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881 ex-Tigers to be prosecuted

Sept 10 (DM) Law enforcement authorities are carrying out investigations before filing charges against 881 ex LTTE cadres who would be prosecuted once investigations have been completed, Deputy Solicitor General Shavendra Fernando said. He said 22 ex LTTE cadres had been charged in the Magistrate’s Courts and another 278 in the High Courts while 200 were in remand custody and 204 released on bail. Of the 4,281 LTTE combatants arrested during the last stages of more..

Salu Sala employees’ salaries delayed

Sept 10 (SL) The UNP says payment of salaries to employees of a state institution has been delayed while benefit payments have been delayed since 2007. UNP parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekera has said while salaries of employees at Salu Sala have been delayed, their Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF) payments have not been paid since 2007. Jayasekera has called on State Resources and Enterprise Development Minister Dayasritha Tissera to address the issue. more..

AG’s audit reports on the web soon

Sept 10 (Island) The recently appointed Auditor General H.A.S. Samaraweera said in Kandy that he intended to launch a website that would enable the public to have access to reports of audits conducted by the Auditor General’s Department. Samaraweera briefed the media after calling on the Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya on Thursday. He said his department could only investigate the financial management and discrepancies in the State sector but had no powers to take any action. more..

Pvt. Medical College continues enrolments

Sept 10 (SL) The controversial private medical college has refused to stop the enrolment of students to the institute. South Asia Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) Vice Chancellor Malkanthie Chandrasekara has reportedly turned down requests by the Health Ministry and the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) to suspend enrolling students. The Vice Chancellor has said the authorities or the GMOA had nothing to do with the institute’s enrolment process. more..

Thousands join ‘Cancer-walk’ in Kandy

Sept 10 (Island) Several thousands, including school children, members of the public and Social organizations will join the ‘Cancer-walk’ organised by the Kandy Branch of the Sri Lanka Cancer Society, on Saturday 10. President of the Kandy Cancer Society Mohan Samarakoon, who is also the president of the Kandy Hospital Advisory Committee, said that the massive walk would begin at 10.00 a.m. at Bogambara and parade the main streets of Kandy. The walk is being organised to create an awareness of more..

SAITM University has met UGC and ministry needs - director

Sept 10 (DN) The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) University has fulfilled the required criteria forwarded by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Higher Education Ministry, SAITM Faculty of Medicine director Dr Renuka Senaratne said. Dr. Senaratne addressing the media said academic and other facilities at the university were upgraded on the advice and guidance of the observation panel sent by the UGC. more..

Blake here on Monday

Sept 10 (DM) United States Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake will be in Sri Lanka from Monday to Wednesday as part of a regional visit. Mr. Blake would meet govt officials, civil society representatives, university students, and political leaders. Meanwhile the External Affairs Ministry confirmed that Mr. Blake would also meet Minister G.L. Peiris on Monday. His visit was earlier scheduled for August 29 but was postponed because of Hurricane Irene, more..

Press complaints body to widen its scope

Sept 10 (DM) The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) this week decided to consider third party complaints or complaints from those not directly, but indirectly affected by a publication in a newspaper. The Board of Directors of the Commission - the self-regulatory mechanism representing the newspaper industry - made this announcement at the conclusion of the first National Conference on ‘Self-Regulation in the Media’ yesterday at the Sri Lanka Press Institute auditorium. more..

Ignorance breeds misery for hosts

Sept 10 (DM) Sri Lanka paid the price for its ignorance, as another batting failure left them playing catch up as early as the first day of the second test against Australia at Pallekele in Kandy. The batsmen picked up from where they left off in the first test, as partnerships were at a premium with only four batsmen managing double digit scores. Whilst some of them were done in by good deliveries, some of the batsmen were dismissed from their unwillingness to be focused and get a start, w more..

CEB may not release water for agriculture

Sept 10 (Island) There is a possibility of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) suspending the release of water in the reservoirs under its purview for agricultural purposes due to the rapidly receding water levels. The hydro storage level, by noon yesterday, was little over 20 per cent and use of thermal power was nearly 90 per cent. "This is a very risky situation and any damage to a major plant will hamper the CEB plans," an official said. more..

