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Suspect in Lasantha case bought five SIM cards: CID

Nov 20 (DM) The CID yesterday informed the Mount Lavinia Magistrate that the main suspect arrested in connection with the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunga had purchased five SIM cards using his national identity card. They said a member of the Army Intelligence Unit was involved in the buying of the cards. TID had earlier arrested Kandegedara Priyanwansa of the intelligence unit and Nuwara Eliya garage owner Pimmei Jesudasan in connection with killing. more..

Boy discharges longest worm

Nov 20 (Island) A 13-year-old boy of Siyambalanduwa discharged a Monkey Tape Worm (12 centimetres long) after seeking medical attention for fatigue and severe headaches. Doctors in Siyamabalanduwa hospital found that the boy had discharged only a part of the worms and necessary medication was administered to destroy the rest of it. Medical experts were under the impression that a monkey’s excreta had entered the boy’s body and had led to more..

Simple, solemn ceremony marks President’s swearing-in

Nov 20 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa took oaths yesterday for a second term as President before Chief Justice Asoka de Silva at the auspicious time of 10.16 am opposite the Presidential Secretariat at a simple but a solemn and dignified ceremony. The entire environs of the Galle Face Green where the ceremony was held took a ceremonial atmosphere with the performances of over 400 traditional drummers and dancers more..

Don’t exploit public - Minister

Nov 20 (DN) Minister Basil Rajapaksa inaugurating a trade complex at Norris Canal Road, Borella for pavement hawkers yesterday said it is a crime if a trader sells unhygienic food to patients visiting this trade complex. He urged the traders not to exploit innocent patients but to engage in a good business with a fair profit. This trade complex was also constructed in response to a request made by pavement hawkers who had no permanent place to do business, more..

Blessings of Hindu people always with President -Minister

Nov 20 (DN) A Hindu Religious function was held at the New Sri Kadiravelayutha Swami Kovil, Bambalapitiya yesterday at 6.45 a.m. in accordance with Hindu Religious traditions, headed by Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda to bless President Mahinda Rajapaksa on assuming of second term of office and his birthday. The religions function was conducted by the Chief Hindu Priest, Nagaraja Kurukkal of the Kovil. more..

Islandwide strike public sector if no pay hike from budget – NTUC

Nov 20 (Island) Public sector employees have planned to launch an islandwide strike if their salaries were not increased in the forthcoming budget. President of the National Trade Union Centre, (the umbrella organization of over 300 state sector trade unions), former MP K. D. Lalkantha said they were to demand a Rs. 9,000 salary hike to meet the sky - rocketing cost of living. He said that they started the protest campaign recently and more..

GNOA wants ‘biased committee’ disbanded

Nov 20 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association urged Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to disband the Committee appointed to look into their proposal, to extend the diploma training course by another six months so as to include midwifery and mental health care. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said the five-member committee was one that was biased against nurses. He said that nurses had requested the three year diploma course be extended by more..

A/L results in early December

Nov 20 (DM) This year’s Advanced Level examination results will be released during the first week of December, the Examinations Department announced yesterday. The exam was held from August 9 to September 3 with some 270,000 candidates, including 54,000 private candidates sitting the examination. Facilities would be provided for students with special requirements for the 2010 GCE O/L examination which is due to begin on December 13. more..

More MPs can now import luxury vehicles

Nov 20 (DM) In a strange turn of events, the Treasury has amended the circular relating to vehicle imports enabling more MPs to import vehicles for their personal use under duty concessions, government sources said yesterday. In a circular issued earlier this year, the government decided to issue permits for MPs to import vehicles with duty concessions if they had not used this facility during the past five years. more..

DMO says LTTE forced him to bloat casualty figures

Nov 20 (DM) The District Medical Officer (DMO) of the Mullaitivu District said during the last stages of the war, the LTTE not only forced him to exaggerate the number of civilian casualties but also shot the civilians who tried to escape from the area. Giving evidence at the LLRC Dr. V Shanmugarajah said the numbers exaggerated increased as the war intensified. “If there were only 75 I was made to say there were 275 casualties and at times it was increased to 575,” he said. more..

