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Global economic crisis to dispossession in Jaffna

Oct 2 (CT) In response to an article I wrote last month in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) on the second wave of neoliberalism in Sri Lanka, Muttukrishna Sarvananthan and Kumar David have offered disparate critiques from diverging positions. While Sarvananthan claims that government policy is insufficiently neoliberal (EPW, 21st Sept), David takes the view that neoliberalism is more or less redunwhere children have become increasingly vulnerable to abuse, both physical and sexual, the theme is both a reminder and reinforcement of the need to ensure the safety, security and wellbeing of the children, the most precious treasure in the country. A day specially designated for children was first celebrated more..

Global economic crisis to dispossession in Jaffna

Oct 2 (CT) In response to an article I wrote last month in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) on the second wave of neoliberalism in Sri Lanka, Muttukrishna Sarvananthan and Kumar David have offered disparate critiques from diverging positions. While Sarvananthan claims that government policy is insufficiently neoliberal (EPW, 21st Sept), David takes the view that neoliberalism is more or less redundant (Sunday Island, 15th Sept). In the meantime, several interesting questions more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Mullaivaikkal residents face desperate plight

Oct 2 (wsws) World Socialist Web Site reporters recently visited Mullaivaikkal in the Vanni area of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. The region is where the govt military staged the final attacks on the separatist LTTE that ended the island’s long-running civil war in May 2009. The LTTE prevented residents leaving the area during the conflict and as government troops advanced on the coastal strip, hundreds of thousands of people were trapped. An expert committee appointed by more..

Sri Lanka stocks up 0.4%, rupee gains

Oct 2 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.43% higher with diversified John Keells Holdings extending gains, while speculative trading continued in Touchwood, a troubled forestry firm. All Share Price Index closed 24.79 points higher at 5,805.62, up 0.43% after peaking at an intraday high of 5,814.61 in late trading. The S&P SL20 closed 18.11 points higher at 3,229.00, up 0.56%. Turnover was 1.31 million rupees, up from 1.28 billion the previous day, with shares of 122 firms gaining against 63 losing. more..

Migrant worker remittances to top USD 7 bn this year

Oct 2 (Island) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) will take immediate action against non-performing job agencies registered with it. Only 700 job agencies were currently providing overseas job opportunities to Sri Lankans though 2,500 such agencies were registered with it. The SLBFE monitored the agencies and stern legal action would be taken against those who charged exorbitant fees from job seekers, more..

Safe use of electricity to be included in school curriculum

Oct 2 (Island) Plans are underway to include ‘Electrical Safety’ in school text books from 2015 as deaths due to electrocution has been on the rise. More than 180 Lankans were killed due to electrocution last year. Director General of the Electricity regulator, the Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL), Damitha Kumarasinghe said that they had found that it would be possible to reduce deaths from electrocution through the inclusion of safety measures in school text books. more..

SriLankan commissions A320 hangar

Oct 2 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines said it had commissioned a new hangar for Airbus A320 aircraft at which will expand facilities to repair and maintain aircraft. The new hangar, located at the BIA complex close to the airline’s Main Hangar, has a floor area of 30,000 square feet, increasing the space by 35%, affording dedicated space to carry out 'C' checks on Airbus A320s. "This move brings SriLankan Airlines’ closer to its aviation goal of creating a reputed aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul more..

MP Namal Rajapaksa new Rugby captain

Oct 2 (CT) Navy Sports Club hooker Namal Rajapaksa has been appointed as captain of the Sri Lanka team for the first ever rugby Triangular against Poland and Madagascar scheduled for this month. The triangular will be played at the new Race Course rugby stadium starting on Oc 26. Former Sri Lanka Youth and S. Thomas' College captain Rajapaksa represented the senior national team for two Asian Five Nations' tournaments more..

Allied Health Science undergrads protest

Oct 2 (Island) Undergraduates of the Allied Health Sciences (AHS) Faculty of the Peradeniya University yesterday launched a signature collection campaign from the Fort Railway Station in protest against reducing their four-year degree programme to three years. President of the AHSF Students’ Union Rajitha Prasad said that there were five AHS degree courses – Physiotherapy, Radiography, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Pharmacology and Nursing – at five universities of the country. more..

