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Editorial: Do not be afraid of other races, religions

Aug 10 (DM) Fear has been a crippling emotion in humanity, from time immemorial. This has caused havoc in various civilizations. It has also been instrumental in lifting people to heights that seem unattainable. Fear of danger or harm brings out the worst in us, sometimes leading to violence. Fear of the future, makes us at other times to want to strive to build a secure future for tomorrow. Psychologists say, every person born into this world, is infected with different types of fear. more..

CID warns businesses against using pirated software

Aug 10 (Island) The Anti-Piracy & Counterfeit Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lanka Police is stepping up enforcement on businesses in violation of the provision of the Intellectual Property Law of Sri Lanka. The Unit carried out a raid recently suspected of infringing the intellectual property rights of members of the Business Software Alliance, represented by Sudath Perera Associates. more..

Is there a method in this madness?

Aug 10 (SL) In days gone by, whenever some seemingly irrational action had an outcome that had a certain logic to it – which had not been anticipated by the observer – it used to be said that there had been a “method in the madness,” a kind of back-handed acknowledgment of the cunning of the perpetrator and/or the naivety of the observer. What is increasingly evident is that our current regime, in its seemingly never-ending application of the “circle-the-wagons -and-shoot-wildly-outwards” more..

Rajapaksas biting their own tail, two years too late

Aug 10 (SL) A popular TV programme that tests general knowledge of the middle class in Sri Lanka for millions of rupees as awards, recently asked a contestant, who the present Election Commissioner was. The choice of answers given to pick from, had four names. The contestant not knowing the answer, was allowed the option of using the knowledge of the audience. That was a pathetic display of ignorance in this urban polity, with 90 percent giving wrong answers. Dissanayake, who exited recently, was more..

Vasu optimistic TNA will attend PSC

Aug 10 (DN) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara was optimistic that the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) will be appointed this week in order to find a permanent political solution to the ethnic problem in a bid to arrive at a consensus among all political parties. Since Parliament is a vibrant democratic institution and it represents all parties and all ethnic groups it will be the easiest way to find a permanent solution to this problem, he told more..

Milangoda Raja - The majestic tusker that was

Aug 10 (SO) Millangoda Raja - the tusker who lived in Molagoda Kegalle, left this world leaving a huge vacuum in our invaluable elephant population especially the ones bringing great pride and dignity. It is not only his tusks that wowed the world but his dignity representing our majestic elephants - Sri Lanka’s flagship species. Today the Millangoda family is mounting a replica of the ‘Raja’ giving tribute to this legendary animal. “We are on the process of mounting the replica and a professional more..

Sri Lanka to target doubling of aquaculture production

Aug 10 (FT) Considering the growing importance of aquaculture to the food security of the Asia-Pacific region, I think, this is a very timely initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organization to support the countries in the region to strategise future aquaculture development programmes with a view to getting maximum benefit to their growing populations. Over the last few decades, the fisheries sector in our region has shown much progress, not only in aquaculture production, but more..

Keep politicians out of the Bar association

Aug 10 (SL) In times of political crisis, lawyers in many countries have come forward to play a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of the administration of justice, national interests and democracy itself. Pakistan’s lawyers played such a crucial role when military dictator Pervez Musharraf (who seized power in a military coup) attempted to consolidate himself in office by manipulating the constitution. His first move was to sack the incumbent Chief Justice from office, more..

Govt. & Opposition members congratulate Speaker

Aug 10 (DM) A sense of unity prevailed in Parliament yesterday with members of both government and opposition benches congratulating Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on his election as the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union (CPU). Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne who felicitated the Speaker said he had bought honour to his own family and the nation. Mr. Jayaratne made this point by reminding that Speaker hails from a family that served Parliament for several decades. more..

Sugar cane cultivation to be revived in Kilinochchi

Aug 10 (Island) The Ministry of Minor Crop Exports, along with the Sugar Cane Research Institute, has taken steps to revive sugar cane cultivation in the earlier war torn Kilinochchi district, Ministry Secretary, Vajira Narampanawa said. "We will launch a pilot project to cultivate sugar cane in 100 acres in the Skandapuram area in Kilinochchi," he said. Before the war there had been nearly 300 acres of sugar cane cultivation in the same area. Under this project the ministry is planning to more..