Shane Shillingford reported for suspect action

Nov 20 (CI) Shane Shillingford, the West Indies offspinner, has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action following the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. He will have to undergo testing within 21 days. Shillingford will have to submit to an independent analysis of his bowling action, which must be conducted by a member of the ICC panel of human movement specialists within 21 days. If he is found to have bowled with an illegal action more..

Kasuni Rathnasuriya wins Young Fashion Entrepreneur Award

Nov 20 (F2F) On Saturday, 13 November 2010 at the Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF), Kasuni Rathnasuriya was awarded the Young Fashion Entrepreneur (YFE) Award 2011. The YFE 2011 Award is a British Council initiative offered in partnership with the Sri Lanka Design Festival, that seeks to champion and celebrate the importance of creative entrepreneurs in the 25 to 35 age category working in the field of fashion. more..

CIDprobes JVP’s ‘Lebanon connection’

Nov 20 (Island) The CID arrested a Lebanese couple yesterday for their alleged involvement in anti Sri Lanka activities. The suspects, Mohamed Hotait and his wife Sara, were arrested in Kandy and brought to the CID Headquarters in Colombo, where they were interrogated over their connections with the JVP and involvement in JVP instigated agitations in Sri Lanka. A senior CID officer told The Island that the suspects would be deported. more..

Kotelawela case: Police probe ownership of Jewellery

Nov 20 (DM) A Colombo Court yesterday directed the police to investigate whether the jewellery valued at Rs.60 million and found in a bank vault belonging to former Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala was part of some undeclared assets. Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne made this direction with regard to an application made by the Attorney General in the magisterial inquiry into Ceylinco Sriram Capital Management more..

Queen Greets President Rajapakse

Nov 20 (LG) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has sent a message to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse on the occasion of his inauguration. The text of the message reads: “I send my congratulations on your re-election as President of Sri Lanka. I wish you and the people of Sri Lanka peace and prosperity in the years to come. Elizabeth R.”

Norochcholai power from end December

Nov 20 (Island) The Norochcholai coal power plant will be commissioned at the end of December, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. He said that the first phase of the Norochcholai power plant project was initially scheduled to be completed by May 2012, but a decision was taken on Wednesday to advance the commissioning to the end of next month by initially adding 300 MW to the national grid. more..

Anoma seeks divine aid to restore democracy

Nov 20 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka’s wife Anoma and several supporters dashed coconuts after participating in a pooja at the Weera Kali Amman Kovil in Kochchikade yesterday seeking justice for retired General Fonseka and for the restoration of democracy in Sri Lanka. “Festivities are of little or no use when there is anarchy in the country and a day such as yesterday when the president is having his swearing-in ceremony more..

Trilingual high tech Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his address to the nation yesterday after taking oaths for his second term said the country must move towards a future generation that was trilingual. He said he hoped to raise the level of computer literacy to 75 per cent and make the future generation true heroes of technology in the modern world with the names of Sri Lankans topping the list in the fields of science and technology. more..

Enhanced Sri Lanka-Pakistan defence cooperation likely

Nov 20 (Island) Enhanced defence cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is likely to be finalised during Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s three-day official visit to Sri Lanka, later this month. Diplomatic and government sources said that there was a wide scope for enhanced military ties between the two nations and it would be explored during talks between Zardari and his Sri Lankan counterpart, President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka in final stretch for gold ETFs

Nov 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka has hammered out a regulatory framework for exchange traded funds (ETFs), a pooled investment scheme, which will also allow precious metals to be traded on the Colombo Stock Exchange from next year, an official said. Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission Malik Cadre said that the basic framework to allow ETF has been finalized with the help of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and more..

Massive sand mining racket in Wilpattu

Nov 21 (LT) It is reported that a massive sand mining racket is going on in Wilpattu National Park. Recently nearly 15000 cubes of sand was seized in a raid conducted by forest officers at Modaragangaruwa. However, the racketeers had been able to transport the sand by force to Colombo by producing a permit that and been issued by the Ministry of Defense. Normally sand is mined with permission from the Department of Forest and the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau. more..

