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New recruits for the Teaching Profession

May 25 (GDI) 5,698 persons join as teachers to the teaching profession from today. This number will include 3,174 aesthetic graduates and 2,524 Vidyapeeta trainees. The Secretary to the Ministry H.M.Gunasekara said that handing over of appointments to the Vidyapeeta teachers will take place today at the Temple Trees under the Chairmanship of President Mahinda Rajapakse. The Secretary said that these new recruits will be assigned to national and regional schools. more..

Hardships at training camps - IUSF

May 25 (DM) Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) today said that the students who are participating in the leadership training programs that initiated on Monday are going through a lot of hardships that has made it impossible for them to continue being accommodated in the training camps. IUSF Convener Sanjeewa Bandara speaking at a media briefing a short while ago said that a large number of parents have expressed their concern over the hardships more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 24.05.2011

Results of 610 students cancelled

May 25 (DM) Examinations Department today said that 2010 G.C.E O/L results of some 610 students have been cancelled following the investigations on some 6500 candidates who were suspected to have cheated at the examination. Examinations Commissioner Anura Edirisinghe told Daily Mirror Online that the students whose results got cancelled were found guilty of impersonating, producing fake proof of identity and copying at the 2010 O/L examination. more..

SriLankan Airlines ground handling, catering monopoly extended by 10 years

May 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's airports authority has extended by 10 years a ground handling and catering monopoly given to the national carrier SriLankan Airlines at the international airport. "Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited has awarded SriLankan Airlines the long term exclusive franchise for ground handling and catering services for all airlines operating to Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) for a period of ten years," more..

'A better and more harmonious and just society can only be built on the principles of democracy and good governance'

May 25 (LT) The Leader of the JVP Somsawansa Amarasinghe participated at the 5th Asia Riches Forum held in San Men Xia city in China from 18th - 20th May 2011where he made the keynote address. Addressing the Forum where leaders of the Communist Party of China in Hunan Province too were present Mr. Amarasinghe said a better and more harmonious Asia could be developed on the basis of the Panchaseela principles (Five Principles) laid down at more..

Eastern Provincial Council members walkout

May 25 (NN) Members of the Eastern Provincial Council staged a walkout today to protest the manner in which the house of Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan was searched by the police last week. TMVP members of the council, Somasundaram Pushparajah and Poopalalapilai Prashanthan, staged the walkout after making a statement to the council voicing objections to the search carried out on Pillayanís house and the arrest of a TMVP member, Pradeep Master. more..

Sri Lanka coach tells England to expect 'fight'

May 25 (CI) Stuart Law, Sri Lanka's interim coach, believes that England's Test cricketers currently pose the "toughest deal on the planet", but insists that his players have the expertise and character to put up a strong fight when the first Test in Cardiff gets underway on Thursday. Despite being considered outsiders in English early-season conditions, Sri Lanka enter the series full of confidence after a pair of impressive victories in their warm-up more..

China backs Sri Lanka

May 25 (Hindu) China on Tuesday said it supported the Sri Lankan governmentís efforts towards reconciliation, and indicated it would back the country against any international pressure following a recent United Nations report accusing the government of war crimes. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told visiting Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris in talks on Tuesday that China supported the Sri Lankan government, and people, more..

Will leadership training programmes be of value?

May 25 (DM) Seldom does a day pass without some strange events arise in our Paradise Island. Giving the amount of contradictions that arise no wonder Sri Lanka will be considered the wonder of Asia. The recent event of ordering new entrants to the Universities to enter army camps for a leadership training programme is one such development which had never been heard in this country. Strangely a Supreme Court's request for the authorities to postpone this training programme at more..

Premature goodbyes to school-life

May 25 (DM) Whoever who thought distributing stationery and uniform material among the children who are in need of assistance is a lasting solution to the increasing number of school dropouts, they are seriously not in this world. Recently, newspaper reports revealed that nearly two hundred thousand children had said goodbye to their school-life prematurely. It is rather sad that in a country where the education is free to every child and the text books and more..

