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Peradeniya faculties to re-open .

Nov 5 (ST) The authorities have decided to recommence the academic programmes at four faculties of the Peradeniya University some 12 days after they were closed owing to student unrest, a senior official said yesterday. Vice Chancellor of the university Professor Sarath Abeykoon told Timesonline that the academic activities will recommence at the faculties of Agriculture, Arts, Engineering and Science on November 8. He said it was decided to re-open the faculties since more..

Sri Lanka to publish photos of porn actors .

Nov 5 (AFP) A Sri Lankan magistrate has ordered police to publish photographs of 83 local porn actors in a bid to identify and arrest them for violating obscenity laws, officials said. Police told Colombo Fort magistrate Lanka Jayaratne the men and women featured on 180 Sri Lankan pornographic websites that have been blocked by telecommunications regulators. "We now have a court order to publish the photographs in the national press and more..

Sri Lanka Telecom on track for fibre optic deal for toll expressway

Nov 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom is on track to get a deal to install a fibre optic cable for a toll collection system on an expressway linking the island's south that is now under construction. Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said the southern expressway is designed as an access controlled toll expressway for its entire length of 126 kilometres. "The Cabinet has approved the allocation of funds to lay a fibre optic cable network in order to facilitate the toll system," more..

Kudu Raaja, main supplier of drugs to Colombo, arrested

Nov 5 (NF) Kudu Raaja, the main supplier of drugs to Colombo, was arrested today along with four others. Police arrested the five suspects along with a stock of drugs worth Rs. 25 million. “Amongst the stock of drugs that was seized were 2 1/2 kilos of heroin,” said SP Prishantha Jayakody Police Media Spokesperson. It has been revealed that two Sri Lankans, jailed in a foreign country, are behind the operation of sending heroin to Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 04.11.2010

Adverse impact of the 18th Amendment on governance

Nov 5 (LG) Sri Lanka has a written Constitution which permits amendment or repeal. Except identified entrenched provisions , the Constitution can be amended by Parliament with a two thirds (2/3) majority. The present Constitution introduced in 1978 was amended 17 times prior to the amendment discussed in this Position Paper. Furthermore, there were five other abortive attempts which also included an attempt to introduce a new Constitution. more..

Tapa: the virtues of austerity and restraint

Nov 5 (DM) Ernesto Che Guevara, a short while after Uncle Sam’s darling and Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown, got to know that there was a food shortage in Havana and that people were starving. He didn’t believe it because he was not going hungry. He is supposed to have followed up on the story and told an officer responsible for overseeing such things, ‘I must be getting double-rations’. The reply was sobering: ‘you are!’ more..

Army conducts briefings to Southern travelers arriving in Jaffna at EPS

Nov 5 (cimic) For the convenience of visitors from the south to Jaffna and also to help preserve the cultural values and identity of the peninsula, Psychological Operations Branch and Civil Affairs Office of the Headquarters Security Forces -Jaffna (SF-J) commenced a programme to educate people entering Jaffna through Elephant Pass (EPS). Necessity arose to educate outsiders arriving in Jaffna on holiday and pilgrimage after more..

Our friends the Chinese and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize

Nov 5 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is, as this article is penned, in China on an official working visit, participating in a trade fair, an investor fair and also bi lateral discussions with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. China is Sri Lanka’s new best friend, rapidly beating out giant neighbour India. President Rajapaksa personally manages these two key relationships for Sri Lanka, with his Commonwealth games closing ceremony diplomacy with India and more..

No Lessons Learnt

Nov 5 (DM) The culmination of the LTTE rise was the CFA authored by the LTTE, Norway and UNP which granted territorial and judicial rights to the LTTE in a huge portion of Sri Lanka. The war intensified, Norway was discredited, LTTE defeated and Mahinda Rajapaksa got an unassailable political position with the Opposition discarded. One would have therefore thought that the UNP would fight shy of any connection with the Norwegians that brought them down, more..

