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Nearly 270,000 students sit for A/L including Ex Combatants

Aug 9 (LP) The Advanced Level (A/L) examination commenced today (09) in over 1940 centres island wide. According to the Department of Examination 269,000 candidates will sit for the exam while 54,000 are sitting for the exam as private candidates. Students must bring along their National Identity cards and report to the examination centres by 8.30 announced the Department. more..

Farmers in Ampara burn paddy to demand reasonable price

Aug 9 (LT) Two farmers in Galmaduwayaya Ampara set fire to a sack of paddy in front of the clock tower in the center of Ampara town yesterday to demand from the government a reasonable price for paddy which is being harvested these days for Yala season. They set fire to paddy stating private salesmen purchase their paddy dirt cheap to which the government doesn't interfere. If a reasonable price is not granted in future paddy is to be burnt at every junction in Ampara town they emphasized. more..

Northern youth to study Indian culture

Aug 9 (MoD) Northern Province Governor Major General G A Chandrasiri said 15 selected youths from the Northern Province went India with two officers to learn the Indian cultural dance and arts. The youth will study arts and culture at a University in Chennai. The left for India Saturday. 'They will receive training for three months at the University. The youths will learn latest dancing, Baratha dance etc during this period', he added. more..

Supreme Court orders Ceylinco to sell ENT Hospital and Hotel

Aug 9 (LP) The Supreme Court ruled that the Golden Key ENT Hospital and the Hotel Sea Sands belonging to the Ceylinco Consolidated Group should be sold in order to fund the effort to repay money to the depositors of the Golden Key Credit Card Company (GKCCC). The order was given yesterday following an application by Attorney General Mohan Peiris seeking court approval for recommendations made by more..

I’ll resign if my brother appointed through national list – Prabha Ganeshan

Aug 9 (LT) He would resign not only from his Parliamentary seat but also from politics if his brother Mano Ganeshan, the Leader of the Western Province People’s Front, is appointed to Parliament through the national list says Parliamentarian Prabha Ganeshan. Speaking to a daily newspaper Mr. Prabha Ganeshan had said getting a Parliamentary seat to Mano Ganeshan is more important than he being in the Parliament. more..

Prabha’s driver’s saga recounted

Aug 9 (LB) The Human Rights Commission (HRC) recently handed over a key LTTE figure to the Trincomalee police station. He was a LTTE major named Wettimale Shashi Kumar and worked as a driver to Prabhakaran and had surrendered to the HRC on July 28. One of his legs has been amputated and he was living in a house donated by the Lion’s Club in Kumburupitiya, Trincomalee, before he surrendered. The reason behind the surrender was been attributed to the fact that he had been threatened by some people. more..

'when the leader is handicapped, the whole party is handicapped'

Aug 9 (LT) When the leader of the UNP is handicapped, the whole party will become handicapped, says MP Lakshman Seneviratne. He was expressing this view at a meeting of UNP MPs and members. “This party has always revolved around its leader. It was the same when it came to D. S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, Sir John Kotalawala, J.R. Jayewardene, Ranasinghe Premadasa and even Ranil Wickremasinghe. more..

Siyatha defiant: Boss pooh-poohs state revenge theory

Aug 9 (LB) Police suspect that the recent attack carried out on Siyatha media network was by a contract gang. A top police ranker stated that it is not clear whether the contract was given by a personal rival or by a person who had been provoked by a news item or a programme broadcast on this network. However, he emphasized that the attack was not as a result of a rival media network because Siyatha was comparatively new and had no rivals. more..

Executive Presidency did not help win the war –Minister Dew

Aug 9 (LeN) SL Communist party Gen. Secretary and Minister of rehabilitation and Prisons reforms, Dew Gonasekera said, he totally rejects the view that the Executive Presidency helped to win the war. The war was won not because of the existence of the Executive Presidency system, he added. What contributed to the war victory was the political ability and skill of the President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Aug 9 (ST) Parliament reporters who were making their way to the media gallery in the Legislature last week were surprised when some of the policemen on duty told them they could not take pens inside. The new officers on duty thought it would cause a threat to the lives of Parliamentarians. Reporters were naturally annoyed. "The next thing, they would ask us to come without our clothes," said one irate lobby correspondent. more..

