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Interviews for hangmen on Aug. 28, 29

Aug 21 (Island) The Prisons Department has scheduled the interviews to select two hangmen for the gallows at the Welikada and Bogambara prisons to August 28 and 29. The department had received 178 applications for the two posts of hangmen, a senior official said adding that two of them were Tamils. The official said that those who are selected would be recruited to the post for 15 years on a permanent basis. They would be required to enter into an agreement with the department to more..

SEC unfairly criticised for price bands, credit restrictions

Aug 21 (Island) Data from the Colombo Stock Exchange shows that price bands and credit restrictions imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to reign in on rampant market indiscipline did not have as bad an impact on the Colombo Stock Exchange, contrary to what is being said by a group of shady investors and their crony brokers. Several broker firms, including Softlogic Stockbrokers and SC Securities, attributes more..

Norochcholai always breakdown CEB losses 6.5 billion rupees and counting

Aug 21 (SL) The repeated failure of the country’s first coal power plant in Norochcholai has compelled the govt to publicly acknowledge that there are issues related to the quality of the Chinese built plant. However, the bigger problem faced by the energy sector is in bridging the current energy deficit due to the continuous breakdowns of the plant. The Lakvijaya plant in Norochcholai is fast becoming a burden to more..

Detained TN fishermen ordered to be released

Aug 21 (PTI) The six Tamil Nadu fishermen, taken to Neduntheevu in Sri Lanka along with their three boats, were ordered to be released, according to officials, who received a wireless message from Sri Lanka. However, before ordering their release, the fishermen were allegedly hit with sticks and punched several times by the Sri Lankan navy, the sources said. The six fishermen were injured today when they were allegedly more..

Ship anchored off Panadura begins sinking

Aug 21 (CG) A foreign ship anchored off Panadura for the past three years has begun sinking, a ship engineer told the Colombo Gazette today. Second Engineer M. Muheen said that a nearby navy camp had informed the engineers to take urgent measures to prevent the ship from sinking as that could result in an oil leak. However the engineers have refused to address the issue as they have not been paid their dues by the owning company of the vessel. more..

'Exam muddle is an international conspiracy'

Aug 21 (LT) The only two institutions in Sri Lanka that are left without getting its credibility destroyed are the UGC and the Department of Examinations says the Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardene and charges that an international conspiracy is being hatched to breakdown the trustworthiness of the process of examinations in the island. The Minister says when compared with events in history there is no crisis in the education sector at present more..

'Govt. has lost the media war'

Aug 21 (LB) Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, terrorism expert, suggests that the Sri Lankan govt should view the recently held Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization (TESO) conference as a failure of its diplomacy. “Those are indications that the media war has been lost. The govt has won the war in the battlefield, but lost it at the table,” he opined. Gunaratna is the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and more..

Sajith says will be no cake walk for govt.

Aug 21 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, MP, yesterday said that in spite of the govt trying to exploit the ongoing internal dispute in the party to its advantage, the incumbent government wouldn’t find it easy at the forthcoming polls to the Sabaragamuwa, North-Central and Eastern Provincial Councils. Asked whether he was conducting a separate propaganda campaign, Premadasa said that more..

Resolve education chaos or face armed insurrection, says TNA

Aug 21 (LB) The TNA yesterday warned that unless the chaos in the country’s education system was resolved expeditiously, it could lead to another armed insurrection. The Tamil uprising had actually begun in London in the 1970’, long before LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran entered the scene; Tamil students who were affected by the standardisation policy had been forced to go to England to pursue higher studies after more..

Theft at National Museum: Main suspects under arrest

Aug 21 (NF) Police Media spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana says that investigations are continuing on the three suspects arrested in connection with the theft of several valuable artefacts from the National Museum in Colombo. According to police sources, two women and one man were arrested in connection with the incident. The police added that the chief suspect in the incident is a resident of Gonawela more..

Duminda will surrender on his return -Lawyer

Aug 21 (DM) Lawyers told the Colombo Magistrate today that MP Duminda Silva who is currently undergoing treatment abroad for injuries sustained at the Kolonnawa shootout will surrender, once he returns to the country after his recovery. Silva’s lawyer said this in objection to an Interpol warrant sought by Counsel for slain Baratha Premachandra’s family to arrest Duminda Silva. Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya informed the magistrate that a warrant was not more..

