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'Over 4,000 to be recruited to teaching service'

July 16 (NF) A decision has been taken to enroll over 4,000 to the teaching service, says Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Education. He said that the existing teacher shortage would be reduced by the commencement of the new school term, through the new initiative. For the first time in history, a competitive exam will be held in Colombo on the 18th, to recruit 554 graduates, who have completed their degrees in the English medium, into the teaching service. more..

Prime Minister on six-day official visit to China

July 16 (GDI) Prime Minster D. M. Jayaratne will be on a six-day official visit to China from 16th to 21st July to discuss regarding the bilateral economic development of the two countries. During the visit Prime Minister will hold discussions with high ranked Chinese leaders and investors on approaches to develop Sri Lanka’s export sector and also on poverty alleviation in the region. more..

Quadruple murder: Police on hot trail

July 16 (DN) Several police teams have been deployed to investigate the Eppawala quadruple murder where four members of the same family were found hacked to death at their house in Sandaresgama and bring the culprits to book. SSP Mervyn J Karunaratne said the female victim Malini Jayasinghe seemed to have grappled with the assailant as a lock of hair was found in one of her fists. The hair will be sent for a DNA investigation to ascertain its owner. more..

Exams Dept probes racket

July 16 (DN) The Examinations Department is investigating a racket involving forged educational certificates being sent to Government Departments over a period for the purpose of obtaining employment in various public sector jobs. Government Departments usually send copies of educational certificates submitted by new recruits to the Examinations Department for verification and it has been found that some persons had intercepted the mail and forged replies to the respective departments to say the certificates were genuine, more..

Rebels have been routed for good, says Sri Lankan Tamil MP

July 16 (KT) Sri Lanka is finding its feet a year after the rout of the LTTE and the death of its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. The sesssionist struggle for a Tamil homeland in the north and east of the country by the Tiger rebels may have come to nought, but many Tamils are happy about the government’s reconciliation efforts with the minorities. With development projects in full swing, there is no indication of more..

A Crying shame: Child abuse rampant in Lanka

July 16 (DM) In a shocking revelation, the Department of Probation and Child Care Services said yesterday it received nearly ten complaints of child abuse from around the country daily. “We direct the complaints to relevant authorities at national, school and provincial levels,” Commissioner D.M.S. Abayagunawardana said and added that the department had dealt with some 150 cases during the past six months. more..

Five women on hunger strike at Kataragama hospitalized

July 16 (NF) Five women, belonging to a group of persons who launched a hunger strike to protest against the removal of unauthorised trade stalls in the Sella Kataragama area, have been hospitalised. The hunger strike was launched by the group recently upon the claim that they could not engage in any trade activities at the alternative stalls provided to them by the government. The illegal trade stalls were removed on the 6th and 7th of this month as more..

'Talks with govt won’t hurt UNP'

July 16 (DM) While assuring that the main opposition UNP’s discussions with the government would not push the proposed party reforms to the back seat UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera yesterday said the ongoing talks should focus on implementing the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. Mr. Jayasekera told a news conference that the party would go ahead with the reforms as it was the desire of the membership at grassroots level. more..

Govt. will gradually release HSZs lands says Deputy Minister Muralitharan

July 16 (SL) Deputy Resettlement Minister Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan (formerly known as Karuna) said the government would gradually release the lands occupied by security forces under High Security Zones (HSZs) in the North in order to resettle displaced civilians. Muralitharan told The Sunday Leader that the HSZs in the North have left 62,000 people displaced. more..

Huge spur for agri sector

July 16 (DN) The Government reiterating its unstinted commitment to uplift the agricultural sector yesterday allocated Rs 3 billion to purchase paddy from farmers during the Yala season. This is the first time that a Government has set a part such a colossal amount of money to purchase paddy in one season. According to Minister Johnston Fernando, President has assured sufficient funds for the paddy purchase during the ensuing Yala season. more..

