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Thirty ex-combatants receive jobs in North

Jan 22 (MoD) Thirty ex-combatants have received appointments in the Sri Lanka Transport Board depots in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Killinochchi and Mullaittivu Districts, following successful completion of their rehabilitation and vocational training. Letters of appointment were handed over during a ceremony held under the patronage of Parliamentarian and the Tharunyata Hetak Organization Chairman Namal Rajapaksa at the Kilinochchi District Secretariat recently. more..

Reigning politics and the politics of rain

Jan 22 (DM) My dear Mahinda aiya, Ayubowan, vannakkam, assalamu allaikum and best wishes as you take off on a surprise and somewhat mysterious private visit to the United States, apparently for astrological reasons among others. As usual this private visit, though like other issues and events is clouded by conflicting reports. Some independent analysts believe you must be trying to test the ground in the US following what happened in Britain last month more..

Albert Einstein’s obscure visit to Sri Lanka in 1922

Jan 22 (LG) The most acclaimed scientific celebrity Albert Einstein had visited Sri Lanka in 1922 en route his journey to Japan. Archival information on the subject being scanty and it appears that his visit to Ceylon has not received publicity at that time or subsequently. The fact that Einstein and his wife Elsa were riding on rickshaws in Colombo October 28th 1922 will surprise everyone. more..

Forces in a rescue mission amidst floods

Jan 22 (DM) With more than one million people affected, 600,000 displaced and 23 lives lost, it was the worst of the floods that hit Sri Lanka in a century. Among the affected areas that were ravaged by the heavy rains and floods, the Eastern province incurred the highest magnitude of damage. However, owing to the quick responses of the armed forces in the area, the impact the catastrophe caused on human lives was able to be brought to a minimum. more..

On the President’s advice to the media not to rouse communalism

Jan 22 (DM) There cannot be any one who could contest the sentiments President Mahinda Rajapaksa aired on media creating racial disharmony when he met with heads of both local and private media institutions at Temple Trees on January 13. Responding a question posed by the Chairman, Sri Lanka Press Institute, Kumar Nadesan on the security situation in Jaffna the President had reportedly said that the media has created the whole issue, as the situation in Jaffna was no more..

Sri Lanka chip sales may grow 25-pct in 2011

Jan 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's computer chip consumption will grow more than 25 percent in 2011 driven by growing information technology use and government measures to push IT literacy, an industry official said. In 2010 Sri Lanka is estimated to have used 260,000 chips, according to data by IDC, a market intelligence consultancy, Indika De Zoysa, country business manager for Intel, a chipmaker, said. more..

Editorial: Guilty by suspicion

Jan 22 (Island) No sooner had the aircraft carrying President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his entourage left for the US than Amnesty International (AI) called upon Washington to launch an investigation into the allegations of war crimes against him. "The US has an obligation under international law to investigate and prosecute people who perpetrated war crimes and grave human rights violations such as extrajudicial executions, torture and enforced disappearances," more..

Editorial: Take a bow Mr. Jayasuriya

Jan 22 (DM) Sri Lanka cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara speaking at a recent function to mark the countdown to the 2011 World Cup spoke his heart out and paid a glowing tribute to the people who he said were the real heroes who had given his team the honour to play in the global showpiece. No better words than Mr. Sangakkara’s Monday night declaration can describe the relationship between his team and the people of Sri Lanka. more..

'A far worse crisis than 2008 soon'

Jan 22 (NF) The country is in for a worse crisis than the one faced in 2008 and the government is planning to change the yardstick to measure inflation with the rise of the price of goods, says UNP parliamentarian Dr. Harsha De Silva. Addressing a media briefing convened by the UNP today, Dr. De Silva said that according to the government, there would be a food crisis by April and the blame would be put on the floods. more..

'Coconut crisis will end in six months bringing down prices'

Jan 22 (Island) The coconut crisis will continue to remain for at least another six months and the price will thereafter drop to about Rs 30, said Immediate Past President of the Coconut Growers Association of Sri Lanka Parakrama Jayatillake. He said the main reason for the skyrocketing price of coconuts was due to the coconut growers having deviated from the practice of using fertilizer due to the high price and the reduction in the number of coconut growers. more..

