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Grease Yakka is playing hell!

Aug 31 (LG) Grease Yakka’ is having Sri Lanka in a spin. Every one knows what ‘grease’ is. But who or what Yakka is, no one can say with accuracy even though women young and old in many parts of this island have been screaming out at night claiming that they had been attacked, embraced, raped and even seen a terrible spectacle, supposedly of a hideous man in pitch-black, prowling in the dark. Police say that they have caught the Yakka but few believe them because more..

Govt. saw dangers ahead

Aug 31 (LG) The government’s decision to end the state of emergency, under which the country had been governed for the past six years, has been universally welcomed. The emergency law permitted the government to clamp down on political life at the same time as it strengthened the government in coping with national security issues. Therefore, whatever the government’s motives in removing the emergency, this action will help to open up space for greater democracy. more..

Ramadan festival celebrated in keeping with Islamic norms: A time for charity

Aug 31 (SO) Muslims all over the world are preparing to celebrate the Ramadan festival (Eid-ul-Fitr) which would take place most probably on August 31, depending on the sighting of the new moon on the western horizon. Eid-ul-Fitr is the Arabic term for charity. Giving alms and charity to those who do not have, will further illuminate the day. Islam bequeaths that the Ramadan (Eid-ul-Fitr) festival must be celebrated in keeping with Islamic norms. more..

Deadlocked politics and divided polity…

Aug 31 (DM) Guess, who or what is central to the future course of contemporary politics and political leadership in the country, in the present context? Not the ruling SLFP-UPFA combine, nor even the war victor in President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose developmental agenda too has made an impact… Not the Tamils and the TNA, who continue to be in the news – for the wrong reason and owing to a peace process that has not taken them to the post-war promised land. Not even the Muslim community, more..

People’s need to feel safe

Aug 31 (DM) Be it in a conflict situation or in a liberated country, the prime responsibility of the govt and law enforcement authorities is to make its people feel safe enough to go about their daily lives hassle-free. A sense of security is a sentiment; every citizen deserves to feel irrespective of his religion, ethnicity and social status. However, while the security forces were fighting the ruthless war in the North and bomb explosions were a habitual occurrence in more..

'The CMC has not evicted anyone'

Aug 31 (DM) Q: With regard to the beautification of Colombo and the reconstruction of the city, a lot of people feel that there is a focus on modernization at the expense of the historical value of the city. What is really the plan of those in charge for the reconstruction of Colombo? A: Actually we have begun to redevelop Colombo. We started off with the reconstruction of some of the main roads; we first introduced a proper structure for more..

Editorial: NATO sees no evil

Aug 31 (Island) Gaddafi was a big problem while in power, no doubt. But, out of power, he has become more problematic. The entire West and its pet rebels are looking for the elusive tyrant on the run. So long as he is at large, his enemies will have their work cut out. He is sure to wage a guerrilla war and the US-led forces will find themselves in another imbroglio. The Libyan rebels have adopted the same brutal tactics as Gaddafi in a bid to take Sirte, the ousted dictator's stronghold. more..

Editorial: Killer pills, cause of too many ills

Aug 31 (DM) The life-or-death medicinal drug market is in confusion if not chaos with too many pills known to be the main cause of too many ills in our country today. According to one of Sri Lanka’s most eminent physicians, Professor Carlo Fonseka, former Dean of the Kelaniya University’s Faculty of Medicine the main cause of this deadly mess and muddle is the delay in setting up the National Medicinal Drug Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) and implementing the more..

Water for the people

Aug 31 (Island) In Sri Lanka, rainfall is the primary source of water. The mean annual rainfall is around 1800 mm with areas such as Hambanthota and Mannar receiving only about 900 mm and some areas in the hill country receiving about 5,000 mm. The total amount of water received in the form of rain is around 100 billion cubic meters per year. Out of the total water received by the island, around 40-60% escapes to the sea as run-off. more..

