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The drug menace and Its effects on Sri Lankan society

Nov 5 (SL) A sound mind in a sound body, is a short but full description of a happy state in this world.’ This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia turns its spotlight today on The Drug Menace and its ill effects on Sri Lankan Society in an effort to fulfill the aspirations of Sri Lankan society to be rid of the drug menace. In Sri Lanka, ‘from the sixteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century, the colonial powers regulated the more..

Are non-military engagements of the military valid?

Nov 5 (GV) War or internal armed conflict in the North and East was over; Emergency is no more; but still the military is everywhere. The military is now engaged in peacetime police-work, whale watching, selling vegetables, agriculture, cleaning, constructions and many other non-military activities. Yet why isn’t there sufficient public debate on this? In this article I endeavor to briefly analyze some of the issues that need attention in the public interest. more..

Private medical colleges – A growing concern

Dec 5 (DM) Human civilization from the dawn of history was nurtured by education. We in Sri Lanka are proud of our high literacy rate and knowledge emancipation resulting in the legacy of our free education system. Private university concept was formed in the country with the liberalized economy in the late 1970’s. The first issue arose with the establishment of Colombo North Medical College and publicized as Ragama Medical College, affiliated to the University of Kelaniya in 1991, more..

‘Big and Small’ brothers gang up against people’s rights

Dec 5 (SL) Rajya Sabha MP, Dr. Sudharshana Natchiappan visiting Jaffna on 27 October, with a team of ‘international parliamentarians’ was pointedly asked by Jaffna media, if he is part of the Delhi agenda in ‘colour washing’ the Rajapaksa regime, neat and clean. A difficult task, with other reports getting on the public domain. A working visit to Sri Lanka by three Malaysian MPs, Datuk Johari Abdul (Sungai Petani), Suadara Manoharan (Teluk Intan) and more..

Feathered migrant friends come back to Bundala

Nov 5 (ST) Sri Lanka is the destination of choice for a variety of migrant birds, and they usually stop over at the same sites every year. This was proved by two feathered visitors – a Common Redshank and a Lesser Sand Plover – that were captured recently in the Bundala National Park, on the southern coast. A team of bird lovers working for the National Bird Ringing Programme noted that the two birds had been ringed during earlier visits to the national park: more..

Quo Vadis? Yes, where are we headed Mr. President?

Dec 5 (SL) Where indeed are we heading? When we speak of Sri Lanka, we should be speaking of one nation but sadly we are so fractious that one wonders as to who or what we mean. Besides being divided on the basis of ethnicity and language we have also the caste and religious divide and then comes the political divide – a more fractious society would be hard to find. Whether it is this or some other factor, many visiting and doing business in this country have more..

Offer Rajapaksa Bros Inc. Hambantota as their very own country to reduce political pollution in Colombo

Dec 5 (TC) We woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of screeching tires, booming exhausts and the smell of burning rubber recently. My cousin’s children had nightmares and could not get back to sleep when the test runs were done. Calls to police emergency numbers were ignored: there seemed to be official patronage for speedsters and noise polluters – including of course the daily Presidential convoys in the area. more..

MoU between Sarath Fonseka and Rajavarothayam Samapanthan

Dec 5 (DBS) One of the biggest surprises during the 2010 Presidential elections was the support extended by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to Gen.Sarath Fonseka the common opposition candidate. Given the tough,hawkish image of Sarath Fonseka and the fact that he gave military leadership during the war it did seem perplexing as to why the premier political configuration of the Sri Lankan Tamils was supporting the former army commander. more..

Sinhalese Belief of LTTE Terrorism and Land Powers

Nov 5 (LG) Sri Lankans of Tamil origin are concerned about the moves of the Govt in relation to Land ownership. One such move that caused anxiety is the requirement to re-register Lands in Northern Sri Lanka. In his report ‘Situation in North-Eastern Sri Lanka: A series of serious concerns’ the Hon Sumanthiran, MP states : ‘Out of a total land mass of 65,619 sq km, Tamil people inhabited 18,880 sq km of land in the North and East, but after May 2009, the defence forces more..