Galle: 13 Ind. groups in LG fray

Jan 22 (Island) The Galle District Divisional Secretariat yesterday received deposits from 13 Independent Groups contesting the forthcoming Local Government elections. Two Independent Groups each will contest the Nagoda, Bentota and Baddegama Pradeshiya Sabhas. The remaining Independent Groups will contest Ratgama, Yakkalamulla, Ambalangoda, Elpitiya, Welivitiya, Divithura, Bope-Poddala and Neluwa. A spokesman for the Galle Secretariat said that more..

Moves to monitor private academies

Jan 22 (DM) Laws will be introduced to establish an authoritative body to register private academies in the country and to monitor their performance with the aim to maintain the standard and quality of the educational institutions, Higher Education Minister S.B.Dissanayaka said. “We expect to present the ‘Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Qualification Framework Act’ in Parlliament within a month. more..

Stereo set-up in car stopped in cop-shop stolen

Jan 22 (DM) A luxury car owner had complained to the Police Headquarters that the stereo set up in his car had gone missing while it was parked inside Mt. Lavinia police station premises. The car that belonged to an accountant had been damaged in an accident that occurred down Templars Road, Mt. Lavinia last December and was removed by the police and kept at the Mt. Lavinia Police Station. The owner stated that when he called over at the police station to more..

Milk powder traders ask for price hike

Jan 22 (DM) Milk powder companies have requested the government for an increase in milk powder prices, Trade Minister Johnston Fernando said yesterday. “All the milk powder companies have been appealing to increase their prices since October and the local companies like Maliban have appealed to the Government since they were making losses,” Minister Fernando said. According to him Government officials held discussions with Maliban which claimed to more..

Vehicle passes given to dissolved LG heads: JVP

Jan 22 (DM) The JVP criticized the government for allowing not only the heads of Local Government establishments but also the heads of the councils which had already been dissolved to import vehicles with duty free concessions. JVP MP, Sunil Handunnetti, in a letter to the Minister A.L.M. Athaulla, had accused the government of not being concerned about the problems faced by the common man while it showed its gratitude to those backing the government. more..

A world first: postmen to deliver mobile phone reloads

Jan 22 (Island) Described as a world first, Sri Lanka Post and Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel launched a novel concept of distributing pre paid peload to Mobitel SMART pre paid customers at their door step, through postmen across 25 districts in the country. Since the inception of the integration work in November 2009, Sri Lanka Post with the strength of 7,750 registered Postmen and its ability to reach nearly 4.5 million households across the Island, more..

Rs. 2.8mn solid waste management project at Royal College

Jan 22 (Island) Under instructions of the Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, the Central Environment Authority Chairman Charitha Herath and Royal College School Development Committee Secretary Upali Jinadasa signed a MoU for a compost plant and solid waste management project for Rs. 2.8 million at the school premises. Through the College’s bio gas plant headed by College Warden Aruna De Silva, the College saves Rs. 25,000 per month. more..

Ban's Sri Lanka war crimes panel stuck in New York

Jan 22 (FP) Sri Lanka has cut off direct talks with a U.N. panel set up in June to promote accountability for war crimes during the final stages of the country's bloody 2009 offensive against Tamil separatists, U.N. officials told Turtle Bay. The panel had been planning a trip to Colombo to question senior officials responsible for addressing massive rights violations during the conflict, but that visit is now unlikely. more..

Rotary team to visit Sri Lanka to promote friendship

Jan 22 (Hindu) A team of 44 Rotarians from Rotary District 3202 here will pay a four-day visit to Sri Lanka, starting January 26, to promote friendship between communities in the two countries under ‘Project Friendship - a trip to Sri Lanka'. D. K. Uday, project coordinator of ‘Project-Friendship' and a member of Rotary Club of Tirupur North, told reporters here that during the visit, agreements would be signed between the Indian delegation and more..

