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No connection to Chennai Maha Bodhi Vihara attack, says Seeman

Jan 26 (AD) We had no involvement in the attacked on the Sri Lankan Maha Bodhi Vihara in Chennai yesterday, the pro-LTTE group ‘Naam Tamilar Iyakkam’ said in a statement today. Sebastian Seeman says that two member of the organization have been arrested in connection to the incident. Around 10-15 people had reportedly launched an attack on the Vihara while three monks, two Sri Lankan monks and One Nepalese monk had sustained minor injuries. more..

Hambantota 2018 Commonwealth Logo to be unveiled

Jan 26 (GB) Hambantota 2018 will unveil the emblem of its bid campaign Sunday, hoping to bring the Commonwealth Games to Sri Lanka for the first time. At the logo's launch the appointment of a new CEO will be announced. Hambantota 2018 Organising Committee Co-Chairman and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, said the emblem promises to capture the hearts of all involved with the Games. It will give an emotional connection to a bid that offers more..

Sri Lanka suspects third party role in attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen

Jan 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said its navy would not fire at Indian fishermen even if they had crossed the maritime boundary and suspected the role of some "third party" behind the recurring incidents. "The Sri Lankan Navy is not involved in these attacks and we are equally concerned. We want to find out who did this. The Sri Lankan Navy will not have fired at Indian fishermen even if they had crossed into our waters," more..

Cocaine worth Rs.150mn seized

Jan 26 (DM) Airport Customs officers arrested an Indian national with 10 kilos of cocaine worth Rs.150 million that was hidden in a traveling bag. The suspect was heading to Bangkok from India, Superintend of Customs M.V Jayaratne said. “He had come to the mishandle counter to collect the bag that he once misplaced on a visit to the island from Mumbai recently. The officers at the counter informed us about the bag that was suspicious”, he said. more..

Coal power next week

Jan 26 (NN) The Norocholai coal power plant will be connected to the National Grid via the Veyangoda substation by the end of this month, officials said today. Speaking to reporters at the site of the power plant a short while ago officials of the project said that under the initial stage 300MW of power will be connected to the grid. They also said that coal ash used to generate power will be used as a substitute for cement in construction activities. more..

'Pacers shying away from Tests'

Jan 26 (Hindu) In a startling statement, the chairman of the Sri Lanlan selection panel, Aravinda de Silva, has said several fast bowlers did not want to play Test cricket any more. The former Sri Lankan batting great said , “Most of the pitches these days, across the world, are flat. These wickets are full of runs. There is little in these tracks for the fast bowlers.” The 45-year-old Aravinda is in the city to take part in the more..

Cop lends uniform to robber

Jan 26 (NN) A policeman attached to the Angulana police has been arrested in Mount Lavinia after he traded in his uniform to a thief in the area. The police constable was arrested after the thief was nabbed in the process of robbing a house in Mount Lavinia while wearing the uniform of the police constable, the police said. According to the Mount Lavinia police the suspect will be produced in Court tomorrow and further investigations are underway. more..

MR condoles regarding Russian blast

Jan 26 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev on the attack on Moscow’s Domedodovo International Airport on Monday expressed condolences to the victims. More than 35 people and over 130 others were injured following a major bomb blast at the Domedodovo International Airport. Full message: Your Excellency, I wish to extend to Your Excellency my profound condolences on the outrage perpetrated by terrorist forces more..

Two headed calf born

Jan 26 (NN) A two headed calf was born in Norwood, Hatton late on Sunday night at a private residence and was in a fairly weak condition today. The calf has four eyes, two on each head, two mouths and ears and was not drinking milk from its mother for the last two days. The calf is being given special medical attention and has been temporarily separated from it's mother, the owner of the cow and calf told News today. more..

SRI LANKA: High calibre leaders wanted

Jan 26 (LG) Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma last week drawing attention to qualities of leadership said that there is a dearth of good leaders in all spheres of activity, including politics, in Sri Lanka. He has quite correctly pointed out that some enter the parliament in a fair manner while others do so in unfair ways. Both categories of members, however, are equally recognized as leaders of the people, he has added. more..