Luxury stays in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (NW) The road from Colombo to Kandy was a traffic jam of cars, tuk-tuks (three-wheeled taxis), and buses—along with the occasional cow—so we didn’t arrive at Mackwoods’s Labookellie Tea Estate until after dark, missing the scenic hills and waterfalls of Sri Lanka’s central highlands. The next morning, when we opened the doors out to the patio, my friend Oleg and I were greeted not only by the stunning, terraced hills, more..

'No more leaders for life with new constitution'

Nov 21 (NF) Through the new party constitution, the concept of a person being the leader of the party for life, will be changed, says MP Sajith Premadasa of the UNP. He said this during a public meeting in the Beralihela in Tissamaharama. At the event, organized by the Janasuwaya foundation, Sajith presented children's accounts to 245 children in the area. “All this time the leader of the UNP remained in that capacity for life. But what does the new constitution say? more..

Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Washington invites U.S. tourist to visit Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (SLE) More than 160 guests filled the official residence of Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya to enjoy an evening of Sri Lankan dance, music and food during a reception to boost tourism in Sri Lanka. Hosted by Ambassador Wickramasuriya and the International Club of Washington, the evening of Sri Lankan culture follows on the heels of a tour Ambassador Wickramasuriya staged in August more..

Agitation against rising cost of living by JVP

Handunnetti condemns deportation of Lebanese couple

Nov 21 (AD) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti says that he denounces the decision taken by the government to deport a Lebanese couple from the country today, under the charges of participating in an anti-government protest. The Lebanese national is the Chairman of the Democratic Youth Union of Lebanon and also Lebanon’s representative to the World Federation of Democratic Youth, Handunnetti pointed out. The couple had visited Sri Lanka as their first trip after getting married recently. more..

World leaders greet Sri Lankan President

Nov 21 (GDI) Foreign leaders and representatives have wished President Mahinda Rajapaksa on him being sworn in as the Executive President of Sri Lanka for a second term. They met the President at President’s House yesterday afternoon. Among those who called on President Rajapaksa at President’s House included Maldivian President Mohammed Nazeed, Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonchchen Jigmi Y Thinley and his wife. more..

Gifts for children born on MR’s B’day

Nov 21 (SL) Children born on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s birthday which falls on November 18 are to receive gifts from the government. The Health Ministry has reportedly said that it would implement a new programme to present gifts and rewards to every child born on November 18th in the future. The media has reported that prizes will also be given to children born on November 18 this year. more..

UNP In Kundasale

Nov 21 (SL) The UNP today (20) launched the third phase of the Grama Charika programme in the Kundasale electorate. UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya has said in Kundasale that the party will continue to represent the people who are suffering under the current administration. He has said the UNP would fight to safeguard their democratic rights. Jayasuriya has further noted that It is the duty of the UNP to protect the rights of the suppressed masses and more..

Sangakkara admits Premadasa Stadium surface is still a mystery

Nov 21 (IC) At the end of the first Test in Galle, Kumar Sangakkara admitted the pitch at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo remained a mystery to the home team. The venue has been under construction for next year's World Cup, and the second Test against the West Indies starting on Tuesday will be the first time an international game will be held there since construction began in March this year. "We really don't know what we're going to get there, more..

Sarath Fonseka discharged from hospital, taken back to prison cell

Nov 21 (PTI) Jailed ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka was discharged from a prison hospital, where he was admitted to earlier this week after complaining of sudden illness, and taken back to his cell, jail officials said today. 59-year-old Fonseka, the leader of the DNA, has been discharged from the hospital, the officials said. The Colombo high court had ordered jail officials to provide adequate medical facilities to Fonseka after more..

