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'UNP will make headway irrespective of leader'

Aug 9 (SO) The UNP, founded by the first Prime Minister of Ceylon D.S. Senanayake in 1946, had ruled the country for over three decades under a number of leaders. Its previous leaders ensured that the UNP didn’t remain in the Opposition for more than one parliamentary term. However, since 1994 the UNP has been experiencing a steady decline suffering defeat after defeat at successive elections. However, when scrutinising and analysing the election results more..

Karu left the UNP to support the genocidal war against the Tamil people

Aug 9 (TC) The simple answer to the victory of the TNA in the north, while Mahinda regime won in the south, is national division in the country. Victory of Mahinda in Sinhala areas shows that the Sinhala chauvinist campaign is still strong among the Sinhala village masses. It is not so much in urban areas though. Similarly the Tamils in Tamil home land voted against the killers of Tamil liberation struggle. However, this simple overall picture does not tell us the whole truth. more..

TNA has deprived Rajapaksas of a fig leaf by opting out of talks

Aug 9 (TC) The historic-trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak commenced last week. In a delicious irony, the trial of the man once hailed as a modern-day pharaoh was held in Cairo’s Police Academy which, just a few months ago, bore his name. Mr. Mubarak, clad in a prison uniform, was brought into the improvised courtroom on a hospital stretcher and placed inside a metal cage, together with his two sons (including one-time heir apparent Gamal) and several associates. more..

'No purpose in a PSC without progress in govt-TNA talks'

Aug 9 (TC) The TNA last week gave an ultimatum to the government to respond to its set of proposals on finding a solution to the ethnic question. TNA MP, M. A. Sumanthiran speaks to The Nation on the reasons for giving an ultimatum at this juncture and on the issues that arose following his speech in London. Following are the excerpts: Q. The TNA had issued an ultimatum till August 18 for the government to respond to the proposals submitted by you. more..

Editorial: Gunawardena in cloud-cuckoo-land

Aug 9 (Island) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena has scared the whole caboodle of private bus operators out of their wits. They are cowering and screaming like small children. What has really frightened these toughies capable of even standing up to the police and powerful politicians? Minister told the media the other day that schoolchildren sitting the GCE (A/L) exam this month would be able to travel in private buses free of charge during the exam period. more..

Editorial: Consider other methods to eradicate dengue

Aug 9 (DM) Despite all the remedial or preventive measures, the dengue and viral flu epidemics have reached their worst-ever proportions this year with some 115 deaths and more than 14,000 people being affected by dengue. It is clear that western medicine or allopathy has had little effect in curbing the epidemic and the govt needs to act urgently in uitilisng remedial measures available in other forms of medicine. Health action groups have for several years been more..

'Sri Lanka could be at risk due to US credit rating downgrade'

Aug 9 (Island) Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) said Sri Lanka, whose B+ sovereign rating it had recently upgraded to positive from stable, could be at risk if external bond markets continue to weaken after it cut the US sovereign rating from AAA to AA earlier this month. S & P on Monday (8) said if the US or European economies contracted further, economies such as Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Australia, more..

Chaos in Colombo: Męlée over jobs indicates a serious economic problem in Sri Lanka?

Aug 9 (GV) Anushka Wijesinha, a Research Economist at the Institute of Policy Studies, sent us these incredible photos and video of the chaos in Colombo today when thousands of Korean job seekers appeared for Korean exam applications at the Police Park down Havelock Road. Mainstream media reports a figure of 10,000, which going by the video and photos appear to be mostly young men. As Anushka notes, of the 4.5% unemployment rate overall in Sri Lanka, 18.1% of youth more..

The Disillusionment of the Diaspora

Aug 9 (GV) Indi’s post entitled “How Diaspora Can Overthrow The Government” set me off on a train of thought. Thought about the Sri Lankan diaspora, its role in Sri Lanka, both now and in the future. The first mental hurdle I encountered was that of the definition of the word “diaspora”. What exactly is the diaspora? I was once involved in a discussion here in London in which a Sri Lankan (as I saw her) lady objected to being classed as “diasporic”. Her reasoning was more..

