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Examining in Bangi and observing changes

Nov 16 (LG) As the external examiner in communication studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in the summer of 1997, I agreed to perform two tasks: 1. To submit a report evaluating the UKM communication studies program based on criteria relevant to Asia in general, and Malaysia in particular. 2. To teach a three-hour graduate class in International Communication on Saturdays, and to participate in other activities benefitting Malaysia. more..

Sarath Fonseka is not science-fiction

Nov 16 (LG) Sarath Fonseka? Whether he should contest or not contest is no more – and no less – an existential poser, than pondering the Shakespearean ‘to be or not to be.’ I’d say that there is no point not meeting the issue head-on. All prevarication about the matter makes everybody look ridiculous, because this is the news – and one cannot possibly ignore the breaking news. In the first place, all the pundits should be told, look, it’s ridiculous if this argument is approached more..

Towards a Sangha Decree against political thuggery

Nov 16 (LG) Despite the darkness at noon in sunny Sri Lanka in the past two weeks — first caused by hovering monsoon clouds and last week the depression in the Arabian Sea — there has been a steady stream of sunshine coming through. Read the headlines in Lake House press: Jobs for 17,000 graduates; Govt committed to protect all; President benefited the nation; Teachers to go IT savvy; SriLankan records 80 percent passenger increase; Face lift for Colombo and much more; more..

On Rev. Dr. Malcolm Ranjith

Nov 16 (LG) The Patronal feast cum Birthday of His Grace the Archbishop of Colombo, the Most Rev. Dr. Albert Malcolm Ranjith falls on November 15. His Patron Saint is St. Albert the Great. The world and our Church become so rich and beautiful because of the variety of persons God has given to lead us. At the peak of his service to both Church and Nation, Archbishop Malcolm epitomizes rare and rich qualities of fidelity to his religion. more..

Degenerative duplicity and a government's response

Nov 16 (LG) There are those of us who are all too shudderingly familiar with the two tongued approach of 'abuses at home and cover-up abroad' faithfully followed by Governments of Sri Lanka (whether UNP, UNF, SLFP, PA or UPFA) in international fora regarding the rights of the country's citizens. However, even measured against this abysmal standard, last week's so called formal Governmental response to the critical European Commission's October 19 Report on the preconditions that more..

Chemical industries in Sri Lanka: Awaiting exploitation

Nov 16 (LG) After tumultous period of unrest and violence due to militant activities , Sri Lanka is now looking forward to time of peace and growth and progress. Obviously, the Government of Sri Lanka as well as Sri Lankan and international investors should cease this opportunity to identify the appropriate areas of investment in Sri Lanka and implement projects with time bound action plans in tune with the global trends and scenario. more..

General Fonseka did his best – Indian Spy chief

Nov 16 (LG) “Former Chief of Sri Lanka Army General Sarath Fonseka, did his best and it was a admiring task in the Counter - terrorism operations. Many things can be learnt by other forces around the world for the military efforts in Sri Lanka. I was astounded when I heard the Tamil Tiger Chief and his entire subordinates wee killed by General’s Fonseka’s forces,” said Mr. Maloy Krishna Dhar, the former joint director, Intelligence Bureau of India, more..

Sinhala families 'settled in Tamil lands'

Nov 16 (BBC) A government official in eastern Sri Lanka has warned that settling Sinhala nationals in ancestral Tamil areas might disturb the relations between communities. The BBC has seen a copy of the letter with the warning sent to the presidential secretariat and District Secretary, by Pattipalai Divisional Secretary Vasugi Arulraja. The letter was also copied to TNA MP P Ariyanethran, who accused the government of continuing settling Sinhala nationals in Tamil lands in the east. more..

Gen. Fonseka 'already over stayed'

Nov 16 (BBC) The president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has granted permission to General Sarath Fonseka to retire with immediate effect. The Chief of Defence Staff, in a letter to the president, has sought permission to retire from 01 December. Secretary to the President, Lalitha Weerathunga, in his reply to General Fonseka says the president has granted permission as the CDS has "already over stayed date of retirement by four years." more..

