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With proper medial counselling: HIV victim sees silverline in dark clouds

Dec 6 (SO) December 1 has been nominated as the World AIDS Day and since 1988, December 1 has been dedicated around the globe to increase the awareness on the dreadful disease HIV AIDS, and to fight against the social prejudice. The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in poor countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children in all the continents around the world. However, the HIV epidemic in Sri Lanka remains at a low level. more..

Editorial: Tut, tut, JJ

Dec 6 (Island) UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena seems to have risen from a slumber like Rip Van Winkle. He has suddenly realised that Prabhakaran's chief arms procurer turned self-appointed LTTE leader KP is a terrorist and wants him handed over to Tamil Nadu, where an arrest warrant has been issued for him. Where was JJ when an elusive KP was at large? Why didn't he call for the arrest of that terrorist while Prabhakaran was alive and kicking? Prabhakaran was a wanted criminal tried and more..

'A better education system for future generations, my goal'

Dec 6 (SO) ‘Changing colours’, be it for perks or posts, has been a common phenomenon among Sri Lankan politicians, but this trend marked a new precedent with more crossovers from the Opposition UNP heavyweights to the ruling UPFA during the past few years. The latest and much talked about crossover was by popular educationist Mohan Lal Grero, who had announced his departure from the UNP, more..

Doing what was to be done

Dec 6 (DM) The govt’s recent declaration of its willingness to take up the issue of war crimes comes after the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission submitted its final report to the President. Among the LLRC recommendations leaked to the media is one that calls for an investigation into the human rights violations and possible war crimes that occurred in the last phase of the war. The LLRC itself could not take on this task as it was outside its mandate. more..

Counting the dead after the living had left

Dec 6 (DM) In the absence of decennial Census in the war areas since 1971, even this year’s head-count of the living is bound to kick off a controversy, when final figures are made available. There is all-round acknowledgement of large-scale migration of Tamils from the North and the East to the rest of the country, and outside, too. In the latter case, the number of Sri Lankan citizens in the refugee camps in the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu alone could be ascertained with more..

Dependency on aid irks NCE Founder

Dec 6 (BL) Founder President of the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE), Deshabandu Patrick Amarasinghe last week expressed concern about Sri Lanka's continued dependence on foreign aid. Speaking at the NCE's 25th year anniversary celebration held at the Hilton Hotel last week, he lamented the state of affairs that still prevailed in the country. "Sixty-three years after independence we are still not independent. more..

Port of Colombo watches while vessels sail on

Dec 6 (ST) Ports Authority chief Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama on Tuesday blamed vessels bypassing Colombo on inefficiency of some of his predecessors to construct a deep draught at the Port of Colombo. Speaking as a special guest during the meeting of the Import Section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, he said that vessels are today bypassing Colombo due to the inability of the port of Colombo to accommodate vessels with a capacity of more than 10, 000 TEUs more..

Ministry awaits President’s directives to take over plantation land

Dec 6 (ST) The Plantation Ministry is awaiting directives from the President’s Office to go ahead with plans to take over underutilised lands in the plantation sector. Plantation Industries Ministry Secretary Malani Peiris said that a mechanism would be worked out after the directives are given. “Currently, there are many investors, estate workers and outsiders waiting for lands,” she said. “There is a misconception that lands will be given to outsiders. We will ensure a more..

Poaching issue takes new turn

Dec 6 (Island) Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) suggestion that Tamil Nadu declare a ‘no fishing zone’ within five nautical miles of the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and impose strict punitive measures on those crossing the line stunned the Tamil Nadu political establishment. From Sri Lanka’s perspective, the ICG’s move couldn’t have taken place at a better time. In spite of knowing that it would earn the wrath of both the Tamil Nadu more..

Tilak Karu, Varuna Epasinghe to steer SEC

Dec 6 (Island) Former Sri Lanka Freedom Party, United National party and Sihala Urumaya Member of Parliament, Chartered Chemist cum Managing Director of Multiform Chemicals (Pvt) Ltd, Tilak Karunaratne will be the next Chairman of the Sri Lanka’s troubled Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), government sources said. There was speculation in the market towards Karunaratne’s appointment and government sources confirmed the appointment yesterday. more..

