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The challenge of President Rajapaksa’s second term

Nov 16 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will take his oaths for his second term of presidential office on November 19. He will be doing so nearly ten months after winning the Presidential election that was held on January 26 this year. The delay in taking oaths is on account of the 3rd Amendment to the Constitution of 1982. This Amendment permits a sitting President to call for early elections and also to gain extra time by making the second term start at a later point of time. more..

Navalar school receives gesture of goodwill from people of Uva

Nov 16 (Cimic) Foundation stone was laid to a new two storied building at Kopay Navalar Government Mixed Tamil school on Sunday by the Chief Minister Uva Province Mr. Shashindra Rajapaksa. On the arrival in Kopay, the Chief Minister accompanied by Commander Security Forces-Jaffna (SF-J) Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe received a warm welcome from children, teachers, parents and government officials. more..

TGTE Cabinet

Nov 16 (LG) According to a news item appearing in The Island on 10th November 2010, the LTTE rump operating in the US has formed a ‘cabinet’ for a Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) made up of a ‘Prime Minister’, three ‘Deputy Prime Ministers’ and seven ‘Ministers’ each having their own portfolios. V. Rudrakumaran has been ‘sworn in’ as the ‘Prime Minister’. The news item further says that this so called ‘cabinet’ has already begun having meetings more..

Trilingualism or Bilingualism?

Nov 16 (LG) The wisdom of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s plan to make Sri Lanka a trilingual nation over a 10 year period beginning from next year was questioned at a seminar in Colombo on Thursday. S. Ganeshan, a member of the audience, responding to this plan, enunciated by Presidential Adviser Sunimal Fernando said that he has served in the academia, and at present in the corporate sector. Ganeshan said that one needs to have a good command of English in the corporate sector. more..

Dazzling Lord Aarumugaswamy @ Sooran por

Nov 16 (HA) “Kantha Shashti” is observed in the Tamil month of “Aippasi”, which falls either in October or November on the new moon. Hindus all around the world fast for six days for Lord Murugan. This year Kantha Shasti was observed from 6th to 12th of November. Devotees of Lord Murugan have a fast for six days during these days. It’s unlike any other fast; devotees stick to the strictest fast which is called “Upavaasam” (total fast). more..

Driven to turn Kolahala

Nov 16 (DM) Some people say that it is education that makes man different from other animals. Others echo a similar sentiment–education maketh a man. There are other theories which make analytical–and arguable rounds. Commonly they all point to one fact; nobody can afford to be without education– meaning the process of being educated in schools and universities academically–not in the ways of the world–invariably at some personal cost. more..

Why the West must stay engaged in Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (DM) For anyone living in the global south, watching Asia’s economic rise has got to be fascinating. The world was in recession but China and India trudged on. Recording 9.6 and 8.8 percent growth respectively, the two giants of Asia have led the region’s economic recovery to its present 8.2 percent. The ADB says this could carry through the rest of the year. South Asia’s own growth rate, spurred by India, is an impressive 7.8 percent. more..

Special pooja for Sarath Fonseka at Biyagama

Nov 16 (NF) A special pooja was held at the Punywardhanaramaya in Biyagama yesterday in order to invoke blessings on former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. It was organised by the UNP. Several politicians and UNPers joined the event. Speaking at the occasion, Opposition Leader and leader of the UNP said that people were entitled to democracy and human rights. “These rights include the freedom to exercise our franchise, more..

Playing the ‘China Card’ still?

Nov 16 (DM) For those in Sri Lanka still wanting to play the ‘China card’ in the emerging post-war equations with New Delhi, the answer may have come from another Indian neighbour in Nepal. The Maoist leader in the Himalayan hill-country, Prachanda, has quoted the Chinese leadership as telling him that Nepal should sort out its problems with India, without involving Beijing. The sage Chinese advice was in response to Prachanda’s hopes that more..

St. Patrick students enjoy holidays with Rajans

Nov 16 (Cimic) During last few months students of Dharmaraja College Kandy were able to build close relations with students in Jaffna by way of organizing various activities with mediation of 511 Brigade Civil Affairs Office of Security Forces-Jaffna (SF-J). “Rajans” visited Jaffna on several occasions and engaged in shramadana campaigns to clean and renovate old buildings of some schools in Kopay, organized scouts Jamboree and donated school and sports items more..