Dayasiri takes on CAA on cement issue

Sept 10 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera yesterday threatened to sue the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) if it failed within two weeks to act against the import and distribution of substandard cement. Writing to the CAA Chairman, Mr. Jayasekera said the cement must not be released to the public until an inquiry, in which he too can participate, is held on the matter. The UNP MP questioned as to how the Sri Lanka Customs permitted the import of the cement and released more..

PC approves Eva Wanasundera’s appointment as AG

Sept 10 (Island) The Parliamentary Council yesterday approved the recommendation made by the President to appoint Ms. Eva Wanasundera PC as the Attorney General. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa announced the Council decision to Parliament. Ms. Wanasundera has been acting as the AG since the retirement of Mohan Pieris at the end of last month. With her appointment by the Parliamentary Council she became the first woman AG of Sri Lanka. Earlier, she became the first woman more..

Tamara heads Rapporteur UN Working Group

Sept 10 (LP) The Ambassador Ms. Tamara Kunanayakam, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Geneva has been unanimously elected to the position of the Chair / Rapporteur of the Working Group on the Right to Development (R2D). Ms.Kunanayakm was nominated by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at the organizational meeting of the Working Group on the Right to Development held on September 07, 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland. more..

Golf course threat to prime natural habitat in Udawalawe

Sept 10 (ST) This happens to be the International Year of Forests, but little is being done to protect our own forests and natural habitats. Rampant, irresponsible deforestation continues around the country. The latest threat to habitat is reported from the Udawalawe area. Over 600 acres of land in Bogahapattiya have been earmarked for a proposed golf course. A private company has bought 628 acres of land to construct a golf course in Bogahapattiya. more..

Hambantota 2018 welcomes CGF Evaluation Commission report

Sept 10 (DN) Leaders of the Hambantota 2018 Commonwealth Games Bid welcomed the report by the CGF Evaluation Commission which describes the Sri Lankan proposals as the most compact Commonwealth Games concept design ever developed. The report says Hambantota's unique and ambitious plan ensures short travel times between venues for the Games family with an integrated park hosting 90 percent of the competition venues and all of the non competition venues. more..

Functional literacy rate low

Sept 10 (DM) National Institute of Education’s former director S.O. Fernando has said Sri Lanka is experiencing a low functional literacy rate although 90 per cent of the people could read and write. He was addressing a function held in the parliament complex on Thursday to mark International Literacy Day where he defined the functional literacy rate as a person’s ability to read, understand and respond to another effectively. Mr. Fernando who quoted Sinhala scholar Kuramatunga Munidasa said the more..

Undergrads launch protests against Malabe PMC

Sept 10 (Island) Undergraduates launched a protest campaign against the UGC approval for the Private Medical College (PMC) in Malabe to award MBBS degrees. Convener of the IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara said that they had staged protests opposite the Peradeniya and Ruhuna universities on Thursday. He said that they would hold protests opposite the Kelaniya, Rajarata, Visual and Performing Arts and Buddhist and Pali Universities next week. more..

Geoff Marsh in talks about Sri Lanka coaching role

Sept 10 (CI) Geoff Marsh, the former Australia batsman and coach, has confirmed discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket about the possibility of becoming national coach. In Pallekele to witness his son Shaun's century on Test debut, Marsh has been weighing up the possibility of taking over the position vacated by Trevor Bayliss following the 2011 World Cup. Sri Lanka has since been under interim coaches, first Bayliss' assistant Stuart Law in England and more..

New Jersey to unveil Olcott statue

Sept 10 (CJ) New Jersey native Col. Henry Steel Olcott is a hero on two fronts: The American Civil War and the practice of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. In appreciation, a statue of him will be unveiled 3 p.m. Saturday at the township's New Jersey Buddhist Temple, 4299 Route 27. The event’s speakers will include township Mayor Brian Levine, U.S. Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone, Tilak Ranaviraja, a donor of the statue and former deputy ambassador to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington, more..

Govt. to reintroduce amendments

Sept 10 (DM) The government yesterday said the proposed amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code which was tabled in Parliament on Thursday but had to be deferred following protest from the opposition, will be re-introduced soon after a consensus is reached at a party leaders meeting. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said the government was ready to accommodate suggestions and amendments if any, to the proposed piece of legislation. more..