Govt. earned Rs. 650 mn in taxes from TV stations

Jan 22 (Island) The Government has earned tax revenue of Rs 658 million, in the past five years, from local TV stations for telecasting imported films, tele-dramas and commercials, Parliament was told on Friday. Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Independent Television Networks, Telshan Network Ltd, IWS Holding Ltd., EAP Networks Pvt Ltd., Maharaja Organisations Pvt Ltd, MGMR Networks Pvt Ltd, Power House Pvt Ltd, Television and Radio Network, more..

Full text of State Dept. briefing on President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to US

Jan 22 (TC) QUESTION: What’s your understanding of the visit of the – or what do you know about the visit to the United States of the president of Sri Lanka? MR. CROWLEY: He is visiting the United States and it is a private visit. QUESTION: Is he – does he have any – he has no plans to meet with any U.S. officials? MR. CROWLEY: No. QUESTION: I understand he might be in Texas and that Assistant Secretary Blake was there. more..

Emergency extended without debate

Jan 22 (DN) The vote on extending the state of emergency was passed with a majority of 118 votes for the first time in Parliament history without a debate yesterday. Accordingly, the motion seeking the extension received 123 votes in favour and five against. TNA, DNA and UNP voted against the motion. The debate on extending the emergency is scheduled for February 8. Prime Minister D M Jayaratne moved that the emergency regulations should be extended by another one month. more..

Libyan team here to study education system

Jan 22 (DN) The Parliamentary delegation which visited Libya under the leadership of MP Namal Rajapaksa had discussions with Libyan Leader Col Muammar Gadaffi, Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmoudi and other Ministers. The delegation met and discussed bilateral issues with Health and Environment Minister Mohamed Mahmoud Hijazi, Labour and Vocational Minister Dr Al Amin Alumi, Education and Science Minister Dr Abdul Kabir and Agriculture Minister Abdul Majeed Al Kir. more..

Protest over TN lawyer’s ‘detention’ in Lanka

Jan 22 (EB) On a day when Tamil rights activists and the advocate community protested the alleged detention of the Tamil Nadu lawyer Kayalvizhi and her aide Thirumalai, at the Omnanthai military checkpoint in north Lanka on January 19, the Lankan army was in denial mode. Sri Lankan army spokesman Maj Gen Ubhaya Madewala, told Express: “We are not aware of any such detention.” more..

CEPA: Only certain areas to be addressed

Jan 22 (DN) Sri Lanka and India have a strong desire to proceed with the CEPA agreement and only certain areas needs to be addressed, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said at the opening of the Indian Bank in Jaffna. He said availability of various modes of travel will develop the choices of the people and will further enhance and strengthen the way businesses operate. The credit in the area is picking up with accessibility and the strength of the repayments. more..

CRT method to motivate heavy users of power

Jan 22 (DM) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had introduced the ‘Cost Reflective Tariff’ (CRT) system to motivate heavy users such as industries and factories to run their machines during non peak hours in order to conserve energy, a Power and Energy Ministry source said. He said the CRT system was part of the reforms introduced by Minister Champika Ranawaka to help high end users to save energy. “The biggest demand for power comes during peak hours more..

SL Film Maker from Holywood

Relief regulations relaxed

Jan 22 (DM) Circulars pertaining to the eligibility of individuals to receive relief measures during a national catastrophe would be relaxed with concern to the individuals affected from the recent floods as instructed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He said that unlike on previous occasions, the income levels or being in welfare centers would not be considered while providing relief measures to the people affected by the floods. more..

DNA Parliament seat still vacant

Jan 22 (DM) Parliament Secretary General Dammika Kitulgoda has written to the Elections Commissioner asking that steps be taken to fill the parliamentary seat that fell vacant after the imprisonment of DNA MP Sarath Fonseka since JVP member Lakshman Nipunaarachchi nominated for it declined to take oaths. Earlier, the Elections Commissioner nominated Mr. Nipunaarachchi for the seat since he was next in line in the preferential votes list. more..

Organizations that allegedly raised money for Tamil Tigers ordered to forfeit belongings

Jan 22 (NP) A pair of Canadian non-profit organizations the RCMP says raised millions of dollars for Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers rebels have been ordered to forfeit all their belongings to the federal government. The Federal Court ruled the property of the World Tamil Movement of Ontario and the World Tamil Movement of Quebec was owned or controlled by a terrorist organization more..

