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Friday Forum deeply concerned about leadership training outside university system

June 11 (TC) The Friday Forum makes this statement in a spirit of democratic dialogue on the above issue, which we believe is of concern to all citizens. This programme has been introduced by the Ministry of Higher Education in a military environment under the leadership of the Ministry of Defence. According to the letter sent to students they may be offered a place in the national university system and will be expected to produce a more..

‘Sri Lanka on the right track after the war’

June 11 (DM) Q: How do you asses the progress of your visit to Sri Lanka? A: It was a useful visit. In fact, it was a kind of research of situation. We were not only in Colombo. We visited the northern territory affected by the war, and saw for ourselves life in the area. This is also quite important. We are happy to note that the country is on a positive track. Sri Lanka is pushing for the economic development. For the past years, we were only supplying military equipment to Sri Lanka. more..

Why Channel 4 decided to show horrific footage on Sri Lanka war

June 11 (TC) The bodies of naked women are thrown and dragged on to the back of a truck. As each woman is pulled aboard, soldiers make crude remarks and laugh. Elsewhere, other soldiers film themselves laughing at the bodies of dead, bound women who appear to have been raped before they were murdered. In other mobile phone footage, a woman kneels as instructions are given as to how to execute her. Then her brains are blown out. This is just some of the footage we will be more..

Checkmate, Rajapakse! The UN report, militarism and public religion in Sri Lanka

June 11 (GV) Many things in the international arena came together to cast a shadow on the second anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Govt’s victory over the LTTE, after three decades of war on May 19, 2011. The United Nations had recently released a semi-official report on alleged war crimes which implicated both parties to the war and laid the groundwork for future action against the Govt of Sri Lanka and what remains of the LTTE. more..

Voice of Jayalalithaa a dawn of new hope for Sri Lankan Tamils

June 11 (TC) When the British retreated from Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka, in 1948, it comprised two nation states – the Northern and the Eastern Provinces constituting the Tamil state and the rest of the country constituting the Sinhala state with a central government based in Colombo. Sri Lankan politics since independence shows the Tamils have been reactive to Sinhalese politics which clearly has been hegemonistic. Since the hopes and aspirations of the Tamils were never fulfilled by more..

Who will Police the Police?

June 11 (SL) The latest incident of police brutality has once again highlighted serious problems facing that service. The police service was always seen as corrupt. Those who defend the police say that they are underpaid, over worked and have to constantly please politicians. They claim that this has lowered morale and discipline. Although these issues are valid, it is also a fact that the police are one of the, if not the most, corrupt organizations in the country, except more..

Nuwera Eliya racecourse turfed out

June 11 (SL) The Ministry of Sports has written to the Sri Lanka Turf Club stating that the lease on the Race Course premises in Nuwera Eliya is invalid and has been executed without proper authority. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has also asked that the agreement with a Korean company to develop the Race Course be stopped forthwith, as that too has been concluded without approval. On Friday, June 3 a decision was taken by more..

Editorial : Of that forgotten massacre

June 11 (Island) Moved by a report in the London Times on a disastrous debacle the English cavalrymen faced in the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War, Tennyson immortalised, in a poetic gem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, six hundred soldiers who had driven into the valley of death owing to someone else's blunder. But, not even scores of newspaper articles and dozens of editorial comments on the massacre of 600 policemen in the East of Sri Lanka twenty one years ago today, more..

Editorial: E.coli gives Lanka food for thought

June 11 (DM) With the German Cabinet on Wednesday defending its response to the E.coli outbreak that has killed 27 people and signalled possible changes in the way the country handles health crises in the future, the epidemic gives Sri Lanka also much food for thought especially regarding the long-felt need for a National Food and Nutrition Policy. The German govt has been criticised at home and around Europe for failing so far to pin down the cause of the outbreak that more..

SL’s Premier League - for whose benefit?

June 11 (SL) Questions are being raised in local cricketing circles as to the merits (or de-merits) of choosing a Singapore-based company - Somerset Entertainment Ventures, which is shrouded in mystery and which has been given the green light by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to organize a T-20 tournament titled ‘Sri Lanka Premier League’ (SLPL) on the lines of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament here in Colombo. more..