Taiwan seeks workers from Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (CG) The Taiwan Govt has sought migrant workers from Sri Lanka, the China Post reported today. The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) has sent an envoy to Sri Lanka to discuss the matter. Following the visit, the Sri Lankan govt indicated a high level of interest in exporting labor to Taiwan. The CLA stated that with the consent of its counterparts, it will strive to overcome technical obstacles such as work visas, health examinations, vaccinations, establishment of direct flights, more..

G.L tells UN, pressure unhelpful

Oct 2 (CG) Minister G.L Peiris has told the UN that undue external pressures on Sri Lanka would not be helpful as they could trigger unwarranted reactions locally and otherwise. "SL requires the UN’s willingness to work with the country with a proper understanding of the complexities and related nuances. Minister also said that the TNA, which won the NPC elections, must discharge their responsibilities more..

Four Lankans held for murder in Chennai

Oct 2 (Hindu) Eight months after an unidentified youth was found dead in a well in Austinpatti, the police said they had solved the case and arrested four Sri Lankan nationals in this connection. The deceased has been identified as Prem Anand (26) of Perambalur, who was working in Choolaimedu in Chennai. The accused – J. Rajkumar (26), C. Stephen (29), S. Mahendran (36) and M. Durai (34) – all inmates of the Sri Lankan Refugee Camp at Uchapatti, were remanded in judicial custody. more..

UNP suffering from a fatal cancer - Ravi

Oct 2 (SM) The cancer which has invaded the body of the UNP has now become so severe, that it cannot be cured even by amputating a limb, says UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. He points out that the Party has faced this tragic fate because of a minority group of businessmen operating as the advisers of the Party, at a time when the politicians who represent the people must be given the upper hand in deciding on the political affairs and future procedures of the Party. more..

Court frees suspected mastermind of Sri Lanka team attack

Oct 2 (PT) A three-member review board of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed the police to release Zubair, alias Nek Muhammad, the alleged mastermind of the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, denying further extension in the detention period. The review board issued the order due to a lack of incriminating evidence against the accused. Appearing before the board, Punjab police chief Khan Baig more..

Manmohan had no time for MR

Oct 2 (CG) Indian PM Dr. Manmohan Singh says he had no time to meet President ajapaksa in New York despite the President requesting for a meeting. Speaking to reporters on his plane while returning from New York, Singh said that Rajapaksa had asked to meet him between the 24th and 27th. “I would have no hesitation in meeting with him. He asked for a meeting on dates which were not convenient to me, because I came to New York only on the 27th and he asked for a meeting more..

Sri Lanka seeks to manage power demand

Oct 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's power regulator is setting up rules for 'demand side management', but the main utility and other stakeholders have asked for fine tuning and await a load research study. "At present the marginal cost of production of power is very high," Damitha Kumarasinghe director general of Sri Lanka's Public Utilities Commission told a forum of power distributors and industry specialists. "So it is very important that we embark on a very aggressive demand side management program, more..

Video: Kohona to chair UN legal committee

Oct 2 (CG) Sri Lanka has been elected as the chair of the sixth legal committee of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly. Ambassador Palitha Kohona was elected as the chair when the committee met in New York yesterday. The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly. All of the U.N. Member States are entitled to representation on the Sixth Committee more..

Scholarship pass mark is 70, not 160

Oct 2 (CT) The pass mark for grade five scholarship exam is 70, not 160, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said today. He pointed out that many people were confused between the pass mark and the cut-off scores, and clarified that the pass mark is 70 while the cut-off score, by which the students are entitled to receive the scholarship funds, is 160. “Every student who achieved over 70 will receive a certificate by the Examination Department as proof of having passed their scholarship exams. more..

KKS cement factory is to be revamped at a cost Rs. 1500 Million

Oct 2 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Cement Corporation is to invest Rs. 1500 million to revamp the Kankesan Cement Plant in Kankesanthurai, which was the main cement supplier in the country prior to establishment of the Galle cement factory. The Corporation has made a proposal in this regard to the Ministry of State Resources and Enterprise Development with regard to adding the mechanism and restructuring of the whole plant. As per the proposal the Corporation expects to recover more..

Sri Lanka returns off-spec gasoline cargo from PetroChina

Oct 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has returned 30,000 tonnes of gasoline supplied by PetroChina Singapore as the quality of the cargo did not meet specifications, state-owned Ceypetco said on Wednesday. Susantha Silva, Ceypetco's managing director, said the firm had rejected 90-octane gasoline from PetroChina Singapore, but accepted 5,000 tonnes of 95-octane gasoline and 5,000 tonnes of diesel from the Singapore more..