Rs 1,689 million owed to CEB

Dec 6 (DN) Govt institutions, private sector and domestic consumers have ignored the payment of Rs 1,689 million owed to the Ceylon Electricity Board until September, said the CEB issuing a press release yesterday. From the date of the issue of the electricity bill, the consumer is given one month to make the payment. Red notices issued thereafter are valid for a further week. Considering the non use of this opportunity, the electricity board will disconnect more..

Sanga fired up by Wessels comments

Dec 6 (Island) The national cricket team maybe struggling to compete having gone through 16 months without winning a Test Match, but there’s no stopping of star batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who has been involved in several face saving missions that has eventually taken him to the number one rank in Test cricket. The upcoming series in South Africa is extremely crucial for both him and the team. While the 34-year-old has scored Test hundreds in more..

Crop damage by elephants: Insurance scheme underway

Dec 6 (DN) The govt has allocated Rs 100 million to introduce a new insurance scheme for farmers facing the threat of elephants, Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S M Chandrasena said. The Agricultural Insurance Board on the request of the Wildlife and Agrarian Services Ministry and the Wildlife Conservation Department will introduce the new insurance scheme for farmers facing the human - elephant conflict. This will be implemented from next year. more..

Sri Lankan heritage showcased in New Delhi

Dec 6 (DN) The Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi, in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the National Crafts Council of Sri Lanka organized an exhibition of a collection of replicas of ancient rock and wall paintings of Sri Lanka. The exhibition was inaugurated on December 2 at the ICCR Gallery in New Delhi by ICCR Director General Suresh Goel in the presence of Minister Salinda Dissanayake, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam and members of the diplomatic corps. more..

Boston Lanka News: Dec. 4, 2011

Sri Lanka elected to UN Industrial Development Board (UNIDO)

Dec 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has been elected to the United Nations Industrial Development Board, a statement from the External Affairs Ministry said here on Monday. The election took place at the 14th General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Sri Lanka was elected by consensus to the UNIDO Industrial Development Board (IDB) for a term of 4 years. Sri Lanka is among 26 countries which were elected to this important forum, more..

CMC to sue seven clubs over food

Dec 6 (Island) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council said it had been compelled to file action against seven clubs in the Colombo City following complaints received from members regarding food served in them. Chief of the Public Health Department Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said yesterday that six of them were sports clubs while the other was a club patronised by the elite. Action was taken against a leading coffee shop for serving outdated coffee to its customers. more..

‘Rural schools won’t be closed, but 325 schools will be upgraded’

Dec 6 (DN) Akila Viraj Kariyawasam (UNP): Education should be adapted to suit the 21st century and the current labour market. Then only can the education system in the country be accepted and recognized by the International Community. The minister himself says that there were a number of schools with less than 50 students. So measures should be taken to avoid closure of these 1,590 schools. I must note that we should not wait until the compilation of a more..

Bandula says 92 schools have only one teacher each

Dec 6 (Island) There are 92 schools in the country with only one teacher, Education Minsiter Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday. Participating in the debate on his ministry’s vote, during the third reading stage of the budget debate, the minister said that there were 168 schools with only two teachers, 254 schools with only three teachers, and 375 schools with only four teachers. There are 1,936 schools with less than ten teachers on the staff. more..

Pakistan, Sri Lankan FTA’s potential not exploited: CG

Dec 6 (PO) Karachi—Consul General of Sri Lanka D.W. Jinadasa has observed that while EU did 45 to 55 percent of its total trade amongst themselves, within SAARC countries trade was only 5% that was far below its potential. H.E. was speaking on the occasion of his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). H.E. maintaining that his country was financial hub of the region, stressed on the vital need of operating shipping lines between more..