Suicide Sycophants - The latest heroes

June 11 (NS) To die for one’s country or for an equally noble cause is indeed praiseworthy. Throughout history men and women have died fighting heroically defending their motherland. Such gallant men and women are remembered as heroes. The closest that we have seen to dying in action, albeit remote, is ‘fasting to death’ resulting in actual death. Such cases have been rare in the world; and the few who had died are remembered. In our own country many cardboard heroes have more..

'Programme to stop flooding in city launched'

June 11 (DM) UPFA MP Thilanga Sumathipala revealed that the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLR&DC) had launched a project, funded by JBIC, to control flooding in the city, along with preserving and developing the environment. He said that ‘powerful people’ were responsible for the flooding that occurs during rainy days in the City of Colombo. While noting that the existing drainage system in the Colombo City was over one hundred years old, more..

Essex v Sri Lankans: Sri Lanka top order punishes Essex

June 11 (CI) The Sri Lankans had a satisfying opening day against Essex as centuries from two top-order batsmen left them in a strong position. The man likely to take the place of injured captain Tillakaratne Dilshan in the third Test, Lahiru Thirimanne, and the out-of-form former captain, Kumar Sangakkara, both made hundreds on a rain-hit day to make it a day of toil for the Essex bowlers. It was not Sangakkara who led the side but Thilan Samaraweera, more..

Disciplinary inquiry against Mahiyangana SLTB Depot Supt.

June 11 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama has warned all SLTB depot superintendents that disciplinary action will be taken against those found ‘selling’ SLTB bus turns to private bus operators. Although he is trying his best to improve the SLTB, corrupt but depot depot chiefs have put paid to his efforts, he says. He had instructed relevant officials to conduct disciplinary inquiries against such persons and those found guilty would face more..

Lanka ranks 22 in Happiness Planet Index

June 11 (Island) In many countries, including India, people expect and assume that economic power guarantees happiness, but it seems that assumption is wrong. The United States economy is still the largest and wealthiest in the entire world. And relative to Europe and Japan, the US is recovering quite well from the economic recession that threatened to cripple most nations. But according to a study released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and more..

'Sripali University lecturers extracting sex bribes'

June 11 (Island) Minister S. B. Dissanayake told Parliament yesterday that the lecturers at the Sripali Campus in Horana are extracting sexual bribes from female undergraduates. "We have received information and complaints that talented students had been overlooked and those who comply with the desires of these teachers are offered class passes and other benefits. The situation in the Sripali Campus of the Colombo University is more..

President visits Parliament

June 11 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Parliament yesterday. He arrived in Chamber and remained in his seat for sometime before leaving for his office in the Parliament complex to hold several meetings with MPs and other delegates. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa was in the Chair and the condolence vote on former Minister Nissanka Wijeratne was in progress when the President entered the Chamber around 2.30 pm. Senior Minister P. Dayaratne was addressing the House. more..

Plans to construct 12 university hostels

June 11 (DN) Minister SB Dissanayake stated that measures have been taken to construct 12 more hostels for the university students within the university premises this year. He also stated in Parliament that this measure was taken to provide better facilities for the undergraduates and by now money has been allocated for that propose. The minister making this statement in response to a question raised by UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said that 17,953 undergraduates have been paid bursary in the year 2010. more..

Srilal Miththapala

Sri Lanka Film Festival Returns to Ottawa

June 11 (OS) The Canadian Film Institute (CFI), in collaboration with the Sri Lanka High Commission is proud to present the fourth edition of the Sri Lanka Film Festival. Feature films from the ever-impressive cinema of Sri Lanka will be screened from June 15 to 29, presented with English subtitles. Opening the Festival is the award-winning Sakman Maluwa (The Garden, Sumithra Peries, 2003), a sensitive depiction of a marriage that seems to be a happy on the surface, more..

