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Editorial: Volunteering to hang

Aug 18 (Island) An ex-soldier named S.K.D. Somaweera, whose daughter, Nishadi, suffered a violent death at the hands of a rapist has offered to operate the gallows free of charge to help the country get rid of dangerous criminals including his daughter's killer sentenced to death. His offer has, we believe, struck a responsive chord with the public who fear for the safety of their near and dear ones. Given the sheer number of people whose family members, friends and more..

Should we remake old mistakes?

Aug 18 (DM) Independent Ceylon was just a few months old when she won her first ever silver medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. For the new nation it would have been a proud moment; and a propitious omen of triumphs to come. At that time, in this place, reasons for optimism abounded. Young Ceylon was better placed than most – if not all – other newly independent nations. We enjoyed universal franchise, free education and health systems, a comprehensive more..

Arogya 2012: A step towards better healthcare

Aug 18 (Island) Arogya 2012, an international healthcare exhibition organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Health, kicked off yesterday at the BMICH, and will conclude tomorrow. Deputy Minister of Health Lalith Dissanayake officially opened the ‘Arogya 2012’ exhibition. A three-day exhibition, ‘Arogya 2012’ will cover many aspects from health and insurance to hospitals and clinics to more..

New houses, allowance for low income families

Aug 18 (DN) The govt is constructing 50 new houses for low income families with disabilities in the Mullaithvu district, to uplift the livelihoods of the people affected by the conflict. The minister was speaking as Chief Guest to mark the laying of the foundation stones for the construction of new houses in Mullaithvu recently. Minister Felix Perera said a monthly allowance of Rs.1,000 will be granted to low income persons, above 70 years living in the Mullaithvu district. more..

Korea-Lanka ties reach new heights - envoy

Aug 18 (DN) Korean Ambassador in Sri Lanka Jong Moon Choi commended the services of Association of KOICA Fellows in Sri Lanka in fostering more closer ties between two countries. The envoy said the Association's services for the uplift of society are commendable. Moon Choi made these remarks at a reception hosted for the members of the association by Korean Ambassador at his official residence in Colombo recently. He said the relations between the two countries have reached new heights with more..

At loggerheads

Aug 18 (CT) The dispute between the two Muslim ministers and political leaders, Rauff Hakeem and A.L.M. Athaullah, has proved to be beyond the problem solving capabilities of the senior committee appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to break the deadlock. The two leaders, Hakeem of the SLMC and Athaullah the MNC have been at loggerheads following clashes that erupted in the East last week. more..

Friday Forum bats for education

Aug 18 (Island) The Friday Forum yesterday cited a series of issues in the education sector which it said, was of utmost national importance in the larger interest of the vital sector of the economy. The issues which were raised in at a news conference themed : " The crisis in the education sector," held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute yesterday afternoon, revolved round the lack of priority for consultative policy planning, political appointees being appointed for more..

Poll Chief pleased with MR’s intervention

Aug 18 (CT) Commissioner of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya is pleased with the decisive stance take by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to uphold election laws and act against election law violators. Speaking to Ceylon Today, Deshapriya said that Minister of Mass Media and Information, Keheliya Rambukwella, had at the Cabinet briefing on Thursday (16) said the President had instructed the police to take action against the election violators, irrespective of their status. more..

SLMC president indirectly approving SAITM programme

Aug 18 (ST) The Management Committee of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) last week rejected a memo by its Chairman Prof. Carlo Fonseka to certify the transcript of a purported student of the Malabe private medical faculty. Prof. Fonseka who is also SLMC President had submitted the memo for the second time last Wednesday. But the SLMC’s Management Committee had rejected it on the grounds more..

Overcoming global challenges: Indonesia,Sri Lanka form strong bond

Aug 18 (Island) Countries should cooperate in overcoming global challenges and in this regard Indonesia and Sri Lanka have forged a strong bond, the Indonesian Charge d’Affaires Albert Abdi said in Colombo yesterday. "We believe that nations should cooperate in overcoming global challenges. Indonesia considers it important to cooperate with other countries, especially in the region, in order to ensure its contribution to a larger development cause. In this light, Indonesia and Sri Lanka more..

