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Private Universities in Sri Lanka – Fact or Fiction?

May 11 (LG) The Vice Chancellor of Sri Jayewardenepura University Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratne Thero told Higher education Minister S.B. Dissanayake as he assumed duties as the Minister of Higher Education at the University Grants Commission to have a backbone and go ahead making arrangements to open private Universities soon. If the government goes ahead with what Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratne Thero suggested it more..

Vote for change? Dream on

May 11 (LG) Time was when elections used to be about change, and about having an alternative. Elections also used to be about cyclic changes in economies. Every now and then welfarist left leaning progressive policies gave way to trickle-down, conservative, market capitalist policies, and these cycles were said to be good in terms of self correction for economies that had gone too far down the wrong direction. more..

How genuine will be the proposed Commission for Reconciliation?

May 11 (AHRC) We have cautiously welcomed the announcement by the Presidential Media Unit about the appointment of a commission of inquiry into the recent conflict from the perspective of restorative justice. In our second statement we have also indicated other experiences where credible attempts have been made into the study of past wrongdoings with the idea of truth and reconciliation and the overall perspective of restorative justice. more..

'UNP faces natural death if no changes'

May 11 (NS) Amidst criticism and counter criticism on the current leadership of the UNP, a set of proposals have now been presented to its working committee in view of revamping the Party to make it more of a people friendly one. While, these reforms were spearheaded by a young and dynamic group in the party, there are seniors who welcome and bless this attempt by the younger generation to bring the golden days back to the Party and more..

Insight of a different kind

May 11 (NS) Oh! I had heard about the Colombo City Tour alright, too many times to remember, and I wondered how a bright red double-decker bus could go unnoticed every Sunday. I had never seen the tour take place and had no idea who was running the whole thing, but I was sure keen to get a ride on it myself for a tour of my hometown. You’d think you’ve seen the city of Colombo in all its glory, but trust me, you’ve never seen it atop a double-decker bus ever before! more..

Adjusting the Sri Lankan system

May 11 (RW) Parliament as constituted at present in Sri Lanka does not seem satisfactory. There are complaints about representation, and limitations on participation in decision making. Other problems include conflicts arising from the preferential voting system, crossovers, corruption, the lack of constituencies and by-elections and the uselessness of voting for the opposition. A mixed electoral system however may provide some solutions. more..

Sri Lanka

Govt must not produce unilaterally oriented constitution

May 11 (TC) Self-evidently, all the citizens of a country cannot run its government jointly. For practical reasons, the People retain only their fundamental rights and the right to vote but delegate their legislative powers to Parliament and their executive powers to the President. The judicial power of the People, on the other hand, is exercised by Parliament through what are intended to be independent courts, tribunals and similar institutions. more..

Pro-LTTE politicos stand fully exposed as Mrs.Velupillai is 'advised' to return to Sri Lanka

May 11 (DBS) LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's mother Parvathy Velupillai will return to Sri lanka from Malaysia instead of going to India as expected. Though given a conditional 6month visa by India for her to get medical treatment in Tamil Nadu the ailing octogenarian has not availed of it. Mrs.Velupillai was”advised” by Tamil Nadu politicians like Nedumaran to return to Sri Lanka instead of coming to India for political reasons. more..

Plenty to play for in Group F

May 11 (CI) Australia's convincing wins in their two matches have almost surely assured them of a semi-final, but the fight is on for the second slot from group F. Cricinfo looks at what each team needs to do to make the cut. Sri Lanka (points 2, net run-rate -0.600): They are currently in second place, thanks to a run rate that is superior to that of West Indies. more..

Strengthening the culture of fear or democratic problem solving

May 11 (NPC) There is general agreement that the situation in the country today is much better for most people than it was a year ago. A year ago the country was in the midst of a brutal and costly war. There were thousands of casualties and hundreds of thousands of affected civilians in the northern theatre of war. Outside of the north there was the ever present fear of terrorist attack. more..

Jaffna reports highest number of Dengue victims

May 11 (TN) Sixty percent of dengue patients who died this year up-to April were adults between the ages of 20-25 years. Last year the victims were mostly children between the ages of 10-15 years, according to the Epidemiology Unit of the Sri Lankan Department of Health. Sri Lankan Health Ministry sources revealed a sharp rise of dengue about 200 percent has been noted in the first four months of this year compared to last year. more..

Exclusive television channel for education proposed

May 11 (GDI) It has been proposed to launch a television channel devoted for education. The Ministry of Education has decided to launch this exclusive television channel for education. Minister of Mass Media and Communication Keheliya Rambukwella has already had discussions with UNESCO in this respect. UNESCO has agreed to provide technical support in this effort. more..