Free Trade Zone unions mount bogus wage campaign

Jan 22 (wsws) The trade unions in Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Zones (FTZ) have organised a phoney protest campaign in a bid to head off mounting demands among workers for a wage rise amid sharply rising prices for food and other basic items. Since November, workers have been told to wear yellow wrist bands during working hours with the words, “Bigger Pay, Bigger Profit with BOI”. This is nothing but a corporatist appeal to employers to increase wages in return for more..

Jaffna international trade fair opens

Jan 22 (DN) Business was opened to its people with ‘Jaffna International Trade Fair 2011’ declared open yesterday. Continuing with its second successful edition in 2011, the exhibition will be opened for public at the ground next to Duraiappah Stadium from 10 am to 7 pm on 21, 22 and 23 January while daily musical shows will add colour to life in Jaffna every evening. Yalpanam Chamber of Commerce and Industries President K. Poornachandran, appreciated the efforts of more..

School closed for a wedding

Jan 22 (DM) The Navodya Central School, Ginigathhena had been closed for a day as the teachers and the principal had attended a wedding of a staff member, parents complained. To recover the lost school day it had been decided to having school on an alternative day, sources said. The school that comes under the Hatton, Zonal Education Office, has about 1200 students and 72 teachers. When inquired about the sudden closure of the school the Principal of more..

'Economic independence in North questionable'

Jan 22 (DM) The United Nations yesterday said most of those resettled in the North currently had limited access to basic services such as shelter, water and sanitation and healthcare. UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg said those communities remained extremely vulnerable and had critical humanitarian needs that should be addressed immediately. more..

'No firm decision from Malinga to retire'

Jan 22 (DM) The reports about Lasith Malinga retiring from Test cricket are “premature” and the star fast bowler has “not yet taken a firm decision” on the matter, according to Malinga’s agent Charlie Austin. “I think he had been misunderstood. It is certainly something he is thinking about. But he needs to think more about it” Austin said. Several media reports claimed that Malinga had announced his more..

Only 17,000 flood victims in temporary shelters

Jan 22 (Island) The number of persons displaced by the recent floods in several districts has recorded a steep decrease as only 17,000 people remain in 70 temporary camps. Cooked meals and dry rations are being distributed among the displaced people by the respective Govt Agents. 5,381 houses have been fully damaged and 947 have been partially damaged by floods, The govt will pay Rs 50,000 for each fully damaged house and more..

Toilets facilities at Welikada courtesy ICRC

Jan 22 (Island) While the government provided politicians with super luxury vehicles at the taxpayers’ expense, Sri Lanka’s prisons community had to depend on the ICRC for even basic facilities such as toilets. The ICRC has completed the construction of 24 toilets in the Welikada Remand Prison and the building of 12 more toilets is underway. The ICRC also renovated 10 toilets recently and 15 more are being renovated. more..

Sri Lanka to buy research vessel; start marine university

Jan 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state marine research agency will buy a survey and research vessel from Taiwan to deepen knowledge and also upgrade a technical college to 'ocean university' status, a government minister said. The state National Aquatic and Research Agency (NARA) had been given the nod by the cabinet of minister to purchase a research vessel for 313 million rupees, minister Anura Yapa said. more..

Hedging: Govt. looking at options

Jan 22 (DM) The government would explore all avenues to resolve the controversial hedging deal in an amicable way after the arbitration decision was delivered as there were many other options available, Minister Susil Premajayantha said yesterday. “The decision of the Arbitration Panel has so far not been delivered. After the Arbitration decision was delivered, there would be many options available,” Minister Premajayantha said. more..

‘Tigers using ‘Sudan’ link to legitimise Eelam’

Jan 22 (Island) A section of the LTTE rump, headed by the US-based V. Rudrakumaran, is exploiting the inaugural sessions of the so-called Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), held in Philadelphia in May 2009, to promote its separatist cause, a highly placed official says. The official pointed out that in spite of the diminishing support among the Tamil Diaspora for its macabre ‘Eelam’ project, Rudrakumaran’s faction now had the advantage of more..