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The role of education in taking care of the world

Jan 6 (LG) In the post-war era of Sri Lanka, the desire for rapid economic growth and ‘development’ has resulted in a strong focus on the discourse of the knowledge economy. Making Sri Lanka the miracle of Asia by doubling its per capita income in half a decade is now a shared vision in our society, and one of the main means to this end is said to be the development of a knowledge economy via, among other things, a rapid increase of student intake to universities. more..

Miniskirts and myopia; is the government barking mad?

Jan 6 (LG) Former First Lady Hema Premadasa’s thighs when she plays netball or First Lady Hiranthi Rajapakse’s ageing huge mammaries do not set young bollocks on fire. But nubile thighs in miniskirts which are a sight for sore eyes will be banned to preserve the decorum and modesty of this Asian sub-continent. The monks who carved out the frescoes in Sigiriya were not inspired by divine intervention. They were satiating their inherent lust in the absence of any intercourse more..

Glorious Jaffna: Review of a coffee table pictorial volume

Jan 6 (TC) Among our tropical island’s localities which have been suffused for centuries by calm and contentment, Jaffna had been the beau ideal. Time was when its old-world charm and equally enchanting cultural traditions could seldom have been encountered anywhere on earth. The peninsula, with its quaint cadjan-thatched fences, picture-book villages and placid inlets and lagoons, was decidedly a composed macrocosm within our own delightful little universe. more..

Let reason prevail over hosanna and malice in 2011

Jan 6 (LB) A new year and a new decade makes for looking back and looking ahead, but more than this it is made for looking at the here and now. It is tempting for a country that’s still less than two years from the end of a 30 year old conflict to continue to heave sighs of relief and dwell on relative merits. It is also tempting to start from war, proceed to end of war, reasonable signs on recovery and extrapolate to rosy tomorrows. more..

A Tamil cultural debate

Jan 6 (LG) The Kanthamurukesanar Tamil cultural center and certain patrons of the Murugan Temple at Birchmont Road in Scarborough Toronto recently backed efforts of the Karunanidhi administration in Tamil Nadu in 2008 to shift the date of the Tamil new year from April, as observed for centuries, to January to coincide with the Indic harvest festival called Thai Pongal in Tamil or Makara Sankranti. The political sub-text behind the move is unnoticed in more..

NewsFirst begins airing live news on traffic during morning rush hour

Jan 6 (NF) Newsfirst along with Sirasa FM launched a unique programme today to report from a helicopter on the traffic situation on the entry roads to the City during the rush hours in the morning. The Newsfirst team took off from the Ratmalana airport on board a R-44 helicopter at 7.20am and kept a live commentary on the traffic situation of all entry roads to Colombo. From today, the Newsfirst team will keep a live update on more..

Don’t pay the price of a life for a call

Jan 6 (ST) A twenty-year-old was heading to a friend’s house in Biyagama on his motor cycle after work. Soon he was distracted by the ringing of his mobile phone. He reached into his pocket and with one hand answered the call, while manoeuvering the motor cycle with the other. Moments later, Madhushanka Jayatillake crashed into a tree. He died on the spot. This is just one incident among a string of others that highlight the frightening reality that more..

Ho! Ho! Ho! belated X’mas and new year wishes

Jan 6 (SL) Having, as usual, got behind the proverbial Eight Ball in the matter of dealing with holiday season responsibilities, let me apply the “better late than never” dictum and try to catch up on my year-end responsibilities with this column. While the vast majority of those that I am about to list may hardly be considered among the “needy,” let me state the obvious: those who have, get, and if there is ever a realpolitik in our land of serendipity, that is it. more..

Face Off: Mano and Praba Ganesan on diaspora issues

Jan 6 (SL) The Sunday Leader met with UNP defector Praba Ganesan at his residence. Ganesan spoke about diaspora issues and explained why he had decided to support the government. Excerpts: Q: Even though the government has been able to defeat the LTTE, would you say the government is still fighting a battle with the diaspora? A: In the North and East, the Tamil population is about 1.5 million. more..