Taming of the bully

Aug 9 (NS) Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva again ridiculed the law of the country last Monday when he tied a Samurdhi official Mohommad Nisham to a mango tree at the Kelaniya Divisional Secretariat premises. Three Samurdhi officers, including Mohommad Nisham, who failed to attend a dengue prevention campaign organised by the Health Ministry, were summoned to the Divisional Secretariat by Mervyn Silva to demand an explanation for their non-attendance. more..

'Will not get involved in UNP fights'

Aug 9 (NS) Mangala Samaraweera, dress designer turned politician, entered yet another chapter in his checkered political career this week when he disbanded SLFP (M), which he formed soon after he was chucked out of the Rajapaksa Government along with late Sripathy Suriyarachchi for criticising the regime from within, and joined the UNP on Friday at a tumultuous time, very much reminiscent of what his own late father Mahanama Samaraweera did in 1964. more..

Jaffna kindness warms hearts of crash victims

Aug 9 (ST) A business trip to the North by five company executives ended in near disaster when their vehicle collided head-on with a lorry near Jaffna town. The injured said the care and concern shown them by Jaffna residents was a great comfort, and helped to reduce their stress and trauma. One of the victims, T.T. Gunasinghe said that at the time of the accident, a large number of cattle were blocking the road. more..

Editorial: Constitution and con tricks

Aug 9 (LNP) Even the shadow of a doomed marriage is crooked, we pointed out in these columns the other day, roughly rendering a pithy local saying into English, as regards the commencement of a much advertised powwow between the government and the UNP on constitutional reforms. Now, it is reported that the UNP has decided to withdraw from talks on constitution making in protest against the government instigated defection of two of its MPs. more..

CMC warns principals of leading schools

Aug 9 (DM) In the back drop of 20 children who were staying in a hostel in a leading school in Colombo getting infected with dengue and many schools not keeping their premises clean, the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday said it would be compelled to take action against 14 principals of leading schools in the city. CMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam told the Daily Mirror that more..

Thieves remove 28 km electrified fence: 70 jumbos storm Hambantota project site

Aug 9 (DN) Wildlife authorities warned about a dramatic rise in the elephant-human conflict situation as over 70 elephants had stormed into an area near the Hambantota Development Project site. Meanwhile, Wildlife Officers launched hunt to capture five rogue elephants which had trampled to death three persons in the area over the past few weeks. The herd of elephants had entered the area through a broken electrified fence. more..

Sakvithi gave tuition in India

Aug 9 (DN) A Senior Police officer directing investigations into the arrest of Sakvithi Ranasinghe had deployed four special police teams to conduct investigations in Sri Lanka. Ranasinghe will be detained for several days with the CID until the completion of the investigations by four police teams, the Senior Officer said. Ranasinghe had visited Sri Lanka twice over the past one year and had conducted several English classes in Chilaw. more..

Kandy - Colombo Expressway: Travel at 100 kmph

Aug 9 (DN) The travel time between Kandy and Colombo will be reduced to 50 minutes as a result of the elevated expressway linking the two cities spanning 98.9 km. It will be open to the public within four years. A vehicle travelling along the highly congested Kandy - Colombo road takes over three hours to complete the 115 km journey at present.Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said recently that the road would most probably not be a toll levying one as earlier speculated. more..

Satellite technology to improve railway transport management

Aug 9 (DN) The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and the Sri Lanka Railway Department (SLR) have jointly taken action to use satellite technology to improve railway transport management. ICTA and the SLR and gTrack Solutions Private Ltd. signed a MoU recently to use Satellite Technology that will enhance railway transport management in Sri Lanka. This MoU to use the Global Position System (GPS) and more..

