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'Professionals should not act like common thugs'

Nov 1 (Island) Professionals should not act like thugs and the right to be critical of ill-conceived government policies should be protected at any cost,the UNP’s MP Harsha de Silva said yesterday. He told The Island that it was appalling to see professionals behave like common criminals and call for the elimination of those who exercised their democratic right to freedom of speech. more..

Opening OPDs 24/7: Docs lay down conditions

Nov 1 (Island) The GMOA says that it could run OPD services 24 hours a day if the government removed the ceiling on extra-duty allowances for its members and provided the required facilities. The GMOA insists the State health sector needs a major overhaul to take on the task of maintaining uninterrupted OPD services. The GMOA was responding to President Mahinda Rajapaksa directive to more..

'Sri Lanka could gain 1.5-pct of GDP by tightening tax holidays'

Nov 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka can gain as much as 1.5 percent of gross domestic product in revenue by limiting tax holidays, and also cut tax rates if the base is broadened, an International Monetary Fund review has said. Sri Lanka has been giving tax holidays for projects approved by the Board of Investment (BOI), though annual foreign investment flows have only been about 600 million US dollars. more..

JVP CoL campaign starts today

Nov 1 (DM) The JVP would launch a two-week campaign 'People's Power against the Tax Burden' today demanding that the government lowers the prices of essential items, a party official said. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that party activists would distribute leaflets and conduct street dramas at major towns and cities to educate the masses on the taxes imposed on the imports of essential commodities in recent times. more..

Chinese PM meets President Rajapaksa : China pledges more aid

Nov 1 (DN) Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao yesterday pledged to continue all development assistance to Sri Lanka as it is already doing at present. He said this during bilateral talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is on a three day official visit to China. The two leaders discussed the progress of development projects currently being carried out with the assistance of the Chinese Government. more..

French statue for Thamilchelvan

Nov 1 (DM) A statue of former political wing leader of the LTTE, S. P. Thamilchelvan is scheduled to be erected in La Courneuve, a French town in the northeastern suburbs of Paris by a group of Tamils, External Ministry Sources said. La Courneuve, reportedly home to a large Tamil population, had already laid down the foundation for the statue which is being erected in light of the third death anniversary of Thamilchelvan. more..

$1 B. Iranian credit facility lost; regained after MR’s intervention

Nov 1 (Island) Controversy surrounds the circumstances, in which Sri Lanka recently almost lost $1 billion four-month interest free credit facility it secured from Iran to meet its fuel requirement. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had to speak with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the 65th UNGA in New York on Sept. 22, 2010, to regain the credit facility. more..

Organised attempt to misuse SMS facility at Korean proficiency exam thwarted

Nov 1 (Island) The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau with the help of the police on Saturday thwarted an organised attempt by a large number of applicants, who sat a proficiency examination at 13 centres in Colombo in the Korean language for employment in South Korea to misuse the SMSfacility. Following information of an attempt to exploit the SMS facility, all candidates were body searched by about 700 police personnel. more..

Sri Lanka think tank warns against reliance on foreign loans

Nov 1 (LBO) Depending too much on foreign borrowings to fuel growth in post-war Sri Lanka can be risky, the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), a think tank, has warned in a new report. Its annual 'Sri Lanka: State of the Economy' report for 2010 is devoted to an assessment of the economic challenges of post-conflict growth and stability in the island, whose 30-year ethnic war ended in May 2009. more..

Mega Star dispute: Swarnavahini stands by SMS count

Nov 1 (Island) Swarnavahini says artiste turned businessman Ajith Weerasinghe is the real Mega Star, though a section of the crowd reacted violently due to their hot favourite Dayasiri Jayasekera not being declared the winner at Sri Lanka’s popular reality show, which ended on Sunday night. Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri, who was widely tipped to win easily became the runner-up. more..

'Govt. assuring 'A Bright Future' for children snatching their right to education'

Nov 2 (LT) 'The Government which assured 'a bright future' for the children in the past elections is in an attempt to eliminate their free education moving towards privatization of education' says Mr Mahinda Jayasinghe, the General Secretary of Ceylon Teachers' Union. However he stated that the Governments which tried to interfering in education were shattered in history. He further disclosed that the Government has planned to establish private Universities in more..

