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Dusty Lanka pitch slammed after Aussie win

Sept 5 (AFP) Rival captains Michael Clarke and Tillakaratne Dilshan blasted the dry wicket in Galle after Australia beat Sri Lanka by 125 runs in the first Test on Saturday. Clarke, celebrating his first win as Australian captain, said he had never played on a tougher pitch than the dustbowl prepared at the Galle International Stadium. “Day one felt like day five out there,” Clarke said after his team took the lead in the three-Test series, Australia’s first in Sri Lanka since 2004. more..

'Eradication of terror from Sri Lanka made South Asia safer'

Sept 5 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday said eradicating terrorism from the island nation had made South Asia safer. Addressing the Rotary South Asia Conference on “Development and Cooperation”, the President said “We now stand proud as a nation that has eradicated terrorism from our country. In doing so, we have made South Asia too, safer from terrorism”. “We have achieved this with much less of the assets, and none of the deceit and duplicity of those more..

'Govt that brought substandard, coconuts, cement, medicine and petrol is now trying to create substandard doctors'

Sept 5 (LT) The legal clearance given to Malabe private medical college to issue MBBS degrees is a violation of the right for free education in the country as well as an idiotic act that trivialize medical studies and the dignity of the medical profession says the convener of the IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara. The convener of IUSF said the IUSF severely oppose the extra special gazette notification that actions the Malabe private medical college issuing medical degrees. more..

Sri Lanka Hada Bima Authority makes record sale of plants worth Rs 5.8 M

Sept 5 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Hada Bima Authority states that the plant sales campaign conducted within the premises of its head office has made a record sale this year worth Rs.5.8 million. The sales campaign conducted is in view of providing a higher quality plants to produce a better quality crops and fruits and decorative plants, to various agro industries, retailers among both rural and urban agro communities and the general public. The Chairman, Sri Lanka Hada Bima Authority, more..

Donors knew of shelling civilians

Sept 5 (BBC) International donors were aware of artillery attacks on Tamil civilians by the Sri Lanka military in the last stages of the war against Tamil Tigers, according to recent Wikileaks revelations. However, donor nations have stopped short of making their knowledge public. The international co-chairs in a meeting held on 05 March 2009 was told by the then US Ambassador in Colombo, Robert O' Blake, that he raised the issue with the minister Basil Rajapaksa, more..

Getting Indian citizenship a tough task for them

Sept 5 (Hindu) “I too would like to have Indian citizenship…,” says Rangasamy, a resident of the Gummidipoondi camp of Sri Lankan refugees for over 20 years and who must be in the late 50s. He gives a pause. It appears that he knows it is not easy to get Indian citizenship. He goes on to say that in Tiruchi, he has ancestral property, a portion of which he had sold to marry off his daughter. Rangasamy's is not an isolated case. A number of people living in the camps are desirous of acquiring Indian citizenship. more..

Reclaiming the pearl of Sri Lanka

Sept 5 (KH) Sri Lanka, the former Pearl of the Indian Ocean, is out to reclaim its moniker by rebuilding a country ravaged by war and terrorist attacks. For 26 years, the country suffered a civil war that ended in 2009 with many questions to be answered later this year. In the meantime, Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris was in Seoul last week as part of a three-fold mission. “One was to bring to notice the opportunities available in Sri Lanka after the end of hostilities,” more..

GSP suspension still remain in force - US

Sept 5 (BBC) The United States says that the suspension of trade concessions to Sri Lanka is still in force. Rejecting media reports in Colombo that the US has decided to restore the withdrawn Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility, the US says that the Congress is yet to vote on reinstating the facility. "GSP has lapsed in the past and historically Congress has renewed the benefits retroactively," a statement by the US embassy in Colombo said on Sunday. more..

The Sunday Leader is not to be sold

Sept 5 (SL) The Sunday Leader contrary to widespread speculation is not to be sold. The current management and editorial direction will continue unchanged. Last week, a website prompted by parties with an axe to grind, carried an erroneous report that Leader Publications Pvt Ltd., together with its two newspapers ‘The Sunday Leader’ and its sister newspaper the ‘Iruresa’ are to be sold to businessman Asanga Seneviratne which report claimed is fronting for the Rajapaksa family more..

Government ‘represses workers’

Sept 5 (UCAN) Christian priests and nuns were among hundreds who took to the streets of Colombo yesterday to protest what they say is government repression of workers’ rights and a witch hunt against trade union activists. In a statement yesterday, the demonstrators also condemned the government’s “lack of action” in providing justice for a Catholic worker who was killed during a police crackdown on a strike at the Free Trade Zone near Colombo on May 31. The strike was called to more..

