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Connections | November 28, 2011

Impending closure of school challenged

Dec 10 (Island) Four teachers, of Sumana Balika Vidyalaya Ratnapura, had complained to the Supreme Court about the impending scrapping of the primary section of the school, by declaring the school a ‘Sapiri Pasala’. The petitioners said that the parents do not like the idea of affiliating the primary of that school to Gatagama Royal College, which is too far away from the location of the Sumana Balika Vidyalaya. The petitioners, K. Piyananda Thera and three others had more..

'Damaging impact of Takeover Bill will be seen within a year'

Dec 10 (Island) UNP MP and Economist Dr. Harsha De Silva slammed the govt for removing a clause on protecting foreign investment from nationalisation from the Board of Investment website and said the damage done by enacting the controversial Expropriation bill will be seen during the next one year or so. "If the govt believes that by manipulating the BOI website to remove the reference to the clause in the Constitution of Sri Lanka that ensures more..

Recording the records

Dec 10 (CI) Virender Sehwag's 219 in Indore meant the 200-run mark, which had never been breached in 2961 ODIs and 51,478 innings by batsmen, had been passed twice in less than two years. (Click here for the list of progressive record holders for highest scores in ODIs.) It's also the third-highest score in a List A game. Here are some of the major records in cricket - some changed hands more than once recently; others have stood the test of time, and may continue to do so. more..

Dead bodies in exclusion zone - British MEP

Dec 10 (BBC) A Member of the European Parliament who’s just led a delegation visiting Sri Lanka says he believes there are many bodies of dead civilians buried in exclusion zones where the final fighting of the civil war took place in 2009. Member of European Parliament Richard Howitt said there should be full access to the areas. But the government says the zones are off-limits because there are landmines there. The number of civilian war deaths remains hotly disputed. more..

Forming of JAV makes it easy for JVP to expel dissidents

Dec 10 (Island) The formation of a new leftist movement, by the name Jana Aragala Vyaparaya (Movement for People’s Struggle), by the JVP dissidents, with the assistance of so-called false leftists in the country, would make it easy to expel them from the party, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said. It was a violation of the party constitution to form alliance, parties or movements, using the title and office names of the party without more..

President visits historic Borobudur Viharaya in Java

Dec 10 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is in Indonesia attending the Bali Democracy Forum IV held in Bali visited the historic Borobudur Viharaya yesterday morning and paid homage. Central Java Deputy Mayor Rustriningsih who welcomed President Rajapaksa at the temple premises said she highly valued and appreciated the visit of a Buddhist Head of State to the temple. Ven Chittabutta Thera, a bhikkhu inmate of the temple chanted seth pirith and invoked blessings more..

Japanese ambassador calls on PM: Rapid changes in Lanka - envoy

Dec 10 (DN) Sri Lanka has changed rapidly within a short period. The main reason for thews of people at various levels were obtained for the formulation of this plan and it was subjected to more..

'Translate political strength into solution'

Dec 10 (TN) The LTTE left endowing us with enhanced political strength in the international arena. It will be a folly if we don’t know to effectively translate that into political solution addressing to our aspirations, said the Secretary General of the TNPF, Selvaraja Kajendren, while remembering the slain TNA MP, N. Raviraj on Wednesday in Jaffna. The present TNA tries to project an image that the Tamils are now weak and they should not demand anything as in the past. more..

New Lands for those displaced from Sampur

Dec 10 (Island) Additional GA for the Trincomalee district S. Arulrasa said that the officials are in the process of identifying new lands for war displaced residents in Sampur some of whose lands had been earmarked to set up industries. "The construction of a coal power plant has been planned on these lands," he said. 1700 acres had been allocated to set up the plant. The govt had handed over that area to an Indo-Lanka joint venture between the CEB and NTPC of India. more..

Pillay says deferring Sri Lanka visit until LLRC report

Dec 10 (ICP) When High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay appeared at the UN on Friday, ICP asked her about inaction on the killing of civilians in Sri Lanka, including the performance of the UN and certain high UN officials. ICP also asked how many civilians she believed had been killed in Sri Lanka, and if she was seeking a second terms of HCHR. Pillay spoke generally that there should be accountability, more..