Colombo accelerates Sinhalicisation of Madu

May 11 (TN) Colombo has launched a large scale Sinhala colonisation at Madu Road Junction, located on Mannaar-Madawachchi Road, which branches off the main route to Madu shrine, situated in the middle of traditional Tamil area, by officially claiming to "resettle" 80 Sinhalese families after renovating a Buddhist temple into a large Vihara at the junction. Categorising the Sinhalese settlers as "Internally Displaced Persons," more..

Delegation of senior officials visits Brussels

May 11 (MoD) A delegation of senior officials of the Government of Sri Lanka consisting of the Attorney General, the Hon. Mohan Pieris P.C., Secretary of the Ministry of Finance & Planning, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary of the Ministry of Justice & Law Reforms, Mr. Suhada Gamalath and the Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Romesh Jayasinghe is at present in Brussels. more..

Minister Muralitharan says he was not involved

May 11 (GDI) Deputy Resettlement Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan calling on the Mahanayaka Theros of the Maha Vihares denied his involvement in the massacres of the Sangha and laymen. The Deputy Minister said he had not been involved in the massacre of 33 Buddhist monks at Arantalawa in 1987. He said the Mahanayakes that he believed in peaceful co-existence of all communities in Sri Lanka and more..

Historic Thuparamaya to be conserved

May 11 (GDI) Action is being initiated to conserve the historic Thuparama Stupa in the Anuradhapura sacred city. Minister of National Heritage & Cultural Affairs Pavithra Wanniarachchi undertook an inspection tour of the Thuparama sacred site and inquired the progress of the work of the projects launched by the Central Cultural Fund. Measures are being taken to conserve the Thuparama Stupa on the instructions of the President. more..

A permanent solution for housing problem

May 11 (GDI) Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing & Common Amenities Wimal Weerawansa said that a permanent solution will be sought for the housing problem. The Minister said that his Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry will jointly present a Cabinet paper to launch a national housing programme. A special focus will be made on the housing problem of the displaced people in the North. more..

'Disciplined younger generation to develop nation'

May 11 (GDI) We should build a disciplined younger generation in order to make this nation the wonder of Asia, and for that Buddhist education need to be developed, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The nation had to undergo many hardships due to the gradual distancing of the education sphere from the temple which was an essential feature in its historic past, more..

Income from Yala visitors increase

May 11 (GDI) The officials at the Yala National Park said the daily income of the Yala National Park has increased. With the peaceful environment prevailing in the country the tourist resorts in the country have been brimming with tourists. Local as well as foreign tourists have been visiting places of religious interest and other resorts. They said that the tourist arrivals have been doubled during the school holidays. more..

Army troops support somawathiya devotees

May 11 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army troops under Security Forces Headquarters, East during the mammoth Bodhi Pooja and Pirith ceremony that concluded on May 9, at Polonnaruwa Somawathiya pagoda premises amidst floods and torrential rains extended their maximum support to the success of the programme. Thousands of devotees, remained stranded after the floods wreaked havoc at the sacred premises were directed home providing transport. more..

Air lifting medicine from India is a Govt. fabrication

May 11 (LT) The propaganda that medicine would be airlifted from India by SLAF planes as a solution for the acute shortage of medicine in government hospitals is a fabrication say reports. There hasn’t been any official discussion regarding this and it is a fabrication put forward by the Ministry of Health to stop temporarily issues that would come up say these sources. more..

World’s largest Bauddha Mandiraya in SL

May 11 (GDI) The Buddhist Cultural Centre has taken action to build the World's Largest Buddhist Publication and Information Centre of Theravada Buddhism in Colombo. This will commemorate "Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi" which marks the 2600th year of the Enlightenment of Lord Buddha, which will be celebrated in the year 2011. The 12 stored building will comprise 50, 000 sq ft in total, a Conference Hall with a seating capacity of 600, more..

Silence is an eraser that sets fire to libraries

May 11 (DN) Yesterday (May 10, 2010) I wrote about libricide or the act of setting fire to libraries, books etc., a term that could be extended to include the notion of censorship and self-censorship as well. I mentioned several libraries that have been burnt/destroyed in various parts of the world at various times in history. At least three people, upon reading the article ('Pyromaniac, thy manuscript will not burn!'), pointed out that I had omitted the burning of the Jaffna Library. more..

How the LTTE was 'military' defeated: A Soldier’s view - Part Eight

May 11 (LG) r. SLAF Fighter Planes: Though it is expensive to buy, operate and maintain or was not meant to engage in dog fights with rudimentary Tiger Air Force’s four in number Zlin Z-143s small aircraft, the Israeli built Kafirs, Russian built MIGs and Chinese built F7s played a vital role in the final war to defeat LTTE. These aircrafts performed three vital functions: more..

