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President to take 2nd term oaths in A’pura

Oct 6 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will take oaths for his second term in November at a grand ceremony to be held in the historic City of Anuradhapura, Youth Affairs Minister Dulles Alahapperuma said yesterday. He said there would be a series of religious, cultural and national ceremonies depicting the resurgence of peace, tranquility, economic and spiritual development after President Rajapaksa took office in 2005. more..

Wrong way to Norway

Oct 6 (DM) The CID told a Colombo Court it was investigating a complaint made by the Norwegian Embassy that UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara had allegedly forwarded forged Norwegian visas to the embassy to obtain authorization to visit the country. The CID told Chief Magistrate Rashmika Singappuli that it was investigating the embassy complaint that Mr. Bandara had tendered five passports with forged Norwegian visas for travel authorisation. more..

IT for A-L: First IT paper in 2011

Oct 6 (DN) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardene yesterday said that the first batch of Advanced Level students in Government schools are prepared to sit for the IT paper next year. He said the Government has provided ICT facilities to 5,000 out of 10,000 schools in the country and major improvement in the ICT sector can be expected within next few years. more..

Private sector business leaders on joy ride to New York

Oct 6 (SL) The jumbo Sri Lankan delegation – an estimated 110 — that traveled to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, included ten top businessmen from the country’s private sector – who were part of the Presidential delegation, all at public expense. For the first time in the country’s history the government paid for the air tickets, hotel rooms etc. for the business leaders. On earlier visits the businessmen paid for their own expenses. more..

Come the proper way to obtain pardon for Fonseka - UPFA

Oct 6 (Island) The Constitution clearly states ways and means of obtaining a Presidential pardon and if bankrupt political parties like the UNP and the JVP want to get former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka released from prison, they could follow the procedures in the Constitution, UPFA General Secretary and Minister of Petroleum Resources Susil Premajayanth says. more..

US Ambassador’s BMW shipped for recycling

Oct 7 (SLNN) The car that belonged to the U.S. ambassador in Sri Lanka has been shipped back to its manufacturer, BMW, for recycling, said the U.S. embassy in Colombo. A statement issued by the embassy explained how the embassy is “going green” in keeping with the state department’s green diplomacy initiative. The embassy says that the ambassadors’ cars were previously given a “burial-at-sea” off the coast of Sri Lanka in an area designated by the Marine Pollution Prevention Authority. more..

Now, police at Colombo port

Oct 7 (Island) The police have been deployed at the Colombo port to prevent armed gangs from manipulating the auctions held by the Customs. DIG Anura Senanayake yesterday told The Island that on a directive given by the Defence Secretary, armed police had been deployed to ensure a level playing field at the auctions. Without elaborating, the police official emphasized that the police would take action against anyone interfering with the due process. more..

Govt. looking at shifting scholarship exam to grade 7

Oct 7 (SL) The government is considering the option of shifting the Grade 5 scholarship examination to Grade 7 to reduce undue pressure on students. Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena has said that medical experts who have attended the parliamentary consultative committee meeting of the Education Ministry have said that the Grade 5 scholarship examination placed an undue burden on children at a tender age. more..

Monks and trade unions for SF

Oct 7 (SL) Monks and trade unions have now come forward to protest calling for the release of former Army Commander and DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka. Buddhist monks led by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero announced their decision to hold an Adhistana Pooja at the Mahamaluwa of the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy seeking Fonseka’s release. The pooja is to be held on Thursday at 2.30 p.m., and organizers have invited the Buddhist clergy and the public to participate in the event. more..

RW asks for STF security for SF

Oct 7 (SL) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for the deployment of Special Task Force (STF) personnel to provide security for former Army Commander and DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka. Fonseka is currently serving a jail term in the Welikada Prison. Wickremesinghe has reportedly told parliament that STF security should be provided to Fonseka when he travels between the prison and the Colombo High Court. more..

