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Nearly 83,900 cops rewarded

Dec 9 (Island) Over 383 million rupees had been paid as rewards to 83,896 police personnel up to November this year, Parliament was told yesterday. Leader of the House, Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament that a total of 637,682 policemen had been rewarded for the duties they rendered since 2005. The Minister, replying a question raised by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, said that currently nearly Rs 26,668 million remained in the Police Reward Fund. more..

National Language Policy: Provincial chiefs to supervise Implementation

Dec 9 (Island) Minister of National Languages and Social Integration Vasudeva Nanayakkara announced that steps would be taken to empower all local government chiefs to oversee the proper implementation of the national language policy within their districts. Participating in a workshop at Ratnapura on language usage and the execution of a national language policy in the local govt administration, the minister explained that Sri Lankans had to suffer immensely because more..

Right to Education

Coast Guard retracts contentious suggestion on ‘no fishing zone'

Dec 9 (Hindu) The Coast Guard has retracted its suggestion made in a counter affidavit filed before the Madras High Court Bench here that the Tamil Nadu government could declare an area of five nautical miles along the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) as a ‘no fishing zone' in order to prevent cross border fishing. The move has come after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wrote to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month terming the suggestion as more..

Australian Parliamentary delegation arrives in Sri Lanka

Dec 9 (HN) An Australian Parliamentary delegation arrived in Sri Lanka last evening based on an invitation that had been extended to them by the Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa. Our Airport Correspondent stated that the Australian Parliamentary delegation had arrived in the country onboard the SriLankan Airlines flight U.L. 312 which arrived in Katunayaka from Singapore. The Australian Parliamentary delegation comprising of 7 members which is led by the more..

Why wasn't the chief opposition whip present in parliament?: Sujeewa

Dec 9 (DM) UNP Colombo District parliamentarian Sujeewa Senasinghe speaking to Daily Mirror online stated that the lack of UNP MPs today to speak in parliament was due to a clear lack of organisation and handing of responsibilities within the party. Parliament was adjourned prior to its scheduled time due to the lack of speakers from the opposition with only sixty minutes out of the 165 minutes allocated to the opposition being used. more..

Fast to demand release of TN fishermen from Lanka

Dec 9 (PTI) Rameswaram fishermen will observe a three-day relay fast from Dec 16 demanding immediate release of five Tamil Nadu fishermen who were detained by Sri Lanka on charges of drugs smuggling. A resolution to this effect was adopted by the leaders of various fishermen associations at the one day hunger strike that was observed by fishermen at Thangatchimadam here, B Seshuraja, District Secretary of Tamil Nadu Coastal Mechanized Boats Fishermen Association, said. more..

Milk food labels must highlight benefits of breast feeding – Health Ministry

Dec 9 (Island) The Health Ministry’s Food Control Unit on Wednesday warned all manufacturers and distributors of designated products not to offer for sale or sell such products if the container label does not state the correct contents of the product. A statement on the superiority of breast feeding and its nutritional qualities and protection against any diseases should appear prominently on the label or container of such products, the unit said. more..

Kumar Sangakkara wins LMD’s SLOTY award

Dec 9 (DN) Pioneering business magazine LMD announced that Kumar Sangakkara is its Sri Lankan Of The Year (SLOTY) for 2011. The magazine’s December edition, which will be released today, says that “the celebrated cricket captain has charmed an entire nation with his heroics on the field and charisma off it.” In a tribute to Sangakkara in LMD’s December Cover Story, former UN Secretary-General contender and highly respected diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala. more..

STF deserter mows down girl friend’s family

Dec 9 (Island) An STF deserter on Wednesday night killed father, mother and elder sister of his 19-year-old girl friend, Harshini Nirosha Satharasinghe, before shooting himself dead at Kotaweheramankada in the Hambegamuwa police area. The police identified the suspect as 22-year-old Nahalla Mudiyanselage Danushka Nuwan, a resident of Kotaweheramankada, Hambegamuwa. The deserter stormed Nirosha’s residence around 8. 30 p.m. and fired indiscriminately, more..

