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JVP and the emerging crisis in Sri Lankan universities

Nov 15 (GV) The university has been the most dependable and organic reservoir of full time political as well as leading carders of the JVP throughout its history since its inception in the late the 1960s. With their youthful idealism, the JVP’s utopia of a ‘socialist state’ can be easily inculcated in their minds until the hard reality of their class character contributes to dissipate their determination and make a return to their normal life. more..

Editorial : Aung San, Dragon and Trojan horses

Nov 15 (Island) Sanity has prevailed at long last; the military rulers of Myanmar on Saturday released pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been placed under house arrest for 15 years during the past two decades or so, for voicing dissent. Her release is indicative of the political vicissitudes the military junta is trying to cope with. A worsening ethnic strife, increasing public resentment, economic woes and the wrath of the international community more..

Editorial : Sugar-coated plunder through patents

Nov 15 (DM) Yesterday being World Diabetes Day, we need to take a deeper look at one of the most dangerous and wide spread diseases and the sugar-coated manner in which Sri Lanka sold the patent rights for one of the most effective cures-Kothala Himbutu-to a foreign company. Our country’s leaders and people need to give more attention to the neo-colonialism or international robbery that is going on in a subtle way through sophisticated means such as patent rights. more..

Weliamuna elected to global anti-corruption Board

Nov 15 (Island) Constitutional lawyer and human rights advocate J. C. Weliamuna has been elected to the Board of Directors of Transparency International (TI) at the Annual Membership Meeting of the leading global movement against corruption, held in Bangkok. Obtaining nearly 75% of the votes of the delegates representing 100 countries, he was first in the four-member contest. Two directors were elected on Tuesday. Jacques Terray of France was the other more..

England women ready for Sri Lanka clash

Nov 15 (BBC) England's women are determined to return from this month's tour of Sri Lanka undefeated despite selecting an experimental 15-member squad. Charlotte Edwards's team start their five-match tour with a one-day international on Monday, 15 November. They will play two one-dayers and three Twenty20 matches against Sri Lanka. "Ultimately, we want to win five games of cricket and hopefully if we play well we will. We'll be going there all guns blazing," more..

Chinese company dupes local traders

Nov 15 (ST) The Chinese Embassy in Colombo has launched investigations into complaints made by a group of local businessmen who imported calcium carbide used for welding purposes from a Chinese company, but found only rock stones and sand in their consignments after they arrived at the Colombo port. A spokesperson of the embassy told the Sunday Times they had received a complaint from the importers who had placed the order with a particular company in China. more..

'We must abort LTTE propaganda'

Nov 15 (NS) Prof Rohan Gunaratne, well-known international counter terrorism expert, speaks on the rump LTTE international network and war crime charges being made against Sri Lankan government mainly by LTTE activists and sympathisers in the Tamil diaspora. Q: There were recent reports in the international Press pointing to the possibility of President Mahinda Rajapaksa being arrested in the UK in case he visits that country. Do you think such an eventuality is possible? more..

Child crushed to death by home electric gate

Nov 15 (NS) A child left to his own devices at his home in Mahabage died on Thursday playing with an electrically operated gate while his mother had gone to fetch her older daughter from school. Six year old had been playing with his friend living next door running in and out of their houses. Although the child had been in the care of the grandparents all did not happen with their knowledge. While playing in this manner the six year old had got hold of the remote control of their gate. more..

Test series challenge in new era and more enemies at the gate . . .

Nov 15 (Island) It is almost five months since Muttiah Muralitharan bid farewell with much pomp to his Test career here against the spectacular backdrop of the Galle Fort. Sri Lanka’s Test record from that time, Yahaluweni, stands at a draw in a game played on the obdurate surface at Sinhalese Sports Club and defeat at the Tamil Union venue of Saravanamuttu. Now comes the challenge to redraw the team’s strategy with the series against the lowly ranked West Indies. more..

