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Forget the mini-skirt and protect our culture

Jan 8 (DM) We wish to ask the Deputy Minister how his bizarre plan of breeding and farming such imported animals for flesh here, is compatible with the Mahinda Chinthana, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s policy that all measures for economic development introduced by his government will be guided by our own cultural values. The Minister for Cultural Affairs has shown serious concern about the corrupting influence on our culture by dress styles sported by women and more..

UNP and its reformists bank on opponents’ failures to win

Jan 8 (DM) It is interesting to know as to what the UNP who were clamouring for a leadership change in the party must be feeling when the first official announcement came from Minister Maithripala Sirisena on holding the Local Govt elections soon. Do they really want to get hold of the party leadership before the elections? A group of former UNP MPs had called on the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down from the leadership prior to the mini elections. more..

The simulated politics of Diaspora

Jan 8 (DM) Having conquered the LTTE, the President and his nationalist allies now want to take on the Tamil Diaspora overseas. If so, however, the Oxford Union debacle was a signal that the regime is far from clear on how to do so. The reality is that the regime can only make the Diaspora ‘irrelevant’ by alleviating the plight of the Tamils displaced by war in Sri Lanka, making the reconciliation process transparent and independent, and more..

Editorial: Natural principles of Right Living

Jan 8 (DM) Why should we do the right thing? This is a question asked by more and more people in the world today. When we look around us we see how dishonesty, lying and cheating have become a normal way of life. We see people who have become rich and powerful by resorting to the very things that all the religions of the world tell us not to. Though many try to teach lessons on Right Living, most learn from studying the behavior of others. more..

Editorial: Facts vs hearsay

Jan 8 (Island) Yesterday, we quoted a top UNHCR official, Michael Zwack, as saying that more Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu were keen to return home. Some of them have already come back since the end of the war. Zwack's statement should be viewed against the backdrop of a much publicised remark the Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi made in Tamil Nadu the other day that Sri Lanka government was not doing enough for the Tamils. more..

Akkeripatthu PS upgraded to a Municipality

Jan 8 (LG) The CaFFE vehemently oppose the surprising and unwitting action of Hon. Minister A.L.M. Athawulla’s decision to elevate a large portion of his electorate, belonging to Akkeripatthu Local Government control area, upgraded to the level of Municipality, without adhering to proper procedures such as gazette notification. Until now, the above electoral area belonging to the Minister had existed as a Local Government body. more..

Ceylon Phobia: Will it affect ‘Ceylon tea’ and cripple our economy?

Jan 8 (Island) According to a recent Cabinet decision, the, word "Ceylon" will be a prohibited word for Government Institutions and Corporations in the near future. Institutions like the Ceylon Electricity Board, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, Ceylon Transport Board and Departments like the Ceylon Government Railway can very well afford to lose the word "Ceylon" from their identity label and the loss would not make any difference to the general public either, more..

The hemline plot hatched in Brussels

Jan 8 (Island) Did you hear? It all began in Brussels , no. In Brussels ? You mean the GSP plus thing? No, no, the mini-skirt thing. You mean Brussels was plotting to ban mini-skirts here? Can’t be, aney. Why not, the whole story is now out, no. What story, aney. When they found that the GSP plus thing did not work, or what do they say - had no impact, they had to think of another plan of attack, no. So they began plotting, or conspiring. Yes, that is the better word. more..

Ajahn Brahmavansa to arrive in the island

Jan 8 (LP) Rev Ajahn Brahmavansa Mahathero would arrive in the island tomorrow (08) for a 10 day visit in Sri Lanka. The Thero is to visit the island for a Nine day advanced meditation retreat - "A Gentle Path to Jhana" at Bandarawela Holiday Resort from 9 Jan. - 17 Jan. 2011. This would be followed by a one day retreat at BIMCH in Colombo held on the 19th of January on full moon poya day. more..