India look to settle 17-year score in Sri Lanka

July 16 (AFP) India on Sunday embark on a third Test series in two years against Sri Lanka, with the world's top-rated side hoping to end their 17-year drought in the island nation. The Indians have not won a Test series in Sri Lanka since a 1-0 success by Mohammad Azharuddin's team in 1993, despite playing on similar slow wickets at home. India lost 2-1 the last time they played in Sri Lanka, in August 2008, more..

Six provincial banks merge to uplift the rural economy

July 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run Regional Development Banks (RDBs) are to merge, getting access to foreign funds, and diversify from agriculture into other areas like tourism and lend in the former north-east war zone, officials said. The single entity created from the merger will help reduce costs and improve operating efficiency. "Operating as single development bank, donor agencies are now looking at RDB positively," more..

'Cost of Killinochchi Cabinet Meeting: Govt. not bothered'

July 16 (Island) The government yesterday claimed that the cost of hosting this week’s Cabinet meeting in Killinochchi was negligible and not worth even calculating. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, when questioned at a press briefing, as to what it cost the tax payer for the Cabinet headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to meet in Killinochchi, he replied "It is so negligible, that we didn’t take the trouble to calculate it." more..

Indian PM seeks views of Chief Minister on Sri Lanka

July 16 (Hindu) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sought views and advice of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on ways to be adopted for the process of genuine reconciliation to resolve the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka. Responding to the Chief Minister’s letter of July 3, Dr Singh, in his reply of July 9, stated that “my government will certainly do all that it can to enable the Tamils in Sri Lankan to live a life of dignity and self-respect. more..

'Write letters to me instead of BBC'

July 16 (TC) Former Tamil Tiger rebels detained in Sri Lanka say they have been ill-treated in government camps with no basic facilities. In letters and phone calls to BBC Tamil, ex-militants say they have been "tortured and beaten" in the centres. They accuse camp guards of being corrupt and demanding bribes before releasing detainees. The government says all those being held in custody following the end of the war are being well cared for. more..

MR and RW, leave the Constitution alone!

July 16 (LG) The two most incompetent and unqualified people in Sri Lanka to either amend the old Constitution or formulate a new one for our country are Mahinda Rajapaksha (MR) and Ranil Wickramasinghe. Let me be very frank. They say love is blind but the yearning desire for power is blinder. They are blinded by greed for power and more power. Newspapers say the two are discussing amendments to make the executive president an executive prime minister. more..

Canada minitors suspicious vessel

July 16 (NP) Canadian authorities are monitoring a Thai cargo ship after reports it may be on its way to the British Columbia coast with more than 200 migrants on board. The MV Sun Sea was last spotted in the Gulf of Thailand, where it was the subject of a lookout issued by the Philippine Coast Guard, which called it "a suspected people-smuggling vessel." Colombo's Sunday Observer newspaper reported that while the 59-metre vessel was more..

Debrief News - 16. 07. 2010

India, China to build rail links in Sri Lanka

July 17 (AFP) India and China have clinched two separate contracts to build railway lines and communication links in Sri Lanka, the government said Friday. Indian Railway Construction International Ltd has won an 86.5 million dollar deal to reconstruct rail lines in the island's northern region of Wanni, a former war zone, the government said in a statement. The northern rail-track was destroyed during the 37-year ethnic conflict that ended in May last year when government forces defeated the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Nailed, Miliband and six lies on torture

July 17 (MO) All five candidates for the Labour Party leadership have been scuttling to distance themselves from the record of Gordon Brown in power. But the odds-on favourite to win the leadership contest, former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, is finding it very hard indeed to disentangle himself from the most sordid and shameful aspect of New Labour rule - British involvement in the torture of numerous terror suspects overseas. more..

Govt. to invite JVP for constitutional reforms talks

July 17 (CT) government will invite the JVP for talks on electoral and constitutional reforms, said cabinet minister Dallas Alahapperuma. The reforms proposals will be made public within a fortnight, he said. The JVP had previously criticized the government for not asking the party to get involved in the process. The ruling UPFA is already having discussions with the main opposition UNP regarding the proposed amendments to the constitution. more..