Sinister reason for not resettling people in their own villages says TNA

Aug 9 (TC) The TNA has received information that at a meeting held yesterday at Mullaitivu, attended by senior civilian and military officials, the following decisions have been arrived at: That the Internally Displaced Persons from the villages of Puthumathalan, Mullivaikkal West, Mullivaikkal East, Ambalavanpokkanai, Valaignar Madam and Anandapuram in the Mullaitivu who are presently at the Menik Farm camp at Chettikulam or with host families, more..

Special degree programme in Chemistry

Aug 9 (Island) The College of Chemical Sciences, which Is the educational arm of the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, has called for applications for its very popular Graduateship Programme in Chemistry conducted by it since 1979. This programme at the Special degree Honours level of a recognized University will be inaugurated on 7th January 2012 at Adamantane House which is the headquarters of the Institute situated at 341/22, Kotte Road, Weilkada, Raiagiriya. more..

Trade Unions oppose Worker Councils

Aug 9 (Island) All trade unions in the country oppose the establishment of the worker councils, a recent initiative taken by the govt, which is regarded as a possible threat to trade unions, General Secretary of the Free Trade Zone Workers’ Union, Anton D. Marcus, said. "The BOI has already introduced it to the BOI established enterprises and there had been a lot of employees opposing it," he said. According to Marcus, the employers have used more..

'No decision yet to field Anoma'

Aug 9 (DM) No decision has been made to field DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka’s wife Anoma as the mayoral candidate of the Colombo Municipal Council at the upcoming local government elections, DNA MP Arjuna Ranatunga said yesterday. Mr. Ranatunga who was among several Parliamentarians who visited former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka at the Welikada prison said the DNA leader had not made any directions with regard to the local government elections yet. more..

VC of Vavuniya UC allegedly threatened

Aug 9 (DM) The Vice Chairman of the Vavuniya Urban Council, M. Mukuntharathan, claimed that he had received a letter threatening to kill him unless he quits the vice chairmanship within 24 hours. Mr Mukuntharathan had reported the incident to the Vavuniya police which he said had been sent in the name of the “Jihad Movement’. He said that the letter had read, “You are trying to prevent us from constructing a building in our own land by fencing it. You will be counting death if you more..

Medical students accused of murder to go for mediation

Aug 9 (DM) Kandy Chief Magistrate Udaya Karalliyadde ordered that the charges against two medical students of attempting to murder a fellow student of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Peradeniya be sent to the Mediation Board for determination, This order was made after the conclusion of non-summary proceedings. Upon being asked by the Chief Magistrate whether he had anything to submit to court after non-summary proceedings concluded, more..

Universities return to normal

Aug 9 (DM) With academics resuming duties at their voluntary administrative posts from Monday, normalcy has now returned to universities after the two-month long protest and the tug-o-war between academics and Vice Chancellors. FUTA President Nirmal Dewasiri said they decided to resume duties following a request from the university administration. “Some issues concerning the validity of the resignation letters we tendered are still to more..

'Batticaloa fish production up by 22 pc'

Aug 9 (DN) The fish production in the Batticaloa district had increased by 22 percent in the past six months which is a significant development in the fisheries industry in the Northern province, said Minister Rajitha Senaratne. The minister was addressing the opening ceremony of the engine storage room in the Weddipalayam fishery harbour premises, recently. In the past, over 40 percent of the fish production in Sri Lanka was in the North and it reduced to eight percent due to the conflict. more..

Nurses to launch protest tomorrow

Aug 9 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association warned they would stage a one-hour protest campaign tomorrow (10) against recruiting nurses with lower educational qualifications. GNOA President, Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday that the Health Ministry was recruiting GCE A/L students with arts and commerce qualifications for hospitals in the North and East. The protest is scheduled to commence at 12.00 noon in front of the Trincomalee General Hospital. more..

Women's only bus service

Aug 9 (DN) All arrangements have been made to operate a bus service exclusively for women, by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama in keeping with a concept of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. As a first step, there will be two trips made on route No 138 in the morning and evening by a women's only bus from Kottawa to Pettah and back. The first journey of the bus will be flagged off by the Transport Minister tomorrow at 7 am at Kottawa junction. more..

Japan confers ‘Order of the Rising Sun’ on Sameen

Aug 9 (Island) The Govt of Japan has conferred ‘The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette’ upon Isfahani Sameen, former World President of the Junior Chamber International and former Western Provincial Councillor, in recognition of his contributions to promoting bilateral relations between Japan and Sri Lanka, as well as international relations between Japan and other countries. The conferment ceremony took place at the Colombo residence of more..

