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Karu wants Ranil to fill all UNP WC vacancies

Nov 19 (Island) The UNP’s deputy Co-Leader Karu Jayasuriya yesterday requested party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to fill all the remaining vacancies in the Working Committee according to the new Constitution. Jayasuriya confirmed to The Island last night that he had written a two paragraph letter to Wickremesinghe. In the interest of party unity it was imperative that the Working Committee has its full complement of members, he said adding that the UNP leader had been urged to more..

50 special dengue treatment units set up

Nov 19 (Island) The Health Ministry has formed 50 High Dependency Units (HDU) for care of dengue patients. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said yesterday that the dengue epidemic was on the rise again with the occasional showers experienced in most parts of the country. The HDU’s of the 50 hospitals had been completed and they were equipped with five to ten beds each, he said. Each HDU had cost the Health Ministry over seven million rupees, he said. more..

Fresh hopes for pardon of Lankan housemaid Rizana

Nov 19 (AN) A Sri Lankan delegation visiting Dawadmi, 380 km from the capital, was given a warm welcome by the Otaibi tribe leader Mohamed Faihan Shoraim Al-Otaibi on Thursday. The high-powered delegation led by Sri Lanka’s Western Province Gov. Alavi Mowlana met the tribal leaders of the Otaibi family on Thursday to seek pardon for Rizana Nafeek. Nafeek was convicted of murdering a four-month-old infant in Dawadmi on May 2005. more..

Fonseka verdict signals trend to come out of LLRC

Nov 19 (TN) Colombo High Court Bench on Friday convicted former military commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka to three years rigorous imprisonment for him alleging that the SL President’s brother and defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had ordered the execution of surrendering LTTE officials in the white flag incident. Fonseka was found guilty of “spreading rumours and causing public disorder.” His rigorous imprisonment may mean that he should perform manual labour in prison. more..

Union slams health officials, police over indifference

Nov 19 (Island) The All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) yesterday slammed the health officials and the police, over their indifferent attitudes, following the alleged assault of a female minor employee serving at the Dehiattakandiya Base Hospital. ACHSU chairman Gamini Kumarasinghe said that no action had been taken against a Medical Superintendant who allegedly assaulted a minor employee. He said that the employee, who was initially admitted to more..

Sri Lanka extends ex-army chief jail term

Administration of 7 Tamil villages to be brought under Muslim dominated Eravur UC

Nov 19 (TN) The govt has recently given instructions to Ea'raavoor Urban Council chairman Ali Zahir Mowlana to bring 7 Tamil villages under his administration using the Urban Council. The villages Aa'rumukaththaan-kudiyiruppu, Tha'lavaay, Chavukkadi, Mayilampaave'li and wards No 1, 2 and 3 in the Ea'raavoor under the Ea'raavoor Chengkaladi Piratheasa Chapai (PS) division are to be brought under the civil administration of Era’voor UC, which more..

New doc organization formed to fight private medical colleges

Nov 19 (Island) A new organisation has been set up to fight against the establishment of Private Medical Colleges in the country – especially against the Malabe Private Medical College (Malabe PMC). National Convener for the Doctors Against Private Medical Colleges (DAPMC), Dr. Indunil Wijenayake said yesterday that 22 doctors had formed the Union to fight the threat posed against free education and the free health service by private medical colleges. more..

Sporting events on the Southern Expressway

Nov 19 (DM) Sri Lankans and foreigners will have the rare opportunity of engaging in sporting events along the Southern Expressway today and tomorrow before it is opened to vehicular traffic on November 27. Deputy Minister Nirmala Kotelawala said cricket, elephant races, volleyball, cycling and a marathon are among the several events that have been lined up from 2.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. on each of the two days at all the interchanges of the highway, more..

British shareholder to challenge govt

Nov 19 (DM) A British company, which is an investment partner of Sevenagala Sugar Industries Ltd has decided to challenge the government’ expropriation bill at the World Bank-affiliated Investment Dispute Settlement Unit in Washington, sources close to the United National Party (UNP) said yesterday. Sevenagala Sugar is among the 37 companies listed for acquisition under the provisions of the new Act titled, ‘the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets’. more..