Family of jailed ex-army commander continue to seek international intervention

Dec 6 (Xinnhua) The family of Sri Lanka's jailed former army commander said Monday that they were uninformed about the govt's readiness to discuss a release for Sarath Fonseka but insisted on continuing to seek international intervention. Mrs. Anoma Fonseka, the wife of ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka said that the family so far had not received any invitation regarding the govt's readiness or willingness to discuss a possibility to release her husband more..

Ranil says Karu has not informed him about contesting leadership

Dec 6 (ST) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today said he has not been informed about plans of Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya to contest for the party leadership. "I came from Sirikotha this morning. I met Mr Jayasuriya, but he has not informed me that he is contesting for the party leadership", Mr. Wickremesinghe said while addressing UNP provincial council members at his office today. However, Mr. Wickiremesinghe declined to answer any questions about the leadership issue. more..

Time running out for degree selling universities

Dec 6 (Island) Minister S.B. Dissanayake told Parliament that the draft for a Non-Governmental Universities Act had been forwarded to the AG and the implementation of that Act would shut down the institutes which sell degrees. Participating in the third reading stage debate on budget 2012, under the votes of his ministry, the minister said there were a lot of institutes in the country which award degrees for money and these operated without a proper mechanism for their regulation. more..

Rubber production up 50 percent

Dec 6 (DN) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that production and productivity of rubber cultivation has increased by 50 percent over the past five years. He made this observation in response to a question for oral answers raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. Minister said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has allocated money for the first time this year, to provide relief for rain guards for rubber cultivation, extending in 10,000 hectares more..

High profile money lender abducted

Dec 6 (DM) A 55 year old businessman who was known to be a high profile money lender in Kotahena had been abducted this morning resulting in protests in the area, the police said. The incident had taken place in the Jampatah Lane when the victim known as ‘Christopher’ was abducted by an unidentified gang who came in a van, police media spokesman Ajith Rohana said. A protest was held in Kotahena with the participation of more than 300 people in the area, the police said. more..

Remanded U’grad’s bail plea today

Dec 6 (Island) An undergraduate, Kalupahane Amila Tharanga, now in remand custody for allegedly assaulting Osanda Gunaratne, a lecturer attached to the Sinhala Department of the Colombo University, will be produced before Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli today. The Cinnamon Gardens police had arrested the suspect following a complaint received from the lecturer. Colombo Chief Magistrate Singappuli directed that the suspect be produced in Court today, more..

Another warrant on M.V. Scotia Prince

Dec 6 (DM) The Colombo Commercial High Court today issued another warrant for the arrest and detention of the cruise ship M.V.” Scotia Prince” that was used in the Colombo-Tuticorin ferry service on charges of having defaulted payments on account of goods and materials supplied agency fees and services rendered to “Scotia Prince” for her operation by the plaintiff Tradex Shipping Co of No. 24, Bagawantham Street, Chennai India. more..

School text books distribution national ceremony today

Dec 6 (DN) The national ceremony to distribute school text books will be held at Girl’s High School, Kandy today under the patronage of Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, the Education Ministry said. The Education Publications Department has printed 34 million copies of school textbooks required for 2012. The ministry has allocated Rs. 3,000 million for the printing process. Last year’s textbook requirement was 27 million. more..

We wrote Sri Lankan President's civil war speech, say lobbyists

Dec 6 (Independent) Senior executives at Bell Pottinger told undercover reporters that they were so influential that they had written a key speech given by the Sri Lankan President to the United Nations. During the address by President Mahinda Rajapaksa last year, which the company said was used in preference to one prepared by the Sri Lankan foreign ministry, the President suggested rules governing the humanitarian conduct of war should be re-examined. more..

UNP reformists want secret ballot for leader’s post

Dec 6 (DM) The United National Party (UNP) reformists led by the party’s co-deputy leaders Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa are pushing for a secret ballot at the two working committee meetings to select a new party leader. Party sources said that amid the fresh tussle for a leadership change, the UNP would hold a special working committee meeting tomorrow to take some important decisions such as a secret ballot for leadership posts. more..

