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'In the university reform process, we will punish even 1,000 students'

Oct 15 (NF) A tense situation arose when police took measures to remove the university students who had entered the premises of the Ministry of Higher Education this evening, and Minister S. B. Dissanayake said that in the reform process of universities, they would punish even a 1,000 students. Students of the Inter University Students' Union forcibly entered the ministry premises and forwarded a number of demands. more..

Lankan Tamils find 'Enthiran' outlandish

Oct 15 (EB) Enthiran, which started its run in Sri Lanka with an unprecedented flourish, has begun to flag everywhere in the island country, with the film being taken off some theatres in Colombo and Jaffna. In Colombo, it had opened to full houses in all the four theatres at the Cinecity complex, but only two of these are showing it now, and that too not to full houses. Tamils who saw Enthiran felt that it was an "English" film rather than a "Tamil" film, and more..

Sajith to boycott today’s Working Committee meeting

Oct 15 (DM) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa yesterday declared that he would not participate in the Working Committee meeting to be held today (15), as a mark of protest against what he cited as the delay in implementing long-awaited political reforms to the party.Mr. Premadasa told Daily Mirror that today’s Working Committee meeting would be a yet another time wasting exercise. “I do not want to be a part of this exercise. more..

Sri Lanka challenges post-war human rights probe

Oct 15 (IPS) When Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris was at the United Nations last month, he challenged human rights groups to appear before a government-appointed LLRC probing human rights violations during the country's civil war. "We have asked international groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group to come to Sri Lanka and share their insights," more..

India asks Sri Lanka to focus on devolution

Oct 15 (IANS) India Friday urged Sri Lanka to speed up the process of devolution of powers to Tamil-speaking minorities and offered to help in the development of the island nation. 'I did raise the issue of devolution of powers. Now that the parliamentary elections are over, it's time for the government of Sri Lanka to act decisively and win over the Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans so that their concerns and reservations are taken care of,' more..

India the pivot of our foreign policy – GL

Oct 15 (Island) Visiting Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs Gamini Lakshman Peiris declared here today that India is "the pivot of our foreign policy." He told The Island in an interview this morning: "India has helped us in our darkest hour." He was apparently referring to the crucial help India rendered to the island-nation, both visible and invisible, during the socalled Eelam War IV that ended in May last year. more..

More irregularities at Sri J’pura hospital

Oct 15 (Island) Disregarding Public Administration Ministry Circular No.6/2006, the administration of Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital has placed 16 employees on a higher scale, TheIsland learns. Secretary of the Board has been paid a salary of Rs. 52,454, whereas her salary should be Rs 26,669. She also gets a fuel allowance of Rs. 42,500, which she is not entitled to, according to sources. more..

Sri Lankans detained in Thailand face deportation

Oct 15 (VoA) Thai authorities have arrested more than 100 Sri Lankan Tamils this week because of fears they might be taken illegally to destinations such as Canada and Australia. Those arrested are being held in an immigration detention center and face court proceedings for immigration violations. South Asian diplomatic sources say Thai authorities made the arrests because of a growing number of Sri Lankan Tamils arriving on tourist visas. more..

'Students winning medals in Olympiad, good trend'

Oct 15 (DN) Sri Lankan students winning a number of silver and bronze medals in the international Olympiad competition, where contestants from a large number of countries competed, could be pointed out as a good trend paving the way for future scientists, Minister Prof Tissa Vitharana said. He expressed this view, as the chief guest at the awards ceremony held at the Education Ministry in Isurupaya to award certificates to a number of students who won silver and bronze medals more..

Original judgment not by a judicial officer

Oct 15 (DM) Following a Court of Appeal order, the death penalty imposed on a man accused of murder was set aside when it transpired that the judgment had been delivered by a person who was not a judicial officer. Delivering the order sequel to an appeal filed before the Appeal Court by condemned Prisoner Kathriarachchige Don Jagath Kanil of no. 174 Colombo Road, Piliyandala, more..

