Power sharing under 13th Amendment better than Federalism or Zero Devolution

Oct 29 (TC) Was the war worth fighting to a finish? Was it a good thing that a crushing defeat was imposed on the LTTE? Is Mahinda Rajapakse’s leadership preferable to that of the available alternative, Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe? Are the country and the bulk of its citizenry better off under Mahinda Rajapakse’s presidency than they were before it? Is the 13th amendment better than zero-devolution or federalism? more..

Rienzie Wijetilleke: 50 years a banker

Oct 29 (Island) Rienzie T. Wijetilleke, who celebrates fifty years in banking today, said the industry must pay much more attention to the rural population. "Focusing on the micro, small and medium enterprises is a must if the banking sector wishes to make a significant contribution towards economic development," the Chairman of one of Sri Lanka’s successful banks, HNB, said. more..

Challenges in university education in Sri Lanka –Part Two

Oct 29 (LG) Thus, access to university education in Sri Lanka has been evolving from the inception in 1942, particularly after 1956. Since then, different governments were compelled to change the system of university education from elite to mass to meet the increasing demands in access due to the expansion of access in primary and secondary education, the fact that education continues to be the only means of upward mobility for the poor and more..

The media and the future of Sri Lanka: Young Canadians’ peace dialogue on Sri Lanka

Oct 29 (GV) The co-editor of Groundviews Nigel Nugawela spoke recently at a progressive forum of young Canadian – Sri Lankans in Toronto on the role of media in post-war Sri Lanka, including the use of new media and ICTs. The event was part of a series of invitation-only events organised by the Mosaic Institute called “Peace Dialogue” for approximately 100 young, peace-focused members of the relevant sub-communities of Sri Lanka more..

'Sri Lanka bank directors ought be made liable for failures'

Oct 29 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government's top legal officer has suggested making directors of banks personally liable if their firms get into trouble and giving more power to the regulator to act against them. Attorney general Mohan Peiris said laws similar to those in the companies act were needed to cover bank directors' liability. Directors who cannot do their job properly and accept their responsibilities should quit, more..

Thanthai Chelva memorial monument site in Jaffna vandalized

Oct 29 (TN) The unruly Sinhala tourists who stormed into Jaffna Public Library Saturday are suspected to have vandalized the premises of Thanthai Chelva (Late Mr. S. J. V. Chelvanayagam) memorial monument located next to Jaffna Public Library, according to Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) circles in Jaffna. The plantain and coconut trees in the premises were found cut down and the flower plants in the premises trampled and damaged in acts of vandalism, they said. more..

Right of reply: Sri Lankan ambassador a fraud?

Oct 29 (SL) This is in response to accusations by The Sunday Leader in its October 17, 2010 issue article headlined: “Sri Lankan Ambassador A Fraud?” In the said article, the following accusations are made and my replies/explanations are shown below the accusations. 1. Sunday Leader alleges: “According to Sri Lankan immigration law, Amarasinghe has committed immigration fraud in Sri Lanka by not revealing his actual citizenship status.” more..

63 war-damaged Kovils in Trincomalee need urgent repair

Oct 29 (TN) Sixty three Saiva Kovils out of the 343 in the Trincomalee district are in a state of repair as they have been partly destroyed or damaged in the conflict. They urgently need financial assistance for their reconstruction and renovation. A memorandum detailing the damages was handed over to the to Prime Minister, D. M. Jayaretna, by the leader of the Trinco delegation more..

Editorial: Setting a thief to catch a thief

Oct 29 (DM) If the UPFA government has reached a point where it has to get ‘Kelaniya people’ to control the Inter University Student Federation (IUSF) then it is in serious trouble. It certainly is a sign of desperation. At a time when it has mustered public support against violent, unruly students the government got all the points it earned during the last couple of weeks spoilt by setting the supporters of the notorious deputy ministers on campus students. more..

