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'UNP has failed to recognise seniority'

Sep 29 (Island) The UNP has failed to recognise seniority and was being dictated to by "Johnny-Come-Latelys," Ravi Karunanayake MP, said yesterday. He told The Island that the problem with the UNP was that it does not respect nor reward seniors who have toiled for the party, but was pandering to the wishes of the "Johnny-Come-Latelys who are trying to be more DS than DS himself. more..

Environmental concern over Sri Lanka nuclear plans

Sep 29 (BBC) Environmentalists in Sri Lanka have expressed concern over government plans to build a nuclear power plant by 2025. Minister Champika Ranawaka announced that the government intends to build the plant to fulfil increasing demands for energy. The minister has said the country needs to ensure that there will be no power cuts in the future. But the campaigners say that the island is full of natural sources of energy. more..

Rains may trigger dengue again: Ministry

Sep 29 (DM) Although the number of dengue cases had seen a reduction last month, the numbers would rise this month due to rains experienced in the past few days, the Health Ministry said. Dr. Hasitha Thissera of the Epidemiology Unit said while 4000 dengue cases were reported in August, only 1500 cases were reported in September.He said with the monsoon rains there was a probability that the number of cases would rise to the numbers reported between May and July. more..

Former female fighters strive for a better life

Sep 29 (IRIN) Lalitha was 23, from Petiva Pullumalai, deep in Sri Lanka's eastern interior, when the LTTE came for her. At the time, each family living under LTTE control was required to provide a child to the separatist forces fighting for an independent Tamil homeland for three decades. Lalitha joined up to spare her younger sister. After heading a female Tamil Tiger team in battle for nine years, Lalitha escaped in 2004 to take care of more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 29.09.2010

Mahanayaka won’t interfere in SB vs undergrads case

Sep 30 (Island) The student union leaders of the University of Peradeniya, appealed to the Ven. Mahanayaka Thero of Malwatte for his intervention to withdraw charges against the four undergraduates remanded in connection with the protest demonstration against Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake at the Peradeniya University premises recently. The student leaders told the Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero, that more..

No terror attack in Sri Lanka since end of LTTE war

Sep 30 (IE) No terrorist act has taken place and no one has died due to the menace in Sri Lanka since the end of LTTE war last year, a top military commander has said. "Since 19th May 2009 until now, no terrorist act has taken place in Sri Lanka and no one has died due to terrorism," Commander of the Wanni Region Major General Kamal Gunaratne said. "Not only the people in the former LTTE dominated Wanni underwent sufferings and more..

Beauty products to come under scrutiny

Sep 30 (DM) The National Drugs and Cosmetic Devices Authority (NDCDA) will conduct raids on pharmacies and franchise dealers to apprehend those who sell various beauty and energy enhancement products, aphrodisiacs and many other health related drugs without quality assurance and registration by the NDCDA. Minister Maithripala Sirisena had decided to monitor the marketing of these drugs and more..

1000 schools to be developed as prestigious schools

Sep 30 (GDI) The Education Ministry has earmarked a plan to develop over 1,000 schools in urban, rural, and remote areas throughout the country with all resources. Among over 9700 schools in the country over 340 national schools are administered by the line ministry of education and all others come under the purview of Provincial administrations. These selected schools will be provided with all required resources in order to over come the high demand for more..

Sri Lanka happy with Commonwealth Games preparations

Sep 30 (PTI) Sri Lankan chef-de-mission for the Commonwealth Games has expressed satisfaction with the facilities and security at the athletes' Village in Delhi. Wing Commander Chandana Liyanage said the Lankan officials are happy with the preparations for the Games. "There are four floors allocated to the Sri Lankan athletes and officials and the rooms are in good condition," Liyanage said. more..