World’s Buddhists meet in Colombo

Nov 15 (ST) The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) will be marking its 60th anniversary and also holding its 25th General Council Conference at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo from November 14 to 17. The WFP was founded by Professor Gunapala Malalasekera the then President of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress in 1950, to promote fellowship among Buddhists of various schools of thought. The conference is being held in 2010 after 26 years, the last being held in 1984, more..

Post-war women 'need training'

Nov 15 (BBC) Sri Lanka war affected women are in urgent need of training for self employment, the Womens Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) said. Chairperson of WCCI Vidyani Hettigoda told BBC Sandeshaya that the Chamber is currently involved in war widows and other women in the north east for smaller self employment projects. “The most important thing is training. We are working onto provide training in IT, hair dressing, driving and many other fields,” more..

'Elders ID offers many privileges'

Nov 15 (DN) Social Services Minister Felix Perera said that the official identity card issued by the National Secretariat for Elderly Persons offers a number of privileges and relief to senior citizens in Sri Lanka. He said the proposal was mooted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Minister said that elderly persons who held this official identity card are entailed to 5 percent discount when purchasing medicines from the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation while more..

Pakistani captain assaults Lankan ship officer

Nov 15 (ST) Sri Lanka’s only female seaman officer is in a Colombo hospital after suffering a brutal and unprovoked attack two weeks ago on board a foreign cargo vessel. According to the details of the case, the female officer was on duty when she was assaulted by the ship’s captain, a Pakistani national. The ship, M.v. Lake Maja, is a Liberian-flagged merchant vessel. Second Officer Deshakaru Muhadiramalage Bhanu Lasanthi, 30 years, more..

Indian help for Lanka language problem

Nov 15 (HT) India has come forward to help Sri Lanka resolve the politically sensitive and festering issue of integrating the two primary languages, Sinhala and Tamil. The Sinhala Only act of 1956 followed by the — many say deliberate — failure of successive governments to assimilate the two languages partly contributed to the feeling of discrimination among the ethnic Tamils and the decades-long civil war. Though officially, the two languages are now at par, more..

Rice flour bread and olu biscuits, anyone?

Nov 15 (DM) Much attention had been focused to find substitutes for wheat flour to reduce the consumption such as bread made from wheat flour and other bakery products with a wheat flour base to the barest minimum. In fact, acquiring a substitute for wheat flour is considered the need of the hour in view of the increasing price of wheat flour and subsequently any food items made from wheat flour. In the quest for a suitable replacement for wheat flour, more..

World's strictest parents: Part 1

Excess rupee liquidity mounts: Banking sector criticised for aimlessness

Nov 15 (Island) The banking sector closed last week with excess rupee liquidity amounting to Rs. 143.11 billion placed with the Central Bank through the repurchase window yielding 7.25 per annum as private sector credit growth continues to be weak. A market analyst says the banking sector seems to lack clear direction and objectives regarding its role in the economy, other than making profits. The banking sector continues to hold an excessively high liquidity position more..

Nine soldiers allegedly possess ganja

Nov 15 (DM) Nine soldiers were arrested by the Habarana police in Hathareskotuwa near the Habarana town with 800 grams of ganja that was allegedly in their possession. The police took the suspects into custody on Saturday evening when the private bus they were travelling in was stopped by a police road block. After vital information was gathered from the area about the suspects the police officers conducted a major operation to arrest the suspects. more..

Sri Lanka threaten legal action to keep drug-tainted CG gold medal

Nov 15 (IG) Sri Lankan boxing officials today promised to launch a legal action to try to save the Commonwealth Games gold medal won by Manju Wanniarachchi in New Delhi last month after it was confirmed that he had tested positive for banned anabolic steroids. Analysis of the B-sample given by Wanniarachchi on Friday confirmed the results of the first test and that his urine sample contained nandrolone. more..

Sri Lanka seeks ad firm for tea campaign

Nov 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka will call for expressions of interest internationally to hire advertising and media firms to handle a 10 million dollars a year Ceylon tea promotion campaign, a senior Tea Board official said. The global marketing campaign to promote Ceylon tea will be launched next year with funds from a new levy of 3.50 rupees a kilo on exports that came into effect in November. The island exports about 300 million kilos of tea, more..

