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'UNP playing double games'

Oct 28 (NS) Q: Where do you all stand on the shameful attack on Ruhunu University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Susirith Mendis? A: We like to clearly state that we do not condone students getting into confrontations and physically attacking each other. Similarly we do not condone them attacking university professors or vice-chancellors for whatever reason. Therefore we in no way approve the attack on Ruhunu University vice-chancellor. more..

Can PR Firm launder SL image?

Oct 28 (DM) It was reported in the media that the Sri Lanka (SL) Government is paying sterling pounds three million annually to Bell Pottinger, a top British PR Firm to recoup and enhance the post war image of SL. The Govt has hired this Firm to lobby officials of the United kingdom (UK), United Nations (UN) and the European union (EU). The Govt. has via these means lobbied the UN officials to avert the appointment of the panel of experts by UN Secretary general more..

Lanka has five year national policy for R&D

Oct 28 (Island) In keeping with the rapid economic challenges, the Science and Technology Ministry has prepared a five year national policy for Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Sri Lanka between 2011 and 2015, aiming to achieve at least a 10 per cent increase on high tech products. Minister Professor Tissa Vitarana said the aim of the newly formulated plan was to produce goods and services using the world’s modern technologies. more..

War on ‘campus terror’

Oct 28 (NS) Over the past 10 to 15 years, the dialogue to have educational reforms continued with certain governments attempting various forms of such reforms – some failing and some succeeding. Previous governments too discussed plans to set up private universities but faced protests from various political groups as well as university student unions. However, with Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake expressing his determination to more..

Student unrest brings back memories of JVP insurgencies

Oct 28 (HT) Like the Left in India, the Marxist JVP, or the People's Liberation Front here has a strong student base in universities. Now, the government has accused it of trying to exploit that support – through the Inter University Students' Federation (IUSF) - to whip up a students' unrest, a wave of which has engulfed six of the 15 major universities. Vice-chancellors were assaulted; students have fought among themselves; exams disrupted and campus property destroyed. more..

Precious stones seized from Sri Lankan at Chennai airport

Oct 28 (Hindu) The Chennai Suburban Police have recovered semi-precious and precious stones from a Sri Lankan national who arrived at the Chennai airport on Tuesday. He had packed the stones in condoms and swallowed them. Chennai Suburban Police Commissioner S.R. Jangid said that following a tip-off, they checked passengers arriving by flights on Tuesday at the Chennai airport from the Gulf and South East Asia. more..

Illegal TV, radio stations out on religious fanatic limb...

Oct 28 (LB) For the first time in Sri Lanka, police has been able to seal an illegally operated television station last Wednesday. This television channel known as ‘Sun TV’, had been operated from a house situated at Tappatamunai, in Kalmunai. The owner of ‘Sun TV’ happens to be a Tamil businessman who deals in communication work. This TV station had primarily covered the city limits of Kalmunai, operating from the revenue accrued through more..

'Ferry service soon from Tuticorin to Colombo'

Oct 28 (Hindu) Ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo is expected to resume shortly. Additional infrastructure facilities would be created at the Tuticorin port. The work would be taken up in the first week of November and completed in a month. Amenities were put in place at the Port Trust during 2003-04 to facilitate passenger traffic but the decision on resumption of ferry service was put on hold due to security threats. more..

Rituals adding to coconut crisis

Oct 28 (DM) The smashing of coconuts at places of religious worship creates a five to ten percent shortage in supply eventually leading to a price hike of coconut products in the market, traders say.An importer of palm oil who wished to remain anonymous told Daily Mirror that coconut prices had risen in the local market mainly due to the pest infection that resulted in a crop failure in the southern province and the increased demand in the Northern Province. more..

Sri Lankans' deadly clash with elephants

Oct 28 (BBC) In a sweep of grassland studded with watering holes, a herd of elephants, young and old, moves grazing along a grove of trees. With spectacular rocky mountains as a backdrop, it could almost be a scene from the East African savannah. But these elephants are somewhat smaller than their African cousins, and without tusks. This is Sri Lanka. The twilight scene in the national park is tranquil. more..