'89,000 War Widows'

Sep 30 (DM) Some 89,000 females in North and East have become widows due to war, Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs said today. Deputy Minister M.L.A.M Hizbullah, stated that there are 49,000 widowers in the East while 40,000 in the North. “About 25,000 are from Batticaloa, of which 12,000 are below age 40 and about 8000 of them have minimum three children, but none of them have any form of income,” he said. more..

IPKF monument is a monumental blunder for the island’s history

Sep 30 (LG) Does Sri Lanka need a monument for the IPKF? How many Sri Lankans were killed by the IPKF in the three years they went on a rampage scuttling civilians from pillar to post, conducting midnight raids and raping women, splintering Tamil militant groups and pitting one against the other? Stories are abound of how when the IPKF marched over bodies they slain and advanced into civilian homes slaughtering them by their hundreds. more..

LLRC in the Vanni

Sep 30 (LG) Many Journalist friends have inquired of me as to whether I knew why the LLRC did not allow the foreign media to cover the sitting of the LLRC in the Vanni. From all reports the LLRC appears to have missed out on a great opportunity to tell the world the whole truth and nothing but the truth by being defensive. I am reminded of a previous instance when we stupidly sought to cover-up and shield the men responsible for the killing of five boys in Trincomalee and more..

India loses the plot

Sep 30 (DP) The construction of the memorial for the Indian Peace Keeping Forces in Colombo has been mired in politics. First, it was an internal land row. Then, a minor debate on a mutually acceptable design for the memorial. And finally a political argument on when and who should inaugurate the memorial. Owing to a land dispute involving the Mayor of Colombo, it was decided to construct it alongside the World War II Memorial more..

Painting a target on a democracy's back

Sep 30 (LG) What better sign that Sri Lanka is a functioning democracy, than the very presence of the TNA in parliament? I can think of members of the First World who would not and do not permit such parties to function. Months after a bloody thirty years war, with a heavy military presence in the former conflict zones, a party which was a fellow traveller of the defeated terrorist enemy, was elected as the main representative of the Tamil people of the North. more..

Reptiles and bad referees

Sep 30 (GV) A couple of days ago, I watched an inter school girls basketball match in Colombo and I was appalled by the level of refereeing in terms of being biased towards one team. Refereeing any sport is not easy and human errors have to be excused, but as a sportsman when I saw so many seemingly biased decisions given in favor of one side leaves a trace of doubt as to whether there is indeed some collusion. more..

Rains cause havoc

Sep 30 (NF) Colombo received light showers in the morning hours but heavy rains were experienced in the afternoon and evening causing numerous inconveniences to the public. It affected the school children most. Meanwhile, heavy downpours have resulted in the opening of six sluice gates of the Rajangana Reservoir. Residents in the Kalaoya area have been cautioned to be vigilant as more sluice gates would be opened in the event the water levels rose further. more..

'Sri Lanka at forefront of developing countries'

Sep 30 (NF) Japan says that Sri Lanka is at the forefront of developing countries which has the capability to attract foreign investment. This was mentioned when a group of Japanese MPs met Sri Lankan Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratna at the Prime Minister's official residence today. The Japanese delegation had stated that if investment opportunities were to be broadened, infrastructure facilities should also be developed. more..

Army, Health Ministry to hold dengue programme

Sep 30 (MoD) The Health Ministry, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Army, is to hold a dengue control programme from October 7 to 13, for the second time this year, targeting schools, religious places, bus depots and commercial establishments. Coordinator of the National Dengue Control Programme, Dr. Nimalka Pannilahetti, said that the week was being held to prevent yet another outbreak of dengue this year, following the onset of the North Western monsoons. more..

SF-J hands over Vasavilan M.M.V. to education dept

Sep 30 (MoD) Disturbances to Education in certain parts of students which had been held back for years due to LTTE activities is being rectified once again by the government under the Uthuru Wasanthaya (Wadakkai Wasantham) Northern development programme providing more and more facilities to schools and students in Jaffna. At the same time, Security Forces Headquarters - Jaffna (SF-J), more..

A land fit for heroes or villains?