The untold LTTE story of Lalith Athulathmudali murder

Sept 5 (LP) Unfolding facts ‘Behind the Curtain’ of LTTE atrocities on politicians, Lankapuvath today disclose such facts with regard to the assassination of former National Security Minister, Lalith Athulathmudali. After a humiliating defeat at Vadamarachchi, Velupillai Prabhakaran looked to assassinate former President J R Jayewardene and Minister Lalith Athulathmudali. President Jayewardene escaped such an attempt once in the Parliament, in which Athulathmudali more..

Rajiv killing: Murugan's daughter joins chorus for clemency

Sept 5 (IT) The tears have almost dried up. Instead, they have been replaced by sobs and sniffles. The first time she heard the news of President Pratibha Patil turning down the mercy plea of the three accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Harithra almost went into a state of shock. She could hardly eat or drink and had to be hospitalised, because among the three who were given the death sentence, one was her father. Sriharan alias Murugan was handed the death sentence after more..

Skin disease follows kidney disease in NCP

Sept 5 (LB) The people of the North Central Province (NCP) who have been battling kidney diseases for a long period of time are now forced to contend with yet another disease – a skin ailment known as Leishmaniasis, which the dermatologist of the Polonnaruwa Base Hospital, Dr. Indira Kahawita says has afflicted hundreds of people. She said so far around 75 patients have received treatment for the skin ailment -- and that every week there are at least three patients who register for treatment at the hospital. more..

Sri Lanka graduates take aim for fresh tax grab

Sept 5 (LBO) Graduates from Sri Lanka's state universities are taking aim for a fresh tax grab by getting lifetime salaries as state workers, having already received a 'free' tertiary education from peoples' tax money. A group calling itself the Combined Association of University Graduates (CAUG) charged rulers of "cheating" them by giving "false promises of jobs" in the central province town on Kandy. A regional co-ordinator of the association had said "early steps more..

VFM radio incident: Three arrested

Sept 5 (SL) Three suspects were taken into custody yesterday over the assault on the Managing Director of VFM radio, Ruwan Sugadathasa, the police said. Sugadathasa was assaulted by unidentified men outside his Borellasgamuwa residence on Friday night. The police said the incident was over a personal dispute involving a disgruntled former employee. According to the police, three men who had arrived at the residence of Sugadathasa in a car on Friday night, had attacked him using poles. more..

Underworld leader who fought LTTE but couldn’t swim to save his life ..

Sept 5 (LB) An underworld leader who had led a luxurious life and had links to influential politicians died on August 30 while still in police custody. Known as Navy Asanka, he was reportedly terrorizing areas around Athurugiriya and had been in custody due to his involvement in killings, raping, extortion of money and other crimes. Navy Asanka was a sought-after underworld leader in view of his close links to and association with powerful politicians, while at the same time being a more..

Civilians will be dealt under PTA - army

Sept 5 (BBC) Those who attack military and police installations are "terrorists" and will be charged with country's anti-terror regulations, says Sri Lanka military. Military spokesman Brig Nihal Hapuarachchi said that over 120 people were recently arrested in Jaffna as they came to attack a military camp. "They attacked a joint army-police camp. It is a terrorist act," he said. "It is wrong for civilians to attack an army camp or police station. Those who do that are terrorists. more..

Race Positives

Sept 5 (LG) I read with interest, ‘The Guardian Story’ by Nilantha Ilangamuwa. I felt moved by this account of an individual’s search for Independence in a messy environment. Mr. Nilantha Ilangamuwa is able to identify with the individual ‘hidden’ in a ‘group’. Yesterday, at our monthly group prayer meeting here in Sydney, in the consciousness of Saint Yoga Swami, the speaker emphasized the connection between the Universal Power and the Individual Power (Paramaathma & Jeevaathma). more..

Reflections on moves against ex CJ

Sept 5 (LG) When he was Chief Justice, Sarath N Silva, said in a public meeting that no one has accused him of being a thief. Around the time I noted that not being a thief does not necessarily mean not being out of order. A few days ago, the ex CJ stated that moves to set up a by a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to investigate allegations of wrong doing during the time he was Chief Justice ‘amounts to victimization since he was now speaking of human rights violations, corruption and more..