Aesthetics graduates call off protest

Oct 28 (DN) Aesthetics studies graduates called off their protest fast yesterday after a pledge by Acting Minister for Education T B Ekanayake that vacancies for posts of Aesthetics graduate teachers will be filled following oral interviews doing away with practical tests. The Acting Minister gave this pledge when he met representatives of Aesthetics Studies graduates. These interviews will be held before November 15. more..

Public can view second Intl Airport site

Oct 28 (DN) The public will get the opportunity to view the construction of Sri Lanka's second international airport. Accordingly, the construction site of the Maththala airport in the Hambantota district will be open for public view from November, Ports and Aviation Ministry said. The proposed airport built has a 3.5 kilometer long and 75 meter wide runway. It is to be opened for flight operations from 2012. more..

Rising bread prices expose trade vulnerabilities

Oct 28 (IPS) There was a time when being a breadseller here in Colombo enabled Charmindha to have modest dreams. But the teenager from Sri Lanka’s rural south has been seeing his daily earnings slide in the last two months, and indications are that’s not going to change anytime soon. "My sales have dropped by about 20 percent," says Charmindha, who gets a two-rupee (2 cents) commission for every loaf he sells. more..

More malpractices surface at SJGH

Oct 28 (Island) Revelations of malpractices at the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital (SJGH) continue. This time it involves 25 computers and the computer network system phase I (cables) costing nearly Rs. 06 million. The Island has revealed numerous malpractices at the SJGH. The Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena has assigned his deputy, Mahinda Amaraweera, to head a three-member committee to probe into the activities of SJGH. more..

Five, including Col. charged with conspiring to kill MR, GR & SF

Oct 28 (Island) Mt. Lavinia Additional Magistrate Ruchira Welliwitte allowed an application for the release of the passport of the fifth suspect charged with conspiring to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. The Magistrate allowed the passport of Mohommed Hilmy to be released for a period of one month and directed that the Controller of Immigration and Emigration be informed of the decision. more..

Ex-Chief Justice Sarath Silva asks President to do for Fonseka what Judiciary did for Mahinda earlier

Oct 28 (TC) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva who signed the public petition yesterday demanding the release of retired General Sarath Fonseka said even President Mahinda Rajapaksa would have been destined for something different if the judiciary had not upheld his human rights in the past. Addressing a function to mark the signing of the petition, the former chief justice recalled that more..

Two J’pura Bhikku U’grads suspended

Oct 28 (Island) Two Bhikku undergraduates of the Arts Faculty of Sri Jayewardenepura University, allegedly involved in Sunday’s attack on university officials, were suspended by the university administration yesterday. The suspension was announced following an inquiry by the Disciplinary Committee of the University. The suspended Bhikku undergraduates are Ven. Kimbullewe Chandananda thera and Ven. Kegalle Pannananda thera. more..

CB won't allow financial sector crash

Oct 28 (DN) The track record of this Government and the Central Bank over the past five years in protecting banks and Registered Financial Companies (RFCs) is by far the best seen in the history, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told the Daily News Business. "Overall, our country's financial system is in very good shape and no stakeholder should get discouraged by those who are attempting to discredit our robust and fast growing economy," the Governor said. more..

'Sajith won’t make a serious bid for UNP leadership until 2015'

Oct 28 (Island) WPC Minister Udaya Gammanpila says MP Sajith Premadasa would not take over the UNP leadership even if Ranil Wickremesinghe stepped down. Sajith will not make a serious bid to succeed Wickremesinghe until 2015 ahead of the next presidential election, Gammanpila says. He said that that Premadasa wouldn’t want to experience a series of electoral defeats, beginning with the forthcoming Local Government election. more..