Even waiter’s job not bad for unemployed grads - SB

Nov 2 (AD) Until a suitable occupation to match their skill is found it is the responsibility of the unemployed graduates to find some sort of employment without being a burden to the country or to their parents, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He pointed out that university students in other countries of the world occupy themselves in any job in order to fund their educational activities and to also fulfill their economical needs until they are suitably employed. more..

Ministry bars wheat flour based food from hospitals

Nov 2 (SL) The Health Ministry in a surprising move has barred the sale of wheat flour based food items in the cafeterias of all government hospitals. The Ministry last week barred the sale of short eats in the canteens of government schools. A Ministry spokesperson said that Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena arrived at decision to encourage the consumption of wheat flour based food items, which is considered to lack proper nutritional values. more..

SEC gets new director general

Nov 2 (LBO) Malik Cader has been appointed the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with effect from Monday, a statement said. Cader has served the Securities and Exchange Commission for over 13 years and before his promotion had been the Officer-in-Charge and Deputy Director General of the SEC. He has also held the posts of Director Legal and Enforcement, Director External Relations and Market Development and more..

'Living in prison is cheaper nowadays'

Nov 2 (AD) The government is robbing the public of their right to eat. Nowadays you can’t take Rs.100 and go to a shop, Rs.100 is not enough to buy a kilogram of rice and a packet of salt. Living at home under the current government you need Rs.100 to eat salt and rice, so it’s cheaper to go to jail, Buddhika Pathirana stated. He stated that, If not for the beating given by jailors and prison guard people would take their entire families, pots and pans and go live in prisons because more..

JVP at Manning Market

Nov 2 (LT) JVP, launching a fort-night's leaflet campaign on rising cost of living to educate masses, distributed leaflets among the people in Colombo Manning Market area this morning. Street dramas also had been organized relating to this simultaneously. Some photographs of this event including the MP Sunil Handunneththi and former MP Mr Lakshman Nipunarachchi distributing leaflets and the street drama being performed by more..

Lankan Embassy to oppose statue

Nov 2 (DM) The Sri Lankan Embassy in Paris, France will oppose the erection of a statue of former political wing leader of the LTTE, S. P. Thamilchelvan in France. External Affairs Ministry Director General of Public Communication and Spokesperson Bandula Jayasekara said that the Lankan embassy would write to those concerned including the Mayor of La Courneuve, the French town in the northeastern suburbs of Paris where the statue is being erected. more..

Bail rejected for 21 Uni students

Nov 2 (AD) Colombo Magistrate’s Court today rejected bail for the 21 university students who were arrested on October 14 under the charge of forcibly entering the Ministry of Higher Education and damaging state property. The Chief Magistrate refusing bail stated the Magistrate court did not possess the power the grant bail and further remanded the students until November 12. The lawyers representing the students hence submitted an petition to the Colombo High Court seeking bail. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 01.11.2010

Udul treated shabbily - IUSF

Nov 2 (DM) The Inter-University Student Federation (IUSF) charged today that the IUSF Convener, Udul Premaratne who is currently detained at the Welikada prison is being treated far poorly than other prisoners convicted for more serious crimes. IUSF Acting Spokesman, Sanjeewa Bandara who paid a visit to Premaratne said that he is only allowed half an hour to go out-doors and has been detained in a single person’s cell. more..

Sri Lanka climbs higher in World Prosperity Index

Nov 2 (LP) Sri Lanka has climbed 9 positions from 2009 and is ranked 59th among 110 nations, in the World Prosperity Index. Sri Lanka is well above India, Pakistan and Indonesia representing the Asia Pacific region in the rating for 2010 released by London’s Legatum Institute. The prosperity index is based on 89 variables over 110 countries, grouped into eight sub-indices, and claims to comprehensively rank the level of prosperity in 110 nations of the world. more..

