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Sri Lanka policy rates kept steady, market rates up: CB

Dec 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's active polity rate at which cash is injected to the market would be maintained at 8.50 percent, the Central Bank said, as defence of a dollar peg pushed market rates up. The Central Bank said foreign inflows, especially on the capital accounts are expected to come. Sri Lanka overnight rates have moved from the lower policy rate band of 7.0 percent at which excess liquidity in withdrawn from the interbank market towards the 8.50 percent ceiling as more..

‘Create more jobs for the differently-abled’

Dec 16 (DM) Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W. D. J. Senevirathne yesterday admitted that employment opportunities for the differently-abled in the state sector were inadequate and that there was a need to better implement government polices to increase jobs for them. Minister Senevirathne expressed this view as Chief Guest at the job fare for different-abled organised by the Labour Ministry, Employers Federation of Ceylon and the International Labour Organisation. more..

Two stories:Namal Rajapaksa took oaths as Attorney-at-Law and two students arrested for exam fraud

Dec 16 (CT) Two students have been arrested yesterday for exam fraud after persuading two Advance level students to sit their Ordinary Level exams for them by Mt.Lavinia police. The attempted fraud was discovered when exam invigilators noted that the two students in the exam hall little resemblance to the photograph on their Identity Cards. more..

Lanka has a low IT literacy rate, says Susil

Dec 16 (DM) Knowledge in Information Technology (IT) has replaced the knowledge in literacy in the developed world and the literacy rate in a country in future will be determined by the rate of fluency in IT, Minister Susil Premajayantha said yesterday. Addressing a group of young professionals, Minister Premajayantha went on to say that it was a matter for concern as Sri Lanka has a low IT literacy rate despite its high literacy rate of 93%, which is the highest in the region. more..

'NGO's are hoping to establish independent ruling in North and East'

Dec 16 (LS) Some of the NGOs are hoping to establish independent ruling in the North and East, Sinhala news paper reports. The NGO’s had sent a written proposal towards the TNA on urging independent ruling in the Northern Province. This request was sent towards the TNA MP Mawai Senathiraja. This written proposal was handed over to the parliamentarian at the Uthayan resort in Jaffna district. 75 none government organizations have kept signatures in this proposal. more..

Fonseka loses appeal against jail term

Dec 16 (PTI) A Sri Lankan Appeal Court on Friday rejected former Army chief Sarath Fonseka’s plea against his 30-month jail term. The Appeal Court in a unanimous decision upheld the verdict of the court martial which sentenced Mr. Fonseka in September of 2010. The military court martial found Mr. Fonseka guilty of following wrong procedure in procurements when he headed the Army between 2005 and 2009. Mr. Fonseka was also sentenced to a three year more..

Q+A: The report of Sri Lanka's civil war inquiry

Dec 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Friday made public a report by the presidentially-appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), providing a set of recommendations and findings on the end of the island nation's three-decade civil war. The nearly 400-page report is Sri Lanka's answer to a U.N.-appointed panel's finding of "credible allegations" that both the military and the LTTE separatists may have committed war crimes in the war's final months. more..

NTC says opposed to increasing bus fares

Dec 16 (DM) Chairman of the National Transport Commission (NTC) Shashi Welgama yesterday asserted that as per the National policy, there would not be any increase, in the bus fares despite the increase in the price of diesel by eight rupees. Addressing the media at a news conference that was held jointly by the National Transport Commission, the Federation of All Island Private Bus Companies, and the Inter-province Private Bus Owners’ Association, he said that the national policy on more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 16.12.2011

Sri Lanka tea meet to seek common standard

Dec 16 (LBO) Tea producing and consuming countries will seek to agree on a common standard for pesticide residue levels in tea during a meeting of the United Nations Food and Agriculture organisation body in Colombo early next year. Common tea production standards and the effects of climate change on cultivation will also be discussed at the FAO inter-governmental group (IGG) on tea from January 30 to February 01, 2012, officials said. An international tea convention will more..

Ahmedabad's elite club back from Lanka

Dec 16 (DNA) Here is a community that's different. It may not be so strong on any of the social networking sites, but the 150-member strong association of Agrawal professionals, and has a considerable fan following. Founded in 1992 by a few Agrawal scientists of ISRO, it organised a foreign tour recently. Fifteen families with 31 members of Agrawal Professionals Cultural Association, known as APCA, went to Sri Lanka in the last week of November 2011. more..

