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Student unions are not meant to be forums for politics

Oct 30 (DM) When less than 23,000 students are eligible for higher studies in the 15 state universities in Sri Lanka one would expect these students to not only value their placement but do their utmost to successfully complete their studies that would facilitate further education or their ability to enter employment. This is not what is taking place in Sri Lanka’s universities. Let us discuss the issue at hand without bias. more..

Reconstruction of Vasavilan Madhya Maha Vidyalaya on progress

Oct 30 (MoD) The Vasavilan Madhya Maha Vidyalaya, which was situated in Palai High Security Zone and which had been handed back by the Sri Lanka Army, is now being reconstructed as to facilitate students to continue their studies. Northern Province Governor Maj Gen G.A Chandrasiri inspected the reconstruction works underway at the school recently and he has given instructions for more..

Now it is the turn for cultural Genocide in the Tamil homeland

Oct 30 (LG) With the genocide of the Tamils almost complete, no time is being lost to culturally change the face of the Tamil homeland with xenophobic zeal. When the war was raging in the traditional Tamil homeland, many countries around the world, including India, raised their voices to say that Tamil aspirations should be fulfilled peacefully. Things have changed. With the LTTE silencing their guns in May last year, the Sri Lankan government is taking every opportunity to more..

Why do we need private universities in Srilanka? Part I

Oct 30 (LG) It is very much interesting to read the debates for and against the establishment of private universities in Srilanka. Both opponents and proponents of private universities have indeed laid down solid foundations for their arguments. Some of these arguments are fascinating to read. Here it is not my objectives to reiterate or repeat those contentions rather I would like to add something new to these arguments and to re-evaluate some deficiencies in more..

Mubarak to lead Sri Lanka at 2010 Asian Games

Oct 30 (IC) Jehan Mubarak, the captain of the Sri Lankan provincial side, Wayamba, has been appointed as captain of Sri Lanka for the 2010 Asian Games starting in China next month. Mubarak, 29, will lead a squad of experienced first class cricketers to China, which will see the likes of Jeevantha Kulathunga, Indika de Saram, Nuwan Soyza, Dilhara Lokuhettige and Kaushal Lokuarachchi, among other well known more..

Ethics in reporting and Sri Lankan media bias

Oct 30 (LG) While the media in the UK reported the murder of a 63 year old transvestite by a 34 year old Sri Lankan on Monday at King’s Cross tube station in Central London, Sri Lankan media highlighted her ethnicity as being a Tamil. What is the Sri Lankan media trying to pinpoint? That Tamils are the only ones who are capable of committing crimes or that all Tamils are criminals. Racism is thriving well and truly in the West but more..

Jaffna police unaware of whereabouts of abducted Tamil Nadu traders

Oct 30 (TN) The officer-in-charge of Jaffna police said that he does not have any information of the textile traders from Tamil Nadu abducted Saturday morning in Jaffna town from the lodges they were staying in, in response to questions raised by local media. He declined to answer when asked whether the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers from Colombo had arrested them. more..

Jaffna Public Library out of bounds to tourists

Oct 30 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials Friday informed the Chief Librarian of Jaffna Public Library that tourists will not be permitted to visit the library and that SLA soldiers will be posted outside it to maintain order, sources in Jaffna said. The officials who said that they had been instructed by high level government authorities did not, however, disclose who the authorities were. more..

NP Governor retracts sudden transfer of Ki’linochchi Director of Education

Oct 30 (TN) The education officials and principals of schools in Ki’linochchi district abstained from duties Wednesday in protest against the sudden transfer order to K. Kurukularajah, Zonal Director of Education in Ki’linochchi, by Northern Province Governor, Major. Gen. G. A. Chandarasiri. The governor, however, said that the transfer order has been immediately cancelled in a meeting he convened in Vavuniyaa Thursday, sources in Vavuniyaa said. more..

SLA targets prominent Tamil businessmen in Jaffna

Oct 30 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Jaffna has cast its net wide to arrest around 163 leading Tamil traders in Jaffna on charges that they had funded LTTE in the past, Jaffna Traders Association (JTA) circles said. Some of them had been already arrested and detained after being interrogated in the notorious ‘Fourth Floor’ of the SLA Intelligence Wing in Colombo. SLA is engaged in rounding up the prominent Tamil traders claiming that it has evidence of their involvement with more..