Sri Lanka to nab porn stars

Oct 7 (AFP) Sri Lankan police said on Wednesday they were seeking the arrest of men and women who had starred in locally-made pornographic movies and would soon publish headshots in the newspapers. The Children's and Women's Bureau of the police said it planned to send photographs of the local porn stars to the mainstream press and would ask for public cooperation to identify them, a police official said. more..

Sri Lanka’s Imports from Pakistan Grow

Oct 7 (SLNN) Imports from Pakistan to Sri Lanka have increased during the past six years from $71 million in 2003 to $197 million in 2009. “Imports from Pakistan to Sri Lanka have grown at a much faster rate (than Sri Lankan exports to Pakistan),” said the executive director of the Institute of Policy Studies, Saman Kelegama. “One percent of Sri Lanka’s overall imports came from Pakistan in 2003. It increased to almost two percent by 2009.” more..

Laboratory technologists to go on strike

Oct 7 (DM) The laboratory technologists at the Kaluthara Hospital today threatened to go on strike if the Health Ministry did not provide them with the necessary facilities for the lab. The laboratory which is considered to be the best in the country at the moment has not received the necessary equipment and drugs the Association of Government Medical Laboratory Technologists (AGMLT) said. more..

'Those who massacred even maha sangha are ministers today'

Oct 7 (NF) Those who bombed the Sri Dalada Maligawa, attacked Sri Maha Bodhi and shed blood killing scores of devotees, massacred over 500 unarmed policemen and hacked to death 35 Buddhist monks at Arantalawa in the most inhuman manner, are government ministers today, said the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhiha Thera, Chief Incumbent of the Sri Naga Vihara. more..

A relax on loudspeaker bans from the High Courts

Oct 7 (LP) The High Courts have somewhat relaxed the ruling made by the Courts banning the use of loudspeakers in musical concerts at night. This decision was made today (6th) by a committee comprising of three members including Chief Justice Ashoka De Silva following a complaint lodged by a group of musicians. Previous Court ruling dictated that loudspeakers could not be played from 10.00pm to 6.00am the following day. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 06. 10. 2010

Rise and fall of Fonseka

Oct 7 (LG) Rarely has anyone risen so rapidly and controversially in the SLA in its history as the 60 year old Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka- who lead the staggeringly and disproportionately large SLA between 2005 and 2009. The internal War was brought to close with the defeat of the dreaded LTTE together with its leader Velupillai Prabakaran and his top lieutenants under conditions still shrouded in mystery and conjecture. more..

Two-tongued monsters in wonderland

Oct 7 (LG) In his neighbourhood, my father was famous for his straight-talk and his outrageous outbursts at dishonest people. He used to call them two-tongued dogs. Whenever my father realised that a villager has betrayed his trust he used to shout “you two-tongued dogs, never come to my house again” (Diva deke ballo, ai mage gedara pas paganna epa). Although he was liked by some for his principled life style and generosity, his misjudged straight-talk bred many enemies because more..

Then and Now

Oct 7 (LG) Ven. Maduluwave Sobhitha Thera has offered hundred Bhikkus including himself to go under rigorous imprisonment unto death for the release of Sarath Fonseka, the former commander of the Sri Lankan army. Obviously Ven. Sobhitha Thera knows that it is not possible to do so and the Thero would be able to continue with his "ulpechcha" or simple life at Naga Vihara. However, we have to admire the Thera for thinking of the offer to leave the temple and more..

The Tamil Buddhists of the Past and the Future

Oct 7 (LG) In his keynote address at the 2554th Vesak (Vaishakha Purnim) celebrations at the Mahabodhi Society in Chennai, Prof. Sunil Ariyaratne, University of Sri Jayawardenapura said, “As we are nearing 2600 Buddha Jayanthi, as a Sinhala Buddhist, this is my humble dream for the future: Tamil Buddhist temples should come up in Sri Lanka; Tamil children should embrace Buddhist monkhood; Buddhism must be taught in Tamil; preaching and more..

