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Education Minister at loggerheads with Central Province CM

Nov 21 (AD) Education Minister Susil Premajayantha today claimed that the ministry was not consulted to make the announcement on the Central Province school closure. He added that the Central Province Chief Minister does not have the prerogative to make such a decision. Premajayantha said that he will communicate this issue to the Chief Minister of the Central Province Sarath Ekanayaka. more..

Debrief News -20. 11.2009

Sample something different in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (WO) As it was nudging 33 degrees in the shade, the last thing I wanted to drink was a hot toddy. But on Sri Lanka, the island of smiles off the toe of India, toddy is a comfort drink of the poor and needy. So in the interests of research, I tried this original tropical version. To most of us, of course, a toddy means any spirit lifter in the dead of winter, mixed with hot water and sugar. Perhaps ours developed from the Sri Lankan version, which comes from the sap of a palm tree. more..

Professors' of Economy predict higher economic growth in 2009

Nov 21 (GDI) Professors of Economics in universities today firmly predicted an economic growth of 3.5% by the end of 2009. Professors W.D Lakshman, Laksiri Fernando and Sunanda Madduma Bandara addressed the media at a meeting titled - "Asidisi Widwath Hamuwa" to express views on the state of the economic. Professor W.D Lakshman of the University of Colombo said that the leading economist from California identified as Charlie Johnson had defined the theory of a nation development. more..

Dammika doubtful for second Test against India

Nov 21 (PTI) Sri Lankan pacer Dammika Prasad is a doubtful starter for the second cricket Test against India starting in Kanpur from November 24 due to a hamstring injury, captain Kumar Sangakkara said today. "I don't think he (Dammika) would play as it seems right now he may not be available," Sangakkara said at the post-match press conference after the first Test ended in a draw here. Prasad bowled just four overs today more..

'Historic' meeting for Sri Lankan Tamils

Nov 21 (BBC) Several political parties, representing miniority Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka, have for the first time in post-war period gathered in Switzerland for a two-day consultations. The meeting, at the initiative of Tamil dispora groups, is being attended by several political parties representing almost all shades of Tamil and Muslim political opinion. This is the first of such meeting in the recent past, aiming for political consensus on issues more..

Why Mahinda may have to face presidential polls first

Nov 21 (DBS) Throw a stone into placid waters and you get a big splash followed by numerous ripples. The ripple effect caused by the Fonseka factor continues to excite the contemporary Sri Lankan political scene. The Presidential stakes earlier was a predictable one-horse race. With the anticipated entry of an old warhorse, an element of uncertainty has been introduced. more..

Mahajana Viyawastawa – A new constitution for Sri Lanka’s future

Nov 21 (AT) Although several months have passed since the combined might of the three defence services and the police, ably supported by the President of Sri Lanka and the Secretary Defence was able to defeat the LTTE terrorists, the expected peace dividend has not yet materialised. We are advised that our foreign exchange reserves are better, but that has not made any difference to the people, especially the poor people. more..

Dead pitches killing Tests in India

Nov 21 (CI) Why aim for dominance when you can have somnolence? Why bother supporting the idea of a Test championship when you're doing your best to kill off the oldest form of the game? Why mouth platitudes about the sanctity of Test cricket when matches are played out in front of paltry crowds on pitches designed to drag the game off to the post-mortem table? Comparisons may be odious at times, but in certain cases they're extremely instructive. more..

Machan is streets ahead of any Hollywood product

Nov 21 (Guardian) Tomorrow sees the release of Machan, one of the most important films to come out of the developing world in recent years – and the best film about illegal immigration I've ever seen. It's a topic that's been addressed by prominent western directors in recent times, with mixed results. In 2002, Michael Winterbottom's docudrama, In This World, concentrated on the dangerous journey of Afghan immigrants to London, more..

Phoney – Honey politics makes a bow

Nov 21 (LG) Ranil is now throwing the gauntlet at the President over his latest obsession of the Common Candidate to run for the presidency. He has challenged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to call for a Presidential election adding that the United National Front (UNF) will reveal their common presidential candidate soon after it is announced that a presidential election will take place next year. He obviously enjoys a sense of cheap drama, this guy. more..

