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Taking the budget off focus

Nov 11 (SL) This is budget time but who ever talks of the budget? Does anyone speak of the hike in the price of fuel, gotukola, vatakolu, drugs, and rise in hospital charges or things that affect the cost of living? Getting friends to speak of these mundane matters even though they may be matters of life and death is rather difficult. They are engrossed in matters such as Duminda Silva being flown off to Down Under, Bharatha Lakshman’s daughter on TV invoking more..

The horror of child abuse in Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia today turns the spotlight on the horror of child abuse, which affects the aspirations of Sri Lankan society to be free of child abuse. According to the definition of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is “a human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child. Child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms of physical and/or more..

A day to remember

Nov 11 (ST) “Mama gena neve, mage duwa gena salakilimath venna.” It’s not about me, take care of my daughter, was the plea of the mother as she drifted off to unconsciousness induced by anaesthesia. This was no ordinary mother-daughter duo – they are the pioneers who have put Sri Lanka well and truly on the transplant map. For they are the first donor-recipient pair of a 24-hour “living donor liver transplantation” that a trailblazing team of doctors more..

Take me home, now country roads

Nov 11 (LB) For the UPFA platform, who won the recently concluded LG elections following a diehard campaign, “roads” and “highway development” were keywords. With the traditional UNP bastions of Kandy and Colombo being coveted territory, the government had several cabinet heavyweights specially monitoring the run up activity to the elections in these centres. Duly, the roads of Kandy – byways, lanes, minor roads all together — were given the promise of a run of carpeting. more..

India-Sri Lanka foundation public lecture series to commence

Nov 11 (MoD) Ambassador Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary of India and Chairman, Research and Information system will be visiting Sri Lanka from 13-18 November, 2011 to deliver lectures under the auspices of the Public Lecture series of the India-Sri Lanka Foundation. Ambassador Shyam Saran, a distinguished career diplomat, was Foreign Secretary of India from 2004-2006. He served as the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Indo-US civil nuclear issues and later as more..

Arbitrary blocking and registration of websites: The continuing violation of freedom of expression

Nov 11 (TC) We the undersigned civil society organisations and individuals express grave concern over the press release issued by the Director General of the Department of Govt Information, which requires all ‘websites carrying any content relating to Sri Lanka or the people of Sri Lanka uploaded from Sri Lanka or elsewhere’ to ‘register’ for ‘accreditation.’ We also condemn the actions of the TRC that has moved to block a number of more..

Editorial: Sinners stoning sinners

Nov 11 (Island) The Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Bill has become law. The Opposition, a section of the Maha Sangha and some civil society organisations fought quite a battle to shoot it down but it was patently clear from the very beginning that their mission was doomed to failure, given the govt's two-thirds majority in Parliament. The debate on the controversial Bill was delayed by one and a half hours in Parliament on Wednesday as more..

Raviraj was a connector of people and not divider of communities

Nov 11 (DBS) Hello Friends, It was on Nov 10th 2006 that Nadarajah Raviraj the TNA MP from Jaffna district and his Police bodyguard Sgt. Lakshman Lokuwella were killed in Colombo. Five years have passed and none have been penalised for the ghastly crime. While the finger of guilt pointed to the state and its agents the circumstances of Raviraj’s killing enabled the LTTE and its agents to depict the slain MP as one of their own and exploit the situation to their advantage. more..

Fifth death anniversary of TNA Jaffna MP Nadarajah Raviraj

Nov 11 (DBS) Hello Friends, It was on November 10th 2006 that Nadarajah Raviraj was brutally gunned down along with his Police bodyguard in broad daylight near his residence in Colombo. Five years have passed and no one has been punished for the murders of the TNA MP from Jaffna district nor Sgt. Lakshman Lokuwella the bodyguard. It was blatantly clear then and now that the murder was an officially sanctioned unofficial execution. more..

Expropriation Bill is creating uncertainty and is tainted with the allegation that it victimises those it chooses

Nov 11 (TC) Some may say it’s unfair to term the Bill to take over underperforming enterprises and underutilised assets as Expropriation. The schedule to the Bill includes 37 companies of which some are non operational and others are ‘going concern’. Amongst the going concerns are highly profitable and efficient companies of which most are private, while some are quoted companies. As the Govt intends to takeover profitable going concerns through more..