Hindu - Buddhist Cultural Association formed to promote religious unity

May 25 (Cimic) Setting a significant landmark in the contemporary history of islandís religious and cultural Co-operation, the first Hindu-Buddhist Cultural Association was formed on Monday at Palam Road, Kantharmadam in Jaffna with participation of Senior Priests of both Religions and senior citizens. The new Hindu- Buddhist Cultural Association is fulfillment of a timely step to overthrow the effort of a few organized anti-social factions in more..

The leader must be conscious of Ďthe gatheringí

May 25 (NS) The discussion I launched on the Pagnamakkanuvattanasutta or the ĎFirst on the turning of the wheel,í a couple of months ago was unfortunately interrupted by a necessity to comment on issues of national import. The Pagnamakkanuvattanasutta, contained in the Raja Vagga (discourses referring to kings) of the Anguttara Nikaya details some very interesting observations by Siddhartha Gauthama, our BudunWahanse, about the ideal attributes of the Chakravarthi or the Universal King. more..

After bin-Laden and Prabaharan

May 25 (LB) There are gross and ugly similarities, and commendable differences, between the behaviour of Americans and Sri Lankans after killing OBL and VP. It is good to ponder the issues, whichever country oneís provenance. First the ugly; I have often in these pages decried the madness and fanaticism which takes possession when past hatreds or a native hue of depravity drives the masses insane. Universal German adoration for the Fuehrer and the vainglorious more..

Sri Lanka celebrates the life of late deminer Dominique Morin (Momo)

May 25 (LG) The late Mr. Dominique Morin (Momo), a French national (age 54) died in an accidental mine blast in 2010 May 10th in Kakayankulam after been admitted to the Vavuniya General Hospital. At the time of Momoís demise, he was attached to the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) in Sri Lanka as a Senior Technical Advisor. FSD is Switzerland based international non-governmental organization involved in mine clearance in the North of Sri Lanka. more..

The dynamics of caste politics in Jaffna

May 25 (LG) After the rise of Tamil nationalism in the North and East of Sri Lanka, political discussions have overlooked caste discrimination rooted inside the Tamil community and underplayed the significance of caste identity in envisaging the notion of emancipation. The mainstream Tamil media have hardly admitted the existence of caste oppression among Tamils. Tamil nationalist groups and dominant Tamil political parties have not shown much interest in abolishing caste oppression. more..

Tuyilam Illam: Positivist readings and new debating grounds

May 25 (GV) Some sections of the Tamil intelligentsia remain biter and defiant today after the demise of their plans for national self-determination. ďWe are a defeated people,Ē said one articulate professional in the Jaffna Peninsula in June 2010 in an unsolicited remark that conveyed his defiance. The heavy presence of security forces and the proportion of land occupied by the various arms of state power in the northern reaches were among the grievances more..

Zoo to be on par with the best

May 25 (SO) In the late 1920s there was a menagerie set up in Dehiwela by a German named John Hagenbeck, a member of a famous show-business family from Hamburg. Acquired by the Government in 1936 and following many a transformation over the years, today it is fondly known as the Dehiwela Zoo. The National Zoological Gardens (Dehiwela Zoo) plays a great role in ex-situ conservation of local and international fauna. Located on a beautiful more..

Editorial : Producing global graduates

May 25 (Island) The govt has launched its much advertised leadership programme for university entrants amidst vehement protests from some quarters. Its opponents have invoked the jurisdiction of the apex court and therefore we refrain from commenting on the issue. However, some of the promises Minister S.B. Dissanayake made at the inauguration of the programme at Temple Trees on Monday are of interest. He promised to eliminate university ragging, root and branch. more..

Editorial : Time to restore democracy

May 25 (DM) A statement from the presidential media unit states that Sri Lanka will celebrate the 2nd May 2009 remembrance from May 19 to 26 with a big military parade in Colombo the next day. Celebrating Vesak for two days and celebrating independence for one day while celebrating the military victory for more than one week raises some serious questions about the possible militarization of traditionally civilian or non party political dimensions of life. more..

Mushrooming public vehicle parks: Reduce parking levy, say vehicle owners

May 25 (SO) Public vehicle parks are in plenty around the city of Colombo. The CMC has categorised them as off street and on street vehicle parks. Off street vehicle parks are generally large and located several metres away from the main road, while on street vehicle parks are located in close proximity to main roads. Nearly 3,000 off street vehicle parks are established in the city and suburbs and there are over 5,000 vehicle parks. more..

