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Lanka's first batch for Israel jobs take wing

Oct 27 (DN) A batch of 300 Sri Lankan youth left for Israel last night for employment under a program organised by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). Addressing the Sri Lankan workers at a ceremony to handover their visas and other travel documents, its Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka said. During the first stage of their employment they will be attached to various firms in Israel for six months and paid a monthly salary amounting Sri Lankan rupees 110,000. more..

‘LG Poll Bill: unfair on smaller parties’

Oct 27 (DM) Two senior political science professors filed an application in the Supreme Court yesterday challenging the proposed bill to amend the Local Authorities Election Ordinance. Prof. Ranjith Amerasinghe, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and Prof. Narendra Bandara, the head of the Department of Political Science attached Peradeniya University complained that the Bill that had been tabled in the parliament was unfair on more..

Once lucky jumbo second time unlucky

Oct 27 (DM) A wild elephant that was saved from drowning in the seas off Sampur in Trincomalee a few months ago by the Navy and released to the jungles was found dead last night in a well in Jayanthipura in Trincomalee. A few months ago the elephant had been caught in a current and swept farther into the deep sea when the Navy spotted and saved it. Thereafter the jumbo had been roaming in the Sampur and Trincomalee areas and more..

Youth Parliament election on November 27

Oct 27 (DM) An islandwide poll to elect 332 members for the Youth Parliament will be held on November 27 and the first session will be held at Maharagama on December 12 with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Dulles Alahapperuma said. The election will be held at Divisional Secretariat Offices and the Divisional Secretary will act as the Chief Presiding Officer and the Youth Affairs Ministry Secretary or his representative will act as the Returning Officer. more..

Basil wants rejected Tiger saved at any cost

Oct 27 (Island) The media was given an opportunity yesterday to witness how the new-born Tiger cub, at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela, was bottle fed with a specially imported milk after its mother refused to feed it. The Zoo’s new Director General Bhashwara Senaka Gunarathna said they were still not in a position to exhibit the animal to the public, though it was in good health. more..

Over 7,000 arrested in narcotics raids

Oct 27 (Island) The Police, in the recent raids conducted on drug dens and drug dealers, have arrested 7,098 persons during the period 13-25 October. Police sources said until the drug menace is completely eradicated, from the country, raids will continue. Special Units were established in all police stations to conduct raids and a country wide campaign was launched on October 13. The number of raids conducted during this period was 7,046. more..

Court orders police to disperse unlawful assembly of students

Oct 27 (DM) A Colombo Magistrate yesterday ordered the SSP of Kelaniya Division to disperse the unlawful assembly of the Kelaniya University students who have been stationed within the Kelaniya University premises with an object of causing damage to the university property. DSG A.H.M.D. Nawaz making an application before the Colombo Additional Magistrate Mahil Wijeweera on behalf of the state moved court to exercise its powers under Section 95 of the more..

At meeting with President: VCs moot common disciplinary mechanism

Oct 27 (DN) University Vice Chancellors on Monday stressed the importance of identifying the handful of students who are trying to cripple the entire university system of the country. They also called for a common mechanism to ensure that discipline is maintained in the university premises at all times. They called for a viable mechanism to rehabilitate these students for the benefit of majority of students. more..

Call to reduce duty on onions, potatoes

Oct 27 (DM) Importers of essential commodities have requested Treasury Secretary P. B. Jayasundara in writing to reduce the import duty on big onions and potatoes as soon as possible, informed sources said yesterday. The government increased the import duties on such items to ensure stable prices for the local products. According to importers, there is no need for the government to continue with the increased duty rates. more..

Ariyawathi blames NHA for delay to complete house

Oct 27 (Island) Staggered remittance from the National Housing Authority has caused a considerable delay to the construction of her house, L. Ariyawathi, who returned to Sri Lanka after undergoing torture at the hands of her employees in Saudi Arabia, said yesterday. Ariyawathi returned home over three months ago after undergoing a series of tortures by her Saudi employees who inserted over 20 iron nails and pins into her body. more..

'Exercise due care with deposits'

Oct 27 (DM) The Central Bank yesterday cautioned people to ‘exercise due care’ when depositing money in banks and financial institutions, even those authorized by it, despite opposition parties citing it as an attempt by the Central Bank to absolve itself from any responsibility if any such bank or institution collapsed. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal made an announcement in the media that people should exercise ‘due care’ when more..

Beware of ‘Snuff’

Oct 27 (DM) The Health Ministry yesterday warned parents, teachers and school authorities to be extra vigilant as a prohibited and illegally imported drug called ‘Snuff’ was being sold among school children by drug peddlers and unscrupulous traders. The Health Ministry also took measures to prohibit with immediate effect the import, distribution, sale and storage of this highly harmful drug variety that has been popularized among school children in the recent past, more..