Emergency Units in all Sabaragamuwa hospitals

Aug 9 (Island) The Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council has decided to set up emergency units, in all hospitals of the province, to reduce the ever increasing numbers of accident victims. The road accident rate in the province has gone up to 27 per cent. Under this programme, the Warakapola District Hospital will get a well-equipped emergency unit. Of late road accidents had shown an upward trend and it was essential to have a well-equipped emergency unit set up in hospitals with required more..

Sri Lankan officials in last-ditch effort to save Rizana

Aug 9 (AN) Senior govt officials from Sri Lanka have arrived in Riyadh to negotiate a last-minute pardon for a Sri Lankan housemaid on death row. Sri Lanka's Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka and former Sri Lankan Ambassador in Riyadh Ibrahim Sahib Ansar, who is currently posted in Cairo, have arrived in Riyadh on a mission to negotiate Rizana Nafeek’s release. more..

'Nishanthi’s death due to chronic disease'

Aug 9 (DN) The Higher Education Ministry denied news reports which linked university entrant Nishanthi Madhushani Tennakoon’s death to the leadership training programme launched by the ministry, and said Nishanthi died of a chronic disease and not as a result of the leadership programme she underwent. Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said when the ministry contacted the officer-in-charge of the training centre in Diyatalawa and Nishanthi’s family members they admitted that Nishanthi had suffered from a chronic catarrhal aliment from childhood. more..

Fraudster who duped many job hunters nabbed

Aug 9 (DM) The Nugegoda Police Emergency Unit arrested a person who had cheated many people by promising them employment and obtaining millions by claiming that he was connected to many govt ministers. The suspect, who was taken into custody in Dehiwala, had allegedly promised job seekers that he could get them jobs at institutions such as the Hambantota Port, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), the Bank of Ceylon (BOC), the Agrarian Services Department, more..

Sri Lankan Doctor in UK accused of sexually assaulting two pregnant patients

Aug 9 (DM) A doctor was accused of sexually assaulting two pregnant patients during intimate examinations and attempting to kiss a midwife on the breast. Priyantha Kandanearachchi told one woman in her 39th week of pregnancy, ‘This is going to be the most pleasurable experience of your life’, before conducting an internal examination, a disciplinary panel heard. The locum obstetrician later allegedly squeezed a second pregnant patient’s bottom while more..

Dambulla Stadium chairs replaced

Aug 9 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket would like to inform the public that all spectator chairs removed from the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium have been replaced. The Chairs in question were replaced yesterday. SLC wants to place on record that these chairs were removed as a temporary measure, in order to meet the demand during World Cup 2011. Chairs from the Dambulla Stadium were removed since the original chairs ordered for the World Cup did not arrive on time. more..

UNIDO, Ind. Ministry to set up Bamboo processing industry

Aug 9 (DM) The United Nation’s Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, has initiated a new project to set up bamboo industries in Sri Lanka. As part of this project, Indian experts will begin to share their expertise to start Sri Lanka’s bamboo processing industry. India reportedly has the second largest bamboo stocks in the world after China. With a total value of $ 15.9 million, the project will more..

Maldivian MPs clash over maritime agreement with Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (MN) MPs clashed today over a motion without notice calling on the govt to terminate a reported agreement with Sri Lanka to allow its vessels passage across Maldivian waters, raising fears of increased illegal fishing in the country’s economic zone. The motion was proposed by MP Ali Saleem of the opposition DRP in the wake of reports in the Sri Lankan media about the maritime agreement and contradictory statements by more..

Sri Lanka state revenues up 19.7 to May

Aug 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state revenues rose 19.7 percent to 358.3 billion rupees in the five months to May 2011 in line with an annual targeted rate of 17.8 percent and expenses rose 5.4 percent to 417.1 billion rupees, official data showed. But there was still a gap between current expenditure and total revenues (deficit of the account) of 58.8 billion rupees indicating that the state cannot manage day to day expenses with total revenues, according monthly fiscal data released by the Central Bank. more..

