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26,000 not resettled due to HSZ

Dec 28 (BBC) More than 26,000 displaced people are yet to be allowed to resettle in their ancestral lands occupied by high security zones (HSZ) in Jaffna, according to Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party. The TNA has submitted a report to the Supreme Court that detailed the HSZs in Jaffna which are still not made available to the original inhabitants by the Sri Lankan govt. The report was submitted as the SC heard fundamental rights petitions filed by the residents of some HSZs seeking more..

“Orphanage” for wild elephants in Sri Lanka

Dec 28 (AN) Minister S.M. Chandrasena said the govt would allocate 100 million rupees to solve the problem of wild elephant attacks that are devastating plantations and villages in 15 districts of the North Western Province. The decision comes after some 500 people staged a demonstration to highlight their plight. Under the proposal, the govt would set up a reserve for dangerous elephants surrounded by an electrified fence with 260 workers hired to guard and maintain the fence. more..

Sangakkara ton keeps Sri Lanka in charge

Dec 28 (CI) Sri Lanka came into this match facing the prospect of their first win-less year in Tests since 1997, and after the hammering in Centurion few predicted anything other than a straightforward win for South Africa in Durban. Three days into the game though, they are firmly on course to their first Test win in 16 attempts, and their first since the retirement of their greatest match-winner Muttiah Muralitharan. more..

The (sorry) state of Sri Lanka’s Opposition

Dec 29 (NS) Wiki page on Sri Lanka’s 14th Parliament doesn’t just list the party MPs are in, it lists what party they were elected under as well. There are so many crossovers, largely because the opposition is so deeply fractured. Traditionally, the UNP (despite also being involved in the 1983 riots) is the UNITED NATIONAL Party, ie, at election time, most minority parties come under their umbrella. Under seemingly permanent bad leadership, however, these parties have left the tent. more..

Clouds of Deception: Jeyaraj anoints and cloaks Niromi Tigress

Dec 29 (GV) Writing from a Tamil nationalist position which occasionally earned the LTTE monster’s ire, David Jeyaraj has provided the world with invaluable service over the years. He had considerable information on both the Tiger operations and behind the scene events in the Tamil north. I have utilized his articles on numerous occasions.[i] However, in jumping to the defence of a family friend who has presented a “true story” of her engagement in more..

IGP’s new action plan pays dividends

Dec 29 (SO) Concerted efforts by the Police to control narcotics, illicit liquor and the crime rate, the Western Province has seen a remarkable progress as they could bring the illicit brewing almost ninety per cent down within the Western Province whilst crime solving rate also has seen a remarkable progress. Senior DIG Western Province, Traffic Management Road Safety and Police Field Force Headquarters, Asoka Wijetilleka explaining the progress of more..

The story of learning lessons by counting costs

Dec 29 (GV) One morning last week, as I sat in my armchair reading the report of the LLRC, I saw a man dressed only in a sarong running along the road just outside my house. You might think there is nothing unusual about a man in a sarong running – perhaps he is running to catch a bus or is being chased by a dog. That might be so, if I saw this running man in Sri Lanka. But no, this is one freezing winter morning in BridgeTown, UK, where the probability of a seeing a more..

TNA ‘rejection’ of LLRC report may lead to ‘rejection’ of party as peace partner

Dec 29 (TC) Whatever one may think of the LLRC and NORAD reports, it is incontrovertible that two of the three major players in the last stage of the Sri Lankan conflict have undertaken and undergone a preliminary audit of sorts—the Sri Lankan state and the Norwegians– while the third (and the second in importance) has not, and not even thought to. There has been no equivalent from within the Tamil civil society or the ‘Tamil nationalist movement’. more..

Don’t destroy wild animals’ havens

Dec 29 (ST) It’s now or never – protect Sri Lanka’s National Parks or the consequences will be disastrous. This is the message being given loud and clear by none other than a person whose wildlife photograph (No. 6054) has been shortlisted for the National Geographic 2011 Photo Competition. His many forays into the country’s National Parks not only to “capture” animals in the wild but also because he is a nature lover, have however, left Dr. Lalith Ekanayake more..

LTTE human right violations and war crimes against North East Muslims

Dec 29 (Island) With the increased activities of the Tamil militants in the early part of 1985, the animosity and resentment of the Tamils towards the North East Muslims took a more acrimonious turn. Consequent to it, numerous incidents of extortions of money, robbing jewellry and other valuables at gun point, and threat to co-operate with the separatist movement took place. The breaking point came when the Tamil terrorists tried, in the course of robbing a rich Muslim trader, more..