SF’s jail term to be served consecutively

Nov 19 (Island) The three-year sentence handed down to General Sarath Fonseka in the White Flag case yesterday will run consecutively after he completes his current 30-month prison term in February 2013, senior counsel for the General, Nalin Ladduwahetty said last night. He however said that they would appeal the judgement in the Supreme Court on Monday. Meanwhile, Court sources said that the appeal will be heard by a five-member Bench as the White Flag case was a Trial-at-Bar. more..

SF jailed for three years

Nov 19 (Island) General Sarath Fonseka was yesterday sentenced to three years imprisonment and fined of Rs. 5,000 on being convicted by two Judges of the three-Judge Trial-at-Bar which heard the White Flag case. The former Army Commander, was found guilty by High Court Judges Deepali Wijesundera (President) and Sulhikar Rasheen on the first of the three charges against him which pertained to his having, on or about December 8, 2009 told the Sunday Leader more..

LLRC referred only 20 complaints of Tamils to Attorney-General

Nov 19 (Island) Only less than 20 cases from Tamils have been referred by the LLRC to the Attorney-General to study the complaints made before the LLRC which in the opinion of the LLRC deemed genuine and needed some relief. The Secretary of the LLRC Lakshman Wickramasinghe said that those Tamil persons gave evidence before the commission about abductions, extortion, disappearances etc and only complaints that the LLRC felt genuine and needed more..

SSU elected to Ex-Co of World Federation of Democratic Youth

Nov 19 (LT) At the 18th General Convention of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) held in Lisbon in Portugal Socialist Students Union (SSU) was re-elected to its Executive Council says the National Organizer of SSU Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa. The Executive Council is made up of 35 international youth organizations and SSU was elected to it in 2003 and 2007 unanimously. more..

JVP dissidents in Sri Lanka: a new political trap

Nov 19 (DM) The emergence of a dissident faction within the JVP in Sri Lanka in recent months is a further sign of the party’s deep political crisis. The party split in 2008 over whether to join the govt of President Mahinda Rajapakse and now confronts another debilitating breakaway that would include much of its youth wing. A recent lecture by JVP dissident Chameera Koswatte demonstrates that the opposition faction has no fundamental disagreement with the current leadership. more..

Tiger factions gear up for Nov. 27th Maveerar Naal

Nov 19 (DBS) The French crackdown on the LTTE in Paris was launched on April Fools day. In what may have appeared to be a cruel April fools joke to the tigers in France, French law enforcement authorities engaged in concrete action against the LTTE on April 1st 2007. The police made a dawn swoop at 4-00 a.m. and took into custody 39 suspected LTTE activists for questioning. The arrests were made from Seine-et-Marne, more..

Drugs: Finding a cure for malady of shortages

Nov 19 (ST) It was bad about six months ago but the situation has now eased. Many for whom the State hospitals are the only recourse, however, are fearful when they would be given a prescription to pay and get not only basic drugs but also essentials from outside or be on that dreaded waiting list for surgery because the necessary devices are unavailable. The Govt has allocated the gargantuan sum of Rs. 12 billion for more..

India concerned over Acquisition Act

Nov 19 (DM) India is concerned over the enactment of the expropriation Act introduced by the Sri Lankan govt because some Indian companies have also been listed for acquisition under this Act, informed sources said yesterday. They said India was studying the provisions of the Act to determine how it would impact on Indian investments in Sri Lanka. The sources said a few Indian companies registered with the BoI had been listed as more..

SriLankan Airlines make air travel easier with easy payment scheme

Nov 19 (LP) An exciting new offer from SriLankan Airlines will make travel abroad even more affordable to all their customers. With the introduction of an easy payment scheme, passengers have the option of paying for their ticket with credit cards, in installments of three, six, twelve or even up to twenty four months at their convenience. Under this scheme, people can now travel abroad for initial rates as low as more..

Country on course to full electrification

Nov 19 (DM) Sri Lanka could be fully electrified before the target date of end 2012 as power supply projects in almost all districts have met their targets before schedule, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Addressing the Ministry’s progress review meeting in the Trincomalee district, Minister Ranawaka said 76 percent of households in the district have been given electricity under the ‘Reawakening of the East’ programme. more..