Govt. locks horns with UNP over security firm

June 11 (DM) Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardene and UNP National Organizer Ravi Karunanayake had a show down in Parliament yesterday over the payment of salaries to security personnel working for a state owned security firm, ‘Rakna Arakshana Lanka Ltd’. Mr. Karunanayake, during question time in the House, raised a supplementary question and said that the company’s charges were Rs. 30,000 and sometimes more for a security officer from the institution more..

Bus fare talks deadlocked

June 11 (DM) The revision of bus fares will most probably take effect from July 1 but it is not possible to increase the basic fare from Rs.6 to Rs.10 as demanded by some private bus operators, Private Transport Services Minister C.B. Ratnayaka said yesterday. He said he met representatives of private bus owners and officials of the Transport Ministry and the National Transport Commission (NTC) but the talks ended in a stalemate. more..

Leo Sayer performs tonight

June 11 (Island) Legendary pop icon Leo Sayer is in Colombo to rock the fans with his mega selling hits from the 70s at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium tonight. Performing with his original band of 70’s he will thrill the Sri Lankan Sayer lovers taking them for an amazing musical journey with his hit songs such as the infectious 70’s ballad ‘When I need you’ the Grammy winning ‘You make me feel like dancing, chart topper ‘More than I can say,’ and many more hits more..

Jayasuriya prefers Oval over Lord's for farewell

June 11 (Nation) Most of the international cricketers would dream of making their debut at Lord's or playing their last match at game's 'Mecca' at Lord's. Sanath Jayasuriya, who turns 42 on June 30, has had this opportunity to play his farewell match at Lord's but he has decided to call it a day at the Oval on June 28. "No, I have no regrets on not playing my last match at Lord's. Kennington Oval is also my favourite ground and I have played enough matches at both the grounds," more..

Sri Lanka private sector 'pension'; IMF not involved

June 11 (LBO) The International Monetary Fund had "nothing to do" with a controversial 'pension' plan for Sri Lanka's private sector workers involving a third forced savings scheme, an official said. "The private sector pension fund initiative was not at all part of our program," Brian Aitken who heads an IMF mission to Sri Lanka said. "In this particular case I have to be clear, because I know that there could be room for confusion. more..

Concerns over detainee hunger strike

June 11 (ABC) Refugee advocates say they have been contacted by people at Darwin's immigration centre who are upset about the state of a man who was on a hunger strike. The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network says a Sri Lankan Tamil man who has been granted refugee status started the protest because he is continuing to he held in custody. The Immigration Department says the man has now ended his hunger strike. But a spokesman from the refugee network, more..

IMF urges Sri Lanka to allow flexible rate

June 11 (Reuters) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged Sri Lanka’s central bank on Friday to avoid continuous sales of foreign exchange and allow a flexible exchange rate to ease pressure on balance of payments. Completing the seventh review of its $2.6 billion loan to the island, the International Monetary Fund said Sri Lanka’s macro economic performance was satisfactory. “Strong export growth and continued large remittance inflows have supported reserves. more..

Indian ‘troika' holds talks with Sri Lankan officials

June 11 (Hindu) An Indian government delegation, led by National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, held broad-ranging discussions with Sri Lankan officials on outstanding issues, including the progress in rehabilitation of Tamils in the Northern Province. The delegation, including Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, which arrived here on Friday morning, met Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L.Peiris and more..

Sri Lankan govt to reintroduce amended pension bill

June 11 (wsws) Confronted with mass opposition from free trade zone workers, the Sri Lankan govt was compelled last week to “suspend” the passage of the Private Sector Pension Bill (PSPB). On Sunday, however, Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge told the media that the legislation would be reintroduced “with amendments and consultation with trade unions” after the “restoration of normalcy” in the free trade zones (FTZs). Protests by tens of thousands of workers from more..

No arsenic in imported pesticides, says pro

June 11 (DM) The national regulatory body for pesticides -- the Pesticide Registering Office (PRO) yesterday ruled out the possibility of banned chemicals in the consignment of pesticides seized by Customs last week and said it was certain the pesticides did not contain ‘hazardous levels’ of arsenic or mercury. “Based on the reports we have, there are no arsenic compounds in these products,” PRO Registrar Anura Wijesekara said. more..

