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Facebook cancels Sri Lankan accounts over abuse

Feb 14 (NN) The social media network Facebook has cancelled over 100 accounts activated from Sri Lanka over abuse of the service following a complaint lodged by the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT), officials said. Information Security Engineer of SLCERT Sri Lanka Rohana Palliyaguru told News that Facebook has cancelled approximately 150 Sri Lankan accounts over misuse of accounts including impersonation and other related violations. more..

Lesson Learnt in Revolution at Cairo (LLRC)

Feb 14 (LG) History has once again proved that any country or dictatorship will be over thrown by the united power of people. The waves of Democratic revolution which starts at Tunisia, followed by Egypt sweeping across the whole of Middle East changing its political landscape. It is yet to reach the shores of Asia and other parts of the Globe but it is certain it will rock each and every nation that is governed by emergency laws and ruled by dictators. more..

Combat Related PTSD among the Sri Lankan Army Servicemen

Feb 14 (LG) The 30 year armed conflict in Sri Lanka has produced a new generation of veterans at risk for the chronic mental health problems that resulted following prolonged exposure to the war. Over 100,000 members of the Sri Lanka Army had been directly or indirectly exposed to combat situations during these years. There had been nearly 20 major military operations conducted by the Armed Forces from 1987 to 2009. A large number of combatants from more..

'Independence day attack on UNP demonstration will not deter us'

Feb 14 (TC) My decision to enter politics and the commitment with which I take my responsibilities has always been based on the fundamental freedoms that we, as Sri Lankans, have enjoyed since independence. As a student, I remember my civic studies teacher explain my rights as a citizen as enshrined in the constitution – something that was always taken for granted. What happened on the 4th of February this year, a day when we more..

The faults lie in our political leaders

Feb 14 (LG) There is an artfully embroidered line of reasoning advanced by some that Sri Lanka’s Commissions of Inquiry went wrong in the past due to the faults of those Commissions themselves. Consequently, as this reasoning appears to suggest, if a particular Commission of Inquiry (say, for example of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation) functioned perfectly well, that would be reason enough to believe it would lead to fruitful results. more..

Perception among minorities that they are being subjected to discrimination

Feb 14 (LG) I have been pointing out in earlier notes that our ethnic problems can be fully understood only in terms of a racist paradigm, not of an ethnic paradigm. At the core of ethnic problems is usually the perception among minorities that they are being subjected to discrimination. Who does the discriminating? It is the “racist”, but in the ethnic paradigm there is no such term as “ethnicist”, no term at all to designate what more..

The race between Mahinda Rajapaksa's LLRC and Ban-Ki-moon's UN panel

Feb 14 (TC) In the current situation of natural disaster with the floods, not much attention is being paid to the race that is being run between the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in Sri Lanka and the Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General in New York to "advice" him on the accountability issues with regard to the conflict in Sri Lanka. Will the race climax at the next session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva at the end of February? more..

The Geneva Consensus: Setting the record straight

Feb 14 (LG) I write to correct an impression that may have been conveyed or mistakenly derived from a reference in an article featured on your website (‘Fixing the Problem’) to the evolution of the Sri Lankan issue at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva during the last war. The written record would show that far from a special session on Sri Lanka being “unthinkable” during the tenure of the article’s author, when I assumed duties as Ambassador/Permanent more..

State protecting international capital not liberty

Feb 14 (LG) Kandaswamy Subramanian, one time joint secretary of the Indian finance ministry says “Developing countries like India continue to suffer from the collateral damage inflicted on them by the Fund/Bank policies.” He says further that the currency wars are getting converted into trade wars and there is no atmosphere of goodwill to harmonise relations. In a recent book Clive George shows how the impact of trade opening on various sectors such as more..

'Local poll will lead to a social transformation'

Feb 14 (NS) JVP front-liner Anura Kumara Dissanayake last week charged that the govt has failed to maintain law and order in the country and that it is actually helping lawbreakers by not bringing them to books. The Nation spoke to Dissanayake to clarify his stance and also to seek his opinion about what is taking place in national politics at the moment. Following are excerpts: Q: With recent floods and forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, more..

Editorial: God save Egypt!