'Sri Lanka under Chinese shadow'

Oct 15 (DM) The government has decided to relocate thousands of shanty dwellers in Colombo in a move to grab their valuable lands, to be given to leading Chinese companies for huge commissions, the UNP charged yesterday. Addressing a news conference, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera who was also the Foreign Minister from 2005 to 2007, said that Sri Lanka was increasingly under China’s clout today. more..

Parliament: Fonseka challenges Sg

Oct 15 (DM) Imprisoned former Army Commander and the leader of the DNA, Sarath Fonseka yesterday filed a writ application in the Appeal Court challenging the move by the Secretary General of Parliament to remove him from his Parliamentary seat. In his application Sarath Fonseka asked to quash the communications with the decision made by Deputy Secretary General of Parliament, Dhammika Dassanayake to inform the Commissioner of Elections that more..

Lanka will achieve development goals - Japanese Minister

Oct 15 (DN) Sri Lanka will achieve its economic development goals under the present Government, Japanese Senior Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Vice Minister Shuji Ikeguchi said. The Japanese Minister said this when Economic Development Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, Agriculture Deputy Minister Jagath Pushpakumara called on him in Tokyo Wednesday. more..

Young Sri Lankans win top essay awards

Oct 15 (BBC) Two Sri Lankan students have won the first and second prize of this year’s Commonwealth Essay Competition for juniors. Twelve year old Samm Pecht secured junior prize for her essay ‘Oh, Crumbs’. They were awarded on Thursday in London. Both the young winners expressed their suprise at getting to the top in the competition. "It didnt sink into my head that I have won," Samm told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

JVP instigated IUSF

Oct 15 (DM) Deputy Minister of Higher Education Nandimithra Ekanayaka told the Daily Mirror a short while ago that the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) was propelled into action by the JVP since the power of the opposition was waning. He made this statement in reference to the clash at the Ministry of Higher Education yesterday. “This is the first time that a Ministry has been attacked by students and we know who is behind all this. more..

Govt. to enter Agreement on Port State Measures

Oct 15 (Island) The government is to endorse the Agreement on Port State Measures aimed at preventing unreported and unregulated fishing. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the Cabinet press briefing in Colombo that the Cabinet on Wednesday approved signing the agreement. The Agreement on Port State Measures when implemented will ensure long term conservation and more..

'New look Colombo soon'

Oct 15 (DN) The government’s aim is to convert the city of Colombo into a fully fledged city that would meet with international standards, Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said at the Cabinet media briefing yesterday. “Under this initiative the Colombo city will receive a new face lift and be a more clean and neat city.” In line with these initiatives, the Urban Development Authority will more..

Oceanic Viking asylum seekers coming to Australia

Oct 15 (ABC) The final group of 17 Sri Lankans who were rescued by the customs ship Oceanic Viking last year are likely to be resettled in Australia. All 78 asylum seekers were found to be refugees and most have already been resettled. But 17 are still waiting in a transit camp in Romania. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says provided they meet health, security and character requirements, they will be come to Australia. more..

’Decision to support SF, but more space for MR’

Oct 15 (DM) During the continued cross examination by the Defence in the trial relating to Sarath Fonseka’s White Flag case, the Sunday Leader Editor admitted that although there was an editorial decision to support Sarath Fonseka in the Presidential Election, more space in the newspaper was allocated for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Witness Frederica Jansz was cross examined by Senior Defence Counsel, more..

Manju’s win thrills father

Oct 15 (Island) Daya Thilak Wanniarachchi, the father of Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Manju Wanniarachchi, said that the happiest moment of his life was when his 30-year-old son won Sri Lanka its first Boxing Gold medal at the Games in 72 years. Manju beat Sean McGoldrick of Wales in the men’s Bantam Weight category to end Sri Lanka’s long drought without a boxing medal at the Commonwealth Games. more..