Elephants go for illegally settled humans in Wilpattu

Nov 5 (LB) The illegal settlement of nearly 1000 families and the construction of an 18 kilometre highway in the Wilpattu North sanctuary will lead to an escalation of the human-elephant conflict. Not only will these actions accelerate the destruction of the unique eco system but also they will put the lives of thousands of resettled villagers’ in jeopardy, since they are being resettled in traditional elephant corridors. more..

Wahhabism debate: Is there intolerance or not?

Nov 5 (LB) With reference to Mr. Jamaldeen’s letter on this page it wasn’t the schismatic differences within Islam, but the intolerance towards other faiths espoused in the austere brand of Islamic teaching, Wahhabism, that was the focus of my story. One of the key postulates of teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the 18th century Saudi cleric and the founder of Wahhabism, is that Muslims who do not believe in his doctrines are ipso facto non-believers and more..

Devolution in Sri Lanka: ‘Some of out of the box’ thoughts

Nov 5 (TC) The possibility of an independent Tamil Eelam within the island of Sri Lanka is as dead as a 'DODO' now. Those who yet expect it to become a reality are living in a world of fantasy. Those yet actively scheming to resurrect the Tamil Eelam project should be aware that they are also simultaneously digging a mass grave for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. What are the alternatives? Devolution of powers to the periphery, particularly to the northern and eastern provinces, more..

Firing up students and firing up Norcchcholai

Nov 5 (LB) Notwithstanding the fact that the president met some UNP MPs and had a free discussion in his chamber in parliament, the fact remains that UNP MPs are by and large resentful of the president frequenting parliament, as he did last week with regard to deliberations of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance. Though UNP MPs are very much on talking terms with the president, and Ranjan Ramanayake for instance met him in his parliamentary chamber and more..

Are reconciliation and development possible?

Nov 5 (DM) In an ambitious pre-election manifesto, the Mahinda Chintana, President Rajapaksa outlined very specific and concrete goals touching on many aspects of Sri Lanka’s political economy and society – subjects included “a land of plenty,” “a disciplined and law-abiding society,” “clean water as Sri Lanka’s heritage,” “houses for all,” “electricity for everybody,” “a clean, green environment” and much more (p. 6). more..


Nov 5 (GV) Sanctity, or rather a loss of sanctity, anchors the meditations that you will find in the few passages below. A recent article in the Economist made a mildly facetious account of the current administration’s efforts to create a Sri Lankan society grounded in ‘good values and ethics.’ The article goes on to discuss the paradox of vice-and-virtue squads in the land that also produces Wonderbras, and of the all out war on public displays of affection. more..

LLRC: Another APRC?

Nov 5 (LG) The Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) after almost six months of its hearing of mainly opinions and some appeals of war victims, is expected to submit its final report on the November 15, 2010. The terms of reference clearly states the report must be transmitted to the President within six months. Accordingly the final date for submission of the report must be not later than November 15, 2010. more..

Editorial : LLRC: Discordant notes, positive signs

Nov 5 (Island) Eminent persons including religious dignitaries are coming forward to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). A group of Catholic priests led by His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on Wednesday made use of the LLRC platform to express their views on a host of issues which had, according to them, stood in the way of national reconciliation and caused disunity among different communities. more..

Editorial : Tourism: The facts behind the figures

Nov 5 (DM) Tourism is more than ever being promoted as an engine of development in post-war Sri Lanka. Tourism certainly brings in dollars. It is forecast that by 2020, 1.5 billion tourists will spend two trillion US dollars worldwide. But who gets this enormous money? Statistics offered by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) project an illusory picture of the contribution of tourism particularly to the Third World. more..

'Manju’s B sample test not conducted'

Nov 5 (AD) The B sample test was not conducted on Lankan Commonwealth Games boxing gold medalist Manju Wanniarachchi as was told to media earlier, National Olympic Committee sources said. An unnamed NOC official said that the reason as to why the test did not take place is still unclear. Earlier media was told that the examination will take place on Tuesday (Nov 2) at the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Examination Unit situated in New Delhi. more..