Polls Chief suspends recruitment of 43,000 graduates to public service

Aug 21 (Island) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has directed Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs P.B. Abeykoon to suspend all recruitments to the public service until the elections to the three provinces North-Central, Eastern and Sabaragamuwa were over. These instructions came in the context of Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne trying to appoint 43,000 graduates more..

Editorial: Pancha Maha Balavegaya on the Streets

Aug 21 (DM) The Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who leads the National Movement for Social Justice, has again called for the immediate abolition of the executive presidency saying it is the only way to save Sri Lanka from a calamity. The prelate told a news conference the Rule of Law had broken down, corruption was rampant, accountability and transparency were not on any account books, while party politics was criminalised. He expressed shock that ruling party politicians accused of more..

Trade unionism is not confined to higher wage demands

Aug 21 (DM) Some people have made an argument that the Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) has exceeded the mandate of a trade union when it demands the government to allocate 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to education. This argument emanates from the position that trade unions have no business with the government’s fiscal policy. According to the advocates of this position, deciding priorities and policies of allocating govt expenditure is more..

Sri Lanka installs five nuclear detectors

Aug 21 (AD) 5 nuclear detector early warning systems have been installed across the island to alert the public on nuclear accidents, the Ministry of Power and Energy said adding that three more detectors are to be installed. It said that the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) had obtained 8 early warning systems from the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) at a cost of over Rs. 12 million, in order to respond if the country is ever faced with the possible nuclear crisis. more..

Actis takes stake in Sri Lanka’s Asiri Central Hospitals

Aug 21 (AA) London-based emerging markets investor Actis has bought a 10.8 per cent stake in Sri Lanka’s Asiri Central Hospitals for LKR604m ($4.6m) from Softlogic Holdings, Commercial Bank of Ceylon and Pan Asia Banking Corp. The firm bought 2.4 million shares priced at LKR250 each in the Colombo-listed company, which counts fellow emerging markets investor Aureos Capital and IFC, the investment arm of the World Bank, among its investors. The business operates more..

Etisalat in drive to push mobile internet

Aug 21 (LBO) Dubai based Etisalat Sri Lanka unit, the island's third largest celco says it is pushing mobile broadband in a bid to increase internet penetration in the island though challenges remain for broader use. Mobile broadband is one of the fastest growing sectors in telecoms in Sri Lanka where fixed access is shrinking and growth in voice mobile is slowing. Data from Sri Lanka's telecom regulator shows that mobile internet users grew to 765,000 by end June 2012 from 485,000 in December 2011. more..

Joint Sathyagraha to resolve education crisis

Aug 21 (DM) An action committee which had been formed by several opposition political parties including the JVP are to hold a joint Sathyagraha to force the authorities to resolve the crisis in the education sector. Action committee which comprises UNP, Nawa Sihala Urumaya, Ruhunu Janatha Party, Federation of University Teachers and several other trade unions who met at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday decided to launch a serious of protests more..

Sri Lankan refugees, Hindus and Christians, around Our Lady of Madhu

Aug 21 (AN) A "miracle of unity and peace" capable of gathering "Hindus and Christians together" is how Fr. Nithiya OFM, Executive Secretary of the Office for Human Development of the Federation of Asian Bishop Conferences (FABC), described the feast in honor of Our Lady of Madhu, honored in Sri Lanka and for the first time celebrated in India to AsiaNews. For 11 days, the Sri Lankan refugee camp in Vazhavanthan Kottai, near Trichy more..

69 Australia bound Persons intercepted

Aug 21 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy intercepted 69 persons illegally bound for Australia in a multi-day trawler in the early hours of 21st August 2012. The trawler named “Asha Duwa” was intercepted by a Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Western Naval Command in the seas off Negombo. Among the arrested persons are 48 Tamils, 19 Sinhalese and 02 Muslims. They are residents of Negombo, Pulmude, Vavuniya, Mannar, Jaffna, Wishvamadu and Batticaloa. They were escorted to more..