A requiem for two unique road-rail bridges

Jan 8 (Island) Sri Lanka had the unique distinction of having two remarkable road-rail bridges built by the British in the early 20th century. The intensive road construction in the modern sense began during Sir Edward Barnes’s time. He was the mastermind behind the great military road from Colombo to Kandy and the Governor who commissioned the marvel of the time, the satinwood bridge across the Mahaweli at Peradeniya. more..

An eye witness describes the cowardly attack on Bahu

Jan 8 (LG) I was informed by Dr Vickramabahu Karunarathne that he has been invited to participate in the 88th Birthday Remembrance celebration of Pro. Reg Goodwin, a former Dean of Darwin College of Cambridge University, held on 04th December. I knew that Vickramabahu as one, who read for his Ph.D at Cambridge during Goodwin's tennre, accepted an invitation from Goodwin’s Family members and left for London on 21st of November 2010. more..

Mystery spinner gets married

Jan 8 (N360) Sri Lankan Spinner Ajantha Mendis got married to Yoshini yesterday. The marriage took place at St. Theresa’s Cathedral in Thimbirigasyaya amidst a distinguished gathering which also included President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Born in 1985, Mendis started his international career in the year 2008, playing against West Indies where he captured 3 for 39. He is employed as an officer at the Sri Lankan Army. more..

Train cargo transport to be upgraded

Jan 8 (DN) Train cargo transportation will be upgraded by 50 percent, said Transport Minister Kumara Welgama addressing the opening ceremony of the refurbished Kelaniya Railway Station yesterday morning. The renovation project was undertaken by A Baur and company (Pvt) Ltd at a cost of Rs 1.5 million. "It is an important day in the history of our railway sector," said the Transport Minister. more..

'More taxes from Mobile, internet service providers if tariffs not lowered'

Jan 8 (Island) Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament that mobile telecommunication service providers and the Internet service providers in Sri Lanka could be forced to pay additional taxes unless they reduce their tariffs. Minister Gunawardena said there were five mobile phone operators, namely Mobitel Ltd., Dialog Axiata PLC, Etisalat Ltd., Bharathi Airtel Ltd., and Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka Ltd. more..

Rogue driver trainers to be blacklisted

Jan 8 (DN) Over 90 percent road accidents take place owing to the negligence of drivers, Deputy Minister Rohana Dissanayake said. The quality of driving schools is low since majority of them are operating only for money. There are over 644 driving schools among which only seven schools belong to the SLTB, he said. The responsibility of the driving schools is immense as it is the place where a driver should be properly trained. more..

Romeo who broke hearts of several women arrested

Jan 8 (DM) A soldier who posed as a doctor attached to the army to gain the affection of village damsels eager to find husbands by publicising their details in the Marriage Proposals Columns in newspapers, had been arrested by the Welipenna Police. After impressing these gullible women by flaunting his supposed status as a doctor, the man had obtained money and valuable jewellery from them after promising to marry them. more..

Environmental survey reveals many industries sans EPL

Jan 8 (DM) A survey conducted by the Central Environment Authority (CEA) has revealed that a large number of industries in the country were operating without an Environment Protection Licence (EPL) which could pose a danger to the environment and even affect public health, CEA Chairman Dr. Charitha Herath said yesterday. In 2009 and 2010 more than 200 cases had been filed against industries operating without having the EPL. more..

Natural rubber market on upward trend: Brakes Rs.600 price-barrier

Jan 8 (Island) High demand from India and China has ensured high rubber prices despite the global recession and with domestic demand picking up, the price of rubber expanded beyond Rs. 600 this week. Weather in most rubber planting countries have not been conducive for tapping operations through out and production came down drastically during 2010 due to continuous rains. Meanwhile, due to the recession in Europe and USA, more..

'Sajith to play a central role during LG elections'

Jan 8 (N360) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena says Sajith Premadasa will play a key role in spearheading the UNP’s campaign in the upcoming local government elections. He said UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe is also of the view that Sajith should play a central role in the upcoming contest. “Sajith is an asset to our party” he added. Speaking about the ongoing leadership struggle between Wicremasinghe and Premadasa, he said, “There are signs of a compromise”. more..