Chinthana Vidanage gets car worth Rs. 4 million

Nov 2 (SO) Commonwealth Games silver medalist Chinthana Geethal Vidanage was named Most Outstanding Sportsman and received a luxury car worth Rs. Four million at the 36th National Sports Festival concluded at the Bogambara Stadium in Kandy today. Vidanage representing North Central Province established a new Sri Lanka record while lifting an overall total of 306 points including more..

Millers should declare rice stocks

Nov 2 (DM) The government has decided to introduce new legislation which makes it mandatory for mill owners to declare their stocks of rice and paddy to the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB), Chairman K.B. Jayasinghe said yesterday. Mr. Jayasinghe told Daily Mirror yesterday that the draft legislation had been referred to the Attorney General’s Department now. After the Attorney General’s approval, it will be presented in Parliament. more..

Rain threatens to spoil Sri Lanka's party at the MCG

Nov 2 (IC) Although Cricket Australia are doubtful of a large turn out at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for Wednesday's first ODI between Sri Lanka and Australia, the tourists' thrashing of the once invincible Australia in the Twenty20 International at Perth, yesterday, will see thousands of fans of the island nation's cricket team flock the venue in hopes of witnessing history in the making. more..

Prayers for Rizana

Nov 2 (BBC) Thousands of Muslims in Trincomalee gathered for a special payer service for the Sri Lankan maid sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan housemaid, was arrested in May 2005 on charges of killing an infant in her care. Last week her death sentence was upheld by Riyadh's Supreme Court and awaits ratification from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. “We are asking the god to fill the hearts and minds of more..

The never-ending party for the Lion King; the ever-growing hunger pangs for his subjects

Nov 2 (LG) We may be a third-world nation and two thirds of our population living on shoe-string budgets but we like to party. For seven long days we are going to celebrate the King’s indefinite ascendancy to the throne. We will be celebrating the King who vanquished the LTTE, incarcerated the General who out of sheer national pride fulfilled HM Rajapakse’s orders or rather his unruly brother who more..

What an education, sir

Nov 2 (LG) The big national issue turned out within a matter of weeks to be, would you believe it, education? This is the best time therefore, to agitate for laws that allow people to educate their children at home. The comeback to that may be "this is no time for comedy." When the entire opposition feels that where all else has failed, they could ride the backs of university students to power, they wouldn’t want somebody to emerge from more..

Illupakadavai school receives Psychosocial Center - Mannar

Nov 2 (MoD) The Army, with the assistance of Ms. Manori Unambuwa - a philanthropist- Sunday, handed over a 'Psychosocial Center' (Happiness Center) which was made possible following renovation of an unusable building at Illupakadavai School in Taladdy, Mannar. Inauguration ceremony of the newly converted 'happiness center' was held under the patronage of the Wanni Security Forces Commander- Maj Gen GDHK Gunarathne. more..

Banning landmines in Sri Lanka: Looking at it from socio, economic & political perspectives

Nov 2 (TC) Since independence in 1948, Island nation of Sri Lanka has faced two types of internally originated human destruction and debacles which were the Southern insurgencies (in 1971 & 1988) and a nearly three decade long North and East conflict which ended in 2009. Sri Lanka could have avoided both the conflicts with political will with correct mechanism to address the root causes for the conflicts that time that left to the strife. more..

Stooping to conquer darkness

Nov 2 (DM) Kind words from a member of the Retired Judges Association spurred another edition on the topic of how we could steer clear of the small injustices which injure people badly. The desire is for this quote to dictate justice.-“Be you ever so high, the law is above you, be you ever so small, the law will befriend you" Can dogs be accused of crimes they have not committed and suffer consequences? The natural comparison if we are to claim a state of advancement spiritually more..

Why the war waged against the LTTE was a just a war

Nov 2 (TC) The following is the text of a paper headlined ‘Legal Issues to Establish Just War’ presented by Lawyer Gomin Dayasiri to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. (1) The war was waged against an organisation (LTTE) deemed to be a terrorist organisation that had bans imposed against them and recognised by the UN as utilising child soldiers. Its war was not a liberation struggle. more..

