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Govt seeks Dons’ help to ensure success in higher education

Aug 14 (DN) The govt which has taken a policy decision to give prominence to the educational and research sector to achieve its objective of building a knowledge-based economy without merely depending on traditional products and industries in ushering development and progress sought the assistance of university Dons to ensure the success of education and higher education activities at national and regional more..

President doing utmost to improve people’s living standards - Dinesh

Aug 14 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the govt are working hard to push the country forward to uplift the living standards of the people. Voters have confidence in the govt because of the development efforts launched after ending the 30 year war, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said. He said President Rajapaksa and the govt are trying to boost the country’s economy to create more opportunities for graduates while political opportunists were more..

CID investigates stolen court exhibits

Aug 14 (CT) Sources from the CID told Ceylon Today an investigation is underway concerning several court exhibits that were stolen from the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. The CID initiated the investigation subsequent to a complaint made last week concerning the stolen court exhibits, which reportedly disappeared from the stock room, where all court exhibits in connection with cases attached to the Colombo Magistrate’s Court are stored. It was said approximately 14 court exhibits kept in more..

Sri Lankan smuggled into Canada on MV Ocean Lady accepted as refugee

Aug 14 (NP) A Sri Lankan migrant has been accepted as a refugee on the grounds that, as a passenger on a smuggling ship that Canada has publicly linked to Tamil rebels, he might be tortured or killed in his homeland. The 24-year-old ethnic Tamil arrived in Canada in 2009 aboard the MV Ocean Lady, which federal officials have identified as a rebel arms smuggling ship. Officials have also claimed a third of the 76 migrants on aboard were Tamil rebels. more..

Interim report on vehicle breakdowns submitted

Aug 14 (DN) The Interim Report of the three member committee appointed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum Industries to look into incident of vehicle damage following the use of diesel, submitted its report to Secretary R.H.S. Samarathunga yesterday. It has been found that the vehicle damage was reported due to a defect of the filters and laboratory tests have not identified the exact reasons for this situation as per the standard specifications. The interim report has suggested to appoint an expert committee to explore more..

Heartbroken mother kills her toddler, attempts suicide

Aug 14 (Island) A heartbroken 32-year-old woman, in Yatiyantota, poisoned her 20-month-old child and then attempted to commit suicide by poisoning herself on Saturday night. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the condition of the mother was not serious and she was being treated at the Karawanella hospital under the custody of Yatiyantota police. The son, Shantha Kumar had died after he was admitted to the Karawanella hospital the same night, but more..

Over Rs. 1.2 b revenue from online visa system

Aug 14 (Island) The revenue earned through the online visa approval system introduced at the beginning of this year has surpassed Rs. one billion mark. The revenue earned through the above has exceeded Rs. 1.2 billion. The Govt introduced the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system on January 01. The new system replaced the old one of granting visa on arrival at the port of entry to nationals from 78 countries for short visits. more..

More transparency on Z scores, demands TISL

Aug 14 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) expresses its concern and sympathy at the grief and frustration expressed by the A/L exam candidates slighted (impacted) by the Z-score debacle. We encourage the govt to communicate with the aggrieved parties in order to console and mitigate the effects of the Z-score debacle. TISL calls upon the Govt to engage in a healthy and productive discussion with students, teachers and other representatives in order to find a more..

'Move to gift Tamil resources to MNCs'

Aug 14 (Hindu) ‘Sinhalisation’ of Tamil areas is a ruse used by the Sri Lankan govt to take over land, seashore and other resources of Tamils and hand them over to multinational companies, alleged Vickramabahu Karunaratne, president of the Nava Sama Samaj Party, on Monday. Mr. Vickramabahu, as he prefers to be referred to, was here to attend the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) conference. He told reporters that ‘Sinhalisation’ process was a “farce” and Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa was using it to gamble more..

Experts to test water quality in Colombo and several parts of the country

Aug 14 (CT) A team of experts are expected to test the drinking water, which is deemed unsuitable for drinking, distributed in many parts of the country, including Colombo. A top medical team will once again review the water quality countrywide where earlier studies indicated, that some samples were not suitable for human consumption. The test would be conducted next week. more..

