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President agrees to resolve injustice to Docs’ children

Apr 24 (Island) President Rajapaksa assured that the injustice caused to children of doctors when admitting them to the year one classes would be resolved hereafter. Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the President gave the undertaking during a successful discussion with the Association. The President also promised to give schools to some of the 200 doctors’ chidren who failed to gain admission to year one, he said. The doctors had pointed out to the President more..

Ethalaya Editor’s house searched

Apr 24 (CG) The House of the Editor of the Ethalaya and Gindara (Fire) magazine Srilal Priyantha was searched by the police this afternoon. He said that a police team had initially attempted to arrest him but later took down a statement from him and then searched his house. The journalist said that the police had questioned him about some missing documents from the police headquarters. The police had attempted to arrest him using a Court order obtained from the Gangodawila more..

Scarred by Sri Lankan torture

Apr 24 (Age) Kumar's' scars are real and are only just beginning to heal - the result, he maintains, of four gruesome days of torture in a dark room, somewhere outside Colombo, barely two weeks ago. "I thought I was going to die," he says, before his captors allowed him to dress, then blindfolded him, and dumped him beside a road. To the Tamil Refugee Council in Australia, the scars are proof that those suspected of more..

Rs 2.5 Mn worth loans for rehabilitated cadres

Apr 24 (CT) Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera, said the President has given priority for the rehabilitation of LTTE cadres who had surrendered to the Security Forces at the final phase of the conflict. He added, measures have also been taken to grant loans to enable them to commence their livelihoods. He made these remarks while addressing an event in Batticaloa on Monday where rehabilitated LTTE cadres were formally handed over to their families. 12,000 former LTTE cadres had surrendered more..

CEB to show $355 mln loss although tariffs up

Apr 24 (Reuters) The CEB will show a roughly 45 billion rupee loss in 2013, although it has raised tariffs in response to IMF requests. CEB last week increased the power tariff significantly with effect from this month under reforms to reduce losses in state-run power firms after repeated IMF suggestions. The Board was allowed to raise prices for domestic consumers by around 60%. "It (tariff hike) will reduce the losses by about 50%. At the moment it's 90 billion (rupees)," more..

Saudi donation frees jailed Sri Lanka maids

Apr 24 (GN) A Saudi national has offered to pay 22,000 Saudi riyals (Dh21,539) to rescue two Sri Lankan domestic helpers from prison and leave Saudi Arabia. The two helpers had absconded from the home of their employer, headed to their embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh and insisted on not returning to work for their employer. The case was eventually taken by the employer to the Riyadh police and the two helpers, who were not more..

Private sector workers demand salary hike

Apr 24 (CT) The minimum salaries of private sector workers must be increased by Rs 10,463 in view of the new electricity tariff plan and the general increase in cost of living, the Inter Company Employees' Union (ICEU) demanded yesterday. ICEU President Wasantha Samarasinghe demanded the salaries of the private sector workers be brought up to par with those working in the govt sector, saying, "The only thing the people can sell to earn a salary is their sweat and blood. more..

'Adjournment unreasonable, undemocratic'

Apr 24 (CT) The main opposition UNP yesterday accused the government of evading the problems faced by the people due to the unreasonable electricity tariff hike, by adjourning Parliament. Addressing a hurriedly summoned media conference at the Parliament Complex, soon after Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa adjourned the sittings of the House, acting Leader of the Opposition, John Amaratunga, said the decision to adjourn Parliament sittings was unacceptable and undemocratic. more..

Troubled New Year begins in Sri Lanka

Apr 24 (IPS) The eve of the much anticipated Sinhala and Tamil New Year, celebrated across the island of Sri Lanka in mid-April to mark the end of the harvest season, was marred by a series of attacks, reminding everyone that “peace” does not mean a lack of violence. On Apr 13, the printing presses of the Jaffna-based Tamil language ‘Uthayan’ newspaper came under attack, reportedly the 37th time the paper or those attached to it more..

Deal cautiously with western PR firms

Apr 25 (NS) At present, every sphere of our civilization is being dominated by audio, radio, video, heat and cosmic waves. Total band of these waves and its frequencies are called electromagnetic spectrum. Electricity cables, FM radios, television and DTH systems, satellite images and smartphones, Radar and navigational waves, wave guided missiles, computers and internet are all guided by one or other waves from the EM spectrum. These innovations are now more..

