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Pathological symptoms of the crisis of higher education in Sri Lanka

June 12 (SL) The deep-rooted crisis of the University system in Sri Lanka has come to surface with the resignation of the university dons from their voluntary positions as part of the Trade Union action of the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) demanding a reasonable salary revision. Even though the Ministry of Higher Education and the UGC keep portraying that the Trade Union action of academics has ‘not had much impact on the university system’, more..

Pinnawala elephants to be given away

June 12 (SL) The Zoological Department has come under severe criticism for arranging to release 19 tame elephants from the Pinnawala elephant orphanage to private parties. Out of the 94 elephants at Pinnawala, 16 males and 3 females have been earmarked to be given away to temples and devalayas in the country that support the government, reliable sources from the Zoological Department and Pinnawala elephant orphanage told The Sunday Leader more..

'We need the support of the international community'

June 12 (SL) The Sri Lankan government has agreed with India to implement the 13th Amendment according to the wishes and aspirations of the people in the country, Deputy External Affairs Minister Neomal Perera said. In a telephone interview with The Sunday Leader, Minister Perera observed that it was important to have a good dialogue when re-building relations with the international community, which the government has now commenced. more..

Indians top tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka

June 12 (IANS) Figures released by Sri Lanka's Tourism Authority showed that 68,830 Indians visited Sri Lanka between January and May this year, up 54.5 per cent over the same period last year, Xinhua reports. British tourists came second with their number growing 7.1 per cent to 41,474 in the first five months of this year. The number of Pakistani tourists jumped an astounding 98.1 per cent to 6,027. It has been attributed mostly to Pakistani nationals visiting to watch cricket matches more..

Police recall the 1990 massacre of over 400 unarmed policemen by the LTTE

June 12 (NN) The 1990 massacre of a group of over 400 unarmed policemen by the LTTE was remembered today with police stations around the island observing two minutes silence. The 11th June 1990 massacre went down as one of the saddest days in Sri Lankan police history. In 1990 as peace talks between the LTTE and the then govt led by President R. Premadasa began to wane, the LTTE demanded the surrender of police stations in the East on June 11, 1990. more..

Work out political arrangement with Tamils: India to Sri Lanka

June 12 (PTI) Seeking a “quick” solution to Sri Lanka’s drawn out ethnic conflict, India on Saturday pressed the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt to come to a “political arrangement” with the minority Tamils. “The quicker the Sri Lankan govt can come to a political arrangement (with Tamils) the better,” National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon said after his talks with President Rajapaksa along with Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and more..

India-Sri Lanka naval ties to get stronger

June 12 (LG) The strained relationship between Indian and Sri Lankan naval forces is all set to ease soon. Aware of imminent threats from terrorists and Somali pirates, both the warring parties have joined hands to curb any untoward incident in the high seas falling in their respective territories. Forty-two officers from the special wing of Sri Lankan navy on Tuesday arrived at the Mumbai international airport with "the sole purpose of making the bond stronger with naval forces here". more..

Discovering military truth through university research?

June 12 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘Leadership Training for University Entrants’ by Dr Jayantha Dhanapala and Professor Savitri Goonesekere, published in today’s Sri Lanka Guardian. I identify with most of the feelings and thoughts by the Friday Forum on behalf of whom the above article has been published. Military style training for all students is further confirmation that under the current leadership, Sri Lanka is becoming more and more a military more..

200 statements taken over FTZ clash

June 12 (DM) Over two hundred statements have been taken by the CID mainly from policemen including SP’s and ASP’s over the clash which took place in Katunayake between the police and workers of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ). In the meantime, Acting Inspector General of Police, Senior DIG N.K. Ilangakoon has ordered the CID to submit a report on the clash which took place in the FTZ between the police and FTZ workers in two weeks time. more..

Rs. 7 m worth foreign currency found

June 12 (NN) Customs officers are the Katunayake airport seized over Rs. 7 million worth of foreign currency hidden in the toilet of the airport. Sunil Gunawardena, Deputy Director of Customs said that a member of the cleaning staff at the airport was arrested over the incident. The suspect had some foreign currency hidden in his shoe and had hidden the rest in the toilet, Gunawardena said. He said that the suspect had confessed he was to transfer the currency to another man who was to meet him later. more..