Feb 14 (Island) The dramatic ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's has left his rivals ecstatically jubilant. Protesters who forced him to step down at long last are painting the town red. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, having jumped the bandwagon, says Egypt has been liberated! Mubarak stuck to power like a limpet for 30 long years and ruled Egypt with an iron fist much to the resentment of a hapless public. His undemocratic, protracted stay in power would not more..

Editorial: Overcome this human catastrophe as a nation

Feb 14 (DM) There can be no justification for the sufferings of the thousands rendered homeless by the rains that lashed vicious in the last few weeks in the Northern and the Eastern parts of the country. Left denied of their livelihoods and in a seemingly hopeless state, their tomorrow looks as bleak as the weather surrounding the island. With global concentration moving from the human catastrophes of Haiti, Chile or closer home to Pakistan, the sharp drop in funding more..

In the throes of a ‘silent crisis’

Feb 14 (NS) Unprecedented soar in food prices in the last few months and the government’s failure to take control of the situation is likely to provoke riots in the country soon. Serious questions are raised as to whether the UPFA govt is fully geared to face the present situation with the crisis further deepening. Persistent cold weather and flooding, all attributed to the global climate change, are apparently threatening Sri Lanka with more..

Editorial: Buffer stocks are vital for price stability of food

Feb 14 (BL) The floods have destroyed large extents of paddy land in the surplus producing areas like Amparai and Polonnaruwa. The importance of rice as a staple food of the people was understood even by the British colonial rulers during the Second World War when they launched the ‘Grow More Food’ campaign. The late Sir Oliver Gunatilleke was entrusted with the task of feeding the people as the Civil Defence Commissioner. He set up large food stores in the urban consuming areas. more..

When the hungry join the angry

Feb 14 (LB) When the angry classes and the hungry classes get together and make common cause it spells heap big trouble for the powerful and the privileged; that’s the lesson of events now sweeping across the Maghreb and the Middle East. Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has fled, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak is a lame duck having promised to quit in September, if he is not strung up from a lamppost before that, in Jordon the cabinet has been fired, and the streets are aflame in Algiers and Yemen. more..

Cartoons - are the artists at risk?

Feb 14 (LB) What has one to say about cartoonists and their cartoons; we are not talking of the strip cartoonists whose strip cartoons are found in almost every newspaper and raise a good laugh, but of political cartoonists who are able to capture the mood of a politician and caricature him. This however is no mean feat - a cartoonist is a talented guy who understands the moods and senses portrayed in a newspaper. more..

It’s World Cup time

Feb 14 (Island) Suggestions, Yahaluweni, that history is about to repeat itself, has these days become a seriously weighted exercise. It is a dangerous game of second-guessing. Reasons are not too hard to find. History carries too many faux harbingers and expectations: of castles made of sand. It is why reality is where it all starts. It is also, why Kumar Sangakkara, at his first pre-World Cup opening conference did what any sensible captain would do, play down the more..

When rulers behave like Mubarak, people will behave like ‘People’

Feb 14 (Island) In spite of the imperialists’ call for a peaceful transition, Egyptian people have shown their courageous resistance to the Mubarak government by making no concessions over their demand that Mubarak should step down prior to any negotiation. The US and EU are trying to replace Mubarak with their new henchman Vice President Suleiman. These imperialist powers seek a transition that is less damaging for their interests in the Arab world. more..

Hand-to-hand existence

Torture chambers era no more - Azwer

Feb 14 (DN) The country enjoys freedom, democracy and good governance under the present leadership. It draws inspirations from its own history and not from any other foreign country, said UPFA MP A H M Azwer. He said that it is a terrible mistake of the opposition to compare our country with the situation in Egypt or any other Middle Eastern country. Azwer said that the dark era of the country when torture chambers were maintained and prisoners were pulled out of the prisons and more..

Govt to amend Mosquito Breeding Control Act

Feb 14 (DN) The Govt is planning to amend the Mosquito Breeding Control Act to provide wider powers for Public Health Inspectors and other officials to inspect private properties to identify possible dengue mosquito breeding grounds. The Act stipulates officials to seek written permission from the occupants or owners of houses or premises to have their properties inspected for likely mosquito breeding spots. If they refuse to give permission, a Magisterial order more..