'Fonseka afforded all comforts in prison'

Dec 10 (Island) Jailed former army commander Sarath Fonseka has all the comforts in prison, Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms Deputy Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera told Parliament. He said that there are some allegations by Opposition MPs that Fonseka had been ill-treated and the food provided to the inmate was not consumable. "These allegations are baseless. When I visit the prisons, I too consume the very same food served to him. It’s very delicious and sumptuous. more..

Nielsen predicts stronger consumer growth in 2012

Dec 10 (FT) Market research company Nielsen yesterday expressed optimistic views on 2012 economic progress in Sri Lanka, noting that rapid growth and consumer spending would be seen. Nielsen, launching its 2012 Outlook, remarked upon the aggressively growing consumers who are moving towards lifestyle products that have now become essentials and engaging in impulse buying. The company’s Managing Director in Sri Lanka Shaheen Cader told the gathering at the more..

UNP WC endorsed Karu’s written pledge not to rival Ranil – John

Dec 10 (Island) The UNP’s internal crisis took a new turn with Chief Opposition Whip John Ameratunga alleging that the Working Committee had endorsed Co-Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya’s Dec 2008 written assurance not to vie with Ranil Wickremesinghe for the leadership. Ameratunga, said that Jayasuriya, who had defected to the Rajapkasa govt in Jan 2006, had been taken back in Dec 2008, only after he had submitted the written pledge. more..

CAA rakes in Rs. 100 mn as fines

Dec 10 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has earned Rs. 100 million in fines from January 1 to December 8. It has conducted 32,257 raids on trading establishments violating the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando told ‘The Island’ that he had directed the Chairman of the CAA Rumy Marzook to increase the raids during the forthcoming festive season. He said raids will be intensified and had instructed the more..

Maddumabandara queries Amaratunga’s stance

Dec 10 (Island) The conduct and stance taken by Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga is doubtful and it is not clear whether he represents the interests of the ruling party or the Opposition, the UNP’s Sajith Premadasa Group member and MP Ranjtih Madduma Bandara said. Since the day UNP co-Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya announced his candidacy for the party leadership, the govt and State media have declared war on Jayasuriya and they openly support the incumbent leader more..

Siripada pilgrimage begins today

Dec 10 (Island) The annual Siri Pada pilgrimage begins today, the Unduwap Poya day, and will continue till May. Buddhists say that the footprint mark is the left foot of the Buddha, while Hindus consider it as the footprint of Lord Siva. It is also fabled that the mountain is the legendary mount Trikuta, the capital of Ravana during the Ramayana times from where he ruled Lanka. The mountain is most often scaled from December to May. more..

Sri Lanka proposed pharma zone to stabilize domestic prices: minister

Dec 10 (LBR) Sri Lanka’s proposed pharmaceutical manufacturing zone to be developed in the north western province of the island, once operational is expected to stabilize prices in the local market, highly dependent on medicine imports, minister of commerce said. “Once it is operational, there will be a domestic source of supply that will strengthen the local market further and thereby also helping the consumer” more..

Final Total Lunar Eclipse for next 3 years visible to Sri Lanka today

Dec 10 (HN) The 2nd and final complete Lunar Eclipse for the year 2011 will take place today with this rare event which will not be visible again until the year 2014, being visible even to Sri Lanka. The total Lunar Eclipse which will take place today will be visible to Asia, Australia and North America. Sri Lankans will be able to witness the lunar eclipse when the moon is rising this evening, while astronomers state that more..

Police bust arms racket led by murder accused

Dec 10 (Hindu) The police busted an illegal arms racket by arresting six men - one an accused in the sensational murder of a travel agent in a five-star hotel 10 years ago and another, an LTTE agent. The North East Division police, in raids across the State, confiscated a revolver, two country-made pistols, three sophisticated semi-automatic pistols with different calibres ranging between .9 mm and 7.65 mm, 27 rounds of ammunitions, more..