Depositors petition against police

July 17 (BBC) The depositors of Golden Key Credit Card Company (GKCCC) have filed a petition against the police for assaulting them while making a peaceful protest. The depositors say they were beaten and arrested by the police while protesting on Thursday in front of the residence of Lalith Kotalawala, the proprietor of the Ceylinco Group of Companies, of which a GKCCC is a member. Anusha Matters, the chairman of the depositors group told BBC Sandeshaya that the police arrested seven depositors, more..

Sri Lankan government uses emergency laws to charge former presidential candidate

July 17 (wsws) President Mahinda Rajapakse’s Sri Lankan government has invoked its draconian emergency regulations to lay serious criminal charges against the defeated president candidate, ex-Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka. The laying of the charges against Fonseka, who is also a member of parliament, after holding him in military custody for more than five months, is not only a move to silence him. more..

Actress Asin combats Tamil filmdom over Sri Lanka

July 17 (DBS) The South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has a robust Film industry. From it’s nascent stages ,film- making in the state has been inclusive in nature. Artistes and technicians from various parts of India have worked and continue to work in Tamil films. Many non –Tamils employed in the film sector have chosen to live in Chennai. Sri Lanka’s film industry too has had historical links with Tamil Nadu. more..

Sri Lanka central bank credit guarantee scheme gets going

July 17 (LBO) A credit guarantee scheme introduced by Sri Lanka's central bank has become operational with a finance company making use of the first liquidity facility this week, a statement said. The scheme was launched in January 2010 as one of the key measures to deal with liquidity constraints confronted by a few registered finance companies (RFCs). Under the scheme, RFCs and specialized leasing companies (SLCs) are entitled to obtain loan facilities from more..

Sri Lanka former war zone economy grows: central bank

July 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's northern and eastern provinces slightly increased their share of national Gross Domestic Product last year compared with 2008 following the end of a war. The western province remained as the highest contribution to GDP in 2009 but its share reduced further to 45.1 percent from 45.4 percent in 2008, it said in an analysis of provincial GDP. The contribution of the northern province to the GDP improved slightly to 3.3 percent in 2009 compared to 3.2 percent in 2008. more..

Recalled UN envoy to return to Sri Lanka

July 17 (DPA) The UN special envoy for Sri Lanka, Neil Buhne, who was recalled from Colombo last week, is to return to the South Asian country, a United Nations spokesman said Friday. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered Buhne on July 8 to return to New York for consultations and close the UN Development Programme office in Colombo. This followed a hunger strike led by Sri Lanka's Minister Wimal Weerawansa more..

Captivating Ceylon

July 17 (TS) At every station people board the rickety timber train and wander through the carriages selling mango slices, parcels of rice and curry, oranges, spiced chickpeas and lottery tickets. Passengers hang out the open doorways, and when the train goes through the tunnels, the children shriek with delight. We’re travelling east from Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo into the picturesque highlands. From the train windows, the dominant colour is a vivid green as far as the eye can see. more..

Woman works in Kuwait household for 13 years without pay

July 17 (NF) Information has come to light regarding a Sri Lankan woman who had been held at a house in Kuwait for 13 years and used as a domestic aid without a single dollar being paid. “The 57-year-old Kamalawathie Ketawala is a resident of the Avissawella area,” said L. K. Ruhunage, additional general manager of the Foreign Employment Bureau. She had gone to Kuwait in 1997 and her only dream had been to build a house for her own. more..

Indomitable life sprouts in the North

July 17 (TC) It was indeed heartening to see life in all its facets asserting itself along the A9 road in the Vanni and in the Jaffna peninsula, during my very recent visit. The tragedy, utter misery, gloom, hopelessness and signs of devastation along the A9 in the Vanni, I saw in December,2009, has begun to give way to recovery, rebuilding, smiles and hope. The Vanni, I saw during my present visit was a hive of activity and was proof that life is indomitable and will assert itself, more..

What Is Happiness?