LLRC final report before Nov 15

June 11 (DN) The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) said that plans are underway to release its final report before November 15. The Commission stressed that its final report will be completely based on the observations made by the Commissioners through gathering oral and written evidence from the public and field visits. The commission in its final report will not attempt to respond to the Darusman Report in any manner though more..

Ban Ki-moon in his bid for reelection, to receive unanimous endorsement

June 11 (AT) Sri Lanka though has burning issues to settle with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, but it has decided to go along with the other Asian Countries to support him in his bid for re-election for the top post at the United Nations. Earlier on Monday 06 June, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced his bid to seek re-election to the top post of the world body. more..

Sri Lanka to experience first Lunar Eclipse for 2011

June 11 (GDI) Sri Lanka will experience its first lunar eclipse for this year on June 15 from 10.54 pm. This lunar eclipse will begin at 10.54 pm on June 15 and it will end on 4.30 am on June 16. The total eclipse begins at 12.52 am on June 16 and the point of greatest eclipse occurs at 1.42 am. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth so that the earth blocks the sun's rays from striking the moon. more..

Recalling ‘the saddest day in Lankan Police history’

June 11 (DN) June 11, 1990 according to many is the saddest day in the history of Sri Lankan Police. It is the day, the LTTE massacred over 600 unarmed policemen from several police stations in the East, who surrendered allegedly following a request from the very top in the political hierarchy. In a most cowardly way the LTTE murdered unarmed police personnel, after giving an assurance that they would not be harmed, to the political leaders with more..

Rape at Jordanian garment factory: Ministry rubbishes charges

June 11 (DM) The Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Ministry said yesterday it had not received complaints regarding the alleged rape of Sri Lankan women in a garment factory in Jordan. The ministry said it had contacted the Labour and Welfare officers at Sri Lankan Embassy in Jordan and they had confirmed that none of the workers had made complaints of that nature. “Some of our labour officers had gone to the factory to more..

'Jayalalithaa trying to mislead people on Eelam'

June 11 (PTI) DMK president M Karunanidhi has termed the resolution passed by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the Assembly urging the Centre to impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka as an age-old tactic adopted to mislead the people. A DMK high level executive committee meeting passed a resolution on Friday condemning Jayalalithaa for making a speech filled with enmity attacking the DMK and its leader Karunanidhi, despite the DMK’s willingness to support more..

Arsenic crisis: Move to sue firm

June 11 (DM) Government parliamentarian Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thera yesterday vowed to sue in an international court of law the German company which imported pesticides allegedly containing arsenic compounds to Sri Lanka,Making his remarks during a debate in Parliament, Ven. Ratana Thera said he, along with others, had already consulted legal experts in this respect. "Western nations preach to us human rights. more..

Sri Lanka coach Stuart Law struggles with watching brief as....

June 11 (Telegraph) “It’s very painful,” he says. “You say your piece to the team, you try to instill confidence in them but I’d rather be able to show them — to say ‘watch me’. That’s what I tried to do as a senior player.” Evidently Law is still learning about the peculiar limbo occupied by the cricket coach — that unfortunate soul who must bowl every ball and play every shot from his vantage point on the pavilion balcony. more..

Health Ministry corruption: Sirisena seeks AG’s intervention

June 11 (Island) SLFP General Secretary Minister Maitripala Sirisena says some technical committees, responsible for choosing various products and services for the Health Ministry, are utterly corrupt. Health Minister Sirisena alleges that some members of the committees are liaising with certain suppliers at the expense of the State medical sector. He was addressing a group of officials at the National Blood Centre more..

Indian Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka

June 11 (AT) Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has accepted the invitation extended by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse to visit Sri Lanka. Earlier, Manmohan Singh has been invited by the President for bilateral talks between the two nations. The Indian Prime Minister will be arriving soon to Colombo for bilateral talks after 14 years. The date of the arrival of the Indian Prime Minister is yet to be worked out. more..