Plenty to prove in heavyweight clash

Nov 16 (CI) His wife, his brother, his coach. An old forgotten supersinger, an old Bollywood superstar, almost every popular athlete in the country, almost every coach he has worked with, cricketers from his country, cricketers from other countries, writers from his country, writers from other countries, astrologers, designers, doctors, hair stylists, almost everyone who has had something to do with him has been interviewed for the occasion. more..

Sri Lanka face weight of history

Nov 16 (CI) The lead-up to this series has been more muted than the last time the Sri Lankans visited India, in 2005-06, when the scheduling of the first Test in Chennai during the monsoon and Cyclone Baaz hogged the headlines along with fevered speculation over which day Sachin Tendulkar would score his record 35th Test century. This time there has been no verbal discourse, no individual battles hyped, no records or player targeted, and no controversial sound bytes. more..

Battle for top spot kicks off

Nov 16 (CI) It says something of Sri Lanka's travails on India soil that they have kept Sachin Tendulkar to 48 runs from three innings at this venue, and yet gone on to lose the Tests by whopping margins - an innings and 17 runs in February 1994 and 259 runs in December 2005. On the second occasion, with Rahul Dravid succumbing to fever on the eve of the game, it was Virender Sehwag that led the side, but with the spinners taking 17 wickets more..

TNA undecided on alliance with UNF

Nov 16 (AT) TNA so far has not entered into any talks with the United National Front, the newly formed opposition group. There is no such indication so far, the Asian Tribune learns. Mavai Senathirajah, the senior TNA parliamentarian and the party whip said that so far there is no move for any talks either with the joint opposition group or with ruling UPFA regarding any alliance. He further said that it is too early for any such talks till the dates for elections are anounced. more..

SLFP members unanimously demanded to hold first the Presidential Election

Nov 16 (AT) “SLFP is a proud political outfit which has saved the country recently from the scourge of terrorism, and all our party supporters and partners have the right to be proud, said President Rajapaksa. "We are a proud party that liberated the country,” he declared amidst thunderous applause. He pointed out that the SLFP was a party that put the nation before itself and noted it was a proud feature rare in today's politics in the country. more..

Myanmar Student Monks in Sri Lanka protest at Junta visit

Nov 16 (AM) Burmese monks living in Sri Lanka have also protested against the visit. The general is on his first overseas trip for five years, and this is the first visit to the island by a Burmese leader for more than 40 years. Sri Lanka and Burma have religious and cultural ties going back centuries. Many Burmese monks study in Sri Lanka. Shouting that General Than Shwe should leave Sri Lanka, this small group of demonstrators more..

Rajapaksa faces first challenge at Sri Lanka polls

Nov 16 (National) For the first time in 15 years, political developments have unfolded that threaten the dominance of Sri Lanka’s ruling party, the SLFP. Sarath Fonseka, the popular army general who has recently fallen out with the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has turned a weak opposition into a powerful political force and pushed the government from a once invincible position to one of uncertainty before presidential and parliamentary elections due in the next few months. more..

Pranab, Rajapaksa discuss resettlement

Nov 16 (Hindu) Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday paid a courtesy call on the Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Sunday and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest between Sri Lanka and India over breakfast. “It was a cordial meeting. Since Mr. Mukherjee is the Indian Finance Minister and well versed with the intricacies of the global economic outlook, aspects of international economic issues figured at the interaction”, more..

Sri Lankan gay man granted asylum in USA due to gender discrimination

Nov 16 (LP) Equal Ground, a non profit organization seeking human and political rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) community of Sri Lanka, says that a Sri Lankan that sought asylum in US based on gender discrimination in his home country has been granted asylum there. The person nicknamed as Sam has emailed to Equal Grounds “I am very happy to inform you, that I was granted my gay asylum in USA. more..

Letter sent by the Secretary to the President to Gen. Fonseka

Nov 16 (GDI) The text of the letter sent by the Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, in response to the request made by Gen. Fonseka to retire from the post of Chief of Defence Staff is given below. I am directed by His Excellency the President to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 12 November 2009 seeking permission to retire from the Regular Force of the Sri Lanka Army. more..