'Sri Lanka squad close to settled for WCup'

Oct 30 (AFP) Vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene said Friday Sri Lanka's squad was close to what will be fielded in next year's World Cup. The Sri Lankans will use Sunday's Twenty20 clash at the WACA Ground here as their final tour match preparation for a three-match one-day international series against the top-ranked Australians. Jayawardene said Sri Lanka would use the three one-dayers, more..

Why parliament should not rush the Local Government Elections Bill

Oct 30 (SL) A bill to amend the Local Government Elections Ordinance and another to amend the Municipal Council, Urban Council and Pradeshiya Sabha Ordinances, respectively, were tabled in parliament on Thursday, October 21. The pivotal change to be brought about through the Elections Reform Bill is the replacement of the current proportional representation system with a mixed mode system where representatives will be elected for each sub-division of more..

Lending a helping hand to his 'His People'

Oct 30 (SL) Lion G. Kandasamy is a portly old man of 67 years. He sits stolidly behind his massive wooden desk and quips, with a smile on his face, about being too old to be of use anymore. He then goes on to explain in detail the many functions of his organisation established in 2004, which is essentially to work for the benefit of the Tamil speaking community of the area. The Thamilath Maha Sabey, of which Kandasamy is president, is located in Wattala, more..

'Govt open to considering UN Panel suggestions'

Oct 30 (DM) Q: There has been information to suggest that a Norwegian delegation is to visit the country in January 2011 to “mend fences”. Is this true? And if so what areas of discussion will be focused on? A: It is not really a question of mending fences, it is a question of formulating and implementing a programme of work in keeping with the priorities of work. Many people do not remember that before they got involved in more..

Around 40% of imported Chemical Fertilizers suspended from next year

Oct 30 (LP) Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that strict action will be taken over people who defraud the Fertilizers given over to the farmers as subsidies. The Minister further added that such complaints are received daily and that officers should see over the matter. Complaints received have been forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation added Minister Abeywardena. more..

Artist Tilak Samarawickrema creates a fusion

Oct 30 (NS) His drawings are certainly one of a kind; a fickle bud amongst a bunch of a roses in full bloom. Tilak Samarawickrema needs no introduction but alas, the new generation seems to have no idea who the man is – the artist whose etchings drove the foreign newspapers appalled with its unique curvy lines, the architect whose designs can be found in various locations around Colombo, the designer whose designs are a perfect fusion between the East and the West. more..

He came here to discussed currents problem in the Universities - UNP

Oct 30 (LG) A few hours after the arrest of Udul Premarathna, a convener of the inter university federation, the Sri Lankan Guardian contacted Tissa Attanayake, spokesman of the UNP and he disclosed why they had came to Sirikotha, the headquarters of the UNP. "He and other seniors came here as part of their programme which explained the real situation of the University to each political party. more..

Where the carcass is, there the vultures gather

Oct 30 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam and assalamu alaikkum as you prepare for your second-term inauguration, enthronement or whatever it is while finalizing the budget for next year and unofficially campaigning for the local council elections in March. Government leaders are preaching and making lofty proclamations about post-war Sri Lanka being transformed into the wonder of Asia and the regions economic hub. more..

The Harvest Dream of Fr. Michael Rodrigo

Oct 30 (LG) It is with a sense of indignation mixed with sadness that I write this memorial note on the life and work of Fr. Michael Rodrigo, who was assassinated on 10th November 1987. I do this, not merely to sing the praises of a Catholic priest, but also to draw attention to the social commitment of a man who sacrificed his life in the process of reducing his own dimension to enhance the dimension of national life devoid of religious and ethnic divisions. more..

Asin in trouble

Oct 30 (Sify) A legal notice has been sent to Asin, holding her responsible for the "loss of eyesight" of 10 Tamils in Sri Lanka. A pro Tamil organisation, HMK, sent the notice to Asin's address in Kochi through its advocate, Balamurugan. The notice said: "Asin had said she had floated a separate trust and funded surgeries for 300 war affected Sri Lankan Tamils, and she would fund more surgeries in the future." more..