Lessons to be learnt and reconciliation – III

Nov 5 (Island) It is easy to brand me as an arrogant extremist and ignore my views as many English educated people in the country do. However, the English educated in the country constitute a small minority, albeit a powerful minority. Most of these people advocated peace talks with the terrorists while I, an extremist in the eyes of the powerful English educated elite, wanted the defeat of the LTTE militarily for twenty five years. more..

A turn for the worse? Undergraduate protests and unrest in Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (GV) Recent months in Sri Lanka have seen a dramatic increase in the number of protests involving thousands of university students, many of which have turned violent. An online poll by the Daily Mirror has, out of 795 votes to date, 79% agreeing that the involvement of university students in politics has far exceeded limits and needs to be curtailed. Some University lecturers have also found fault with themselves for the growing unrest. more..

Ranavuru Real Star commenced

Nov 5 (MoD) "Ranaviru Real Star", a production of National Rupawahini Corporation to stage the singing talents of war heroes, commenced its recording at Panagoda, Palali and Diyathalawa recently. Secretary Defence Goatabaya Rajapaksa yesterday, 3rd November, witnessed the recording of the "Ranaviru Real Star" at the Panagoda Army cantonment. Chairperson of the Defence ministry's Seva Vanitha Unit Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa, more..

Colombo schemes Sinhalicisation of Batticaloa

Nov 5 (TN) Following the end of war in Vanni last year, the Colombo government has taken over three thousand acres private land in Eastern Province in seven Tamil Divisional Secretariat areas for the purpose of setting up new Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camps, colonizing the traditional Tamil homeland with Sinhala people and for contracting the land to external actors for commercial exploitation, civil society circles in Batticaloa said. more..

UN event in Jaffna evokes controversy

Nov 5 (TN) Sri Lankan Lion flag was hoisted at the UN office of Jaffna on the occasion of UN Day this year unlike ever before and the guests of honour invited for the celebration event were Sri Lankan military officials, triggering controversy on the sudden change of practice by the UN office in Jaffna, the city which has been under the control of the Sri Lanka Army for the last 15 years. Civil society circles, expressing displeasure on attitudinal changes more..

Wimal Weerawanse’s party office in Batticaloa burnt down

Nov 5 (TN) Unidentified persons arriving on motor bikes set fire to the office of the NFF), a constituent of the UPFA government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, located along Punnaikkudaa Road in Ea’ravoor division in Batticaloa district Wednesday afternoon. NFF is a splinter group of the JVP that is currently campaigning vigorously against the regime of Rajapaksa. JVP is alleged to be instigating university students against the government. more..

14,000 more accidents this year, road mishaps up by 28%

Nov 5 (NF) The number of accidents occurred in this year has been increased by 14,000 this year, compared with the last year, says the Director of the Accident Ward at the Colombo National Hospital, Dr. Prasad Ariyawansa. According to Ariyawansa, 75,944 patients had received treatment at the hospital's OPD during the first eight months of last year. This year, the figure has increased to 88,102. more..

Action against drivers who don't dip headlights when required

Nov 5 (NF) Police will take legal action against drivers who do not dip their headlights when required. “Motorists travelling in the night should dip their headlights in a responsible manner when there is an oncoming vehicle, thereby enabling the oncoming drivers to see better,” said SP Prishantha Jayakody, Police Media Spokesperson. He pointed out that not dimming the high beam of headlights has been one of the primary causes for accidents more..

France won’t remove LTTE terrorist’s statue

Nov 5 (Island) The French embassy in Colombo says the French government cannot interfere with the decision taken by some members of a local government to erect a statue of Suppayya Paramu Tamilselvan. The following is the full text of a statement issued by the French embassy: "On an initiative taken by the Franco-Tamil association of La Courneuve, a bust of Suppayya Paramu Tamilselvan, sculpted by a local artist was unveiled on more..

'Political hands in denudation of forests'

Nov 5 (DM) Former MP Anagarika Dharmasekara said politicians and their supporters were responsible for the ongoing wanton destruction of forests and that over the past forty years the forest cover of the country had been reduced from 60 per cent to 21 per cent. Delivering the keynote address at a workshop for Dhamma school teachers in the Karuwalagaswewa Divisional Secretariat he said the Sinharaja Forest, which was a rain forest, declared as a World Heritage had been reduced from more..