Sri Lankan refugee dying to be a Swazi

Aug 14 (TS) Navaratnam Mathen (34), who resides in Mbabane, has even made his intentions known in a letter he wrote in April this year addressed to the King’s Office. He has not yet received a response. Mathen first came into the kingdom in 2003, but was granted refugee status on August 17, 2004. He lives with his uncle who acquired citizenship status more than 10 years ago and is a teacher by profession. The uncle asked not to be identified by name or the school in which he teaches. The 34-year-old said he worked at a grocery shop and more..

Ceypetco seeks 310,000 bbls gasoil, gasoline

Aug 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) is seeking 310,000 barrels of gasoil and gasoline for prompt delivery in August, traders said on Monday. Ceypetco is seeking a combined cargo of 30,000 barrels of 0.25 percent sulphur gasoil and 280,000 barrels of 90-octane gasoline for delivery into Muthurajawela and Dolphin Pier in Colombo. The cargo is for delivery on August 25 in a tender that closes on August 14, with 72-hours validity. It is likely a replacement cargo that initially was supposed to be supplied by more..

If strike continues: CEB to recruit 5,000 new hands

Aug 14 (DN) The CEB will recruit a temporary work force not exceeding 5,000 if the regular hands continue to keep away from work, disrupting the electricity supply, deputy chairman Anura Wijepala said. He said the CEB is confident that it could provide electricity without interruption despite the trade union action and would also guarantee a continuous power supply. He said the staff, including executive grade officers, did not join the more..

'Students won’t lose marks due to errors in exam papers'

Aug 14 (Island) The Examinations Department yesterday said that no candidate would not lose any marks due to some errors in the GCE (A/L) question papers, as it was not a new trend, but they would be compensate through the marking scheme. Examinations Chief W. M. N. J. Pushpakumara told The Island that so far only one error had been detected (in the Combined Mathematics paper) but the Department had asked for a clarification from professor who prepared the paper. more..

Suspension and reenlistment of Vitol done by CPC director board

Aug 14 (DN) The suspension of the Singapore-based company, Vitol, from the registered list of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in 2009 and the reenlistment of the company in 2011 were both done in accordance with the decisions of the CPC Director Board, Petroleum Industries Ministry sources said. The registration of the fuel suppliers is normally done by the commercial section as per the standard norms and conditions of the CPC. The registration is done on more..

Hakeem, Athaulla backers clash in East

Aug 14 (Island) A mini battle erupted last night between SLMC supporters and those supporting Muslim National Congress Leader A. L. M. Athaullah at Addalachchenai, on the Kalmunai-Akkarapattu road, leaving an office of the latter partially torched and several vehicles belonging to both sides damaged due to stoning. Police said the situation had been brought under control by the Akkaraipattu police using tear gas. more..

GMOA call off planned strike

Aug 14 (Island) The GMOA yesterday called off the strike, planned by the Badulla Provincial hospital staff to protest the firing of tear gas by the police, after Uva Province DIG Willie Abeyanayake held a meeting with the hospital staff and the GMOA officials there. GMOA Spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa said that the GMOA Badulla hospital Branch union had scheduled a token strike for yesterday due to the tyrannical action taken by the Badulla police HQI to order firing of more..

Call to withdraw army from Tamil areas in Lanka

Aug 14 (ENS) The TESO conference on Sunday found fault with the Sri Lankan govt on a whole gamut of issues. In fact, almost all resolutions adopted at the conference levelled serious allegations against the Lankan govt. The conference pleaded with the UN and the international community to pressure Lanka to withdraw its army from Tamil areas forthwith. One of the resolutions adopted at the meet said the UN should constitute an international committee to directly more..

Govt. perturbed over UN review team

Aug 14 (DM) India, Spain and Benin have been assigned by UN Human Rights Chief Navaneetham Pillay to assess the human rights situation in Sri Lanka at the November Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The govt is reportedly perturbed over Ms. Pillay’s decision because these countries were among those which voted in favour of the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka in March this year. The resolution called for the implementation of the recommendations by more..