Editorial : PM Cameron's red herring

Oct 30 (Island) British Prime Minister David Cameron has drawn a red herring to distract the attention of the international community from Britain's complicity in war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and his government's silence over well documented instances of atrocities against civilians being committed by the US military in the name of its war on terror. Prime Minister Cameron has, in answer to a question by Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, more..

Editorial : It’s a day in courts

Oct 30 (DM) It was quite interesting the rate at which news spewed out from courts yesterday, all making page one banner headlines. The cases have made sure that the jailed DNA leader continues to be in the limelight irrespective of the fact whether judgments and rulings were in his favour or not. The dismissal of the petition against the Presidential election results of course was expected as even the JVP which had earlier planned to challenge the results more..

'President will fulfil Tamil aspirations'

Oct 30 (SO) The Colombo District DFP MP Praba Ganesan expressed confidence that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would lead the country to economic prosperity, during his second term in office which begins in a couple of weeks. In his first term in office President Mahinda Rajapaksa has proved himself a formidable leader who has won the hearts and minds of his country men by eradicating terrorism, more..

Investors eye Lanka - GL

Oct 30 (Island) The high powered investors from all over the world are now eyeing Sri Lanka for major investments. That is because most of them have abandoned empirical doubt on Sri Lanka’s security issue, the Minister of External Affairs Prof G.L Peiris said. "Image of Sri Lanka is now paramount importance at this juncture, because of current tranquility and predictability has positively attracted major investors, "Prof Peiris said at the ceremonial inauguration of more..

SLFP students welcome arrest

Oct 30 (DM) The Sri Lanka Freedom Party Students Organization (SLFPSO) said yesterday that normalcy would be restored now that Inter University Student Federation (IUSF) convener Udul Premaratne has been arrested. The SLFPSO said the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which had come into universities during the 1980’s had taken complete control of the IUSF and was manipulating it to achieve its political goals. more..

Sri Lanka inflation accelerates to 6.6-pct in October

Oct 30 (LBO) Consumer prices in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo rose 6.6 percent in October from a year earlier, accelerating from 5.8 percent in September. It was the sixth straight monthly increase in inflation and was driven largely by price increases in food and beverages. During October prices rose 1.2 percent. The so-called annual average inflation, rose to 5.4 percent from 5.0 percent in September. more..

Only religion can steer society on right path - PM

Oct 30 (DN) The only institution that is capable of steering the society on the right path is religion. Ethnic issues must be solved through comprehensive political negotiations which is the standard norm of a developed society, Prime Minister D M Jayaratne said. The Prime Minister said President Mahinda Rajapaksa is a leader devoted to bring about national peace and would make any sacrifice to realise this goal. He made these remarks at the Kadiresan Kovil, Colombo more..

Sri Lankan prime minister lauds Shanghai Expo

Oct 30 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne on Saturday spoke highly of Shanghai Expo 2010 where he had paid a visit as the exhibition comes to an end on Sunday. The fact that 246 countries and international organizations took part in the Shanghai Expo starting on May 1, signifies the profound confidence and faith on the proven abilities of the Chinese authorities to host such international events successfully, more..

Ottawa says Tamil arrests send warning to people smugglers

Oct 30 (TS) Authorities in Thailand say they have arrested another 100 Tamil migrants, and Canada’s Immigration Minister says the bust ought to send a strong message to human-trafficking syndicates: Don’t target Canada. “We’ve increased our police and intelligence presence in human-smuggling transit countries, including Thailand,” Jason Kenney said in an interview, alluding to pre-emptive actions now being taken by federal agents. more..

Congenital Hypothyroidism: Peradeniya Medial Faculty offers treatment

Oct 30 (DN) Peradeniya University Medical Faculty Nuclear Medical Unit Senior Lecturer Consultant Damayanthi Nanayakkara said that according to research being conducted by the unit from 2002, it has been revealed that one in 1,500 children in Sri Lanka is prone to Congenital Hypothyroidism. Accordingly about 250 children are annually prone to it. She requests to refer newly born babies to Peradeniya University Nuclear Medical Unit within a week of birth to more..