There has been both contraction and expansion of democratic space in Sri Lanka

Oct 7 (TC) The recent Asia Society question and answer session with External Affairs minister GL Peiris, was describes by veteran journalist Thalif Deen, head of the IPS New York bureau as a “lively interaction”. Prof Peiris addressed the prestigious Asia Society, New York last month as the UN General Assembly sessions took place. The questions were civil, cordial but wide-ranging and penetrating, posed by more..

Sri Lanka’s Eighteenth Amendment: A Charter for Dictatorship

Oct 7 (TC) Sri Lanka’s claim to be a democracy has been tenuous for years, but the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution by parliament on 8 September 2010 dealt it a fatal blow. It changed Sri Lanka into a de facto dictatorship like Zimbabwe and Myanmar, where it is abundantly clear that elections alone cannot unseat Mugabe or Than Shwe. more..

Prashanth Sellathurai: Son of Sri Lanka born parents wins Gold medal for Australia at CWG

Oct 7 (TC) Prashanth Sellathurai (DOB 1, Oct 1986) is an Australian gymnast; his parents migrated to Australia in 1983 from Sri Lanka. He was part of the Australian Men's Gymnast team which won first Gold medal in Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi, which was sealed by his performance on the rings, sources said. Writing on the “cherished first-ever Commonwealth Games team gold medal victory for the Australian team”, more..

Eye and dental clinic to mark world children's and elders' day - Vavuniya

Oct 7 (MoD) Commemorating the world children's and elders' day, 61 Division of Sri Lanka Army organized a dental and eye clinic at the Pudukulam Maha Vidyalaya, Vavuniya on 03 October. The Help Age Sri Lanka in corporation with Anuradhapura Lions Club conducted the dental and eye clinics with the participation of six doctors. Over Five Hundred patients received treatments at the clinic while more..

India provides facilities for vocational training center in Puttalam

Oct 7 (MoD) The Ministry of Youth affairs has taken steps to set up more facilities to develop the technical skills at the Vocational Training Centre in Nagavilluwa in the Puttalam District with assistance from the Government of India. The newly constructed vocational training centre at a cost of Rs 40 million in Nagavilluwa, Puttalam was declared open last weekend by the Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha. more..

Eastern provincial planning committee meeting held

Oct 7 (MoD) The third Eastern Provincial Planning Committee Meeting was held at the Eastern Province Chief Secretariat on 24th September under the patronage of chief minister S. Chandrakanthan. The Chief Secretary made the welcome address and chief minister S. Chandrakanthan made the keynote address at the meeting. During the meeting, progress of Annual Implementation Programme for 2010 of the provincial ministries and departments was reviewed. more..

Aquinas College confers first degrees

Oct 7 (UCAN) Aquinas University College in Colombo has awarded its first ever state-recognized university level degrees. Sri Lanka’s University Grants Commission formally recognized the college as a degree conferring institution in 2005. Aquinas, run by Colombo archdiocese, is the country´s premier Catholic educational institution. It offers courses in agriculture, languages, computer science, technology, business, journalism, more..

Devotees convene despite canceled feast

Oct 7 (UCAN) More than 10,000 people in Sri Lanka attended this year’s October feast at the national shrine despite the Church’s cancellation of the high Mass and festivities due to severe drought. A severe drought had almost paralyzed the water and sanitary facilities of the Madhu Marian shrine. The drought over the last few months compelled the shrine’s administrator to cancel this annual event. more..

Domestic worker abuse increase in Kuwait

Oct 7 (BBC) Abuse of domestic workers in Kuwait is rising, and foreign domestic workers in Kuwait face prosecution when they try to escape, Human Rights Watch (HRW)said on Wednesday. The New York-based rights group said domestic workers have little protection from employers who withhold salaries, force them to work long hours with no days off, deprive them of adequate food or abuse them physically and sometimes sexually. more..