India’s Reality, dilemma and neighbors

Apr 25 (NS) India, no doubt, is the largest democracy in whatever way one wishes to define democracy. It is a land of contradictions: the filthy rich and the poorest of the poor lives almost side by side. Its teeming millions with varying political views, religious diversity and language complexity make this land unique, together with the shameful poverty yet simple lifestyle of most people. It remains one of the world’s civilizational heritage corners still being studied. It also remains one of the most more..

'You get tougher and tougher living away from home'

Apr 25 (CI) Thilan Samaraweera may have played for 12 years for Sri Lanka but his first season in county cricket, where he is fulfilling "one of my dreams", is bringing its own challenges. Samaraweera's enthusiasm, after fielding for Worcestershire, is in stark contrast to Manchester's rain, wind and unrelenting chill, which are enough to make anyone question the sanity of organising first-class cricket at Old Trafford in April. more..

First failure in Geneva: Trap, blunder or model?

Apr 25 (GV) However bad Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is and external relations are, they have yet to hit the nadir that they did under President Jayewardene in the 1980s. The first ever resolution on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka adopted in Geneva by the Human Rights Commission was in March 1987, while the first decision, which it ‘recalls’ in the resolution, was in March 1984, as was reported in the Lanka Guardian at the time (Vol 9, No 23, April 1 1987, p18). This episode, which in a lead more..

Excuses for non- reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (GV) Reminiscences of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy triumphs spearheaded by the late lamented Lakshman Kadirgamar are fresh in my mind given that it was only the other day (12) that we marked what might have been his 81st birth anniversary with a tribute to the former Foreign Minister. It is, therefore, doubly sad to reflect on the fact that Sri Lanka’s relations with the world outside our shores are in tatters at present. To say that our foreign policy today lacks coherence, direction and more..

Cutting edge technology to fight visa frauds

Apr 25 (SO) The Department of Immigration and Emigration is to adopt a cutting edge technology to enhance its border control operations in future by introducing a Mobile Passport Reader (MPR). The MPR will be used to swipe and scan any passport at any given time enabling the authority to get a full description of the passport holder instead of doing it at an immigration or emigration counter at an airport. more..

Wimal’s protest and Hobson’s choice

Apr 25 (Island) NFF leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa tells us that he will go it alone on May Day in protest against the govt’s decision to hold the northern PC polls and its failure to abolish the 13th Amendment which he considers a threat to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. Anyone’s right to oppose or support the 13-A cannot be questioned. Minister Weerawansa is exercising his democratic right and has, we think, struck a responsive chord with many Sri Lankans who believe that more..

Land ownership, patent rights and FDI

Apr 25 (CT) In nations emerging from a colonial exploitative relationship, the ownership of land by non-nationals has always been an emotional issue. Within the exploitation by the colonial power, the expropriation of land often owned not by individuals, but by a traditional community and the handing over of the same to foreigners or even local elites from other parts of the country for the opening up of plantations or extraction of minerals, etc., has been an essential part. more..

ජනතාවට කරන්ට් වැද්දවීම...

The Sinhala-Buddhists, the cost of the Army and the Tamil people

Apr 25 (CT) The Govt must win over the Tamil people to preserve democracy and the territorial integrity of the State as one nation. In a democracy the State must obtain the willing consent of the people. The people include not only the majority religio-ethnic group however large such group is. The Sinhala Buddhists constitute 70% of the population but that leaves out 30% who will be a permanent minority. Majority decision-making does not permit the violation of the fundamental more..

Chandimal’s stance needs to be appreciated

Apr 25 (Island) There’s no doubt that 23-year-old Dinesh Chandimal is the most promising young batsman in Sri Lanka at the moment. Aged 21, he smashed a famous ODI hundred at Lord’s in 2011 and early this year became the youngest man to lead Sri Lanka. Many believe that if anyone comes close to breaking the batting records of Kumar Sangakkara or match the magical batting feats of Aravinda de Silva, it will be Chandimal. After presenting Chandimal his Test cap in Durban more..