State-of-the-art Hospital in Pera, but where’s the staff?

Dec 29 (ST) A cobra hit by the Intercity Colombo-Kandy train was rushed there by concerned people. It was treated and released to the Rantambe Wildlife Sanctuary. A python with burn injuries suffered in a bush fire in the Hantana Range was brought for treatment. The python was treated and released to the same area from where it was found. “We make it a point to release animals to their former natural habitats,” said Senior Veterinarian Dr Asoka Dangolla. more..

Messing-up Examination Results?

Dec 29 (Island) Is the GCE Advanced Level results fiasco the latest of the government’s spiraling mismanagement of education? I received an official text message on Sunday afternoon informing that the GCE A/L results were available on the web. Although I do not have anyone known to me who sat for the GCE A/L examination this year and is awaiting results, I for an unknown reason checked the website and found no results were on display. more..

Editorial: Protecting women

Dec 29 (Island) A Russian woman injured in a savage attack by a ruling party politician and his goons in Tangalle on Sunday has been transferred to a private hospital in Colombo. Her British companion succumbed to his injuries on the day of the attack. While she is undergoing treatment, a newspaper report, quoting the Police Spokesman, has shed light on the suffering of Sri Lankan women at the hands of such criminals who strike at will. Over 1,600 incidents of rape more..

10% hike on vehicle revenue licence fee now enforced

Dec 29 (ST) The Department of Motor Traffic says that the annual revenue licence fee of all vehicles, which was increased in the 2012 budget, is now being enforced. The annual revenue license fees of all vehicles including motorbikes, three wheelers have been increased by 10%. The licence fee for a motorbike was increased from Rs. 400 to Rs. 450, a 3-wheeler from Rs. 500 to Rs. 550 while the licence fee of a motor car was increased from Rs.1500 to Rs.1650, Motor Traffic more..

Political thuggery, murder, mayhem should end

Dec 29 (Island) The main suspect responsible for the killing of the British tourist Kuram Shaika at the Nature Resort t at Medilla in Tangalle using a T 56 assault rifle, Sampath Chandrapushpa Dissanayaka, Chairman, Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha has been arrested with three others. The British tourist met with his death at the hands of a set of drunken vultures who were preying on a foreign woman holidaying here. more..

Mahendra resigns as COMBank Chairman; Captains’ buy in

Dec 29 (FT) Senior business leader and longstanding Board member Mahendra Amarasuriya yesterday resigned as Chairman of Commercial Bank Plc a move which is likely to evoke mixed reactions in banking and corporate circles. Amarasuriya, a highly respected corporate figure, announced his resignation during a Board meeting of Commercial Bank yesterday, throwing open the mantle of leadership at Sri Lanka’s largest private sector bank. more..

CB rules governing bank directors, politically motivated

Dec 29 (ST) Due process with checks and balances imperative for good governance of banks: not discrimination based on age, very valuable experience in the most competitive/confidential banking sector. “There shall be no discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, etc” -- this is a fundamental requirement of top companies and banks worldwide. Alas, in this age and time in our country, we seem to be having discrimination against valuable experience, more..

Dhammika to be appointed Chairman of Sampath Bank

Dec 29 (FT) A non entity a decade ago but today a proven young and highly influential business leader Dhammika Perera is tipped to be appointed as the Chairman of Sampath Bank, the fastest growing private sector player in financial services industry of late. Dhammika who via Vallibel One Plc holds 15% stake, is the largest shareholder in addition to being on the Board since August 2007. The appointment is widely considered as a key feather in more..

Social responsibility of adults to fill the void in orphans’ minds – Vasudeva

Dec 29 (Island) "You are sending us a message. Your hearts are speaking and we can see it clearly in your eyes. You are asking us to give you the same kindness, love and protection that the other children get from their parents," said Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara addressing the children who had lost their parents due to war from Point Pedro and who had come to Jaffna Town to celebrate Christmas at Veerasingham Hall and to receive donated school stationary and gifts. more..