Russia – a true friend of Sri Lanka

June 12 (GDI) Buddhist teachings preach that, there are two types of friends. While, one is active as a friend, the other stand-by you in sorrow and happiness. Likewise the Russian Federation has stood by Sri Lanka throughout our history as a true friend, states the President of the Sri Lanka- Russia Friendship Association and the Minister of Petroleum Industries, Susil Premjayanth issuing a message for the national day of Russian Federation. more..

Resolution seeking sanctions on Lanka ridiculous: Swamy

June 12 (PTI) Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy today described as "ridiculous," a resolution adopted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly seeking economic sanctions on Sri Lanka by India and some other countries, saying it would be "highly damaging for India's national interest." "The resolution asking the Centre (for economic sanctions on Sri Lanka) is not only ridiculous but highly damaging for India's national interest," he said more..

Caste based occupational structure hinders establishment of competitive labour market in Jaffna

June 12 (TC) When a private light engineering firm in Jaffna called for applications to fill a few vacancies no applications were received. On the other hand, according to the District Secretary Ms. Imelda Sukumar, when the local agriculture department called for applications to fill one hundred vacancies it received nearly eleven thousand (11,000) applications. This is the paradox of the labour market in Jaffna and the North. The aversion to seek employment in more..

Mahinda Samarasinghe submits confusing and contradictory statements to UN Human Rights Councils – TCHR

June 12 (TC) Excerpt of the letter handed over to the UN High Commission for Human Rights – Ms. Navaneetham Pillai. As an organization which consistently pays careful attention to realities in Sri Lanka, we would like to present our observations below for your kind consideration. During the 16th session of the Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka Minister, Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe stated in his speech that “11,696 ex combatants (who) submitted to custody at more..

Kokavil: Saved through blood, sweat and tears

June 12 (SO) Her voice quivers when she reads out the certificate given by the Government in honour of her son’s bravery; she could not find words to express her feelings. Even after nearly 21 years, she still cries recalling how her ‘Saliya putha’ embraced her before leaving home for duty, proudly carrying his uniform. The mother, who refused to believe that her son was no more for over two decades, is still reluctant to believe that her son is no more. more..

Editorial : A home-grown solution vital

June 12 (SO) The people in the North and the East have begun to reap the dividends of peace. The Government has given priority for infrastructure development projects in the two provinces to provide better living conditions for over half a million people who were rescued during the humanitarian operations. A colossal sum of over Rs 3 billion has been allocated for development projects which are now in progress in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. more..

Editorial : Indian rope tricks, Chinese jugglery or Yankee subterfuge

June 12 (SL) One of the many flirtatious phases in Indo-Sri Lanka relations seems to be coming to an end. We haven’t heard of ‘friendship with India’ so coyly expressed ever so often by our leading lights, for quite a while. Three no nonsense ‘kapuwas’ (marriage brokers) Ravi Shanker Menon (National Security Adviser), Nirupama Rao (Foreign Secretary) and Pradeep Kumar (Defence Secretary) arrived on Friday in Colombo with a more..

Killing and state intervention into a funeral

June 12 (GV) Crime of “Dissent” & of Murder Killing of Roshen Shanaka Ratnasekara, a factory worker in the FTZ, Katunayaka gives a signal to the country on how peaceful protesters would be dealt with. Those who are familiar with police accountability will accept that police cannot carry guns and ammunition, without accountability. The records of the police must reveal as to who issued firearms and ammunition and who, in fact, ordered the police to fire. more..

Editorial : Handle India and TN factor with utmost care

June 12 (NS) It is a reality of modern day politics that in today’s world, no nation is an island and that all countries are indeed linked to one another through a multitude of social, geographical, cultural and economic factors. This is why the rumblings heard in the nearby Indian state of Tamil Nadu must be given ear to and careful consideration must be accorded to the political developments there, given that a new state government is in office. more..

Editorial : A cynical look - and arsenic

June 12 (LB) kelaniya University has cracked the case regarding the epidemic of kidney disease in the central province. After researchers for years drew a blank now the diligent men and women in this institution have determined that arsenic in imported pesticides was the cause of the epidemic of kidney failure in the province. Hurrah then, and it is business as usual in Sri Lanka. If there is any outrage in the country about the fact that rapacious multinationals can more..