He did it: Lanka’s ‘green man’ is the winner

Nov 11 (ST) The Honda Dream Factory has found its 11th Cultural Engineer and his name is Vidhura Ralapanawe. The Sri Lankan won his place in a contest created by the UK based Guardian newspaper. “It’s good to be me,” Vidhura says a day after his win was confirmed. For the sustainability enthusiast who as Manager of Sustainability and Communications at MAS Intimates, had helped design the garment manufacturing giant’s Thurulie eco-factory and then their subsequent, more..

Mahinda sends Milinda to Norway

Nov 11 (BBC) Milinda Moragoda is to represent Sri Lanka in Oslo on the panel of an international seminar on the failed Norwegian brokered peace process in Sri Lanka. The Seminar, organised by The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) will begin on Friday 11th November 2011. The release of a report that evaluates the Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka during the civil war is believed to be the highlight of the event. more..

Athlete Wijekoon to undergo treatment in Australia

Nov 11 (Island) Leading middle distance runner Chaminda Wijekoon was scheduled to leave for Australia today to seek treatment for ankle and heel injuries from Orthopedic Surgeon David Young who had cured several Sri Lankan sportsmen including Muttiah Muralitharan of career threatening injuries. Wijekoon, who became only the second Sri Lankan athlete to have competed in a IAAF World Championship final when he competed against world’s best in the men’s 1,500 metre final in Korea, more..

‘Over pricing will ruin tourism industry’

Nov 11 (Island) Sri Lankan born Ravi Dias Jayasinha, a business tycoon in Italy and President of Gateway, a leading tour operator in Milan serving the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean countries, said it was a good sign that Sri Lanka was building more rooms and upgrading its tourism product, but at the same time the country’s tourism authorities should not over-price it. The govt is formulating its tourism policy around a strategy to attract high-end tourists. more..

Young actress caught in the oldest profession

Nov 11 (Island) A young tele-drama actress practising the world’s oldest profession from a room in a reception hall in Athurugiriya was arrested by a special police team on Wednesday. Acting police spokesman DIG Maxi Proctor said that she was a 20–year–old actress who offered her services at Rs. 5000 per client. "Police acting on a tip off sent a decoy and nabbed her," he said. The suspect was produced before the Kaduwela Magistrate yesterday and more..

Ministry to revive prawn farming

Nov 11 (DN) Prawn farming projects will be implemented according to scientific methods in the Batticaloa district, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said. Addressing the opening ceremony of the fresh water prawn breeding centre in Puthukudirippu, Batticaloa, he said all measures are in place to initiate prawn farming in Wattawan, Wakarai under the pond farming system. They have identified 49 hectares for the project which will be implemented with the participation of 27 fisher families. more..

Govt to develop physical resources in schools

Nov 11 (DN) The govt will develop buildings and other physical resources in 600 schools islandwide, said Minister Wimal Weerawansa. The minister was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the sanitation facilities development project in 32 schools in the Kaduwela Divisional Secretariat division at the Rahula Girls' College, Malabe. Development projects have been introduced to schools under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the aim of providing more..

Best of luck Hambantota

Nov 11 (FT) All of the Commonwealth will today focus on the crucial vote for the host of 2018 Commonwealth Games with Sri Lankan contingent publicly and personally upbeat about candidate city Hambantota’s chances. Sri Lanka’s spirited southern port city Hambantota and Australia’s Gold Coast need minimum 36 votes out of 71 Commonwealth Games Associations at the CGF General Assembly today at St. Kitts and Nevis to win much publicised and more..

Galle Dialogue 2011 begins in the Port City of Galle

Nov 11 (MoD) The International Maritime Security Conference, "Galle Dialogue 2011", organized by the Sri Lanka Navy under the aegis of Ministry of Defence, gets underway in the port city of Galle on 14th Nov 2011. Local and foreign scholars and experts in maritime and naval affairs are expected to share their views at this two-day dialogue held under the theme, "Challenges and Strategic Cooperation for Indian Ocean Maritime Concerns", at the Lighthouse Hotel on 14th and 15th Nov. more..