Vajira offers his hand to Sajith

Oct 2 (SM) The Galle district UNP Chairman, Vajira Abeywardena has decided to contest for the oncoming Southern Provincial Council election as the leader of the Galle district candidate team to give support to the UNP and Sajith Premadasa, if Mr. Premadasa is going to contest in the Southern Provincial Council election as the Chief Minsiter candidate of the UNP. If Mr. Sajith Premadasa contests in the Southern Provincial Council as the Chief Minister candidate, more..

Audio: Managala questions Sajith’s loyalty

Oct 2 (CG) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera has questioned the loyalty of MP Sajith Premadasa to the party after he refused to contest for Chief Minister at the next provincial council elections in the South. Samaraweera said that Premadasa’s name had been proposed for the post at the UNP Matara District coordinating committee meeting. He said that senior members of the UNP had backed the proposal as Premadasa was seen as a popular figure in the South. Samaraweera said that if more..

Implement Senaka Bibile Drug Policy, allocate 5% GDP for health!

Oct 2 (LT) Prof. Senaka Bibile Commemoration march under the theme ‘Allocate 5% of GDP for health services, implement Senaka Bibile Drug policy and for a secure health service for tomorrow’ was held yesterday (30) as a part of the 36th Senaka Bibile Commemoration ceremony. The participants gathered at Lipton Circus and walked to Colombo Fort where an awareness campaign and signing of a petition was carried out. more..

Sri Lankan national sneaks into Rameswaram; held

Oct 2 (PTI) Despite the claim of tight vigil by naval and coast guard personnel following an alert about possible infiltration of terrorists through the sea, a Sri Lankan Tamil managed to sneak into the island by a high-speed boat on Wednesday. Police said they arrested Chellakrishnan of Pesalai in Sri Lanka following a tip-off by a local resident shortly after he was dropped at Arichalmunai by the boat, police said. The boat which dropped him managed to go back.He had come in a high speed boat more..

66 TN fishermen return home from Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (PTI) 66 Tamil Nadu fishermen set free by a Sri Lankan court after being arrested recently by the island navy, arrived here today with the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) repatriating them. The fishermen -- 35 from Rameswaram, 20 from Nagapattinam and 11 from Karaikal -- were handed over to the coast guard by the Sri Lankan Navy at the IMBL. The fishermen, arrested in batches since July last and remanded to judicial custody in Sri Lanka, were brought here onboard coast guard ship more..

Drought hits Polonnaruwa

Oct 2 (DM) More than 5,500 people had been affected by the prevailing drought in the Polonnaruwa District, Asst. Director of the DMC Upul Nanayakkara said. “Statistically 5,500 people in 14,603 families have been affected by the prevailing drought in the Polonnaruwa District,” he said. Nanayakkara said that the drought had resulted in a severe shortage of drinking water. He said that Welikanda, Dimbulagala, Lankapura and more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

Oct 3 (NS) Prabhakaran could not defeat the Govt. Ranil couldn’t. Tilvin-Somawansa-Anura-Vijitha couldn’t. Hakeem and Thonda couldn’t do to this Govt what they did or threatened to do to Ranil and before him Chandrika. But the Govt was roundly defeated, floored, bested, chewed up and piddled on, nevertheless. It happened last week. Minister Maithripala Sirisena was witness. It happened in a place called Hulftsdorp. The BIG WINNER was the Tobacco Industry. more..

Squashed voter consciousness of the South

Oct 3 (NS) The election results of the Wayamba and Central Provincial Councils were largely overshadowed by the Northern PC verdict – and much analysis as well as discursive spaces in both media and the cyber-sphere was seen preoccupied with the latter. However, the results of the other two councils – variously seen along a spectrum of being a reflection of Rajapakshist consolidation and a liquidation of parties such as the UNP and the JVP – offer us a few crucial observations and more..

Why the huge interest in Sri Lanka's internal affairs?

Oct 3 (SO) It seems that the UNHRC or certain Western countries have no other work than showing an extraordinary interest on internal affairs of Sri Lanka. We wonder whether certain Western Colombo-based diplomats who had been residing in Jaffna during the NPC election, show similar interest on elections in their own countries. There is no other business for certain Western embassies and High Commissions in more..