Sri Lanka market player says not connected with SEC chief's removal

Aug 21 (LBO) Dilith Jayaweera, a stock market player who made a presentation to Sri Lanka's president shortly before the head of the island's SEC chief was removed says the two events are not connected. Jayaweera said told a media briefing that was not a 'high networth investor' who bought stocks on his own account but key stocks were bought by a corporate entity Divasa Equity with bank leverage. more..

Stocks end in a negative trend

Aug 21 (ST) Stocks closed in a slightly negative trend Tuesday with index heavy blue chip stocks gaining ground analysts said. Strong buying emerged in the market with blue chips leading from the front following the positive company results that has been released so far, they added. Buying interest seems to be stepping into the market, but mostly on rumours rather than value, a stock broker said. Market demonstrated a slight drop at the end of the day’s trading despite the positive momentum prevailed earlier. more..

Another blow for SLPL as Afridi returns to Pakistan

Aug 21 (IC) Pakistan's star all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who had been playing for Ruhuna Royals in the ongoing Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), has returned to Pakistan midway through the tournament. According to Ruhuna coach Waqar Younis, Afridi flew back home early Tuesday morning to be with his wife who is ill. The inaugural edition of Sri Lanka's IPL-style tournament was boycotted by India, and has lost several marquee internationals including Chris Gayle, more..

Sri Lanka activists demand release of 2 colleagues allegedly abducted by military

Aug 21 (AP) Sri Lankan human rights activists called for the release Tuesday of two colleagues they say were abducted nine months ago by the military. The military has repeatedly denied involvement in the disappearance of Lalith Kumar Weeraraju, 29, and Kugan Muruganandan, 34. The two members of the Movement for People's Struggle disappeared in December while organizing a news conference in the former war zone of Jaffna more..

'Batticaloa shall also be developed like Colombo'

Aug 21 (MoD) A special meeting was held today at the Batticaloa Municipal Council Auditorium with regard to the Development and Beautification of the city and its suburbs under the patronage of Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The secretary Defence upon arrival at the Municipal Council premises was warmly welcomed by the Mayor of Batticaloa Mrs. Sivageetha Prabaharan. more..

Point Pedro jetty back for fishermen

Aug 21 (MoD) Boosting the economy of fishing industry in Jaffna the historical Point Pedro (PPD) jetty was vested to fisher folks on 19 August 2012 by the Army. This jetty remained a restricted area for many years due to the LTTE activities prevailed in the area. At a simple ceremony organized by the 521 Brigade of PPD in association with fishery societies in the area, Minister Douglass Devananda and Commander Security Forces - Jaffna marked this historical occasion more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 21.08.2012

'Bring Back the Army Camp', Karaveddy people request Jaffna Commander

Aug 21 (GDI) A group of civilians from Karaveddy on Saturday morning submitted a communiqué to the Army requesting re-establishment of the Kallikai Army point that was removed from the area recently. Around 50 civilians representing the villagers walked holding placards to a place close to the Vadamarachchi South Pradeshiya Sabha office and handed the document signed by around 200 civilians over to the Commander 521 Brigade Colonel Tikiri Dissanayake. more..

Vidulka 2012 recognizes the best energy conservation projects

Aug 21 (GDI) Vidulka 2012 Energy Efficiency Awards Ceremony in paralle to Vidulka 2012 Exhibition was held with the participation of Basil Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest on Sunday at the BMICH for the third consecutive year. Vidulka, an annual event organized by the Power and Energy Ministry is considered as the top awards ceremony to recognize the best energy conservation projects that have achieved sustainable savings adopted by companies and establishments. more..

Universities closed indefinitely due to lecturers’ strike

Aug 21 (AD) All universities except Medical Faculties will be closed from today until further notice due to the strike action by university lecturers, the Ministry of Higher Education said. Therefore all faculties except Medical Faculties in 21 universities including Colombo, Peradeniya, Sri Jayawardenapura, Kelaniya, Moratuwa, Jaffna, Ruhuna, Rajarata, Sabaragamuwa and Wayamba universities will be closed down. more..

