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Hemas Holdings Donates Millions Worth Pre-School to Jaffna Kids

Jan 15 (Cimic) While rapid change is taking place in Jaffna under the government-projected northern development programme “Uthuru Wasanthaya”, education of Jaffna students is considered prominent. Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna (SF-J) in support of the government’s programme has taken a number of steps to promote education in the peninsula. Releasing schools within the Palaly restricted zone, more..

Using language that will heal, not cause wounds

Jan 15 (LG) Today is the 82nd birth anniversary of the Revd Martin Luther King, the US civil rights activist. Today, equal rights for the non-white Americans are almost taken for granted as an accepted right in US society, even though accusations of discrimination still prevail. But it was not so when Martin Luther King began his civil rights movement, and the blacks were subject to law-sanctioned discrimination in so many ways. more..

What went wrong?

Jan 15 (NS) At a time when some ‘influential’ people of the order of Cardinal and Bishops are continuing to sing their usual song of ‘Sinhala Only Official language’, ‘Settling Sinhala people in Tamil Homelands’ etc as the cause for the so-called ‘ethnic problem’, the LLRC shall consider the following key misdeeds (out of numerous) made by our successive governments and their political leaderships since the country cannot afford to make way for terrorists once again. more..

Fr. Marcelline Jayakody – a legend in his lifetime

Jan 15 (LG) The death anniversary of Fr. Marcelline Jayakody OMI, the well known Catholic priest, musician, poet, author, journalist and patriot falls on January 15. A household name in our country and a legend in his lifetime, he passed away on January 15, 1998. He lived long till the ripe old age of 96. Fr. Marcelline Jayakody was born on June 3, 1902 at Dankotuwa on the outskirts of Maha Oya. more..

Inspire and empower the people

Jan 15 (DM) Dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, Vanakkam, assalamu allikum and best wishes for all the blessings of Thaipongal, a festival of the harvest linked to the sun -- though you appear to be more interested in the political harvest from the local council elections some time in March.Last year, the UPFA government and the main Opposition, the UNP, basically agreed that the proportional representation system of elections needed to be changed. more..

One ruling coalition and many Opposition parties for the election

Jan 15 (DM) The first encounter between the ruling UPFA and the opposition parties after the last year’s Parliamentary election will be the Local Government elections that is said to be held in March. Though the period between the last General election and the forthcoming Local Authorities elections is not even a year, the political allegiances of the electorate does not seem to be the same. So many things have occurred in the country that definitely would more..

Thai Pongal - the way for new opportunities

Jan 15 (LG) Thai Pongal is traditionally dedicated to the Sun God. The harvest festival of Pongal symbolizes the veneration of the first fruit. The crop is harvested only after a certain time of the year, and cutting the crop before that time is strictly prohibited. The Pongal was originally a festival for the farming community; today it is celebrated by all. Thai Pongal is the embodiment of Tamil culture. more..

The Tamil in the room at the war’s end

Jan 15 (GV) On May 19th 2009 the last shots in the nearly three decade long war between the Sri Lankan state and the LTTE were fired. The end came in the form of the virtual destruction of the LTTE including its leadership, after a gruelling campaign in the northern Vanni region leading to the deaths of thousands of soldiers, LTTE cadres and civilians. There were wild celebrations in the south; President Mahinda Rajapakse was hailed as a conquering hero, more..

Some reflections on reading Dayan Jayatilleka and Dharmeratnam Sivaram

Jan 15 (GV) The discourse on Sri Lankan ethnic crisis has always been distracted by sideshows of political antics from both sides of the ethnic divide. The recent Oxford Union ‘fiasco’ is one among them. People use the narratives – The triumphalist Tamil diaspora, the defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa and the West’s conspiracy against Sri Lanka – appropriate for their ‘ideological’ positions; being confined to an intellectual and cognitive comfort zone is preferred than more..

Sri Lanka to start a new Business School to award degree programs

Jan 15 (N360) The National Institute of Business Management says, it is planning to establish a Business School to offer highly quality degree programs covering a multiple of subject areas. The Business School which will operate under the name of “National School of Business Management” will be a subsidiary of NIBM. The Rs. 3.5 billion worth education facility expected to be built in Homagama will accommodate 12,000 students per annum. more..