CEB unions threaten strike next week over pay hike

Dec 6 (Island) The Joint Trade Union Alliance of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), which consists of more than 50 trade unions, vowed to launch trade union action next week if the Salaries and Cadres Commission fails to provide a reasonable decision to their pay hike demand by Dec 9. Alliance spokesman Ananda Nimalaratne told The Island that a letter was submitted to the committee on the issue, giving notice of a possible strike unless the demands were granted. more..

DPF welcomes TNA stand on talks with government

Dec 6 (Island) The DPF, led by Mano Ganeshan, welcomed the stand taken by the TNA in its discussions with the govt on settling the issues facing the Tamil Community. DPF Secretary-General Dr. Kumar Guruparan said that his party welcomed the TNA stand that all decisions reached at talks with the Govt should be then presented to a Select Committee of Parliament for approval. He said that both discussions, with the govt by the TNA and the Select Committee, cannot run parallel. more..

Were detainees sadistically beaten at A’pura?

Dec 6 (LB) Tamil detainees held at the Anuradhapura prison were forced to strip, and were blindfolded and beaten on November 27 by prison guards who ‘wanted to celebrate the Mahaveerar day in style,’ lawyers representing the rights of detainees claim. Sixty five Tamils held in the Anuradhapura prison were beaten up by the guards, who also set on fire their meagre belongings, lawyers said, quoting the detainees. more..

Who shot Duminda Silva?

Dec 6 (SL) Exclusive pictures published for the first time in this newspaper reveal that Duminda Silva was shot at from virtually point-blank range. Forensic experts have confirmed that the burn marks at the entry point of the bullet – from the upper forehead – is consistent with being shot at from a distance of anything between 30 – 100 centimetres away. 35 cm is about the width of a single sheet of this newspaper. Today we publish pictures which Silva’s lawyer claims are that of Duminda’s brain. more..

USD 15 M worth Chinese machinery for road development

Dec 6 (GDI) A special road development project has been initiated by the ministry of economic development to set up a road network covering the entire country. This project also includes improvement of pavements, bridges, drainage, and replacement of culverts. Minister Basil Rajapaksa participated in the handing over ceremony of approximately USD 115 million worth of machineries to expedite the provincial road development programme and more..

'We are looking forward to a fresh UNP from January'

Dec 6 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara speaking to the Daily Mirror on the new developments with regard to the leadership of the UNP stated that the people are awaiting a change that would drive the UNP to victory at an election. "We hope that the UNP could start afresh from January next year, the need of the hour is a party that understands the pulse of the people, a party that serves the common man," he said. more..

Sri Lanka sees news investment in southern economic zone

Dec 6 (Xinhua) A 7.4 million U.S. dollars fertiliser plant is being started at an economic zone in southern Sri Lanka that is centered around a 361 million U.S. dollars China- funded harbor, an official said here Monday. The latest investment in the economic zone of Hambantota comes from the Hayleys Group, a local conglomerate, and is partly funded by the Hong Kong-based Dragon Asia Fertiliser Ltd, more..

Dharmadasa, Sumathipala to run for SLC president

Dec 6 (CI) Two former Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) presidents, Upali Dharmadasa and Thilanga Sumathipala, have announced that they will run for president in the upcoming board elections. Last month Sri Lanka's sports minister had dissolved the interim board that had been running SLC, and elections were scheduled to be held on January 3. If the election is held it will be the first to take place since April 2004. more..

Sajin alleges TNA making fresh attempt to scuttle political negotiations

Dec 6 (Island) UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena accused the TNA of making a fresh attempt to undermine the ongoing political negotiations. Gunawardena, a key member of the govt delegation engaged in talks with the TNA, emphasized that there was absolutely no basis for TNA leader R. Sampanthan’s latest accusation that the govt had placed new impediments to achieving an acceptable political solution that is more..

Draft NGU Act forwarded to AG's Dept - SB

Dec 6 (DN) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday that a draft Non-Governmental Universities (NGU) Act had been forwarded to the Attorney General and the implementation of this Act would shut down the institutes which sell degrees. Participating in the third reading of budget 2012 under the votes of his ministry, the minister said there are many institutes which award degrees for money in the country and more..