Lankan stabbed as part of a hate crime in USA

Dec 9 (PR) The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called for federal civil rights charges to be filed against a man seeking to "save his country" by allegedly stabbing a faculty member of the University of Illinois College of Law who he thought was "Middle Eastern." CAIR reports that the victim, a naturalized citizen of Sri Lankan heritage who is not Muslim, was stabbed Wednesday on the second floor of the Illinois Terminal Building in Champaign, Ill. more..

Plan to ease exam pressure on Lankan kids

Dec 9 (KT) Early this week, a discussion regarding the school syllabus, presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, took place at the president’s residence, Temple Trees, in Colombo. Of the many things, two stark issues that seem to have somehow gone unnoticed for several decades were debated. The first was the compilation of Lankan local school textbooks distributed by the government free of charge to all the schools around the country. more..

Govt. urges TNA to attend PSC on national question

Dec 9 (Island) The govt, while reiterating its commitment to devolution, said that the Indian political system granted the Centre powers to dissolve any State Assembly that acted against the national interest. Minster Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Rajapaksa regime did not wish to dissolve any provincial administration, but it was pertinent to remember the system across the Palk Strait. National security was paramount and could not be compromised at any cost, more..

Six tanks to be sacrificed for 1,435-acre project

Dec 9 (DM) Speaker asked Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage to be more sensitive to the needs of farmers who would be affected by a govt plan to set up a 1,435-acre sports village with the filling up of six tanks in Suriyawewa. The Speaker made the appeal when the minister responded to a question by UNP MP Buddhika Pathirane who charged that the six tanks lying within the area demarcated for the proposed sports village would cease to exist once the village was set up. more..

President Rajapaksa addresses the 4th Bali Democracy Forum in Indonesia

Dec 9 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, our strong commitment to democracy not only as a system of governance but as a way of life is one of the most significant strands that run through the value systems of all the countries represented here. In a world where every aspect of life is subject today to basic transformation, it is, however, a constant challenge to ensure that our practice of democracy remains at all times responsive to the priorities more..

Marina activities to expand, bring in more tourists

Dec 9 (Island) As tourist arrivals continue to increase steadily, Sri Lanka is looking to start much needed marinas sought after by high net-worth tourists for marine leisure action. A marina is a mini port for anchoring yachts and boats and is usually equipped with various boat related services. Marinas are built adjoining an already existing port/harbor or they could be located on their own. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen "I am glad to announce that ministry is willing to more..

Admit mistakes and correct yourself, Chamal tells Ravi

Dec 9 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa today advised UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake to admit his mistakes and correct himself accordingly. The Speaker made this remark when Mr. Karunanayake tried to fault the government for the abrupt end of parliamentary proceedings at 2.35 pm on Thursday due to the absence of the two UNP MPs listed to participate in the debate. Mr. Karunanayake was one of them. “Parliamentary proceedings were supposed to go on till 6.00pm. more..

'About 25,000 houses constructed in 2011'

Dec 9 (DN) Minister Wimal Weerawansa told Parliament that the govt has constructed 25,000 new houses in 2011 and was hoping to build another 50,000 houses next year. Participating in the third reading debate on budget 2012, the minister said one of the main objectives of the government is the provision of permanent housing for over 1.5 million people who are without a house of their own under the Mahinda Chintana - Future Vision. more..

Over 40,000 student dropouts in 2010 -Report

Dec 9 (DM) As many as 41,923 students had dropped out of school and given up their studies due to various reasons last year, a report had revealed. The Annual Report of the Auditor General, that came out yesterday, said that 46,854 students had given up studies in this manner the previous year, while the figure had reached 46,173 in 2008. The report had dealt with a wide range of issues facing the education sector. more..

Sri Lanka boat export earnings double

Dec 9 (LBO) Earnings from export of boats by Sri Lanka had almost doubled up to August this year compared with the whole of 2010 amid a tourism boom and rising demand from foreign buyers, an official said. The island is trying to promote the boat building industry and exports to take advantage of its location and low-cost labour. Accelerating economic growth and rising tourist arrivals after the end of the war, has resulted in renewed interest in boating, more..