Devananda inspects renovated tanks in Velanai area

Dec 29 (Island) Reservours and tanks, which were newly constructed or renovated under the ‘Uthuru Vasanthaya’ in the administrative area of Velanai Pradeshiya Sabha, were inspected by Minister Douglas Devananda recently. Devananda having first inspected the canals constructed by the Department of Irrigation to drain rain water in the area of the ‘Denzil Kobbekaduwa’ Monument in Kayts, Arali Point, then proceeded to inspect the newly constructed reservoir close to more..

1,637 rape cases reported this year-police

Dec 29 (DM) An increase in statutory rape cases have been reported in the country, the police said yesterday. Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that they have detected an increase in statutory rape cases this year when compared with previous years. Statutory rape is when a person engages in sex with consent or without consent of an underage person. SP Rohana said girls between the ages of 13 and 16 are especially vulnerable and are party to these cases. more..

Leadership training programme to extend to six weeks

Dec 29 (DN) The Higher Education Ministry has decided to increase the duration of leadership training for university entrants from three weeks to six weeks. The government organized this leadership and positive attitudes development training programme for the new university entrants with the aim of developing their self-confidence and to make an attitudinal change in students. This programme was conducted at military camps islandwide. more..

Elephant Pass Saltern ready soon

Dec 29 (DN) 'Rehabilitation work on the Elephant Pass Saltern will commence soon. Salt production will begin in the first quarter of next year,' Minister Douglas Devananda said. The minister was on an observation tour of the saltern on December 23 with senior officials. The saltern was completely destroyed by the LTTE. Devananda said he participated in the observation tour, obtain first hand information about the rehabilitation work needed to recommence the project. more..

Disciplinary inquiring on Dayasiri

Dec 29 (DM) The UNP is expected to hold a disciplinary inquiry on MP Dayasiri Jayasekera who unsuccessfully contested for the party’s national organiser’s post. The inquiry is to be conducted on the public statement made by Mr. Jayasekera after the secret ballot which was held to elect the office bearers of the party on Dec 19. Mr. Jayasekera was reported saying that there were armed men inside the party headquarters, Sirikotha, on the day of voting. more..

Serene Sangakkara leads Sri Lankan dominance

Dec 29 (CI) When a match is put so far beyond the opposition that they will have to break world records to win it, it implies they have suffered ruthless domination. South Africa will need to achieve the highest successful fourth-innings run chase to beat Sri Lanka in Durban but they were not set the task in brutal fashion. Sri Lanka gently prised the game away, going about their business in serene style. Runs rolled off bats seamlessly as Kumar Sangakkara brought up more..

Sri Lanka find their self-belief

Dec 29 (CI) For three consecutive innings, Kumar Sangakkara was dismissed by good, wicket-taking deliveries. Unlike some of his team-mates or even his opposition, Sangakkara did not spend enough time at the crease to play a poor shot. And it looked like he would not get that chance today either. Another superb delivery, a tempting one outside the off stump, induced a poke and Sangakkara should have been out for three. Instead he went on to make 108, stamp his authority on the situation, more..

'The distorted A/L results of the incompetent govt should be corrected immediately'

Dec 29 (LT) As the results of the A/L exam that has been released by the govt is one that has been critically distorted, the govt should take measures to correct it immediately and fulfill justice to the students states Lanka Teacher Services Union (LTSU). The whole govt should be responsible for continuing with an incompetent, corrupt official who as the Commissioner of Examinations had been given three service extensions by the cabinet of the more..

'Tougher laws' for food safety

Dec 29 (BBC) Authorities in Sri Lanka say they are going to introduce tougher laws for food industry. Dr TDA Ananda Jayalal, a director of the health ministry described the importance of categorising food and caterers to provide a healthy meal to the public. "There should not be food outlets near or around polluted areas" Dr. Jayalal told the conference titled "media seminar on food safety and environmental health," organised by the ministry. Elmo Fernando of BBC Sandeshaya pointed out more..

'Don’t elect known criminals to represent you'

Dec 29 (Island) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday urged the electorate not to elect those known for criminal activity as their representatives at any level-in parliament, provincial councils or local govt. Minister said that the people could beat the system, which allowed troublemakers to secure nomination from major political parties, by not exercising their franchise in support of those despised candidates. Asked whether the govt accepted the responsibility for more..

'Special meeting on Z-score to be conducted'

Dec 29 (DM) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said that he would conduct a special meeting with the relevant officials this morning to identify the reasons for the irregularities in Z-score rankings of students who sat the A/L Exam this time. Minister Gunawardane who returned to the country yesterday said that he would summon Commissioner General of Examinations Anura Edirisinghe, UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake and other officials more..