65,000 slum dwellers to get decent housing units

Oct 7 (GDI) Slum dwellers in the Colombo City, numbering 65 thousand families will be provided a decent dwelling house at housing complexes to be built for them. A housing unit will cost over Rs. 2.5 million. Defence Secretary Mr. Gothabaya Rajapaksa refuting allegations that the lands of evicted slum dwellers are being utilized for commercial purpose, has said that a plan has been formulated to enrich the lives of slum dwellers with more..

Interview III - Kumudini Samuel

Editorial: SF and his saviours

Oct 7 (Island) UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe's letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking Gen. Sarath Fonseka's release from prison is of great interest. He has said he is making that appeal in his capacity as the Opposition Leader because Gen. Fonseka is an Opposition MP. At the last presidential election, Gen. Fonseka became Ranil's saviour in that the latter managed to avoid a crushing defeat by hiding behind the former, who got routed. more..

Editorial: Teacher transfers Bandula’s bold move

Oct 7 (DM) It is not an exaggeration to say that in almost every school one finds a set of teachers, both good and bad, who have become institutionalized in schools having spent some times even over 30 years in the same school. Especially the leading schools in Colombo and other big cities are known for their habit of keeping past pupils as lifetime teachers. True, more often than not they become a source of stability to their schools. more..

Preparations underway for possible second Tamil ship

Oct 7 (TS) A maritime search is underway by Canadian authorities for evidence of a second Tamil smuggling ship that is reported to be steaming to B.C. before the shipping season winds down for the winter. Military and police officers working for Public Safety Canada are using satellites and hi-tech eavesdropping equipment to locate and pick up signals from the vessel and determine if it is ferrying migrants from Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka leg spinner Chandana wrong 'un - he's gone home

Oct 7 (NST) NORTHERN District Cricket Club are in a spin after international leg spinner Upul Chandana quit after one game and returned to Sri Lanka. Chandana, 38, arrived in Sydney with his family on September 24 and had been renting a unit at Hornsby. Rangers president Mike Langford said Chandana phoned on Monday night to tell him of his immediate move back to Sri Lanka. He flew out on Tuesday morning. more..

Lanka has most number of political prisoners

Oct 7 (DM) Sri Lanka has the largest number of illegal prison camps in the world, detaining some 8000 political prisoners within them, said Professor Kumar David of the University Lecturers for Democracy (ULD) yesterday, quoting the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). “Thousands of Tamil youths who are held in detention for allegedly being LTTE members are not held under a warrant nor any law. Neither have they been produced before a magistrate. more..

Lankan bishops seek Fonseka’s release

Oct 7 (CNA) Sri Lanka’s Catholic Bishops Conference has issued a statement calling on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to release jailed former army commander and presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. “The Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL) wishes to express its concern with regard to the person of Mr. Sarath Fonseka and the situation that has arisen as a result of his imprisonment,” more..

Health sector machinery needs quick overhauling

Oct 7 (DM) The candid and amiable person that he is, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena gave vent to his grievances against administrative hurdles that he has to surmount in his ministry. When other ministers often keep mum about or defend the weaknesses on the part of their administrative officers who generally are chosen by them, Minister Sirisena has publicly expressed dissatisfaction over his inability to get the required information relating to more..

Socialists meet in Jaffna

Oct 7 (DM) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sri Lanka held a well-attended meeting in the northern town of Jaffna on September 26 to mark the seventieth anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky. About 90 students, workers, fishermen, farmers and housewives attended. Some spent hours travelling from towns such as Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Point Pedro. The SEP campaigned for the meeting in a number more..

Rs. 810 mn for Devolopment - Basil

Oct 7 (Island) Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday allocated Rs. 810.53 million for development activities in the Kalutara District for the next three months. The Island learns following discussions he held with senior officials at the Kalutara Secretariat last week, funds were allocated for the development of Agriculture, Irrigation, Highways, Livestock, Tourism and Infrastructure Development sectors. more..

