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Two stroke Tuk-Tuks to get a new lease on life

Oct 16 (SL) In 2007 the government banned the imports of new two stroke three wheelers, claiming that they were harmful to the environment. Next year, they will also ban imports of spare parts. “Two stroke engines emit particles and unburnt hydrocarbons that are polluting the environment,” then Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. “The air-quality in Colombo has deteriorated, with particulate matter sometimes exceeding more..

Magistrate asks defense to file case regarding till with money lost while under police custody

Oct 16 (LT) The case filed by police against the Bhikkus who carried out a protest fast opposite the Fort Railway Station demanding the government to release former Commander of the Army Gen. Sarath Fonseka was taken for hearing in Colombo Magistrates Court today. The police had presented to the Court a list of goods taken to custody at the site where the Bhikkus were carrying out the protest fast but had failed to produce in Court four items in the list. more..

Lanka confident of delivering World Cup venues on schedule

Oct 16 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket is confident that it can meet its November schedule for the three World Cup Venues. When the 2011 edition of the World Cup comes to the Indian sub-continent, Sri Lanka will be one of the major share holders. Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga speaking to the Sunday Times said: “We are on course with the time schedule given to us by our contractors. more..

Power failure causes postponement of ‘White Flag Case’ proceedings

Oct 16 (Island) The Colombo High Court Trial at Bar yesterday adjourned proceedings till November 2 when the lights went out thrice in the midst of proceedings. Attorney-at-Law Nalin Laduwahetty, appearing for former army commander Sarath Fonseka, the accused, submitted that a copy of the court order allowing the accused access to facilities for physical exercise had not reached the Superintendent of Prisons. more..

Editorial: Bankrupt rebels' thirst for blood

Oct 16 (Island) The JVP-led student unions are on the warpath again. Their clash with the police on Thursday turned the Higher Education Ministry premises into a mini battlefield and left several students and police personnel injured. The protesters were demanding that some students who had been arrested and remanded in Kandy for their unruly behaviour at the University of Peradeniya, while more..

Editorial: JVP out to ride on the wave

Oct 16 (DM) In order to sustain the current sense of chaos triggered by the imprisonment of Sarath Fonseka, the JVP, more than any other party, needs events and incidents. The move by the JVP backed Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF) to break gate locks and storm the Ministry of Higher Education is therefore seen by many in this light. With the police walking into the students’ trap and attacking all and sundry including media persons more..

Attack on RDA men removing structure in Hatton

Oct 16 (NF) The Opposition leader of the Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha and four others have been remanded for allegedly attacking officials of the Road Development Authority (RDA) who had been removing an unauthorised structure at the Norwood junction on the Hatton - Maskeliya main road yesterday. Three officials of the RDA, including the backhoe driver, had been injured in the incident. more..

'EP Chief Minister abets appropriation of Tamils’ lands'

Oct 16 (TN) TNA Batticaloa district MP P. Selvarasa accused the Chief Minister of Eastern Province, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias (Pillayan), for not taking any action against lands belonging to Tamils being encroached by Sinhala and Muslim people. Selvarasa, speaking as the chief guest in an event of the release of a CD titled ‘Gone with the Waves’ in Periya Kallaa’ru in Batticaloa district, more..

Police fail to protect harassed female ex-combatant

Oct 16 (TN) Sri Lanka police in Veala’nai in the islets of Jaffna have ignored the complaints made by a former underage female member of LTTE on attempts made by a gang of ten men on 09 October to abduct and sexually abuse her in her relative’s house in Veala’nai. IOM and UNICEF officials who had facilitated her release from the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) detention camp and placed her in the custody of her relatives too have not taken steps to protect her from more..

23% single parent families in lanka

Oct 16 (DM) Some 23 percent of families in the country function as single parent ones, Social Services Minister Felix Perera said yesterday. High rates of divorce, separation and death have caused the situation, the Minister said, adding that the worst affected province is the North, followed by the South. He noted that a high percentage of people in the North also suffer from mental illnesses. more..