Saudi Arabian King urged to stop execution of Sri Lankan domestic worker

Oct 28 (AI) Amnesty International today urged the Saudi Arabian King to halt the execution of a young Sri Lankan woman who has lost her appeal against a death sentence for a murder committed when she says she was 17 years old. Rizana Nafeek, who was arrested in May 2005 on charges of killing an infant in her care, had her death sentence upheld on Monday by Riyadh's Supreme Court. The case now awaits final ratification by King Abdullah. more..

Simplified taxation to increase revenue

Oct 28 (DM) The Presidential Commission on Taxation (Commission) has recommended far reaching tax reforms including the sharp reduction of the number of existing taxes which are about 60 to about half of it, simplifying the computation of taxes and offering a range of new tax holidays to local and foreign investors. The 10 member Commission headed by Prof. W.D.Lakshman handed its voluminous final report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday more..

Losing weight easily at Sri Lanka's Ayurveda Paragon

Oct 28 (HP) If I told you I was going on a trip to an Ayurvedic hotel in Sri Lanka and planned to lose five pounds, get off Sweet 'n Low, and learn how to meditate -- all in just one week -- you'd probably say "fat chance." But that's exactly what I did at Ayurveda Paragon on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, formerly called Ceylon. I haven't gone public with this news until now because I wanted to make sure it would "stick;" after all, more..

Sri Lanka exports up 7.0 percent, trade expands

Oct 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka exports grew 7.0 percent to 760.3 million US dollars in August 2010, with industrial exports up 7.8 percent to 1760.3 million dollars though apparel exports continued to weaken, official data showed. The Central Bank said exports of machinery and equipment rose helped by boats, bicycles, electrical equipment inductors and cables. Rubber and petroleum products also increased. more..

TNA challenges LA Bills

Oct 28 (DM) TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah yesterday complained to the Supreme Court that the two Bills relating to the local authorities placed on the parliament order paper cannot become law since they had not been referred to the Northern Provincial Council. Attorney Mohan Balendra in separate applications filed on behalf of Mr. Senathirajah challenged the “Local Authorities (Special Provisions)” Bill and “Local Authorities Elections (Amendment)” Bill. more..

Kelaniya student manhandled

Oct 28 (DM) A protest organized by a group of residents in the Kelaniya area against the action of university students turned unruly yesterday when a section of the group forcibly brought a first year student of the Kelaniya University to the protest and tried to assault him. However, the police on duty took the student into their custody and he was later released on the instructions of several persons connected to politics who were present at the protest. more..

'Rajarata looks like war zone'

Oct 28 (DM) The Rajarata University Students’ Union President and three other students have been arrested while nine others have been suspended as 400 policemen were deployed in the university premises, the IUSFconvener Udul Premaratne said yesterday.“The Rajarata University is like a war zone. Even the Anuradhapura Police station does not have 400 police officers. The university has a presence of more than 400 police officers,” more..

Education defuses mine threat

Oct 28 (IRIN) Landmine injuries have been minimal in northern Sri Lanka, thanks in part to mine risk education (MRE) aimed at the tens of thousands of civilians returning home to the former combat zone, experts say. This year, 38 people, including 18 children, were injured in mine-related incidents and seven died, including four boys, according to the UNICEF. Though grim, these figures are low compared with other Asian countries in similar straits. more..

'It is the Government that creates violence within the Universities'

Oct 28 (LT) JVP MP Mr Anura Dissanayake addressing a media conference held today at the JVP Head Quarters said that the Government sold the Petroleum Corporation, Electricity Board and other state owned properties from time to time. Continuing Mr Dissanayake said, 'the Government is geared up to end the free education in this country by creating an atmosphere for clashes within the Universities. more..

Minister vows to end campus violence

Oct 28 (DN) Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake yesterday said that the entire university system will be brought to normalcy within the next three months. The Minister added that he will leave no room for violence or thuggery in the universities. Minister Dissanayake said the students who incite violence in the university premises are the members of the Inter University Students Federation backed by the JVP. The Minister added that these students sticked to the policies of JVP. more..