Health Ministry inspects beauty parlours

Dec 9 (Island) The Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) identified fifteen places that retailed low quality cosmetics and cosmetic devices. 812 centres which retailed cosmetics and cosmetic devices had been inspected by the end of last month. However, the CDDRA only issued them a warning as this was the first time that such a programme was being carried out. 1,654 cosmetics and beauty treatment centres had been inspected during more..

Sri Lanka top tuna loin exporter to EU

Dec 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka has emerged as the top tuna loin exporter to the European Union and is ramping up production aiming to earn a billion dollars from fishery exports in nine years. "We hope to increase fish production to nearly 600,000 metric tons by 2013, from the present production of around 400,000 tonnes," fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Increased production will not only enable more exports but also allow an increase in per capita fish consumption more..

Ex LTTE Female Cadres tp visit Parliament Today

Dec 9 (GDI) 104 Ex LTTE female cadres will visit Parliament today before being reintegrated into society after one year rehabilitation program. They are the members of the last group of around 700 remaining ex terrorists. Secretary Ministry of Prison Rehabilitation Mr. Dissanayake said 46 cadres who completed one year vocational training will be released on Sunday in Jaffna. "They will be given training in 20 different fields and more..

Over enthusiastic NCPA and police charge nun sheltering orphans and the destitute

Dec 9 (DBS) The recent incident where the “Prem Nivasa” at Rawathawatta, Moratuwa was raided by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and Police has shocked many. This home administered and looked after by the Catholic Church, with the assistance of the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Theresa has been a haven of hope and refuge to many. more..

Company that supplied inferior petrol ready to pay compensation: Govt.

Dec 9 (DM) The company, that supplied inferior quality petrol to the CPC that had caused motorists' cars to stall among other consequences, has agreed to compensate us soon, Minister Susil Premajayantha informed Parliament. Mr. Premajayantha, who was speaking during the committee stage debate on the budget yesterday, said that while CPC had completed the payment of compensation to motorists who had more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrival up 25.8-pc up in November

Dec 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 25.8 percent to 90,889 in November 2011 with arrivals during the 11 months to November rising 33.1 percent to 758,458. "We expect year end tourism arrivals to reach 800,000," deputy minister Laksman Abeywardene said. In November arrivals from Western Europe rose 24.6 percent to 30,637 with arrival from France rising 44.7 percent to 4,678, from Switzerland up 363 percent more..

World Bank queries long delay in Audit Bill

Dec 9 (Island) The World Bank has inquired of Auditor General H. A. S. Samarasekera why the National Audit Bill aimed at tackling waste, corruption and irregularities in the public sector has not received government approval. The World Bank is of the opinion the new Bill would help Sri Lanka curb public sector corruption. Former AG S. Swarnajothi declared in his 2007 annual report that the new Bill would be ready in 2008. more..

Editorial: Much will remain in the viability of the peace sought

Dec 9 (DM) The end of a thirty-year war of terror signified more than an end of a violent era in Sri Lanka. It was seen as an opportunity for the alienated communities to come together, for understanding to foster and reach a viable peace. It was seen as a time when petty political posturing would finally take a back seat and give way to mature statesmanship from all sides. Yet, the two years that passed has shown little hope in this direction. Despite assurances by more..

Galle Literary Festival 2012 in final stretch

Dec 9 (LBO) The program Sri Lanka's HSBC Galle Literary Festival 2012 is the last stages of being finalized and tickets will go on sale from January 04, organizers said. Among the writers confirmed to attend are Joanne Trollope, Richard Dawkins, Tom Stoppard, D.B.C Pierre, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, John Boyne, Aminatta Forna, Romesh Gunasekera and Nayantara Sahgal. The confirmed programme will be on the site by Decemmber 28 and tickets will more..

Law Regardless of the Law – Srima 5 JR 39 and now ?

Dec 9 (CT) The Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Bill that was passed as an urgent Bill has generated much public discussion about its content as well as the procedure followed. It is the procedure followed that I wish to write about and not the policy involved. Ordinary Bills are published in the Gazette seven days before it is presented to Parliament. A Bill can be challenged in the Supreme Court within more..