As human rights groups boycott Sri Lanka panel, UN Ban's panel invisible

Oct 16 (ICP) The UN under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is slow in answering questions, particularly glaringly when it comes to Sri Lanka. On the morning of October 14, Inner City Press put three simple questions to Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky, asking for answers by the end of the noon briefing. None were provided until a full 24 hours after that, and even then, the answers were evasive. more..

Media groups condemn attack on journalists

Oct 16 (DM) Four media organisations yesterday condemned the assault by police on four journalists covering an IUSF protest. The media personnel, including Daily Mirror Photographer Pradeep Dilrukshana, who went to cover the protest, were assaulted by a group of police constables near the Viharamahadevi Park on Thursday evening. “Members of four media organizations condemn this act of violence against the journalists who went to cover the protest. more..

Range-Tissa showdown at WC meeting

Oct 16 (DM) UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara and party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake confronted each other at the Working Committee meeting yesterday and even went up to the extent of criticizing each other on personal matters. Mr. Bandara had reportedly been critical of Mr. Attanayake over the delay in conducting disciplinary inquiries into the attack on him by a gang led by more..

Lanka seeks tips on language gap

Oct 16 (HT) Sri Lanka has asked India for help to emulate its three-language education policy to teach Tamil in Sinhala dominated areas and Sinhalese to ethnic Tamils in the island nation slowly emerging from decades of ethnic conflict. The HRD ministry will soon send experts to Sri Lanka to share India’s experience in handling linguistic differences and to explain the nuances of India’s language policy, government sources told HT. more..

Postal trade union against austerity measures

Oct 16 (Island) The Lanka Postal Services Union General Secretary D M Wijeratne yesterday said that they would be compelled to take trade union action if the Postal Department was going to be closed on Saturdays. He said despite holding discussions with Posts and Telecommunications Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga, there was no assurance from the minister that the department would remain open on Saturdays. more..

Rapprochement necessary between the Govt and TNA

Oct 16 (DBS) The decision taken by the TNA to oppose the 18th Amendment to the Constitution on a matter of principle placed the party in an unenviable position of antagonising the Mahinda Rajapaksa government. The task of spearheading the Parliamentary opposition against the amendment should have been rightfully that of the UNP. The hopelessly divided UNP abdicated its responsibility by opting to walk out of Parliament and more..

Migrant Tamil children embrace Canadian schooling

Oct 16 (VS) They prefer sliced apples and oranges over oatmeal bars at snack time, can't get enough of singing Itsy Bitsy Spider and don't mind getting homework — some even clamour for it. Those are just some of the observations made by three B.C. teachers who have been running classes for the Tamil migrant children who arrived on a cargo ship this past summer from Sri Lanka. Pilar Spratt, Joan Peddie and Cora Kinoshita — on-call teachers trained to more..

Lanka’s largest saltern in Trincomalee

Oct 16 (PRIU) Construction is underway to build the largest saltern in the country in Kurumpity, Trincomalee. The saltern is being established in a land with an extent of 1,800 acres. Upon completion it is expected to produce 50,000 metric tons of salt per year. Prior to 1977, Sri Lanka was almost self-sufficient in salt with salt produced in several salterns in the country, including Hambantota and Puttalam. more..

'UK & Sri Lanka, partners in prosperity'

Oct 16 (PRIU) The close historical ties between the UK and Sri Lanka make us natural partners in prosperity," said the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mark Gooding addressing the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL). Already Sri Lankan exports to the UK are worth $1 billion a year, UK companies provide $300 million in foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka, and over 100 UK affiliated companies operate in Sri Lanka, more..

NE housing project to be completed by March 2011

Oct 16 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was a special guest at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games held a special discussion with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh yesterday. The meeting held at Indian Prime Minister’s official residence in New Delhi was fruitful and cordial, according to a release by the President’s Office. The two leaders reiterated their commitment to strengthen the existing understanding between the two countries. more..