Social challenges of an ageing population

May 25 (ST) In as much as the ageing population has serious economic and financial consequences, the human and social dimensions of an ageing society poses serious challenges to the state and society. A high proportion of the aged would require to be cared for in th coming decade when the proportion of the elderly population would exceed 20 per cent. Already there is evidence of inadequate health care and accommodation for the elderly. more..

Army leadership training

May 25 (Island) In the late 1970s, one September evening, I along with another twenty four scoolboy Senior Cadets from Prince of Wales' College, Moratuwa marched along the Galle Road, from College main gate up to the Moratuwa Railway Station to board the train bound to the Colombo Fort Railway Station. We were enlisted to the Sri Lanka Cedet corps 3CC Battalion, bound for Diyatalawa Army Training Centre (ATC), for two week's training and interschool platoon competitions. more..

When Ceylon drew the stars

May 25 (ST) The first use of Ceylon as the location for a fiction film rather than a documentary was in 1936, when the 27-minute Jaws of the Jungle, (aka Jungle Virgin in the US), about an attack by ‚Äúswarms of vicious vampire bats‚ÄĚ on a Ceylon village, was directed by the horror-inspired Hollywood scriptwriter (The Amazing Exploits of the Clutching Hand, etc.), Eddie Granemann. The Second World War and its austere aftermath curtailed further use of more..

Nearly 60 die daily from smoking in Sri Lanka

May 25 (DN) According to statistics of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) smoking kills 50 to 60 persons everyday and 15,000-20,000 persons annually in Sri Lanka, NATA Chairman Prof. Carlo Fonseka said, participating in a workshop held yesterday. These statistics show that 4,101 million cigarettes are sold daily in the Sri Lankan market. According to WHO the spread of tobacco related diseases is facilitated through a variety of complex factors with cross-border effects, more..

Paracetamol poisoning on the rise in Sri Lanka

May 25 (BBC) A survey carried out by the National Hospital, has found that the number of people falling ill as a result of paracetamol poisoning is on the increase and need urgent preventive action. Dr.Priyadharshani Galapatti said that at least two patients are admitted to hospital everyday for paracetamol poisoning. She said that paracetamol poisoning could be categorised into two; there are paracetamol poisoning cases in suicidal attempts which account for ninety per cent, more..

Minister G.L. Peiris meets Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Shanmugaratnam

May 25 (TC) Minister Prof. G L Peiris, visited Singapore last week. During his visit, the Minister called on Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore and conveyed President Rajapaksa's message of congratulations on his new appointment. Minister Peiris briefed the Deputy Prime Minister on the current situation in Sri Lanka and the Govt's initiatives in respect of reconciliation and steps taken toward economic development. more..

Dengue epidemic in Colombo

May 25 (DM) The Colombo City is facing the worst dengue epidemic ever CMC said yesterday revealing that there had been 195 cases reported this month. CMC which dropped a bomb shell, said in and round the National Hospital Colombo, Military Hospital and vicinity of the Colombo Port had been identified as the major mosquito breeding grounds in the city. There had been 885 reported dengue cases in the city this year out of which 50 percent is reported to be school children. more..

Sri Lanka mobile phone market seen overcrowded

May 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's mobile phone industry is 'overcrowded' and ripe for consolidation with intensifying competition eroding profitability, Fitch Ratings said in a new report on the telecoms sector. Overcrowding remains the key medium-term risk to telecom operators in Sri Lanka, the rating agency said. It expects competition among local telcos to remain high through 2011. "Sri Lanka's mobile industry is one of the most competitive markets in the Asia‚ÄźPacific region, more..

From Vanni to Cinnamon Grand : Ex-fighters display dancing skills

May 25 (Island) An opportunity to perform at a five-star hotel would have been the last thing on their mind when the LTTE collapsed on the Vanni east front two years ago. Today, the majority of LTTE cadres taken into custody are free with those undergoing rehabilitation expected to come down to about 1,500 by end of this year. The military held about 11,700 LTTE cadres at the conclusion of the war in the third week of May, 2009. more..