Politics is for Politicians

Nov 2 (DM) Be it the ethnic issue, or the Fonseka affair, or whatever, wherever politics is involved, it is for politicians to find a way out. They cannot run away from their responsibilities, and lament the consequences. In this, intellectuals and religious-heads, as has become inevitable in the case of contemporary Sri Lanka, can provide inputs, and even facilitate the processes, but not expect that their will alone could and should prevail. more..

Sri Lanka’s 170 year old hotel seeks international brand name

Nov 2 (N360) Grand Orient Hotel one of Sri Lanka’s oldest hotels is seeking a partner to invest and manage the property under an international brand name. The Bank of Ceylon, the parent firm of the Hotel, invited the interested parties via paper advertisements published today to submit expression of interest to invest and manage the hotel. BOC says the interested parties should agree to invest to bring back the hotel to its original, inculcate modern facilities and then more..

Kotelawala, GK depositors meet

Nov 2 (ST) In a fresh turn of events in the Golden Key Credit Card Company (GK) saga, all its former directors including former Ceylinco Chief Lalith Kotelawala and Khavan Perera are meeting representatives of GK depositors tomorrow to find a solution to the crisis following a court ruling. A 3-member Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by Justice Shirani Thilakawardena on Wednesday ruled that all connected parties should meet and settle the grievances of depositors more..

Borrowed reserves do not shine: They swell debt burden

Nov 2 (ST) The gross official reserves of the country surpassed the US$ 7 billion levels on October 4 2010 This level of reserves is equivalent to over 6.8 months of imports. In announcing this the Central Bank also said that it was the highest ever reserves level of Sri Lanka. In other words the country’s external reserves are strong. A strong external reserves position is vital for an import export dependent economy and these reserves provide a comfortable level of such reserves. more..

Lasantha murder suspect discharged

Nov 2 (NS) Suspect B Prageeth Perera, remanded for the assassination of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunga, told court on Friday (29) that he stole the phone of the victim from the murder scene. Mt Lavinia Chief Magistrate Nirosha Fernando then postponed the verdict until the next hearing on November 12, while discharging him of the murder charges. He was released taking into consideration the report submitted by the CID. more..

Newspaper sellers worried over crackdown on pavement sales

Nov 2 (NS) The government’s decision to evacuate pavement hawkers, while welcomed by several quarters, has triggered concerns among pavement newspaper sellers. Pavements have been the hotspots for newspaper sellers around the world for generations. Many countries around the world have provided special facilities for such newspaper sellers to go ahead with their job. The pavement newspaper sellers have made the lives of the people easy. more..

Celebrating sexist, lewd live television in Sri Lanka

Nov 2 (GV) When I overhead someone talking about the dramatic finale of Swarnavahini’s Megastar reality show I wanted to know what had happened since I had seen a few episodes of this bizarre show – where arguments and insults that fly freely between the judges and contestants is as much the draw as the singing skills of participants. I checked to see what footage was available online and when browsing websites, and was horrified to come across a video of more..

NPC to be moved to Jaffna from Trincomalee

Nov 2 (TN) Chief Secretary A. Sivasamy of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) located in Trincomalee has announced that the office of NPC is to be shifted to Jaffna from 1st of January 2011. NPC has placed advertisements calling for office space required for NPC in Jaffna. Earlier in July attempts made by NPC Governor Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, former Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander of Jaffna, to move NPC to Ki’linochchi had been abandoned due to pressure from Sri Lanka government higher authorities. more..

SLBC nurtured a bygone generation

Nov 2 (NS) The timbre of the children’s programmes of yesteryear still remain evergreen, though sadly ‘heard’ by lesser numbers in a backdrop of dominant visual media. With rapidly accelerating commercialisation of every sphere, children’s world being no exception, the call for programmes of the calibre of Lama theeraya, Lama Pitiya, Saraswathi Mandapaya, Handa Mama, is direly felt. more..