Vidulka 2011 exhibition

Aug 10 (DN) Vidulka 2011 the national annual exhibition, symposium and awards ceremony organized by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) is to be inaugurated on August 11 under the patronage of Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne. This event will be held at the BMICH from August 11 to 14. The first day, August 12 is dedicated to schoolchildren. The objective of this event is to enhance the energy efficiency in all sectors and promote renewable energy technologies. more..

SLT dials Rs. 3.26 b pre-tax profit in 1H

Aug 10 (FT) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has posted a consolidated pre-tax profit of Rs. 3.26 billion in the first half up by 51% from the performance achieved in the corresponding period of last year. The Group consists of parent company Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) and seven subsidiaries, including the company’s mobile arm Mobitel. During the first six months, SLT group has recorded a net profit after tax of Rs. 2.44 b, which is a growth of 77% over the same period of prior year. more..

Brig. Hapuarachchi new military spokesman

Aug 10 (DM) Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi of the Sri Lanka Engineering Corps will assume duties as the military spokesman today. During his 29-year service in the Army which he joined in 1982 he has held several Command and Staff appointments. During the war, he served as Brigadier General Staff at the Wanni Security Forces Headquarters and handled a challenging task in Jaffna as troops were advancing towards the North during Wanni humanitarian operations. He replaces Major General Ubaya Medawala. more..

Unknown actresses organizations mount pressure on Police probe

Aug 10 (LP) Hitherto unknown actresses organizations, which have no reputed membership of popular film stars have begun to mount pressure on the police to stop the arrests of several teledrama actresses involved in prostitution. Police said over the past few days, women claiming to be members of such organization were pressurizing the police, claiming that arrest of teledrama actresses involved in brothel ring caused damage to the reputation of actresses. more..

Catholic Church condemns attack on pilgrims in TN

Aug 10 (Island) The Roman Catholic Church in Sri Lanka yesterday condemned the attack on a group of pilgrims, who were on their way to Vellankerny in South India last week, allegedly by a group of LTTE supporters. "Over 100 Sri Lankan’s who were members of the Dehiyangatha Parish in Ja-Ela, accompanied by Rev Fr Terrence Bodiyabaduge and Rev Fr Patrick Perera, were the victims," the church said. The Sri Lanka Catholic Church also made a request to its counterpart in India to make more..

Church questions sustainable peace

Aug 10 (UCAN) Politicians and religious leaders last week expressed concerns about the sustainability of peace and reconciliation efforts in the wake of nearly three decades of civil war. A panel discussion titled: “The role of political leaders in the processes of healing and reconciliation towards sustainable peace in the country” at the offices of Caritas Sri Lanka brought together Anglican and Catholic bishops, priests, Buddhist monks, laypeople and government officials. more..

Sri Lanka counters Channel 4

Prosecutors seek as much as 24-1/2 years for Rajaratnam

Aug 10 (Reuters) Prosecutors asked a federal judge to sentence Raj Rajaratnam to as much as 24-1/2 years in prison, calling the Galleon Group hedge fund founder "arguably the most egregious violator" of insider trading laws ever to be caught. Rajaratnam, who was convicted of insider trading in May, should receive a sentence of between 235 to 293 months, or roughly 19-1/2 to 24-1/2 years, said prosecutors in a court filing Tuesday evening. "Raj Rajaratnam's criminal conduct was brazen, more..

Two Pakistani Naval Ships arrive at the Port of Colombo

Aug 10 (MoD) Two Pakistani Naval Ships, PNS Shamsheer and PNS Nasr, arrived at the Port of Colombo on 09th August 2011 whilst returning from China after participating in Brunei Fleet Review 2011 with the Mission Commander Commodore Muhammad Amjad onboard. They were ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy on arrival in accordance with naval traditions. The Mission Commander and the ships' Commanding Officers called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake at more..

Sri Lanka war crimes: War survivors relive horror of Sri Lanka's killing fields

Aug 10 (IT) The closing stages of the Sri Lankan civil war were a story of extreme brutality against civilians by the army. Despite being widely documented, Colombo remains in denial about atrocities on Tamils in the country's north and the east. The survivors of the war still live in fear, in one of the most densely militarised zones of the world, devoid of any hope of ever getting justice. Headlines Today correspondent Priyamvatha travelled (undercover) to Vanni, more..