President’s statement gives private sector shocks – UNP

Nov 19 (Island) The private sector should brace for more shocks since none other than President Mahinda Rajapaksa had, in his last budget speech, referred to the acquisition of ‘unutilized’ plantation lands, UNP MP Dr Harsha de Silva said. He said that Rajapaksa had used the word ‘unutilized’ as opposed to ‘underutilized’ assets and it was obvious that the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act, was only a cover for the govt to implement more..

Govt. warns news websites that don’t register

Nov 19 (Island) Defending its decision to block five news websites, the govt said that stern action would be taken against those who do not register with the relevant authority. Minister Keheliya Rambukwalla said that the websites in question had allegedly maligned various people and also acted against the national interest. Even the USA has banned websites that were considered to be spreading "untruths" and no one need be surprised about more..

Govt. won't penalize Dons who violated sabbatical leave

Nov 19 (DM) University lecturers who overstayed their sabbatical leave will be exempted from cash penalties if they return to the country, officials said yesterday. The Higher Education Ministry has decided to submit a Cabinet paper seeking such redress for those academics very soon. Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said that lecturers are required to sign a bond with their respective universities when more..

UNP offers to help govt. repeal bill

Nov 19 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Harsh De Silva said the Opposition would whole heartedly support the govt if it decided to repeal the controversial takeover bill. He said the govt was now trying to backtrack on its stance regarding the controversial takeover bill after negative reviews from sovereign rating agencies and urged the govt to admit its mistake openly, and that the UNP would support it to repeal the bill, rather than resorting to making statements which added more confusion. more..

Editorial: Criminalisation of party politics

Nov 19 (DM) As Mahinda Rajapaksa begins his seventh year as the all-powerful Executive President in the afterglow of countrywide celebrations yesterday to mark his 66th birthday, govt propagandists claim, Sri Lanka is on a superhighway to become the economic hub or miracle of Asia. Yet independent observers, opposition leaders and powerful countries in the international community claim Sri Lanka is also facing its gravest threat to democracy, freedom and more..

Remaining ex-LTTEers to be released before year end

Nov 19 (AD) The remaining former LTTE combatants who are currently in the process of being rehabilitated will be reintegrated into society before the end of the year, the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Chandana Rajaguru stated. He made this statement during a discussion with a South African delegation at the Security Forces Headquarters Wanni. The discussion, held under the presence of Vanni Security Forces Commander Major General Sumedha Perera, more..

Disabled war heroes receive Three Wheelers

Nov 19 (MoD) Understanding the difficulties faced by the disabled war heroes, who risked life and limb to eliminate the terrorism from the motherland provided with Three Wheelers today, (18). In a special function organized by the Ranaviru Seva Authority at the premises of the Ministry of Defence, the Prime Minister D.M. Jayarathne, MP Namal Rajapaksa, Chief of Army Lt Gen Jagath Jayasooriya distributed 180 Three Wheelers among the war heroes of more..

Colombo: Does it need a new metropolitan city corporation?

Nov 19 (DM) In March 2011 there was a govt announcement that another layer of govt was to be created, namely, the Colombo Metropolitan City Corporation by bringing together the Colombo Municipal Council, Dehiwela-mt. Lavinia Municipal Council, Sri Jaywardenepura-kotte Municipal Council, Kolonnawa Urban Council, and Kotikawatte Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha. The new council was to streamline the administration and build capacity and capabilities of the local councils. more..

Postal Department to deliver Exam Correspondence

Nov 19 (NN) Trade Unions of the Postal Department have agreed to distribute letters of the upcoming O/L Examination in spite of the ongoing Strike. Spokesperson for the joint postal trade union, Chinathaka Bandara said the Trade Unions have agreed to distribute letters related to the upcoming O/L examination. He said the Trade Unions have also agreed to deliver any correspondence related to any examination regardless of the 05 day trade union action. more..

Relic of St. Don Bosco brought to Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (HN) The Relic of St. Don Bosco which is being taken across the world on a pilgrimage arrived in Sri Lanka today. The Relic of St. Don Bosco arrived in Sri Lanka onboard a special flight at approximately 7:05 am today in order for Catholic devotees in Sri Lanka to pay homage to the venerated Saint. The Relic began its worldwide pilgrimage on the 31st of January 2009, which was the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Salesian more..