'More private Universities needed'

Oct 16 (DN) Sri Lankan students are looking at a qualitative higher education and ICT, computer and English proficiency would assist in achieving a sound education in Sri Lanka. It is time to set up more private universities in the country while cutting down on huge expenditure that goes out of the country, University Grants Commission Acting Vice Chairman Rohan Rajapaksa said. He was addressing the in auguration ceremony of a Higher Education and Career Exhibition more..

'Media gagged, but we can survive'

Oct 16 (DM) Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday the UNP could survive without the media as it had done in the past, because the suppression of journalists had resulted in the media being reluctant to give space and air time to opposition political parties. “The media are not reporting the real situation. What they report is quite different,” more..

GMOA condemns striking nurses

Oct 16 (Island) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday condemned the strike by nurses of the Kurunegala Hospital demanding that their male counterparts be allowed into labour rooms to assist in deliveries. The GMOA says that 95 per cent of the nurses in the State run hospitals are women and they can attend to the maternity needs of women. more..

'Fonseka has a right to be present when his case is heard'

Oct 16 (Island) The Court of Appeal directed the prisons authorities to bring General retired Sarath Fonseka to Court, whenever his writ application was heard. The Court allowed a motion filed by Fonseka seeking permission for him to be present in Court, when his Writ application, against the decision of Court Martial I was heard. The Court of Appeal said that every person had a right to be present in Court when his or her case was heard. more..

Japan relaxes its travel advisory on Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (Island) The Government of Japan has decided to relax its Travel Advice and Warning on Sri Lanka for Japanese citizens travelling to the North. The Japanese Embassy in Colombo issued a statement yesterday outlining the new advisory. Full text of the advisory: On October 14, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has announced that Japan will further relax its travel advisory on the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, based upon the more..

Police say JVP behind U’grads’ protests

Oct 16 (Island) Police intelligence says the JVP is behind a series of incidents involving university students in the recent past. The police have commenced monitoring the party’s activities involving students. In the latest incident on Thursday, hundreds of students forcibly entered the premises of the Ministry of Higher Education in Ward Place, Colombo. They occupied several rooms and halls there and refused to vacate the premises. more..

'SB is fulfilling government’s contract to privatize education'

Oct 16 (LT) The present Minister of Higher Education is fulfilling the contract of privatizing education in Sri Lanka says the convener of the IUSF Udul Premaratne. Speaking to ‘Lankatruth’ regarding the decision taken by the government to provide land and tax concessions to private universities Mr. Premaratne said, “Minister S.B. Dissanayake does not act to develop higher education in the country but to sell it. more..

'I was ble to fuIfill the promise'

Oct 16 (NF) Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Manju Wanniarachchi, says that his next aim is to bring home a medal from the 2012 Olympic Games. “I went into the games with a lot of hope since I practiced very hard. Before I left for the games, I told my coach, Harsha that I will definitely bring home a medal. I was able to fulfill that promise. As a Sri Lankan I am humbly proud about this achievement.” more..

'UNP constitution being finalized'

Oct 16 (NF) The UNP has finalised its new constitution based on the proposed political reforms and it is expected to be approved at the annual convention in December, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said yesterday. He told the media that former Minister and Attorney General Tilak Marapana who headed the committee assigned to draft the new constitution submitted a progress report to the Working Committee meeting. more..

Fonseka ready to break jail if ...

Oct 16 (Island) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka told the media yesterday that he along with others ‘imprisoned by the government’ were prepared to break out of prison and protect the people. Gen. Fonseka’s statement was aired by the electronic media last evening. A defiant Fonseka said: "The pattern of imprisonment will continue, similar to Ranjan Ramanayake being arrested. There will be hundreds more going to jail. more..

'Sri Lanka rulers can set example by paying taxes'

Oct 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's rulers can set an example to the people by starting to pay taxes and the increasing privileges of elected officials can permeate wider into a bloated state, a retired public servant who has spent his life batting on the side of the people said. "The exemption of a bloated public service from direct taxation is a luxury that the economy can ill afford," more..

