenced in about the 1950s will remember that it is in the court just above where his bust is installed that we had the pleasure of more..

Efforts to de-legitimize The Mahavamsa - Part 2

Feb 17 (DBS) For the purpose of this article, it is not proposed to engage in a discussion over present day thinking among some of the Sinhalese, whether they be Buddhists or otherwise, but suffice it to point out that this ‘post-modern’ argument of associating Anagarika Dharmmapala as the villain of the alleged present day Sinhala-Buddhist prejudicial perception of the “other” has gone too far. It is time to call off this misdirection and call for a reappraisal, more..

Efforts to de-legitimize The Mahavamsa - Part 1

Feb 17 (DBS) By contrast, the role of archaeology in the consideration of early Tamil identity has been more or less secondary. The common tendency is for South Indian historians to appropriate the archaeological data as a source of correlates for information gleaned from the texts – in other words, to use the material record to search out “known” historical patterns, events, or places. Archaeologists are equally culpable; it has become customary more..

A global epidemic hits lanka: Facebook fury

Feb 17 (LB) Crime busters say certain groups were in the habit of indulging in large scale vice using social networking systems such as Facebook and Twitter in Sri Lanka; contrast this with what is happening in other parts of the world where these two sites have led to revolutions without bloodshed. As personal details are exchanged through such social networks, the culprits have ready access to sensitive information to carry out more..

Power devolution in lieu of war crime charges?

Feb 17 (DM) It is reported that at the discussions which are being held between the Sri Lanka (SL) Govt. and the TNA party with a view to formulating a political solution for the ethnic issue, the SL Govt. made a request to nullify the war crime charges which are being levelled against it. It is learnt that the TNA has agreed to this nullification of the war crime charges if a political solution is arrived at. Some say this is in keeping with India’s line. more..

About time Mr. Commissioner!

Feb 17 (DM) Elections Commissioner Mr. Dayananda Dissanayake is an interesting man; and a principled one no doubt. However his occasional laments around election times leaves much to be desired. Continued requests to be relieved of his duties from successive leaders after every Presidential election, are as predictable as some of the outcomes of elections he has conducted. Therefore as necessary as the instructions issued by him recently to all heads of government institutions against more..

Still no trace of Pattani Razeek

Feb 17 (SL) It’s been one year since the abduction of human rights activist Pattani Razeek. On February 11, 2010, whilst on a field visit to Kurunegala, Razeek reportedly voluntarily got into a white van and was never seen again. The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Razeek are both strange and intriguing, for instance, for days after he disappeared, family and colleagues would get SMSs from his mobile number telling them that more..

Murder on a cold afternoon

Feb 17 (SO) Kithsiri Rajapakse (53) who spent 10 years in Italy returned home last year to spend a vacation and was shot dead by an assassin on January 15. Rajapakse died at the hands of an assassin like his brother who was also shot dead by an underworld gang last year while he was at his residence at Muhandiram lane at Keselwatte, Colombo. Kithsiri was a resident at Muhandhiram Mawatha before migrating to Italy. It was on a cold day of January 15 this year that more..

Sri Lanka’s political system, its political culture, proves a vibrant democracy

Feb 17 (DM) Mr Harim Pieris, a former advisor to former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, has recently opined that ‘Presidents Ben Ali, President Mubarak and President Rajapaksa’ comprise a ‘trilogy’, and that ‘the Rajapaksa Presidency has distressing similarities with early days of Ben Ali and Mubarak regimes’. His article is quite unexceptionable in its critical interest in developments in the Arab Middle East and its sympathy for the mass democratic upsurge more..

Commemorative lecture on second death anniversary of Lasantha Wickrematunge

Feb 17 (GV) A commemorative lecture to mark the second death anniversary of Sunday leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was held today. This is the first commemorative lecture to pay tribute to Late Lasantha Wickrematunge, who was killed on 8th of January 2009 in Ratmalana. Christopher Warren, former President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) delivered the key note address titled ~ “Role of Media in Post-War Democratization”. more..

Editorial: Of that anti-bookie offensive

Feb 17 (Island) The Police have, as we reported yesterday, set up a special unit to deal with the so-called cricket bookmakers during the forthcoming ICC World Cup matches to be played here. Sordid operations of cricket bookies, which have caused the lovely game to stink to high heavens owing to match fixing etc, must be stopped and racketeers brought to book. The police deserve the support of the cricket loving public to achieve that noble task for the wellbeing of the game. more..