Golden Key share deal to be finalised despite discord

Nov 15 (NS) The Central Bank will meet representatives of two depositors’ unions of the collapsed GKCCC on November 26 in a bid to finalise the proposed equity conversion plan, despite disagreements among depositors. Many depositors are in favour of the deal as they will get only a fraction of what they invested if company assets are sold. But if shares are issued they would be able to recover a higher amount as equity markets are capable of appreciating. more..

'Govt will resettle Muslims evicted by LTTE'

Nov 15 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Muslims who were forcibly evicted from the North by the LTTE 20 years ago, that the Government would ensure that they are resettled in their places of origin with necessary help to lead happy and prosperous lives. The President said that the Government would do its utmost to restore their lost belongings. He noted the above addressing the 20th year commemoration meeting of the forcibly evicted Muslims from the Northern Province, more..

Ranil asks Polonnaruwa people: ‘Haven’t you got a harbour?’

Nov 15 (Island) Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was addressing a gathering as part of the UNP’s Grama Charika programme on Saturday lashed out at the government for what he called its failure to develop the economy, education and health. He lamented that Sri Lanka was lagging behind many countries as regards vital social indicators were concerned under the Rajapaksa government. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Nov 15 (ST) When Parliament sessions ended on Wednesday evening, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe travelled to Meegoda in Homagama for a ceremony in a temple. On his way home, he found that his car could not go past a flooded road at Rajagiriya. He then got in to an old Toyota police vehicle that was escorting him. There was water up to the floor board by the time the long vehicle with a rear door came to the Kanatte Junction in Borella. more..

Sri Lanka forex sales pick up amid excess liquidity

Nov 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank has sold 288.7 million US dollars in foreign exchange markets in October in one of the biggest monthly sell-off of accumulated reserves in two years. Analysts say the trend, if it continues, can absorb some of the excess liquidity in the banking system and re-balance the monetary system. Excess reserves at Sri Lanka's banks, which is deposited at the Central Bank's standing facility at 7.25 percent more..

Army in their thousands join in Deyata Sevana tree planting campaign

Nov 15 (MoD) In line with Monday's countrywide tree planting campaign that marks the inauguration of the second term of office of HE, the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, thousands of soldiers in Sri Lanka Army simultaneously launched elaborate formation-wise tree planting drives, giving pride of place to the one at the Army's newest farm at Panaluwa, Hanwella this morning (15). more..

'Need a new political culture'

Nov 15 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had called for a new people-friendly political and development culture in the country. Addressing the party’s Grama Charika program in Polonnaruwa on Sunday, Mr. Wickremesinghe stressed the need for changing the political culture created by the preferential votes system. He said the Preferential Voting system had distanced many political parties including more..

Pillaiyan questioned for two hours

Nov 15 (DM) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan was questioned by the police for over two hours regarding an assault incident that had taken place at the residence of Batticaloa Mayor Sivageetha Prabhakaran. A senior police officer said that a team of policemen visited the Chief Minister’s official residence on Saturday and questioned and recorded his statement. more..

UNP reforms to be approved today by WC

Nov 15 (DM) The new UNP constitution which provides for a secret ballot would be presented to the Working Committee today for approval, party sources said. The new constitution provides for the appointment of key office bearers including the leader of the party by a secret ballot whenever there is no consensus among members. Party sources said that they believed that the Working Committee would approve the reforms. more..

Death sentence highlights risks for migrant workers

Nov 15 (IPS) When a relative approached Mohamed Nafeek in 2005 to explore the possibility of sending his eldest daughter, Rizana, to the Middle East as a domestic worker, the family thought its luck had finally turned for the better. Poor, living in a ramshackle shack in Muttur, a coastal village in Trincomalee district, the family of six barely managed to survive from the meagre earnings Nafeek made as a wood collector. more..