Editorial: Two girls from Trinco

Aug 9 (DM) Studies have revealed Asian parents including those in India, Japan, China and of course Sri Lanka put too much of pressure on their children with almost 60% of the parents falling into the category of too demanding. It’s about 30% in Europe and 15% in the US. Parents in our part of the world strongly believe that a good education is a passport for a secure life and since they want the best for their children the parents expect the youngsters to work extremely hard and get good grades. more..

Stocks tumble: Can the govt manage the economy in time?

Aug 9 (SL) As stocks tumble, the government is trying to improve its financial management. The question is whether it can adapt in time to stabilize an already shaky economy. The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) dropped 4% this morning following a 1.41% drop on Friday and a 1.49% drop on Thursday. The government responded by ordering that no stock can drop or rise more than 10%. This has alleviated huge drops but caused uncertainty in the market more..

Desecration of Nissanka Latha Mandapaya triggers public protests

Aug 9 (Island) People of Polonnaruwa are protesting against a drinking party some foreign tourists recently had at an archaeological site. They complain that on Saturday, a group of foreigners had a shindig opposite the Nissanka Latha Mandapaya and liquor and food were served by local girls clad in traditional costumes. The Nissanka Latha Manadapaya, a unique structure built by King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196), more..

'People deprived of dividends of peace'

Aug 9 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader MP Karu Jayasuriya yesterday said that the nation was yearning for a change and SLFP (M) MP Mangala Samaraweera’s decision to join the UNP was a welcome sign. Addressing a meeting opposite the Matara bus stand to welcome MP Samaraweera and his supporters who joined the UNP, MP Jayasuriya said his party always gave the credit to the government for ending the three decade long war against the LTTE. more..

He went as Thangavelu after returning from India

Aug 9 (Island) IGP Mahinda Balasuriya yesterday said that the police would arrest several influential persons, who had helped Sakvithi Ranasinghe to flee the country after cheating depositors out of Rs 143,300 million, and also those who had associated with the suspect upon his return from India six months back. Their arrests were imminent, he said. The IGP said that Police had received information about telephone conversations certain people had had with the suspect for the past few months. more..

Sri Lanka geologists ready to help with oil exploration, if invited

Aug 9 (Island) The government should obtain the services of the Sri Lankan geologists in exploring oil without depending entirely on foreign scientists, a team of geologists at the University of Peradeniya says. Geologists play a pivotal role in locating petroleum resources and Sri Lanka has enough experienced geologists to help the government with the task, the Peradeniya geologists stressed more..

Journalist missing for 200 days: Protest tomorrow

Aug 9 (SL) Tomorrow marks the 200th day since the disappearance of Lanka-e-News journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda. To commemorate the event and pressure the government to solve the case, the Alliance of Media Organizations is staging a protest tomorrow at 3 PM at Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo. This will be followed by a seminar at the Public Library. more..

Govt. meddling with shares will have dire results - UNP

Aug 9 (DM) The main Opposition UNP yesterday warned investments in Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) which takes place outside fundamentals associated with it will ultimately result in a recession. UNP National list MP and Economist Dr. Harsha De Silva told a news conference yesterday that the sky-rocketing share prices which the CSE recorded recently, was something outside the market fundamentals. more..

'Tamils have faith in Sri Lanka President'

Aug 9 (LNP) MP Prabha Ganesan who pledged to support the government on Thursday to help reach a two-third majority, said the weak Opposition could not address the grievances of the Tamils and the only leader that could solve the national problem was President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government, which would be in power for the next 15 years. A businessman and an electronic engineer by profession, more..

G L Peiris’ warning on Constitutional Reforms

Aug 9 (LP) The Parliamentary Ministers of the 2/3 majority Government met outside of the Parliament yesterday and the day before. Such a meeting was held in Sri Lanka after a lapse of over two decades. Special attention was paid to many important topics during this workshop such as constitutional reforms, the responsibilities of a Minister, our journey, the economy and the Provincial elective principle. more..