Protesting student leader wins demand

Jan 8 (Island) The President of the Students Union of the Sri Jayawardenapura University Management Faculty, who climbed atop a tall water tank in the campus premises on Wednesday, demanding the suspension imposed on 18 students, including himself be removed and they be allowed to sit examinations, gave up his protest and climbed down on Thursday following an assurance by the University administration that the suspended students would be allowed to sit the exams. more..

Decrease in labor force in 2010 third quarter

Jan 8 (NF) The country's labour force percentage has decreased in the third quarter of 2010. The field work for the survey for the 3rd quarter of 2010 was done in July, August and September last year. The Department of Census and Statistics says that the labour force in the 1st quarter was 49.1 per cent while it was 48.2 per cent in the 2nd quarter. The labour force in the 3rd quarter stood at 47.7 per cent signalling a further decrease. more..

Ten fishermen from Sri Lanka arrested

Jan 8 (Hindu) Indian Coast Guard Ship Sarang apprehended two fishing boats with 10 Sri Lankan fishermen for illegally fishing in Indian waters. The fishermen were caught with about 1,000 kg of fish onboard. It was the first seizure of Sri Lankan fishing vessels in 2011. Last year, ICGS had apprehended 103 boats with 511 crew carrying 84,861 kg of catch. A Coast Guard Dornier aircraft during aerial surveillance detected two Sri Lankan fishing boats on January 3. more..

Govt advocates organic cultivation

Jan 8 (DN) With the target of achieving self-sufficiency in essential food items the Government would grant assistance to a million home gardens, Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony at the Walakumburumulla and Paragammana Haritha Gammana in the Pannala DS Division. The Minister added the Haritha Gammana project is targetted on environmental conservation at village level. more..

Newspaper editor’s murderers still at large two years later

Jan 8 (RSF) Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, a courageous, talented and iconoclastic journalist, was shot dead in Colombo by a death squad two years ago tomorrow. His murder is still unpunished. Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the fact that the Sri Lankan government is doing nothing to solve this murder and in fact is clearly preventing the truth from coming to light. By blocking the investigation and more..

Death of a Lankan woman: A case deserving closure

Jan 8 (AN) But none so heart-wrenching as the one that landed in my mailbox very recently from a Sri Lankan national named Saroja Selladurai. His plea was to determine the status and mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of his sister, a guest worker in the Kingdom. He writes: "I am writing to let you know what happened to my sister, I am asking for your help in finding out the truth, please listen to my story. more..

Murali’s heart lies with Chennai

Jan 8 (TT) As the ten franchises sit to pick their players from the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, Saturday, there will be a temporary stasis among 350 odd cricketers across the planet. Some will be glued to their television sets while some will leave it to their fate. But Sri Lankan off-spinner and former Chennai Super Kings player, Muttiah Muralidharan, is unfazed by the hoopla surrounding the player auction. “I have gone through this before, I am not tensed, more..

Boston Lanka News: Jan. 06, 2011

Dy. Ministers can practice their professions

Jan 8 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa delivering his ruling on a matter of privilege raised in the House by the Chief Opposition Whip, John Amaratunga, stated that he did not consider a Deputy Minister appearing as Counsel in courts of law as a breach of parliamentary privilege. The Speaker said that in the past there had been instances where several MPs, particularly those who belonged to the fields of medicine and law had continued practising as professionals. more..

Imposter defrauds Rs. 6mn using Chamal, Namal names

Jan 8 (DM) A person who had posed as a senior military official and cheated several young men and women and collected more than Rs. 6 million from them on the promise of providing them employment in the Sri Lanka Ports Authority through Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and MP Namal Rajapaksa, was taken into custody last morning by the Nawalapitiya Police. Inquiries revealed that he had cheated more than 140 young men and women in the Nawalapitiya area alone. more..

Sri Lanka recruits record number of Tamil police

Jan 8 (BBC) The Sri Lankan police force has inducted a record number of Tamil recruits into the force at a ceremony near the capital, Colombo. Currently, only a few thousand of Sri Lanka's 86,000-strong police force are from the Tamil ethnic minority. The move is part of a drive to improve relations between Tamils and the majority Sinhalese after the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009. more..