Sep 30 (LG) Heroism is a relative concept. ‘No man is a hero to his valet not because the hero is no hero but because a valet is a valet,’ was the observation of the German philosopher Georg Hegel. In Sri Lanka where the love for fellow human beings is not much evident, traditionally, one man’s hero has been another man’s villain. But suddenly last year, there was a surfeit of heroes. After the much celebrated victory over terrorism, we had a hundred thousand or more heroes in our land. more..

Winning War! Winning Peace?

Sep 30 (DM) If there is one thing that marks the success of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to New York for the UN General Assembly session this year, it was not his address, which was as bland as it was uninspiring. Not that it could have been anything better. In a way, his New York visit and his UN address were a message, considering that he had stayed away last year, only months after the decisive war-victory against the LTTE. more..

Interview III - Dr.Jayampathy Wickramaratne

Obama’s UN speech makes hints at SL

Sep 30 (DM) Given below is an extract from the speech of US President Obama at the 65th UN assembly held recently in New York. “In times of unease, there can also be an anxiety about human rights. Today, as in the past times of economic downturn, some put human rights aside for the promise of short term stability or the false notion that economic growth can come at the expense of freedom. We see leaders abolishing term limits. We see crackdowns on civil society. more..

Message of the crumbs from the banquet table

Sep 30 (DM) May dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam and assalamu alaikkum as you return from New York with a mixed baggage of diplomatic successes and failures, with showpieces and peace shows at the United Nations General Assembly sessions. According to reports, the External Affairs Ministry had been told to arrange sideline meetings with many Heads of State or Governments in New York. Yet only a few took place including a significant meeting with more..

Investors eager to verify future of BOI

Sep 30 (ST) Investors at a key investment forum in Colombo this week were eager to ascertain the status of the Board of Investment (BOI) following an exclusive Sunday Times report last week that the 32 year-old institution would be abolished and replaced with a more effective body with wider powers. While BOI Chairman Jayampathi was non-committal when drawn to comment on the future of the institution at more..

New BOI: Will it be a Rajapaksa-controlled unit?

Sep 30 (ST) Most people are in favour of the Board of Investment (BOI) being dismantled (see results of email poll on Page 1) but there is skepticism that a new unit could be yet another Rajapaksa-controlled institution. One respondent said the BOI was politicized when a close confidante of the Rajapaksa regime who apparently funded the first presidential election campaign was appointed to run it. “It was the wrong person for the job. more..

Sri Lankan firms told be ready for global standards

Sep 30 (LBO) Sri Lankan companies should be ready to adopt global accounting and corporate governance standards and recognise that investors are ready to pay a premium for better governed firms, an international capital markets regulator said. "Standards around the world are increasingly likely to converge," said Jane Diplock, chairperson of the Executive Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions. more..

New and old at Thihariya mosque

Sep 30 (ST) One of the oldest mosques in the Gampaha district, the Thihariya Al-Masjidul Rawla Jummah Grand Mosque, built in 1916 is being restored and rebuilt. Several of is distinctive architectural features and antiques will be incorporated in the new three-storey building including its carved door frames, window panes with colourful glass, antique almirahs, a casket that weighs around 25 kg and more..

Whither higher education in Sri Lanka? – I

Sep 30 (Island) In Sri Lanka the term higher education refers to the education received after a secondary school career often in a university or a tertiary educational institution. Modern university education in Sri Lanka goes back to 1942 when the University of Ceylon was established by the amalgamation of two reputed institutions the Ceylon Medical College and the University College (functioning under the University of London). more..

Good time to target inflation, says IMF

Sep 30 (Island) IMF Resident Representative in Sri Lanka, Dr. Koshy Mathai said with inflation at low levels in Sri Lanka, the Central Bank was in a good position to reform its monetary policy framework to directly target inflation, rather than targeting money supply. "The idea is simply that many central banks around the world have found that targeting the money supply is not always the best way to achieve inflation objectives since more..