BOI restructuring comes under fire; unions to protest on Tuesday

Feb 14 (ST) A restructuring programme by the Board of Investment (BOI) scheduled to kick off tomorrow by shrinking its floor space at the World Trade Centre (WTC) has come under fire from staff who are launching an organised protest on Tuesday, according to BOI sources, but officials say all this is done in ‘good’ faith. They said that as a first step of the restructuring, three major BOI departments – Promotions, Investments and Monitoring -- are to more..

HNDE and NDT won’t be brought under UGC - SB

Feb 14 (Island) Higher National Diploma in Engineering (HNDE) or National Diploma in Technology (NDT) courses would not be brought under the University Grants Commission, Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake said. He said there was high demand for those who successfully completed those courses. Some of them received job offers even while reading for the diplomas, the Minister said. He said that currently HNDE was functioning under more..

He earned Rs. 60,000 a day from fee for pee at Dambulla EC

Feb 14 (Island) A person who had won a tender to clean toilets at the Dambulla Economic Centre used to charge a person Rs. 10 per each visit and raked in about Rs. 60,000 a day. His contracted has been terminated by Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando with immediate effect on the grounds that consumers and traders must not be fleeced in that manner. Economic Centres operated by the Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade are to be re-organised more..

GL asks SAARC to remove travel barriers

Feb 14 (DM) Minister G.L. Peiris had said that in order to promote greater connectivity the South Asian nations must make greater effort to facilitate freer air travel and remove barriers to surface transport. Addressing the 33rd session of the SAARC Council of Ministers in Bhutan, he said Sri Lanka attaches great importance to inter-regional connectivity. “Greater connectivity in the region is essential to promote intra-regional trade which was still low, even after the emergence of SAFTA. more..

Meet on Jaffna-TN fishing row soon

Feb 14 (EB) In a fresh bid to end the row between the fishermen of Jaffna and Tamil Nadu over fishing in Sri Lankan waters, an Indian official S Thavaratnam, President of the Federation of Fishermen’s Cooperatives of Jaffna, told Express on Saturday, that the offer was made by V Mahalingam, the Indian Consul General in Jaffna, in a meeting on Friday. “We explained the harm done to Jaffna’s aquatic resources and our livelihood by incessant bottom trawling by poachers from Tamil Nadu. more..

Concern over Vanni IDP voters

Feb 14 (BBC) More than 28,000 voters in Vanni district are yet to be allowed to resettle in their original homes, elections officials in Sri Lanka say. Most of those voters are still living in camps for the IDPs in Chettikulam, Vavuniya, said AS Karunanidhi, Vanni district returning officer and the assistant commissioner of elections. He said that he has written to the elections commissioner requesting his instructions whether to set up special polling booths for those voters. more..

ATM fraud: Rumanian mastermind arrested

Feb 14 (DM) The Rumanian who is believed to be the mastermind behind the illegal withdrawal of millions of rupees from Automatic Teller Machines by forging ATM cards (with the help of two Sri Lankans) was apprehended by the CID at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Saturday night. The suspect, who is believed to have withdrawn millions of rupees using forged ATM cards, is reportedly the leader of underworld gang based in an East Asian country. more..

Was Army driver after liquor?

Feb 14 (ST) The Police were ordered to ascertain from hospital records whether an Army driver involved in a fatal accident was under the influence of liquor at the time, when the inquest in question was held by Colombo City Coroner. In the accident at Bambalapitiya on December 30 last year Major Darshana Boyagane, aged 34, was killed and five others injured. The Coroner ordered that the case be transferred to the Magistrate’s Court after the information is obtained from the Police. more..

JVP veteran out of Politburo

Feb 14 (DM) Former JVP MP Chandrasena Wijesinghe had been excluded from the party’s new eight member politburo at the recent convention, the Daily Mirror learns. The convention was held on February 10. However, the party did not officially announce the exclusion. Mr.Wijesinghe resigned from active politics in the party a few months ago citing health reasons. The party has now newly appointed Mrs. Dimuthu Attigalle and Pubudu Jayakodi to the politburo. more..