A/L results of 115 withheld

Dec 29 (Island) Results of 115 candidates of the GCE A/L 2011 have been suspended due to irregularities, Examinations Commissioner General Anura Edirisinghe said yesterday. Among the reasons for suspension of the results were impersonation, not submitting proper identification, copying and discrepancies in hand writings in answer scripts, Edirisinghe said. He said that among those who faced the suspension of results are both school and private candidates who sat the exam more..

Two students attempt suicide over A/L results

Dec 29 (SL) Two students attempted to commit suicide this evening in two separate incidents over their A/L results, Hospital sources told The Sunday Leader. One girl had consumed several Panadol tablets and was admitted to hospital in Nittambuwa while a boy had reportedly attempted to hang himself in Karapitiya. Both students had failed to obtain the required marks to get University admission, Hospital sources told The Sunday Leader.

'Do not mislead the ordinary members'

Dec 29 (DM) Responsible persons in the UNP should not provoke the party members and create divisions in the party, Assistant General Secretary of the party Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena said. “It is a crime to mislead the ordinary members of the party by creating divisions among them as they are the back bone of the party,” he said in a statement. He said the party hierarchy should work towards uniting the members at grassroots level by telling the truth. more..

Wimal strikes independent line

Dec 29 (Island) National Freedom Front leader and Minister, Wimal Weerawansa has expressed his party’s reservations over the proposed private university bill. In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Weerawansa has said that the NFF would consider taking a stand against it if the ruling alliance government tries to push forward the private universities bill through Parliament without allowing room for public discussion of the content of the bill. more..

Irrigation reservoirs 90 per cent full

Dec 29 (Island) The water levels of the irrigation reservoirs countrywide except four major reservoirs had reached a volume of more than 90 per cent due to the heavy rains experienced in most parts of the country, Director General of the Irrigation Department, Dr. G. G. Godaliyadde said. There are 69 major reservoirs and 198 medium reservoirs manage by the Irrigation Department. "Water levels of the reservoirs in the Puttlam and Kurunegala districts including the more..

Release Sarath Fonseka unconditionally says UNP

Dec 29 (Island) The UNP called for the unconditional release of former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka from prison and warned the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime against confining him to house arrest, as an escape mechanism from the intense local and international pressure that it has had to face. Ravi Karunanayake MP, said that they had been campaigning for the former army chief’s freedom for the last two years and would sustain it until justice was done. more..

Land permits for K'nochchi landless - Chandrakumar

Dec 29 (DN) Jaffna district parliamentarian and Deputy Chairman of Committees M. Chandrakumar yesterday said that the people of the Killinochchi district who do not have their own land would be issued with land permits soon. He said the govt could have provided land permits to the landless people in the district if TNA had not opposed the move. He was speaking at a ceremony to open seven roads which were developed by the govt costing over Rs. 187 million. more..

At UN, Ban has belatedly watched Killing Fields of Sri Lanka

Dec 29 (ICP) "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka" has finally been watched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, according to a one-word response provided to ICP on Dec 28 by Ban's Office of the Spokesperson. The documentary depicts UN culpability in the abandonment and killing of civilians in Northern Sri Lanka in 2009, when Ban was, as now, Secretary General; it reports on the so-called White Flag killings of Tamil Tiger leaders in whose surrender Ban's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar played a role. more..

Attempts to undermine investigation of Britisher’s murder

Dec 29 (DM) A group of persons identifying themselves as law abiding citizens of Tangalle, have complained to the IGP in writing that there are attempts by some elements with vested interests to undermine investigations into the killing of a British national at a hotel in Tangalle recently. The letter has been copied to the Attorney General, the secretaries of political parties, the MPs of the Hambantota District and the British High Commissioner. more..

Prince Colum’s wife and sister nabbed

Dec 29 (Island) Kotahena Police on Tuesday arrested the wife and sister of the late underworld gang leader Prince Colum for allegedly attempting to extort Rs. 100,000 from a businessman. Prince Colum, who created his own kingdom at Bloemendhal Road, Kotahena and was responsible for a series of crimes, was gunned down by the underworld itself a few years ago. After his death, his henchmen were in the habit of engaging in mass scale extortion from wealthy businessmen. more..