335 marginal acres of Wilpattu National Park consigned to the Wildlife Exterminator, eH.V.A. Farmf

Nov 5 (LG) Dept of Forest Conservation has allocated 225 acres of forest land to expand the HVA Farm Project which has been in operation for years in a total area of 35 acre forest land belonging to Ralmaduwa]Achchimale Archaeological Reserve, Thabbowa Sanctuary and Weerakkulichole]Eluwankulama Proposed Forest Reserve in Puttalam District. In addition, an area of 75 acres of forest land has been grabbed and an electric fence has been erected more..

Court verdict will help the game, says Sangakkara

Dec 5 (AFP) Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara on Friday said he was confident the court verdict of sending three Pakistani players to prison would help the game, saying any sort of fixing is intolerable. Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt was handed a 30 months sentence, Mohammad Asif 12, Mohammad Aamer three and their agent Mazhar Majeed for 32 months respectively for their roles in fixing last year's Test against England. more..

Is Sri Lanka a democracy?

Nov 5 (LG) Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam, in her article entitled “Reconciliation needed with the British Government” published in the Sri Lanka Guardian of 3 November 2011 asks the question “is Sri Lanka a Democracy? and seems to conclude that it is not. To quote her words: “Whether we like it or not, whether we agree or disagree – Sri Lanka’s current status at the global level, as per majority impressions - is that it is an anti-democracy country. more..

Editorial: G20 leaders groping in the dark

Nov 5 (Island) The G20 leaders were making a desperate attempt to find ways and means of resolving the worsening eurozone debt crisis on Friday. They may have been able to distract global attention from their failure on the economic front by flaunting NATO's victory in Libya but today they stand exposed for their impotency. Time was when they used to look down upon the developing nations in debt, proffer unsolicited advice and offer bailout packages with constricting conditions. more..

Society’s living dead

Nov 5 (ST) She was plucked out from the classroom in the middle of her OL exams by her teenage lover, later to be her husband, 20 years ago. Ishari was only 15 at that time, and her lover Manoj had just turned 20. He had finished his studies on a high note at a leading boy’s college in the metropolis, and was the eldest in a family of three. But Manoj had a huge problem, something he concealed from Ishari, but this secret would not last long, more..

Turnover on CSE slumps to lowest since Dec. 2009

Nov 5 (Island) Turnover on the Colombo Stock Exchange slumped yesterday to Rs.435.7 million – the lowest since Dec. 2009 - down from the previous day’s Rs.881.8 million, with the two indices closing in opposite directions – the All Share up 9.08 points (0.14%) and the Milanka down 10.29 points (0.18%) with 96 losers outpacing 66 gainers. "The turnover was similar to what we saw in the war years," Prashan Fernando of Acuity Stockbrokers said. more..

CB Chief tells bankers don’t ignore unprofitable sectors

Nov 5 (FT) Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal last night urged bankers not to ignore unprofitable sectors since growth in all segments of the economy was critical for the country. “We examine an economy roughly under three areas – agriculture, industry and services. If you have certain areas that are lagging behind, it shows you that there are pressures building up in that area, which is why we need to ensure that the growth is sustainable and is happening in all areas,” more..

Lanka looks to expand rubber industry

Nov 5 (Island) The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) announced that it was planning to develop a comprehensive database on the country’s rubber sector. "The first trade focused national rubber survey of this nature, it is a comprehensive attempt on the rubber industry in the country," said Asitha Seneviratne, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industry & Commerce. "The MIC has identified rubber products manufacturing industry as one of the more..

Companies to come under state purview belong to the people - Dullas

Nov 5 (DN) "I challenge the Opposition Leader to produce the owners of 37 companies listed to be bought under purview of the government. The responsibility of the Opposition Leader is not to act like a wild tusker at Kekirawa and mislead the public. He should reveal the truth to the public without misleading them," Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said. According to Minister Alahapperuma, there are no private properties among the 37 companies to be taken over by the govt. more..

SL fulfilled most pledges in Colombo Declaration - Dinesh

Nov 5 (DN) Sri Lanka has fulfilled several pledges made in the Colombo Declaration, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said. "A separate budget for sanitation has been allocated for 2012 and additionally a national level coordination body under the chairmanship of my ministry has been established to create the platform for all sector partners, govt organizations, NGOs and funding agencies to address issues with regard to water and sanitation," he said. more..

JVP warns dissidents

Nov 5 (DM) The JVP has formally warned its dissidents in writing against conducting seminars and giving statements to the media criticising the party. Dissidents suspect this as a step towards removing them from the party. According to the dissidents, General Secretary Tilvin Silva has addressed this letter to them a few days ago. Asked for a comment in this regard, dissident member Pubudu Jayagoda said that he would reply to Mr. Silva very soon. more..