Views and reflection on the police system's collapse through the eyes of women

Jan 26 (LG) Alarmingly as it may be, it is now a well-known fact that lawlessness has spread to all aspects of public as well as official life in Sri Lanka. The critical role played by the police system is further recognized as being one of the principal factors causing this situation. The failures in the system are not due to errors with a particular officer or a particular station. Neither is it a problem that can solely be blamed on the rules and regulations of the more..

Heavy responsibility of LLRC

Jan 26 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sudden visit to the United States has been the subject of considerable speculation. The government announced it as a private visit. The secrecy of the visit has not been in keeping with the transparency that is usually expected of leaders of democratic countries. As Houston with its renowned health facilities was the destination of the President, and more..

Anniversary of Prageeth's disappearance & Arts Festival

Jan 26 (LG) Prageeth Eknaligoda's wife and a small group of faithful supporters met representatives of the United Nations yesterday on the occasion of the first anniversary of Prageeth's disappearance. That the family had to meet representatives of the United Nations and not representatives of the Sri Lankan state is symbolic. It is after any hope has been lost of a genuine inquiry into Prageeth's disappearance that the family had to resort to more..

TISL highlights need for transparency in flood relief work

Jan 26 (LG) The biggest floods in decades have wreaked havoc globally where hundreds of people were killed and millions of people were displaced. Countries like Australia, Brazil, and Colombia were devastated with this natural disaster. Sri Lanka too suffered severely due to heavy monsoon rains causing floods across the island nation. At least 40 people have died due to this. Around 1.1 million Sri Lankans have affected and more..

Developments in digital technology: Lanka ready for huge leapinto future

Jan 26 (SO) Sri Lanka is ready to make a huge leap into the future with digital technology, Telecom Regulatory Commission, Director General, Anusha Pelpita said in an interview with the Sunday Observer. He said plans are under way to convert analog TV transmissions into Digital Video Broadband - T2 from 2018, introduce fourth generation mobile technology and take broadband facilities to the rural sector in the near future. more..

Vedakama for Rajarata kidney Patients

Jan 26 (LG) As we mentioned last week not only that there is no treatment in western medicine for Rajarata Chronic Kidney Disease Unidentified Etiology (RCKDunet) the causes are also not known as the words unidentified etiology indicate. Apparently the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has under these conditions given permission to their members to make use of any reliable treatments found in the so called alternative systems of medicine. more..

LG polls: Quotas for women and youth?

Jan 26 (Island) I write with reference to the above Article by Ms. Ruana Rajepakse, Attorney - at - Law, which appeared in the Sunday Island of 9 January 2011. Ms. Rajepakse is also the Attorney - at - Law for 5 Women’s Organisations who are Petitioners in the Supreme Court Special Determination No. 3/2010 in which they ask for the removal of the proposed sub-clause [2B] of Clause 22 of the Local Authorities [Amendment] Bill placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, and more..

Post-war degrees from KDU

Jan 26 (Island) General Sir John Kotelawela Defence University (KDU) now accepts applications for enlistment to the university. A new batch of cadets is enlisted during August each year and applications are called in January. The closing date for applications this year is Feb. 2, 2011. The 2010 intake consists of 168 cadets, including two foreigners. Prof. Ranjith B. Mapa, a senior member of the KDU, said that those successful could obtain a degree and more..

Where do Tamils and Sinhalese go from here?

Jan 26 (LG) There are very few accurate seers into the future, but yet there are hordes of them who try. At the beginning of the new decade several have tried their hand at seeing how the world would be in 2020. Some predictions are to be expected — such as the one that the world would eventually be independent of fossil fuels for energy needs. There are other predictions about the death of cities for instance, even though I’m psychologically unable yet to relate to this one yet. more..

Raja Raja Chola 1 and the quicksand of Tamil chauvinism

Jan 26 (NS) The history of this island can be read as an account of invasion, resistance, conquering and routing the enemy. It is also a history of migratory waves and, in recent times, emigration as well. There are of course all kinds of histories. There are those written by the winners which some claim make their authenticity questionable. There are histories embedded in folk traditions. Histories can be read through careful perusal of archaeological record. more..