JTUA to hold joint front against proposed pension scheme

May 25 (DM) Trade unions yesterday said they would be holding a joint front against the controversial pension scheme proposed by the government for private sector employees at the next National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) meeting. The Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) said even though a date for trade union action had not been decided on as yet, they would be taking severe action when the Employees' Benefit Pension Fund (EBPF) Bill was to be taken up in parliament for debate. more..

Problems in restoration of irrigation tanks

May 25 (DM) The Provincial Councils and the Agrarian Services Ministry are in a collision course over the power to rehabilitate and maintain small irrigation tanks, officials said yesterday. According to the present law, the Provincial Councils have the power to rehabilitate and maintain such tanks with the concurrence of the line Ministry only. However, an official of the Ministry said that certain Provincial Councils had acted in violation of this legal provision. more..

Sri Lankan Driving Licenses to be accepted in Italy

May 25 (Island) Sri Lanka became the first County to have successfully negotiated the mutual acceptance, by the Italian government, of its Driving license. When the Italian Government in May 2009 decided not to accept driving licenses issued by other countries, other than those from the European Union, thousands of Sri Lankans in Italy were thrown out of employment. The unemployment rate thus began to increase dramatically. more..

Private sector pension scheme: Retirees' future secured

May 25 (DN) The private sector pension scheme is a proposal made with good intentions to safeguard the future of retired employees. Workers in the private sector totalling about 13.3 million will not lose their EPF or ETF benefits on account of it the government has emphasised, said a communique issued by the Government Information Department. The present contribution of 8 percent and 12 percent of the employees salary contributed by the employee and employer respectively, more..

Court query reasons for Education Directors to go abroad

May 25 (DM) Anuradhapura Civil Appellate Courts yesterday ordered the Secretary of the Chief Ministry of North Central Provincial Council to produce a report as to what benefit the provincial education would gain by sending a group of Education Directors to Thailand spending Rs. 11 million of the World Bank funds provided to develop education in the province. Civil Appellate bench comprising Justices Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Sunanda Kumara made this direction when a more..

Militarization of Lankan society?

May 25 (SG) Just as government troops prepared this week to celebrate the second anniversary of the decimation of Tamil separatist rebels, thousands of young, new entrants to national universities across Sri Lanka on Monday began entering military camps for a three-week training course that has triggered an intense debate as to whether the country is heading towards a militarized society. 'Militarization of society? That is already happening,'Ě noted more..

VRS for port workers, a Govt. ploy towards retrenchment: UNP

May 25 (DM) The main opposition UNP said yesterday the government was planning to introduce a voluntary retirement scheme for port workers as a step towards reducing staff. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told a news conference this may be the start of an overall move to retrench state sector employees.He said the government had decided on the voluntary retirement scheme after the recent intake of some 2,000 employees for the newly built Hambantota Port. more..

Emilda says she is relieved over arrest

May 25 (DM) Jaffna District Secretary Emilda Sukumar said she was happy and relieved over the arrest of Oslo-based LTTE leader Nediyawan who had threatened her with death until very recently. She said Nediyawan had been threatening her from Norway by e mail to resign from her post and not to support the government. Mrs. Sukumar said he even threatened to kill her and her family. 'I lived under severe stress due to these threatening messages,'Ě she said. more..

Prisons chief urged not to release fasting inmates

May 25 (Island) Many people have requested the Prisons authorities not to give in to the demands made by the fasting inmates. Commissioner General of Prisons Maj. Gen. V. R. de Silva yesterday said that he had received numerous telephone calls and letters from the general public requesting that the death row prisoners on a hunger strike, demanding that their sentences be reviewed, should not be given special pardons. more..

UN Sri Lanka Report not transmitted to Geneva, Ban waits for what?

May 25 (ICP) Not only has UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon not asked for any Security Council, General Assembly or Human Rights Council action on the UN Panel of Experts report on war crimes in Sri Lanka -- he hasn't even transmitted it to Geneva, his spokesman acknowledged. Inner City Press: This is just a factual question that somebody has raised. That report of the Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka¶ I mean, rather, has the Secretary-General transmitted this report in some sort of more..