Today is the Bak Full Moon Poya Day

Apr 25 (Island) Today is the Full Moon Poya Day of Bak in the Buddhist year 2556, April 25, 2013, as per the Gregorian Calendar. Today is the day set apart to observe Sil. As we have come to know while going through our great chronicles Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gauthama Buddha visited Sri Lanka three times, the first being to Mahiyangana, the second to Nagadeepa and the third as well as the last to Kelaniya. more..

Hariharan, Navi Pillay and Lanka's Tamil issue

Apr 25 (CT) Indian commentators like Col. R. Hariharan have gone to town to declare that India is losing patience with Mahinda Rajapaksa. They are upset because the Sri Lankan President has not met India's demand for political autonomy for the Tamil territory in the North. Instead of blaming Rajapaksa and his predecessors, the Indian analysts should face squarely the question – why should Colombo oblige Delhi on the ethnic Tamil issue. It will do good to them and their advocacy, more..

Birth centenary of Prof.Sarachchandra with full state patronage

Apr 25 (GDI) The birth centenary of Prof.Ediriweera Sarachchandra will be commemorated with full state patronage. A meeting was held at Tempre Trees on Monday with the patronage of President Rajapaksa to discuss the birth centenary programme of the renowned Sri Lankan Playwright, novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist and social commentator late Ediriweera Sarachchandra hich falls on 3rd June 2014. At the discussion held with the members of the Sarachchandra Foundation more..

New trends emerge in foreign employment

Apr 25 (ST) Sri Lanka is experiencing an increase in the proportion of its labour force seeking employment in foreign markets, the 2012 report of the Central Bank (CB) reveals. The report indicates that during the period 2003-2012, there was a 33% increase in total employment placements overseas. The report signalled a rise in the percentage of male foreign employers accompanied by a fall in the percentage of more..

Breach of protocol

Apr 25 (Island) In a turn of events that is leaving some state sector officials aghast, the officials of the Official Languages Commission of Sri Lanka and the relevant local minister are being asked by the National Languages Project of the Canadian government to provide to it short versions of their personal CVs for purpose of submission for the perusal of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada Graham Fraizer, who would be visiting Sri Lanka from May 13 to 17. more..

Reviving handloom industry in Galle

Apr 25 (CT) The handloom industry in the Galle District, if it can be revived to its former glory, can become a great asset to the country, Industries Minister of the Southern Provincial Council, U.G.D. Ariyathilake, speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the automatic handloom colouring plant at the Akmeemana Janasalu Centre in Galle said. “The handloom industry in the district is threatened by the cheap foreign products in the market. The local Industry has to surmount these more..

UK visa applications go online

Apr 25 (CG) From 6 May 2013, applicants and their dependants who are applying for a UK visa will need to make their applications online. From this date, manually completed application forms will no longer be accepted, the British High Commission in Colombo said. Online applications and appointments will be mandated for all applications under the points based system, visitor and settlement routes. This means applicants will more..

Permanent appointments to all graduates recruited to state service

Apr 25 (DN) Arrangements are in place to grant permanent appointments to all graduates newly recruited to the state service, Minister W D J Seneviratne said. There are around 10,000 surplus graduates in the state service after appointments were made in Kurunegala, Matara and Ratnapura districts. The ministry is planning to appoint them to their nearest districts according to requirements, minister said. He was addressing a ceremony held to distribute permanent appointment more..

Hemas ups stake in Panasian Power to 29.3% with Rs. 300 m investment

Apr 25 (FT) Hemas Group has increased its stake in Panasian Power Plc (PAP) to 29.3%, following an investment of Rs. 300 million yesterday in a bid to expand generation capacity in the renewable energy sector. The increase in stake was via the acquisition of a 20% stake or 100 million shares at Rs. 3 yesterday by Hemas Power Plc from Power Hub International SDN BHD, Malaysia, one of the promoters of PAP. The foreign party held a 23.4% stake previously. Net Asset Value more..

Cambio opens IT research lab at Colombo University

Apr 25 (Island) The Board Members of the Cambio Healthcare Systems AB lead by the Chairman of the board Göran Persson visited University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) to ceremonially declare open the Cambio Research Lab of the UCSC recently. Cambio Healthcare Systems is one of the largest companies in Sweden in the field of healthcare administration systems and a leading player within the European market, more..