Support in international fora in focus as Rajapaksa leaves for Beijing

Aug 9 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday left for China on his second visit to the country in less than a year, against the backdrop of deepening diplomatic and economic ties and concerns about Chinese infrastructure projects in the island nation. Mr. Rajapaksa will attend the opening of the 2011 Universiade, or university games, in the southern port city of Shenzhen, and is also scheduled to hold talks with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing. more..

UNP’s make-or-break meeting today; factions gird themselves for fray

Aug 9 (Island) With the next round of local govt elections due next October a group of leading UNP reformists yesterday morning held a secret meeting in Colombo at the residence of one of their strongmen to discuss the modalities to expel Ranil Wickremesinghe from the party leadership. Political sources said yesterday’s meeting was in preparation for today’s crucial Group meeting which many feel will be decisive for its future. more..

Reformists back Imitiaz for mayoral post

Aug 9 (DM) The UNP reformists yesterday decided to propose the name of former MP and senior UNPer Imitiaz Bakeer Markar as the mayoral candidate at elections to the Colombo Municipal Council, MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. He said the reformists had discussed their political strategies for changing the party leadership and added that the UNP could win the elections to the remaining 25 local councils if deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya was appointed party leader without further dilly dallying. more..

150 rehabilitated LTTE cadres to be released on Friday

Aug 9 (DM) Another batch consisting of 150 rehabilitated LTTE cadres who are in their early twenties are to be released into society on Friday in Vavuniya, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe said. Presently the cadres in the rehabilitation process are undergoing a final test in mason skills, handicraft work and paintings. The rehabilitated cadres have been given vocational, language and communication training to improve their more..

GCE (A/L): Bus operators ignore Bandula’s free travel request

Aug 9 (Island) The state owned SLTB and private bus operators have ignored Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena’s request that schoolchildren sitting the GCE (A/L) exam, which commenced yesterday, be allowed to travel free of charge during the examination period. Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said Minister Bandula Gunawardena had been duped by more..

Post-war challengers: STF Chief believes in quality not quantity

Aug 9 (Island) STF Commandant DIG R.W.M C. Ranawana yesterday said that he preferred a smaller force to meet post-war challengers. Addressing the media, the STF veteran emphasized the importance of the quality of troops. The strength of the elite arm of the police department wasn’t in the numbers, he asserted. Ranawana, who has served the STF for 28 years out of 33-year career, said that the force comprised about 8,000 officers and men, more..

Envoy expresses concern over Chennai attack

Aug 9 (DM) Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner V. Krishnamoorthy said yesterday he expressed his concerns to the Tamil Nadu Police about the recent attack on 74 Sri Lankan pilgrims. Three pilgrims were injured in the attack, which was alleged to have been carried out by a pro LTTE group last Thursday. “I did not protest but expressed my concern about what happened in a diplomatic manner,” more..

'Staggered LG elections under ER gave Govt. unfair advantage'

Aug 9 (Island) The govt, by holding staggered local authority elections under Emergency Regulations, had gained an unfair advantage over its rivals, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said. He told said that if polls to 299 of the 335 local councils had been conducted on one day, instead of staggering it over two rounds, the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime could not have abused State resources and violated electoral laws to more..

Battle against spin no secret: White

Aug 9 (Age) Australia's Twenty20 captain Cameron White says it's no secret how the country's batsmen perform against spin will go a long way to determining their success levels in Sri Lanka. White's charges failed the first major test by an Australian team against Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis in Kandy on Monday, as the 26-year-old secured the incredible figures of 6-16 - the first six-wicket haul more..

Sri Lanka’s pesticides pack not only mercury and arsenic, but also cyanide!

Aug 9 (LB) An internationally recognised laboratory in Malaysia has confirmed not only the presence of arsenic and mercury in pesticides used in Sri Lanka -- but also the presence of cyanide. The spokesperson for the group of university experts, Dr. Channa Jayasumana accepted the challenge of pesticides marketers to conduct such tests in a foreign laboratory, in the presence of overseas experts. more..

JJ alleges Dallas engaged in image building project

Aug 9 (Island) The UNP accused the cash-strapped govt of squandering taxpayers’ money on image building projects. Gampaha District MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena demanded Minister Dallas Alahapperuma to reveal the amount of funds spent on the setting up of Youth parliament. Referring to a recent statement attributed to Youth Services Chief Lalith Pium, the UNPer said that actual expenditure was much higher than Rs. 5 mn contrary to the govt’s claims. more..