Rajpaksa Govt unwilling to set timeframe for devolving powers to Tamils

Oct 16 (ANI) The Sri Lankan Government seems to be unwilling to set any anytime frame for the implementation of the 13th amendment, which consists of a devolution package for minority Tamils. The 13th amendment came into being after India and Sri Lanka signed a pact in 1987 under which New Delhi urged Colombo to devolve powers to provinces in a bid to placate the restive minorities, mainly Tamils. more..

Sri Lanka Boom Times

Oct 17 (WD) Two years ago, the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka were described by the FBI as “the most dangerous and deadly terrorist organization in the world.” Over the past thirty years, they have killed upwards of 100,000 people — the vast majority of them civilian. The list of heinous acts is long and multifaceted. Children were kidnapped and used as soldiers. The Tigers sent more suicide bombers than another other terrorist group, far surpassing the PLO. more..

IUSF to protest demanding the release of uni students

Oct 17 (SL) The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) says that countrywide protests will be organized in front of all the universities on October 19, 20 and 21 against the arrest of the 21 students at the Higher Education Ministry on Thursday (14). Colombo chief magistrate Rashmi Singappuli yesterday (15) remanded the 21 university students affiliated to the IUSF till October 29. more..

2011 Independence Day at Kataragama

Oct 17 (GDI) Government will hold the Next year’s National Independent Day celebrations at Kataragama in the Uva Region. Deputy Minister of Economic Development Mr.Ranjith Siyambalapitiya addressing a Public rally at Moneragala said that the government has decided to hold the all celebrations in connected with the 2011 Independent day in the Moneragala district. more..

Where are all the commission reports?

Oct 17 (LG) President Premadasa started Presidential Commissions of Inquiry with Kokkadicholai Commission inquiring into the massacre of 152 villagers in Kokadicholai, a village in Batticaloa, by the security forces in 1991. Months of daily sittings at the BMICH comprising learned judges and led by Justice Siva Selladurai the report never saw the light of day. The only places one can retrieve them are from the archives of newspaper publishing houses. more..

My God! G L Pieris!!

Oct 17 (LG) The External Affairs minister of Sri Lanka Prof G L Pieris seems to suffer from early stage of amnesia. His irresolute comments in some capital cities, is only reflecting his confused state of mind. His masterly command of professorial English is making him to discharge all kinds of inappropriate comments to unfitting audience. What he has to shout and scream deep down in the southern Matara town is being discharged in Beijing- more..

Authoritarian versus democratic govt and the case of Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (LG) Endemic over-simplification by internal and external actors and purposeful attempts to reframe political debates have ensured the conversation concerning Sri Lanka’s government continues to be conducted in democratic terms. Yet that categorization is presumptive. Using the lexicon of democracy to discuss Sri Lanka presupposes that the state is fundamentally democratic or more..

The trouble with Sri Lankan political and civil society

Oct 17 (TC) Everyone’s an amateur psychologist. That’s the trouble with Sri Lankan political and civil society. Instead of listening to or reading what someone says and treating it on its merits, the name of the game is to speculate on what motivated him. What’s s/he after? Who is he with now? Thus it is that gossip substitutes for analysis. The upshot of the personalised normative reactions of Sri Lankan society, i.e. reacting to who is saying it rather than what is said, more..

Defending the indefensible: Rejoinder to Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama

Oct 17 (TC) The subtitle of Dr Nihal Jayawickrama’s reply to me is “a response to Dr Dayan Jayatilleka’s spurious allegation”. Speaking of which, Dr Jayawickrama commences his piece with one, saying “Dr Dayan Jayatilaka continues his defence of the indefensible Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution” This is easily settled. If Dr Jayawickrama can quote a single line authored by me which is “a defence” or endorsement of the 18th amendment more..

Where are all the commission reports?

Oct 17 (LG) President Premadasa started Presidential Commissions of Inquiry with Kokkadicholai Commission inquiring into the massacre of 152 villagers in Kokadicholai, a village in Batticaloa, by the security forces in 1991. Months of daily sittings at the BMICH comprising learned judges and led by Justice Siva Selladurai the report never saw the light of day. The only places one can retrieve them are from the archives of newspaper publishing houses. more..