Britain reiterates support for independent inquiry into Sri Lanka war crimes

Oct 28 (TN) British Prime Minister David Cameron Wednesday reiterated his government’s support for an independent inquiry into war crimes committed during the closing stages of Sri Lanka’s protracted war. Mr. Cameron comments on his government’s stance, made in response to a question from opposition MP Siobhian McDonagh, come a week after similar comments by British Foreign Secretary William Hague in the wake of his meeting with more..

President to implement LLRC’s interim recommendations soon

Oct 28 (Island) Sri Lanka is taking immediate steps to implement the key proposals made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) amidst mounting international pressure on the government to cooperate with an ongoing UN inquiry into alleged war crimes during the final phase of the Eelam war IV. Authoritative sources say an Inter-Agency Advisory Group (IAAG) is expected to be established soon to more..

Kalubowila hospital nurses on strike

Oct 29 (SL) The Government Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) today (28) said that nurses at the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital are on strike. The GNOA told the local media that the nurses at the Kalubowila Hospital had launched the strike calling on the Health Ministry to withdraw the letter sent to the nurses who had participated in the three hour walk out on Monday. Nurses attached to several government hospitals staged a walk out Monday demanding more..

Court Martial-SC to decide

Oct 29 (DM) The Court of Appeal today referred to the Supreme Court on the question of whether the Court Martial is a Court in the sense of the Constitution, for a constitutional interpretation. The Bench comprising Justices R.L.Ranjith Silva and Upaly Abeyrathne referred to the Supreme Court for its constitutional interpretation in respect of Article 89(d) of the Constitution. With regard to the question of issuing Interim Order, the Bench comprising two judges were of division of opinion. more..

Sri Lanka's military tries to polish its image on reality TV

Oct 29 (Time) During the last years of Sri Lanka's battle against the Tamil Tigers, the military hierarchy used to receive a regular — if somewhat unusual — request: members of the forces wanted to be on reality TV. At the time, while the decades-long civil war was still being fought, requests were turned down, says Lakshman Hulugalle, the director general of the Media Centre for National Security. more..

Summary of Cabinet decisions

Oct 29 (GDI) 1. High powered Officials’ Committee to formulate strategic economic plans to double the Per capita income within next five years: As envisaged by the Government’s economic policy, it is necessary to specifically focus on the priority needs for rapid economic development in the next five years, so as to help double the per capital GDP by the year 2015. Goods and services produced in Sri Lanka have to compete with other countries more..

'Govt will not permit political stooges to destroy Universities'

Oct 29 (GDI) The Minister Mr. Kaheliya Rambukwella said that since ancient times Sri Lankans have inherited a culture of respecting the parents and teachers. However, about one percent of politically motivated extremist elements who call themselves as University students have established a venomous gang in the Universities, and they force students to violence and assault parents and the University Professors and Lecturers. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 28. 10. 2010

Sri Lankan war-refugees get clean drinking water

Oct 29 (CT) Access to potable water and sanitation is still a cause of distress among the IDPs in Sri Lanka. Thanks to a Christian agency engaged in relief efforts, thousands are provided with clean water. The resettlement and development program of Alliance Development Trust (ADT) has recently benefitted nearly 16,670 persons in war-hit areas such as Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Killinochchi and Vavuniya. more..

Gomin wants Solheim declared persona non grata .

Oct 29 (ST) A prominent lawyer told the LLRC today that Norwegian Minister Eric Solheim, a key player in Sri Lanka’s failed peace process, should be officially or unofficially declared persona non grata in the country. The lawyer Gomin Dayasiri also said that it was a big mistake to have chosen Norway as the mediator in the peace process with the LTTE. ”Norway must be severely censured because it did not take any action to further the cause of human rights more..

'Sri Lanka has too much foreign reserves'

Oct 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka has higher than 'optimum' foreign reserves, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said as a wide interest rate differential with the island's anchor currency, official borrowings and International Monetary Fund injections boosted reserves. "We want to have an optimum level of reserves," Cabraal said. "The optimum level would be lower (than the current level)." more..