JVP rubbishes claim

Jan 26 (NN) The JVP slammed former party member and now government Minister Wimal Weerawansa stating he was expelled from the party as he was the only spy amongst its members. The JVP was responding to a statement made by Minister Weerawansa when he revealed that the JVP had a spy operating overseas. “He is talking nonsense. He was the only spy in the party which is why we had to expel him. His comments are baseless and a waste of time,” more..

Kandyan peasantry still paying for draconian laws enacted by colonial administration

Jan 26 (LB) The people of the Central, Uva-Wellassa and Sabaragamuwa provinces lost their lands and were pushed to small pockets of land on the hill sides. Gradual fragmentation, generation after generation exacerbated the problem compelling mainly the peasantry to build homes even in dangerous steep slopes of hills. Though there were two attempts to rehabilitate the Kandyan peasantry after independence in the 1950s under the Kandyan Peasantry Rehabilitation Commission and more..

Central province women candidates to boycott local elections

Jan 26 (LB) The local political party hierarchy is still very hesistant to the idea of increasing the number of female candidates and the continuous let downs, manipulations and betrayal of the two main political parties had forced women’s groups in the Central Province to call for a boycott of the coming Local Government Elections said Professor Kamala Liyanage, convenor of the Central Province Women’s Collective. more..

Camels, Ostriches and the Stuff of Fables

Jan 26 (Island) Just a comment on the thoughtful and insightful article by Champa Fernando, Secretary, KACPAW on "Camel and Ostrich Farming in Sri Lanka" It is evident that the writer has taken the trouble to research the issue at hand and find reliable support to maintain her position. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for the position taken by the proponents of this Camel/Ostrich scheme. I have not found any hard evidence to support its feasibility. more..

Editorial: Smooching with terrorists

Jan 26 (Island) In Hollywood blockbusters, we have seen some eerie looking evil extra terrestrial beings possess earthlings to destroy humans. It looks as if deadly terrorists and their backers in disguise had adopted the same method to use political leaders of the developed world like zombies to advance their macabre agendas. Else, the unspeakable subservience of foreign powers to terrorists and their lobbyists is inexplicable. more..

Editorial: Food a right, not a commodity

Jan 26 (DM) In 2000, the world community under the leadership of the United Nations announced the Millennium Developing Goals [MDG] setting specific targets to be achieved by 2015. Nutrition plays a crucial role in achieving six of these goals. Research studies have shown that under-nutrition is by far the most important single cause of illness and death globally accounting for 12 percent of all deaths. About one third of our children are under-nourished. more..

Flood of counter claims

Jan 26 (FT) Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena yesterday made public the Government’s assessment of the impact following floods, reiterating that only 10% of the paddy land was fully hit, in addition to insisting there was no shortage of rice in the country.“I like to state that 400,000 acres of paddy were damaged due to the recent floods. However, 80 per cent of the paddy which was recovered is resistant to water. more..

Diya Dhaharai, Thuru Viyanai to beautify city

Jan 26 (DN) The 'Diya Dhaharai- Thuru Viyanai' program was launched yesterday to create a better urban environment by planting trees in all water retention areas and water ways in the Colombo district while cleaning all water ways. As the first step of this program a tree plantation campaign to plant 1,000 saplings was implemented on the sides of Diyawanna oya on the initiative of Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Chairman Charitha Herath. more..

'Keep politics away from places of religious worship'

Jan 26 (DN) Temples have suddenly gained the special attention of certain politicians having dreams of party leadership, said MP Namal Rajapaksa. No one will condone the use of places of religious worship for narrow political gain, he said when he opened a new Dharmasalava at the Visuddharamaya, Mawilmada, Kandy, Sunday. MP Dilum Amunugama presided. Rajapaksa said the President is now laying the ground work for ushering in a massive development program more..

Rauff’s take on floods, elections and justice

Jan 26 (FT) Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and Minister of Justice and Administration Rauff Hakeem says more relief is needed by the people in flood affected areas in order to get back on their feet. Hakeem points out that the damage caused to the livelihoods of the people in these areas will only be felt in the months to come and warns that the assessment of such damage will be staggering. more..

Monks to contest Dambulla Municipal Council Elections

Jan 26 (DM) An independent group representing the Rangiri Dambulu Maha Sangha Sabha yesterday tendered nominations to Matale District Agent K.M.Meegasmulla to contest the newly formed Dambulla Municipal Council elections. The 20 member independent group is headed by Ven.Daniyagama Ananda Thera. Deputy Elections Commissioner W.P. Sumanasiri said nominations for 33 of 301 local councils had been received by yesterday from political parties and independent groups. more..