Stock of imported cement released

Aug 10 (DM) A stock of imported cement that had been held up in the Colombo port awaiting SLS certification was released yesterday and will be issued to the market at the price of Rs. 635 per bag, National Corporative Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) said. Earlier yesterday the Chairman of the NCCSL Bandu Ranawaka said that the SLS approved cement and gave the certification for two private companies importing cement from the same company but they denied the SLS certification when the NCCSL wanted to import. more..

'Spreading anti SL ideology should be stopped'

Aug 10 (DM) Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka charged yesterday that some political parties in South India are promoting anti Sri Lankan ideology in India and requested that this should be stopped. Minister Ranawaka made this point at the emergency debate in the House yesterday. He said Sri Lankans who visited South India had faced difficulties because of anti Sri Lankan sentiments. He was referring to the recent attack on Sinhalese pilgrims in Chennai. more..

Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st ODI: Preview

Aug 10 (CI) The 'building for the future' theme has been repeated several times in the lead-up to this series, but given how the Twenty20 internationals played out, Australia have more immediate concerns on their hands. Muttiah Muralitharan may not be around, but his slow-bowling understudies have shown they have enough ammunition to spin the visitors out of control. If Australia are to survive Sri Lanka they have to find a way past the tweakers, and the return of more..

'Lanka’s harbours match international standards'

Aug 10 (DM) In a few months the Oluvil Port will be opened and by the end of 2012 the government hopes to open all the ports in the North and East, the Minister of Fisheries Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, said at the Veddipalayam Port opening ceremony in Baticaloa District, recently. The Minister said the Gurunagar, Point Pedro and Miladi Ports would be developed with Denmark, Japan and Korea providing assistance and eleven other ports in the North would also be developed with Norwegian assistance. more..

Foreign University Bill in House soon

Aug 10 (DN) The much anticipated, Foreign University Bill would be presented to Parliament within the next two months after going through the Legal Draftsman. Cabinet has sanctioned the Bill and it has been sent to the Legal Draftsman, Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said. "Legal drafts and translation of the Bill are currently under preparation and would be shortly presented to Parliament", he said. The new Bill which regulates and monitors foreign universities has been titled more..

UNP group meeting stormy - Ranil says only WCcan remove him as UNP leader

Aug 10 (Island) A noisy meeting of the UNP parliamentary Group yesterday ended with Ranil Wickremesinghe telling those who wanted him to step down as leader that they can stake their claim at the Working Committee Meeting scheduled for August 17. Wickremesinghe, after listening to Sajith Premadasa’s proposal for him to hand over the reigns to Karu Jayasuriya, while retaining the post of Opposition Leader had tried to walk out of the proceedings more..

Nurses in short protest today at Trinco against recruitment of under qualified

Aug 10 (Island) More than 800 nurses attached to the Govt Nursing Officers’ Association will stage a one-hour protest near the Trincomalee General Hospital today (10) against recruitment of nurses with lower qualifications, GNOA President, Saman Ratnapriya said. The protest, scheduled to commence at 12 noon, is against the Health Ministry recruiting GCE A/L students with arts and commerce qualifications for hospitals in the North and East. more..

Rs. 200 mn Cardiac Unit for children at LRH

Aug 10 (Island) The Health Ministry will establish a Rs. 200 million cardiac treatment unit at the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital. The spokesman for the Ministry said yesterday that the budgetary allocations for 2012 would include an allocation of hundred million rupees to begin construction of the new unit and it was expected to be completed in 2013. He said that annually over two thousand children were born with cardiac diseases in the country. more..

How Kotelawala was indicted for diddling ‘charity money’ among other things

Aug 10 (LB) An assessor of the Department of Inland Revenue is among those recently indicted in the Colombo High Court for helping directors of the Golden Key Credit Card Company to misappropriate funds belonging to the firm. Withana Ralalage Dharmasiri is accused of aiding and abetting three directors of Golden Key to misappropriate a massive 79,350,000 rupees between 2007 and 2008. more..

Teacher unions to boycott A/L marking

Aug 10 (DM) Teacher trade unions warned yesterday that they would be compelled to consider refusing to mark the 2011 A/L answer scripts if the Education Ministry continued to turn a blind eye on the grievances of the teachers. Wasantha Dharmasiri, convener of the Association of Education Professionals (AEP), said that the absence of the ministry secretary at the discussions on August 5 had made it clear that Education Ministry officials were uninterested in solving to their problems. more..