Editorial: A damning indictment of government

Jan 6 (Island) Minister Douglas Devananda's statement in Parliament on Tuesday that the incidence of crime was very high in the North as well as his strident call for urgent action to curb it is a damning indictment on the government which rests on its laurels having won the war, doing precious little to restore law and order. The northern people who have gone through hell for nearly three decades deserve a much better deal. more..

Editorial: Numbers Vs growth

Jan 6 (DM) A barrage of good news has been reported on the economic front during the last week or so. Some may think that Economy is something out of their scope of interest, but fail to realize that it affects their day-to-day life ultimately, or their day-to-day life reflects the state of a country’s economy. Hence, the famous (Or Infamous) “The Economy Stupid” mantra of the former US President Bill Clinton. more..

WP transport Ministry ready for private bus strike

Jan 6 (Island) While the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association threatened to launch a one-day token strike on January 11, Western Province Transport Minister Upali Kodikara said that he would deal with the strike on that day by operating additional CTB buses, vans and even three wheelers to transport people, especially school children. Around 7,000 private buses will be taken off the roads on January 11, in a strike aimed at more..

A medical system in disarray

Jan 6 (SL) Hospitals are often looked upon by the public as a final refuge from illness. Patients entering a hospital are reliant on the doctors and nurses’ reassurance that they will be leaving in a shape better than what they entered in. With the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital, this image is not presented. Arriving at the hospital, patients and visitors are greeted with a large open spaced complex. Gifted by the Japanese and visited by the top doctors in Sri Lanka, more..

TNA’s goodwill move under heavy pressure

Jan 6 (NS) TNA goodwill measure was under heavy pressure last week. TNA’s supporters are questioning its decision to co-operate with the govt. Two TNA MPs tried to pacify their critics by adopting hardline postures. They told the Tamil media about their readiness to mobilise the Tamil people and lead a democratic struggle to win the rights of the Tamil people. Selvam Adaikalanathan from Vanni district said that the govt had failed to respond positively to TNA’s goodwill gesture. more..

Lasantha, The Sunday Leader and The Media

Jan 6 (SL) As I sit penning this copy in Lasantha’s room at The Sunday Leader, I can’t help but reflect, sadly, how two years and three days ago on December 27, 2008 Lasantha and Sonali were married. They got registered on November 2008 but celebrated their nuptials with close family and friends on December 27, 2008. He was dead 13 days later. It is indeed a time for reflection and I sit at my desk reflecting on another eventful year gone by more..

Anuradhapura tanks full to the brim

Jan 6 (DN) All tanks in the Anuradhapura district have been filled with rain water heavy rains experienced on January 4 and 5. Zonal Irrigation Director Wasantha Bandara Palugaswewa said after nearly 15 years, the Padaviya tank has been spilling and the Mahakanadarawa tank after five years. The Padaviya tank is the largest reservoir in the district with 85,000 acre feet, Mahakanadarawa possesses a capacity of 37,000 acre feet. more..

Maximum security for World Cup participants

Jan 6 (DN) The Police, Army, STF and Air Force will provide maximum security during the Cricket World Cup which will be held from February 20 to March 29 in Sri Lanka, said Senior DIG N K Illangakoon. The ICC Cricket World Cup, the third biggest sporting event in the world is held in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh. Players, ICC match officials, volunteer helpers, foreign visitors, media personnel and cricket fans will be in Sri Lanka during the tournament. more..

'We need more unity'

Jan 6 (NS) The 14th bishop of Colombo Rt Rev Duleep Chickera laid down his Staff on Friday 31 after completing his 10-year tenure. From yesterday (January 1), following his voluntary resignation he became the Metropolitan Commissary and Vicar General of the Colombo Diocese. He will oversee the functions of the Colombo Diocese until the election of the next Bishop of Colombo scheduled for May. more..

Booker Tate to build sugar factory in Sri Lanka

Jan 6 (DM) The British firm Booker Tate is planning to invest US$ 110 million to establish a sugar factory in Moneragala. The BOI says, an agreement with the company will be signed at the end of this month, once the "Environmental Impact Assessment" is released. Booker Tate, a subsidiary of Tsb Sugar International, a globally known sugar producer, will be collaborating with IMS Holdings along with an individual party in Sri Lanka to establish the plant. more..