'Decision remains with us not AG'

Oct 27 (DM) Presiding Judge R.L. Ranjith Silva said yesterday it was upto the Appeal Court to decide whether to seek a constitutional interpretation from the Supreme Court, and not the Attorney General, when the writ application of former army commander Sarath Fonseka regarding his parliamentary seat came up before the court yesterday. Presiding Judge R.L.Ranjith Silva said the Court of Appeal was not an incompetent court and more..

‘Grama Charika’ project likely to widen UNP split

Oct 27 (Island) Beleaguered UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s latest initiative called ‘Grama Charika’ now scheduled to be launched in the Horana electorate over the coming weekend is likely to be boycotted by those demanding immediate reforms, political sources say. Sources say Hambantota District MP Sajith Premadasa and his supporters are unlikely to join the two-day long campaign, the first of several similar programmes before more..

Opening OPDs 24/7: Impracticable, say health unions, docs to decide tomorrow

Oct 27 (Island) The government’s decision to keep the Out Patient Departments (OPDs) in government hospitals open twenty four hours a day would create major problems, health sector trade unions say. President of the All Ceylon Health Service Union Gamini Kumarasinghe said the decision was people-friendly but impracticable. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Health Ministry Secretary to more..

Saudi ban won’t hinder Lankan jobs

Oct 27 (Island) Can Sri Lanka afford to lose its share in the lucrative Saudi job market close on the heels of EU denying GSP plus trade facility? The government has received an assurance that the Saudi Arabian government hasn’t decided to close the door on Sri Lankan housemaids. This follows media reports that ‘SANARCOM’, an umbrella organisation of recruiting agencies in Saudi Arabia with more..

Taxation Commission hands over report to President

Oct 27 (PRIU) The final report of the Presidential Commission on Taxation 2009 was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the Chairman of the Commission Prof W.D Lakshman at Temple Trees yesterday (26 Oct). The Commission on Taxation was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2009 to study the structure of the local taxation and make proposals. more..

TRC uncertain about new law

Oct 27 (DM) The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) yesterday said it was still unclear on certain particulars relating to the new regulation which permits a single individual to possess only five sim cards under his/her name. TRC Director General Anusha Palpita told the Daily Mirror it needed to clarify certain particulars regarding this new law with the Defence Ministry as they were uncertain about its specifics. more..

Sri Lankan sentenced in attack on ex-president

Oct 27 (AP) A Sri Lankan man was convicted Wednesday of conspiring to kill the country's former president in a suicide bomb attack and was sentenced to 30 years of hard labor, an official said. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga survived the attack at an election rally in December 1999 but lost one eye in the blast. Twenty-six others were killed and scores of others were wounded in the attack, more..

Sri Lanka eases check points in capital

Oct 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Wednesday it would begin dismantling a dozen permanent military check points in the capital which are a legacy of decades of ethnic conflict on the island nation. Two permanent road blocks on the southwestern edge of Colombo will be removed Wednesday and 10 other similar points will be gradually eased, the government information department said. more..

COPE summons Heads of failed ventures

Oct 27 (DM) All past and present heads of loss-making semi government commercial ventures will be summoned before the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) of Parliament to explain how and why their respective establishments were running at a loss, COPE Chairman D.E.W.Gunasekara said. “It is a matter of serious concern that a large number of state owned ventures have failed as a result of financial and administrative mismanagement more..

ICEU campaign stopped by Police

Oct 28 (SL) The Inter Company Employees’ Union (ICEU) today (27) said the police had disrupted its leaflet distribution campaign in the Maradana area. The ICEU leaflet distribution campaign on the government’s alleged move to plunder the EPF and ETF was carried out opposite the Maradana railway station today. ICEU Senior Vice President, T. Hettiarachchi told The Sunday Leader that the Maradana Police had approached the trade unionists who were distributing leaflets and more..

NTUC campaigns for support at district level

Oct 28 (SL) The National Trade Union Center (NTUC) together with the Joint Trade Union Forum is currently appointing district committees to garner the support of the working masses to win their demands. NTUC Head K.D. Lalkantha said that a committee comprising 17 trade union representatives would be appointed in each district to create awareness of the three demands agreed upon by the Joint Trade Union Forum and to muster the support of the working masses in each district. more..

Sri Lankans fine-tune with another win

Oct 28 (CI) The Sri Lankans controlled their final warm-up before running into Australia as they recorded a 23-run victory over New South Wales in Sydney. After the visitors posted 4 for 167 from their 20 overs, the local innings was interrupted by rain - the target was reduced to 123 in 14 overs - and they finished at 2 for 99. The game started 15 minutes late because the Sri Lankans were caught in traffic on the way to the ground more..

Jaffna Security Forces Commander awarded prestigious Gusi Peace Prize

Oct 28 (Island) Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe has been awarded the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize for 2010. The Philippines based award, recognizing individuals working toward the attainment of peace and respect for human life and dignity has named Major General Hathurusinghe as one of the nineteen 2010 laureates for his contribution to the peace process of Sri Lanka. more..