Ranil asks for report on Dayasiri

Aug 14 (DM) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake today confirmed that party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had asked him for a report on the recent statements made by Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. Mr. Attanayake told a media conference he had already handed over a report on Mr. Jayaskera to the disciplinary committee. Mr. Jayasekara said he was ready to face any disciplinary action and that there was a conspiracy to destroy his political career. more..

Universities closed, committee deliberations drag on

Aug 14 (Island) The appointment of various committees, whose deliberations drag on for months on end, seems to be the govt’s solution to the crisis in the education sector, the UNP said yesterday. While the Z-Score issue had caused heartburn and chaos among students, the majority of campuses remained closed, UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake. "The answer to the crisis has been to appoint more committees which churn out more..

Drought hit paddy farmers battling for survival

Aug 14 (SL) Paddy farmers who have for decades produced the country’s staple food are now forced to engage in odd jobs for a daily pay just to make ends meet. Hundreds of farming families in the North Central Province are fighting a tough battle for survival after the complete destruction of their paddy cultivation due to the drought. While the govt continues to make public announcements about providing relief to the more..

Sangakkara nominated to top four categories in ICC awards

Aug 14 (DM) Kumar Sangakkara has been nominated to the top three ICC Awards 2012 in addition to that he is being one of the top contenders of the LG people's award, which is chosen by cricket fans around the world. The ICC announced a long list on Monday, August 13, with the annual awards ceremony set for 15 September in Colombo. Out of the short listed five cricketers for LG People's award, more..

Ministry denies attempting to amend environmental laws

Aug 14 (Island) The Ministry of Agrarian Services and Wild Life yesterday denied allegations that it had taken steps to amend the Fauna and Flora Protection Act and the Forest Conservation Ordinance. Secretary to the Ministry B.K.U.A. Wickramasinghe denying the allegations levelled by the Collective of Environmental Organizations, said the Ministry had not taken any steps to amend the laws. more..

Namal implicated in rugby assault incident

Aug 14 (SM) MP Namal Rajapaksa has been implicated in the clash that took place during an inter-club rugby encounter at Nittawela in Kandy day before yesterday (12). The Navy, which has all three sons of the president as players, was defeated by Kandy Sports Club in the match. Failing to accept the defeat, a group of Navy men had assaulted the spectators, said Kandy SC president Lasantha Wijesuriya. It was the Navy physiotherapist who had begun all, and more..

Govt. worse than the LTTE - Ranil

Aug 14 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is of the opinion that the rape and killing of children and women, prevailing in the country, are due to the politicisation of the Police Department and their inability to enforce the law, as most of those involved in such incidents are govt politicians and their henchmen. Addressing a gathering of UNP activists in Homagama on Saturday, he said that when he was the PM more..

India helps Sri Lanka rebuild railway

Aug 14 (KSA) Keeping in touch with family is important to most Sri Lankans, but the three-decade conflict with the LTTE made that difficult for those with relatives in the north. Now, thanks to a massive investment in rebuilding the country's north-south railway lines, ties are being restored. S. Periyasami, a resident of Colombo, remembers how he used to travel weekly to Jaffna to visit his family. Following his Friday work more..

President tells Galle Dev. Committee: Fully implement development projects

Aug 14 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday told both state officials and political representatives not to lay foundation stones to initiate development projects hereafter unless they are certain of having adequate funds to complete the programme. If needed, the President said, banners and notices could be displayed to announce the initiation of development projects but not foundation stones. more..

Not backing down from challenge, ready to debate - Tissa

Aug 14 (AD) The war of words between UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and his SLFP counterpart, over the controversial accusations against the opposition leader, continued today with Attanayake claiming that Maithripala Sirisena was unaware of even simple facts of political history. If Minister Maithripala Sirisena has tape recordings, documents and other evidence to prove that Ranil Wickaramasinghe provided more..

Police get Rs. 100 mn for security, Rs. 7.3 mn to hire labourers

Aug 14 (Island) Non-compliance of political parties contesting the forthcoming elections to the Sabaragamuwa, North-Central and Eastern Provincial Councils, with election laws pertaining to display of posters, banners and cut-outs, has cost the country dear. The Election Secretariat had been forced to pay the police to remove them, senior Elections Department official R.M.A. Ratnayake said yesterday. more..