Sarath Amunugama assumes duties

May 11 (GDI) The Government is dedicated towards reaching the best decisions that should be taken on behalf of the country. Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Sarath Amunugama said that the strong mandate will be utilized to strengthen the people. The Minister pointed out that the country has entered a new era today. The Government had received a clear mandate. It had been given to the President to take a new path. more..

Funds in Treasury exhausted – paying compensation for lands stopped

May 11 (LT) The Treasury has not made available funds to the Ministry of Lands and Land Development to pay compensation for lands taken over for large scale development projects and as a result the process of paying compensation for the owners of these lands has been stopped since January, 2010 say sources in the ministry. About Rs.5000 million has to be paid as compensation. more..

Through the Eastern eyes: Poonochchimunai

May 11 (HA) The youth of Poonochchimunai have taken a new turn in their lives today. They have had their maiden photo exhibition in their village. The 12 member Photo Voice team has undergone a professional training in Photo Journalism for one year, which was provided by Terre des hommes. The youth were trained professionally to handle still cameras, light, angles, composition, capture various moments, more..

Sajith wants fair process

May 11 (LNP) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said that the modernization process of the UNP should be an open, transparent and democratic process and not a process whereby a single voice or single opinion dominates the whole agenda. You have the Deputy leader's position, the national organizers position, various assistant secretaries and several other positions and responsibilities attached to the party constitution. more..

Jeep of ‘Blue Brigade’ hidden after running over motorcyclist

May 11 (LT) A jeep of the ‘Blue Brigade’ had a head on collision with a motorbike rider opposite Department of Government Information a short while ago. The occupants of the jeep immediately took steps to hide the jeep inside the Department of Government Information says our reporter at the scene. The blue coloured jeep bearing no. WPC-0001 is not a registered vehicle and had been used in the election campaign of Mr. Namal Rajapakse. more..

‘Regaining Sri Lanka’ as a solution for crisis?

May 11 (LT) A number of media institutions selected by the government have been instructed to carry out propaganda that a serious economic crisis exists in the country say reports. According to these sources a top man of the government has given these instructions to the media. He has said despite the fact that deliberations on an economic crisis could be stopped by not presenting a budget, more..

SB to crack whip on campus saboteurs

May 11 (DN) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said he will not leave any room for saboteurs to disrupt the University system in the future. Dissanayake said if Sri Lanka is to be Asia’s next wonder there is need to produce professionals. For this all Universities and Higher Education Institutions should be properly structured. The Minister appealed to students not to fall prey to the agendas of more..

Saline stocks over tomorrow – patients’ lives in danger

May 11 (LT) Due to shortage of stocks available at the supplies center saline could be supplied to government hospitals only till tomorrow say sources in the supplies centre. There is a shortage of saline in government hospitals as well. The shortage of Saline in the supplies centre and hospitals is due to the neglect of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation to get down the stocks that had been ordered say these sources. more..

Editorial: Clear and care!

May 11 (LNP) Any attempt to evict squatters and hawkers always runs into stiff resistance, given their sheer numbers. Nearly 55 per cent of the people of Colombo live in slums and shanties and, if all the unauthorised structures were to be pulled down, over one half of the city population would be rendered homeless. However, this does not mean that poverty should be considered some kind of licence for people to encroach on the State land or take to pavement hawking. more..

PEACE project to rehabilitate hundred tanks

May 11 (DN) The Pro-Poor Economic Advancement and Community Enhancement Project (PEACE) being implemented in Anuradhapura and Kurunegala districts are scheduled to be completed in March, 2011. The peace project a joint irrigational development venture of Japan and Sri Lanka, spending Rs 5,039 millions with Japanese Government grants, Rs 3,867 million easy termed loan facility through JICA. more..

‘Mangrove replantation must not be done blindly’

May 11 (DN) The replantation of mangroves should be done with broader understanding after careful research, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Country Representative Dr. Ranjith Mahindapala said. He was explaining the coastal management activities initiated by IUCN in the Puttalam lagoon. A technical guideline for mangrove replanting has been compiled by IUCN for the use of people interested in this task. more..

Editorial: Attackers of Sandun Jayasekara roam free

May 11 (DM) Six days have passed since the PSD attack on Daily Mirror senior journalist Sandun Jayasekara, and one is yet to hear about any action taken against the perpetrators. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella whose appointment was made on the day of the attack is yet to investigate into the incident and the delay in apprehending the culprits, has given rise to speculation that the matter would be swept under the carpet. more..

Police launch three-pronged programme to win Northerners’ hearts

May 11 (Island) Police have launched a three-pronged programme to win the hearts of the People in the Northern Province. The programme includes combatting crime, making people feel secure and building goodwill between the people and the Police in the North Senior DIG, Northern Province, Nimal Lewke said. "We want the people to know that we are with them, so that more..