Clergy ponder what to do on constitutional change

Oct 29 (UCAN) Religious people in Sri Lanka have come together to discuss what they should do about a controversial constitutional amendment that removed restrictions on the term limits of the president. Chilaw diocese organized a meeting with university professors to review the clergy’s role and to discuss the change in the law that many say is an affront to democracy. The amendment was passed with a two thirds majority on Sept. 8. more..

Braving Epilepsy

Oct 29 (NS) Achini is a 19-year-old teenager, who like most teenagers of her age, loves to listen to songs and music played by Iraj, Centigrade, Bhathiya and Santhush. When she and her friends meet, they like to put on the music so loud that it reverberates within the room. They like to sing along with the music using a hair brush, broom and a soap dish as mock microphones. One day while they were doing this, Achini began to shake unusually and fell on the ground. more..

Activists remember those lost in civil war

Oct 29 (UCAN) Activists and priests have joined with victims’ families to remember thousands of people who “disappeared” during Sri Lanka’s long civil war and insurgency. “Forced disappearance is a crime against humanity. Let us not allow it to happen again,” rights activist Dr. P. Saravanamuttu told the 20th annnual commemoration ceremony organized by the Families of the Disappeared Movement in Colombo on Oct. 26. “We all have a stake on this national issue. more..

Caritas puts tsunami response in the spotlight

Oct 29 (UCAN) A new book published by Caritas Galle documents five years of the Church’s response to the devastating 2004 tsunami which struck the southern coast of Sri Lanka killing 35,000 people. The book named Beacon of Hope describes the impact of the tsunami on the ancient port city of Galle. One million people in 13 out of 14 coastal districts were affected by the tragedy, which claimed 35,322 human lives, injured 21,441, left 1,500 children without parents and more..

Interview III - Chulani Kodikara

Family's 100th year milestone as Malaysians

Oct 29 (TS) IT’S been said that individuals of mixed parentage often feel out of place and not particularly connected with their heritage. It’s the same for those of a minority race in a foreign country. Some, however, choose to hold a more positive view on the matter. “The beauty of being born in Malaysia is being rooted in a heritage that’s diverse,” says Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, a former Suhakam commissioner who is of Jaffna Tamil descent. more..

Rice flour not good: Bakers; Will resolve issue next month: Officials

Oct 29 (NF) The All Island Bakery Owners' Association says that due to lack of good quality rice flour in the market, they cannot implement the programme of adding rice flour to bakery products. However, officials say the issue will be resolved next month with four large scale operators providing good quality rice flour. The rice flour available in the market at present did not meet the required standards. more..

'Govt's reintegration programme for ex-combatants unparalleled'

Oct 29 (MoD) With the defeat of terrorism in May 2009, through a massive humanitarian rescue mission, the Government took concerted action to rehabilitate and reintegrate all former child combatants. Among them, 351 were girls, stated Major General Shavendra Silva, Deputy Permanent Representative on behalf of the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations. more..

Has gratitude no part in our national ethos?

Oct 29 (SL) Stories abound where animals, especially canines display gratitude to humans who have shown them even minimal kindness. However, such instances of gratitude are conspicuous by their absence in our history, of which, we are so inordinately proud of. This is evidenced even in our ancient past in the treatment meted out to Kuveni by Vijaya! However, we do not need to delve into those times, to find such examples. more..

German Parliamentary delegation due to visit Sri Lanka

Oct 29 (DN) A delegation of German Parliamentarians led by Chairperson of the Parliamentary Group on South Asia, Dagmar Ernstberger, is expected in Colombo in November for a four day visit. The delegation will meet with Government officials, representatives of civil society and religious dignitaries. Also included is a tour of the Northwestern Province where they will witness the ongoing German-Sri Lankan cooperation in demining and resettlement programs. more..

Sri Lanka’s geo map coming soon

Oct 29 (DM) The Geological Surveys and Mines Bureau (GSMB) is to prepare for the first time the geological map that contains Sri Lanka’s geo information, which was long overdue, Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. “The geological maps which contain geo information of the terrain are used in a wide range of activities including mineral and ground water exploration, more..