'Arrival of Sacred Relics underscores robust Indo-Lanka ties'

Aug 21 (DN) Minister Professor G L Peiris yesterday stated that the Kapilavasthu Relics that were brought to Sri Lanka are sign that the long maintained robust and sound relationship between the two great nations, India and Sri Lanka would go forth from strength to strength in the years to come. He made this observation at the inaugural session of the symposium Relic Worship: History, Archeology and Religion symposium held at the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute more..

UN official calls for more funding for Sri Lanka

Aug 21 (Xinhua) The United Nations (UN) has renewed calls to continue humanitarian funds for post-war Sri Lanka to assist with continued challenges of resettlement and rehabilitation, an official said here on Tuesday. Despite Sri Lanka's three decade conflict ending in 2009 there are still "significant" needs among internally displaced communities, UN Humanitarian Resident Coordinator Subinay Nandy said while addressing a ceremony to mark World Humanitarian Day. more..

Seychelles, Sri Lanka agree on protecting Indian Ocean resources

Aug 21 (PRIU) The Presidents of Seychelles and Sri Lanka agreed on the need to protect the Indian Ocean and its resources as the ocean belongs to the countries in this region. During a bilateral meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo this morning, Seychelles President James Alix Michel said that as Sri Lanka and the Seychelles share the same ocean others should not come to more..

MDMK demands release of fasting Lankan Tamil detainee

Aug 21 (ANI) Leader of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) party, 'Vaiko' Gopalswamy, led a mass protest rally of his supporters here on Tuesday demanding release of a Sri Lankan refugee named Senthuran. Senthuran is currently interned in a special detention camp at Poonamallee and also observing an indefinite fast along with six other Sri Lankan Tamils since August 6. Reportedly, police had detained Senthuran at Chenkalpattu Detention Center for more..

Kids flee children’s home in Rangala

Aug 21 (CG) The police are on the lookout for four children who had fled a children’s home in Rangala, the police media unit said today. According to the police the children had fled from the ‘Jeewitha Kanda’ children’s home two days ago undetected. The four children had been placed at the children’s home following a court order. The children who fled are aged 18, 15 and 13, the police said and two of them are related and are residents of Nawalapitiya. more..

French tourists guilty in Sri Lanka over Buddha photos

Aug 21 (BBC) A court has given suspended jail terms to three French tourists for wounding the religious feelings of Buddhists by taking pictures deemed insulting. Two women and one man were detained in the southern town of Galle after a photographic laboratory alerted police. The pictures show the travellers posing with Buddha statues and pretending to kiss one of them. more..

Ajith Samaranayake as he should be remembered

Aug 22 (LB) Dr. Lester James Peiris recently presented a collection of articles by Ajith Samaranayake, in a Lake House publication. It’s a volume that speaks volumes for a man and his maestro, for a maestro and his machang. Far apart in years though they were — these two kindred spirits Lester James Peiris and Ajith Samaranayake could be considered the two imps of their times that turned their respective crafts on their heads, and then retired together at Dickman’s Road, more..

Arming Batti schoolchildren with better education continues

Aug 22 (NS) ‘Ilamaiyil kalvi silailmel ezhuththu’ (Education at young age is like a letter chiseled on stone) is a Tamil proverb which spells out the importance of education at a young age. Today’s children are tomorrow’s pillars. Therefore, a solid foundation is essential for the youngsters to stand firm and ensure the country’s stability. Batticaloa is slowly getting back on its feet due to the absence of war, tension, and instability. The youth and children have gradually more..

Yoga: Using cosmic energy to unleash the creative

Aug 22 (CT) With the ever increasing pressures to climb up the social ladder, it’s not a hidden fact that most of us are tired of living. The current space and time that we live in has become very combative and ambitious---so much so that we’ve become mere machines aspiring to win the world. However, the continuous burden placed on our bodies since birth has led to detrimental effects such as stress, depression and fraught more..

Vehicle emissions and child harm

Aug 22 (NS) When we first arrived from Ireland where air pollution in the sparsely- populated rural area in which we lived was mainly methane from farting cows and sheep we were struck by how bad the emissions were on Sri Lankan roads. After a couple of years there was a marked improvement but now it is very bad again. It actually seems to have got worse since emission testing was introduced. I was interested to note that last week’s gripe was placed alongside Gomin Dayasiri’s article about child abuse. more..