'Sri Lanka committed to setting up Global Aquaculture Fund'

Aug 18 (DN) The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations held a 'Global Fisheries Leaders' Forum' entitled 'The sustainable use of fisheries products and poverty alleviation' recently in tandem with the mega closing ceremony of the three month long Yeosu EXPO 2012, Korea. The Forum was chaired by Iceland Fisheries and Agriculture Ministry's Senior Adviser and FAO former Assistant Director General Dr.Grimur Valdimarsson. The panelists included more..

'Just 2% of investors control 95.7% of the stock market'

Aug 18 (ST) Just a fraction of investors in the Colombo stock market are responsible for the bulk of the transactions, data shows. The number of shareholders in the market rose by 32.6% to 206,465 by the end of December 2011 against the previous year. 951 account holders representing 0.5% have more than Rs 100 million in share value range while their total share portfolio value is Rs 13 billion and they control 88.9% in the market. more..

Lankan Tamils face deportation to Colombo

Aug 18 (DC) In a significant development, the Kerala police are preparing to deport to Colombo 12 Sri Lankan Tamils recently held at Kollam while trying to illegally sail to Australia for asylum. The remaining members of the 151-strong group, which included 19 women and 22 children, have been already sent back to their refugee camps in Tamil Nadu. “We are shifting these 12 Tamils from the Thiruvananthapuram central jail, where they have been held since arrest on June 3 night, more..

Canada taken up by N-E development

Aug 18 (DN) Sri Lanka has achieved impressive progress in economic development and resettlement in the North and East, outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Bruce Levy said. He said a developed road network was essential for any nation to create employment opportunities and bring economic development and it was a praiseworthy to see that President Rajapaksa has taken measures to develop the road network and railway line in the North and East. more..

Eid-Ul-Fitr messages

Aug 18 (DN) "I am pleased to send this message of greetings to the devotees of Islam as they celebrate the festival of Eid-Ul-Fitr, states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an Eid-Ul-Fitr message. "On this important date in the Islamic calendar, the Muslim community of Sri Lanka, together with their brothers in faith the world over, marks the completion of the period of fasting and religious practice which is the most significant of the annual traditions of Islam. more..

UNP reformists call on Ranil to refute allegations against him

Aug 18 (Island) The United National Party reformist group yesterday demanded that UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe personally accept the challenge thrown by Health Minister and SLFP General-Secretary Maithripala Sirisena, for a ‘face to face’ debate on the allegations made by the latter without getting his henchmen to defend him. Sirisena has alleged that Wickremasinghe attempted to sabotage Gamini Dissanayake’s presidential election campaign in 1994. more..

President opens Thantirimale water scheme

Aug 18 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa commissioned the Thantirimale water supply scheme on Thursday. The water plant constructed at a cost of Rs 180 million caters to the Thantirimale Sacred City, surrounding villages and govt institutions. The President simultaneously declared open the Sacred City water pond and the Thantirimale Archaeological Museum. The President visited the water purification plant accompanied by Minister Dinesh Gunawardane and other distinguished visitors. more..

Tilak talks his way out of SEC

Aug 18 (FT) Tilak Karunaratne yesterday resigned as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a move which he had pre-announced early this week and “I am leaving the SEC as a sad but relieved man,” Karunaratne told the Daily FT before dispatching his two-page letter of resignation to Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. “I won’t sacrifice my principles and I am not someone who deviates after I have made a decision,” more..

Nobody can halt my mission: Dayasiri

Aug 18 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera today said he would participate in the party’s campaign for the provincial council elections despite challenges he was facing at the moment. Mr. Jayasekera said that he decided to participate in the campaign as many candidates contesting for the Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provincial Councils had invited him to do so. “No intimidations or threats can stop my mission to ensure the victory of my party at the provincial council elections,” he said. more..

DGHS issue: Paramedics on the fence

Aug 18 (Island) The Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine said it had not issued any statement on its position regarding the Director General Health Services, Dr. Ajith Mendis’ service extension. Informed Union sources said yesterday that they had maintained silence as they had not reached a decision on their stance regarding the issue. The source said however, that the Union’s former President Harendra Kuruppu had made a statement recently, which more..