A former diplomat reminisces on political promises

Nov 21 (LG) As a former Sri Lankan senior diplomat with near four decades of diplomatic experience I have functioned as a cog in the wheel of successive governments in the implementation of their respective policies. True to the adage that diplomats are sent to ‘lie abroad’ I myself mouthed what the successive government’s expected us to tell the world. That meant compromising my own personal opinions on many issues which we at staff level, more..

Mahinda’s xanadu

Nov 21 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa took oaths yesterday for a second term as President before Chief Justice Asoka de Silva at the auspicious time of 10.16 am opposite the Presidential Secretariat at a simple but a solemn and dignified ceremony. The entire environs of the Galle Face Green where the ceremony was held took a ceremonial atmosphere with the performances of over 400 traditional drummers and dancers soon after the President was sworn in amidst a roar of more..

Jaffna Tesawalamai Law: misconceptions, misunderstandings and misgivings

Nov 21 (TC) Tesawalamai ('Tesam' means country and 'Walamai' means customs), are the codified laws and customs of the inhabitants of the province of Jaffna (now the Northern Province). Tesawalamai are customs that prevailed in North Ceylon for several centuries before the advent of the Portuguese. Tesawalamai is recognized within the overall laws governing Sri Lanka, as being applicable to the inhabitants of the province of Jaffna. more..

Sri Lankan government detains plantation union leaders

Nov 21 (wsws) In a blatant attempt by the Rajapakse government to intimidate plantation workers and the working class as a whole, the Sri Lankan police have invoked the government’s draconian emergency regulations to detain two leaders of trade unions based in the plantation estates in the country’s central hills. The Terrorist Investigation Division arrested Up-Country People Front (UPF) youth wing leader Thalamutthu Suthaharan and more..

Sinhala and Muslim resettlements in the north

Nov 21 (LG) The post 1983 state backed anti-Tamil violence experienced complete displacement of Sinhala civilians from the north of Sri Lanka. Whilst the 1983 violence pushed the Tamils to the north and east from the South en masse, the small number of Sinhalese resident in the north moved out of Jaffna in fear of retribution from the Tamil militants. The Muslim community was not facing any difficulties during the 1983 violence. more..

The Sri Lankan way

Nov 21 (AJ) The first time Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed the seat of president in Sri Lanka, it was to limited fanfare. The year was 2005. He had just survived a fierce battle with his party for leadership, and the civil war with the rebel Tamil Tigers was still simmering. There wasn't much to celebrate. This time around, the pomp and circumstance surrounding his second inauguration is staggering. Posters adorned with his photo have been erected on more..

Navy builds Three Houses for Resettled Families in the North

Nov 21 (MoD) Naval personnel of SLNS Elara and SLNS Kanchchadewa under the Northern Naval Command of the Sri Lanka Navy built three new houses for three resettled families in Karainagar and Kayts. The houses were handed over to the occupants by Deputy Commander Northern Naval Area Commodore TJL Sinnaih on 18th November 2010 to coincide the 65th birthday and Second Inauguration of His Excellency the President. more..

Editorial: Happy birthday Mr. President

Nov 21 (SL) It was Mahinda’s birthday and everyone got presents. Hambantota port got its first ship. Guests got 4,000 kilograms of kiribath. Even competitor Sarath Fonseka got exercise facilities in jail. What did Sri Lanka get? Mahinda. In his display of power, Mahinda has spent state money, torn up roads, barracked military in schools and taken the entire economy offline with a national holiday. Indeed, he has done this before, to commemorate the end of war. more..

Lankan troops for Lebanon UN peace keeping mission

Nov 21 (Island) Ten officers and 140 other ranks of the Sri Lanka Army will leave for Lebanon to join the United Nations peace keeping mission. This military contingent will be the first from an Asian country to provide their services to the peace-keeping effort in Beirut, officials said. Accompanying the Sri Lankan troops four specially trained canines and 26 military vehicles including eight combat ones, they said. more..

Editorial : The challenges ahead

Nov 21 (SO) Sri Lanka has embarked on a new journey with the second term of office of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. During the 2005 Presidential Election campaign, the masses echoed in one voice just one thing - liberating the country from the clutches of terrorism. President Rajapaksa lived up to his promise by giving an inspiring leadership to the Security Forces. He fulfilled the dream of an entire nation - a peaceful environment sans terrorism for more..

