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NCP: The govt better watch out

Aug 19 (SL) The North-Central Provincial (NCP) Council election is proving to be an unpredictable battleground, despite history suggesting the UPFA have the upper hand according to Professor Nalaka Fernando. “Traditionally speaking the North Central Province has favoured the UPFA, if history is something to go on it appears they will win the province comfortably this time also. However, the current situation in the country could throw a spanner in the works and cause an upset”, more..

House donated for war hero family

Aug 19 (GDI) The Seva Vanitha Unit of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development donated a newly constructed house to a war hero of the Civil Defence Force (CDF) at a function held at Aandankulama in Trincomalee yesterday (17). Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa, Chairperson of the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development handed over the keys of the newly constructed house to Mrs Jeewanthi Manjula, the widow of war hero M. Sanath Nandasiri of more..

Rights issues mar Sri Lanka-EU trade

Aug 19 (IPS) Sri Lanka is in for some hard bargaining when it negotiates a new aid pact in 2013 with the European Union (EU), which withdrew a key trade concession two years ago over this country’s human rights record. Bernard Savage, head of the EU delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, says political differences do not affect trade. “There are no specific irritants (at the moment) and I would like to stress that in the more..

‘UN’s Troika not a witch-hunt’

Aug 19 (SO) The Govt yesterday emphasized that the Troika appointed by the UNHRC was not on a witch-hunt, but rather on assisting Sri Lanka prepare the final report to be adopted on November 5, at the end of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the role of Troika was clearly defined in the resolution passed at the UNHCR. “The role of Troika is stipulated in the resolution itself, and anyone who reads the resolution would understand that more..

SLBFE road show: More jobs for Lankans in ME

Aug 19 (SO) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment will organise a massive job promotional campaign in the form of a road show in the Middle East shortly, to secure more foreign employment opportunities to Sri Lankan migrant workers in the coming years. The objective of this program is to secure more skilled and educationally valued jobs to Lankan workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain where a large number of Sri Lankans are currently employed. more..

Puttalam power plant: coal dust and erosion stoke villagers’ ire

Aug 19 (ST) Residents living in the vicinity of the Lak Vijaya Power Station, also known as the Norochcholai Power Station, say the power plant is causing serious environment and health problems. The large coal-fired power station is in Puttalam, in the northwest coastal area. About 1,000 families live in Illanthandiya and Narakkaliya, villages near the power station. 300 of these families depend on fishing for a livelihood. more..

Power crisis: Local authorities blamed for wastage

Aug 19 (NS) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has charged Local govt authorities including Pradeshiya Sabhas and Urban Councils for waste of electricity despite repeated appeals. CEB Vice Chairman Anura Wijepala warned that power cuts would continue till end of this month despite the employee strike being called off. He lamented that the public was yet to take the issue seriously and added that the local govt authorities should also be blamed for electricity waste. more..

SLPL: Kamran Akmal fifty takes Wayamba to top

Aug 19 (CI) Kamran Akmal's second half century in three matches and a stifling bowling performance carried Wayamba United to their third consecutive victory, as they crushed Basnahira Cricket Dundee by 67 runs in Pallekele. Kaushalya Weeraratne took 3 for 11 from 3.1 overs, while Akila Dananjaya again turned in impressive figures; his four overs cost 15 runs and brought him two wickets. Cricket Dundee began well enough in pursuit of 166, but could not prevent the fall of wickets once more..

Lanka Hospitals launches new Obesity and Weight loss Centre

Aug 18 (Island) Have you given up trying to lose weight? Have you tried all that is humanly possible, only to be left starving, irritated and psychologically battered? Being overweight can also be the cause of depression, low self-esteem, insecurity and body image dissatisfaction. Around the world and in Sri Lanka, not only adults but also youngsters including school children suffer from obesity that could adversely affect their more..

We will strike again -GMOA

Aug 19 (NS) The Govt Medical Officers Association warned that its members would strike again if any attacks were made on its members. The 24-hour strike which ended last Saturday saw 16,000 doctors from all parts of the country abstaining from their normal duties in govt hospitals and clinics except in emergency wards and accident units. GMOA spokesman Dr. Nalin de Soysa said that even though the immediate reason for the strike was the grenade attack on Dr. L. Ranasinghe’s house at Dehiwela, it was also to protest more..