The encourager par excellence Father Ernest Poruthota turns 80

Aug 31 (Island) The meaning of life is in meeting and learning from those we meet. All kinds of people cross one's path in one's life time. While small people make other people small, great people, magnanimous people, make others truly great and magnanimous. When we bring the best out of other people, we also bring the best out of ourselves. Whatever we withhold from others, we also withhold it from ourselves. Whatever we truly give, we also receive thirtyfold, more..

Government Lapses and the Patriotic Trap

Aug 31 (Island) The Island of Aug. 24 published a talk given by GA at a symposium organized by the Federation of Nationalist Organizations. He said, "I think these (the many lapses on the part of this govt) are very damaging to the image of the President. We feel that it is these lapses that stand on the way of getting the nation to rally round him. It is not sycophancy that can remedy this situation but constructive criticism." With the humble intention of offering some constructive criticism more..

Inflation eases to 7% in August, core inflation in sharp fall

Aug 31 (Island) Inflation eased to 7 percent in August after accelerating to 7.5 percent in July. This 7 percent year-on-year change in the country’s official inflation index, the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI), which underwent a revision in June, suggests that prices have increased by 7 percent from August of 2010. "On a year-on-year basis, the highest contribution to the overall increase of around 54 percent came from more..

Harsha breathes fire on SEC over ERI

Aug 31 (FT) UNP MP and its chief spokesman for the economy Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday raised concern over Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) alleged leniency over its action against Environmental Resources Investment Plc (ERI). In a statement Dr. de Silva said: “We are deeply perturbed at the news that ERI and its Directors have been let off the hook by the SEC with a negligible Rs. 10 million fine by compounding a serious offence of securities fraud. more..

Daughter’s plea for Rajiv Gandhi murder plotter

Aug 31 (TC) The murder of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991 stunned India – but it was also a personal tragedy for a young girl who had yet to be born. Haritha Murugan’s parents were arrested days after the murder and convicted of plotting it. She was born to the couple in prison in January 1992 and has met them once since that time. As a baby she was taken to Sri Lanka where she grew up under the care of her paternal grandmother. She is now a medical student in London. more..

Thermal power from private sector costs over Rs. 11 bn

Aug 31 (Island) Despite the estimated purchase cost of thermal power from the private sector for the year was Rs. 3. 1 billion, the actual expenditure has shot up to Rs. 11.75 billion, as at the end of July, due to a sharp drop in hydro power generation. Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told The Island yesterday that the loss incurred on thermal power had increased to Rs. 9.5 billion by June this year and to 11.75 billion rupees by July. more..

Roadside lunch vendors given more time to register

Aug 31 (Island) The call for registration of roadside lunch packet sellers has been extended by one more month. Chief of the CMC’s Public Health Department Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that a majority of them had not been given approval by their area MOH or PHIs due to unhygienic conditions of food preparations. He said there had been 325 applicantions for registrations with the PHD of the CMC. However, only 35 roadside lunch packet sellers had fulfilled the required criteria to more..

Special police unit to monitor Southern expressway

Aug 31 (Island) A special Police division, ‘Expressway Police’ will be established by the Police Department for constant surveillance of the Southern Expressway, Project Director of the Expressway Nimal Chandrasiri said. "The Police will constantly observe the motorists’ movements. Drivers have been advised to keep to a minimum speed of 50 kph and a maximum of 100 kph," he said. The vehicles entering the expressway will be charged under four categories. The charges have yet to be gazetted, he said. more..

Access Lanka: Aug. 30, 2011

VAC ready to probe claims

Aug 31 (DM) An organization working against corruption of the government yesterday said it was ready to even look into allegations levelled against alleged judicial malpractices during the tenure of former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva despite the ex- CJ playing a key role in the organization. ‘Voice Against Corruption’ (VAC) was formed recently with the participation of the former Chief Justice and former Auditor General S.C. Mayadunne as the main figures. more..

Ex party members sad over rejection

Aug 31 (DM) Old members from both UPFA and the UNP who represented the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) who had lost nomination have expressed their frustration while some are contesting on different lists. Former UPFA member of the CMC Ariyaratne Wedage said he had decided to contest from Democratic Unity Alliance (DUA) as he was rejected by his party despite his long service. He said he had decided to stay on with the UPFA despite the offer made by the UNP more..