The Jaffna priest and the policeman who turned IGP

Nov 16 (GV) “I am speaking from the sacred Keeramalai Naguleswaram temple, home of Lord Naguleswarar and goddess Nagulumpika. I thank you for asking me to talk about the temple. Earlier, Mahinda Balasuriya, he was a DIG here. He was then transferred to Colombo. We got on well. He came here to get my blessings. So I blessed him. We spoke for a while, then in the end, I told him: “Sir, I’m very happy to hear of your transfer to Colombo, but more..

Sri Lanka gas IPO draws first-timers

Nov 16 (LBO) First-time investors in stocks and those from rural areas made up almost half the applicants in a share issue by Sri Lankan liquid petroleum gas supplier Laugfs Gas, its chairman W K H Wegapitiya said.The Laugfs Gas initial public offer to raise 2.5 billion rupees on November 04, 2010 was oversubscribed and closed on the opening day itself. The 22 percent stake is to be listed on the second board of the Colombo Stock Exchange. more..

Priest helps farmers battle floods

Nov 16 (UCAN) A Catholic priest is helping farmers protect their harvest and minimize damage by preparing them for seasonal floods in a village in western Sri Lanka. “We cannot ask people to go and settle somewhere else but we prepare them earlier to face it,” said Father Roncalli De Silva, the parish priest at Manuwangama village. Almost all villagers depend on farming using water from the river Daduru, making it difficult to leave the village for temporary settlement. more..

'Nearly 6200 EX-LTTE Cadres still under rehabilitation'

Nov 16 (N360) The Government says nearly 6200 Ex-LTTE cadres who were captured or surrendered are still undergoing rehabilitation. Minister of Rehabilitation DEW Gunasekera said they will be released in batches. According to the Minister these cadres are given various types of training including school education. He said among those surrendered includes persons who were involved in activities such as driving LTTE Vehicles such as buses, lorries etc. more..

'Crisis within the party should be used to achieve victory'

Nov 16 (NF) The crisis within the party should be used to achieve victory, says MP Joseph Michael Perera of the UNP. The MP made this statement at a UNP Bala Mandala meeting held in Warakapola. A group including UNP MPs Joseph Micheal Perera and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam were present at the occasion. A tense situation arose as MP Joseph Micheal Perera was preparing to address the gathering. “There is a crisis in the United National Party today. more..

Ceylinco Life tops Rs 30 bn

Nov 16 (Island) Healthy business growth in the first nine months of FY 2010 has enabled Ceylinco Life to increase its Life Fund to Rs 30.6 billion as at 30th September 2009, achieving a noteworthy YoY growth of 15.8 per cent, the company announced. Figures filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange by the life insurance market leader show that Ceylinco Life made a net transfer of Rs 4,169 million to its Life Fund for the nine months, 21 per cent more than the more..

'Thousands of Tamil, Muslim, Sinhala youths held in secret camps'

Nov 16 (TN) Somawanse Amarasinghe, leader of JVP, said that thousands of Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala youths are held in the secret camps operated by Sri Lanka government. “If Mahinda Rajapaksa considers himself as the head of a responsible government he must disclose the names of the youths detained in its secret detention centers,” he said immediately after the JVP-backed protest demonstration that was forcibly dispersed by more..

Chinese companies begin road extension work in Jaffna

Nov 16 (TN) China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group, China Aero Technological Engineering Group and China Hydro Corporation, the three Chinese companies that have undertaken the road development projects in the North of Sri Lanka funded by China, began their projects in Jaffna Sunday. Namal Rajapaksa, son of Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa and MP for Hambantotoa, inaugurated the projects in Jaffna peninsula accompanied by SL ministers more..

JVP accused of attempts to deceive Tamils in North

Nov 16 (TN) The extremist anti-Tamil Jantha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) party that had vehemently opposed the Liberation Struggle of the Tamils earlier is now assuming a false role in an attempt to deceive them by pretending to give voice for the silenced Tamils, political observers in Jaffna said. JVP, in the recent past had been gradually attempting to infiltrate into North with its various false fronts claiming to be genuinely interested in the Tamils, they added. more..