'Sri Lanka’s achievements not adequately recognised'

Oct 28 (DN) Sri Lanka’s achievements in constraining the negative consequences that arise in the aftermath of the internal conflict has been inadequately recognized by the world, said External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris delivering the keynote address at a workshop at Taj Samudra Hotel yesterday morning. The theme of the workshop held under the auspices of the Centre for Security Analysis (CSA), Chennai and the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.10. 2010

Vidatha Centres in all DS Divisions

Oct 28 (GDI) Under the on-going programme of the Ministry of Science and Technology, 260 Vidatha Centres have been opened in the island. These centres have been established on the basis of one centre for each Divisional Secretariat Division. 63 more centres will be established soon. The main task of these Centres are to help the village level small scale entrepreneurs to get scientific knowledge in improving quality of their products with value addition. more..

Sri Lanka mulls IT use in tax reforms

Oct 28 (LBO) A report on reforms to Sri Lanka's complex national and regional taxes has recommended using information technology to make it easier to charge and pay taxes, a statement from the president's office said. The report by the presidential commission on taxation was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa Tuesday after 14 months of deliberations, it said. It also recommends measures to simplify the tax system as well as reduce red tape involved in paying taxes, it said. more..

'Lanka overcoming, polarization and distrust'

Oct 28 (AD) Sri Lanka is overcoming the polarization and distrust associated with a long conflict, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Neil Buhne said addressing the 65thUN Day celebrations. He added that, more than most countries Sri Lanka is positioned to move beyond that and take advantage of the opportunities an interconnected world offers - to improve peoples’ lives. more..

What it will take to Heal Lankan Diplomacy

Oct 28 (DM) The opposition during the former foreign minister’s extravagant reign came down heavily on the government for politicizing the foreign Service cadres and linking up internal politics with foreign policy saying it was curbing Sri Lanka’s negotiation capacity with its counterparts. Foreign policy is often the bridge between Sri Lanka and the world. In pursuit of our mission, the Foreign Ministry should therefore build and more..

Rescuing a Foreign Service in great peril

Oct 28 (DM) For a man who is proving his prowess in governance; President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s approach to the country’s Foreign Service is a mystery. Continuing to load the most important arm of the country’s defense mechanism to the world, with good-for-nothing political stooges, who don’t know the first thing about diplomacy, the government is making a mistake that must not be. According to reports more than half the country’s diplomats abroad were political appointees. more..

Digital technology to all local TV channels by 2015

Oct 28 (LP) The Digital Broadcasting T2 (DVB T2) system will be introduced to all television channels by the year 2015 said Secretary to the Ministry Mass Media W B Ganegala. Speaking to Lankapuvath, the Secretary said that the DVB T2 system is already used in Europe while the Committee appointed to look into the eligibility of its use in Sri Lanka has confirmed that it could be used for local TV channels. more..

What’s good for the gander is not for the goose

Oct 28 (SL) Morality seems to be prioritised by the government, let Menika add in the same breath, morality for you and her, the hoi poloi, while they are free to throw it in the wind and do as they desire. Last night Menika was down on her knees sponging off tomato, potato and sundry such items from off the TV screen. Dingiri watched in delight, with nary an offer of help. If you fling food at the TV, you do the cleaning was her loud unsaid message. more..

Some thoughts on “Interactive Journalism”

Oct 28 (SL) It’s been a while since Frederica Jansz invited me to contribute a regular column to The Sunday Leader. Given the fact that that odyssey constituted (yet) another career after the proverbial three-score-and-ten-year Biblical span, I believe I owe myself the indulgence of a column that looks back on a journey that began a shade under two years ago. Let me first say that The Sunday Leader was not the first English-language Sunday newspaper to publish my scribblings. more..

‘One Shot’ fires at the government

Oct 28 (SL) Actor-turned-politician Ranjan Ramanayake accused the government of masterminding his recent arrest and claimed that he wouldn’t have undergone such a traumatic situation had he supported the government on the controversial 18th Amendment. After he was bailed out by the Kandy court, Ramanayake said that he had to serve a jail term for an offense he has not committed, but simply for refusing to support the government on the 18th Amendment. more..

Step-motherly treatment for Tamil school in Wattala

Oct 28 (SL) It was around 1.00 in the afternoon when I made my way across the dusty outfields of St. Anne’s Church in Wattala to reach the gates of the Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed Vidyalayam. As the school was still in session, I was asked by an old man clad in sarong — who seemed to take the place of a security officer at the school — to wait a while until the teacher I was there to meet would be free to speak to me. more..