Vavuniya GA blasts BBC for twisting war-related news

Aug 31 (Island) Vavuniya Government Agent P.S.M. Charles yesterday blasted the BBC for twisting war-related news to compromise the national reconciliation process. An irate Ms Charles said that a calculated attempt was being made to deceive people living here and abroad regarding the number of missing in Sri Lanka during eelam war IV. Responding to a query, Ms Charles said that BBC Tamil Service posted an unsubstantiated report captioned more..

SDOU fears job security of Samurdhi workers

Aug 31 (DM) The Samurdhi Development Officers Union (SDOU) said yesterday the job security and work benefits of Samurdhi employees were at stake with the government deciding to bring the Samurdhi Authority and a few other state institutions under the proposed Divineguma Combined Rural Development Department. SDOU General Secretary Chamara Maddumakaluge said the views of his union were not taken into account when forming this new department. more..

President’s Eid ul-Fitr message

Aug 31 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa syas the Muslim community has contributed to the country’s development as well as protection of its sovereignty. Due to sacrifices made by all communities, Muslims living in all parts of the country are free to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr today, he says in a message. Full text of the President’s Eid ul-Fitr message: I am pleased to send this message on the Occasion of the Eid ul-Fitr festival, celebrated’ with much enthusiasm by devotees of Islam. more..

Can video unravel the mystery spinner?

Aug 31 (CI) Australia's batsmen have gorged themselves on video footage of Sri Lanka's attack in the lead-up to the first Test in Galle. In doing so they have avoided the trap of watching wickets taken by Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis and Suraj Randiv, preferring to concentrate on freeze-framed vision of each bowler's hand position. England prepared for the 1994-95 Ashes series by watching tapes of Shane Warne befuddling New Zealand and more..

Champika warns rumour mongers

Aug 31 (Island) Those who spread baseless rumours with the intention of tarnishing the country’s image, especially when it is gearing for rapid development, will be severely dealt with, said Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. He said that some elements were trying to push the country backwards through a psychological operation when the country should move forward. He says, he had observed that certain forces were engaged in activities that challenged the security of the country. more..

Ministers, MPs told to visit hospitals

Aug 31 (Island) All govt Ministers and MPs have been requested to visit all hospitals in their electorates to assess the situation under the National Health Week, declared by the Health Ministry. Ministry sources said that this was in the hope of identifying the needs of hospitals under the provincial governments. The NHW will be held from October 3 to 10. All MPs and ministers would be called upon to visit their electorates to identify the needs in them on the first day of the NHW. more..

Health Minsitry under fire over delay in filling key vacancy

Aug 31 (Island) Although the Public Service Commission (PSC) has specifically instructed the Health Ministry to hold an interview to select a suitable person to fill the vacancy of Director, Colombo National Hospital, the Ministry has so far failed to do so even though the premier hospital has been without a permanent head for more than two months. Deputy Director Dr. Ms. Sujatha Senaratne has been serving as acting Director since more..

Spinners' experience advantage for hosts - Dilshan

Aug 31 (CI) Sri Lanka's captain Tillakaratne Dilshan believes the experience of his slow bowlers will provide a useful advantage over Australia's rookie spinners in the first Test in Galle, which begins on Wednesday. The hosts are leaning towards playing only two of the three spinners in their squad, as doubts remain over the allrounder Angelo Mathews' ability to deliver significant spells following his recent knee problem. Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv would more..

President tells authorities: Give prominence to practical measures

Aug 31 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the authorities to give prominence to practical measures, when addressing difficulties faced by Lankan farmers. He directed them to examine ways of improving market access and competitiveness of local crops. The President emphasised the need to introduce new technology and to encourage foreign investment. The President made these observations when he met officials of the Plantation Industries, Coconut Development and more..

SL v Australia, 1st Test: Australia face five-day spin challenge

Aug 31 (CI) And so, the real challenge begins. Sri Lanka have won the Twenty20s and Australia took the ODI series, but those results will be quickly forgotten when this three-Test battle begins. In the one-day format, it was a meeting of the top two teams in the world, according to the ICC's rankings, but in the Tests it is No. 4 v No. 5, and neither team is content to sit in the middle of the pack. more..