Manmohan, Rajapaksa discuss Tamils issue

Oct 15 (PTI) Rehabilitation of displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka came up for discussion on Friday during a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Mahinda Rajapaksa amid India’s insistence that it was time for its neighbour to act decisively to “win over” the ethnic minority. Dr. Singh hosted a lunch for Mr. Rajapaksa during which informal discussions on various bilateral issues were held. more..

Sri Lanka, India move on ferry deal

Oct 16 (LBO) India and Sri Lanka have agreed on and initialled a draft agreement to resume ferry services between the two neighbours that was disrupted by the island's ethnic war, a statement said. "The two sides agreed on the text of the Memorandum of Understanding for passenger transportation by sea between the two countries and initialed the text of the MoU," the Indian High Commission statement said. more..

'Sri Lanka may trim 25 taxes on business to 15'

Oct 16 (LBO) A report on reforms to Sri Lanka's complex national and regional taxes will recommend consolidating 25 different existing taxes into 15 or lower, a member of an expert committee said. Saman Kelegama, a member of a presidential commission on taxation, and head of Sri Lanka's Institute of Policy Studies, a think tank, said the final tax report is expected to be handed over to Sri Lanka's president next week. more..

500 former rebels released in northern Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan military said 500 rehabilitated Tamil Tiger cadres were released on Friday in the northern Vavuniya district, which had been partly controlled by the rebels for three decades. The former rebel fighters were released at the Vavuniya Cultural Center after completing their rehabilitation programs at the Punthottam and Pampemadu rehabilitation centers in Vavuniya. more..

Sri Lanka 2010 budget process gets underway

Oct 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's 2011 budgeting process will get underway with the presentation of an 'appropriation bill' in parliament on October 19, and planned deficit of 7.0 percent of the economy from around 8.0 for the current year. The 'appropriation bill' is considered the 'first reading of the budget' in Sri Lanka and sets out expenditure allocations for various ministries and also foreign and local borrowing limits for next year. more..

Sri Lanka's war commission defends integrity

Oct 16 (AP) A government-appointed commission inquiring into Sri Lanka's civil war criticized leading human rights groups Friday for declining its invitations to testify. Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group and Amnesty International wrote to Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission on Thursday to say they would not testify. The groups contend the commission would not operate independently because its members were appointed by the government; more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief -15.10.2010

Opposition front formed to protest Fonseka’s jailing

Oct 16 (wsws) Opposition parties in Sri Lanka have staged a series of protests in Colombo against the conviction and jailing of Sarath Fonseka, former army commander and opposition presidential candidate. The most recent protest, organised by the JVP, took place on Monday. About 5,000 people, mostly JVP supporters, marched three kilometres from Hyde Park in central Colombo to Welikada Prison where Fonseka has been jailed. more..

Uni students hospitalized and rrested

Oct 16 (SL) A clash between the police and the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) last evening has left at least 20 persons, including 12 policemen and eight students, hospitalized. The clash occurred when the police tried to move out the IUSF members who stormed into the Higher Education Ministry premises yesterday (14). 21 university students have been taken into police custody for questioning. more..

President meets Lankan Medal winners

Oct 16 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa participated at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010 as an Honoured Guest yesterday (14). He was the only Head of State to be invited to the spectacular event and sat with Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Prince Edward throughout the two and half hour display of synchronised drills, colourful dances and more..

Give Sri Lanka Comm Games hosting rights

Oct 16 (Stuff) With the Commonwealth Games in Delhi finally put to bed, the time has arrived for some serious post-mortems. Or has it? Before a bike pedal was turned, a race was run or a gun was fired at a target, the event was beset by problems. Inadequate accommodation for athletes, construction delays, concerns around a possible dengue fever crisis and the threat of a terrorist act to disrupt the Indian capital filled more column inches than Paul Henry garners in a year. more..