Death of businessman: Two PNB officers arrested

Dec 16 (DM) Two Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officials were arrested today in connection with the death of a 30-year-old businessman who had visited the PNB office to sign the case book on October 30. At the inquiry into the death of Mohamed Fahim by Colombo Fort Acting Magistrate Deemani Baddewela, the Fort Police said they had arrested a Sub Inspector and a police constable in connection. The police claimed the suspects were receiving treatment at more..

New drug smuggled into SL

Dec 16 (DM) A new kind of drug called Methamphetamine was smuggled into Sri Lanka for the first time in 2010, in addition to Heroin, Hashish and Cocaine, Parliament was informed today. Last year, as many as 26 kilos of Methamphetamine had been seized by the authorities concerned. Minister Dinesh Gunawardane informed the House in this regard in response to a question by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara. According to the answer, 287.3 kilos of heroin had been seized more..

Failed asylum seekers flown home

Dec 16 (Independent) A charter plane has been used to fly failed asylum seekers and foreign criminal offenders back to Sri Lanka after the failure of an 11th hour High Court bid to halt the flight. Lawyers acting for activist group Tamils Against Genocide (Tag) argued the Government's removal policy was flawed and there was a real risk of returnees facing torture and ill treatment. But a judge rejected the general challenge at an emergency hearing at more..

Fonseka 'guilty' verdict criticised

Dec 16 (BBC) The family members of the imprisoned former military commander and opposition parties in Sri Lanka have strongly criticised the dismissal of his petition against a military court verdict. A three-member panel of the appeals court has dismissed the petition filed by former general Sarath Fonseka against his conviction by the second court martial that sentenced him to 30 months in jail. The second military court found him more..

Handunneththi banned from questioning the COPE report

Dec 16 (LT) Changing the report to remove 11 from the list of public enterprises that were in the list of loss making ventures was demeaning the parliamentary committee points out JVP PM Sunil Handunneththi. in the original report of COPE, presided by Minister DEW Gunasekera, reports of 48 public enterprises were presented to Parliament. This caused an outburst in the island. As such, the govt withdrew 11 enterprises that have shown a loss due to fraud and corruption. more..

A bright spot emerges in postwar Colombo, Sri Lanka

Dec 16 (NYT) The scent has long since faded from Cinnamon Gardens, in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, just blocks from the Indian Ocean. During the South Asian nation’s long civil war, even Colombo’s toniest residential neighborhood suffered. Fanciful colonial mansions deteriorated along once grand avenues. Abandoned storefronts, too, were among the war’s collateral economic damage here. Since securing victory over the Tamil Tigers in 2009, though, President Mahinda more..

South Africa build commanding advantage

Dec 16 (CI) It wasn't all one-way traffic on the second day in Centurion but South Africa ended in a very commanding position, having built a lead of 209 with AB de Villiers' 99 the cornerstone of their innings. He and Ashwell Prince added a crucial 97-run stand for the sixth wicket, which was supplemented by a useful hand from the under-pressure Mark Boucher, after Sri Lanka had hauled themselves back into the contest with a spirited display. more..

Wife of murdered ‘White Van abduction’ victim makes worldwide appeal seeking justice

Dec 17 (TC) The widow of M.S. Mohammed Niyas who was abducted and killed by the dreaded white van squad has written a letter to worldwide human rights organizations and media institutions seeking justice. The full text of the letter is as follows: I bring you this incident in great desperation and hope. My husband Mohamed Sali Mohamed Niyas who was born in the 20 th November 1954 has always been the focus of my life as he was a loving partner and a more..

What killed the consensual agreements in the past?

Dec 17 (DM) Focus has to be placed on urgent psychological needs of a disoriented society of dismembered families, on children whose life experiences have been only war, youth intoxicated with ethnic based hate and violence, women who have suffered on any basis of reckoning, be it loss of a husband, of children, of security of person as a woman, or just the simple factor of the inability to provide a home to one’s family and more importantly the general fear syndrome of more..