Colombo coastal belt disappearing

Feb 14 (LB) A noticeable increase in coastal erosion in the Colombo coastal belt has been seen in the last few weeks. Owners of several well known establishments including Beach Wadiya and Kinross Sports Club hit the panic button as several metres of their beach front disappeared before their eyes. Although coastal erosion is nothing new to Sri Lanka, the rate at which coastal erosion is taking place in the coastal strip from Wellawatte to Moratuwa more..

PC members demand pension scheme

Feb 14 (DM) The Provincial Council Members Consortium yesterday requested the government to provide them with a pension scheme which they are lawfully entitled to under the Constitution. The Consortium which includes members from all political parties made this request at a special press conference held in Dambulla. Members representing the UPFA, UNP, Tamil political parties, the SLMC and the Communist Party yesterday stated that although under the constitution the more..

Annesley free to sing Clarence's songs

Feb 14 (ST) The Commercial High Court of Colombo this week refused to extend an enjoining order granted to the wife and daughter of late singer Clarence Wijewardene, restricting another popular singer Annesley Malawana from singing or performing any songs composed and sung by Clarence. Plaintiffs Sheela Wijewardene and Amila Priyadarshani Wijewardene claimed that defendant, Annesley Malawana had on several occasions, after the death of Clarence Wijewardene, more..

Looking inside the Sun Sea

Feb 14 (NP) A fog bank cloaked the MV Sun Sea when it entered Canadian waters off Vancouver Island last August carrying 492 Sri Lankan asylum seekers. Six month later, things are more clear. Federal investigators have been interviewing those on board and chasing leads in Southeast Asia. The passengers have been telling their stories at refugee hearings and in court. The evidence is shedding new light on the bold migrant smuggling operation more..

Several families still in camps

Feb 14 (DM) Of the families displaced by floods, 3442 families were still in the camps, the Disaster Management Centre said yesterday.Of the total welfare camps set up for the displaced people 19 camps remained in Ampara District, 10 in Mannar District and four in the Batticaloa District. Several families in Trincomalee were reported to be still displaced and they were in 13 camps. Several camps remained in Mullaithvu, Kilinochchi, Polonnaruwa, Matale, Nuwar Eliya and Badulla. more..

Competent Authority for Eastern Uni.

Feb 14 (DM) The Higher Education Ministry had appointed a Competent Authority to oversee the activities of the Eastern University, which was not properly functioning for a long time, officials said. The Ministry has appointed former Vice Chancellor of the Open University Prof. Ranjith Arthanayake as the Competent Authority under the provisions of the Universities Act for a period of six months. Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne told Daily Mirror more..

Sri Lanka hoping to repeat triumph

Feb 14 (BBC) Cricket fans and analysts alike in Sri Lanka hope that the 1996 champions can repeat their World Cup success when the 2011 event starts on Friday. Sri Lanka are co-hosting the tournament with India and Bangladesh. Roy Dias, a former vice-captain and national selector, said: "If you compare the 1996 and 2011 teams, both are very well balanced." "I think Kumar Sangakkara's team is focussed very much to win the World Cup," Dias said. more..

Roar of Lankan lions

Feb 14 (TT) The 2011 World Cup has a special significance for Sri Lanka. It will be the island nation’s last chance to see Muttiah Muralidharan bounding in with his unique bowling action. The world’s highest wicket-taker, standing in the sunset years of his international career, will call it quits after the Cup. And the Lankans are eagerly hoping if Murali can weave his magic one last time in a rerun of their 1996 World Cup glory. “He (Murali) will make a huge impact to the side and more..

UNP gives Polls Chief a choice: Stop UPFA from flouting election laws or face legal action

Feb 14 (Island) The UNP is scheduled to meet Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake to complain against violations by the ruling UPFA of election laws. The UNP says the govt continues to flout election laws with impunity by abusing its privileged position much to the detriment of the Opposition parties including the UNP. He says all appeals to the relevant authorities including the Police to put an end to illegal practices by the govt in the run-up to more..

Sri Lanka reservoirs may need larger sluice gates, canals

Feb 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's reservoirs including those planned or under construction may have to be re-designed with larger spill gates and canals to evacuate excess water following recent rare floods in quick succession this year, officials said. "We have to think about planning for the future. Reservoirs are normally designed for the heaviest rains in 200 years or 1,000 years," the head of Sri Lanka's irrigation agency G G Godaliyadda said. more..