US campaigns against fake drugs in Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (IANS) The US embassy will host a string of seminars in Sri Lanka to help combat counterfeit drugs. The seminars will show how pharmacists, doctors and government officials can work together to protect Sri Lankans against the dangers of counterfeit drugs, an embassy statement said Friday. The seminars will be organised with help from the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry, more..

Sri Lankan activists oppose plan to train boys as monks

Oct 16 (BBC) Child rights activists in Sri Lanka have criticised a plan by the prime minister to ordain 2,600 boys as Buddhist monks by next May. Prime Minister DM Jayaratne says the move is aimed at boosting Buddhism and lifting young people out of poverty. Next May marks the 2,600th anniversary of Lord Buddha's enlightenment. Activists say the boys are too young to be ordained. more..

Pro-poor growth and Economic growth in Sri Lanka - A critical analysis

Oct 16 (TC) After the nearly three decade war in the North and East which ended in 2009, Tsunami in 2004, two insurgencies in the South (1971 & 1988), other internal economic disturbances and global economic recessions/turbulence, Sri Lanka is now experiencing healthy and impressive economic growth rate. It is posed as an emerging economy in the Asian Region. Sri Lanka has recorded in the second quarter of 2010 economic growth rate at 8.5 per cent, more..

The Land Thief -- probably one of the most powerful criminals in Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (LG) Kotte (Sri Jayawardena Pura) Deputy Mayor Janaka Ranawaka who is popular as "Idam Hora-Land Thief" is another criminal active in Sri Lanka politics. It is alleged that he takes bribes for everything and has made millions illegally. Now it has become worst in Kotte. People say that they cannot put a new wood peace into their own garden fence without giving ‘santhosam’ to Janaka R. more..

Navy builds two Houses for resettled families in North

Oct 16 (MoD) Naval personnel of SLNS Elara under the Northern Naval Command of the Sri Lanka Navy built two new houses for two resettled families in Karainagar. They were handed over to the occupants by Commander Northern Naval Area Rear Admiral Susith Weerasekera on 13th October 2010. The houses were built under the direction of the Commander Northern Naval Area as a contribution to the Northern area development and more..

Eastern band annual assessment camp

Oct 16 (MoD) The Annual eastern band assessment camp (Boys & Girls) was concluded successfully on 13th October. Final Parade of the Camp was held on 12th October. Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, Member of Parliament took the salute of cadets as the Chief Guest of the Final Parade. The Director NCC Major General Gamini Jayasundara RWP RSP and the President of NCC Sewa Vanitha Unit Mrs. Priyanthi Jayasundara were also participated the event. more..

MR to address Oxford, another chance to lie to world

Oct 16 (LG) The Sri Lankan President Office released a statement to the government-controlled media, and thereafter private media outlets which were once victims of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for reporting the truth, carrying the story with the caption “President Rajapaksa invited to address Oxford Union”. This Oxford Union is none other than the one that invited Rajapaksa in 2008 while Rajapaksa’s armed forces were more..

How much does it cost to get married!

Oct 16 (LP) Marriage is something wonderful in a person’s life. It is in fact the dream of any youth. But at present when we talk about a marriage, the first thing that comes into our mind is the Cost. Starting from the wedding dress going up to booking hotels and recipes, something that haunts us more is Jewellery. Simply when we talk of a marriage the next thing that comes to our mind is Gold; but why Gold? more..

Booing: the Last mode of free speech in Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (LG) We refer here to the case of the four university undergraduates of the prestigious Peradeniya university campus being remanded in prison facing some serious penal charges in an Act, quite unrelated to the alleged offence, namely the Anti-Ragging Act for want of an appropriate charge nothing to do with the nature of the actual incident but used in this instance to penalise them, making a mockery of justice, more..

Only Panadols: True Prisons – Part 1

Oct 16 (LG) Jinadasa (64) lives in Udalamaththa, Galle. He had a dispute with a person but the police took his side and produced him before the courts on fabricated charges. He was imprisoned and placed in H ward which was terribly overcrowded. The space of the ward was enough for 150 detainees but there were, in fact, about 300. The majority of them were unable to find surety and pay a small fine. A considerable number of detainees had skin diseases. more..