Don’t let the sun go down on them

Sept 5 (SO) Lance Corporal Suranga Lakmal Weerakoon is mightier than he looks. After completing an uncountable number of tedious tasks in his line of duty Weerakoon is adjusting himself to face the most challenging task of his life. Weerakoon is full of guts to bring a better tomorrow for his present life where he is a differently abled man. With great pride this 23-year-old soldier of the Sri Lanka Army recalls his unbeatable experience in the front line. more..

Education reform with a vision

Sept 5 (LG) As Sri Lankan society emerges from decades of violence and mismanaged government, our first priority must be in ensuring that the foundation we lay to rebuild the country is as strong as possible. With this in mind, our foremost focus should be on strengthening and reforming our education system because in the long-run, whatever strides we make in terms of sustainable development and true political stability will follow from policies set today in this regard. Our education system is based on more..

Crossing red lines: The new Tamil consensus in Sri Lanka

Sept 5 (GV) A visit to the Mayan exhibition in Paris tells the tale of a splendid ancient civilization with an advanced mathematics, now reduced to marginality by colonial conquest. It also reminds one that the civilization of the Sinhalese, whose language is distinctive, whose collective existence is not far flung and whose state is in a strategically hostile situation or environment, can be reduced to an exhibit in an ethnographic museum, if it is not collectively strong, more..

Govt’s strength shown at electoral outcome do not tell us the full story

Sept 5 (TC) In recent times since the end of the armed conflict, media, both print and electronic, has evinced an interest in seemingly petty things and events. In a way, this signifies that we live in a ‘normal’ time. Is there an arsenic content in locally produced rice? Does the petroleum corporation sell diluted petrol and diesel? Is there a rock underneath the entrance to the Hambantota Harbour? Is the govt going to sell wild elephants to private sector? more..

Editorial: Politics of managing state organisations

Sept 5 (BL) The recent fiascos in the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation in the import and distribution of petrol and the import of substandard cement from a firm in Pakistan which had not been approved by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution show that there is something radically wrong in the conduct of business by the State. The Petroleum Corporation has been functioning without a Chief Executive and a Chief Financial Officer, something unheard of in any private sector business organisation. more..

Jungle law prevented from taking over

Sept 5 (SO) All hell broke loose at the Kandy General Hospital last week, when a Veddah threatened a security officer at the gate and wanted to enter the hospital premises. What happened next was unbelievable. When he was prevented from entering, he began uttering profanities and pulled out his bow from his shoulder and began raining arrows on the security guard. He was later disarmed and brought under control by other security officers before he shot more arrows at him, a senior police officer told more..

Needed: Eleven passionate Sri Lankans

Sept 5 (Island) Losing a cricket contest to an Australian side is considered an embarrassment by most Sri Lankans. Is there a better feeling in cricket than to see a Sri Lankan score a hundred against Australia? The humiliations faced by the Sri Lankan side that toured Australia in 1995 was such that Sri Lankan supporters want even Bangladesh to beat Australia in cricket. A few months back, most Sri Lankans desperately wanted England to retain the Ashes, more..

Editorial: Naming and shaming the corrupt

Sept 5 (Island) Corruption takes its toll not only on a country's economy but also on its very social fabric, causing things to fall apart, if left unaddressed. Therefore, it is only natural that the civic-minded people have risen against govts both here and overseas demanding tough anti-graft laws. UNP MP Harsha de Silva has said that the corrupt must be named and shamed in this country. Yes, it should be done, but much more stringent action is called for if we are to tackle the vexed problem effectively. more..

Editorial: Can compensation reinstate credibility?

Sept 5 (DM) Importing and distributing a stock of petrol as massive as 20,000 metric tonnes, which was by no means fit for consumption, leave behind the unanswered question as to whether the CPC officials had other motives in mind than providing good quality fuel to its consumers. Initially, when the complaints were being shot at them, rather than looking for ways and means to rectify the situation, the responsible heads restored to giving excuses; according to whom nothing but rainwater and rust in more..

Increasing dependence on China is exacerbating Sri Lanka’s problems

Sept 5 (TC) The Emergency is dead. Long live the Emergency Consequential Provisional Bill. Ending the Emergency was a placatory exercise aimed at the upcoming UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva. Underneath this reforming veneer, the regime seems determined not to lose any of its über-powers. Post-Emergency, the far more draconian PTA, augmented by three new regulations, will fill the gap, until the new Emergency-replacement legislation is born. more..

Credit cards market shines to top 800,000 base again

Sept 5 (FT) The country’s credit card market continues to improve with the base topping the 800,000 mark once again after losing it in late last year. The crossing of the 800,000 mark was in June as per latest provisional Central Bank data and the base of 816,160 reflects a 5% increase from end 2010. In May this year the base amounted to 797,795 cards. The industry is welcoming the growth after the market suffered a steep decline from end 2008’s peak of 917,418 active cards base. more..