Editorial: Naxals LTTE of India

Oct 29 (CC) The LTTE during the last 25 years had established its stronghold in Sri Lanka and formed a parallel government in the North and Eastern parts and later had also formed its Army, Navy and Air Force there. Continuous attacks and talks with the Government were part of its strategy. Once India had also found itself entangled into its conspiracy and the Govt had sent its Peace Keeping Force. In retaliation, Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Tamil Nadu. more..

Govt. to implement self-employment projects for war widows

Oct 29 (SL) The government is to implement self-employment projects for the war widows in the North and East Provinces. Deputy Child Development and Women’s Affairs Minister M.L.A.M. Hisbullah has said the projects would be launched with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNDFW). According to Hisbullah, the government had already signed an agreement with the Indian government in this regard and more..

UNP to strengthen rural vote base

Oct 29 (SL) The UNP said today (28) that it was important to strengthen the party’s rural vote base. UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya told a press conference on the Grama Charika porgramme that through the party’s latest programme, it hopes to reach out to the rural voter in order to strengthen the rural vote base. The UNP Working Committee last month approved the Grama Charika programme aimed at more..

Farsighted thoughts of Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

Oct 29 (LG) We, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burghers, Kafirs and Veddahs (I also realized there is a community of Telungu -speaking people in Trincomalee) , who are living in Sri Lanka now, should be the subject of our discussion. Who came first and who did what to whom, do not matter much at the present point in time. Politics is ultimately the art of the possible and is aimed at improving the lives of the people. more..

Editorial : Mr. President this is ugly

Oct 29 (LG) Kelaniya thugs have become the presidential task force in enforcing discipline among the university students. Just yesterday they did their duty by mercilessly attacking a student leaving home, in front of large crowds and when policemen were watching. The television cameras caught the ugly scene and entire nation saw the pictures though television channels. The president himself would have seen it and perhaps he enjoyed seen it. more..

Temporary halt to Manju's gold: 'B' sample test on Nov . 2

Oct 29 (NF) The National Olympics Committee says that the 'B' sample test of boxing champ Manju Wanniarachchi, alleged to have taken the banned substance Nandrolone, will be held on November 2. Manju won the Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games held recently in India but there were reports that he had taken the banned substance. Meanwhile, the National Olympics Committee (NOC) has said that Manju's win has been temporarily suspended. more..

Parallel Governments ( Part Three )

Oct 29 (LG) Bronfenbrenner (1979) warns of the destructive consequences to a society which experiences the systematic degrading and debilitation of its richly talented members. This is the loss of vital resources (Hobfoll, 1998), the destruction of social capital, the nodal points of vibrant relationships and essential networks which is a prominent cause of ‘collective trauma’ (Somasundaram, 2007). Without leadership and organization, vital networks and more..

Police Extortion : Fabricated charges and lawsuits

Oct 29 (LG) Abeygunawardena is the father of two children and resides in Baddegama, Galle. He and his child used to sell illicit liquor but have since stopped, and now are law-abiding citizens. But recently the police threatened to fabricate new charges for illicit liquor sales against him and demanded that Abeygunawardena and his children must pay them Rs. 10,000/= or face serious consequences. They refused to pay the police the money for the false fines. more..

Future of Tamils in the post- conflict period2

Oct 29 (LG) Today the Tamils are stranded in no-man’s land as political and economic orphans abandoned in every sense of the word. Tragically, the Tamil diaspora that put the Tamil people in Sri Lanka in this miserable plight by funding a futile war is refusing to help with the same kind of commitment with which they financed the futile war. To the last day they made the Sri Lankan Tamils believe that they would be there for them and more..

Living in denial- the Tamil Diaspora style

Oct 29 (DM) This has reference to a welcome speech give by Tamil attorney George Willy at a reception hosted for President Rajapaksa in Houston recently, now available on YouTube. According to Mr. Willy Prabhakaran came – Prabhakaran fought a noble war and then died like a hero on behalf of the Tamil people – so now please treat him with respect and undo what wrong that has been done by the Sinhalese. He speaks of the great days of Jaffna when all was good and peaceful and more..