Editorial: Pongal in rainy days

Jan 15 (DM) The past few years had been crucial for the country. With the war over people looked forward for a peaceful life ahead. Then we had a spell of floods and disaster that hit the southern parts of the country. And now the last three weeks with the Northeast Monsoon setting in, those parts of the country that usually get rainfall during the season, have been getting more rainfall than is usual. This has left many parts of the country under water. more..

Editorial: Worst is yet to come: Be prepared!

Jan 15 (Island) Weather gods' fury seems to know no bounds. Torrential rains continue to lash many parts of the country, especially the North and the East, though Colombo and a few other areas have got some respite. Floods and earth-slips have affected one million peoplein every twenty Sri Lankans—and left 27 people dead. Many houses, roads and tanks have been either badly damaged or destroyed. Our page one picture yesterday of a lifeless baby jumbo more..

On Sri Lanka, UN panel delays report into next month, travel unclear

Jan 15 (ICP) On war crimes in Sri Lanka, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon belatedly set up a Panel of Experts, saying that their work would be finished, and report provided, by January 15. On December 17 he announced that the Panel could travel to Sri Lanka, and thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his “flexibility.” Since then, the government of Sri Lanka has said visas would only be granted for more..

Help those affected by the flood: An urgent appeal by All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama

Jan 15 (TC) Dear all, As you all know the East and the North Central province of Sri Lanka are under flood catastrophe. Over a million people of all races are engulfed by water for the last three days and unreachable to supply of basic items. Some fainted want of food. Few died. It is a heart rendering scene worse than that of Brisbane needing urgent assistance in all forms and from all quarters to save those stranded in or surrounded by water. more..

Japan provides urgent relief items to flood victims

Jan 15 (Island) The Government of Japan has decided to donate emergency assistance worth 20 million Japanese Yen (approximately SL Rs. 26.7 million) to the Government of Sri Lanka for immediate distribution among displaced people in flood affected areas. The emergency assistance includes 400 Tents and 2,000 sleeping pads for those displaced by the recent floods. The assistance is being provided in line with the needs of those displaced and as requested more..

Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism: Past, present and future

Jan 15 (DBS) “Thai Piranthaal Vazhi Pirakkum” is a popular saying in Tamil about the month of January or “Thai” in Tamil. It’s meaning in English would be something like this – “When January is born, a way will dawn”. The birth of January in the Hindu Almanack is in mid-January according to the Western calendar. It generally co-incides with the Tamil harvest festival called “Pongal” or “Thaippongal”. It is usually a season of Thanksgiving and celebration. more..

Major Gen. Shavendra speaks on Advancement of Girls Education in SL

Jan 15 (UL) The Acting Permanent Representative of Sri Lankan to the UN, Major General Shavendra Silva addressed the Working Group on Girls NGO Committee on UNICEF on Advancement of Girls Child Education in Sri Lanka on the 13th of January 2011. The other round table committee panelists consists of Jerobeam Shaanik (Deputy Permanent Representative of Namibia), Sylvia Hordosh ((UN-DAW) and Stacey Roberts (Executive Director-Expanding your Horizons). more..

National harmony vital for economic development

Jan 15 (ST) A fundamental error in thinking is that economic development is dependent on economic variables alone. A spectrum of conditions—social, political, educational, legal, administrative and institutional determines the character and pace of economic development. Values and attitudes a society inculcates in its people through various socializing mechanisms largely explain why some countries develop more rapidly and equitably than others. more..

'Buddha Jayanthi miscalculated'

Jan 15 (DM) The Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter Ven. Udugama Buddharakkitha Thera said that Buddhists have been miscalculating the Buddhist era. Elaborating on the point he said that “We have been calculating the Buddhist era from the day the Buddha attained Nibbana when it should have been counted from the day He attained the Buddhahood.” Thero said “The Sambudda Jayanthi reaching two thousand six hundred years is important to us as Buddhists. more..