SLPL shrouded in more mystery

Aug 14 (DM) News of the "alleged corruption which centres around a taped conversation" has spread in several media outlets locally and internationally after Sri Lanka Cricket issued a press released on Sunday to this effect. The release states that the tape, which was given to a ‘Sri Lankan Newspaper’ and SLC, was handed over to an official of the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) for further investigation. Daily Mirror exclusively reveals that it was the first more..

Editorial: Work to put on the new self

Aug 14 (DM) Most of us have worked for material comfort and financial security, yet there could be deep emptiness within. We believe that if we have what the affluent enjoy, then we too would be happy. Yet the bitter truth has shown that generally the rich and the powerful have to contend with psychological upheavals and is terrified facing life. Then again, one wrongly holds onto the notion that if circumstances were different, then one could be in a state of happiness. Our nation is engrossed in building Shangri-La’s, grandiose building more..

Sugar concession from Lak Sathosa outlets

Aug 14 (GDI) The govt has decided to sell sugar produced at the Pelwatte - Sevanagala Sugar factory at a concessionary price thrugh Lak Sathosa outlets. The decision has been arrived on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to provide relief to the general public and this is the first time such a decision was arrived at, said Productivity Promotion Minister Lakshman Seneviratne. Sugar now could be purchased at a concesionary price from any Lak Sathosa outlet. more..

New US Ambassador meets her Lankan counterpart

Aug 14 (SLE) Ms. Michele .J. Sison, incoming United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka on Friday (9) paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya here at the Embassy of Sri Lanka, Washington DC. Ambassador Wickramasuriya congratulated Ambassador designate Sison and wished her success on her new appointment. The two ambassadors reflected on the current state of US – Sri Lanka relations that have remained more..

Sri Lanka Festival in Tokyo on Sept.8 & 9

Aug 14 (GDI) The 9th Annual Sri Lanka Festival will be held at Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park in Shibuya Ward on 8th and 9th Sept 2012. This year’s exhibition will be of special significance since it marks the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. Ambassador Karannagoda highlighted the important aspects of the 60 years bilateral relations between the two countries which included the assistance and cooperation extended by the Govt of Japan over the last six decades, more..

US natural lighting company enters Sri Lankan market

Aug 14 (LBO) A US based company has introduced a daylight capturing device to the Sri Lankan market that can channel natural light inside buildings through an internal reflective system cutting energy costs and reducing the heat load on air-conditioning, an official said. California based day-lighting expert, Solatube International Inc is the developer of the device known as the Solatube Daylighting system. The company says their daylighting systems more..

FUTA to join several other unions

Aug 14 (DM) In another bid to win their demands, university teachers would join hands with trade union organisations, MPs, civil society organisations, parents and university students tomorrow (15) at a public meeting on the university crisis, the FUTA said. The public meeting would be addressed by Chief Prelate of the Kotte Nagaviharaya Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and attended by teachers unions, doctors and more..

FSP justifies Lankan Tamils reaching out to TN

Aug 14 (DM) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) yesterday justified the reason behind Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka reaching out to the Tamil Nadu politicians and other western powers by saying that if the Sinhalese people refused to talk about the rights of the Tamil citizenry it was fair by them to flock around someone who would talk about their rights. The Propaganda Secretary of the FSP, Pubudu Jagoda made these remarks during a press briefing which was held yesterday more..

Pharma delegation from India to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (EPO) On a recent visit to India Show in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, discussed ways and means to increase bi-lateral relations between the two countries. Taking this initiative further, a team of six to seven officials from infrastructure development agencies and Indian pharma companies are travelling to Sri Lanka on August 14. The delegation intends to discuss joint ventures and investments in the Sri Lankan market. more..

Sri Lanka securities regulator says to quit before Friday

Aug 14 (Reuters) The head of Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday he will resign this week, saying investors who were being investigated for market manipulation had made false allegations against him. Tilak Karunaratne has been pushing for investigations into stock market malpractices, including so-called pump-and-dump deals in which investors are lured into apparently cut-price equities. more..