Sri Lanka appoints military intelligence officer as ambassador for Eritrea to curb LTTE activities there

Nov 16 (LP) Following the recent exposures from the recently arrested leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam rebel movement, the government of Sri Lanka has decided to appoint a senior military intelligence officer as Sri Lanka Ambassador for Eritrea. The New Ambassador previously acted as the Director of Military Intelligence of Sri Lanka Army. more..

Protest six forcibly removed to Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (TA) The Rudd government chartered a 100-seat jet to Sri Lanka at the weekend to forcibly remove six asylum-seekers who staged a dramatic eight-hour protest inside the Christmas Islands immigration detention centre last month. The six Sinhalese fishermen became the first asylum-seekers to be isolated inside the centre's controversial "red block", built by the Howard government, with small metal cells to detain violent or unstable detainees. more..

GSP+, Sovereignity, Double Standards, Terrorist traitors

Nov 16 (GV) It is worth clarifying here the situation regarding the EU GSP+ facility, given the confusion prevailing in the mainstream media. The EU has NOT threatened trade sanctions against Sri Lanka. The GSP+ facility is an extra privilege granted to developing countries which abide by certain human rights norms. If it is withdrawn, the EU will continue to trade with Sri Lanka, but its imports from Sri Lanka will have to compete with imports from more..

President rejects presidential election asked by all present at SLFP Convention

Nov 16 (LT) Despite all members of the SLFP, who had participated at the National Convention of the party held at Keththarama Stadium today (15th), opted for a presidential election when asked which election should be held first, the President rejected it stating he would have to ask the party. However, he was requesting this from the members of the party who had gathered for the National Convention of the party. more..

Professional Development Program

Sri Lanka lures central Indian investors

Nov 16 (LBO) Firms from the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have showed interest in investing in Sri Lanka and called for direct flights between the state capital Bhopal and Colombo, officials said. Investors were keen on developing medical services and education and investing in telecommunications, renewable energy and re-building infrastructure in the island's north and east after the ethnic war, they said. more..

Sri Lanka in bid to block strikes in utilities

Nov 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka has declared several state utilities 'essential services' the government said, as industrial unrest threatened to increase following the assault of some workers and rejection of higher salary offers. The government said petroleum, water, ports and electricity services were declared essential services from midnight Sunday. Both power and water are state monopolies and petroleum and ports a near-monopoly with only one private operator allowed. more..

Sri Lanka says Tamil Tigers’ international network still active

Nov 16 (BN) Sri Lanka’s peace will be secured only when the international network of the LTTE is dismantled after the defeat of the rebel military wing in May, Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. “It is only when these elements have also been defeated that we can claim to have truly secured our nation,” Rajapaksa said in a speech posted on the government’s Web site late yesterday. more..

A Hippo and the only Syrian bear at Dehiwala zoo dies

Nov 16 (LP) A hippopotamus and a bear at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala died yesterday (15). The bear was forty years of age at the time of death and had been under treatment for a long time. The bear was the only Syrian bear at the Dehiwala Zoo said sources from the Dehiwala Zoo. The hippopotamus which died was a four-year-old hippopotamus. Its mother had rejected the baby and it was separated from the mother said sources. more..

Peak outburst of Leonid Meteor Shower on Nov. 18th

Nov 16 (LP) The Leonid meteor shower which occurs annually around November 17-19 is visible to Sri Lanka these days in pre-dawn hours said Dr. Chandana Jayaratne. He further said though the accurate prediction of meteor shower peaks is somewhat difficult, if the predictions made by astronomers become correct, this year the meteor shower should produce a mild but pretty sprinkling of meteors over North America followed by a more intense outburst over Asia. more..

Screening for Thalassaemia must before marriage

Nov 16 (LP) Screening for Thalassaemia should be made compulsory before marriage, said Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry. Thalassaemia is a genetic disease. It has no permanent treatment. But it is preventable. After the marriage of two Thalassaemia carriers, 25 percent of their off-spring gets Thalassaemia. The Ministry has taken steps to submit a special Cabinet paper to make screening of Thalassaemia compulsory before marriage of every youth in the country. more..