Sri Lanka central bank warns of more shocks, urges policy stability

Aug 9 (LBO) Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal warned possible economic shocks in future could take different forms and urged policymakers to stick to their policies despite pressure for change in the short term. The central bank came under pressure to reverse its policy when it raised interest rates but stuck to it in the belief it would work in the anticipated time frame, more..

Close series between rivals with bare cupboards

Aug 9 (CI) This Indian team is pretty adept at digging a hole for itself. It is equally adept and finding a way out of it too. That's why writing this side off is hazardous. Here we are talking about the Test side, not other disciplines. It was an incredible show of character that with their most inexperienced attack since 2000-01, on a ground where Sri Lanka have not lost since 1994, with three first-choice and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 09. 08. 2010

Devotees not permitted to stay overnight to continue rituals in Keerimalai temple

Aug 10 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) occupying Jaffna peninsula did not allow thousands of Hindu devotees Monday night to continue the religious rituals to their ancestors in the historically famous Keerimalai Nakuleasvaram temple located in the SLA High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valikaamam North. The residents of this area, evacuated 20 years ago by SLA have not been permitted to resettle in their own properties which are under SLA occupation. more..

Sri Lanka handover flood relief to Pakistan

Aug 10 (IL) The Government of Sri Lanka handed over a stock of 18 metric tons of dry rations and medicine as emergency relief goods to the Government of Pakistan at Chaklala Air Base, Islamabad on 8th August. A fully equipped medical team was also deployed to help the victims. On behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Pakistan, Air Chief Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody handed over more..

Editorial: One of a kind

Aug 10 (DM) To flee the country after allegedly swindling Rs. 9000 million and then to teach English in Mumbai, return to motherland, give tuition in Chilaw and then go into hiding after collecting tuition fees on the first day of the class, well, the man of the moment, Sakvithi Ranasinghe it seems, can’t help being a swindler. The ease with which he went ahead with the frauds and the confidence he had, that he could always get away even after duping an entire nation, more..

More Jaffna farmers take to grape cultivation

Aug 10 (MoD) A better market have been created for grape farmers in Jaffna, with the opening of the A-9 road, Agriculture (Extension) Deputy Director Jaffna, S.Sivakumar said. He said there were 52 hectares cultivated with grapes in Jaffna in 2009 and farmers have now cultivated 56 hectares and the cultivated area increases gradually. Though there are other grapes growing districts in Sri Lanka, Jaffna is the only district growing the fruit on a commercial basis, he said. more..

Mentally retarded teenage girl to receive home from Army

Aug 10 (MoD) Army troops in the 23 Division, Poonani have taken steps to build a new house for a widow with her 13 year old mentally retarded daughter in the area. The family, sheltered in a hut at present at Boattha Village has lost its breadwinner and the widowed mother has been compelled to look after her mentally retarded 13 year old daughter. On 5th July, Army troops commenced construction work of this house with the financial support, more..

Protests will continue, says Ranil

Aug 10 (NF) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe says that protests against the government will continue until people are granted relief. The opposition leader expressed this view while attending a protest held in the Maligawatta yesterday. UNP supporters of the Central Colombo electorate organized the protest. The public representatives who took part in the protest created awareness amongst the people by distributing leaflets. more..

'President has taken certain shameless people into govt'

Aug 10 (NF) The President has taken certain shameless people in to the government and the result is that the image of our country is tarnished internationally, said the Venerable Baddegama Samitha Thera in Baddegama town yesterday. Addressing the demonstration organised by the Samurdhi officials to protest against the degrading treatment a Samurdhi official had to suffer in Kelaniya, the venerable Samitha thera, who is also a UPFA member of the Southern Provincial Council, said that more..

Tussle over Ringo

Aug 10 (NF) Notice was issued on Friday by the Colombo High Court on the Attorney General and the person who has the custody of Ringo the Labrador Retriever, to appear in court on August 25. The order was in response to a petition for revision filed in the Colombo High Court on August 5 requesting that the order given by Mount Lavinia Magistrate Harsha Sethunga to hand over the pet dog Ringo to the person who cared for the dog, be set aside. more..