CCTV: 20 nabbed, 300 traffic fines

Jan 8 (DM) Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne said that so far the police have tracked down 350 incidents of violations of the law and arrested 20 suspects using the newly installed CCTV cameras in the Colombo city. “We have arrested twenty suspects. At least 300 persons have been fined for violating traffic laws. No one can cheat now as everything is recorded on the cameras,” he said. “Out of the recordings, images considered necessary for future police or legal action more..

Engineers opposed to CEB chairman heading SIU

Jan 8 (Island) Engineers are opposing a move by the Board of Directors of the CEB to appoint their Chairman, Vidya Amarapala to head the Special Investigation Unit. CEB General Manager Badra Jayaweera was the head of the SIU and the appointment of the Chairman of the unit should be done through the General Manager, a Senior CEB engineer said. The CEB Board has got the approval of the Attorney General to appoint the Chairman the head of the SIU. more..

Kiriella locks horns with govt. over alleged rift

Jan 8 (DM) A UNP frontliner yesterday embroiled himself in a heated argument with government legislators including Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem over the alleged rift between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chief Justice Ashoka de Silva. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella tried to link the alleged rift to the differences of opinion between the two over the Court Martial against former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. more..

'Amend laws to limit size of Cabinet'

Jan 8 (DM) A constitutional clause should be introduced specifying the number of Cabinet Ministers to be appointed under any government, UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakse told parliament yesterday. Speaking during the debate on the powers designated to senior ministers under an adjournment motion moved by his party, he said he was ready to support any such move to amend the Constitution. more..

IUSF concerned over military training for undergrads

Jan 8 (DM) The IUSF yesterday charged that Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s plan to provide leadership training to undergraduates for three weeks by the Army, was an initial step of the government’s plan to transform the country into a military state. “The government has gradually decreased funds allocated for education while systematically increasing allocations for the Defence Ministry more..

Talks fail; private bus strike on Jan. 11

Jan 8 (DM) The Private Bus Operators Association yesterday said it would go ahead with the proposed all-island private bus strike on January 11 since talks with the Transport Ministry failed to resolve the fare hike issue. "We were told by the Transport authorities that an increment in bus fares would be considered after a committee was formed to review the bus fare structure. We are not happy with this decision and more..

Floods affect over 500,000

Jan 8 (DN) Over 580,000 people belonging to 157,738 families have been affected following the inclement weather prevailing in the Ampara and Batticaloa districts during the past two weeks. The Batticaloa district reported the highest number of flood affected people numbering over 358,366 persons. However, floods in several divisional secretariat divisions had receded by yesterday and more..

Witness says he recorded his conversation with Frederica

Jan 8 (Island) Referring to Opposition presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s interview with The Sunday Leader of Dec. 13, 2009, in which he alleged that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had ordered that the LTTE leaders offering to surrender be shot shot on the Vanni front, the then JVP MP and trade union leader K. A. Lal Kantha had said that if the former Army Chief actually said that, it amounted to treason. more..

LG nominations from Jan. 20

Jan 8 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday announced that nominations from political Parties and Independent groups for the forthcoming local government elections would be accepted from Jan. 20 to 12 noon on Jan. 27. Nominations from independent groups would be accepted from Jan. 20 to 12 noon on Jan. 26. The forthcoming Elections would be held to 269 Pradeshiya Sabhas and 36 Urban Councils and more..

Army begins selling vegetables at 14 centers in Colombo, Suburbs

Jan 8 (NF) The Army began marketing vegetables at reasonable prices in 14 centres in Colombo and suburbs yesterday. Under this initiative, the Army sold vegetables at Maligawatta Flats, Campbell Park, Hyde Park, Muttiah Park, Torrington, opposite Fort Railway Station, Borella, Rajagiriya, Ja-Ela, Ekala, Katunayake, Maharagama, Homagama and Kaduwela from 7am yesterday. more..