Mother you are so beautiful

John Holmes: Bribes, lies and cocktail

Nov 21 (LG) Sir John Holmes, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs made his first visit to Sri Lanka in August 2007. During his visit he told Reuters in an interview on 8 August 2007 that .."Aid agencies,an amount of 34 humanitarian staff have been killed in Sri Lanka since January 2006, including 17 local staff of Action Contre La Faim shot dead a year ago in a massacre Nordic truce monitors blamed on security forces. more..

Dengue fever claims 2 lives in Vavuniyaa

Nov 21 (TN) Dengue is spreading fast in Vavuniyaa and its suburbs. Two persons have died and thirteen others warded in Vavuniyaa general hospital due to dengue fever until Thursday. Over thousand people seek treatment for dengue in Vavuniyaa general hospital daily and majority of them are internally displaced people now detained in camps in Vavuniyaa. One of the two dengue victims has been identified as a three-year old child, Sivamoorthy Kaushikan and a police inspector R. K. Gamage. more..

Vanni Government employees in Jaffna not allowed to report for duty in Vanni

Nov 21 (TN) Sri Lanka Army civil administrative officials in Jaffna refused Friday to permit government employees earlier serving in Vanni to report for duty in Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts in Vanni though Northern Province Governor, Major G. A. Chandrasiri had ordered them to report for duty in both districts. Many government employees including teachers who are originally from Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu districts and more..

Aussies to construct Karapitiya Accident Services Ward

Nov 21 (GDI) The Australian Government has expressed willingness to build the accident ward of the Karapitiya Teaching hospital in Galle. A group of Government Parliamentarians of Victoria is in the island. It includes Judy Maddigan, Khalil Eideh and Liz Beattie. They are in the island to look into the building of the accident unit affiliated to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. It will be named as the Victoria–Sri Lanka Emergency Treatment Unit. more..

Governor protects Northern people from heavy rains

Nov 21 (GDI) As heavy rains lashed these days in areas in the North, the Governor Northern Province, GA Chandrasiri has advised the officials of the Department of Health of the Northern Province to take steps to commence a special health programme for the prevention of Malaria and Dengue in the resettled areas. This was mentioned at a Progress Review Meeting held at the Regional Assistant Commissioner’s Office in Vavuniya more..

Wayamba Campus to be upgraded

Nov 21 (GDI) The Ministry of Higher Education has taken steps to uplift the infrastructure facilities for the University of Wayamba. It will facilitate the university to maintain a peaceful environment. It is expected to construct a part of the proposed four storeyed building with a total gross floor area of 2800 sq.m, at a total cost estimate of Rs, 165 million for the Faculty of Busuness Studies and Finance, at Kuliyapitiya premises more..

IT education for Dhamma Schools

Nov 21 (GDI) The Ministry of Education has decided to grant Information Technology education to all Dhamma School teachers in the island, Ministry sources said. According to a report issued by the Department of Buddhist Affairs, 114,308 teachers are serving in 9,211 Dhamma Schools throughout the island. The government has given priority to dhamma education to build a generation of religous minded persons in the country. more..

'President confident of resettling all IDPs by end January 2010'

Nov 21 (GDI) The Government has made all the necessary arrangements to complete the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons in the northern transitional centers by 31st January 2010, MP Basil Rajapaksa said. He said the restrictions imposed on the movement of civilians in the IDP centers will be lifted with effect from 1st December 2009 to enable them to freely move to any part of the region, more..

Cuba – ALBA let down Sri Lankan Tamils

Nov 21 (LG) I think that the governments of Cuba, Bolivia, and Nicaragua let down the entire Tamil population in Sri Lanka, as well as “proletarian internationalism” and the “exploited all over the world”, by extending unconditional support to Sri Lanka’s racist government. Cuba did so—along with the Bolivian and Nicaraguan governments and members of ALBA on May 27, 2009 when signing a UN Human Rights Council resolution praising the government of Sri Lanka for more..