'Fishermen attacked even within Indian waters'

Aug 18 (Hindu) The State govt on Friday alleged that fishermen were being humiliated, assaulted and killed by Sri Lankan Navy not only when they crossed the IMBL but also when they were fishing within the Indian territorial waters. Advocate General A. Navaneethakrishnan made the submission before a Division Bench, during the hearing of a batch of public interest litigation petitions filed last year seeking protection more..

Distribution of polling cards begin

Aug 18 (Island) The distribution of polling cards for the September 08 provincial council elections will begin today. The relevant district election officers yesterday handed over the cards to the postal superintendents. Next Sunday has been declared a special postal delivery day and the Postal Department has requested voters to be at home to receive their polling cards. There are 3,336,415 eligible voters in the three provinces – North-Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa - for the elections to be held on September 08. more..

If joining UNP a joke, SF not needed – Tissa

Aug 18 (Island) DNA leader Sarath Fonseka was welcome to join the UNP led Opposition, but if he thought it was a joke, then it could do without him, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. He said that no one was asking the former army commander to join the UNP, but he and his party could support the Opposition campaign to oust the Rajapaksa govt. He said: "We never told General Fonseka to dissolve the DNA and become a UNP member. The invitation was to team up with the common opposition front". more..

GMOA gets Gota’s assurance

Aug 18 (DM) In the immediate aftermath of the detection of a grenade in the compound of a member of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) member, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa met medical professionals yesterday and assured them that SLMC members who were likely to face a threat would be provided with police protection. The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday met the Defence Secretary who had assured the doctors that more..

Colombo Port expansion to derive multiple benefits

Aug 18 (Island) The expansion of Colombo port capacity is aimed at helping exporters, importers and value added service providers with possible greater contribution for the GDP. The expansion project of the south harbour will more than double the capacity of the Port of Colombo in container handling services and will have a positive impact on the export/import and value adding service industry and also to the south Asian shippers at large more..

Survey to assess drought damage

Aug 18 (DN) A survey is being conducted to collect all accurate details about the present drought. These details will be revealed after August 25, Agrarian Services Commissioner General Sunil Weerasinghe said. According to him, around 100,000 acres of paddy land in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala Puttalam, Trincomalee Districts have been badly affected by the drought. Around 400,000 farming families have been affected due to the drought situation. more..

In The Eelam’s Shade

Aug 18 (OI) Touched though it was by controversy, the TESO conference held last week turned out to be a heartwarming event for DMK chief M. Karunanidhi. The 88-year-old veteran has had bad times since 2011: first his party was badly beaten in the assembly elections; then his daughter Kanimozhi, entangled in the 2G scam, was incarcerated. The Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation conference, which he organised more..

'Regulator captured by the mafia'

Aug 18 (DM) Commenting on the resignation of SEC Chairman Thilak Karunarathne, UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva said the ‘regulator has been captured by the mafia. He said he made this prediction about regulatory capture during the past week. ”Earlier this week I said that the country will witness what is called the regulatory capture, and this is exactly what has happened. The regulator has been captured by the mafia” more..

Held captive: A Lankan hostage and his horror

Aug 18 (OI) While the govt and the Ministry of External Affairs passes the buck from one to the other, Sarathchandra Surasena, remains a captive of Somali pirates for over two years. Unable to wait any longer Surasena’s wife Kusum Nilmini, has decided to intervene to secure his release and has started to raise funds by opening a savings account at the Dodangoda branch of the Peoples Bank. more..

'Sufficient steps not taken to ensure reconciliation'

Aug 18 (Island) Although the war ended three years ago, sufficient steps had not been taken to ensure the reconciliation process and the country needed to expedite steps towards reaching that goal, Senior Minister Professor Tissa Vitarana said yesterday, after accepting, on behalf of the government, the Sri Lankan Women’s Agenda on Peace, Security and Development, presented by the Association of War Affected Women. more..