An In-depth Interview with former Supreme Court Judge CV Wigneswaran

Dec 17 (DBS) Hello Friends; Retired Supreme court Judge CV Wigneswaran is a person for whom I have a lot of respect. Justice Wigneswaran who made a distinctive mark while on the bench now engages himself in various aspects of public life. He has not hesitated to fearlessly speak out on many issues. He was interviewed in depth recently for “Daily Mirror”. Wigneswaran expressed his views frankly and forthrightly on a number of crucial issues. more..

Historical memory and the struggle for justice and freedom

Dec 17 (CT) If we forget the past, we cannot charter the future. We will be enslaved in a cycle of pre-determined destiny. The past, present and future are interwoven. That is why historical memory is so important. Every ruler tries to delete memory, believing that the people will be entranced by the magic of the present and the miracles of the future. There is the strident appeal by some that we should now bury the past and get on with the future. War crimes, violations and more..

Shrine of the Innocents: [DIS\RE] APPEARENCE of a memorial

Dec 17 (CT) Shrine of the Innocents (The Shrine), a memorial made for those lives lost in 1988-1991 massacre in the south of Sri Lanka, is being erased. I as the designer and maker of this monument thought I should record my thoughts on this [DIS] APPEARANCE of the Shrine, which in a way, I mean in a conceptual way is actually a [RE] APPEARENCE of a monument which is much more relevant, and symptomatic of the civil and political society of Colombo|Sri Lanka more..

2012: Which turn will it take?

Dec 17 (DM) Heard the rumblings and took little notice knowing the soundings originated from the middle class crust carrying Colombo addresses and semi urban intelligentsia mostly middle- rung public officers and professionals on the way up the ladder of success, commuting daily to Colombo. That’s a niche corner in a cul-de-sac. Yet, students of disaster management should not ignore an early warning from such opinion makers. Words of Channa and more..

Climate Change

Dec 17 (GV) While awaiting to hear of the brilliant contributions that Sri Lanka has made to the just concluded United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), conference in Durban, the view from Durban is somewhat clouded. The global polluters are demonstrating extreme disdain of accepting any responsibility they have to the rest of humanity who share a common atmosphere with them. The unilateral move by Canada in withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol, more..

No reason for delay of full LLRC report

Dec 17 (DM) The Friday Forum now wishes to urge the President to release, without delay, the Report in full for public review and discussion. There have been conflicting statements from various sources in this regard and a clear statement from the Presidential Secretariat as to when the report will be released in full will be welcome. It will be appreciated that public commissions of inquiry are appointed by the President on behalf of the people and the costs of their sittings, more..

'Attacks make me stronger not weaker'

Dec 17 (NS) UNP’s co-deputy leader, who once crossed over to the government ranks and returned to the UNP ranks, is in the limelight today as a contestant for the party leader of the UNP. While much has been said about several others, Karu Jayasuriya expressed his views about his latest move in this interview with TheNation. Q: You have made a decision to contest for the post of leadership of the UNP. First of all, can you say why you made the decision? more..

Free education and the LSSP

Dec 17 (Island) The history of free education in Sri Lanka is the history of an aspect of the class struggle in our country. The LSSP came into existence on 18 Dec 1935, as a party of public intellectuals who were inspired by the ideas of the political philosopher Karl Marx (1818 – 1883). Marx regarded ‘social class’ as a necessary category for understanding the distribution of wealth and power in a given society and the struggle between classes as the main motor of history. more..

Editorial: Jumbos & monks

Dec 17 (Island) The UNP's leadership conflict appears to have transcended mundane politics. Four Mahanayake Theras have written to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe urging him to give up party leadership while retaining the post of Opposition Leader so that his deputy, Karu Jayasuriya, could lead the UNP. The prelates are entitled to their opinion but their request is rather baffling. If Ranil is not fit to be the UNP leader, how come they consider him good enough to more..

Justice for Sarath Fonseka and Presidential Pardons

Dec 17 (Island) Rauf Hakeem is one of the more intelligent and capable of the public figures in our country. But he is also a politician. It is the politician in him that got the better of him last week when he stated in response to a parliamentary question that he would consider appealing to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to pardon former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka if a request was made by Fonseka’s family members. ‘A procedure has to be followed more..