Editorial : An opportunity to right the wrongs

Nov 21 (NS) The nation this week witnessed the investiture of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his second term of office as the executive President of Sri Lanka. Celebrations there were many and congratulations are in order. As President Rajapaksa embarks on his second term, it is pertinent to examine the reasons for his success while at the same time taking into careful consideration what awaits him and the country over the next six years. more..

Make Deputy Minister Mervin a Minister, prelate tells President

Nov 21 (SO) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his visit to Anuradhapura yesterday to pay homage to the Sri Maha Bodhi and Atamasthana following his swearing-in for the second term, also visited a number of Buddhist temples in the area, where he received the blessings of the chief prelates and other members of the Maha Sangha. During a discussion the President had with the Chief Incumbent of the Lankarama Viharaya in Anuradhapura, more..

Editorial: He delivers, now set him right

Nov 21 (LB) Last week in this space Mahinda Rajapaksa, president, was referred to as a man laying a premium on delivery. Now, he has taken his oaths for the second term and few would have missed that yen that was displayed for celebration — or the enormity of the tamasha they threw for him last week. But if he’s a man of delivery, a great many people would probably not begrudge his big moment. But the question would be asked, does the aspect of ‘delivery’ necessarily deliver a good president? more..

Editorial: The second term begins

Nov 21 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, inaugurated for his second six-year term on Friday well understands the deep wisdom in Prussian politician Otto Von Bismarck’s celebrated 1867 remark that "politics is the art of the possible." Aided by an abundance of good fortune, as explained in the article on this page, shrewdness and an unwavering determination to finish off the LTTE, Rajapaksa (as he himself admitted in his address to the nation when he said more..

Jaffna Security Forces Commander to receive Gusi Peace Prize

Nov 21 (Cimic) The Gusi Peace Prize is a Philippines-based international award recognizing individuals from the four corners of the globe working toward the attainment of peace and respect for human life and dignity. It has been referred to as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize by its proponent. The award is given to outstanding personalities each year, who must attend the Awards Night to receive it. more..

Editorial : Global vision and Lanka's ground realities

Nov 21 (ST) Now that the party is over, the prospects of a long and gruelling road towards economic prosperity for a somewhat impoverished though not entirely poverty-stricken nation lie ahead. Legitimate questions have been raised about the expenses incurred for the inauguration of the President's second term. Critics there are aplenty. Some ask how there could be a second term for the President when he pledged to abolish the Executive Presidency. more..

Apparel sector FTZs agitate as BOI backtracks on promised 15% pay hike

Nov 21 (ST) Trade unions active in the Free Trade Zones of the Apparel sector this week launched a countrywide campaign urging the Board of Investment (BOI) and other relevant authorities, to press home demands for a wage increase of not less than 15%. The campaign titled ‘Three B’s’- Better Pay Bigger Profit with BOI sharing, commenced with the distribution of some 10,000 postcards mailed to the authorities by individual factory hands, which explains more..

Shock therapy for coal plant

Nov 21 (NS) In a surprise development, the AG’s Department after nearly six months’ delay on Thursday has sent back with fresh queries the final joint venture draft agreements for the construction of the country’s second coal power plant at Muttur. Officials taken aback by this sudden unexpected development pointed out that among the fresh queries raised by the AG even pertained to matters included in the MoU signed between India and Sri Lanka to more..

Paba In A Foul Spin

Nov 21 (SL) A last minute emergency switch led to Parliamentarian Upeksha Swarnamali castigating a Derana TV director after an old interview featuring her was aired on Monday, Nov 15. Director News and Current Affairs, Derana, Shehan Baranage said the issue had arisen after a scheduled interview with the Deputy Minister of Research fell through. ‘On Monday, the day of filming, he was ill and couldn’t make it for our political show 360 Degrees,’ Baranage explained. more..