Seven-year-old strangled to death; retired soldier arrested

Apr 25 (Island) The body of a seven-year-old boy, studying at Walagambha School in Kegalle, was found inside the kitchen of a deserted house at Nilmalgoda, on Tuesday night. The unfortunate child from the Kegalle police area, Walagampurage Pushpakumara, wearing school uniform, had been strangled to death with his school tie, police spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardana said. The victim’s father, living at Udakaradupana, who searched for his son until darkness fell, more..

Ministry rubbishes cancer drug shortage reports

Apr 25 (DN) A Health Ministry spokesman said that there was no drug shortage at the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama. “During the past few days, there was an effort to mislead the public through media reports about a severe drug shortage at the institute. The Maharagama Cancer Institute director informed the Health Ministry that there is no drug shortage at the hospital,” the spokesman said. He said media reports attempt to mislead the public through fabricated news items. more..

UNP urges urgent introduction of National Audit Bill

Apr 25 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva urged the govt to immediately present the draft National Audit Bill to parliament. The economist said that the govt could no longer ignore the issue of accountability in the wake of the grave financial crisis at the CEB. Commenting on Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) chief Dr. Jayatissa Costa’s revelation that there were only six internal auditors at the CEB, the MP said more..

Ex-boyfriend poisons girl and commits suicide

Apr 25 (DN) A 24 year old girl who had taken sleeping pills following a failed love affair and admitted to the Peradeniya Hospital, died after allegedly being poisoned by her ex-boyfriend. It is alleged that the ex-boyfriend, a medical student had mixed the poison in some gram (Kadala), which he had given to the girl, when visiting her at the hospital. Meanwhile, the boyfriend is reported to have committed suicide by infecting himself with a poisonous substance after fleeing to more..

Sri Lanka: Commonwealth should relocate November meeting

Apr 25 (HRW) A senior Commonwealth advisory group should recommend the organization shift the venue of its Nov 2013 CHOGM from Sri Lanka unless the govt makes prompt, measurable, and meaningful progress on human rights, Human Rights Watch said. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), a grouping of Commonwealth leaders that addresses “serious or persistent violations” of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values, more..

Harper hints he'd be open to moving Commonwealth summit from Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (CP) Prime Minister Stephen Harper is hinting he'd like to see this year's Commonwealth summit moved out of Sri Lanka in protest of the country's human rights record. Harper has made it clear for more than a year that, without major reforms, he personally will not be attending next fall's CHOGM in Colombo. On Wednesday he appeared to take it step further. Liberal MP Bob Rae rose in question period to cite the SL govt's more..

Sri Lanka visa waiver for Seychelles nationals comes into force

Apr 25 (FIR) The Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed to the Seychellois public that the Visa Waiver Agreement signed between the Seychelles and Sri Lankan govts has come into effect as of April 22. All Seychelles passport holders wishing to visit Sri Lanka are exempt from visas for a period of no more than 60 days, however, all travelers must be able to show immigration officials that all other requirements of the Sri Lankan Immigration Authority are met. more..

Dialog and Google team up to launch Free Zone

Apr 25 (Island) Dialog announced the launch with Google Inc. of Free Zone powered by Google, which will provide Sri Lankan mobile users with access to Google search, Gmail, and social networking through Google+, with zero data charges. Dialog mobile users can also visit the billions of Web sites connected through Google search without paying any data charges. Free Zone is optimized for feature phones – enabling any mobile user possessing a data capable handset to enjoy the power of more..

China promises further trade and investment promotion in Lanka

Apr 25 (DN) Vice Minister of China's Ministry of Commerce Chen Jian expressed interest in boosting two-way trade between the two countries and further promoting investments during a meeting with President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday. President thanked the Chinese Vice Minister for continued assistance and noted that most of the major landmarks around Colombo remind the Sri Lankan people of that support. more..

'UNP’s hydro power projects saved the day'

Apr 25 (FT) UNP Parliamentarian Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday if not for hydro power plants constructed by the UNP, which generates about 30%-40% hydro power free of charge, the situation would have been worse today. “Now the Govt has started to blame the UNP for the electricity tariff hikes just as they accused the diaspora when something arose concerning international matters and accused the Finance Ministry Secretary when there is a financial crisis in the country,” more..