Igniting racist fires; Undermining national unity

Oct 3 (CT) In 2011, the Rajapaksas introduced a hugely controversial new law: the Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill. Commonly known as the ‘Sacred Areas Act’, this bill gave the Minister of Buddha Sasana the power to expropriate any private land anywhere, just by labelling it a ‘Protection Area’, ‘Conservation Area’, Architectural/Historic area’ or ‘Sacred Area’. On 2nd Dec 2011, a Supreme Court bench headed by CJ Shirani Bandaranayke decreed that the new bill more..

Editorial: Jumbo woes

Oct 3 (Island) Hustings are usually followed by fireworks at Sirikotha and calls for the party leader to step down. But, this time around there has been a difference. Those close to the leader have gone on the offensive, challenging the rebel MPs to contest Provincial Council elections and steer the party to victory so as to prove their eligibility for leadership. They want Sajith Premadasa to be the UNP’s chief ministerial candidate in the South. The moment the NPC polls were announced, everybody knew more..

'God cannot make you the CM'

Oct 3 (CT) Sarath Ekanayake slated to take oaths as The Chief Minister of the Central Provincial Council (CPC), today is no stranger to the post. He was first appointed Chief Minister of the CPC in April 1999, and held the same post again between Nov 2000 and April 2002. He was again elected to the post in 2004 and later in 2008 as well. Ceylon Today interviewed Ekanayake on his future plans for the CPC, if he is appointed to the more..

Anatomy of a political suicide

Oct 3 (CT) Ever since the last Presidential Elections in 2010, the steep decline in the performance of the UNP at successive elections has been chronicled well in the newspapers, websites and magazines. In addition, the usual Colombo gossip centres, mainly drinking clubs and evening cocktail parties, are agog with the burning issue of the day: What's up in the UNP after its humiliating defeat at the latest Provincial Council polls? The election results have added impetus to the persistent demand for more..

How our democracy has changed

Oct 3 (CT) The recent provincial election results show that the Govt of President Rajapakse cannot be shaken. Is it due to its popularity with the people and if so what are the causes of the popularity. Are there other factors as well? The Northern Provincial Council of course showed that the methods employed in the South to win popularity do not work to win the votes of the Tamil people. What are these methods? Firstly the electoral system has been completely transformed. more..

Devolution of powers: Will Wigneswaran seek CHOGM intervention?

Oct 3 (CT) Full devolution of powers. Will Wigneswaran seek CHOGM intervention? The main reason why the 43rd CJ, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, was removed from her post was presumably due to two decisions she had delivered in respect of land issues through constitutional interpretations, which were obviously not to the liking of the govt. One was the decision relating to Town and Country Planning more..

Project launched to improve safety, quality of fruits and vegetables

Oct 3 (Island) The project on "Improving Safety and Quality of Sri Lankan Fruits and Vegetables" was launched recently in Colombo. Launch took place in the midst of a large gathering of representatives from the private sector, relevant public sector officials with Anura Siriwardena Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce grazing the occasion as the Guest of honour. Project is a unique Private public partnership initiated by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in partnership with more..

ACCA Chief Executive to visit Sri Lanka

Oct 3 (Island) The Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA) Chief Executive Helen Brand will be on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka from next Tuesday. During her visit she will attend key discussions on developing and promoting the profession in the industry. Another key intention of the visit would be to facilitate programs and initiatives to that would help better promote ACCA in Sri Lanka and to strengthen its commitment to capability development of the profession and more..

Changing the game

Oct 3 (FT) The seventh month in the Tamil solar calendar that commences on 15 Oct is an important one for Hindu devotees. Aipassi or the month between 15 Oct and 14 Nov heralds the season of Kulir or cold and for the southern subcontinent means the onset of the monsoon rains and the many religious celebrations including Deepavali or the festival of light. For SL’s formerly embattled NP, this year Aipassi will hold special significance. more..

Subani establishes new record; Northern athletes win two golds

Oct 3 (Island) St. Joseph’s Balika, Kegalle hurdler Subani Kaushalya Abayaratne clocked 65.50 second to establish a new meet record in the Under-17 girls’ 400 metres hurdles heats on day one of the Athletics Championship of the All Island Schools Games at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday. Abayaratne’s performance in the heats was a consolation for track athletes who were affected by the deteriorating conditions of the synthetic track which was laid only last year. more..