Close scrutiny of Korean language test

Oct 29 (DN) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) officials have sought Criminal Investigation Department help to prevent malpractices during the Korean Language proficiency test for Sri Lankans seeking jobs in South Korea to be held on Saturday and Sunday. This year's test is to be conducted by the Sri Lanka Examinations Department to ensure increased transparency and independency, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka said. more..

Gas companies want to raise prices

Oct 29 (DM) Gas companies have sought permission from the Consumer Authority to raise prices from November, sources said. The prices will be revised on the basis of the world market prices in August and September, said the Consumer Protection Authority. The Pricing Committee of the Consumer Authority is due to meet today. The Gas Companies claim that the world market price, which was U.S.$.589/- per tonne in August, rose to U.S.$.644/- by September. more..

'Lanka minister a proclaimed offender'

Oct 29 (TOI) The Tamil Nadu government has justified a subordinate court order declaring Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda as a proclaimed offender and an absconding accused in a murder case dating back to 1986. State public prosecutor P Kumaresan told the Madras high court on Thursday that the proclamation was made in accordance with law and Devananda cannot seek quashing of the declaration now, more than 16 years after it was issued. more..

Lack of facilities, inadequate salaries drive post-intern doctors to shun new appointments

Oct 29 (Island) Several post-interns who had been appointed to serve in peripheral clinics in the North-Central, North, East and Central Provinces have tendered their resignations and left for greener pastures due to lack of infrastructure facilities and adequate salaries. As a result, several hospitals have been closed and patients seeking treatment have been compelled to go to far off base hospitals. more..

TNA sec. wants Prabha’s siblings to visit mother

Oct 29 (DM) The Tamil National Alliance (TNLA) General Secretary (and former parliamentarian) K Sivajilingam has requested the sisters and brother of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to come to Sri Lanka and see their mother Parvathi Ammaal who is currently undergoing treatment at the Valvettiturai Divisional Hospital in the Northern Province. Mr. K.Sivajilingam who returned from Valvettiturai said that Mrs. Parvathi Ammaal was very keen to see her children. more..

Sri Lanka's moral policing: Rajapaksa's big cover-up

Oct 29 (Economist) Damage to Sri Lanka’s wondrous Sigiriya frescoes—5th-century depictions of lovely women with ample and mostly bare breasts—sent President Mahinda Rajapaksa clambering up to the rock fortress that houses them for an anxious look. Yet contemporary portraits of the barely-clad female form offend the eye of Mr Rajapaksa’s po-faced regime. Since he was re-elected in a landslide in January, more..

Govt. plans to double per-capita income in 5 years

Oct 29 (Island) The Cabinet of Ministers had appointed a High-Powered Committee to formulate strategic economic plans to double the per capita income within the next five years,Minister Kehehliya Rambukwella said yesterday. He said the principal aim of the government was to increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the year 2015 and explore and capture international markets to boost the foreign exchange reserves. more..

Shake-up of top brass in Sri Lanka Cricket TV right holders

Oct 29 (DM) Rapid changes are taking place at the top offices of Ten Sports which owns the TV rights of Sri Lanka Cricket. Indian media reported yesterday that Ten Sports Chief Operations Officer Peter Hutton will quit the company along with his number two Mark Denton. The two of them were founders of the business alongside former CEO Chris McDonald who resigned earlier with the ownership of the company shifting from Dubai to India. more..

Sri Lanka central bank explains risks and rewards of deposits

Oct 29 (LBO) Other than Sri Lanka's government Treasury bills, which was free of credit risk, other types of investments even in banks and finance companies regulated by the Central Bank had different levels of risk, Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "Financial institutions take on different levels of risk," Cabraal told reporters. "Some go towards property, some go to hire purchase. As a result they have different levels of risks. more..

SriLankan Airlines adds flights to Maldive islands

Oct 29 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines is almost doubling daily flights to the Maldive islands from December 1 to cater to the peak tourism season and also connecting a fourth city in China, a statement said. The number of flights to Male is being increased to six a day from the earlier 3-4 a day, the airline, which has long been the largest carrier into the Maldives, said. The new flights are part of a big expansion in its network and fleet. more..