Jeena madam charged for possessing leopard skin

Nov 5 (DM) The Fort Divisional Vice Squad filed a case against Rosemary Felicia Perera alias Jeena, the main suspect who had allegedly managed a brothel at a leading shopping mall in Colombo, for allegedly possessing a leopard skin without a valid permit. When the case against Rosemary Felicia Perera came up before Colombo Fort Magistrate, the investigative officer who carried out the raid told court that he was able to confiscate a leopard skin from the accused. more..

Docs seek greener pastures due to Ministry bungling

Nov 5 (Island) 65 doctors had left the country without taking their first internship appointments due to unsatisfactory salaries offered, lack of facilities in difficult areas and bureaucratic bungling in the Health Ministry, GMOA General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said. He said it was the sole responsibility of the Health Ministry to provide adequate salaries, eliminate draconian laws in the Health Ministry and provide the facilities required by doctors. more..

TRC introduces Internet speed testing facility

Nov 5 (DN) The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has introduced an accurate Internet speed testing facility for subscribers to ensure that they receive a better service from Internet service providers. This facility was launched by TRC chairman and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga yesterday. Subscribers can access this facility by logging into to check the available Internet speeds. The entire system has been developed based on more..

Thera challenges new bill to take over under performing firms

Nov 5 (Island) The Venerable Thiniyawala Sobitha Thera of Nalandaramaya, Nugegoda had complained to the Supreme Court that the Bill which sought to empower the govt to take over any entity which the govt decided was underperforming, violated of the sovereignty of the people. The Bill did not clearly explain on what basis an entity or institution was declared to be underperforming or unutilized. The petition argued that the Bill had been surreptitiously placed more..

Father kidnaps his own son to get ransom from priest

Nov 5 (Island) A man who kidnapped his own son who had been adopted by a Catholic priest and demanded a ransom of Rs 500,000 was arrested by the Koswatte police yesterday. The police rescued the 15-year-old boy while he was being held captive by his father in Koswatte and arrested the suspect. His captors had telephoned and threatened the priest that if he failed to pay the ransom he and the boy would be killed. Investigations revealed that the boy had been adopted by the clergyman more..

Defence marks second court martial report in court

Nov 5 (DM) Counsel for the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka yesterday marked certain sections of the second court martial proceedings and evidence before the Colombo High Court to prove that the two cases are filed on the same charges. At the onset of the case Senior Counsel Saliya Pieris informed court that he will mark the relevant sections of the second Court martial case which he said would prove his standpoint that the prosecution had more..

A major inter-provincial Irrigation in Sri Lanka awarded to China

Nov 5 (AT) China has been awarded a major irrigation project that would provide irrigation facilities to Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern Provinces. The agreement for this project, the Yan Oya Reservoir Project was signed yesterday. The project envisages to provide irrigation water for the Northern and Eastern provinces and drinking water for people in the Anuradhapura and Trincomalee districts. This reservoir project is one of the largest water supply projects that more..

Victim handcuffed before he was killed- CID

Nov 5 (DM) The CID, continuing with evidence on the police killing at Grandpass, informed the Colombo Magistrate that according to the JMO report the victim had been handcuffed before being killed. The CID said that in addition to the report on the post-mortem they had got a statement from the JMO confirming his findings. Colombo Additional Magistrate Prasan Amarasena ordered the prison authorities to produce the 10 suspected police officers, which included a sub inspector, for more..

Parts of Negombo, Batticaloa under water by 2040

Nov 5 (Island) Between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of the total populations of the Negombo and Batticaloa are vulnerable to sea level rise in 2040, a study by the University of Moratuwa, has estimated. Moratuwa University, Architecture Facility, Dean Prof. P. K. S. Mahanama, said that Batticaloa and Negombo have been vulnerable to climate related natural disasters during the last few decades and particularly in 2000. more..

Wicket is still good for batting - Sangakkara

Nov 5 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has said the pitch in Sharjah is still decent for batting though it is on the slow side. After the first day of the Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka had seen just two wickets fall, ten batsmen were dismissed on the second, and by the evening there was plenty of turn available to Sri Lanka's spinners. Sangakkara, though, said the track was still "batting friendly" and Sri Lanka would be aiming to restrict Pakistan to less than 250. more..