Answer to rural area bus shortage

Jan 6 (DN) The Government has decided to repair 1,000 SLTB buses lying idle in islandwide bus depots to solve the bus shortage along routes in rural areas. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that of the abandoned buses, 1,000 can be repaired and deployed on rural routes. The Ministry intention is to increase the number of SLTB buses to, 7,000 by adding the 1,000 buses to the fleet this year. "We will ensure that an adequate number of buses ply along rural routes," more..

'Dengue deaths rise in 2009 not due to mistaken treatment'

Jan 6 (DN) The unexpected rise in the number of deaths reported from dengue in 2009 was not due to mistaken treatments given to patients and this claim was baseless, stressed Health Ministry Resident Consultant Physician Priyankara Jayawardena and Infectious Disease Hospital Physician Ananda Wijewickrama. He said the doctors and hospital staff provide their highest possible service with enormous effort and dedication to treat the dengue patients. more..

WHO donates drugs for AH1N1 influenza

Jan 6 (DM) The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated a stock of drugs to the Health Ministry to treat those infected with A H1N1 influenza following the exhaustion of highly expensive A H1N1 vaccines, a ministry spokesman said yesterday. The WHO had donated 1.5 million AH1N1 vaccines to the Health Ministry a few months ago to control the fast spreading influenza. The Health Ministry vaccinated some 1.5 million, expectant mothers, armed forces and more..

Jaffna Commander assures security

Jan 6 (DM) Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe yesterday rejected the claims made by Minister Douglas Devananda on the security in the Jaffna Peninsula in parliament. He said that the army had begun routine night patrols while assisting the police in maintaining law and order in Jaffna. “The crimes are related to burglaries, killings and other criminal activities by civilians which are almost based on personnel disputes”, he said. more..

Sri Lanka seeks to change inflation index as price pressure grows

Jan 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka wants to change a price index again to reflect recent changes in consumption patterns although previous tinkering with the indicator at a time inflation hit record highs drew criticism. Central bank governor Nivard Cabraal said inflation had been brought down sharply and would be maintained around the mid-single digit levels and that a new index was being considered. more..

Internet on trains

Jan 6 (Island) The Railways Department will install WIFI internet connections on all first class trains within the first three months of this year, Director Planning Vijaya Samarasinghe, said. This would be one of the several development projects planned for 2011, he said. The Railway Museum at Maradana will be upgraded by the end of 2011 and monument centre and a fully fledged well equipped cafeteria would be built in the museum, he said. more..

Paltry move by Govt: PFA

Jan 6 (DM) Ministry of livestock is not allowing to import chicks necessary to bring down the prices of eggs, All Ceylon Poultry Farmers Association (ACPFA) President Dr. D.D. Wanasinghe charged yesterday. “We are faced with a shortage of layers so that is why we need chicks but the Ministry is not allowing us to import the chicks and they are also not importing them,” Dr. Wanasinghe said. According to Dr. Wanasinghe they could not meet the demand for Christmas and more..

New minister wants to change Sports Law

Jan 6 (DM) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has promised to introduce several new amendments to the controversial Sports Law (No25) of 1973, which currently governs Sri Lanka’s sports, as early as February. “I hope to introduce the new set of Policy and Regulations for the Sports Law by Febraury. We have already completed a big part of the process, and I hope to present the act by February in parliament”, more..

Display of voter registration lists 2011

Jan 6 (Island) Review of annual voter registration is scheduled to start in June each year and continue up to May next year. Review of voter registration for 2010 by the Grama Niladari started on 1st of June 2010 with the distribution of BC forms to every household for the people to include the names and hand it over to the Grama Niladari. The voter registration lists duly completed will be displayed at the Election Office/DS Office/Post Office/ Grama Niladari Office and more..

Egg prices still between Rs. 16 and 18

Jan 6 (Island) Egg prices in the open market are now between Rs. 16 and 18. Producers say they cannot be sold at a lesser price as the cost of production has not come down. President, Poultry Producers’ Association Dr. D.D. Wanasinghe said that the imported eggs which were now sold at Lanka Sathosa, Coop City and Mini Coop City outlets cost Rs. 12, but weighed only 42 to 43 grams, whereas the local eggs on the average weighed 55 grams and sometimes went up to 60 to 65 grams. more..