Pride of place for women at LG polls

Oct 7 (DN) The Government has drawn attention towards increasing women representation at the forthcoming local government elections. The ground work is already being laid for this, said Prime Minister D M Jayaratne. He was addressing a meeting of the Gampola SLFP Balamandalaya in Gampola recently. The Prime Minister said there won’t be anymore elections for another six years after the forthcoming local government elections and the Government’s objective was to more..

Welgama sees bus fares decreasing next year

Oct 7 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama says that there will be no bus fare hike next year. Instead, he says there will be a fare decrease. "In view of the dwindling bank interest rates, not only bus fares but prices of certain other goods, too, could come down," Welgama said at a function in Panadura, where he inaugurated two new bus services. He said that the State run bus service should have at least 7,500 buses to compete with the private sector, which had a fleet of 18,000. more..

BTI spraying in Gampola to launch dengue control week

Oct 7 (Island) The Health Ministry said it would commence the National Dengue Control Week today by spraying the Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis imported from Cuba, in the Gampola MOH area. A spokesman for the Health Ministry said yesterday that the pilot might go on in Gampola for a period of 12 months, if necessary. BTI is merely a supplementary method of controlling the dengue mosquito. more..

EPF invests Rs.26.9 billion in 76 companies

Oct 7 (DM) About Rs.26.9 billion belonging to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) has been invested in 76 companies listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), a deputy minister told parliament yesterday. Deputy Labour Minister Jagath Balasuriya gave these details in response to a question asked by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. Mr. Balasuriya said the EPF had earned a profit of Rs.20,376 million from its investments and more..

Investment opportunities galore in Magampura

Oct 7 (DN) Several foreign and local entrepreneurs have expressed willingness to invest in business ventures at the Magampura Harbour premises, Ports and Aviation Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said. A team of local and foreign entrepreneurs from Malaysia, Singapore, India and Europe visited the Magampura Port to explore the potential business ventures and investment opportunities recently. more..

Editor testifies further; case put off for Monday

Oct 7 (DM) Sunday Leader Editor Frederica Jansz giving evidence in the white flag case said yesterday former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka told her that it was from a journalist that he had come to know about an order given by the defense secretary to shoot LTTE cadres who surrendered. Ms. Jansz said she interviewed retired General Fonseka on December 8 and December 12 last year but he had not mentioned about any journalist in the earlier interview because more..

Section of Galle Road being redeveloped

Oct 7 (Island) A section of the Galle Road from Methodist College junction to Bambalapitiya junction, near the Elasto hoarding, is being redeveloped by the CMC on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in a move to improve the free flow of traffic on that stretch of road. This stretch of the Galle Road was earlier a double carriageway, but made ‘one way’ about three years ago. more..

A special task force against illegal migrations

Oct 7 (LP) The Ministry of Justice and the International Organization for Migrations in Sri Lanka have commenced a programme with the aim of stopping irregular migrations,Minister of Justice Athauda Senaviratne stated. Illegal migration is one of today’s main international problems, especially in Asian countries. The Minister said that various steps have been taken to control illegal migrations, as the current situation must be changed. more..

Over 3,000 teachers receive appointments

Oct 7 (DN) Over 3,000 teachers comprising English medium graduate teachers and College of Education Diploma holders received their appointment letters from President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday. They will assume their duties on October 17 after the second session of training on October 7 and 9. Speaking on the occasion the President said, the teachers have been entrusted with a responsibility of more..

SB wants Ranil, Somawansa to seek apology from SF

Oct 7 (Island) Minister S. B. Dissanayake says UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe should apologise to the Fonseka family for what they had done to General Sarath Fonseka. He says Wickremesinghe should go down on his knees before Fonseka for dragging him into politics. He was responding to Wickremesinghe’s appeal to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on behalf of the cashiered General Fonseka. more..