Maxis owner was in India-like deal controversy in SL

Nov 5 (HT) Maxis owner and Malaysian businessman Ananda Krishnan, who is accused by CBI of forcing C Sivasankaran out of Aircel in collusion with Dayanidhi Maran, was involved in a similar controversy in Sri Lanka. In 2007, the Sri Lankan cabinet approved a proposal to sell Japanese telecom giant Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp's (NTT) stake in Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to Maxis. Public Enterprise Reform Commission (PERC), a body set up by more..

Norway to increase trade ties with Lanka

Nov 5 (DM) Norway has decided to replace its traditional development co-operation with Sri Lanka by increasing trade and commercial relations, officials said today. In response to a question by the Daily Mirror with regard to the evolution of diplomatic co-operation between the two countries in the post-war period, Norwegian Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Jon O. Brødholt said Norway was keen to cooperate with Sri Lanka on business matters. more..

Most of Sri Lankan minefields cleared: Military

Nov 5 (PTI) Most of Sri Lanka''s war-time minefields, which were found to be smaller than originally estimated, have been cleared since the end of the ethnic conflict in May 2009, the army said today "The Sri Lanka Army de-miners estimated that about 6215 sq kms of area contaminated of mines and explosive remnants as the war came to an end in 2009, but it was later found that confirmed hazardous areas were restricted only to an area of about 2046 sq kms". more..

Court ordered to dismiss management of Makola Child transit home

Nov 5 (DM) The Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered the Probation and Child Protection Department to dismiss the board of management of the Makola Male Offenders Tranit Home. Colombo Additional magistrate Ms. Y. Fernando made this direction on the Probation and Child Protection Department on considering the submissions made by the Women and Child Protection Authority. The Authority submitted that keeping the present management of the transit home more..

Sri Lanka factory occupied over govt takeover plan

Nov 5 (AFP) Govt supporters in Sri Lanka have stormed and occupied a private sugar company earmarked for nationalisation under a controversial law, the owners said on Friday. Sevanagala Sugar Industries, which is controlled by an opposition politician, said that ruling party activists had forcibly evicted the management from the sugar plant on Thursday. Company owner Daya Gamage said a director of the company was beaten up and more..

Twenty five super luxury buses to ease traffic congestion

Nov 5 (Island) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has implemented a programme to introduce super luxury buses on five major access roads to Colombo in order to reduce the heavy traffic congestion experienced in the city, an official from the SLTB said. "From January 2012, twenty five such buses would be deployed on those roads to reduce the number of motor bikes, scooters, small cars and certain other types of vehicles entering the Colombo city," more..

SL to adopt electronic voting system

Nov 5 (Island) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday said that he would hold discussions with elections officers country wide on introducing an electronic voting system instead of using polling cards. The Elections Commissioner’s Office has planned adopt a combination of the electronic voting systems in use in India and Venezuela. Voters could exercise their franchise with the aid of an electronic machine and all the data and the receipt would be stored in a separate box. more..

Treasury intervention in House of Fashion customs fraud

Nov 5 (SL) The popular discounted fashion retailer “House of Fashions” is at the centre of a battle of influence between officials from the Treasury and Customs. Two containers destined for House of Fashions (Pvt) Limited were detained by Customs and found to have broken a number of rules under the Customs Ordinance. The Customs Department has imposed a fine of Rs 3.3 Million which remained unpaid as of more..

Beware of the bite that lurks at your doorstep

Nov 5 (ST) The deadly snake bite that was largely confined to rural areas is now slowly creeping into urban areas, with residents being stricken ill by the virulent venom or sometimes even succumbing to it. It was a dream come true for Lal Dissanayake and wife Chamindani when they recently moved into the house they built in Battaramulla along with their little bundle of joy, three-year-old Thinugi. Mr. Dissanayake (38), Deputy Principal of D.S.Senanayake College, more..

JVP union complains of interference by security guards in uni. hostels

Nov 5 (Island) Undergraduates claimed that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s new security company ‘Rakna Lanka’ deployed for security duties in universities were unnecessarily interfering in student affairs, but the Education Ministry said it was to tackle inhuman ragging. Convener of the IUSF, Sanjeewa Bandara said that those security guards came to raid one of the male student hostels of more..