Spill water from reservoirs deluge villages in Mannaar

Jan 15 (TN) With the opening of the floodgates of hundreds of reservoirs, the second largest river in the island, Aruviyaa’ru in spate has deluged many villages in the Mannaar district. Three villages in Madu division, Kugnchukku’lam, Maathaa-kiraamam and Periya-mu’rippu are completely cut off, marooning nearly 1230 villagers of 300 families. A cable-bridge, the only link of the villages with outside is completely inundated in the floodwaters. more..

Parties jostle for council seats

Jan 15 (NS) Dissolution of 268 local government bodies by the government last week gave the local as well as national political parties a sudden thrust to get into full action. Following last week’s ruling party leaders’ meeting at Temple Trees, it was decided to dissolve 268 local government bodies of the 330 Municipal councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas. Out of 270 Pradeshiya Sabhas, elections will be held for 228 Pradeshiya Sabhas while out of 42 Urban councils, more..

Queen Elizabeth honours three Tamils this year

Jan 15 (TN) Queen Elizabeth II honoured three Tamils this year at New Year’s awards in New Zealand and in UK. Significantly, The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) to 77-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil, Mr. Arumugam Thevarajan from New Zealand was in specific recognition for his services to the Tamil community in New Zealand. Another Sri Lankan Tamil who received Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) was Mr. Chelliah Yogamoorthy, more..

Bodirukkarama temple case suspects allowed bail

Jan 15 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundera on Thursday ordered the release on bail of the three suspects, arrested by the Terrorists Investigations Division, in connection with a haul of weapons retrieved from the Bodirukkarama Temple in Dematagoda. The suspects Papathayan Rajpalan, Thamil Chelvam and Sandanam Suberamanium were enlarged in Rs.100,000 cash and surety bail. They were arrested under emergency regulations. more..

Blue Water Rally yachts all reach Sri Lanka safely

Jan 15 (SW) The said yacht, Baccus, a Sun Odyssey 45 owned by British sailors Keith and Susan Harding, and lost in the same waters as the rally fleet, had been a part of the Blue Water Rally some years ago, but was travelling independently. The rough weather during the crossing was unforecast and the organisers of the Rally described the crews as 'a little shaken but not stirred.' This is how they described the experience: 'A depression crossing the Bay of Bengal more..

EU pushing Sri Lanka toward China

Jan 15 (Diplomat) That old habits die hard is clear from the way in which the European Union has been seeking to corner Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for daring to defeat the LTTE, rather than heeding their advice to call a ceasefire when the army had overrun the last sliver of territory controlled by the LTTE. With each advance the army made in early 2009, the demands for a ceasefire grew more strident. more..

No epidemic in flood affected areas

Jan 15 (DN) No epidemic has been reported from any of the flood affected areas. The Health Ministry will continue to be vigilant on any possible outbreak of epidemics. The same system which prevented epidemics spreading during the tsunami and the humanitarian operation is in operation to protect flood victims, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman, during the tsunami and the humanitarian operation no epidemic hit Sri Lanka. more..

Students affected by floods: UGC to consider appeals

Jan 15 (DN) University qualified students who have failed to apply for University Admission due to the flood situation could send a letter of appeal to the UGC for consideration, UGC Chairman Prof SVDG Samaranayake told the Daily News. He said that the closing date of applications for university admission for the academic year 2010/ 2011 was not postponed. Accordingly yesterday was the closing date to send duly filled applications for University admission. more..

Boston Lanka News: Jan.13, 2011

Further decrease in poverty level

Jan 15 (DN) In keeping with the trend of development in the country, the average income levels in nine districts of six provinces exceeded the national poverty line of Rs 3,249 of December 2010. The national poverty line was Rs 3,072 in May, Rs 3,098 in June, Rs 3,097 in July, Rs 3,111 in August, Rs 3,141 in September, Rs 3,178 in October, Rs 3,213 in November and Rs 3,249 in December 2010 showing an increase in the poverty line at national level. more..

Indian Coast Guard probing killing of fisherman

Jan 15 (Hindu) The Coast Guard has begun a comprehensive enquiry into the killing of a Tamil Nadu fisherman, allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy. It assumes significance in the backdrop of “denial” by Sri Lankan authorities that its Navy had fired at Indian fishermen. Commandant D. S. Saini, Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Station, said that the enquiry would cover all details, including the place of crime, eyewitnesses, exact time of firing, pre and post incidents of firing and others. more..