UNP: ‘Suspicious’ bi-lateral agreement to recognize AITM?

Sept 10 (DM) The Higher Education Ministry’s urgent need to give legal recognition to a private medical university in Malabe that is affiliated to a Russian state university which has been surrounded by recent controversy could be due to a “suspicious” bi-lateral agreement between Russia and the Sri Lankan govt, the UNP said yesterday. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said the Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (AITM) which awards more..

'LTTE funded MDMK'

Sept 10 (ENS) A US diplomat of Indian origin who had a stint at the American consulate in Chennai had in a confidential cable hinted that the LTTE could have financially supported the MDMK leader Vaiko, according to Wikileaks. In a cable sent on May 15, 2006, two days after the DMK was voted to power, Ravi Candadai, the then acting US Consul General in India, while ruling out funding for the LTTE from Tamil Nadu, said: “It may be, however, that some financial support flows the other way, more..

Road bisecting Sinharaja commences despite opposition

Sept 11 (LT) The construction work of the proposed road from Ilumbakanda at Kalawana to Sooriyakanda bisecting Sinharaja, a declared world heritage, has begun despite opposition by environmentalists. The environmentalists say a three kilometer stretch of road has been already cleared using backhoe earth moving machinery and about 300 workers, work commencing yesterday (9). The construction of the road is being carried out with the mediation of MP Namal Rajapakse. more..

'I boycotted Godage Lierature Festival as I did not want to insult Tolstoy'

Sept 11 (LT) Mr. Dharshana Medis, who had been invited to make the keynote address at the ‘Godage National Literature Festival’ held at J.R. Jayawardene Center in Colombo on the 7th boycotted the festival and abstained from making the keynote address when he suddenly realized the ‘festival’ was being held with the official participation of the government machinery. Mr. Medis speaking about his decision says, “I gladly accepted the invitation for more..

Marsh and Hussey star before rain sets in

Sept 11 (CI) There was plenty for Australia to celebrate on the third day in Pallekele - Shaun Marsh's hundred on debut, and Michael Hussey's 14th Test century - but Sri Lanka ended the day with some hope of salvaging a draw after rain washed out almost the entire afternoon's play. Only 40.3 overs were bowled, mostly before lunch, and Australia extended their lead to 237, but with further showers expected over the next two days, Michael Clarke's men more..

'Those without bills can submit affidavits'

Sept 11 (DM) Minister Susil Premajayantha said that motorists who were affected by the use of contaminated petrol but did not have bills to substantiate their claims for compensation could submit affidavits instead. He said this in parliament when replying to a question asked by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera who asked whether claims made by motorists who had no bill would be rejected. Mr. Jayasekera said compensation should cover the full cost of damages without laying down a maximum amount. more..

Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini meets husband at prison

Sept 11 (PTI) Nalini, the life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, on Saturday met her husband and a death row convict in the same case, Murugan, at the Vellore prison, jail sources said. The meeting, lasting 20 minutes, is the first between the couple, after Murugan's clemency petition was rejected by the President last month. Nalini was shifted to high security Vellore prison on Wednesday from Puzhal Jail in Chennai. more..

A daily Intercity train service from Colombo to Vavuniya

Sept 11 (GDI) The new intercity train service from Colombo Fort to Vavuniya will commence on the 11th of September, says Superintendent of Railways Transportation, Mr. L.A.R. Rathnayake. The inaugural event will be on September 11, at the Anuradhapura Railway Station. The train is scheduled to leave for Colombo from Anuradhapura at 4.00 pm on that day. However from the 12th of September it will operate daily from Colombo Fort as scheduled. more..

'Watch out for Babbar Khalsa & LTTE'

Sept 11 (TOI) In the wake of the blast outside the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, the Home Ministry is said to have raised the flag to all the states asking them to watch out for Babbar Khalsa and LTTE. In an advisory issued to all the DGPs, the Secretary of Internal Security has asked the states to review the security arrangements of all the high courts. The advisory also states that CCTVs, QRTs etc should be placed for enhanced security and any suspicious activity should more..

Development without participation of the communities concerned ?