Kapilavastu relics arrive in Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa received the relics of Buddha (bone fragments excavated in Kapilavastu and considered sacred by Buddhists) at a stately ceremony at the Bandaranaike airport in Colombo. The sacred relics are thus being brought to Sri Lanka after three decades since their first exposition in 1978. The sacred relics were brought to Sri Lanka in a special Indian Air Force aircraft. A delegation from India led by Minister of Culture, Kumari Selja, accompanied the relics. more..

Sri Lanka

Rugby violence:Outcome of win-at-any-cost ways

Aug 20 (SL) Crowd iolence is an unwelcome visitor to sport, anywhere and at all times. Apart from putting lives and limbs of innocent spectators at risk, the thuggish interloper inflicts shame and notoriety that harms sport’s good name, and its’ future in peril. Hence, the nasty eruption at Nittawela last Sunday that caused injuries to more than a few spectators is unforgiveable, and begs a stern reaction from the SLRFU. For the sake of rugby, it would’ve have been nice were more..

The Rugby scene: A metaphor for life in so called paradise isle

Aug 20 (SL) One of the areas of Sri Lankan life with which I’ve had a degree of involvement since my return to the land of my birth approximately six years ago has been club rugby. The reason for this was simple: a friend under whose captaincy I played one of my first years of club rugby more than half a century ago persuaded me that I had something to offer my old club despite or because of my advancing years! So if you find anything offensive in this week’s column, more..

UPFA confident of victory in NCP

Aug 20 (SO) The UPFA will record a landslide victory in the upcoming North Central Provincial council election, said UPFA candidate S.M. Ranjith. It is time the people in the North Central Province pay their gratitude to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for mooting the development of the province by allocating a huge amount of money. The victory of the UPFA at the upcoming election is assured because people in the province have rallied round President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Re-imagining Lakshman Kadirgamar in contemporary Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (GV) Ever since his brutal assassination in 2005, those of us who have admired Lakshman Kadirgamar have often imagined what Sri Lanka would have been like, had he remained at the helm of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy making. In this imagination, Kadirgamar re-appears as a hero, almost super-man like, to save us from the diplomatic ignominies that have struck Sri Lanka on the international stage. This is what our deep attachment to the man does. more..

The struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka: The story of Puthukudiruppu

Aug 20 (GV) Rajini (pseudonym) was amongst the ten women we met in a church in Vavuniya district about a week ago. At the time she and two of her children were living in Kadirgama camp in Menik Farm. The women and their families were displaced since 2008 and were prevented from going home to Puthukudiruppu. Some of us had known this community for several years and their yearning was always to go home to their villages despite the uncertainties about the remains of more..

Society has run down to an appalling level of deterioration

Aug 20 (CT) The overall content of the social psyche of the current Sri Lankan society has run down to an appalling level of deterioration. The degree of degeneration is such that it has reached almost the point of putrefaction. This phenomenon is rather obvious and it can no longer be concealed. The religious institutions i.e. the temple, the church and the kovil have failed in rescuing the country from this predicament. more..

SEC crisis: Is this open letter of April 2011 now worthy of attention?

Aug 20 (CT) Is this Open Letter of April 2011 now worthy of attention and Aaction in the face of the Securities Exchange Commission crisis? See highlighted Areas; Have you and your fellow executive committee members of the respective associations, Institutes and Chambers ever spent time reflecting on how you will reconcile your conscience as Intellectuals, Professionals, Academics, and Business Leaders, in the event Sri Lanka and its citizens are significantly more..

True Academics are honest, humble and hard-working

Aug 20 (CT) ‘Govts are held to higher standards than terrorists’ is a line that was often used by LTTE apologists who routinely brushed aside criticism of the terrorists even as they demanded and conferred parity of status. The proposition makes sense though. By the same token, judges should be held to higher standards than ordinary citizens. Academics should be more academic than non-academics. Teachers and teachers’ unions should not behave like students and student unions. more..