July 17 (Island) Happiness is commonly defined as a state of mind marked by such pleasant feelings as satisfaction, contentment, freedom from anxiety, mental tranquillity, and other similar positive moods. The Chambers Thesaurus lists twenty-four synonyms for the word "happiness" including joy, gladness, cheerfulness, contentment, pleasure, delight, gaiety, life, merriment, light-heartedness, exuberance, high spirits, elation, ecstasy, and euphoria. more..

Sri-Lanka has no goals, no targets to achieve in a year, in two years, five years and so on

July 17 (Island) What is done in the name of "development" is piecemeal projects at the whim and fancy of each government. It embarks on ad hoc projects without proper planning. e.g. the proposed airport at Weerawila, Mihin Lanka (whilst SriLankan Airline runs at a colossal loss), building a port at Hambantota without first expanding the Colombo port. Millions were spent for the opening ceremony at Weerawila and now the airport is to be at Mathtota. more..

'Murali doesn't need a turning track' - Galle curator

July 17 (CI) The chief curator at the Galle International Stadium, Jayananda Warnaweera, has ruled out producing a turning pitch for the first Test as a farewell gift to Muttiah Muralitharan, who needs eight wickets in his last Test to reach 800 wickets. Warnaweera, the former Sri Lanka offspinner, was confident Murali wouldn't need much assistance from the conditions to reach the landmark. more..

Release of Sinhala doctor suspect on bail causes shock in Jaffna

July 17 (TN) Jaffna High Court magistrate Friday released the Sinhala doctor suspected of involvement in the killing of Saravanai Tharsika, a female Family Consultant Nurse, found dead hung by a rope in Veala’nai government hospital, sources in Jaffna said. The petition seeking the suspect’s release on bail submitted to Oorkaavattu’rai Court by police Thursday had been rejected by the acting magistrate. more..

Jeerers and applauders are also part-players in spectacle-politics

July 17 (DM) Somewhere in the middle of the year 1987, I was present when a conversation took place between two friends, Kanishka Gunawardena (now the Director of the Programme in Planning, University of Toronto) and Asoka Hewage (presently the Principal, D.S. Senanayake College). Kanishka and I, quite opposed to the SLFP-led coalition that was in the process of being formulated and of course the fascist tendency of the JVP, were leaning towards the SLMP led by Vijaya Kumaratunga. more..

Scenic beauty of nature & wildlife in Sri Lanka

Place reconciliation on top of the agenda

July 17 (LG) In one of his essays on Identity, Regi Siriwardana relates a story that his mother used to tell him in his childhood, a story that was not uncommon among rural families in that era. An Appuhamy, a man of ‘superior’ caste in the village, once went on a journey taking with him a retainer, a man of much ‘lower’ caste in the village hierarchy. Siriwardana says that what is striking in the story is that, throughout, the Appuhamy is characterized as stupid, feckless and cowardly, more..

Eleven People’s Tribunals for Sri Lanka’s landless to move the government

July 17 (AN) An NGO called Praja Abhilasha is setting up 11 Permanent People’s Tribunals (PPT) in 11 Sri Lankan districts. They will sit until the end of August to find ways to solve claims by landless people. A member of the network of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO), Praja Abhilasha fights on behalf of all landless people, those who never had land and those who lost it. The Sri Lankan government has done little for people displaced by more..

Srimati Lanka

July 17 (HT) This month it will be 50 years since the world beheld its first woman prime minister. I was about 14 and knew but little of Ceylon when I read the banner story ‘Bandaranaike shot’. ‘Will he live?’ was the first question that crossed my teenage mind gripped by the description of the outrage and of the stricken prime minister rushing in from the verandah of his home, calling out “Sirima, Sirima!” more..

The bat will dominate

July 17 (CI) Yes, I know India and Sri Lanka have been playing each other for long, but both could do with some Test cricket. Especially Sri Lanka, who have only three Tests scheduled this year, which is sad. I know India play a lot of cricket and everybody wants to play them, but they too would have been left with only five or so Tests if some games of their ODI series against South Africa and Australia were not converted to Tests, and they didn't have this three-Test series against us. more..