Security agencies turn spot light on most wanted LTTE arms cum human smuggler

Nov 21 (MoD) Security and INTEL agencies have turned the spot light on Ravi Shanker Kanagarajah alias Shangili, a most wanted transnational terrorist cum kingpin of overseas based human trafficking and illegal arms smuggling activities. Ravi Shankar is also found to be the owner of MV Ocean Lady alias Princess Eashwary, vessels extensively used in human smuggling activities- in the LTTE’s overseas network more..

Novel Influenza vaccine to arrive in December

Nov 21 (LP) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has decided to import WHO approved Novel Influenza (A)H1N1 2009 vaccine to Sri Lanka and has already placed the order. The vaccine will arrive in December. The decision was taken during a meeting held yesterday with the presence of Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and representatives from the Epidemiology Unit, more..

258 identified as H1N1 patients – 6 deaths recorded

Nov 21 (LT) 258 patients have been recognized as those who have been infected with H1N1 since the first patient with the disease was found in Sri Lanka and 6 out of them have died states Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition. Five deaths from H1N1 have been reported from Kandy, Matara, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura and among the dead are students and pregnant mothers states the Epidemiology Unit. more..

Police deployed to remove ‘Lanka’ posters

Nov 21 (LT) Posters pasted within Anuradhapura town limits advertising ‘Lanka Irida’ weekend Sinhalese newspaper that arrives in paper stands on Fridays were removed by police officers in civilian clothes reports marketing agent of ‘Lanka Irida’ in Anuradhapura. According to him the posters pasted thrice from 3.00 a.m. today have been removed by these officers. The police officers had come from Anuradhapura Police head office and more..

'When we have 25 lakhs voters with us, why fear the Opposition candidate'

Nov 21 (LNP) Dullas Alahaperuma said, that they are not wo rried about Gen. Fonseka contesting as a Presidential candidate, what irks them is pro LTTE factions using the General as a pawn for their conspiracies. He said, he hoped that the General will not fall into the conspiracy of those leaders of the Opposition alliance who cried and made speeches in Parliament when Prabhakaran died. more..

'Former commanders remained in official residences for more than 3 months'

Nov 21 (LT) A question exists as to why the government was in a hurry to ask him to vacate the official residence when the Army Commander before him was allowed to reside at the official residence at Bullers Road for 3 1/2 months says former Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka. He also said the former Commander of the Air Force Donald Perera too occupied the official residence several months after he retired. more..

School principal dies of H1N1

Nov 21 (LT) A school principal infected with H1N1 (swine fever) died at Kurunegala Hospital yesterday. The principal, K.W. Gunatileke, a father of two from Moragolla at Kobaiganne had been admitted to Kurunegala Hospital on the 19th to take treatment for fever. He, unfortunately, passed away yesterday, the day of the wedding of his only daughter. JMO of Kurunegala Hospital Dr. H.M.K. Senanayake, who conducted the post mortem, said the deceased had been infected with H1N1. more..

Ranil's challenge

Nov 21 (DM) If creating confusion among the government ranks was the purpose behind UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s move to launch a manifesto type of a document, then he has achieved the target to a certain extent. Theories are galore. His ‘Anagatha Abhiyogaya” has left a few wondering whether the whole Fonseka drama is a mere smoke screen and it is Wickremesinghe who will finally enter the fray as the opposition candidate. more..

'Deyata Kirula' exhibition in February

Nov 21 (CT) The 'Deyata Kirula' national development exhibition will take place from February 04 to 10 next year, the government has decided. This event is aimed at raising public awareness on development efforts being implemented under 'Mahinda Chinthana' policy concept of president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Also, it will provide an opportunity for local businesses, producers, service providers and exporters to attract markets for their products and services. more..