My participation at TESO conference and public meeting in Chennai

Aug 20 (DBS) I finally went to Chennai and participated in Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization (TESO) conference and the public meeting. The whole thing was effective in raising the plight of the Eelam Tamils. Even for a Marxist revolutionary there was a space to intervene with out conceding any principle. Though near 90 years of age, DMK leader Karunanidi, is very alert and active. From a wheelchair he was more..

High-flying air hostess in narcotic drama

Aug 20 (SO) Smuggling of heroin almost came to a standstill during the height of terrorism in the Northern and Eastern provinces due to the presence of naval craft patrolling the Palk Straits. However, with the resumption of fishing activity in the Palk Straits during the past three years heroin smuggling in fishing boats has increased again, sources said. Even the Banadaranaike International Airport (BIA) has become a transit point for heroin smuggling as in the past. Many drug couriers who attempted to smuggle heroin through the BIA have been arrested. more..

Opportunities, challenges and lessons of Chinese economic growth

Aug 20 (ST) The rise of China is one of the most momentous transformations in modern world history. According to Prof. Premachandra Autukorala, the Chinese economy is likely to overtake the US economy in terms of GDP within this decade, would be the world’s biggest economy in size and be a dominant trading and investment source in the coming decade. Since 2008 China has been the world’s largest exporter, followed by the US, Germany and Japan, in that order. more..

Connections | August 13, 2012

Editorial: Elections and exams

Aug 20 (Island) No sooner had the government launched its PC polls campaign officially from Anuradhapura on Saturday than the Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) cried foul, accusing the ruling party supporters of having disturbed thousands of students sitting the GCE A/L examination at a number of centres in that town. Immediately after the dissolution of the North-Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils, we warned that politicians would more..

SLPL: Uthura crash to fourth straight loss

Aug 20 (CI) Uthura Rudras could not recover from early setbacks and four consecutive maidens at the start of their innings, as Uva Next chased down a mediocre target with four wickets and five balls to spare. Sachithra Senanayake took three wickets for 16 after Jacob Oram and Umar Gul had gagged the top order with the new ball, and though a late surge took the Rudras towards respectability, their total was never likely to be a winning one, even if they did cause a stutter in the chase more..

COPE stands by decision to wipe out stock exchange mafia

Aug 20 (Island) COPE Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekera said it was a ‘very sad day’ for the country when Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Thilak Karunaratne tendered his resignation after the govt failed to support the SEC to carry out investigations into market malpractices by an influential group of investors and their crony brokers. "I was really sorry when I heard that Mr. Karunatne was resigning. more..

No SLMC registration for unqualified foreign doctors

Aug 20 (DN) Registration will not be given through the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to any foreign doctor who does not have the required qualifications and experience to serve in Sri Lankan private hospitals. Several child patients with various medical complications developed after undergoing 'surgeries’ in private hospitals, turn to state hospitals for treatment, a Health Ministry spokesman said. Many child patients who underwent cleft lip surgery in private hospitals end up in state hospitals more..

Inland airports to be modernised - minister

Aug 20 (DN) The govt has taken step to modernize several inland airports in line with inland air transportation sector development activities, Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said. Under this initiative, the abandoned Palaviya inland airport in Puttalam will be renovated, the minister said. The 1,000 metre long runaway, which is at a poor condition will be lengthened and widened to light and small scale planes. “The runaway will be lengthened to 1,500 metres and widened by a few metres. more..

'Vacate abandoned buildings in Mahaweli region'

Aug 20 (CT) The Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resource Management is to issue a six-month ultimatum to the owners of abandoned buildings in the Mahaweli region. Minster Nimal Siripala de Silva said if the abandoned buildings continue to be vacant, the govt will acquire them and hand them over to the farmers for their use. The minster had announced he will be issuing six months notice to all organizations that have bought more..

SAITM condemns attack on SLMC member

Aug 20 (Island) The parent company of the private medical college at Malabe, the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (Pvt) Ltd., yesterday condemned the recent attack on a Sri Lanka Medical Council member, while being critical of the "few officials who run the GMOA" for holding patients to ransom. Following is the full text of the statement issued by SAITM Chairman Dr Neville Fernando: "It was greatly disconcerting to hear the attack on a SLMC member on the more..