Accident victim dies after docs deny treatment

Jan 26 (Island) An accident victim succumbed to his injuries a day after he was denied treatment by doctors of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. The victim, identified as Sarath Wijesinghe (42), of Halgasmulla in Habaraduwa, was knocked down by a three wheeler on the Galle-Akuressa road, on January 15 and had been rushed to the Karapitiya Hospital in the same vehicle. However, the doctors there had refused to treat his injuries on the grounds that he had consumed liquor. more..

Farmers’ Pension Scheme in the red, not viable, says AG

Jan 26 (ST) The Auditor General (AG) has said there is serious uncertainty about the viability of the Farmers’ Pension Scheme after the latest audit showed that the finances of the Fund has deteriorated from a surplus of Rs 214 million in 2008, to a deficit of Rs 741 million in 2009. Total income of the Fund, for the year ending December 31, 2009, was around Rs 362.4 million, while the expenditure was over Rs 1.1 billion, more..

Former minister’s wife joins UNP

Jan 26 (DM) Former Tourism Minister Nandana Gunatilleke’s wife Priyani Gunatilleke joined the UNP yesterday and is slated to contest the Panadura Municipal Council at the forthcoming local government election. She will lock horns with her husband at the election as Mr. Gunatilleke is expected to be the UPFA Mayoral candidate for the Panadura Municipal Council. Ms. Gunatilleke obtained UNP membership from party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at Cambridge Terrace yesterday. more..

Angry public burns cut-outs, banners of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Batticaloa

Jan 26 (TN) Angered by the politics and by an extravagant ritual, ‘Yaakam,’ by a Tamil Nadu chaamiyaar (Hindu religious person) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, at a time when genocide and floods cause desperation, the Eezham Tamil public in Ka’luvaagnchikkudi in Batticaloa on Saturday burnt his cut-out images and banners. He went back to India the following day. Last Thursday, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar honoured the ‘social service’ of the SL president’s son Namal more..

Banned porn websites to strike back!

Jan 26 (LB) The CPWB warned that the possibility of banned pornographic and illegal websites opening up their sites once more which could further exacerbate the menace. The CPWB also has received information that several such sites have reappeared on the scene under different names. The CPWB took measures to ban over 1015 pornographic sites on the internet which could be browsed through one’s cell phone connections with ease. more..

Political respite in Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (SG) When Sri Lanka won the World Cup, cricket’s ultimate challenge in 1996, virtually the entire population – or at least those who found their way to a television set – were literally on their toes watching the final. Tamil separatist rebels or the Tamil Tigers, not to be outdone, also cried a temporary halt to the spate of attacks and violence. It was rumored that both government soldiers and the rebels had signed off on a temporary truce to watch the more..

Moneragala to come alight

Jan 26 (Island) Nearly 5,727 families in the Moneragala district, who have had no electricity facilities so far, would receive power supplies through 121 new projects built at a cost of Rs.716.42 million. Ministry sources told The Island yesterday Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka had instructed his officials to pay attention to the 121 new power projects and provide supplies as soon as possible. These 121 power projects would be constructed under the more..

UNICEF and world-class cricketers team up to battle HIV and AIDS

Jan 26 (UNICEF) As fans around the world count down to the ICC Cricket World Cup beginning on 19 February with a match in Bangladesh, players and squads from the 14 competing countries are teaming up to help combat the AIDS epidemic. Under the banner, ‘Think Wise: The Global Cricket AIDS Partnership,’ the International Cricket Council, UNICEF, UNAIDS and the Global Media AIDS Initiative – along with numerous local partners – have launched a campaign more..

Tax benefits for companies investing in research by University research

Jan 26 (Island) Private sector enterprises willing to invest in research programmes carried out by universities would enjoy immense tax benefits, an official of the Ministry of Higher education said. "The Treasury has already approved this tax concession to the private sector," Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education Sunil Jayantha Nawarathne said. The Treasury has also allocated funds for the research carried out by the universities and few parties from more..