Police forcibly evict Muslim resettled families in Trincomalee

Nov 2 (TN) A team of Sri Lanka police personnel from Trincomalee police station Sunday morning forcibly evicted thirty-five resettled Muslim families in Ka’ndalkaadu in Trincomalee district from their dwellings and burnt their temporary huts, directed by top civil authority in Trincomalee. The vegetable plots in the premises of the resettled families were also damaged by the police team, according to complaints by affected families to civil authority in Ki’n’niyaay, more..

CaFFE urges proper registration of detained voters in camps

Nov 2 (TN) The CaFFE in a statement urged Department of Elections to implement a proper program to register the persons above the age of eighteen now held in the detention centers in the North including Menik Farm, in the 2010 voters’ list revising process. The voter registration process in many parts of the North is in its final stages right now. Initial steps have not been taken to register the uprooted persons detained in camps such as the Menik Farm camp more..

Sea Plane landing bid in Negambo lagoon in troubled waters

Nov 2 (NF) Members of the fishing community, who ply their trade in the Negombo lagoon, have strongly opposed the decision taken to land sea planes on the lagoon. They point out that the move could pose a threat to their livelihood. Many villagers who live in close proximity to the Negombo lagoon earn a living by engaging in fishing activities at the lagoon due to the ideal conditions prevalent at the location. more..

Editorial : Why they carried phones in underwear

Nov 2 (Island) Abortive attempts by many candidates to smuggle mobile phones into the Korean language examination centres on Saturday in a bid to receive answers via SMS bear testimony to the sheer desperation of the Sri Lankan youth for jobs. It is said that someone had promised to send them answers and collected money. The Korean language tests which the applicants for a limited number of jobs in South Korea are required to pass have been plagued with malpractices and more..

Editorial : Hero-worshipping in politics

Nov 2 (DM) Sense of gratitude remains one of the greatest virtues of mankind. While the ones who have done individual favours are often remembered for their kind deeds those who have rendered some major service to a country – a political leader, military commander or even an artiste is often held with high esteem. When extending gratitude some go a step further. There’s always a passionate section of the public that hero-worships those whom they deem are ‘Great’. more..

'People who eat bread are labelled as terrorists'

Nov 2 (NF) Price of bread was increased on four occasions and the people who eat bread were labelled as terrorists, says Sunil Handunnetti, politburo member of the JVP today. He made these remarks when a protest campaign against the escalating cost of living, organised by the JVP, began at the Manning Market. He said that 18 months had gone by since the conflict ended, but the prices of goods were going up every day. more..

Disproving Twain to be Buddhists

Nov 2 (SL) University students are back on the streets and universities have hit the front pages. The government is trying to curb student activities using outsiders as “parents” to guard universities. The ugly incident at Kelaniya exposes how buffoons are brought to handle student unrest, instead of educational authorities providing answers. It’s not that “thugs” can not be “parents”, but using them to beat students and getting a court order to disperse university students from more..

Poverty Alleviation Day Commemorated in Ratnapura

Nov 2 (Island) The International Poverty Alleviation Day was commemorated at the Samurdhi Hall, Ratnapura New Town, recently. Speeking at this ceremony, Ratnapura district MP and Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, W. D. J. Seneviratne said that the government under President Mahinda Rajapaksa is determined to develop the country economically and raise the per capitol income to 4000 US dollars. more..

Tamashas and the cost of living in paradise island

Nov 2 (DM) The SLFP is naturally jubilant that Mahinda Rajapaksa will be installed for a second term as President; as per usual such happiness that, at least for the next number of years they will be able to enjoy the perks and privileges has caused the party front-liners to decide that they should have a celebration of gigantic proportions. Prime Minister announced last Thursday that from the beginning of Nov 15 weeklong celebrations will take place to more..

Alarm over rising stroke cases among Lankans

Nov 2 (NS) Around 20,000 people die of strokes per year in Sri Lanka, accounting for 11% of deaths from non-communicable diseases in the country. The recorded number of deaths daily due to these diseases is 250 of which over 40 are caused by strokes. Stroke is also the leading cause for adult disability. “The incidence of stroke in Sri Lanka is believed to be higher than any of the developed countries. The number of patients hospitalised for stroke per year (20,000) is almost more..