Lanka ratifies UK children’s charter

Aug 20 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena recently said that the United Nations Pledge on the Protection of the Children’s Charter had found that around 7.6 million children, worldwide, died before reaching the age of five years due to lack of pre-natal care, malnutrition and reluctance of mothers to breast feed infants. Sri Lanka had implemented a special programme to reduce the child mortality rate. It had been of vital importance to mothers as a whole, Minister Sirisena said, more..

Wellawatte killings: Police lay dragnet for missing son

Aug 20 (Island) The police have laid a dragnet to arrest the man who has gone missing since the mystery killing of his father, mother and sister at a rented house down Ramakrishna road, Wellawatte. The decomposing bodies were discovered on Saturday after the owner of the house complained to the police of an unbearable stench. Police believe the son considered the prime suspect may have committed the crime as the more..

Always spare a thought for those in need - Chilaw Bishop

Aug 20 (DN) “We are obliged to give an account not only of our own actions, but, also for the lives of others who are often destitute and bereft of all worldly glory and glamour; riches and wealth, said His Lordship Bishop of Chilaw Rt. Rev. Dr. Valence Mendis. He was speaking at an evening service held at the grotto erected at the Chilaw round-about, in connection with the 41st anniversary of Our Lady, the Protectress of Chilaw town on August 12. His Lordship said that some are so poor that more..

8 fishermen hurt in attack by Sri Lankan Navy

Aug 20 (Hindu) Eight fishermen from Vellapalam here landed on the Vedaranyam shores on Sunday with internal injuries allegedly inflicted by the Sri Lankan Navy. They had ventured in six boats from Vellapalam on Saturday morning and were reportedly fishing South-East off Arcottuthurai, when their boats were intercepted by Sri Lankan Navy. Of the injured, one has suffered a minor knife incision, while others were alleged to have been dealt with ropes and pipes causing internal injuries. more..

Better Bourse returns bared!

Aug 20 (FT) If the general investing and savings public believes the Colombo Stock Exchange isn’t attractive, then nearly 50 stocks are likely to prove this incorrect, especially given their performance during the past month. The reason is that these select stocks have offered well over 10% return within a month (some as high as 91%) and in this performing portfolio are some fundamentally sound stocks with good upside. more..

Range Bandara’s wife out of danger

Aug 20 (Island) A CAT scan done on UNP parliamentarian Palitha Range Bandara’s wife who was admitted to Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital with suspected internal head injuries after being allegedly beaten on Friday night at home, had revealed no brain damage, hospital sources said. Geeta Bernadette Vijayalatha (47), who was being treated by neuro-surgeon Dr. Mrs. Maheshi Wijeratne, was likely to be discharged today since there were no injuries, according to sources. more..

EROS office attacked

Aug 20 (CT) The Batticaloa party office of the Eelam Revolutionary Organization of Students (EROS), has come under attack in the early hours of Sunday. Police said an investigation has been launched to locate an unidentified group suspected to be involved in the attack, subsequent to a complaint lodged by EROS Leader, R. Prabhakaran at the Batticaloa Police Station a short while after the incident. The party office, located near the Batticaloa Municipal Council was attacked by more..

UNP joins govt en masse in Anuradhapura

Aug 20 (DN) UNP Opposition Leaders of six Pradeshiya Sabhas and several other prominent UNP and JVP activists in the Anuradhapura District joined the UPFA at the UPFA’s maiden Provincial Council election rally held in Anuradhapura under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Saturday. With the rally held in support of the party candidates contesting the polls for the North Central Provincial Council, President commenced more..

'UNP, a legacy of the masses'

Aug 20 (CT) At a UNP political rally in Aranayaka on 18 August, in support of the UNP Provincial Council election candidate Upul Kariyawasam, UNP MP, Harin Fernando said, “UNP is not a legacy of Ranil or Sajith, it is a legacy of the masses.” “The govt has hoodwinked the people by giving false promises, and they cannot keep on deceiving the people with their falsehood anymore. As the govt has no other alternatives left, to hoodwink the people, they highlight the Ranil-Sajith clash. more..