Terrible truth of the Trincomalee tragedy

Jan 6 (DBS) Hello Friends, Compliments of the Season and Greetings for New Year. A New Year dawns and the nation gears up to face what lies ahead. In a reflective mood I went through some of the articles I had written in the past particularly about incidents of human rights violations in the North and East. One thing that struck me was that justice has not been done in most of those cases. No person has been penalised for these crimes so far. more..

Stars in the House

Jan 6 (Island) There was a star studded line up present in the Parliament gallery yesterday to witness the presenting of a Bill to incorporate the Lester James Peiris and Sumitra Peiris Foundation by UPFA National List MP Malini Fonseka. The Bill presented by the movie star turned politician was seconded by another National List MP J. R. P. Suriyapperuma. An attempt made by UPFA MP A. H. M. Azwer to second the Bill was turned down by more..

University buildings to be part of Army camp?

Jan 6 (DM) The people of Monaragala have expressed concern about a proposal to use the buildings of the Applied Science Faculty of the Sabaragamuwa University as an army camp after the Deyata Kirula Exhibition comes to an end at Buttala next February. Several civil society organisations and religious orgnisations in the district have protested against this move. The All Religious Organization headed by the Chief Incumbent of the Palwatta Mulgiri Rajamaha Vihara, more..

Hedging a total flop, admits Susil

Jan 6 (DM) The oil hedging deal was a totally unsuccessful move, Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha admitted in Parliament yesterday. The Minister said that he is now taking steps to appoint a treasurer to oversee fuel transactions in future. “We will appoint a resource person to strike forward transaction deals in this regard,” he said. The Minister was responding to a question by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake on the matter. more..

'Madras University open to Lanka students'

Jan 6 (EB) While students from across the world were welcome to study in the Madras University, it was a double delight to open its doors to Tamil people from Sri Lanka, said G Thiruvasagam, vice chancellor of the university. Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of a two-day seminar for students from the University of Jaffna on journalism, he said, “The doors of the Madras University are always open to these students and they could use our services and more..

Police find rogue TV station

Jan 6 (DN) Nawalapitiya Police yesterday raided an illegal cable television station which had been operating from an estate for several years. The main suspect along with the technical equipment were taken into custody by the Police. The illegal television station had been operating from Ketabulawatte Estate near Nawalapitiya town. According to Police sources, the technical equipment used to transmit programs were fixed inside the ceiling of an abandoned house. more..

Former Tamil detainees speak to the WSWS

Jan 6 (wsws) Recently the World Socialist Web Site spoke to a number of Tamil prisoners released from various detention centres as well as the relatives of detainees still held in camps run by the Sri Lankan military. They not only described the oppressive conditions inside the camps, but insisted that their detention was a violation of basic legal and democratic rights. more..

President appoints organisers for Kilinochchi, Batticaloa

Jan 6 (Island) With local government elections around the corner, the SLFP is in the process of making key appointments in the provinces, including the Vanni, a former LTTE stronghold. President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday appointed Ms. Geethanjalee Naguleswaran District Organiser for Kilinochchi. Political sources said that the SLFP was building its own Tamil and Muslim ‘units’ in more..

LLRC assures transparency, rejects criticism

Jan 6 (Island) Responding to criticism by a section of the media and NGOs over the police denying the media access to the Boossa detention facility, a spokesperson for the LLRC said, now an attempt was being made to discredit the presidential commission. The LLRC had always conducted its work in a transparent manner since launch of public sittings last August in Colombo, the spokesperson said. more..

Govt. afraid of our unity, says UNP

Jan 6 (DM) UNP Chairman Gamini Jayawickrama Perera alleged that the Government was afraid of the UNP reforms and therefore they had brought forward the local government elections. “The Government is afraid of the unity within the UNP and they have brought forward the local government elections but we will face it since we have 120 days to appoint a new leader,” Mr. Perera said. more..

Sri Lanka allows duty free import of cows, dairy equipment

Jan 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka is lifting all import levies on high yielding milch cows and diary equipment to promote domestic production of milk and is also increasing the farm gate price of milk, a senior minister said. Information minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said the cabinet of ministers had approved the tax change following a proposal put forward by the livestock ministry. more..