CEB Amarapala out as unions vindicated

June 12 (SL) Unions at the CEB welcomed the changing of the entire CEB Board of Directors including the replacement of the controversial Chairman, Vidya Amarapala who was largely held to be a nominee and close confidante and fund raiser for Minister of Energy, Champika Ranawaka. The spokesperson for Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangama (LVSS) said that the Unions were pleased that matters “we brought to the attention of the authorities have more..

Govt pushing forward its agenda, amidst protests

June 12 (NS) Embroiled as it is in controversies both home and abroad, the government was this week slowly but surely pushing forward its agenda, amidst protests from both domestic and international quarters while at the same time preparing for yet another test of its popularity through elections. On the international front, foremost amongst its concerns was the call by the Ban Ki-moon appointed panel to conduct an international inquiry into more..

Doubts on Indian trio convincing counterparts in Colombo

June 12 (NS) Sri Lanka is set to face yet another challenging task following the visit of the Indian delegation who concluded their visit yesterday after a hectic round of talks with the Sri Lankan counterparts. The challenge Sri Lanka facing is to devise a modus operandi, to address the issues relating to the ethnic question, in line with the discussions held with the powerful Indian delegation that comprised Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, more..

Arsenic: Mystery NCP killer

June 12 (LB) A rare type of kidney disease had begun afflicting patients in the North Central Province (NCP) some 20 years ago. This particular kidney disease was uncommon in that its symptoms were different compared to most of the known kidney diseases. Another fact was that any patient with this uncommon type of kidney disease invariably died within a year of being afflicted. And to date, no known cure is available. more..

Schoolmasterish bilateral relations

June 12 (Island) Mangala Samaraweera, a former foreign minister of Sri Lanka once told the present writer of an episode that took place in 2006 when bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and India had hit a low point in the wake of the resumption of hostilities with the LTTE. In December 2006, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mangala Samaraweera and others had gone to India to attend the then Indian External Affairs Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar’s daughter’s wedding. more..

Hope springs eternal in the human mind

June 12 (ST) My dear Sanath, I thought I must write and congratulate you when I heard you have been selected for the national cricket team once again to play against England-and that too just a few days short of your forty second birthday! Of course, it was said that you got this chance because the captain has fractured his hand and his opening partner is involved in a controversy over taking a drug he is not supposed to take, but what matters most now is that you have got more..

National security bogey raised to skirt issues

June 12 (ST) Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena on Wednesday refused to divulge the findings of a commission set up to look into alleged irregularities committed in the procurement of arms and ammunition for the military, citing “threats to national security.” In response to a question raised by UNP Kalutara district MP Ajith P. Perera during question time in Parliament, the Minister admitted that the Commission headed by Supreme Court Justice more..

Editorial : Stop the pressure, give space to LLRC

June 12 (ST) Ever since the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a commission of inquiry "to report on the lessons to be learnt from the events covering the period February 2002 to May 2009, their attendant concerns and to recommend measures to ensure that there will be no recurrence of such a situation", there has been intense, if totally unwarranted pressure on the commission from three quarters. more..

Editorial : Kissing the hand you cannot cut

June 12 (Island) Readers would surely be reminded of the home-spun wisdom of the hoary Sinhala saying about "kissing the hand you cannot cut" when they read the gushing endorsement of a second term for U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon by Dr. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Responding to a question on overwhelming Asian support for Ban, he had told Thailf Deen, the UN Bureau Chief of Inter Press Service, that the unanimous endorsement more..

Unhappy Lankan tourism industry does own promotion

June 12 (ST) Sri Lankan tourist operators, frustrated by the Government’s inability to promote the country’s leisure product overseas particularly in the post-war period, are planning to spend their own cash on much-needed promotion. At least one local company says it has plans to hire its own PR outfit overseas and do what “the government is expected to do.”“We just can’t wait and see our competitors take market share,” more..