Missing: Post War Abductions Rise

Dec 17 (SL) The war is over, the country is undergoing rapid development and life seems to be returning to normalcy – or is it? Abductions by unidentified armed men travelling in white vans was something heard of during the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka. However, the white vans and abductions by unidentified groups has returned to haunt the country with the latest incident being reported from Kotahena. Christopher Fernando (55), a UPFA supporter and an associate of more..

C for Christmas: corrupt, crooked and cheating, too

Dec 17 (Island) I hope you get this in time as you may have to load your sleigh earlier than usual for this Christmas, what with all the problems in Europe that my uncle keeps talking about all the time. He says that although Finland from where you come has not been harmed by what is known as the Euro Zone crisis, whatever that is, you may have problems coming to our part of the world, because of the protests and demonstrations in Europe, with angry people forced into more..

Now, TNA seeks ‘marriage of convenience’ to pressure UPFA

Dec 17 (Island) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is now seeking an alliance with the SLMC in a bid to pressure the government over three key demands, namely re-merger of the Eastern Province with the Northern Province, police powers and authority over land. A four-man TNA delegation on Thursday (Dec.15) briefed the UPFA constituent SLMC regarding the status of its ongoing political negotiations with the government, with the focus on the demands. more..

Ranil chips in to PB-Nivard ‘war’

Dec 17 (FT) The much-hyped saga between Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal who both sit on the Monetary Board wasn’t lost on Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who early this week found it important enough to be commented upon at a forum of business leaders. “Though we have ended one civil war in the country with the north and east, another one is raging now between the Central Bank and Treasury. In this we have to turn the more..

The 'profit motive' and national security

Dec 17 (ST) Recently, in a discussion with ten to fifteen village elders who had travelled to the Divisional Secretary's office in the central highlands to contribute their perspectives on improvement of the functioning of local level public administrators, one grizzled former school principal said bluntly that the level of politicization of their village systems was now so great that 'it would need a catastrophic event in Sri Lanka to bring matters back to an earlier level of more..

Former national coach takes badminton grievances to President

Dec 17 (Island) Renowned badminton coach Chinthaka Fernando has sent a letter to the highest authority of the country complaining about alleged malpractices of the Sri Lanka Badminton Federation (SLBF) regarding foreign tours. Fernando has penned in his grievances in a letter addressed to none other than President Mahinda Rajapaksa highlighting several shortcomings on the part of the controlling body for badminton in Sri Lanka. more..

Clean environment only way of curbing dengue - Maithripala

Dec 17 (DN) The use of bacteria species to prevent the spread of dengue epidemic had not been effective and had not shown successful results, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said in Parliament yesterday. The minister said that the only effective mechanism to curb the dengue epidemic is maintaining a clean environment. He said that the 10,000 units of imported BTI bacteria from Cuba were used in Kandy as a pilot project, but failed to gain successful results. more..

Lack of runs hinders Sri Lanka fight

Dec 17 (CI) Test cricket, unlike any other sport, does not give mismatches anywhere to hide. In football, when a team goes 7-nil down, like North Korea did against Brazil in last year's World Cup, the humiliation was over in 90 minutes. The same goes for rugby. In baseball, a mercy rule kills a World Series once it's been won. In a Test match, five, long days can go by in which one side totally dominates the other. When Sri Lanka were shot out for 180 and South Africa more..

'We will not be straitjacketed on democratic practices'

Dec 17 (ST) On the eve of the 11th anniversary of the Democratic Left Front (DLF) led by Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the veteran left politician, who is also a Minister spoke on his growing concern about democracy and increasing militarisation of society under the present administration, in which his party is a constituent partner. “We are not going to be bound hand and foot by being in the Govt, regarding the important issues such as democratic practices,” more..

Durban Climate Change Conference: SL urges to implement Kyoto Protocol

Dec 17 (DN) Sri Lanka expressed disappointment at the inability of the global community to meet their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol at the recently concluded Climate Change Conference held in Durban, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Sri Lanka presented four main points at the conference held in Durban, South Africa. Sri Lanka described the vulnerabilities faced by the country as a developing island nation due to the effects of climate change. more..