Migrant worker remittances to rise; recession impact fading

May 11 (Island) Sri Lanka’s revenues from migrant worker remittances are likely to see a sharp increase with the negative fallout of the economic recession fading away. A new survey in the Gulf revealed that more than half the companies in the Gulf are planning to hire in the next three months. The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment has been encouraging male migration coupled with skilled labour in recent years. more..

They want forests and wildlife brought under environment ministry

May 11 (Island) Environmentalists and associations working for the conservation of wildlife yesterday urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to bring both the Forest Department and the Wildlife Department under the Ministry of Environment. The Young Zoologists Association and Nature Forum have arranged a press conference today – Tuesday 11 - to spell out their displeasure over the departments going in different direction. more..

TNA urges silent prayers on May 17

May 11 (Island) While the country gets ready to celebrate the first anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE and the end of the 3-decade-long war on terrorism, The TNA yesterday urged Tamil people to mourn and hold silent prayers on the morning of May 17 to mark what it called a day of "catastrophe". This "catastrophe is one of the worst in world history," the TNA said in a joint statement signed by its 14 MPs. more..

Sri Lanka’s turnaround could signal new beginning

May 11 (IPS) For a country that has had quite a few run-ins with global giants in the diplomatic arena, the last fortnight has witnessed somewhat of a turnaround for Sri Lanka. The South Asian island state has received accolades from several diplomatic heavyweights and organisations for recent actions initiated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Tissa’s pardon to be finalized this week; AG

May 11 (DM) The Attorney General said that presidential pardon on senior Journalist J. S. Tissanayagam which was announced recently would be finalized this week. The procedure with regard to the Presidential Pardon would be processed during the course of the week. Pardon would be effected simultaneous to the withdrawal of appeal filed by Tissainayagam before the Court of Appeal. more..

Make results public says US

May 11 (DM) The US government has welcomed President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intention to establish a Commission on Lessons Learned and Reconciliation to examine key aspects of the recently ended conflict in Sri Lanka and added that the findings of the commission should be made public. Susan E. Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, in a statement said that experience in other countries more..

Thamilchelvam’s family seeks asylum

May 11 (DM) The family of slain LTTE Political Wing Chief S.P. Thamilchelvam has sought clearance from the military to seek asylum in India, Deputy Minister of Resettlement Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan told Daily Mirror online. Tamilchelvam’s family who are currently under military custody were captured by the army while being in an IDP camp soon after the defeat of the LTTE last year. more..

Sri Lanka and India battle to stay in competition

May 11 (CI) There could well be a signboard outside the stadium in the small lush St Lucia which reads: Hello India and Sri Lanka, a warm welcome to St Lucia where a slow pitch awaits you. We are an oasis for bounce-weary teams. Come soothe your wounds in our island. The equation: If Sri Lanka beat India, and Australia beat West Indies, Sri Lanka will qualify for the semi-finals on points. more..

Ranil ready to quit

May 11 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickramasingha has expressed his willingness to quit from the party if senior members of the main opposition are unhappy about his leadership, UNP sources said. He had mentioned this to senior party members just hours before embarking on a personal visit to India yesterday. "Wickramasingha told a few party members that he is willing to resign if the members are unhappy with him. However no one has responded yet,” more..

Constitutional changes in June: Unlimited tenure for president

May 11 (DM) The cabinet is expected to approve the proposed constitutional and electoral reforms within the next two weeks and table them in parliament in June so that they will be in force before President Mahinda Rajapaksa takes oaths for his second term on November 17. Minister Maithripala Sirisena told a news conference the reforms would introduce an electoral system that combined the proportional representation and more..

Pirates release cargo ship, Sri Lankan crew: EU

May 12 (AFP) Pirates released a Bermudan-flagged cargo ship and its mainly Sri Lankan crew on Tuesday after a ransom was paid, the EU naval force said two months after the vessel was seized off the Oman coast. The ransom drop was made on Saturday but the pirates remained on board the ship and only left Tuesday morning, heading for the Somali coast, the EU Navfor force said in a statement. The Talca had a crew of 20 Sri Lankans, a Syrian and a Filipino. more..

Tamils protest outside Bachchan's residence

May 12 (ANI) Members of the Tamil community staged a protest outside Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan’s residence in Mumbai on Tuesday, against his proposed visit to Sri Lanka in June. Bachchan is due to attend the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards ceremony in Colombo. Members of the Naam Tamilar party went on a hunger strike outside Bachchan’s residence, and expressed their anger over the killings of Sri Lankan Tamils last year. more..