KP a ‘Crown Witness’

June 12 (SL) The government says it will use former LTTE chief arms procurer Kumaran Padmanathan alias KP as a “state witness” if the need arises. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told The Sunday Leader that there are provisions in the legal system to use a suspect as a state witness. The Minister said that while KP is now in the “custody” of the defence ministry he may not end up in court if it is felt that he can further assist the government to crack LTTE overseas operations. more..

Pension protest in Katunayake and the return of the haunting spectre

June 12 (Island) The spectre of labour revolt unseen in Sri Lankan politics for thirty years, returned with vengeance on Monday, 30 May 2011. The return came with a double irony and ended in human tragedy. The site of the revolt – the Katunayake Free Trade Zone, was the first irony, for it was to establish the Katunayake FTZ that Lanka’s traditional labour militancy had been muzzled 30 years ago. The second irony was that the FTZ workers did not revolt against foreign more..

Nano Cabs - at your service!

June 12 (LB) Last Thursday Nano Cabs Private Limited announced the official launch of its 24-hour Nano Cabs taxi service consisting of a quality fleet of 25 cabs in the company’s signature shade of yellow. The launch was attended by Minister Kumara Welgama, MP Thilanga Sumathipala, MP J.R.P. Sooriyapperuma and officials of Nano Cabs Private Limited. The company aims to shift the paradigm of transport in Sri Lanka to a new level, making travel safer, more..

TNA defector will not join TMVP

June 12 (NS) TNA defector, Podiappuhamy Sirisena said that he would not join the TMVP led by Eastern Province Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan. There was speculation that Sirisena would join the Pillayan led TMVP following discussions he had with the latter in Batticaloa last week. Sirisena was elected from the Digamadulla District through the TNA ticket last year. He however defected from the alliance and pledged his support to the govt and more..

Poultry producers badly hit by maize shortage

June 12 (Island) A shortage of maize has led to a short supply of poultry feed in the market, industry officials said. No major feed millers have been given permits, although some have agreed to terms and conditions stipulated by the Agriculture department. These millers have been requested to purchase their requirements of maize from the collectors, who do not possess the knowledge in the importation and now are attempting to sell their permits issued by more..

Tharanga faces two-year ban from cricket

June 12 (ST) The beleaguered ODI opener Upul Tharanga will face an official ICC panel of inquiry to explain about his side of the story following reports that he had been tested positive for banned drugs, according to informed sources. The ICC inquiry will be held in Dubai on or about June 24. If the Lankan opener cannot substantiate his innocence at this inquiry, he stands to face a maximum two-year ban, the sources said citing World Anti-Doping Agency rules. more..

Libyan group wants Hakeem to mediate

June 12 (ST) The World Islamic Call Society (WICS) based in Libya has urged Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem to mediate between the govet of Col. Gaddafi and the rebel groups of Eastern Libya who are fighting the Libyan government forces, a statement from the minister said yesterday. Tarik Aleesh, resident representative of the WICS in Sri Lanka who paid a personal visit made a request from Mr. Hakeem on the grounds on his experience in negotiation and being the principal more..

Sri Lanka Cricket springs surprises in one day squad

June 12 (SL) Sri Lanka Cricket announced the squad for the up coming limited overs matches in England and Scotland scheduled for the end of the month.Headlines were dominated on Thursday with the announcement that veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya would be returning to international cricket. With the exclusion of Upul Tharanga following a positive dope test, Jayasuriya looked the likeliest to replace him at the top of the order. more..

MRI to test vegetables from Europe

June 12 (ST) Fresh vegetables imported from Europe for hotels and tourist resorts will be sent to the Medical Research Institute (MRI) for laboratory tests in the aftermath of the E-coli outbreak in Europe. “Imported fresh vegetables, fruits and potatoes were not sample tested before. The Ministry is holding discussions with the MRI on the possibility of sample testing fresh vegetables especially those imported from Europe,” more..

Eleven giant investors set to start work in H’tota

June 12 (BL) The government’s accelerated economic drive accentuated on the prime southern city’s Hambantota Port is expected to get into full swing by July once cabinet approval is given to the eleven giant foreign investors earmarked to set up business in the 2,717 acre investment zone. Of these investors, one of the world’s giant car manufacturers from Germany, Audi is to set up a multi billion rupee vehicle assembling plant in the Hambantota Port premises besides another more..