Away from home, yet Lankans revel

Aug 31 (GT) With extensive preparations ahead of Eid, Sri Lankan expatriates were all set to celebrate the holidays, having already planned out their shopping, gifts, and preparation of sweets. “I prepare sweets and Wattalapam two days before Eid and only cooking is done on the holiday,” says Ayesha Hameed from Sri Lanka. “This is my fifth Eid away from home and for me it’s a time to spend with friends.” “My friends and I gather at parks and all of us bring food. more..

Sri Lanka will brief UNHCR on LLRC

Aug 31 (DM) Sri Lanka will brief the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the contents of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) at its next session in March next year and no sooner, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. No presentation of the LLRC report would be made to the UNHRC but the Council would instead be briefed according to the “close and open engagement” that the govt of Sri Lanka had maintained with the UNHRC so far. more..

Rajiv Gandhi killers fight death with 'delay plea'

Aug 31 (Hindu) The three condemned prisoners in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case got a reprieve on Tuesday, with the Madras High Court staying their execution, due to be carried out on September 9. A Division Bench passed the interim order on petitions by Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan. As the matter involved the consideration of a question of law, the petitions were being admitted and there would be an interim injunction, the Bench said. more..

Garment factories in Vavuniya to usher in development

Aug 31 (Island) A programme had been launched to construct garment factories in the Vavuniya District to economically empower the war affected people, who have been resettled there, an official from the Vavuniya District Secretariat said. "The construction of factories is underway in Vavuniya and Chettikulam areas at a cost of US $ 25 million and US $ 15 million respectively. The project is aimed at generating 1,000 direct employment opportunities for both men and women and more..

Kotte's reformist UNPers to contest from ind. group

Aug 31 (DM) Several UNP members who represented the Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Municipal Council and also belong to the party's reformist group are to contest the forthcoming local government elections as members of an independent group under the sword symbol. This is the second group of reformists to contest the elections independently. Another group had announced that they would contest the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) elections under the tea plant symbol. more..

‘I’m an ahinsaka kolla’

Aug 31 (LB) The govt’s point man in Jaffna, the EPDP leader and Minister Douglas Devananda denies that he is terrorizing media and opposition supporters in Jaffna. In an interview with Ranga Jayasuriya, he spoke about a wide range of issues. Q: Let’s begin with the media. Journalists in Jaffna are living in fear. Many think you are a dangerous man who would not spare anyone who crosses your path in Jaffna. A: All these allegations are unfounded. more..

Wimal Under Fire

Aug 31 (SL) NFF Leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa is under fire by the UPFA Western Provincial Councilors and Kaduwela Municipal Councilors. The agitation by some senior SLFP members in the Kaduwela electorate against Weerawansa has posed a problem to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Senior SLFP members say that Weerawansa would have to face difficulties after earning the wrath of the main more..

President orders school-based teacher recruitment

Aug 31 (DN) The Education Ministry will implement a strictly school-based teacher appointment system aiming to minimize teacher shortages in rural and underprivileged schools. Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena has been advised by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to introduce a school-based teacher recruitment system as a solution to the continuous teacher shortage, commonly reported from rural schools. more..

Price of cannabis shoots up as STF targets supply network

Aug 31 (Island) The ongoing STF operation directed at major ganja distribution networks is driving the price of cannabis up in the underground market with Colombo and its suburbs experiencing a shortage of supplies. Those involved in the lucrative cannabis trade had never been systematically targeted before the STF threw its weight behind the normal law enforcement operations. The price of a kilo of cannabis had shot up to Rs.45,000 more..

New regulations under PTA to deal with LTTE

Aug 31 (DM) With the lapse of the state of emergency at 24.00 hrs on August 30, the government has imposed new regulations under the Prevention of Terrorism Act to keep the LTTE as a banned organization, to retain the High Security Zones and to deal with LTTE surrendees and detainees, officials said yesterday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa moved the resolution to withdraw the state of emergency last Thursday. more..