How Luthufee moved SAARC venue from Male to Addu

Nov 11 (Island) Had it not been for me, the 17th SAARC would never have been held in the southern island city of Addu, says Abdulla Luthufee, who spearheaded an armed attack on Male targeting the then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on Nov. 3, 1988. Gayoom would never have shifted the venue from Male to any other island, Luthufee said. "Male was Gayoom’s world and he simply didn’t have time for those living in other parts of Maldivian territory. more..

Boston Lanka News: Nov. 10, 2011

Revival Bill and responsible governance

Nov 11 (FT) The Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Bill has been passed in total. All the last ditch efforts of the private sector, opposition members and even Buddhist monks failed to move the Govt or make it reconsider the amendments proposed. Suggested half way points such as providing the owners a chance to present new business plans for revival was ignored and all opposing views went unheard. The Govt only changed the name of the Bill. more..

Lands Commissioner’s controversial order

Nov 11 (Island) Ministry of Lands and Land Development would take steps to amend the circular issued by the Land Commissioner General requesting people of the Northern and Eastern provinces to register their lands by Nov 20, a top source at the ministry said. On Wednesday the Court of Appeal issued an enjoining order preventing the authorities acting upon the circular issued by the Land Commissioner General’s Department, upon hearing the petition filed by more..

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI: Preview

Nov 11 (CI) The leadership of a national side has probably never changed hands between characters as contrasting as Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq. When impassive replaces expressive, when calm replaces frenetic, chaos is a likely outcome. It could have happened only in Pakistan, and only Pakistan could have moved on as if nothing had happened. It helped that when Misbah was appointed limited-overs captain, he had been in charge of the Test side for some time. more..

Expert warns of high incidence of diabetes in children

Nov 11 (Island) Sri Lanka Medical Association President Prof. Sanath P. Lamabadusuriya warns that diabetes is increasingly affecting younger age groups in Sri Lanka due to dietary disorders and lack of exercise. Lamabadusuriya, who is emeritus Professor of paediatrics addressing a media conference said, "I have 40 years of experience as a paediatric specialist. In 1970 only about three or four cases of diabetes in children were reported. more..

Censorship is an integral part of system

Nov 11 (AHRC) The govt decision to call for registration of websites that publish any material relating to Sri Lanka has come under severe criticism from local journalists and other concerned persons and groups and also from many international organisations. While requiring registration the govt has taken action to close down the facilities for the viewing of several websites. Many of these websites have existed for a considerable time and have wide readerships. more..

John lashes out at UNPers opposing his leadership

Nov 11 (Island) The UNP’s internal crisis has taken a new turn with the party’s acting leader John Ameratunga lashing out at those who say that he should not lead the UNP because of his religious background. Ameratunga told The Island that the UNP was a multi-ethnic and multi religious party and any of its members depending on his or her seniority, experience and ability was eligible not only to lead it, but even be the President of the country. more..

Hambantota port 'not deep enough'

Nov 11 (BBC) The govt has continuously misled people over Hambantota Port, the UNP has said. Concern has been raised by the UNP over the port's maximum depth of 17m, which it says is not deep enough for unloading larger cargo vessels. The govt says that the $1.4bn port, funded by the Chinese, is at the core of its plans to develop the south. It is part of a drive to rebuild areas neglected during the civil war. The massive port, launched in August 2010, has been hit by numerous problems. more..

Army wages Green War near Parliament complex

Nov 11 (Island) The government will save nearly six million rupees because of Sri Lankan Army Engineering Division engaged in converting a bare land into a botanical garden. Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told The Island yesterday that if not for the man power and free consultation of the Army Engineering Division, the cost of the project would have been more than eight million rupees, but now it would cost between two million rupees and Rs. 2.5 million. more..

17 SAARC Summit: Social justice, climate change require immediate action, says President Rajapaksa

Nov 11 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the issues which call for attention of the SAARC region, particularly in the areas of social justice and climate change require not further discussion but immediate action. The President of Sri Lanka made these remarks in his address on the inauguration day of the 17th SAARC Summit, held in Addu City of the Maldives Islands today on 10 November. more..