Confessions of a Digital Immigrant

Nov 21 (GV) My daughter Dhara, 13, finds it incredible that I had never seen a working television until I had reached her current age — that’s when broadcast television was finally introduced in Sri Lanka, in April 1979. It is also totally inconceivable to her that my entire pre-teen media experience was limited to newspapers and a single, state-owned radio station. And she simply doesn’t believe me when I say more..

Confusion worst confounded!

Nov 21 (LNP) The government gave all kinds of signals for the past several months that it would go for a premature presidential election early next year before the parliamentary polls. Grand preparations were made for an announcement to be made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa of his decision at the recent SLFP convention. But, he only consulted the convention as to which election should be held first, presidential or parliamentary. more..

Intel advances education in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (DN) Intel EM Limited launched the Intel Teach Directors' Leadership Technology Forum (DLTF) recently for Education Ministry officials in the North and the East of Sri Lanka. The forum, held at The Village, Polonnaruwa, highlighted the importance of leadership in promoting and modelling the use of technology in education and instructor development. Attended by Zonal Directors of Education, the DLTF was an introduction to the Intel Teach initiative that more..

'Tea packers must register'

Nov 21 (DN) Persons engaged in the packaging of tea based products for local sale or export are required to register themselves with the Sri Lanka Tea Board on or before December 31, Tea Board Director General H. D. Hemaratne said. He said, according to the 1986 Sri Lanka Tea Board (registration of persons engaged in packaging) regulations it is mandatory for persons engaged in the packaging of tea based products to register themselves with the Tea Board annually. more..

Tillakaratne Dilshan injured

Nov 21 (Hindu) In-form opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan has hurt his nose in a freak accident. The injury occurred when the Sri Lankan was playing a game of football with his team-mates after the conclusion of the first Test at Motera. Team manager Brendon Kuruppu said, “after an x-ray was taken, the injury was treated by a surgeon before we left for Kanpur. Dilshan is not in danger.” He was optimistic about the aggressive batsman figuring in the second Test beginning at Kanpur on November 24. more..

Lawyers for Sri Lankan migrants grill terrorism expert

Nov 21 (AD) Lawyers for Sri Lankan migrants whose ship landed on the West Coast last month grilled Singapore-based terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna on his claims about the men, questioning his sources, connections to the Sri Lankan government and the reliability of the information that he publishes on a terrorism database. “The issue is the unverifiable nature of the sources you use when you refer to ‘closed´ or intelligence sources,” more..

IMF staff mission forecasts higher growth in 2010

Nov 21 (DN) The recent decline in interest rates should support higher growth in 2010, the IMF office in Colombo said yesterday. Issuing a statement at the end of the IMF Staff Mission who concluded a ten-day visit to Colombo from November 11 to 20 said the risk of an imminent balance of payments crisis is no longer present. The IMF Mission led by Brian Aitken held discussions on the second review of the US$ 2.6 billion standby arrangement, more..

Private banks still slow on rate adjustments

Nov 21 (Island) Private commercial banks said a reduction in lending rates would not come overnight as cost of funds and regulatory capital requirements narrow profit margins, however, prime corporate clients are enjoying the benefits of lower rates, much lower than is offered to the rest of the economy. This week the Central Bank further slashed policy interest rates in a bid to bringing down interest rates to stimulate credit expansion to the private sector more..

All Jaffna IDPs resettled, focus shifts to Vanni West

Nov 21 (Island) With the closure of IDP facilities in the Jaffna Peninsula for the first time in over two decades, the entire focus is now on the Vanni, where the government is going all out to complete resettlement of the war displaced early next year. But, at the moment, the focus is on the Vanni West with the Army and six INGOs carrying out mine clearing operations to facilitate resettlement of the war displaced as well as cultivation. more..

Another Centre - Province clash from Central Province

Nov 21 (PSM) Another political power devolution clash between centre and province has made the provisions of devolved power under the 13th amendment meaningless, analysts commented. This time it is on less sensitive issue of closing the schools in a province by the chief minister of the province in view of swine flu alert. National Minister of Education and Central Province Cheif Minister have flexed their muscels on this trivial issue and more..