Capt. De Silva released from conspiracy charges

Oct 30 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli yesterday ordered the release of Captain Senaka de Silva who acted as former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka’s private secretary. Silva was charged with conspiring to overthrow the government. The CID said that all the investigation reports gathered regarding the suspect had been presented to the Attorney General, who, after examining them had declared that the gathered information was insufficient to charge the suspect and therefore more..

SB comes out strongly against JVP, IUSF

Oct 30 (Island) Minister of Higher Education S. B. Dissanayake came out strongly against the JVP and the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) which they control. He said that the IUSF is losing the grip that they had at universities and this was one reason that the JVP is instigating demonstrations and violence to show the people that they are yet in control and attempting to destabilise the government. more..

Korean language test candidates taken for a ride

Oct 30 (DN) Fraudsters have sold mobile SIM cards for Rs 25,000 each (minimum) to a large number of candidates planning to sit the Korean Language proficiency test today and tomorrow with the promise of delivering answers through SMS messages. Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Chief Kingsle Ranawaka told police officers who will be on duty during the Korean language examination for Sri Lankans that he had received information about attempts at organized malpractices during the exam. more..

Hicorp: 3rd accused jailed for five years

Oct 30 (DM) One of the three accused in the Hicorp case yesterday pleaded guilty to 12 of the 20 charges against him and was sentenced to 24 years hard labour in jail. The jail sentence on the 12 charges added up to 24 years but since they would be served concurrently he would in effect be in jail for only five years. High Court judge Sunil Rajapakse sentenced Wellington Trenton De Hoedt when he pleaded guilty to 12 counts including defrauding money belonging to more..

Sri Lanka continues attack on jailed ex-general

Oct 30 (TS) When Sarath Fonseka resigned as Sri Lanka’s top army general to run for president, supporters of President Mahinda Rajapaksa viewed the move as pure betrayal. The president had helped Fonseka rise quickly through the ranks, choosing him as his top general ahead of more qualified candidates. It was shocking to many here when Fonseka on the stump alleged Rajapaksa’s government was guilty of widespread corruption, vote-rigging and nepotism. more..

Thailand arrests 61 Sri Lankan Tamil migrants

Oct 30 (AFP) Thai authorities have arrested 61 Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka, police said Saturday, in the second such crackdown in recent weeks. After a tip-off, 114 people were rounded up in the southern province of Songkhla on Thursday, but some were freed because they were able to present valid travel documents. "The 61 were arrested and charged for overstaying their visas, illegal entry or not going through proper channels," more..

UNP mounts bogus campaign against slum evictions

Oct 30 (wsws) As the Sri Lankan government prepares to evict 66,000 families from shanties in Colombo city, the opposition UNP is posturing as the champion of these impoverished people. The UNP’s campaign, however, is not directed at defending the urban poor, but at improving the right-wing party’s electoral fortunes. The government announced the mass evictions as part of its plan to transform Colombo into a commercial hub for South Asia and more..

Gomin tells LLRC of those who sing for their supper at one table…

Oct 30 (Island) Testifying before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on Thursday, senior lawyer Gomin Dayasri said some people sang for their supper at one table, whereas some others sang at every table for their supper. Dayasri was referring to those who cohabited with a section of the international community bent on destabilising Sri Lanka. more..

'Commission to probe killings, abuductions needed'

Oct 30 (Island) The Bishop of Colombo Rt. Rev Duleep De Chickera making his submissions on behalf of the Church of Ceylon before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission yesterday, said that the public has a right to know who has been abducted or killed. He emphasized on the need appoint immediately another commission to investigate the numerous killings and abductions of civilians which more..

Udul arrest a clear sign of intimidation: UNP

Oct 30 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday charged that the arrest of IUSF Convener Udul Premaratne yesterday was a trademark ploy adopted by this regime to intimidate and strike fear in those who dare to oppose them. UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said the arrest as Mr. Premaratne was leaving the Sirikotha premises was another blatant abuse of authority and callous disregard for the rule of law. more..

Will gas prices drop?