Hospital turns into battle field

Oct 29 (Island) A man who went to the Akuressa Hospital, for treatment to injuries received in an assault, was further assaulted in the Hospital by three women and his injuries aggravated. The Hospital OPD looked a mini battlefield, when the incident occurred on Tuesday night, with people trying to stop the three women from assaulting the already injured man. A doctor and a couple of nurses had a narrow escape. more..

'UNP reforms: Latest initiative based on Panditharatne recommendation'

Oct 29 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya says the 18-member Panditharatne Commission recommended that the party go back to the village. The Commission, which covered all districts except the Northern and Eastern Provinces, called for a change of strategy as the UNP had always depended on the grassroots. UNP Western Provincial Councillor Srilal Lakthilake, too, emphasised the importance of more..

Week-long celebrations to mark swearing-in of MR

Oct 29 (DM) Week-long celebrations to mark the swearing in ceremony of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the second term will be held from Nov 15 to 22, the SLFP announced yesterday. The party said celebrations would culminate on Nov 22, when the budget is to be presented in parliament. The celebration will begin with the planting of 1.1 million plants of different varieties throughout the island at more..

SC to decide whether ‘cm’ is a court or not

Oct 29 (DM) A Court of Appeal bench comprising Justices Ranjith Silva and Upali Abeyratne decided yesterday to seek a determination as to whether the Court Martial was a ‘Court’ within the interpretation of the Constitution. The Court accordingly referred the matter to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is vested with the exclusive jurisdiction on matters pertaining to Constitutional Interpretations and will accordingly more..

Sri Lanka govt seeks more revenue from liquor, cigarettes

Oct 29 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government is seeking to increase revenue for its cash-strapped Treasury by jacking up taxes on cigarettes and liquor, days ahead of the presentation of its annual budget, officials said. The tax on cigarettes has been raised by a rupee and that on a litre of 100 percent alcohol by 50 rupees from midnight Thursday. The retail price of a bottle of arrack, a popular local brew, will rise by about 25 rupees, more..

New Drug Policy on way: Implementation from January

Oct 29 (DN) A new National Drug Policy which has been formulated in accordance with Professor Senaka Bibile’s drug policies will be implemented from January next year, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said the new National Drug Policy has been formulated by reviewing the drug policy of Professor Senaka Bibile. After considering many aspects and shortcomings in the drug related field, the new National Drug Policy has been formulated. more..

'Govt. has student’s movement in a guillotine'

Oct 29 (AD) The government is currently progressing in a suppressive policy in the university system by suspending over 220 university students, imprisoning 26 students and shutting down faculties in many institutions and furthermore has taken universities such as Rajarata under complete police control, Udul Premarathne stated. Speaking to the media at a press conference held at the UNP headquarters–Srikotha earlier today he stated that, more..

President tells Defence University Convocation: One law for all

Oct 29 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that the law of the land is applicable to all citizens of the country equally and Forces personnel are no exception. The President said Forces personnel have to comply with the country’s military, civil and criminal law. He stressed that they cannot evade the civil law of the country merely because of being military personnel. more..

Student leader arrested: Rights group writes to the IGP

Oct 29 (LG) Following the arrest of the student leader, Mr. Udul Premarathne, the Asian Human Rights Commission has today written to the Inspector General of Police of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Balasuriya urging him to ensure that there is no illegal use of police powers against Mr. Premarathne. As torture is endemic in almost all police stations in the country there is the very real fear that this young man may be mistreated. more..

Sri Lanka court rejects challenge to president's re-election

Oct 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court rejected Friday a challenge to the re-election of President Mahinda Rajapakse filed by his defeated -- now jailed -- opponent, former army chief Sarath Fonseka. The five-judge bench dismissed the petition after accepting a defence argument that there was insufficient grounds to proceed with the case, a court official said. Fonseka, who lost the January 26 vote to Rajapakse by a huge margin, more..