Deva takes steps to fulfill the Shortcomings of Innuvil Maha Vidyalaya

Oct 28 (LG) Douglas Devananda, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development chaired the Inuvil School Development Society meeting held in the College premises on 23rd October, 2010 and took steps to supply the college with many requirements that it urgently needed. There are 1039 students receiving education at this school and is a much sought after school in Jaffna peninsula. more..

JHU's Propaganda secretary is unclear about the future of his party but is very sure about the President

Oct 28 (LG) Western Province minister Udaya Gammanpila said President Mahinda Rajapaksa will win the 2015 Presidential election even if there is change in the UNP leadership, as the UNP has lost credibility as a party. He said this to Sri Lanka Guardian in an interview. Here extract of the interview: Q. How do you know the President will win again in 2015, if there was an election? more..

Rajapak-istan is in the making

Oct 28 (LG) President Dr (Lumumba) Percy Mahendra Rajapakse’s son Namal Rajapakse’s for the first time showed his true colours and character when he lead a gang of MP’s to forcefully grab the 400 odd handheld tractors to be distributed to the resettled people by the ICRC in the Vanni and Vavuniya area. Such a daylight robbery with the blessing of the President took place amidst the presence of the police and large number of civilian. more..

Parallel Governments ( Part Two )

Oct 28 (LG) Massacres (see Table 1) of innocent civilians by all the parties to the conflict became relatively common. Apart from individual, targeted political abductions, disappearances and extra-judicial killings (Human Rights Watch, 2008), these mass executions can only be called crimes against humanity that keep the population in abject terror. They easily qualify for persecution under criteria set out for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (2002). more..

'Its time to cruise like a Mercedes Benz'

Oct 28 (LP) Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama addressing the Investment Day Exhibition which was organized by the Securities and Exchange Commission at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Convention and Exhibition Centre in Colombo said that the country needs to develop its investment base by attracting more and more foreign investments which would need a lot of effort. more..

Catholic magician ‘heals’ war wounds

Oct 28 (UCAN) It takes more than a miracle to rebuild shattered lives in post-war Sri Lanka. But Poovelil Mathew Mithra, a Catholic magician, does his best as he tours the country with his mystic touch to heal peoples’ spirits. “We have a lot of haunted memories of suffering and losing loved ones, but Mithra has made us laugh again,” said Kanakaraj, a Tamil from Vavuniya. Kanakraj was among thousands who watched the Mayajal (magic show) by Mithra. more..

Lessons to be learnt for the Hambantota games

Oct 28 (SL) The noveau riche (new rich) always try to keep up with the Joneses. We Sri Lankans are noveau riche now — at least we are told so. We are about to be placed in the ‘middle income’ group of countries. Ours is a Land of the Rising GDP. The sun is shining through the monsoon clouds; stock market is ticking away like a tourist hotel taxi meter. Airports and harbours are being opened up like bus stands and public toilets, more..

Sri Lankan Muslim leaders are concerned about Rizana

Oct 28 (LG) The case of Rizana Nafeek, the young girl who accidently killed a baby while bottle feeding is under threat of death after the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has confirmed her sentence one week ago. The Government of Sri Lanka, and national, regional and international human rights organisations and also the Muslim Community in Sri Lanka are concerned about the case. more..

Editorial: When will they ever learn?

Oct 28 (Island) We carry on our front page today three pictures where a person, believed to be a student of the Kelaniya University, is attacked by a mob and saved by some kind-hearted women at a demonstration against the JVP student wing responsible for violence in universities and attacks on teachers. Yesterday’s incident must be condemned unreservedly. It is unfortunate that a protest against university violence turned violent! more..

Editorial: Elephants: Does anybody care?

Oct 28 (DM) It is quite heart-wrenching to hear that the big jumbo, who was saved by the navy in the deep seas off Sampur a few months ago, had fallen into a well and died. The mammoth effort made by the navy to rescue the floating giant got extensive media coverage and the navy personnel who were involved in the rescue operation no doubt must be quite disturbed by this piece of news. In addition to the strategies adopted by the navy to save the animal, more..

3D - Hon.Prasanna Ranatunga

Soldiers complete building 4575 new homes & renovating another 2758

Oct 28 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army formations in Wanni and North, in support of the government's ongoing resettlement project under 'Uthuru Wasanthaya' programme, have to-date completed construction of 4575 new houses and rebuilt or renovated 2758 existing units on the instructions of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya after the resettlement drive commenced last year. more..

Journalistic Heroines: Defending or offending?

Oct 28 (LB) There was an article titled “Mumbo Jumbo”in the Sunday Leader dated 17 October, by Sumaya Samarasinghe. The main purpose of the article was ostensibly to defend Frederica Jansz against the lies told about her by other Sri Lankan newspapers. Ms Samarasinghe assumed readers were too stupid to know about Judith Miller. I know enough about Miller to question the statement: “She is an ex- New York Times journalist who refused to reveal her source and more..