FUTA: Public education system could collapse

Dec 10 (DM) The Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) said yesterday the Higher Education Ministry had given priority to private education and not public education in the country and owing to this the country’s public education system could collapse. “The Higher Education Minister is expected to represent the public education system and not private education. However he has become the mouthpiece for private universities. more..

'We demand the govt to establish civil administration in North & East'

Dec 10 (LT) While LTTE leaders have been offered ministerial portfolios Tamil youth detained for years treating them as suspects are tried and sentenced in a language they don’t understand and civil rights of the masses in the North and the East have not been established yet states People’s Wall of Comradeship (PWC). It states the govt should be forced to solve the basic issues of the people in the North and the East. more..

University students engaging in protests to be ostracized

Dec 10 (DM) Following a large protest involving thousands of university students from several universities in the country on Wednesday, the Higher Education Ministry on Thursday warned that it would not have discussions with university unions on their grievances in future, if they continue to stage public protests. A large number of students from the Sri Jayawardenapura University as well as members of the Inter University Student Federation (IUSF) from more..

TNA asks MR to intervene and release list of Tamil detainees

Dec 10 (SM) The TNA has once again asked the govt to reveal the list of names of former LTTE cadres and supporters who are detained or in custody. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran has said that a large number of former LTTE cadres had surrendered to the security forces and dad been arrested during the final stages of the war. He has told parliament that the govt had announced about 12,000 former LTTE cadres had surrendered to more..

CEB promises blackouts for defaulters from Dec. 15

Dec 10 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board has decided to get tough with big time defaulters, especially those in the State sector and disconnect their power supplies, after the December 15 deadline announced early this week. The Board issued an ultimatum to domestic, commercial and State sector users that they would be saddled with disconnections from December 15 unless their bills are be paid prior to that. more..

Srilankan-Emirates flights’ mishap averted at Kerala airport

Dec 10 (Hinu) The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered an inquiry into the Friday’s incident in which an Emirates flight-bound for Dubai took off and SriLankan Airlines flight from Colombo landed in the same runway of Thiruvananthapuram international airport within one minute. The Air Traffic Controller who was on duty at the time had been grounded with immediate effect and the Air Safety Officer from Chennai will be reaching Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday to more..

Editorial: Turning job-seekers into job-givers

Dec 10 (DM) With the globalised system of crony capitalism crumbling in the United States, Western Europe and other countries, Sri Lanka needs to urgently restructure its economic policies if its dream of becoming the miracle hub of Asia is to come anywhere near reality. The crisis-ridden 27-Nation European Union began a do or die summit in Brussels yesterday for what independent world economic analysts see as possibly the last chance to save the Euro and the Euro Zone. more..

No short-term solution to fishermen issue with India: Lanka

Dec 10 (PTI) Sri Lanka's navy chief has said the only way to resolve the fishermen issue with India is to work through diplomatic channels, asserting that there is no short-term solution to the problem. "This is not a problem that navy can solve on their own. This is a matter which needs to be resolved at diplomatic levels between the two countries," Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake said in the central town of Kandy yesterday. "This cannot happen within a day or two. more..

New year to begin with elections bill

Dec 10 (DM) The Local Govt Election Amendment Bill which seeks to establish a new electoral system for local govt bodies could be the first bill to be approved in Parliament in the New Year, Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardene said yesterday. The bill has already been debated and is in the committee stage. Speaking during the debate on the committee stage of the budget in the House Mr. Gunawardene said enacting it could be the first business of more..

'Growing Chinese influence in Indian Ocean no threat'

Dec 10 (PTI) Visiting Sri Lankan army chief Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya today said though China’s influence in the Indian Ocean is growing, it is not posing any threat to the Indian sub-continent. "There is no threat to any country in the Indian sub-continent from the growing influence of China in the waters of Indian Ocean. It is a wrong belief", Jayasuriya told reporters after reviewing the Passing Out Parade (POP) at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) here. more..

Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris met EU Parliamentarians

Dec 10 (GDI) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris met European Parliamentarians Ana Gomez, Richard Howitt and David Martin representing the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Party at the Ministry yesterday. The Minister underlined the strong connections Sri Lanka has traditionally had with Western Europe and referred to the vibrant cooperation between Sri Lanka and the European Union, particularly the strong economic partnership. The Minister briefed the delegation on more..

WikiLeaks: President Chandrika a Francophile, US cable contends

Dec 10 (CT) “The president’s Sorbonne education also appears to have affected her and she is quite pro-French.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” analyses the Sri Lanka’s pro – US foreign policy under the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The cable was written on May 29, 2003 by the US Ambassador to Colombo E. Ashley Wills. Ambassador Wills wrote “In addition to the entrenched bureaucracy in the MFA, more..

Europe smoulders, the Middle East burns and lesson for us

Dec 10 (CT) The governments of Greece, Italy and Spain have fallen; in the first two non-political economic technocrats have taken over as Prime Ministers, in the third a Centre-Right party has won the elections. None of the three can successfully address the systemic crisis of the Eurozone economies. They will run to the ground in a matter of months. The roots of the crisis lie in capitalism and manifested as huge govt and private sector debts, more..

COPE report must be taken seriously – Ratnasiri

Dec 10 (DM) The COPE report must be taken seriously as its revelations on Ministry Secretaries could lead to the collapse of the administration in the public sector, senior Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake warned yesterday. Speaking during the committee stage debate in the House, Mr. Wickramanayake, who is a former Prime Minister, said the COPE revelations that Ministry Secretaries do not properly carry out their duties is a serious matter. more..

Prime Minister of Qatar to visit Sri Lanka

Dec 10 (GDI) The Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani is scheduled to undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka from December 12-13, on an invitation from the Govt of Sri Lanka. The high level delegation led by the Qatari Prime Minister will consist of the Minister of Economy and Finance and senior officials together with a business delegation. The Qatari Prime Minister will be received on arrival by the Prime Minister more..

Take advantage of star-less Sri Lanka

Dec 10 (IOL) I'm hoping we get it tactically right against the Sri Lankans when the Test series starts next week. Thinking back, it's just not good enough that we managed to draw a Test series with an Australian team that was well below their best. This is a new Sri Lankan team, and some of their stars are no longer there, while our team looks settled and experienced. That's an advantage for us, but the biggest advantage is that we will be playing at home, and the conditions more..

3 bodies found hanging on a tree in Eppawala

Dec 10 (HN) The bodies of 2 girls and a man have been found hanging on a tree in the Kadigawa region in Eppawala early this morning. The Police Media Spokesperson Ajith Rohana said that the deceased have been identified as 2 girls aged 17 years and 15 years and a 27 year old man. He further stated to our news team that the 2 girls were in fact 2 sisters. Meanwhile the Police Spokesperson said that it was still not clear if the deaths were the result of a triple suicide or murder. more..

Sanath Jayasuriya joins Air Force SC

Dec 10 (ST) Former Sri Lanka skipper turned politician, Sanath Jayasuriya, has switched to Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) cricket team during the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Premier Cricket Tournament which is in progress. Jayasuriya left his long-standing club, the Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club after announcing his retirement from international cricket earlier this year. Jayasuriya joined his team mates at practices at Rifle Green in Colombo on Friday. more..

Second day SA/Sri Lanka: Test openers victorious

Dec 10 (M&G) A 148-run opening partnership between captain Dean Elgar (78) and Reeza Hendricks (66) steered the South African Invitation XI into a commanding position at 323/6 after the second day's play at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Saturday. Bad light brought a premature end to play with 17 overs still remaining in the day's play. After the entire first day of play was lost to rain, the South Africans won the toss and chose to bat. The home side's openers brought more..

A day of prayer for the nun of Mother Teresa's order who "sold children"

Dec 10 (AN) The Catholic Diocese of Colombo will observe tomorrow a day of prayer for the safety and security of the Missionaries of Charity and the hostel of Prem Nives Moratwa. This was requested by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo. On 28 November, the authorities raided the hostel for unmarried mothers run by the Missionaries and arrested Sister Mary Eliza, the mother superior, accusing her of "selling children." more..