Sri Lanka Documentary

500 out of 600 women prisoners at Welikade use mobile phones

Aug 10 (LT) According to prison sources about 500 female prisoners at Welikada Prison are using mobile phones. There are about 600 women in this section of the prison and among them are women who have been convicted s well as remand prisoners. It has been revealed that a large scale drug racket is active in the section and five women prisoners who are also involved in the mobile phone racket are manipulating this racket. more..

Sri Lanka Using Sama, Dana, Bheda and Dand strategy against Tamil Diaspora

Aug 10 (TC) Sri Lanka appears to be following Hindu philosophy’s four ways of dealing with people - Sama, Dana, Bheda and Dand - in defusing the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora’s potential to incubate separatist militancy of the LTTE kind. While Sama uses logical reasoning and common sense to explain one’s position, Dana is the classical carrot ploy of offering incentives – as Americans say ‘if you can’t win them, buy them.’ more..

Galle Matara line dysfunctional, train delayed when Minister was in it

Aug 10 (LB) Recently when the Transport Minister took a train ride, the train was delayed in spite of his being in it, and the Minister was incensed. The Minister has halted the Galle Matara train service since. Since Minister Welgma could not be contacted, Deputy Minister of Transport Rohana Dissanayake says that the government is geared to uplift the entire transport network in the country as no other administration has ever done, more..

Sakvithi snared himself

Aug 10 (LB) Being able to nail a person who was one of the most wanted men in this country and who in fact was responsible for forever denting the people’s confidence in the country’s financial system --- and who in turn caused so much of heartburn, deaths and depression among the masses thanks to his financial scam, Sakvithi Ranasinghe, was doubtless a massive victory for Sri Lanka police. more..

Hospital neighbourhood breeds mosquitoes

Aug 10 (NS) Unauthorised structures such as boutiques and unclean surroundings near hospitals have put both patients and the doctors treating them at dire risk of getting Dengue. “Unless these unauthorised structures are removed immediately and the hospital premises and outside them are free of mosquito breeding sites, the doctors and patients will continue to be at risk of getting the disease”, Chief Medical Officer- CMC, Dr Pradeep Kariyawasam told more..

The paradox of prices: Consumer price index and perceptions

Aug 10 (ST) While the main opposition party has taken to the streets to protest about the increasing prices of commodities and the unbearable cost of living, price statistics disclose a different picture. Inflation, as calculated by the Department of Census and Statstics’ Colombo Consumer Price Index is quite modest. It is much less than what it has been in recent years. Then why is there considerable dissatisfaction about the level of prices? more..

One man’s dirt another’s paydirt

Aug 10 (NS) We seek our fortune from many sources and in many ways, but would you believe that fortunes could be made from dust swept out as waste. Several families in Negombo have found just that. A small fortune in gold, found in the dust that goldsmiths sweep out of their shops. The lives of these men and women are spent mostly along Negombo’s Main Street, or in gutters gathering mud and dust, hoping to find gold. more..

Welcome for crossovers, kid gloves for Mervyn

Aug 10 (ST) Government members had a lot to smile about in Parliament last week with the crossover of two UNP members to its ranks, but they also had to face criticism from the Opposition over the antics of Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva and the arson attack on a media institution. The crossover of parliamentarians P.Digambaram and Prabha Ganeshan on Thursday, helped the ruling side move closer to obtaining a two third majority in Parliament, which would enable it to more..

Wimal and Mervyn, Devil Dancers

Aug 10 (SL) This country is ruled by Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers. Many ministers serve in his court. Two ministers – Wimal Weerawansa and Mervyn Silva are given special ambit. They are the symbolic gladiators of the media colosseum. When Mahinda cannot give us bread, he gives us circuses. Today the government is struggling with post-war issues of poverty, education, environment and education that have caused nearly daily protests. more..