Assassinated TNA MP Raviraj remembered in Jaffna

Nov 16 (TN) Hundreds of people participated in the fourth anniversary memorial event of TNA MP Nadaraja Raviraj held Sunday around 3:30 p.m in Va’ra’ni in Thenmaraadchi. Professor Kathasamy, Dean of the Science Faculty in Jaffna University and a close friend of Raviraj, delivered the memorial speech while former TNA MPs, Selvarajah Gajendran and Ms. Pathmini Sithamparanathan offered flowers and paid tribute to Raviraj, more..

Editorial : A cowardly act of terror

Nov 16 (Island) Is terrorism really over? This is the question one may ask oneself when one is made witness to cowardly attacks on the Opposition politicians and the media. Although the southern terrorism was effectively neutralised in 1989 and the Tiger terrorism laid to rest last year, another form of terrorism is prevailing. Governments formed by the SLFP and the UNP have been taking turns to unleash violence against their opponents for the past few decades and, more..

Editorial : JVP crack down to boomerang on govt

Nov 16 (DM) The page one photos of a bleeding Sunil Handunneti, with blood oozing from head along his neck, has sent a strong message on the government crack down of the JVP. Even those who sided with the UPFA on the suppression of the recent bout of JVP led university violence are likely to think twice at the sight of the JVP MP. The attack which comes months after police harassment on JVP MP Vijitha Herath, including a move to detain him in Vavuniya and arrest him in Galle, has left many wondering what is next. more..

'Sky is the limit for national carrier'

Nov 16 (NF) SriLankan Airlines, for the first six months of this year, is breaking even and making small profits for the first time. It's going to be a very good future, and things are going to be a lot more different, says Nishantha Wickramasinghe, Chairman of SriLankan Airlines. Expressing his views in London at the World Travel Market (WTM), Nishantha paints the big picture with new aircraft coming in resulting in more flights to more destinations more..

Tamils in Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (AN) More than 100,000 people have been killed and though international media and the Tamil Diaspora have been raising their voices, the Sri Lankan government vehemently denies any atrocities against the minority Tamils. A recent article published in Arab News, with video link to Al Jazeera, clearly shows the audacity and madness with which innocent unarmed Tamil civilians were killed during the last few days of the ethnic conflict. The photos are graphic, more..

GMOA perturbed over cuts in Nurses’ Service Minutes

Nov 16 (Island) The GMOA has asked Healthcare Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu to produce a clear Nurses’ Service Minute, passed by the Cabinet, as some of the provisions in it have not been those passed by the Cabinet. The Cabinet appointed a Committee to evaluate the provisions, in the Minute, that it had not passed. The GMOA has suggested that former SPC Chairman Rajith Maligaspe and Sri Lanka Medical Council Chairman Prof. Lalitha Mendis be appointed to committee. more..

The World's Strictest Parents: Part 2

GETE not allowed to hold elections in India

Nov 16 (DM) India will not allow the Tamil diaspora to hold elections in India on the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) headed by the LTTE’s former legal advisor Visvanathan Rudrakumaran domiciled in the USA, a source from the Indian High Commission in Colombo said. Sources said that the New Delhi Government would take legal action, if there was any move to hold the Government in Exile of the Tamil Eelam (GETE) elections within the Indian territory. more..

CEB engineers rule out converting power plants from thermal to gas

Nov 16 (Island) Senior Ceylon Electricity Board engineers yesterday, ruled out the possibility of converting all thermal power plants in the country to Liquid Natural Gas fuelled projects. A senior engineer told The Island yesterday, that three feasibility studies were done on the possibility of converting thermal plants into LNG, however, the result was unfavourable. "One study was done with the support of a Japanese firm. This too, proved unsuccessful," he added. more..

Meteors to light up the sky

Nov 16 (DM) The night sky will light up with a shower of meteors on Wednesday and Thursday at dawn, Arthur C. Clarke Center Institute for Modern Technologies spokesman told Daily Mirror yesterday that this would be visible at dawn on Wednesday and Thursday. He said it may be possible that there would be around 20 meteors travelling across the sky in an hour. It was explained that the peak hour would be at around 3am to 4 am on both days. more..