Somawansa faction wins poster war

Nov 11 (Island) Somanwansa faction of the JVP seems to have scored victory in the first round of a poster war to mark the 22nd death anniversary of party’s founder leader Rohana Wijeweera. The dissident group which put up around 60,000 posters countrywide announcing their Il Maha Viru Samaruwa (Remembering November Heroes) to be held at Sugathadasa Stadium on Sunday (13) claimed their poster campaign had been disrupted by Somawansa loyalists. more..

Lightning raid in Puttalam nets load of illegal arms

Nov 11 (Island) A joint operation conducted by Sri Lanka army, police and the STF in Puttalam police area yesterday found a load of illegal arms from four homes. Acting police spokesman, DIG Maxi Proctor said that the 19 special teams conducted the operation in 19 houses at the same time, acting on information provided by military intelligence. He said that eight persons were arrested along with two shot guns, one T56 assault rifle, one grenade, one repeater shot gun, three army caps, more..

BOI deletes page promising freedom from expropriation

Nov 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Board of Investment has deleted a page which 'guaranteed' investors freedom from expropriation, raising questions of heightened political risk, lawmakers said. Sri Lanka passed a law to expropriate assets of 37 businesses, in several of which foreign investors were involved, after rushing it to parliament as an urgent bill, despite the existence of section 157 which guaranteed freedom from nationalisation. more..

Sophisticated emergency service for Southern expressway

Nov 11 (DN) A sophisticated emergency service with state-of-the-art facilities is now in place to assist vehicle users of the Southern expressway, said Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawala. "There will be a special police division for traffic control, paramedics and a special fire brigade for the expressway," he said. An emergency hotline- 1969, has been introduced to assist users of the expressway for emergency and disaster situations. more..

Fishermen issue figures in Manmohan's talks with Rajapaksa

Nov 11 (Hindu) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa held wide-ranging talks here on Thursday, covering the issue of Indian fishermen crossing over to Sri Lankan waters and the next steps towards fulfilling the aspirations of Tamils in the Northern Province. Mr. Rajapaksa told The Hindu that both sides re-visited the issues that were discussed in New York (when he met Dr. Singh on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly). more..

Daya to go before int’l tribunal

Nov 11 (DM) Sevanagala Sugar Industries Ltd., owner Daya Gamage said yesterday he would go before an international tribunal to seek redress over the govt’s plan to acquire his assets through the new act passed in parliament on. The govt has listed for acquisition 37 business ventures, which it considers as having underperforming and underutilized assets. Mr. Gamage, the UNP organiser for Ampara, said three fundamental rights petitions had been filed in more..

Priceless finds at Digavapiya

Nov 11 (Island) Archaeologists excavating a site near the Eastern entrance to the ancient Digavapiya sacred area have discovered eight bronze statues and parts of some other statues believed to belonging to the seventh and ninth centuries AD. Head of Excavation Division Dr Nimal Perera said that the statues had been recovered from a soil layer below the Salapathala Maluwa (Stone Terrace) about 30 meters away from the Eastern Entrance to the historic Digavapiya Chaithya. more..

Law Week 2011 moves from East to North

Nov 11 (Island) The fourth edition of Law Week 2011 which commenced on November 4 in Batticaloa and continues in Vavuniya,is scheduled to conclude with the third phase in Colombo, from November 21 to 25. Convenor Charmaine Madurasinghe told "The Island",that the third phase to be held at the Hulftsforp Court premises would also feature legal awareness programmes including free legal advice from eminent lawyers and will culminate with the Law Week 2011 Exhibition, more..

From forest to fruit farm

Nov 11 (SL) In a shocking revelation, the Forest Conservation Department has allocated land earmarked for a proposed forest reserve in Puttalam to a fruit farming project, owned and managed by the close relative of a Senior Govt Minister. In October, Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa instructed the Forest Conservation Department and the State Timber Corporation to bring charges against those who failed to protect natural resources. more..

JVP leaders to fly around the world

Nov 11 (Island) Top level leaders of the JVP’s Somawansa Faction will fly around the world to revive what they call the party’s international network. Party sources said leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, General Secretary Tilvin Silva, Parliamentary Group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, former MPs Bimal Ratnayake, Wasantha Samarasinghe and newly appointed National Organiser of the Socialist Student Union, more..