Govt must ensure there is no discriminatory targeting of Tamils

July 17 (TC) The re-commencement of the practices of registering Tamils with the police and of conducting search operations that target them have been widely reported in the Tamil media in particular and have created a renewed sense of insecurity and injustice amongst the larger Tamil population that is detrimental to national reconciliation. The practice of registering of Tamils and security search operations of private residences more..

'I can't please everyone'

July 17 (CI) Q: Nervous about this game? A: You always get a few nerves before any Test and I have always had the same routine. There is a little tension but it goes as soon as you bowl your first over. Of course, there is a little extra pressure on me, it being my last game, but playing under pressure is not new for me and I am just keen to go out there and enjoy myself. It would be nice to take 800 wickets, but if I don't, it does not matter. more..

Kilinochchi - seat of terror to reconciliation hub

July 17 (MoD) 'This is a new beginning. The troublesome past is over now. We are all the same and as such we should all join hands and rise together in our quest to achieve collective prosperity. -President Mahinda Rajapaksa' Kilinochchi brings up mixed feelings, depending on the political view one holds of what has taken place in Sri Lanka in the past three decades. To those compelled to suffer the years of terror unleashed by the LTTE more..

Promotion of common strategies and procedures confronting maritime challenges

July 17 (MoD) By registering a particular ship in a country, that country should be held responsible and be answerable to all its actions and not be able to conveniently evade from the responsibility. To make some headway on this issue there is a lot to do at national and international level. Counter measures in many countries are not yet sufficient. Neither are national anti-piracy laws implemented, nor more..

Govt to begin bus service in eight new routes : Transport boost for Northerners

July 17 (MoD) The Government will begin long distance bus services on eight new routes including Kilinochchi-Colombo, Batticaloa-Kilinochchi, Trincomalee-Kilinochchi, Mannar-Batticaloa, Mannar-Trincomalee, Mullaitivu-Colombo, Mullaitivu-Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu-Batticaloa in the North and East. The decision was taken after discussions by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama with more..

Suspect arrested in connection with Eppawala killings

July 17 (LP) The Police managed to arrest the main suspect of the Eppawala Sandaresgama murders last night. The 21-year-old suspect is a resident of Pala Thawana Road, Mihindupura, Adagala, Eppawala. Police Media Correspondent Prishantha Jayakody told the media that the suspect was arrested near the commuter bridge in front of the train station in Fort. The suspect is thought to be responsible for the murder of four members of the same family. more..

Minister Badula’s “N” grade at Kilinochchi Cabinet meeting

July 17 (LP) The Cabinet met at a very historical place this time which was in Kilinochchi, the heart of the LTTE territory which was freed with the end of war. Two kilometers away from the Army Head Quarters where the meeting took place is situated the Black tiger base and on the other side of the HQ is the runaway once belonged to the LTTE terrorists now defeated. Interesting incidents did occur throughout the rare Cabinet meeting more..

Defence Secretary on “Garbage alert”

July 17 (LP) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has finally decided to look into the Colombo’s Garbage menace himself as it pollutes the air and destroys the beauty of the country as well. Defence Secretary recently called for a meeting with the Colombo Muncipal Council Special Commissioner Omar Kameel and other officials of Private Companies involved with the removal of garbage in the city. more..

3 killed in road mishap yesterday

July 17 (LP) 3 persons met with death due to careless driving in Suriyawewa, Agunukolapalassa and Kandy areas yesterday. Accordingly one accident was reported from the Ambalanthota Police Division Mirijjawila where 20 year old Niluk Lakmal met with an accident in the Suriyawewa main road. He has been driving his car when a bus coming from the opposite direction hit his vehicle. He is a resident from Bandaranayaka Pura. more..

More fish to reduce protein deficiency

July 17 (LP) Studies have revealed that high consumption of fish can reduce protein deficiency. Daily fish consumption of a Sri Lankan is 31 grams and in order to avoid protein deficiency the consumption of fish should be increased up to 60 grams per day. This was revealed at a progress review meeting of the Fisheries and Aquatic resources Ministry held at temple trees yesterday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the annual fish production should increase from 339,730 to 685,690 Metric tons more..