Pakistan Chief of Air Staff calls on Commander of the Navy

Nov 16 (MoD) The Chief of the Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman accompanied by Pakistan Deffence Attache Colonel Syed Khurram Hassnain Alam called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo. The Pakistan Chief of Air Staff, who is in Sri Lanka on a three-day official visit at the invitation of the Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, more..

Gen. Fenseka’s security drastically reduced- UNP

Nov 16 (LG) Security provided to General Sarath Fonseka has been drastically reduced, as much as 95 per cent, says Tissa Attanayake, General Secretary of the UNP. Since Saturday, 95 per cent of his security had been removed while Karuna Amman has about 200 security men and Pilleyan has over 100 men, said Attanayake, addressing a function to distribute equipment to a temple and societies in Kundasale. more..

Toronto Tamils and Sinhalese commemorate Upali Cooray

Nov 16 (LG) The life of Upali Cooray, the barrister, lecturer, human rights activists, trade unionist and revolutionary, was celebrated by an enthusiastic crowd of Tamils and Sinhalese at the Scarborough Civic Centre, Toronto, on Nov. 14, 2009. The gathering was organized by the Canadians for Peace Sri Lankan Alliance, a diaspora organization composed of Tamils and Sinhalese working for peace and inter-ethnic solidarity. more..

More rehab assistance to the North

Nov 16 (MoD) Massive reconstruction and rehabilitation assistance for the North is in the pipe line from Japan, the European Union, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and a very large extent of paddy land that remained fallow over several years was to be brought under the plough this Maha crop season, Vavuniya District Secretary Mrs. P.S.M. Charles told the Daily News yesterday. While a provision of 11 million US Dollars from Japan more..

Journalists shut out at CDS farewell?

Nov 16 (LG) Journalists, invited to cover the farewell ceremony to General Sarath Fonseka, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), on Monday morning (today) were not allowed into Army Headquarters in Colombo where the event is taking place. Dozens of journalists said they were invited by the CDS staff for the event but the army was not allowing them in. The dispute has gone on for about an hour ahead of the event about to happen a while ago at 10 .15 am. more..

Demands for economic and social rights outlawed in the country

Nov 16 (AHRC) The Sri Lankan government today issued emergency regulations to be operative from midnight tonight (November 16, 2009) which makes the services relating to oil, electricity, harbor and water resources essential services. This gazette notification means that any action taken by the trade unions for the improvement of wages and working conditions within these essential service industries will be illegal and subjected to sanctions. more..

Mukherjee advocates Indian power sharing model

Nov 16 (PSM) Visiting Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee emphasized that a power sharing mechanism based on the Indian model was most suitable for Sri Lanka while delivering the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture during the weekend. Such a mechanism allows a clear separation of power under a democratic system which is designed to preserve the unity and integrity of the country without disintegration. more..

Rumpus at SLFP summit due to use of Teleprompter

Nov 16 (LT) At the National Convention of the SPFP held at Keththarama Stadium yesterday President Mahinda Rajapakse talked skillfully in both Sinhalese and Tamil. He made a prepared speech with the help of a teleprompter. Teleprompters are used by news readers of TV channels. A copy of a speech or news item is displayed on the screen and the speed of the copy moving on the screen could be controlled by the speaker or anyone else. more..

Fuel sheds closed without fuel

Nov 16 (LT) Petrol sheds in many areas in the island had to be closed down from yesterday due to employees of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation withdrawing from their duties. The trade unions of CPC engaged in a work-to-rule campaign from the 11th to the 13th and on the 14th and 15th they kept away from overtime duties. The employees of CPC walked away from their duties and stopped distribution activities as the Chairman of CPC assaulted an employee who more..

A common presidential candidate from the JVP

Nov 16 (LT) They have reached the standpoint that a common candidate should be nominated for a forthcoming presidential election states the JVP. The leader of the group of Parliamentarians of the JVP Anura Dissanayeke said. He said, “The Central Committee of the JVP has come to the standpoint that a common candidate should be nominated at a forthcoming presidential election. more..