Resettlement Minister denies accusations of Muslim leaders

Nov 16 (DM) Minister of Resettlement Milroy Fernando denied accusations by some Muslim leaders that an agreement he had made with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) had ignored the resettlement of Muslims chased away by the LTTE from the North. He told the Daily Mirror that the agreement was initiated by the UNHCR and it covers resettlement of all displaced people irrespective of their race or religion. more..

Polythene ban inside botanical gardens

Nov 16 (DN) Bringing polythene into botanical gardens will be prohibited from January 1 next year. It is revealed that three tractor loads of polythene is being removed from the Peradeniya Botanical gardens alone each day posing a huge environmental problem. Hence with a view to arrest this situation and prevent overall environment damage a decision has been taken to ban polythene within all Botanical gardens Director Botanical Gardens Dr Cyril Wijesundera said. more..

Week-long fete in Sri Lanka to mark Rajapaksa's second term

Nov 16 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday kicked off a week-long celebrations to mark his second term in office beginning November 19. The government has declared the week from November 15 for celebrations to mark the swearing in. Mr. Rajapaksa was re-elected in January by a thumping majority defeating the common opposition candidate and former Army chief Sarath Fonseka. Mr. Rajapaksa chose to hold the election on completion of four years of more..

Now, jail guards attacked by female prisoners

Nov 16 (Island) A group of female prisoners attacked some jail guards who went into the female wards in search of prohibited substances. The incident occurred at around 10.00 pm on Sunday. Acting on a tip-off that the women prisoners were using drugs and mobile phones, the prison authorities moved in to search the wards when they were attacked. However, the female prisoners have said in their complaint that the jail guards had attacked them and some were drunk. more..

Urgent debate on LG Election Bill

Nov 16 (DM) The government is planning to fix a separate date during the budget debate or after to take up the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill, Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardane said yesterday. He said the date would be decided at a party leaders’ meeting soon and added that the government might even seek extra time on a day the budget was being debated to take up this Bill as a matter of urgency. “We expect the Supreme Court determination to be more..

'Some of those escaping LTTE came without clothes on'

Nov 16 (Island) Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva on Monday said that some of those who surrendered to the advancing troops on the Vanni east front had come running even without clothes on. The former General Officer Commanding of the Task Force I/58 Division said that people had approached troops waiving their hands. Among them had been LTTE cadres, both men and women and the Army had accommodated all of them regardless of whether they carried white or black flags. more..

President wishes University students to become internationally qualified Intellectuals

Nov 16 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapakse has said that it is his fervent aspiration to see Sri Lanka’s university students becoming internationally qualified intellectuals rather than becoming mere indigenous scholars. He has said that the university network in the country should be made research centres of Sri Lanka’s future development, to accelerate rebuilding of the nation, and for this purpose universities should produce versatile graduates. more..

Sri Lanka's corporate sector joins Dayata Sevena program

Nov 16 (MoD) Many private sector organizations in Sri Lanka today (Nov 15) joined the government's initiative to plant 1.1 million trees island wide within 11 minutes. Top managers of many corporate giants along with their employees were seen planting trees ceremonially at their business premises this morning while all government establishments conducted the countrywide program led by the Ministry of Environment. The program has been organized by more..

Stolen ‘Panchaloha Murugan’ to be returned to Lanka

Nov 16 (Island) Sri Lanka was discussing modalities with the Indian authorities to regain the ‘Panchaloha Murugan’ idol, which had been smuggled to Tamil Nadu in 2006, Cultural Affairs Ministry sources said yesterday. Secretary to the Ministry of National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Wimal Rubasinghe told The Island that they were in the process of making preparations to obtain the statue from the Tamil Nadu authorities. more..

JVP demands govt stop unlawful acts against opponents

Nov 16 (Island) The JVP politburo yesterday accused the government of setting military intelligence operatives against its members and demanded that such an unlawful acts be brought to an immediate end. In a statement released to media condemning Sunday evening’s attack in Jaffna on four JVP members, including DNA MP Sunil Handunetti, former JVP Western Provincial Councillor Marungan Mohan and more..