Jaffna Open for Business, expo next January

Nov 5 (Island) The opening of the Jaffna economy after 30 years of civil conflict has opened opportunities for business, said the President of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Kosala Wickramanayake. Addressing the gathering at the launch of the second consecutive Jaffna trade fair he emphasised Jaffna has opened an avenue for local industries to expand business in the peninsula. more..

After decades of war, Sri Lanka bounces back

Nov 5 (BW) As recently as a year and a half ago, life in Colombo was tense. Residents were under constant threat of suicide bombs, and armed guards at checkpoints made crossing the city a hassle. "You went out every day not knowing what would happen," recalls Richard Vokes, Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director. Since government forces defeated the LTTE in May 2009, though, the sandbags and checkpoints are mostly gone, more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger arrested in Germany

Nov 5 (PTI) German authorities have arrested a 35-year-old suspected member of the Tamil Tiger rebel group on suspicion of membership in a foreign terrorist organisation and breeches of export laws. German Federal Prosecutors said Wednesday the suspect, identified only as Agilan W, had been arrested when he arrived at Duesseldorf airport the previous day. He had been extradited from Madagascar. Prosecutors suspect the man, a German citizen, of belonging to the German wing of more..

German MPs impressed by Jaffna’s unique beauty

Nov 5 (DM) The delegation of German MPs currently in Sri Lanka, headed to the North after a meeting with the Governor of the Northern Province Major General G. A. Chandrasiri. In the North, they visited the Cheddikulam Hospital which received financial assistance from the German Red Cross (DRK) and Menik Farm – where some of the projects had been funded by the German Organization - Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund ASB. more..

Army's demining work receives boost: UNICEF gifts equipment to ministry

Nov 5 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army's ongoing demining work and mine risk education programmes received a heartening stimulus on Wednesday when the UNICEF gifted vehicles, equipment and supplies, worth over Rs 30 million to the Ministry of Economic Development for acceleration of demining work and promotion of mine risk education. The UNICEF donation, including four Toyota land cruisers, six motorbikes and a range of multi-media equipment, more..

Special bus, train services for Deepavali

Nov 5 (DN) The Sri Lanka Transport Board together with Sri Lanka Railways have launched special bus and train services for the benefit of commuters attending the Deepavali festival. SLTB Chairman M D Bandusena told the Daily News over 60 additional buses were deployed by the SLTB to facilitate Deepavali commuters. He said this special bus services have already commenced from the Central Bus Stand in Pettah from Wednesday and currently being operated to more..

Countering rumours: Hospital equipment remain safe

Nov 5 (DN) All machines used at the Maharagama Cancer Hospital are totally safe and in the best standard. There is no threat whatsoever to the patients and it is safe to use these machines, Senior Consultant, Medical and Radiation Oncology, Dr Jayantha Balawardena said. There were misleading media reports on the safety of the machines used at the Maharagama Cancer Hospital which made patients scared. The media reports were baseless and fabricated. more..

The Significance of Deepavali

Nov 5 (TW) There are two mythological legends associated with Deepavali. The first Deepavali was held to celebrate the return of the Rama, King of Ayodhya, his wife sita and brother Lakshmana to Koshala after a war in which he killed the demon Ravana. It was getting dark, so people along the way lit oil lamps to light their way. Deepavali, also known as Diwali, is a festival of lights literally means “row or garland of lights”. more..

Rajitha plans to sell oysters to 20 countries

Nov 5 (Island) The National Aquatic Resources and Development Agency (NARDA) has launched a project to set up oyster farms in main lagoons. The first farm has been established at Kinniya, Trincomalee to meet the growing demand for oysters. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said Sri Lanka could export sea oysters to about 20 countries. He said the country could earn a substantial amount of foreign exchange by promoting such exports. more..