Ransom for the release of LTTEers- Four Arrested

Nov 15 (DM) Four members of an organised group including a person who had posed as an army Major, who had taken Rs. 150,000 each from parents of LTTE suspects in military custody promising the release of their children were arrested by the Kilinochchi police yesterday. Police said that the group had claimed that they could get their children released when they would be brought to Kangipuram Central College in Kilinochchi, more..

'Sri Lanka the fastest growing Asian economy after China'

Nov 15 (Island) In the run-up to the commencement of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second term, Sri Lanka’s contemporary achievement received a glowing testimonial from an important political personality in the East Asian region, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Teo Chee Hean. He was delivering the keynote address as guest-of-honour at the 6th International Conference of South Asia on the theme of more..

First post-war military exercise: Blue vs Red

Nov 15 (Island) Combined security forces will launch a nine-day joint exercise in Vanni west on Nov. 21 to test battle preparedness of troops. The first ever joint field exercise in the post-LTTE era will involve the Special Forces and Commando Brigades as well as SLAF and SLN elements. Military spokesman Maj. General Ubaya Medawala said that the exercise would be conducted on what he called an amphibious setting on the north-western coast. more..

JVP MP assaulted in Jaffna

Nov 15 (DM) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti and three JVP activists were assaulted by an unidentified gang in Jaffna last evening while they were having a meeting at the residence of former TNA MP Mrs. Pathmini Sithamparanathan. Mr. Handunnetti, along with a few others, had gone to Jaffna to participate in a signature collection campaign being organized by the movement called 'We are Sri Lankans’ asking for the safety of Tamil detainees. more..

Little World’s End victim’s body found

Nov 16 (Island) The body of Dhammika Kumari (19) believed to have fallen off ‘Little World’s End’ at Udadumbara, was recovered yesterday afternoon. The ‘Little World’s End’ is about 500 mt deep. The place was enveloped in a thick fog and it took hours for the police to trace the track. The Udadumbara police with assistance of villagers searched for the body. Dhammika Kumari fell to her death on Saturday afternoon while she was enjoying a hike with her fiance more..

Better planning regs needed to reduce flash flooding

Nov 16 (IRIN) Strict regulations preventing the building on, or blocking of, drainage channels need to be implemented if Sri Lanka is to have fewer urban flash floods, experts say. The densely populated western plains experienced the second flood in less than six months when over 315,000 people were marooned after exceptionally heavy rain on 10 November. Earlier, in the third week of May, flooding hit 672,000 people in southern and western Sri Lanka, killed 22 and damaged 900 homes. more..

President Rajapaksa inaugurates island wide celebrations by launching Tree planting programme

Nov 16 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated island wide celebrations to mark his second term of office and his birthday this morning on 15 November at Temple Trees. ‘Deyata Sevana’, a massive tree planting campaign was launched by the President to mark the occasion today at the auspicious time of 10.07am by planting a sapling of Kiripalu (Bachuanania Axillaris) and Sudu Handun trees. more..

ICEU protest against amending EPF/ETF act

Nov 16 (SL) The private sector trade union association, the Inter Company Employees’ Union (ICEU) today (15) held protests outside several private institutions against the proposed amendments to the EPF/ETF Act. ICEU Head Wasantha Samarasinghe said the protests were held outside private companies island wide during their lunch hour and at the change of their work shifts. Samarasinghe said that the police had tried to prevent the protests by threatening the workers more..

NTUC to protest demanding Rs. 9,000 increase

Nov 16 (SL) The National Trade Union Center (NTUC) has planned to hold several protests tomorrow (16) to urge the government to grant a Rs. 9,000 salary increment for the working masses. The NTUC says that trade unions affiliated to the teaching and banking sector would participate in tomorrow’s protest campaigns that are scheduled to be held at 12 noon. The main protest is to take place outside the Education Ministry in Battaramulla at 12 noon and more..

Explosive Gayle puts West Indies on top

Nov 16 (CI) A scorching double ton from Chris Gayle and half centuries from Adrian Barath and debutant Darren Bravo led West Indies to a position of complete dominance in the first Test, as they ended the opening day on 362 for 2. Sri Lanka's modus operandi for Test matches at Galle has long been to bat first and bat big to put pressure on the opposition line-up, but it was the hosts who were at the receiving end of a stellar West Indian imitation more..