DNA national list MP is in secret pact with the Govt

Oct 17 (LG) The National list MP of the DNA Tiran Alles is said to be having secret talks with the ruling President’s SLFP. According to a reliable source, he has started a cold war with the DNA and at the same time is pursuing secret discussions with a President’s circle. The source confirmed that Tiran Alles tried to contact the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa through Udaya Gammanpilya, the Minister of Western Provincial Council to engage in talks. more..

Militarizing post -war SriLanka while Rajapaksaizing the military

Oct 17 (TC) The war is over. But defence expenditure keeps on increasing. According to media reports, the defence allocation for 2011 will be Rs.214 billion as compared to Rs.201 billion for 2010, an increase of Rs.13 billion. Logically, such a massive hike in the defence budget should not and need not be. After all, the Tigers have been conclusively defeated and Vellupillai Pirapaharan and all top Tiger leaders more..

Congrats Manju, but no politics please

Oct 17 (NS) Boxer Manju Wanniarachchi is the man of the moment. He fully deserves all the accolades that are being showered upon him by the media and by all and sundry. It is an occasion worth celebrating because Wanniarachchi has, by winning a Gold medal in boxing at the 19th Commonwealth Games at New Delhi, revived a sport in the country which has been dying for want of an icon to project its image and draw the attention of young pugilists. more..

Inter-dynastic rivalry between ascendant and declining dynasties

Oct 17 (TC) Opposition to dynastic rule is laudable but not when it comes from a member or faithful serf of a deposed or earlier dynasty, whose only problem is with which dynasty rules rather than the phenomenon of dynastic rule itself. How much of what passes for opposition to dynastic rule today is inter-dynastic rivalry, between ascendant and declining dynasties; those on the inside and those deposed or in decline? more..

Opposition cannot resist the Rajapaksa juggernaut by trying to be more ‘patriotic’ than the Rajapaksas

Oct 17 (TC) The Rajapaksas are leading Sri Lanka into the abyss of tyranny gradually, measure by insidious measure. Hitler raved about peace; the LTTE had a spokesman for human rights. The Rajapaksas are creating a labyrinth of laws, rules and practices which would enable them to control the populace, prevent any revitalisation of the opposition, subvert basic rights and vitiate democratic institutions, behind an innocuous façade, and more..

Sri Lanka supports commonwealth initiatives at UNESCO

Oct 17 (MoD) Sri Lanka, being a key player in commonwealth, supported the efforts under way at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris to commemorate the grouping. Several activities had been organized in Paris to coincide with the 185th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO including a photographic exhibition under the title "Faces of the Commonwealth" which has brought together the member states of the grouping to showcase various aspects of life in more..

Sri Lanka award multi million pounds contract to image building consultants

Oct 17 (LG) The government of Sri Lanka, through its High Commission in London has appointed Bell Pottinger, a public relations company to carryout image building consultancy work for the government in the United Kingdom. The undisclosed, multi-million pounds contract is said to cover pro-active engagement of the consultancy to counter the Tamil Diaspora campaign work in the United Kingdom. Bell Pottinger, Public Affairs and image building consultancy is based at 5th Floor, more..

Sri Lanka Judiciary & Ayodha

Oct 17 (LG) ‘What went wrong?’ asked Tamil academic at a recent conference in Norway. The interactions are apparently geared to craft a far-reaching evaluation the Norwegian Government seeks from analysts, both individual and institutional, on why the so-called ‘peace process’ in Sri Lanka – orchestrated by Norway on behalf of the United States, European Union and Japan – supposedly ‘failed’. An expatriate Tamil, taken in by his Norwegian politicians’ more..

'Colombo to be made model capital'

Oct 17 (DM) The government expects to construct 1.2 million houses in the country in the next five years to accommodate those living illegally in state land in Colombo and other cities, Minister Anura Priyadhashana Yapa said. He said the NHDA and the UDA would build housing schemes, condominiums and apartments under this ambitious plan around the country with more emphasis on Metropolitan Colombo and sell them to middle and higher income families. more..