World Buddhist leaders arriving here for 2600 Sambuddha Jayanthi celebrations

Nov 5 (Island) The Maha Sangha of Sri Lanka has gained much recognition throughout the world for their erudition and dedication to the Sasana. The special programmes that are included in the 2600 Sambuddha Jayanthi celebrations will focus more attention and bring more international fame to them, Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne said. He was speaking at the presentation of the Sri Sannasa to the Most Ven. Aluthgama Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Thera of more..

Sri Lanka prez calls off Britain trip fearing arrest

Nov 5 (TOI) In an embarrassing turn of events, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse has been forced to cancel his proposed visit to Britain following fears that he might be arrested for alleged war crimes under British law. Rajapakse's provisional engagements included an address to the Oxford Union, and it's learnt that certain Sri Lankan Tamil organisations were planning to move court for his arrest. more..

Sri Lankan government wages 'war on drugs'

Nov 5 (wsws) Under the guise of an island-wide “war on the drug mafia”, the Sri Lankan police have conducted a wave of searches and arrests, particularly centring on Colombo city and surrounding suburbs. The campaign directed by the government is to justify the further strengthening of the state apparatus amid rising popular discontent over deteriorating living standards. The police narcotic bureau recently told the media that more..

Lankan govt to release 11 TN fishermen on Nov 8

Nov 5 (PTI) Eleven fishermen from Tamil Nadu, taken into custody by Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing in the island's territorial waters, will be released on Monday, a top coastguard official said here Friday. "The fishermen would be released and handed over to Indian coastguard at mid-sea on November 8. We have received information from the Sri Lankan government in this regard today," Coastguard Commanding Officer of Mandapam Station D S Saini said. more..

Elaborate arrangements for President’s swearing-in

Nov 5 (DN) The Organizing Committee for the inauguration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a second term of Office has emphasized that the ceremony will be celebrated as a National event. All posters, banners and cutouts connected with the event should have only the pictures of the President and no other individuals. Committee Chairman Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka added that this directive should be applied islandwide and that all posters, banners etc should not include more..

Proficiency in second language: Incentive allowance for public servants

Nov 5 (DN) The Government has decided to grant an incentive allowance to encourage public servants gain proficiency in a second language in addition to their mother tongue, Prime Minister D M Jayaratne said. He disclosed this when he addressed a meeting held at the Batticaloa District Secretariat to coincide with the launching of the national program to uplift all religious places of worship in the Batticaloa district yesterday. more..

White flag’ case: Defence Counsel admits worked for Leader Publications

Nov 5 (Island) Sunday Leader Editor Frederica Jansz, continuing her evidence before the Trial-at-Bar hearing the ‘White Flag’ case, admitted that their lead story of Dec. 13, 2009 headlined ‘Gota Ordered Them to be Shot,’ had been partly sourced from a cyber news network. The story alleged that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse had ordered the then General Officer Commanding of the 58 Division Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva to more..

Abandoned, then re-opened school produces 100% passes at Grade 5 Schol. Exam

Nov 5 (Island) All eight students of Belihulwana Vidyalaya, who sat the Grade Five Scholarship Examination this year, have passed due to the untiring efforts of four teachers, including school principal, S. A. S. K. Bandara. The government school closed about two years back had been re-opened on January 9, last year following the intervention of Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath. more..

Mobile users asked to prove SIM ownership

Nov 5 (Island) The Defence Ministry has issued a fresh notice to all mobile users to register their SIM cards before December 31st. The Ministry wants mobile users to prove their ownership. The Ministry had asked the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to issue the circular to all mobile phone service providers to register their customers and to maintain a detailed account of their customers. more..

Deepavali marks spirit of unity: President

Nov 5 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said with peace restored in the country, Hindus can now celebrate the Deepavali festival with freedom and in the spirit of unity that is marked by the increased harmony and understanding among communities irrespective of ethnic, religious and other difference that have kept them apart for a long period. “Sri Lanka is now at the beginning of a new era of development and more..

'I am not given even a cup of tea'

Nov 5 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka had told UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who visited him at Welikada Prison yesterday that he was not even given a cup of tea in his prison cell. He had also informed UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya and General Secretary Tissa Attanyake, who visited him yesterday, that no one had volunteered to provide him a cup of tea and more..