Peaceful retreat in Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (GN) An apprehensively planned holiday to the pearl island in the Indian Ocean turned out to be one of the most pleasant in recent times, as Sri Lanka — freed from the menace of the Tigers — provided immense serenity associated with Buddhism. The flora and fauna were spectacular. The 11-day Sri Lanka holiday package that we took in Muscat (also available in other parts of the UAE) kicked off from Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, which is a rehabilitation centre for wild elephants. more..

Forget the past for Sri Lanka's good: MP

Oct 30 (IANS) Sri Lanka's well-wishers should offer holistic solutions to resolve its political ills instead of harping on the past, an MP from that country said here. "I urge all those who have the interests of the Sri Lankan people at heart to think in terms of holistic solutions," Rajiva Wijesinha told a gathering at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies here. There was no point dwelling "only on constructs that are based on ancient and no longer always relevant foundations", more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief 29 10 2010

Two more faculties of the Peradeniya University closed

Oct 30 (DM) The Arts Faculty and the Agriculture Faculty of the Peradeniya University were indefinitely closed till further notice, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Peradeniya University Prof. K. Premaratne said. He added that this closure was not due to any disturbance at the university but was decided by the VC advisory committee as students from different faculties had common programs and as some faculties were closed those students would get affected. more..

LTTE issue: Swamy to file application before Tribunal

Oct 30 (Hindu) Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy urged the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal judge to use his residual powers to allow him to lead arguments in law as to why the ban on the LTTE should be continued. Questioning the locus standi of MDMK general secretary Vaiko and Tamil Nationalist Forum leader P.Nedumaran, who gave the impression that they were appearing in defence of the banned LTTE, Dr.Swamy said that under Section 4 of the more..

Sri Lanka economist says dissent is democratic

Oct 30 (LBO) Sri Lankan economist and opposition United National Party lawmaker Harsha De Silva has defended his criticism of government policy, saying efforts to tarnish critics were uncalled for. "Dissent is a natural part of a true democracy," he said after a stock brokering firm in a report called for the elimination of critics. "I have been one of the most vocal critics of the government’s economic policy for a number of years," more..

IOM supports Sri Lanka's health care system in North

Oct 30 (IOM) IOM yesterday handed over essential drugs and medical equipment worth LKR 2 million (USD 18,000) to the Regional Director of Health Services of Mullathivu for distribution to 10 village health centers and seven divisional hospitals in the war-affected northern district. Since May 2009, IOM, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, has provided primary health care services to more than 206,000 IDPs in northern Sri Lanka, more..

Durham switch Sri Lanka ODI for Australia visit

Oct 30 (CI) Durham have given up the one-day international against Sri Lanka they were due to stage in 2011 so that they can host Australia the following year and guarantee top-level cricket at Chester-le-Street each season. England were due to play Sri Lanka in the North East on July 3 but the match will now be staged at Lord's, while Durham will gain a visit from Australia when they tour for a one-day series in 2012 ahead of hosting their first Ashes Test in 2013. more..

Batting holds the key for Australia

Oct 30 (Age) With two of Australia's first-choice pace trio missing for tomorrow night's season-opening Twenty20 international, it is little surprise that Sri Lankan veteran Mahela Jayawardene rates the host's batting as its strength. Shaun Tait's recuperation from elbow surgery and Mitchell Johnson's Sheffield Shield duties in Adelaide will thrust responsibility onto Dirk Nannes, a 34-year-old who first played for Australia just over a year ago. more..

Majjava: the kinder, gentler elements of governance

Oct 30 (DM) 'Liberty, equality and fraternity,’ was the preferred scream during the French Revolution. The Bolsheviks went for ‘Land, peace and bread’. In the eighties we had another great line from a not so great individual, George Bush (Snr): ‘A kinder, gentler nation’. Given his trigger-happy, guns-in-booty-out thinking, I doubt if Bush was inspired by anything other than profit-making. Kindness and gentleness, Bush’s rhetoric and politics clearly indicates, are easy words. more..