Minister in surprise visit to Udayan

Sept 5 (DN) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday made a surprise visit to the Udayan office in Jaffna and met the paper’s News Editor G Kuganathan who was the victim of a brutal attack a few weeks ago. The Minister was in Jaffna to head the Jaffna provincial correspondents workshop at Tilco Jaffna City Hotel. The Minister also took the opportunity to visit the Lake House District Office in Jaffna. Accompanying the Minister were Media Secretary W B Ganegala, Media Director more..

Golden girl Upamalika’s hard journey to success

Sept 5 (ST) The wattle and daub house of Upamalika Ratnakumari, who brought a gold medal back to the country from an international athletic event, bears testimony to the hardships the family undergoes. Hailing from a remote village in Dambulla, Ratnakumari was this week practising for the next national event. She helped her family tend their herd of cattle, and to finance her participation at athletic events, she climbed coconut trees to pluck coconuts, as well as more..

Unapproved election propaganda material should be removed – CM

Sept 5 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will approve cutouts, banners, posters etc displayed for election purposes only when requests are made by advertising agents to a committee comprising CMC and Police personnel who meets on a weekly basis when an election is round the corner. The Special Commissioner of the CMC Omar Kamil said that they (CMC) discourage political parties from using material relating to any election that ruins the environment and walls of the city. more..

Johnny comes out strongly against SLSI on cement crisis

Sept 5 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando came out strongly against the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) for not informing the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) or the National Cooperative Council (NCC) when they withdrew the SLS certificate issued to Lucky Cement of Pakistan. He blamed the SLSI on Friday (2) for the cement crisis facing the construction industry in the country as they had only informed Lucky Cement of their decision to withdraw the SLS certificate due to poor quality of its product and more..

Air conditioning compulsory for all pharmacies

Sept 5 (DN) All pharmacies and drug stores islandwide are being ordered to have air conditioned premises for protecting the quality and the effect of the drugs sold by them, according a Health Ministry spokesman. He pointed out all medicinal drugs should be stored below 24 degrees Celsius so as to protect its quality. Since Sri Lanka's temperature is above 24 Celsius the Ministry has decided air conditioning pharmacies compulsory. more..

'Govt’ s Natl. Health Week a farce'

Sept 5 (DM) The All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) charged that the declaration of a national health week from September 3 to 10 was yet another attempt to hoodwink the public. Issuing a statement, the Union said, according to the government, ministers and all other MPs had been requested to look into the shortcomings personally on the first day (3) of the Health Week. Subsequent to reports expected on these findings the Minister would intervene appropriately to solve the problems reported on. more..

Vocational training for 10,000 inmates

Sept 5 (DN) A programme will be implement today to provide vocational training for 10,000 inmates in prison, Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry spokesman stated. This programme is to be implemented by the Ministry in joint partnership with the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry. “The Ministry is to commence this programme today at prisons islandwide targeting 10,000 inmates,” said the spokesman. The first phase of the project will commence at the Bogambara Prison in Kandy. more..

No cohesive plan to settle land disputes in NE

Sept 5 (Island) For want of cohesive mechanism to settle land disputes in the N&E Provinces even two years after the conclusion of the conflict, many are struggling to regain what is theirs. Officials said that in spite of their efforts in consultation with various ministries and agencies, there were many disputes. W.A.M. Fernando said that he had been prevented from entering his 20 perch block of land within Trincomalee city limits, though he had the title deed. more..

Rape of underage girl at A/L centre

Sept 5 (DM) The Education Ministry has decided to interdict four education officials assigned for A/L exam duty at a coordinating centre in the Matara district, on charges that their negligence resulted in the rape of an underage girl, Minister Bandula Gunawardane said. He alleged that on Saturday after work at the coordinating centre the officials had consumed liquor in the company of some youths in the area, and one of the youth had allegedly raped a ten-year-old girl who came to play in the school playground. more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka’s integration task

Sept 5 (KT) Colombo has a critical choice to make. The government’s decision to hold on alleged terror suspects for time immemorial, irrespective of its earlier commitment that it wants to free them and rehabilitate, accordingly, is a setback of sorts. The newly promulgated regulations under the powerful Prevention of Terrorism Act are primarily meant to deny political space to the incarcerated Tamil suspects, and are widely seen as a ploy to further emergency provisions. more..