Anarkali wants to withdraw abduction case

Sep 30 (NS) When the case of the alleged abduction of film actress and present Southern Provincial Council member Anarkali Akarsha was taken up for hearing on Thursday, Additional Magistrate Ruchira Wellawatta objected to her attorney’s request to withdraw the complaint and advised the Wellawatta police to await the Attorney General’s (AG) instructions on the issue. more..

The UPFA has pre-empted the UNP’s role

Sep 30 (LB) Superficial observers attribute the debacle of the UNP to a leadership crisis, factional squabbles and Ranil’s meagre inspirational qualities. There is truth in this and history’s movements are invariably lubricated by anecdotal happenings and individual peccadilloes. The real truth however, is that there is in addition to the dirty linen in the UNP laundry basket a deeper reason why the UNP fell; and also why it will not rise again, more..

Editorial: Pirates of Somalia

Sep 30 (DM) Minutes before the speech by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, the President of Malawi emphasized the need to have an organized international campaign to counter Somali pirates.Three days after his address a Sri Lankan captain of a UAE ship was shot and killed by the pirates operating in the seas off Somalia. This certainly is not the first time that a Sri Lankan became a victim of more..

‘Alternate’ JHU stand on losing Mathata Thitha battle

Sep 30 (LB) People seem to have forgotten the Mathata Thitha concept which at the initial stages caused a hue and cry among liquor consumers who thought that liquor consumption might be halted. Now it’s booze galore, it seems! Meanwhile, there are certain political parties in Sri Lanka which are religious over the Mathata Thitha concept. The JHU is one. more..

Editorial: Let's stop killing our enemy's enemy

Sep 30 (Island) Dengue, which apparently beat a tactical retreat sometime ago owing to inclement weather conditions, is sure to make a comeback in the next few days with the monsoonal rains lashing many parts of the country. So, no room must be left for complacency if we are to avert disaster looming on the horizon. All it takes to destroy scores of precious lives is a blocked roof gutter or a discarded can. more..

UN Ban confined mention his Sri Lanka War Crimes Panel to Rajapaksa

Sep 30 (ICP) Five days after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa met and then issued different summaries of their meeting, ICP asked Ban adviser Nicholas Hayson to explain the discrepancy. Haysom admitted that after the “open” meeting between the two men, which included advisers including Haysom, there was a “tete a tete” meeting, one on one, which the UN did not include in its purported summary of the meeting(s). more..

'Census of the Sangha will be taken shortly'

Sep 30 (Island) Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne told a meeting of the Sangha in the Kandy District that the names of all members of the Sangha would be compiled in a register. Details of each Bhikku, with the certification of his teacher, will be entered in the register at the Ministry of Buddhist Affairs Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne said. Not a single Bhikku will be left out. The arrangement will leave no room for anyone to evade, more..

Incessant rain in Anuradhapura: Floods submerge over 100 houses

Sep 30 (DN) Over 100 houses in Anuradhapura were submerged by flood waters following incessant rain which lasted for nearly eight hours Tuesday. Residents said they had not experienced such heavy showers for the last 20 years. Areas worst affected included Hidogama, Pavakkulama, Maha Nelubewa, and 8th and 12th canal areas. Some of the houses were three to four feet under water while several wells and culverts were also damaged by flood waters. more..

Indonesian coal for power plant

Sep 30 (DN) A cargo vessel with coal on board to generate electricity for the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant will arrive in Sri Lanka by October end. The cost of the first shipment of 65,500 MT of coal from Indonesia will be US$ 7 million. Space has been allocated to store coal at Norochcholai. It has been estimated that one million tons of coal are needed to generate 300 Mw electricity during the year, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. more..