TNA condemns attack on JVPers

Nov 16 (SL) The TNA has today (15) while condemning the attack on JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti and three other JVP activists in Jaffna has highlighted the deterioration of the law and order in the country. The TNA has said that the attack was a clear indication of the deterioration of the law and order in the country. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran has said that the military and police has to be held responsible for the attack as the entire north is under their control. more..

JVP supporters interrogated by Jaffna Police

Nov 16 (SL) The JVP says that a group of party supporters including students from the Rajarata University who went to Jaffna today (15) to participate in a signature collection campaign has been taken in for questioning by the Jaffna police. JVP MP Vijitha Herath told the media that the students had traveled to Jaffna to participate in the campaign organized by the ‘We are Sri Lankans’ movement to urge the government to ensure the safety of Tamil detainees and to reveal their names. more..

'UNP Annual Convention on Dec 12'

Nov 16 (AD) The UNP annual convention will be held on December 12, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. The decision was taken at the UNP Working Committee meeting which was held earlier today. The much talked about party reforms will be taken up at this convention. The new party constitution was unanimously approved by the Working Committee and the report compiled by the Working Committee on the new constitution will be presented at the Annual Convention, more..

CaFFE and CHR condemns intimidation during LLRC sessions

Nov 16 (AD) In a statement issued today the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and Centre for Human Rights - Sri Lanka (CHR) strongly condemned the alleged systematic intimidation of those who wanted to make submissions at the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC) sessions at Kaytes Island. Below is the issued full statement: CaFFE and CHR strongly condemns the systematic intimidation of those who wanted to make submissions at the LLRC sessions at Kaytes Island and more..

'We would like to copy what happened in 1996'

Nov 16 (CI) Australia-born Trevor Bayliss has decided to step down from his position as the Sri Lanka coach at the end of the 2011 Cricket World Cup in April. In the past three years or so in which he has been in charge, the Sri Lankan team has undergone many changes in their set-up and also improved their Test and one-day rankings to be placed third and second in the different categories. Bayliss speaks ahead of the series against West Indies will be Sri Lanka's final more..

'Publish the names' protest held despite the interruption

Nov 16 (LT) The campaign organized by the 'We are Sri Lankans' Movement was held in Jaffna today despite various interruptions from the Government. Arrangements had been made to sign a petition demanding to publish the names of the Tamil boys and girls arrested during the war in the North. Attempts by the Government to disrupt this campaign was unsuccessful as a large number of citizens in Jaffna participated in this campaign. more..

Symposium sparks green debate

Nov 16 (JS) Clothing firms at an industry event in Sri Lanka this week are looking for ways to ramp up their sustainability. Responsible cotton sourcing, consumer attitudes towards sustainability and anti-sweatshop labels all entered the agenda of the annual Ethical Fashion Symposium in Colombo. Brands including Topshop, Marks & Spencer and Tesco attended the conference, which is part of the Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2010. more..

'I'd love to get to that 317' - Gayle

Nov 16 (CI) I love to get to that 317 - Gayle Former West Indies captain Chris Gayle harboured hopes of a maiden Test win for West Indies on Sri Lankan soil after scoring his third Test double century on the opening day of the first Test at Galle on Monday. "It would be nice to get a Test win in Sri Lanka but it won't be easy. You've got to get ten wicket- taking deliveries and move onto get another ten. We still have four more days to go we'll have to continue and build on this," more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 15.11.2010

Reflections during coronation Euphoria

Nov 16 (LG) It’s Coronation Week now. There is the King’s birthday (as Mararajathuma’s faithful and some cynics say), a swearing in ceremony (coronation) for his second term of presidency and celebrations thereafter as usual for seven days — kiributh, kavun, kokkis; exhibitions of photography, ‘awareness programmes’ of historical and social developments; a food exhibition of traditional foods to display our ‘food heritage’, modern technology display more..