No prison raids without ministry approval

Nov 16 (DM) Police personnel will not be allowed to carry out raids at prisons without the prior approval of the Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation Ministry even if they had a search warrant from Courts, Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said yesterday. He said all prison officers would be body-checked when they reported for duty and some 4,000 prisoners convicted of drug offences would be transferred to more..

SC full bench hearing interpretation on Court Martial

Nov 16 (DM) Five member Supreme Court bench will today start hearing on the Constitutional interpretation of the Court Martial, whether it could be considered a court under the Constitution. The bench comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justices Dr. Shirani A. Bandaranayake, Nimal Gamini Ameratunga, Saleem Marsoof and K. Sripavan acting in respect of Article 89(d) of the Constitution is more..

Sri Lanka holds policy rates, amid stronger credit growth

Nov 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank said it was holding its policy rates steady with credit growth picking up to 15.5 percent in September 2010 from a year earlier and inflation despite an increase in commodity prices. Sri Lanka has a reverse repo rate at which money is injected to the banking system at 9.0 percent and repo rate of 7.25 percent at which excess money is drained. However because Sri Lanka has an exchange rate peg with the US dollar more..

Sri Lanka gets cruise ship calls after war

Nov 16 (LBO) A luxury passenger vessel, MV Le Diamant, operated by the CMA CGM shipping line, has begun calls at Sri Lankan ports following the end of the island's 30-year ethnic war. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority said the ship called at the eastern port of Trincomalee on November 14, the first time in 30 years the harbor has got a cruise call. The vessel also called at the ports of Galle on the south coast and Colombo, on the west coast. more..

President Rajapaksa inaugurates new swimming pool at J'pura University

Nov 16 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated the new swimming pool constructed on the Sri Jayawardenapura University premises today on 15 November. The project costs Rs.85 million and Tharunyata Hetak Organisation and D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial, Education and Cultural Fund have granted funds for it. President Rajapaksa had friendly discussions with the university students. more..

'Gen. Fonseka wanted me to protect identity of journalist'

Nov 16 (Island) The Sunday Leader Editor Frederica Jansz on Monday told the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar, hearing the ‘White Flag’ case, that General Sarath Fonseka had asked her to protect the identity of the journalist who had passed information on to him regarding Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakasa’s directive to Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva, General Officer Commanding 58 Division not to take prisoners. more..

'Nail torture' highlights maid abuse: HRW

Nov 16 (AFP) Human Rights Watch Tuesday urged Middle Eastern states to protect migrant workers after two Sri Lankan maids returned from the region with shocking stories of torture by their employers. The New York-based rights group said accusations by three Sri Lankan maids that they were forced to swallow nails or had nails driven into their bodies highlighted a broad pattern of abuse of migrant domestic workers. more..

'Attacked by Army Intelligence officers'

Nov 16 (LT) 'The people in the North who suffered for 30 years from the war are again suffering under state intimidation', said JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi at a media briefing. He continued, 'although 18 months have passed since the end of the war, the Government has failed to safeguard at least the basic rights of the people. They are unable to trace the whereabouts of their kith and kin or whether they are alive or among the dead. more..

Wimal invited to attend UNP convention

Nov 17 (SL) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today (16) invited Construction and Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa to attend the UNP convention to witness its proceedings on December 12. Weerawansa asked in parliament today if there would be a change in the UNP leadership at the annual convention this year. Wickremesinghe in response invited Weerawansa to attend the convention in order to witness for himself the proceedings of the event.

LG draft bill gets Supreme Court nod

Nov 17 (AD) The Supreme Court has confirmed that the proposed draft of the Local Government Elections (Amendment) Bill was in line with the constitution of Sri Lanka, The Speaker told parliament a short while ago. The Supreme Court opinion on the proposed draft of the Local Government Elections (Amendment) Bill will be informed to the Parliament at the coming Parliament session, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Indika Bandaranayake said on November 7. more..

Gayle triple-century lights up Galle

Nov 17 (CI) A mesmerising late spell from Ajantha Mendis was not enough to overshadow a Chris Gayle triple-century on the second day of the first Test in Galle, as the West Indies opener's 333 took the visitors to a daunting first innings total of 580 for 9 declared. Gayle etched his name in history when he became just the fourth batsman after Bradman, Lara and Sehwag to make two 300-plus scores in Tests, more..