Sept 11 (LG) El Salvador is the smallest but the most densely populated countries of Central America. It is also one of the poorest in the region. From the late seventies, the country was traumatised by a civil war and right wing death squads backed by the military killed tens of thousands of her citizens. The Roman Catholic Church then headed by Archbishop Oscar Romero came out strongly against the death squads and the general repression of the poor. more..

Sri Lanka to teach air travel degree for pilots

Sept 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Gateway Graduate School, is in talks with a UK based university to offer an air travel degree with pilot training targeting international students, an official said. The school is plans to offer a B.A Honors degree with a commerical pilots license. "Airlines are starting to ask for aircrew who have got degrees as well," says Micheal Dobson, head of Gateway Graduate School. "Lufthansa (of Germany) for example have more..

Excise OIC arrested with ganja haul

Sept 11 (AD) The OIC of the Excise Department Hambantota office has been arrested while transporting a stock of marijuana. The batch of illicit drugs was discovered by police officers at a security checkpoint in the Udawalawe area in Thanamalwila upon inspection of a cab. Police state that 111kg of powdered ganja and 131kg of dried ganja were found concealed in the vehicle. It has been reported that suspect in question had been taken into custody by a police team including more..

Grease devils

Sept 11 (LG) Increased fear and violence have spread across rural areas of Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka over the past month following reports of assaults by ‘grease devils’. Traditionally, the term grease devil was given to thieves who wore only underwear, covering themselves in grease in order to make themselves hard to catch. The term has now been used to describe men who have sexually assaulted women in night time attacks. Suspicions among local residents that the ‘grease devils’ more..

16-feet Buddha idol unveiled in Kandy

Sept 11 (Hindu) Indian and Sri Lankan officials on Saturday unveiled a16-feet high idol of Lord Buddha in the Sarnath style from the Gupta Period, installed at the entrance of the International Buddhist Museum complex in Sri Dalada Maligawa here amid the chanting of Buddhist hyms. The Sarnath Buddha idol is an exquisite sculpture based on the famous 5th Century Gupta period idol from Sarnath, where Buddha preached his first sermon after more..

Blake to discuss LLRC report

Sept 11 (DM) The US embassy confirmed today that one purpose of Assistant Secretary of state Robert O. Blake's visit, was to hold discusssions on the LLRC report. The Lessons Learnt Reconciliation Commission headed by former Attorney General C. R. De Silva is due to release a report in November detailing its findings on the final phases of the war against the LTTE. Victoria Nuland spokesperson for the State Department , during a press briefing held in Washington, more..

Special research to detect Rat fever prone areas in SL

Sept 11 (LP) The first ever research in Sri Lanka to identify the areas where Leptospira Bacteria is mostly spread has been scheduled by the Medical Research Institute (MRI) , Director, Medical research Institute Anil Samaranayake said. Soil samples and water samples obtained from several places in the country will be checked for leptospirosis (Rat fever). The results of the study will assist the MRI to inform the people of relevant areas where there is a risk on rat fever. more..

Sri Lanka says Amnesty war probe allegations 'interference'

Sept 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Saturday that Amnesty International comments on the island's probe into its military victory over Tamil rebels, were an "interference" in the country's sovereignty. Amnesty International on Wednesday said Sri Lanka's inquiry panel was "flawed at every level" and no substitute for an international war crimes investigation. The human rights watchdog issued a 69-page report slamming the work of the govt's LLRC ahead of next week's more..

Blake, please answer Sri Lankans

Sept 11 (LG) There are confusions related to the context of terrorism, internally displaced, rehabilitation, reintegration, resettlement, human rights violations & the like – questions which the US, UK, EU, UN & a host of private NGOs seem to enjoy hurling at Sri Lanka & accusing it repeatedly. Despite these questions being thrown at the Sri Lankan Government from various fronts, the Govt being elected by the people, which means us the public, we would now like to more..

Sri Lanka's state of emergency: repealed or rebranded?

Sept 11 (LG) Clearly one must welcome the decisions taken by the Govt of Sri Lanka to lift the Emergency Regulations which have governed the country for the past 28 years. This long overdue move has been politically symbolic, and important for Sri Lanka because an entire generation has grown up to regard these tough regulations as the norm. The country has been governed by emergency regulations since the 1971 insurgency and remained in place even after the threat abated. more..

Environmental litigations in Sri Lanka