Bishop seeks equal aid for Tamil refugees

Sep 30 (UCAN) A Tamil bishop in Sri Lanka has appealed to authorities for equal distribution of aid and cash grants to resettled families. “Deal fairly with all refugees as they had lost virtually every possession they owned to the war,” Bishop Rayappu Joseph of Mannar diocese appealed to state officials in a recent meeting on Sep.21. Northern people displaced from their homes between 1990-2009 are returning to their ruined villages. more..

SB seeks Indian help to develop Universities

Sep 30 (DN) Higher Education Minister SB Dissanayake sought Indian assistance to set up an Engineering Faculty and augment the Agriculture Faculty at the Jaffna University. Minister Dissanayake on an official visit to India met Indian Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and also explored the possibility of getting prominent Indian Professors to undertake teaching assignments at Sri Lankan Universities during their sabbatical leave. more..

Navies of India and Lanka hold discussions

Sep 30 (Hindu) Officers of the Indian Navy on Wednesday held talks with Sri Lankan Navy personnel on the reported attacks on Indian fishermen, and discussed ways to avoid such incidents. The talks were held on board the INS Kukri, an offshore patrol vessel, at the International Maritime Boundary Line near Point Calimere. Commodore Rajiv Girotra, Naval Officer In-Charge, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, who led the Indian Navy delegation, more..

Sri Lanka set to release over 400 former Tamil rebels

Sep 30 (DPA) The Sri Lankan government is set to release over 400 former Tamil rebels who have undergone rehabilitation from detention camps in the north of the country on Thursday, a military spokesman said Wednesday. An official ceremony to mark their release is to take place in Vavuniya, 240 kilometres north of the capital Colombo, where two detention facilities are located. more..

14-year-old alleged rape victim gets a baby

Sep 30 (DM) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said yesterday it was inquiring into the case of a 14-year-old girl who gave birth to a baby at the Borella Castle Street Hospital. The NCPA said according to reports it had received, the teenager had been allegedly raped by a mason who frequented her home. The girl said her mother was mentally unstable and her father had died sometime ago but she was unable to identify who admitted her to the hospital. more..

Lankan Micro cars for Nepal

Sep 30 (DM) Micro Cars Limited, a subsidiary of the Transmec Group, founded by Dr. Lawrence Perera, will export 150 MX-7 Sedan’s to Nepal within the next one year with the first ten units expected to leave the island shortly. Dr. Perera said each vehicle is sold in Sri Lanka for Rs. 2.2 million. "We would export the vehicles for US$ 10,000 (approx. Rs. 1.1 million) and they would be sold to consumers for a value equivalent to Rs. 2.3 million." more..

Caretaker govt. a must during polls - TISL

Sep 30 (Island) Like in India, Sri Lanka should have caretaker governments during elections, Transparency International Executive Director J. C. Weliamuna says. Speaking at a discussion titled ‘Integrity of the Electoral Process 2010’, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on Tuesday, he said a code of conduct with powers vested in the Supreme Court, like in India, was essential for guaranteeing free and fair elections. more..

Basil wants Jaffna development expedited

Sep 30 (Island) At the Jaffna District Development Council meeting, held at the District Secretariat, Minister Basil Rajapakse instructed all the departmental heads to work in tandem with the District Secretary and Divisional Secretaries in the ongoing process of de-mining, resettlement and development. Minster of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda attended the meeting. more..

Grade-1 lists out tomorrow

Sep 30 (DM) The long awaited finalisation of Government school admissions for grade one had come and the list of the children qualified to be admitted for 2011 would be displayed at the relevant schools from tomorrow, education ministry officials said. The Secretary of the Ministry of Education- Sunil S. Sirisena had already notified school principals to display the temporary lists of names of selected children. more..

Unregistered herbal ‘medicine’: Ban on way

Sep 30 (DN) The Health Ministry yesterday decided to ban all types of unregistered herbal medicines that are available in the market on the directive of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Most of these medicines are advertised in newspapers. The health authorities are not aware of their composition, efficacy and after effects. This decision was arrived at a meeting with the officials of National Drug and Cosmetic Devices Authority more..