Over one million flood victims, death toll rises to 27

Jan 15 (Island) The number of people affected by floods caused by torrential rains in the Northern and Eastern Provinces exceeded the one million mark yesterday. According to the latest figures issued by the Disaster Management Centre, 1,055,668 people of 283,781 families have been affected while the death toll has risen to 27. 49 persons have been injured in flood related accidents. 12 people had gone missing in several flood affected districts. more..

A key change at Ministry of External Affairs

Jan 15 (Island) The government will shortly appoint Karunatilaka Amunugama, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Beijing as the Secretary to the External Affairs Ministry. Amunugama will succeed Romesh Jayasinghe, another career diplomat, who has held that post since Oct. 1, 2009. Sources say that Jayasinghe, who was Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in New Delhi during the Eelam war IV, will replace Amunugama in Beijing. Sources say Amunugama, who moved to China in July 2007 during more..

Nine students injured in Ruhuna campus clash

Jan 15 (DM) Nine students were injured, two of them seriously, following a clash between two groups of students of the Ruhunu University yesterday. The injured students had been admitted to the Matara General Hospital. A spokesman for the hospital said seven of them were out of danger. Police said the students of the Management Faculty were involved in the clash and that they had used bicycle chains, iron bars and bottles in the assault. more..

President rules out police powers for north

Jan 15 (Hindu) Reaffirming his commitment to the “13-plus” (13th amendment with additional powers) formula to bring about an amicable political solution to the Tamil question, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa insisted that “the plus” be a product of the hope and aspirations of the people of Sri Lanka. Asked if police powers would be part of the formula, he categorically said, “No… It's not practical.” more..

Government sets up panel to propose amendments to 1946 Irrigation Act

Jan 15 (Island) Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva on Tuesday appointed a special committee, comprising experts from a number of sectors, to forward proposals to amend the 1946 Irrigation Act. He said the 1946 Irrigation Act needs more teeth to suit the present day requirements. The Department is unable to continue with day to day activities without sufficient power to implement the Irrigation Ordinance, he said. more..

Huge damage caused by floods: Ministry

Jan 15 (DM) The Disaster Management Ministry said the initial estimated damage from the floods stand at US $ 500 million which is about Rs. 50 billion. Ministry Secretary Mrs. Marina Mohamed making a presentation on the emergency situation before Heads of Mission of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) based in Colombo, said the initial estimated damage from the floods stood at US $ 500 million, the External Affairs Ministry said. more..

Canada contributes to relief efforts

Jan 15 (DM) The Canadian High Commission yesterday announced an immediate contribution to the supplement efforts made by the Government, UN and other agencies in assisting those affected by severe floods in Sri Lanka. "We wanted to help get assistance to people quickly,” Canada's High Commissioner Bruce Levy said, assuring that the High Commission would also give careful consideration to any further appeals that may come from more..

Sri Lanka floods provide chance for government, Tamil Tiger reconciliation

Jan 15 (CSM) Flooding in Sri Lanka has now affected more than a million people, many of them minority Tamils whose community recently lost a decades-long separatist fight. Government rescue and relief efforts could either help the process of reconciliation, or deepen Tamil discontent with the war’s aftermath. More than half of those affected by the flood live in the eastern district of Batticaloa, more..

Bandarawela PS chief joins UNP

Jan 15 (DM) Chairman of Bandarawela Pradeshiya Sabha Chaminda Wijesiri (SLFP) joined UNP yesterday making the district officials of the party to claim that this move had put it on to avenue of victory in the Badulla District. UNP Badulla District MP Harin Fernando made this claim at a news conference yesterday where he said this was the beginning of a wave of crossovers from the UPFA Pradeshya sabha members to the Opposition. more..

Ranil takes a break, delegates LG polls organising to senior members

Jan 15 (Island) UNP and OppositionLeader Ranil Wickremesinghe has delegated all functions pertaining to the UNP’s campaign and selection of candidates for the forthcoming local government elections to a committee comprising senior party members. Informed sources said that Wickremesinghe had decided to oversee the polls campaign but would not get involved with it, especially, in the finalisation of the list of candidates. more..