Education equipment for schools to mark President's B'day

Nov 19 (MoD) A ceremony was held to donate computer equipment, books and piano sets to 66 schools to mark the 66th birthday of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that falls on today. Organized by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Education, this ceremony was held with the participation of the President yesterday (17) at Temple Trees. Each selected school was donated 5 computers, a laser printer, UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) units, more..

Sri Lanka praises India for managing ethnic diversities

Nov 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka today praised India for successfully managing ethnic diversities in a federal democratic framework. "The key lessons from India's development efforts and its stature as a world's largest democracy was its success in managing ethnic diversities in a democratic framework and its ability to reach out to the poorest sections of the society through innovative social schemes involving the closest cooperation between the central and the state govts in a more..

WikiLeaks: “I don’t know anything, that’s all Fonseka and the JVP” Ranil to Gota

Nov 19 (CT) “Rajapaksa told Ranil, ‘You should have been the candidate. You would have got more votes.’ He said Ranil was very reasonable, a professional politician, but a UNP – JVP alliance was unsustainable.” the US Embassy Colombo informed to Washington. The cable recount details of a meeting the US Embassy has had with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Feb 2, 2010. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the ambassador more..

Sangakkara run-out was turning point - Dilshan

Nov 19 (CI) Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan has described the run-out of Kumar Sangakkara during the chase as the turning point of the third ODI in Dubai, which Pakistan won by 21 runs to go 2-1 up in the series. A 106-run stand between Sangakkara and Dilshan for the second wicket had seemingly put Sri Lanka on course to overhauling the target of 258 in Dubai, before a direct hit from Shahid Afridi dismissed Sangakkara. Dilshan rued the run-out and his own dismissal soon after, more..

The Boy With the Violin

Nov 19 (BBC) Civil war in Sri Lanka came to a bloody end in May 2009. Nearly 300,000 people, driven out of their homes with the retreating Tamil rebels, were trapped in a small strip of land. Facing bombardment from sea, air and land, many died and the others were released to walk through the raging final battle. The last months of the war were fought without witnesses as independent media were removed from the battle zone and the story of the civilians who reportedly more..

Sri Lanka Design Festival 2011

Nov 19 (ST) The Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2011, organised for the third consecutive year by the Academy of Design, kicked off yesterday evening at the Mount Lavinia Hotel with the grand opening of the Island Craft Exhibition followed by the Island Crafts Fashion Show. The exhibits on display were a fusion of tradition and modernity that reflected the beauty and uniqueness of Sri Lankan traditional artistry. Products including apparels, more..

India for probe into Kambli’s Lanka fix claims

Nov 19 (AFP) India's sports minister on Saturday called for the country's cricket board to probe allegations by a former Indian batsman that the 1996 World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka may have been fixed. Vinod Kambli, an attacking left-hander who played 17 Tests and 104 one-day internationals before quitting in 2000, told a news channel this week that he "doubted" crucial decisions made during the match played in Kolkata. "When a player of the team has more..

Rehabilitation Centres to be turned in to Vocational Training Centres

Nov 19 (HN) The Minister of Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera says that the Centres that were used for rehabilitating the former LTTE Cadres will be transformed in to Vocational Training Centres after the rehabilitation and reintegration in to society of all former LTTE Cadres is completed. The Minister said that only another 600 former LTTE Cadres were remaining to be rehabilitated and reintegrated to society and that more..

A maiden journey on The Southern Expressway

Nov 19 (HN) Unfolding a new chapter in the transportation history of Sri Lanka country’s first E Class highway would be opened to the public shortly. Providing safe and speedier ride, the 126 km long highway will link the capital city Colombo and Galle reducing the time taken to travel from Colombo to Matara to one and a half hours from the current four hours. It was a fresh and exiting experience to travel on the newly constructed Southern Expressway more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka will soar greater heights under President

Nov 20 (SO) November 18, 2005 was a red letter day in the annals of history for all Sri Lankans not merely because of the election of Sri Lanka’s fifth Executive President but more so – it opened a new chapter which changed the destiny of a nation, plagued by terrorism and an economy on the brink of collapse. When President Mahinda Rajapaksa took office as the First Citizen, the country was grappling with all odds to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity since more..