'Drug ban, toughest moment in my life'

Aug 10 (Island) Opener Upul Tharanga says the three month ban imposed on him for the use of a banned drug by the anti-doping tribunal was the most difficult situation he experienced in his life. Tharanga, who scored 395 runs during the ICC Cricket World Cup at an average of over 55, was suspended after the tournament, but his submission that he had ingested the substances by drinking a herbal medicine given to him to ease discomfort caused by a shoulder injury was accepted by more..

Gota on UK mayhem

Aug 10 (Island) The violence and looting raging across London was evidence how a small group of unruly elements could exploit an isolated incident to cause mayhem. Depending on their success, hundreds if not thousands could throw their weight behind a destructive campaign, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday. Similarly, he said, the recent violent protests at the Katunayake Export Processing Zone (EPZ) could have developed into a more..

Jungles cleared for "forced" resettlement

Aug 10 (BBC) The internally displaced Tamils of the Menik Farm camp in Vavunia are to be resettled in a newly cleared area against their will says the major Tamil party in Sri Lanka. MP Sivashakthi Anandan revealed that at a meeting held last week attended by Mullaithivu Security Forces Commander Major General Leonard Mark, Govt Agent A Pathinathar and members of several Govt and NGOs including UN agencies had disscused resettlement plans. more..

Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole facing ‘jail without bail’ situation leaves Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (DBS) Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole, UGC Coordinator for Engineering, University of Jaffna,has flown out of Sri Lanka to a Country in the west. Prof.Hoole has left Sri Lanka against the backdrop of “legal action “initiated against him by cabinet minister Kathiravelu “Douglas” Devananda. Douglas Devananda, secretary-general of EPDP is regarded as the most powerful Tamil politician in the North. more..

'Brightening hopes dimmed due to us embargo'

Aug 10 (DM) The ambitious plan of the Power and Energy Ministry to brighten the whole of Sri Lanka by 2012 has hit a snag due to problems in obtaining 1,000 transformers from Iran as a result of the US led embargo by the West, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. However, minister Ranawka vowed that the target would be met as scheduled despite setbacks and the country would be 100% lit before 2013 under the ‘Vidulamu Lanka’ programme. more..

No ethnic solution without including Muslims: Rauff

Aug 10 (DM) Minister Rauff Hakeem said non inclusion of the Muslim Community in seeking solutions to the ethnic problem would result in failure. The Minister expressed these views when he met a group of British diplomats including David Burton the chief of Political affairs of the British High Commission at his residence. Explaining further the Minister said at a time when a 30-year war had ended it was most opportune to provide a solution acceptable to all communities. more..

UNP: Crucial decisions next week

Aug 10 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday said crucial decisions with regard to the future of the party would be made at the next working committee meeting on August 17. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said the party would also discuss criticism levelled by several party members. However, he said punishing them would be harmful as it had been in the past. He recalled the break-away of former Ministers Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake due to more..

Set up standard war-crime probe: US to Lanka

Aug 10 (PTI) The United States asked Sri Lanka to carry out credible probe on violations of human rights during the LTTE war, as it warned it of more international pressure on the issue. If Sri Lanka wants to take the responsibility to solve the issues related to the war crime victims then they need to do it quickly or else there would be an increasing international pressure on the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, the US State Department said. more..

President to declare open Sri Lanka Educational Centre in Beijing

Aug 11 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is on a 4 day official visit to China, will declare open today the new Sri Lanka Study Centre being established at the Foreign Studies University in Beijing. President is the Chief Guest at tomorrow’s function to be held at the Foreign Studies University of Beijing (BFSU) celebrating its 70th anniversary and 50 years of establishing the Sinhala Language Education Unit at the Beijing Asian & African Languages School. more..

Civil aviation Minister says no intrusion by foreign aircraft

Aug 11 (ST) Civil Aviation Minister Piyankara Jayaratne in Parliament contradicted claims by the Sri Lanka Air force that foreign air craft had intruded Lankan airspace. "There is no truth behind the stories doing the rounds that Sri Lanka’s airspace had been intruded by unauthorized foreign aircrafts. The said operations of foreign flights had been done out of the country’s airspace, the Minister said making a statement in the Parliament. more..