Economically backward persons choose to be in prison: DM

Dec 9 (DM) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said that some economically backward persons had chosen themselves to be prisoners because of good meals served to them inside prisons. The Prime Minister made this remark during the debate of the Justice Ministry. He said that, in Saudi Arabia, there are enough and more instances where prisoners are caned. “Here, we do not give such harsh punishments. We do not know whether the absence of such cruel punishments more..

Petition challenging blocking 5 websites: hearing postponed

Dec 9 (AD) The Supreme Court postponed to January 24, 2012 taking up the fundamental rights application filed by the Free Media Movement challenging the govt’s blocking of five news websites. When the petition was taken up today, raising primary objections the Attorney General argued that the Free Media Movement has no legal basis to file a petition such as this. However, the three judge bench citing the need to conduct extensive examination regarding the matter, more..

Nalanda Guru Pranama Pin Bima Programme launched

Dec 9 (GDI) Nalanda Guru Pranama Pin Bima housing scheme in Kaduwela, Bomiriya was launched with the laying of the foundation stone by the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa on Thursday. Old Nalandians' Buddhist Association (ONBA) has embarked on a meaningful Project by introducing a blessed landscape for veneration of retired teachers worldwide who have devoted their precious lives for the well being of students at Nalanda College, more..

Stocks end down 0.5-pct

Dec 9 (LBO) Stocks closed weaker Friday, sinking below the 6,000 point mark in thin trade with an investor continuing to accumulate shares of Distilleries Company. All Share Price Index fell 0.51 percent to 5,996.44, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.34 percent to close at 5,231.12. Turnover fell to 464 million rupees Friday from 517 million rupees the day before. The sole crossing or off-market private deal for the day was 202,234 Distilleries Company shares more..

Sri Lankan civil war: Use of the image for corrupt ends

Dec 9 (Independent) The photograph once served as a relatively removed document of warfare, now the image has become a powerful weapon within it. The distance between the photographer and the activities of war has moved closer proportionate to the increasing accessibility of the camera. Replacing a limited number of commissioned photographers are the proliferating numbers of amateurs whose smartphones and digital cameras are well within reach and more..

I’m more qualified than Karu - John

Dec 9 (SM) Noting that Ranil Wickremesinghe is the best leader the UNP presently has, chief opposition whip John Amaratunga has said that if there is Karu Jayasuriya or other challenger to the leadership, he has more qualifications than required to run for the position himself. Although Mr. Jayasuriya has declared his intentions to be a candidate, his leadership cannot be accepted in any way, Mr. Amaratunga told a media briefing yesterday more..

Prasanna Vithanage supports SEP campaign for release of political prisoners

Dec 9 (wsws) Film and theatre director Prasanna Vithanage recently spoke with the World Socialist Web Site about his decision to support the Socialist Equality Party’s campaign for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners held by the Sri Lankan govt. Following the defeat of the separatist LTTE in May 2009, Rajapakse govt imprisoned some 11,000 young people for alleged LTTE sympathies. Although the govt lifted its Emergency Regulations more..

New electoral system to elect members to local govt. bodies

Dec 9 (DM) The govt has completed the ground work for the introduction of a new electoral system to elect members to local govt bodies, Deputy Minister Indika Bandaranayake said in Parliament today. Mr. Bandaranayake who is the Deputy Minister of Local Govts and Provincial Councils said that the new electoral system would be enacted next year sorting out problems encountered in the present system. He said that adequate financial allocations are made to more..

Rs.6.6 million robbed from ATM machine in Kantale

Dec 9 (DM) A group of thieves took away cash worth Rs.6.6 million by breaking the ATM machine belonging to a state bank branch in Kantale town. The incident is believed to have taken place on last night in the ATM machine situated in the Kantale town. They had come in a vehicle and had broken the cash box of the ATM machine. The police had been informed today morning by the bank authorities about the robbery after they discovered the damage and the loss. more..

'Tendency in killing of elderly women'

Dec 9 (DM) The police said today that they have detected a tendency in killings of isolated elderly women in the country. Similar incidents have taken place in the recent past in Wellampitiya and Medawachchiya. “The police stations have been informed about such incidents and we are telling the public to be more aware of these incidents," police said. The killings had taken place where unidentified persons had entered their houses to carry out robberies. more..