Oct 30 (DM) The price of Laugfs gas is likely to come down while the price of shell gas will remain the same or increased slightly, officials from both gas companies and the Ministry of Internal Trade hinted yesterday. However both companies are pushing for a no change in prices, the officials said. The Government and the gas companies have not reached a final decision regarding the gas price revision and more..

'Self-sufficiency in rice by year end'

Oct 30 (DN) Sri Lanka has the potential of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production at the end of this year, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. "Human resources development will be given the highest priority in the Government's plan for next year," the Minister said at a recent meeting with Members of Provincial Councils of the Gampaha District held at the Parliament. more..

Minister says setting up orphanages and elders’ homes ‘big business’

Oct 30 (Island) Probation and Child Care Minister of Sabaragamuwa Province G. M. Karunapala says unscrupulous elements set up orphanages and homes for elders to collect donations from local and foreign sources. Minister Karunapala emphasizes the importance of a cohesive approach on the part of the authorities to prevent so-called civil society organizations from making money. more..

'People now live in fear'

Oct 30 (DM) Leader of the Opposition, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe pointed out yesterday that the man who brought freedom to the country over the LTTE was now behind bars. Addressing a UNP organized rally called "People's Movement against Dictatorial Insanity,” which was held at the Sri Pushpadana Society Hall in Kandy, Mr. Wickremesinghe said that everyone, including Members of the Cabinet and the Press, now live in fear. more..

Scarred by Sri Lanka's war with Tamil Tigers, female ex-fighters build new lives

Oct 30 (CSM) Pathma, Rasathy, and Jano aren't your average group of friends. These three young Sri Lankan women, veterans of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war, represent a hopeful sign for thousands of the country's ex-combatants. The former LTTE fighters Pathma and Rasathy are each missing an eye from shrapnel wounds during the 26-year civil conflict. Jano, part of the LTTE’s "Sea Tiger" naval unit, lost her leg. more..

US encourages Sri Lanka to have a full accounting of the way in which the conflict ended

Oct 30 (IL) "We continue to encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to have a full accounting of the way in which the conflict ended. This is important to Sri Lanka’s future. Sri Lanka did have an election. The government now has all the authorities that it needs to lead Sri Lanka towards a future that involves reintegration of the various communities of Sri Lanka and moving ahead in a way that is in the interest of all of the people of Sri Lanka." more..

Warm welcome for President Rajapaksa in China

Oct 30 (IL) Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Shanghai, China, on Saturday, 30 October, to attend the closing ceremony of the Expo 2010 trade Exhibition. Over 70 million visitors had attended this impressive event during the 180 days in which it took place in Shanghai. On his arrival at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, President Rajapakse was warmly received by Mr Chai Wei, Vice-Chairman of the Chinese Advisory Board of the CPPCC Shanghai Committee. more..

'Dhanuna’s whereabouts not known'

Oct 31 (DM) Counsel Asela Rekawa appearing on behalf of retired General Sarath Fonseka’s son-in-law Dhanuna Tillekaratne who is the first accused in the HiCorp case, told Colombo High Court that Mr. Tillekaratne had instructed him to appear on his behalf. Counsel informed Court that though he had received instructions by the first accused he was unaware of his whereabouts. Mr. Rekawa moved Court that the right of legal representation be granted to him on behalf of his client. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora asked to shun negativity

Oct 31 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Tamil militant group turned political party has urged the Tamil diaspora to be 'realistic' to achieve a better political deal now that the Tamil Tigers are history. The EPRLF issued the appeal to the vast Tamil diaspora community spread around the world at a two-day conference in Paris. The EPRLF call comes amid intense churning in the Tamil community based outside Sri Lanka, many of whom used once backed the LTTE in varying ways. more..

Lankan Muslims in mercy appeal for Nafeek

Oct 31 (AN) The Muslim community in Colombo has appealed Friday to a Saudi couple to spare the life of a Sri Lankan housemaid who killed their baby. Rizana Nafeek was convicted of murdering Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al-Otaibi’s four-month-old child in June, 2007. Rauf Hakeem, senior parliamentarian and leader of the SLMC, handed a letter for Al-Otaibi and his family on Friday to the Saudi Ambassador in Colombo, pleading for more..