Confirmed: Mafia operates in the Colombo stock market, says COPE

Aug 18 (ST) The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) is ‘convinced’ that a ‘mafia’ operates in the stock market, a conclusion it arrived at after Tuesday’s meeting with officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to COPE Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekera. “There’s a mafia operating in the Colombo stock market, there’s no question about it,” he said, adding that this came out based on SEC evidence at the meeting. more..

SriLankan grounds purser suspected of introducing heroin to stewardess

Aug 18 (Island) The national carrier, SriLankan, yesterday grounded a purser, who is alleged to have introduced drugs to the airhostess, recently nabbed with 27 packets of heroin at Wellawatte. The purser had been suspended pending the conclusion of investigations, an airline official said. However, it is learnt that the purser has totally denied either taking or dealing in drugs, although he is known among colleagues as a person who throws money around in a big way. more..

Dilan blocks Wimal’s move

Aug 18 (DM) Minister Dilan Perera who paid a surprise visit to the National Housing Development Authority Stores in Badulla yesterday stopped some 4,000 roofing sheets being loaded into a lorry to be taken to Trincomalee for distribution among voters. He charged that the roofing sheets were to be distributed as an inducement to garner votes for a candidate of the National Freedom Front (NFF) headed by Housing Minister Wimal Weerwansa. more..

Jaffna fishermen complain of poaching by Indians

Aug 18 (Hindu) “They [Indian fishermen] will come again on Saturday night,” said Antony Pillai, head of a clutch of unions representing fishermen in the Jaffna peninsula, referring to poaching in Sri Lankan waters by Indian fishermen. “They come in large numbers; it is as if a huge island is moving,” he added, even as his colleagues nodded in agreement. A huge group of boats came on Wednesday from more..

Range Bandara’s wife beaten

Aug 18 (DM) The wife of UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara is currently receiving treatment at the Sri Jayawardenapura hospital, after she was said to have been assaulted by the MP. The incident had occurred following an argument with the MP this morning. The UNP MP is currently giving a statement to the Mirihana police, sources said. Highly placed hospital sources said that the wife of the MP would remain in hospital for further investigations. more..

SLC holds urgent meeting over sex scandal

Aug 18 (CG) The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had an urgent meeting today in relation to various print media reports over a sex scandal at the SLC head office. A statement by the board said that Sri Lanka Cricket takes serious note of the allegations which also tarnishes the good image and the reputation of Sri Lanka Cricket. “SLC as an institution shall not condone any such acts of misconduct if proven correct, and will take all steps more..

Editorial: China factor reaches crisis level

Aug 18 (DM) Since independence, Sri Lanka has maintained a balanced foreign policy. So much so that in 1976 the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Govt had the privilege of hosting the Non-Aligned-Movement summit attended by leaders of more than 75 countries. The best years were when Lakshman Kadirgamar was Foreign Minister in the Chandrika Kumaratunge government. With diplomacy of the highest professional standards, Mr. Kadirgamar and top career diplomats used facts and more..

Retrenched garment workers speak with SEP campaigners

Aug 18 (wsws) Socialist Equality Party (SEP) members in Sri Lanka last weekend took the party’s provincial council election campaign to Yatiyanthota, in the Kegalla district of Sabaragamuwa Province. The SEP, which has a slate of 21 candidates, led by Political Committee member Ananda Daulagala, in the Kegalla district, is holding an election meeting in Yatiyanthota tomorrow afternoon. SEP campaigners spoke to female workers who lost their jobs more..

Divineguma Bill challenged in Supreme Court

Aug 18 (CT) The Centre for Policy Alternatives and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu filed a Petition today in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the “Divineguma Bill”. Issuing a press statement the Centre for Policy Alternatives says “CPA is concerned with both the process by which the Bill was introduced and its substantive provisions. Whilst the Bill has a wide reach, CPA highlights the two most important issues. more..

‘Reconciliation in Sri Lanka means the Youth must lead the way’: A sceptical response

Aug 18 (CT) This is a response to the article by Sanka Chandima Abayawardena, in which it is argued that the Sri Lankan govt’s military engagement and defeat of the LTTE is an unqualified good; that real concerns over credible allegations of extensive violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in the last phase of the conflict are not only misplaced but also sinister; and that the answers to the many challenges of post-war reconciliation more..