Fundraiser seeks mercy in NY terror case as judge asks whether Tamil Tigers are threat to US

Oct 16 (AP) More than three years after federal agents locked up a Sri Lankan immigrant they say was the top U.S. representative of the Tamil Tigers, his fate may hinge on a complex question: Was the rebel group a terrorist threat to Americans? Federal prosecutors who charged Karunakaran Kandasamy with supporting terrorism say the answer is yes. more..

Resume Trinco-Mutur sea link: EPC makes plea to President

Oct 16 (ST) The Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) has made an urgent plea to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the resumption of the Trincomalee-Muttur passenger launch service immediately, as the public are severely inconvenienced by the breakdown of the ‘Seruvila-02’ vessel a month ago. “The ‘Seruvila-02’ passenger vessel is lying in dock for over a month awaiting repairs, with no attention paid to it by the authorities. more..

Sri Lanka plantations look to extend productivity link

Oct 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's plantations industry is looking to extend a productivity linked pay scheme when talks on renewing a wage deal with labour unions begin early next year, an official said. Lalith Obeysekere, chairman of the Planters' Association, which represents regional plantations corporations, said the industry is satisfied with gains from a two-year collective agreement with unions that linked pay to productivity for the first time. more..

World’s first cinnamon museum in Matara

Oct 16 (ST) Plans are under way to set up a Cinnamon Museum in Mirissa, Matara. Global CEO- Ogilvy & Mather, Miles Young is building the Cinnamon Museum, the first of its kind in the world – at his holiday complex and Cinnamon plantation in Mirissa. Over the last few years, he has conducted and commissioned extensive research, employing different groups in several countries, on the history of Cinnamon. more..

Rehabilitation and release of former LTTE cadres and suspects

Oct 16 (DM) The recent statement by Minister DEW Gunasekera that all detainees including hardcore Tigers would not be held indefinitely and would be released after rehabilitation, over a period of time, has drawn attention to the government’s rehabilitation programme. Many members of the public are justifiably concerned about the security aspect, for most hardcore cadres have been brainwashed to such an extent that more..

Fiscal discipline needed!

Oct 16 (Island) Senior Economist Prof Sirimal Abeyratne, University of Colombo, said doubling per capita income by 2015 to US$ 4,000 would require sweeping policy reforms, especially those that would improve fiscal discipline. "The government envisages to double per capita income by 2015. For this to happen, economic growth must be sustained at 8 to 10 percent levels and the investment ratio, which is around 25 percent of GDP, must increase to 40 percent," more..

'No one is going to die just because bread prices are high'

Oct 16 (NF) Just because the price of bread goes up, no one in this country is going to starve to death, says Minister Wimal Weerawansa. Expressing his views while taking part in a Vap Magul festival at the Nagahawela area in Oruwala this morning, Weerawansa said that if the sovereignty of the country was to be protected, food security in the country had to be secured. “The governments in the past gave concessions for wheat flour. more..

Caritas Sri Lanka promotes education

Oct 16 (UCAN) The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka is encouraging children in former wor-torn communities to continue their studies by helping with books, money, clothes and organizing fun and games for them. Father George Sigamoney, national director of Caritas Sri Lanka said that war and displacement, poverty, parents’ lack of support attitude towards education, lack of basic necessities like food, clothing, school supplies, money and more..

Long-awaited SLT restructuring plan kicks off

Oct 16 (ST) The long-awaited restructuring plan aimed at complete transforming Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) finally kicked off this week under the direction of the semi-government company’s new board of directors headed by Nimal Welgama, a senior official of SLT said. Under the plan developed in accordance with the report of the British Telecom Consultants on the SLT restructuring, a new regional organizational structure will be implemented with immediate effect. more..